Category Archives: Authentic Thai Food

CarolCooks2…Week Two…Join me in my kitchen…

Welcome to Week Two  …In my kitchen…

Where you will get an insight into what I have been cooking this week…Plus a bit of chat and trivia it would be boring otherwise…Wouldn’t it?

I have been busy working on my cookbook I have done a U-turn as I was a good way through a fish one but decided against it as the Fishing Industry has serious problems that I would shelve that for now as I don’t want to encourage anyone to buy fish which is not sustainable or highly farmed…I have changed to sauces…Sauces are something which I and many people struggle with and I am always getting asked by my children and friends …How do I make this? So I have decided to reveal all and hopefully dispense with the mysteries of making a good sauce.

I also want to just clarify what is morning-glory…?

Here in Thailand and other Asian countries, it looks like this …

morning Glory water spinach

Also called water spinach it is a very popular vegetable either eaten raw or stir-fried.

In the UK, for example, this is the plant we called morning-glory …

morning glory Uk flowering plant

A pretty little plant and the flowers are edible. Tabula Rasa commented …The flower we grow in the UK isn’t edible….as such. I researched it when I came back from Vietnam having eaten it there. The U.K. Plant is different and The seeds contain a substance similar to LSD and can be toxic.

Thank you for highlighting that fact Tabula Rasa...If you get a chance pop over to Tabulas blog she has some lovely recipes I loved the article on King Oyster Mushrooms but I couldn’t comment on the blog…Nice post Tabula ..King Oyster mushrooms are plentiful here and cheap to buy…I chop mine finely and use in a stuffing mix or curries even spag bol if I can’t get any button mushrooms …

So please if you know that like me for example who lives in Thailand mentions a fruit or vegetable often they are named the same or completely different but may be of the same family but not always edible ..It was a learning curve for me and I will be very mindful of that in future…

New Year…It always makes me have a sort out particularly of the kitchen cupboards and drawers and it generally starts when we get out all the Christmas crockery and cutlery and then we start to put it back…So I now have nice clean and tidy kitchen cupboards and a promise to start using up some of the many dried goods I am storing…If you have any great lentil recipes I have all sorts that need to be used…Please share…

lentil mung beans legumi

Look at this lovely idea for packing tomatoes…I always visit this lovely little farmers market, they are small growers not large and I am always so happy to see how they display their fruit and vegetables using leaves and bamboo ties etc…

cherry tomatoes

This is part of the Banana tree and a jolly good use as the banana tree only fruits once …When it has fruited the mother plant dies and leaves lots of little babies around the base. The banana plant is called a ‘banana tree’ in popular use, but it’s technically regarded as a herbaceous plant (or ‘herb’), not a tree because the stem does not contain true woody tissue.

It is this tissue which has been used to package these tomatoes. Plastic wrap was used to encase these but better than a plastic tray and plastic wrap. I just love the Thais ingenuity and waste not attitude.

What has been cooking in my kitchen this week??

Lasagne and salad.
Ingredients for Spaghetti Bolognese:

  • I kilo minced beef or pork
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 250 gm mushrooms sliced
  • 3/4 cloves garlic
  • 5/6 Fresh Basil leaves.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • I large tin tomatoes or 6/8 fresh tomatoes blitzed ( I always make a batch of tomatoes for spag bol/chillies and freeze in portions.
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree.
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs 
  • 1 tsp sage or fresh leaves if you have.
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Let’s Cook!
Heat a glug olive oil in a pan and saute onions and garlic.
Add the mince and cook until browned
Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes then add tomato puree and mixed herbs, bay leaf, oregano, balsamic and Worcester sauce.
Cook on a slow simmer for 20 minutes and then add mushrooms, cook for another 10 minutes and stir in fresh basil…
Meanwhile, make a white sauce.
When spaghetti is ready starting with a layer of mince then pasta sheets, Then mince, white sauce, pasta until you have completed 4 layers finishing with the white sauce.
Grate over your favourite cheese… I use cheddar or a mix of mozzarella and cheddar.
Cheese can be difficult to get here so if I have plenty then I also use some between my layers for a cheesier lasagne.

I think lasagne is the type of dish where anything goes really sometimes I add bell pepper to my sauce it depends what I have in my larder/fridge.

Cook lasagne on 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until pasta is cooked and cheese is golden and bubbling.


Serve with mixed Salad and or Garlic bread.
Enjoy!

Reading through blog and e-mails this week I came across a recipe for Chicken Passandra now lamb Passandra was probably one of the very first Indian curry dishes I ate many moons ago…It is a mild Mughal curry made with yoghurt and almonds, not my normal curry as you know I am a spice girl…

It got the thumbs up from the rest of the family…Me, I thought it was Ok…I prefer my spices dry toasted to release the flavour and the sauce was a little lacking…I am hoping one of my Indian friends might have a recipe …Hint Hint!

If not I am going to have a play and a tweak…So what this space… As you know this is sort of a test kitchen and I won’t post a recipe until it is truly tried, tested and perfect…

Tomorrow it is the Pigs Trotters ( sorry), Adele, as I forgot to take a photo last week but I have ones chopped so trying a Thai recipe tomoz and in the week I will be repeating last weeks but with images …x

That’s all for this week not really an exciting week in the kitchen well unless you count the fact that I used a shot of the Naga Chilli Vodka my son sent me added soda, ice and a squeeze of lime… The fumes ..Even if I held my nose just the fumes ( it is mega hot) made my voice go funny…lol… For INFO: The Naga Viper pepper is one of the world’s hottest chillies. It has a rating of 1.3million Scoville Heat Units (spice measurements). In contrast, Tabasco sauce rates at around 2,500.

naga chilli vodka

So if you are thinking of trying naga chilli vodka have it in a Bloody Mary…Don’t do what I did although I was told that the longer the chilli stays in the bottle the hotter it gets…Guess who didn’t listen??

If you are still here then thank you for reading…Have a great weekend …xxx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend xx

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column – Carol cooks Stir Fries

Thank you, Sally, for hosting me once again… Nearly time for all the Christmas recipes…I love this time of year just wish it was a little colder(sort of)…lol…It adds to the atmosphere of Christmas…Hugs x

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Hello and welcome wasn’t it fun last Wednesday at Sally’s Halloween party? I hope you all enjoyed our post on Onions and Garlic it certainly kept the vampires away and didn’t our Sally look absolutely amazing?

The week before Halloween I posted on how to make perfect Fried rice and it seemed from the comments to be a popular post…I also discovered that many of you love stir fries and dishes which can be made quickly and are just as easy to make for one as for 6 people. A boon when you are working or have writing deadlines to meet and know that you do need to eat but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen but want a tasty meal…

Most Thai meals are stir fried…Thais don’t have ovens like we do and many just cook on one ring or an open fire so one wok and…

View original post 1,906 more words

Saturday morning at Tessaban Market, Udon Thani, Thailand

Up bright and early to catch the bus to Tessaban market with Tik…The bus was really busy with ladies all going to market and all very interested in this lady who they say was very beautiful…They wanted to know how long I had lived in Thailand, did I like it here and how old I was ?…Life history time…Again..lol

A dull gloomy day here but ideal for shopping…What did I get today ? Some lovely fresh coconut and other vegetables my favourite snake beans, fresh mint and coriander and of course peppercorns …I just love fresh peppercorns they make a lovely sauce.

fresh-vegetables-thai- market

I love the early morning market it is so vibrant and busy lots of lovely fresh produce…Today I bought some lovely fresh prawns some hand picked crab ( so much easier than picking out the crab claws) and an Issan dish  called Mok pla siw which means various small fish. they are cooked on a BBQ wrapped in a banana leaf with chilli, Thai basil and spring onion…Then eaten with sticky rice either on its own or as an accompaniment to other dishes…We had ours with Grapow Moo       

Which Tik made when we got home for our brunch.

fish-chilli-pla-basil-banana-leaf

What other goodies did I buy? A whole coconut for hubby as he likes to munch on fresh coconut… a whole one lasts him about 5/6 days…

crab-betel-leaves-coconut

The betel leaves and the fruit are for Tiks mum …Which is an age old tradition which old people do..although it is actually against the law…A blind eye is turned so if you are visiting here and see someone with very red lips and teeth it is the betel leaves and nuts which they chew/smoke …It is illegal as it makes you a tad high so they will also probably have a calm faraway look…But it is big business here…

I just love the choice and the different foods I see every time I go…Lots of fish..Thais love fish of all sorts steamed, BBQ, smoked or as pla… and many smiling faces all trying to sell me their wares one stop shopping at its best you can buy almost anything here… if you love browsing you would love it anyway  back to food shopping  and not forgetting the rice and man farang ( potatoes) which I needed…

That’s all for my trip down the market today… It is still pretty gloomy here no sign of the sun today…But I am pleased with my shopping lots of fresh food for a few days…

I hope you enjoyed my local shopping trip today and you will most probably recognise a few of the vegetables some which are eaten all over the world others which are not an Aladins cave full of fresh goodies.

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest  https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Enjoy your weekend , be happy and mindful and laugh a lot xx

 

Krapow( grapow) Moo Pork with Basil

 

ingredients for grapow Moo

Krapow Moo is my favourite Thai dish and one which we often have for brunch..we are a two meal a day family. It can be made with Chicken mince but I prefer pork mince. For maximum heat, I always grind my chillies and garlic together in my pestle.

Ingredients: This serves 3/4.

  • 200 gm Pork mince
  • 4 snake beans cut into 1/4 inch slices.If you can’t get the beans pictured then ordinary green beans will be fine.
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1-5 Thai chillies
  • Krapow …A big bunch of Thai sweet basil  Leaves picked and as you can see from the photo I use quite a lot.
  • 2 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black soy.
  • A splash of cooking oil…I use Coconut oil.
  • Good shake of seasoning..not sure if you would get the one I use here but if not just a little pork/chicken seasoning salt.

Peel garlic and cut chillies finely at this point I put in a pestle and mortar as it brings out the flavour. If you don’t eat your food very hot like us then just cut chillies and garlic finely.

Add a splash of oil to a hot wok and add chillies and garlic cook stirring for 1 minute being careful the garlic doesn’t burn.

Add the minced pork( chicken) and stir until cooked 3-4 mins.

Add all sauces and stir cooking for 1 minute. Add a little hot water if the sauce is too strong.

grapow moo cooking adding herbs
Then add the green beans and cook 1 min then add Grapow and stir until wilted.
Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

grapow- krapow-egg-pork

Serve with rice and a fried egg which is traditionally how Thais eat this dish.

herb grapow

N.B.Holy Basil is available now in many Asian stores throughout the world.

Please note I have put for example 1-5 chillies it all depends on how hot you like your food and the same with garlic I love lots of garlic and herbs BUT as I always say start with a litle you can always add and most importantly TASTE AND TASTE again and again while you are cooking trust your palate…

Enjoy!

Retired No One Told Me!… Weekly Roundup…Green Chicken, Smoked Watermelon and little known Thai Fruits

Weekly roundup 11 Aug

Welcome to my weekly roundup of posts by now you should know the drill comfy chair, favourite drink, relax and prepare to have a great read…

lady relaxing kindle-1867751_1280

The first post of the week was Green chicken a really lovely stir fry with coriander, mint, spinach and green chillies and the result is awesome with some lovely flatbread and an Indian pickle it is really lovely…

Green-chicken-spinach

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/spicy-chicken-with-spinach/

Next, it was the really good news that after a week of no biscuits( and ) I still haven’t had one or any haribos I lost 4 LB…Week 2 and I am still keeping my food diary it is certainly keeping me focussed and that little chart of Sally’s and the shopping list has really focussed me …If you haven’t already check out the links and you will find some great sensible advice.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/healthy-eatingno-more-dietseat-yourself-slim-2/

I then read a post from fellow blogger John Reiber and it was about roasted watermelon a fascinating post and I would definitely try it not saying I would like it but who knows …Have you heard of this dish? Have you tried it???

It would certainly mess with your taste buds…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/a-smoked-watermelon-roast-incredibly-creative-cooking-recipe-disguised-chinese-desserts-too/

Wednesday already and time for part two of my cookery column over at Sally’s …Last week I gave you the sauce mixes and spices so this week I gave you the recipes …

chicken satay

This is one of my favourite Thai starters nice and fresh…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-family-favourites-and-spices-in-action-part-two/

Thursday and my blog hopping continued I was over at Esme’s Salon for my monthly post on the Culinary Alphabet and this week it was the letter G…Obviously, there was garlic, ginger and galangal to see what else I had for you then pop over and have a read.

cauliflower cheese

https://esmesalon.com/the-culinary-alphabet-this-month-it-is-the-letter-g/

It then was time to get a bit more serious and you have or do suffer from anaemia then you will know what I mean …Sally always offers good sound advice on how we can use our diets to help build up our immune system to keep us healthy.

smorgasbord Health Column

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/smorgasbord-health-column-the-cardiovascular-system-and-the-components-of-blood-anaemia/

Lastly, it was Fruity Friday where I showcased some unusual Thai Fruits like the Matum Fruit, Thai cherries which look very much like cherry tomatoes but not in taste also the Mangosteen Fruit which I think you may find outside of Thailand and the Gac Fruit also some lovely recipes… I do hope you will enjoy learning about some of the fruits I  enjoy here in Thailand.

thai cherries 1

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/08/10/fruity-friday-thai-fruits/

Well that’s it that concludes my weekly roundup …Until next time thank you for reading.

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you  for reading this weekly roundup I do hope you enjoyed it until next time stay safe, laugh a lot and enjoy your weekend  xxx

Thai Cooking…Sweet, Sour, Spicy, Salty and Bitter…

 

I think Thai food incorporates some of the best flavours in the world…Not laden with thick mayonnaise and cream which mask the taste of the other ingredients but lovely fresh food flavoured with herbs and spices which showcase the true essence of Thai food how the herbs and spices combine and as we all know who has cooked and eaten Thai food that the secret of a great dish is getting that right balance.

Thai cuisine is a marriage of old eastern and western influences combined in something which is uniquely Thai… a dish can be fiery and chilli hot or by comparison quite bland but there is always that balance that harmony which comes together to say this is Thai food at its best…

It is why I always say TASTE and TASTE again start with a little and add an ingredient(s) little by little… everyone has a preference to certain flavours …As you know I love chilli and fish sauce so maybe I use a little more than some who may prefer more lime for example …It is all about the TASTE…and Balance.

Sweet…

There are different types of sugar produced in Thailand from white and brown sugar, palm and coconut sugars.

Palm sugar comes from sugar palm tree or Palmyra while coconut sugar comes from the coconut palm.

Both sugars are produced from the sweet, watery sap that drips from cut flower buds. Palm sugar usually has a darker colour, a more fragrant smoky aroma and a more complex flavour than coconut sugar.

Palm and coconut sugars are usually used in curry dishes but considerably more in Thai desserts.

I use palm sugar mostly as it has a milder sweetness and goes well with foods which contain coconut milk…Coconut sugar has a more intense caramel-like flavour which I use when baking banana bread.

Dark, black soy although strong in taste and salty there is an element of a sweet molasses flavour… Used sparingly it enhances the taste of stir-fries.

Thai Basil has a sweet but strong aniseed flavour which I love and as I really love fresh herbs if a recipe says 2 sprigs I would use 4…I love Thai herbs…

Sour…

The sour flavour is predominant in Thai salads, soups, dips, and some drinks, usually, it comes from the tamarind which I love … lime juice,  fragrant Kaffir lime leaves, Lemongrass and white vinegar.

fresh cut limes-1239267_1280

Tamarind that brown fruit imparts such a lovely sour/sweet flavour I just love the tamarind eaten raw or soaked and the juice used in a recipe ..just love it!

Spicy…

Flavour usually comes from fresh and dried Thai chillies, black and white peppers, garlic, and ginger. This taste of Thai food, spicy, is seldom missed in Thai cooking. Level relatively differs from personal preference.

Thai chillies or birdseye as they are often called are used in many Thai dishes like Thai curries, in salads…green or red or just eaten raw…Yes, raw I don’t go that far unless it is in my salad but many Thais just eat the whole raw chilli quite often the men here in my house have a competition on who can eat the hottest raw chilli….I do not participate I love chilli in my food but why would I just want to chomp on a chilli ????

Chilli plant- hot- spicy- Thai chillies

White peppercorns are used here for heat quite extensively more so than black peppercorns which are mostly used in western dishes.

Garlic is also used frequently and added to the oil first before stir-frying quite often the garlic and the chillies are added first.

Fresh coriander has a very strong smell and taste and the leaves and the roots are used in many dishes or as a garnish.

Bitter…

The bitter flavour in Thai food does not often exist in most Thai dishes. However, the bitter flavour comes from a few kinds of vegetables and fruit which are believed to have a medicinal benefit.

The bitter gourd is commonly used in soups and stocks or in a dish called Khiewchanta…

Thai food-raw prawns-spicy-dip

Thai raw prawns with spicy dip

 

Which is made with uncooked prawns with a blow your head off chilli dip. It consists of very finely chopped white cabbage, finely sliced and halved…arranged round the edge of plate……..Fresh prawns, cleaned, deveined and soaked in Soda Water…..Fresh mint leaves and finely sliced garlic.

Salty…

Salty flavour usually comes from sea salt, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Fish sauce is considerably used in Thai cooking while different kind of soy sauces are mostly used for soups and stir-fry dishes and it may be used instead to one’s personal preference or for Thai vegetarian cooking.

Sea salt is more commonly used in Thai cooking as a preservative for fish and eggs or it is used to help grind other spices sometimes when making Thai pastes.

I am really lucky as I get my salt fresh as we live close to some salt flats …

Salt-farming-northern Thailand

Lighter soy sauces are also used to balance the salty flavours as is shrimp paste which has an incredibly pungent smell and is often dry roasted to develop the taste…Used in curries and fish dishes it actually tastes better than it smells …It took me a while to get used to this one …

Unlike western foods which are often served in courses a Thai meal is served all at once as the balance of spice, salt, sour and sweetness are not only considered in individual dishes but the meal as a whole it has to have balance.

For example, if you have a really hot curry then this would be balanced by a soup and a mild stir-fry. Thai cooking is instinctive the taste is learned by instinct as chillies can be hot or a little milder, your limes may be really juicy or not so which is why I say TASTE and TASTE again as a recipe for Thai food is a guide and cannot take into account individual ingredients which may vary…

I hope this has been helpful and you now have a better idea of the complexities of Thai cooking…

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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Down on the Farm…Spicy Pork with Stinky Beans( Mu Baan Phat Prik Sa Tor)

Spicy Pork with Stink Beans a popular dish here in the North.

Down on the Farm Stink Beans

Growing on trees some 30 metres high the beans grow in clusters.

Popular in Indonesia, Malaysia,  Singapore, Laos, Burma and NE India they are known as Bitter Bean, Petai, Kampa, Mizo, Pakra and Sa Tor here in Thailand which translates as stinky bean. When you eat this bean it has the same effect on your urine and your farts as asparagus and I have also been told that if you eat Sugar Puffs then it smells like Sugar puffs …Totally off subject but that was what my son told me when I informed him they had the same effect as asparagus…When the beans are young they can be eaten raw, fried or pickled. The beans are either pickled or frozen when being exported.

Similar in looks to the Broad bean the seeds turn black when dried and may need to be peeled before cooking.

Healthwise this bean is packed with…Iron(42.50%) Vitamin C (36.33%) Protein 20.00%)

 Vitamin B2 (15.38%) Carbohydrate (13.00% another of natures powerhouses.

As a cure for hangovers combined with honey and milk, this particular milkshakes made is considered to help to ease a hangover because it can easily enhance blood glucose levels whilst the milk is wonderful for calming as well as re-fix the fluid level within the body.

Ingredients:

  • 400 gm of pork thinly sliced I use hip or pork loin you can also use chicken if prefered.
  • 1 cup of stink beans
  • Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of coconut cream
  • Pinch sugar
  • 4/6 kaffir lime leaves finely shredded
  • Sm amount of red curry paste.

Let’s Cook!

Heat a small amount of oil in a wok or frying pan and add your curry paste.(see note below) Aff fine;y slice lime leaves and stir-fry for a minute until flavours are released.

Add the pork and stir-fry until cooked..4-5 minutes. Add the stink beans, Fish Sauce, Coconut cream and a pinch of sugar.

pork and stink beans

Serve with  Steamed Rice.

N.B: IF USING A REGULAR RED CURRY PASTE I WOULD USE APPROX DESSERT SP TO START THE CURRY PASTE WE BUY IS VERY HOT AND YOU ONLY NEED 1/2 TSP IT IS FIERY. BUT I ALWAYS SAY WHEN USING A CURRY PASTE THAT YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THEN ADD A SMALL AMOUNT, TASTE AND ADD MORE IF REQUIRED. 

We like our curries quite spicy and know our pastes so add accordingly but still taste as chillies vary but I have learnt that if buying fresh paste to ask to taste and you soon know if it packs a punch or not….lol

If you can’t get fresh stink beans then you can use frozen…When the beans fresh they don’t have a strong smell but the smell is stronger when the beans are older or frozen.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about the stink bean or Sa Tor if you have please pin or share to your favourite social media and if you cook with stink beans please let me know what you cook in comments I love hearing from you…

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest  https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Enjoy your week, be happy and mindful xx