Category Archives: Carol Cooks2

Whimsical Wednesday with Carol…

Hello and welcome to this weeks edition of Whimsical Wednesday…

Rubber Ducky Day – Rubber Ducky, you’re the one!

duckie, sesame street universal-studios-singapore-2413365_640

According to a 1973 Sesame Street calendar, Rubber Duckie’s Birthday is in January. A friend of Ernie and Big Bird, Duckie made his debut in a February 1970 episode of Sesame Street.

The rubber ducky (also spelt duckie) has come a long way from his first concept as a chew toy for children. While the origin of the first rubber ducky is uncertain, many rubber moulded toys came about when rubber manufacturing developed in the late 1800s. They produced a variety of toys from dolls and various animal shapes, including the rubber duck.

rubber-duck-997905_640

Sales of the iconic yellow rubber ducky we’ve come to know today soared in Britain in 2001. Why? A British Tabloid, The Sun, reported Queen Elizabeth II had a rubber duck in her bathroom that wore an inflatable crown.

29th January 1959 – Walt Disney’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’ was released. The Beauty, Princess Aurora, only appeared on screen for about 18 minutes as an ‘adult’, but she was actually a sixteen-year-old.

sleeping-beauty-1462740_640

Time for a story…

This is a continuation of a short story started by author Steph Richmond with the offer to contribute …intrigued I took her up on this offer so as you will see I write the occasional chapter…Will this be finished who knows.?.. The girl as yet doesn’t have a name just an unknown past…Enjoy!

The Charade – Chapter 20

By Carol Taylor

9a15bbcccf402180463cff95a6c0a40e--amethyst-jewelry-swarovski-jewelry

The girl was angry, angrier than she had been for a long time… Carl’s eyes had given him away she had seen the real him. Instead of being scared though she was angry it seemed like everyone she knew was keeping things from her or trying to get something from her…Why?

Lost in her thoughts she realised she was standing in front of the door where she was staying and a kind-looking man was smiling at her.

“Did you have a nice walk? The weather is lovely, isn’t it? Come in, Come in you must be hungry.” She followed the man into the dining room where there was a lovely table set with a beautiful white cloth and some very pretty flowers. “Sit down my dear …I will ring Jenny to bring in breakfast…”

Within a few minutes, a smiling girl appeared carrying a beautiful silver platter which she placed on the table the food smelled delicious and the girl realised how hungry she was.

The girl and the man ate their breakfast in comfortable silence.

Hunger appeased the girl sat there sipping her tea and wondering who this man was. He seemed so calm and nice, his smile reached his eyes and she felt warm and safe.

Clearing his throat he started to talk. “You must be wondering why you are here and you most probably are also wondering who I am… Mr James is a dear friend of mine and I know he has been protecting you and trying to keep you safe. There is no party it was just a ruse to get you here but unfortunately that ruffian Carl has followed you but do not worry my dear I will have him dealt with. It is time that you were told who you really are but I have to warn you that with that comes great danger and also a great responsibility.”

The girl was sitting open-mouthed at last she would find out who she really was but at the man’s words, she also became very scared. Her thoughts raced she felt very small and afraid, the man was looking at her with a concerned look. “Please do not be afraid. I will do everything in my power to protect you. You will stay here now, Mr James will be arriving in a few days and then we will both sit you down and answer all your questions… In the meantime maybe you would make an old man very happy if you would allow me to show you around we can do some shopping… I am sure that you are like all young people and love to shop. Now if you would like to go to your room and get changed I will have the carriage bought around for about 11 is that alright?”

The girl nodded her consent and skipped up the stairs…

She felt happier than she had for a while, at last, she would find out who she was…

Entering her room she gasped …her clothes were strewn about the floor what is …A hand went over her mouth and cloth of some sweet-smelling fragrance was clamped over her nose and mouth she started to fall.

Carl looked at the unconscious girl and smiled… It still didn’t reach his eyes…

TBC…

If you can’t decide on what colour nail polish or design to have check these out…

Really weird…..

National Soup Month…

Yesterday I made a lovely mushroom soup …a new recipe and it needs tweaking my little taste tester Aston told me what I needed to do….lol

It pleases me though because it means that he tastes the food and knows when it needs something else so that is good for a child.

Mushroom Soup…

  • 2 lbs of mushrooms…mixed I used straw, button, crimini and some small ones which I can’t remember the name.
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 6 sprigs of thyme tied together
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 cup of cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

Melt the butter and add the mushrooms and add a pinch of salt and cook until they give up their juices and reduce the heat. Cook stirring until the juice has evaporated and the mushrooms start to brown.

crimini straw button mushrooms

Pick out a few nice pieces and set to one side for the garnish.

Mix the onions into the mushrooms and cook until the onion softens about 5 minutes.

Add the thyme and garlic and pour in the stock and water simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the thyme before blending the soup, if the consistency is still too thick then add more stock/water…Return to a pan and add the cream…Taste and season with salt and black pepper…

Mushroom Soup

I hope this has given you a few ideas about what to have for lunch…What is your favourite soup

Today marks a historic day for the UK …

Brexit Day is to be set in stone when the European Parliament in Brussels casts a vote ratifying the terms of Britain’s divorce deal from the EU.

The historic legislative act — the last for the 72 remaining British MEPs who will leave afterwards — will allow Brexit to officially take effect on Friday at 2300 GMT, midnight for most of continental Europe and 11:00 pm in Britain.

I don’t think that will be it but I also think it will be exciting…

Time for some music…

Fleetwood Mac…
A British/American rock band formed in London in 1967. They have sold more than 120 million records worldwide making them one of the best selling bands.
Founded by Peter Green guitarist, drummer Mick Fleetwood, guitarist Jeremy Spencer and bassist John McVie the band has had many different line-ups over the years.
Gypsy is one of my favourite tracks…
That’s all for this week…

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…12th Jan-18th January 2020…

Welcome to my weekly roundup…I have been busy cooking and experimenting in my kitchen, doing lots of research for my cookbook which is back on track …Gradually catching up with posts I have missed lately ..Do you find the festive season and the aftermath just seems to throw you off course somewhat…?

That’s the last sip of my Oolong tea sipped and enjoyed so let’s get on with it, shall we…I hope you enjoy x

Monday…The bigger picture…

See the bigger picture...

I will be honest and I did have a bit of a rant…Why? Well, some of it is caused by what I am reading at the moment… If you get a chance and want a break from the fiction…I recommend you read Climate Justice by Mary Robinson…It is a great read… it opened my eyes and made me think and wish I was younger and had known all this…Why didn’t I? Lots of reasons…None of which I can really justify if I am truthful…Just didn’t think is not really a reason is it?

What I am taking from this book is how real Climate Change is for some…I am also seeing how those not affected at the moment just don’t realise how real it is for some and if they do for some reason think it won’t affect them…Sooner or later, folks, it will…Nuff said!

I promise no rants this week just good news…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/01/13/recycling-and-climate-change13th-january-2020the-bigger-picture/

Wednesday 15th January…

You probably noticed there was no Tuesday post…Time to cook and write… Whimsical Wednesdays are still here as is my column over at Sally’s…Where my A-Z of the cookery world is being repeated with a few new additions… I was both surprised and delighted at the response from you all..Thank you all so much xx

The Culinary Alphabet ...The Letter A

My thanks go to Sally as well as this allows me time to cook and write…xx

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/01/15/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-cook-from-scratch-carol-taylor-a-z-of-food-almond-milk-arrowroot-aubergines-dip-thai-and-avocado-guacamole/

Whimsical Wednesdays…beaver-1352439_640

Lots of music, the continuation of The Charade, A recipe and I will say I was really pleased with this soup I made it again but only had one red pepper to roast and it was better than the first one I made although I did get some really lovely ripe red tomatoes so I think that made a difference…The Beavers are coming back…It was lovely to hear from Adelethat they have been back in Scotland for a while and there are thoughts of reintroducing the wolves…All good news for the environment. Beigels/bagels I must have to have a go at baking some…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/01/15/whimsical-wednesdays-with-carol-5/

Thursday…

The Culinary Alphabet The Letter XYZ (1)

Saw my last post in this series over at Esme’s Salon where once a month for the past two years I have presented the Culinary Alphabet…Today it was XYZ…

My thanks go to Esme for hosting me I have enjoyed the research and writing of these posts…Thank you, Esme xxx

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/01/16/the-culinary-alphabet-xyz/

Friday…In my kitchen…

Where I am doing a lot of testing at the moment for my cookbook so those recipes will be revealed when I have finished testing and writing in the meantime I am cooking meals which we love and for me are quick and easy to cook…

Lime lemon meringue Pie

My recipe for Carbonara was a big hit…personally we love it made this way rather than with cream and it gives me an excuse to make meringue pie or Coconut macaroons which I love… This is my recipe for macaroons…

Coconut Macaroons.

coconut-macaroons
Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 cups of desiccated coconut or fresh coconut if you have it.
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence
  • 1/4 tsp of salt

Let’s Cook!
Whisk the egg whites, sugar, vanilla essence and salt until the mix is soft and frothy.
Fold in the coconut and put spoonfuls on a lined baking tray.
Cook in a preheated oven on 350F or 175 C for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool on a baking tray.
This recipe made about 12 depending on the size of your spoon.

If you wanted you could drizzle some melted chocolate over them…Just saying xx

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/01/17/carolcooks2this-week-in-my-kitchencarbonara-gumbo-and-lime-meringue-pie/

Saturday…

Sally’s Health Column...This week is Part Two …Weekly shopping list by ingredient…

A great little series, really helpful…Sally is a qualified nutritionist with many years of experience…Well worth a read #recommended

Smorgasbord Health Column – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part Two – Vitamin C to K2.

That’s all for this weeks roundup…Thank you for reading and thank you to everyone who supports me by commenting I  love hearing from you…You all rock…x

Tomorrow it time for another update on Climate Change and Recycling  I have lots of good news this week after my little rant last week although those devasting bush fires keep on burning there has been some welcome relief with some rain…

We love you Australia and keep you in our thoughts but you are strong and resilient and will get through this…Much love 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.

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all having a great weekend and have a fabulous week  🙂 xx

CarolCooks2…This week in my Kitchen…Carbonara, Gumbo and lime Meringue pie…

Welcome to this week in my kitchen…I am doing a lot of testing at the moment for my cookbook so those recipes will be revealed when I have finished testing and writing in the meantime I am cooking meals which we love and for me are quick and easy to cook…

This week in my Kitchen (1)

Carbonara is one such meal and then I get egg whites so the request was for a lime meringue pie…Limes because they are grown here and plentiful.lemons not so much and they are generally imported so bearing in mind my eat local pledge I use limes but I also prefer limes…

Carbonara…

I have seen so many versions of Carbonara and tasted a few as well..some were to die for and some quite frankly I felt like killing the chef!

I was watching Masterchef  “The Professionals” a while ago and one of the quickfire tests they were given was to make a Carbonara in 15 mins. What an eye-opener and these were trained chefs so it’s no wonder that some of us do not know the proper way to make  Carbonara and folks that included ME!

Not any longer I set to and made one the right way…NO CREAM…..The outcome was everyone loved it! Since then I have made it this way although I have slightly adapted it…I just use just egg yolks and not a combination of whole eggs plus extra yolks. If I can get pancetta I use pancetta if not I use cooked ham or bacon.

A good traditional Carbonara does not need cream just egg yolks and a little of the pasta cooking water.

Ingredients: Serves 2

  • 130 g spaghetti
  •  2/3 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 100 g of cooked ham.
  • 30g fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

 

Let’s Cook!

Separate the eggs and put egg yolks into a bowl, finely grate in 30 gm of Parmesan, season with pepper, then mix well with a fork and put to one side.

Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente..remove the pan from the heat.

Peel a clove of garlic, then chop finely, add it to the pan and leave it to flavour the fat for 1 minute. If I am using pancetta I just crush the garlic if not I just gently cook my finely chopped garlic and then remove the pan from the heat until I am ready to heat up the ham.

If you use ham instead of Pancetta then cook very lightly as ham is already cooked so really you are just warming it through.

I don’t discard the garlic as in the traditional recipe…I leave mine in the pan…I also sometimes add chilli or a few sliced mushrooms…Just because I can…

Drain the pasta reserving some of the cooking liquid and add the spaghetti to the pan. Toss well over the heat so it really soaks up all that lovely flavour, remove the pan from the heat.

Make sure you remove the pan from the heat as if the pan is too hot then the eggs WILL scramble.

Add a splash of the cooking water to the pan and toss well, season with pepper, then pour in the egg mixture – the heat from the pan will help to cook the egg gently, rather than scrambling it. Toss well, adding more cooking water until it’s lovely and glossy.

Serve with a grating of Parmesan, an extra twist of pepper and a little chopped flat-leaf Parsley.

A little tip which I did this time was to add a little of the cooled pasta water to the egg yolk and parmesan mixture it just makes it easier to stir into the pasta as it becomes quite thick when you add the parmesan to the egg yolks which may be why the original recipe used whole eggs as well…I find using just the yolks makes the sauce richer and this is how everyone likes it…

Enjoy!

Now to use the egg whites…

Lime/ Lemon Meringue Pie.

Lime lemon meringue Pie

Prepare your pastry making sure you use ice-cold water from the fridge and wrap in clingfilm and put in the chiller for at least 20 minutes.

  • 225g plain flour
  • 100g butter, diced
  • pinch salt

Sift your flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add your iced water a little at a time how much depends on the flour you use. Draw the mix together with your fingertips shape into a round and then wrap and put in the chiller for at least 20 minutes. I aim to work my pastry as little as I have to something my mother taught me.

Remove from the chiller and roll out your pastry to fit your pie dish, line your dish.

Some prebake at this point and some don’t …I have done both depending on the time I have or what my filling is…If I don’t prebake I stand the dish on a baking tray so as to make sure there are no  “soggy bottoms”

For this pie, I pre-bake the pie case…I cook the pie case on 190 degrees for about 25-30 mins if you just lightly scrape the edge of the pie it should just flake away.

Now let’s make the filling…

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch/Arrowroot
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice or lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2tsp butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2tsp lime zest.

Let’s Cook!

Combine sugar, cornstarch or Arrowroot if using, water and lime juice. Whisk until smooth.

Stir in butter and egg yolks. Then gradually add boiling water.

Bring the mix to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins.

The mix should be fairly thick and glossy, if you want to add green colouring at this point then you can.

I didn’t so my filling was a lemon colour because of the egg yolks.

Pour into the pre-baked pastry case.

Meringue Topping:

  • 3 Egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar.

Let’s Cook!

Beat egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add half of the sugar and beat until stiff and then fold in rest of sugar. Put on top of lime/lemon filling and make sure edges are sealed.

Bake in preheated oven on 175 until the top is golden. About 10/15 mins depending on your oven.

 

Enjoy!

National Soup Month… 

I have been seeing all these lovely pictures of snowy scenes although I am sure the reality is that it is freezing…Which means soup is on your menu…If you would love to share your favourite soup recipes then, please do…

Gumbo… is a dish where anything can go into it and ideal for sitting on the stove and having a bowl when you can snatch the time.

It is the national dish of the state of Louisiana and can be made with meat, seafood or both and it has its roots in many cultures French, Spanish, West African and Choctaw.

Originating in Southern Louisiana during the 18th century and whether it is meat, shellfish or a mixture it contains what the Louisianians call ” The Holy Trinity of vegetables” namely celery, bell peppers and onions.

It is a thickened stew using either Okra, a roux( flour and fat) which is the French influence or the Choctaw spice called file which is dried, ground Sassafras leaves.

Anise and arrowroot can be used as a substitute just use anise sparingly...The file powder is a thickener and added when you add the tomatoes and again at the end of cooking…If you are using anise keep tasting and use sparingly you can always add you cannot take away so tasting as you go is key…I have seen it for sale online…

gumbo

There are many variations of this dish and everyone will tell you theirs is the original and passed down through the generations but they are all tasty and often unique to the locality.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup of bacon drippings
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped celery
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 chopped green bell pepper
  • 3/4 cloves of garlic chopped/crushed
  • 1 lb andouille sausage sliced (or sausage of your choice)
  • 6 beef bouillon cubes or 3 quarts homemade stock
  • 3  quarts of water if using stock cubes
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt to season
  • 2 tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 1/2-1 tsp of cajun seasoning
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp file powder
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 lb okra chopped in inch pieces.
  • 1 lb crab meat
  • 3 lb shrimp
  • 2 tsp file powder.

Let’s Cook!

To make roux whisk the flour into 3/4 cup bacon drippings, whisking and cooking until the roux turns a deep brown 20/30 minutes. Be very careful that you do not burn it or you have to start again.

When you remove the pan from the heat continue to whisk until the roux has stopped cooking.

Put your chopped celery, onion and bell peppers into the roux as well as the chopped sausage bring the roux to a soft simmer and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the veg is soft. Set to one side.

In a large pan bring the water or stock to the boil whisking until the bouillon cubes have dissolved if you are using them.

Mix in the sugar, Tabasco sauce, cajun, bay leaves, thyme, tomatoes and tomato puree. Simmer for 1hr in total but at 45 minutes stir in the 2 tsp file gumbo powder.

Meanwhile, melt the remainder 2 tbsp bacon drippings in a pan and add the Okra with the vinegar. Cook over medium heat for 15 mins.

Remove the Okra with a slotted spoon and add to the gumbo mixture. Mix in the crab, the prawns and Worcestershire sauce simmer for 45 minutes.

Just before serving stir in the remainder 2 tsp of file gumbo powder.

Serve with steamed rice.

Enjoy!

N.B  

If you have homemade stock then you can use that and also instead of sausage or fish you can use chicken, in fact, you can use any mixture of meat/fish that you choose.

I hope you have enjoyed the recipes if you have any questions please just ask…

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!

The Culinary Alphabet XYZ…

Finally after two years …I have reached the end of this series we are on  XYZ…No zebras in sight…haha…I have enjoyed writing this series and my thanks go to Esme for indulging my passion… I love researching and finding out new methods of cooking and foods…

Here we go then…The Culinary Alphabet The Letter XYZ (1)

 

Xawaash Spice Mix…

Xawaash (pronounced Hawash) comes from the Arabic word Hawa’ij (حوائج). Hawa’ij can be translated as ‘requirements’ or ‘essentials’. For example, there are the essentials accompaniments for Arabic coffee, Hawa’ij al-Qahwa (حوائج القهوة). The Hawa’ij spice mix is believed to have originated in Yemen.

In the southern regions of Somalia, Xawaash refers to the spice mix that is added to savoury dishes: meats, stews, soups, etc. However, in the northern parts of Somalia, Xawaash is used in a broader sense and it refers to any spice mix, even the spices that are added to tea and coffee.

Keep in mind that the types of spices used and their proportions are not cast in stone. There are regional variations dictated by personal taste as well as the availability of certain spices.

The use of the aromatic Xawaash is what gives Somali food its unique character and flavour.

Xoconostle…

Or cactus fruit a cousin of the prickly pear…The bright red centre of the Xoconostle cactus fruit has a few dozen, small edible seeds that have an appearance similar to the seeds of passion fruit. The flavour is described as complex with a sour tang and an acidic finish.

Ximenia…

A small fruit, only about 1 1/4 inches (3 cm) long. It will ripen to orange, or red with white spots, or yellow, depending on the diversity. The Ethiopian variety goes yellow. There will be 1 seed in every fruit. The pulp is sour and tart. Birds also love this fruit. Known as a powerful healthy fruit it is packed with Vitamin C as well as Vitamin E, phosphorus, fibre, carbs, starches, magnesium, calcium, and lots of protein too… The stems, bark, and leaves of the tree also contain lots of natural steroids that may be used in the future for treating diseases such as cardiovascular disease and strokes… New studies are underway…

ximenia

Photo credit: berniedup on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

In traditional medicine, the bark is used to treat oral infections and toothache… It is also commonly known as tallowwood, hog plum, yellow plum, sea lemon, or pi’ut (Chamorro), it is a small sprawling tree native to the tropics, a sour plum found in South-East Africa also a related species grow in the Western United States.

Xiaolongbao…long bun…

Quite simply are the popular bao buns which.is a type of Chinese steamed bun from the Jiangnan region, especially associated with Shanghai and Wuxi. They are made from either leavened or unleaved dough with minced pork or another meat filling. Many of these buns are eaten here they come in different shapes and colours and look very pretty…

bao bun pork filled

 

Photo credit: wallyg on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Yams

Yams are a relatively low-protein food, yam is not a good source of essential amino acids. Experts emphasize the need to supplement a yam-dominant diet with more protein-rich foods to support healthy growth in children. Although often in the poorer countries this does not happen. This is the purple yam there is also white yam and some are quite hairy they are a common sight on the markets here.

Yam is an important dietary element for Nigerian and West African people. It contributes more than 200 calories per person per day for more than 150 million people in West Africa and is an important source of income. Yam is an attractive crop in poor farms with limited resources. It is rich in starch and can be prepared in many ways. It is available all year round, unlike other, unreliable, seasonal crops. These characteristics make yam a preferred food and a culturally important food security crop in some sub-Saharan African countries.

Yokan

matcha-cream-green-tea-yokan

Photo credit: Kirinohana on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Is a Japanese sweet similar to Turkish Delight…which is a favourite of mine and generally a treat at Christmas… The above yokan is made with matcha green tea, chestnuts are also used and other colourings mainly natural colours…Like pandan leaves…

Yeast

The first known yeast was some hundreds of millions of years ago…There are some 1,500 different species which are currently recognised. Most of us know yeast is used in baking, winemaking and brewing…Yeast is a single-celled microorganism that is classified, along with moulds and mushrooms, as members of the Kingdom Fungi. It is also the subject of much research.

Yellowtail Fish…

The Yellow Tail fish or Amber Jack is native to the North East Pacific from Japan to Hawaii. It is also not related to the Yellowtail Tuna.

Sesame crusted Yellowtail fish

In Japan, this fish is eaten cooked or raw and known as Hamachi or Buri…For further info and the recipe for the fish …

We thoroughly enjoyed this recipe which was tried and tested in my kitchen and are looking forward to this fish coming into season again although the recipe could be used with any fish steaks.

Yerba buena

Yerba buena or Hierba Buena is the Spanish name for a number of aromatic plants, most of which belong to the mint family.

Za’atar

A Middle Eastern spice blend …this aromatic spice blend has been around for ages, but the recent surge in popularity of Mediterranean foods and flavours has sent the demand for this bold blend through the roof. And as the spice grows in popularity in mainstream culture, it’s gearing up to become the next everything bagel seasoning: sprinkled on just about everything by just about everyone to make dishes instantly ten-times tastier.

Zest

zest-4180654_640 (1)

Doesn’t the zest of citrus fruits just liven up your cooking? As a garnish, in baking, it just adds that extra zing. I am a big fan of adding lemon, orange or lime zest to my cooking…Both sweet and savoury dishes…

Zingara

Popular in French cuisine it is a sauce made from chopped ham, tongue, mushrooms and truffles combined with tomato sauce, tarragon and sometimes Madeira wine. Additional ingredients may include white wine, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and orange rind. It is also known by the name of gypsy sauce…

Zucchini

smart

I have always called it courgette which is the British/ English name whereas Zucchini is the American/English name…Classes as a summer squash it is harvested when the skins are soft and immature as the skins harden and it grows in size I know it as the Marrow…Very popular now and cooked in many ways …It can be baked, stuffed made into zoodles and used as a healthier answer to pasta…It can be used in baking bread, cookies, shaved in salads or rolled with veggies or prawns so many recipes.

That’s it…Finito, finished, the end…

If you have stayed with me throughout this series then thank you and thank you, Esme…I hope you have enjoyed this series if you are new and have missed it then pop over to Sally’s as she has very kindly offered to repost this series instead of my normal posts on my cookery column over at Smorgasbordto allow me the time to finish my cookbook and novel…It will be the same just with a few tweaks from moi…  Thank you 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!

 

CarolCooks2…This week in my Kitchen…Pan-Seared Salmon with spicy Thai dressing…

 

Welcome to this week in my kitchen I am still recovering from Christmas…All the Christmas cake has now gone…eaten…although I did share some of it…

I managed to get my fresh sprouts so we are making the most of it and having sprouts and purple carrots at nearly every meal we are loving them although the carrots do need to be cooked separately as they bleed…We made shepherds pie last night and used purple carrots diced and they bled somewhat into the mix although once the gravy was added it just looked like we had added some red wine so no great shakes…

As I prefer fish to meat I had a nice piece of seared pan-fried salmon…Quick and easy to do…this dish will be ready in as long as it takes your rice to cook…The dip I made just enough for one which is the beauty with this one …It is a favourite dip here especially with young Lily who when she was here last week and I had fish while they had spag bol…put some over her spag bol…she likes it that much..weird child…haha

Pan-Seared Salmon.

120 -150 gm of Salmon or sea bass per person.

Olive oil and a little butter to cook the fish.

For the spicy sauce…

  • 2 nice sprigs fresh coriander
  • 2 coriander roots (optional)
  • 1 spring onion(green onion) or shallot finely chopped
  • 1-2 red chillies finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 cheeks fresh lime /lemon
  • Splash of water

Let’s Cook!

To make spicy dip wash and chop coriander finely. Finely slice green onions or shallots.

Finely chop chilli( I leave) the seeds in but they can be removed if you want a milder dip.

Put in a small dish and add the fish sauce and lime juice and a splash of water…

Taste and adjust…

Set to one side while you cook your fish…Score the fish skin and season with salt and fresh ground pepper…

Heat a pan and add the olive oil and butter when hot add your salmon skin side down. I cook for about 2/3 mins on the skin side and then turn and cook for 1-2 mins depending on the thickness of your fish and how you like your fish cooked we prefer ours just cooked rather than overdone. With salmon still pink in the middle. Baste the fish with the butter to keep it moist…

 

Place the fish on your rice skin side up and spoon over the chilli sauce…as little or as much as you like…

 

Enjoy!

How are the Christmas pounds going are they going or gone? Mine have gone although as I said I have been walking I had to walk off all that cake…It was yummy…I have upped my veggies as I am trying to cut down just a little on the meat…Eating more fish which I love…Now if you like lists so that you know where you are then Sally has published her part One of her shopping list by nutrient…I think it is a great idea as we all know what we love to eat, should eat and this handy guide helps you through the diet jungle…Jungle it is with plenty of tigers …We all know that gimmicks don’t work and here in my kitchen we eat proper food that we like and balance our intake with a few yummy treats…Nothing banned just moderation…So pop over to Sally’s before you go shopping and have a browse…

As it is National Soup Month this month I have another soup recipe for you…Soup is one of those dishes that whatever the weather sometimes all you want is just a bowl of soup and although it is hot here all the time even when it rains…Soup is eaten in fact most meals eaten here are hot meals …Go figure…

Soup can also be a bowl of healthy goodness….

Today I have for you… one of my favourite Thai soups which is so easy to make from scratch. It also brings back memories of a certain lady…Keeleigh who when she visited us could not get enough of this fabulous soup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 litres of water
  • 4 stalks of lemongrass
  • 1-inch chunk of galangal
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 10 Thai chillies
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 500 gm Prawns
  • 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into quarters.
  • 2 white onions (medium-sized) cut into large chunks.
  • 1 and a half tsp of sugar
  • 7 – 10 tbsp of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
  • Juice of 5 -8 limes.
  • A handful of cilantro ( Coriander)

For cooking instructions…See original post

I will say please don’t get put off by the list of ingredients I know how daunted I was when I first started Thai and Indian cooking and now it is second nature…

Taste is the key...however although Thai ingredients can be found now in Asian stores around the world…They also do sell packs of a selection of just the ingredients you need rather than buying them all individually and then not using them all so when you first start experimenting that is what I would do and only buy the ingredients that either keep or you use quite regularly and build up to a full larder of Thai /Indian condiments and ingredients.

These can be purchased either fresh or dry…

You can also buy tom yum soup mix and then you just add your prawns, veggies and aromatics…The only difference and it is also how you know if a Tom Yum is made from scratch is the colour…A tom Yum made with a mix has an orange colour if cooked from scratch it is white liquid like mine.

At this point do not confuse it with Tom Kha prawn or chicken soup this has added coconut milk they are two different soups.

 

Thai tom kha gai chicken soup

A lot to learn but baby steps and don’t forget to taste…

Check the two images and you can see the difference in the colour the one with coconut milk is a milkier white.

What’s planned for my kitchen? Bone Broth and some recipes using bone broth I also found an awesome recipe for sprout wraps and before you wrinkle your noses up you sprout haters …I am going to do a tester and try it on one’s grandson who is picky with his sprouts he doesn’t hate them but doesn’t love them either but he eats them…In a wrap..which he loves and with fish sauce, chillies, coriander and a few other bits I think he will love these…I have read the reviews and I think it is about the fish sauce and chillies as much as it is about the sprouts as other reviewers raved about the unusual combinations…More next week…

I hope you have enjoyed the recipes if you have any questions please just ask…

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Recipes…Sauces, Stuffings and Sides…Even a gluten free bread Sauce…

Christmas Recipes Sauces and stuffings

Wow..where does the time go??? We think we have lots of time and then that clock just whizzes around and before we know it…Christmas is upon us…

To me, there is nothing nicer than seeing that stuffing oozing out of the turkey…

I have a few recipes ( 6) for homemade stuffing for you it is very easy to make and makes much more than you get out of a box and no nasties…It freezes well so you can make it and pop it into the freezer all ready for Christmas day…

This first stuffing is not a traditional one as I used to know it..we always had sage and onion never anything else but since I discovered how easy stuffing is to make it has opened up a whole new world…

Rice, walnut and squash stuffing.

Serves 8.

  • The bottom half of 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 200 gm walnuts, chopped….I use walnuts as I can’t always get chestnuts but chestnuts can be used
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4  sage leaves, chopped plus extra sage leaves, to serve
  • 200g mixed wild and basmati rice
  • 500 ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 25 gm parmesan(optional) or a vegetarian alternative, grated

Heat oven to 200 C /180 C fan/gas 6.
Tip the onion, squash, and walnuts into a roasting tin with the oil, chopped sage, and seasoning, then toss well with your hands. Roast for 20 mins or until the edges of the squash start to tinge brown. If your oven is full, you can simply fry the lot together in a large frying pan.

Add the rice and stir to coat it, then tip the lot into a saucepan. Add the stock and stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20-25 mins or until the rice is tender and the stock absorbed. Add cheese, if using, and tip into a baking dish. You can now cover and chill the stuffing for up to a day. 

To finish, heat grill to high, then cook until the top is browned and crisp and the stuffing is hot through.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Date and bacon stuffing.

stuffed pork loin-386802_640

  • slices bacon, chopped
  • stalks celery, finely chopped
  • medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4cup snipped pitted whole dates
  • tbsp snipped fresh thyme
  • clove garlic, minced
  • cups dry cubes sourdough bread
  • 1 – 1 1/3cups vegetable or chicken broth

Let’s Cook!

In a large pan, cook bacon until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tbsp. of drippings. Add celery and onion to skillet. Cook 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in dates, thyme, and garlic.

In a large bowl combine bread cubes, date mixture, and bacon. Drizzle with enough broth to moisten, stirring to combine.

You can then cook the stuffing and serve as an accompaniment or use to stuff a piece of loin as I have done we love pork loin with stuffing.

To stuff, the pork loin either cut a pocket and stuff or cut the loin but not right through put the stuffing down the middle and roll and tie with string.

This recipe is for stuffed pork loin but with a different stuffing but more detailed on how to stuff a pork loin if you are a beginner.

You can then wrap the loin in bacon if desired.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

My stuffing is a mushroom stuffing using porcini mushrooms.

Ingredients:

  • 25 gm pack dried porcini mushrooms
  • 425 ml hot vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp shredded basil
  • 4-6 tbsp grated parmesan

Let’s Cook!

Heat oven to 200 C/fan 180C/gas 6.

Oil a non-stick 12-hole bun tin and line holes with two strips baking parchment, to form a cross. Put the mushrooms in a bowl and pour over the hot vegetable stock. Leave for 20 mins, then strain, reserve the stock and chop the mushrooms, if large.

Heat oil in a pan, add onion and fry for 5 mins until softened. Add the pine nuts and fry until lightly toasted. Add the garlic, rice and cook for 2 mins.

Tip in wine, let it bubble, then add the reserved stock, mushrooms and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 mins, until the rice is just cooked. Remove from heat and cool, then stir in the egg, basil, pepper, and salt, if using.

Fill the tins with stuffing, sprinkle over parmesan. Bake for 20-25 mins, until golden on top. Cool in the tins, or for 5 mins if serving straight away. Remove by pulling up the parchment crosses.

You can make these up to two days ahead.  Then reheat on an oiled baking sheet, at 200 C/fan 180C/gas 6 for 10 mins.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

My next stuffing is a little more of a traditional stuffing and has my beloved herb sage…I love sage…this stuffing is our family favourite…I love rice and rice-based stuffings not so the menfolk in my house especially at Christmas so this one it is…

Pork, Sage and Onion Stuffing

  • 800 gm Cumberland Sausages removed from the skin.
  • 10 rindless streaky bacon rashers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 Bramley apple, peeled and chopped (about 325 gm)
  • 85 gm fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 5 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus extra to serve (optional)
  • 1 large egg

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the celery and onion, and cook for about 5 mins until starting to soften.

Tip into a bowl to cool while you remove the sausage meat from the skins. Add the apple, sausage meat, breadcrumbs, herbs, egg, and seasoning. Mix well – the easiest way is to knead it together in the bowl with your hands. I use about 1/4  of this mix to stuff the neck cavity of the turkey.

Stuffing Mix

For the remainder, I line a 900 gm loaf tin with 8 rashers of streaky bacon, spoon in the stuffing, lift the bacon over and cover with the last 2 rashers. Heat oven to 180C/160 C fan/gas 4 and bake the stuffing for 40-50 mins.

It can be made ahead up to this point and chilled for 2-3 days.

Turn out onto a baking-parchment-lined baking tray and return to the oven (once the turkey has come out) at 220 C/200C fan/gas 7 for 15-20 mins more to brown the bacon.

If chilled, reheat at the lower temperature for 45 mins, covered in foil, then turn out for the extra 15 mins at the higher temperature. Allow standing, then scatter with parsley (if you like), slice and serve.

Next one of my favourite Christmas fruits a stuffing made with cranberries …

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Bacon, Chestnut, and Cranberry Stuffing

  • 2 rashers unsmoked back bacon, cut into strips
  • 450 gm sausage meat
  • 100 gm dried cranberries
  • 50 ml ruby port
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 50 gm butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 140 gm fresh white or brown breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 140 gm peeled, cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium egg,  beaten

Let’s Cook!

Soak the cranberries in the port for an hour.

Fry the onion and bacon gently in the butter, until the onion is tender and the bacon is cooked. Add the garlic and fry for another minute or so.

Cool slightly, then mix with all the remaining ingredients, including the cranberries and port, adding enough egg to bind  I find it easiest to use my hands so get those hands in and mix thoroughly.

This stuffing can be baked in a dish or rolled into balls that will be crisp on the outside and moist inside.

Stuffing Balls

Bake in a greased dish at 190 C/gas 5/fan 170 C for about 40 minutes, until browned and, in the case of sausage meat stuffing, cooked right through.

Alternatively, roll into balls that are about 4cm in diameter. Roast the stuffing balls in hot fat (they can be tucked around the turkey or done in a roasting tin of their own) for 30-40 minutes, until crisp and nicely browned on the outside.

Spicy Pork Balls (5)

These are lovely stuffing balls and probably my favourite at Christmas as I love cranberries…

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Water Chestnut and Bacon Stuffing.

  • 3/4 to 1 pound of bacon, diced
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3 to 4 stalks celery, diced (about a 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large onion or 2 small, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 8 oz pack of mushrooms, diced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 can of whole water chestnuts, roughly chopped, optional…I am lucky I can get fresh water chestnuts.
  • 12 oz breadcrumbs
  • Poultry seasoning to taste (recipe to make your own here)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Any of your favourite herbs or seasoning: additional thyme, rosemary, sage or 1/2 a teaspoon or so of red pepper flakes, etc.
  • Chicken stock to moisten (2 to 2 1/2 cups)

In a large pan, fry bacon until crisp, remove and put to one side. Discard all but 2 to 3 tablespoons of drippings. Add butter and stir till melted. Add celery and onion and cook until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms & garlic and continue to cook for a few more minutes.

Remove from heat and add the breadcrumbs, the reserved bacon and water chestnuts, if using. Toss together and add chicken broth to moisten. Taste for seasoning & add in salt, pepper and additional desired herbs.

This is best left overnight in the refrigerator before baking. Check for the desired amount of moistness and add additional broth, if needed, before baking. Stuffing should not be wet.

Bake in a buttered casserole, covered, at 325 to 350 degrees for about an hour, uncover and continue to bake until top is a little crispy and crunchy, an additional 15 minutes or so.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Next, I  always do a little tester, in fact, I generally do that with all my stuffing as it is the only way to tell if the seasoning is correct. Fry a knob of stuffing in a little butter, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Pigs in Blankets:

  • 8 thin slices smoked bacon
  • 16 cocktail sausages
  • I tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp clear honey.

Mix honey, thyme and Worcestershire sauce in small bowl, add sausages and make sure they are coated in the mix. Cut bacon down the middle long ways. Wrap bacon around sausages.

To freeze now put in a container and separate the layers with greaseproof paper then remove  from the freezer on Christmas morning and cook as below

Put sausages on a baking sheet well spaced apart.

Cook on 180 for about 30 minutes until nicely browned and bacon is crispy.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Bread Sauce.

Christmas dinner without bread sauce to me is like bread with no butter…Gin and tonic with no Gin…I know many people have an allergy to gluten…This recipe is especially for you…Using celeriac instead of the traditional bread it is a lovely alternative a bit smoother than bread sauce but a great accompaniment to your Christmas meal…

Gluten-Free Bread Sauce…

Ingredients:

  • 600ml of milk
  • 2 bay leaves, torn several times
  • small onion
  • cloves
  • garlic clove, bashed with the back of a knife to squash but keep intact
  • 700g of celeriac, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 25g of butter
  • salt
  • white pepper

Let’s Cook!

Peel the onion and stud with the cloves. Place the single garlic clove, studded onion and torn bay leaves into a medium-sized pan with the 600ml of milk and bring slowly to the boil to infuse while you prepare the celeriac.

In a medium-sized pan melt the butter. Then add the celeriac and stir to coat in the butter. Strain the infused milk over the celeriac and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. Do not worry if the milk splits.

Season with salt and white pepper. Once the celeriac is tender, blend in the liquidiser and keep warm…White pepper is used to give an aesthetically pleasing appearance black pepper is fine if this isn’t your concern.

Now for my original Bread Sauce recipe…

Bread Sauce

Tip:

Freeze the breadcrumbs ready to use( I always) keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in the freezer. The sauce can be made the day before and reheated on the day… I have been surprised living here that many people have not heard of bread sauce my mum always made it at Christmas we couldn’t have turkey without bread sauce…

Ingredients:

About half loaf of Stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.

  • I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • Salt & Pepper.
  • About half-pint milk.

Let’s Cook!

Pour milk into a saucepan and add studded onion. Slowly bring to boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool remove Onion and bay leaves. This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

Cranberry Sauce.

  • 3  cups or 12 oz of cranberries.
  • The juice of 2 large Oranges.
  • A cup of sugar.
  • 1 stick of cinnamon.

Put all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan, bring to the boil and turn down so it is still a rolling boil and cook for 10 mins if ( using) frozen berries or 20 minutes if using fresh cranberries as they will take a bit longer to pop.

Cranberry Sauce.JPG

Allow mixture to cool and put in an airtight container and refrigerate.

♦♦♦♦♦♦

When I was a child the only time we had dates were at Christmas they were a treat but dates now are used as appetizers wrapped in bacon the saltiness of the bacon is a good foil for the sweetness of the dates also stuffed with blue cheese they are a lovely thing and very moreish and are seen on many a buffet table.

dates rolled in bacon-2327534_1280

I hope you have enjoyed these recipes please let me know your favourite if you try any…Thank you for reading and enjoy the rest of your week xx

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.

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great festive weekend with as little stress as possible…Merry Christmas one and all xx

The Culinary Alphabet…The letter W…

It is that time of the month when I am over at Esme’s Salon...This month I am exploring ingredients beginning with the letter W…

The Culinary Alphabet ...The Letter W (1)

Can you believe it, we are getting close to the end of this culinary series.

Welcome to this month’s edition where I am exploring some culinary delights beginning with the letter W…

Walnuts

Classed as one of the world’s healthiest foods the Walnut originated in the Mediterranean region and Central Asia and has been part of the human diet for thousands of years. These nuts are rich in omega-3 fats and contain higher amounts of antioxidants than most other foods.

Walnut-shell

Walnut showing kernel.

If you’re looking for a snack food that lowers your cholesterol levels, research shows that you should get cracking! Ha Ha… In a study published by The Medical Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it was found that people who munched their way through 1.5 oz of whole walnuts 6 days a week for 1 month lowered their total cholesterol by 5.4% and LDL cholesterol by 9.3%.

Wasabi

Wasabi aka Japanese Horseradish is so rare that the wasabi you eat with your sushi probably only contains about 5% wasabi. Wasabi is harvested by hand and takes about 18 months…That surprised me…Does it surprise you? It is hard to grow and takes time…Which in turn pushes up the cost to the consumer…

Photo credit: randomwire on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

 

Water Bath

Quite simply a water bath is simply a pan of hot water placed in the oven, this method has two benefits when baking. First, a water bath adds moisture to the oven and this is important for baking foods like cheesecakes, which tend to crack from the heat of the oven, or custards which can become rubbery without moist heat.

Water Chestnuts

Wandering around a food market in Wanon, Northern Thailand…and losing myself among the sights and smells of beautiful tempting Thai food. I spied a few fruits and vegetables which were unknown to me and this one. Although once I knew what it was then I recognised the taste ….without knowing the name I was puzzled I sort of knew the taste but didn’t connect the dots…lol

We were talking and looking for these a few weeks ago when were thinking about what to cook for dinner and reminiscing about the Chinese food we remembered having years ago with these crunchy water chestnuts in..you never got many just a few slices… I was then looking in the shops at imported goods to see if I could them and no luck…Then there they were the other day right under my nose and fresh ones….strange world… When your thoughts take you unexpectedly to what you were looking for.

Usually available in specialty groceries or supermarkets, they should be washed thoroughly and peeled with a sharp knife, especially if to be eaten raw. At this point, adding a few drops of lemon juice keeps them from turning brown when steamed or sautéed.

To read the original post…Click Here

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 are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx