Category Archives: Carol Cooks2

Fruity Friday… The Cranberry.

Welcome to Fruity Fridays and today I am showcasing the Cranberry… Cranberries always remind me of Christmas I think it is the smell when I am making Cranberry sauce, the cinnamon, spices and the orange all together invoke those Christmas memories but of course, cranberry sauce can be eaten with any roast meats, cold meats, with cream cheese so many ways.

My mum always used to swear by Cranberry juice if anyone has a urinary tract infection, however, the latest research show that capsules are more effective as the cranberry juice you buy does not have the same concentration of antioxidant proanthocyanidins.

They are low in calories and high in Vitamin C, A and K so a little gem of a berry which packs a healthy punch.

In a homemade trail mix dried cranberries with unsalted nuts and seeds a nice quick to make a little snack.

If you are making muffins or scones then a handful or two of cranberries adds that little extra zing and helps cut through the sweetness of cakes.

There are also two ways that cranberries are harvested.

Wet Harvesting:

Many people and that included me for a while think that cranberries grow underwater but they are not they grow on boggy ground which is flooded with up to 18 inches of water the night before the berries are to be harvested.  Then water reels, nicknamed “eggbeaters,” churn the water and loosen the cranberries from the vine. Each berry has a tiny pocket of air that allows it to float to the surface of the water. These are then collected and it is these cranberries which are used in the cranberry products we buy in the shops.

cranberry harvesting

Dry Harvesting:

Fresh cranberries are harvested using the dry method and it is the method to pick those beautiful red berries we see fresh and beautiful in the stores or in the markets.

I have noticed the difference when I use fresh cranberries when making sauce or stuffing that the fresh berries do not have the deep red colour of the frozen ones when cooked… I do however prefer the taste of the fresh berries although I do keep a bag of frozen cranberries in my freezer as a backup or to use when fresh cranberries are out of season.

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.

Store in a sealed container.

These little puffs don’t take long to make so if I need a quick snack if visitors pop in around sundowner time then these don’t take long. I always keep a little box of already cut puff pastry squares which I can just pop in the oven and I always have a container of cranberry as we like it in a sandwich if we have cold chicken or pork and it is lovely with hot meat or pork schnitzels which I just top with some cream cheese and a spoonful of cranberry sauce.

Camembert Puffs:

camembert_puffs-1

Ingredients:   

  • I pack of frozen Puff Pastry, thawed.
  • 125 gm(4 oz) of Camembert Cheese.
  • 100gm Cranberry Sauce.
  • 1 sprig of thyme…leaves picked.
  • 1 large egg, beaten.

Let’s Cook!  

Line 2 baking tins with baking parchment.

Roll out puff pastry and cut into bite-sized squares ( 3cm)

Put onto baking trays making sure you space well apart. Brush top with beaten egg. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 mins.

Put into preheated oven 180 or gas mark 6. Cook for approx 10 minutes or until golden brown. Slice Camembert into equal-sized pieces and put one in the centre of each pastry square. Top with a tsp of cranberry sauce. Put back into the oven until cheese has melted.

Garnish with thyme.

Enjoy!

This next recipe is one I use if I am rolling and stuffing a piece of Pork and I have stuffed chicken breasts as well using the same stuffing.

Apple and Cranberry Pork.

Stuffed pork loin

Rub for the Pork Loin.

  • 4 lbs Pork Loin,
  • Bacon ( enough to cover Pork Loin)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste,
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil,
  • 2 finely chopped Garlic Cloves,
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Thyme,
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Rosemary…

Stuffing for Pork Loin:

  • Half cup Vinegar,
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt,
  • 2 small diced red onions,
  • Olive oil as required,
  • 1/2 bottle Lager Beer,
  • 3/4 cup Brown sugar,
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon,
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger,
  • 2/3 cup dried, frozen or fresh cranberries you will notice as on this occasion I used fresh ones the stuffing was paler in colour.
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seed,
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves,
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper,
  • 4 peeled and chopped Granny Smith Apples.

Let’s Cook!

Cut a pocket through one end of the tenderloin. Don’t slice through the other end. Season in and out properly with salt and pepper.

Mix together the ingredients for the rub and when mixed rub into the pork loin, cover and put in the fridge for an hour.

Uncooked pork loin

While the Pork is absorbing all those lovely flavours prepare the stuffing mix.

Finely chop the Red Onions and cook in Olive oil until soft. Add Apples and ginger, stir and cook for 5 mins. Add remainder of ingredients stir to combine and simmer gently until mixture thickens and reduces. Cool slightly before stuffing the loin.

Stuffing the Loin was quite messy the first time I made this. I tried a plastic sauce bottle which was ok..but now I use an icing bag which is much easier and quicker.

Stuff loin and then cover with bacon slices. Put tin foil on top as bacon cooks very quickly and remove the foil about ten mins from end cooking to brown bacon. Rest loin for 10 mins before carving.

Stuffed pork cooking

Once rested, carve and serve we made the gravy from the meat juices and pork stock and it was lovely. Served with vegetables and crispy roast potatoes..mmmm.

This versatile little berry can be used to make lovely little potato pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • Peel and grate 2 russet potatoes; squeeze dry.
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 grated onion
  • 1/2 cup each chopped cranberries and breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt and a freshly ground pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook!

Form into 2-inch pancakes and fry in 1/4 inch vegetable oil ( or oil ) of your choice (adding more as needed) in a large skillet over medium-high heat until golden, 6 to 8 minutes.

N.B. The original recipe added sugar I didn’t we don’t like added sugar in our savoury food …I know cranberries are quite sour but mixed with everything else and eaten with meat or fish with vegetables we find them very nice and don’t think sugar is necessary.

For a nice change, this little salsa using cranberries is very moreish and of course, it has the requisite chillies…lol

 Cranberry and Jalapeno Salsa.

Finely chop 2 cups cranberries with 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor. Toss with 1/3 cup each chopped cucumber and cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped white onion, 1 minced jalapeno, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

Did you know you can also get Cranberry Beans they are really pretty although when they are cooked they lose their pretty colour and become a plain pale beige?

cranberry beans-1353042_1280

Cranberry is an odd name for a lovely, versatile bean. Thought to originally come from Colombia, the bean is now grown around the world and has been known by many names such as  Madeira, Borlotti, Tongues of Fire and  Wren’s Eggs.

Cranberry beans are soft and dense with a velvety, rich texture. They are a thin-skinned bean which produces a rich bean broth and is the natural friend of Pasta e Fagioli which is a lovely bowl of pasta and beans with Italian sausage.

I hope you have enjoyed these cranberry recipes as it is a lovely fruit which can be eaten dried or used frozen or fresh when in season.

What’s your favourite way to eat/cook with cranberries?

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 that I cook with have 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 for reading I hope you all have a great weekend xxx

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – UnSeasonal Affective Disorder – Keeping your focus – Tryptophan by Sally Cronin

 

 

Health Column

Welcome to part 3 of Sally series on UnSeasonable Affective Disorder something which seems to be very relevant at this time…Here Sally explains very clearly what we can do to help prevent and cure this…Please pop over to Sally’s to read the post she will make you very welcome and will answer any questions you have #recommended read

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/10/26/smorgasbord-health-column-unseasonal-affective-disorder-keeping-your-focus-tryptophan-by-sally-cronin/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – ‘U’ for Upside Down Cake, Udon Noodles, Ugli Fruit and Unleavened Bread

Time for the next letter in the Culinary Alphabet which is the letter U…I hope you are enjoying this series as much as I have enjoyed the many hours I have spent researching and writing it…Enjoy!

Please head over to Sally’s to read the original post…xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

The A-Z of Food… A culinary tour through the alphabet which today stops and explores the letter U.

The Culinary Alphabet,The letter U, yes we are on the letter U.

Halloween is nearly upon us, the trees are changing color and what glorious colors we are seeing around the world. I love the changes of the seasons and Autumn is one of my favorites. At this moment in time, it is 104 nights of sleep which sounds a lot. The reality is before we know it, it will be Christmas Eve.

Without further ado. let’s look at the letter U – not so many this time although maybe as I write some more will spring to mind.

Udon Noodles.

Udon noodles are a type of thick, wheat flour noodles which are often used in Japanese cuisine…Often served hot in a noodle soup called Kake Udon which is a mildly flavoured…

View original post 1,844 more words

Smorgasbord Health Column – UnSeasonal Affective Disorder – The Missing Link – Vitamin D by Sally Cronin

Health Column

 

Sally is reiterating what my mum knew way back when…she dutifully fed us a morning spoonful of cod liver oil…Lucky for everyone now that has progressed to better-tasting capsules and the like as supplements have become far more palatable and of course we have more access to foods which can boost our Tryptophan which Sally is focussing on today in this very pertinent series on un-seasonable Affective Disorder…#recommended read

Please pop over and have a read …Sally as always will make you very welcome and answer any questions you may have…Enjoy!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/10/26/smorgasbord-health-column-unseasonal-affective-disorder-keeping-your-focus-tryptophan-by-sally-cronin/?

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round up 18th – 24th October 2020 – Streisand, Seasonal Affective Disorder, War Poets, Authors, Books, Reviews and Funnies

I love weekly roundups as I get busy and miss posts so much prefer to sit down and peruse them all at once…There is something for everyone here, health, book reviews, book promotions, music, funnies(we all) need something to cheer us up at the moment and so much more…#recommended read

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/10/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-weekly-round-up-18th-24th-october-2020-streisand-seasonal-affective-disorder-war-poets-authors-books-reviews-and-funnies/

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 18th October -24th October 2020… Recipes, Health, Whimsy, Volkswagen Currywurst…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed any posts during the week… whatever your time zone grab a coffee or a glass of wine…Take a pew, get comfy… have a read… I hope you enjoy this much-shortened version…Relax and Enjoy! (1) Weekly Roundup

My first post of the week was on Tuesday 20th…Halloween Tales and recipes…

From what I have been reading Halloween in many places is not happening this year and in others, it has been curtailed or there may be some virtual goings-on planned…I am sure by now though the decorations are up…

I have lots of trivia, sweet potato recipes, soup from the lovely Dolly, and the obligatory cocktail…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/10/20/29239/

Wednesday: My doesn’t the time fly today it’s  The Culinary Alphabet with a twist…The letter H (noocH)…Now, nooch I have just discovered is Nutritional Yeast something I haven’t used but very popular with the Vegan community…You learn something every day in the blogging world which is great…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/10/21/the-culinary-alphabet-with-a-twistthe-letter-h-nooch/

Thursday: Part 1 unseasonable -affective disorder…

Something I had not heard of but on reading, I could see the relevance thanks to Sally @ Smorgasbord Health…

Health Column

It really isn’t until we are prompted to think about health, our diets, and lifestyles that we can attribute and improve our health by adjusting certain parts of our lifestyles and diet…Quite simple really…Head over to Sally’s and you can be sure of great advice and remedies for better health something we all aspire to…See you there #recommended read

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/10/19/smorgasbord-health-column-unseasonal-affective-disorder-lockdown-elderly-part-one-by-sally-cronin/

Fruity Friday…The Juniper Berry

A lovely versatile little berry that makes lovely sauces is a great aromatic in stews and dried it is a beautiful spice…in Northern Europe particularly in Scandanavia, it is a popular addition to cabbage and sauerkraut.

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/10/23/fruity-friday-the-juniper-berry/

Saturday Snippets:

I have lots this week for you, recipes, health and trivia, and The Who…My Storks are still here sometimes just one and a couple of times this week he or she has brought along some mates …they fascinate me as they stand around in a semi-circle and chat and when it’s time to go they take their formation and away they go…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/10/24/saturday-snippets-24th-october-2020/

That’s all for this week’s roundup a rather short week again…one of the positives… less writing has made my stats boom…go figure… I do hope you have enjoyed it and I look forward to your comments xx

God bless you all in these turbulent times…especially those of my readers who are affected or in the path of these wildfires in California…Please stay safe…x

When this is all over my hope for the future is a cleaner world… I do want to see communities, and caring for your neighbour becoming the new norm…WORKING TOGETHER INSTEAD OF WORKING AGAINST EACH OTHER…Being kind to each other…Loving someone whatever their religion or skin colour…Can we make this happen? We have to but in the right way…Are we willing to make a stand? Personally, I would love to see lessons learned..realistically I have my doubts…

Thank you for reading be well and stay safe 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 well being.

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 stay safe and healthy xx