Category Archives: Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen

Carol Taylors Green Kitchen…October 2022…Banana Bread Tatin, Vegan Chocolate Cake and a simple mouthwash…

 

Hello and welcome to this month’s edition of Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…where I aim to cook chemical-free food, in season and grown either by myself or purchased locally in season…it is also to minimise waste…

Produce which has just come into its season has far more taste than produce which is forced and grown out of its natural season …I also think it is the anticipation and the taste of the first of the season’s crops…those first root vegetables…are sublime! or those first strawberries there is nothing quite like the first strawberry of the season!

October…October is commonly associated with the season of spring in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, and autumn in parts of the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the seasonal equivalent to April in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa…here many class the next few months as our winter a time of rains and sunshine the weather is very changeable but I like it as its a tad cooler and more pleasant for my walks and if it rains then the rain is warm…

I always start with a bread recipe today it’s my take on Tarte Tatin however the only part that is the same is the lovely caramel sauce I have swapped apples for bananas and the pastry for banana bread…it worked and was delicious my testers gave it a big thumbs up…I liked it on the day it was cooked I wasn’t a fan the next day but hubby was he finished it off…I will be making it again but will use an 8-inch tin rather than a 9-inch tin plus I will remember to turn it onto the plate before I unclip the springform pan…I lost some of the caramel sauce…but that was Take One…I’m sure a smaller tin for take two will make a better image of the banana it will fit the tin…

Carol’s Banana Bread Tatin…

Ingredients:

3-4 ripe bananas for the base…cut in half.

Caramel Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp of water
  • 100 gm sugar
  • 40 gm butter cubed

Banana Bread:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg beater
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • A handful of chopped walnuts(optional)

First line an 8-inch springform baking tin and arrange your cut bananas in the bottom of the tin cut side down.

Now to make the caramel…

In a heavy-bottomed pan cook, the sugar and water until the sugar has dissolved and your caramel takes on a nice golden colour…I used raw sugar hence the liquid was already golden soI timed 6 minutes and then added my cubed butter stirring well.

Pour the syrup over the bananas in the lined tin.

To make the banana bread first mash the two ripe bananas then stir in the baking soda and the melted butter.

Stir in all the other ingredients except for the flour then once mixed and combined add the flour and stir to combine well if like mine the mix seems a little stiff I added a little milk I think the egg was slightly smaller than normal.

Put the mixture on top of the bananas and caramel and bake in a preheated oven at  350/175 degrees for 1 hour-1hr 10 mins my oven runs hot so an hour was sufficient plus I used a 9-inch tin so the mix was spread out more…Next time when I use the 8-inch baking tin it may take the 1 hr 10 mins…

My testers loved it as did I although I preferred it the day it was made hubby finished it the next day…the caramel was lovely and the cake was perfect with bananas and caramel…

Because I am concerned about what is in the food and the products I buy to shower and wash our hair, clean our teeth and of course, there is the laundry if I can make a suitable substitute then I do …This simple and effective mouthwash comes from the Zero Waste Chef whose cookbook I have and whom I follow on social media is made from just 3 ingredients…vodka, spices and water…simples…

How to Make Simple and Effective Zero Waste Mouthwash

October also has a number of food days and weeks…I hear some groan and I do too when I see some of them however when it’s a food I love or cook with then I might promote it and some are attached to good causes…today is the final day of Chocolate Lovers week…now whether you are not a fan of all these days etc…I’m sure you like a bit of chocolate…I mean who doesn’t? today I am sharing a recipe for vegan chocolate cake(not I will hasten ) to add because I agree with some of the stupid antics some vegans are in favour off but because I like chocolate cake…and some of my dearest friends are vegan and they don’t try to convert me …they respect my views and I respect theirs…

Vinegar is used in baking cakes and bikkies…who would have thunk…Not me but I am learning…sigh. The two most frequently used in baking are white vinegar and apple cider vinegar. White vinegar has a sharp, even harsh, flavour if tasted alone, but it is a very simple flavour and does not really stand out when used in a complex batter. Cider vinegar, made from apples, has a faintly fruity flavour and is quite sweet compared to other types of vinegar. It’s very mild and works even better in batters because there is virtually no chance of any vinegar flavour tainting the finished product.

Let’s Bake…A cake using no eggs and vinegar…

  • 1 1/2 cups bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, non-alkalized cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp white or cider vinegar
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of water

I followed this recipe to the T because I have had a few disasters lately where I haven’t and they haven’t turned out as hoped…my fault and probably because I have been cooking for a while and got used to certain ways…This recipe to me sounded wacky and crazy but it works…It is also made in the tin in which it is cooked…

Position the rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch square pan.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt directly into the baking pan, then add the sugar. With your finger, poke 2 small holes and 1 large one in the dry ingredients. Into one of the small holes pour the vanilla, into the other one the vinegar, and into the larger one the oil.

Pour the water over all the ingredients and stir the ingredients together with a table fork…reaching into the corners, until you can’t see any more flour and the batter looks fairly well mixed.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is springy and a tester inserted in the centre comes out dry. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack, then cut and serve it from the pan.

Today is also the final day of National rice week one of my favourite carbs…Fried rice cooked properly is a wonderful thing and is loved by adults and children alike…I also love green tea the leaves of which I normally put around my plants…I came across this recipe the other week for fried rice with tea leaves…used tea leaves how cool is that…if you haven’t got a use for your used tea leaves then please click the highlighted link below which will take you to the recipe…

https://tanookihomemadecafe.wordpress.com/2022/03/16/genmairoasted-rice-tea-fried-rice/

Thank you for joining me today for my Green Kitchen next time it’s Christmas Puddings its that time of year again…as always I look forward to your comments x

Carol Taylors Green Kitchen…September 2022…

Welcome to my Green Kitchen where my aim is to cook chemical-free food, in season grown either by myself or purchased locally in season…it is also to minimise waste…

Produce which has just come into its season has far more taste than produce which is forced and grown out of its natural season …I also think it is the anticipation and the taste of the first of the season’s crops…those first root vegetables…are sublime! or those first strawberries there is nothing quite like the first strawberry of the season!

In the Northern Hemisphere September is probably the most abundant month in the vegetable garden. Summer crops, such as salads, tomatoes, courgettes, cucumbers and runner beans are still highly productive while autumn crops such as apples, pears, squash, and leeks are nearly ready for harvesting.

If you are in the Southern Hemisphere:  here is a roundup of vegetables and fruits ready for harvest during September artichoke, asparagus, beet, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, celeriac, celery, Chinese cabbage, kale, lettuce, parsnip, peas, purslane, radish, rhubarb, Swiss chard (silverbeet), spinach…

I have mentioned previously my concerns over food shortages and was reading this post a few weeks ago…a post from one of my US readers…I think we all need to be aware wherever we are in the world and take heed of what may be affecting us very soon and take steps to address it rather than wait and see…we can never have too many vegetables…

There are news stories that tomatoes and products made from tomatoes will be in short supply in the United States this year, until the next tomato harvest. Depending on if the drought continues for another year, it may be expensive to purchase tomatoes and tomato products.

Can we grow tomatoes inside during the winter? Yes, we can!

https://amtolle.com/2022/08/24/tomatoes-in-winter/

Two new food editions to my kitchen stores this last month have been Indian Bay Leaves and Nduja…both of which were ingredients I haven’t used before and the Indian bay leaves I didn’t know existed I thought a bay(laurel) leaf was a bay leave and that was it…I had no idea they had completely different flavour profiles…They definitely do and will be a permanent addition to my spice collection…That’s what I love about cooking…it is also why I believe we should be inclusive and learn about other diets and cultures it certainly enriches our lives and knowledge plus we get to experiment with new flavours…some we may not like and some may be a real discovery and one which we can integrate within our own culinary repertoire…it doesn’t get better than that does it?

Nduja…apparently it is pronounced ” un-DOO-ya ”  it has really enthused me and I have found lots of lovely recipes for Pasta, bread and sauces/pastes made with this beautiful spicy sausage…all of which I will share with you…Chicken, Pineapple and Nduja Bake was the first recipe I cooked using this lovely spicy paste…

I can’t believe we are in September already nearly time to make the Christmas puddings and cakes…it has to be done…those I will share in October’s Green Kitchen but for now given some food shortages it may be as well to start gathering your ingredients like dried fruits, flour, and treacle just in case the prices rocket or there are shortages…

After arriving home from my trip to the UK, it has taken me a few weeks to get back into the swing of cooking…while there I sampled some lovely Chilli Jam that I have finally gotten around to making some…after I had realised I couldn’t get jam sugar here so would have to get some pectin as chillies and bell peppers don’t have a lot of this natural setting agent some fruits have…For example, apples, carrots, oranges, grapefruits, and lemons contain more pectin than cherries, grapes, and other small berries with citrus fruits containing the most pectin.

When it comes to summertime stone fruit, pies are often the first thing to come to mind, but jam made with peaches, plums and apricots is just as delicious and lasts much longer. Naturally rich in pectin and high in acidity, these fruits make for a jam with rich textures and the best balance of sweet and tart. When choosing your fruit, look for pieces that are just ripe rather than overly ripe, as stone fruit tends to lose pectin and acidity the older it gets.

Chilli Jam…(Nigella Recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 150 grams long fresh red chilli peppers (deseeded and cut into 4 pieces)
  • 150 grams red peppers (cored, deseeded and cut into rough chunks)
  • 1-kilogram jam sugar
  • 600 millilitres of apple cider vinegar

Let’s Cook!

You will need 6 x 250ml / 1 cup sealable jars, with vinegar-proof lids, such as Kilner jars or re-usable pickle jars.

Sterilize your jars and leave them to cool.

Put the cut-up chillies into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the chunks of red pepper and pulse again until you have a vibrantly red-flecked processor bowl.

Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a wide, medium-sized pan over low heat without stirring.

Scrape the chilli-pepper mixture out of the bowl and add to the pan. Bring the pan to a boil, then leave it at a rollicking boil for 10 minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and allow it cool. The liquid will become more syrupy, then from syrup to viscous and from viscous to jelly-like as it cools.

After about 40 minutes, or once the red flecks are more or less evenly dispersed in the jelly (as the liquid firms up, the hints of chilli and pepper start being suspended in it rather than floating on it), ladle into your jars. If you want to stir gently at this stage, it will do no harm. Then seal tightly.

This first attempt went well…I like Nigella’s recipes as they are easy to follow and her measurements/ratios are accurate and the recipes are obviously tried and tested…

I couldn’t find jam sugar here and managed to find powered pectin online…if you use liquid or powdered pectin then follow the instructions on your bottle or packet…

I opted to use raw sugar as the granules were larger and that makes for better clarity of your jam…of course, some chilli seeds found their way into my jam…lol…and apart from increasing the cooking time to 20 minutes I followed the recipe exactly…

MAKE AHEAD:
Make the jam up to 1 month before using or giving. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 1 month.

This jam is lovely in a sandwich or with cheese however as I like hardboiled eggs as a snack It is lovely with some chilli jam…who knew…lol

Kitchen Waste…Did you know that 22k tonnes of leafy salad is thrown away every year in the UK alone that is in monetary terms 64 million pounds…

Just because your bag of leaves in your fridge is wilting it doesn’t mean it can go in the trash…give wilted leaves a new lease of life by blitzing them into a sauce, a pesto, green goddess sauce or Chimichurri…all of these keep well in the fridge just check each individual recipe for how long and blitz a batch to keep on hand…

Chimichurri…

Very finely chop 1 red or green chilli, half a small onion, 20g of mixed salad leaves and 15g of fresh mixed herbs for example parsley, coriander and oregano…Mix together in a bowl and add 3 tbsp of wine vinegar, 75 ml of good olive oil plus a pinch of sugar and season well.

Serve with griddled steak, fish or roasted vegetables…if you keep this sauce covered it will keep on the fridge for 4-5 days if it lasts long mine never does it is gone in a flash…

Have you grown these or tried these…

This fruit has made its first appearance on my daughter in laws farm…I haven’t tasted it yet but the little I have found out so far is it’s a rare fruit I’m guessing what is known as a backyard fruit…It grows naturally in the Philippines, Laos, Thailand, and New Guinea, but more widely in Malesia and in the Cape York Peninsula Australia…I am told it has a sharp, sweet-sour taste but have yet to find out much more…

Thank you for joining me in my Green Kitchen as always I look forward to your comments next month “Spoiler Alert” there will be a bread recipe using Nduja…but before that, there will be another veggie recipe on Tuesday instead of chicken for my veggie readers…Carol x

Carol Taylors Green Kitchen…August 2022…

 

Welcome to my Green Kitchen where I aim to cook chemical-free food, in season and grown either by myself or purchased locally in season…it is also to minimise waste…

Produce which has just come into its season has far more taste than produce which is forced and grown out of its natural season …I also think it is the anticipation and the taste of the first of the season’s crops…those first root vegetables…are sublime! or those first strawberries there is nothing quite like the first strawberry of the season!

August…as you know I am concerned about the chemicals in food plus we now have food shortages, Covid looks like it is here to stay for a while and there are rumbles about monkeypox I was even handed a card at the airport…

The 7th-14th is National Farmers Market Week(US) It is a great opportunity to show the nation how much value markets bring to their communities. With fun events, specials, contests, and activities, the week helps to boost market attendance and visibility – while at the same time being loads of fun! If you have an event near you then please go along and show your support and you may also find some beautiful local grown fruit and vegetables in season…Personally, I think it is important wherever you live in the world to get to know your local farmers they need your support and you need to know that the food you are buying is chemical free…

From the  8th-14th of August, it’s National Allotments Week in the UK…National Allotments Week started in 2002 as a way of raising awareness of allotments and their role in helping people live healthier lifestyles, grow their own food, develop friendships and bolster communities. The campaign week is still thriving 20 years later and interest in growing your own fruit and vegetables has never been stronger since the WW2 Grow for Victory campaign.

This month’s Bread Recipe…just hasn’t happened I am not back into the swing of baking after my 2-month sabbatical..the plan was blueberry and lime bread hence the picture of blueberries but that didn’t happen…lol…however Tandy reminded me that it is soon to be International Scone Week from the 8th of August to 14th August…scones can have butter like bread…although these ones I’m sharing was last years entry for International Scone week and they were very delicious if I say so myself…Banana Scones with Coffee Drizzle

International Scone Week…Banana Scones with Coffee Drizzle…ish

Now I need to come up with another yummy scone recipe…although plain scones with clotted cream and jam are always a winner…I have whittled it down to four which are, Gingerbread Scones, Lemon Squash Scones with mascarpone and lemon curd, Traditional Tattie Scones or Sweet Potato Scones with Beetroot Jam…as I love anything beets or lemon they are calling to me…however yesterday I found some Nduja so I’m thinking Nduja and ricotta…are you going join in scone making week? if so what are your thoughts…

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What’s in season…here is a good resource for eating ” Seasonably around the World” from Foodtank…eating seasonably nearly always coincides with eating locally…which minimises the carbon footprint of our food and there is nothing like the taste of fresh seasonable fruit and vegetables…

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It’s a known fact even if we don’t know the figures that Covid marked the increase in the takeaway(takeout) food deliveries BUT at what cost to the environment?

Picture this…but before we go any further “it’s not our fault”…you order a burrito…it comes wrapped in foil, with plastic utensils and a paper napkin all wrapped in plastic…plus 3 packets of ketchup plus hot sauce…All in a paper bag that is then placed in a plastic bag…you may even get extras like those little salt and pepper packets that we last used in our packet of Smiths Crisps…the irony is we eat our burrito with our hands????

What we can do is to let our local takeaway know that it will also save them money if they used a little common sense and ditched the unnecessary…that should goad them into action if nothing else…Just in case you really want to know the effect it has on the environment please click this link…

For those of you for whom it’s summer sun and an ice cream popsicle is a very welcome cooler…then let’s beat the heat!…almost any liquid freezes well(bar neat, heavy alcohol)…from double cream to coconut milk…my preferred option (of course)…fruit? That watermelon is calling well here’s a quick way to pulp it…slice off the top of the fruit then take your hand blender and blend the inside then strain how easy is that?

If you want texture in your popsicle then add pieces of fruit, bits of cookies, chocolate chips, slivers of fresh coconut, fudge, the options are endless…don’t want bits then swirl through some fruit puree for perfect popsicles freeze the mixture in a tub first then blitz and put in your moulds and freeze…

Like creamy healthy popsicles? adding yoghurt for protein and probiotics for digestive health creates a natural creaminess that adds a smooth texture. Pureed bananas with juice can also create a soft bite. Unsweetened coconut milk adds a creamy popsicle texture with a subtle sweet flavour. Mixing or blending juice, whole fruit, and something creamy also make for a consistently creamy popsicle…of course, freezing time depends on the ingredients.

No moulds…No problem!…paper cups, smartie tubes, even egg cups or ice cube moulds…just freeze until slushy and add your sticks…Enjoy!

That’s all for my Green Kitchen this month…thank you for joining me and as always I look forward to your comments…xxx

Carol Taylors Green Kitchen…July 2022…Garlic Knots, Plastic Free July, Food Waste, Money Saving tips when shopping…

 

Welcome to my Green Kitchen where my aim is to cook food that is chemical-free, in season and grown either by myself or purchased locally in season…it is also to minimise waste…

Produce which has just come into its season has far more taste than produce which is forced and grown out of its natural season …I also think it is the anticipation and the taste of the first of the season’s crops…those first root vegetables…are sublime! or those first strawberries there is nothing quite like the first strawberry of the season!

This month is Plastic Free July plus prices are rising in the shops all around us… it’s even more important now that we take charge and rethink our shopping and cooking habits plus if we can grow some of our own or befriend our local farmer and buy what is in season and maybe buy the misshapen fruit and vegetables as the taste is still the same…

This month’s bread recipe is lovely garlic knots…

Garlic knots are fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside, and topped with savoury garlic herbed butter that will have you begging for more! Enjoy these garlic buns on their own, pair them with an Italian meal, or dip them in marinara sauce. No matter how you serve them, these garlic knots will be a total hit with the family… You may want to double the recipe because it’s that good.

Let’s Bake!

  • 200 grams of lukewarm water
  • 3 grams of rapid dry yeast
  • 300 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the Garlic Topping

  • 60 grams butter melted
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic
  • 1tsp Italian seasoning or chilli flakes
  • ¼ tsp of salt

Make the dough. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together water and yeast until smooth. Let it sit for 5 minutes until slightly foamy. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, salt, and oil. Pour in the wet yeast mixture and combine until it forms a shaggy dough, scraping down the sides of the bowl (there should be no dry flour particles visible).

Knead the dough. Knead the dough on a clean lightly floured surface for 5 minutes until it changes from a sticky shaggy dough into a smooth and soft dough ball. Cover the bowl with a clean damp tea towel and let the dough rise at room temperature (preferably in a warmer area) for 1 hour until doubled.

HOW TO SHAPE GARLIC KNOTS…

Flatten the dough and shape it into a 16-inch long log. Cut the dough into 14 evenly spaced strips (about 1-inch wide) with a pizza cutter, bench scraper, or knife.

Roll each dough strip into an approximately 8-inch long rope, tie it into knots, and then tuck the two ends of the knots underneath…to be honest, it took me a while to get faster and better at these knots but in all honesty, my early attempts went down just as well as my better attempts as people just love these garlic knots and don’t care if they are slightly misshapen…

Place the knots spaced evenly on a lined half-sheet baking pan and cover loosely with a clean damp cloth. Let the knots rise at room temperature for 30 minutes until almost doubled.

in a small mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt until evenly combined. Use a pastry brush or silicone brush to brush the knots evenly with the garlic butter mixture.

Bake in a 425F preheated oven for 20 minutes until the tops turn golden brown. You can brush some extra garlic butter on top. Let the garlic knots cool for 10 minutes and serve.

If you are new to breadmaking then here are a few tips…

How to knead the dough: Knead the dough by pushing it down and outward using the palms of your hands. Fold the dough in half toward you and press down. Repeat this motion by pushing the dough down and outward, and then folding it over towards you. This helps build up gluten strength in the dough that is responsible for making the bread fluffy.

How to test if the dough is well-kneaded: A well-kneaded dough is smooth and can hold its shape. You can test the dough by giving it a firm poke with your finger. The indentation should bounce right back. If it doesn’t bounce back and stays like a dimple, keep kneading for a few more minutes.

As I am going around on my travels I am seeing lots of sunflowers and then I read this post from Sally over at Smorgasbord Magazine… the benefits of eating Sunflower Seeds for our health are immense…

Please head over and have a read there is also a lovely crunchy brown rice recipe with mixed seeds including sunflower seeds…

Did you know?

To keep cookies and other baked goods soft after baking, add a slice of store-bought white bread to an airtight container. Your cakes, cookies and muffins will keep their day-one softness.

Did you know?

You can become an upcycling master by doing the following… Egg cartons are ideal for freezing small portions of homemade sauce. (Especially when you need to use your ice trays for, well, ice…Cover and freeze leftover Pesto, stock or sauce and transfer cubes when they are frozen to a resealable freezer bag. To use, thaw cubes in your fridge for 2 hours.

I think by now if you haven’t heard from me that it is Plastic Free July…There are some really small ways that we can reduce our plastic footprint just by thinking before we put something in our basket or trolley…buying multipacks? choose the ones that are held together with cardboard rather than plastic…does the colour of plastic containers make a difference? Yes, it does…Avoid ready meals in non-recyclable black plastic trays – black plastic is almost never recycled…Microwave meals, punnets of mushrooms even honey; so many foods are packaged in black plastic containers.

The problem, aside from it being single-use plastic, is that black plastic is very hard to recycle. Not many local authorities have the equipment necessary for black plastic recycling.

Are you aware of the black plastic recycling problem? No?

Unfortunately, black plastic food packaging all too often ends up in landfills, despite being recyclable in theory…

Growing as much as we can whatever size our garden or balcony is has become very popular…in an ideal world nothing would nibble or decimate our lovingly grown greens and of course, there are lots of natural ways to keep those little critters away or if you have space the chickens love to eat those who love to eat our greens ..mother natures natural deterrent…but some are lured by manufacturers spiel etc etc and use insecticides regardless of the harm to health…as do the large producers of the greens we buy in the supermarket who generally have no such scruples as profit is the driving force…the good news…Bayer loses again as the high court allows roundup award…

Ever since a landmark case found Bayer’s herbicide Roundup responsible for causing the cancer of a California groundskeeper, the company has been on the defensive, seeking to overturn the ruling to avoid paying up on the thousands of similar claims. But those efforts have been unsuccessful: Bloomberg law reports that the US Supreme Court declined to overturn the ruling, leaving the company to pay the suit’s $87 million in damages. Advocates for more sustainable agricultural practices are enthusiastic that this could open the door to further action against the controversial herbicide and its active ingredient, glyphosate…

Finally, food prices are on the increase quite drastically and suddenly we are told the reasons are many but it doesn’t change the reality…Here are a few tips on where we can cut corners and still eat well…

Cannellini, Kidney Beans, and Black Beans should be kitchen staples on standby and if they are being used in chilli or another dish with a sauce buy the supermarket brands to save money…if they are a central part of a dish such as a salad then go for the better option…save money where you can which enables you to splurge when needs be…

Frozen Fruit doesn’t go off and is often cheaper than fresh fruit but when needs must buy frozen…

When cooking with olive oil don’t waste money on expensive brands buy the store’s own brands and save the expensive virgin olive oil for sauces and dips.

Butter if grass-fed is worth splurging on just use less…

Meat…for our health sake don’t cut corners just cook wisely…see my post for making one chicken into 3 days meals, buy cheaper cuts and cook low and slow…have more meat-free days there are so many lovely, filling tasty recipes you won’t even miss the meat…

Wine…be guided by the experts and aerate your wine straight into a glass or decant into a wide-bottomed decanter…also serve at the correct temperature…my son taught me this and believe me you can turn a cheaper bottle of wine into a very pleasant drink for little effort plus you can also impress your family and friends with your knowledge of wine…

That’s all for July’s Green Kitchen I will be back in August for the next Green Kitchen…I hope you all are having an enjoyable week as much as I am ..the sun is shining and I am enjoying catching up with friends and family…Thank you for joining me today I do as always look forward to your comments xx

Carol Taylors Green Kitchen…June 2022…Bread Rolls, Food Waste, Cookware,and “What to do with your leftover Strawberry Stems” …

 

Bread making again in the form of bread rolls…There is also nothing quite like the smell of bread baking…

Made using Olive Oil. These rolls were nice, soft and had a good texture but I still haven’t mastered the crusty top type yet…lol… they were also nice toasted.

Ingredients:

• 1 1/2 lbs Unbleached Bread Flour
• 1 tbsp of instant yeast
• 3/4 cup of Olive oil
• 1 tbsp of coarse salt
• 2 cups of warm water
• 2/3 tbsp of chopped rosemary(optional)

Let’s Cook!

Combine water, flour, yeast, salt, rosemary(if using) and olive oil mix together you will now have a sticky dough.

If the dough is really too sticky then add a bit more flour.

Lightly grease a bowl with olive oil and turn the dough in a bowl to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to rise approx 60-90 minutes here it is more like 15-20 but it all depends on where you live and your heat and humidity.

When the dough has risen turn it onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 16 pieces.

Shape the pieces into a smooth round and place on a baking sheet lined with cooking parchment leaving a 2-inch gap between each roll.

Stage two.

Leave to rise for another 30 minutes.

Heat your oven to 450F/230C

Sprinkle the top of the rolls with a little sea salt…my little helper was happy to brush the tops of the rolls as he loves helping in the kitchen…

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the tops of the rolls are golden brown.

Cool on a wire rack, they are now ready to eat. So yummy slightly warm with proper butter.

Now that was easy, wasn’t it?

Food waste…is a big problem worldwide and one that needs to be tackled once and for all by all of us it is mostly households and restaurants who create the most food waste with manufacturers a close third …my dream is to know that no one goes to bed hungry and wakes up hungry…This podcast is part of an ongoing series that I have been publishing and today the subject is waste…

Episode 4: The Big Problem of Food Waste

Strawberries…There is nothing like nice ripe strawberries in season…if they are fully ripe you don’t even need sugar they are just lovely to eat on their own…our strawberry season has finished but for some of you your strawberry season is June…

Don’t forget to keep the strawberry stems on when you wash them as it stops the water from spoiling those beautiful strawberries…and then I compost the strawberry stems…that is until I received an email from Tori who writes beautiful children’s stories her email came with a link on “What to do with Leftover Strawberry Stems”…but who knew that they were both edible and nutritious plus you can make tea from them, a simple syrup, add them to your smoothie and it doesn’t stop there to read this very informative post please click this link…Thank you Tori for sending me this link …I love the idea of a strawberry stem powder…you can use it to add flavour to cupcakes, muffins, and cakes….how cool is that and I never knew …its great when you learn something new…

Cookware…the subject of cookware came up the other week between me and Aston…I was educating him on how to wash my new pans, a nice frypan, a griddle pan and a pancake pan…the subject of the cost came up and he asked me why I didn’t buy cheaper ones…my mother always taught me never to skimp on cookware as it then lasted basically forever…my pans have travelled with me and are still bright and shiny inside and out even after clumsy clutz here burning things in them on a few occasions…hubby to the rescue…

My mother taught me to choose cookware and utensils that stand the test of time and won’t have to be thrown away with your leftover casserole. That means you gotta ditch the Teflon…

Thank you for joining me today in my Green Kitchen I am off on my travels tomorrow morning early… the destination is the Uk…I have scheduled posts ahead and I will be popping in and out but I may not leave a comment but just a like …xx

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…May 2022 …Kitchen Hacks, How does your Garden Grow, Recipes, Pull Apart Garlic Bread and how to use potato Peelings.

Welcome to my Green Kitchen where my aim is to cook food that is chemical-free, in season and grown either by myself or purchased locally and in season…it is also to minimise waste…

Produce which has just come into its season has far more taste than produce which is forced and grown out of its natural season …I also think it is the anticipation and the taste of the first of the season’s crops…those first root vegetables…are sublime! or those first strawberries there is nothing quite like the first strawberry of the season!

April is a spring month in the northern half of the world and a fall month in the southern half…

This month’s recipe …Pull Apart Garlic Bread…

Ingredients.

  • 1 cup warm water, divided
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1 and ½ cups(183 gm) of all-purpose flour
  • 1 and ½ cups whole wheat flour(170 gm) (can substitute with all-purpose flour)
  • 14 gm unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tsp salt

Garlic Butter Topping:

  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, finely grated or minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning

Let’s Bake!

In a large bowl, stir together ½ cup of warm water, yeast, and honey. Let rest 5-10 minutes until foamy.

Add in flour, butter, and salt, and mix until combined. Gradually add in the remaining ½ cup water, stirring between each addition until completely combined, and until the dough comes together into a ball. The dough will be soft but slightly sticky. If it is too sticky, you can add a little more flour.

Knead for 7-10 minutes (by hand or in a stand mixer) although I love kneading by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic. You can test the dough for readiness by pressing into the dough with your thumb. If it bounces back, then it is ready.

Cover the bowl with a dishcloth, and let the dough rest at room temperature until doubled in size, about one hour.

Approximately 15 minutes before the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 375 F, and begin preparing the garlic butter topping.

In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Once just melted, add garlic, parsley and Italian seasoning. Stir to combine and continue to cook over low heat for 2 minutes, to allow the flavours to infuse into the butter. Remove from heat.

Once the dough is ready, shape it into a long tube, 1-inch in diameter. Then, cut into small 1-inch pieces. Place the pieces into the saucepan with the garlic butter and toss to fully coat.

Transfer the coated pieces into an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan and any residue butter and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish with additional fresh parsley on top (optional).

Cooks Notes…my uncooked bread looked like it was swimming in butter however that was all absorbed in the baking process…I preferred the bread hot/warm my testers finished off the bread the next day and declared it was good both days…I didn’t like it on the second day but they are bread lovers …lol

Litter and food waste are two of my biggest bugbears…I deplore both I also have lots of friends who regularly do beach clean-ups and town cleanups and a tip I picked up was that if you are constantly seeing the same brand of litter i.e a burger or drinks company then write to the company/government body as these companies should be responsible for their litter…Just saying!-smile-

Waste…who composts their potato peelings ? or worse who just chucks them in the bin?… Potato skin crisps are a wonderful thing, especially with chilli…but the uses for potato peelings don’t stop there…Tori bless her sent me a link on what else you can do with the humble potato skin…Thank you, Tori it was much appreciated…

Blitzing dried potato skins and blitzing to make a powder with which you can thicken your soups and stews was a new one for me…The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society I had read about also but there are some other great ideas for using potato skins…Tori is the author of some beautiful children’s storybooks please check them out…Thank you again, Tori x

What to do with Leftover Potato Peels – GREAT IDEAS!!

How is your garden growing its mango season at the moment and everywhere I look there are beautiful mangoes hanging from the trees…The Durian fruit and pineapple are also in season which makes my daughter law very happy as she loves her Durian…Durian has a bad name you either love it or hate in fact it is banned by some airlines…

Durian…

King of fruits as it is known here in Thailand…

Here in Thailand, Durian is often eaten fresh with sweet sticky rice, and blocks of durian paste are sold in the markets, though much of the paste is mixed with pumpkin. Unripe durians may be cooked as a vegetable. The shops also sell Durian chips and Durian ice cream.

What did I think when I first tried it? I tentatively took the smallest piece expecting the taste to be absolutely horrid instead it is a strange combination of savoury, sweet, and creamy all at once.

I was hooked…..The smell …I think you either love or hate it…I don’t mind it although it is really cloying and invades everything so I can understand why it is banned on airlines, some hotels, and public places.

A seasonal fruit it is in great demand here…It is sold from the back of trucks along the road, in markets and in the supermarkets. It is also quite expensive due to generally having one season a year and also its popularity…if you get the chance to try it…You will not be disappointed.

It’s also used in traditional Asian medicine, as both an anti-fever treatment and an aphrodisiac.

A piece of traditional Asian folklore: is that getting intoxicated while eating Durians can lead to death. There have been some studies into an enzyme that Durian possesses which can react to alcohol quite strongly.

The pineapple season is also in full swing…Pineapples are great in smoothies and shock horror yes I am a heathen..lol…I love it on Pizza! it is also great pickled…and a beautiful addition to a duck curry…

For those of you who love foraging…if you live where Spring is here then…

Go foraging for wild garlic!

Spring is the perfect time to go foraging for this versatile and pungent plant, which can be whipped up into a number of delicious dishes. Wild Garlic leaves appear from late March and can be picked throughout Spring.

Wild garlic leaves can be picked in advance and stored in the fridge for a day or so – choose the smaller leaves for the best flavour…There is nothing which beats the flavour of wild garlic as those of you who have tried can attest it is a wonderful spring green.  that makes a beautiful soup…just 4 large handfuls of wild garlic leaves with potatoes and onions you have a delicious soup…

If you haven’t foraged for wild garlic before here’s how …

How to find wild garlic

Thank you for joining me today for May’s Green Kitchen I hope you have a wonderful month cooking and eating all the fresh produce that is in season…Enjoy!