Category Archives: Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen

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!

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…April 2022 …Kitchen Hacks, How does your Garden Grow, Recipes,Hot Cross Buns, and Mackerel Pate.

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…

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’s recipe “Hot Cross Buns

Yes, that time of the year is nearly upon us when we celebrate Easter with Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday is the 15th of April this year followed by Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday and Simnel Cake on Easter Monday.

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

I have been seeing lots of alternative recipes for Hot Cross Buns...some sound delicious some sound as if they are made just because the baker can…

Most of the recipes from my childhood I don’t want to change… it’s tradition lest we forget…x…

So without further ado here is your recipe for…Traditional Hot Cross Buns...Warm from the oven there is nought better than a Hot Cross Bun buttered with lovely grass-fed butter…

Ingredients:

For the dough

  • 450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 x 7g sachets of easy-blend yeast
  • 50g caster sugar …I use natural golden sugar.
  • 150ml warm milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g  butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • oil, for greasing
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Salt…ordinary salt is ok.

The spices and dried fruit

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 100g currants
  • Optional: Orange or lemon zest.

For  the pastry crosses:

  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar.

Let’s Bake!

Put the flour, yeast, castor sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl with the spices and dried fruit and mix well. If you want to add a little lemon or orange zest it can be added now. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, 50ml warm water, the beaten egg and the melted butter. Mix everything together to form a dough – start with a wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it’s too wet, add more flour.

Knead in the bowl or on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and springy. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.

Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few secs, then divide into 12 even portions – I roll my dough into a long sausage shape, then quarter and divide each quarter into 3 pieces. Shape each portion into a smooth round and place them on a baking sheet greased with butter, leaving some room between each bun for it to rise.

Use a small, sharp knife to score a cross on the top of each bun, then cover with the damp tea towel again and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 mins until almost doubled in size again. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas

When the buns are ready to bake, mix the plain flour with just enough water to give you a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag (or into a plastic food bag and snip the corner off) and pipe a white cross into the crosses you cut earlier. Bake for 12-15 mins until the buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. While still warm, melt the granulated sugar with 1 tbsp water in a small pan, then brush over the buns.

Tip: I put my mix for the cross in one of those plastic refill sauce bottles as I find I get all sorts of shapes and sizes of the cross if I use a piping bag/greaseproof. clumsy klutz that I am..haha.

Everyone who knows me knows that I hate sneaky, lying manufacturers who play with words to suit them and deceive us… if the regulations were tougher and penalties higher we wouldn’t have to read and decipher every damn label(BUT) we do or I do…

What does the Natural label actually say?… We constantly see “Natural” or “All Natural” on packets of food it certainly needles me and apparently the regulators…maybe they need to do some re-regulating then…This Podcast explores “Who decides what Natural Means? ”

How does your garden grow ?…

As I am now completely in charge of the garden… my son is away for work… it’s keeping me busy he has left me a long list of when to water, feed, what to check for(bugs) etc etc…I haven’t yet killed his pride and joy(Habanero) chillies they are fruiting for the 3rd time this year so it looks like I am going to have to make more chilli sauce very soon…the long pepper is also fruiting really well so I will once they are all dried be able to check out some recipes …my favourite is the Chinese Kale it keeps on giving and is a beautiful vegetable we only have a few plants but the more you pick the more it grows and is easy to grow…you just pick it when the flowers just start to open…

It is one of my favourite greens…Chinese Kale has a high nutritional value since it is a rich source of antioxidants and anticarcinogenic compounds, including vitamin C, glucosinolates and phenolic compounds …

There are both yellow and white flowering cultivars ours is the white flowering kale. It is a vigorous, fast-growing species able to withstand both frost and high temperatures. The flower stems are harvested at an early stage while the flowers are still in bud. It is usually cooked by stir-frying although I like mine just lightly steamed also…What do you grow in your garden or pots?

The war by Russia against Ukraine is terrible it seems as if Russia can’t win then they will just demolish and flattened everything… But what will be the other far-reaching effects of this war?

What is happening to our breadbasket…

Ukraine is a major wheat exporter and has recently emerged as a corn powerhouse, too, supplying China and its booming meat industry with nearly a third of its feed corn imports.

What does it mean when a war of conquest descends upon one of the globe’s great breadbaskets in the 21st century? ….Click here to find out why we should be worried…

A kitchen hack or three…You will love these…

And they are all green...Did you know you could make a wood stain from coffee grounds and steel wool…neither did I…

Finally, just a little mackerel pate that we love…

Smoked Mackerel Pate…

  • 240 gm smoked mackerel with the skin removed.
  • The juice and zest of one lime.
  • 1 tbsp of capers, drained
  • 150 gm cream cheese.
  • Half a bunch of dill or parsley.
  • 2 tbsp creamed horseradish.
  • Black Pepper

Let’s Cook!

Whizz all the ingredients apart from the lime zest in your food processor, taste and season.

Put in a suitable bowl and sprinkle with some chopped parsley or dill, the lime zest and black pepper…

NB: Cooks notes as they were mithering me to make this pate I just chucked everything in including the lime zest and blitzed it all not what I would normally do but today I did…I used all the parsley so grabbed a couple of lime leaves for the image…But I got complaints so guessing it was to their taste…

Serve with toast or crackers…and enjoy!

That’s all for my Green Kitchen today thank you for joining me…I look forward to your comments…x

 

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…March 2022 …Kitchen Hacks, Seasonal Vegetables, Oreo Brownies…

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…

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’s recipe is … no… not another bread recipe as I have exhausted those for a while I thought we would have a change and today it’s “Oreo Brownies”…

Why Oreo Brownies?… for no other reason (and) definitely because I am not a fan of the said biscuits but because Lily requested that I make them and post them to her..she had apparently tried some from a cake shop and declared that they were awful and could Nannie please make her some…How could I say no!

I have to admit though that they were the best brownies I have ever made… the white cream in the middle of the Oreos turned to a sort of marshmallow texture and they are my fudgiest brownies to date…not as sweet as I thought they would be..definitely fudgy and a big hit with both grandchildren… so yes I have made another batch as Aston also loved them and he is not usually a cake eater but he does love Oreos and milk(Yuk!)

It was a quick recipe all made in a saucepan…kids would love to make it…well it is Oreos…I never ever thought I would be endorsing and singing praises of Oreos…

Ingredients:

  • 140 gm unsalted butter
  • 300 gm granulated sugar
  • 75 gm Dutch Cocoa Powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs..cold straight from the fridge
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60 gm All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 packet of original Oreos mine had 20% extra

8′ x8′ tin lined.

Let’s Bake!

Put the sugar, butter, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium saucepan heat gently while stirring until the butter has melted and it has all combined it should not be too hot just very warm to the touch.

Add the beaten eggs and the vanilla and mix well to combine…Then fold in the flour until fully combined it now looks like molten chocolate…

Pour half the mixture into your prepared tin spread out and place the Oreos over the batter…I had 2 left which I crushed for the topping.

Then cover with the remaining batter and scatter with the crushed Oreos.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 for 30-35 mins or until a toothpick comes out nearly clean…

Allow to cool down for 20 mins in the tin before removing to a wire wrack when cool then slice and enjoy!…

Last month I talked about buying in season and why...we are now in March and still have those beautiful seasonal vegetables and fruits…Growing vegetables out of season consume a lot of energy because you grow them in artificial conditions and need resources (like heat, water and nutrients). The carbon footprint is the same if not greater than when you transport food.

I love the lovely purple broccolini or broccoli in fact I love purples and eat purple whenever I can… Purple broccolini lightly steamed or sauteed with some garlic and toasted sesame seeds a splash of sesame oil pairs wonderfully with your Sunday roast or your pasta any recipe with fish or meat where you have vegetables this of my favourites…

If you are in the Southern hemisphere then you have those lovely bell peppers or courgettes which at the moment one of my favourite ways to use courgettes is to make noodles or zoodles out of them it cuts those calories a little instead of having pasta…but it doesn’t stop at courgettes you can use almost any vegetable carrots, beets…I love them…Do you?

Kitchen Hacks!

 

In the garden…how does your garden or window box grow?

We have lots of chillies, Thai Chillies, Habanero Chillies all tenderly nurtured by my son…he has also made some lovely Habanero sauce the latest one being habanero and Mango…it certainly packs a fruity punch but very nice, especially brushing the skin of chicken or as we did the other day brushing it over the slow-cooked pork…

  • 6 Habanero peppers
  • 1 cup chopped mango pieces (approx. 1 large mango)
  • 1 small onion roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped or grated
  • 1″ piece of ginger, grated
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • olive oil

Let’s Cook!

First, give the Habaneros a good wash and de-stem them. You must be cautious or use gloves we don’t as we have learnt the hard way…lol… and make sure we wash our hands thoroughly habaneros are very hot.

Chop the mango by cutting off the side cheeks then score each cheek with a knife then press the cheek down on your cutting board and then take a slice of the squared bits of mango…Now for the middle bit where the pit is…remove the skin and then make a slice of any juicy bits of mango leaving the pit…

Now to make the sauce…saute your chopped onion and garlic in a glug of olive oil in a stainless steel pan as you are using vinegar don’t use your best-cast iron pan…

Once your onion has started to brown a little add the remainder of the ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer gently and cook for a few mins.

Add the mixture to your blender or food processor and blend well…Carefully taste (it) will be hot and add more mango if you require a fruitier taste…you want the mango to shine through the heat of the habaneros…

Now carefully fill your sterilised bottles we save our hot sauce glass bottles they are a perfect size as they are about 5oz.

This will keep in the fridge for about a month…This sauce was made by Jamie he grows the chillies and makes the sauces…

I will say again please wear gloves when making these sauces or be very careful that you wash your hands thoroughly as the habanero releases and oil one which is used in Pepper sprays…Jamie made the mistake yesterday and just rinsed his hands and then took a shower…I had to take milk up for his eyes and even his nether regions didn’t escape as he showered and had the oil on his hands and he normally is really careful..lesson was learnt again…

Sadly the seeds which I thought were going to be those lovely coloured chillies are bog-standard
Thai chillies it does seem to be quite a problem when buying seeds as others have had the
the same  problem…mine was obviously a mixture of seeds as some are big chillies (and) hot
and others are the very tiny Thai chillies that pack a definite hit a very hot punch…

The Chinese kale is also very nice we have had a few pickings and it is growing quite vigorously again so once it flowers we can pick it again…What is growing in your garden?

This blog is not political although I do have my own private thoughts my concern is that everyone is invested in this war and will everything else then take a back seat…it could set all of us back years with regards to the environment and global warming, Covid… almost everyone is relaxing the rules and I understand that as we cannot quarantine forever but it is still there and for the first time in my house…Aston tested positive for covid so we are confined to our own rooms and bathrooms thank god I have more than one bathroom…He has no real symptoms he just had a slight sore throat which is now better…but do we ignore the quarantines? they haven’t here yet but other countries have…

Now we have Putin is there now going to be another world war…World War 3?…or is this the end of the world as we know it?…it seems to me that the environment, covid and Putin are in one mix to me it doesn’t bode well…

But what an example Ukraine has set us about solidarity and National pride I pray that they will not be overcome…They are such brave people…

That is all for my Green kitchen this month…I am going to try making bao buns this week…Have any of you made them? If so any tips would be appreciated…

I look forward to your comments and suggestions on how you make your kitchen and home more sustainable so please share and you will get a mention…xx

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 6th February-12th February 2022-Monday Musings, Health, A-Z World Cuisine, Albania, Cardamom and Saturday Snippets.

Welcome to my weekly roundup...
February is here… I do hope that those of you who are experiencing lots of snow are staying
warm and safe…I am hearing whispers of 2ft of snow in some places…It does of course look
very pretty when it first falls but is not without its problems…It sounds like plenty of warming
soups and casseroles are on the menus…We have had rain twice this week the first in months
and very welcome it was by all of the plants and us too it cools the air…

What is in store for you then this week if you are catching up…  My new A-Z  World Cuisines featuring food from Albania has been very well received I have had some lovely comments plus it’s fun to research and write… Monday Musings are just some findings from the week before which I either find amusing or not, …I was back with my Green Kitchen and some lovely Cinnamon Swirl Bread…

Friday review and the subject was Cardamom I was surprised that some of you didn’t know what I thought was a universally known and used spice…I shouldn’t assume, should I? …Saturday Snippets is always a joy to write for me…and this week it was face and smiles…

Let’s have look at last week…

Monday Musings!

Normally quite a small post of just something which has caught my eye during the previous week…music was by Toby Mac and it was beautiful …new to me and not my normal genre but the imagery and sentiments were as I said beautiful…A lovely seafood platter recipe for Valentines Day plus info on the Mitsutake mushroom…I love nature and learning how this mushroom for example is dependent on another tree to grow and thrive…I’m a self-confessed info nerd x

Monday Musings…7th February 2022…

A firm favourite in our house and who doesn’t love one-pot cooking, this lemon chicken with capers is lovely and the sauce could quite easily be used with pork or even fish… a very versatile sauce.

CarolCooks2…Valentine’s recipe… Lemon Chicken with Capers…

I am having fun and learning with the new A-Z…Last week I took you to Albania…lots of fish, meat and vegetables feature in the cuisine of Albania and nose to tail cooking as well…I featured the national dish of Tavë Kosi a dish made with lamb, rice and yoghurt which I am going to have to have a go at making very soon and it was interesting to find out that the popular dish of  “Pace” or boiled animal head of either a pig, cow or sheep is also popular in South Africa plus Pigs heads are a popular ingredient here as well…

CarolCooks2…A-Z World Cuisines…Part 3…Albania, The Land of the Eagles…

It was also time for Carol’s Green Kitchen last week…Cinnamon Swirl Bread was on the menu plus some lovely Jalapeno and cream cheese spring Rolls…Kitchen Hacks and sweet treats…

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…February 2022 …Kitchen Hacks, Seasonal Vegetables, Cinnamon Swirl Bread…

I was so happy to see Sally champion the humble potato as it has often had bad press and to me, it’s not the healthy and nutritional potato which is at fault its how we cook it and what we load it up with…Please head over… have a read and discover just how nutritious the potato really is…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/02/10/smorgasbord-health-column-food-therapy-rewind-the-humble-potato-by-sally-cronin/

Cardamom…one of my favourite and much-used spices…I was surprised how many of you take it in your tea something I never had until today when I took Sowmyas advice and added a pod to my green tea leaves while they were brewing…it was lovely Sowmya…Thank you x

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Review…Cardamom…

One of my favourite posts to write…Lots of happy faces this week where my chosen one-word prompt was “Face”…I hope you enjoy it! xx

Saturday Snippets…12th February 2022…Today’s one-word prompt is “ Face”

Thank you so much for joining me today…I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend…the sun is shining here and the birds are twittering(loudly) its like a choir the squirrels are up to their morning acrobatics…but for those, of you who have snow…enjoy the beauty but be careful if you are venturing outside…we have had our first good downpour for a couple months which was very welcome as it’s cooled it down and I’m sure the trees and plants appreciated it…

An update on my girls…Donna has completed her treatment she had her final chemo session last Friday…Lauren has not been so lucky she had an anaphylactic shock to her second chemo consequently they changed to another chemo to which she has had severe side effects so much that she has been hospitalised, had numerous tests and doctors appointments tomorrow being the last one when if her side effects have not gone then there will be more chemo due to the dangers and the side effects becoming permanent…a worrying time…Thank you to those of you who have sent me random messages of support they are appreciated as many days I don’t function at top speed but we have to be positive…x

As always I look forward to your comments…see you tomorrow for Monday Musings x

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…February 2022 …Kitchen Hacks, Seasonal Vegetables,Cinnamon Swirl Bread…

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…

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!

February…what happened poof and January passed in a flash…Today I will have a look at what is in season during February…

This months Bread recipe is Cinnamon Swirl Bread…a lovely textured slice of cake subtly flavoured with cinnamon which is beautiful with your midmorning coffee//tea.

Cinnamon Swirl Bread…

9 x 5-inch tin lined.

  • Ingredients:
  • 260gm All-purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 200gm Sugar
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup oil …I used coconut oil

Cinnamon Flavouring…

  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon Powder

This was the easiest recipe ever…Just combine the dry ingredients then combine the wet ingredients…Then add the wet to the dry stirring to combine… the mixture was quite stiff but I went with it.

Pour half the mixture into your prepared tin and then sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar add the remainder of the cake mix and top with the rest of the cinnamon sugar.

Now take a knife and put it in the cake mix and do some swirling…

Put the cake into a preheated oven at 175C/347F and bake for 45-50 minutes, cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan.

Enjoy!

Cooks Notes:

I thought there was too much cinnamon sugar forgetting the sugar melts so next time I used all the cinnamon sugar and then I could see my swirls…

My cinnamon bread took an extra 5 mins in the oven but as we know it all depends on our ovens…I advise checking at 45 mins and then adjusting if necessary.

The Cinnamon bread went very quickly all my tasters loved it…both the first attempt and the second attempt.

Growing vegetables out of season consume a lot of energy because you grow them in artificial conditions and need resources (like heat, water and nutrients). The carbon footprint is the same if not greater than when you transport food.

Cucumbers can be naturally grown in the northern hemisphere from March to June, whereas you’ll find them more easily in the southern hemisphere from October through December. Always choose seasonal vegetables, wherever you live, depending on the month!

Sustainable consumption means striking the right balance between your needs and your food choices.

Eating healthy is easier than you think …If you are worried it will turn you into a vegan(not that I have anything against vegans) each to their own… then don’t…if you are worried you will be eating bland food that tastes like cardboard then don’t…You’ll still be eating the same food, except your body’s going to get healthier and you’ll be kinder to the planet. This kind of eco-activism is what I’d call food activism. When you do good through your plate, you’re good to the planet…

Here are three simple hacks for healthier eating.

  1. Think about your “treat cheat” and make it giving it a tweak to make it healthier and sustainable…for example, a couple squares of dark chocolate and some almonds is a great treat cheat…instead of a bar of milk chocolate with nuts included…
  2. Choose lean, white meat over red meat and ensure it’s from a sustainable source.
  3. Increasing your intake of sustainable fruit and vegetable is healthier.

Jalapeno and cream cheese rolls…

The first attempt at these rolls was …not so good…The pastry wasn’t the right one, too much filling and the fat was just too hot…

On the plus side, they had crispy bits and the filling was delish and made up for the pastries shortcomings…So much so it was worth making them again…It’s true what they say practice makes perfect…

Ingredients:

  • A Pack Cream Cheese (250 gm)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 4/6 jalapenos diced fairly small
  • 3/4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 3 green onions finely sliced
  • Salt to season
  • Spring roll wrappers

Mix your cream cheese with all the ingredients once done you are ready to assemble…

Place a dessert spoon of the cream cheese mixture about 1/4 way in the wrap and proceed to roll…

This video is quite good as it shows you how to wrap in more than one way and also how to make your own pastry…I bought mine as it is for sale everywhere here and if you like you can watch them being made which is fascinating.

I used about 3/4 of a pack of cream cheese which made11 small rolls… I always make small amounts when I am trying a recipe…Jalapenos we like the heat but if you like less heat reduce the amount you use there are no hard and fast rules with this it is personal taste…

jalapeno rolls showing cream cheese filling

If you love jalapenos these rolls are just delicious, spicy and hard not to eat another one…

I love bacon especially in a sarnie with some mustard…not something we have often but enjoy it when we do…I have just come across “Coconut Bacon”…has anyone tried it?… I love all things coconut but have never likened it to bacon…Should I?

This is what I read…

Coconut bacon is made with unsweetened coconut flakes that have been mixed with salt and spices and baked in the oven to achieve a flavour and consistency that’s remarkably like the real thing. Recipes differ slightly, but typically include soy sauce, maple syrup, salts or spices and liquid smoke. If you can’t find liquid smoke, smoked salt or chipotle powder will do the trick.

The baked coconut flakes retain only a subtle trace of their original flavour—the smoke and spice dominating the conversation instead. It’s not just about flavour, either. Baked in the oven, the flakes become oily and crispy, mimicking the texture of crispy bacon.

What do you think…should I try it we have plenty of coconuts…

I really dislike food waste and that includes unnecessary tins and packets in our store cupboard…Think about donating what you won’t use …there are so many people who for whatever reasons need help to feed themselves and their families…   
Do a monthly pantry cleanout...If you are never going to eat that tin of beans, think about donating it to a local food charity. Supermarkets often have donation bins for non-perishable food items.

That is all for my Green kitchen this month…I am going to try making bao buns…Have any of you made them? If so any tips would be appreciated…

I look forward to your comments and suggestions on how you make your kitchen and home more sustainable so please share and you will get a mention…xx