Category Archives: Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…May 3rd 2023…Potato Peel Crisps, Spicy Red Curry Balls,Organic Garden Fertilizer…

 

Welcome to May’s edition of Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen …my happy place where I cook from scratch and avoid anything with hormones and chemicals in it…I also hate waste, especially now prices are rising around the world in stores PLUS energy costs are on the increase…it is also hot here so I spend as little time as I can in the kitchen unless it is absolutely necessary… I do this by planning and batch cooking…

Food waste is an enormous problem in the US: America wastes roughly 40 per cent of its food, which leads to pollution and other environmental damage, and is a waste of natural resources and a waste of money. While edible food is lost at every point along the food chain — on farms and fishing boats, during processing and distribution, in retail stores, in restaurants and more.

So, the question is, how do we reduce food waste?

The answer might seem simple: don’t let food spoil, right?

But food waste happens in a bunch of different ways: You go out to eat and don’t love the meal you ordered, leaving the majority on your plate to get scraped into the garbage. Or you pick up a bag of oranges and forget about a few in the back of the fridge, where they turn mushy. You cut off the greens of carrots or beets, or peel root vegetables, and not realizing the potential use of these nutrition-packed scraps, you toss them in the trash…

Take the last line greens and peel I wasn’t one of the many who purchased an air fryer and apparently nearly 60% of U.S. households own an air fryer…I wonder how many of them are using fruit and veg peels to make chips…

According to dieticians…Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili Chips] and we are talking only 10 chips here will provide 7 grams of total fat and 1 gram of saturated fat …that’s just the fat content for 10 chips…

and of course, you can ring the changes with any other fruit or vegetable peels…Do you make air fryer Crisps?

I haven’t been doing very much cooking in my kitchen at the moment plus if you are wondering why I have been banging on again about food waste and hormones and chemicals in our food it’s because I am scared for not only my family but yours…Cancer is on the rise and in my immediate family at the moment I have 2 daughters with breast cancer, Lauren has not finished her treatment last week she started the acid infusions and they restarted her monthly stomach implants both had been put on hold as the side effects of the many chemos they tried(due) to her bodies adverse reactions took longer than normal to complete plus her side effects were extreme…Donna has finished her treatment however during a routine follow-up scan they discovered a lesion on the wall of one of her lungs…Her second scan was on May 1st as if that wasn’t enough 2 of my sister in laws have breast cancer plus my husband’s sister, daughter’s son of 6 yrs old has been diagnosed with cancer we awaiting the results of his bone marrow…

Over the last few decades, doctors have been seeing dramatic increases in cancer in adults younger than 50…A new review of cancer registry records from 44 countries found that the incidence of early-onset cancers is rising rapidly for colorectal and 13 other types of cancers, many of which affect the digestive system, and this increase is happening across many middle- and high-income nations.

Personally, I put it down to hormones in our foods, chemicals and preservatives in our food, household cleaners, and cosmetics in fact almost everything we use on a daily basis in our homes has ingredients that are adverse to our health…That scares me and I like to think I am careful with my household purchases and have been over the years…

I can count 13 and a half sugar cubes in that one bottle of Coke Cola and likely similar amounts in any other brand of soda…

Where do you shop? Do you grow your own, do you shop locally or do you one of the big stores? This video talks you through how you can shop sustainably and help the environment and small businesses…

Episode 14: Keeping it Local: Avoiding Big Box Stores

Another tasty use for cold rice…Spicy red curry, Pork, Rice and Coconut Balls.

These spicy rice balls are a lovely way to use up any leftover cooked rice and are quite delicious. They are one of the first things I was taught to cook by my daughter-in-law more years ago than I care to remember. Whenever we have a party or anything they are one of the first things to be eaten, adults and kids alike love them.

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 We had these last night and we did have a couple left over….. guess what I have just had with some ginger and chilli, lime juice squeezed over it and wrapped in a white cabbage leaf… all the Thai flavours and textures..so yummy!

 

Ingredients:

  • 500 gms cold cooked rice.
  • 250 gms minced pork.
  • 150 gm coconut flesh. I have a funny little gadget that I bought long ago and I scrape the flesh out of a fresh coconut…
  • 1-3 tbsp red curry paste.
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar.
  • 2 eggs beaten.

Let’s Cook!

Mix all ingredients together it will be slightly sticky. With wet hands shape into medium-sized balls about 3-4 cm.

Heat oil until hot but not smoking as the outside will cook before the inside and cook rice balls for 15-20 minutes until brown and cooked through…keep an eye on the temperature of your oil…

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These balls are best eaten with a piece of white cabbage, some diced ginger and chilli put a ball or part of it on the cabbage and wrap it around, squeeze some lime juice over it and eat, it is a crunchy fusion of Thai flavours, so yummy and a great way to use up cold rice.

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If you are a vegetarian then omit the pork and you still have tasty rice balls….In fact, a lot of the balls you buy on the markets do not have Pork. If you don’t use pork then adjust your cooking time.

If you are not sure of the level of spice then form a small ball having used the lower level of paste and fish sauce, fry a tester. Then if you need to…Add more chilli paste.

Enjoy!

Gardening Hacks Corner…Bananas and eggs organic fertilizer.

I grow what I can and some plants need calcium to aid their growth like tomatoes…I came across this hack and if you have overripe bananas dig a hole and add a banana plus an egg or egg shells and fill it in then plant your calcium-loving tomato plants or other plants on top and the calcium from the banana and the egg will be slowly released into the soil..

Fact: About 5 gallons of water per day is required for one banana tree. Over the 270 days it takes to produce bananas, that tree will use over 1,300 gallons of water. Americans throw away 5 billion bananas every year! That means billions of gallons of water are thrown away too!

Thank you for joining me today as always I appreciate your visit and your comments…If you were wondering why the image of figs on the header image its because I am looking forward to eating some lovely fresh figs on my Australian Visit as they are season now it’s very rare I find fresh figs here so I am looking forward to eating some lovely fresh figs…xx

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…April 5th 2023…Easter Edition…#Hotcrossbuns, #Simnelcake…

Welcome to April’s Green Kitchen the special Easter Edition…the date of Easter changes every year and this year Easter Sunday is April 9th…This is based on the Gregorian calendar. .. I always take my father’s birthday on March 27th if Easter is early and if it is late then it has fallen on my daughter’s birthday 22nd of April this year it is between the two…

I have fond childhood memories of Easter as we always got new outfits and the first time we were allowed to wear them was on Easter Sunday to church…

We always had shiny shoes and gloves…This photo is of me and my two sisters…

Good Friday I remember going to the bakers with my mother and coming home with lovely freshly baked still warm hot cross buns… lunch on Good Friday was always fish plus the shops closed at midday and were not open again until Tuesday after Easter unlike today when shops are open all hours.

Hot Cross Bun Recipe…

Yes, it’s that time of the year when we celebrate Easter with Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday followed by Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday and Simmel 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 of 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 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.

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

Hot from the Oven! Yum!

Legend tells us that if sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and a half for me, Between us two, shall goodwill be” is said at the time or if hung in the kitchen they are said to protect against fire and all bread will turn out ok this is replaced every year.

And I’m sure there are lots more traditions but I just want the butter to put on my bun.

buttered hot cross bun

Enjoy your buns xx

Learn to love your leftovers…I know I am always banging on about wasted food but there is so much food wasted that it’s a sin and with rising prices and shortages we need to be canny…Today I am looking at the humble cabbage one of my favourite vegetables and one which I always cook too much as we all know it cooks down quite a lot and therein lies my problem-smile-

Leftover cabbage either raw or cooked… as I am British my first choice (hubby) loves bubble and squeak if I hailed from Ireland it would be Colcannon…first roughly chop the cabbage if raw, season it well and fry over medium heat with a knob of butter until it has softened about 6-8 minutes then stir through some mashed potato with 3 sliced spring(green) onions season again to taste and enjoy with your meat or fish…if you are using already cooked cabbage then stir through the hot mash with the onions and enjoy.

Making a stir fry with leftover cabbage is a great way to use up cabbage…thinly slice your cabbage, slice some mushrooms and a carrot fry in a hot wok with a little oil over high heat for about 4 mins add 3 sliced cloves of garlic and grate a thumb-sized piece of ginger and cook for a further 2-3 minutes stir in a splash of soy sauce and sesame oil and enjoy!

Another option is to make coleslaw it goes with many dishes all you need is some cabbage, half a carrot, and half an onion sometimes I chuck in a peeled and sliced apple just mix it with a little mayo and some lime or lemon juice and some black pepper…easy and it’s a good way to use the half an onion/carrot that lurks in your salad drawer…

Simnel Cake…

As you know I love to cook mainly savoury dishes and the occasional dessert but a baker I am not although, in a past life, I have made a wedding cake and numerous novelty birthday cakes for my kids and even took a course in how to ice cakes at one point and make these lovely flooded decorations…pretty ladies and flowers…but that is all in the past…

I am however very pleased with my Simnel cake…Pretty basic with decoration but a traditional Simnel cake is just that…it has 11 marzipan balls that depict the disciples…a layer of marzipan through the centre of the cake and a marzipan top which is fluted around the edges and then the marzipan is toasted…A bit of ribbon and a bow and that’s that…It is now an Easter Staple although I was late making it this year it was Robbie who reminded me…Thank you, Robbie time has just got away with me this year…

Every month I will be looking in depth at popular processed food and why we should avoid it…

Let’s start with bread…I very rarely buy store-made bread but when I do I look for bread that is high in fibre, low sodium and sugar…

Sarah Lee Texas Toast…is none of these and the sodium is off the charts…bearing in mind that per serving is only 100 calories…which is just under one slice why the hell they couldn’t work out the figures per slice is beyond me however 2 slices make a sandwich or a serving of toast as a general rule…by my maths, that’s 380mg sodium…that’s without butter, jams, cheese or meats…

PER SERVING: 100 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (>1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 3 g protein.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adults limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day—that’s equal to about 1 teaspoon of table salt! For children under age 14, recommended limits are even lower.

That is why we need to be wise about what is in any foods we buy and if you can’t read the label(like moi) go home and google it(like moi) before you buy…

Thank you for joining me today I hope you all have a lovely Easter xx

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…March 2023…Endless Shrimp Podcast, Eco Friendly Cleaning, Rising Energy Costs, Going Bananas…

Good Morning and welcome to the March edition of my Green Kitchen…my happy place where I cook from scratch and avoid anything with hormones and chemicals in it..I also hate waste, especially now prices are rising around the world in stores PLUS energy costs are on the increase…it is also hot here so I spend as little time as I can in the kitchen unless it is absolutely necessary… I do this by planning and batch cooking…

I’m starting with bananas today as they are universally popular around the world here they are everywhere and cheap as chips grown in many people’s gardens or on scraps of land…A single banana is called a finger. A grouping of attached “fingers” make up a “hand” of bananas which is how I purchased them when I lived in the UK generally complete with a plastic bag…Now I sometimes wake up and find multiple hands (on my doorstep) these grow in a cluster and are called a bunch or stalk—a bunch of bananas may contain 3 to 20 hands!

Just like these...this means I have to think of what to make with green bananas and plan what I can make with bananas at every stage of ripening…Green Banana Koftas are one of our favourites they are delicious.

You will know of course if you’ve ever been to the supermarket and bought a bunch of bananas,  just how quickly they seem to go from green and unripe to brown and squishy in just a matter of days…When you don’t eat the bunch fast enough, it seems like no time at all before you’re having to throw out the bananas – contributing to the 920,000 bananas that the UK wastes every day…that figure horrifies me…I never ever waste a banana…

First things first one thing you should never do if you want your bananas to stay fresh is to keep them in a plastic bag, as that will only make them ripen faster.

Like many fruits, bananas produce ethylene gas, and if they remain in a sealed bag, this gas will build up and will ripen the bananas faster than if they were allowed to breathe outside of a bag at room temperature and away from any moisture, sunlight and overly warm temperatures whilst ripening. Anywhere too warm will speed up the ripening process, so avoid keeping them near ovens or warm appliances.”

Separating bananas from the bunch can help prolong their lives, as well as wrapping just the stem of each banana in cling film or foil – as this is where the gas is released from…If you don’t want to split your bananas up, you can use a banana tree hanger, which you can use to hang up your bunch of bananas to encourage air circulation and help slow down ripening.

As you can imagine one of those would, of course, be of little use to me… once your fruit has ripened to perfection, or is overripe think Banana Bread or Banana Bread Tatin…some delicious banana and coffee scones you will love these…or just freeze them then you can have banana bread or a Banana Espresso Smoothie whenever you fancy…

Did you know?

You can clean your counters and hand-wash dishes with white vinegar and baking soda 

White Vinegar and Baking Soda is a great alternative for cleaning and it’s eco-friendly…I even use it as a drain cleaner the above link gives 12 ways you can use these 2 everyday ingredients in your home…

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Often when I am listening to podcasts and interviews I hear the same thing…especially when contributions are required for a cause like Global Warming I hear lower-income countries when they query contributions of other developed countries like the US…and it’s very true that larger developed countries do contribute far more to the global warming crisis than lower-income countries and should bear a  bigger cost …this is highlighted in this example…

Did you know? US fridges use 3 x more electricity per year than the average usage in Nigeria…this example used Walmarts “best selling” fridge.

  • Electricity demand in 2021 for the US per Capita was 12,440 Kwh.
  • The world average per Capita is 3,529 kWh.
  • Walmart “Best Seller Fridge (US) 493 kWh.
  • Nigeria’s per Capita is 150 kWh.

There is a stark difference and in my mind, lower-income families should not be paying as much as developed countries which contribute far more to the problems of global warming…it also begs the question of why manufacturers are not producing products that are lowering the kWh per capita.

So please if you are considering replacing appliances in your kitchen then look at whether a repair is cost-effective..If not and the time has come to get rid of an old appliance, note that many communities have take-back programs, helping you to properly dispose of these things, which likely contain hazardous chemicals and materials…

Look for the Energy Star rating, available for kitchen appliances including stoves, refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers, then choose a sturdy model that will last and choose a simple design you don’t need an internet connection on your oven. ..did I truly read that correctly?

If you are getting a new fridge think small… Know your produce and your food by that I mean some foods not only taste better but last longer when not stored in the fridge…

Fruit, for example, goes rotten much faster in the fridge because the ethylene gas it lets off as it ripens gets trapped in the fridge. Buying a smaller fridge and putting less in it saves you lots of energy and saves your food too!

Podcasts are getting very popular now and no I will probably not be doing my own…however, I love to listen to them I find them quite relaxing and great if you are working about or even out on a walk or a jog…

Episode 13: Endless Shrimp

I absolutely love prawns/shrimp…but I am also very aware that not all farming methods are good for the shrimp or for us…but if you have a local supplier then hang on to them as they are like gold dust…my mother would never have entertained buying fish on the internet however it is becoming more popular particularly given the covid pandemic…plus if it was frozen when caught it should be top-notch…These Community Supported Fisheries Prove Seafood can be Local too…

Thank you for joining me today in my Green Kitchen…as always I look forward to your comments and any tips you have for creating a greener kitchen I am happy to share xx

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…5th-11th February 2023-Monday Musings , Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen ,Thursday Thoughts, from Smorgasbord Magazine #The Heart and its functions…

Hello and welcome to my weekly roundup of posts, you may have missed during the week… I am still virtually spam free…they are creeping back but now targeting new posts as I have closed comments on all posts after 28 days…however, once comments close on the recent posts they will have to reset and hopefully, they will get fed up but this is preferable to the hundreds I was getting every day…

Monday Musings…

Monday Musings where my muse pinpoints anything exciting or unusual I have read, seen or experienced during the last week it could be anything that piques my interest or my ire…

Last week’s natural antibiotic was honey…I love honey and use it in my cooking and as a preventative for sore throats and colds…I know Groundhog day was the week before but I came across a cute video and a few of you have reported that winter will be ongoing for another 6 weeks at least… my chosen piece of music was sung beautifully by Jake Gyllenhaal who is not only easy on the eye he loves food…he knows how to spatchcock a bird and make creme brulee…plus as you know I abhor waste in the kitchen and if you head over to Bite, Eat and Repeat then John will demonstrate how he used his mountain of leftovers…John is not afraid to mix and match flavours that you and maybe I would not dream of putting together in the kitchen and they work…

Monday Musings …6th February 2023…Natural Antibiotic…Honey…Leftovers with John Rieber plus Sunday in the Park with George…

We are now in 2023 and my aim is still the same to cook chemical-free food, in season grown either by myself or purchased locally in season…it is also to minimise waste…the figures on waste particularly food waste really bother me and with rising food costs we can’t afford to waste anything…

That milk was in the top 5 of the most wasted foods shocked me and many of you as I am more likely to run out of milk than waste it…These Portuguese Tarts had no pastry base(fewer) calories they were not the best to look at but tasted better than they looked and after being the go-ahead Aston and his girl ate the lot they loved them for me they were a little sweet so I’m searching for another recipe which maybe less sweet…if you wish to read the full post then please click the highlighted link below …

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…February 2023…Kitchen Waste…Milk, Portuguese Milk Tarts, Jersey Royals and an Update on Green Manilla Tamarind…

Thursday Thoughts…

Didn’t happen last week…I have been preoccupied and have only been running on half my cylinders for quite a few weeks now…our daughter in Australia has got 2 more lumps/lesions whatever the doctors call them she had a PET scan 2 weeks ago and 7 biopsies last Wednesday the results were on Friday…1 lump is benign which is good the other they said was indeterminate that is the one on her lung it will be discussed at the doctors meeting this coming week as to whether they rescan in 3 or 6 months her doctor is recommending 3 months starting at beginning of Feb as that was when they were first discovered …so April by my reckoning in that time it will have grown so why the hell are they not removing it now??? But what do I know I am not an oncologist…I am scared for her and many of you will relate to that…Mary and Sue, bless them…am I overthinking as a mum…but that is why Thursday didn’t exist in my world…x

Smorgasbord Health Column 2023 – The Body our Greatest Asset – The Heart and how it works by Sally Cronin.

At every stage of our life, healthy nutrition is essential to help the body develop and remain as disease free as possible.

In this second series of posts Sally from Smorgasbord Magazine is going to be exploring the heart and its functions. 

The heart is a wonderfully complex organ and we need to do all we can to keep it healthy and beating… in this series Sally will tell us in plain easy to understand text how we can help ourselves by quite simply eating the right foods, exercising moderately and not doing anything too reckless…this will go a long way to enjoying later life to the full…Please click the highlighted link below and it will take you to the original post…See you there x

Smorgasbord Health Column 2023 – The Body our Greatest Asset – The Heart and how it works by Sally Cronin

Thank you for joining today a short roundup but as always i look forward to your comments and appreciate any share x

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…February 2023…Kitchen Waste…Milk, Portuguese Milk Tarts, Jersey Royals and an Update on Green Manilla Tamarind…

Welcome to my Green Kitchen, we are now in 2023 and my aim is still the same to cook chemical-free food, in season grown either by myself or purchased locally in season…it is also to minimise waste…the figures on waste particularly food waste really bother me and with rising food costs we can’t afford to waste anything…

Today is National Potato Day…

Most people love a potato and there are many ways to cook and eat the potato my favourites are Jersey Royal Potatoes but unfortunately I live many thousands of miles away from where they are grown…They are only grown on the island of Jersey hence the name…

The birth of the world-famous Jersey Royal can be traced back to 1878 when many different varieties were being grown on the island. A local farmer, Hugh de la Haye, found two enormous potatoes displayed on the counter in a local store, which he bought and showed to his friends.  One of them had 15 of the  ‘eyes’ from which new plants sprout, so they cut the potato into sixteen pieces that they planted on a ‘côtil’ above Bellozanne valley.

The following spring, they produced a large and early crop.  This produced a crop of round potatoes, although one plant produced nothing but unique kidney-shaped potatoes.  This was the beginning of the truly distinguished Jersey Royal potato.

Food Waste in the Home…

I really hate food waste…in the home the top 5 foods wasted are…

  • #Bread
  • #Milk
  • #Potatoes
  • #Cheese
  • #Apples

In January’s Green Kitchen, I looked at bread waste and I think most of us agreed there was no reason at all to waste a crumb of bread…Today I am looking at Milk waste in the home…

Milk waste in the home is by far the largest contributor, accounting for nearly 90% of UK milk waste with 290,000 tonnes thrown away every year. This equates to more than 490 million pints of milk as a nation – or eighteen and a half pints per household.

Research shows that more than anything else, keeping milk at the right temperature is essential to stop it from spoiling early, and the typical UK fridge at home is operating at 2°C warmer than the recommended Food Standards Agency guideline of between 0-5 degrees. Moreover, many people don’t know what temperature their fridge is running at or have any easy way of knowing how to set it to the right temperature.

First, check the manufacturer’s guidelines on the optimum temperature your fridge should be…Then use a fridge thermometer to determine the temperature of your fridge. If you don’t have a fridge thermometer you can also measure your fridge’s temperature by putting a standard thermometer in a glass of water and leaving it in the fridge…Simple!

Reducing the temperature of our fridges to below 5°C could stop more than 50,000 tonnes of milk waste every year, saving shoppers £25 million…

Finally, let’s explore just what you can do to extend the life of your milk and what you can do to use excess milk…

  1. Store milk correctly …the shelves of your fridge are colder than the door just be careful of leaks and storing near strongly flavoured foods…Use up the last of a pint by stirring it into soup for a creamy finish or make a delicious chocolate mousse.
  2. Make friends with your freezer…Some milk freezes better than others – whole milk freezes less well than semi-skimmed due to its higher fat content, though it can still be frozen. Freeze as soon as possible once opened, and ensure it’s well within the ‘use by’ date. Try turning your leftover milk into ice cream. Make sure you use a suitable container, too: milk will expand when frozen. All milk will turn yellow when frozen, so don’t panic! Defrost overnight in the fridge, and shake well before using. Pour a glug into rich mashed potatoes or  a creamy vegetable gratin,
  3. Whisk up a white sauce…Flour, butter and milk are all you need for a rich white sauce. This staple pops up in a wide variety of recipes and is a great way to use up large quantities of milk at once. Add cheese for the base of homemade macaroni cheese, or keep it plain for the layers of your family’s favourite lasagne.
  4. Treat yourself to a pudding…a baked rice pudding, a pannacotta, Pancakes or these lovely

Portuguese Milk Tarts…

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of warm milk, microwave 30 seconds
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour.

Let’s Cook!

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/190C. Generously grease muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray (the recipe will fill 18 cups of a muffin tin) mine only made 12 as my tin was slightly bigger…
  • In a large bowl beat the eggs, sugar and melted butter with a fork or whisk until smooth.
  • Add in the flour and mix until smooth.
  • Add in the warm milk and mix until smooth. The batter will be very thin and runny.
  • Pour into the greased muffin tins filling each cup 3/4 of the way full.
  • Bake 20 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown, on the middle rack of the oven.
  • Note: while baking the tarts will puff up and while cooling they will sink.
  • Remove from oven.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon on top of each tart (optional).
  • Allow tarts to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes and then carefully remove them from the pan. Use a knife or cake spatula to loosen the edges of the tart from the pan to remove them.

Our verdict…they tasted better than they looked I was expecting something like the custard tart texture that I make… these were sweeter and had a different texture sugary on top but so was the picture of the recipe I used so guessing they are as they should be…I made these as they have no pastry case which means fewer calories-smile…

Yes, sour milk is safe to use…

If the milk does not have any off-putting smell or taste, you can still use it. If milk has gone a little sour, it is still safe for consumption.

First, let’s clarify something: Just because milk is past the sell-by date on the milk carton, it does not mean that it needs to be poured down the drain. If the milk has been properly refrigerated, it may be drinkable for up to a week after the date on the label…however if you don’t wish to pour it on your cereals then “bake with it”

As long as your milk is not spoiled and is just sour…Don’t toss that milk that has gone just a bit sour — it can be used in a variety of ways:

Scones and Biscuits
Sour milk is great for scones and biscuits. In combination with baking soda, it acts as a leavening agent and gives them a slight tang. Note that for sour milk to have this rising effect, the recipe must contain baking soda, not baking powder, which already contains acids.

Pancakes
The same applies to pancakes: adding sour milk makes them fluffier but again, baking soda is required so the acid in the sour milk can have its full effect.

Cakes and Muffins
If you have a cake or muffin recipe that calls for buttermilk, you can use sour milk instead. Again, be sure it contains baking soda.

Like bread, we should not be throwing away milk…

I only have to go online and everywhere I see that prices are rising ...utilities are rising, Fuel prices are rising, interest rates are rising and what gets hit first is the food budget…However, with a few changes, it is really easy to save money on the food budget and still eat well…

Let’s start with chicken its low fat, quick to cook, healthier than red meat and easy to cut the cost…everyone wants chicken breasts and of course retailers double the cost the legs and thighs often get ignored they are cheaper, more flavourful if you slow cook a couple of chicken legs then when cooked pull the meat from the bone to get a pulled pork effect… it’s great for making tacos and one chicken leg should fill 2-3 tacos…

Secondly, plan ahead…it helps eliminate waste especially when you are on a budget. If you are heading for the special offer aisle and just picking things up you won’t save you must have a plan…If you buy six of something and only use three it’s a false economy…if you go shopping without a plan it will cost you more money and you will be contributing to the waste statistics as you are likely to produce more waste…

Update on Green Manilla Tamarind…

Having read up on this beautiful seed pod…which when fully ripe is a beautiful shade of pink I am still also enjoying a few pods every day and those seeds although they look black and hard they germinate within a few days my little seedlings are shooting up it is a fast-growing tree so hopefully, within a few months I’ll have a sturdy little tree…Those of you who know me just know I will look for recipes and this fruit is popular in India where it is used in curries it also belongs to the pea family…will I try it in a curry not sure as apart from myself and Aston no one else really eats this lovely fruit…Have you come across this fruit and do you eat it, or cook with it? Please let me know …

Thank you for joining me today in my Green Kitchen as always I look forward to your comments and thank you for any shares xx

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…January 2023…Green Manila Tamarind, A Traditional Shepherds Hut, ways to use stale bread, My visit to an Organic Farm…

 

Welcome to my Green Kitchen, we are now in 2023 and my aim is still the same to cook chemical-free food, in season grown either by myself or purchased locally in season…it is also to minimise waste…the figures on waste particularly food waste really bother me and with rising food costs we can’t afford to waste anything…we need to be frugal…

What does frugal MEAN?

No, it doesn’t mean that you are mean, tight, skinflint being frugal means you are conscious of where your money goes and you do your best to buy quality products at the lowest prices (when you need them), so you have more money available to spend on what truly matters to you:

Plus the best cheap foods are also quite healthy. Try to centre some meals around brown rice, potatoes, and beans in order to stretch your food budget further…

Produce which has just come into its season has far more taste than produce which is forced and grown out of its natural season …it is also cheaper than something grown out of season you get bargains at the beginning of a season as well as at the end of a 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!

Eat whole healthy food…but that’s expensive I hear that all the time…However …Junk food is expensive and void of nutrients; healthy food (while also sometimes expensive), will save you on medical bills in the long run…True?

My visit to an organic Farm…I got the opportunity to visit a local organic farm last week and I am so pleased that I did…The farmer is a British guy called Nick and he gave me a lovely tour I learnt so much…I learnt that you should only allow so many ducks dependent on the size of your pond or stretch of water and his ducks certainly had plenty of room to swim about they were not cramped up at all…next stop was the pig’s home both the sows had a lovely spacious clean pen one was due to farrow the next day and the other sow had a beautiful farrow of piglets who were 6 weeks old…

Nick explained that he chose the duroc breed as they had brown skin and he felt given the heat and the sun they were able to cope better and wouldn’t get sunburnt like the thin light skinned breed of pigs..he explained how they were reared, what they were fed on and the difference in the taste of the meat that I can’t wait to try.

His cows were Braham’s but he plans to buy a local breed of cow next time where he will get two for the cost of one Brahman cow not only to cut the cost but to increase the hoof prints as more hoof prints mean better grass…I learnt much and didn’t take one picture I will next time I promise…Thais eat every part of an animal “nose to tail” and he told me that Thais love buying their meat from him as they say it smells “clean”…I suppose if they are only eating vegetation then they will…I was just fascinated with the whole set-up…it has taken him a few years to get where he is but he obviously researched and did his due diligence.

He then asked if I had seen or knew what a shepherd’s hut was…I of course didn’t…originally they were a basic wheeled little hut that the farmer could move around his land and tend to the needs of his stock now, of course, they have gone up a  notch and are purpose-built for glamping..of course, they are…

This one is dilapidated but it shows what they were made of and were fit purpose back in the day…I’m sure Nick’s one will be basic I only saw the base but it will add some authenticity to his farm and I am sure will be a talking point and maybe either his man cave or the dog house…if you are like me and interested in the history then please click the highlighted link  history of the shepherd’s hut   

On a recent visit to the market, I came across one of my favourite seasonal fruits…

fresh young tamarind fruit

Green Manila Tamarind…

Know as Makham thet in Thai it is a beautiful little fruit slightly sour and nut-like in texture and taste…it has a white or reddish-pink spongy rather dry edible pulp that surrounds a flat, very shiny black seed. Although the name suggests it, it’s not a kind of Tamarind although both species belong to the Fabaceae family of plants.

It  is classed as more of a backyard fruit as it is not grown commercially here where I live its found on the small local market stalls most of the stalls at the markets where I live are small local traders who have few rai of land or even less and bring what they have in season to the market I find this lovely as I never know what I am going to come across and some of it I don’t want to know-smile- this lovely green manila tamarind I look forward to seeing.

I really hate food waste…in the home the top 5 are…

  • #Bread
  • #Milk
  • #Potatoes
  • #Cheese
  • #Apples

The only one that really surprised me was apples…today I’m not looking at apples although all of them might come into play I am looking at bread waste…to me not a crust of bread should ever be wasted however over 240 million slices of bread are chucked away every year.

Bread freezes really well, particularly for toast, so make sure you pop it in the freezer if you’re not going to use it. Stale bread can be turned into croutons, breadcrumbs, eggy bread or even bread & butter pudding…

While doing research I came across recipes for “strata” I had never heard of it although apparently as it originated in the US I’m guessing my American blogging friends have…Google told me that Stratas are egg casseroles made with bread—lots of it. You could call them savoury bread puddings.,,who knew!…so that means that my old-fashioned bread and butter pudding is really a strata or could be leaving it to soak does make the bread puff up and it is lovely and crispy…

So I ask myself what’s the difference between strata and casserole?

Stratas are essentially breakfast casseroles made of eggs and bread. Stratas are often prepared the night before they are baked and served in oven-safe casserole dishes, similar to casseroles… I’m beginning to like the sound of this dish…anything that can be assembled and left overnight, especially if you have hungry kids in the morning is great in my world…When the strata is baked in the morning the soaked bread makes it puff up nicely, almost souffle-like…and you can have fruit strata plus they are ideal to use up any bits and bobs that are lonely in your fridge…

Have you got a favourite sweet or savoury strata recipe you would like to share with us? If so please do x