Category Archives: CarolCooks2…In my kitchen

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

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

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

Monday…The bigger picture…

See the bigger picture...

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

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

I promise no rants this week just good news…

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

Wednesday 15th January…

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

The Culinary Alphabet ...The Letter A

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

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

Whimsical Wednesdays…beaver-1352439_640

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

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

Thursday…

The Culinary Alphabet The Letter XYZ (1)

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

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

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

Friday…In my kitchen…

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

Lime lemon meringue Pie

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

Coconut Macaroons.

coconut-macaroons
Ingredients:

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

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

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

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

Saturday…

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Carol Taylor: Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

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

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

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

This week in my Kitchen (1)

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

Carbonara…

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

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

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

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

Ingredients: Serves 2

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

 

Let’s Cook!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Now to use the egg whites…

Lime/ Lemon Meringue Pie.

Lime lemon meringue Pie

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now let’s make the filling…

For the filling:

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

Let’s Cook!

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

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

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

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

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

Pour into the pre-baked pastry case.

Meringue Topping:

  • 3 Egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar.

Let’s Cook!

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

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

 

Enjoy!

National Soup Month… 

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

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

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

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

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

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

gumbo

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

Ingredients:

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

Let’s Cook!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serve with steamed rice.

Enjoy!

N.B  

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

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

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…5th Jan-11th January 2020…

Hello and welcome to my weekly roundup…I am settling into my new routine of writing more although January is always a funny, unsettled month for me…I think we all get embroiled in the furore and planning for the festive season and then it goes a little flat.

January always seems to be the month for tragedies like the Australian bush fires, the plane crash, Prince Harry and Meghan wanting to step down as Senior Royals all major disasters …

Monday 6th January 2020…Recycling and Climate Change latest news…

Of course, the bush dominated the beginning of this post they have been burning now since September and have caused deaths and devastation…There is most probably more to come and many questions to be answered…

butterfly and bee flower meadow

I also mentioned wildflowers and the butterfly and bee populations and our carbon footprint which is something which every single one of us can do something about and improve…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/01/06/recycling-and-climate-change-6th-january-2020/

Tuesday 7th January…

I reblogged Smorgasbord Blogger Daily where Sally laid out her plans for the year and promoted myself and a few other authors and bloggers…

Debby Giess will be writing a new column over at Smorgasbord after her Winter break Sally and I have one more cooking from scratch to prevent deficiency this coming week with Phosphorous as the nutrient in question… and then Carol will be featuring her A – Z of food every two weeks. She is going to be getting her cookbook and novel ready to be published this year (no pressure then Carol ♥)

Sylvia with her authentic Italian recipes and the lovely William Price King who provides the music…So lots to read about…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/01/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-weekly-round-up-29th-december-to-4th-january-2020/

Wednesday 8th January…

Egg-drop-soup-recipe

The day where anything goes whatever takes my fancy…In this case, it was sausage rolls and a mummy Rhapsody as well as a delicious soup recipe…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/01/08/whimsical-wednesdays/

It was also the last of our nutritional deficiency posts this week it was Phosphorus where Sally provides the health information and I provide the recipes, in this case, it is a lovely pork fillet recipe for starters…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/01/08/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiency-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-phosphorus/

Thursday 9th January…

Another Blogger Daily from Sally where she shares my post on Climate Change and the bush fires as well as a great book review and some helpful tips on a book launch…Very handy…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/01/06/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-january-6th-2020-book-review-by-michelle-clements-james-booklaunch-booksigning-tips-mary-smith-climate-change-recycling-carol-taylor/

I also shared a beautiful painting which depicts the bushfires in Australia…

melina-ilustrats

https://tidalscribe.wordpress.com/2020/01/08/australia-is-burning/

Friday 10th January…

In my kitchen where I cooked pan-seared salmon with lovely crispy skin and a spicy Thai sauce and some other taste tingling goodies…

smart

Pan-seared Salmon

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/01/10/carolcooks2-this-week-in-my-kitchen-pan-seared-salmon-with-spicy-thai-dressing/

Lastly…Sally Cronin who writes Smorgasbord Magazine was with DG Kaye where Debby was asking the questions..for a fascinating insight into the lady we love …pop over to Debs…

That looks like there could be some fun and shenanigans to come….x

https://dgkayewriter.com/q-and-a-with-d-g-kaye-featuring-author-blogger-and-promoter-sally-cronin/

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

Tomorrow it time for another update on Climate Change and REcycling but I have lots of good news this week although those devasting bush fires keep on burning…

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

About Carol Taylor: Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

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

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

 

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

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

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

Pan-Seared Salmon.

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

Olive oil and a little butter to cook the fish.

For the spicy sauce…

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

Let’s Cook!

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

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

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

Taste and adjust…

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

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

 

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

 

Enjoy!

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

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

Soup can also be a bowl of healthy goodness….

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

Ingredients:

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

For cooking instructions…See original post

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

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

These can be purchased either fresh or dry…

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

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

 

Thai tom kha gai chicken soup

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

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

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

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

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CarolCooks2…This week in my kitchen…Cake and Purple Carrots…Old fashioned carcass soup…

That’s Christmas and the New Year over until next year…

My first post for 2020… Not so much going on in my kitchen this week…Still, food to use up…That Christmas cake keeps beckoning and talking to me…The chocolate and sweets and biscuits I can happily give away…My Christmas cake the first one I have made for many a year will not be given away…It will be eaten I will then assess the damage which so far is 3lb on…

Not bad… I am happy with that considering that my diet has been less than perfect for the last few weeks but hey ho…No beating myself up…I will just start again…tomorrow is another day…

My Christmas cake was all made from scratch, the marzipan and royal icing all made by me with a little help from Lily…

What was new..?. Purple carrots which were how carrots were originally… all those centuries ago until someone decided they should be Orange…The original carrots in Central Europe were purple or yellow…It was around the 17th century that carrot growers managed to cultivate Orange roots which became the norm…and as we know and love them now…

carrot purple -3936797_640

These purple carrots are very nice but unless steamed they colour every other vegetable purple …which doesn’t affect the taste just the colour. Not only are they eye-catching they also provide unique health benefits specific to purple fruits and vegetables.

All types of carrots are highly nutritious, but purple carrots are especially rich in powerful antioxidants known to fight inflammation and benefit certain health conditions.

What makes purple carrots nutritionally unique is the content of the antioxidants anthocyanins.

Anthocyanins belong to the polyphenol family of antioxidants and are found in purple fruits and vegetables like blackberries, grapes, purple sweet potatoes, purple cabbage, purple eggplants and purple carrots…They have a slightly sweeter taste but not too sweet and now I added them to my list of purples…so far we have steamed them and roasted them with a little olive oil and fresh thyme and rosemary with some crushed garlic thrown in the mix…They are delicious…

Now for that cake…

Back to Christmas cake…I have eaten it with a slice of cheese as per Sue’s recommendation and it is lovely…my new favourite accompaniment to Christmas Cake…Those lovely little truckles of cheese that my #1 son sent us are going down a treat…

What also went down a treat was the Xmas pudding that I saved from last year it was super delicious absolutely so much better letting it keep and mature…The outcome is that I will be making some puddings very soon for next year…

What’s cooking? Thai rice soup which is similar to Congee…Congee is a Chinese rice porridge which can be served savoury, sweet or just plain…A dish which is generally made for children or someone who is or has been sick…Comfort food…A good way to use up cooked rice…It looks very ordinary but with a good chicken or vegetable stock, it tastes extraordinary…

Rice Soup

 

Ingredients
  • 250 grams of minced pork
  • 600 ml of Thai pork/chicken stock
  • 250 grams of cooked jasmine rice
  • 3 spring onions chopped
  • a small handful of Chinese celery or regular celery leaves chopped
  • a small bunch of fresh coriander leaves picked
  • 1 long red chilli sliced
  • 2 tsp of Thai fried garlic
  • 1 tbsp of Fish Sauce you may need more or less depending on how salty your stock is
  • 1 tbsp of Thai light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of sugar (optional)
  •  freshly ground black pepper
 
Let’s Cook!
In a bowl, mix the pork with the soy sauce and a good pinch of black pepper. Shape into little meatballs or you just crumble the pork and add.
Bring the stock to a boil and add the pork. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add the rice and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the fish sauce, spring onions, celery, a good amount of black pepper and sugar(if using), and stir well.
Taste for seasoning and serve in bowls topped with the chilli, coriander and a teaspoon of the fried garlic.
Note: Thais can use sugar too much I think and where I think it is unnecessary in dishes like this I omit it …
If you want to add more vegetables or some bean sprouts or mushrooms anything goes in this soup …
Now for a little bit about how my blog will take a bit of a new shape over the coming year..
.A brand new year…2020…A new decade…

I will be keeping my Monday post on Climate Change and the environment as I do think things are escalating and taking a more serious turn for the worse.

Whimsical Wednesdays are where I indulge myself and I love writing these posts… so that stays…

Fridays in my Kitchen that will stay …there will be new recipes and info on how my cookbook is taking shape and any other business which happens in my kitchen…

Saturdays...There may be a recipe or three or some healthy eating info if I am shocked enough or wowed enough although the reason I am stopping my  Tuesday post is that we all know that a healthy balanced diet is the way to go, coupled with some exercise…We all know there will always be a new fad which is hyped up by celebrities and the like and the reality is they don’t work or in the main are not conducive to good health long term.

Sundays are the time for my weekly roundup…They are staying…

So cutting down to enable me to concentrate on my writing…I will be around on social media as and when time permits…

I can also be found over at Sally’s once a fortnight for my cookery column where this year my updated Culinary Alphabet will be the theme once a fortnight starting on 15th January 2010…

Now Christmas is over who still makes soup with the carcass of the chicken and turkey? The way your mum used to make it??? It was always a family favourite of my children and is still a favourite…My mum just used to chuck the carcass in the pan with chopped up veggies and let it cook…Nought wrong with that…Sometimes she would add dumplings or potatoes…How do you make yours…feel free to share your version…

 

  • 1 leftover turkey carcass (from a 12- to 14-pound turkey)
  • 2 cooked turkey wings, meat removed
  • 2 cooked turkey drumsticks, meat removed
  • 1 turkey neck bone
  • 1 medium unpeeled onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 small unpeeled carrots, cut into chunks
  • 6 to 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup dried mixed lentil/peas(optional)
  • 4 quarts plus 1 cup cold water, divided
  • 5 cups uncooked egg noodles (optional)

 

  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2-1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp dried thyme or a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp ground pepper

To get the maximum taste I have updated her recipe a little and now roast the bones before I cook them to make a broth by placing the turkey carcass, bones from wings and drumsticks, neck bone, onion, carrots and garlic in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 400° for 1 hour, turning once.

I then transfer the carcass, bones and vegetables to an 8-qt. stockpot. Add 4 qt. cold water then set aside. Pour remaining cold water ( 1 cup) into the baking pan, stirring to loosen browned bits. Add to the cooking pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 3-4 hours.

It is now that I also add some mixed lentils and dried peas if I am using them… Once cooked…Cool the soup slightly. Remove the bones and discard them and the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Skim fat from broth. Add the carrots and noodles or potatoes if using…Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender. Stir in the parsley, salt, thyme and pepper.

This really is a throw anything in the soup but wholesome and in keeping with nose to tail eating and waste not want not…

That’s all for this week I hope you have enjoyed the recipes…xx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup the 16th- 22nd December 2019…

Welcome to this week’s roundup and do I have some goodies for you…Lots of things going on in and around the world…Some of this you will find here so take a well-earned pew, grab a drink and enjoy the read…

Join me for a Mince Pie

I can hear the hysterical laughter as I well remember the frantic rushing about …I remember the queues and the shopping trolleys piled high as if there was going to be a food shortage and the shops are not even closed for 2 days anymore…I for one do not miss that…

If you get time to read…Enjoy and if you don’t see you in the New Year…xxx

This week you will find lots of festive recipes…All tried and tested in my kitchen…Old favourites passed down through the generations and new favourites, there are books to buy and ideas on how to have a green Christmas…Cocktails and stories…

Starting with Sally’s roundup from last week...Lots of Cranberry recipes, Christmas cheer, books galore if you need a stocking filler and some funnies…Rib Ticklers… as we all need to smile among the frantic run up to Chrismas …Don’t we?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/12/14/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-weekly-round-up-8th-14th-december-make-a-wish-choirs-cranberries-a-z-christmas-and-cheesy-funnies/

Monday 16th…Recycling and the environment… How to have a greener Christmas…

A green christmas-2991508_640

This week was a lovely one for me…Coldplay setting the scene for greener rock concerts, seahorses in the Thames, Great Christmas crafts and of course ideas for greener wrapping…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/12/16/recycling-and-climate-changehow-to-have-a-greener-christmas/

Tuesday 17th…Time for Christmas Pickles and a Dill Pickle Bread…So pucker up and get pickled…Also the lovely Rosella pickle…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/12/17/mistletoe-and-winetime-to-picklecucumbers-rosella-relish-dill-pickle-bread/

Wednesday 18th…I was over at Sally’s with my Vegetarian Christmas Menu…Thank you, Sally xx


 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/12/18/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-a-sumptuous-vegetarian-christmas-menu/

Whimsical Wednesday…Do I have some whimsy for you???

As well as Christmas Ham and Dirty Martinis…Some Rockin around the Christmas Tree with Brenda Lee…13 years old she was when she recorded this…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/12/18/whimsical-wednesdaywith-carol/

Thursday 19th…

Time for Sally’s Blogger Daily and Christmas in my house…Some beautiful Christmas light images, Whimsy from me and a short story from Debby Giess…I miss U…Thank you for sharing, Sal x

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/12/18/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-wednesday-december-18th-2019-u-d-g-kaye-xmaslights-sherri-matthews-whimsy-carol-taylor/

Tis the season…The big day draws closer…

I bring you traditions on Christmas Eve around the world…The feast of the seven fishes and a Salty Dog…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/12/19/christmas-tis-the-season-of-love-and-laughterand-a-salty-dog/

Friday 20th…Christmas at my house…

Preparations are in full swing…albeit at a slower pace here…How to cook a perfect turkey which can be pretty daunting if you don’t know how…As well as some recipes for lovely Christmas gravy to accompany your perfectly cooked turkey…

How to Cook the Perfect Turkey (2)

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/12/20/christmasin-my-housetraditions-treats-and-a-touch-of-triviahow-to-cook-the-perfect-turkey-and-gravy/

Saturday 21st…

In case you missed it Sally shared …My how to cook a turkey and make Christmas gravy as well as some yummy Italian puddings…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/12/21/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-friday-20th-december-2019-turkeyandgravy-carol-taylor-breadstuffing-sheryl-lazarus-dessert-silvia-todesco/

Some more Christmas recipes for you…Stuffing… It wouldn’t be a Christmas dinner without it or bread sauce which is a British tradition …I also included a Gluten-free recipe for bread sauce with not a bread crumb insight…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/12/21/christmas-recipes-sauces-stuffings-and-sides-even-a-gluten-free-bread-sauce/

That’s all for now ..Enjoy your pre- Christmas weekend xxx

Lastly, remember not everyone is fortunate and some people dread this time of year be aware and if you can add a little cheer please share your joy but also remember the other 364 days of the year pass your smile around and be kind… 

About Carol Taylor: Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

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

 

Christmas…In my house…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…How to cook the perfect turkey and gravy…

Join me for a Mince Pie

Come and join me for a mince pie and a toddy…Then I will show you how to cook a turkey and make a lovely Christmas gravy…

Christmas is nearly upon us …although it is arriving quietly here…well a few Chrismas tunes are belting out…The ham was a great success not so good to carve…I was used to purchasing nicely butchered and trimmed joints of meat and have had to get used to something different…Butchering is not a skill that many possess here…

A farmer with a few pigs or a couple of cows plus a small vegetable patch is more the norm just enough to feed the family and maybe sell a little to raise funds for the seeds or seedlings for the next crop is how it is…A small price to pay for fruit and vegetables raised with love and no chemicals and meat where the animal roams free and grazes to their heart’s content. Which means I have tasty ham just not always perfectly shaped slices…

Today I have some recipes for gravy which can be made 2-3 days in advance or frozen.

Firstly this is my easy to make tasty turkey gravy and we need a lovely tasty gravy to go with our Christmas dinner…Don’t we?

sunday roast

Turkey Gravy.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg chicken wings halved with kitchen scissors
  • the turkey neck, if you have it, cut into pieces
  • 3 large carrots, chopped into chunks
  • 2 onions, unpeeled and chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • small handful fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 tbsp  Coconut oil
  • 2 tsp golden castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5-litre fresh vegetable stock

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oven to 220C/390F/Gas 7.

Tip the chicken wings into a roomy roasting tin with the turkey neck (if using), carrots, onions, celery and thyme. Scatter over the sugar, toss in the oil and roast for 50 mins until brown and lightly charred.

Put the roasting tin on low heat, stir in the tomato purée and flour, and cook until sticky. Splash in the balsamic vinegar, pour over 1.5 litres of stock to just cover all the ingredients. Bring to a simmer. then using a potato masher to mash all the ingredients together so as to release the flavour.

Simmer everything for 20 mins until you have a tasty thickened gravy, then strain it through a sieve, pushing down hard on all the mushy veg. Cool and chill for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Heat the gravy to serve, adding roasting juices from your turkey, if you like.

Serves 8.

For more special Christmas gravy recipes please click the link…

A good gravy completes the Christmas meal and I have cooked more turkeys than I could count but if cooking a turkey is new to you…Let me tell you when I cooked my first turkey I was petrified…I mean it is far bigger than the chook you normally cook and you have the in-laws coming and you want it to be perfect…Don’t you?

Well stick with me (and) Sally and you will get the perfect turkey time after time…

Turkey.. a bird that was usually eaten mainly at Thanksgiving and Christmas but is available all year in supermarkets and butchers. Before handing over to Carol.. a look at all the health benefits this large bird brings to the table.

Meleagris Gallopavo (you can eat if you can catch it) Turkey

The wild turkey Meleagris gallopavo (something to do with the difficulty in catching it I think) is native to North America. The bird was brought into Europe, in the early part of the 16th century, by the Spaniards. The English name “Turkey” arose because of a confusion with Guinea Fowl – which were imported through Turkey, from Africa. Both birds were originally known as “Turks”. Eventually, in the 18th century, it was given its Latin name but the original name stuck.

The Native American Indian used the turkey as a staple of their diet. They introduced it to starving pilgrims, along with their native plants and seeds including corn and squash. The pilgrims were so grateful they celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621 where their American Indian friends were guests of honour…To read the original post.

Whenever I think of turkeys I think of Mr Bean…Not generally a fan of slapstick comedy this one always makes me smile…as does the Hamlet turkey advert…

 

Of course, you probably know by now that not only do I love pickles but Christmas is when I love to indulge and make a cocktail or three…

Pineapples are very plentiful here and it is such a shame to waste them and the fresh juice is just amazing …A Pina Colada is almost a staple here… but for a change, this Bahama Mama makes great use of pineapple juice we also have some very good rum which is made locally here..so as to boost the awareness of the importance of our carbon footprint ..Cheers!

Bahama Mama cocktail-1191924_640

Can you take a guess where this eye-watering drink originated? The Bahamas! This drink is rumoured to be indirectly named after Dottie Lee Anderson, a Caribbean dancer and performer in the 1930s who also went by the stage name “Bahama Mama.” Another theory is that this cocktail became popular during the Prohibition when the Bahamas were used as a rum smuggling base. While there are many theories as to how this cocktail came to be, no one’s certain which is true of the origins of many a great cocktail…

This cocktail can be made with as little or as much rum as you like…It is a taste it and see cocktail… Depending on how much rum you decide to add, it can be a little more on the sweet side once you add the pineapple juice. Adding soda gives it a slight fizz, making it a great option for those who aren’t really hardened alcohol drinkers…But beware… the alcohol can easily be hidden, just to be sure pace yourself. Trust me when I say — it will eventually hit you, and when it does…It will be a Merry Christmas…

The traditional way to sip on this treat is over ice, but it can be made into an adult Slurpee by pulsing all the ingredients in a blender. I also use limes instead of lemons…

That’s all for now ..Enjoy your weekend and try to chill out as I remember the last minute Christmas rush…Merry Christmas xxx

Lastly, remember not everyone is fortunate and some people dread this time of year be aware and if you can add a little cheer please share your joy but also remember the other 364 days of the year pass your smile around and be kind… 

About Carol Taylor: Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

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