Category Archives: CarolCooks2…In my kitchen

Coconut Ice…That’s what the recipe said!

Welcome to what was to be my Saturday Christmas Homemade sweetie day…

I followed the instructions to the letter...I wanted a recipe that didn’t use condensed milk…my reasoning was ..well sweets are sweets but I thought I would reduce the sugar content by not using sweetened condensed milk and then sugar and then desiccated coconut.

This recipe used coconut, sugar, and milk…Perfect I thought…I couldn’t have been more wrong…

I do wish I had my mum’s recipe for coconut ice it was sweet, coconutty and a little crumbly but held together well and was not chewy sweet nothing…

Just like Coconut ice should be…

I will not name and shame…I also will not be tagging or leaving a review…It was a sticky mess…

Now was it my fault for substituting fresh coconut?

I did have to boil it for twice as long as the recipe stated…Maybe that was it?… On this occasion, was fresh was not best???

The end result was a sticky mess although it did stay together as per the recipe …when a little was dropped into cold water…

This also proves that until you try a recipe unless you know the cook and know it has been tried and tested…They all so haven’t…This one is a prime example…

If anyone has a foolproof recipe for Coconut Ice which has a little crumble but is not the sticky, chewy coconut ice…I am talking old fashioned grandma’s recipe…Please share it with me as I now just want a Good Coconut Ice EVEN more than I did…

That’s all for now ..Enjoy your 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…

As Christmas is not celebrated here our Christmas is far more low key…Not so frantic as it was in the UK…I do miss the atmosphere and the build-up but I don’t miss all the crowds and the must-have this as it does take away from the real meaning where family and friends get together and enjoy each other’s company…

However little Lily is here this weekend and so the tree will be going up, I have made the Coconut ice this morning so that is setting in the fridge and will be sampled later…At least my arms had a workout as I used fresh coconut from the drupe…Recipe and pictures tomorrow…

We are also baking the cake a little late but Lily wanted to help and there is still time to top it up before I need to ice it…

For the last two weeks, I have given you some ideas/recipes to start your Christmas Lunch today I will give some recipes for side dishes. Starting with the one dish I always make…

Spiced Red Cabbage

Red cabbage…our Christmas dinner would not be the same without it…I have been making this …Well, it seems like forever but it must be at least for the last 35 years so it is a well, tried and tested recipe and one which we absolutely love. The recipe was originally given to me by a very dear friend whom sadly is no longer with us…but every time we have this dish we remember you with much love Pauline…x

Spicy Red Cabbage (1)

The recipe has German origins where Pauline’s husband came from.

Cooked with Apples, red onion or shallots, some spices, balsamic and a tinsy, winsy drop of Red Wine….mmm…try a glassful…lol…

It is a lovely accompaniment to Roast Dinners and tastes even better when kept a day or two before eating…well if it lasts that long …and it freezes well. It wouldn’t be a Christmas Dinner without it…we love it.

• One medium-size Red Cabbage.
• One medium to large Red Onion Or about 8 shallots…
• 2/3 cloves of garlic
• One large Bramley Apple peeled, cored and roughly chopped
• 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar.
• A half to whole glass red wine.
• Salt and Pepper to season.
• 1-2 tsp Cinnamon or mixed spice.
• Cinnamon Stick ( optional)

Let’s Cook!

Chop cabbage, Onions, garlic, and Apple.

Cook Onions and garlic in butter or olive oil until onions are soft.

Add chopped cabbage and apple, half of the balsamic and half of wine.

Season and add spices.

Cook for at least 2 hours (I cook mine for 3 generally) and add more wine and balsamic to taste. If you think it is a bit dry then add a little water.

Tip: If like me the Bramley cooking apples are unavailable where you live then its trial and error. I tried green apples and it was ok but this week I used 4 dessert apples and it was the best, the same with seasoning and spices its personal taste so play with it and adjust to your taste which is what I do with all my cooking ….and especially now I live here it has taught me a totally new way of cooking, I was very recipe and measurement-driven. Now I just look inside the fridge or freezer and cook with what I have because it is about taste, taste, and taste again… or it could be just certain ingredients are unavailable here…….the only time I now measure is when I make pastry or cakes and that does have to be more precise but any other dishes then I play with ingredients and I have much more fun when I am cooking.

asparagus with bacon

Asparagus is another of our favourite vegetables they can be lightly steamed or cooked in butter and just serve with some thinly sliced parmesan cheese..so simple yet so very tasty…They are beautiful just wrapped in bacon…Very easy… Just wrap bacon slices around each prepared asparagus spear. Skewer both ends of asparagus and add 3 to 4 per skewer. Grill the asparagus on direct heat until the bacon is crispy and the asparagus tender which takes around 15 mins making sure that you turn the asparagus at least once.

Parsnips are also one of my favourite winter veggies…

parsnip-20320_640

Normally I cook in butter, olive oil, thyme, honey with some freshly cracked black pepper and salt to season…However, with some oil and maple syrup it takes the taste to another level not so sweet as honey but with the parsnips natural sweetness…Just perfect…

or baked with some potatoes au gratin…A lovely Christmas treat…

Ingredients:

  • 3 large potatoes
  • 350 gm parsnips
  • 200 ml single cream
  • 105 ml of milk
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 75 gm grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • butter or olive oil to grease the dish

Let’s Bake…

Peel your potatoes and parsnips and cut them into thin slices then steam for 5 minutes then leave to cool slightly. Meanwhile, pour the milk and cream into a pan with the garlic and bring to the boil over medium heat.

Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand at room temp for about 10 mins to let the garlic infuse.

Lightly grease your oven baking dish and preheat your oven 180 C/350 F/Gas mark 4

Arrange the thinly sliced potatoes and parsnips in your dish sprinkling each layer with a little freshly grated nutmeg and plenty of ground black pepper and a little salt.

Pour the cream and milk mixture into the dish then lightly press the potatoes and parsnips down into the mixture.

Cover the dish with lightly buttered foil or baking parchment and cook for about 40 minutes…Remove the dish from the oven and remove the foil or paper…Sprinkle the grated cheese over then return the dish to the oven and bake for a further 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the top is golden brown.

Enjoy!

Now this time of year I absolutely love my cocktails but not everyone drinks alcohol and this video shows you some lovely healthy drinks for the Christmas season which won’t leave you feeling left out…

That’s all for now ..Enjoy your 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

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup… week ending 1st Dec 2019…

Welcome to this week’s roundup and do I have some goodies for you…Lots of things going on in the world …The election in the UK is fast gathering momentum…I have watched a few live clashes between the leaders of the parties and to say I am not impressed by much is an understatement…There seems to be an undercurrent of let’s find fault instead of concentrating on current issues that are important to the voting public…That’s all I will be saying on this blog…

Although I am showing my Christmas face and cheer on my blog it doesn’t feel a bit like Christmas here…The decorations are up in our one shopping mall and the music is playing …and there it stops…The commercialism concept of Christmas hasn’t reached here and for that I am thankful…

I am planning a nice lunch with a few pressies for the kids and that is it until New Year which is what is celebrated here…We plan to spend ours in the village this year where I know we will be met with much love, kindness, lots of lovely Thai food, music, happy faces and some fireworks.

Enough chatter from me…Let’s see what I have for you this week….Enjoy!

Monday…The latest news on recycling and climate change…

I could quite easily become depressed and despair about the world as there is a lot of scaremongering and doom and gloom everywhere…I am trying hard as generally, I am a happy person to find the positives of which there are many…as well as unicorns xx

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/25/recycling-and-climate-change-the-good-news/

Monday continued with Sally’s weekly roundup...What a lot of goodies she has in store…Books are always a welcome gift and there are plenty…Whatever your genre you will find something…A must-read…so please pop over to browse the shelves in Sally’s book Fair to make sure you get yours in time for CHRISTMAS.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-weekly-round-up-18th-24th-november-storms-malta-thanksgiving-menu-and-tributes-and-christmas-book-fair/

Tuesday…Mistletoe and Wine…

On a Tuesday up until Chrismas week, I will be trotting out the pickle recipes many are quick pickles so if you have busy then these are for you…I love a good pickle, don’t you?  How about a slice of Christmas cake, cheese and some pickles not as strange as it may seem…Try it!

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/26/mistletoe-and-wine-christmas-pickles/

Whimsical Wednesdays where I unashamedly indulge myself…I do hope you enjoy my meanderings this week…These posts are never planned… if I come across anything which I love or which tugs at my heartstrings then I save it… the rest happens as I type…It is wherever my thoughts take me at that time…Mainly they are random and unplanned… comment from Liz this week made me think and I will kick off this coming week with a few of my hairstyles through the years maybe you will share yours? It also goes without saying that there is a lovely trifle recipe from the lovely Darlene…  Enjoy! xxx

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/27/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-20/

Thursday… Christmas is the season of love and laughter…

And great recipes…Hugh shared his lovely cake and puddings which he made on stir up Sunday and Meeks shared her scrumptious Chocolate Mousse Cake…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/28/christmas-tis-the-season-of-love-and-laughter/

Friday…Chrismas…In my house…

Where I share my favourite Christmas recipes and tipples as this cook needs fortifying it is hot in the kitchen and I also need something just to lubricate the throat when I sample and we have to sample don’t we?…Haha…The sweet innocent face is my grandson now all grown up but I love the Nativity and this photo…sorry Joshie I just had to xx…The Bloody Mary I sat and sipped in one of my favourite places…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/29/christmasin-my-housetraditions-treats-and-a-touch-of-trivia-2/

Saturday…Traditional English Toffee…

I have had a hankering for the last few weeks for proper sweets…You know the stuff of my childhood…Methinks it is my age and the fact that the sweets here are few and far between and mostly they are not the same…This week I will be making Coconut Ice…The way my mum used to make it…Many recipes now contain condensed milk and end up being sweet nothing and not the sweets of my childhood so real old fashioned recipes…Yes, I am getting maudlin…

Old Fashioned hOMEMADE sWEETS

This recipe from Gail’s kitchen is also one I will be making…It is a nice straightforward recipe and the toffee looks delicious…

https://snapshotsincursive.com/2019/11/29/traditional-english-toffee/

That’s all for now ..Enjoy your 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… I am also seeing a lot about homelessness on social media I don’t know if it is clickbait or all true but it is always highlighted this time of the year and the figures I have seen from homeless charities are appalling please if you can share, lobby your local MP’S it shouldn’t be happening any time of the year….So sad 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.

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…Weekly roundup…Health, Recipes, and plenty of Christmas cheer! …Week ending 17th Nov 2019…

Welcome to this week’s roundup and do I have some goodies for you…Lots of things going on in the world …The election in the UK is gathering momentum…There have been floods and lots of rain around the world, snow so many lovely images which I love seeing from the warm…haha…Loy Krathong is over for this year a lovely Thai Festival one of my favourites… which dates back 6,000 years…It is a beautiful festival I mean water, candles, flowers and beautiful girls however as ancient as it is I am pleased that certain things as in the making of the Krathong are being changed.

This is our little grandaughter with her Krathong made from banana leaves and fresh flowers…Isn’t it pretty?

So without any more ado let’s see what has been going on this week in my blogging world?

Monday… Recycling and environmental News…

Here in Thailand, the government means business and they have said a resounding NO!

In an effort to minimize plastic waste, Thailand will be curbing the use of plastic bags at shopping malls and department stores nationwide, from January of 2020.

This will be the first step for Thailand to eradicate any single-use plastic by 2021.

Photo credit: European Parliament on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

Already you can see the signs the bags are disappearing faster than the speed of light here…

Sweden… well my admiration knows no bounds have no recycling waste…More on this tomorrow…It is impressive what they have achieved…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/11/recycling-and-environmental-news-11th-nov-2019time-to-say-no-to-plastic-bags/

Tuesday…Time for mistletoe and wine it’s Christmas time…

I love that song..made famous by Sir. Cliff Richard…

gingerbread-men-3084961_640

For a few weeks, Tuesdays will be devoted to everything Christmas…So please let’s have your recipes, pictures of your decorated houses and porches, gingerbread houses, Christmas jumpers/sweaters, homemade fudge or other sweeties anything Christmassy…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/12/mistletoe-and-wine-christmas-time/

Wednesday…Whimsical Wednesday with Carol…

I was feeling rather lonely last Wednesday…NO COMMENTS…Then the lovely Pete kindly sent me a message …comments were disabled…How, when, where I hadn’t a clue but a Happiness engineer sorted it out for me so please if you wanted to comment and couldn’t it isn’t too late I would love to hear from you…Thank you, Pete, once again…

This is an example of what I really love about the blogging world someone is always ready to help…You all rock xxx

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/13/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-18/

Also on Wednesday this week, I was over at Sally’s…

Where Sally discussed what the mineral Manganese provides and how we can increase manganese in our diets if we need to …The recipes which are tried and tested in my kitchen at home include ingredients which contain manganese…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/11/13/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-minerals-manganese/

Thursday…Christmas… Mistletoe and Wine and all things good …

The first of my Christmas posts…You can expect tried and tested recipes which were passed down from my mum, recipes I have been gifted by friends and family from all over the world and which are now our family favourites.

Christmas Treats and Traditions 23rd Nov

Traditions there are many Christmas traditions practiced from around the world and I will be bringing you some of those and anyone who wishes to contribute with a guest post of their own on a special Thanksgiving dish or tradition then you would be very welcome so please share…  I know my friends across the pond and my rellies celebrate Thanksgiving on the 28th of November and have turkey and lots of other goodies …

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/14/christmas-mistletoe-and-wine-and-all-things-good/

Friday…Christmas …In my house…

This week I posted some Christmas cheer and trivia but starting next Friday my sample Christmas menus…I will be featuring more plant-based menus as I know many people are changing and cooking with more vegetables, lentil/beans all of which I love but the menfolk here not so much…so there will also be some recipes with fish or chicken…

victorian-christmas

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/15/christmas-in-my-house-traditions-treats-and-a-touch-of-trivia/

Saturday…There wasn’t a post this week as I was busy cooking and trying out a new ingredient I found called cowslip creeper…It is an edible flower very pretty and it tasted lovely…It grows in South East Asia, China, and India…I will share this recipe next week…

 

Here are just a couple of images to tempt you…I am nice …haha…The farmers market were selling big bags of produce and I brought a lovely big bag of fennel so looking for new recipes using fennel…

If you are experiencing wildfires or flooding then please stay safe…

Thank you for reading have a great weekend 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 well being.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

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 are having a relaxing weekend xx

 

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…Chocolate, Health, Recipes …Week ending 3rd Nov 2019…

Welcome to this week’s roundup and do I have some goodies for you…Lots going on in the world it was Halloween so I have some Halloween pictures for you…There was snow, beautiful white glistening snow in Susie’s part of the world and lots of it…I love seeing those lovely images from here where I am lovely and warm on this beautiful sunny morning…

So without any more ado let’s see what has been going on this week in my blogging world?…  No… I have not been discussing Brexit although I have been watching the House of Parliament live…I have better worthwhile causes to champion…The stakes have been upped and there will now be a general election…

Will I be covering this on my blog? No! Nada! I will most definitely not be covering it…

I am sure there are many opinions and although I have mine …I am not wading in…But feel free if you wish to…I love a healthy debate…

Monday…Such an ugly looking bean which produces a mouthful of pure indulgence …such a shame that the production of this also causes hardship, lack of education, cruelty through child labour and deforestation…

cacao-bean-2522918_640

 

Who doesn’t love a piece of chocolate??? Who pays more for chocolate and goods that carry “certified cocoa” endorsements?

It has been some 20 years that the big manufacturers of chocolate pledged to eradicate and not buy cocoa which is harvested using child labour.

Why am I surprised?… I am really old enough now to know that most promises made by companies and manufacturers are just clever marketing..lies…Designed to make us the consumer feel better and spend more money…To read the full story please click the link…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/28/recycling-and-environmental-news-28th-oct-2019chocolate-and-bees/

Tuesday…

Because I am not a party pooper I wish you all a joyous time in the coming weeks  I will be leaving you with a few tips to help you over the Christmas period and then I will leave you to enjoy it and come back just after the New Year…with more healthy eating tips…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/29/eat-smart-eat-healthily-no-more-diets-but-the-holiday-season-is-coming/

Wednesday…

box-christmas jumper -christmas-balls-714696 (1)

It is one of my favourite days where I can indulge myself …Of course in the coming weeks, it will be more Christmas focused… I will be looking at you guys to provide me with some lovely family recipes, crafts anything Christmassy…Even a Christmas jumper or three…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/30/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-16/

Thursday…

Saw the end of Pumpkin month and it was Halloween…I hope everyone who celebrated Halloween had a lovely time there have been some lovely and some quite gruesome foods I have seen…but all tasty I am sure…

The 5th of November is Guy Fawkes and celebrated in the UK…Guy Fawkes Night is annually held on November 5. It is sometimes known as Bonfire Night and marks the anniversary of the discovery of a plot organized by Catholic conspirators to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London in 1605. Many people light bonfires and set off fireworks…

child with sparkler

I have many fond memories of bonfire night, potatoes and chestnuts cooked in the embers of the bonfire, of course, there are now absolutely fabulous displays but they don’t come close to my memories of such happy times as we clutched our sparklers and my dad set off the fireworks… We made our own guy and he proudly sat at the top of the bonfire although we were never allowed to participate in… penny for the guy…My mother thought it was akin to begging and we were not allowed to do that…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/31/halloween-sweet-potatoes-and-a-mexican-michelada/

Friday…

I am nearing the end of my store cupboard basic series by now you should have nicely stocked store cupboards…Spices are this weeks theme and although I grow and use many fresh spices dried spices also play their part…stronger and more intense in flavour than their fresh cousins they are ideal for baking. Everything has its place…

Roasted spices Indian cookinghttps://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/01/this-week-in-my-kitchenstore-cupboard-basicsspices/

Saturday…

Where I generally hand you over to Sally…This week she discusses skin and in particular eczema…I lived with skin conditions most of my life and am happy to say I am mostly itching and rash free…

Wool always made me itch so I wore cotton…when it came to bras, stocking, and suspenders it was the zinc in the clasps which gave me sore, itchy patches, I could never wear cheap earrings or necklaces ..zinc again..zippers anything which touched my skin brought it up in rashes and itchy patches…The introduction of tights wasn’t much better..nylon… Polo necks aka rashes, central heating aka rashes…Since living here…rashes…Gone…#recommended read…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/30/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-in-the-body-the-skin-eczema-lifestyle-or-genetics-by-sally-cronin/

That’s all for this week I hope you enjoyed the read…Have a great Sunday 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.

circular recycling the world and a green leafExciting 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

 

This week in my kitchen…Store cupboard basics…Spices…

Welcome to my store cupboard basics which means it is Friday once again and Spices something I use every day in one form or another…I am also always on the lookout for new spices…I just adore what a touch of spice does to food…

If you have been following this your store cupboards BASICS by now yours should be nearly fully stocked…

The smell of spices always draws me wherever I am and sometimes it is so strong that it makes me cough and my eyes water…but I love it…It is also one way for me to get my kitchen cleared quickly …haha…

Spices are many and varied, they need to be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dark place. As flavours dimish with age then buy in small quantities the only spices I buy in large quantities are those I know I will use quickly…

To make your own mixes is quick and easy and ensures your spices are always fresh…As I go through the spices, I use I will link to recipes where I make my own mixes which are far superior as they contain no preservatives and work out far cheaper than costly spice mixes …

Allspice…This berry has a warm, slightly cinnamon-clove flavour readily available ground and can be used in both sweet and savoury cooking.

Cayenne Pepper…Fiery and piquant this spice is made from dried red hot chillies used sparingly it is excellent added to cheeses dishes, fish, creamy sauces, meat sauces and soups. Added sparingly to these salmon burgers it just lifts the flavour…

Chilli Flakes… Crushed dried red chillies can be added or sprinkled over many dishes…so easy to make your own just dry fresh red chillies in the sun if you have any or even on a hot radiator and then just crush in a pestle and mortar and store in an airtight jar. Used in many Thai dishes like larb or homemade sausages I have linked to these as it shows how I use many of the spices I have on this post.

Chinese five-spice powder…This is a mixture of star anise, cassia, fennel seeds, cloves and anise pepper again if you have the spices easy to make in minutes. It has quite a strong powerful flavour so use sparingly.

Cinnamon…one of my most used spices it has many uses…I buy the sticks and use whole or ground although you can buy powdered cinnamon ready ground I prefer to do my own. The powder can be used in baking and making spice mixes. The sticks can be added to stews or drinks. This Thai braised Pork is a good example of where I used star anise, cinnamon and Chinese five-spice powder.

Cloves…Available whole or ground these dried flowers buds are used in sweet and savoury dishes…Baked apples, bread sauce they are one of my most used spices. If sing ground use sparingly as it is strong and too much is unpleasant to the palate.

Coriander…Available whole or ground I buy large packs as I use it often…It is the basis in my Indian spices and curries…

Cumin…Warm and pungent cumin works well with most meats particularly lamb again one of my favourite spices and one I use a lot.

Fennel Seeds…These little green seeds have quite a sweet aniseed like flavour that goes well with chicken and fish and again I use when making Indian spice mixes.

Garam Masala…Ground and roasted spices make this mixture which is used in many Asian dishes. Available ready mixed but if you have the spices so easy to make your own and the flavour is much better. My recipe where you can see my use of spices…

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 6 cardamon pods green
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 piece of mace.

Let’s Cook!

Dry roast all your spices individually until warm and fragrant. Leave to cool completely and then grind to a fine powder …I have a little coffee grinder which I use to grind my spices and it works really well prior to that I used a pestle and mortar which is hard work but brilliant as an arm toner.

Store in an airtight container and use within 3 months as the spice will start to lose its potency …If you use a lot of gamma masala then just double or treble the quantities.

Ginger…This ground dried spice is useful for baking although for savoury dishes I use fresh root ginger.

Green Cardamon…The green papery pods contain little black seeds which can be easily crushed and the seeds scraped out.

Mustard Seeds…are the small round seeds of various mustard plants. The seeds are coloured from yellowish white to black. They are an important spice in many regional foods. Grinding and mixing the seeds with water, vinegar or other liquids creates mustard. Simples said the meercat…

Nutmeg…Is available ground but to me not the same as storing a few whole nutmegs and grating it as required.

Paprika Pepper…Used in many Spanish dishes it is available both mild and hot…It has a slightly sweet flavour and is lovely used as a garnish for a seafood sauce or an egg dish.

Pepper…Black pepper is one of the most commonly used spices and should always be used freshly ground as it loses its flavour quickly.

Green peppercorns have a milder flavour and can be found dried or in brine. Fresh green peppercorns are widely used in Thai cooking and one of our favourites.

White peppercorns are hotter than green but less aromatic than black peppercorns but ideal for a sauce if you don’t want the black specks but want a pure white sauce.

Pink Peppercorns seem to be more popular of late…Pink peppercorns are not only pretty, but they also offer a fruitiness along with their peppery bite for a deep, well-rounded pepper flavour. They’re delicate and should be crushed with a knife, rather than a pepper mill, to be used on seafood, poultry, salad, even popcorn, in curries, sauces, chutney, or in place of black pepper for an interesting twist. They are also more expensive.

Star Anise…Earthy, a subtly sweet spice which has a number of uses in savoury cooking, especially in traditional Asian dishes.

Turmeric...Used in many Indian dishes the ground turmeric is made from the dried turmeric root it has a peppery, slightly earthy taste and stains if you are not careful…

Vanilla…Dried vanilla pods are long and black encasing hundreds of tiny black seeds expensive but so worth it…Just make sure what you are buying as there are many inferior products on the market.

vanilla-pods-sugar

I hope you are finding these posts on store cupboard basics helpful…It does take time (and) money to build up a store cupboard which is why I am breaking it down into easy stages…Just for those of you who are not sure just where to start…

Whether you call it a cupboard or a pantry a savvy cook knows it helps them create delicious, economical dishes without using expensive ingredients or having to pop out and hope no one sees us without our slap…Picture the scene… we are halfway through making a new recipe…We can taste it…Then up pops the ingredient we thought we had in the cupboard or we missed that bit of the recipe…The shop is shut…It is raining…We are in our house clothes…Don’t they always though…haha

Until next week when in my store cupboard basics it will be Dried herbs and stock cubes…

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

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 relaxing weekend xx

 

 

 

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…Climate Change, Health, Recipes …Week ending 27th Oct 2019…

Welcome to this week’s roundup…The sun is shining it is a beautiful morning…

We are still baking with the main ingredient being bananas… we have fried bananas made smoothies and banana bread, Green banana koftas, had them with ice cream and I still after giving some away have many bananas..so any ideas gratefully received…

What has been going on this week in my blogging world?…  No… I have not been discussing Brexit although I have been watching the House of Parliament live…I have better worthwhile causes to champion…

great reads a weekly roundup lady with electronic reader

Anyway enough of my chatter…Grab a drink it is time to settle down, relax and have a read something for everyone…Enjoy!

Let’s begin then…

Monday…Recycling and the environment…

circular recycling the world and a green leaf

Image by annca from Pixabay

Lots of exciting goings-on this week I was most impressed with the cleanest, greenest power plant in the world…Plastic being made into fuel which really impressed the grandson( Aston)  although I was informed by numero 1 son ( who) worked in Waste Disposal in the UK…that it was something he promoted as his company did that…It seems the apple didn’t fall far from the tree…haha…I do remember him telling me years ago …It is the people who quietly get on and just do it…They are the real champions of climate change…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/21/recycling-and-environmental-news-21st-oct-2019/

Tuesday…

Healthy Eating and exercise for kids…Not always easy when it is not safe for kids to play outside your home and sometimes planned sporting clubs can be expensive and you have to travel but there are many in most towns and cities even small villages…

Here we don’t have swish venues and luckily kids can play outside…it is safe but we have also installed a basketball net…

Nannie is now also a basketball coach…Lily now doesn’t need the net lowered and is now aiming for 40 goals or in the net… whatever is the basketball term…    bless her. Such determination in a soon to be 7-year old I haven’t seen for a long time. That ball is heavy and I thought her arms would ache but no… she is tiny but strong…

boy-basketball164286_640

Aston is finding out his little sister is not far behind him in many things…She is setting the bars high.

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/22/healthy-eating-exercise-for-the-kids/

Wednesday…

The day when I indulge myself…We had Dumbo and Frozen…Food..aka Apple Pie and a beautiful village in England all made from fruit cakes…Adele not only does she have a great voice she is also a good sport and funny…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/23/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-15/

Thursday…

Not long now until Halloween…Lots of food and fun and scary costumes…Trick or treating…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/24/national-pumpkin-month-facts-trivia-and-allergy-friendly-mummy-bars/

Friday…

This week in my kitchen and store cupboard basics …Vinegar, sauces, and condiments…Recipes and tips on building your store cupboard…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/25/this-week-in-my-kitchen-store-cupboard-basics-vinegar-sauces-and-condiments/

Saturday…

Time to make our Sweet Mincemeat and celebrate National Mincemeat day…Way back in the 15th-century mincemeat did contain meat and fruit …Where did the name originate from… The mince in mincemeat comes from the Middle English mincen and the Old French mincier…traceable to vulgar Latin minutiae and Latin minutia meaning smallness.

National Mincemeat Pie Day

The word mincemeat is an adaptation of an earlier term minced meat, meaning finely chopped meat.

Who remembers their parents using the term… Making mincemeat of him/her as in meaning to defeat them easily and soundly at something?

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/26/national-mincemeat-day-26th-october/

That’s all for this week I hope you enjoyed the read…Have a great Sunday 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