Category Archives: CarolCooks2…In my kitchen

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…July 25th-31st July 2021…#Plastic Free July, Music, Tokyo, Cherry Blossom and Aime… …

Plastic Free July, ARE you the Change, Music, Culinary A-Z, Thai Dips, Tsukiji Fish Market, #Aime and The Bullet Fruit Tree.

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week…Time is marching on…It is now officially rainy season here so there will definitely be some dancing in the rain…

August 1st…yes it really is…some August trivia…August 1889 it is said to have rained Ants in Strasburg, Germany…however it is now known that rainfall radar can be hoodwinked by swarms of flying ants?…

What else does the 1st of August bring…?

Lughnassadh, the Celtic first harvest festival…Lughnasadh is the festival that marks the beginning of the harvest. It is held halfway between the summer solstice and autumn equinox, around 1st August…The 1st of August is traditionally known as Lammas Day.

August 1960 Chubby Checker’s ‘The Twist’ was released.  The best exercise music ever! Our favourite music track ever… my hubby is the king of the twist…

Happy memories and he still doesn’t do a bad rendition without any encouragement when he hears this song…

August the 9th  also marks International Day of the World’s Indigenous People’s…This year’s theme is ” Leaving no one behind Indigenous peoples and the call for a new social contract.”

You may ask WHY do we celebrate International Days…International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, mobilize political will and resources to address global problems and celebrate and reinforce the achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool.

Enough about what’s to come in August lets have a look at last week…

We all love a good news story so here they are…I know I bang the drum about Plastic this is the good news …There are of course always good news stories and we have to remember that…

This fierce-looking Tasmanian Devil a very apt name is one of them…I also love it when my readers tell us of their good news like this one from BeetleypeteCorona Beer has come up with a great idea. No need for plastic rings to secure cans in six-packs, and no shopping bag required, just screw them together and carry them out like a pole!
Tesco is now using brown and black plastic meat trays that are recyclable, unlike the previous clear plastic ones.

Plastic Free July 2021…The Good News Stories…

Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet A-Z…Where the middle letter is K…

Nothing is as it seems here…this new series is the brainchild of Chel Owens who writes at A wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thingmy followers are so good to me they think up all sorts of permutations of the Alphabet for me to blog about…not sure if they want me to call it quits or what they will come up with next…Chel like Pete was, however, will be called on to make her contribution every two weeks…they don’t get off scot-free…so I hope you have started brainstorming Chel…haha x…although I will extend Chel a period of grace as she is on break and she is gonna be a Mumma again..boy numero 6…Hope you are keeping well Chel x

The Culinary Alphabet …..A-Z…Series 3… the letter K…

Sometimes a post just strikes a chord and this was one of them from the lovely Pete Springer…

Pete said: Every Olympics, there are human interest stories that capture my attention. I don’t follow women’s gymnastics, but I always enjoy the spirit of competition. One Olympic athlete we may hear more about in the days to come is American gymnast Sunisa “Suni” Lee.

I hope you can watch the videos they are heartwarming…I couldn’t here in Thailand but I did find some on youtube that I could watch.

Suni Lee—Heart of a Champion

I love it when I come across little hacks that work…Don’t you?

Sally over at Smorgasbord Health has treated us to some cracking Health Hacks…who hates getting brain freeze I know I do when I am drinking an ice-cold smoothie…or toothache..nothing worse ..Head over to Sallys and have a read you will be amazed I know I was…#recommended read

Smorgasbord Health Column – Some Health Hacks for everyday niggles such as Pins and Needles by Sally Cronin

This week in my kitchen dips for fruit...Fruit is everywhere you go here all nicely cut up and presented with a dip of your choice..of course, I eat fruit whole but some fruits I prefer to buy ready cut it’s easier and the dips are delicious…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/07/29/this-week-in-my-kitchen-thai-dips-for-fruit/

Tropical Friday…we do get some strangely named fruits here…The Bullet Tree Fruit…

The Bullet Wood fruit whose other names include Spanish Cherry, Tanjong Fruit, Indian Medlar and Caqui Fruit…scientific name Manilkara kauki is grown here in Thailand its really another backyard fruit and is generally found on small market stalls where the produce that they sell is from their land and it is generally in small quantities.

Its botanical name is Mimusops elengi L…it has been used by traditional medicine practitioners for centuries and is mentioned in the Ayurvedic Scriptures.

Tropical Friday…The Bullet Wood Fruit…

Saturday Snippets: Today’s word is Tokyo…

The place where ancient and very modern(quirky) meet…The safest city in the world and the one I would most love to visit.

Saturday Snippets 31st July 2021…Tokyo

That’s all for this week thank you so much for joining me…I hope  you all have a fabulous weekend xx

 

 

 

 

This week in my kitchen…Thai Dips for Fruit…

Good morning and welcome to my kitchen…Fruit is plentiful here it is sold everywhere ready to eat …cut up with a dip of your choice…

Watermelon, Pineapple, Green Mango, Yellow ripe Mango, Guava, Apple or Strawberries when they are in season the choice is yours…

The cost is no different (unlike) it was when I lived in the Uk… it’s no cheaper to buy the whole fruit and cut it up yourself than it is to buy it freshly cut(no waste) for the consumer…

It comes either with a little pot of Salt, Sugar and dried chilli, Nam Pla Wan, a dark sticky dip, or a dark sticky tamarind dip…

Prik Glua...Salt, Sugar and dried Chilli.

Easy to make in your own kitchen…the kids will love it and it’s an intro to a bit of chilli…

You can make as little or as much as you wish…

Sugar and Salt are equal quantities fr example…1 tbsp of sugar and salt to 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes…of course you can add less chilli or more chilli.

If you wish to substitute with a sugar substitute that’s fine ..when you taste… taste with a piece of fruit…

When the green Mango is particularly sour Lily loves this she also loves the Tamarind one…

Nam Pla Wan…a very traditional dip sold and eaten with green mango and other fruits not a dip I like to eat or make…I don’t eat fermented fish past but it is a very popular dip here..high in sugar but given the fermented fish paste etc I can understand that it needs balancing.

We much prefer the dark sticky Tamarind sauce which is the other option and Lily likes this one as well…

Sauce 1…Mak Muang Som Klub Jaew Wan…

  • 2 tbsp raw sticky rice or jasmine rice
  • 3  dried Thai Birdseye chillies or 2 tsp crushed dried Thai chilli
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 1 fresh red chilli minced or finely chopped.
  • 2 large Green mangoes peeled and cut into half-inch pieces…

Let’s make some sauce…

In a small pan, toast the rice over moderate heat, shaking the pan frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes be careful not to let it burn… Let cool slightly, then transfer to a spice grinder and coarsely grind.. . you should have 1 tablespoon of rice powder.

Using the same pan wipe out the pan. Add the dried chillies and toast over moderate heat until browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the spice grinder and grind to a coarse powder; some seeds will remain.

In a medium bowl, stir the fish sauce with the sugar until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the shallot, fresh chilli and toasted rice powder. Add the dried chilli powder, 1 teaspoon at a time, checking the heat as you go. Let the dipping sauce stand for 20 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and serve with the mangoes or desired fruit.

The rice powder will act as a thickener.

Sauce 2..with Tamarind Pulp.

This is how I buy my Tamarind pulp here you should be able to buy it in Asian stores or a Tamarind Paste…

  • 4 tbsp of Tamarind pulp or paste
  • 2 red Thai chillies finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp Peanut Oil
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 tbsp palm/raw  sugar
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 2 tbsp Shrimp Paste(optional)..I don’t add this.

Firstly soak the tamarind in warm water until soft then strain and remove any pips.

Add fish sauce and palm sugar to the tamarind pulp and whisk until thick and smooth then add the lime and peanut oil..mix well and add the chill…taste with a piece of fruit and adjust chilli if required.

Enjoy with your green mango or fruit of your choice…

Thank you for joining me in my kitchen today see you tomorrow for Tropical Friday’s x

 

 

 

 

 

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…July18th-24th July 2021…#Plastic Free July, Music, Gingerbread Fruit Tree …

Plastic Free July, Be the Change, Music, Environment A-Z, Whitstable Bay Oysters and Gingerbread Fruit Tree.

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week…Time is marching on…It is now officially rainy season here so there will definitely be some dancing in the rain…

July…for my English family and readers it is wall to wall sunshine…enjoy while it lasts…tomorrow 25th of July is St. James Day he is the Patron Saint of Pilgrims and St. Christophers Day who is the patron Saint of Travellers also Whitstable Bay Oyster Festival from 27th-30th July…next weeks Saturday Snippets will be on the 31st and then the following day we will be in August…

Whitstable Bay Oysters…Some History…

Whitstable Bay Oysters go back in history to the Romans who it is said absolutely loved this defined the history of the town oysters where nearly the entire population was involved in the oyster business.

The Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company whose company history began when The Company of Free Fishers and Dredgers of Whitstable was formed in 1793, becoming the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company in 1895. This company still owns the beds on which our oysters are now produced. The plaque commemorating the firm’s establishment can be seen on the Royal Native Oyster Stores Building, which now houses the renowned Whitstable Oyster Company Fishery restaurant.

The first post last week was…Plastic Free July 2021…Takeaway Food Containers…

Did you know?

The yearly production of plastic stands at more than 380 million tonnes globally. To put that into perspective, we’re talking about the same weight as 2,700,000 blue whales!

Of that huge amount, only 16% is recycled to make new plastics. Some 40% is sent to landfill, 25% is incinerated, and the other 16% is, to be frank about it, dumped…

Plastic Free July 2021…Takeaway Food Containers…

Chicken Pox and Shingles...As children begin school for the first time or return after the long summer break, there is likely to be an outbreak of one of the common childhood infections including chickenpox.

A very contagious childhood disease that can be dangerous for babies and someone like me…generally at my age it manifests as shingles which I haven’t had but I know first-hand some who have and it is not nice…painful and debilitating…Please head over to Smorgasbord as Sally has some good advice on how we can boost our immune systems..and what common sense actions we can take to avoid getting contaminated.#recommended read

Smorgasbord Health Column – Family Health – Chicken Pox and Shingles- The lurking opportunists by Sally Cronin

Wednesday…I was back on my soapbox again with my A-Z of the Environment…

It was the letter L…Landfill, Latex and Lead…I don’t need to tell you how incensed I was to discover that not only is Lead STILL found in leading baby food brands but also Cadium and Mercury…If you buy baby food or know someone who does please think about those precious little brains as very little lead ingested has a detrimental effect…Please alert them.

The Environmental A-Z…the letter L…

This took me nicely into Thursdays post…How easy it is to make your own baby food at home…no special ingredients required you can even use some of your home-cooked food if it is suitable and puree it for the baby just be aware of salt and sugar levels…

In my Kitchen…Starting at the beginning…Feeding Baby…

Tropical Friday’s…The Gingerbread Fruit Tree…

Yes, there really is a fruit that tastes like Gingerbread…kids love it…it makes a lovely refreshing cold drink and has numerous health benefits…

It is the fruit of the Doum Palm which grows in hot arid climates where not much else grows…

Tropical Friday…The Gingerbread Fruit Tree…Doum Palm …

Saturday Snippets…Potluck…

Potluck…Some of you grew up with potluck parties or family gatherings..others of us if we asked what was for dinner were given the answer Potluck…someone mentioned the dishes could be awesome or best avoided…HOWEVER…I have extended an invitation to one and all to join me once a month for a virtual potluck where you can showcase your blog and a recipe…even if you can only cook one dish you are welcome …send me an acceptance in comments or on my contact me page…They will be themed which included all diets, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and carnivores…something for everyone…I will provide the main course unless anyone else has a dying need to do so in the form of a recipe they love…I am easy and the plus side is there is no washing up and dirty plates…

Saturday Snippets… 24th July 2021…Potluck and an Invitation…

Thank you so much for dropping by I always look forward to your visits and comments…Hope to see you here next week xx

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…July 11th-17th July 2021…#Plastic Free July, #Swan Upping, Music,#Feijoa Fruit “Green Gold”…

Plastic Free July, Be the Change, Music, A-Z and Feijoa Fruit “Green Gold” and #Swan Upping.

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week…Time is marching on…It is now officially rainy season here so there will definitely be some dancing in the rain…

July…for my English family and readers it is wall to wall sunshine…enjoy while it lasts…July is also the month when the phenomenon of Crop Circles begin to appear…in the past, there have been some spectacular ones and no one has a definitive answer as to how or why…

These crop circles are quite spectacular..absolutely symmetrical…perfect… it’s like someone has dropped a huge stencil and cut around it…How, when and why is still a mystery as they suddenly appear…This one is in Wilshire, UK…

On the River Thames in July the census of swans takes place called the “Swan Upping”…Swans are counted and marked on a 70-mile 5-day journey up the River Thames…

Swan upping dates from the 12th Century when the Crown claimed ownership of all unmarked mute swans in a bid to ensure a ready supply for royal banquets.

Swans are no longer eaten but the practice of counting and marking the swans on the River Thames still takes place in the third week of July every year.

Summer Colds can be the worst…A runny nose ..red and sore where you have wiped it so much or a winter cold something no one enjoys…Sally has some great advice on how we can help to avoid or lessen the symptoms of the common cold…#recommended read.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/07/08/smorgasbord-health-column-family-health-nothing-more-common-that-a-cold-by-sally-cronin/

Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet A-Z…Where the middle letter is J…

Nothing is as it seems here…this new series is the brainchild of Chel Owens who writes at A wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thingmy followers are so good to me they think up all sorts of permutations of the Alphabet for me to blog about…not sure if they want me to call it quits or what they will come up with next…Chel like Pete was, however, will be called on to make her contribution every two weeks…they don’t get off scot-free…so I hope you have started brainstorming Chel…haha x

The letter J was a bit of a brain teaser…but there were a few and young Pete came up with one I hadn’t heard of Feijoas Fruit or “Green Gold” as the Kiwi’s call it…Thank you Pete it gave me an idea for Tropical Friday…

The Culinary Alphabet …..A-Z…Series 3… the letter J…

Onion Bajees…

Deliciously crispy spicy onion morsels that you can eat as a side to your Indian curry or as a snack with a lovely chutney or dip…I need to practise to get perfect little balls but they tasted good and got the thumbs up all round…I used Besan Flour which meant they are also gluten-free and the besan flout adds a nice nutty taste.

CarolCooks2…Week 15…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Onion Bhajees…

Tropical Friday:…” Green Gold”

Feijoa fruit is a versatile fruit that is used in baking, confectionary, chutney, smoothies, salads and even for alcoholic drinks…To learn more just click the link and all will be revealed x

Tropical Friday…Feijoa Fruit “Green Gold”

Saturday Snippets: When is  Sandwich more than just a Sandwich…

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I indulge my whimsy and my passions… maybe a tune or two…something which has caught my eye this last week…just anything out of the ordinary or extraordinary…

For the last few weeks, I have taken inspiration from something I have read or watched… this week and also because it just happens (if) it is lovely bread and delicious filling can be a wonderful thing…my chosen word is…Sandwich!

Saturday Snippets 17th July 2021…When is a sandwich not a sandwich?

Thank you so much for dropping by I always look forward to your visits and comments…Hope to see you here next week xx

CarolCooks2…Week 15…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Onion Bhajees…

Welcome to my kitchen...Onion Bhaji…something I have never made only eaten in an Indian restaurant or as a takeaway(out)… beautifully crispy when eaten in a restaurant and as many take away foods are they lose the crisp when transported generally in a polystyrene container…a better idea would be to wrap in paper or a cardboard container…I digress and an even better idea is to make them from scratch…

Onion Bhajees…

  • 2 large brown Onions…thinly sliced.
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 tbsp of ginger grated or minced
  • 1 green/red chilli finely sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek…my fenugreek is in tiny pieces I tried to grind them boy are they hard…
  • scant tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaf chopped
  • 130 gm gram flour
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda.
  • 1/2- 1 cup water…

Let’s make these onion bhajees…

In a large bowl add the sliced onions.

In a separate bowl add the flours and all the spices whisk to combine then add to the onions and stir until the onions are coated in the powder mix.

Then add and stir your water in a splash at a time this is most important as the batter needs to stick to the onions…I was surprised by how little water I needed…the batter needs to stick to the onion slices.

Heat about 3 inches of oil in your pan then roughly shape a tbsp of the onion mix and keeping it on the spoon lower it into your hot fat…fry depending on your pan size 4-5 bhajees at a time …turning to brown evenly you need them to be a deep golden colour approx 3-4 minutes then drain on a rack…

Scatter with freshly chopped coriander leaves to serve…

The result:

They got the thumbs up from my 3 taste testers…I thought they needed a bit more spice they all disagreed and said with a curry they would be perfect…I would definitely make them again next time maybe I will bake them…x

Do you make your own onion bhajees?…

Thank you so much for popping in today see you tomorrow for Tropical Friday where I bring you tropical fruit some rare and some common but all delicious…x

The Culinary Alphabet …..A-Z…Series 3… the letter J…

 

Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet A-Z…Where the middle letter is J…

Nothing is as it seems here…this new series is the brainchild of Chel Owens who writes at A wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thingmy followers are so good to me they think up all sorts of permutations of the Alphabet for me to blog about…not sure if they want me to call it quits or what they will come up with next…Chel like Pete was, however, will be called on to make her contribution every two weeks…they don’t get off scot-free…so I hope you have started brainstorming Chel…haha x

So what’s in store? In this series the A, B, C, etc will be the middle letter, for example, Aga, Cabbage, Fries and Yucca… how easy that will be who knows I am sure some of the letters of the alphabet could cause the grey matter to rebel or implode…haha…I also don’t want to use plurals to form a word as I may need that word for another letter and it’s sort of cheating I think…unless of course I really get stuck…which I am sure will happen…

Today it is words where the middle letter is J...fairly easy but not so many… it taxed my brain somewhat…Who doesn’t love  Onion Bhajees? variants: or less commonly bhajee or bhajji plural bhajis or bhajia also bhajias or bhajees or bhajjis…it gets complicated sometimes…sigh… but I had fun…Thanx Chel xx

Let’s go and see what I have found…

Onion Bhajees…

Originating from the South Indian state of Karnataka, a bhaji is a deep-fried snack similar to a fritter or tempura. … A popular street food, the onion bhaji consists of just two main ingredients: onions & chickpea flour.

Recipe Tomorrow fresh from my kitchen…

Cajun…

Exactly what is Cajun seasoning, you might ask? It’s a rustic seasoning blend that hails from Louisiana, the home of delicious Cajun cuisine. Everyone tends to have their own spin on it, but in general, it’s a spicy blend featuring lots of paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, pepper and oregano…delicious and spicy 🙂

Demijohns…

A bulbous narrow-necked bottle holding from 3 to 10 gallons of liquid, typically enclosed in a wicker cover.

Dijon…

Dijon mustard is a style of prepared mustard that originated in the city of Dijon, France. You will often see it used in vinaigrettes and sauces as well as putting the finishing touch on a sandwich. It is a pale yellow rather than the typical bright yellow American-style mustard. French-inspired dishes that feature Dijon mustard as an ingredient are referred to as “à la dijonnaise.”

Flapjacks…

In the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, Ireland, and Newfoundland a flapjack refers to a baked bar, cooked in a flat oven tin and cut into squares or rectangles, made from rolled oats, fat (typically butter), brown sugar and usually golden syrup. In other English-speaking countries, the same item is called by different names, such as muesli bar, cereal bar, oat bar or (in Australia) a slice.

The snack is similar to the North American granola bar, and in the United States and most of Canada, the term flapjack is a widely-known but lesser-used term for pancake.

Goujons…

Are thin strips of chicken or fish coated in breadcrumbs and then fried or baked.

Our grandkids love what they call KFC chicken...As you know I cook from scratch, therefore, make my own …I either cut a chicken breast into slices or use chicken tenders, then dip in an egg wash and coat with homemade breadcrumbs…I then cook in batches in hot oil until cooked and golden brown then serve with sticky rice and freshly chopped vegetables normally cucumber and cabbage.

Jamjars…

Glass jars used not only for jam making but for pickles…I am not sure why they called jamjars as they have many uses for storage for pickled gherkin, other pickles, marmalade, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, jalapeño peppers, chutneys, pickled eggs, honey, and many others.. as well as jams, and have been around for centuries…jars can be used to hold solids too large to be removed from, or liquids too viscous to be poured through, a bottle’s neck;

My mother always would say get me some jamjars out of the cupboard she never referred to a jamjar as a  Mason Jar and neither have I…maybe mason jar is more of an American or European term…

Marijuana…or Cannabis as it is also known…

Did you know?

Chefs can now earn a Culinary Cannabis Certificate?…neither did I but they can…I have noticed baked goods for sale here which have the familiar leaf on them…I had to ask as I am not familiar with what it is…but I have noticed the leaf being very prominent on baked goods over the last few months…a sign of things to come…. where do I stand on this… medicinally if it helps I am ok with…as for the rest I am not…

Rujak Sauce…

This little dip is a recipe from Bali given to me by my grandson’s girlfriend, it is very easy to make but made more special by the addition of tamarind. 

Called Rujak sauce it is lovely with green mangoes.

  • Take 200 gm of palm sugar shaved.
  • 15 gm of tamarind flesh and 5 tbsp of water leave to infuse for 5 mins and then drain and keep the tamarind flavoured water.
  • 6 or more Thai chillies.
  • 1/4 tsp shrimp paste and 1/4tsp salt.

Blitz all these ingredients together and you have fiery little sauce.

Tajin Maharshi… is a flavourful Lybian dish…

Tajin Maharshi is usually the main meal, but for guests, stuffed vegetables are always just a side dish. It consists of a variety of stuffed vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes, aubergines, and courgettes. The filling is usually prepared with a combination of ground meat, onions, rice, and spices such as chiles, salt, pepper, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon. Maharshi is a great make-ahead dish, as it tastes even better the next day, and warms up well.

Thank you so much for joining me today…J was quite hard and a bit of a struggle although I am sure there are some I have missed…next time it’s the letter K…a little easier…Baked, Baker and Cooking for example…

See you tomorrow where I will have some  Onion Bharjees fresh from the pan with the recipe see you tomoz xx