Category Archives: CarolCooks2…In my kitchen

CarolCooks2…This week in my kitchen 3rd April…Foraging and scraps all cooked from scratch…

Good morning…a cooler day today which is very welcome as it has been in the lower 40’s for most of this last week.

This week in my Kitchen 3rd April 2020

Firmly cocooned indoors my thoughts have been turning to what the kids can help make to help ease the boredom and to give them a break from their electronic gadgets and phones.

Homemade pizza...our pizzas are always an anything goes project and ideal for using up those bits and bobs of fruit and veggies…This one was no different…Homemade pizza with some kohlrabi and apple slaw…a jacket potato with sweetcorn for the men…

I made up a quick no yeast pizza base…

  • 5 cups of flour of your choice
  • 6 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of water plus 2 tbsps if required
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt whisk to combine it just makes sure the baking powder is evenly distributed.

Mix your oil and 1 1/2 cups of water ina small jug and add gradually to the flour the dough should be soft but not sticky if it is too dry use up to 2 tbsp more water although the amount of water will depend on your flour.

This makes enough for two large pizzas.

A couple of tomatoes and some tomato puree with some garlic and onion was cooked up for the tomato base…I then took one loin pork chop and my trusty meat cleaver and it was soon minced meat which we cooked with some taco seasoning…Lily likes meat on her pizza…Some grated mozzarella cheese a few slices of red bell pepper and some basil.

15 minutes in the oven and ready to eat…which in this house took less than the time to cook it…

meat feast pizza

I know it has or is a worry for many of you in these unprecedented times …It is a worldwide pandemic which although greatly restricting and worrying is also uniting us…Countries are helping each other, people are looking out for their neighbours it is lovely to see…My dearest wish is that it continues…

Now I am going to have a look at where we can make our food go a little further…Firstly I am going to ask a question…Who cooks with Brocolli? Who throws the thick stem away or into the compost? Generally, that is the weightiest part of the Brocolli and we are paying for that…I was the worlds worst culprit if I remembered I would use it in soups mainly it wasn’t eaten …Not until I realised that if you peel off the hard outer it makes a lovely vegetable we love it…

smart

Sliced and steamed with your other vegetable or added to a stir fry…

Which takes me nicely on to another wasted skin…The banana skin…I was reading the news and this article from Nadia Hussain of  Great British Bake of fame…Not only does she use the banana peel in her Banana bread but she makes this Banana Peel “Pulled Pork” Recipe…

banana-peel-3404376_640

 

Who would have thunk…Here’s how…

  • Chop and shred banana peel into strips
  • Fry diced onions in a pan with some garlic
  • Add the peel to the onions and garlic and cook down for five minutes
  • Add barbecue sauce (and other sauces such as ketchup or siracha if you want)
  • Cook altogether for a few more minutes
  • Add to a bun with your toppings of choice

This I haven’t tried …Have you?… However, when my next crop of bananas are ready to pick I will be giving this a go…If cooking and eating banana peels doesn’t appeal to you because of the texture or mouthfeel of the banana skin this video gives you some tips and you wouldn’t know they were in your cake…

Foraging…is another pastime which is very popular here…Tik my daughter in law loves foraging today she was up and out early and these are what she picked today…Quite a good crop of mushrooms and some of the Krachiew flowers which I featured in last Friday’s post.

Mushroom soup is a firm favourite here my favourite is made with ants eggs and Melantha a beautiful foraged herb…

Melientha Soup

https://carolcooks2.com/2017/02/21/authentic-thai-village-soup/

Another popular wild vegetable is fiddlehead fern…It grows mostly all the year-round here and is popular particularly here in the North of Thailand…It is also found around the world but in many places just in the spring…Dorothy from Vintage Kitchen loves foraging and cooking this beautiful vegetable and has some lovely recipes to share with us as well as some great tips on cleaning and cooking Fiddlehead fern…Please pop over and have a look…

Fiddleheads and dandelions

Made with fiddlehead ferns and dandelion greens it looks very nice and so tempting…Thank you, Dorothy, for sharing this with us it looks lovely and great tips…

https://vintagekitchen.org/2019/04/29/spring-foragers-supper/

I hope this has given you some ideas...with food shortages in some places and curfews, self-isolating or just cocooning yourself in the safety of your own home many of us are having to rethink our cooking maybe use some of those tins and dried goods which have taken root in our larders but also made us think about waste are we using all we can…The weeds in our gardens..many of which can be cooked and eaten…I think we could see changes in the way we think about food how and what we cook and eat…

Certainly food(pun) intended for thought…

That’s all for this week from me please stay safe and think of others we are all in this together…x

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!

Please stay safe and well and follow your governments safety guidelines remember we are all in this together xxx

CarolCooks2…This week in my kitchen 27th March…Everything cooked from scratch…

In my kitchen… where you will get an insight into what I have been cooking this week…Plus a bit of chat and trivia it would be boring otherwise…wouldn’t it?

This week in my Kitchen 27th March 2020

I am also guessing that for many of you life has changed this last month or two and if you are now at home it also gives the chance to cook more especially as you have time and maybe cannot buy as much or any of the things you normally buy so are having to make your own or improvise…and make do…

It is not so bad here and I have heard reports that it is calming down elsewhere in the world…Overstocking and buying surplus to your needs is not the Thai way…maybe some people could learn from that…we also share here and help if someone can’t get something or we buy a little more some for us and some for a neighbour…It is just the way of life…Being kind to others…

A green curry was the plan but we had run out of green curry paste so Penang curry it was…we had no mushrooms so added stem broccoli, sugar snaps and potato…It turned out to be a very nice curry…

smart

Quite spicy but not over the top spicy…just right…

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken legs with the thigh which I skin and halve as some like the drumstick and some the thigh or 8 pieces of chicken.
  •  1 dessert sp of Penang curry paste.
  • 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves very finely shredded
  • 4oo ml Coconut milk
  • 1-2 potatoes, peeled and cut into thick half slices
  • 8 long stem broccoli
  • 15 sugar snap peas

Heat a small amount of oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan add your curry paste and cook for about a minute stirring add lime leaves and fish sauce stir to combine.

Add you chicken pieces and stir to coat with curry paste then gradually add your coconut milk and the potatoes slowly bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 35-40 mins until chicken is cooked and potatoes nearly cooked then add your sugar snaps and broccoli and cook for a further 10-15 minutes we like our vegetables to still have a little bite to them…

Serve with rice of your choice.

My daughter in law loves foraging and it is that time of year when Krachiew (ดอกระเจียว) which is a Thai traditional plant can be found growing wild in the forests/jungle and the rice paddys although I do have some in my garden… found mainly here in the northeast but can be found in other neighbouring countries such as Myanmar and Laos. When foraging keep an eye on the ground as they are easy to miss or to trample on…these are some which were picked this morning…

Commonly eaten as vegetables here..they have a sweet crispy flavour and have a unique fragrance which also makes it popular as ornamental plants because the flowers are so beautiful, colourful, and can have many colours.

Krachiew flowers and young shoots here in the northeast are popular for cooking, they are either made into a paste and made into a unique curry found here ( however on trying) to translate the ingredients I don’t think I would be eating it as I don’t eat the animal or agree if my translation was correct…  we eat them lightly steamed or raw with a fiery chilli dip.

This flower stem comes out from underground rhizomes.  The leaves are single leaves and are green which closely resemble the ginger plant. The flowers appear just after the morning sun and are best picked then.

Foraging is very much part of life here but wherever you live if you know your wild plants there should be the opportunity to forage and many wild greens are packed full of nutrients just ensure they are really well washed.

dandelion flowers

What was once classed as weeds are now eagerly sought by many as foraging has had an upsurge… known to be full of nutrients and tasty we are realising that our forebears across the old world knew what was good for them… and still today the arrival of the first shoots of green is eagerly awaited by country cooks and celebrated in a bounty of dishes. From dandelion, nettles, wild mustards, sheep sorrel, wood sorrel, plantain and wild onions, these “weeds” are in vogue again… once consumed to revitalize the body after winter these spring greens are part of a medicinal spring cuisine thousands of years old.

They can be served fresh in salads, cooked up into traditional spring pies or as braised vegetable dishes, sautéed with lots of oil, garlic and onions…how about a lovely cream of dandelion soup or nettle broth and dumplings?

Do you forage for spring greens? Do you have a recipe tried and tested you would love to share? 

This week I have also been baking bread…I used Sally’s Yeast-free soda bread recipe and very nice it is…I made one larger loaf instead of two loaves I didn’t have two smaller loaf tins I just adjusted the cooking time added oats and raisins it was very nice warm with some butter…This cocooning is not good for my waistline I am eating more and walking less…

smart

I am sure this loaf won’t last long…

I hope this has given you some ideas...the stockpiling and panic buying has horrified me  I have family and friends in the U.K. who can’t even get milk for their babies ..yet it is on e-bay for extortionate prices…If anyone I know is doing that and profiting from other peoples misery and worry then I will unfriend without hesitation…It is disgusting behaviour there is no need if everyone just shopped as normal there would be enough for everyone. Appalling behaviour… however I have noticed in the U.K. that if reported to Trading standards anyone charging extortionate prices will be prosecuted …I say good…

That’s all for this week from me please stay safe and think of others we are all in this together…x

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…Everything cooked from scratch…

In my kitchen… where you will get an insight into what I have been cooking this week…Plus a bit of chat and trivia it would be boring otherwise…wouldn’t it? I am also guessing that for many of you life has changed this last month or two and if you are now at home it also gives the chance to cook more especially as you have time and maybe cannot buy as much or any of the things you normally buy so are having to make your own or improvise…and make do…

Having grown up in a family where my mother and grandmothers cooked from scratch maybe it was a little easier for me…I then had children (6) that meant a minimum of  8 to cook and feed every day plus the extra kiddies who would wangle a dinner invite…haha…It was a bit of a home for waifs and strays at times…

Then I moved here…Many of the ingredients I cooked with I cannot get here or are imported at cost and often very rarely available so at times ingredients have proved a challenge however it has forced me to improvise and substitute ingredients but overall I believe I am a better cook for it…

I have also learnt that many foods I took for granted and thought I couldn’t make …Well, I can…Always cheaper, bigger portions than the sometimes tiny jars and packets you buy…no chemicals and fillers…and not as time-consuming as I thought they might be…Taste-wise always superior…

Over the next few weeks, I will give you some hints and tips using minimal basic ingredients most of the time and healthy most of the time for foods you can make at home …Also if you are really struggling to get meals on the table tell me what ingredients you have and I will come up with a meal plan…Just e-mail me if you would rather…carolcookstwo@gmail.com   Happy to help…xx

I am being preventive so have opted to stay in where possible and keep away from people…I made my favourite biscuits anything with golden syrup and I am hooked…These little biscuits well they are not really biscuits more like cookies as they have a softish very slightly chewy texture…Carol’s Coconut Cookies…

These cookies are my basic recipe and are my experimental recipe I am already planning what I can add to them but this time I left the recipe as it is..no walnuts or raisins…

Ingredients:

  • 150gm rolled oats
  • 100gm plain flour
  • 100gm light brown sugar( I used raw sugar)
  • 100gm dessicated coconut
  • 100gm butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp of boiling water.

Let’s Cook!

Set oven to heat at 175C, gas mark 4.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Combine the sugar, flour, coconut and oats mix to combine well.

In a small pan add the butter and golden syrup and melt the butter. meanwhile, bring the kettle to the boil and add two tbsps of boiling water to the bicarbonate of soda in a small cup. Add this to the melted butter/syrup mix. It will foam a little.

N.B if you leave it on the heat…like me…and turn back to line your tin…It will foam and went all over my ceramic hob…the rest you can guess…

Make a well in the centre of your dry mix and pour in the melted butter/syrup mix. Stir to thoroughly combine and it will form a slightly sticky dough.

Roll out balls and put on a baking tray leaving a space as they will spread on cooking ( the mix made 15 balls) Slightly flatten with your hand.

Put in the preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

If the bread counter is empty…Grab some flour if you can any flour as bread is very adaptable, some yeast, Oats, baking powder and baking soda you are then equipped to make some beautiful bread…Can’t get yeast …no worries we have that covered…Milk and we are sorted you can now make some beautiful bread.

This first recipe is from Sally...A beautiful yeast-free Irish soda Bread…

Sally Yeast Free Soda Bread

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/cook-from-scratch-yeast-free-irish-soda-bread/

The second recipe is a favourite of mine… Buttermilk Bread…

Both easy to make and great spread with butter or jam, toasted, eaten with soup…both lovely loaves of bread and who doesn’t love the smell of fresh bread?

Let’s Bake!

Buttermilk Bread…

buttermilk-bread11

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups of lukewarm water.
  • 1 cup of Buttermilk.
  • 1 tbsp quick yeast.
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 6 1/2 cups of bread flour.
  • Melted butter to brush the top of the loaf.

Let’s Cook!

Mix water, buttermilk, yeast, salt, sugar in a bowl. Add the flour. No need to knead..lol

Just combine all the ingredients  together..lightly cover the bowl and leave to rest/rise for 2 hrs.

The bonus of living here is dough rises quickly...I love using yeast now.

You can use the dough immediately, or store covered in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.

If you are using now preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Dust the dough with flour and very lightly knead, shape into a round. Cover and rest for 90 minutes.

Oh, and I made a cut into the top of my dough just like a cross.

Bake in the middle of the oven for approx 40 minutes until golden brown and delicious.

Remove from the oven and brush the top with melted butter.

Leave to cool before slicing.

Enjoy!

If like me you can’t always get Buttermilk or it is very expensive then here is a recipe to make your own Buttermilk.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/how-to-make-you-own-buttermilk/

Any leftover bread…SAVE IT…I always keep a bag or container in the freezer for all my leftover bread…

It is then handy to make breadcrumbs to coat fish or chicken, to make a bread pudding or a bread and butter pudding, to make stuffing or bread sauce…

Have you half a pack of cream cheese a couple of rashers of bacon, a slice or two of ham or a small piece of chorizo sausage lurking in the fridge…some breadcrumbs and some Jalapeno peppers…Fancy a snack..easy…Although I have used bacon with mine any of the above will be great just crumble the chorizo and cook then add to the cream cheese which if you haven’t enough cream cheese bulk it out by adding some feta, sour cream any other cheese play with the flavours use up your odds and ends…

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/03/15/jalapeno-poppers-with-bacon/

Next week flatbread and pizza bases…again so easy…so if you are faced with not a lot on the shelves check out the herbs and spices, always grab some flour and milk…cheese if you can any sort it can all be used…cheese sauces for starters, pizza topping…

No tinned tomatoes then buy a couple of kilos of beautiful red ripe tomatoes and make your own it is so easy…You can then make soup, pasta sauce topping for pizzas…Fresh herbs can be frozen so pick them up they will all add a zing to your sauces and pizza…

It will also save you money...ready meals are expensive and not healthy and often not big enough for a growing lad or hungry hubby…

I hope this has given you some ideas...the stockpiling and panic buying has horrified me  I have family and friends in the Uk who can’t even get milk for their babies ..yet it is on e-bay for extortionate prices…If anyone I know is doing that and profiting from other peoples misery and worry then I will unfriend without hesitation…It is disgusting behaviour there is no need if everyone just shopped as normal there would be enough for everyone. Appalling behaviour…

That’s all for this week from me please stay safe and think of others we are all in this together…x

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 8th March-14th March 2020…

Good morning and welcome to my weekly roundup of posts…It is a calm, slightly overcast morning so far but after yesterdays 40C it is a welcome drop in temperature the birds are still twittering, the squirrels are having their morning feed they are loving the mangoes …at the moment they are leaving the Jackfruit alone…

Green tea and greek yoghurt with passion fruit…that’s brunch done…Let’s write…

Relax and Enjoy!

Grab your cuppa, relax and enjoy the read…

Monday: Recycling and Climate Change…9th March 2020…

It seems many of you were as surprised as I was by this old speech by a lady I have always admired and listening to her speech I was struck by how much foresight she had back then …as were many of you and her words are being repeated by many of the Climate Change activists now…Apart from the fact that Maggie Thatcher was wise enough to know that we cannot go back…

chickens and outside loo-953630_640

That we cannot return to simple village life or halve our population by some means unknown(Covid-19?)…A wise lady and one whom I have always admired…She was the first world leader to make a speech on Climate Change…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/09/recycling-and-climate-change9th-march-2020/

However, just in case you do need to stock up(a little) …NOT PANIC BUY…Sally has a few tips for you here as well as some other must-reads…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/03/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-weekly-round-up-march-1st-7th-2020-jazz-books-guests-humour-an

Tuesday: 

Where I take you down on the farm…the place where I love to chill where my chooks and turkeys live and also little Lily when she isn’t here…Which as it is the long school break now all 10 weeks of it she is here which means cake making is being done in earnest… Lily loves to bake and she is a dab hand at cutting the veggies up she just loves to cook…

Last week I introduced you to snake gourd and a Thai potato called Man sam Palang also known as Cassava, Yuca or Tapioca root.

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/10/thailand-down-on-the-farm-snake-gourdcassava/

Whimsical Wednesdays…with Carol…

I could take you anywhere last week it was dental floss, hibernation, the Eden Project and the Dark side of the Moon just a little sample of how random my thoughts can be …I can make you smile, invoke memories or just wow you…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/11/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-30/

Thursday:

Just to confuse you it was Wednesday really as that is when my food column is published over at Sally’s but as at the moment, I don’t post on a Thursday due to writing commitments I delayed it by one day…My A-Z of the Culinary Alphabet which Sally is kindly repeating for me which has so far been very well received…You like it!… Thank you, everyone and Sally xxx

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/03/11/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-column-carol-taylor-a-z-of-food-e-for-egg-plant-escargot-elephant-e

Friday: In my kitchen…

Is when I invite you into my kitchen where I share some of my recipes with you…Friday it was a non-dairy cream which is very nice…one of my favourite curry mixes, a lovely pancake recipe which Liz tried and they loved… a keeper she said…Thank you Liz..x Not only do we love pancakes but I was also a Woollies girl like Liz…

banana maple syrup pancakes

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/13/carolcooks2-this-week-in-my-kitchen-everything-cooked-from-scratch-a-non-dairy-cream-pancakes-and-more/

Saturday: Saturday morning market…

I know many of you are not able to visit your markets at the moment…stay safe and enjoy mine for now…they are still open at the moment that could change I don’t know…I am being as sensible as I can but at the moment there are no known cases here…

Saturday Morning Market 14th March

I found Apricots, at last, the lovely Maprang fruit is in season, honeycomb which Lily brought me from the farm…lots of fresh vegetables as always… Thais eat fresh raw vegetables at every meal it is a side dish and always given when you buy food ready cooked… it comes with a bag of fresh vegetables…some recognisable others not… as mainly it is foraged. I am always coming across different edible flowers and leaves…they are an integral part of the Thai diet.

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/03/14/saturday-morning-marketapricots-maprang-fruit-pickled-pineapple/

That’s all for this week…Thank you for reading…I hope you have enjoyed this weekly roundup xx I invite your comments…Let’s chat!

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 are having a great weekend, stay safe and wash those hands xx

 

CarolCooks2…This week in my kitchen…Everything cooked from scratch…A non-dairy cream, pancakes and more…

In my kitchen… where you will get an insight into what I have been cooking this week…Plus a bit of chat and trivia it would be boring otherwise…

This week in my Kitchen 13th March 2020

Lily has arrived as the school has finished now until May…This is our hot season so the kiddies have their long holiday now…she is also my little cooking buddy …cheesecake being first on the agenda as she wasn’t going to be outdone by her brother who is 8 years her senior this child is so competitive very quiet about it but she loves giving big brother a run for his money…

Her cheesecake was passionfruit we tweaked the recipe a little we added a cup less cream so it has more of a cheesecake taste not so sweet as Astons one with the mandarins…Both very nice though…

I talked about how fast-growing bamboo last week well I think my curry tree is on par with that…I had two both in pots but this one was doing poorly I think it outgrew the post so hubby planted this sorry looking thing in the corner by the pond …Well, it has perked up from day one and the number of new shoots and leaves it is a different tree…it obviously loves the freedom its roots have to spread…My Jackfruit tree now the squirrels have decided the mangoes and bananas on the other side of the garden are more to their liking is heavy with fruit…I need to pass some of these on as there are just too many for us they make a lovely jackfruit salad as you know while young but if left as they grow so big there will not be room to grow…

As my repertoire of tried and tested Indian Recipes grows I use more and more of these curry leaves and luckily fresh rather than dried.

Chettinad Masala Powder:

Ingredients:

  • 16 dried red chillies
  • 4 tsp of black pepper
  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp dried unsweetened coconut
  • 4 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-star anise
  • 8 cloves
  • 4 x 1-inch sticks of cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 20 fresh/dried curry leaves

Dry roast all the ingredients you may have to do this in a couple of batches depending on your pan but be careful not to burn the spices.

Transfer to a plate or dish and allow to cool down before grinding to a powder.

chettinad Masala roasted spices

 

Store in an airtight container. This recipe makes enough for 3/4 curries.

I always grind my own spices as it is so easy to do they are fresh and much cheaper than buying those small pots or packages with of course additives.

It also makes a lovely present with a handwritten recipe everyone likes to receive a homemade gift …I love to send them x

Now here the thing all the coconut milk I get here is 100% not so apparently when purchased in many stores in the UK  unless you buy from an Asian store…The max % if you buy from big stores is about 60% and some of them are the same brand I buy here which are 100%…

When my son told me this I was appalled but as he said it is cheaper for manufacturers to add guar gum and the like … for example coconut extract (56 per cent), water, stabiliser (E466), emulsifier (E435), antioxidant (citric acid). E466 is another name for carboxymethyl cellulose. E435 is another name for polysorbate 60. 

Mine here 100% Coconut Milk…

Box cover coconut milk

 

 

Kitchen Tip:  Try to find a brand which only contains coconut milk 100% if you can’t and use one of the other brands be careful not to let the liquid boil as it will separate. 

I am trying to cut down not only on added sugars but fat and I have seen many recipes for making a non-dairy cream with coconut cream that I thought it was time I tried it as this is the home of coconuts…haha…

Coconut milk is in the fridge as are the stainless steel pot and the whisk blades…Once cold we are ready to go…Wow..that was easy it whipped up in about 2 minutes if that… I added nothing and it was very nice even hubby who loves fresh cream and lots of it had to admit it tasted good…I think it is easier here as our coconut milk is 100% no additives at all…I will be making this in future and it is so much healthier.

STRAWBERRIES AND COCONUT CREAM

A non-dairy cream which would go with any dessert. I am impressed and I think any vegan/vegetarian or even me who is neither will all be in agreeance at how good this cream is…A lovely non-dairy cream.

I came across this recipe for Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes when I was reading through my blog posts this morning( I have had the biggest purge) ever and as I have a glut of bananas I thought why not treat everyone to breakfast pancakes…

Maple Walnut Banana Pancakes…

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 3/4 of a cup of rolled oats
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tsp of maple syrup
  • Chopped banana, blueberries, walnuts and maple syrup to serve.

Put the banana, oats, eggs, baking soda and maple syrup in the blender and blitz until smooth and well combined.

Heat your pan and add some mix cook for about 2 mins each side I did find they cooked quite quickly so watch you don’t burn them…

banana maple syrup pancakes

Serve with sliced banana, blueberries or fruit of your choice, walnuts and maple syrup…They were actually very yummy…

Grapow moo is something I make a few times a week with morning-glory(not) the flower as a side dish which is a lovely Thai vegetable stir-fried with garlic and chillies.

grapow moo cooking adding herbs

Get the recipe here

Morning Glory…One of my favourite vegetable stir-fries…

Stir-fried Morning Glory or Pad Pak Boon Fai Daeng is also known as water spinach…It is a very popular vegetable dish in Thailand and one I have for breakfast/brunch quite often with rice.
This is a very quick dish to cook once you have all your ingredients prepared..5 mins at the most.
Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of Morning Glory
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 or more Thai Chillies
  • 2 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Thai Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of fermented soybean paste or oil with soya beans
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh veg or pork stock


Let’s Cook!
Wash and cut your morning-glory into 4-6 inch pieces.
Bash the chillies and garlic in a pestle and mortar
Heat the oil in a pan until very hot.
Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry ( stirring) for 15-20 seconds be careful not to let the garlic burn.
Add morning-glory and all other ingredients except for the vegetable stock.
Stir-fry for 40 seconds and add vegetable stock and stir-fry for another 10 seconds.
Serve with steamed rice.
Enjoy!

That’s all for this week from me I hope you have enjoyed my chatter and recipes…x

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…Cheesecake, Bombay Potatoes and Chicken Stew…and Hot Cross Buns…

Welcome to CarolCooks2 and my kitchen which has been a hive of activity this week…we had Astons Birthday and he wanted a cheesecake just a plain one was his request and then that changed to passionfruit and when we were shopping he spied some lovely mandarin oranges…That was sorted then…

Nannie did the measuring and Aston did the rest…including turning on the handheld whisk before the blades were completely in the mix and guess who got sprayed…haha…Yep moi!

Mandarin Cheesecake.

smart

Ingredients:

  • 250g Biscuits (digestives or graham crackers)
  • 110g/ ½ Cup Butter
  • 500ml / 2 Cups Cream
  • 225g / 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 85g / ⅔ Cup Icing Sugar
  • Zest + Juice from 1 Lemon ( I used orange juice)
  • 15g | 3 tsp Gelatine Powder
  • 2 tbsp Boiling Water

Let’s Bake!

Place the biscuits into a food processor and process until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a small bowl. Melt the butter and cool before pouring into the biscuit crumbs and mix until well combined.

Pour the crumbs into a lined cake tin and use the back of a spoon to compact down. Place the cake tin into the fridge to set.

Whip the cream until soft peaks form by hand or with a hand mixer. This was where young Aston splattered Nannie with the cream mixture… Set to the side.

In a medium-sized bowl add the room temperature cream cheese and icing sugar. Beat together with a whisk until smooth and lump-free.

We added some of the mandarin juice… Mix to combine.

Dissolve the powdered gelatine in the boiling water and add to the mixing bowl, stirring to combine.

Add the cream to the cream cheese mixture and fold together until well combined we also added a few mandarin segments to the cream mixture.

Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the cheesecake base and smooth. Arrange mandarin segments around the edge of the cheesecake as pictured we then crumbled a flake in the centre of the cheesecake.

Place into the fridge for a few hours to set.

Cooks Notes: I used an 8″ springform tin but the filling was a little too much…the testers didn’t think so but it would have been better to use 10″ tin or reduce the cream to one cup. Next time I will try sour cream as I prefer my cheesecakes a little less sweet although it was nice. Maybe lime juice and zest.

Enjoy!

We love a good Indian curry and I make all my spices for a couple of reasons… one I know what is in the mix and two spices lose their potency some quicker than others… making my own herb rubs, spice mixes give me a quicker turnover and fresher spices it also allows me to buy the bigger packets which are cheaper…

This week I made Bombay Potatoes as a side to our curry…it was lovely although next time I don’t think I will parboil my potatoes and see if they absorb more of the spices or I may add a little more spice you don’t want them mega spicy I would just like the potatoes to have a little more flavour or it may just be that I was using the wrong type of potato these are quite floury potatoes but unfortunately my only choice of potatoes…

smart

I didn’t get any complaints from my testers though the empty dish said it all and hubby had seconds…I am my own worst critic sometimes…

Ingredients: 

To serve 3/4

  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • A thumb of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 400 gm of potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 dry chillies
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • A small bunch of coriander chopped.

Let’s Cook!

Put the ginger, garlic and 2 tomatoes in a small blender and blitz set to one side.

Put the potatoes in salted water and parboil for 8-10 mins until just soft. Drain and cover the pan with a clean t/towel so the potatoes can steam dry.

Heat the ghee/oil and add the onions cook for 10-15 mins until the onions are golden and slightly sticky. Add the chillies and the spices, stir to combine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato, ginger and garlic mixture and simmer for about 5 mins to cook off the raw tomato mix then gently add the potatoes and the remaining 1 chopped tomato.

smart

Taste and season if required I added more salt and some fresh ground pepper. Cook gently on low heat for a further 5-8 minutes until the potatoes and the tomatoes are warmed through. Garnish with coriander to serve.

We still have rain nice and steady but it is giving the grass a lovely soaking and I am sure my jackfruit and other fruit trees are very grateful…my ceilings are not up for discussion…sigh…

Rain and a drop in temperature although very nice called for a chicken stew…we always use chicken portions as we think it gives a better flavour…Just lots of garlic, chicken stock, pearl barley, onions, carrots, fresh rosemary, sage and a bay leaf and of course your chicken portions or you can cube chicken breasts…we served ours with rice this week but do also serve with potatoes and steamed vegetables of choice…Chicken always cooks quite quickly which is lovely when you need a nice warming meal and quick it can all be cooked in an hour…A stew is also one of those dishes where anything you like can go in the pot…x

smart

Easter is coming and the Easter eggs (I ) have been reliably informed have been in the shops since early January…Not my shops…I will add… any donations of Easter Eggs will be (very) gratefully received…

I can, however, give you a tried and tested old favourite recipe for Hot Cross Buns...I am rather proud of my crosses…Don’t they look good?

Even better buttered…

That’s it for today in my kitchen I hope you have enjoyed the recipes…

Thank you for reading I invite your comments as always 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 fabulous weekend xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 23rd-29th Feb 2020…

Good morning and welcome to my weekly roundup of posts…It is a calm, balmy sunny morning the birds are twittering the squirrels are having their morning frolic in the trees playing catch me if you can by the look of it…my resident baby Geko who has a beautiful striped tail has just been let out…He waits every morning for me to open the screens and out he pops and back he comes later not sure where he gets back in but he seems to like our little chats…Yes, I talk to him…they are great at keeping the mosi population in check so I don’t mind him being here…

Relax and Enjoy!

My green tea is finished now its time to write…Monday’s are recycling and climate change news day sometimes with a little rant…haha..you know me I will be opinionated until my last breath…

Let me tell you this week I saw a post for pony painting parties…Is it me but is painting animals ok? It seems it is when I asked the R.S.P.C.A…I received a standardised response…They got an answer which wasn’t standardised…I await their response to that…Oops…Recycling…

Monday: Recycling and Climate Change latest news…

The topic of conversation was are we doing enough? I preached to the kids…haha…as if they will listen they were all out in force on Friday in Bristol with Greta in the forefront…There are monks here in Thailand who are recycling plastic bottles into monks robes a fascinating topic….if you want to know more just click the link and head over and have a read…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/02/24/recycling-and-climate-change24th-february-2020are-we-doing-enough/

Tuesday:

The day where I showed how we make charcoal here…Many people around the world still have no electric or running water I wonder who will fare better if it comes to it…I see places around the world where there are regular outages which doesn’t seem to bode well…Maybe if we can we should be looking at alternatives just in case…Just a thought…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/02/25/thailand-down-on-the-farm-making-charcoal/

Wednesday:

This week it was my Cookery Column over at Sally’s where Sally is kindly repeating my Culinary Alphabet…The A-Z of cooking which is proving to be remarkably popular on its re-release thank you, everyone, for your positive feedback…

This week I explored the letter D…from Dates to Durian…Enjoy!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/02/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-column-carol-taylor-a-z-of-food-d-for-dates-dragon-fruit-drupes-durian-and-dirty-rice/

It was also time for my regular Whimsical Wednesdays where I have fun and indulge myself in whimsy…There was some chat about Leap Day…Did any of you propose? I have a hat ready and waiting…lol…Evergreen by Barbra Streisand and Rubber Duckie…Sesame Street if you want to know where else my whimsy took me then that’s easy click the link…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/02/26/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-28/

Thursday:

It was over to Sally who had some good advice on the Coronavirus, the Keto Diet and Breast Cancer monitoring all subjects which we should be reading up on …I am also reading how people have stopped buying Corona Beer…Where on earth does anyone get the idea that drinking that is going to give you the Coronavirus it may give you a headache if you drink in excess…But the virus…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/02/27/smorgasbord-health-in-the-news-bats-and-coronvirus-breastcancer-monitoring-keto-diet/

Friday:

Where I invite you into my kitchen…This week I was gingerbread cake making the first was a disaster mainly because I didn’t read the recipe…I assumed I knew how to make a cake…Obviously not this cake…oops…sigh…Take 2 was a lot better I still prefer a stickier gingerbread cake so there will be a take 3…There was also a recipe for a lovely, spicy papaya salad with blue crab…and, of course, some other titbits and chat as per the norm…I love to talk…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/02/28/carolcooks2this-week-in-my-kitchensalt-fish-papaya-salad-with-blue-crab-and-gingerbread-cake/

Saturday:

Is when I get up extra early and visit the local market…the day where people come from the villages to sell their wares and the day where I am most likely to find something unusual a fruit or a vegetable grown locally and not produced commercially…I also need to apologise to anyone who has already read this post as comments disabled themselves yet again..it seems to be happening a bit more frequently little niggles with WP…All sorted now you can comment away…xx

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/02/29/saturday-morning-market-toddy-palm-fruit-ma-prang-fruit/

That’s all for this week…Thank you for reading…I hope you have enjoyed this weekly roundup xx I invite your comments…Let’s chat!

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 are having a great weekend xx