Category Archives: CarolCooks2…In my kitchen

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…7th February-13th February 2021…Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes

Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

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… It’s Valentines Day…Happy Valentines Day to you all xx

Let’s go and see what goodies I had for you last week…so snuggle up in your favourite corner with your favourite drink tea/coffee or hot chocolate although depending on where in the world you live it could be a glass of wine…Cheers!

Meatless Monday’s…


Where I did commit a faux pas…the salad had prawns in it although I will say it would be just as lovely without…my bad…However, it proves someone read the post as young Jim kindly let me know the error of my ways…Ooops…Thanx Jim…x

Tuesday…My 2nd Protein Shake…Mango and Green Apple…

Wednesday…The Culinary Alphabet in reverse…The Letters V & W…

This series is drawing to a close now only two more posts…But…it is not the end there will be another one coming which I do hope you enjoy…

I couldn’t find many for the letter V but, Pete came up with a cracker…Mazeltov (there’s my v, haha) for finding any food words ending in v. I was about to give up, and then I found one. (Of course, I had to look it up.) The word is “sev” which means “an Indian food of deep-fried strands of flour.”…Well Done, Pete! x

Thursday was time for another Homemade Protein shake this time Banana and Papaya Thai family came to a visit loaded up with lots of tomatoes, bananas and salad so I think tomato chutney will be next on the agenda…they also brought me a nice big bundle of snake beans which I love and cauliflowers so again cauliflower will be on the menu…maybe some soup or roasted I haven’t decided yet it is so lovely, freshly picked and grown without pesticides…I am so lucky…

Thursday was also the day for Part Five – Anti-Aging and The Immune System by Sally Cronin.

This is a fabulous series which I am enjoying immensely I mean who doesn’t want to turn back the clock just a little and also call a halt to those little telltale wrinkles…I know I do…#recommended read.

Fruity Friday’sJabuticaba Fruit…

Although I have seen fruit growing on the trunk of trees and indeed my own Jackfruit tree grows its fruit from the trunk this fruit looks amazing just like it has all been just placed there…I love discovering new fruits and vegetables and I love even more if I can come across them here, unfortunately, I haven’t come across this lovely fruit here yet but I know some of you lucky people have…

Saturday Snippets…The end of another week and where I release my whimsy…Enjoy!

It is mostly warm and sunny as our high season approaches and I have lots of fruit and vegetables and am enjoying some lovely sunshine breakfasts…I don’t think I have ever eaten as much fruit or vegetables as I do now…but I am loving it…

My walking is on the up 4 days on the bounce 10,000 plus steps I am even succeeding in getting Saangchai to lap me a bit more exercise for Muttley…Today is my rest day in so much as I will just take my evening walk but tomorrow I will be back on track…

I hope you enjoy Saturday Snippets…Happy Valentines Day x

Well, that’s it for today…Thank you so much for dropping by…I hope you have enjoyed the read…if you have please head over and leave a comment it makes my day to hear from you …Love Carol xx

Homemade Protein Shakes…Mango and green Apple …

Mango and Apple Protein Shake.

This is my second Protein shake with no powders…so much healthy for you and you can choose all your ingredients and protein which means you can have a change around when you wish…more variety…

I hope those of you who were looking for a hot protein shakes liked the chocolate one…I have been thinking about other hot protein shakes and we could do chocolate and coffee or maybe a matcha tea one…Let me know…

Mango and Green Apple Protein Shake.


  • 3/4 cup of coconut water or liquid of your choice.
  • 1/3 cup of Greek yoghurt
  • 1 Cup of frozen Mango
  • 1/2 a green apple peeled and sliced
  • 2 cheeks of lime juice ( optional)
  • 1 tsp of chia seeds per glass ( optional)

Prepare your fruit and your other ingredients and just blitz together…Taste and adjust lime juice or add a little honey for your taste…Pour into a glass and enjoy!

I didn’t add any sweetener to this mixture as it was sweet enough for me but if you need a little more sweetness then add some honey.

Play with your fruits and flavours as long as you stick to the measurements when making a protein drink.

I still much prefer the very first protein drink I made the Raspberry and Beetroot Protein Drink 

It tastes amazing and the colour just pops it is such a vibrant pink colour and all-natural ingredients… If you missed this post it gives you further information on making your own protein drinks and what alternative liquids you can use instead of my prefered coconut water.


Thank you for popping in and having a read if you love fresh homemade protein shakes then please leave a comment I just love to chat and swap recipes…Love Carol xxx

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…31st January-6th February 2021…Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes

Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

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… we are a week into February…February comes from the Latin word februa, which means “to cleanse.”

I’m sure for those of you who have snow… cleansing and spring cleaning are the last things on your mind…here where the sun shining thoughts do turn to spring cleaning and cleansing of the mind and body…  the streets are already being decked out with the beautiful red and gold banners which signify that Chinese New Year celebration will soon commence…the shops and market stalls are full of pretty red and gold decorations and there are lots of red and gold clothes for sale the children’s ones being so lovely…


This month we have Valentine’s day on the 14th and a snow moon at the end of the month…aptly named because February is typically the snowiest month in the United States. In the 1760s, when Captain Jonathan Carver visited the Dakota tribe, he recorded that this was their name for February’s full moon.

However, this moon was also called the Black Bear Moon, due to the cubs born around this time, and the Hungry Moon due to the lack of food that was common in winter.

Time to catch up on last weeks posts I am waffling again…lol

Meatless Monday’s:

Meatless Monday’s are going well and proving quite popular… I am enjoying my meatless meals and I wish to thank everyone who has sent me tips and recipes to try you are all awesome… I will also credit back to you once I have made them and my taste testers have given their verdict…




This was certainly a lovely curry and I know mushrooms and eggplants are not for everyone…it took me years before I really liked eggplants and I certainly have eaten more since living here as there are so many different varieties of eggplants available…

For those of you who don’t like curry’s, eggplants and mushrooms I will be experimenting with all foods so I am sure in the coming weeks there will be a recipe or two which you will love…Please speak to me and let me know your favourite foods and I can come up with meatless recipes based around those foods…

Tuesday: Homemade Protein ShakesRaspberry and Beetroot…

Raspberries and beetroot are two of my favourite foods and combinations although beetroot and oranges go well together as well…As you know I try really hard unless it is impossible to get the ingredients or make something easily at home to replicate a healthier version in my own kitchen…Protein shakes are something which is so easy to make at home from fruits and vegetables that are in season…over the next few weeks, I will be sharing other combinations of protein shakes…

Wednesday: The Culinary Alphabet with a little twistFood terms ending in the letter U( tirasamU)…

This series is so much fun to research as I have discovered so many new foods and foods which also have so many different names depending on where in the world you live…fascinating…I am sad though that the series is coming to an end soon only 2 maybe 3 more posts if I can stretch the last 5 letters out…

Thursday: Homemade Protein Shakes…Hot chocolate …

A hot Chocolate Protein Drink especially for those of you who live in colder climes…xx

Smorgasbord Health Column – Turning Back the Clock 2021 -Anti-Aging and The Hormone Factor by Sally Cronin.

I think many of us wish we could stop Father Time and turn back the clock… have fewer pounds and inches, lines and maybe health problems associated with our advancing years…well you can if you head over to Sally’s and have a read…No magic bullet and results in 5 days it takes time and commitment on your part but it is proven to have results  …

Fruity Friday’s…Nutmeg and Mace…

Nutmeg is normally an autumnal and winter spice which is often used in autumn and winter desserts, soups, hot beverages it also pairs well with cheese and cream-based recipes…my abiding memory is rice pudding and that lovely brown skin which formed by my mother grating nutmeg over the top before baking the pudding we used to argue over it…Mace… although both spices come from the same tree, nutmeg and mace do differ from each other. The mace is the outer coating of the nutmeg seed, this is removed first and ground into a red-coloured spice, while the nutmeg pit or seed can either be kept whole or ground up.

Saturday Snippets: 6th February 2021…

My muse is coming back…part of the reason methinks or I know is just because it was January the time after the festive season the time when our annual visa is due and we have to generally say how high when faced with differing hoops…but the passport is now stamped for another year in Paradise although after January the lily has lost some more of its gilding…

Saturday Snippets, however, is back on track…xx

Well, that’s it for today…Thank you so much for dropping by…I hope you have enjoyed the read…if you have please head over and leave a comment it makes my day to hear from you …Love Carol xx



CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…17th January-23rd January 2021…Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

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…It is a lovely sunny and still morning here…a tad warmer just by a whisper and I am contemplating my day while I sip my delicious and healthy Coconut Water…

Meatless Mondays …are going well and proving quite popular… I am enjoying my meatless meals and I wish to thank everyone who has sent me tips and recipes to try you are all awesome… I will also credit back to you once I have made them and my taste testers have given their verdict…

I am gradually getting back into my healthy eating after the excesses of the festive season coupled with quarantine and as it looks like it is not going to ease at the moment I have decided that rather than have a lot to lose… I’ll start now …it’s far easier to shift a few kilos than a lot…

One thing that has amazed me is the number of new names for eating plans…so many tarians…Please!

  • Pescatarians – people who do not eat meat, but eat fish.
  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarians – eat no meat, including seafood, but do eat dairy products and eggs.
  • Lacto-vegetarians – eat dairy products but avoid eggs.
  • Ovo-vegetarians – eat eggs but not dairy products

Why can’t we just say we eat a healthy varied diet? No fads and no avoiding of various food groups(unless) of course we have a diagnosed medical condition as to why we can’t eat a specific food item…Just sensible eating with some moderation applied to certain foods …I mean who wants to live on chocolate alone???…


Wednesday I was back over at Smorgasbord Magazine for my new column…Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen where I talk about how we can take tiny steps to make our kitchens a little greener coupled with a recipe…This week it was my favourite Sandwich Loaf Recipe which I am tweaking to make it healthier by adding stoneground Wholewheat Flour so far I added 200gms of wholewheat flour with no other changes to the recipe apart from the fact the taste has improved…Thank you to Sally for inviting me back and to everyone who has supported my new column you all rock xx

Wednesday is also the day for my Culinary Alphabet with A twist and this week it was foods and culinary terms ENDING in the letter S

The letter S…this letter is different in so much that you can add an S too so many words…Which meant I could choose words which had a plural or not…I have mixed and matched…all good fun!

It also meant that I could leave many for Pete and he didn’t disappoint I think S is the easiest to date…

Thursday: Healthy Eating …Snacking is it good for you?

Snacking can be an important part of your diet if you stick to a few simple rules…It is healthy to snack if you have a long time between the next meal…sticking it out generally doesn’t will either head for the biscuit tin or the fridge and have just one…?

It can also help stop you overeating at meal times because you are just soooo hungry…

Smorgasbord Health Column – Turning Back the Clock 2021 -Anti-Aging and the correct pH balance by Sally Cronin…

I think most of us would like to turn the clock back just a few years here Sally tells you how you can stop the march of time showing on your face and body by watching what you eat…

Coconut Water is one of natures natural cleaners drunk regularly it can improve our health…it can help rid the body of accumulated irritants, waste products and toxins.

Saturday Snippets:

Dumplings and Joan and the Jetts with I love Rock n Roll…it woke the neighbours up…lol…Rabbie Burns, Haggis, neeps and Tatties…all this week’s whimsey …Enjoy!

Well, that’s it for today…I hope you have enjoyed the read…if you have please head over and leave a comment it makes my day to hear from you …Love Carol xx

Meatless Monday …week 2


Why Meatless Mondays?…

Lots of reasons but healthwise I know we should eat more plant-based meals not only for our health but for the environment…But there is so much information out there that to read, test and digest it takes a while …I have decided to do it in stages as to me it should be a permanent commitment and I wish to find some tasty dishes which are equal in taste to what I normally cook for my family.

I have stated many times that I will never be fully vegetarian or vegan as I believe in a healthy balanced diet coupled with exercise…but eating more plant-based meals seems to be the way to go…

I would like to thank Darlene, Lucy and Tori (my tofu) guru for the recipes and tips they have sent me…Thank you ladies xx

I will, of course, be adding more plant-based recipes each weekt as I try more different products…it does, of course, depend on what I can purchase here as not all foods as you know are available around the world.

Today my store cupboard revealed Mung Beans, Bengal Gram and kidney beans… I am going to have a closer look at the Bengal Gram and the Mung Beans…

I have always used beans in casseroles, chilli and for dips…lentils not so much…I am also finding there are also so many different names which I am just beginning to get my head around as depending on where in the world or which region you live the names vary…

Bengal Gram…is closely related to the Chickpea family…they are a yellow lentil rounded on one side and flat on the other…In Indian cuisine, they are known as Chana Dal.

They have many health benefits they are packed with nutrients and are rich in Plant-Based protein…it is also said that eating them may keep your appetite under control ( I need) some of that at the moment…sigh…

They are said to control blood sugars they are also inexpensive to buy and easy to add to your diet…

Gram Flour is also made from Chana Dal…

This plant-based eating is quite a big learning curve for me and as always I would be pleased for any input or recipes…

This recipe has been tried and tested on my family and was given to me a while ago by Darlene author of the Amanda books… A lentil stew from Syria. who also gave me another one last week which I have yet to try…


Yakhmat ‘Adas (from Syria and Lebanon)

  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 5 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup rice, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fine noodles
  • 2 cups stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried crushed basil

Place lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat oil in a frying pan and sauté onions over medium heat until they begin to brown. Stir in garlic and rice and stir-fry for another 3 minutes.

Add frying pan contents along with remaining ingredients, except basil, to lentils and bring to a boil. Cook another 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

Enjoy! Nice with pitta bread.

Note from Darlene: I usually cut the recipe in half as it makes a lot.
*Did you know that lentils are good for anaemia, low blood pressure and ulcers.
From my favourite cookbook, Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa by Habeeb Salloum.

I used really fine vermicelli noodles, fresh ginger as I grow my own and don’t use dried and Thai basil…It definitely makes a lot though I am pleased I halved the recipe on Darlene’s advice.

I have since made this recipe a couple of times and made it slightly looser in texture …I like it how I first made it as I can scoop it up with my bread my family preferred it just a little looser. Like all recipes, the end result is down to personal taste…

Mung Beans: These have been languishing in my store cupboard for a little while imploring me to use them…they are also known as green gram…and are part of the legume family.

Mung beans sprout very quickly thick, white crisp shoots and are a popular source of beansprouts…unlike other pulses, they can be cooked without prior soaking although as always soaking reduces cooking time.

If soaking for the lunch the next day soak overnight…if it is for the evening meal the next soak in the morning not overnight as longer than 12 hours soaking is not advised.

How to sprout your own …

I absolutely love bean sprouts they make for a lovely side dish…just stir-fried with some chopped green onions, some garlic and chilli with some oyster sauce…delicious or a beansprout salad pop some into a bowl of soup at the end of cooking delicious.

Do you have a favourite mung bean recipe you like to share?

I am really getting into baking homemade bread ...Last week I experimented with Foccacia a recipe given to me by my son who is an excellent cook…

home made Foccacia

Home Baked


  • 500 gm All-Purpose Flour
  • 7gm instant yeast
  • 300ml warm water
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5tsp sugar
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Rosemary …picked

Lets Bake!

Mix all the ingredients together and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Cover and leave to prove for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.

Knock- back the dough and knead for another 5 minutes then press the dough into a baking dish…12 x 10…I used a 9 x8 the first time and it was too thick as it rose quite a bit.

Cover and leave to prove for a further hour. Then with oiled fingers press pieces of rosemary into the dough.

Mix 1.5 tbsp of good olive oil with 1 tbsp of water and a good pinch of salt then pour over the top of the bread. Sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 200C/392F  for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

home made Foccacia

Home Baked Foccacia with parmesan.

Drizzle with more olive oil while the bread is warm…cover with a clean t/towel to stop the top going crusty.

N.B I also grated some parmesan over the top…Just because and because the family requested it…Although it was a bit too high the texture and taste were good it was also good the next day split and toasted…


That’s all for today on my journey into eating more plant-based meals on a Meatless Monday…Next week it will be Tofu…

If you have enjoyed this post please leave a comment as any tips or comments I love as you all know I just love to chat…Love Carol xx

Eat Smart, Eat Healthy…Lunches!

Good morning from sunny Thailand… we are warming up here as we are coming into our High Season soon although the nights and early mornings can still have a nip to them.. while many of you I know are feeling the winter chills as you have snow and ice…

Today I have some ideas for healthy lunches…which will warm you up …

It is quite difficult to think of what to suggest as when I worked in my last job although we had the heating on the doors were continually opening and closing so if you were working on the ground floor it was a tad cold most of the time so a warm bowl of soup or a jacket potato was very welcome at lunchtime.

I always used to make extra if I made a stew or chilli and freeze in portions it was then easy to take to work and I know from experience that if I ventured out at lunchtime as I hadn’t bought anything in with me it was over to Marks & Spencer who do the most divine sandwiches and of course, all their yummy sweet things are by the till…Do I need to say more???

Not taking in lunch is a trap many of us fall into without realising, isn’t it? Plus it is more costly…

As I am at home and lunch is my main meal I generally have a stir fry they are quick to do and cook while the rice is cooking which Is why I like them…either way whether you are at home, at work or eating lunch on the go…I have something for you…

Fried Fish with peppercorns in black bean sauce.
Serves 1.

fish black bean sauce

  • 100 gm white fish cut into smallish pieces and rolled in rice flour.
  • Small onion roughly cut
  • 2 spring onion sliced
  • 1-2 chillies sliced diagonally
  • 1 stem of fresh peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp black bean sauce
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Sm piece fresh ginger minced or finely Julienne
  • Fish sauce to taste.

Lets Cook!

Heat up the oil in a wok and shallow fry fish quickly on each side until it becomes golden brown, it will take around 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
In the same wok where fish is fried sauté garlic, chilli, onion and ginger.
Add green onion and peppercorns then stir-fry for a minute. Then add fish.
Add splash water, black bean sauce bring to a rolling boil, add fish and turn over once to coat with the sauce and simmer for 2 mins. If the sauce is thin you can add a bit of cornstarch/arrowroot slurry to thicken it.
Flavour with fish sauce and season with freshly ground black pepper.
Serve with steamed rice and a chilli dip( optional)

You could also make this at home and heat gently at work for lunch or microwave it.

Jacket Potatoes…Easy to do and will fill you up…If you have an oven at work then in your break pop one in the oven it will then be ready and waiting at lunchtime all you need to do is add your topping and… take a portion of chilli, baked beans, cheese, coleslaw, sweetcorn, caramelised onions and mushrooms to work and there you are lunch on the go…What is your favourite topping?


My favourite topping is chilli be it meat or vegetarian one or cheese and coleslaw if it isn’t too cold that is more of a spring/summer topping for me…

Soup is also very good...You make a batch at home and freeze in portions it just needs reheating or take it in a thermos flask…

Yesterday I made a lovely mushroom soup …a new recipe and it needs tweaking my little taste tester told me what I needed to do….lol

It pleases me though because it means that he tastes the food and knows when it needs something else so that is good for a child.

Mushroom Soup…

  • 2 lbs of mushrooms…mixed I used straw, button, crimini and some small ones which I can’t remember the name.
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 6 sprigs of thyme tied together
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

Melt the butter and add the mushrooms and add a pinch of salt and cook until they give up their juices and reduce the heat. Cook stirring until the juice has evaporated and the mushrooms start to brown.

crimini straw button mushrooms

Pick out a few nice pieces and set to one side for the garnish.

Mix the onions into the mushrooms and cook until the onion softens about 5 minutes.

Add the thyme and garlic and pour in the stock and water simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the thyme before blending the soup, if the consistency is still too thick then add more stock/water…Return to a pan and add the cream…Taste and season with salt and black pepper…

Mushroom Soup


I hope this has given you a few ideas about what to have for lunch…What is your favourite lunch?

I have added the link to a Chicken Noodle soup as it also has the recipe for homemade chicken broth.


All of these you could batch cook every two weeks and freeze in portions and you would never have to worry about what is for lunch… Just add your garnishes and herbs if required…

Thank you for reading I hope you enjoy the soup …Or maybe you have already tried it…Do you love it?? Please let me know in comments xxx