Category Archives: CarolCooks2…In my kitchen

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 16th-22nd January 2022-Monday Musings, Health, Culinary A-Z, Friday Product Review, Saturday Snippets and Go Fly a Kite…

Welcome to my weekly roundup... 2022 is well settled in now …we are mid-way through
January I do hope that those of you who are experiencing lots of snow are staying warm and
safe…Here high season is on the way…The hot season in central Thailand and northeast
Thailand runs from February to June…although the last few days have seen a drop in
temperature and it has been very overcast…

What is in store for you then this week if you are catching up…  It is the final post for my Culinary A-Z, Monday Musings are just some findings from the week before which I either find amusing or not, …Friday review and the subject was Slow Cookers…Saturday Snippets is always a joy to write for me…I hope you enjoy it!

Who knew how easy it was to peel an orange and end up with two little orange cups to fill with some lovely mousse for a dessert or wax and make a beautiful citrus candle… Eubie he was a great example of where age has no barriers…

CarolCooks2…Monday Musings… 17th January 2022…How to peel an Orange, Bees and Eubie Blake…

I think a detox is a good start to the year and Sally’s advice is invaluable, easy to understand …I’m ready to detox …Are you? If so please click the link below x

Smorgasbord Health Column 2022 – The Gentle Detox – Part Two – Eat food your body recognises…and can work with! Sally Cronin

This is it we have reached the end… the last two letters of the alphabet…Y and Z…that were far easier than I had thought… it’s been a fun series…I hope you enjoy the next one which starts on Wednesday…

The Culinary Alphabet…A-Z…The Middle Letters Y and Z…

You may have noticed that I haven’t included the #bloganuary daily posts in this roundup…I just thought it would be too much…those of you who regularly read and comment on my posts and have also been reading and commenting on #bloganuary have my thanks x It is proving to be an interesting challenge and an experience to read some of the posts…

However, it’s still not too late if you feel you wish to participate in the WordPress Bloganuary Challenge 2022 where everyone is provided with a writing prompt each day… just click the highlighted link and sign up…

As you know both Sally and I are advocates for cooking from scratch using a variety of ingredients…Ingredients that are necessary for a healthy body and ingredients which we either grow or buy from sustainable sources…Please head over as today it is Vitamin B1 which Sally explains why it is an essential vitamin for our good health and the foods which provide this essential vitamin complete with recipes from me…The whole package…

Smorgasbord Health with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiency – Vitamin B1 – Wholegrains, Mackeral, Pork, Pineapple, Eggs, Asparagus

Time for a review of one of my favourite and most used pieces of kitchen equipment…The Slow Cooker…I wouldn’t be without it but once this one has reached the end of its life then I will or maybe before be investing in an Instant Pot…but for today its the benefits and dangers of the Slow Cooker…

CarolCooks2…Friday Product Review…Slow Cookers…

Let’s go Fly a Kite...I can’t get the words of this song out of my head now…lol…although my memories of kite flying are like my memories of trying to climb a rope in PE as a child…not memorable…However, I am fascinated when I see others successfully flying a kite… there is always a touch of awe and a feeling of magic as that kite weaves and waves in the wind…

Saturday Snippets…January 22nd 2022…Today’s one word prompt is “ Kite”

That’s all for today…Thank you for joining me I look forward as always to your comments…Have an enjoyable Sunday see you next week xx

 

 

Smorgasbord Health with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiency – Vitamin B1 – Wholegrains, Mackeral, Pork, Pineapple, Eggs, Asparagus

Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best interest. Giving it foods that the body can process and extract everything it needs is vital.

Today it’s...Vitamin B1- Thiamin

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that along with the other B vitamins and Vitamin C it travels through the bloodstream and any excess is eliminated in our urine. The body cannot store thiamin but it is found in tissues within the body such as in the liver, heart, kidneys and the nervous system where it binds to enzymes.

This does mean that these types of vitamins need to be replaced from our food continuously.

For a breakdown of Vitamin B1 and recipes please follow the link below…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2022/01/19/smorgasbord-health-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiency-vitamin-b1-wholegrains-mackeral-pork-pineapple-eggs-asparagus/

CarolCooks2…#bloganuary 2022…What is a cause you’re passionate about and why?

Day 16 of #bloganuary…Today’s prompt ….What is a cause you’re passionate about and why?

One word:- FOOD!

Is that all I hear you ask -smile-  

I am a fanatic about clean food and sustainability, food without chemicals and food which doesn’t have a massive environmental footprint…

My wish is that people would count chemicals instead of calories and cost…Yes, the cost is a factor for many of us and although I will never be vegan or vegetarian as I believe we should eat a varied diet to maintain optimum health…we should be looking at eating less meat and more plant-based foods and that will cut the cost and improve our health.

So you see “food”…in my world is part of a circle as I believe food and the environment go hand in hand…There is a much bigger picture and we should all be aware of that…

circular recycling the world and a green leaf

Health services around the world are overwhelmed with patients who have non-contagious lifestyle diseases which stem from eating too many processed foods which are high in salt, sugar and chemicals…

Dentists are seeing children whose first teeth are rotten because of the sugar in their diets…I could on but if you are still reading I’m sure you get the picture…we are what we eat is very true as are many of the lifestyle diseases…

I play my part by ensuring that we grow as much as we can and that I only buy food that is in season and from sustainable sources…cooking from scratch means that we avoid chemicals and unnecessary sugars and salt in our food.

This post is part of the WordPress Bloganuary Challenge 2022 where everyone is provided with a writing prompt each day. Today’s prompt was to write about What is a cause you’re passionate about and why?

 

 

 

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup… 9th-15th January 2022-Monday Musings, Health, Ezekiel Bread, Stale Bread and Saturday Snippets,

Welcome to my weekly roundup... 2022 is settling in …we are mid-way through January I do
hope this is the year where we see the end of Covid or find ways to live with it as we do flu and
other communicable diseases…

What is in store for you then this week if you are catching up…  Culinary A-Z was going to be the final one but I decided there was too much for one post so next week will be the final one, Monday Musings, and let me tell you Spam begone and it is singe figures…Friday review and Stale Bread…we should all be at zero in our homes but those stats were shocking at the sheer volume of waste and Saturday Snippets is always a joy to write for me…I hope you enjoy!

Monday Musings…

Whose heart doesn’t melt at the sight of pretty little kittens, puppies or babies…but please allowing them to take over and call the shots…you have to read this …I mean however much you love those kitties that wouldn’t happen on my watch…but then it was on social media…I rest my case…

CarolCooks2…My Monday Musings…10th January 2022.

I always or my body does benefit from a detox it makes you feel so much better,  less bloated and lighter of body and spirit…Thanks to Sally over at Smorgasbord Health she has made it easy for us…So please head over and have a read…

Smorgasbord Health Column 2022 – The Gentle Detox – Introduction and Phase One – Before you begin your weight loss programme

Culinary A-Z…This week it’s the letters W & X…

This is the last but one post in this series…I have covered the wax coating on many of our fruits and vegetables and their safety, Chowder which is a lovely creamy soup, Arrowroot, Bratwurst Sausages and a few other items with the middle letter of W or X…not an easy one and out of the goodness of my heart I saved Kiwi Fruit for Pete Springer who always contributes to these posts…x

The Culinary Alphabet…A-Z…The Middle Letters W and X

You may have noticed that I haven’t included the #bloganuary daily posts in this roundup…I just thought it would be too much…those of you who regularly read and comment on my posts have been reading and commenting on #bloganuary and for that, you have my thanks x

However, it’s still not too late if you feel you wish to participate in the WordPress Bloganuary Challenge 2022 where everyone is provided with a writing prompt each day… just click the highlighted link and sign up…

Carol’s Green Kitchen is back…this week was the first post of the year I hope you enjoy it!

Yes, I’m back not with a bread recipe although I do have one all ready for next months Green Kitchen but back with Ezekiel Bread which some of you have tried and not liked or have liked but said it has a different texture to normal bread… all interesting and a learning curve some kitchen hacks and the safety aspects of waxed fruits and vegetables…

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…January 2022 …Kitchen Hacks, Waxed Fruit and Vegetables and Ezekiel Bread

My Friday food review was on “Stale Bread” and how it is top of the list when it comes to food waste…in the UK almost 900,000 tonnes of bread is thrown away every year…that is 24 million slices of bread every single day…

That is a travesty when children are staving not just around the world but probably in your home town…In the US (2016) 20% of bread is wasted in kitchens plus 12% in stores that is a lot of bread…

In my house, that figure is 0%...ZERO WASTE…nil..none…ever…every single scrap of bread is used…Do you have zero bread waste or is your household a contributor to those 24 million slices of bread in the UK alone which are thrown away every day…

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Review… Stale Bread…

Saturday Snippets…

Where I can truly unleash my muse because I never know what I will discover…This week it was the word “Year“…

Preparations are underway here for Chinese New Year…The year of the “Tiger“…one-hit wonder “The Year 2525” a song I hadn’t listened to for years…and lots of other trivia …

Saturday Snippets…January 15th 2022…Today’s one-word prompt is “Year”

That’s all for today…Thank you for joining me and I look forward as always to your comments…Have an enjoyable Sunday see you next week xx

 

 

CarolCooks2…Friday Food Review… Stale Bread…

Welcome to Friday Food Reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they?  where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, anything connected to that food. or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three…

This week it’s…Stale Bread!

Fact: Bread is top of the list when it comes to food waste…in the UK almost 900,000 tonnes of bread is thrown away every year…that is 24 million slices every single day…

In the US (2016) 20% of bread is wasted in kitchens plus 12% in stores that is a lot of bread…

In my house, that figure is 0%...ZERO WASTE…nil..none…ever…every single scrap of bread is used…

I either make breadcrumbs, cut them into cubes for croutons or freeze the slices whole…

Breadcrumbs…can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge if using within a few days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Uses: 

  1. As a topping for au gratin, macaroni cheese anything which has a cheese topping I just mix breadcrumbs with the cheese it makes the cheese go further and creates a cheesy and crispy topping.
  2. If I am making stuffing for fish or meat then I add some breadcrumbs…
  3. Treacle Tart needs no introduction…does it?

Treacle Tart:

An old family favourite…

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Ingredients:

For pastry:

  • 225 gm Plain Flour.
  • 115 gm butter.
  • 55 gm Sugar.
  • 1 egg yolk.
  • Chilled water to mix.

For Filling:

  • 450 gm  Golden Syrup.
  • 85 gm Breadcrumbs.
  • Pinch ground ginger( optional)
  • Zest of 1 lemon plus 2 tbsp juice.

Method:

Sift flour into a bowl and rub in the butter to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar. Add egg yolk and chilled water a tbsp at a time until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill 20/30 mins in the fridge.

Gently roll out pastry and line 9 inch tin or dish, lightly prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork, line with baking parchment and cooking beans. Put in preheated oven 180 degrees/gas 6 and bake 15 mins remove baking parchment and beans and bake for further 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Make the filling by gently warming syrup in a saucepan with fresh breadcrumbs, ginger, lemon zest and juice. When mixed together pour into the baked case. NB. The mixture should be fairly thick consistency but pourable …..if required add more breadcrumbs.

Put into oven at 190 degrees and bake for further 25 minutes.

Serve with cream or hot custard.

Croutons: can be stored the same way as breadcrumbs.

To cook either drizzle with olive oil and spread out on a baking tray and bake in a hot oven 180 degrees for about 10 mins turning a few times until golden on all sides or heat a few inches of oil and fry turning as they will brown quickly this way is quicker and only takes a few minutes…

Don’t forget you can flavour your croutons with garlic or other seasonings.

Uses: 

  1. Add to your soup when serving.
  2. Mix into a Caesar salad or any salad come to that they are far better than the ones you buy.
  3. Stirring croutons right into soft, creamy scrambled eggs eliminates the need for a side of toast.
  4. Lovely garlicky croutons are nice just as a little snack with some hummus or other dip or just eat them as a snack…

Slices of Bread: Have so many uses they can be torn up and used to make bread sauce which is a sauce which is served with chicken or turkey mainly at Christmas but my family love it so much that every time we have roast chook they ask for bread sauce it is easy to make and uses up stale bread…

Bread Sauce.

 

Tip:

Freeze the breadcrumbs ready to use( I always) keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in the freezer. The sauce can be made the day before and reheated on the day… I have been surprised living here that many people have not heard of bread sauce my mum always made it at Christmas we couldn’t have turkey without bread sauce…

Ingredients:

About half loaf of Stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.

  • I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • Salt & Pepper.
  • About half-pint milk.

Let’s Cook!

Pour milk into a saucepan and add studded onion. Slowly bring to boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool remove Onion and bay leaves. This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.

Bread pudding is a recipe which I learnt from my nan or bread and butter pudding which is different but still uses sale bread but the bread is soaked in egg and milk and then cooked.

Bread Pudding and Bread and Butter Pudding

For the Recipes please click the highlighted links above…

I always freeze the topper or trust of my bread and then use it to make garlic bread…Love French onion soup either have cheese croutons for a change or a slice of stale baguette add some grated cheese and viola a lovely bowl of French Onion Soup…top a casserole or stew with bread rounds and some cheese…

All you need to do for an individual bowl of soup or a larger dish is toast slices of your stale baguettes you can use individual oven-proof bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put into the broiler/grill for 10 minutes at 350° F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned.

That’s it folks how to have zero waste bread…Just think if everyone did that then those scary wasteful figures when there are children starving yes starving we could reduce those figures…if you don’t have that much bread as there may only be one or two of you… buy day-old bread that is reduced in your store that’s less store waste…or bake your own that’s fewer chemicals and sugar in our food and we are all counting that aren’t we???

Still, got stale bread? Then take a walk.. go feed the ducks and fishes…

Until tomorrow (Saturday Snippetts) …thank you for joining me here today I look forward as always to your comments xx

 

 

 

Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…January 2022 …Kitchen Hacks, Waxed Fruit and Vegetables and Ezekiel Bread

 

Welcome to my Green Kitchen where my aim is to cook food that is chemical-free, in season and grown either by myself or purchased locally and in season…

Produce which is in season has far more taste than produce which is forced and grown out of its natural season …I also think it is the anticipation and the taste of the first of the season’s crops…those first root vegetables…sublime! or those first strawberries there is nothing quite like it!

Bread Recipe for January…

Normally I would give you a tried and tested recipe and then I came across this bread and it was the name of it that intrigued me at first… Ezekiel Bread

In case you are wondering it is a flourless bread made with sprouted whole grains…Ezekiel bread is flourless bread made from sprouted grains. It’s named after the Old Testament verse Ezekiel 4:9, which reads: “Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself…”

 

Here is a recipe I have found to make Ezekiel Beread 

Please let me know if you have baked this bread or tried this bread as it looks quite a loose textured bread and not sure how it would taste or be for a sandwich…Please let us know ????

Kitchen Hack 1…If you’re planning on eating raw kale in a salad, massage the greens beforehand. It may sound odd but it’ll tenderise the hardy leaves. First, remove the stem and add a glug of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt to the leaves. Then gently knead the kale with your hands until the leaves start to wilt a little. Be careful not to overwork the greens as they’ll become mushy.

Kitchen Hack 2…Rescue burnt biscuits/cookies with a grater…

Don’t throw away biscuits that are burnt on the bottom or around the edges, Carefully grate off the blackened bits and they will be perfectly edible. If they are a little misshapen, dip the biscuits in melted chocolate and leave them to cool…icing also covers a multitude of sins.

I love quirk and ideas which make your dinner party or that meal for two at home that little extra special…This is simple to do and one I will try out very soon…So I’ll be dusting off those shot glasses( I) have quite a few stored away from our bar/restaurant days…

Waxed fruit and vegetables…

Artificial wax coating is applied to many fruits and vegetables to increase their shelf life…Most of us have been aware of this for years…

But do we really need artificial wax? Experts Say Yes! But then they would…wouldn’t they?

Don’t they look delicious?..shiny just waiting for you to take a bite BUT before you do… I just do the knife test and take a knife and gently scrape the skin… you will soon see if the fruit has a wax coating…

Are these artificial waxes safe for human consumption? Not all of them!

How to know if the wax on the food you are buying is safe…If natural waxes derived from insects and plants is used then generally they are…

Non -permitted waxes can be quite harmful causing nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

HOWEVER, as long as the waxes used are in accordance with United Nations Standards they are…Check with your supermarket that the waxes used on their products are FSSAI(Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) approved. The FSSAI only permits natural wax coatings. FTIR tested wax coatings applied to food are not considered harmful…

This is why it is important to know where your food originates from and labels often don’t tell the full story…not every source of food will abide by the regulations of the source country…This is why I buy local produce or grow what I can…plus cook from scratch wherever possible as all these instances where the food we eat is contaminated with waxes and chemicals to improve taste and shelf life is directly the cause of many non-contagious lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular diseases (CVD), stroke, diabetes and certain forms of cancer are heavily linked to lifestyle choices, and hence, are often known as lifestyle diseases…The saying we are what we eat has never been truer…

I am a huge fan of Mark Weins and although I will never be vegan as I believe we need to eat foods from all food groups for a healthy diet.I also believe we should for our health and the health of the planet we should eat more plant-based meals… Here in Thailand, many Thais follow a plant-based diet and this video shows one of Asia’s biggest plant-based Food Festivals…

I like Mark because he talks to people and asks questions which means there is a lot of discussions and the stall which produced compost from waste in 24 hrs interested me very much…Well worth a watch…Enjoy!

Garden Hack…Micro Greenhouse.

Do you have a hard time starting seeds or cuttings? Try soda bottle greenhouses. Cut the bottom off 2-litre soda bottles and remove the labels. Each seed gets its own micro greenhouse! Remove the greenhouses once the seeds have germinated and cuttings are rooted…Please click here for some more gardening hacks…

I do love a crab Sandwich…

EEEEEEK! She has that look and she has baguettes and I have heard her say….Crab Sandwich…   Surely she is not putting me between that baguette and with a Chilli! crab-1934857_1280

Ingredients:

  • 6 individual-sized baguettes or wholemeal bread or your own choice of bread/roll.
  • 300gm of fresh-picked white crab meat…..yikes that’s me!
  • I red chilli finely chopped, you can remove seeds….she so is and in bed with a chilli! And I can’t scuttle away she has taped my claws together.
  • 5tbsp mayo.
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice.
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley finely chopped.
  • 50gm rocket
  • Butter to spread on rolls.
  • Salt.

Lets’s Cook!

Butter your rolls or bread of choice…..I sometimes use cream cheese.

Mix the chilli and lime juice into the mayo.

Gently fold in the parsley and the white crab meat.

Taste and season with a little salt..the salt brings out the flavours.

Put the crab mixture on the baguette and top with the rocket.

Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed this bit of fun and just to reassure you that no crabs were hurt by me…..

Finally…my good news is that I was interviewed by Rebecca on Tea, Toast and Trivia…my very first toe-dipping into being interviewed live…it was both scary and exciting but both Rebecca and Don put me at my ease and I soon slipped into what I do best and that is talk…I do hope you enjoy it!

Thank you again, Rebecca and Don…

This is the blog where sustainability is on the agenda…Food and jobs are on the agenda…a healthy world is on the agenda…

Are you ready to join me in making your kitchen and garden a little greener, are you ready to cook from scratch more often and to count chemicals instead of calories and cost? Love Carol xx