Category Archives: CarolCooks2…In my kitchen

This week in my kitchen…Store Cupboard Basics…Part 5…Bottled/canned goods…

It takes time (and) money to build up a store cupboard so I am breaking it down into easy stages…Just for those of you who are not sure just where to start…

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

Staples range from flour, sugar, canned goods, oils, rice, pasta, dried herbs, stock cubes(bouillon)...Today I am looking at Canned and bottled store cupboard staples.

I do think aesthetically food stored in jars looks so much more appealing…Don’t you?

pickles-700131_640

Many foods taste better when they are fresh however some canned/bottled goods are as good or better than the fresh variety. These include canned/bottled beans, peas and lentils which simply require rinsing before using. Some canned fish and shellfish such as tuna or crab which are significantly cheaper than the fresh varieties and make excellent additions to baked pasta dishes and salads.

I would just advise moderation or finding a glass jar option…I will say I am seeing more and more goods in glass rather than cans.

Canned tomatoes are sometimes cheaper and more convenient to use than fresh tomatoes…However…

Tomatoes for me are imported to here thus canned tomatoes are much more expensive…there is also the issue of the coating inside the cans…

Bisphenol A (BPA)  on the inside of food cans.

The chemical, used since the 1960s to make certain types of plastic, mimics the female sex hormone oestrogen and has been linked to low sperm counts and infertility in men, as well as breast and prostate cancer.

That is why my advice is if you can get a similar product in a glass bottle or jar then it is safer.

I used to have a large store of canned goods but now I have very few…they are Tomato puree, sardines, tuna, kidney beans and sweet corn kernels… thats it…

cherry tomatoes

 

Tomatoes are cheap here and available all year round…Once blitzed they freeze well and they are quick to prepare… when I first started doing them I used to remove the skins and now I just blitz the whole tomato and be done with it. Unless it is a dish where the skins are really obvious but in a chilli or spag bowl you don’t notice the skins they break down and it is a little more fibre in your diet…

Sardines and tuna I buy tinned because there is a lot of publicity about the farming of fish here so I am going to take my chances …I certainly don’t even use a tin a week or even a month it is just handy to have…Also canned fish is generally higher in vitamins and nutrients, the bones are soft so we can eat them…Which especially with small fish like sardines much better than picking out fiddly bones…

The downside there is more sodium but then if I am using them in a recipe I adjust the salt accordingly…

Sweetcorn, I keep 2 cans… A small can and a larger can…Ideal in a rice salad or on a jacket potato or in a pasta salad…

Many of the other vegetables that I keep just as a standby…I can get in glass jars…Or if you are into home canning then thats the way to go you can eat foods out of season which is what my mother always used to do…

Pickles come in glass jars purely as the acid would react to the metal but from the safety point, glass jars are better than cans…

The bonus is glass jars can be sterilised and reused…Less to go into the waste…

Time for a store cupboard recipe…

We love pickled eggs…Do you love pickled eggs??

Jalapeno Pickled Eggs:

jalapeno pickled eggs

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 a cup of Cider Vinegar.
  • 3/4 a cup of water.
  • 1/2 cup of sugar plus 1 tbsp sugar.
  • 6 cloves.
  • 2 Jalapenos cut in half lengthwise and deseeded.
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 onion sliced.
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 9 Hard-boiled eggs, peeled.

Let’s Cook!

Boil eggs for 10-15 mins until hard. Remove from heat and put into cold water.

In a medium pan, put vinegar, water( or beet juice) if using, onion, jalapenos, sugar, and spices. Bring to the boil and cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Pour vinegar over eggs making sure they are completely covered.

If using beet juice also put some beet in the jar with the eggs. You will then have pickled beets as well.

Make sure the lid is tight and refrigerate. The eggs will be ready to eat in a few days and will keep for up to a month if you haven’t already eaten them.

Curried Pickled Eggs:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cider vinegar.
  • 3/4 a cup of water.
  • 1/4 of an onion.
  • 3/4 cup white sugar.
  • 3 cardamon pods
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds( yellow or brown)
  • I tbsp yellow curry paste.

Let’s Cook!

As above bring all the ingredients to the boil until sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool a little and then pour the vinegar mix over the eggs making sure they are completely covered.

Allow to pickle for a few days in the fridge they are then ready to eat… Left with lots of pickle juice ????

Don’t want to waste that pickle juice???    Then have a …

Pickleback

What is a pickleback? You are about to find out!

It’s a shot of whiskey followed by a shot of pickle juice and some even follow that with a beer chaser…

A popular drink in bars around the world and apparently very good….Have you tried a pickleback????

The real beauty about using jars is that they look pretty, can be reused so pluses all round…As I said I keep the odd canned goods but not many I use mainly jars which store equally as well…

About Carol:

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 are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  MeWe

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a creative week ahead xx

 

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…The world around us…Climate Change, health and more…

Welcome to this weeks roundup...I have lots of goodies you…something for everyone I hope…Recipes…A pie… it was National Pie Day, some health facts from Sally, of course, Whimsical Wednesdays when I indulge myself…no not chocolate but memories mostly.

great reads a weekly roundup lady with electronic reader

.I have new ceilings…just ceilings… they didn’t investigate where the water is coming from…so Moi has had enough I am moving…Again…I have never moved so much as I have since retiring…It is becoming quite a hobby…It is also a brilliant way of clearing the unwanted things we collect overtime…

I only keep the essentials…flip flops, a few sundresses, of course, ALL my kitchen ..that will not get downsized, my dog and my Christmas Kitsch… Not forgetting hubby and books…Enough of my chatter…Time to catch up…

The start of the week sees me sharing any updates and opinions on Climate Change and the environment…This coming week …I have many ..things which have niggled me for a while…But before then let’s start with last week…

Monday…Latest recycling and environment news…

I will say I am concerned with all this hype…I am concerned that other things will bypass our radars and be implemented by the powers that be because we are so wrapped up in Climate Change… we have taken our eye off the ball…Just saying!

pollution-1603644_640

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/23/latest-recycling-and-environmental-news-23rd-september-2019/

Tuesday… Silly Diets and feeding babies…

I believe that healthy eating starts from before our babies are born we have a responsibility to make sure we are providing nutrients in the womb…This need to then continue once baby is born…Healthy eating is a lifestyle we owe it to the one body we have if we want to stay as healthy as possible…Many chronic conditions are helped or eradicated by what we eat…

baby-2423896_640

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/25/healthy-eating-starting-at-the-beginning-feeding-baby-tb-12-diet/

Wednesdays…

The count down to Homemade Pie day and one-hit wonders…and some other gems… The Lobster…In the year 2525…Zager guitars…The annual vegetarian festival In Phuket and body piercings…

street procession phuket vegetarian festival

 

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/25/whimsical-wednesdays-with-carol-3/

Thursday…National Homemade Pie Day…

National Homemade Pie Day Banner

With a recipe for a delicious Steak and Kidney Pie…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/26/national-home-made-pie-day/

Friday…

Store cupboard Basics covered dried legumes…Beans, lentils, chickpeas, all cheap, store well and can be made into delicious nutritious meals a store cupboard essential…

cranberry beans-1353042_1280

Recipes for a mayonnaise using aquafaba from Esme Salon and a tutorial on how to sprout beans...From the lovely Dolly…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/27/this-week-in-my-kitchen-store-cupboard-basics-part-4-dried-beans-lentils-and-peas/

Saturday…

I handed the reins to Sally… the expert on nutrition and how healthy eating can keep our bodies running well…Just like a car…It needs the correct fuel…This week Sally covered the male and female reproductive organs…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-female-and-male-reproductive-system-endocrine-system-and-hormones/

I also added an extra post purely because after reading how babies teething gels contained chemicals and additives which are harmful to health…I mean it starts from birth with no compunction just this onslaught to our health in the name of greed and profiteering ..You could say I was slightly p***** off…

I reposted an earlier post on what is really in the yoghurt we feed ourselves and our children…On that note, I am going to eat my proper Greek Yoghurt made locally with some lovely fresh passionfruit…

yogurt- coes milk- added sugars

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/28/what-is-really-in-your-yoghurt-and-how-healthy-is-it-really/

Thank you so much for reading… I do hope you enjoyed the catchup. I look forward to your comments…I love your comments …It is the best bit about writing a blog post…xxx

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and many of my posts reflect this as well as food waste.

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  MeWe

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you are all having a lovely weekend  xx

 

This week in my kitchen…Store Cupboard Basics…Part 4…Dried, beans, lentils and peas…

We all need a well-stocked store cupboard… things we use and maybe just a few we don’t use so often but keep and store well…I am not surprised by the comments to hear that many of you already have a well-stocked store cupboard…There are however many who still do not especially youngsters or people starting out on their own…

store cupboard basics banner

It takes time (and) money to build up a store cupboard so I am breaking it down into easy stages…Just for those of you who are not sure just where to start…

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

Staples range from flour, sugar, canned goods, oils, rice, pasta, dried herbs, stock cubes(bouillon)...Today I am looking at dried goods beans, peas and lentils…even popcorn…

Good value for money… beans and lentils store well they can be used for vegetarian/vegan dishes to make meat dishes go much further. They are a great source of low-fat protein and they are low-cost store cupboard items.

Beans…There is such a wide variety of dried beans which include red and white kidney beans, Butter(lima) beans, haricot beans, flageolet beans, cannellini beans, cranberry beans, adzuki, pinto beans, navy beans, garbanzo(chickpeas)…far too many to mention…

runner-beans-1835646_1920

To Use:

Place the dried beans in a large bowl cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight, then rinse and drain use as required.

Note: Kidney beans are poisonous so require cooking properly…Boil the kidney beans vigorously for 15 minutes, change the water and simmer for about 1 and 3/4 hrs until the beans are tender.

What also is very popular know is eating or sprouting your own beans…Not something I have done yet..But it was  a great tip from Dolly with a soup recipe as well…  https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2019/04/12/growing-super-soup/

Thank you, Dolly xx

Lentils…like beans lentils come in all colours red, green, brown, orange they are very versatile and are a little nutrient powerhouse…

Green and brown lentils or puy lentils cook quickly and evenly without becoming mushy and are one of the most versatile …I find the red, yellow and orange lentils are great but since they tend to get mushy when cooked they are best added to soups and sauces than cooked on their own.

How to how to use them… in a healthy soup, in Indian dal, or to add extra texture to a pumpkin stew or rice dish.they are lovely in a cheesy bean and lentil bake and very popular in Indian cuisine,… love a lentil curry…lentils are cheap, healthy and tasty…

Chickpeas…

One of my favourites they have a lovely creamy texture which is why they are ideal for making hummus…They are brilliant as a snack…just roasted…or just used to bulk out soups, stews and salads…

High in protein, they are one of the earliest cultivated legumes…They are also high in fibre and contain several key vitamins and minerals. Sometimes called garbanzo beans they are used extensively in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Note: it is not recommended to eat raw chickpeas or any other pulses due to the content of toxins and anti-nutrients. These components are reduced with sprouting and cooking.

When preparing dried chickpeas:

Sort them: It is important to pick out any small rocks or other debris that may have wound up in the package.

Wash and soak them: Soak chickpeas in water for 8 to 10 hours before cooking in order to achieve optimum flavour and texture. It’s possible to tell they are finished soaking when they can be split easily between the fingers. Soaking dried legumes reduces the amount of time needed to cook them, and also helps remove some of the oligosaccharides that cause gastrointestinal distress as well as harmful substances found in raw legumes.

Cook: Once they are finished soaking, chickpeas are best cooked by simmering for a few hours until tender.

I have a confession to make…I haven’t even kept count of the number of times I have thrown bean juice straight down the sink….Not anymore…

chana-166988_1920

The juice also has a name aquafaba a term coined by a vegan baker Goose Wohlt.

It can  be produced from the liquid  from both tinned chickpeas  and the bean cooking water now I  sort of already knew that this liquid could be used as a base for soups, stews and sauces but I wasn’t aware that if it was reduced down by cooking until it thickens then  it can be used in  the same way as the juice from the tinned chickpeas and is used by vegans or anyone who has an egg allergy as a substitute for egg whites in many recipes.

For example, it can be used in cookies, cakes, icing, creams, even meringues and also mayonnaise the recipe made with aquafaba by Esme salon is below. ( you can use bean liquid or tinned bean liquid.

https://esmesalon.com/ess-vegan-aquafaba-chickpea-liquid-mayosauce/

The liquid can also be frozen for future use I either freeze in zip lock bags or ice-cube trays.

Just a little word of warning:

If you are using the juice from canned beans please make sure you are using brands which DON’T contain preservatives are organic and grown without using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides also look for low salt or no salt varieties and BPA free cans as the white lining inside the cans  is a known endocrine disruptor and can leach from the can lining into the food causing many health problems , including brain development abnormalities, cancers and heart disease.

Me I err on the side of caution when using beans and use dried beans unless I am absolutely sure of what they contain and I use google to double-check as more often than not the writing on cans is too small for me to read and if you are in a hurry or your lunch hour are you going to check a can?

Glass bottles are good and more manufacturers are using them instead of tins.

Thank you for joining me in my kitchen I hope you have some fun and came away learning something or maybe you have some store cupboard tips? If so please share I love it when we have interaction and it benefits us all 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.

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  MeWe

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a lovely weekend  xx

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup…Thai noodle soup, Snake Gourds, the journey of a chicken sandwich and more…

Just in case you missed any posts this week…Or if you like to do what I do and that’s snuggled down in your favourite chair and have a read…They are all here in one post so grab your favourite chair, a drink, settle down and enjoy…There are recipes, music and more…You could even add a healthy snack of popcorn, your favourite music and read…Personally, I love weekly roundups as I am a busy lady like most of you and I don’t always have time to read posts daily…Life or writing just get in the way…Don’t they?…Especially if you have a deadline or a plan…Enjoy!

St. Norbert College students inside the Mulva Library on May 1, 2013.

Photo credit: stnorbert on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Popcorn I came across a new snack the other day...which I thought was popcorn and green chillies…But on closer inspection, it was popcorn and green crispy rice….Quite a nice snack not too sweet…

Let’s have look at last weeks posts…

Monday…more environmental news it is coming thick and fast now…lots of innovative schemes from individuals with a vision and some really great ideas I marvel at the inventiveness of some…

This morning I have been reading a report on the warming of the planet …interesting as the scientists are comparing times past and much of it is just the natural scheme of things and how the natural world evolves over time we have had ice age, global cooling, global warming the earth has gone through many phases over the years and no doubt will in the future go through many phases and tides shift…Of course, greenhouse gases and the march of man is having some effect but then man has always played their part…

green foot prints eco system

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/09/latest-recycling-and-environmental-news-9th-september-2019/

Tuesday…Fussy kids grow into fussy adults…I think too much onus is placed on prettying up food to tempt kids…Treat mealtimes from the beginning as a pleasure …with no dramas but with the expectation that whatever the age they will partake in what the whole family is eating…

Once my kids were weaned… I mashed or pureed what we ate…they mainly started with vegetables, eggs, rice, potato, fruit, fish all of which can be mashed or pureed but it was what we ate…they sat up the table with us in their high chair so they could see what we were eating and if they wanted to have something once they could chew …give them a piece let them try it…Stick on the tray of their chair and let them use their fingers…children learn behaviours…Teach them to enjoy their food…

naughty-mischievous-baby-boys-01

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/10/healthy-eating-eat-smart-mealtimes-with-kids/

Wednesday… This was my birth week so I got maudlin and indulgent…wondered where the years had gone …Started walking more with a vengeance…haha…The last 3 days I have exceeded 10,000 steps a day at least 7.24 km…pretty good I had slacked off a bit…

I realised I grew up in the years of some great musical artists …I also went through all the old family photos…found some great ones…This one is my mum and dad with me and my baby sister  May 1953…

family group mum dad me and tina 1953

 

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/11/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-12/

Thursday…It was a trip down to the farm…where most farming is done the old way…by hand …not too much modern machinery around here…Of course, we are in the rainy season so the pond and surrounding fields have flooded so out come the traditional fishing nets ….Fish are plentiful as are the frogs and on the menu… But the rice is growing nicely…lush and green so hopefully come harvest we will get a good crop…But so do weeds so lots of hand weeding to do…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/12/travel-and-traditions-down-on-the-farm-snake-gourd-raita/

Friday…Part 2 of my store cupboard basics…Pasta and noodles…noodles are a staple here and eaten as much as rice is… there is nothing like a bowl of Thai Chicken noodle soup…

 

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/13/this-week-in-my-kitchen-store-cupboard-basics-part-2-pasta-and-noodles/

Saturday…Smorgasbord Health with Sally Cronin on the subject of our immune system and the journey of that Chicken Sandwich…Fascinating and I am always in aware of exactly what processes our bodies perform…We are one amazing piece of construction when we are working properly…Much though depends on us…yes… YOU and ME…Very true saying we are what we eat…

It does seem to me though that we are very self-destructive and no matter what we read or see we still carry on consuming what we know harms us…It doesn’t mean we can never have that soda, that burger, that bar of chocolate …It just means we need to be mindful…we need to retrain ourselves…We are what we eat and by looking at that we can in some cases reverse some conditions or at the very least see and improvement …# Recommended Read

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/11/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-digestive-system-the-immune-system-and-a-chicken-sandwich/

That’s all for this week …I hope you have enjoyed and learnt and if you only take one thing away that it is something worthwhile…If you think it can help a friend or relative please share …I hope you have a great Sunday and to any of my readers who are in Spain…I hope you are safe and well and send prayers to those affected…A terrible tragedy… Love and Hugs xxx

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…These honeybees dining on forget me knots say it all to me…

forget-me-not-257176_640

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  MeWe

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a lovely weekend stay safe  xx

 

CarolCooks2…My weekly roundup…Fuss Free flavours, Travel and recipes

Just in case you missed any posts this week…Or if you like to do what I do and that’s snuggled down in your favourite chair and have a read…They are all here in one post so grab your favourite chair, a drink, settle down and enjoy…There are recipes, music and more…You could even add a healthy snack of popcorn, your favourite music and read…Personally, I love weekly roundups as I am a busy lady like most of you and I don’t always have time to read posts daily…Life or writing just get in the way…Don’t they?…Especially if you have a deadline or a plan…Enjoy!

St. Norbert College students inside the Mulva Library on May 1, 2013.

Photo credit: stnorbert on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND

It has been a funny mixed week this week …Maybe I am missing the company, the rain has been torrential and the ceilings all leaking…AGAIN…I am moving…had enough…I have never moved as much as I have since I have retired…Do I stay here?… Move closer to my friend?…go back to England? go to Australia or Laos?… My mind is flitting from here to there…undecided…I am also craving rice pudding…I read a lovely post from Sue and it made me maudling…I have trawled FB for family and friends who I have lost touch with and sent messages…Will I get responses?…Who knows…

Anyways…The sun is now shining so let’s do a weekly recap…

Monday…

Electric cars seem to be high on the agenda with many and they certainly seem to be evolving into something good…Greta is to be congratulated for her mode of travel. Prince Harry and Meghan are being villainized for theirs…TWO totally different sets of circumstances and let’s be clear about this…All these climate change initiatives are to be admired BUT lets not get overzealous with all this…Do we really think we can return to times past? The world has changed and we need to rein it in a bit…

 

We all can do what we can when we can and when possible …BUT it has to fit in with our lifestyle and circumstances…Change where we can and if we can…Let’s not have witch hunts…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/02/latest-recycling-and-environmental-news-2nd-september-2019/

Tuesday…

Saw me letting rip...That poor lad…A combination of circumstances and organisations let him down…How much could he have done? He is a boy and the grownups failed him…I don’t know his mental state maybe he couldn’t help himself…Maybe he didn’t know how…All I know is that from a very young age he was failed…Not taught to eat a variety of food but allowed to just eat junk food…The result? He is blind and deaf…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/03/healthy-eating-no-more-dietsthe-plan-that-worksit-really-doesbut-read-what-can-happen-when-you-really-dont/

Wednesday…

Thank goodness…I can lighten up and smile…Thank goodness for Only Fools and Horses…I also came across this Miranda clip which really made me smile…If you cook like me you will see the funny side…tsp and tbsp…

 

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/04/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-11/

Today I  was also over at Sally’s for my Cookery Column…Writing about how to add flavour to tour food using just a tad more than just Salt and Pepper…I will show you how to achieve fuss-free flavours…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/04/smorgasbord-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-how-to-add-fuss-free-flavor-to-your-food/

Thursday…

As you know I have been away and visited another part of Thailand to see a dear friend…A visit to Chonburi…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/05/travel-and-traditions-bang-saray-chonburi-thailand-floating-market-and-buddha-mountain/

Friday…

I have taken a step back and am looking at what we need to make our lives a tad easier when cooking…A store cupboard…The basics…This week I looked at flour and sugar…one comment on this post from Rose was it looked like I always brought organic…But that it could be expensive…Yes, it can be…I buy organic when I can but if the cost is ridiculous and it is something that I don’t use much of..then I buy the next best thing…The flour I use unbleached which isn’t always organic but is unbleached so less processing…I buy from local farmers who although not certified organic grow their own without pesticides I also grow what I can space allowing…I hope this has cleared up a few points for Rose.

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/06/this-week-in-my-kitchen-store-cupboard-basics-part-1-flours-and-sugars/

Saturday…

Saturday is when I usually reblog one of Sally’s posts…Sally and I are like-minded souls as regards nutrition and weight loss and with all her certificates and knowledge plus common senses…I learn something each week about the workings and needs of our bodies…So if you are dreading the winter because of colds and flu pop over and see what Sally has to say…#recommended…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/03/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-sysems-of-the-body-the-immune-system-and-your-role-in-its-efficiency/

I hope you have enjoyed this roundup…Have a lovely Sunday xxx

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be much more on this on my blog this year…It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…These honeybees dining on forget me knots say it all to me…

forget-me-not-257176_640

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  MeWe

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a lovely Sunday afternoon  xx

This week in my kitchen…Store Cupboard Basics…Part 1…Flours and Sugars…

Welcome to my kitchen where anything goes…I made a few changes last week and didn’t that go well?

Picture the scene… we are halfway through making a new recipe…We can taste it…Then up pops the ingredient we thought we had in the cupboard or we missed that bit of the recipe…The shop is shut…It is raining…We are in our house clothes…

We all need a well-stocked store cupboard…Of things we use and maybe just a few we don’t use so often but keep and store well…

It takes time (and) money to build up a store cupboard so I am breaking down into easy stages…

Whether you call it a cupboard or a pantry a savvy cook knows it helps them create delicious, economical dishes without using expensive ingredients or having to pop out and hope no one sees us without our slap…Don’t they always though…haha

TIP OF THE WEEK.

You are reading a recipe and come across something you have never heard of or know it is ridiculously expensive and doesn’t store well…It is well worth the time learning what you can substitute for an ingredient and often it doesn’t alter the taste at all …I will do a post on substitutes at a later date…But always do your research don’t let one ingredient put you off making a recipe…

Staples range from flour, sugar, canned goods, oils, rice, pasta, dried herbs, stock cubes(bouillon)...Today I am starting with flours and sugars…

Flours:

store cupboard flour

Photo credit: kev_walsh on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

A kitchen essential which is used in both sweet and savoury dishes…from baking cakes and pastries, pasta making, thickening gravy and making sauces…

The flour milling industry is one of the oldest manufacturing processes in the world…But with the changes and additions to flour and bread-making, some of it is akin to eating tasteless cardboard. Home baking is on the rise again…

Before I list the different flours and sugars I will add that I use unbleached flours and also check the origin of the flours I buy but for the purpose of a list of food basics, I am just mentioning uses not origins etc…The post would be too long and that isn’t the purpose of this post…

Cornflour/Cornstarch…Is a very fine white flour used to thicken sauces/gravies and also used to stabilise egg-based mixtures to stop it curdling.

Wheat Flours…Most recipes call for plain( all-purpose) flour. For recipes which call for a raising agent… self-raising flour has added raising agents. Wholemeal flour is available as both plain and self-raising. Flour labelled as a strong bread flour has more gluten and is suitable for making bread.

Gluten-free flours…For those with a diagnosed allergy to gluten which is found in wheat and other grains …Gluten-free flour is available from most supermarkets and health food stores.

Rice Flour…Rice flour (also rice powder) is a form of flour made from finely milled rice. It is distinct from rice starch, which is usually produced by steeping rice in lye. Rice flour is a common substitute for wheat flour. It is also used as a thickening agent in recipes that are refrigerated or frozen since it inhibits liquid separation.

Rice flour is used a lot here where I live to make the lightest of sponges which are also gluten-free…it is also what I use as a thickening agent instead of cornflour.

Raising Agents…Baking powder can be added to plain flour to give a lighter texture to cakes and biscuits( cookies). The powder works as it reacts to the liquids and heat during the cooking process which produces carbon dioxide bubbles which in turn makes the mixture rise.

Baking Soda is also a leavening agent BUT they are used for different purposes…The differences

Sugars…Refined and raw sugars are used to sweeten and flavour many different dishes…cakes, bakes, pastries, cookies, desserts and even savoury just a little sugar brings out the sweetness of the tomato.

Brown sugar…Dark, unrefined sugars have a rich caramel flavour. There are quite a few different types of brown sugar…Light and dark muscovado (brown) sugar and dark molasses sugar. The rule of thumb is the darker the sugar the more intense the flavour. Palm sugar is my sugar of choice here and quite recently I came across banana flower sugar.

Castor sugar/superfine sugar…Is a fine-grained white sugar which is used in baking cakes and biscuits( cookies)

Demerara/raw sugar… A large crystalized sugar with a rich, slightly honeyish flavour. It is great for adding texture to cookies( biscuits) and coffee.

Granulated sugar…This refined white sugar has large crystals. It is used for sweetening drinks and everyday cooking, it can also be used as a crunchy cookie or cake topping…lovely mixed with lemon or orange juice and poured on top of a warm cake…It gives a lovely citrus crunch. It can also be used in a crumble topping for extra texture.

Icing/Confectioners sugar…The finest of all refined sugars this sugar has a powdery texture and is ideal for dusting cakes, confectionery, desserts and cookies(biscuits) such a sim0le effective decoration especially if feathered or a stencil is used. It is also used for making icing for caked or sweetening flavoured creams…

If you are setting up your store cupboard from scratch I would first decide on a suitable dry, dark cupboard and make sure you have adequate containers.

Source some favourite recipes and write your list…Before you go out and buy a great deal on flour or sugar check the shelf life there is no good buying cheap money saving packets by the kilo if you don’t bake cakes often …Start small and monitor how it goes…what do you the most of? we all use more of certain food staples than others so don’t stuck with something you hardly ever use…

For example, I use more rice flour and raw sugar than I do icing sugar…SO I buy small because it is so humid here it goes hard and lumpy.

Although it is lovely to have a well-stocked pantry( store) cupboard it is not exactly fun reading is it and I always like to inject a little fun into my posts…This short clip made me laugh out loud it was so funny…Not a show I have watched I just chanced upon the clip…I hope you find it as funny as I did…

 

Thank you for joining me in  my kitchen I hope you have some fun 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.

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  MeWe

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a lovely weekend  xx

This week in my kitchen…Feeding a family on a budget… The basics…

Welcome to my kitchen…A slight change this week as I am not back from my few days away until later today…I have been visiting a dear friend and we are having some girlie time…Cooking has definitely not been on my agenda during this week so I thought for a change I would talk about feeding a family on a budget…

coins-1015125_640

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean that you cannot create a fabulous delicious meal for less than a store brought ready meal or sandwich…You really can and it is also far healthier…

So…I am going to start from the beginning and go through how to get started…Next week I will go through store cupboard basics and then the week after menu planning and some recipes to get you going….

It doesn’t matter what your taste in food is or how good your skills are in the kitchen…I am a good home cook…I am not a chef …I mean how many of us are ???

With just a little common sense and planning you can produce healthy, hearty meals for any occasion.

We have six children and with myself and hubby that was a minimum of eight mouths to feed every day of the week…Trust me I know how a hoard of hungry teenagers can if you don’t budget or plan be expensive to feed…I mean most have hollow legs and could eat for England and some…Plus if both parents are working then planning and preparation is a must…

If you don’t plan your meals then that is when you impulse buy or waste food…

You need:-

  • A plan and recipes
  • Know what food is in season
  • When and where to shop
  • How to use leftovers
  • What you can grow yourself
  • Store Cupboard Basics
  • How to shop
  • Time to plan and shop

Many items are cheaper if you buy from a wholesaler, markets or individual traders like butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers.

Just take one step at a time and gather all your information, set up your storecupboard basics and you will be ready to go.

Always go shopping with a list and stick to it…Having a list ensures that you don’t forget anything… helps you keep within your budget and also helps stop impulse purchases…

You do need to shop around as the cost of produce varies from store to store as well as from season to season it is important to shop around to ensure you get the best price and quality…Sometimes buying on the cheap doesn’t always work as if it is inferior quality it may go off before you can use it so shop wisely…

shopping-879498_640

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Many stores also have multi-buy offers, bargain bins and reduced to clear items …These are always worth a look but don’t buy because it is a good offer…I have been there and ended up with lots of bargains and special offers of goods we don’t eat often or which last a while especially when it is something that you only use a tsp of…shop wisely…

Once you have completed your first shop you have a till receipt use it as a checklist for next time or when you are doing a price comparisson…Also, check your bill as sometimes special offers don’t show on your till receipt at the correct price…

Initially yes it will take some time but once you are into that routine it will become second nature and now I shop almost without thinking sometimes I know what I can get and where and plan accordingly…Also on some items especially things I use a lot I keep a spare…

The internet is also a good way to shop as again once you are into a routine it can save you time and money and most places offer free delivery or give discounts for online shopping…I don’t shop online now for groceries but when I worked and the kids were young online shop for some items was a godsend…

Again it is about planning…Planning your menus for the week ..checking your cupboards and writing your list…

Buying in bulk as well as shopping around is often the way to reduce costs…However,

jam-288492_640

Image by meineresterampe from Pixabay

When buying fresh produce that bulk buy may not be such a bargain…If you can freeze it or make pickles, chutneys or jam then it is…The same with jars or canned goods or large packets of foods…Have you got enough storage space? if it is packets what is the shelf life?…

If you are a small family then maybe share a good bulk buy with other family members, friends or neighbours we always did this when the kids were young and it worked well.

vegetables-2299716_1280

Sticking to a budget always works once you get into the swing of it…You will save money and eat healthier and better…Another plus side is it teaches your children how to shop and plan if you are growing herbs and vegetables again it is all good for them to see and help with…You can also get some really good bargains if you buy a whole tray of seedlings or grow your own from seeds or cuttings…I find friends are a good source of cuttings.

I hope you have found these tips useful…x

Next week…Store Cupboard Staples…

 

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  MeWe

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a lovely weekend  xx