Category Archives: CarolCooks2

#Meatless Monday’s …week 7…Vegan French Toast and pancakes with mushrooms and leeks …

 

Why Meatless Mondays?…

Introducing more plant-based meals into your diet can help you maintain a healthy weight if you have some weight to lose then adding more plant-based meals has the benefit of removing foods from your diet which cause weight gain.

Plants are high in fibre…this means by introducing more plant-based recipes to your diet that the health of your gut improves so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from your food… you will be eating foods that support your immune system and reduce inflammation.

Fibre can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar and it’s great for good bowel management…

How is introducing more plant-based meals going in your kitchen… Going well or meeting with some opposition?...

This week …it’s French Toast and Pancakes why French Toast because I am aware that some of my readers don’t eat eggs either because of allergies or because they are Vegan…I have two recipes for eggless French Toast one I have tried and the other I am hoping one of my vegan readers will try and let us know as it contains nutritional yeast which I don’t have or use …

French Toast (1)

  • ½ cup milk, regular or dairy-free
  • 1 tbsp corn starch…I used rice flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon, optional
  • 2 slices thick white bread
  • 2 tbsp butter or vegan alternative, for grilling
  • ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • Maple syrup, for serving
  • Powdered sugar, optional

Let’s Cook!

 

The other recipe is one I came across on a lovely blog written by a lady called Mimi…Her recipe for pancakes with leeks and mushroom filling with cheese sounded delicious and it was…I made half the recipe as is the norm when I am trying a new recipe and all my testers loved it…

 

 

 

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…14th February-20th 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… For those of you who celebrate Valentines Day…I hope you had a Happy Valentines Day xx

Enjoyed the chocolate I hope so as it is National Chocolate month… so fill your boots and enjoy! My thoughts turn to Easter with crossed fingers that my moulds arrive in time for me to make a lovely egg for Lily her first…

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: Week 6…#Frittata.

Such a versatile dish and it uses up lots of bits and pieces of veggies that are sitting in your fridge an ideal once a week meal which means less waste as well…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/15/meatless-mondays-week-6-frittata/

#Protein Shakes…Should you be drinking them?…

I think you should check out the ingredients before you do and also make sure that you are getting as much protein as you should from your normal DIET and if not because you are following a rigorous exercise regime or a vegan diet AND may need to have protein drinks sometimes…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/16/protein-shakes-should-you-be-drinking-them/

It was Pancake Day last Tuesday…I hope you enjoyed yours as much as I enjoyed mine…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/16/pancake-day-16th-february-aka-shrove-tuesday-mardi-gras-or-fat-tuesday/

Wednesday I was also over at Sally’s for my monthly POST…  Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – Bread, Homemade Peanut Butter and Home Grown Vegetables and Herbs.

I don’t think I realised just how popular Peanut Butter is…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/02/17/smorgasbord-food-column-carol-taylors-green-kitchen-bread-homemade-peanut-butter-and-home-grown-vegetables-and-herbs/

Time for one of the last posts in this current series of  The Culinary Alphabet with a little twist…Food terms ending in the letter X (loX)

Next week is the last one…The good news is that it will be followed by a new twist of the Alphabet…my fellow bloggers are so kind to me with suggestions and good ones at that…this time it was from Chel Owens…or Chelsea who writes poems at… A Wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thing...Lots of great poetry which I love to read and now and again Chel drops little hints but I truly am not a poet even a bad one…Her suggestion was that I find food terms and food where the middle letter is A for example…Thanx Chel…Like Pete, I will expect at least one word from you every fortnight…xx

I have decided as I am also passionate about the environment to run 2  different subjects consecutively and do a week about so every second week it will be environmental terms, for example, beginning with A etc…although with that I will generally only opt for 3 terms if there are three and explain them in a bit more detail as some environmental terms I know the word but not really what it means…so maybe we can all learn a little more…That’s the plan xxx

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/17/the-culinary-alphabet-with-a-little-twistfood-terms-ending-in-the-letter-x-lox/

It was then over to Sally’s for her wonderfully information series on how we can turn back the clock a little…

Please pop over ..say hello and find out how you can stop the clock…see you there #recommenedread

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/02/18/smorgasbord-health-column-turning-back-the-clock-2021-part-six-anti-aging-and-oxygen-by-sally-cronin/

Fruity Friday...and a weirdly beautiful fruit it is this week…

One which I can’t wait until my bush arrives and I can watch it grow…The Buddha Hand Fruit.

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/19/fruity-friday-buddha-hand-fruit/

Saturday Snippets…

Recipes, PJ.Proby and The Beatles…some environmental news, apricots and Easter Eggs…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/02/20/saturday-snippets-20th-february-2020/

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

Saturday Snippets…20th February 2020…

 

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I indulge my whimsy and my passions… maybe a tune or two…something which has caught my eye this last week…just anything…I am heartened by the inoculation programmes going on around the world and disheartened by the misinformation being touted around…I do feel that particularly on social media etc that only official notices should be allowed and anyone posting something which is not should be warned and have their posts removed…What are your thoughts?

My exercising has come to a halt as I damaged my heel something flipped up and landed inside my flip flop as I trod down…ouch…it is much better now so walking will commence on Monday…

So what has appeared on my radar this week?

In February 1965 the Beatles recorded “That Means  A Lot” they were unhappy with the song so it was given to P.J Proby to record…The Beatles version was not released until 30 years later in 1996 on Anthology 2…

I have always been a fan of P.J Proby..not a great copy it is from the 60’s archives…but so different from the Beatles later version…

The Beatles Version…a bit boy bandy which they were for me…

This coming Thursday is National Toast Day…Toast is not something I eat a lot of but I do love toast…especially French Toast…although cheese on toast with tomatoes I love, Marmite on toast, poached egg on toast, scrambled egg on toast, beans on toast(a Brit) tradition, garlic mushrooms and brie on toast or even just hot buttered toast done on a toasting fork over an open fire which is how we made our toast as children…

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 8 slices soft white bread, crusts cut off
  • 3 tbsp butter, for saute pan
  • maple syrup, for serving

Let’s Cook!

In a small saucepan, melt 3 tbsp butter until just melted. stir in the granulated sugar and brown sugar plus the cinnamon until a smooth spreadable mixture forms. Set aside.

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Set aside.

In another small bowl, stir together the other 2 tbsp granulated sugar and the cinnamon. Set aside.

After trimming the crusts from each slice of bread, roll one slice out to about 1/8-inch thickness with a rolling pin. Spread each slice with a thin layer of the butter mixture and roll up tightly. Repeat with remaining bread slices and butter mixture.

Place 3 tbsp butter in a large non-stick saute pan and let melt over medium heat. (If using a small saute pan, use just 2 tbsp butter and saute the roll-ups in two batches) Dip one roll at a time in the egg mixture and place in the saute pan. Allow roll-ups to saute for 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown and slightly crisp on the outside. Remove to a work surface and sprinkle each roll-up generously with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Serve immediately with maple syrup for me or chocolate which is what the grandkids like…

I was lucky today when I was shopping I spied some apricots not fresh but frozen but I love apricots and the furry skin so I am looking forward to making something next week with Apricots not what yet but am a happy bunny…also Easter is next on the agenda so I had better dig out my hot cross bun recipes...

I just wish I could get easter eggs here although if I can find some moulds I could make one for Lily she has not had an Easter Egg…Let’s rephrase that I have found some moulds on Shoppee so as long as I get them b4 Easter I can surprise Lils with an Easter Egg and I may even make myself one…

The last time I made chocolate figures was when my eldest daughter was probably about Lily’s age she is now 49 so a few years ago …I have been cooking for a long, long time…

The first chocolate Easter eggs were made in Europe in the early 19th Century with France and Germany taking the lead in this new artistic confectionery.

The Easter bunny arrived even earlier… according to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its coloured eggs.

Wish me luck…I do hope my moulds arrive on time…

Climate Change…The last year has seen many changes due to Covid-19 wildlife has been returning to many places around the world as commercialism has dropped off…

In November 2021, world leaders will be gathering in Glasgow for the successor to the landmark Paris meeting of 2015.

Paris was important because it was the first time virtually all the nations of the world came together to agree they all needed to help tackle the issue.

The problem was the commitments countries made to cutting carbon emissions back then fell way short of the targets set by the conference.

In Paris, the world agreed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change by trying to limit global temperature increases to 2C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. The aim was to keep the rise to 1.5C if at all possible.

There has already been progress…The most important announcement on climate change last year came completely out of the blue.

circular recycling the world and a green leaf

At the UN General Assembly in September, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, announced that China aimed to go carbon neutral by 2060.

Environmentalists were stunned. Cutting carbon has always been seen as an expensive chore yet here was the most polluting nation on earth – responsible for some 28% of world emissions – making an unconditional commitment to do just that regardless of whether other countries followed its lead…

However, also due to a change in Presidency the US has done an about-turn and rejoined the Paris agreement… Which means going forward the signs are promising for our children’s futures…

That’s all for today…

Thank you for popping in today I hope you have enjoyed Saturday Snippets …as always I look forward to your comments as you all know I love to chat…Thanx Carol xx

 

Fruity Friday…#Buddha Hand Fruit…

Fruity Friday is where I bring you a fruit I have discovered some I find here and others I have discovered while doing my research and would try myself…Like last weeks fruit the Jabuticaba a fascinating fruit which grows on the trunk of the tree and one which I will most certainly be looking out for…I just love discovering new fruits and vegetables as it opens a whole new world, doesn’t it?

This Buddhas Hand Fruit looks like a mutant Lemon…Often used for decorations and Halloween themes…for which it is perfect…It is however perfectly edible it has no juice and no pulp you can just eat it sliced and raw…it’s lack of bitterness means it makes perfect candied fruit…

With a sweet lemon blossom aroma, it can be just popped in the middle table and the scent can waft around…

Its mild-tasting pith is not bitter which means the fruit can be zested or used whole…

How about infusing your vodka or making a simple syrup for cocktails? How does A Buddhacello sound?

Add to sugar or salt and viola a lovely flavoured salt/sugar to enhance your cooking…

Shave thin slices and add to a salad or slaw…a vinaigrette…a topping for fish…use as you would a lemon…

I am loving the sound of this fruit so much that I have ordered a plant for my garden plus a finger lime…it is native to China and India although it has been grown here …it seems not commercially…Buddhist monks are said to have taken its ancestor the citron from India to China where at least 6  six distinct types of Buddha’s Hand are cultivated on 5,000 acres just south of Shanghai. sometime in the mid to late 80’s the fruit was cultivated in California commercially…

Although many fruits are the size of a hand with fingers the fingered canopy has been known to grow between 6 and 12 feet in height this is why it is often used at Halloween and is sometimes known as the Ghost Hand…

Medicinally it has been used for centuries and for thousands of years used for pain relief…namely due to the chemical composition of the fruit, which includes coumarin, limonin, and diosmin. In combination with its anti-inflammatory capacity, Buddha’s hand can relieve swelling and pain caused by everything from injuries and surgeries to simple bangs and bruises and be often believed to speed up wound healing and discolouration of bruises.

This fruit needs a warm or at least temperate climate in which to grow. Where lemons and oranges can grow, so too can Buddha’s hand. Also like other citrus fruit, it ripens and is harvested starting in winter and may be available to buy into spring. It tends to come into season a bit more in-line with grapefruit than oranges, so we may be well into winter before you’ll see it piled up at markets.

As it is warm and sunny here I am hoping I can successfully grow this weird looking beautiful fruit…

I do hope you have enjoyed learning about this weird looking fruit as much as I have and if you are lucky enough to have tried this fruit please let us know in comments…I love to chat…Love Carol xx

 

 

 

 

 

I do hope you have enjoyed learning about this fruit as much as I have and if you are lucky enough to have tried this fruit please let us know in comments…I love to chat…Love Carol xx

CarolCooks2…Week 1…in my Kitchen……Made from scratch…Mustard…

Every Thursday I will show you how easy it is to replicate a processed food in your own kitchen…not only are most recipes easy to replicate but they make far more … are much more cost-effective …Who doesn’t like 3 for the price of one?

I am also really trying to get over the message that we should first and foremost be counting chemicals in our foods, not calories…I was going say count the sugar, salt and fat but we all know how important they are to our health and well being and that we should be aware of government guidelines but it seems the chemicals in our foods ..don’t quite carry the same importance for many…

Many illnesses/diseases are proven to be a direct result of the food and drinks we consume…I would much prefer to change my diet than pop a pill or three… Highly processed foods consumed in excess are known to have consequences for our health and our families health…

I am noticing when doing research the word “likely” crops up very frequently as in “likely safe”…and most times more than once in the same sentence…I don’t like it! It makes me uneasy…

It is also a fallacy that processed foods are too hard or too complicated to make…Many are just a process much like you follow a knitting or crochet pattern you just measure the ingredient and away you go …Yes, my mother and my grandmother taught me much but also much I have learnt myself…Yes, I have and still do have kitchen disasters (ask), my family…they would love to tell you…haha…I’ll do a post on them one day it will astound you…haha…

I make many of my own sauces, mixes and condiments …sometimes because I cannot buy it here and to import it costs far more than the ingredients it is also the preservatives I mean why else would something last for years…

I have also discovered TASTE…sometimes it is the taste… I can taste the ingredients and not just an overriding sweetness…I can see how much I can make in volume against the size of a pack I purchase in a store the cost speaks volumes both in my purse and in our health.

Ingredients: Store purchased Mustard.

Water, MUSTARD flour (21%), sugar, salt, WHEAT flour, turmeric, citric acid, stabiliser (xanthan gum) 8 ingredients…

My Homemade Mustard.

Ingredients: (5)

  • 1/4 cup cold quality vinegar (wine vinegar, rice vinegar etc.)
  • 1/2 a cup of cold water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 of a cup of mustard seeds

Let’s Cook!

 Mix together the water, vinegar, salt, and turmeric, then chill this in the refrigerator for a half-hour to an hour.

 Grind the mustard, then pour the cold liquid over the ground mustard immediately. Set it in the refrigerator overnight before using, for the best flavour.

If you don’t want yellow mustard, simply omit the turmeric.

The reason for the emphasis on cold vinegar and water is because this retains the flavour of the mustard,  otherwise, it loses its pungency quickly. The original recipe I used stated to let it stand overnight as this reduces the bitterness although I found 2/3 days was much better.

Also, as it chills, it should thicken up. This is the reason that store-bought mustard can be difficult to get out of the container if it comes directly from the refrigerator and isn’t at room temperature.

 

 

 

 This mustard will keep in the refrigerator for about a year due to its vinegar content although it doesn’t last that long here…they eat it!

My second batch was slightly smoother but I think I need to either dry my seeds in the oven or in the sun as dry frying it is so easy to burn them…which I did with the first batch so had to start again.

However, on doing a little research of my own I have found another recipe which recommends soaking the mustard seeds for 24/48hrs and then putting them in a small food processor and you will have a smooth paste after then passing the paste through a fine metal sieve however if you want grainier mustard then pass on the final step.

My quest for smooth mustard like the famous Colman’s mustard is not yet over but a work in progress……I will keep you updated…

In the meantime, my son taste tested …we had a little Colman’s mustard left so he used both on his dinner and said he really couldn’t taste any difference so it got the thumbs up from him and as he is a very good chef that was praise indeed!

About me and my cooking:

I use natural ingredients wherever possible. I do not use a packet or bottled ready-made mixes. I also do not use a microwave ( for personal) reasons.

I cook as far as it is humanly possible with fresh, homegrown or homemade condiments. I support local farmers as much as I can.

Saying that I am not fanatical and on occasions, I buy a bottle of salad cream…I just don’t buy ready meals or meals in a packet or tin I like to make my own.

To be honest, a lot of foodstuffs which I used to buy are so easy to make, more flavoursome and cheaper and importantly better for your health.

N.B. I have added a clickable link on mustard seeds which will give you further benefits and uses of this little seed.

Until next time enjoy!

Thank you for reading this post I hope you enjoy this new series…if you make your own mustard and have some tips to share please leave a comment I would love to hear from you…Love Carol x

Smorgasbord Health Column – Turning Back the Clock 2021 – Part Six – Anti-Aging and Oxygen by Sally Cronin

 

Are you getting enough oxygen?

Isn’t breathing something that we all do naturally without thinking about it?

One of the reasons that I have left the art of breathing to this fairly late stage is that I assumed that most people were actually doing it – at least sufficiently enough to sit reading this book. The sad fact is though that most of us only use a small proportion of our lung capacity. Which is also a bit of a waste when you think that a few minutes spent each day completing a deep breathing exercise and learning to use the lungs to full capacity is as free as the air you breath.

It is well worth remembering that only the fittest athletes can survive for more than 6 minutes without air – we all need water within 6 days and we can live without food for 6 weeks. I know what should be on our priority list.

As we get older we find we become more and more breathless as we undertake activity but this need not be inevitable and in this chapter, I am going to provide you with the tools you need to improve this absolutely vital function. These very simple exercises are a definite weapon against ageing and health problems. #recommendedread

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/02/18/smorgasbord-health-column-turning-back-the-clock-2021-part-six-anti-aging-and-oxygen-by-sally-cronin/