Category Archives: Coconut milk

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…Chinese Year of the Pig, Apricots and I killed my sourdough starter…

Welcome to my weekly roundup of posts I hope you have all had a productive week with lots of creative thoughts, no kitchen disasters and if you have please tell…haha

great reads a weekly roundup lady with electronic reader

You know the routine by now…Settle down in your favourite chair, grab a drink and enjoy!

February the 5th sees the start of the Chinese New Year which this year is the year of the pig…Pigs are depicted as animals which mainly eat and sleep and you get nice crackling…with healthy fat ( Official)… Also in the Chinese horoscope, it depicts wealth…

RED AND YELLOW CHILDRENS CLOTHES CHINESE NEW YEAR

Everywhere and everyone will soon be a riot of bright red…Houses decorated and beautiful lanterns hanging everywhere…Children will be walking around in their pretty new red clothes everywhere is so colourful and vibrant.

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/01/28/chinese-new-year-the-year-of-the-pig/

Time for Healthy Eating and this week I looked at Anti-inflammatory Diets which doctors are sometimes prescribing as if you reduce inflammation in the body it can reduce the symptoms of some conditions.

On hearing these words many people just freak and think what! It is going to be expensive, it will be foods I don’t like, I am going to have to eat different food from the rest of my family… all manner of thoughts…

No more...Diets Healthy eating (4)

It is Healthy Eating no more no less…It is knowing which foods cause inflammation and which foods help calm inflammation…Pure and simple…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/01/29/healthy-eating-the-bonus-you-may-lose-a-few-kilos-anti-inflammatory-foods/

Talking about which foods are good to eat it bought up the subject of sugars a few people commented they had been advised by a doctor or they themselves wanted to reduce their sugar intake and they were appalled to find that most foods contained sugar and many …And here’s the kicker Added Sugars.

Sugar is addictive just like cigarettes, alcohol and is contributing to the mounting obesity figures around the world…Many government agencies are calling to reduce sugars but are not going far enough the Sugar Companies are applying pressure and winning in many cases…This is disgusting and needs to be stopped…

Do we need sugar?

lump-sugar-549096_1920

Yes…Your body does need carbohydrates, which are broken down into sugar in your body. This sugar is essential for your body to create energy to survive. However, it is not necessary to include sugary foods or added sugars in the diet in order for your body to make energy.

If we know our sugars and know how much we should be consuming in a day that is the first step.

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/01/30/added-sugars-do-you-know-where-it-is-hidden/

It was then over to Smorgasbord Health column Cook from Scratch with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor–Healthy #Apricots and #Recipes…

fresh apricots

Apricots which I love have many health benefits as Sally will tell you and I provide the recipes…It doesn’t get better than that, does it?

I don’t know how anyone gets the idea that healthy food is boring…It isn’t …Simples…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/30/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-healthy-apricots-and-recipes/

Thursday already and normally I get to rant…Well, it relieves stress and stress kills…This week I gave you all good news all the great incentives which are going on around the world to stop waste, clean up the beaches and the sea, to tell you how to recycle clothes and put your own personality on them… Some great ideas which even a child could do and something you could encourage your kids to do…THEY WOULD LOVE IT!

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/01/31/waste-not-want-not-week-9/

Lastly week 5 in my kitchen...I killed my sourdough starter and have now started again and am on Day 3…I made a lovely lentil stew with the recipe Darlene gave me and if you want a bowl of meat-free comfort food to keep the cold out this is for you…I also made and it was lovely with the strawberries I got beautiful little ones from Chiang Mai…Why I haven’t made this cream before I shall never know…Fresh cream is very expensive here and sold in big cartons and not always available it can also help pile on those lbs and I am trying to keep them off…haha…I just whipped a carton of chilled coconut milk and viola I had some lovely cream which tasted just as good as whipped fresh dairy cream…But Dairy free…

Dairy free cream

I kid you not…It was lovely…even hubby liked it and he loves his cream and not much persuades him to change from what he knows and loves…So today when I went shopping I bought 2 small cartons for the chiller ready for when we want some topping for our fruit or pie…Simples…

Enjoy your Sunday and thank you for reading if you liked what you read please let me know in comments I love to hear all your comments 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 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!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

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

 

Week 5…In my kitchen…I killed my sourdough starter…

Welcome to my kitchen already one month has gone and we are in February…I still haven’t tackled that cupboard as I have been sorting out bookshelves and moving them.

My sourdough starter which was on day 7 has died I think because it was lively and I put it in the fridge overnight it was not strong enough ( Celia did warn me)…I killed it!

Today I started again…Take 2…Day 1… Still, it gives my proving basket time to arrive my bargain of the week at half the price Amazon charged and the same make…

Our chicken dish this week was another Thai curry this time a Massaman Curry…

Thai massaman is a rich, creamy fairly mild Thai curry sometimes tomatoes are added and traditionally cashews but can be optional. Vegetables are also varied depending on what is available or in season… play with the flavours. some variations add fruit like pineapple or oranges. The curry paste also has a distinctive orange colour and is in oil so immediately recognisable from other Thai red curry pastes. Some of the ingredients used in the making of massaman paste are not traditionally used in other Thai curries for example star anise, cloves and cardamom but are believed to have been introduced to Thai Muslims by Persian traders. The name massaman is believed to have evolved from the word Mussulman which is another word for Muslim.

chicken massaman gai Thai curry

  • 500 gm chicken breasts/ thighs
  • 2 med potatoes cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp of massaman curry paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • Bunch coriander chopped
  • 6 baby corns halved
  • Handful sugar snap peas halved
  • Few mushrooms quartered
  • Med tomato sliced ( optional)
  • ¼ cup unsalted cashews( optional)
  • 400 ml Coconut milk

Let’s Cook!

Add oil to a pan and stir in 1 tbsp massaman curry paste add tbsp fish sauce and cook for a minute to release flavours.
Add chicken and stir to combine with curry mix add coconut cream and potatoes. Bring to a soft simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked. And potatoes are soft.
Taste and adjust seasoning if required more fish sauce or curry paste.
Add corn, peas, mushrooms and tomato if used and cook for a further 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Stir in coriander reserving some for garnish.
Add cashews and cook for 2 mins.
Serve with steamed rice and garnish with coriander and chopped cashews.

Enjoy!

My new dish this week is a vegetarian one the recipe given to me by Darlene author of the Amanda books… A lentil stew from Syria.

lentilmstewwithbread

Yakhmat ‘Adas (from Syria and Lebanon)

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

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

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

Enjoy! Nice with pitta bread.

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

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

My go-to flatbread recipe…

  • 1/2 cup water.
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 cups flour.
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder.
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt.

Let’s Cook!

Sift dry ingredients together. Add liquids and mix thoroughly…I used my food processor and it took literally 2 mins…. if that and formed a ball. If it is too sticky add little more flour. Divide into 8 pieces. Flatten with the heel of the hand and roll out very thin.

My first attempt at this and I didn’t roll mine out thin enough to start with.

Heat pan and cook 2/3 minutes each side turn over with tongs or fish slice and done… finito..ready to fill…easy peasy.

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

Coconut milk is in the fridge as is the stainless steel pot and the whisk blades…Christmas Pudding on to steam …Yep you heard it correctly my Thai daughter in law loves Christmas Pudding and we have some left so our treat after dinner is a bit of Christmas pudding with this coconut non-dairy cream…

 

Wow..that was easy it whipped up in about 2 minutes if that I added nothing and it was very nice even hubby who loves fresh cream and lots of it had to admit it tasted good…I think it is easier here as our coconut milk is 100% no additives at all…I will be making this in future and it is so much healthier. A non-dairy cream which would go with any dessert.

I would also like to thank everyone who follows my blog…If I don’t message you a thank you it is because I can’t as your Gravatar doesn’t link to your blog or there is no outside link to your self hosted blog …Not having that could potentially lose you, readers, it does seem to be a common mistake when setting up a blog and indeed one I made until someone kindly pointed it out to me…Pete has outlined everything in this blog post which for me was most opportune I hope it helps you…How to link your Gravatar to your blog.

Have a great weekend and please share with us anything you have made this week or even any kitchen disasters all your comments make my day 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 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!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

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

 

 

Dairy Free Lemongrass Icecream and the Amazing Coconut.

the coconut

Coconut cream makes the best ice cream… Ever!

Ice cream: using just 4 main ingredients this lovely icecream cost me virtually nothing to make as we grow Coconuts and lemongrass. This ice cream is also dairy free. It doesn’t get any better than that. Does it?

Coconut and Lemongrass Ice Cream.

Put 400ml of coconut cream in a saucepan and add 3 stalks of crushed lemongrass. Slowly bring to a soft rolling boil and remove from the heat. Set to one side and leave to infuse the lemongrass flavour for about 35 mins.

lemongrass-1713240_1280

In a medium-sized bowl put 1 large egg and 2 egg yolks, 125gm coconut sugar and a pinch of salt. Put the bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, but ensure the bowl does not touch the water, as your eggs will scramble.

Whisk the mixture until it is thick and frothy. Gradually add the coconut cream still whisking and whisk for 1 minute. You will now have a thinner liquid.

If you have an ice cream maker then follow the instructions.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker then don’t despair just follow the steps below and although it won’t be quite as smooth it is very nice.

Leave the mixture to cool down and then pour into a suitable container for freezing. Freeze until it is half frozen 2-3 hrs and then run a fork through the mix and return to the freezer, repeat this once or twice more and then cover the container and freeze completely.

You will then have a beautiful lemongrass flavoured ice cream.

Enjoy!

coconut food-3062139_1280

My aim is to cook as naturally as possible and not use any preservatives. We grow what we can or buy/ forage locally and always organically. Our water is well water and the only thing I use is electric from the authority. Gas is bottled.

As you can see the Coconut is a very versatile product and a healthy one and one with many uses around the home.

Fresh Coconut juice is my first drink of the day. This week I have just got the inside of the coconut. The outer shell already removed as this was brought to me by my Thai family. It is so much easier than trying to get the hard shell off the coconut. It also cleared up the mystery of what they were as I had seen many stalls by the roadside selling these. My favourite place to drink it is on the beach, but now I live in Northern Thailand I have to make do with just the drink and my dreams.

coconut

Once they are finished however it will be a short walk into town for me to see my little man who does all the hard work and sells it ready chilled in bags with a little of the very soft flesh added. It is lovely and at 20 baht a bag well worth it.

Did you know you can use coconut oil to polish your leather handbags or shoes try it and you will be amazed at the result?

Also, the very soft inner cream of the small very young coconuts is lovely for babies when they first start eating solid food. Both of my grandchildren were fed on it as tiny babies, it is so easily digested and perfect for young tummies.

Oil pulling which I do every day before I do anything, I use it as it deodorises your mouth and gums and it seems to be a great way of warding off any sore throats, although I think the honey helps as well.

A spoonful of honey and a coconut oil gargle and my sore throats vanish.

My daughter has been using Coconut Oil as a sunblock whilst she has been here on holiday

She has found the oil is very effective at stopping any burning.

I  also cook with as it is safer at higher temperatures and doesn’t give off any nasties like some other oils.

Just a word of advice though and don’t do what I did.

Do not mix Coconut oil with any other oil…Moi did ( when I didn’t ) have enough coconut oil and wanted a bit more oil, bad move!

I got a foaming mess that just kept foaming and foaming.

Coconut oil also makes for lovely crispy food especially chips and although I  have heard say that some can taste the coconut, I do not find that to be the case. It also makes a beautiful salad dressing

Other uses for coconut cream/water in my household.

I use the milk in shakes, curries and it is a lovely thing. Even lovelier if I can get it freshly made from the market.

 

What do you use  Coconut oil or cream for ??????????

 

If you fancy making your own Coconut oil, maybe as a present then I have attached a link with instructions. Have fun!

 

Want to see more from me???? I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…Still, want to see more from me???

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

 

 

 

 

 

The Culinary Alphabet …Letter C and not a chilli or a square of chocolate in sight!

Carol Cooks Letter C

The letter C in my journey through the culinary alphabet…I do hope you enjoy it I certainly am it is quite interesting especially now I know that Pork crackling something most of us love is number 6 in the top 100 of foods which are beneficial to your health…Lots of fat but good fat and plenty of vitamins ..so fill your boots… well not quite …Moderation is best but no need to go on a guilt trip it is ok to enjoy it now and again.

To read my full guest post over on the Recipe hunter please click the link below. 

via The Culinary Alphabet. The letter C.

Salted Dark Chocolate Fudge (dairy free!)

Well those who know me well 🙂 …it says Fudge in the title and it has coconut milk and proper salt so it must be good as a treat…so go on you know you want to 🙂

The recipe states powdered sugar which in the UK is Icing Sugar for those of you who  were wondering 🙂 I had to double check with my friend Mr Google 🙂

Adventures of a Food allergy dad

Stop whatever you are doing and make this now. Because fudge.

Salted Dark Chocolate Fudge (small)

It’s no secret that I love food.  And it’s not just the eating of food that I like; I love that food can bring people together, can represent and define cultures, and can soothe and comfort.  Typically I prefer savory foods.  I will choose bacon with biscuits and gravy over pancakes every single time.  Night time snack?  Popcorn.  Usually buttered and seasoned with some weird concoction I made up on a whim.  But there is no question: I LOVE FUDGE.

I’m pretty sure there is no point in the day that I would say, “No thanks, fudge just doesn’t sound good right now.”  However, I don’t like making fudge.  True fudge (like the kind you get on Mackinac Island, MI… mmm…….) is a finicky beast, and I don’t have a steady enough hand to do it well. So many…

View original post 583 more words

How to make your own Coconut Oil.

Living in the North Of Thailand is so very different from living in the South of Thailand.. I am learning so much about Thai cultures and traditions which have been passed down through families for centuries and I am loving it.

Coconut oil and its benefits are known throughout the world and it is quite easy to buy a bottle from your local shops now….. But how is it made? it is still made by hand in many local homes here..it takes time but you get a far superior product and you also get the lovely by-product which you can eat.

So come with me ……Over a fire…. a pot is put to heat up when the pot is hot then the coconut milk which is extracted from the white flesh is added, in the villages they grate this and as you need the flesh from 10 coconuts to make a litre of oil …it is time-consuming and hard work by hand….

coconut milk

Putting on the Coconut Milk

If you are lucky enough to live close to a local market and they have the machine which extracts the milk then it is far easier although you still have a long way to go before you get the finished product.

Firstly the Coconut milk is poured into the ready heated pot and it is now a waiting game where all the exciting stuff happens and you can see the stages and transitions that milk goes through to get your oil.

coconut oil making your own

Coconut milk Reducing

So you sit and stir and watch and wait while still stirring as the milk changes.

making coconut oil

Reducing down

The first sign you see are little oil spots which start to appear on the surface of the milk….you still have to keep stirring.

coconut milk boiling

Coconut milk coming to the boil

 

The oil spots spread as the milk bubbles away and indeed will come right to the top of the pot and almost boil over.

Coconut ream reduced down

 

So as the milk is coming to the top is not a good sign you have to stir and stir so it is simmering and bubbling after a while it takes a few hours the milk disappears and you are left with oil…

At the bottom of the pan you get a thick crust which looks like crumbled digestive biscuits…this is scooped out and kept as a topping for ice cream.

Crispy bottom bits used for desserts

A very small amount is left in the bottom maybe a teaspoonful and this gives the oil a more vanilla/chocolate smell/taste it is then scooped out and the oil is left to cool down.

Finished coconut oil

You now have your very own hand-made  Coconut Oil.

I think it is lovely to see this tradition of making your own oil in the home as so often we buy a carton or bottle and we don’t where it has come from ..what processes it has gone through…Is it pure? We all know that labelling can be misleading.

I am sampling so much now of lovely home produced oils, honey, vegetables, herbs some grown some foraged and it is not just the marvellous taste but just the knowledge that I have seen it made or helped make it and that I  know where it has come from..it is a marvellous feeling ..

The photos are from my friend Sonya…Thank you so much, Sonya Russell, for allowing me to use them. It is very much appreciated…Thank you 🙂

I do hope you enjoyed reading this and please feel free to share this post……