Category Archives: Cook from scratch

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…

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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…

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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,

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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CarolCooks2…This week in my kitchen…Chicken, cashew nut, lemongrass, Jalapeno rolls and Frogs…

Lots of rain this week albeit it warm…The rainy season is here…Lots of frogs the rain brings them out in droves… they are one of my favourite animals…Thais love them too served up for a snack or dinner…The market is full of tubs of frogs…

It took a while but finally, I succumbed…In a soup..maybe not yet but crispy they are delicious…

Who would have thunk that seven years down the line I would have tried so many different foods…certainly not me…

Now for something a tad more normal…Chicken with cashew nuts and lemongrass.

Chicken with cashew nuts

Serves 4 people.

  • vegetable oil/coconut oil
  • 1cup roasted unsalted cashews
  • small dried chillies
  • tbsp lemongrass, chopped finely( the white part)
  • tbsp crushed garlic
  • 4 green onions, cut into 5cm pieces
  • chicken breasts
  • 1tsp sugar
  • tbsp oyster sauce
  • tbsp light soy sauce
  • tbsp fish sauce
  • tbsp chicken stock
  • Betel leaves to serve…Optional

In a bowl add the sugar, oyster sauce, fish sauce and chicken stock.

Heat a wok and add a little oil, once sizzling add the dried chillies, followed by the garlic.

Slice chicken into 1-inch cubes. Add the chicken slices in small amounts and stir fry until golden. Remove chicken from wok.

In the empty wok, add the cashew nuts and stir fry, followed by the lemongrass. Add the bowl of sauces then the chicken. Stir fry until all the sauces are covering the chicken, Add the remaining ingredients including the spring onions and stir fry a further minute.

chicken and betel leaves

Serve with rice and a selection of raw vegetables and herbs.

Betel leaves are also used for Miang Kham another one of my favourite snacks…

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Miang Kham… Is a treat that I buy sometimes at the market…The sauce is a tamarind based sauce which I love… It is also very easy to replicate at home and if you can’t obtain betel leaves then basil or another big leaved herb would be fine…

Take-Two…Jalapeno and cream cheese rolls…

The first attempt at these rolls was …not so good…The pastry wasn’t the right one, too much filling and the fat was just too hot…

On the plus side, they had crispy bits and the filling was delish and made up for the pastries shortcomings…So much so it was worth making them again…

Take-Two!

Ingredients:

  • A Pack Cream Cheese (250 gm)
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 4/6 jalapenos diced fairly small
  • 3/4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 3 green onions finely sliced
  • Salt to season
  • Spring roll wrappers

Mix your cream cheese with all the ingredients once done you are ready to assemble…

Place a dessertspoon of the cream cheese mixture about 1/4 way in the wrap and proceed to roll…

This video is quite good as it shows you how to wrap in more than one way and also how to make your own pastry…I bought mine as it is for sale everywhere here and if you like you can watch them being made which is fascinating.

I used about 3/4 of a pack of cream cheese which made11 small rolls… I always make small amounts when I am trying a recipe…Jalapenos we like the heat but if you like less heat reduce the amount you use there are no hard and fast rules with this it is personal taste…

jalapeno rolls showing cream cheese filling

If you love jalapenos these rolls are just delicious, spicy and hard not to eat another one…

As my daughter law is at the farm...I had to cook peanuts..Simple…Not for me …If you cook them for too long…. they carry on cooking when removed from the heat they can very soon become..burnt …which is what happened to my first attempt…

Peanuts with crispy curry leaves

Today…Not wanting a repeat of that episode on my first attempt they were undercooked…Back in the pan…2nd attempt they just passed muster I think…I also crisped some curry leaves…Basil is also a good leaf to deep fry and add to peanuts.

It then gives a little something extra to a snack…

Out shopping I saw Coconut flower sugar…also a syrup…small containers and quite pricey…so I did a little research…

My first thought was it must be healthier than normal sugar…Nice clean packaging…

It turns out however it is promoted… sugar is sugar…Yes, coconut sugar may have a few more minerals however you would have to consume copious amounts to benefit…Sugar is Sugar after all…

Do you use Coconut flower sugar or syrup?

That’s all for this week I hope you have enjoyed the recipes…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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eat Smart, Eat Healthily and lose weight…Fads out… common sense in…

Good morning everyone…I think after all these wacky diets and yes I have another one for you today…Just so it highlights the lengths some people go-to for a quick fix…Quick fixes never work…All of us here are in for the long haul…It stays off…FACT…We love our food…FACT…We limit but not exclude completely some food…FACT…I  ♥ Fudge… A DEFINITE FACT…

In answer to the question about substituting coconut oil in a recipe…This is what Victoria or Tori as I know her said…

I know I’ve heard rapeseed oil can be used in place of coconut oil in some recipes. I don’t know from personal experience, but I’d definitely say it’s an option. Don’t know if that helps, but just thought I’d put my two cents in, in case it does help.

Thank you, Tori…Tori also has recently converted to a Vegan Diet and made this plea…

By the way, I’m making a point of cooking most of my food myself, and have recently moved to a vegan diet from a vegetarian one. I’ve found plenty of meal inspiration, but am always up for more, so if you ever make things that are vegan-friendly, I’d really appreciate those recipes.

Although I am not vegetarian or vegan I do make meals which could be eaten by either…I love vegetables and do make meat-free dishes BUT if anyone has some ideas please share as I know Tori would be grateful and I will give you credit as always…x

Die(t)…Is a word we don’t use here…I believe that everyone is entitled to eat and choose their food as they like …I do however believe we need balance in our diets and need to fulfil our bodies needs to ensure we run at optimum health…

car bonnet open

We wouldn’t put petrol in a diesel engine, would we??? The car would splutter and then quite frankly come to a halt…It would stop…It would not work…

All these faddy eating plans are the same …Some may be a quick fix…Most are not sustainable they are too restrictive and many long term are downright unhealthy and will cause us problems…

Interestingly Sally posted an update on diets and one of the most popular eating plans at the moment came under fire it is not healthy …It is not proving good for our long term health…Ricketts is back…Many preventable diseases which I thought because of increased nutrition were gone…Because of these silly restrictive diets, many people follow are back!  This should not be happening…

There have been some studies that have identified that there is an increase in nutritional deficiency in the diet and here are three articles that are worth reading.

So please if for nothing other than to prove to yourself that the eating plan you are following is good for your health long term…I don’t know about you but I would like a few more years on this earth and be as healthy, happy and mobile(ache-free) as I can be given my advancing years…x

Recipe Corner:

Let’s Cook!

Onions stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and cheese…Yep, this is one of my meat-free days…If you are following a vegan diet then swap the feta for vegan cheese and an egg substitute.

STUFFED ONION

Ingredients:

  • 4 large onions.
  • 150 gm goats cheese or Vegan cheese.
  • 50 gm fresh breadcrumbs ( I use olive oil breadcrumbs)
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil chopped and drained. I am lucky that I live somewhere nice and sunny so I can sun dry my own tomatoes please click here to see how.
  • 2 tbsp oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 Tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Just reading that list of ingredients makes my mouth water….I am salivating.

Let’s Cook!

Add the onions in their skins to lightly salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the boiling water, drain and cool. When they are cool enough to handle cut in half and remove the skin.

Using a small dessert spoon scoop out the centre leaving a thick outer layer.. 3 layers is sufficient.

Reserve the flesh for later.

Pre-heat your oven to 190C/375F

Place the onion shells in an oiled ovenproof dish.

Add all the other ingredients except for the tomato oil and pine nuts to the scooped-out onion flesh and season well. Stir in the pine nuts.

Divide the mix between the 4  scooped out onion shells and cover the dish with foil.

Bake for 20 minutes, remove foil and drizzle with the sun-dried tomato oil cook uncovered for a further 25-35 minutes until bubbling and cooked.

Baste occasionally during cooking.

And smell…. your kitchen will be filled with such a lovely aroma and even those who are not onion lovers will be salivating…I have had many a convert to this dish.

It is lovely just served with warm bread or as a side to some lovely grilled sardines.

Now all of those ingredients have amazing health benefits.

Some lovely variations to this recipe include using Feta cheese instead of goats cheese and substitute mint and pitted green/black olives instead of the other ingredients for a real Mediterranean taste. Just stir into the scooped onion mix, you could also add some currants or sultanas.

If you don’t want sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts use 75 gm chopped walnuts add them to the scooped-out onion mix add 115 gm chopped celery and cook in a tbsp oil until the celery is soft and put in the onion shell.

Experiment by substituting your own favourite ingredients that is what cooking is all about.

Enjoy!

Wacky Diet Corner…Clay Eating…

Clay eating is a culture in some parts of the world…But when Celebrity’s start endorsing such eating habits to me it starts down a slippery slope…

Drink 1/2 tsp of clay in 8 oz of water a day…Why? It supposedly binds other materials in the body and gets rid of negative isotopes…This is a bogus medical claim…Our kidneys and liver do not need help processing toxins…

This is what people thought…

Personally…Would you? Do you?

My healthy eating is going fine…It seems like I hover and on average lose about 1lb every 10 days…I do think cutting right down on alcohol has made a huge difference to me…I sleep much better and feel much better even my son told me to slow down when out walking the other day…haha…these young ones can’t keep up…But then I can lay claim to having completed a marathon in my younger days he can’t and for those of you who are not sure…That’s 26.2 miles…

Next week bets are off in this house as I am going on a girlie few days to Pattaya…My other half and son think I will be going on a binge…I have been away and only last week met up with some friends for dinner and a drink and boy can they drink…I am not righteous I couldn’t what I wanted to drink so stuck with water…It doesn’t bother me any more …But I did have one sundowner last night…I just pace myself and I did find…

Confession time peeps…Lindt makes a dark chocolate bar with mint creme…The first time I have seen it where I shop and probably will never see it again so I succumbed without a struggle…haha…I had the last two squares yesterday…Bliss…Dark chocolate with mint…x

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this and that it proves helpful to you in your healthy eating journey 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 creative week ahead x

 

 

CarolCooks2…Join me in my kitchen …

It has been a funny old week this week one of those bitty weeks …Do you get those?…

We have had some heavy tropical showers and now I am listening to a lovely drip, drip, drip…yep the ceiling,, Again…If anyone tried water torture on me I would be immune … haha…

Pak Dong…Is Thai pickled cabbage which comes in many forms from just cabbage or cabbage and green onions this week I added some small yellow eggplants…

Ingredients:

  • 1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.
  • 8 large spring onions chopped
  • 12-15 sm yellow eggplants halved
  • Coarse Salt.

Method:

Pickled cabbage is very easy to do and there are many variations I have seen it with fresh chillies. It can also be made with Chinese cabbage or Pak Choy…Our preference is just plain old white cabbage and spring onions it is quick, easy and very moreish it can be eaten on its own, stirred into soup or with a curry as an accompaniment. It doesn’t last long here at all as our little granddaughter loves it and just eats it on its own.

To Pickle:

Layer Cabbage, Onions, eggplants and salt in the dish add a little water. Mix it all together with your hands.

We then leave the dish covered on the kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

Pickled cabbage with egg plants

Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier or sour more than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.

My daughter in law who is Thai doesn’t like it as sour as we do… she doesn’t like the Winegar taste as she puts it… Once it reaches your required taste it is ready to eat.

This recipe is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Enjoy!

We love chorizo which is quite expensive here as it is imported and also as much as we love it we eat in moderation as it is also processed sausage…Chorizo contains several nutrients that have a beneficial effect on your health but, because it also has some nutritional drawbacks, you should consume it in moderation as it contains lots of sodium and fat…

This recipe has healthy liver a small amount of chorizo cooked with onions and it was a hit with everyone it had the spiciness of the chorizo and was quick to cook. It was also a throw it together one as your cooking so ingredients are approx…x

Ingredients:

  • 350 gm chicken liver
  • Approx 3/4 inch chunk chorizo cut into slices
  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp balsamic
  • 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Olive oil

Let’s Cook!

Heat a good splash of olive oil in a pan add the onions and cook for about 2 minutes add the chorizo and then the garlic cook for about 5 mins until the onions are soft and the chorizo slightly browned.

Add the liver and cook for 3-3 minutes then add your balsamic and Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the liver is just cooked.

Chorizo liver with vegetables

I served with mashed potato, green beans, courgettes, cauliflower and broccoli…It would go equally well with pasta…

As a quick stir fry it went down well everyone liked it and it was quick to cook…

This edible flower was one we saw last week at the Farmers Market foraged in the hills of  Northern Thailand. It is eaten raw not steamed or cooked but eaten raw with bamboo soup…An occasional delicacy not seen often my daughter in law was very pleased as she had not eaten this one before..she loves to forage for flowers and mushrooms herself so was keen to try it…

Thai foraged edible flower

There are numerous Thai soup recipes. Soup is eaten almost daily, as an accompaniment to a Thai meal. Unlike in the West, it is not served as a first course but is served with all the other dishes on the table. In Thailand, at a family-style meal, everyone shares from the serving bowl, by spooning some of the soup into his own spoon.

This youtube video shows you how to make bamboo soup and the Yanang Juice is canned but if you do wish to make this soup it will probably be easier to obtain the juice canned. If you haven’t heard of Yanang juice then I wrote a post a while ago about Yanang and its health benefits…Click here to read about Yanang Juice…

My daughter in law is the one who makes this soup here in my kitchen and the flowers pictured are what would be eaten with the soup or something similar. Raw or steamed vegetables are a staple food here and eaten with every meal.

Our jalapeno snacks came out ok...However, we are going back to the drawing board making them smaller( not so much cream cheese filling and using different spring roll wrappers…

uncooked jalapeno wraps with cream cheese

Spring rolls wrapped in their filling ready to cook

Take two will be next week...Some of them split which meant crispy bits BUT the flavour was there …The jalapeno heat…They were tasty just not perfect for a photo but the taste testers loved them enough to request a rerun…But that’s cooking for you not everything comes out perfect every time…

There is no second-guessing kids is there.?.. Our grandson Aston went to the local shop yesterday after school to get a treat for after his dinner…He came back with a big bunch of Morning Glory which is Thai water spinach which he had as an extra vegetable last night and requested it again tonight…

morning glory fresh from the market

Stir-fried Morning Glory or Pad Pak Boon Fai Daeng is also known as water spinach…It is a very popular vegetable dish in Thailand and one I have for breakfast/brunch quite often with rice.
This is a very quick dish to cook once you have all your ingredients prepared..5 mins at the most.
Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of Morning Glory
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic
  • 3 or more Thai Chillies
  • 2 tbsp of Oyster Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Thai Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of fermented soybean paste or oil with soya beans ( optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh veg or pork stock


Let’s Cook!

Wash and cut your morning-glory into 4-6 inch pieces.
Bash the chillies and garlic in a pestle and mortar
Heat the oil in a pan until very hot.
Add the garlic and chillies and stir-fry ( stirring) for 15-20 seconds be careful not to let the garlic burn.

Stirfried Morning Glory
Add morning-glory and all other ingredients except for the vegetable stock.
Stir-fry for 40 seconds and add vegetable stock and stir-fry for another 10 seconds.
Serve with steamed rice or as a side dish.
Enjoy!

I hope you have enjoyed this week in my kitchen and if you have any questions about the recipes, please ask…

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.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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

 

This week in my Kitchen…Homemade Burgers…

 

Welcome to this week in my kitchen…

Finally, I have found some Jalapenos after weeks of searching and waiting so tomorrow we can try these new jalapeno rolls ..Just a spoiler…haha…Burger buns located so I will be giving you some recipes for burgers…Mine I ate as a patty with some salad as unless they are really good buns …I don’t eat them but everyone else did and pronounced them good…Nannie’s burgers are the best according to Aston not as greasy as Mud Burgers…Yep, that is the name of one of our local burger providers…

We are also back to normal or as normal as I will ever be in my kitchen…My son is back so that means I can sometimes just be the sous chef as we share the cooking…

Salmon Burgers…

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 pounds middle cut of salmon fillet, skin and pin bones removed
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp grated lime zest
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 spring onions(green) onions, chopped
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 4 brioche buns or burger buns split
  • Tartar sauce and arugula, for topping

Let’s Cook!

Cut three-quarters of the salmon into 1/4-inch pieces. Put in a large bowl. Cut the rest of the salmon into chunks; transfer the chunks to a food processor along with the mustard, mayonnaise, lime juice, l lime zest and cayenne. Pulse to make a paste. Add the pureed salmon mixture to the bowl with the diced salmon. Add the spring onions, 2 tbsp panko, 1/2 tsp salt, and black pepper to taste. Gently mix until just combined.

raw slamon patty mixture

At this point, I always make a small patty and cook it just to test the seasoning…

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Divide the salmon mixture into 4 mounds on the parchment paper. With damp hands, pat into 4-inch-wide, 3/4-inch-thick patties. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the grill.

cooked salmon patty

Spread the remaining 1 cup panko on a plate. Press both sides of the salmon patties in the panko. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties (in batches if necessary) and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary. Turn and cook until the other side is browned and the patties feel springy in the centre, 3 to 4 more minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; season with salt.

Meanwhile, arrange the buns, cut-side up, on a grill pan and cook until toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the patties on the buns; top with tartar sauce and arugula.

Salmon patty spicy rice and salad

At that point, I hadn’t been able to get burger buns and had mine with just a mixed salad and some spicy rice…It was nice and I even let the boys try it and they loved it…The common consensus was that next time we would put the salmon patty in a bun and it would be very nice and tasty…

Our next experiment was a beef patty which before we have made with red onion and parmesan and very nice they are…For a change, we thought we would still use red onions bit use chorizo…

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Divide the beef mixture into 8 mounds on the parchment paper. With damp hands, pat into 4-inch-wide, 3/4-inch-thick patties. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Beef and Chorizo Burgers

  • 600 gm of good minced beef…grass fed if possible
  • About a 4-inch chunk of chorizo sausage crumbled or finely chopped
  • Red onion finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 4 tbsp of panko bread crumbs.
  • Cheeses slices or grated cheddar
  • 8 slices of bacon( optional
  • sliced tomatoes, peppers and onion to serve.

Let’s Cook!

Lightly cook the chopped or crumbled chorizo and allow to cool then mix all the ingredients together…I always mix burgers with my hands as it combines the onion etc much easier.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties (in batches if necessary) and cook until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary. Turn and cook until the other side is browned and the patties feel springy in the centre, 3 to 4 more minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain;

Some people like their beef burgers slightly pink in the middle …I don’t but each to their own and cook your patties to your own taste…

beef patty

 

To serve we added onion, peppers and tomato and topped with grated cheddar cheese…also some grilled bacon.

Pork, Apple and Sage Burgers.

  • 300 gm of grass-fed pork mince
  • 4 tbsp of panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 apple peeled and cut into small dices
  • 1  small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tbsp dried sage
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • grated cheddar for topping
  • Bacon as above( optional)

Let’s Cook!

Mix all the burger ingredients together..get those hands mucky…haha…I added the apple uncooked but next time I will cook the apple lightly in some butter and sage before adding…I also experimented with blue cheese instead of cheddar on my tester but my testers thought it overpowered everything else and was too strong…

pork burger patty

I also toasted my bun but only had the bottom half..and left half of that…I really only like nice bread and those buns to me were not although everyone else enjoyed them and decided I was just being fussy( again)

Next on the horizon is a custard tart…I used to love my mum’s custard tart…But most of the recipes I see now all have condensed milk in them…Why? … it makes the tart much sweeter and loaded with unnecessary fats and sugar…I will be making mine just as my mother did… it will be delicious and far healthier than most of the recipes I see now…

Haha…I think we need that after pigging out on these burgers…

Thank you for reading and if you enjoyed the recipes please feel free to share xx

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 have to improve our health and wellbeing.

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( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.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 and if you love it please feel free to share or bookmark for later…If you have any queries then drop me an email carolcookstwo@gmail.com …..xx

 

AUTHOR’S CORNER: Guest Author Carol Taylor #Author#Blogger#Essay#Family#Food#Dogs

Thank you so much to Patty and King Campbell for letting me spread the word about Soi Dogs and their wonderful work and for giving me some time to talk and answer Patty’s questions … Enjoy!

Please pop over to read the whole interview and comment as Patty and King Campbell who is a seeing-eye dog/guide dog I am not sure of the exact term but they do a wonderful job…See you there xxx

Campbells World

Good morning again campbellsworld visitors.

We open this week’s Author’s Corner with a fabulous guest.

We have here with us, none other than the famous author blogger CarolCooks2. Yes, that’s right. It’s Carol Taylor, live and in person right here in our very own Author’s Corner.

Way back in June, she answered my call to action request for guest authors, and not only did she answer, but she, like Sally Cronin took my questionnaire and wrote an essay for me to share with you.

So, without further delay I give you, Carol.

*&$%^ Hold on! Wait! King Campbell here, please excuse the interruption. My human mother who is very smart, is also very forgetful. She has forgotten to introduce a most important guest who appears here with Human Carol.

So, before we read this awesome essay, please let me introduce Dog Saangchai who is here with his human mother.

Now…

View original post 1,016 more words

Eat Smart, Eat Healthily and lose weight…No gimmicks just common sense. …The Mono Diet…

Good morning everyone…I think after all these wacky diets and yes I have another one for you today…Just so it highlights the lengths some people go-to for a quick fix…Quick fixes never work…All of us here are in for the long haul…It stays off…FACT…We love our food…FACT…We limit but not exclude completely some food…FACT…I  ♥ Fudge… A DEFINITE FACT…

I so enjoyed my break to Phuket I came back feeling invigorated so much so I am off to Pattaya in just three weeks time to see my bestie…She who by her own admission is too lazy to walk and exercise… Is now sending me delicious pictures of steamed seabass and prawns with a little message saying I walked there…haha…Barbara, I just knew sooner or later I would enthuse you and she hasn’t seen the new slimline me yet…Pattaya here I come!

I have lots for you today and my thanx go to Dolly, Pete, Peggy and Sally for their contributions… Pete has done so well with his weight loss but he couldn’t find a way to contact me Ooops…Me bad…I struggle with the techie bits but now fingers crossed and teeth gritted my contact page works…So no excuses you can send me your stories…Just in case…my e-mail is carolcookstwo@gmail.com if you would like to email me your success/failures…

We will not judge we have all been there …With so many luscious foods on offer screaming…EAT ME! from magazines, social media and TV it’s no wonder we fail…

That’s not forgetting the alcohol of course...Me and my daughter we found a guy right next to our hotel who did the most marvellous takeaway cocktails…It would have been so rude not to…Now for the kicker…I only had two…I don’t know if my healthy eating regime kicked in and threw it out…If so a girl is entitled to some little treats…or whether it was the sun, sea and excitement of spending a few days with my daughter but me and the pan…You get the picture became good friends for a wee while…I threw up…

Too much info I know…I am just trying to say…Most of the time I am good…I am also not perfect and I have a little treat now and again…That’s Life!

Right back to business enough of my chatter…

Sugar...

sugar-1514247_1280

 

Something I am trying hard cut down on all these added sugars...Are in everything we love but we need to get cute and find alternatives…We can and I have …It was a comment from Peggy about the recently released film 2040 which while searching for that I came across this little clip about sugar…Thank you, Peggy x

 

What doesn’t help us is those cravings …You know when we just have to eat it…You should know that…I cover most eventualities here…We want to be fit and healthy…Right?

But and there is always a but…No worries…Just pop over to my friend Sal’s place and she will tell you all you need to know about that little devil, that nagging voice called craving…

addiction-sweets4010849_640

Not only do we have cravings but many of the changes we make to our diets cause havoc with our digestive system...Nought is easy, is it?

Wacky Diet Corner…The Mono Diet

My dear friend Dolly shared her experiences and she is a wise woman…unfortunately, where diets are concerned we throw all caution to the winds at times and we want to be a size smaller we want to fit in that dress…

The mono-diet (also known as the monostrophic diet) has become one of the most heavily searched diets on the internet. If you’ve heard of it, you’ve probably read the claims that it can lead to quick and simple weight loss. But the claims are not based on scientific evidence and there are sound reasons to avoid this risky program.

People who follow the mono diet eat only one type of food (like bananas or potatoes) to try to lose weight. There’s no scientific evidence supporting this type of diet.

Dolly said:-

For three weeks I have been playing weight yoyo. I felt fine; in fact, I felt a bit lighter and better by Friday of every week. I felt no discomfort caused by severe food restriction of a mono-diet. Eventually, I had no sustainable weight loss or gain, coming back to the same 30 lbs extra and facing the necessity of extra expenditure on clothes that fit. So, dear Carol, my lovely and free-spirited blogo-friend and culinary genius, this is one for your collection of Wacky Diets!…

Dolly’s story told in her own way and with her usual pizzazz…A must-read…Thank you, Dolly it is always nice to read a real personal experience of some of these diets xx

After all this talk about food, we need to eat…

Recipe Corner…

Cereal bars…again why would you? But no accounting for taste and many of my friends and family love them…Check the labels or make your own…I did!

I know many people eat them as a snack, when exercising etc ( they fit in your handbag ) and can be eaten on the go… so I thought I would make some using my favourite ingredients and then maybe I would get to like them and of course, they wouldn’t be like these shop brought ones full of sugars with that boring bland taste…

Carol’s Snack Bars:

  • 2 cups of oats
  • 1/4 cup nut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey, proper maple syrup or agave
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup of dried fruit chopped I used Apricots
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted nuts I used walnuts.
  • 1/2 cup coconut ( optional)

Let’s bake some snack bars…

Apricot home made snack bars

With the oven on 350 degrees put the oats on a baking tray and cook for about 12 mins or until they are lightly browned( not burnt like my first batch) Remove from the oven and leave to cool down.

In a small pan add the nut butter, honey and coconut oil and warm gently add salt and vanilla essence and whisk until smooth, add the egg white and whisk again.

To the cooled oats add the nuts and fruit stir to combine then mix in your butter mixture, stir well until the oats are coated.

Line an 8-inch baking tin with parchment paper.

Pour in the mixture pressing down well so the mix is packed tightly or the bars will crumble when you cut the bars using the snack bars into pieces.

Bake on 350 degrees until the mixture is lightly browned around the edges about 20 mins depending on your oven.

Cool the pan on a wire rack for about 15 mins then lift the mixture out using the parchment paper.

Cool completely and cut into squares or oblongs.

Enjoy!

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this and that it proves helpful to you in your healthy eating journey 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.com/i/caroltaylor3 

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 creative week ahead x