Category Archives: Cook from scratch

This week in my kitchen…Store cupboard basics…Spices…

Welcome to my store cupboard basics which means it is Friday once again and Spices something I use every day in one form or another…I am also always on the lookout for new spices…I just adore what a touch of spice does to food…

If you have been following this your store cupboards BASICS by now yours should be nearly fully stocked…

The smell of spices always draws me wherever I am and sometimes it is so strong that it makes me cough and my eyes water…but I love it…It is also one way for me to get my kitchen cleared quickly …haha…

Spices are many and varied, they need to be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dark place. As flavours dimish with age then buy in small quantities the only spices I buy in large quantities are those I know I will use quickly…

To make your own mixes is quick and easy and ensures your spices are always fresh…As I go through the spices, I use I will link to recipes where I make my own mixes which are far superior as they contain no preservatives and work out far cheaper than costly spice mixes …

Allspice…This berry has a warm, slightly cinnamon-clove flavour readily available ground and can be used in both sweet and savoury cooking.

Cayenne Pepper…Fiery and piquant this spice is made from dried red hot chillies used sparingly it is excellent added to cheeses dishes, fish, creamy sauces, meat sauces and soups. Added sparingly to these salmon burgers it just lifts the flavour…

Chilli Flakes… Crushed dried red chillies can be added or sprinkled over many dishes…so easy to make your own just dry fresh red chillies in the sun if you have any or even on a hot radiator and then just crush in a pestle and mortar and store in an airtight jar. Used in many Thai dishes like larb or homemade sausages I have linked to these as it shows how I use many of the spices I have on this post.

Chinese five-spice powder…This is a mixture of star anise, cassia, fennel seeds, cloves and anise pepper again if you have the spices easy to make in minutes. It has quite a strong powerful flavour so use sparingly.

Cinnamon…one of my most used spices it has many uses…I buy the sticks and use whole or ground although you can buy powdered cinnamon ready ground I prefer to do my own. The powder can be used in baking and making spice mixes. The sticks can be added to stews or drinks. This Thai braised Pork is a good example of where I used star anise, cinnamon and Chinese five-spice powder.

Cloves…Available whole or ground these dried flowers buds are used in sweet and savoury dishes…Baked apples, bread sauce they are one of my most used spices. If sing ground use sparingly as it is strong and too much is unpleasant to the palate.

Coriander…Available whole or ground I buy large packs as I use it often…It is the basis in my Indian spices and curries…

Cumin…Warm and pungent cumin works well with most meats particularly lamb again one of my favourite spices and one I use a lot.

Fennel Seeds…These little green seeds have quite a sweet aniseed like flavour that goes well with chicken and fish and again I use when making Indian spice mixes.

Garam Masala…Ground and roasted spices make this mixture which is used in many Asian dishes. Available ready mixed but if you have the spices so easy to make your own and the flavour is much better. My recipe where you can see my use of spices…

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 6 cardamon pods green
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 piece of mace.

Let’s Cook!

Dry roast all your spices individually until warm and fragrant. Leave to cool completely and then grind to a fine powder …I have a little coffee grinder which I use to grind my spices and it works really well prior to that I used a pestle and mortar which is hard work but brilliant as an arm toner.

Store in an airtight container and use within 3 months as the spice will start to lose its potency …If you use a lot of gamma masala then just double or treble the quantities.

Ginger…This ground dried spice is useful for baking although for savoury dishes I use fresh root ginger.

Green Cardamon…The green papery pods contain little black seeds which can be easily crushed and the seeds scraped out.

Mustard Seeds…are the small round seeds of various mustard plants. The seeds are coloured from yellowish white to black. They are an important spice in many regional foods. Grinding and mixing the seeds with water, vinegar or other liquids creates mustard. Simples said the meercat…

Nutmeg…Is available ground but to me not the same as storing a few whole nutmegs and grating it as required.

Paprika Pepper…Used in many Spanish dishes it is available both mild and hot…It has a slightly sweet flavour and is lovely used as a garnish for a seafood sauce or an egg dish.

Pepper…Black pepper is one of the most commonly used spices and should always be used freshly ground as it loses its flavour quickly.

Green peppercorns have a milder flavour and can be found dried or in brine. Fresh green peppercorns are widely used in Thai cooking and one of our favourites.

White peppercorns are hotter than green but less aromatic than black peppercorns but ideal for a sauce if you don’t want the black specks but want a pure white sauce.

Pink Peppercorns seem to be more popular of late…Pink peppercorns are not only pretty, but they also offer a fruitiness along with their peppery bite for a deep, well-rounded pepper flavour. They’re delicate and should be crushed with a knife, rather than a pepper mill, to be used on seafood, poultry, salad, even popcorn, in curries, sauces, chutney, or in place of black pepper for an interesting twist. They are also more expensive.

Star Anise…Earthy, a subtly sweet spice which has a number of uses in savoury cooking, especially in traditional Asian dishes.

Turmeric...Used in many Indian dishes the ground turmeric is made from the dried turmeric root it has a peppery, slightly earthy taste and stains if you are not careful…

Vanilla…Dried vanilla pods are long and black encasing hundreds of tiny black seeds expensive but so worth it…Just make sure what you are buying as there are many inferior products on the market.

vanilla-pods-sugar

I hope you are finding these posts on store cupboard basics helpful…It does take time (and) money to build up a store cupboard which is why I am breaking it down into easy stages…Just for those of you who are not sure just where to start…

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

Until next week when in my store cupboard basics it will be Dried herbs and stock cubes…

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 well being.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

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

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

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

 

 

 

Halloween…Sweet Potatoes and a Mexican Michelada…

The witching hour is soon to be upon us… I expect all you lovely Halloweenies are prepared and ready…

Halloween is the evening before the Christian holy days of All Hallows‘ Day (also known as All Saints’ or Hallowmas) on 1 November and All Souls’ Day on 2 November, thus giving the holiday on 31 October the full name of All Hallows‘ Eve (the evening before All Hallows‘ Day).

halloween witch and bats-478582_640

Halloween symbols are not made up or random… Black cats, spiders, and bats are all Halloween symbols because of their spooky history and ties to Wiccans. All three were thought to be the familiars of witches in the middle ages, and are often associated with bad luck.

Bats are also connected to Halloween by the ancient Samhain ritual of building a bonfire, which drove away insects and attracted bats.

Halloween is also the most important day for devil worshippers…However, for most people, Halloween is a fun time of dressing up, creating elaborate costumes and decorations, visiting haunted houses, taking kids trick-or-treating, and of course eating candy. It has become a heavily commercialized holiday second only to Christmas in terms of the number of people who celebrate and participate in it.

But many fundamentalist Christians, believe that there is a dark and sinister side to the Oct. 31 festivities when the boundaries between the living and the dead are blurred.

Did you know?

Candy Corn was originally known as chicken feed as corn was and is still also fed to chooks… They even used to have a picture of a rooster on the original box.

Halloween Food…Chilli con Carne and jacket potatoes are good for a chilly evening and easy to do but if you fancy a change I have some lovely recipes for  Sweet Potatoes.

I like something a little different… This recipe is a nice treat… A recipe that was given to me by a friend who used goat’s cheese… I use feta or ricotta if I can’t get goats cheese…

Baked Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato with goat’s cheese, honey, and roasted grapes.

Ingredients:

• 4 sweet potatoes
• 2 cups of red seedless grapes
• 1 tsp of coconut or olive oil
• ¼ tsp salt and freshly ground pepper
• 4 ounces of goats cheese, feta/ricotta
• Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
• 2 tbsp of honey plus additional to drizzle if required

For 4 potatoes take 2 cups of small seedless grapes and put on a baking tray drizzle with oil and a season with salt and pepper then roast them at 350F for about 20 mins or until the skins just start to burst… Do check them as ovens vary and they can tend to burn…

Remove from the oven and leave to cool then take your cooled sweet potato and gently remove the flesh… the skins are not as hardy as a normal potato are they? So my advice is to leave some of the potato attached to the skin or you may struggle to fill them.

In a bowl mash the potato with 3 oz of the goat’s cheese, honey, a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, to taste then put the potato back in the skins and crumble some more goats cheese on top …To serve: add the grapes and drizzle more honey if desired…

Enjoy!

Other sweet potato fillings:

How about a baked sweet potato filled with cooked black beans, corn, sweet peppers topped with sour cream with some lime rind stirred through or sprinkled on the top and some chopped coriander.

Or the Thai way our sweet potatoes here are a bright purple we do get the orange but many are purple a really beautiful colour… Baked and topped with Thai Peanut sauce they are heavenly…

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh dry roasted peanuts (unsalted)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic very finely chopped or minced
  • 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. brown sugar (to taste)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tbsp. fish sauce (for vegetarians: substitute 2 1/2 to 3 tbsp. regular soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp. tamarind paste (or 2 tbsp. lime juice)
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or 1/2 tsp Thai red chilli paste more or less to taste)
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

Let’s Cook!

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until the sauce is smooth. If you prefer a runnier peanut sauce, add a little more water or coconut milk.

Taste.... adding more fish sauce (or soy sauce) if not salty enough, or more red curry or cayenne if not spicy enough. If too salty, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice. If you’d prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar.

This sauce tends to thicken as it sits–just add a little water or coconut milk to thin it out, as needed. Otherwise, it stores well if kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Add to your baked sweet potato and top with chopped red onion, green onions and coriander and some crispy fried garlic…yummy if you love Thai flavours.

Enjoy!

Lillie and Logan ready for HalloweenNow, who doesn’t love cute little fur babies…These two belong to Tori and she has shared an adorable image of them all dressed up in their Halloween outfits…Lillie and Logan, you look so cute…Thank you Tori xxx

All Hallows night is tonight( Thursday) but whether you are celebrating tonight or at the weekend have fun!

All your decorations are probably up by now and costumes made or hired…Just maybe some last-minute bits and pieces to do…

Just in case you haven’t decided on a Halloween special drink then this one may be the one for you…and while you are there perusing the recipe congratulate the lovely Vero on the birth of a little girl a sister for Canito…

It is an awesome tipple… a Spicy Mexican Michelada which is similar to a Bloody Mary ( my fave) but made with beer and clam juice…

michelada-beauty-shot-with-beer-bottle-and-lime-500x411

Doesn’t that look drinkable and I am not a beer drinker but I may give this one a go so pop over to Vero’s lovely blog for the recipe…

https://withcoloursandcanitointhekitchen.blog/2018/10/11/michelada-recipe-spicy-mexican-beer-mexican-please/

I hope you have enjoyed these Fang-Tastic Pumpkin posts…

I am off to check out the Micheladas…Laters xxx

 

witch-1424756_640

Oops…nearly came off my broomstick…Hic 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 are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

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

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog:
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

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

Eat Smart, Eat Healthily…No more diets…But…The holiday season is coming…

No more...Diets Healthy eating 27th November

Good morning from sunny Thailand I am sure by now that for most of you your celebrations are in full swing…Some of you will have had all your presents labelled and wrapped since January I know I had a friend who did just that…Until one day her kids found them and opened them…I don’t think I need to tell you how the rest of the story went and ended…

Halloween for those of you who celebrate it will soon be upon you and then the Christmas preparations will begin…

There are 56 Days, 4 hours and 41 minutes at the time of writing this…

Now I am not a party pooper and I wish you all a joyous time and I will be leaving you with a few tips to help over the Christmas period and then I will leave to enjoy it and come back just after the New Year…

As you know I have lost quite a bit on my eating plan...But I do not wish to put those lbs back on…

Christmas is more low key here…Thais don’t celebrate Christmas but the New Year… So not so many temptations for me…I do however remember the rounds of Christmas get-togethers all the goodies everyone used to bring into work…It played havoc with the diet and the waistline.

Lips-chocolate-woman

Lips and chocolate

Chocolate… So many different ones, fudge, Turkish delight, marzipan fruits, after eight mints, quality street, pick and mix, sugared oranges and lemons, sugared almonds and so many more…We all know that Dark chocolate is good for you this link gives you some tasty options my favourites are anything with mint, orange or chilli…Now you just knew I was going to get that one in didn’t you?

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/healthy-delicious-chocolate-bars-dietitians-eat/

The sausage rolls and mince pies we used to have so many of them when I was at work…Homemade ones, Marks & Spencers Finest and they were not bad…I am salivating here…The good news is Marks & Spencer is so far away from me that is all I can do…

What can you do?

Keep a little pot of these spiced mixed nuts/ Thai nuts with you at all times.

  • 2 cups of raw nuts I used walnuts, cashews, almonds
  • 2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder ( I chop fresh garlic very finely) and stir in at the end of the cooking time.
  • 1/4 tsp. rounded cayenne pepper (or more/less to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Let’s Cook!

Heat oven to 325 degrees and line a small cookie sheet with parchment.

Combine all the spices in a medium bowl; add oil and mix until smooth.

Add the nuts into the bowl and stir until they are evenly coated.

Spread evenly on the prepared pan in a single layer.

Bake nuts for 12-15 minutes, stirring at the halfway point.

Remove from oven and stir once more before letting sit on the pan to cool for about an hour.

mixed nuts

Store in an airtight container.

Hubby loved the nuts I liked them..Next time I will double up on the spices xx

My second recipe is a Thai one and most bars serve these with the drinks I love the addition of basil and ginger…I have also done this one with walnuts as they are my favourite nut…

Let’s Cook!

  • 2 cups unsalted peanuts
  • 2 heaped tsp chilli oil (with the flakes and oil)
  • 20 dried lime leaves, crushed (hard stems removed)
  • 20-25 leaves Thai basil, chopped (reserve a couple tbsp for garnish)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or very finely chopped
  • small piece ginger, grated
  • salt to taste

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Toss all the ingredients together on a baking sheet, and bake the nuts for 10-15 minutes, tossing halfway through so they don’t burn. Remove from the oven, toss with the reserved basil, and a little more salt if you like, and serve or when cold store in an airtight container.

Some Tasty Snacks.

Turkey Rolls.

  • 4 slices turkey breast.
  • 4 teaspoons cream cheese.
  • 4 pickles or cucumber strips.

Place turkey breast slices on a large plate. Spread 1 tsp of cream cheese on each slice. Place a pickle or strip of cucumber on each turkey slice and roll up.

Olives.

Olives are one of the nutritious staples of the Mediterranean diet. They are very high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and contain powerful antioxidants like oleuropein.

Depending on their size, 25 green or black olives contain about 100–175 calories.

Tomatoes and mozzarella sliced is a lovely thing..

Sun-Dried Tomatoes.

Sun-dried tomatoes contain more lycopene than regular tomatoes.

What’s more, they are usually packed in olive oil, which helps your body absorb more of the lycopene.

A 3.5 oz (100 grams) serving of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil provides 170% of the RDI for vitamin C and contains a little more than 200 calories.

Marinated Artichoke Hearts.

Marinated artichoke hearts are delicious and nutrient-dense.

Artichoke hearts contain fibre and are a good source of vitamin K and folate.

Studies have shown that artichokes help protect the cells lining your arteries and contain prebiotic fibres that nourish the beneficial bacteria in your gut.

A 3.5 oz (100 grams) serving of artichoke hearts marinated in olive oil contains about 190 calories.

Homemade Beef Jerky…The Thai Way…

  • 1 lb top round steak, cut into strips measuring approximately 4 inches long, ½ inch wide, and ¼ inch thick
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark or light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp ground white (or black) pepper
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oven to 120°F and set a rack in the middle of it. Spread out the beef strips on a large cookie sheet and let them dry out in the oven for one hour. Turn the beef strips over and let them dry for another hour.

You know the beef strips are ready when their surface is dry to the touch while the texture is still somewhat soft and elastic. When that happens, remove the beef strips from the oven or the drying basket and place them in a mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, heat up some vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or an 8- to a 12-inch frying pan with a raised edge on medium heat. You only need just enough vegetable oil to come up to about 2 inches from the bottom of the pan. Line a platter with a piece of paper towel and keep it nearby.

Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, pepper, and sugar to the beef strip bowl and toss; make sure that all of the beef strips are evenly coated with the seasoning sauce.

Test the oil by sticking a wooden skewer or chopstick into the oil, making sure the tip of the wooden skewer touches the bottom of the pan. If you see tiny bubbles rising from the point where the wooden skewer touches the pan, the oil is ready.

Shake excess seasoning off of the beef strips and fry them in two batches. Be sure to stir the beef strips around to ensure even cooking. On medium heat, the beef only needs to be in the oil for less than a minute. You’ll see that the beef will brown up and develop a nice, glossy coating. When that happens, transfer them to the paper towel-lined platter.

Serve the fried sun-dried beef with spicy Thai dipping sauce and sticky rice.

Enjoy!

N.B. I dry my beef outside before frying but have given instructions to oven dry as I know many of you don’t have the weather I have here.
All these little snacks are lovely if you are drinking with friends or taking a few bits into work…I love a sausage roll or mince pie but I do feel very sluggish if I eat too much fat/ sugar so snacks like this work fine for me…They don’t make me feel bloated and it is nice to have a little nibble with a drink when you are socialising isn’t it?

Going out for drinks or a pre- Christmas dinner?

I will say just plan for that make a pot of soup so you always have soup to heat up either at home or take some to work… If you have breakfast and then a cup of soup as you need it through the day then you can go out and enjoy your festivities…Eat, drink and be Merry! A nice bowl of porridge which will/should stop you snacking until lunchtime… Or a nice protein drink or smoothie…These smoothies always keep me going and with the beetroot which helps give it that lovely colour it is one of my favourites.

For a few more ideas and just in case you missed it then this post will help you plan…

Raspberry Protein Drink

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of coconut water
  • 1/3 cup of Greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 medium beetroot(raw) peeled and diced.
  • 1 tbsp honey ( optional)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds ( optional)

Raspberry Protein Shake

Let’s Blitz!

Measure all the ingredients into your blender and blitz away… The colour was amazing a beautiful colour and it tasted very nice not too sweet and I did add honey.

Lastly, go for your evening jolly and…Enjoy!

Until January I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year 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.

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://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 I hope you all have a great week xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Eating…My personal journey…No fads just commonsense…

Good morning from sunny Thailand…For quite a while now I have spoken about healthy eating and have told you about my weight loss but not in any depth and some of you may think yeah, yeah…

This week (and) I have never liked my photos taken… there are not many of me which I really like…But on this post I am baring all ( not) quite..haha…for those who thought ..You wouldn’t …haha…That would be too much information…

I wasn’t an overweight child or teenager…my weight piled on when I had my kids…Then began the yo-yo years…I fluctuated from 8 stone nothing to 16 stone something… I tried many diets some more successful than others…I tried many types of exercises…What did I learn from all that? I hate aerobics…I hate being in a class full of sweaty bodies…

gym-room-1180062_640

I discovered walking…No sweaty bodies…I can free my mind…I see more of life and people…The furthest I have walked …26.2 miles …I completed the London Moon Walk…Whether you run or walk 26.2 miles is a marathon…I did it! A few years ago now but I did it!

Now to bare all…Never before published pictures of moi…

Before…

The one on the right is me at my heaviest…I will now go through what I eat instead of what I did…No fads, not a diet, just commonsense…Eat this…Not that!

We see so much in the press and media or supermarket ads ...It is a minefield ..so I am going through what I have learnt and apply to what I eat…Also what I feed my family as everyone likes different foods…

Breakfast  Cereals…

I will use granola as an example…It conjures up that healthy image as it contains nutritious nuts, seeds, oats and fruit…It also contains more sugar than a can of coke…

Porridge, shredded wheat or Weetabix are what we eat…

muesli-3186256_1920 porridge fruit

If you really like granola and my family does sometimes then make your own…you then control what is in it and it will most likely be cheaper…  It takes 5 minutes to make and makes enough for 4 servings…

For the granola

  • 100 g organic bran
  • 150 g organic jumbo porridge oats
  • 25 g sesame seeds
  • 100 g walnuts
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 100 g  mixed fruit, such as Medjool dates and cherries.

Serve with …Greek yoghurt( not ) greek style yoghurt, fresh blueberries, pear, apple, kiwis, pineapple, mango any fresh fruit of your choice just chopped, cored and if necessary peeled.

Mayonnaise …I do buy it sometimes… although time permitting I make my own…

Light means lighter…RIGHT?

By law food to be labelled light, lite or lighter, reduced fat or low fat must in the UK be 30% lighter than the full-fat product in the US it is 50% or more calories from fat are required to have a 50% reduction of fat in light versions. Translated it means if the original product is high in fat the light version may still contain a lot of fat…So it could still be high in fat and also higher in added sugar to enhance the taste because there is less fat…

Well…After all that malarky…I just opt for the normal version as considering how much and how often I eat it…which is not often…I do not want to skimp on flavour…

All this low-fat is better than the high-fat trend is now proving that after all these years of telling us to eat low fat or no fat… to have been not true…We are now being told it is the type of fat, polyunsaturated fats are good fats…Trans fats are bad…

What are the worst trans fat offenders?

thai style fried chicken

In no particular order…Deep-fried Food, Pie Crust, Margarine, Shortening, Microwave popcorn, Animal fat and dairy, Store brought cakes and Cookies, Biscuits, Creamy frozen Drinks( Dairy Queen), Crackers, Non-dairy Creamers, pancake/waffle mixes…Basically, deep-fried fast foods, processed foods, packet mixes, store-bought cakes and biscuits all sugary processed foods…

What do I do…Cook from scratch…limit animal fat and dairy although in animal fat it is naturally occurring trans fat and in smaller amounts….This is where my favourite word keeps popping up…Moderation…Most of the above foods you can cook from scratch at home or use a healthier alternative…

It is all about knowing what the food you like to eat contains…Yes, it means a bit of research but if you want to lose weight and or be healthier …so be it!

What fats can you eat?… Not all fats are bad…

There are lots of good, tasty fresh foods which we can eat…Oily fish, salmon, sardines, mackerel, avocado, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, Olive oil, coconut oil, rapeseed oil, Butter(grass-fed), meat and cheese( in moderation).

Sugar… is labelled in many different ways…

I came across coconut flower sugar and syrup the other week…It was in the smallest of glass jars with a healthy-looking labelled and the price tag wasn’t healthy but a tad on the high side…

I didn’t buy it but did come home and do my research…Sugar is sugar and they may be natural and unrefined and just slightly better for you but …It’s Sugar! Added sugars are even worse…

What do I do...I never take sugar in drinks anyway but I do restrict foods high in sugar i.e chocolate…sweets…sodas…yoghurts…fast food…cereal bars…cereals, sauces…milkshakes…grape juice…These I limit or avoid…

Fresh Vegetables…we eat lots of fresh vegetables either steamed or raw …

I know many people don’t eat as much as they should of fresh vegetables …Maybe they juice and just swallow because quite frankly some of those juice options are pretty awful I would rather eat the fresh vegetables…You will never get your 5 a day by juicing and juicing also means you lose some of the fibre. We need fibre in our diet…Don’t we?

Oil…

olive oil

I use different oils depending on what I am making or cooking…My main ones are Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Nut Oils or Ghee…There are so many different oils but check on which is the healthiest oil depending on what you are making no one size fits all with oil as they all have different burning points.

Salt…

The debate lingers on and opinions are still divided…I use locally produced salt and always taste before adding extra…As it is very hot and humid here we need to keep our salt levels up…

I do however limit my intake of cured meats, pickles, table salt, crisps and savoury snacks…

Eggs…

Again eggs have been the subject of many warnings over the years it all depends on how many you eat and how you cook them…If you are eating fried eggs every day with other fried foods, of course, you will gain weight…If you poach, make a cloud egg or boil your eggs then they are much healthier I also think it enhances the taste of the egg…

Alcohol…

The biggest contributor to my weight loss has been reducing the alcohol I drink…which of course included the soda…double whammy…The common consensus is that a good red wine benefits your health again …every day?…

I will tell you a little story…One of my besties worked in a bar for many years if she served you a drink in her home it was a pub measure…None of the just take the top off and pour which more often than not is what most people do…I know I did…

She had a health problem and went to the doctors who arranged for blood tests…The outcome was that although she measured her 2 evening drinks it was effecting her liver…To say she was upset is putting it mildly as we both knew people who drank far more without any apparent health problems…

The bottom line is we are all individuals and have different tolerance levels…her tolerance level to a regular sundowner was lower than mine…It took longer for my regular sundowners to have an effect on my health but they did eventually…Cutting right down to an occasional drink has proved beneficial in many ways for me…I sleep better and have lost a lot of weight…

Water…

drop falling into water

 

I always make sure I drink plenty of water and green tea…Although green tea does contain caffeine depending on the type /variety of green tea it does vary…I drink No.12 Oolong green tea which is lower in caffeine than some of the others…

Cheat days/weekends…

I have always advocated that eating healthy doesn’t mean deprivation or cardboard foods and never eating that burger, pizza or doughnut again…

Make sure you plan your cheat …Plan when and what you are going to eat…Most experts agree that one cheat day per week is sufficient. It’s a good idea to line up that cheat meal on a weekend or social occasion. By planning your cheat meal, you know what you’ll be eating and can cut a few extra calories earlier in the day…

By planning you can pick a favourite food or meal instead of just raiding the fridge randomly or running up and down the sweet or cake aisle and just picking up anything…

If you are going out for a meal and planning to splurge …pick what it is going to be…Will it be the breadbasket…dessert or a few cocktails? Focus on one and enjoy it without going overboard…If it is the lovely bread basket opt for that dessert next time…

In all honesty, I could not splurge on all three now…I just couldn’t eat all that…One cocktail would fill me up…As you lose weight your taste buds change and the amount you can comfortably eat diminishes… 

So don’t cheat when you are famished, cheat in moderation and plan…

You can minimize the damage of a cheat meal the day of your feast by being careful about what you eat maybe reduce the carbs and eat a nice big salad with boiled eggs instead of potato… or fast before the meal. In other words, if you’re cheating at dinnertime, move your first meal to later in the day (lunchtime). Reducing the number of hours you’ll be eating not only saves you calories, but it also shifts your body into a fat-burning state.

To summarise…After picture…Not a great one… I will try to get a better one…

Me sept 3rd 2019

I don’t starve myself but I know what I eat and what it contains…I practise intermittent fasting as it works for me…I have mainly reduced my alcohol massively and soda…I have increased my green tea consumption.

I eat very little processed foods and cook from scratch…I don’t eat low-fat foods I just enjoy proper food but moderate my intake.

I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables.

My main carb is rice, I eat little bread, pasta or potatoes mainly because I prefer rice or sweet potatoes…I do like nice bread so as a treat I make sourdough or soda bread. Pasta I eat maybe once a month the same with white potatoes they are not my favourite carbs.

My total weight loss from beginning to end is 6 stone or 38.10 kilograms…All done by just increasing my walking and cutting down alcohol, soda and processed foods…I feel much better and my aim is to lose another half a stone …I thought 1 stone but have been outvoted by my family…We will see how I feel and what happens…

I hope this helps many of you as I do not ban anything…I eat what I fancy just not all at once or on a regular basis but if I want some pork crackling or a donut I will have one…It is all about what you eat and how much…It is about knowing your food and your body…It is about being sensible and not binging all day and every day…We are indeed what we eat…

Both myself and Sally from Smorgasbord cover lots of subjects and foods and help with understanding how different foods help you maintain good health…You don’t need expensive foods or diets just commonsense and knowledge…All you need to do is keep an open mind, fads, diets and food fashions are consistently changing. Scientific research frequently disproves previously held beliefs, diets and lifestyles…Think low-fat…

What works for one person because of their individual body shape, metabolism, DNA or underlying health condition may not work for another person.

A healthy balanced diet with moderate amounts of the bad foodstuff coupled with regular exercise is your best chance of staying well…

Healthy - Vegetables- Fruit- Lady

Healthy Eating

That’s all for today I hope your healthy eating is going well…I hope these tips will help guide you through your healthy eating and weight loss journey…

If you have any particular diagnosed dietary requirements or deficiences then Sally’s and my new series starts on Wednesday with Calcium and Magnesium deficiencies…Sally with her vast nutritional knowledge and I provide the recipes.

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…

 

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 week, stay safe  xx

 

 

National Home Made Pie Day…

Homemade pies…

National Homemade Pie Day Banner

Pies have been recorded as early as the Neolithic Period, around 9500 BC. The ancient Egyptians’ diet featured basic pies made from oat, wheat, rye, and barley, and filled with honey and baked over hot coals…

I would never get into a discussion as to who makes the best pies as all around the world if you start a discussion on the merits of pie…Someone’s mum always makes the best pies for me my mum does…Be it Steak and Kidney, Fish Pie, Mince pies or an Apple pie her pastry is the best and her pies lauded …

A pie can have a top and a bottom or just a top and it could be a pastry or potato topping…Plain or latticed…There is no end to the variations of the fillings or the case or indeed the type of pastry…

My Hubbies all-time favourite is the Steak and Kidney Pie…

Speaking of which however hot it gets and it is currently only 10am and 30C and rising…Hubby will still eat meat pie…I make individual ones and then he can have pie and I have my Thai food…

two meat pies

For fillings, I either make mince and onions, Steak and Mushroom or hubby’s favourite steak and kidney…Chicken and Mushroom or Chicken and Leeks…

For the pastry

  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 140g cold unsalted butter, roughly cubed
  • 1 large egg  yolk
  • 1 small egg  whisked with 1 tbsp milk, for the egg wash

For the filling…Steak & Kidney

  • 1 ox kidney, about 400g/14oz, get it fresh from your butcher. Pig’s and lamb’s kidneys only need short cooking time so if used add 15 mins before the end of cooking.
  • 1 kg trimmed braising or stewing beef
  • 250g flat mushrooms, unpeeled but wiped with a damp cloth
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion,  peeled and thickly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 50-85g plain flour, depending on how thick you like your gravy
  • 600ml fresh stock or  water and 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Let’s Cook!

It’s important to cook the meat a day ahead so that you can discard any fat that has risen to the top, and so that the pastry doesn’t slump in the face of a too-warm filling, so up to 48 hours ahead -make the pastry. Whizz the flour and a pinch of fine sea salt together for a few seconds in a food processor, then add the butter and whizz until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk together the egg yolk and 3 tbsp water and whizz with the pastry until it collects in a ball. Wrap in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least one hour…

TO COOK THE MEAT.

Cut out the white central core of the kidney and  (discard). Cut the kidney into bite-sized pieces. Cut the beef into bite-sized cubes and cut the mushrooms into chunks.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Throw in the kidney and fry until lightly coloured. Tip into a colander to drain.

Wipe out the frying pan and return it to low-medium heat, adding 25g/1oz of the butter and 1 tbsp oil. Tip in the onion and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly golden add the garlic for the final 2/3 minutes.

Transfer to a large casserole, using a slotted spoon.

Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3/fan 140C. Tip the 85g/3oz flour into a large plastic bag, and season it generously. Throw in the beef and shake until lightly floured. Return the frying pan to medium-high heat, adding a little more oil and butter if needed. Shake off any excess flour (reserving it) then fry the beef in batches until golden-brown. As each batch is done, transfer it to the casserole.

Adding more oil and butter to the frying pan if necessary, fry the mushrooms for about 2 minutes until starting to wilt, then add them to the casserole with the drained kidneys, stock or hot water, bouillon powder and bay leaf, plus the excess flour in the bag if you like a thick gravy.

Stir well, cover and cook in the oven for 75-90 minutes until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick. Cool thoroughly, then put in the fridge (preferably overnight) so any fat will solidify – it can then be skimmed off and discarded.

In the morning – return the pastry to cool room temperature, then roll it out thinly on a well-floured surface. Invert a 28-30x23cm, 6.5cm deep pie dish on to the pastry. Mentally add an extra 1cm all round, then use the dish as a guide to cut out the pastry lid. From the remnants, cut out enough 6cm-wide strips of pastry to go round the dish – they should cover the flat rim and about halfway down the insides.

Lightly butter the rim of the dish and line it with the strip(s) of pastry, sealing any joins with a little dab of water. Butter the shoulders of a pie raiser or an upturned egg cup and stand it in the middle. Spoon in the meat mixture to come level with the top of the dish.

Don’t overfill: reserve any excess gravy to serve hot with the pie.

Brush the pastry rim with a little water, then drape the pastry lid over it, pinching the edges to seal. Cover with cling film and keep in the fridge if not baking immediately.

Finally, an hour before serving – preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Make four slashes in the lid of the pie, then brush with the egg wash. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown, turning the heat down 10-20º after about 20 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and leave it to rest for around 10 minutes before cutting into it.

These instructions are if you are making one large pie…If I am making individual pies I just cut a strip of pastry to go around the top of the dish fill the dish with the meat mixture and add a pastry top…This cuts the calories…But if like a large pie and want to cut nice slices then a pie bottom can be added.

Of course, the cooking time will also need to be adjusted…For an individual pie depending on your oven, it takes approx 25 mins.

To celebrate National Homemade Pie Day... Tweet    #nationalhomemadepieday

Enjoy!

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

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

 

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 week, Enjoy your pie  xx

Healthy Eating…Starting at the beginning…Feeding Baby, TB 12 diet…

Good evening….It has been a busy day today…and I have just sat down to write…I am in agreeance with Sally from Smorgasbord Magazine who believes that good nutrition should really start before a new baby is born in other words mum should be healthy…

I know that family units have broken down in many cultures now and good eating habits are not passed down…Like my mother passed them down to me…

It even extended to when I had my children…Mum came to look after me every time and I was not allowed visitors unless I had had my rest and fed baby she was worse than the Gestapo …bless her…Every visitor got told when she thought they had been there long enough…But in all honesty, I got my rest and time to get used to feeding baby…I don’t think that happens ant more or not as much as it used to…Which is such a shame…Anyway, I will pass you over to Sally who has a wealth of knowledge and experience and then I will give you some recipes to feed your new little precious bundles of joy…

baby-501336_640

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/19/smorgasbord-health-column-creating-tthe-obesity-epidemic-part-one-finding-a-point-in-the-life-cycle-to-intervene-by-sally-cronin/

For the first few months baby if mum is able should be happy being breastfed if not there are some very good brands of formula milk…

Before feeding, solids baby should be able to sit up and take the food off a spoon…

baby-2423896_640

Time to start feeding baby which generally is around 4-6 months…How much will the baby eat? Well much depends on when you introduced food…A baby who has been eating food from 4 months will be eating more at l months than a baby who starts eating food at 6 months.

When you start feeding baby then feed only one fruit or vegetable at a time this way it is easier to determine whether or not a baby has an adverse reaction to a food..generally by their poo…which is a good indicator.

What to start with? Avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, squash, eggs, pears, apples, mango, young coconut flesh, apples…All of these can either be mashed or lightly steamed or cooked in water…Never add sugar as this starts baby off on the road to only wanting to eat sweetened foods…

A bit about young coconut flesh...Young coconuts, also called immature coconuts, are green or orange on the outside. When you open them, they mostly contain coconut water and are lined with white flesh that looks a bit like jelly. Available everywhere here but  it can be bought frozen in a speciality food store.

Here in Thailand…Coconut – a first baby food?

The first solid food eaten by a Thai baby is three spoonfuls of the custard-like flesh of young coconut fed to him or her by a Buddhist priest.

BABY FOOD IDEAS USING COCONUT

  • Add a little coconut milk (or a very little coconut cream) to a mashed ripe banana.
  • Mash a baked, peeled sweet potato with 2 fl oz (1/4 cup) coconut milk and a little pinch of ground ginger for an unusual and tasty treat!
  • Use coconut milk to thin pumpkin or butternut squash purees.
  • Cut up fresh sweet potato, pumpkin or butternut squash into 1-inch pieces, place them into an oven-proof dish and pour coconut milk over the top. Bake for around 30 mins (until tender), then mash and serve!
  • Use coconut water to cook rice – it adds a very subtle coconut flavour.
  • Add a little coconut milk or cream to cooked oatmeal for babies an exotic breakfast treat.
  • Use coconut milk in smoothies.
  • Instead of simmering veggies in water, try simmering them in coconut milk instead!
  • Poach a boneless piece of white fish in coconut milk!
  • For older babies, add freshly grated coconut to cooked rice.

This is an example of how coconut is used to feed young children here…The soft jelly in a young coconut is easy to digest and has many nutrients…

Once the baby reaches about 8 months it is time to start combining foods. Raw ripe fruit or vegetables can be offered as children love to eat with their hands at that age maybe make a small dip like a fruit puree so they can dunk…they will only need guidance a few times and they will do it themselves it will be messy but to me there is nothing nicer than seeing a baby enjoy a piece of fruit or vegetable  however messy they get. That happy look on their faces is priceless…

child-1528308_640

You can start offering fish lightly poached in milk with some vegetables or some chicken or turkey again poached and mashed with some vegetables…Even tofu if you are bringing your baby up to follow a vegetarian diet…

Just be careful if you are giving bread or toast as it can get clumped together and cause a baby to choke…Always watch them at all times never leave them alone with food…

If you start baby on the right food as soon as they are ready to eat you will not have fussy kids…They will eat what you eat…Even here…the home of spicy food …Babies are started with vegetables and fruit, eggs and soft coconut flesh, then chicken or fish and rice…Chillies are not introduced until they are about 3 or 4 and then only in small amounts …Our granddaughter is 7 now and eats everything we eat although we do hold back on the chillies for her on most things although now she will eat quite spicy if it is a Thai beef salad which she loves…

Feeding babies what we eat from the get-go means we don’t get fussy kids…It always worked for me…Fussy kids turn into fussy adults…

How is my eating going…Well, I seem to sticking at this weight no matter what I eat…I would like to lose another 14 lbs although my son thinks it would be too much…So I have opted for 7lbs to keep the peace and then we will see…

How is your healthy eating going? Is it producing results?

lady feet weighing scales

Wacky Diets…TB 12 Diet…

Ever heard of the TB 12 diet?

It’s a diet made famous by NFL player Tom Brady. In fact, it’s also called the “Tom Brady diet”.

Tom Brady, the Gwyneth Paltrow of sports, has a book out now that features approximately four million words about water, and water consumption, and different types of water, and how water can protect you from the sun.

Brady says he drinks up to 300 ounces of water in a day, which is around 2.5 gallons of water. His urine must be as clear as the sparkling depths of Lake Tahoe, but really, a bunch of water consumption for an athlete isn’t all that weird.

What is weird is that Brady 1) differentiates between a bunch of different types of water, 2) wants you to add his quack-ish TB12 electrolyte drops into your drinks, and 3) thinks he gets fewer sunburns because of all the water he drinks.

I don’t think we need another Gwyneth…why can’t anyone just eat normal healthy food and bedone with it? Oh, silly me there is no profit for the individual to be had is there???

That’s all for today I hope your healthy eating is going well and if you are expecting or have a young baby then I hope these tips will help guide you to ensure your baby starts off and continues to eart well throughout their life…

 

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

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

forget-me-not-257176_640

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

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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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…

shopping-879498_640

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

vegetables-2299716_1280

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

I hope you have found these tips useful…x

Next week…Store Cupboard Staples…

 

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

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

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

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