Category Archives: Cooking from scratch

Fruity Friday…Apples!

apples

Did you know that worldwide 7,500 different varieties of apples are grown? My favourite apples are Bramley’s, Cox’s and Braeburn apples which ones are your favourite apples ???

As the saying goes an ” Apple a day keeps the doctor away” and that little round ball of goodness is 2/3 fibre has lots of anti-oxidants especially in the peel so do not peel it…please. They are also fat-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free and come in all shades of red, green and yellow so many to choose from…Which apple or apples are your favourite????

Apples have been around since at least 6500 BC and used to be called winter bananas or melt in your mouth… Mmmmm, don’t really get that connection…

Who loved doing apple bobbing at Halloween?? Or that party game where you were blindfolded and had your hands behind your back and had to take a bite of the apple sometimes it was a doughnut…But good fun…

Still mainly picked by hand apple growing is called pomology and the apple is a member of the rose family.

The cook in me can tell you that two pounds of apples will make a 9” pie…that apples ripen 6-10 times faster kept at room temperature than if you refrigerate them.

Apples go well with many dishes and recipes I mean you cannot have roast pork without applesauce or coleslaw without apple my mum used to make wonderful pancakes with slices of apple in the batter and her apple pie was also the best ever… I am still trying to bake a pie as good as my mum’s.

apple- pie

Apple Pie

Here are some of my favourite recipes using apples…Starting with coleslaw…

There are so many permutations of this dish and all wonderful in their own way…My version, 5 ingredients plus mayo and you have a beautiful slaw to eat with anything…

I add no sugar as carrots and apples have their own natural sweetness.

So….Lets Cook!

 Shred half a white cabbage or red or half and half.

Peel and quarter at least one apple and then slice thinly.

Grate or dice a carrot.

Put in a bowl, add some mayo,  pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper and a good squeeze of fresh lemon /lime juice.

apples- white cabbage-carrots

Apple Coleslaw

Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve. It will keep in the fridge may be covered until the next day but I just make it as I want it so easy to make enough for 1 or 10.

Enjoy!

Applesauce is one of the easiest sauces to make and can be used in so many different ways.

apple-sauce-544676_1280

To make applesauce just peel your apples add a tiny bit of water and depending on which apples you are using you can add a little sugar…I don’t…Sometimes I add some cloves, cinnamon stick it depends…Cook until softened and then you can puree if you like a smooth sauce or just roughly mash it or leave it as it is…

Applesauce pureed is a lovely food for babies when they first start eating solids maybe mix a little with rice or porridge for them.

*You can use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of one egg in most baking recipes. Some say to mix it with 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder. If all you have is sweetened applesauce, then simply reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. Applesauce is also a popular healthy replacement for oil in many baked goods.

N.B I haven’t used applesauce as an egg substitute myself…Have you????

I love baked apples which is something my mum used to make filled with sultanas and baked in the oven she also used to cover the apple in suet pasty and make a suet apple pudding… All served with a bowl full of custard…I have happy childhood memories of these and although I don’t make the suet pudding we do love a baked apple like the one below and equally as lovely without the custard…

Ingredients:

• 4 large apples cored – any type except Granny smith which do not bake well
• 4 teaspoons unsalted butter cut in tiny cubes
• 1/4 cup walnuts chopped
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger or you could use fresh ginger very finely chopped or grated.
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• brown sugar to taste
• ½ cup apple cider ( I used ACV as I couldn’t get apple cider)

Let’s Cook!

Place your cored apples in an ovenproof dish. Mix the butter, walnuts and spices together and add to the centre of the apples.

Pour your apple cider into the dish to stop the apples catching the bottom of the dish.

Bake on 350F/177C or gas mark 4 for 45 to 60 minutes depending on your apples…Baste the apples every 15 minutes.

To Serve: These can be served with custard, ice cream or a dairy-free coconut cream whip.

This was a lovely dessert and I think using Apple cider vinegar instead of cider took away the sweetness of the apple it was really nice.

What is your favourite childhood memories of eating apples????

My mum’s apple pie recipe…

apple pie-2760064_1280

To serve: Add a squirt of cream or some lovely clotted cream if you can get it, custard or a scoop of lovely Cornish ice cream.

Watching the calories then top the apple with some meringue ..very nice or add a crumble mix my recipe for crumble made separately is very nice and you could add as little as you like just a spoonful layered into a glass gives that little bit of added crunch.

Ton Mon-mulberries

Thai Mulberries

 Apple and Mulberry Crumble

What else are apples used for ?? Apple juice, Apple cider vinegar Cider, Apple vinegar all of which have many health benefits and uses… Just be careful if you buy apple juice that it is not loaded with loads of sugar and other nasties which those sneaky drinks companies put in everything…Don’t get me started…lol and if it’s cider( scrumpy) moderation is the name…

I hope you have enjoyed this post on the humble little apple…x

Stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as you know what I am going to say it is Free and proven to be good for your health…..Laughter aside…My thoughts and prayers are with all the people who have been or will be touched by this Covid-19 virus…the new lockdowns and restrictions..stay safe be aware and social isolate where required and we will beat this thing…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 although there are now no regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…We all need to be aware of our home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post  …Happy Baking! xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fang-Tastic Recipes!…Apple Bobbing and Black Widow Shots!

 

Halloween…Have you all got your porches decorated or are you still in the planning stages? I know it is big business in the US but not sure when y’all have everything out and on show… Do you like my effort at speaking like y’all do???

How do you greet Trick or Treaters? Do you have ghosts and/or scarecrows and what treats do you hand out?

It may be the case where you live that trick or treating will be banned this year so it will be down to mums, dads, and grandparents to enjoy Halloween at home…with a little imagination you can soon turn your home into a spooky witches house…

Fill some apothecary jars with bright coloured candy. It makes an eye-catching display and your guests can help themselves.

Making a spooky banner is easy to create and inexpensive,  a banner for any occasion. Print the letters on card stock. Make the ruffled border with a sheet of decorative paper cut into strips, accordion-folded, then glued to the back of each letter. Punch a hole in the ruffles and thread a piece of ribbon or twine through for hanging.

Fill old glass jars with plastic rats, toy bugs and doll heads then add a little-coloured water. Use manila tags to name your specimen – shrunken heads, poisonous tarantulas, baby rats, and the like – and wrap the jar with twine and the tag.

lanterns-halloween-images

To make your Halloween night or evening party really scary, embellish inexpensive paper lanterns with spiders, bugs, and creepy-crawlies made from card.

cats-witches-halloween

It is quite easy to make effective decorations from pumpkins or paper lanterns or jars.

But did you know?

The Jack ‘O’ lantern comes from an old Irish tale about a man named Stingy Jack. According to folklore, Stingy Jack was out getting drunk with the Devil when Jack convinced his drinking partner to turn himself into a coin to pay for the drinks without spending money. Jack then put the Devil, shaped like a coin, into his pocket, which also contained a silver cross that kept the Devil from transforming back. Jack promised to free the Devil as long as the Devil wouldn’t bother him for a year, and if he died, the Devil could never claim his soul. Jack tricked the Devil again later, getting him to pick a piece of fruit out of a tree and then carving a cross into the bark when the Devil was in the branches. This trick bought Jack another 10 years of devil-free living.

When Jack finally died, God decided he wasn’t fit for heaven, but the Devil had promised never to claim his soul for hell. So Jack was sent off to roam the Earth with only a burning coal for light. He put the coal into a turnip as a lantern, and Stingy Jack became “Jack of the Lantern” or “Jack O’ Lantern.” Based on this myth, the Irish carved scary faces into turnips, beets, and potatoes to scare away Stingy Jack or any other spirits of the night.

Halloween Games :

Toilet Paper Mummies.

This will keep the kids amused for a while so buy some cheap loo rolls and let them wrap each other up like mummies.

Eat the doughnut(donut)

Tie doughnuts on strings and keep the wet wipes handy and watch the little darlings try to eat the doughnut…

Apple Bobbing.

apple-bobbing-halloween

A big bowl or bucket of water and some Apples always fun to watch.

Halloween themed food.

Don’t the kids just love all this spooky Halloween finger food? What is your family’s favourite food for Halloween…Let me have your recipes with a picture and I will feature them in a Fang-Tastic Recipes post…

Today all you need is sausages and pastry strips…This is an easy one and even the kids could do it…Just wrap the sausages as pictured by winding the pastry round and if you are really good and make your own sausages or know a good butcher even better… You could even add some ketchup or mustard to the sausage before rolling the pastry around…Some little white sweets or rice paper eyes and just cook and hey presto all done…The kids love them.

sausage-mummies-Halloween

For the hardworking adults a Halloween Cocktail… The Black Widow Shot…

Cranberry juice and black Vodka…Yes Please!

Now if you are lucky to live in Beverly Hills they have their very own spooky very quaint house which on Halloween they play music and have mist coming up around the house…head over to John Riebers Blog to see the pictures and learn a little about this quirky house…The Spadena House

It just looks the part spooky and could well house the ghosts of a few witches and goblins so please head over to Johns and read all about the history and there are lots more pictures of this quaint house…Enjoy!

That’s all for this week…see you next Tuesday for some more Halloween recipes and tales…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 that I cook with 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!

Thank you for reading I hope you all have a great week xxx

 

 

Fruity Friday…Monk Fruit

Welcome to Fruity Friday’s...This week it is the Monk Fruit.

It grows here in Northern Thailand as well as in Southern China…Because it doesn’t keep well once picked or look particularly appealing it is very very rarely found in the markets and is used to make sweeteners…Its name derives from the fact it was used by monks way back in the 13th century…it is also known by the name of Luo Han Guo or “Buddha fruit…

The fruit extract is obtained by boiling the fresh fruit in hot water then drying afterwards this creates a powdered extract…

Monk Fruit sweetener or extract has been around for decades however now it is more readily available as it is becoming very popular among the diet conscious, vegans and anyone following the Keto Diet…In fact, I came across it as a sweetener when looking for a recipe only just a few weeks ago…

 

This fruit has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) didn’t approve its use as a sweetener until 2010.

Although like any product until extensive testing over a period of years has been done then the long term effects on human health are not known…however, because tests so far on mice at far higher doses than humans would take it is deemed to be safe for human consumption.

During processing, mogrosides are separated from the fresh-pressed juice. Therefore, monk fruit sweetener does not contain fructose or glucose.

Because this extract is maybe 100–250 times sweeter than table sugar, many manufacturers mix monk fruit sweetener with other natural products, such as inulin or erythritol, to reduce the intensity of the sweetness.

Different from most nonnutritive sweeteners which can cause side effects like bloating, gas or even allergic reactions monk fruit has no known side effects.

Some earlier studies show that monk fruit has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicines for centuries to make hot drinks for the relief of sore throats and reduce phlegm…it is the fruits mogrocides which are said to have anti-inflammatory properties and help keep sugar levels stable…

Based on some studies conducted on animal diabetes models is why it is being hailed as a power food for diabetes…

Hard to find fresh monk fruit...I am still searching and have my daughter law on the case at her local markets it is difficult to find fresh monk fruit unless you are in the regions where it is grown, It can, however, be found dried in some Asian stores.

I don’t use sweeteners but some say it does not have the bitter after taste of other sweeteners which does seem to be causing the upsurge in its popularity…however because to grow, harvest and dry this fruit is not an easy task plus the added import costs means this product is rarer to find and more expensive than other sweeteners and often there are fewer options available on the shelves.

During my research, I have discovered that Amazon sells it as do other speciality and wholefood grocers…

Have you enjoyed your read? If so let me know in comments I do love to hear from you it makes
my day…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.

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and stay safe… these are troubling times and I know many of you are back on lockdown again I just wish everyone would observe the guidelines and then maybe this will all be over far quicker than if we don’t xx

Fruity Fridays…The Jack Fruit…

 

Welcome to Fruity Friday’s...This week it is the versatile Jackfruit…

You probably all know by now that I love the unusual and unusual food recipes, given that I am ever so slightly quirky, whimsical and often laugh( when) I really shouldn’t…Oops.

Given to coming up with some unusual foods recipes, which even make me baulk at times, however, more often than not and I know the saying ” We eat with our eyes”  is a valid one…But you miss some damn good food and recipes bypassing that bit… just close your eyes and go for it…

One unusual food recipe came about from a request from one of my readers she was looking at alternative food sources and asked me if I had a recipe…

Do I have a recipe???? Haha

I have for you what is called the Wonder Tree… The Jack Fruit which I have growing in my garden here and it is now being touted as a very viable alternative to meat…

Classed as the poor man’s fruit and left to rot in many places it is now being given high priority and getting much publicity…

I spent time in my kitchen recently cooking it… and I don’t mind admitting I was pleasantly surprised how cooking changed the texture drastically…

It is used as an alternative to pulled pork by many and it does indeed look and have the texture …Awesome… cooked before the fruit ripens gives it an entirely different taste and texture to the ripe fruit… It is indeed a wonder Fruit…

Thailand is a major producer of the jackfruit, they are often cut, prepared, and canned in a sugary syrup (or frozen in bags/boxes without syrup) and exported overseas, frequently to North America and Europe. Made into chips which are very moreish …They are also used in various dishes and curries around Asia…

Just be aware that when you find a jackfruit recipe for a savoury dish it means green or raw Jackfruit many recipes do not say this as they wrongly assume that you know this.

Why wonder tree?

This is because every part of the tree has its own use. The fruits are eaten, the leaves are fed to livestock, and the wood is greatly valued for the manufacture of wood products because of its termite and fungus proof properties and the roots are used in natural medicine to treat fevers, asthma and diarrhoea.

How to prepare the Jackfruit… If I am using green Jackfruit like the recipe below then I just take one from my tree, if I want the ripe arils I generally buy them ready prepared.

Those of you who have prepared your own Jackfruit do know that it has a latex sap…

I have heard and quite recently…my lips are sealed…lol, some horror stories when one doesn’t know how to prepare this amazing fruit.

What you need:

An old knife and cooking oil…lots of it…

Firstly, coat your gloved hands and a long, sharp knife with cooking oil. A spray cooking oil works well — to protect against that stubborn latex sap.

Cover the work surface with something disposable….lots of newspaper.

Cut the fruit in half lengthwise and then lengthwise again into quarters; the cut skin and core will release the sap. Re-grease the knife after each cut.

Cut out the solid white core and discard any fibrous filaments around the fruit pods.

If you do get ooze on your hands, don’t worry – just put some oil on your hands, and wash them in warm water, it will be gone in no time!

Easy when you know how…

I also just prefer to oil my hands as when I use gloves they are guaranteed to stick to the latex…I probably don’t oil them enough…But I prefer oiled hands…

I have seen a few recipes lately where raw/green jackfruit is not stated and also the fact that you need to use my steps to cut the jackfruit or you will have latex everywhere.

On the markets here you can buy it ready cooked so the first step is done and all you need to do is then add your aromatics and finish cooking much easier but as I have a tree I needed to learn how to do it with minimal mess.

In Asia, jackfruits ripen principally from March to June, April to September, or June to August, depending on the climatic region, with some off-season crops from September to December, you may also find a few fruits at other times of the year.

My tree in my garden has started to produce fruit and to stop the squirrels helping themselves I will be covering the fruits in plastic bags… But as you can see they are growing nicely and there are a lot of little babies as well.

The jackfruit’s flesh is very sweet and aromatic and tastes like a combination of banana, mango and papaya.

Because of certain similarities in appearance the oval shape and spiky exterior, some people mistake the jackfruit for Durian which is another exotic fruit; however, they are very different fruits.

The ripe jackfruit is eaten as a fruit but unripe jackfruit is prepared as a vegetable. Young jackfruit is used in stews or curries, boiled, roasted; or fried and eaten as a snack. The seeds can also be eaten as a snack after being boiled and then roasted.

Jackfruit is also becoming a popular alternative to meat for vegans, vegetarians and anyone wanting to adopt a healthier lifestyle as when cooked the texture is similar to pulled pork.

Today I will be making a spicy jackfruit salad which in Thai is called Tam Khanun or Tam banun it is made by pounding boiled jackfruit with chilli paste and then stir-frying.

First step over and that was cutting the Jackfruit…I can guarantee if you use an oiled knife and grease your hands the latex doesn’t stick…You do have to keep re-greasing the knife though but any which attached itself came off easily with the cooking oil…

My jackfruit slices are now simmering gently on the stove…

Once they are tender and cooled down enough for me to remove the outer skin I will be doing so…

Ingredients for Tam Kanun:

  • 400 gm green, young Jackfruit
  • 100 gm minced pork (optional) if vegetarian or vegan.
  • 5 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 10 Cherry tomatoes cut in quarters.
  • 3- 6 tsp Chilli paste ( depending on your taste)

To serve:

  • 2 spring onions sliced
  • 5 dried birds eye chillies fried
  • 1 tbsp fried garlic.
  • 1 tbsp coriander

Let’s Cook!

Once cooked drain the jackfruit well, pound in a pestle and mortar and set to one side. I had heard cooked this looks like pulled pork and it does…

Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the garlic until it is nicely browned add the chilli paste and stir-fry for a minute.

Add the minced pork ( if using) and stir-fry until it is cooked 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and the jackfruit stir-fry to combine well add the kaffir lime leaves and remove from the heat.

Serve with sticky rice and the fried garlic, chillies, spring onions and coriander as garnish.

The first time I  made or ate this dish… I was very pleasantly surprised if I hadn’t cooked it and it was put in front of me I would never have known it was Jackfruit…Truly ☺ What do you think??

Tam Kanun Spicy Jackfruit Salad… we all loved it and I would definitely make it again.

The ripe Jackfruit arils (pictured) below are eaten here with sticky rice just pushed into the centre.

They also make lovely ice cream which if you swop the whipping cream for my dairy-free cream it is suitable for vegans.

Jackfruit Ice Cream.

Ingredients:

  • 300 gm of the ripe arils (as above)
  • 10gm sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 120 gm coconut milk
  • 200 gm whipped cream.

Let’s Cook!

Chop the jackfruit and put in a pan with the sugar cook until the fruit turns to a pulp about 30/40 mins depending on how ripe your fruit is. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Place the cooled mixture in the blender with the salt, vanilla extract and the coconut milk and blend until smooth… Chill overnight in the fridge.

Next day whip your cream and fold the jackfruit mix into the whipped cream and place in your ice cream maker following their instructions.

If you are not using an ice cream maker then put in the blender and pulse 3 times.

Put into an airtight container and freeze for 6 hours.

Enjoy!

Stop Press! Stop Press! Where and how Jackfruit is sold:

  • Canned in brine – available from larger grocery stores and Asian or Thai supermarkets. Works best in savoury dishes.
  • Canned in water– available from larger grocery stores and Asian or Thai supermarkets. Works for sweet or savoury dishes.
  • Canned in syrup – available from larger grocery stores and Asian or Thai supermarkets. Works best for sweet dishes.
  • Frozen – available from larger grocery stores and Asian or Thai supermarkets. Works for sweet or savoury dishes and is especially great for ice cream or breakfast smoothies.
  • Prepacked (plain or in a sauce) – ready to use packs, perfectly convenient.

And don’t forget any questions or recipes you want me to find for you please ask…
Carol x

Have you enjoyed your read? If so let me know in comments I do love to hear from you it makes my day…

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a fabulous week and stay safe these are troubling times and I know many of you are back on lockdown again I just wish everyone would observe the guidelines and then maybe this will all be over far quicker than if we don’t xx

 

CarolCooks2…weekly roundup 13th September -19th September 2020… Recipes, Health, Whimsy, Coconuts and Acapella……

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed any posts during the week… whatever your time zone grab a coffee or a glass of wine…Take a pew, get comfy… have a read… I hope you enjoy it!

 

Relax and Enjoy! (1) Weekly Roundup

Monday always starts with news and my views… always something new to discover…This week was no different…this week was my last post on Climate Change I won’t be banging this drum any more maybe just a triangle ..at times…

However, Wikipedia tells me… The triangle can always be heard clearly above the sound of the orchestra or band…hehe..x

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/09/14/climate-change-and-health-my-last-post/

Tuesday: 

This really is a short week…my muse has gone on holiday…

bangtao-beach-Phuket

Wednesday: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food Column – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food ‘R’ for Rice, Ras el Hanout, Rhubarb, Ricotta Cheese and Rice Noodles

I can be found over at Sally’s where she is kindly reposting my series on the Culinary Alphabet where this week it is the letter R…

Of course rice my favourite carb is featured and so much more so please head over to Sally’s for a read and while you are there please say hello…x

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/09/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-column-carol-taylor-a-z-of-food-r-for-rice-ras-el-hanout-rhubarb-ricotta-cheese-and-rice-noodles/

Thursday:

My muse is still on holiday…

Fruity Friday: The Coconut…

Where it seems no one cares whether or not it is a fruit, seed or a nut as it is unanimous that it is a deliciously healthy drink and the milk/cream makes lovely curries…

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/09/18/fruity-fridays-the-coconut-is-it-a-fruit-a-nut-or-a-seed/

Saturday Snippets :

Where it’s my chance to indulge myself in whimsy not sure it came off without my muse for company…I definitely don’t like how the images look now in the Classic Editor…all designed to make us want to use the block editor…well this lady who normally embraces change is not embracing this…so there… WP…I am going to bring out the Maggie Thatcher in me and tell you in no uncertain terms “the lady’s not for turning”

https://carolcooks2.com/2020/09/19/saturday-snippets-19th-september-2020/

That’s all for this weeks roundup a rather short week… I do hope you have enjoyed it and I look forward to your comments xx

God bless you all in these turbulent times…especially those of my readers who are affected or in the path of these wildfires in California…Please stay safe…x

When this is all over my hope for the future is a cleaner world… I do want to see communities, and caring for your neighbour becoming the new norm…WORKING TOGETHER INSTEAD OF WORKING AGAINST EACH OTHER…Being kind to each other…Loving someone whatever their religion or skin colour…Can we make this happen? We have to but in the right way…Are we willing to make a stand? Personally, I would love to see lessons learnt ..realistically I have my doubts…

Thank you for reading be well and stay safe 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 well being.

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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all stay safe and healthy xx

Fruity Friday’s… The chilli and yes it is a fruit!

Red-chilli-dried-green-hot

Oh Yes! It is a fruit!

I expect you were wondering when I was going to get around to one of my favourite fruits, The Chilli Pepper… Chillies are in season all year round here…although a pepper’s hotness is generally determined by genetics, the environment can play a role. Long hot days cause peppers to produce more capsaicin, the specific alkaloid that delivers the spicy kick…The chillies I am picking at the moment have certainly racked the heat up a bit..they are spicy hot babies…

This wonderful versatile fruit which some love to hate… Are the fruits from the flowers of the Nightshade plant family. Mainly eaten as a vegetable but most definitely it is a fruit.

Chilli peppers are a rich source of spicy-hot capsaicin. They are also very high in antioxidant carotenoids, which are linked with many health benefits. … Capsaicin: Is one of the most studied plant compounds in chilli peppers.

Did you know? Chilli has seven times the Vitamin C of an Orange. Also, a big bowl of chilli can help you lose weight? It is because the capsaicin in the chillies and peppers used to make a chilli raise your metabolic rate…

chilli-con carne-chilli peppers

Chilli Con Carne

  • 500 gm lean minced Beef ( I use pork) as I can’t get minced beef here.
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 1-3 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 pint of fresh-made beef or vegetable stock
  • 400 gm fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp sugar…I sneak this in when no one is looking as it brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410 gm can red kidney beans, drained or pre-soaked dried kidney beans.

Let’s Cook!
Put the olive oil in a large pan and heat add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cumin seeds cook until onions are translucent about 5 minutes.
I like to add my cumin seeds with the onions as it brings out their full flavour and we love cumin.
Add the minced meat and cook, stirring until nicely browned.
Add the tomatoes, stock, peppers and tomato puree stirring in well and bring to a soft simmer.
Add the paprika, marjoram and sugar.
Cook for 20 minutes now this is where I taste and add more chilli and usually more cumin seeds and then add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Serve with steamed rice and sour cream sprinkled with smoked paprika ( optional)

Enjoy!

Now what can be better than a Smokin hot chilli sauce this recipe was gifted to me by my friend Susan and it is awesome…Thank you, Susan, it is now my go-to chilli sauce…

Chilli- hot-red-fiery sauce

Let’s Cook!

This recipe is a sort of add how many chillies you like or it depends on how big your hands are…lol

Take a half kilo of Cayenne peppers or peppers of your choice.

A large handful of garlic cloves, peeled and blanched…it is not a requirement but the sauce will be less acrid if you blanch the garlic.

Smoke the chillies and garlic over charcoal mixed with smoked applewood for 2 hours.

Then put in a blender with a cup of organic live cider vinegar, a cup of sugar and half a tsp of salt.

Just look at that lovely rich, red colour, it looks amazing.

After you have made your first batch you might want to play around with the quantities to suit your taste …but that is the fun and what cooking is all about. The high sugar content makes it great for BBQ’s and helps with the preservation.

Put the sauce into sterilized jars.

It is then ready to use as a spread on your bacon sandwich, to coat your meats and is a great base for chilli or my friend Susan makes her version of Mole by adding cocoa powder, nuts, and some Mexican spices.

Play around with flavours you might find something new and exciting. Maybe blanch some red bell peppers and char them with the chillies and garlic.

NOTE:

If the sauce starts to ferment, bubble up then loosen the lid and let it do its work…I wouldn’t eat the sauce while this going on and fermenting but it will settle down on its own and you will be left with a lovely mature sauce with a deeper flavour, albeit less sweet.

Have fun and enjoy!

Do you like something a tad sweeter??? Then this Thai Sweet chilli sauce may be for you??

Sweet- chilli-sauce

This recipe makes about half cup of sauce which is ideal for me because if I buy a bottle I end up throwing it away either because I have had it in the fridge or cupboard so long or I have read the label.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar plus 2 tbsp.
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp sherry if you don’t have sherry then this article gives you replacements for sherry in cooking
  • 2 cloves of garlic grated/ minced or very finely chopped
  • 1/2 -1 tbsp dried chilli crushed ( 1 tbsp is hot) or chilli pepper flakes.
  • 1 plus 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot dissolved in 3-4 tbsp water.
  • Optional… Sometimes I julienne a small piece of carrot or red pepper and add to the mixture during the reduction period of cooking.

Put all the ingredients into a saucepan except for the cornflour mix. Stir to combine and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to a slow rolling boil and cook for 10 minutes or until the mixture had reduced by half. Lower the heat and add the cornflour mix, stirring until the sauce has thickened.

Taste and adjust the seasoning more sugar if not sweet enough for you and if not hot enough then more chilli.

This is so quick and easy to make and far superior to shop-bought sauces and without the preservatives.

Enjoy!

Chilli plant- hot- spicy- Thai chillies

One of my favourite fruits…The chilli…

The chilli and lots of other fruits are in season in September and of course, eating fruits in season brings many benefits to your health and the taste…of course, depending on which zone you are in the world fruit seasons and types vary to what they do here…what doesn’t change is why we should eat the fruit in season …I have listed the benefits below but it really is a no brainer as fruit in season is glorious…

  1. Richer flavour – Produce that is picked when it’s fully ripened tastes amazing. If your product is coming from across the US or another country, it is picked before it’s ripe. As it travels to your local grocery store, it ripens in a cardboard box, often after being sprayed by chemicals to prevent it from ripening too quickly…who hasn’t been tempted by those strawberries out of season and at a far higher cost both in pennies and their carbon footprint to find the taste was a great disappointment…Hands up I have in the past but no more…I have learnt that lesson the hard way…
  2. Better nutrition – When produce is picked before it’s ripe, the nutrients do not fully develop in the flesh of the fruit. Plants need the sun to grow and picking them before they are ripe cuts off the nutrient availability. Genetic modification is also sometimes used, which can alter how the crop was naturally supposed to be consumed. Also, if you eat seasonally, you are guaranteed to consume a variety of produce, which will assist you in eating a healthier, balanced diet.
  3. Environmentally friendly – As produce is transported from other areas, it requires gas to get the product to the store. This fuel charge is something often added to the cost of the food upon delivery, not to mention what this does to the carbon footprint.
  4. Community benefit – Buying your produce from local farmer’s markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to build community, but also allows you to feel more connected to where your food is coming from and who is growing it…I think we owe our families that and ourselves…

Don’t forget it is National Organic Month…if you missed my post yesterday explained what constitutes an organic product…

Thank you for reading, I do hope you have enjoyed it…  I am looking forward to your comments. Thanks, Carol xxxx

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!

Have a great weekend, stay safe and be well xx

 

 

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