Category Archives: Pumpkin

Fang-Tastic Recipes!… Halloween and Sweet Potatoes…

Halloween is drawing near and I am sure lots of you have decorated your homes already please send me some photos so I can share your marvelous or scary themes and decorations…We would all love to see them…

Or tell us your plans for a virtual Halloween or just a recipe…tried and tested a family favourite.

So don’t be shy share away and promote your blog on here…

Does China celebrate Halloween? 

There are several days and a whole entire month in China that are similar to Halloween. These are the Hungry Ghost Festival, the Qing Ming Festival, the last day of the seventh lunar month, and the Spring Festival. …

The UK celebrates Guy Fawkes …However not so widely celebrated by many although growing in popularity… the manufacturers are jumping on the commercial bandwagon.

witch and black cat-1461961_640

Did you know? The word “witch” comes from the Old English wicce, meaning “wise woman.” The plural for wicce is Wiccan. Wiccan were highly respected people at one time. According to popular belief, witches held one of their two main meetings, or sabbats, on Halloween night.

Owls are one of my favourite birds but in medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches and if you heard an owl hoot then someone was about to die.

owls-1461952_640

Some Pumpkin facts…

Pumpkin flowers are edible and a pumpkin contains on average about 500 seeds which when roasted make a healthy and delicious snack… the flowers are so pretty and it looks like Mrs bee loves the pumpkin flowers as well…

pollination-3572147_640

Even what I call the scraggy bits of the pumpkin which…hands up I have thrown in the bin…No longer… add it to your stock pot…waste not…want not…

Halloween Food…Pumpkin Soup or butter, 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…

purple 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

Prick the sweet potatoes then wrap the sweet potatoes in foil and cook in the oven at 350F for about 35/45 mins until soft. 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.

About halfway through cooking your sweet potatoes roast the grapes… put on a baking tray drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper then roast them for about 20 mins or until the skins just start to burst… Do check them as ovens vary and they can tend to burn…my oven runs hot so I have to be careful…

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, crispy bacon, 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!

Halloween Superstitions: 

I wonder if anyone still believes or carries out these traditions? What Halloween traditions have been passed down through your family???

  • If a person wears their clothes inside out and then walks backward on Halloween, they will see a witch at midnight.
  • Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween.
  • Girls who place the apple they bobbed for under their pillows are said to dream of their future love.

Some of these traditions seem a bit far-fetched to me I would imagine not very comfortable sleeping with an apple under your pillow…

But did you know that Agatha Christie’s Halloween Party Mystery Novel was about a girl who was drowned in the Apple bobbing tub ??

A Halloween quiz question for you…

Every Halloween, Charlie Brown helps his friend Linus wait for what character to appear?

Answers in comments, please …

Pumpkin was a cure for freckles? Another old wives tale methinks…

Koolkosherkitchen has answered my shoutout for recipes with a lovely Pumpkin and Spinach Soup served in the shell of the pumpkin..just the way I like it and with instructions for the Instant pot which on my wish list…

For the recipe please head over to Dolly’s say hello from me and enjoy this beautiful recipe…Pumpkin and Spinach Soup…Enjoy!  Thank you, Dolly xx

Time for a cocktail…

This weeks Halloween cocktail is by Martha Stewart ably assisted by Brendan Foster who measures spirits just the way I do…lol

I am just off to check out the poison Apple cocktails…Laters xxx

witch-1424756_640

Checked and very nice that cocktail was…That Brendan Foster has much to answer for…I followed his advice and nearly fell off my broomstick xxx

I hope you are enjoying these Fang-Tastic Halloween posts and please if you have any tried and tested Halloween recipes I will post them and credit you so please let me have them…xxx

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…The Fang-Tastic Pumpkin and yes it is a fruit…

Hands up who thought the pumpkin was only for Halloween decorations and to make pumpkin pie???
 It is also a fruit…Did you know that?? That plump round pumpkin that nutritious orange ball is, in fact, a fruit…

A highly, nutrient-dense food. It is rich in vitamins and minerals but low in calories. Pumpkin seeds, leaves, and juices all pack a powerful nutritional punch.

There are many ways pumpkin can be incorporated into desserts, soups, salads, preserves, and even as a substitute for butter.

Yes...Pumpkin butter which in all honesty is really just a pumpkin puree combined with cinnamon and other spices for flavour and maple syrup for sweetness…It is lovely in a dessert ravioli or pizza…also it is lovely on a slice of homemade bread…

Of course ..those who know me …also know that I love a cocktail and yes it can be used to make a lovely autumnal cocktail all you need is some lovely aged golden rum (2 oz) ish, orange juice (1/2 oz), angostura bitters( 3)dashes, 1/4 in ginger and some pumpkin butter (2tsp)for sweetness …Muddle the ginger add the other ingredients plus ice…Give it a shake and strain over some ice…add a cinnamon stick or two and a grating of nutmeg…Maybe a twist of orange…There you have it…Cheers x

Not only it also makes a great Halloween decoration doesn’t it??

pumpkin-2327488_1280

Healthwise the potassium contained within pumpkins can have a positive effect on blood pressure and the antioxidants in pumpkin could help prevent degenerative damage to the eyes. Pumpkins are also a fantastic source of fibre.

Fresh is best though so please avoid canned pumpkin pie mix, as it typically contains added sugars and syrups so check the label and look for that 100% sign…Then that’s good, isn’t it? Actually, it isn’t …Many tins of canned pumpkin puree are actually squash.

Here is a little article from Snopes which is interesting as the Pumpkins you carve are not the ones used for pumpkin pie…

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/canned-pumpkin-isnt-actually-pumpkin/

Note:…Any uncut pumpkins should be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months.

Pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin can be used as a replacement for butter or oil in baking recipes. I myself have not tried this as I don’t bake often but Weight Watchers recommends using pumpkin puree for one-third of the amount of butter; so if the recipe calls for one cup of butter, plan to use 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree and 2/3 cup of butter.

The proportions may vary with what you are making. You may have to experiment with the exact amount of pumpkin to use until you get the exact consistency you want.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? If anyone has tried this please let us know.

My recipe for pumpkin or squash soup …with of course some lovely fresh from the oven crockpot bread...one of the best ways to cook bread as the dutch oven/crockpot mimics a commercial oven which often uses steam to produce that lovely crust and on a smaller scale the heated crockpot does the same …once that dough hits the heated pot and the lid is on the magic begins…

squash-pumpkin- soup

The squash I always make into a vegetable soup and freeze in portions. When I reheat the soup, I then add chilli (of course) and a little coconut milk and gently warm through.

Soup ingredients:

  • 1 small squash/ pumpkin, peeled and deseeded. Cut into pieces or a mixture of the two…
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and cut up
  • 1 carrot washed and cut
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Piece fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 3 Broccoli stalks, peeled and cubed (I always save the broccoli stalks) for when I make soup. Waste not, want not and I think ideal for soups for flavour.
  • 1-1½ litres of fresh chicken stock or stock cubes.
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • A glug of olive Oil

Let’s Cook!

Heat a glug of olive oil and gently cook garlic ginger and onion to just soften and not colour.
Add other vegetables gradually and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes, then add stock and seasoning.
Simmer gently for about an hour or until vegetables are lovely and soft and remove from heat. I let it cool down before I blend.
This makes a lovely vegetable soup but I also use it as a base and freeze in portions.
When I reheat I add little-dried chilli flakes and 1 or 2 tbsp of coconut milk.
It just gives it a creamy flavour.
Sometimes I add crushed lemongrass stalk and a little fish sauce, it depends on how I feel, it is a versatile soup base so play with it, have fun.
Add some curry powder, a squeeze or 2 of lime juice or coriander, whatever you fancy. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Seeds...Raw are roasted are classed as one of the worlds healthiest foods with many health benefits.

pumpkin-seeds

For more information on the health benefits of Pumpkin seeds here is a very good article from Sally over @ Smorgasbord Magazine…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/01/smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-pumpkin-seeds/

Pumpkin Pie Muffins:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 5 tsp of pumpkin spice mix ( see recipe below to make own spice)
  • 2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 30 ounces of pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of sultanas or chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 large eggs

Let’s Cook!

Set the oven to preheat on 330 F or 166 C

Mix the dry goods together sieving the flours and whisk the wet ingredients together and then add the dry ingredients a little at a time gently stirring to combine.

Fill muffin tins to just below the top and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Allow to cool down on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Spice Mix.

  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix all the spices together and keep in a lidded pot and use as required for muffins, pies or a nice spiced latte..

That’s all on the versatile Pumpkin for today …Be well and take care…Observe social distancing…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 weekend xxx

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

 

 

National Pumpkin Month…Facts…Trivia and allergy-friendly mummy bars…

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

Firstly I have a recipe for some lovely allergy-free mummies as I know many people have peanut allergies and this lady has recipes and tips if you have allergies. So please pop over to her blog and have a look…

allergy free mumie bars

https://foodallergypi.com/2018/09/27/allergy-friendly-mummy-bars-biscoff-mummies/

Don’t they look cute?

Did you know??? 

In what year will the next full moon occur during Halloween?

2020…The last Halloween that had a full moon was in 2001 and the next full moon on Halloween after 2020 won’t occur until 2039.

Of course, the weather, especially at night, is getting cooler and nothing goes down as well as a good, spicy chilli on a cold Halloween night…it is one-pot cooking which is even better…

chilli-con carne-chilli peppers

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm lean minced Beef ( I use pork) as I can’t get minced beef here very often and beef is not hung here like it is elsewhere so can be very pale and not too tasty.
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
  • 3/4 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!

Halloween Trivia! Did you know?

The 1978 blockbuster, Halloween, was only made in 21 days on a very limited budget.

Some more Halloween Trivia...

The round orange pumpkins that are used for most jack o’ lanterns today are native to what continent?

North America…The oldest pumpkin-related seeds were found in Mexico and were dated to sometime between 7000 and 5500 BC.

 What are some of the most popular Halloween costume for pets?

dog halloween costumes -2832245_640

Pumpkin…Next up was a hot dog, undoubtedly the top pick for dachshund owners. That Dobie looks less than impressed. Third were characters from Batman, followed by the devil. And for 5th place, bumblebees ( that bulldog doesn’t look impressed either does he….lol…Maybe that is where the saying comes from it looks like you have sucked on a wasp…

It wouldn’t be Halloween if there wasn’t some gore and gruesome goings-on would it?

Now in the Middle Ages, there was a thriving trade of mummies being bought and sold? Not what you think…haha

egyptian-museum-630297_640

To be ground into medicine…Mummies were ground up during the middle ages to make medicine because they were thought to have healing properties.

After the Middle Ages, the buying and selling of mummies remained popular. During the 17th and 18th century mummies were used to make a type of paint called mummy brown or mummia.

 

My second Chilli recipe from a friend of mine …Richard and it is his vegetarian chilli…Thank you Richard it is very nice. It is Richards recipe with a Thai twist and tasty…

Vegetarian Chilli with lentils.

vegetarian chilli with lentils

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 2/3 cups of pumpkin roughly chopped
  • 1 stick of celery finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 chillies
  • 125 gm mushrooms chopped
  • A handful of chopped green beans
  • 100 gm black lentils
  • 1 tbsp each of fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar
  • Basil Leaves

Then cook as normal ensuring lentils are cooked through.

The instructions are as I received them as Richard obviously knows I can cook…lol

For anyone needing more details then cook as my chilli recipe above but adding lentils instead of the meat. I did add a couple more tomatoes some pumpkin and some kidney beans to Richards original recipe….I also soaked my lentils… he doesn’t as he likes his lentils al dente…

Cooking is all about personal taste and I sometimes just chuck it in the pot and take it from there… That’s how I cook most of the time and TASTE…

Enjoy!

Did you know?

Pumpkins are not only orange, but also white, blue, and green?

Some mocktails for the kiddywinks.

Hundreds of vampire clubs and societies exist and claim to have real vampires as their members.

fangs

They may have had dental work on their teeth but really vampires?? What do you think ??

Did you know?? 

 In what country was the first written account of children using the phrase “trick or treat” on Halloween?

halloween trick or treat bag-151422_640

Canada…Here is the line from the newspaper:

The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.

“‘Trick or Treat’ Is Demand,” Herald (Lethbridge, Alberta), November 4, 1927, p. 5, dateline Blackie, Alberta, Nov. 3.

I do think trick or treating got out of hand and now parents generally confine it to friends rather than just random door knocking…

Finally, I can’t go without a lovely colourful Halloween drink for you all…

 

I hope you are enjoying these Fang-Tastic Pumpkin posts and please if you have any tried and tested Halloween recipes I will post them and credit you so please let me have them…xxx

I am just off to check out the cocktails…Laters xxx

 

witch-1424756_640

 

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!

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

National Pumpkin Month…All things Halloween…

 

National pumpkin moth banner

Pumpkins will soon be on every street corner and in all the stores and as it is National Pumpkin Month I am going to get into the swing with recipes, trivia and it is also the run-up to Halloween…

I also thought that maybe as y’all make the best pumpkin pies..I mean it is not a Brit thing…not where I come from anyway…Maybe you would share your best recipe for pumpkin pie???

Muffins or pies or maybe a nice latte…You need a  nice Pumpkin Spice Mix…

Here is my recipe for pumpkin spice mix ..Quick and easy you probably have all the ingredients in your store cupboard.

Pumpkin Spice Mix.

  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix all the spices together and keep in a lidded pot and use as required for muffins, pies or a nice spiced latte…

Halloween-pumpkin

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 display…

How do you greet Trick or Treaters? Do you have ghosts and/or scarecrows and what treats do you hand out? If you are stuck for ideas a quick and easy one to do is fill some apothecary jars with bright coloured candy. It makes an eye-catching display and your guests can help themselves.

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

 

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 favourite food for Halloween…Let me have your recipes with a picture and I will feature them in a Fang-Tastic Friday 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… Some little white sweets or rice paper eyes and just cook…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!

I hope you enjoy these  posts and please if you have any tried and tested Halloween recipes I will post them and credit you so please let me have them…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

 

 

Fruity Fridays…The Pumpkin and yes it is a fruit…

Halloween-pumpkin
Hands up who thought the pumpkin was only for Halloween decorations and to make pumpkin pie???
 It is also a fruit…Did you know that?? That plump round, this nutritious orange ball is, in fact, a fruit…

A highly nutrient-dense food. It is rich in vitamins and minerals but low in calories. Pumpkin seeds, leaves, and juices all pack a powerful nutritional punch.

There are many ways pumpkin can be incorporated into desserts, soups, salads, preserves, and even as a substitute for butter.

It still makes a great Halloween decoration though, doesn’t it??

pumpkin-2327488_1280

Healthwise the potassium contained within pumpkins can have a positive effect on blood pressure and the antioxidants in pumpkin could help prevent degenerative damage to the eyes. Pumpkins are also a fantastic source of fibre.

Fresh is best though so please avoid canned pumpkin pie mix, as it typically contains added sugars and syrups so check the label and look for that 100% sign…Then that’s good, isn’t it? Actually, it isn’t …Many tins of canned pumpkin puree are actually squash.

Here is a little article from Snopes which is interesting as the Pumpkins you carve are not the ones used for pumpkin pie…

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/canned-pumpkin-isnt-actually-pumpkin/

Any uncut pumpkins should be stored in a cool, dark place for up to 2 months.

Pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin can be used as a replacement for butter or oil in baking recipes. I myself have not tried this as I don’t bake often but Weight Watchers recommends using pumpkin puree for one-third of the amount of butter; so if the recipe calls for one cup of butter, plan to use 1/3 cup of pumpkin puree and 2/3 cup of butter. The proportions may vary with what you are making. You may have to experiment with the exact amount of pumpkin to use until you get the exact consistency you want.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? If anyone has tried this please let us know.

My recipe for pumpkin or squash soup …

squash-pumpkin- soup

The squash I always make into a vegetable soup and freeze in portions. When I reheat the soup, I then add chilli (of course) and a little coconut milk and gently warm through.

Soup ingredients:

  • 1 small squash/ pumpkin, peeled and deseeded. Cut into pieces.
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and cut up
  • 1 carrot washed and cut
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • Piece fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 3 Broccoli stalks, peeled and cubed (I always save the broccoli stalks) for when I make soup. Waste not, want not and I think ideal for soups for flavour.
  • 1-1½ litres of fresh chicken stock or stock cubes.

Let’s Cook!

Heat a glug of olive oil and gently cook garlic ginger and onion to just soften and not colour.
Add other vegetables gradually and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes, then add stock and seasoning.
Simmer gently for about an hour or until vegetables are lovely and soft and remove from heat. I let it cool down before I blend.
This makes a lovely vegetable soup but I also use it as a base and freeze in portions.
When I reheat I add little-dried chilli flakes and 1 or 2 tbsp of coconut milk.
It just gives it a creamy flavour.
Sometimes I add crushed lemongrass stalk and a little fish sauce, it depends on how I feel, it is a versatile soup base so play with it, have fun.
Add some curry powder, a squeeze or 2 of lime juice or coriander, whatever you fancy. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Seeds...Raw are roasted are classed as one of the worlds healthiest foods with many health benefits.

pumpkin-seeds

For more information on the health benefits of Pumpkin seeds here is a very good article from Sally over @ Smorgasbord Magazine…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2017/11/01/smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-pumpkin-seeds/

Pumpkin Pie Muffins:

pumkin-pie-muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 5 tsp of pumpkin spice mix ( see recipe below to make own spice)
  • 2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 30 ounces of pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of sultanas or chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 4 large eggs

Let’s Cook!

Set the oven to preheat on 330 F or 166 C

Mix the dry goods together sieving the flours and whisk the wet ingredients together and then add the dry ingredients a little at a time gently stirring to combine.

Fill muffin tins to just below the top and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Allow to cool down on a wire rack.

Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Mix.

  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Mix all the spices together and keep in a lidded pot and use as required for muffins, pies or a nice spiced latte..

Thank you for reading if you loved this post please share on your favourite social media…x

 

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 for reading this post I hope you all have a great weekend 🙂 xx