Category Archives: Recipes

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…3rd January-9th January 2021…Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week…It a sunny but rather brisk and bracing morning here…The tree and everything Christmas has been packed away until next year…The last of the red cabbage has been eaten…I do love that as a vegetable and I always vow to cook it more often as it keeps so well and then I don’t but sometimes I just want foods that are special to the time of year …

So many foods which I remember as a child that we only ate at Christmas and on special days during the year are available all year round and they are not special anymore…The same as Hot Cross buns I remember the trip to the bakers on Good Friday Morning and those warm Hot Cross buns…such a treat…

They will be available in the shops very soon if not already in the  UK…to me now they are just a bun with a cross on…Does anyone else feel like that ..that our traditions are becoming everyday occurrences and not special any more or is it just me???

I digress let’s look at last week and I am not even going to get started on what a week that was…

Normally I don’t partake in challenges or at least daily ones BUT  I thought everyone needs a holiday and although its a virtual one it is a holiday none the less…It is a 10-day challenge just an image no words(unless) your name is John Rieber..hehe…x

Sharon at the awesome Gum trees and Galaxies blog, just the title which I think is so cool just makes me want to pop in for a read nominated me to participate in the Travel picture challenge. I mean do I have travel pictures…haha… Gum trees and galaxies blogs about travel, adventure, books, life and stuff especially if your passion is all of those plus the environment it then makes this blog a must-read who knows what little gems you may find…

The challenge is about visual images so we need to post a favourite travel picture for 10 days without explanation and nominate someone else to participate.

If I nominate you and you don’t want to participate, please do not feel obliged, but if you do, please link back to me so that I can see your post, in these curtailed times vicarious travel is a lovely escape, I would love to see what you choose to post.

Tuesday: The 1st Tuesday of the New Year 2020…

A New Year is always exciting a time when our thoughts look to what lies ahead…I will be doing no recaps on last year this year as while there have been many positives invariably the negatives always sneak in…

I am making no resolutions just lifestyle changes which will be determined as and when…and subject to change as and when…there will be many changes and hurdles a bit of an obstacle course ahead of us this year not all pleasant or without challenges but there will also be those special moments those once in a lifetime moments of joy and hope…

I am not going to dwell on what I cannot hope to ever change I am going to focus on what I can change and where I can make a difference however small that difference is I think we are going to have to play it by ear to make sudden decisions be spontaneous…Dance in the rain…

My this year’s diary cover reminds me of that every day… My word this year is …Improv…xx

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/01/05/its-tuesday-the-1st-tuesday-of-the-new-year-2020/

Wednesday: The Culinary Alphabet with a little twist…P (soursoP)

I love this challenge set by Pete…It is fun and I am learning so much as I hope you are as well…How I am going to follow this Is anybody’s guess…Suggestions welcome…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/01/06/the-culinary-alphabet-with-a-little-twistp-soursop/

Thursday was the day for Sally’s  Health Column a look at how we can get the New Year off to a Healthy Start…

I love Sally’s no-nonsense approach to dieting it is non-judgemental and factual…not a diet but a lifestyle change and if you lose weight that’s a bonus…after all the Christmas Cake I am (still) consuming..no one is helping me…it will also be a miracle but hey…who doesn’t love a miracle and a piece of Chrismas Cake…hehe…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/01/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-health-column-getting-the-year-off-to-a-healthy-start-part-two-by-sally-cronin/

Friday: Time to make a Fish Pie…

Fish Pie is a traditional British Dish and has a long history…it can be said that it has similarities to shepherds pie of which meat is the main ingredient and topped with potatoes…A fish pie or fisherman pie which it is often named can contain most sorts of fish a white or cheese sauce you may add hardboiled eggs or leeks there are very many regional versions…Cornwall’s traditional version is known as a stargazy pie decorated with the heads and tails of pilchards protruding through the crust…Looking at the sky…

I was surprised though how many of my US cousins had not eaten or heard of a fish pie…although it is popularly made with pastry topping in Baltic countries and made with salmon which I adore…very nice they are…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/01/08/its-friday-its-fish-pie/

Saturday Snippets:

One of my favourite posts of the week to write although I have been struggling of late with Saturday Snippets…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/01/09/saturday-snippets-9th-january-2020/

Today is also my favourite rockers birthday…Rod Stewart is 76 today…

Happy Birthday…Sir Rod…

Well, that’s it for today…I hope you have enjoyed the read…if you have please head over and leave a comment it makes my day to hear from you …Love Carol xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Recipes… Gravy

 

Wow, the days are just flying by now…1st December already…. and before we know it there it was GONE! and we are bringing in a New Year.

Today I am going to give some recipes for gravy which can be made 2-3 days in advance or frozen. I am all for advance planning for Christmas and gravy freezes well…

Firstly this is my easy to make tasty turkey gravy and we need a lovely tasty gravy to go with our Christmas dinner…Don’t we?

sunday roast

Turkey Gravy.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg chicken wings halved with kitchen scissors
  • the turkey neck, if you have it, cut into pieces
  • 3 large carrots, chopped into chunks
  • 2 onions, unpeeled and chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped
  • small handful fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 tbsp  Coconut oil
  • 2 tsp golden castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5-litre fresh vegetable stock

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oven to 220C/390F/gas 7.

Tip the chicken wings into a roomy roasting tin with the turkey neck (if using), carrots, onions, celery and thyme. Scatter over the sugar, toss in the oil and roast for 50 mins until brown and lightly charred.

Put the roasting tin on low heat, stir in the tomato purée and flour, and cook until sticky. Splash in the balsamic vinegar, pour over 1.5 litres of stock to just cover all the ingredients. Bring to a simmer. then using a potato masher to mash all the ingredients together so as to release the flavour.

Simmer everything for 20 mins until you have a tasty thickened gravy, then strain it through a sieve, pushing down hard on all the mushy veg. Cool and chill for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Heat the gravy to serve, adding roasting juices from your turkey, if you like.

Serves 8.

Prosecco and Mushroom Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 500 gm chicken wings, chopped into pieces (you can ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • Turkey backbone and neck, hacked into pieces
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Carrots, cut into small chunks
  • 2 celery sticks, cut into small chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • small bunch Fresh Thyme
  • 30 gm dried porcini
  • pinch of golden castor sugar
  • 100 gm plain flour
  • 250 ml Prosecco, plus a splash (optional)
  • 2-litre chicken stock (preferably fresh)
  • A squeeze of lemon

Let’s Cook!

Heat the oil in a large shallow saucepan or flameproof casserole dish. When it’s shimmering, add the wings and the turkey pieces, and spend a good 20 mins browning them well in the oil – sticky bits of meat in the pan will add flavour.

Tip in the vegetables, herbs and porcini, scatter over the sugar and stir everything in. Turn down the heat and brown the vegetables for another 10 mins. Stir in the flour, then pour in the Prosecco and simmer down to a paste.

Stir in the stock and bring to the boil, scraping the bottom of the pan as you stir. Skim any scum off with a ladle and simmer steadily for 30 mins until thickened and reduced by about a third. Season to taste with salt and stir in a squeeze of lemon. Leave to cool slightly, then strain through a sieve into a container and chill. Can be made three days ahead, or frozen for up to three months.

On the day, simply reheat or pour into the turkey roasting tin and reheat with the roasting juices.

If not serving to children, finish with a splash more Prosecco just before serving, if you like.

Lastly, I have a nice red wine vegetarian gravy. if the onions are nicely caramelised then you get a great flavoured gravy…

Red wine vegetarian gravy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Brown Onions
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 200 ml Red Wine
  • 200 ml Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tbsp  Flour
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 sprig thyme

Let’s Cook!

Peel the onions and cut them in half. Lay each half with the flat side down and slice so you have semi-circle shaped pieces.

Head 1 tbsp Olive Oil over medium heat in a frying pan and add the onions. Saute for 5 minutes until the onions begin to soften and become translucent.

Then reduce the heat to low and add the balsamic vinegar. Spread the onions into a flat layer and let cook for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Once done, the onions should be a deep golden brown.

Turn the heat back up to medium and add the red wine, let it reduce for 2-3 minutes before adding the vegetable stock and thyme. Let everything simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix the flour with the water to make a paste, then add to the gravy. Stir the gravy constantly until it’s nice and thick and can coat the back of a spoon. Remove the thyme sprig and season with salt and pepper.

Sometimes I use this gravy as it is which still has visible pieces of onion or I push it through a sieve if I want a smoother gravy.

All of these recipes can be made in advance or frozen…Which again eases that Christmas day stress… And I am all for that a nice leisurely lunch enjoyed by all including the cook…

Until tomorrow when it’s my alphabet with a twist at the end…Culinary delights and tips ending with the letter L  x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday Snippets…31st October…A Halloween Special…and Loy Krathong…

 

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where anything goes…whatever catches my eye or my imagination could be on this post…something for everyone…The temperature has definitely dropped this week enough for me to sleep comfortably without a fan and it has been overcast and quite dull although this morning I was greeted by sunshine…A nice change…

You may have wondered why my image header shows two entirely different images in type…Today 31st October is Halloween traditionally known as All Hallows’ Eve, it is always the eve of the Christian festival All Saints’ Day on 1 November… it is also Loy Krathong here where we float pretty flowers and candles…

When I looked at the meaning of Halloween and Loy Krathong I was struck by many similarities so even though our communities are far apart we are not so different. Of course, there is also a blue moon …A rarity…

The next time there will be both types of “Blue Moons” in the same year will be in 2037. In fact, the 21st century will only see six full moons on October 31: 2001, 2020, 2037, 2058, 2077 and 2096.

Orange and black are the standard colours associated with Halloween total opposites as orange depicts warmth, the beautiful fall colours of the leaves, the oranges of the autumn harvest pumpkins, squash, carrots, peppers so many fruits and vegetables with a warm orange hue…

At the opposite end of the colour spectrum, we have the black of cauldrons, bats, cats, spiders witches hats black is associated with darkness and evil…the underworld, death and spirits…black is the spooky side of Halloween…

As kids, we used to love toffee apples or candy apples as they are called over the pond…

 

After eating all that candy you may want some wellness advice...Look no further as Sally is here…x

Wellness Corner with Sally Cronin…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/10/29/smorgasbord-medicine-womans-treasure-chest-essential-oils-and-aromatherapy-clary-sage-essential-oil-by-sally-cronin/

Time for some music and in keeping with the Halloween theme I have some vintage 80’s tunes of popular Halloween tunes…from U2, The Cure, David Bowie, the Eurythmics and others…A real treat…

I hope you enjoyed this medley of Halloween songs…There are some great tracks on there…

I just love Halloween trivia…

Michael Myers the villain of the film Halloween...How scary is his mask…But how did it start off? Quite innocently…

When shooting the original 1978 film, production designer Tommy Lee Wallace picked up two masks from a Hollywood Boulevard magic shop: a clown and William Shatner as Captain Kirk in Star Trek.

“Tommy came in with the clown mask on, and we went, ‘Ooh, that’s kind of scary.’ Then he put on the Shatner mask, and we stopped dead and said, ‘It’s perfect,'” actor Nick Castle told the New York Times. They spray-painted it white, cut the eye holes bigger, and the rest is history. This kept the film on budget as it was a small budget film and the William Shatner mask cost just $2.

The Disney film Hocus Pocus…was originally titled Halloween House as there was more horror than comedy…

I used to love a good horror film but as I got older they didn’t hold their appeal for me…However, I love Sleepy Hollow…and Ichabod Crane( Johnny Depp) certainly made a few hearts flutter …then along came the Headless Horseman…A perfect Halloween Film…

I loved this behind the scenes look at the filming of Sleepy Hollow…

That’s all for me this week...I hope you have found something to enjoy…I am now going to make my green tea…contemplate making more brownies at the request of my grandson and of course it is time to start the bread making…To all of you who are facing tighter lockdown restrictions please stay safe. I am praying that those who do not conform decide that it is now time to think of their neighbours and fellow man and just do it or this Virus which they think is false will carry on into 2021…Surely no one wants to see that?

Please let me know in the comments what you enjoyed …I love hearing from you it makes my day…

That’s all for this week and Saturday Snippet …xxx

Thank you for reading….enjoy your weekend, stay safe not only from Covid-19 but the wildfires around the world…xx

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

The Culinary Alphabet with a twist…The letter H (noocH)

Good morning everyone and Pete… time for another post which is this crazy idea from one of my fellow scribes …but food fun…I have left out squash as It has mentioned in a few previous posts…

Blanch:

A cooking process whereby food, usually a vegetable or fruit, is scalded in boiling water, removed after a brief, timed interval, and finally plunged into iced water or placed under cold running water to halt the cooking process.

Blowtorch: ( Culinary)

Think Creme Brulee with that lovely crackle on top…think meringues with just a touch of brown, think a lovely sear on your meat or fish without drying up the flesh, think skinning your peppers and tomatoes if you are running out of time…you can even heat up your knife to cut frozen meat…

Bortsch:

Hot or cold Borsch is a lovely thing I was taught how to make it by my Russian neighbour when I lived in Phuket they also taught me the correct way to make and drink a Bloody Mary the Russian way….hmmmm…that certainly involved less tomato juice and more Vodka…

Butterscotch:

Butterscotch is a type of soft-crack sweet created by slowly heating butter and brown sugar together. Just like caramel, the brown sugar molecules break down and, thanks to the addition of molasses in the sugar, caramelize into a richer, deeper flavour than classic caramel.

Butterscotch is cooked at a lower temperature which means as sweets/candy is is not quite as brittle as toffee if making a butterscotch pudding which used be one of my favourites as a child and writing this I am thinking that maybe I should recreate my mother’s pudding it also can make a lovely drizzle over ice cream or cheesecakes or it is lovely stirred into a biscuit/cookie mix…

To create a sauce, topping, or candy, additional ingredients like vanilla, salt, and cream can be added once caramelization has occurred.

Cheesecloth:

Cheesecloth is gauze-like, woven cotton cloth. Its original purpose was for making and wrapping homemade cheese, but it has become a useful tool in other recipes as well. It is used as a strainer when a fine sieve is needed, as a cover for roast turkey or chicken to keep the bird moist, and is made into little pouches for herbs for seasoning meats, broth, soups, and other dishes. Cheesecloth is something we may not often have in our kitchen. If you don’t have any on hand, luckily there are plenty of alternatives. Just make sure the item is clean before cooking.

If you don’t have cheesecloth you can use a coffee filter, a mesh bag, a fine wire sieve I have even heard of chefs using pantyhose…as long as it is fine almost any cotton fabric will do…luckily it is one item I can easily obtain here.

Cornstarch:

Is a popular thickener although I prefer to use Arrowroot, rice flour or tapioca flour…potato water can also be used as a thickener. Cornstarch is mostly flavorless, and thus adds texture rather than taste. It’s a bland powder that’s usually used to thicken dishes. However, Cornstarch is considered a refined carb, meaning that it has undergone extensive processing and been stripped of its nutrients.

Eggwash:

Is a mixture of beaten egg and liquid (usually water or milk) that is brushed onto baked goods like pastries before baking. It adds shine and color and helps to seal up edges.

It is also one of the simplest jobs which children love to do in the kitchen…

Ghivech:

A Romanian vegetable stew …A mixed vegetable stew with lots of herbs.

Goulash:

A Hungarian stew or soup of meat and vegetables flavoured with paprika thick and hearty it dates back to medieval times. One of Hungary’s National Dishes. Sometimes served with sour cream and always with crusty bread, it was originally a dush eaten by shepherds.

 

Horseradish:

Spicy and an excellent accompaniment to beef…Love it or hate it Horseradish is a wonderful accompaniment to beef and beets. For some lovely recipes see my cookery column on Smorgasbord.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/25/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-horseradish/

Hooch:

Hooch, a colloquial term for an alcoholic distilled beverage. Moonshine, illicitly distilled spirits.

Murgh:

Is the name for chicken…who hasn’t loved the chicken Murgh on an Indian restaurant menu…

Nooch:

This was a new one for me I have heard not tried Nutritional Yeast and Nooch is short for nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast and can be bought in the form of powder or flakes. It is often used for vegan sauces because of its super cheesy taste. Nutritional yeast is something that should not be missed in a vegan household.

Peach:

Who doesn’t love a nice juicy peach they can be eaten raw, made into a beautiful dessert, or grilled with olive oil, fresh thyme, black pepper, and basil they are a wonderful thing…

Radish:

The root of a member of the mustard family, radishes have a peppery flavour and a crisp, crunchy texture. Among the most popular varieties is the small, cherry-sized common variety which has red skin and white flesh (the French Breakfast radish is a variation on this type, and has an elongated shape with a deep pink skin that fades to white at the roots).

You can also find black radishes, popular in eastern Europe, which are more strongly flavoured, as well as large white mooli or daikon radishes, which are shaped like carrots. They are popular in Asian cookery and have a very mild flavour.

Radishes are rich in folic acid and potassium and are a good source of vitamin B6, magnesium, riboflavin, and calcium.

Redbush:

Is one of my favourite teas…also commonly known as Rooibos it is low in tannin and is caffeine-free.

Saltbush:

From red bush to Saltbush which is a lovely native vegetable salty and herby they can be blanched, sautéed, wrapped around meat or fish, used in salads, or for stuffing poultry. Alternatively, they may be dried and used as a herb or sprinkle.

Sourdough:

Sourdough bread is a lovely thing and it said that many people are cultivating their sourdough culture due to their quarantine which is good as it makes lovely bread and even the discard can be used in many ways like pancakes for example…It took me a few goes before I got mine properly started but I learnt a lot about flour and its differences which has improved my baking.

Spinach:

Loaded with nutrients and antioxidants Spinach is classed as a very healthy vegetable…and we all remember Popeye and the now-iconic ads. It can be eaten raw in salads, lightly sauteed in butter or olive oil…Serve it wilted in pasta or in an omelette or quiche…a very versatile dark green leafy vegetable…Our families favourite recipe using spinach is this spicy green chicken recipe…

Succotash:

Succotash is a culinary dish consisting primarily of sweet corn with lima beans or other shell beans. Other ingredients may be added including corned beef, potatoes, turnips, salt pork, tomatoes, multi-coloured sweet peppers, and okra.

Tabbouleh:

Tabouli salad or Tabbouleh is a simple Mediterranean salad of very finely chopped vegetables, lots of fresh parsley and bulgur wheat, …

Tempeh:

Made from fermented soya beans it is a traditional Indonesian product ..a plant-based protein source..not something I have used or tried have you?

Waterbath:

What is it..put simply it is a pan of water put in your oven and used to cook cheesecakes(it stops) then cracking…creme caramel, baked custard anything which requires a slow even cooking …

Just a tip: If you use a springform pan for a recipe that calls for a water bath, wrap the pan first with aluminum foil to prevent water from leaking through the bottom. Use two or three sheets in a crisscross pattern for best results.

That’s all for this week see you in two weeks for the letter I (enokI)…

Please stay safe as it seems in some places lockdowns are being introduced again…not good 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 well being.

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!

Please stay safe and well and follow your governments safety guidelines remember we are all in this together xxx

 

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

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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

 

Saturday Snippets…10th October 2020…

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where anything goes…whatever catches my eye or my imagination could be on this post…something for everyone…this week has seen some balmy days and some spectacular electric lightening shows followed by real downpours early morning 4 am and fingers crossed the ceilings are still intact…

Please join me in what I hope is an enjoyable read… whatever your timezone grab a coffee or a glass of wine and enjoy my meanderings!

Cookery Corner…This week in my kitchen…

Roast Pork was on the menu…perfect crispy crackling always goes down here..Thais love it and sell it by the bag on the food stalls it goes down a treat with SomTam and sticky rice. I tweaked the mushroom soup this week and it was much better. Crockpot bread is so lovely fresh from the oven that nice crusty exterior with the soft insides and the smell of freshly baked bread…You can’t beat it…and although it is a tad here the men still love a casserole…I have now received some more black rice which I love no one else does but for me but am I complaining…nope because I love it!

Caesar Salad was also on the menu as Lilys loves caesar salad with those little crispy croutons.

Spicy Salmon with rice always goes down a treat either with black rice or cauliflower rice I love both and new for me a Blueberry Buckle which everyone absolutely loved..go me… the sponge was lovely and soft and the topping gloriously decadent and sweet…I forgot the moderation…Oops…Kanom Krup was a tasty little morsel…some shredded coconut, coconut milk, rice flour, sugar and salt and sweetcorn cooked in a little kanom krup pan over the coals…a nice lacy crispy bottom with that sweet coconut milk and the little crispy pops of the corn kernels…

Music…It was in Oct 1971 that John Lennon released that now-iconic track/song “Imagine”…in this same month in 1976 that The Sex Pistols signed up with EMI records…

Their fame or career, however, was short-lived…In January 1978 the Sex Pistols embarked on their first and last tour of America, and their last tour as a band. They might not have known it, but the group that had caused a moral panic in their native UK and helped spark the punk wave of the late 1970s was about to collapse completely.

The audiences were hostile – During the concerts, Sid Vicious fought with audience members and attacked them with his bass guitar, as well as fighting with security guards and staff on and off stage.
During their final show, Johnny Rotten walked off after having performed one song, a cover of “No Fun” by the Stooges. The band would never perform together again.

Sid Vicious – described by Rotten as having gone “completely off the rails” by the start of the tour – was hospitalized shortly after the tour but would die of a heroin overdose in 1979.

It just goes to show that drugs and fame take their toll it also shows that if you insult the monarchy and our Queen you will go…

In that same year…Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers and Barbara Mandrell won Country Music Association Awards…

October was a busy month for the music scene with Little Richard receiving serious injuries in a car crash and Bob Marley collapsing after performing only two shows a Maddison Square Gardens.

Well, it was hard to choose but Willie won…x

What an amazing duet…

Wellness Corner…featuring Sally Cronin and Aromatherapy.

In part two of this series, Sally looks at some more beautiful oils and once again a very informative post so please pop over and say hello…Sally will always make you very welcome and if you have any questions she can certainly answer them for you.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2020/10/08/smorgasbord-medicine-womans-treasure-chest-essential-oils-and-aromatherapy-oils-origins-uses-and-safety-part-two-by-sally-cronin/

October …is National Pumpkin Month and National Pork month which if you hadn’t already noticed is reflected in some of my recipe choices…today is also National Hoagy day?  Moldy cheese day…and pizza and beer day…A nice piece of Stilton is always a delight …Hoagy when I looked it up is a sandwich or sub I can forgo those and pizza and beer …I am a wine and cheese girl…BUT

October is also when Thailand celebrates and holds a Vegetarian Festival always fun with lots of colour and if you are in Phuket it can get a little gory if you have a weak stomach…

Every year for 9 days in September / October people across Thailand switch their eating habits as they participate in the annual Vegetarian Festival. This is celebrated across Thailand but specifically with big festivals in Bangkok and Phuket...where sacred rituals are performed at various Chinese shrines and temples and predominantly in Phuket aesthetic displays such as walking barefooted over hot coals, tongue slashing and other ritualized mutilations are performed by entranced devotees known as “Ma Song”.

Here in Udon Thani, it is celebrated but on a smaller scale…and we don’t have Ma Song here just colourful dragons and decorations and beautiful vegetarian food…

Of course this it will be smaller as no tourists are allowed into the country…

I am a sucker for animal stories and although most people don’t LIKE rats …this rat has saved countless lives and received an award from the PDSA in the UK…

Has this changed your feeling about rats?… I am always amazed at how highly tuned animals senses are…

Honey Bees...and David Attenborough…

If you ever wanted to help dwindling honeybee populations, ecologists are encouraging that you “learn to love weeds” and leave the dandelions alone this coming spring…you can mow around your dandelions and buttercups or keep part of your garden wild…

I watched the David Attenborough film in the week...I love that man and how he tells us the problems but also highlights solutions…He started with the Chernobyl tragedy and showed how nature was making a comeback because when we die nature will still carry on…

Whatever we do or don’t do doesn’t kill nature ..it kills us.., whether it is by eating too many processed foods or whether we are eating foods contaminated with pesticides or whether we are drinking polluted water or breathing polluted air…

In the film, he told us how we need to rewild the world …how renewables need to be our only source of power…how the banks and large companies invest OUR pension funds in fossil fuels…we can change our bank to one which doesn’t…how fishing which is the worlds greatest source of wild harvest should have at least 1/3 of the world where there are NO FISH ZONES…where it has been applied it works as the fish recover and breed they then overspill into where fishing is allowed so they replenish the stocks… if the world did that we could have unlimited fish forever…

That is just one example I have given you... I recommend you watch the film …it will leave you feeling both hopeful and apprehensive…but safe in the knowledge that some governments have made changes and those changes WORK.

I discussed the film with my son and he said but what can we do mum…??? He is correct as much is down to government policies and government reigning in the big corporations…

“You can’t personally help tigers, whales and elephants, but you really can do something for the insects, birds, and plants that are local to you.”

Think about what you’ve had for breakfast… we are back on the subject of Bees…  The pumpkin seeds in your muesli, apples, whatever made the marmalade on your toast, or even the coffee beans and tea leaves that make up your morning cuppa—all of these products rely on pollinators to survive and thrive.

Lastly, we also have the power of our vote…when it is time for your country to vote …make your vote count for our future, our children’s and our grand children’s future.

That’s all for this week and Saturday Snippets ….

Thank you for reading….enjoy your weekend, stay safe not only from Covid-19 but the wildfires around the world…xx

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

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

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