Category Archives: Valentines cocktails

Valentines Day… Is it roses all the way or Bah Humbug?

Valentines Day …Roses, hearts and flowers and maybe a cuddly toy…

It hasn’t always been like that…There are lots of tales surrounding Valentines Day but no definite actual this is really what happened…

The ancient Romans shall we start there?... The Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia between the 13th and 15th of February…Those Romans and their orgies are legendary the men sacrificed a dog and a goat and then whipped their woman with the hides from those poor animals. It seems the woman themselves were up for a beating and actually stood in line as they believed it would make them fertile…

It didn’t stop there as Emperor Claudius executed two men called Valentine on the 14th February on different years in the 3rd century A.D. The church then made martyrs of the two men…and honoured then with Valentines Day…A day of fertility and love…

Valentine’s day today is not quite so bloody it is more hearts and flowers.

Who still gets taken out on Valentine’s Day??

I never have as my husband has always said you are not my Valentine you are my wife…

Which again if you look at the original meanings he is right…Chalk that one up…I don’t often say that!

When the kids got older they used to nag him until he bought me something…haha…My first gift …A red devil complete with horns…and me so quiet, shy and retiring…haha

Fast forward to modern times and the marketing machine is running full pelt we are in Valentines Week…Yup…

Today is…February 11th…Promise Day…

The Promise day is celebrated for giving a true promise to your partners like you’ll love them and give the very best and satisfying life to partners. All lovers and couples can enjoy the Promise Day giving a true promise to your partner. This day can provide a true and healthy connection in your life.

https://visualhunt.com/re6/4b61dbd7

This so smacks of pure marketing..to which I say…Bah Humbug!

Let’s Eat!

 For everyone who is staying in either because of the weather or just because here are a few suggestions and recipes…

For starters,

if it is chilly where you live or because you love soup then a lovely bowl of tomato soup with heart-shaped croutons is just the thing.

Or do a lovely heart-shaped swirl with some soured cream which would look very pretty.

If you are seafood lovers then a lovely seafood platter is easy to do and looks quite spectacular.

seafood platter

 

Some smoked salmon, a few plump mussels, lovely grilled prawns, soft squid there is so much lovely seafood to choose from just a little of each arranged on a platter with maybe a nice drizzle of seafood sauce or a chilli sauce.

This quick little soy sauce is nice to drizzle …Finely cut a clove of garlic or two and a small piece of chopped fresh ginger, fry in a small pan , stirring to release the flavours add scant tbsp soy sauce and a half to one tbsp honey stirring and cook for 2 mins add a squeeze of lime..just taste and play with the flavours. Then drizzle as pictured…

Main course:

This chicken dish is one we make often and it is quick and easy and served with rice or potatoes and some lightly steamed vegetables it is very nice.

Lemon Chicken with caper sauce.

 

Ingredients:

• 4 Chicken Breasts (skinless)…Two if it is your special meal for two ♥
• 2/4 cloves garlic.
• 1 tbsp capers ( rinsed)
• 2 tbsp chopped parsley.
• Half lemon sliced.
• 1/4 cup lemon juice.
• 1/2 pint chicken stock.
• 5 tbsp Olive Oil.
• 2 tbsp Butter.
• Parsley for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess flour.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat add 3 tbsp olive oil. When the oil starts to sizzle, add 2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes.

When the chicken is browned, flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Add another 2 tablespoons olive oil. When oil starts to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in the same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate, set to one side.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock, capers and garlic.

Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavour.

Check for seasoning and add lemon slices and parsley.

Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5/10 minutes depending on the size of breasts. Remove chicken to a platter.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley.

Serve with boiled rice or potatoes of your choice and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.

Seriously if it is for two just adjust the sauce ingredients slightly and taste…Enjoy!

Valentines Dessert

This is where I am normally too full for anything else but if you fancy a dessert…Then chocolate covered strawberries are very nice…Or just a bowl of fresh strawberries like these ones I picked up at my local market…

fresh strawberriesSimple and delicious as they are or if you have a fondue set then go for it and dip them in chocolate at the table…

 

Or a lovely strawberry mimosa…Just blend 2 cups of strawberries with half a cup of orange juice and then strain through a sieve. Chill.

Pop a strawberry in the bottom of a champagne flute, half fill with the strained strawberries and carefully top up with your favourite champers…Garnish with a fresh strawberry and there you have it… Strawberry Mimosa…

Or using the same strawberry puree to make a lovely Daiquiri… I think will go down very nicely…My preference is a strawberry Mojito…

strawberry mojito

 

Happy Valentine’s Day…

What will you be cooking or does your other half cook???

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 is a definite shift towards 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!

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

Whimsical Wednesday… with Carol…

Good morning and welcome to Whimsical Wednesday…where I indulge myself… I just go where my thoughts take me…It could be the distant past or the future…It could be serious or quirky…

First, stop today is way back to the late ’40s when it first rolled off the production line…How many of you remember taking a fun trip either with parents or friends in the VW Camper van? Are you a secret hippie still?

An iconic van which has been spotted around the world in a myriad of colours and designs…Often associated with the hippie era in the mid-’60s…Flower power…Mama Cass…Beach Boys…Janis Joplin…Stevie Nicks…Beatniks…Flower Children…Jane Fonda…Even today many still embody the hippy roots and way of life…

hippie vw camper van-1203391_640

Image by Robert Armstrong from Pixabay

Fast forward and there has been a revival an electric version …Named the I.D. Buzz …that VW will release in 2022 it will undoubtedly be spectacular, its ongoing development promises exciting features. Like Volkswagen’s other electric products, the I.D. Buzz will use a Modular Electric Drive kit. Its design combines components to boost the van’s electric driving ability. The I.D. Buzz has a front trunk, and its three rows of seats can be moved into various configurations to maximize the use of space.

Now if they could replicate the hippie VW on the outside but electric …Perfick!

Time for a tune…Let’s keep with the hippie era…

Now for the scourge of many although to my mind if you weren’t doing it you wouldn’t get caught…Just saying…haha

Did you know?

On the 5th February 1958, the first parking meters were installed in London’s Mayfair…In the USA they were installed even earlier way back in 1935…

Time for a story…

This is a continuation of a short story started by author Steph Richmond with the offer to contribute …intrigued I took her up on this offer so as you will see I write the occasional chapter…Will this be finished who knows.?.. The girl as yet doesn’t have a name just an unknown past…Enjoy!

The Charade – Chapter 21

dark room -2565040_640

Carl stood in the darkened room, she was getting feisty, a month ago she wouldn’t have said boo to him and now she was standing her ground. He liked that, it was more of a challenge. He was looking forward to what she had to say to him when she came round. He hadn’t found the necklace in her room, he had looked but to no avail, this job wasn’t going to be as easy as he had initially thought. He watched her as she slept, the rhythm of her shallow breathing calmed him and he found her strangely attractive.

Meanwhile less than a mile away from Carl’s rented room, Mr Joseph Peasbody was pacing around his hallway, worried half to death about where the girl had disappeared to, he had promised Robert he would keep her safe and now he had lost her. He was confused she had seemed happy enough at breakfast, had he scared her with talk of revealing her parentage to her or was she annoyed that it had all been kept from her for so long. There was no point in sending a letter to Robert, he would be on his way to York by now.

Joseph called for his butler, who appeared almost immediately holding out a glass of whiskey for him. “I thought you may need this, you look pale sir.”

“The girl… please go out and look for her, we need to get her back.”

“Where should I look, Sir?”

“I don’t know, keep an eye open for Carl too, I know you will remember him after our last encounter.” Joseph downed his whiskey on one swig and watched as John, the butler, retrieved his jacket from the cloakroom and headed for the front door with no hesitation.

He knew the city well and knew some quite unsavoury characters, the sort of people who would know how to find people even when they didn’t want to be found. Joseph could do nothing but wait for Robert, knowing that he was going to be far from pleased.

Carl watched out of the grimy window, making sure that there was no one watching this place, he had been careful but now he’d taken the girl he was nervous, it had been an impulsive move and he was beginning to regret it already. To add insult to injury she had not been wearing the necklace and he couldn’t find it on her anywhere, although he had enjoyed looking for it. He needed to decide what to do with her now, he couldn’t take her back, he’d been lucky to gain access to the house last time. He scooped her sleeping body up in his arms, he needed to put her somewhere she would be found, he certainly couldn’t keep her here where he would be discovered too.

TBC…

I know many don’t like a strong woman…This lady wasn’t for turning…Iron Lady…Baroness Margaret Thatcher…Like marmite, you either loved her or hated her…She was elected on 11 Feb 1975… the 1st woman leader of the British Conservative Party…I was in my early 20’s then but she was a force to be reckoned with and my father was an admirer ..she definitely didn’t take prisoners and personally since her, neither male nor female has had her balls…Is Boris about to change my mind???

February…Valentines Day…every 4 years there is a leap year…Have you ever wondered why the most widely used calendar in the world is so inconsistent in the lengths of its months? And why is February stuck with the fewest number of days?

Blame it on Roman superstition and the fact it is all about the maths…

The Gregorian calendar’s oldest ancestor, the first Roman calendar, had a glaring difference in structure from its later variants: it consisted of 10 months rather than 12.

To fully sync the calendar with the lunar year, the Roman king Numa Pompilius added January and February to the original 10 months.

The previous calendar had had 6 months of 30 days and 4 months of 31, for a total of 304 days. However, Numa wanted to avoid having even numbers in his calendar, as Roman superstition at the time held that even numbers were unlucky. He subtracted a day from each of the 30-day months to make them 29. The lunar year consists of 355 days (354.367 to be exact, but calling it 354 would have made the whole year unlucky!), which meant that he now had 56 days left to work with. In the end, at least 1 month out of the 12 needed to contain an even number of days.

This is because of simple mathematical fact: the sum of any even amount (12 months) of odd numbers will always equal an even number—and he wanted the total to be odd. So Numa chose February, a month that would be host to Roman rituals honouring the dead, as the unlucky month to consist of 28 days.

It is also a leap year this year …Who has plans to propose???

Did you know that this month is “Cake” month? The Saxons called February ” Sol Monath” which translated means cake…Well, according to the scholar Bede…thus cakes were offered up to the Gods during the month of February.

Aston with butterfly cakes

You could add #solmonath to your pictures of cakes on Twitter …It is also argued that Solmonath means mud month aka #soil it will be interesting to see what the comments say…

I am not a dedicated cake maker ..Christmas cake and fairy cakes are generally the sum of my cake-making but I know many of you are so if you want to share your cake recipes please do…

Let’s have a bit of music history…

Did you know?

  • February is the only month to have a length of fewer than 30 days! Though it’s usually 28 days, February is 29 days long in leap years such as 2020.
  • January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar (c. 713 BC); originally, winter was considered a month-less period.
  • Originally, February was made the last month of the calendar year. Eventually (c. 450 BC), February was moved to its place as the second month.

It does seem that quite a lot goes on and always has in February…Valentines Day is a constant and a big moneymaker ..Red Roses and Chocolates…Cuddly toys…

The poem, titled “How Do I Love Thee?,” is Sonnet 43 in Browning’s book Sonnets From the Portuguese, which was dedicated to her husband, poet Robert Browning.

What about the weather...In the Northern Hemisphere, February is the third month of winter. Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere, February is the last month of summer. Between the North and South Hemispheres, February is the equivalent of August.

February is also one of the most misspelt words in the English language. Even the White House has misprinted the word “February” before in a press release!

Lastly, if you are planning a delicious Valentines meal at home…Then this may be for you…my Valentines Day Menu…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!

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all are having a great week xx

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food Column with Carol Taylor – Staying in for Valentine’s Day?

I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to mention Valentine’s day but for those who are staying in and just want a lovely personal meal with their loved one or just want to skip the main and go for dessert … xxx

valentines-day-3124846_1920

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Food Column with our resident expert on all things Thai and making everyday ingredients taste fantastic, Carol Taylor.

This week Carol shares a Valentine’s Dinner that you can prepare for your loved one… providing just the right romantic vibe and privacy in the comfort of your own home.

Staying in for Valentine’s Day by Carol Taylor

Who still gets taken out on Valentine’s Day?? I never have my husband has always said you are not my Valentine you are my wife… When the kids got older they used to nag him until he bought me something…

So for everyone who is staying in either because of the weather or just because a few suggestions and recipes…

For starters, if it is chilly where you live or because you love soup then a lovely bowl of tomato soup with heart-shaped croutons is just the thing.

Or do…

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