Christmas Crafts…D.I.Y crackers, Advent Calendars…Sweet Mincemeat…

This is the first of my Christmas posts…Sorry but some things have to be made sooner rather than later if we are going to have the greenest most recyclable Christmas ever…

After all, there are only…49 Days…9 hours…44 mins at this moment in time…

This year I am going to make crackers and an advent calendar…My crackers could be a problem as no one ships here they are classed as explosives by customs…I have found a tutorial which means stripping down those champagne poppers which could work…I think I will enlist the help of my grandson and let you know or if you don’t hear from me he has blown us up…haha…

For those of you who can purchase cracker snaps through Amazon or Etsy here is a tutorial…

 

Fir cones…we used to collect lots as a child and then they were made into pretty table decorations, wreaths for the front door or decorations for the tree they look so pretty spray painted or sprayed with artificial snow, unfortunately, I cannot get them here but for those of you who can then…Have fun creating and please share your pictures…

http://allathomehealth.co/pine-cone-decoration-ideas/

Homemade advent calendars…again something which I cannot get here or get easily…One year I can last year I couldn’t so this year I am going to make my own…

This video has some great ideas and even for your pets…

I hope you find some good ideas here…If we all started to make our own recyclable decorations not only would it save us money but it would save so much unwanted plastic and paper ending up in landfill…The figures are horrendous…It also makes them so much more personal …Just think how much pleasure they will bring and how much fun you will have finding that special little gift…

Lastly, just in case you missed it and haven’t made your sweet mincemeat yet here is the recipe again…

Don’t forget… on the 24th of November…Stirup Sunday‘, so put on your apron and gather family or friends to make a Christmas pudding. It’s the day when wishes are said to come true, so get stirring! Christmas is approaching, and to us, that means one thing: Stirup Sunday.

That’s all for today I hope you enjoyed and if you have any ideas please share ..Tomorrow it is Whimsical Wednesday…please join me for a touch of nostalgia…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 are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…We all need to be aware of our home’s carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

 

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

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site that 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

Recycling and environmental news 4th Nov 2019…Homemade Advent Calendar

Once again a very warm welcome to this week’s recycling and environmental news where I post about the good, the bad and the ugly…I would also like to extend my thanks to all of you who support and comment on these posts. I know how passionate many of you are about not only the environment but recycling, our food chain, and manufacture…

circular recycling the world and a green leaf

I try to keep these posts as upbeat as I can as no one wants to read doom and gloom all the time, HOWEVER…I do think we all need to be aware of what goes on around us we cannot continue to bury our heads and live in our own little bubbles while child labour deforestation, climate change, chemicals in our food chain, animal testing, fracking, starvation, food waste etc etc merrily goes on…

I highlighted last week how the chocolate industry despite good intentions are fighting an uphill battle…

Corruption is ‘pervasive’

The giant chocolate companies are not solely to blame for not stopping deforestation. Environmentalists accuse governments, too.

This post highlights just what is happening and also how Mars is trying to combat and improve the chocolate industry…

Corruption is “pervasive,” according to the financial auditing firm KPMG, which told investors that Ivory Coast ranks 108th out of 176 countries. The distribution system for cocoa, too, “is often erratic and is subject to corruption and capricious political interference,” according to a 2017 World Bank report.

chocolate pieces-551424_640

There will soon if not already be lots of chocolate for sale...Many offers..Buy 1 get one free but please think of how it was produced and despite efforts by the chocolate industry child labour is still used in the production of most chocolate whatever the claims …

 

Single-use plastic bags and packaging…

Thailand has a big plastic problem but I see signs from major companies of change…Many places now use brown paper bags and I was pleasantly surprised when buying books and pencils for the start of the new school term that when I arrived at the till I was told “sorry madam” no bags…I asked was that just for today and she answered: “no madam forever” …That statement was met with a big smile from me…

Tesco is a huge retail group and have stores everywhere around the UK and have many stores here in Thailand under the brand of Tesco lotus…Tesco in the UK is going forward in the battle against packaging and waste which I am pleased to see…

They are starting with moves to cut out plastic from their own brand products…

SC Johnson…are a leading manufacturer of household cleaning brands…I was interested to read how they are tackling plastic waste as their products produce much of it…I am also eagerly awaiting the arrival of the promised collection centres some of which are to be here in Thailand.

SC Johnson and Plastic Bank already have nine collection centres in Indonesia. Under the new three-year agreement, they will expand to 509 total collection centres and points across several countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam – four of the five countries that contribute most to ocean plastic – and Brazil.

It seems that recycling is known as a typically feminine occupation and the reason why many men just don’t …Not seen as a masculine thing to do…Not so Steve Tanham...he makes eco-bricks from waste plastic packing etc …

Steve said…It takes a bit of effort but recycles both the plastic milk bottle and the ‘thin plastic’ contents at one go. If you ram the contents (handle of a long wooden spoon) into a compressed state the resulting bottle – which can take weeks to fill – can be used as an insulating brick in construction projects. A lady in South America came up with the project for rural local housing.

Well done Steve let us know when you find someone to make use of them …:)

Christmas…How many of you make your own Christmas decorations and ornaments…? One of my blog readers makes her own advent calendar she has crotchet one for herself and is now doing another for her brother what a great idea…I am looking forward to the photos. Janet also shared some tips…Thank you…We’re saving toilet rolls for Xmas crackers and my daughter says we can buy stuff from charity shops to put inside. One can knit or crochet any shape so woolly crackers?! I crocheted an Advent calendar last year and I’m making another one this year for little brother. I cut up old Xmas cards to make little pictures to pull out of the pockets then my daughter had the idea to write each day’s activity on the back….cool ideas thank you for sharing, Janet 🙂 

You have inspired me ...I am saving toilet rolls and have found this idea for anyone who can’t knit or crotchet…

I think this is a great idea however I noticed that the paper she used was probably not recyclable anything that is shiny… you cannot recycle you can reuse…

That is all from me for this week I look forward to your comments…Have you got some great Christmas makes to share?

 

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…We all need to be aware of our homes carbon footprints…where does our food come from? How far does it travel…Simple to do but if we all did it…Not only would we support local businesses but reduce our carbon footprint…

green foot prints eco system

 

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

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

CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…Chocolate, Health, Recipes …Week ending 3rd Nov 2019…

Welcome to this week’s roundup and do I have some goodies for you…Lots going on in the world it was Halloween so I have some Halloween pictures for you…There was snow, beautiful white glistening snow in Susie’s part of the world and lots of it…I love seeing those lovely images from here where I am lovely and warm on this beautiful sunny morning…

So without any more ado let’s see what has been going on this week in my blogging world?…  No… I have not been discussing Brexit although I have been watching the House of Parliament live…I have better worthwhile causes to champion…The stakes have been upped and there will now be a general election…

Will I be covering this on my blog? No! Nada! I will most definitely not be covering it…

I am sure there are many opinions and although I have mine …I am not wading in…But feel free if you wish to…I love a healthy debate…

Monday…Such an ugly looking bean which produces a mouthful of pure indulgence …such a shame that the production of this also causes hardship, lack of education, cruelty through child labour and deforestation…

cacao-bean-2522918_640

 

Who doesn’t love a piece of chocolate??? Who pays more for chocolate and goods that carry “certified cocoa” endorsements?

It has been some 20 years that the big manufacturers of chocolate pledged to eradicate and not buy cocoa which is harvested using child labour.

Why am I surprised?… I am really old enough now to know that most promises made by companies and manufacturers are just clever marketing..lies…Designed to make us the consumer feel better and spend more money…To read the full story please click the link…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/28/recycling-and-environmental-news-28th-oct-2019chocolate-and-bees/

Tuesday…

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

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/29/eat-smart-eat-healthily-no-more-diets-but-the-holiday-season-is-coming/

Wednesday…

box-christmas jumper -christmas-balls-714696 (1)

It is one of my favourite days where I can indulge myself …Of course in the coming weeks, it will be more Christmas focused… I will be looking at you guys to provide me with some lovely family recipes, crafts anything Christmassy…Even a Christmas jumper or three…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/30/whimsical-wednesday-with-carol-16/

Thursday…

Saw the end of Pumpkin month and it was Halloween…I hope everyone who celebrated Halloween had a lovely time there have been some lovely and some quite gruesome foods I have seen…but all tasty I am sure…

The 5th of November is Guy Fawkes and celebrated in the UK…Guy Fawkes Night is annually held on November 5. It is sometimes known as Bonfire Night and marks the anniversary of the discovery of a plot organized by Catholic conspirators to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London in 1605. Many people light bonfires and set off fireworks…

child with sparkler

I have many fond memories of bonfire night, potatoes and chestnuts cooked in the embers of the bonfire, of course, there are now absolutely fabulous displays but they don’t come close to my memories of such happy times as we clutched our sparklers and my dad set off the fireworks… We made our own guy and he proudly sat at the top of the bonfire although we were never allowed to participate in… penny for the guy…My mother thought it was akin to begging and we were not allowed to do that…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/10/31/halloween-sweet-potatoes-and-a-mexican-michelada/

Friday…

I am nearing the end of my store cupboard basic series by now you should have nicely stocked store cupboards…Spices are this weeks theme and although I grow and use many fresh spices dried spices also play their part…stronger and more intense in flavour than their fresh cousins they are ideal for baking. Everything has its place…

Roasted spices Indian cookinghttps://carolcooks2.com/2019/11/01/this-week-in-my-kitchenstore-cupboard-basicsspices/

Saturday…

Where I generally hand you over to Sally…This week she discusses skin and in particular eczema…I lived with skin conditions most of my life and am happy to say I am mostly itching and rash free…

Wool always made me itch so I wore cotton…when it came to bras, stocking, and suspenders it was the zinc in the clasps which gave me sore, itchy patches, I could never wear cheap earrings or necklaces ..zinc again..zippers anything which touched my skin brought it up in rashes and itchy patches…The introduction of tights wasn’t much better..nylon… Polo necks aka rashes, central heating aka rashes…Since living here…rashes…Gone…#recommended read…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/10/30/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-in-the-body-the-skin-eczema-lifestyle-or-genetics-by-sally-cronin/

That’s all for this week I hope you enjoyed the read…Have a great Sunday 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.

circular recycling the world and a green leafExciting 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 that 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 great weekend 🙂 xx

 

Smorgasbord Health Column- Major Organs and Systems in the Body – The Skin – Eczema – Lifestyle or Genetics by Sally Cronin

For anyone who suffers from Eczema, this is a great informative post…#Recommended read.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

In the last post I covered a general overview of the role of our skin and also the nutrients it requires to be healthy.  I wanted to expand on that with a couple of specific posts from 2014 on eczema and other common skin conditions.

Today I will look at the itchy and very debilitating eczema since this condition can be complex to get rid of. There are many different causes but usually there is a link to a family associated tendency towards Asthma, Hay fever and allergies. As you will see as we move through the post this genetic link goes back more than just a couple of generations.

For example in our recent history in my family there is a link to asthma. My grandmother died of the disease at only 52 in 1945 before there were effective treatments. My mother suffered from hay fever and was allergic…

View original post 1,775 more words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ingredients:

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

Let’s Cook!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

vanilla-pods-sugar

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

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

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

About Carol Taylor:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog: 
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

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

 

 

 

Halloween…Sweet Potatoes and a Mexican Michelada…

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

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

halloween witch and bats-478582_640

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

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

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

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

Did you know?

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

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

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

Baked Sweet Potato

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

Ingredients:

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Other sweet potato fillings:

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

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

Ingredients:

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

Let’s Cook!

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am off to check out the Micheladas…Laters xxx

 

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Oops…nearly came off my broomstick…Hic xxx

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: 

Connect to Carol

Blog:
Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest: 

Email:

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

Whimsical Wednesday…with Carol…

Welcome it is that time of the week and tomorrow for all those who celebrate it is Halloween…Enjoy! Please share photos would love to see your beautiful decorated homes…

Then it will be the start of the Christmas preparations…But before that, there is an election in the UK I have just been informed….I do hope if you have a vote you will use it wisely…The right to vote was hard-won by Mrs. Pankhurst, Emily Davison, Sophia Duleep Singh, Maud Arncliffe Sennett, Dora Thewlis, Kitty Marion, and many others…

Please vote for all these ladies who suffered imprisonment, force-feeding and even death for the rights of a woman to vote. I will be voting by proxy…

A sad week this last week as my grandson’s great-grandma passed away…I t was our first Thai funeral …It was so different from anything I had experienced…ever…Everyone came together the street was blocked off for 3 days…This is normal and accepted…Canopies and tables erected and laid out…A section decorated for the monks…9 in total as tradition denotes…

I was touched by everyone, the kindness, welcome, and so much love …Everyone had their job…The meat was prepared by the men, the old men, and ladies sat and reminisced while cutting the banana leaves and preparing the shrine for the 3rd day…making the parcels for the steamed bananas…there were hundreds and huge woks to cook the food…all while the children run around and played…everyone was fed there must have been 200 people who chattered, laughed and prayed when the monks come…It was fascinating to see all the separate little baskets lovingly made with contents set out for each monk…everyone just knew what they were doing… no stress… just got on with their designated task…it was like a well-oiled machine…They celebrated a life lived well…It was an honour to be there…

As you all know my passion is the environment, justice and the desire to see a world free from hunger and that everyone has a home of their own…This post resonated with me it was one woman’s dream which she made a reality and at the end of it, a family had a home with the prospects of it being after one year their forever home…A heartwarming story…

It is such a lovely idea which could apply to other unwanted vehicles /containers/old buildings all it needs is imagination and a will to get it done!

Time for a story…

The Charade…Chapter 9…by S C Richmond

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Carl needed that necklace, the stupid girl didn’t know it’s worth nor its history he couldn’t even comprehend how it had fallen into her hands. He didn’t even know why it had fallen to him to get from her all his boss had said was that it was his responsibility to get it back. He could see the look in her eyes when he spoke to her and he knew he could win her trust, she liked him.

He strolled through the market feeling very pleased with himself, he would see her again very soon.

She reached her room and caught her breath before she went inside, running away had left her breathless. Stupid, stupid girl she told herself, ‘I’ve missed my opportunity now.’ She wondered why she couldn’t be like other women and accept a gentleman’s advances, now she’d messed things up, maybe her best chance. She let herself into her room and flopped down onto the bed. “Oh if I had a mother’s influence I’d be better at these things.” She said to nothing more than an empty room. She took the new piece of ribbon from her pocket and re-threaded her necklace.

She looked at herself in the mirror, she was pretty enough she knew she needed to grow up she couldn’t rely on Mr. James to keep taking care of her all of her life. He and Kathy his housemaid and cook and taken her in when they saw her begging on a London street, this room belonged to Mr. James too. They had been so good to her and helped her earn some money of her own. She didn’t know what she would have done without them looking out for her. Suddenly she had a feeling of strength, she knew it was time she grew up and stood on her own two feet. If Carl Ward found her attractive then she should be able to make something of herself.

She left the room and went back out towards the market, she had money in her pocket and a new attitude, she would forget about her past and start building a future.

T.B.C

All you Halloweenies will be out tomorrow…Trick and treating…Stay safe and have fun…This little video shows what happens when you come home…So cute…

Let’s have some music…

I love music and think everyone should have music in their life one way or another it just lifts the heart and soul…On this day …

1939 – Otis Williams
American singer Otis Williams, who with The Temptations had the 1971 US No.1 & UK No.8 single ‘Just My Imagination’ and re-issued ‘My Girl’ which was a UK No.2 hit in 1992
1959 – Cliff Richard
Cliff Richard and the Shadows were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Travellin’ Light’. Their 6th release and second No.1 hit.
1963 – The Beatles
On the final day of their Swedish tour, The Beatles recorded an appearance for the Sverige Television program ‘Drop-In’ in Stockholm. They performed ‘She Loves You’, ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, and ‘Long Tall Sally.’
My favourite tracks but an all-time favourite which I will share this week is from a band who recorded a session for the UK   Radio 1…Top Gear shows the first group to do so without a recording contract…
The year was 1967  and the band was Tyrannosaurus Rex or T-Rex as they were also known as… 
Marc Bolan was one of my sister’s all-time favourites as well…A sad day when he died in a car crash…in 1977 at the age of 29…
I have always loved history and was quite a good student at school however in recent years my interest has been revived and this post was great in fact I loved reading about his home and his life there…

The man was  Joseph Rudyard Kipling a controversial literary figure. Described by George Orwell as a “prophet of British imperialism”, Kipling was probably all that Orwell implied, including a racist; he was also a satirist, a master story-teller and, in my humble opinion, a fascinating egotist. Born in Bombay (now Mumbai) on 30th December 1865, though educated in England, Kipling was in many ways a product of the British Raj and, inevitably, a man of his time; why should he be otherwise?

That’s all from me for this week I hope you have enjoyed my trip down memory lane…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