CarolCooks2…Weekly roundup…The world around us…Climate Change, health and more…

Welcome to this weeks roundup...I have lots of goodies you…something for everyone I hope…Recipes…A pie… it was National Pie Day, some health facts from Sally, of course, Whimsical Wednesdays when I indulge myself…no not chocolate but memories mostly.

great reads a weekly roundup lady with electronic reader

.I have new ceilings…just ceilings… they didn’t investigate where the water is coming from…so Moi has had enough I am moving…Again…I have never moved so much as I have since retiring…It is becoming quite a hobby…It is also a brilliant way of clearing the unwanted things we collect overtime…

I only keep the essentials…flip flops, a few sundresses, of course, ALL my kitchen ..that will not get downsized, my dog and my Christmas Kitsch… Not forgetting hubby and books…Enough of my chatter…Time to catch up…

The start of the week sees me sharing any updates and opinions on Climate Change and the environment…This coming week …I have many ..things which have niggled me for a while…But before then let’s start with last week…

Monday…Latest recycling and environment news…

I will say I am concerned with all this hype…I am concerned that other things will bypass our radars and be implemented by the powers that be because we are so wrapped up in Climate Change… we have taken our eye off the ball…Just saying!

pollution-1603644_640

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/23/latest-recycling-and-environmental-news-23rd-september-2019/

Tuesday… Silly Diets and feeding babies…

I believe that healthy eating starts from before our babies are born we have a responsibility to make sure we are providing nutrients in the womb…This need to then continue once baby is born…Healthy eating is a lifestyle we owe it to the one body we have if we want to stay as healthy as possible…Many chronic conditions are helped or eradicated by what we eat…

baby-2423896_640

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/25/healthy-eating-starting-at-the-beginning-feeding-baby-tb-12-diet/

Wednesdays…

The count down to Homemade Pie day and one-hit wonders…and some other gems… The Lobster…In the year 2525…Zager guitars…The annual vegetarian festival In Phuket and body piercings…

street procession phuket vegetarian festival

 

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/25/whimsical-wednesdays-with-carol-3/

Thursday…National Homemade Pie Day…

National Homemade Pie Day Banner

With a recipe for a delicious Steak and Kidney Pie…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/26/national-home-made-pie-day/

Friday…

Store cupboard Basics covered dried legumes…Beans, lentils, chickpeas, all cheap, store well and can be made into delicious nutritious meals a store cupboard essential…

cranberry beans-1353042_1280

Recipes for a mayonnaise using aquafaba from Esme Salon and a tutorial on how to sprout beans...From the lovely Dolly…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/27/this-week-in-my-kitchen-store-cupboard-basics-part-4-dried-beans-lentils-and-peas/

Saturday…

I handed the reins to Sally… the expert on nutrition and how healthy eating can keep our bodies running well…Just like a car…It needs the correct fuel…This week Sally covered the male and female reproductive organs…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/24/smorgasbord-health-column-major-organs-and-systems-of-the-body-the-female-and-male-reproductive-system-endocrine-system-and-hormones/

I also added an extra post purely because after reading how babies teething gels contained chemicals and additives which are harmful to health…I mean it starts from birth with no compunction just this onslaught to our health in the name of greed and profiteering ..You could say I was slightly p***** off…

I reposted an earlier post on what is really in the yoghurt we feed ourselves and our children…On that note, I am going to eat my proper Greek Yoghurt made locally with some lovely fresh passionfruit…

yogurt- coes milk- added sugars

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/28/what-is-really-in-your-yoghurt-and-how-healthy-is-it-really/

Thank you so much for reading… I do hope you enjoyed the catchup. I look forward to your comments…I love your comments …It is the best bit about writing a blog post…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 many of my posts reflect this as well as food waste.

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 are all having a lovely weekend  xx

 

What is really in your Yoghurt and how healthy is it really?

yogurt- coes milk- added sugars

Reading e-mails and news this morning …I don’t why I was shocked but I was and all the protestations from suppliers and manufacturers didn’t cut it with me…I have heard it so many times before…Parents hoping to aid their children through the pain of teething could be using products that contain “potentially harmful ingredients”, dentists and researchers warn.

A new study of 14 teething gels, including Anbesol, Dentinox, Calgel, Bonjela Junior and Boots own brand, found that two contained sucrose (table sugar), six contained alcohol and six contained an anaesthetic used to numb tissue called lidocaine.

All this just doesn’t stop and it seems that tiny babies are not immune from devious/greedy money-orientated manufacturers…

This made me decide to repost a previous post on yoghurts as many of them are aimed at children and packaged to entice them…

Yoghurt is a universal food and has been around since the Neolithic period or around 5000 BC found in all cultures around the world where animals which produce milk are kept.

Yoghurt at its best and most natural only contains milk, live cultures and bacteria and as part of a balanced diet is excellent for your health.

Yoghurt at its worst contains added sugars, cream, gums, thickeners, starches, artificial colours and flavours.

One of those artificial colours comes from insects and I know that insects are used for colouring or eaten in many cultures and the red colour comes from a cockroach variety called Carmine the colour is also known as cochineal or Natural red…That I can accept as we eat many animals and insects in our diets it is when the waters get muddied by the pesky manufacturers who add to the preparation fish glue and gelatin and who knows what else in their quest for the cheapest production possible and have proved so many times that they don’t have a care about the consumers health???

But as with anything be it plant-based, insect based it may cause reactions in humans and such is the case in this instance  used as a colouring not only in yoghurt but fruit juices, ice cream, confectionery (sweets) and also in cosmetics lipsticks and eyeshadow is Carmine/cochineal has  been known to cause severe allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock in some people.

Isn’t that a cute picture of a child feeding himself and doesn’t he look pleased and why wouldn’t he?

BOY-EATING-YOGHURT

Kids yoghurt line those supermarket chillers and they act like a magnet with labels which promote the latest kids fad …I.E…Ben 10, Barbie, Frozen, Munch Bunch, YoKids, Frubes, Smarties, too many to mention all designed in bright colours to attract kids…many labelled as deserts rather than yoghurt and that in itself should set those alarm bells ringing… They come in pots, pouches, tubes, little Fromage Frais pots so cute…

Do you know what is in them???

Most are very high in added sugars which all have an effect on the  taste buds and if kids eat so much of this sugar-laden food then real food just doesn’t have that same taste…It ruins the taste buds and of course is a major factor in childhood diseases, obesity and that is as well as probably ruining their teeth.

Manufacturers have proven time and time again that all they care about is profit…They don’t care about the EFFECT on the nations children’s health and would say if challenged that you don’t have to buy them…NO…YOU DON’T!

Packaged breakfasts with muesli or fruit which I used to eat years ago working on the assumption that they were healthy I since found out they are anything but healthy… An average container contains 2.25 servings but the label shows the ingredients and quotes for 100gm but working on the basis that most people would eat the pot and not 100gm again sneaky manufacturers hiding true figures. It doesn’t take much to work out that if 100gm is stated to contain 594 KJ then if you eat the whole pot you are now looking at 1339 kJ plus 42 gm od added sugars…NOT such a healthy breakfast…

It is a sad world when you have to not only read the label but check the weight to get an accurate figure of what you are actually consuming…

I will now look at some individual types of yoghurt…

Coconut yoghurt just screams healthy, doesn’t it? Many contain per 100gm 785 KJ and 11.5 saturated fat and no calcium.

Probiotic yoghurt is marketed as healthy for your gut  They can’t do any harm as part of a balanced diet BUT to really be of benefit to your gut you would have to consume  many pots on a daily basis to benefit and then if you suffered from say IBS it could aggravate your condition so it would be more beneficial to seek advice from a dietician who specialises in gut health.

Again WHEN manufacturers are advertising the benefits of these the yoghurt how many you would have to consume is very conveniently not mentioned  …IS IT?

Greek Yoghurt… Pure proper traditionally made yoghurt.

goat being milked-1617132_1280

Greek yoghurt is a delicious thing it is made from sheep or goats milk which is strained to filter out excess liquid …whey…leaving a thicker yoghurt which is tart and higher in protein than other yoghurt.

BUT… Isn’t there always a but? Because there is no definite legal definition of true Greek Yoghurt some companies have found cheaper ways to produce a yoghurt with a similar taste and texture and get away with calling it Greek Style Yoghurt.

Greek Style Yogurt contains milk protein concentrates ( MPC), whey protein concentrates (WPC) as well as fillers like gelatin or modified corn starch. Now many MPC’S come from anywhere in the world the import of them is pretty much unregulated…That always sets of alarm bells for me as so many unregulated or very lax with regulated products and they  have been since proven to be detrimental to our health.

It seems that the US is far more lax and does not and this is my opinion seem to put much store on the nation’s health and well-being in the words of the FDA “found no evidence of any significant hazard to the health of the human population”

The European Food Safety Organisation ( EFSA) on the other hand had concerns about the use of Carmine in foods and set up a committee to evaluate because of the number of recorded  allergic reactions by the usage. The Carmine has now been replaced with a synthesized version made from plant extract using Calcium Oxide. A step in the right direction but I would like to know more about what the synthesized product is made up of…too many times things have been found to  NOT be as they were touted to be…Yes, I know I am suspicious but past performance of committee’s and health organisations does not fill me with trust.

Pot set yoghurt the makers claim it is healthier and more nutritious because they don’t add thickeners or stabilizers but really there is rarely little difference…READ THE LABELS.

Natural or plain yoghurt is simply yoghurt with no sweeteners or flavourings or they should be again READ THE LABEL.

Lactose-free yoghurt… Are made using soy, almond or rice milk and can contain whey (milk proteins) not sugars…

Pouring yoghurt or drinks… Made the same as other fruit yoghurts just less or no thickeners to make them portable. But they are aimed again at kids much of the time and check the label because they may have fewer thickeners but what about the colouring and the sugars???

Your safest options are natural or plain yoghurt, Greek Yoghurt ( not Greek Style) and this is what irks me as tradition Greek yoghurt takes longer to make it is more expensive but although the Greek style yoghurt is cheaper to produce you will notice that they will be higher in cost than normal yoghurt and there will also not be hardly any difference in cost to the traditional Greek yoghurt…

I think we really need to be sending manufacturers a big message by reading labels and I know it is time-consuming but once you find a yoghurt that is healthy and not loaded with added sugar and preservatives then you won’t need to read the label every time you can also check from your comfy chair if you have the make as to what they contain and the longer the list the less inclined I am to buy the product .

Or… You could make own yoghurt get the kids to help choose their favourite fruits and if they help make it they are more inclined to eat it.

Making your own natural yoghurt is quite easy and you can either buy a yoghurt maker or if you have a thermometer, a saucepan and an oven or a thermos flask you are ready to go.

I would suggest making a small amount to start with and then take it from there as with anything some like their yoghurt to be quite tart whereas others prefer a milder taste it is a little bit of trial and error until you find what suits your palate.

Firstly you will need to buy some natural yoghurt to make your starter it must be a plain yoghurt not flavoured and must have live cultures…check the label. Once you have made your first batch of yoghurt you will then have the base for the future it is a little like your sourdough starter or ginger beer you need to have a starter.

The milk that you use to make your yoghurt should either be raw milk or locally produced milk which has been produced using a low pasteurisation process that is not homogenized or uses goats milk. Just double-check that the milk you use is NOT ultra-pasteurized or homogenized you must use whole milk.

The healthier the milk used the healthier your yoghurt will be.

I would recommend starting off with a small batch first. For each 1 pint of milk, you will need 1 tbsp of the natural yoghurt unless you already have a starter and then it is 1 tbsp of your starter.

spoonful natural yoghurt with raspberry-583076_640

 

Ingredients:

1 quart of milk

2 tbsp of yoghurt or starter.

Let’s make some yoghurt!

Heat your milk in a stainless steel pan until it reaches 180 F.

Pour the milk into sterilised jars and cool down to 115 F you could also stand the jars in cold water to reduce the temperature quicker.

Then lightly stir in your natural yoghurt or your starter.

You can now either put your jars in your oven with just the light on which will produce a temperature of around 110 F and leave in the oven for 12-24 hours the longer it is left the tarter the yoghurt will be which is why I suggested making a couple of small batches until you get the flavour correct for you.

AT THIS POINT IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO USE THE OVEN THEN YOU CAN PUT THE MIX INTO A THERMOS FLASK AND LEAVE FOR THE SAME 12-24 HOURS.

Lastly, put the jars into the fridge until the yoghurt is cold and set. Then pour off the whey which has separated or pass the yoghurt through a muslin or cheesecloth to make a thicker yoghurt.

Once this is done then store in the fridge and eat as req and also keep some as a starter for your next batch of yoghurt.

This is where you can now sweeten the yoghurt with some honey or fresh fruit whatever your fancy is or just eat with fresh fruit or muesli. Once you have made your own yoghurt you will not want to buy any from a store it really is very easily made and much healthier and with no fillers or sweeteners.

Thank you for reading this I hope you enjoyed if you did please feel free to share…Sharing is caring… 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.

The environment is also something I am passionate about there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…Seeing honeybees dining on the flowers in my garden say it all to me…

 

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 lovely week, Enjoy your pie  xx

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Major Organs and systems of the body – The Female and Male Reproductive system – Endocrine System and hormones

Here we are again…Time for Sally’s in-depth look at our major organs and how we can keep them healthy as we age…We work hard all our lives and how many people retire and find that a plethora of ails start to manifest and hinder what we can do…Our bods start to show the wear and tear…Eating the correct foods play a huge role in this…I know that many people just accept what is happening with our bodies and don’t think for one minute that sometimes a few dietary tweaks can work wonders… But it is a proven fact…We are what we eat….#recommended read…

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Last week I looked at the various organs that make up the female reproductive system and this week one of the systems that controls its function throughout our lives and that of the male reproductive system. For this post …. both need to come together.

The endocrine system and hormones.

Baby girls are born with over 400,000eggs in their ovaries and over the next 10 to 12 years their endocrine system will mature and various physical, mental and emotional changes will take place. Before I cover some of the health issues later in the series, I want to cover the system that manages our reproductive system and hormones.

Hormones are vital not just to an efficient reproductive system but to our health in general.. Their protection is essential and maintaining adequate levels throughout our lifetime can be a challenge. And it is not helped by pronouncements by ‘experts’ on…

View original post 2,694 more words

This week in my kitchen…Store Cupboard Basics…Part 4…Dried, beans, lentils and peas…

We all need a well-stocked store cupboard… things we use and maybe just a few we don’t use so often but keep and store well…I am not surprised by the comments to hear that many of you already have a well-stocked store cupboard…There are however many who still do not especially youngsters or people starting out on their own…

store cupboard basics banner

It takes time (and) money to build up a store cupboard so 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

Staples range from flour, sugar, canned goods, oils, rice, pasta, dried herbs, stock cubes(bouillon)...Today I am looking at dried goods beans, peas and lentils…even popcorn…

Good value for money… beans and lentils store well they can be used for vegetarian/vegan dishes to make meat dishes go much further. They are a great source of low-fat protein and they are low-cost store cupboard items.

Beans…There is such a wide variety of dried beans which include red and white kidney beans, Butter(lima) beans, haricot beans, flageolet beans, cannellini beans, cranberry beans, adzuki, pinto beans, navy beans, garbanzo(chickpeas)…far too many to mention…

runner-beans-1835646_1920

To Use:

Place the dried beans in a large bowl cover with cold water and leave to soak overnight, then rinse and drain use as required.

Note: Kidney beans are poisonous so require cooking properly…Boil the kidney beans vigorously for 15 minutes, change the water and simmer for about 1 and 3/4 hrs until the beans are tender.

What also is very popular know is eating or sprouting your own beans…Not something I have done yet..But it was  a great tip from Dolly with a soup recipe as well…  https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2019/04/12/growing-super-soup/

Thank you, Dolly xx

Lentils…like beans lentils come in all colours red, green, brown, orange they are very versatile and are a little nutrient powerhouse…

Green and brown lentils or puy lentils cook quickly and evenly without becoming mushy and are one of the most versatile …I find the red, yellow and orange lentils are great but since they tend to get mushy when cooked they are best added to soups and sauces than cooked on their own.

How to how to use them… in a healthy soup, in Indian dal, or to add extra texture to a pumpkin stew or rice dish.they are lovely in a cheesy bean and lentil bake and very popular in Indian cuisine,… love a lentil curry…lentils are cheap, healthy and tasty…

Chickpeas…

One of my favourites they have a lovely creamy texture which is why they are ideal for making hummus…They are brilliant as a snack…just roasted…or just used to bulk out soups, stews and salads…

High in protein, they are one of the earliest cultivated legumes…They are also high in fibre and contain several key vitamins and minerals. Sometimes called garbanzo beans they are used extensively in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Note: it is not recommended to eat raw chickpeas or any other pulses due to the content of toxins and anti-nutrients. These components are reduced with sprouting and cooking.

When preparing dried chickpeas:

Sort them: It is important to pick out any small rocks or other debris that may have wound up in the package.

Wash and soak them: Soak chickpeas in water for 8 to 10 hours before cooking in order to achieve optimum flavour and texture. It’s possible to tell they are finished soaking when they can be split easily between the fingers. Soaking dried legumes reduces the amount of time needed to cook them, and also helps remove some of the oligosaccharides that cause gastrointestinal distress as well as harmful substances found in raw legumes.

Cook: Once they are finished soaking, chickpeas are best cooked by simmering for a few hours until tender.

I have a confession to make…I haven’t even kept count of the number of times I have thrown bean juice straight down the sink….Not anymore…

chana-166988_1920

The juice also has a name aquafaba a term coined by a vegan baker Goose Wohlt.

It can  be produced from the liquid  from both tinned chickpeas  and the bean cooking water now I  sort of already knew that this liquid could be used as a base for soups, stews and sauces but I wasn’t aware that if it was reduced down by cooking until it thickens then  it can be used in  the same way as the juice from the tinned chickpeas and is used by vegans or anyone who has an egg allergy as a substitute for egg whites in many recipes.

For example, it can be used in cookies, cakes, icing, creams, even meringues and also mayonnaise the recipe made with aquafaba by Esme salon is below. ( you can use bean liquid or tinned bean liquid.

https://esmesalon.com/ess-vegan-aquafaba-chickpea-liquid-mayosauce/

The liquid can also be frozen for future use I either freeze in zip lock bags or ice-cube trays.

Just a little word of warning:

If you are using the juice from canned beans please make sure you are using brands which DON’T contain preservatives are organic and grown without using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides also look for low salt or no salt varieties and BPA free cans as the white lining inside the cans  is a known endocrine disruptor and can leach from the can lining into the food causing many health problems , including brain development abnormalities, cancers and heart disease.

Me I err on the side of caution when using beans and use dried beans unless I am absolutely sure of what they contain and I use google to double-check as more often than not the writing on cans is too small for me to read and if you are in a hurry or your lunch hour are you going to check a can?

Glass bottles are good and more manufacturers are using them instead of tins.

Thank you for joining me in my kitchen I hope you have some fun and came away learning something or maybe you have some store cupboard tips? If so please share I love it when we have interaction and it benefits us all 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!

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 lovely weekend  xx

National Home Made Pie Day…

Homemade pies…

National Homemade Pie Day Banner

Pies have been recorded as early as the Neolithic Period, around 9500 BC. The ancient Egyptians’ diet featured basic pies made from oat, wheat, rye, and barley, and filled with honey and baked over hot coals…

I would never get into a discussion as to who makes the best pies as all around the world if you start a discussion on the merits of pie…Someone’s mum always makes the best pies for me my mum does…Be it Steak and Kidney, Fish Pie, Mince pies or an Apple pie her pastry is the best and her pies lauded …

A pie can have a top and a bottom or just a top and it could be a pastry or potato topping…Plain or latticed…There is no end to the variations of the fillings or the case or indeed the type of pastry…

My Hubbies all-time favourite is the Steak and Kidney Pie…

Speaking of which however hot it gets and it is currently only 10am and 30C and rising…Hubby will still eat meat pie…I make individual ones and then he can have pie and I have my Thai food…

two meat pies

For fillings, I either make mince and onions, Steak and Mushroom or hubby’s favourite steak and kidney…Chicken and Mushroom or Chicken and Leeks…

For the pastry

  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 140g cold unsalted butter, roughly cubed
  • 1 large egg  yolk
  • 1 small egg  whisked with 1 tbsp milk, for the egg wash

For the filling…Steak & Kidney

  • 1 ox kidney, about 400g/14oz, get it fresh from your butcher. Pig’s and lamb’s kidneys only need short cooking time so if used add 15 mins before the end of cooking.
  • 1 kg trimmed braising or stewing beef
  • 250g flat mushrooms, unpeeled but wiped with a damp cloth
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion,  peeled and thickly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 50-85g plain flour, depending on how thick you like your gravy
  • 600ml fresh stock or  water and 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Let’s Cook!

It’s important to cook the meat a day ahead so that you can discard any fat that has risen to the top, and so that the pastry doesn’t slump in the face of a too-warm filling, so up to 48 hours ahead -make the pastry. Whizz the flour and a pinch of fine sea salt together for a few seconds in a food processor, then add the butter and whizz until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk together the egg yolk and 3 tbsp water and whizz with the pastry until it collects in a ball. Wrap in cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least one hour…

TO COOK THE MEAT.

Cut out the white central core of the kidney and  (discard). Cut the kidney into bite-sized pieces. Cut the beef into bite-sized cubes and cut the mushrooms into chunks.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, heavy frying pan over medium-high heat. Throw in the kidney and fry until lightly coloured. Tip into a colander to drain.

Wipe out the frying pan and return it to low-medium heat, adding 25g/1oz of the butter and 1 tbsp oil. Tip in the onion and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and slightly golden add the garlic for the final 2/3 minutes.

Transfer to a large casserole, using a slotted spoon.

Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3/fan 140C. Tip the 85g/3oz flour into a large plastic bag, and season it generously. Throw in the beef and shake until lightly floured. Return the frying pan to medium-high heat, adding a little more oil and butter if needed. Shake off any excess flour (reserving it) then fry the beef in batches until golden-brown. As each batch is done, transfer it to the casserole.

Adding more oil and butter to the frying pan if necessary, fry the mushrooms for about 2 minutes until starting to wilt, then add them to the casserole with the drained kidneys, stock or hot water, bouillon powder and bay leaf, plus the excess flour in the bag if you like a thick gravy.

Stir well, cover and cook in the oven for 75-90 minutes until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick. Cool thoroughly, then put in the fridge (preferably overnight) so any fat will solidify – it can then be skimmed off and discarded.

In the morning – return the pastry to cool room temperature, then roll it out thinly on a well-floured surface. Invert a 28-30x23cm, 6.5cm deep pie dish on to the pastry. Mentally add an extra 1cm all round, then use the dish as a guide to cut out the pastry lid. From the remnants, cut out enough 6cm-wide strips of pastry to go round the dish – they should cover the flat rim and about halfway down the insides.

Lightly butter the rim of the dish and line it with the strip(s) of pastry, sealing any joins with a little dab of water. Butter the shoulders of a pie raiser or an upturned egg cup and stand it in the middle. Spoon in the meat mixture to come level with the top of the dish.

Don’t overfill: reserve any excess gravy to serve hot with the pie.

Brush the pastry rim with a little water, then drape the pastry lid over it, pinching the edges to seal. Cover with cling film and keep in the fridge if not baking immediately.

Finally, an hour before serving – preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Make four slashes in the lid of the pie, then brush with the egg wash. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the pastry is golden brown, turning the heat down 10-20º after about 20 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and leave it to rest for around 10 minutes before cutting into it.

These instructions are if you are making one large pie…If I am making individual pies I just cut a strip of pastry to go around the top of the dish fill the dish with the meat mixture and add a pastry top…This cuts the calories…But if like a large pie and want to cut nice slices then a pie bottom can be added.

Of course, the cooking time will also need to be adjusted…For an individual pie depending on your oven, it takes approx 25 mins.

To celebrate National Homemade Pie Day... Tweet    #nationalhomemadepieday

Enjoy!

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 there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…Seeing honeybees dining on the flowers in my garden say it all to me…

 

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 lovely week, Enjoy your pie  xx

Whimsical Wednesdays…with Carol…

I am loving writing these posts…I never know where my thoughts will take me…Thank you once again for joining me on Whimsical Wednesday when anything goes..wherever my thoughts take me or when something stops me in my tracks and makes me think or when something just wows me…

So come with me and see what has astonished or wowed me this week and what memories have been evoked…Wednesday is the day when I leave controversy at the door…It is the day I can reminisce and indulge myself..generally about things past…Yes, I get maudlin…But memories are good..sometimes they make you a little sad as you wish you could see that person or be in that place and that time again and for a moment or two you are….Enjoy!

One of my favourite kinds of seafood is lobster and today is none other than National Lobster Day as well as being National Comic Book Day…The two bear no relation to each other(not) that I know off…Yet.

It is also National one-hit-wonder Day and if you are really counting then you have 1 day, 2 hours, 24 minutes and 12 seconds…  to Homemade Pie Day 2019…Yes, it is Homemade pies tomorrow…

Lobster cartoon-2027718_640

Lobsters are now considered by some as something of a luxury and a fine delicacy throughout most of the world, the crowd-pleasing crustacean has seen darker days. Pacific Standard Magazine writes of a time when “consumers could buy Boston baked beans for 53 cents a pound, canned lobster sold for just 11 cents a pound.” In a time when Maritime New England was practically covered in lobsters, they were a food relegated to prison feed.

Lobsters have had quite a journey as a food item.

Did you know? Lobsters grow forever, taste with their legs, and chew with their stomachs. Still not convinced? Lobsters can also regenerate limbs and can create up to 100 pounds of force per square inch between their clamping claws.

National Comin Book Day…

Every year on September 25th, National Comic Book Day honours the art, artists and the stories of comic books.  Fans, collectors, readers and artists come together to celebrate the day with events across the country.

comic-book-1010412_640

Swiss artist Rodolphe Töpffer is credited with creating the first multi-panel comic in 1827 and the first illustrated book, “The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck,” a decade later. Each of the book’s 40 pages contained several picture panels with accompanying text underneath. It was a big hit in Europe, and in 1842 a version was printed in the U.S. as a newspaper supplement in New York.

Generally, comic books produce drawn sequential and opposing panels representing individual scenes. Each scene often includes descriptive prose and written narratives. When placed together, the panels form a complete store or a portion of a serial.

One Hit Wonder Day…What is your favourite one-hit wonder?

An interesting video…

Jackdaws are known to love shiny objects...They are highly social birds…

Belonging to the crow family they are a small bird with a silvery sheen to the back of its head…In a Royal Society, Open Science study scientists concluded that they can identify and remember dangerous humans who if they return again to their nests they identify them by listening to other jackdaws warning calls…

Time for a story…The story continues…

Started by Steph Richmond

The Charade – Part 4 written by Steph Richmond…

She eventually calmed down, it always took her a while to recover from this dream, she never knew if it was a nightmare or a memory, but it always affected her in the same way. She would like to try to find her parents but she didn’t know anyone who would have known them or if she did they weren’t sharing any information with her. She hadn’t even been able to find out her given name.

She casually picked up the calling card and smiled, maybe she should forget trying to find out about her past and concentrate on her future, maybe a future with a gentleman. She knew she was leaping ahead too quickly but for the first time in a long time she was happy and she was determined to enjoy the feeling.

She left her room to go to see her boss, she needed to collect money from him that she had earned the previous evening. He never allowed her to keep tips he always wanted a share of them.

Carl waited patiently in the bookshop doorway, he was watching for her. He saw her emerge from a house that he knew was just rooms and not of high quality either. She looked very different this morning, her clothes were old and tired, but she was wearing the most beautiful smile. Around her neck was a sparkling jewel the only thing about her that really sparkled.

He followed her …

TBC….

Did you know? On the 25th of September 1918, the first transfusion of human blood was carried out at Guys Hospital in London…Founded in the 18th Century it is a famous teaching hospital trust.

Sir Thomas Guy

 

Photo credit: mira66 on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Thailand is renowned for its love of festivals and this one is one of the most famous and biggest festivals although it is held here in Udon Thani where I live it doesn’t compete with the intensity of the celebrations in Phuket…The body piercings are extreme so if you are squeamish then be aware…Having been to the festival a few times it is apparent that a trance-like state is induced before the piercings are carried out…

vegetarian festival pirecings face black and white

Phuket Vegetarian Festival is the annual nine-day event, celebrated by the Chinese Hokkien descendants across the island for the purposes of physical well-being, spiritual cleansing, merit-making, conferring good luck in the future, and ensuring prosperity and long life.

The most significant festival in Phuketian culture, Phuket Vegetarian Festival, is celebrated in the ninth Chinese lunar month, which this year falls on 29 September – 7 October 2019.

Me… I am looking forward to some great vegetarian street food…

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow…It is National Homemade pie day…Who doesn’t love a homemade pie???

Thank you for reading my whimsical ramblings I do hope you enjoyed and it bought back some memories… 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…These honeybees dining on forget me knots say it all to me…

forget-me-not-257176_640

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

 

 

Healthy Eating…Starting at the beginning…Feeding Baby, TB 12 diet…

Good evening….It has been a busy day today…and I have just sat down to write…I am in agreeance with Sally from Smorgasbord Magazine who believes that good nutrition should really start before a new baby is born in other words mum should be healthy…

I know that family units have broken down in many cultures now and good eating habits are not passed down…Like my mother passed them down to me…

It even extended to when I had my children…Mum came to look after me every time and I was not allowed visitors unless I had had my rest and fed baby she was worse than the Gestapo …bless her…Every visitor got told when she thought they had been there long enough…But in all honesty, I got my rest and time to get used to feeding baby…I don’t think that happens ant more or not as much as it used to…Which is such a shame…Anyway, I will pass you over to Sally who has a wealth of knowledge and experience and then I will give you some recipes to feed your new little precious bundles of joy…

baby-501336_640

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/09/19/smorgasbord-health-column-creating-tthe-obesity-epidemic-part-one-finding-a-point-in-the-life-cycle-to-intervene-by-sally-cronin/

For the first few months baby if mum is able should be happy being breastfed if not there are some very good brands of formula milk…

Before feeding, solids baby should be able to sit up and take the food off a spoon…

baby-2423896_640

Time to start feeding baby which generally is around 4-6 months…How much will the baby eat? Well much depends on when you introduced food…A baby who has been eating food from 4 months will be eating more at l months than a baby who starts eating food at 6 months.

When you start feeding baby then feed only one fruit or vegetable at a time this way it is easier to determine whether or not a baby has an adverse reaction to a food..generally by their poo…which is a good indicator.

What to start with? Avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, carrots, peas, squash, eggs, pears, apples, mango, young coconut flesh, apples…All of these can either be mashed or lightly steamed or cooked in water…Never add sugar as this starts baby off on the road to only wanting to eat sweetened foods…

A bit about young coconut flesh...Young coconuts, also called immature coconuts, are green or orange on the outside. When you open them, they mostly contain coconut water and are lined with white flesh that looks a bit like jelly. Available everywhere here but  it can be bought frozen in a speciality food store.

Here in Thailand…Coconut – a first baby food?

The first solid food eaten by a Thai baby is three spoonfuls of the custard-like flesh of young coconut fed to him or her by a Buddhist priest.

BABY FOOD IDEAS USING COCONUT

  • Add a little coconut milk (or a very little coconut cream) to a mashed ripe banana.
  • Mash a baked, peeled sweet potato with 2 fl oz (1/4 cup) coconut milk and a little pinch of ground ginger for an unusual and tasty treat!
  • Use coconut milk to thin pumpkin or butternut squash purees.
  • Cut up fresh sweet potato, pumpkin or butternut squash into 1-inch pieces, place them into an oven-proof dish and pour coconut milk over the top. Bake for around 30 mins (until tender), then mash and serve!
  • Use coconut water to cook rice – it adds a very subtle coconut flavour.
  • Add a little coconut milk or cream to cooked oatmeal for babies an exotic breakfast treat.
  • Use coconut milk in smoothies.
  • Instead of simmering veggies in water, try simmering them in coconut milk instead!
  • Poach a boneless piece of white fish in coconut milk!
  • For older babies, add freshly grated coconut to cooked rice.

This is an example of how coconut is used to feed young children here…The soft jelly in a young coconut is easy to digest and has many nutrients…

Once the baby reaches about 8 months it is time to start combining foods. Raw ripe fruit or vegetables can be offered as children love to eat with their hands at that age maybe make a small dip like a fruit puree so they can dunk…they will only need guidance a few times and they will do it themselves it will be messy but to me there is nothing nicer than seeing a baby enjoy a piece of fruit or vegetable  however messy they get. That happy look on their faces is priceless…

child-1528308_640

You can start offering fish lightly poached in milk with some vegetables or some chicken or turkey again poached and mashed with some vegetables…Even tofu if you are bringing your baby up to follow a vegetarian diet…

Just be careful if you are giving bread or toast as it can get clumped together and cause a baby to choke…Always watch them at all times never leave them alone with food…

If you start baby on the right food as soon as they are ready to eat you will not have fussy kids…They will eat what you eat…Even here…the home of spicy food …Babies are started with vegetables and fruit, eggs and soft coconut flesh, then chicken or fish and rice…Chillies are not introduced until they are about 3 or 4 and then only in small amounts …Our granddaughter is 7 now and eats everything we eat although we do hold back on the chillies for her on most things although now she will eat quite spicy if it is a Thai beef salad which she loves…

Feeding babies what we eat from the get-go means we don’t get fussy kids…It always worked for me…Fussy kids turn into fussy adults…

How is my eating going…Well, I seem to sticking at this weight no matter what I eat…I would like to lose another 14 lbs although my son thinks it would be too much…So I have opted for 7lbs to keep the peace and then we will see…

How is your healthy eating going? Is it producing results?

lady feet weighing scales

Wacky Diets…TB 12 Diet…

Ever heard of the TB 12 diet?

It’s a diet made famous by NFL player Tom Brady. In fact, it’s also called the “Tom Brady diet”.

Tom Brady, the Gwyneth Paltrow of sports, has a book out now that features approximately four million words about water, and water consumption, and different types of water, and how water can protect you from the sun.

Brady says he drinks up to 300 ounces of water in a day, which is around 2.5 gallons of water. His urine must be as clear as the sparkling depths of Lake Tahoe, but really, a bunch of water consumption for an athlete isn’t all that weird.

What is weird is that Brady 1) differentiates between a bunch of different types of water, 2) wants you to add his quack-ish TB12 electrolyte drops into your drinks, and 3) thinks he gets fewer sunburns because of all the water he drinks.

I don’t think we need another Gwyneth…why can’t anyone just eat normal healthy food and bedone with it? Oh, silly me there is no profit for the individual to be had is there???

That’s all for today I hope your healthy eating is going well and if you are expecting or have a young baby then I hope these tips will help guide you to ensure your baby starts off and continues to eart well throughout their life…

 

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 there are now regular columns on my blog this year. It is important that we are mindful of the world we live in…These honeybees dining on forget me knots say it all to me…

forget-me-not-257176_640

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 lovely week, stay safe  xx