Tag Archives: Apple Cider Vinegar

This week in my kitchen…Store cupboard basics…Vinegar, Sauces, and Condiments…

This week in store cupboard basics I will be covering items which are perfect for serving with dishes at the table but also great for adding flavour and bite to our cooking…

Vinegar…

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As a child, I only recall ever having malt vinegar with our fish and chips on our winkles and cockles and used for my mum’s homemade pickles... it was only as we started to travel and taste other cuisines that it opened up the world of vinegar and now I don’t just have malt vinegar but white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, white or red wine vinegar even fruit vinegar…

On the subject of vinegar, it is worth buying a good quality vinegar as it has a longer shelf life. Here in Thailand, there are many kinds of vinegar and most of the labels are in Thai, however, the one word which stood in my search for the kinds of vinegar I use was artificial…That sent me scuttling home for a chat with Mr Google…I mean those of you who know me expect no less…

What did I discover?…

Artificial vinegar” is acetic acid that is made by a chemical process.

Natural vinegar” is acetic acid that is made in a biological process using the Acetobacter aceti bacteria. If the “natural vinegar” is distilled, it is very difficult to tell the difference between it and the “artificial vinegar.”

No great shakes then it seems but suspicious Annie here believes…Not much…lol… So I will not be buying it…You get what you pay for…

Sauces…

Since living here the world of sauces has opened up for me…I always buy the best I can and read the labels…

Soy Sauce... Often used as a dipping sauce for sushi…

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It is made from fermented soybeans, soy sauce is salty and adds a rich rounded flavour to Asian style stir-fries, glazes and sauces. One of the best-known soy products it originated in China and has been used in cooking for over 1,000 years.

Traditional soy sauce is made by soaking soybeans in water and roasting and crushing the wheat. Then the soybeans and wheat are mixed with a culturing mould, most commonly Aspergillus, and left for two to three days to develop.

Next, water and salt are added, and the entire mixture is left in a fermenting tank for five to eight months, though some types may age longer.

High-quality soy sauce uses only natural fermentation. These varieties are often labelled “naturally brewed.” The ingredients list will usually only contain water, wheat, soy and salt.

Like the vinegar, we now get to the chemically produced soy sauces …Chemical production is a much faster and cheaper method of making soy sauce. This method is known as acid hydrolysis, and it can produce soy sauce in a few days instead of many months. The taste is also inferior and in Japan soy produced this way cannot be labelled as soy.

In my cooking here I use either soy, light soy, black soy or mushroom soy…I always spend more and buy naturally fermented soy sauces a little goes a long way particularly with the black soy as you use just a tiny dash not even half a tsp per dish.

Tomato Ketchup…

If you see and add for burger or fries it will invariably have ketchup in the picture and I know many people who have tomato ketchup with everything…

jacket potato and ketchup

I keep a small bottle in the fridge ...as it is not something even the grandkids eat now we live here…maligned for the amount of added sugars it contains all I will say is moderate your intake or make your own…Not something I do often as I only use it if I make a seafood sauce or sweet and sour sauce which isn’t often…

Worcestershire Sauce…

A thin brown some say very spicy sauce which brings a piquant flavour to casseroles, stews and soups…

Oyster Sauce…

Oyster sauce describes a number of sauces made by cooking oysters. The most common in modern use is a viscous dark brown condiment made from oyster extracts, sugar, salt and water thickened with corn starch. Some versions may be darkened with caramel, though the high-quality oyster sauce is naturally dark. It is commonly used in Cantonese, Thai, Malay, Vietnamese and Khmer cuisines.

On my daughter-in-law’s advice, I buy a premium Oyster sauce made here in Thailand…It has no Msg, added colours, artificial flavours and is gluten-free.

Fish Sauce…

Is a liquid condiment made from fish or krill that have been coated in salt and fermented for up to two years…It is also a sauce I have come to love…Due to its ability to impart a savoury umami flavour to dishes, it has been embraced globally by chefs and home cooks. The umami flavour in fish sauce is due to its glutamate content. Soy sauce is regarded by some in the West as a vegetarian alternative to fish sauce though they are very different in flavour.

Fish sauce is not only added to dishes as a seasoning but also used as a base in dipping sauces. for both fish, meat, vegetables and fruit…Our little Lily puts it on her passionfruit…

Curry pastes and powders…

As all the curry pastes I have come across where I live are made locally…For example, Massaman Curry paste is more of a Southern Thai dish so not so many available pastes here…Because I can buy fresh pastes I buy as I need it and also ship it around the world as my friends and family love them so much and are always requesting more…

We also eat Indian at least once a week for that I make my own spices usually enough for 4/6 curries it also means I have a good rotation of dried spices which in the humidity here do not have such a long shelf life…

This is my recipe for Chettinad Masala Powder…

Ingredients:

  • 16 dried red chillies
  • 4 tsp of black pepper
  • 3 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp dried unsweetened coconut
  • 4 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-star anise
  • 8 cloves
  • 4 x 1-inch sticks of cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 20 fresh/dried curry leaves

Dry roast all the ingredients you may have to do this in a couple of batches depending on your pan but be careful not to burn the spices.

Transfer to a plate or dish and allow to cool down before grinding to a powder.

Store in a sealed container in a  cool dry place and use as required.

For the complete Masala, curry recipe click here

Mustard…

I grew up eating Colemans English mustard  …in a ham sandwich, with cold meats, added to a cheese sauce or cheese scones now, of course, there are so many different varieties of mustard…

I generally except for Dijon mustard make my own as mustard if available here is very expensive and for the smallest of pots…

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I did not realise how easy it was to make and the difference in the taste…How does that look not bad for a beginner…It took a few goes until I got it just right for our tastes but it pretty good and so easy to do just 5 ingredients one of which is water…Homemade Mustard…

Tomato Puree…

Tomato purée is a thick liquid made by cooking and straining tomatoes. The difference between tomato paste, tomato purée, and tomato sauce is consistency; tomato puree has a thicker consistency and a deeper flavour than sauce.

I use it when I am making meat sauces, spag bol, chilli or pizza bases…although I always blitz my own tomatoes for sauces and never buy tinned I always keep a spare tin of puree to get that intensity of flavour to me it is not worth making due to the amount and frequency that I use…Once the can is opened it freezes well.

By now you should have a pretty well-stocked cupboard of store cupboard basics…

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 spices…

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!

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

Good morning/afternoon and welcome…This week it is a post from my archives …I am on week 3 of my food diary and it is helping but this weeks has a few extra additions I have been stressed and all the rest and struggling with the smallness of the iPad and its quirks…So no loss this week stayed the same which is a minor miracle in itself…lol.. Hopefully, normal service will be resumed soon in the meantime enjoy the archived posts and let me know how you are going …Do you keep a food diary? Does it help focus you?..

Healthy - Vegetables- Fruit- Lady

Healthy Eating

via Healthy Eating…How to lose weight and eat the foods you love…

Healthy Eating…How to lose weight and eat the foods you love…

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Thank you for joining me again this week….Carol’s Bootcamp I should be calling it…Haha…What are you unfollowing me for… but NO!

What I will be doing every Tuesday after I have told you a little..no everything about my lifestyle and eating habits… Is??

Show you what works and diets don’t!

I have tried them all…Cabbage soup, no carbs, no fat, those awful meal replacement drinks, various fat burning tablets( haha) sucker…as they laugh all way to their bank at my expense…Yes, some worked…a little, not so much or I felt ill, got headaches… You name it I have probably tried it!

When I retired I thought …yes can’t you hear cogs whirring… I am going to change, I found blogging and writing, had time to cook more, experiment…I have so much more I want to do…

So if you want to join me …It is free…I don’t want to know how much you weigh, I will not be checking up on you… We are all adults…grown up even…

All I ask is honesty..you cheat..you cheat yourself, your health not mine… YOURS!

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Let’s Do This!

First and foremost…What do I drink…I looked at what I was drinking and no wonder it piled on the pounds…Diet Pepsi…Sugar…Any bottled drinks which promote AND SCREAM good for you and healthy…Read the labels…They lie! The SMALL print which even with a magnifying glass I can’t read…I don’t have time to read it…Do You? So if it has more than 1 ingredient I don’t buy it!

Because if it is 100% whatever they are selling what else do you need in your drink??

So what do I drink?

First thing in the morning...before anything…

A small glass of hot water with a tbsp of Apple cider vinegar and a spoonful of honey I also sometimes grate in some fresh ginger.

During the day…

Fresh coconut juice ..and yes I am lucky I have it here they grow on trees here…I buy mine from a little man down the road who cuts the coconut and pours out the juice scoops out the soft flesh and puts that in my juice.

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Sometimes I make a fruit and vegetable smoothie. For me, this normally replaces my lunch and contains whatever fruit and or vegetables I have Beetroot, tomato, carrot all go lovely with fruits…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/tropical-sunshine-in-a-glass-take-5/

I also drink Kombucha which I love… again just watch the labels if you BUY kombucha I will give you the recipe to make your own in another post.

But what is Kombucha? It is a fizzy tea, usually made with black or green tea, sugar, bacteria, and yeast… called a scoby… It has a slightly sour, almost vinegar-like taste which suits me as I prefer sour to sweet.

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Health benefits of drinking Kombucha

Also, drink lots of water…

I have one cup of tea a day made by my son or hubby..that is my only hot beverage. English Tea, a dash of milk, no sugar. Occasionally I vary that with Green tea, redbush tea or Matcha…

So for me a variety of drinks but all drinks I love and which are healthy… No added sugars or preservatives…

What I am asking you to do is look at what you drink… does it contain lots of milk and sugar?? Do you drink them in moderation or 8 a day????

Moderation is my word for this new way of eating…I eat what I fancy… but sense comes into THE EQUATION ..because if I ate chocolate all day then that is crazy and would not do my health any good…SO MODERATION.

You choose what you drink for good health… Can you make it more healthy? Have you tried other drinks? You may like them… I hated green tea until I learnt how to make it properly, The apple cider vinegar makes me shudder it is sharp but I am used to it now but the health benefits are immense.

Change is not easy and I won’t lie you have to want to do it..but YOU CAN Do IT!… I want to be healthier and maybe stave off some of the inevitable illnesses that advancing years bring… I am no spring chicken… By trying my best to eat what I like and as healthy as possible.

In 3 years I have lost 5 stone which is approx 31 kilos…my weight is stable and it drops a few more pounds every so often. How I eat works for me and it should work for you…

I eat what I like but moderation…For exercise I walk daily or 6 out of 7 days…I have never liked jumping about to music… But this is about YOU finding what you enjoy…

Following an 80% 20% rule works for me over time my taste buds have changed and I don’t crave the things I used to…I can open a box of my favourite Turkish delight and eat 1 piece a day…

Most evenings is time for a sundowner …  my white wine I add soda to thus reducing the calories and my G & T  which I have occasionally that is part of my 20%.

Generally, I only eat 2 meals a day..but that is me if you work or do lots of exercises you will need more and if it is cold we eat more don’t we?…Fuel…But choose wisely…find what you like and… Let’s get healthy …

Next week I will give you some recipes ..food I eat…Food I enjoy as I believe you should love what you eat which is why these faddy diets don’t work…If we feel deprived we eat it anyway…Time for change are you ready???

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Tell me in comments what you want, what you like, if it is something you really like and it’s maybe not that healthy ..tell me and I will try and tweak it so it is healthier…Maybe you have some really healthy drinks locally that I haven’t heard of…Then tell me..Talk about what you drink…Let’s share ideas…I have a wonderful recipe for lasagne..no pasta..but mozzarella, parmesan and delicious. Do you have a wonderful healthy recipe? Then share it…Guest post on here ..your healthy ideas???

In case you missed last weeks post…..Healthy eating …How to shift those Christmas kilos for good! then the link is below

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/healthy-eating-how-to-shift-those-christmas-kilos-for-good/

Have fun, laugh a lot and… Let’s do this xxx

Next week…What I snack on…xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire Cider | Horseradish, Chilli & Apple Cider Vinegar

I love this lady’s blogs..she doesn’t blog as often as I would like but when she does…..I still love the Chez Tonic…. This cold tincture sounds just the ticket… Am I the only one NOT to have heard of Jade Eggs????? Mr. Google, here I come… A wonderful post…Well worth the read

Source: Fire Cider | Horseradish, Chilli & Apple Cider Vinegar

Healthy Eating…..Just Pickled!

Oh my, have I been busy pickling this week.?

I have pickled cucumbers ( 2 ways), jalapenos, garlic and cabbage.

Pickled Cucumbers:

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I used 4 cucumbers ( they are short) ones here not like the ones we used to get when in the UK although I have discovered Japanese cucumbers and they are nice, crispy and very similar to the cucumber I know and love.

The cucumbers here are much smaller with larger seeds in the centre and not quite as crispy and flavoursome. In fact, I think I prefer them pickled.

Lets Pickle!

I peeled and sliced( quite thickly) 4 cucumbers.

1 large Onion peeled and sliced.

3 cups of vinegar.

1/4- 1/2 cup of sugar or sweetener of your choice. I only used a 1/4 cup of sugar and some salt to season as required.

1 cup of water.

Whisk vinegar, sugar and water together in a jug. Put alternative slices of cucumber and onion in pre-sterilised jars, then pour the vinegar mix over the cucumber and onion making sure to cover completely.

Screw the lid down tightly and refrigerate they will be ready to eat in 2 days in fact if you leave these too long they get too vinegary. They are really a quick pickle recipe.

If you missed my previous pickled cucumber recipe then here it is 🙂

Pickled Dill cucumbers. 

3 medium cucumber

1 large Onion thinly sliced.

85g sea salt flakes (essential- table salt will render your efforts inedible)

500ml cider vinegar

250g granulated sugar

1 tsp Coriander seeds

2 tsp yellow mustard seed

1 tsp peppercorn

1 tsp ground turmeric

small bunch dill

Wash the cucumbers, split along their length and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into finger-length chunks, then cut into 5mm strips. Mix with the onion and salt in a large bowl, cover and leave to soak overnight.

Next day, drain the juices, rinse the vegetables in cold water and drain well. Put the vinegar, sugar and spices into a very large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 mins to let the flavours infuse.

Add the vegetables and bring the pan to a rolling boil over a high heat, stirring now and again. Boil for 1 min, then remove the pan from the heat. Tear in the dill, then pack into sterilised jars making sure that no air bubbles are trapped. Store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

in jars..pickled

I also had a lovely message today from a lady who had made the recipe and said they were lovely and it was a great recipe and to keep writing …How lovely was that?  It really made my day…

Pickled Garlic:

Pickled Garlic

8-10 garlic bulbs

500 mls white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

90 gm sugar

1 tsp salt…I always use salt mined here locally or Himalayan salt.

1 tsp per jar of either mustard seed or fennel seeds (optional)

2 x 250-300 ml jars with good lids

Separate the bulbs of garlic into cloves and peel.

In a saucepan bring the vinegar, salt and sugar to the boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the garlic cloves to the pickling liquid. Bring it back to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

Transfer the garlic cloves to sterilised jars. Add the mustard or fennel seeds if using. We actually couldn’t decide Fennel or mustard seeds so I normally do some of both they are equal in taste to us. Carefully fill the jars with the hot pickling liquid. Seal.

The garlic will be ready to use in about a week but improves over time.

Pickled jalapenos:

Pickled Jalapenos

This recipe was given to me by a Texan friend and it has carrots in the Jalapenos something I hadn’t thought of. His mum’s recipe and they are the best ones. The carrots taste lovely pickled with the jalapenos. It is our go to recipe and I make them all the time …The current batch has some blow your head of Jalapenos isn’t it funny how they vary in heat just like chillies. But pickled they are oh so scrumptious.

INGREDIENTS:

10 large Jalapenos sliced into rings.

1/2 to 1 carrot sliced into rings.

3/4 cup of water.

3/4 cup of distilled white vinegar.

3 tbsp white sugar.

1 tbsp salt.

1 clove garlic crushed.

1/2 tsp oregano.

METHOD:

Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and oregano in a saucepan over a high heat.Bring to the boil.

Add carrots bring back to boil and lower heat slightly, cook for 5 minutes.Stir in Jalapenos and remove the pan from heat. Alow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Pack carrots and Jalapenos in sterilised jars using tongs. Cover with vinegar mix or put in sterilised storage container and keep in the refrigerator.

Thai Pickled Cabbage ( Pak Dong)

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1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.

8 large spring onions chopped

Coarse Salt.

Method:

Pickled cabbage is very easy to do and there are many variations I have seen it with fresh chillies. It can also be made with Chinese cabbage or Pak Choy..Our preference is just plain old white cabbage and spring onions it is quick, easy and very moreish it can be eaten on its own, stirred into soup or with a curry as an accompaniment. It doesn’t last long here at all as our little granddaughter loves it and just eats it on its own.

To Pickle:

Layer Cabbage, Onions and salt in the dish add a little water . Mix it all together with your hands.

We then leave the dish covered on kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.

Then refrigerate and enjoy!

Images:

All images are mine and from my own photo collection.

I do hope you enjoyed this pickle of a post…it reminds me of the song of Peter Piper who picked a peck of pickled peppers..try saying that quickly…lol

Also when I was a little girl…I am not telling how many years ago…My nan used to give me the liquid from the greens when she cooked them…although I will say they massacred them then..no lightly steamed veg then it was cooked for at least an hour and she added vinegar to the green juice…It was such a treat though I loved it!

Can anyone else remember that?

If you enjoy my posts then please share or reblog it makes this whimsical English lady very happy and if you comment I will always reply back..I love comments and making new friends and exchanging recipes and tips….I love it!

So enjoy those pickles..always in moderation of course as vinegar is a fermented food, so if you suffer from gout be careful as too much will aggravate your condition otherwise the vinegar in pickle juice is actually good for the digestive system. “It encourages the growth and healthy balance of good bacteria and flora in your gut”

You didn’t think you were going to get away without a little bit of a Healthy Eating Talk, did you?

I am sure or I know there are lots of other benefits of pickles and a few downsides and all that is for another time and post just enjoy those pickles in moderation as with everything.

Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as laughter is the best medicine you know…Happy endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals which in turn make you feel relaxed.

Love you all…..

 

 

 

Smokin’Hot Chilli Sauce.

This is a recipe for a blow your head off chilli sauce from my friend Susan who hails from Dubai and she thinks that even I will find it hot…The photo is also Susans and it looks lush. Absolutely wonderful. Thank you, Susan. It was timely and in keeping with my sole mission of a letter a week of recipes.Let’s Cook!smokin-hot-chilli-sauce

Let’s Cook!

Take a half kilo of Cayenne peppers or peppers of your choice.

A large handful of garlic cloves, peeled and blanched…it is not a requirement but the sauce will be less acrid if you blanch the garlic.

Smoke the chillies and garlic over charcoal mixed with smoked apple wood for 2 hours.

Then put in a blender with a cup of organic live cider vinegar, a cup of sugar and half a tsp of salt.

Just look at that lovely rich, red colour, it looks amazing.

After you have made your first batch you might want to play around with the quantities to suit your taste …but that is the fun and what cooking is all about. The high sugar content makes it great for BBQ’s and helps with the preservation.

Put the sauce into sterilized jars. It is then ready to use as a spread on your bacon sarnie, to coat your meats and is a great base for a chilli or my friend makes her version of Mole by adding cocoa powder, nuts, and some Mexican spices.

Play around with flavours you might find something new and exciting. Maybe blanch some red bell peppers and char them with the chillis and garlic.

If the sauce starts to ferment, bubble up then loosen the lid and let it do its work…I wouldn’t eat the sauce while this going on and fermenting but it will settle down on its own and you will be left with a lovely mature sauce with a deeper flavour, albeit less sweet.

Have fun and enjoy!