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CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…May 9th-15th May 2021…#Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes

Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week…we are now into May…Time is marching on…It is now officially rainy season here so there will definitely be some dancing in the rain…lol

Just in case you missed any or love to catch up like I do… snuggle down in your favourite place… be kind to yourselves …I think we all need to do that… get comfy in your favourite corner with your favourite drink tea/coffee or hot chocolate although depending on where in the world you live it could be a glass of wine or two…Cheers!

Let’s get the party started then…

Meatless Monday’s…Cashew Nut Curry with Halloumi and Brocolli…

The first time I have made a cashew nut curry sauce and trying Halloumi…I obviously haven’t lived…sigh…I much preferred it to tofu and the sauce was tasty..a little bit thick but next time I will thin it down a little and maybe add some cauliflower as well…

Meatless Mondays…Cashew Nut Curry with Halloumi and Brocolli…

Tuesday Twittering…The journey to be a doctor...

I must say since starting this series...it has made me realise even more how much prejudice exists in the world…I am a firm believer that given the opportunity everyone has a worth and a place in this world regardless of any disabilities…we must educate our children from an early age and integrate them with children who are ” different”…teach them how they can play and communicate with each other …give them the tools to do so albeit learning sign language, braille… another language..learning about traditions and food by teaching the children make it fun and kids like different if its fun to learn…we must not only learn to be kind but learn inclusion which is so very important…

Tuesday Twitterings…A journey to be a Doctor…

The environmental A-Z…a week of firsts for me…tell me I am naive..tell me I live in my own little bubble and not a covid induced one…the last few months have continued to shock me…maybe I should have opened my eyes and ears before..years before now…it has made me sad…sadder and wiser…and made me ask myself more questions…nothing new there but so much I wasn’t aware of and I should have been…

The Environmental A-Z…the letter F…

Today I am over at Smorgasbord Magazine kindly hosted by Sally for my Green Kitchen…Please pop over …I do hope you enjoy…x

Smorgasbord Food Column – Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen – May 2021 – Dinner Rolls, Chillies, Recycled Face Masks, Grow Spring onions, make Apple Cider Vinegar – Waste Not, Want Not…


A nice condiment or sauce which complements a dish elevates it into a great dish…my mother’s recipes handed down from her mother are all I need and have been well tried and tested over the years…I hope you enjoy x

CarolCooks2…Week 13…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Sauces and condiments…

I had tasted passionfruit before I came here but since living here I have discovered how they compliment so many dishes and what a wonderfully versatile and healthy food it is…one of my favourites…

Tropical Fridays…The Passionfruit.

Allergies and food intolerances can be dangerous at worst and inconvenient at best especially when it restricts what you can eat…Sally explains the differences and how you can improve your health by following some guidelines…#rcommended read

Smorgasbord Health Column – Family Health A-Z – Allergies and Intolerances – Part Two – – #Dairy #Leaky Gut

The day where I indulge my whimsy and where this week my inner rock chick came out…There is a 500-year-old Maple Tree under threat and Bees still need protection and so much more …Enjoy!

Saturday Snippets…15th May 2021

Well, that’s it for today…Thank you so much for dropping by…see you tomorrow for Meatless Mondays  …Love Carol xx


Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – May 9th – 15th 2021 – 1960s hits, Grief, Green Kitchen, Health, Stories, Poetry, books, reviews and funnies

Welcome to the weekly round-up with some posts you might have missed over at Smorgasbord Magazine…as always there is lots for everyone…wine forgeries who would have drunk?… Book reviews, recipes, funnies …grab a cuppa or your favourite tipple and enjoy the read…


Saturday Snippets…15th May 2021

Welcome back to Saturday Snippets where I indulge my whimsy and my passions… maybe a tune or two…something which has caught my eye this last week…just anything out of the ordinary or extraordinary…

I love trees…trees are important not only to our survival but our history…I think the UK is doing lots of good work for the environment…I also know that we need housing for those in need…I don’t agree we need more private and costly housing and most certainly not building and knocking down and uprooting anything which gets in the way of these developments…I do not understand why this 500 yr old tree can not be incorporated into the design…

Fight to save the ‘East End’s oldest tree’: Dame Judi Dench joins a legal bid to protect a 500-year-old Mulberry tree that survived the Blitz after the council gave permission for it to be moved to make way for 300 flats.

Bees…are important to us and at the top of our food chain, we need them to multiply and survive in safety…FOR our continued survival…Please head over to Norah’s and have a read …Support World Bee Day…


Let’s have a tune… a favourite Knebworth moment…

Did you know that way back in 1928…That famous mouse…Mickey Mouse made his debut in a silent film called “Plane Crazy” and that was the start of a legend…

I had a lovely day yesterday…Lily and I went out first stop to the hairdressers…suitably coiffered we then went to Mr Diy…a shop which sells everything….a child’s delight where she purchased a teeny tiny shopping trolley…it was then onto a bookshop where she purchased a rubrics cube…where to now Nannie?…the next one of the 2 and only shopping centres here…by tuk-tuk as it was too hot to walk…

It was then a pit stop at the Mr DIY shop here…just in case they had something different and of course, they did…The next stop was squidgy balls…a nice gold one was Lil’s choice..very pretty it is…time to eat…Macydoos was Lily’s choice…Cheeseburger no less…for two …where she announced about the size…it wasn’t big enough… to which I answered that maybe it was so we would opt for the double cheeseburger too which the reply was that a double was too big for her but the single should be bigger somewhere betwixt the two which I am sure they were at conception…many moons ago…

Chocolate time…well it had to happen…we bought drinking chocolate, 4 bars of chocolate so we(Lily) could get the FREE drinking cup..chocolate biscuits….Nannie is soft touch and we are talking chocolate …chocolate chips so we could make cookies today as it is Chocolate Chip Day...Today 15th May…

Lily said ” is that even a thing…seriously”…out of the mouth of babes they say don’t they?

The final tune of the day...my inner rocker coming out…as you know I love The Eagles…

Did you know?

Blue jeans were officially invented in May of 1873 after Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis obtained a patent for the pants on May 20th 1873.

Today is also the official start of the rainy season here in Thailand...we are praying for rain as we have just planted rice down on the farm and rice needs lots of water…

This was last years crop … In June of last year where you can see the water…although we didn’t overall get as much rain as we hoped last year so far the signs are good for this year.

We are also hoping that we get out of the red zone today when the zones are changed as covid is on the run here and our figures are much improved so fingers crossed…

Good news on the conservation and sustainability fronts the UK government…not one bill has passed but 3…To read all the positive news in full please click the highlighted link...it includes trophy hunting imports and a ban on the trade of shark fins…

Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket, announced this week that it would no longer sell cans of beer or cider if they are held together by plastic rings or shrink wrap. It follows a similar move by Heineken.  

Good news all around however you still need to stop uprooting trees for a blocks of flats though…

This is so beautiful, I will look at a Dandelion in such a different way from now on! 💛🧡❤️💜💚💙🤎
May be an image of flower
Sanjay Gurung
🌼💛 Hello, I’m a dandelion.
A lot of people call me a weed but I’m a friend and come to help you!
When you see me, remember that I’m the ONLY one who wants and can grow in that particular spot. Because:
Either the soil is too compact / hard / stomped and I want to loosen it for you with my roots.
Or there is too little calcium in the soil – don’t worry, I will replenish that for you with the dying of my leaves.
Or the soil is too acidic. But I will also improve that for you if you give me the chance.
Or a mixture of the above reasons, of course. 😊
I’m here because your soil needs my help so best you let me grow without disturbing me! When everything is fixed, I will disappear again, I promise!
Are you trying to remove me prematurely with my root? However meticulous you are, I will return 2x as strong! Just until your soil is improved.
You can even tell by my growth at which stage my help is at. If my leaves are flat on the ground then I’m far from ready but if they all reach up then I’m already a long way on my way.
Something completely different is that I am 1 of the first bloomers in spring so I will announce spring/summer for you.
During the day when it’s hot, I open my flowers but in the evening when it cools off I close them again quickly. In fact, if it’s not hot enough during the day I won’t open them at all!
My flowers are the first food for insects after hibernation and unlike most other plants, I have pollen AND nectar, not merely one OR the other! And I am generous with them! 🤪😉
My flowers are even delicious for you people by the way, did you know? I used to be called ′′honey (or gold) of the poor′′ because my flowers are so sweet in e.g. jam, sauce or salad! The internet is full of recipes – check them out.
But wait until the end of May or later before you start picking and even then, don’t pick everything yet! The biodiversity and bees will be very grateful!
And lastly: do you see me standing but instead of yellow petals I have a dandelion clock of fluff? Then make a wish….. and blow hard….. I’ll try to make your wish come true! 😉🤫😁
Your friend, the dandelion! 🌼🌼🌼
Adapted from Paula Kok – De Boer
(Writer of the original version, apparently. )

That’s all for today thank you for dropping in I hope you enjoyed my whimsy… see you tomorrow for my weekly roundup…Love Carol xx

Smorgasbord Health Column – Family Health A-Z – Allergies and Intolerances – Part Two – – #Dairy #Leaky Gut

An interesting and informative post from, Sally…#recommended read for anyone who suffers from allergies and intolerances Part Two…Dairy and Leaky Gut…


Tropical Fridays…The Passionfruit.


This sort of wrinkled egg-shaped fruit is not exciting to look at but what a little powerhouse of nutrients and all things good it is.

When the skin goes wrinkly it is when the Passionfruit is at its sweetest.

Its name came from South American Catholic missionaries who believed that the blossom of the passion fruit was a reminder of Christ. That the corona symbolised a crown of thorns, the stigma, the nails on the cross, the sepals and the petals which numbered ten were the apostles with the exception of Judas and Peter. The stamens were Christ’s wounds. I think that is a lovely explanation of how the passion fruit got its name.

Passion fruit grows in any frost-free warm climate around the world.

Cultivated since ancient times and always enjoyed for its sweet slightly tart flesh.

It has Vitamin C in abundance; in fact, a single serving of passion fruit has more than 100% of the required intake of vitamin C for a healthy diet.

One serving of passion fruit satisfies one-quarter of our potassium needs immediately thus it is proven to relax tension in our blood vessels and promote an increase in blood flow so it is indeed a little powerhouse.

But as with anything moderation is also a factor and as with all fruits they contain natural sugars so people with diabetes should be aware of their sugar levels.

But with passion fruit, it is very obvious that this little fairly unassuming looking fruit is packed with many benefits for our health and wellbeing.

This is not the first time I have written about Passionfruit well it was a recipe for passion fruit butter but when I make it this time it will be from homegrown fruit.  Prior to growing our own I always buy my fruit from the Royal Project Shop which I support whenever I can as it supports local grown organic crops.

The Royal Project (1969) is a non-profit organisation founded by his late Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej to solve the problem of deforestation, poverty and opium production by promoting alternative crops in Thailand. 

The produce there is top quality so fresh and organically grown although nothing tops growing your own the fruit and vegetables which come from this project are beautiful and only sold in the season… I love this shop as I never know what I will find there are no guarantees the project sends what it picks as the fruits and vegetable are ready and the costs are kept very low. Affordable organic foods at low cost…

Passionfruit can be used as a topping for cheesecakes, smoothies, icecreams, glazes or just eaten straight from its shell…

Mixed with Ginger and apple cider it makes a beautiful glaze for chicken breasts.


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 shallot  finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups passion fruit pulp (divided)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (divided)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sauce
  • 2 tbsp  Arrowroot or cornstarch
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • Coriander to garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the shallot and the ginger, and cook on medium heat for a few minutes, stirring, until shallot and ginger are softened.

Add the chicken stock, 1/2 cup of the passionfruit pulp, and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Add the chicken breasts in a single layer. Add more chicken stock if required to ensure that the chicken breasts are just covered with liquid. I leave the skin above the liquid as I like to brown/ crisp my chicken skin.

Bring the cooking liquid to a slow simmer. Cover and cook the chicken breasts for 15-20 minutes,  until just cooked through meanwhile prepare the sauce.

Pour off all but 1 cup of the cooking liquid from the sauté pan. Add the remaining 1 cup of passion fruit juice, apple cider, vinegar, soy sauce, and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Whisk in the arrowroot powder

Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook until it the sauce has thickened about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the sauce over chicken breasts and serve. Serve with rice or new potatoes and lightly steamed vegetables.


This next recipe came about quite by chance my daughter was telling me what she had for her birthday breakfast… I hadn’t heard of passion fruit butter/curd at that point…But as she was raving about it and how good it was …I thought must be good and it was … Served with a slice of homemade banana bread it is a lovely thing…The slightly tart taste of the passion fruit pairs nicely with the sweetness of the banana bread.

Passionfruit Butter/ Curd:


  • The pulp of 5 large passion fruits. ( I used my frozen pulp) thawed of course and half cup.
  • 150g butter.
  • 100g  sugar.
  • Juice of half a lemon.
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • 5 eggs beaten.

Let’s Cook!

Melt butter and sugar in a heavy-bottomed (or enamel) saucepan over low heat. Add lemon juice, salt and passion fruit pulp. Mix well. In a bowl, whisk all 5 eggs lightly. Increase heat to medium-low and add the eggs to the passionfruit mixture, whisking with a whisk. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes, whisking continuously. Once smooth, stir with a wooden spoon while cooking. The butter is ready when the mixture becomes thick and coats the back of the spoon (pouring cream consistency/store-bought pouring custard consistency). Remove from heat. Fill in lidded jars and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.


Of course, the passionfruit mixed with rum makes a lovely Mojito… Cheers!

Passionfruit Mojito

Ingredients (serves one)

  • 50 ml White Rum
  • 1/2 a lime
  • 1 1/2 passion fruits
  • 3 sprigs of mint
  • Dash of soda water
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • Crushed ice

Let’s mix and muddle

Muddle together the limes, sugar and the pulp of one passion fruit.

Add the leaves from 2 sprigs of mint and muddle some more.

Fill the chilled glass with crushed ice. ( I always keep some glasses in the fridge) Just in case…lol

Pour over the White Rum and a dash of soda water.

Stir together.

Garnish with half a passion fruit and a sprig of mint.


Passionfruit is one of my favourite breakfasts served with some Greek yoghurt…

Lily loves hers with a sprinkling of fish sauce she is a very experimental child but it works..my fault for encouraging them to try different combos of food…sigh…

BUT my all-time favourite and now I have a blow torch was when we were in my favourite hotel in Bangkok …I had a passionfruit mocktail(no )surprises there and it was topped with half a passionfruit which the bartender had brûlée the top of it…it was a wonderful thing…

What is your favourite passionfruit recipe ??? Please let me know in comments x


CarolCooks2…Week 13…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Sauces and condiments…

Welcome to my kitchen where I cook almost everything from scratch…Just in case you missed it one of the reasons why I cook from scratch…

So easy to say “make everything from scratch” HOWEVER…let’s be realistic here…and break it down a little.

Look at what you eat often...if it’s something that is a rare treat and time-consuming to make, there is often no point unless you want to make it…Your time is far better spent making food from scratch, which you and your family actually eat on a regular basis.

Sauces and condiments…I always thought it was a peculiarity of the Brits but now I am more knowledgeable about world cuisine I don’t think so but today I am concentrating on the sauces and condiments my mother made and served with her dinners…

It is also as you know because I don’t like chemicals in my food and also I don’t like being fleeced an example of this are the Colemans sauces…I am just using one as an example…Horseradish Sauce…

Spirit vinegar, horseradish (33%), turnip, rapeseed oil, water, sugar, glucose-fructose syrup, flavourings, salt, free-range British EGG yolk powder (0,6%), thickener (xanthan gum), MUSTARD flour, dextrose, antioxidant (sodium METABISULPHITE).

Plus the jar size and contents have decreased…plus import costs makes for an expensive(if) I can find it… jar of sauce…

Standard old price: £1.19 for 250ml. Standard new price £1.14 for 150ml. Total con!…this is the UK cost for me that is more than doubled…

No brainer really I am saving on cost-plus eliminating what looks like to me 3 lots of sugar under different names…salt, flavourings plus sodium METABISULPHITE…Well, I googled that… and it is safe to eat…not to breathe in and could affect one’s organs…According to the relevant agencies I trust about as much as I would trust a snake just about to strike at me…Just saying!

I hear you say moderation and I agree but I will also say build up as it is in mass-produced bread, crackers, biscuits etc…and also classed as a disinfectant…I’d really rather not…


Beef…it was horseradish sauce or mustard...

My mother made her prepared horseradish with grated horseradish root, vinegar, and salt…this is not the same as horseradish sauce…but is added to the sour cream if making a horseradish sauce…which is a milder version of prepared horseradish.


  • 3 tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp Apple cider vinegar

Mix everything together, taste and adjust seasoning if required. leave in the fridge for at least 2 hrs before serving if possible to allow flavours to develop.

Lamb…freshly made mint sauce…

  • 2-3 bunches of fresh-picked mint leaves only unless the stalks are very tender.
  • 1-2 tbsp white vinegar…my mother always used malt vinegar again I can’t always get it here.
  • 4-6 tsp raw brown sugar

Wash the mint thoroughly and pick off the leaves. Chop finely with 1-2 tsp of the sugar and then add the vinegar…taste and add more sugar if required some prefer their mint sauce sweeter than others.

Enjoy with your lamb and new potatoes…Delicious.

Pork…it had something missing if there was no apple sauce…

  • 4 large Apples(Bramley’s) if you can get them…peeled, cored and sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon/lime and toss apples to stop them from going brown.
  • Sugar…if using a cooking apple you may need 3-4 tbsp sugar depending…the apples here are not very tart so I often don’t use sugar or a scant tbsp.

Cook the apples for 20-25 mins until they break down and turn into a thick sauce if you are adding sugar add at the beginning of the cook.


N.B I like to add a clove to my apples when cooking but that is personal taste and sometimes I add a small piece of cinnamon.

Chicken…cranberry sauce and bread sauce…

Cranberry Sauce:

  • 3  cups or 12 oz of cranberries.
  • The juice of 2 large Oranges.
  • A cup of sugar.
  • 1 stick of cinnamon.


Put all the ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pan, bring to the boil and turn down so it is still a rolling boil and cook for 10 mins if ( using) frozen berries or 20 minutes if using fresh cranberries as they will take a bit longer to pop.

Store in a sealed container.

My mum’s original Bread Sauce recipe…


Freeze the breadcrumbs ready to use( I always) keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in the freezer.  I have been surprised living here that many people have not heard of bread sauce my mum always made it at Christmas Dinner we couldn’t have turkey/Capon without bread sauce…

I have been making it here quite often lately not sure why apart from its quick to make and goes well with roast chicken as before it was just made at Christmas…I am blaming the quarantine…


About half a loaf of Stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.

  • I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • Salt & Pepper.
  • About half-pint milk.

Let’s Cook!

Pour milk into a saucepan and add studded onion. Slowly bring to boil and turn down and add your bread crumbs or cubes and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool remove the onion and bay leaves.

This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.

Fish…served with tartare sauce…delicious…

  • 200ml/7fl oz mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
  • 3 tbsp gherkins, drained and chopped
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • A squeeze of lemon/lime juice
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • flaked sea salt and freshly ground white pepper.

Mix together all of the ingredients in a small bowl and serve straight away or store in the fridge until needed.

How easy is that…

With all of these, you control the sugar and salt plus they are easy to make…the chopping of ingredients takes longer.

Thank you once again for joining me in my kitchen it is lovely to see you here…See you tomorrow for Tropical Fridays will it be fruit or vegetable…well known or little known? xx