Tag Archives: blogging

Tropical Fridays…Butterfly Pea Flower Tea…

Welcome to the slightly different fruity Friday…It’s Tropical Friday and today it’s the incredible Butterfly Pea Flower…

A caffeine-free alternative to green or black tea…

In Thailand, you’ll find it in vivid blue cocktails or as a deep purple beverage. It’s also what gives an enticing lavender shade to creative sticky rice that partners with mangoes on a dessert menu.

Since the old days, the flower has been used widely for strengthening hair and eyebrows, as a natural colourant in food and desserts or as an edible accompaniment with Nam Prik (a chilli paste).

To make Butterfly Pea tea…

Butterfly Pea Flowers Dried

First, rinse the tea with hot water and warm the pot and cups.

You will require about 2 tsp of Butterfly Pea flowers for every 300 ml of hot water (80c-95c) the water should be just under the boiling point.

Infuse the Butterfly pea flowers for 2-4 minutes for the 1st and 2nd brew gradually increase the brewing time for subsequent brews…I use my tea generally 3 times sometimes 4 depending on the tea and your taste.

Butterfly pea tea in a pot

I just love the beautiful blue colour of this tea as it is so pretty especially cold in a glass on a sunny day.

If you add a drop of lemon juice then it changes the colour to a lovely purple…

Will the blue butterfly pea flower tea stain my teeth? Bluechai teas will not stain your teeth in any way. The anthocyanins contained in the butterfly pea flowers are water-soluble vacuolar pigments that may appear blue or pink depending on the pH.

One of the most prominent benefits of drinking blue tea is that it has a lot of antioxidants. These powerful bio-compounds help the body fight free radicals which are toxic and cause premature ageing. It is a good idea to detox the body once in a while with an antioxidant-rich drink like butterfly pea tea.

It also makes a refreshing cold drink,  I sometimes keep a jug in the fridge to sip during the day…it can be sweetened with honey if required or add some dried/fresh lemongrass with the infusion…it is a caffeine-free alternative to green or black tea.

I have been drinking this tea for the last five years since living here and sometimes I am lucky to be able to buy the fresh flowers on the market…This video shows you how to make a lovely cold drink from the fresh flowers…Lily loves this…

 

Thank you for joining me today I hope you have enjoyed learning about the beautiful butterfly pea flower or maybe you are familiar with it already.

Until tomorrow when I will be back with Saturday Snippets …x

Smorgasbord Health Column – Family Health A-Z – Allergies and Intolerances – Part One – The difference between them by Sally Cronin

An excellent post from Sally on allergies and intolerances # recommended read. Living with allergies and intolerances can be a nightmare for many and sometimes knowing your triggers can make life so much easier…It is however always good to be prepared for an emergency and Sally tells you how #recommended read.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/05/06/smorgasbord-health-column-family-health-a-z-allergies-and-intolerances-part-one-the-difference-between-them-by-sally-cronin/

CarolCooks2…Week 12…in my Kitchen…made from scratch…Chicken Stock…

 

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 which is a rare treat and time consuming to make there often is no point unless of course, 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.

If it’s a food-like salad dressing and sauces which when reading the labels gives you warning signals or there are ingredients which you can’t read/pronounce let alone spell then for the health and safety of your family and mostly increased nutritional value it’s definitely worth that time spent in the kitchen.

Savings on your budget...we all love the sound of that…of course, it does depend on where you buy your ingredients and whether you shop in for foods which are in season but it can make a big difference to your budget some of those BOGOF’S are great value IF you use them.

Chicken stock is easy and cheap to make…All you need is chicken carcasses or saved bones, garlic, onion, a carrot, in fact, anything I save my peelings for stock, onions skins give it a nice colour and if you are using peels it costs nothing to make…

If you are on your own or cooking for two then freeze the carcasses and bones until you have enough to make stock…

Making your own chicken stock is cheaper and healthier than buying stock cubes which are generally loaded with salt, contain msg, seasonings which could mean anything…making your own means you control what goes in it …

Once you have made your stock then it can be stored in zip lock bags that way they take up less room in the freezer than pots, you can freeze in an ice cube tray or clean empty yoghurt pots which generally are not recyclable so I use them in my freezer although now I make my yoghurt my source of yoghurt pots has dried up but they last a long time just wash thoroughly and reuse…

To make your stock… take your chicken carcasses either cooked or raw …if I use raw carcasses then I remove all the skin and put them in a large pot cover with water and add some aromatics…which can be anything either saved peels or a chopped carrot, celery, onion including the skin and any other root vegetables or herbs you have to spare.

I have made stock for years as my mother and grandmother used to make it… they wasted nothing..of course, if you have an Instant pot or pressure cooker it is much quicker but even on the stovetop like I make mine it’s done in under an hour…

Once the stock is cooked then strain it and allow it to cool then portion up and freeze unless you are using it within a few days.

You may have noticed I didn’t mention adding salt to the stock …I don’t salt mine as I leave the salting to when I use the stock…Why?…I have got carried away and ended up with a dish which too salty so now I wait until I am cooking with the stock and salt my dish as normal.

The colour will vary depending on what aromatics you use but nothing tastes like homemade chicken stock and at little or no cost and less. kitchen waste it’s a win-win situation…

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

The Culinary Alphabet …..Series 3… the letter E

Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet…WHERE the middle letter is E…

Nothing is as it seems here…this new series is the brainchild of Chel Owens who writes at A wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thing…my followers are so good to me they think up all sorts of permutations of the Alphabet…not sure if they want me to call it quits or what they will come up with next…Chel like Pete, however, will be called on to make her contribution every two weeks…they don’t get off scot-free…so I hope you have started brainstorming Chel…haha x

So what’s in store? In this series the A, B, C, etc will be the middle letter, for example, Brawn, Cabbage, and Yucca… how easy that will be who knows I am sure some of the letters of the alphabet could cause the grey matter to rebel or implode…haha…I also don’t want to use plurals to form a word as I may need that word for another letter and its sort of cheating I think…unless of course I really get stuck…which I am sure will happen…

Today it is words where the middle letter is E... vinegar on your chips … with a nice slice of homemade bread or maybe you are having pizza with extra pepperoni …spoilt for choice it seems…How about a cup of tea to help you make up your mind.

Bream:

Bream, is a common European food and game fish belonging to the carp family, Cyprinidae, found in lakes and slow rivers. This delicate white fish can be baked, fried, grilled or steamed.

Bread:

Eaten around the world it comes in many forms…Arepa Bread is a flat, round, cornmeal patty that is eaten in Venezuela and Colombia. It can be baked, fried or cooked on a charcoal grill, with fillings like grated cheese, ham, black beans, chicken salad and avocado, shredded beef or Perico (Venezuelan-style scrambled eggs). I will be sharing the recipe at a later date x

Wholemeal Bread made with whole flour has nothing taken out…the flour is coarser in texture than white flour, brown wholemeal flour is the finely ground meal of whole wheat berries. Bran and germ are retained during processing, making wholemeal flour higher in fibre and more nutritious than white flour.

Casserole:

Getting down to the basics, a casserole is any food that is cooked and served in the same dish. They are typically baked and can consist of proteins like beef, chicken, or fish, a variety of vegetables, or almost anything else you can think of. … Then, it is cooked uncovered in an oven.

Cream:

Think strawberries and cream or scones with jam and clotted cream…A versatile cooking ingredient it comes in many forms…It can be a rich dairy product or if made with coconut cream it is vegan and dairy-free…

Crepe:

A version of a pancake my pancakes are similar to crepes as I make mine very thin…They can be sweet or savoury and in my book always a delightful treat.

Cress:

Egg and cress sandwiches are my favourites since childhood…made with garden cress we used to grow it on the window sill or you can get the peppery watercress which is grown in water…both are delightful in a sandwich or a salad…the watercress is lovely wilted in rice it just gives the rice that peppery taste and is lovely with chicken or pork in an orange-based sauce…with watercress rice...Delicious.

Watercress is also packed with nutrients and often called a superfood.

Goosefish:

The monkfish, or goosefish which is its official name, is a type of anglerfish that lives on the bottom of the ocean throughout the Atlantic.

Grapevine:

No! not a record by Marvin Gaye...but for you an Acappella version…

it is however a vine that grows the grapes that your favourite vino is made from…

Knead:

The best thing to relieve stress is to get kneading that bread…in breadmaking, kneading is a process used to mix the ingredients and add strength to the final product…Your beautiful homemade bread.

Nigella Seeds:

One of the oldest spices known to be used, nigella seeds were found in Tutankhamun’s tomb and are mentioned in the Bible’s Old Testament. The tiny black seeds have a slightly bitter taste with some of the pungency of onion, but also offer many other subtle nuances of flavour.

Their appearance means they are commonly called black onion seed, but they have nothing to do with the onion family.

Pepperoni:

I love Pepperoni on pizza and in paella…a  variety of salami, made from cured pork and beef seasoned with paprika or other chilli pepper.

Polenta:

Polenta is a dish of boiled cornmeal that was historically made from other grains. It may be served as a hot porridge, or it may be allowed to cool and solidify into a loaf that can be baked, fried, or grilled…it seems that polenta chips are quite popular on the cooking programmes.

Ramekin:

A small glazed ceramic dish used in cooking and for serving dishes like a souffle or a creme caramel…sometimes made from other materials.

Rosella:

A pretty fruit with fleshy flowers…The Rosella fruit   One of my favourite flowers that I use for jam/jelly/chutney or dried I make a nice tea from it which is reminiscent of blackberry tea for me or Ribena.

When I first saw this beautiful fruit I had only ever seen them dried before not fresh…it was something new to try… I just love it when I come across something I have not used or seen before…I get so excited.

Rosella grows easily here as it loves a tropical climate it is also a very pretty plant the species grown here in Thailand has broader leaves and pink rather than cream flowers and the leaves are used more than the fruits.

Sauternes:

Are a French sweet wine…a golden wine which can be very expensive and is often sold in half bottles…From the Graves region in Bordeaux sweet wines are not my favourite…but they are a very popular dessert wine around the world.

Sieve:

A metal or nylon kitchen utensil held in a frame…used for straining solids from liquids and reducing to a pulp also for separating coarser from fine particles from flour or other dried goods.

Speck:

Speck is a type of cured, lightly smoked ham. It’s typically made in South Tyrol, a province in northeast Italy known for its snow-capped Dolomite mountains and strong German-Austrian influence. Although a close cousin to prosciutto Crudo, speck is worthy of its own distinction when it comes to cured hams.

Spelt:

Is an ancient grain…also known as hulled wheat or Dinkel wheat. Nutritionally, it is very similar to wheat. However, comparisons have shown it to be slightly higher in zinc and protein.

Tangerine:

Is a type of mandarin orange…The difference is in the skin The tangerine has a darker orange skin the mandarin skin is a lighter orange.

Tea:

Is an aromatic beverage made by pouring boiling or hot water over cured or fresh leaves…it is said there are over 20,000 different teas in the world…it can be broken down to black, white, green, yellow and oolong…

A Britsh tradition …the kettle goes on for many occasions, funerals, divorces, births, happy news, sad news or just because…Black tea has always been the most popular but other teas are now slowly gaining ground…my favourite is Oolong…What’s Yours?

Vinegar:

Vinegar is an aqueous solution of acetic acid and trace chemicals that may include flavourings. Vinegar typically contains 5–8% acetic acid by volume. Usually, acetic acid is produced by the fermentation of ethanol or sugars by acetic acid bacteria.

That said my abiding memory is eating freshly cooked fish and chips out of newspaper sitting beside the sea…

Vinegar of course now comes in so many types and I use some of them quite regularly in my kitchen those being Apple Cider Vinegar. Balsamic Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar, Black Vinegar, White Vinegar and fruit Vinegar…Vinegar deserves a whole post, not just a few lines but for today…that’s what it is…What’s your favourite vinegar?

That’s all for today for the letter E…

Thank you so much for your visit I hope you have enjoyed the read…See you tomorrow for another episode of made from scratch… Love Carol xxx

Tuesday Twitterings…A journey to be a Doctor…

Good Morning and welcome to Tuesday Twitterings…

Recently I posted about a chefs journey to become a doctor…This piqued my interest as you know I am a firm believer that we can through our diet determines our health to a point…

I started off by being fascinated by this chefs journey to combine the two …but that quickly grew into concern as the momentum surrounding colour and prejudice has increased I have been increasingly saddened about all the other injustices in the world and to be fully inclusive they all must be addressed and rectified… People are STILL judged either by their religion, colour, creed or disability…

I struggle with this as I thought we were all human beings...I also think we could learn by learning and celebrating peoples differences…

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

Audrey Hepburn

Today’s story is about another boy who struggled against exclusion and if it hadn’t been for his parents he wouldn’t be where he is today all these years later…

Parents should not have to do this…there should be support mechanisms in place… it should be a matter of course…the boundaries he came across should not exist at all… places at schools should be based purely on ability and merit…NO EXCEPTIONS…

Schools should be equipped with the knowledge, facilities and trained staff for anyone who needs this…Other pupils should also be equipped with the knowledge… they shouldn’t be scared to approach a child who is different they should know how to do so…the school should be addressing this and making a change…

Someone will no doubt point out to me about budgets, staffing and lack of training...lobby your school board, local government offices/candidate…Changes must start at the top, priorities must change…the whole thinking of the world must change if we want TRUE change…

What is the point of having equality laws and disability laws if they aren’t applied across the board…It seems to me they are not worth the paper they are written on…

I am not eloquent and trained/knowledgeable to know all the pitfalls but I am a mother and a grandmother who believes every child should have the SAME opportunities in life regardless of money, disability, skin colour, religion or creed…

Sign language should be on every school curriculums for a start…

There is no universal sign language. Different sign languages are used in different countries or regions. For example, British Sign Language (BSL) is a different language from ASL, and Americans who know ASL may not understand BSL. Some countries adopt features of ASL in their sign languages.

ASL/BSL is a complete and complex language, with all the nuances and subtleties of a spoken language. Like all languages, it is not mastered easily beyond a basic level. Mastery requires extensive exposure and practice.

How to teach yourself for free…

However, it is a proven fact that if children are taught from a very young age it is easier…I know that by how bi-lingual my grandchildren are they slip very easily both in spoken and written word between languages…

Children would find it fun..importantly learning should fun but what a world it would open up for them…

When I read this story ( link) at the bottom of this post I was shocked that children would cover their mouth so someone can’t read their lips, shocked that backs /heads were turned away to avoid lip-reading, shocked that out of 35 schools 34 rejected an application from a very bright boy with the right qualifications…the only school who accepted him was a school who had previously accepted a deaf scholar…

Bullying is worse now than it has ever been… is it because of a lack of understanding and lack of care on the part of social media executives and us…I am not singling out any particular element of society… I think we can all do better…

This story is a story of hope for many BUT it shouldn’t just be down to parents and a dogged determination it should be a right… that everyone should feel included and that is obviously not the case even today.

https://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/20/health/human-factor-philip-zazove/index.html

Thank you for reading and remember… Don’t judge a book by its cover”  Quote by George Eliot…be kind and not judgemental we are all the same underneath our skin…and all our blood runs RED…

See you tomorrow for the next A-Z with a twist…Have a lovely day, make a change and smile …be happy as laughter is the best medicine…Love Carol x

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – April 25th – May 1st 2021 – Chart Hits 1968, Empaths, Irish Tales, Poetry, Reviews, Health and Humour

Welcome to the round-up of posts you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord.

Something for everyone…funnies, book reviews, new book releases, music, poetry so much to enjoy #recommended read.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/05/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-weekly-round-up-april-25th-may-1st-2021-chart-hits-1968-empaths-irish-tales-poetry-reviews-health-and-humour/