Tag Archives: Cook from scratch

Soup glorious soup (creamy mushroom)

Nothing beats a good bowl of Mushroom Soup…

Safari of the Mind

If there’s ever a time that I enjoy a nutritious bowl of piping hot soup, it has to be in the winter time.  Of course that’s probably everyone’s preference, but I do so enjoy soups in the summer as well.  Lunch time favorites are always a bowl of soup followed by some fruit, or at times it can venture into all kinds of flavor territories.  How about a good hearty chowder for dinner and a french loaf to satisfy those comfort cravings in the depths of winter?  I’ve recently started making bone broth in my slow cooker at least once a week.  Bone broth is rich in minerals and contains healing compounds. Soups are just fabulous in the cooler months, the possibilities are endless.  I’ve since delegated this task to hubby who has taken the job quite seriously.  He starts to sift through the varieties of soups about a week…

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Healthy Eating…No More Diets…

Welcome to 2019  how was your Christmas and New Year? Did you enjoy your Mince Pies and Sausage rolls I certainly did…

I was pleasantly surprised when I plucked up the courage to check out the damage of all that lovely festive fare it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

How did you do?

Bathroom scales weight

As you know I don’t believe in diets or fads or fashion foods…What is that about?  Most diets fail because they are so far removed from our normal eating patterns and often we are eating something not as nice as we have cooked for the rest of the family and we feel deprived…

We need a balanced diet, A healthy diet and yes there are some foods that are better for us that contain antioxidants or more fibre, more of certain vitamins but it needs to be balanced it will do no good to empty the shelves of tomatoes for example and fill ourselves up with tomatoes any which way we can for a few weeks…Will that do us any good??? I think not…It is moderation, common sense whatever way you want to put it…

I am not going to bash any other eating plans or fad diets and sometimes we need to follow a diet because we have an allergy or a proven, medically diagnosed condition where we cannot eat a certain food or food group…

But if we don’t then we need a balanced, sensible diet coupled with regular exercise…Normal everyday foods…

I also think we need to take more notice of food packaging instead of just picking it off the shelves because something catches our eyes…

 Fat-Free…Generally means it contains High Fructose Corn Syrup… We need a certain amount of good fats …Our body will not run efficiently if we don’t…Just like our cars need oil…

Cholesterol Free…The first time I saw this on a label I went home and double checked with Mr Google…I thought maybe I had missed something…Of course, I hadn’t… Cholesterol is only found in animal products i.e Meat, dairy, eggs, butter etc…Vegetables and fruit do not contain cholesterol …It is a very clever marketing ploy based on the fact many people read the headline and buy a product without thinking.

Multi-grain…Could mean 2 or 20 grains of which some are processed grains just like white bread… Buy Whole Grain…

Skinny Teas… Seems to be a new fad to me… I get behind the times and am not au-fait with many of the latest fads…They contain laxatives pure and simple  …drink too many and you may have a case of the back door trots…

Energy Drinks… Contain high levels of caffeine and are now banned in the UK for purchase by under 18’s, there have also been a few recorded deaths obviously my favourite word of moderation was not applied and they haven’t been around long enough for any long-term studies to be conducted but early signs are not good… So please if you do drink them heed the warnings.

Super Foods… Unless you have been living on a desert island with no contact with the outside world then we have all heard of those Super Foods and yes some foods are extra healthy as part of your healthy balanced diet…No one food alone on its own will help.

Sugar-Free… replaced by what? Mannitol, sorbitol…. look for natural sweeteners.

Natural Foods… There are no regulations about putting that on a packet…What does natural mean…I want to know and so does apparently the FDA …


I think we all need to be more label conscious… Believe nothing is my motto …If a packet or jar has more than 3 ingredients then I put it back…My prime example is Coconut milk…sold here and 100% and that’s it!

Sold in the UK and probably the US and other countries NOT SO …MANY ARE BELOW 50% and contain fillers and guar gum. Why? My carton keeps the milk fresh until opened the answer? I will tell you to cut costs…Pure and simple…

How am I doing since Christmas well I have lost my Christmas lb’s just by going back to my intermittent fasting, 2 meals and only 1 snack or maybe 2 at the max…

I have started drinking more Green Tea… my new favourite drink as the weather turned a little colder my coconut oil turned white and solid for a week…My dear grandson also bought me a lovely Green tea set so I can brew my tea and sit and enjoy in the peace and quiet.

china green tea pot

Isn’t it pretty and I have a choice of 4 different cups all pretty ladies…Now I can brew it properly no bitter taste it is lovely…so twice a day I sit and sip my green tea…

What is your favourite beverage?

When I was working I ate 3 meals a day but I am older and retired although I still work( write ) I don’t eat as much as I did when I was working and running about after my children so it boils down to what your needs are…If you are eating sensibly and healthily with regular exercise you will lose weight…Promise…

I have also gone back to mainly eating Thai food which I enjoy and it is quick to prepare and cook…

My advice to you…

Ditch the empty carbs and processed foods find other foods that you enjoy… I do not advocate eating any food I do not like or enjoy…Eating should be a pleasure and if that means a slice of cake …So be it… that is my pleasure …The whole cake is being a piglet and is not moderation…

That premise does not apply when it comes to wine... I know how to live to enjoy my food, stay healthy and lose weight.xxx

Until next time…Thank you for reading and if you have enjoyed it, please share, if you have any tips which work for you, please share we would all like to know your secrets for a healthy diet…

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!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

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











Christmas Recipes…..Just Pickled!

If you are running out of time and forgot to do the pickles these are quick to do and can be eaten more or less straight away or after a few days…I am off to pickle some more Jalapenos as they keep eating them I need a big Chrismas fridge with a lock…haha

Retired? No one told me!

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

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

Pickled Cucumbers:


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…

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Christmas Traditions, Treats and Trivia

Welcome …The big day is nearly here so I guess this will be the last Christmas Traditions and Treats for this year…I would like to thank everyone who has commented and contributed to these posts it has mad the time spent writing them very worthwhile and I have also got to know some of you that little bit better.

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.

Christmas Jumper Corner

This week is a bumper week I have two photos of my great nieces in their jumpers and are they, not the cutest little people just gorgeous and of course my nearly resident guest ( he featured) most weeks the lovely Hugh… 





My two Christmas menus have been a great hit over at Sally’s and Sally herself in her 12 days of Christmas has pulled out a few nice dishes…This one has a lovely recipe for eggnog and Jacquie Biggar who is featured also today posted her recipe for eggnog french toast...Yummy is not the word it looks awesome…How about that for a Christmas Morning breakfast?

Did you know? I didn’t until recently and I think it is so lovely…

NORAD’s “Santa Tracker” was started quite by accident due to a misprint in the newspaper. A 1955 Sears advert was supposed to print the number of a store where children could call and tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas.

The number printed was to the hotline of the Director of Operations for the U.S. Continental Air Defense. Colonel Harry Shoup ordered his staff to give the children updates on the flight coordinates of Santa.

That was how this tradition began and continues until this day. NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) continues to provide flight updates on local news, the Internet, and even a special iPhone application every Christmas.


Father Christmas or Santa Claus is what I have always known the man in the red suit as…Not so in the rest of the world, Santa goes under a few different guises…

Today I am going to take you on a little trip around the world just to give you a flavour of the foods served and how some of the customs vary from what we know..all very interesting, some delicious foods and the different names our beloved Father Christmas is called…

Santa Claus is someone who will remain in the hearts of children forever. He is the make-believe person ( or was he?) who brings toys and other gifts to children at Christmas.

Santa Claus also has some other names: Saint Nicholas, St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Pelznickel.

Two of his names — Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas — both come from the Dutch who settled in New York long ago.

The Dutch believed Saint Nikolaas gave gifts to children. They honoured this kindly saint with a yearly festival on December 6th. The English-speaking people who lived nearby greatly enjoyed Dutch festivals. And they brought the saint and the custom of giving gifts into their own celebration at Christmas time.

England, of course, knows him as Father Christmas… Turkey, roast potatoes, pigs in blankets, stuffing, cranberry sauce, Brussel sprouts, mince pies, Christmas pudding and trifle being favourite foods at Christmas.

In Brazil, he is called Papai Noel… or Bom Velhinho (Good Old Man).

The Christmas meal is also served on the evening of the 24th rather than the 25th and consists of a Chester( chicken)  Salted cod balls, no roast potatoes but cold potato salad and instead of gravy farofa, a mix of fried cassava flour and chopped bits of crispy bacon. Cabbage is replaced by kale heavily flavoured with salt and garlic.

A custom in Brazil which I am sure that many would love to have that same custom where they live is that it is common in Brazil to get a ’13th salary’ at the end of the year – i.e. in December you get twice the normal amount of pay for that month!

The idea is to help boost the economy around Christmas. This has been going on for decades and most people don’t even question that other countries might not do it!

Favourite Christmas foods in Brazil include pork, turkey, pork, ham, salads and fresh and dried fruits. Everything is served with rice cooked with raisins and a good spoon of “farofa” (seasoned manioc flour.) Popular Christmas desserts include tropical and ice cream.

Hawaii the jolly, white-bearded man is called  Kanakaloka he, however, does not wear the traditional red suit we all know and love but flowery Hawaiian clothing…

And on the Christmas menu here it is a traditional lu’au, complete with a pig roasted in an underground pit, chicken long rice, lomilomi salmon accompanied by the traditional Hawaiian music and Santa arrives in a red canoe…

How cool is that???

In Hungary, the  Winter grandfather( Mikulas) comes on the 25th and only to good children and there is no jolly Mrs Christmas but a scary assistant called “Krampusz”…

Christmas fare in Hungary is Fish soup, stuffed cabbage, fried fish and rice, other meats(Pork, Chicken) an elaborate fruit topped Christmas cake, gingerbread cookies, Bejgli with walnut or poppy seeds( which is the traditional Hungarian Christmas cake)

India Baba delivers presents from a horse and cart and of course, the menus are spicy with spicy dumplings and curries, Biryani, poda, mathri and lots of other yummy sweet dishes.


Lastly, in Italy, he is called  Babbo Natale… Doesn’t it just roll off the tongue???

There is no Christmas like an Italian Christmas…Christmas Eve sees the feast of the seven fishes swordfish, tuna, salmon, octopus salad, smelts, calamari, spaghetti with clam sa

Christmas Eve sees the feast of the seven fishes swordfish, tuna, salmon, octopus salad, smelts, calamari, spaghetti with clam sauce and the famous Italian classic—salted cod, known as baccalaFollowed by the sweet treats galore biscotti, pandoro, torrone (nougat candy) and almost always a candied loaf of panettone…

The Christmas day lunch lasts for hours..those Italians can certainly eat…

I think I will stop there… Because after Christmas there is Boxing day..phew that is some eating fest…

I hope you enjoyed this little trip around the world…

What are your Christmas traditions????

Over at John Reibers House, it is going to be his delicious potato dish and one I am definitely going to try as it looks just awesome…

Cooking An Iconic Paris “Potato Cake!” Yes, I Tackled The Chez L’Ami Louis “Gateau de Pommes de Terre” Recipe!

Did you know?

You can thank Prince Albert for your Christmas tree.

Smorgasbord Christmas Celebrations – The Food Column – Carol Taylor – Traditional Christmas Menu

My carnivores Christmas menu…I hope even vegetarians will find something on here though…Beetroot tartare perhaps? Enjoy…Merry Christmas xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to CarolCooks2 @ Smorgasbord Magazine and this week it is my Christmas menu for carnivores…lol

Thank you to everyone who made such lovely comments on my vegetarian Christmas menu it was a first for me I cook but apart from devising a menu for home I don’t publish a menu.

This week’s menu is a mix of the traditional with a couple of other dishes thrown in…I always like to make at least one new dish every Christmas some I never make again as they were ok..Just not that memorable…You know what I mean don’t you…

Prawn Cocktail

As far back as I can remember Prawn Cocktail has been a must-have for our Christmas starter…..One year I fancied a change and we had a fantastic fresh seafood platter with Oysters, Langoustines everything you could think of and some Thai dips made by the daughter in Law…The only way to…

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Smorgasbord Blog Christmas Celebrations – The Food Column with Carol Taylor – A Christmas Vegetarian Menu

My first attempt at putting a Christmas menu together as a post and vegetarian as well…I hope you enjoy 🙂

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Carol Taylor has been very busy the last few weeks preparing Christmas menus for the whole family and this week she has created a feast for vegetarians with some sumptuous ingredients.

Welcome to the first of my Christmas menus this one is with vegetarians in mind and I have tried to think of tasty dishes that as dare I say it a carnivore I would eat… In fact I eat both because as long as a meal is tasty then that is what matters and I love vegetables.

The starters are quick and easy to make and ooze taste and most of the dishes can be made in advance as we don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen on Christmas morning while everyone else has fun…Do we?

I always try to cook at least one dish I haven’t cooked before for Christmas as we all have our tried and…

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