Tag Archives: Cook from scratch

Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Therapy – #Asparagus – Nutrient Packed and Delicious by Sally Cronin

I love asparagus and it is also Asparagus Month so very apt. Thank you, Sally, for linking to my post from our Cook from Scratch which has some of my favourite recipes using asparagus…Which is a favourite vegetable of mine…Hugs xxx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

As a follow on from the recent series on theWeekly Grocery Shopping List of foods that contain the nutrients the body needsthat contain the nutrients the body needs I am going to repeat my series from 2017 on the health benefits of some of our most common foods.

Food therapy is a broad term for the benefits to the body of a healthy, varied and nutritional diet of fresh foods.

Most of us walk through the fresh produce departments of our supermarkets without really paying much attention to the individual fruits and vegetables. This is a great pity because the vast majority of these foods have been cultivated for thousands of years, not only for their nutritional value but also for their medicinal properties. If you eat a healthy diet you are effectively practicing preventative medicine. A robust immune system, not only attacks external opportunistic pathogens, but also…

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Smorgasbord Health Column – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Nutrient – Part Six – Essential Fatty Acids by Sally Cronin

Part Six of grocery shopping by nutrient…#highly recommended

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Last week I posted  Part Five of this alternative shopping list by nutrient, as well as types of vitamins, water or fat soluble, and a basic list of essential nutrients the body needs to be healthy. At the end of the the posts, I will collate the foods into nutritional groups so that you can print off and refer to when doing your weekly shop.

I believe in eating, and eating all food groups, just moderating the amount that you eat based on your requirements. Your body knows how to process fresh food, raw and cooked from scratch. It is not designed to extract nutrients from manufactured foods which includes the majority that come in a packet, jar or can.

With that in mind here is part six of a shopping list that your body might write if it was capable. It does try to tell you that it is…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Cook from Scratch – Carol Taylor – A – Z of Food – Baking Soda, Bananas, Broccoli, Butterflying food and cooking with a Bain Marie

Bananas begin with B as do so many more culinary treats, My thanks go to Sally for re-posting this series…I do hope you all enjoy…Thank you so much for all your comments, likes and shares for the letter A…I do hope you enjoy the rest of the series…Today it is the letter B…Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the series from Carol Taylor, the wonderful A – Z of Food and I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of wonderful ingredients across the food groups, spices and herbs over the year.

Hello from sunny Thailand …this is the next post of my Culinary tour through the alphabet.

Baking Soda – A leavening agent which is used as an essential ingredient in baking powder. When used alone as a leavener, recipes must include some type of acid to neutralize the resulting sodium carbonate in the finished product. Either Buttermilk, yoghurt, sour cream, and citrus juice are all adequate acids to use. You may also use baking soda to help neutralize the acid in recipes that call for large amounts of fruit.

Bananas…Living where I do Bananas are everywhere sold on every street corner and almost everyone has at least one Banana tree in their…

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CarolCooks2…This week in my Kitchen…Pan-Seared Salmon with spicy Thai dressing…


Welcome to this week in my kitchen I am still recovering from Christmas…All the Christmas cake has now gone…eaten…although I did share some of it…

I managed to get my fresh sprouts so we are making the most of it and having sprouts and purple carrots at nearly every meal we are loving them although the carrots do need to be cooked separately as they bleed…We made shepherds pie last night and used purple carrots diced and they bled somewhat into the mix although once the gravy was added it just looked like we had added some red wine so no great shakes…

As I prefer fish to meat I had a nice piece of seared pan-fried salmon…Quick and easy to do…this dish will be ready in as long as it takes your rice to cook…The dip I made just enough for one which is the beauty with this one …It is a favourite dip here especially with young Lily who when she was here last week and I had fish while they had spag bol…put some over her spag bol…she likes it that much..weird child…haha

Pan-Seared Salmon.

120 -150 gm of Salmon or sea bass per person.

Olive oil and a little butter to cook the fish.

For the spicy sauce…

  • 2 nice sprigs fresh coriander
  • 2 coriander roots (optional)
  • 1 spring onion(green onion) or shallot finely chopped
  • 1-2 red chillies finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 cheeks fresh lime /lemon
  • Splash of water

Let’s Cook!

To make spicy dip wash and chop coriander finely. Finely slice green onions or shallots.

Finely chop chilli( I leave) the seeds in but they can be removed if you want a milder dip.

Put in a small dish and add the fish sauce and lime juice and a splash of water…

Taste and adjust…

Set to one side while you cook your fish…Score the fish skin and season with salt and fresh ground pepper…

Heat a pan and add the olive oil and butter when hot add your salmon skin side down. I cook for about 2/3 mins on the skin side and then turn and cook for 1-2 mins depending on the thickness of your fish and how you like your fish cooked we prefer ours just cooked rather than overdone. With salmon still pink in the middle. Baste the fish with the butter to keep it moist…


Place the fish on your rice skin side up and spoon over the chilli sauce…as little or as much as you like…



How are the Christmas pounds going are they going or gone? Mine have gone although as I said I have been walking I had to walk off all that cake…It was yummy…I have upped my veggies as I am trying to cut down just a little on the meat…Eating more fish which I love…Now if you like lists so that you know where you are then Sally has published her part One of her shopping list by nutrient…I think it is a great idea as we all know what we love to eat, should eat and this handy guide helps you through the diet jungle…Jungle it is with plenty of tigers …We all know that gimmicks don’t work and here in my kitchen we eat proper food that we like and balance our intake with a few yummy treats…Nothing banned just moderation…So pop over to Sally’s before you go shopping and have a browse…

As it is National Soup Month this month I have another soup recipe for you…Soup is one of those dishes that whatever the weather sometimes all you want is just a bowl of soup and although it is hot here all the time even when it rains…Soup is eaten in fact most meals eaten here are hot meals …Go figure…

Soup can also be a bowl of healthy goodness….

Today I have for you… one of my favourite Thai soups which is so easy to make from scratch. It also brings back memories of a certain lady…Keeleigh who when she visited us could not get enough of this fabulous soup.


  • 2 litres of water
  • 4 stalks of lemongrass
  • 1-inch chunk of galangal
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 10 Thai chillies
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 500 gm Prawns
  • 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into quarters.
  • 2 white onions (medium-sized) cut into large chunks.
  • 1 and a half tsp of sugar
  • 7 – 10 tbsp of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
  • Juice of 5 -8 limes.
  • A handful of cilantro ( Coriander)

For cooking instructions…See original post

I will say please don’t get put off by the list of ingredients I know how daunted I was when I first started Thai and Indian cooking and now it is second nature…

Taste is the key...however although Thai ingredients can be found now in Asian stores around the world…They also do sell packs of a selection of just the ingredients you need rather than buying them all individually and then not using them all so when you first start experimenting that is what I would do and only buy the ingredients that either keep or you use quite regularly and build up to a full larder of Thai /Indian condiments and ingredients.

These can be purchased either fresh or dry…

You can also buy tom yum soup mix and then you just add your prawns, veggies and aromatics…The only difference and it is also how you know if a Tom Yum is made from scratch is the colour…A tom Yum made with a mix has an orange colour if cooked from scratch it is white liquid like mine.

At this point do not confuse it with Tom Kha prawn or chicken soup this has added coconut milk they are two different soups.


Thai tom kha gai chicken soup

A lot to learn but baby steps and don’t forget to taste…

Check the two images and you can see the difference in the colour the one with coconut milk is a milkier white.

What’s planned for my kitchen? Bone Broth and some recipes using bone broth I also found an awesome recipe for sprout wraps and before you wrinkle your noses up you sprout haters …I am going to do a tester and try it on one’s grandson who is picky with his sprouts he doesn’t hate them but doesn’t love them either but he eats them…In a wrap..which he loves and with fish sauce, chillies, coriander and a few other bits I think he will love these…I have read the reviews and I think it is about the fish sauce and chillies as much as it is about the sprouts as other reviewers raved about the unusual combinations…More next week…

I hope you have enjoyed the recipes if you have any questions please just ask…

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!









Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – A sumptuous #Vegetarian Christmas Menu

There is a definite trend towards more plant based recipes and this time of year with cranberries and other delicious fruits/vegetables some of them are just awesome and so tasty…I hope you find something that will tickle your taste buds …Merry Christmas xxx

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 a Christmas menu 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 tested family favorites, don’t we? It…

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Traditional English Toffee

There is nothing quite like receiving a gift of homemade sweets it always makes a person feel special as you have thought about what they would like …A perfect gift…


What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Enjoyable Eats: Traditional English Toffee! So often we have those cherished childhood memories of homemade candy and cookies that accompanied holiday celebrations. They stick with us for life. I can remember being in eighth grade and determined to replicate a batch of my mother’s English Toffee. I waited for her to go into town and then pulled out her secret recipe. You know, the ones scratched on a 3.5”x5” card. More often than not, they showed a list of ingredients with instructions that simply said, “Bake at 350° for 30 minutes”. Let’s face it, that’s pretty vague compared to what we explain nowadays. As you can imagine, I melted the butter along with the brown sugar and stirred. And stirred. And stirred. So how come it wasn’t turning into this crisp crunchy texture of rich golden butter that fueled my addiction? What could I possibly…

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