Tag Archives: Cooking from scratch

Week 8…In my kitchen…Mangosteen and sourdough…

Welcome to week 8 in my kitchen…Sourdough is looking good she said in a whisper although if it goes belly up Tabula Rasa has given me some great tips…Thank you Tabula.

Before I go on just a tip about the cooking of brown/wild rice which does take longer than white rice to cook…soak it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight or a tip from Sally she cooks hers in the microwave…Thank you, Sally…

If you want to hear something funny…One of our neighbours knocked and gave us 30 eggs…Very nice of him…The other day I was cooking and took one out to use they were slightly smaller than the eggs I usually get but for my purpose it was fine… Ready for the egg I tapped it as normal with a knife and went to part the shell…It was a hard boiled egg…I now have 29 hardboiled eggs to use…Egg sarnies anyone???

This week’s Curry…Yellow curry with rambutan fruit.

rambutan open fruit-2477586_1280

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken breast cubed or sliced or boneless thighs
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 3 red Thai chillies cut diagonally
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, smashed, outer layers removed, and inner core thinly sliced
  • One 2-inch piece galangal root, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 8 rambutan
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 12 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tsp. palm sugar or light brown sugar
  • Coriander leaves, to garnish
  • Lime wedges, for serving
Let’s Cook!
Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic, lime leaves, chillies, lemongrass, and galangal with the turmeric until a coarse curry paste is formed.
Using a small knife, halve the rambutan and peel away their outer shell. Remove the soft flesh from the centre nut, avoiding the papery skin that surrounds it, and place the flesh in a bowl.
In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium heat.
Add the pineapple, and cook, stirring, until slightly caramelized, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pineapple to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the pan, and then add the onions. Cook, stirring, until golden brown, 4 minutes. Add the curry paste, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.
Pour in the coconut milk and stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the chicken, and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
Add the reserved pineapple and rambutan, and cook until the fruit is warmed through, about 2 minutes.
Remove the curry from the heat, and stir in the fish sauce and palm sugar. Garnish with coriander and serve immediately with the lime wedges and rice.
Enjoy!
blackberries on the bush
I also made some fruit slices…Blackberry fruit slices to be exact the recipe said blueberries but I didn’t have any so blackberries it was… Who remembers blackberry picking as a child and coming home with purple lips and hands? My mum used to make Jam, pies and crumbles with them and did we have fun  picking them well until we caught our legs or hands on those prickly brambles…haha
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup of melted grass-fed butter
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3/4 cup of rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup of raw sugar
  • A pinch of salt.

Fruit Layer.

  • 2 cups of blackberries, blueberries or fruit of your choice.
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice ( I also grated the skin)
  • 2 tsp tapioca powder/cornflour

Heat the oven to 350 F/176C and grease an 8-inch square oven dish.

Add the flour, oats, sugar and salt to the melted butter, stir to combine well and set aside 1 cup of the mixture for the topping.

Put the rest of the mix in the greased pan and flatten down well.

Mix the lime juice with the tapioca powder then add to the fruit and sugar stir well to combine.

Pour the mix over the mixture in the baking tin and then scatter the reserved mix over the top of the fruit.

Bake for about 55 mins until golden if you are using fresh berries then reduce the cooking time. Cool completely and cut into pieces.

Next time I would double the recipe as it was very nice but didn’t make many squares.

Fruit just coming into season this week is the lovely Mangosteen…

Once you get through its hard outer shell you find a white juicy fruit…

About the Mangosteen…

The Mangosteen Garcinia Mangostana has a very hard outer shell and is a widely eaten and available fruit here in Thailand.

When open it is similar with its segments to an Orange. It has a thick outer skin which is about 1/4 of an inch thick. If picked straight from the tree it is easier to open because as the fruit ages it dries and loses water thus the outer shell quickly hardens.

Keeping it in a bag in the fridge slows down the moisture loss.

It grows naturally in South East Asia and is known for its sweet peachy tasting flesh. Its seeds are bitter and should not be eaten.

When young ..freshly picked from the tree the seeds are white but turn brown as the fruit ages so it is a good indication of how fresh your Mangosteen is.

To open the fruit using a thin sharp serrated knife carefully cut around the circumference of the fruit. Then twist to open.

Warning: Be very careful not to cut yourself as the shell is very hard which may cause the knife to slip.

Low in calories and high in fibre with a high Potassium content the Mangosteen also has healthy amounts of manganese and magnesium which is good for intestinal health.

It is known as one of the 5 not so typical fruits noted for its life-changing potential. Scientists believe that an antioxidant in Mangosteen can cause cell death in cancer.

But as with everything we consume moderation is key. Its high fructose levels can be harmful to humans.

You have probably noticed that my recipes are all cooked from scratch contain healthy ingredients which have proven health benefits…I am trying to break the mould or the myths that healthy food is bland and/or boring…There seems to be a barrier to me… we just need to know our food and what the benefits to our health is and cook accordingly.

I don’t spend hours in the kitchen and I don’t think that I buy special foods or expensive foods and I certainly don’t feel deprived in any way at all…It is also foods which we all eat ..grandkids included although we limit the heat for little Lily or take her portion out before we add all the chilli.

the mekong river sunset

That’s all for today I am now off to collect my big boy from the airport I haven’t seen him for 3 years so I am super excited and won’t be around much online this weekend we are off to Nong Khai tomorrow to show him a few sights and how beautiful the Mekong is at sunset  and enjoy some lovely food hopefully I will get to have my favourite egg drop soup….Bye for now xxx

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/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

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

Week 5…In my Kitchen…

Welcome to my kitchen already one month has gone and we are in February…I still haven’t tackled that cupboard as I have been sorting out bookshelves and moving them.

My sourdough starter which was on day 7 has died I think because it was lively and I put it in the fridge overnight it was not strong enough ( Celia did warn me)…I killed it!

Today I started again…Day 1… Still, it gives my proving basket time to arrive and I found a bargain half the price of Amazon and the same make…

Our chicken dish this week was another Thai curry this time a Massaman Curry…

Thai massaman is a rich, creamy fairly mild Thai curry sometimes tomatoes are added and traditionally cashews but can be optional. Vegetables are also varied depending on what is available or in season… play with the flavours. some variations add fruit like pineapple or oranges. The curry paste also has a distinctive orange colour and is in oil so immediately recognisable from other Thai red curry pastes. Some of the ingredients used in the making of massaman paste are not traditionally used in other Thai curries for example star anise, cloves and cardamom but are believed to have been introduced to Thai Muslims by Persian traders. The name massaman is believed to have evolved from the word Mussulman which is another word for Muslim.

chicken massaman gai Thai curry

  • 500 gm chicken breasts/ thighs
  • 2 med potatoes cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp of massaman curry paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • Bunch coriander chopped
  • 6 baby corns halved
  • Handful sugar snap peas halved
  • Few mushrooms quartered
  • Med tomato sliced ( optional)
  • ¼ cup unsalted cashews( optional)
  • 400 ml Coconut milk

Let’s Cook!

Add oil to a pan and stir in 1 tbsp massaman curry paste add tbsp fish sauce and cook for a minute to release flavours.
Add chicken and stir to combine with curry mix add coconut cream and potatoes. Bring to a soft simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked. And potatoes are soft.
Taste and adjust seasoning if required more fish sauce or curry paste.
Add corn, peas, mushrooms and tomato if used and cook for a further 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Stir in coriander reserving some for garnish.
Add cashews and cook for 2 mins.
Serve with steamed rice and garnish with coriander and chopped cashews.

Enjoy!

My new dish this week is a vegetarian one the recipe given to me by Darlene author of the Amanda books… A lentil stew from Syria.

Yakhmat ‘Adas (from Syria and Lebanon)

  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup rice, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup fine noodles
  • 2 cups stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried crushed basil

Place lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat oil in a frying pan and sauté onions over medium heat until they begin to brown. Stir in garlic and rice and stir-fry for another 3 minutes.
Add frying pan contents along with remaining ingredients, except basil, to lentils and bring to a boil. Cook another 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Enjoy! Nice with pita bread.

Note: I usually cut the recipe in half as it makes a lot.
*Did you know that lentils are good for anaemia, low blood pressure and ulcers.
From my favourite cookbook, Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa by Habeeb Salloum.

Thank you, Darlene it was delicious I used really fine vermicelli noodles, fresh ginger as I grow my own and don’t use dried and Thai basil…It definitely makes a lot though I am pleased I halved the recipe on your advice xxx

Lastly, I am trying to cut down not only on added sugars but fat and I have seen many recipes for making a non-dairy cream with coconut cream/milk that I thought it was time I tried it as this is the home of coconuts…haha…

Coconut milk is in the fridge as is the stainless steel pot and the whisk blades…Christmas Pudding on to steam …Yep you heard it correctly my Thai daughter in law loves Christmas Pudding and we have some left so our treat after dinner is a bit of Christmas pudding with this coconut non-dairy cream…

Wow..that was easy it whipped up in about 2 minutes if that I added nothing and it was very nice even hubby who loves fresh cream and lots of it had to admit it tasted good…I think it is easier here as our coconut milk is 100% no additives at all…I will be making this in future and it is so much healthier. A non-dairy cream which would go with any dessert.

I would also like to thank everyone who follows my blog…If I don’t message you a thank you it is because I can’t as your Gravatar doesn’t link to your blog or there is no outside link to your self hosted blog …Not having that could potentially lose you, readers, it does seem to be a common mistake when setting up a blog and indeed one I made until someone kindly pointed it out to me…Pete has outlined everything in this blog post which for me was most opportune I hope it helps you…How to link your Gravatar to your blog.

Have a great weekend and please share with us anything you have made this week or even any kitchen disasters all your comments make my day xxx

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/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

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

 

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…Winter Warmers, pollution popsicles and the month of the wolf…

January is the month of new beginnings and always makes me want to clear out and change things around and my head churns with ideas and plans…Some which will come to life and take shape and many just dreams of what could be…What does January mean to you?

Saying how it makes me feel made me wonder what January depicted…  January means  “month of the wolf” in Saxon terms. ” Janus is the god of the doorway in Roman Mythology. To us in this modern age, January is the door to the new year. Broken down like that it makes my feelings perfectly normal…Doesn’t it?

great reads a weekly roundup

Take a pew, grab your favourite drink and enjoy my roundup of posts…There is something for everyone …

Firstly is a post from D.G.Kaye and is a lovely post which sums up my life…Since moving here there are people who I thought would keep in touch and haven’t and people who I knew but not so well and they have…I meet people now who just pass through on their travels or holiday, some stay for a while and some have become good friends…But all part of life’s rich tapestry and all have left me with memories to treasure (even recipes) and I hope I have done the same …xxx

reasons-and-seasons

Debby’s post sums this up very nicely so please pop over and have a read…

https://sistersofthefey.com/2019/01/15/meeting-people-for-reasons-and-seasons/

Something most of us think about as we wrap up warm or strip off depending on your weather is looking after ourselves and maybe shifting a few unwanted kilos …

wooly hat snow

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/01/22/healthy-eating-how-to-shift-those-christmas-kilos/

Wednesday the middle of the week sometimes it just flies …my week not so much it was visa time and day one …did not go well the young man informed me I did not have enough money to stay…shocked as we always do …I went away and pondered what the ??? we were going to do…It was my son who said, “he has used the US dollar not the British pound.”..I looked at the exchange rates and saw he was correct…So the next day copy of said exchange rate in hand I returned…After some umming and ahhing he decided he would check…3 times he did the calculation as he insisted ” I did not do it wrong” Then with a smile, he informed us ” Today it is ok”

Welcome to the Land of Smiles…

Thai boys in tree

I think this calls for a bowl of comfort food so come with me over to my Cookery Column @ Sally’s…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-winter-warmers/

My first Waste Not! Want Not! of the year and what impressed me most was the Pollution Popsicle and the passion these young people have for cleaning and protecting our ecosystem.

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/01/24/waste-notwant-not-part-8/

Lastly, it was week four in my kitchen(s) …Yes, I have two…Now where to put the books?…

shitake mushroom larb

I am also cooking more meat-free dishes and this Mushroom Larb was very nice easy to make and lots of lovely Thai flavour…It was a definite hit in our house…So pop over and see what else was cooking and of course being moved…Just an update on my sourdough starter it is also doing well…xx

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/01/25/week-4-in-my-kitchen/

I hope you have enjoyed this roundup and please let me know in comments as I love to hear from you….Thank you for reading xxx

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/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

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

Week 3…In my kitchen…

 

Welcome to Week 3 in my kitchen and has it had a spring clean this last week…Still, one big cupboard to go…I tackled the kitchen gadget draw yesterday you know the one which has the bottle openers, measuring cups and other bit and pieces…Yes, that one!

Let’s just say with the bits that crept in somehow by those who shall remain nameless…I have halved the contents…Some were just binned and the rest I put in a little box and left outside the gate…Thais are great @ recycling they were gone in a flash…

My culinary prowess reached new levels this week… I was so excited that my big boy, my eldest son is coming for a quick visit in Feb..only 4 weeks time…I just popped my banana bread in the new oven and it wasn’t until I smelt the burning that I realised I had forgotten to put the dish in a baking tin which was in a bigger tin which was stood on a little rack…

By now you are probably thinking that I have totally lost the plot…

Not quite…Thais don’t do oven as I have told you before and this has a bottom burner and is run on calor gas as there is no mains gas in Thailand at all I believe…Coupled with no numbers on the thermostat…I have bought an internal thermostat it takes a while to regulate the heat and if I don’t stand my dish in a tin which is in a tin on a rack…which diffuses the heat and I don’t get a burnt bottom…

That was my kitchen disaster of the week…But one’s grandson cut the burnt bottom off and declared the banana bread was my best one yet! Who would have thought?

home made banana bread

Not my prettiest attempt but tasty…The recipe was from my dear blogging friend a lovely lady who herself says she has too much time on her hands … The lovely Lisa an ALS sufferer who could teach us, able-bodied peeps, a lot…She is an amazing lady…If you get a chance do pop over and say hello to her and if you take an ice cream recipe she will love you forever as she loves ice cream which is the only food she can eat…

https://lisasalsworld.ca/2019/01/11/heres-to-a-happy-new-year-some-recipes-and-some-small-talk/

Banana Bread

  • 5 small ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of raw cane sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts ( optional)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice ( optional)

Let’s Cook!

Mash the bananas and add the eggs…I put mine in the food processor. Then add all the other ingredients except for the nuts if using and then stir in the chopped nuts.

Cook in a prepared dish or loaf tin on 180F/350C degrees for 50-60 mins.

A quick and easy all in one recipe for banana bread…I did make a few tweaks as the original recipe said 4 bananas what size I don’t know but mine were small ones so added 5 and as I always use raw cane sugar or banana sugar you could use brown or sugar of your choice likewise with flour …

Pigs trotters...Still no pictures… the lady sort of persuaded me to buy the ones she had pre-cut …Which I cooked… the sauce was awesome..not much meat…So the dog struck lucky…The stock was so gelatinous and the penny dropped that she probably meant me to make stock and what a great pork stock they would make…This is my work in progress…Soz Adele x

My other WIP is Chicken Passandra a dish I first ate many moons ago in an Indian Restaurant and have never cooked…I followed the recipe exactly and I think I told you that it was ok for me..not great although the men ..loved it! Although sometimes I do think men rather than offend just say it was good.

Take two…I won’t be beaten…With more than a few changes made from the first attempt and the first time I have used Greek Yoghurt in an Indian Curry it was by far a much better curry…

Chicken Passandra.

  • 2 chicken Breasts cut into cubes
  • 3 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1.5 piece of cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp good chilli powder I used my homemade curry powder
  • 5 tbsp of Greek Yoghurt
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds
  • Fresh coriander chopped

Let’s Cook!

Heat 2 tbsp of the ghee and add the onions cook stirring for 1-2 mins and then add the cinnamon and cardamon pods cook for about 5-6 mins to release the flavours stirring so as not to colour the onions.

Add ginger and garlic and cook for a further 5-6 mins, stirring. Then add turmeric, coriander powder and chilli cook for a further 1 minutes.

Now turn up the heat and start to stir in yoghurt 1 tbsp at a time mixing properly before adding the next tbsp until all the yoghurt is added you will now have quite a thick roux type sauce. Add the tomato puree. The sauce should now be quite a bright orange colour.

chicken passanda

Now add hot water to make a thinner sauce, stirring and adding gradually. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

The taste and add salt to season.

Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a pan and set to one side.

Heat the remainder of the ghee and cook the chicken until it just turns white. Add the chicken and almonds to the sauce and cook until the chicken is cooked. The sauce should now be thick and creamy with patches of that lovely orange oil on the top.

Remove the cinnamon and the cardamon and garnish with coriander to serve.

Cooks Note: Rather than reduce the sauce, even more, I added some ground almonds to thicken the sauce which also enhanced the almond flavour which is what Passandra is renowned for.

This second Passandra was much like I remembered it to be …I also forgot to take a final picture…Next time as I will be making it again I will try to remember… Although it isn’t the spiciest of curries and quite mild it is tasty and ideal for those who prefer a milder curry.

What is on the agenda in my kitchen for next week…A mushroom larb which is a Thai dish normally made with ground pork or chicken…A new recipe for me and I am looking forward to tasting it and maybe some stuffed peppers which will make a change …Also, Darlene Foster very kindly sent me a recipe for a lovely lentil dish called Yakhmat ‘Adas (from Syria and Lebanon) which I will be making on Monday…Darlene is the author of the very popular Amanda Books and has been a follower of my blog since I first started blogging so she must be in line for a long service medal soon…lol…

Thank you, Darlene x

Until next FridayThank you for reading this I hope you are enjoying an insight into my kitchen here…Today it is mega  HOT again and having had a Tom Yum with salmon and ramen noodles I am full and want something easy to make,  as we have little Lily and her friend from the village it will be spag bol as it is not something they get to eat in the village so a treat for them and a straightforward dish for me.

Have a great weekend and please share with us anything you have made this week or even any kitchen disasters all your comments make my day xxx

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/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

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

No more Diets…Healthy Eating …

BANNER CHOCOLATE CAKE peanut butter rice cakes

Hello and welcome… How is your healthy eating going are you still feeling enthused after all that Christmas Fare and ready to eat healthily, have more energy and keep the advancing years at bay? Or is that old enemy Will Power creeping into your life… He creeps about silently but deadly… He just loves it when you sneak a piece or two of that cake that is saying ” Eat me”

Taking a slice of chocolate cake

His little face lights up and he knows he is winning…

Did you know that the more you resist the temptation that he starts to disappear…He does like a willow the wisp…

The thing is the more you give in he grows bigger and like the gremlins, he sprouts out lots of little Will Powers they are so small they can sneak in anywhere…

gremlin smiling

They are so clever they plant little ideas and feed on your thoughts…and before you know it you are back to square one…

I will now turn you over to Sally @ Smorgasbord as she has some very sensible ideas on how to find some willpower unlike my little flight of fantasy…haha…So please pop over to Sally’s and if a Gentle Detox is how you like to start your New Year then Parts 1 & 2 will tell you all you need to know …Three brilliant posts full of good ideas and sensible easy to understand information to get you up and running…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/06/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-part-three-willpower/

Who remembers rice cakes??

processed rice cakes

Way back in the late 1980’s to 1990″s when I followed one fad diet after another…When low fat and high carbs were one of the Die(t) trends…Rice Cakes were touted as the thing to eat…Cardboard in taste although low-calorie at 35 calories a cake…Looking back they were nothing more than a mouthful or three which had minimal vitamins and minerals, no fat, no fibre and maybe just maybe a gm of protein…Refined carbs which converted very quickly into sugar, they were sprinkled with salt and generally sprayed with artificial flavourings…Did they take my mind off food…No! They left me feeling sluggish and still craving so I demolished the whole packet…

Please tell me they are not still on sale??

Healthy Snacks:

Greek yoghurt and berries with granola.

Hummus with veggies…Get the recipe here

Dark chocolate with 1 oz of almonds or walnuts.

Guacamole with red peppers

2 hardboiled eggs with some cherry tomatoes

A cup of homemade vegetable soup…When I was cold I used to keep a pot simmering and if I felt a bit peckish then I would just pour my self a mug full and it kept away the hunger pangs.

Salsa with baked tortilla chips or veggies.

To bake your own using corn or flour tortillas, a light brushing of oil or a spritz of cooking spray and a bit of salt, you can bake tortilla chips in your own oven and enjoy them while they are still warm.

Peanut Butter and a banana wrapped in a whole grain wrap.

To make your own Peanut Butter couldn’t be easier…

Rather than buying store-bought peanut butter which is full of nasties, it is easier and it is very quick to make your own.

It is the quickest easiest recipe to make ever, the kids can help blitz it and as well as being tasty it has no nasties.

Let’s Cook!

Take 500 gm raw peanuts. Put in oven on tray and cook on high for 10 mins. Take out of oven and reserve a few (if you like crunchy peanut butter) like me. Put the remainder of nuts in a food processor and blitz at 1 min intervals scrapping down the sides. Do this for 4 mins or until smooth.

Add 1 tsp of salt,1 tbsp oil and remainder of reserved nuts if using.

Blitz again for 1 min and put in a suitable container. Stores in fridge for 3/4 weeks…….IT’S DELISH!

Just a few snack ideas to keep you going… What is your favourite snack ???

We all know that to enable us to get healthy we need to up our exercise…

Exercise…That has always filled me with horror…I have braved the gym in the past but no more…I think that with exercise it needs to be something which you enjoy doing and  I enjoy walking and at my age, I think that is enough I have also and I think it is the time of year…I am a tidy person…A neat freak…I feel the need to clean out drawers and cupboards…So each morning I tackle one or two and it is surprising how all that up and down and cleaning out the cupboards is a good little workout…No cupboards today…It was my bathroom cleaning day my ensuite walls and floors and my grandson’s bathroom…What is so difficult about screwing back toothpaste tops, shower gel and shampoo lids etc …

toothbrushes toothpaste no lid

After cleaning 3 bathrooms and that is no mean feat…I went for my morning walk so I feel quite energised at the moment…

Tomorrow I tackle another cupboard…

What is your favourite exercise???

Thank you for reading and please keep the comments coming I love to hear from you it makes my day xxx

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/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

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

CarolCooks2…A roundup of my New Years posts…

CarolCooks2

I know many of you had such a busy run up to the Festive Season and New Year and maybe are just getting back on track…Although ours was a quieter one it was still a time when I stepped back and took it a little easier and I will just about be back into full swing in the next few weeks …I have been having lots of thoughts and knuckling down to my writing and having a good think as to the direction of my blog in the coming year…

So without much ado, as the saying goes let us begin…

Goodbye 2018…Hello, 2019…

Boarding for Flight 2019 has been Announced.
Your Luggage Should Contain Only the Best Souvenirs from 2018.
The Bad & the Sad Moments Should be Left in the bin.
The Duration of the Flight will be 12 Months.
So, Please Tighten Your Seat Belts!!!! The Next Stop Over will be of Health, Love, Joy, Harmony, Well-being & Peace.
The following Menu will be Served In the Flight…
A Cocktail of Friendship
A Supreme of Health
A Gratin of Prosperity
A Bowl of Excellent News
A Salad of Success
A Cake of Happiness.
All Accompanied by a Burst of Laughter😀😀
Wishing You & Your Family an Enjoyable Trip on Board Flight 2019.

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/01/01/goodbye-2018-hello-2019/

Moving on I started by reblogging two of the lovely Sally’s posts…Cooking from scratch…Tomatoes which are one of my favourite things and a post on a Gentle Detox as we start our New Year…Will it one of our New beginnings??

tomatoes

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/02/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-tomatoes-for-breakfast-spanish-style/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/03/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-introduction-and-phase-one-before-you-begin-your-weight-loss-programme/

It was then over to the first of one of my new posts where you can join me on a Friday for a bird’s-eye view of my week in my kitchen…

banana maple syrup pancakes

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/01/04/carolcooks2-week-one-join-me-in-my-kitchen/

Where you can discover a little bit more about me and my cooking…

Time for Part two of a Gentle Detox… Isn’t it lovely to just slip slowly and quietly into the New Year…?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/05/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-part-two-eat-food-your-body-recognises-and-can-work-with/

That didn’t last long… I’m back!

kodiak-brown-bear-2042153_640

Just Fish…Or a chemical Cocktail…

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/01/07/just-fish-or-a-chemical-cocktail/

We then go to my first…Eat healthy post of the year… I start my day with a lovely pot of Green Tea…

china green tea pot

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/01/08/healthy-eating-no-more-diets-7/

It was then over to my food column and some of my favourite dishes…Beef Rendang, Cauliflower Pizza Base, Phad Thai and much more…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-column-with-carol-taylor-favourite-dishes-of-2018/

My second rant for the New Year  …It didn’t take me long did it???

Sharks!

hai sharks-3347789_640

A beautiful animal and one which is very important to the well-being and the future of the oceans Ecosystem and man are doing what they do best …Overfishing, Polluting and the barbaric practise of shark finning read all about it…Here!

I haven’t finished either by a long way if you care about the beautiful world we live in then we need to take a stand…It just makes me so sad to see how things are being spoilt and polluted…I am not a banner-waving maniac I just care and try to do what I can..My way…We can make changes in our home and maybe, just maybe we can help change our little corner of the World.

Thank for reading and for all your lovely comments…You all rock! xx

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/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

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

 

CarolCooks2…Week Two…Join me in my kitchen…

Welcome to Week Two  …In my kitchen…

Where you will get an insight into what I have been cooking this week…Plus a bit of chat and trivia it would be boring otherwise…Wouldn’t it?

I have been busy working on my cookbook I have done a U-turn as I was a good way through a fish one but decided against it as the Fishing Industry has serious problems that I would shelve that for now as I don’t want to encourage anyone to buy fish which is not sustainable or highly farmed…I have changed to sauces…Sauces are something which I and many people struggle with and I am always getting asked by my children and friends …How do I make this? So I have decided to reveal all and hopefully dispense with the mysteries of making a good sauce.

I also want to just clarify what is morning-glory…?

Here in Thailand and other Asian countries, it looks like this …

morning Glory water spinach

Also called water spinach it is a very popular vegetable either eaten raw or stir-fried.

In the UK, for example, this is the plant we called morning-glory …

morning glory Uk flowering plant

A pretty little plant and the flowers are edible. Tabula Rasa commented …The flower we grow in the UK isn’t edible….as such. I researched it when I came back from Vietnam having eaten it there. The U.K. Plant is different and The seeds contain a substance similar to LSD and can be toxic.

Thank you for highlighting that fact Tabula Rasa...If you get a chance pop over to Tabulas blog she has some lovely recipes I loved the article on King Oyster Mushrooms but I couldn’t comment on the blog…Nice post Tabula ..King Oyster mushrooms are plentiful here and cheap to buy…I chop mine finely and use in a stuffing mix or curries even spag bol if I can’t get any button mushrooms …

So please if you know that like me for example who lives in Thailand mentions a fruit or vegetable often they are named the same or completely different but may be of the same family but not always edible ..It was a learning curve for me and I will be very mindful of that in future…

New Year…It always makes me have a sort out particularly of the kitchen cupboards and drawers and it generally starts when we get out all the Christmas crockery and cutlery and then we start to put it back…So I now have nice clean and tidy kitchen cupboards and a promise to start using up some of the many dried goods I am storing…If you have any great lentil recipes I have all sorts that need to be used…Please share…

lentil mung beans legumi

Look at this lovely idea for packing tomatoes…I always visit this lovely little farmers market, they are small growers not large and I am always so happy to see how they display their fruit and vegetables using leaves and bamboo ties etc…

cherry tomatoes

This is part of the Banana tree and a jolly good use as the banana tree only fruits once …When it has fruited the mother plant dies and leaves lots of little babies around the base. The banana plant is called a ‘banana tree’ in popular use, but it’s technically regarded as a herbaceous plant (or ‘herb’), not a tree because the stem does not contain true woody tissue.

It is this tissue which has been used to package these tomatoes. Plastic wrap was used to encase these but better than a plastic tray and plastic wrap. I just love the Thais ingenuity and waste not attitude.

What has been cooking in my kitchen this week??

Lasagne and salad.
Ingredients for Spaghetti Bolognese:

  • I kilo minced beef or pork
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 250 gm mushrooms sliced
  • 3/4 cloves garlic
  • 5/6 Fresh Basil leaves.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • I large tin tomatoes or 6/8 fresh tomatoes blitzed ( I always make a batch of tomatoes for spag bol/chillies and freeze in portions.
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree.
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs 
  • 1 tsp sage or fresh leaves if you have.
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Let’s Cook!
Heat a glug olive oil in a pan and saute onions and garlic.
Add the mince and cook until browned
Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes then add tomato puree and mixed herbs, bay leaf, oregano, balsamic and Worcester sauce.
Cook on a slow simmer for 20 minutes and then add mushrooms, cook for another 10 minutes and stir in fresh basil…
Meanwhile, make a white sauce.
When spaghetti is ready starting with a layer of mince then pasta sheets, Then mince, white sauce, pasta until you have completed 4 layers finishing with the white sauce.
Grate over your favourite cheese… I use cheddar or a mix of mozzarella and cheddar.
Cheese can be difficult to get here so if I have plenty then I also use some between my layers for a cheesier lasagne.

I think lasagne is the type of dish where anything goes really sometimes I add bell pepper to my sauce it depends what I have in my larder/fridge.

Cook lasagne on 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until pasta is cooked and cheese is golden and bubbling.


Serve with mixed Salad and or Garlic bread.
Enjoy!

Reading through blog and e-mails this week I came across a recipe for Chicken Passandra now lamb Passandra was probably one of the very first Indian curry dishes I ate many moons ago…It is a mild Mughal curry made with yoghurt and almonds, not my normal curry as you know I am a spice girl…

It got the thumbs up from the rest of the family…Me, I thought it was Ok…I prefer my spices dry toasted to release the flavour and the sauce was a little lacking…I am hoping one of my Indian friends might have a recipe …Hint Hint!

If not I am going to have a play and a tweak…So what this space… As you know this is sort of a test kitchen and I won’t post a recipe until it is truly tried, tested and perfect…

Tomorrow it is the Pigs Trotters ( sorry), Adele, as I forgot to take a photo last week but I have ones chopped so trying a Thai recipe tomoz and in the week I will be repeating last weeks but with images …x

That’s all for this week not really an exciting week in the kitchen well unless you count the fact that I used a shot of the Naga Chilli Vodka my son sent me added soda, ice and a squeeze of lime… The fumes ..Even if I held my nose just the fumes ( it is mega hot) made my voice go funny…lol… For INFO: The Naga Viper pepper is one of the world’s hottest chillies. It has a rating of 1.3million Scoville Heat Units (spice measurements). In contrast, Tabasco sauce rates at around 2,500.

naga chilli vodka

So if you are thinking of trying naga chilli vodka have it in a Bloody Mary…Don’t do what I did although I was told that the longer the chilli stays in the bottle the hotter it gets…Guess who didn’t listen??

If you are still here then thank you for reading…Have a great weekend …xxx

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/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

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