Tag Archives: cranberries

My Weekly Roundup…Kiviak and Chrismas Jumpers…

Recipes and reveals what is in our food

Welcome, it’s that time of the week again and if you busy peeps have not had time to read my posts and there are a few…lol…They are all together here for your enjoyment. It is also a very busy time buying pressies, wrapping pressies and decking the house inside and out if you are one of those people who put up all those lovely lights…Then thank you as I used to enjoy getting in the car and driving around it is so lovely seeing some of the house so very festive and pretty…If you are one of those then please send in your pictures we would love to see them…

Time to sit down take a well-earned rest and enjoy!Carbon Footprints

Deforestation...Started as a plea to raise awareness of the plight of the Orangutan…But the picture which is evolving is showing that the problem is so much bigger than that… The response has been both enlightening and pleasing …

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/26/deforestation-and-our-carbon-footprint/

Eat Smart Eat Healthily is my last post on this subject this side of Christmas as many of you have done so well and eating is to be enjoyed so I left you with just a few hints and tips on how you can both enjoy guilt-free festivities and still enjoy that Christmas pudding x See you in the New Year.

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/27/eat-smart-eat-healthily-no-more-diets/

It was over to Sally’s for health tips and recipes …The Lovely Cranberry…

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/28/christmas-smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-cranberries-bittersweet/

Waste Not, Want Not! Is proving to be a popular topic and the response has been awesome…I am loving what I am learning and much more about what is going on in the world…

fresh compost green wastehttps://blondieaka.com/2018/11/29/waste-not-want-not-part-7/

Likewise with my monthly posts and my serial on the Culinary Alphabet over at Esme’s Salon…This month it was the letter K and I tried to find some festive dishes and failed but I hope I found some interesting little snippets for you.

https://esmesalon.com/the-culinary-alphabet-the-letter-k/

Friday’s Christmas treats and traditions is proving to be popular and I wish to thank everyone for their contributions and there are more unknown facts coming up this week… They just keep coming xxx Isn’t he cute?

 

https://blondieaka.com/2018/11/30/christmas-traditionstreats-and-festive-fun/

Lastly, with all that rich food… no one likes a dodgy tummy…Do we? So pop over to Sally’s and see how you can avoid it…x

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-allergies-and-intolerances-dairy-leaky-gut/

Thank you so much for reading these posts I do hope you have enjoyed them…Until next time Take care, have fun and enjoy the festive season 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.

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://blondieaka.wordpress.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

 

Christmas Smorgasbord Health – Cook from Scratch with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cranberries – #bittersweet

Healthy and oh so delicious that little bright red berry packs a punch of health benefits and flavour when using in cooking.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Here is another of our posts where I share the nutritional benefits of an ingredient and Carol Taylor incorporates it in a delicious recipe. Next week Carol will be back to share some of her creations from her Thai kitchen offering you some alternative delicacies to eat over the festive season.

This week… ..Cranberries – a bitter berry which has a long history in medicinal terms and is still used today in certain over the counter preparations.

Cranberrieshave a documented medicinal history and were used by the Native American Indians as a nutritious addition to their diet normally sweetened with honey as of course the berries are very tart. The Indians also used the berries in poultices for wounds as they recognised the antibacterial and antibiotic effect of the fruit even if they could not scientifically prove these properties. Colonists, who had been introduced to the berry…

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Retired No One Told Me! Weekly Roundup…The friendliest animal in the world and the shocking truth about the Cook Islands and Timor Leste…

Weekly roundup (1)14 june

Welcome to my weekly roundup of posts which I hope you enjoy… I love roundups as it means I don’t have to worry about missing any posts from my favourite bloggers. Somedays I am just so busy or I get sidetracked and just miss some posts I think we all do, Don’t we????

The first post out of the starting blocks is Fruity Friday’s and last week it was the Cranberry… A fruit that I always just associated with Christmas but it is a fruit which is worthy and can enhance so many recipes.

cranberry beans-1353042_1280

There is also a bean called the cranberry bean…Did you know that???

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/fruity-friday-the-cranberry/

Next up it was one of my Travel Thailand post and a beautiful waterfall which was very close to my house when I lived in Phuket …I love finding out-of-the-way places I don’t really like these revamped, busy new tourist attractions …I like finding the hidden gems and this little waterfall is one of those but it also links to other waterfalls so all is not as it seems at first glance.

Retired No One Told Me! Ton Tai Waterfall

Isn’t it beautiful??

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/09/travel-thailand-ton-thai-waterfallthalang-phuket/

This lovely waterfall was followed by one of my Travel Australia posts and Rottnest Island which is home to one of the friendliest animals on earth …The Quokka…

a smiling quokka-2676171_1280

I love this photo as he is smiling for the camera…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/10/travel-australia-the-friendliest-animal-on-earth-the-quokka/

How to follow that well I didn’t Sally did with a wonderful post …Her weekly followup which meant I caught up …I still think I will keep my feet on terra firm but it was a lovely read so get your favourite drink settle down and have a read.

You will be treated to more of Sally’s shenanigans, there is a meeting with sharks, some interesting facts about the beautiful Iris flowers and some great news that I will have a partner in crime as Debby will be hosting a travel guide and I can’t wait as that is bound to be fun… So without giving too much away click the link below and say hello.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/10/smo

Next, we have The Charade and guess who is not as brave as he thought he was ???

evil-530640_1280

This Carl just looks like what he is…A bit of a creep a third-rate, hard man…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/the-charade-chapter-22-by-carol-ann-tay

It was then the turn of the last in a series of posts  I have been writing about Obesity and one which I was shocked to find that the causes of Obesity in the case of the Cook Islanders were the invasion of luxury resorts who built on their agricultural land… The country I thought had it all sewn up who ate healthily and exercised etc…In fact is poverty-stricken and the people malnourished caused by occupation and war… Not the outcome I visualised… It made me so sad…

 

It makes me so sad that my series has had to end this way that a once proud race who lived long lives are now reduced to a race who die prematurely with chronic diseases brought about by the invasion of luxury holiday resorts and a western diet.

The other group a race of people who build beautiful houses like those pictured and have a tradition of beautiful textiles and had their lives torn apart by invasions and war and are now dying from malnutrition brought on by poverty. A sad state of affairs for both and not the ending I thought I would be writing.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/06/13/healthy-eating-no-more-diets-obesity-the-cook-islands-and-timor-leste/

Lastly, I have given you the recipes for 5 Thai Curry Pastes you can make at home so head over to my cookery column at Sally’s where you can save them for later 🙂

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/06/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-and-food-column-with-carol-taylor-thai-curry-pastes-and-recipes/

I hope you have enjoyed this roundup…Until tomorrow when it is Fruity Friday and the Star Fruit.

If you have found this a thought-provoking read in some aspects please share xxx

If you really want to see even more from me???? There are many strings to my bow…If you still want to find out more…

I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…  I look forward to meeting you x

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog:https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Have a lovely week xx

Fruity Friday… The Cranberry.

Fruity Friday, The Cranberry

Welcome to Fruity Fridays and today I am showcasing the Cranberry… Cranberries always remind me of Christmas I think it is the smell when I am making Cranberry sauce, the cinnamon, spices and the orange all together invoke those Christmas memories but of course, cranberry sauce can be eaten with any roast meats, cold meats, with cream cheese so many ways.

My mum always used to swear by Cranberry juice if anyone has a urinary tract infection, however, the latest research show that capsules are more effective as the cranberry juice you buy does not have the same concentration of antioxidant proanthocyanidins.

They are low in calories and high in Vitamin C, A and K so a little gem of a berry which packs a healthy punch.

In a homemade trail mix dried cranberries with unsalted nuts and seeds a nice quick to make little snack.

If you are making muffins or scones then a handful or two of cranberries adds that little extra zing and helps cut through the sweetness of cakes.

There are also two ways that cranberries are harvested.

Wet Harvesting:

Many people and that included me for a while think that cranberries grow underwater but they are not they grow on boggy ground which is flooded with up to 18 inches of water the night before the berries are to be harvested.  Then water reels, nicknamed “eggbeaters,” churn the water and loosen the cranberries from the vine. Each berry has a tiny pocket of air that allows it to float to the surface of the water. These are then collected and it is these cranberries which are used in the cranberry products we buy in the shops.

Dry Harvesting:

Fresh cranberries are harvested using the dry method and it is the method to pick those beautiful red berries we see fresh and beautiful in the stores or in the markets.

I have noticed the difference when I use fresh cranberries when making sauce or stuffing that the fresh berries do not have the deep red colour of the frozen ones when cooked… I do however prefer the taste of the fresh berries although I do keep a bag of frozen cranberries in my freezer as a backup or to use when fresh cranberries are out of season.

Cranberry Sauce:

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

cranberry-sauce

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

 

Store in a sealed container.

These little puffs don’t take long to make so if I need a quick snack if visitors pop in around sundowner time then these don’t take long. I always keep a little box of already cut puff pastry squares which I can just pop in the oven and I always have a container of cranberry as we like it in a sandwich if we have cold chicken or pork and it is lovely with hot meat or pork schnitzels which I just top with some cream cheese and a spoonful of cranberry sauce.

Camembert Puffs:

camembert_puffs-1

Ingredients:   

I pack of frozen Puff Pastry, thawed.

125 gm(4 oz) of Camembert Cheese.

100gm Cranberry Sauce.

1 sprig of thyme…leaves picked.

1 large egg, beaten.

To Make:  

Line 2 baking tins with baking parchment.

Roll out puff pastry and cut into bite-sized squares ( 3cm)

Put onto baking trays making sure you space well apart. Brush top with beaten egg. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 mins.

Put into pre-heated oven 180 or gas mark 6. Cook for approx 10 minutes or until golden brown. Slice Camembert into equal sized pieces and put one in the centre of each pastry square. Top with a tsp of cranberry sauce. Put back into the oven until cheese has melted.

Garnish with Thyme.

Enjoy!

This next recipe is one I use if I am rolling and stuffing a piece of Pork and I have stuffed chicken breasts as well using the same stuffing.

Apple and Cranberry Pork.

Stuffed pork loin

Rub for the Pork Loin.

  • 4 lbs Pork Loin,
  • Bacon ( enough to cover Pork Loin)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste,
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil,
  • 2 finely chopped Garlic Cloves,
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Thyme,
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Rosemary…

Stuffing for Pork Loin:

  • Half cup Vinegar,
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt,
  • 2 small diced red onions,
  • Olive oil as required,
  • 1/2 bottle Lager Beer,
  • 3/4 cup Brown sugar,
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon,
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger,
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries,
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard Seed,
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves,
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper,
  • 4 peeled and chopped Granny Smith Apples.

Let’s Cook!

Cut a pocket through one end of the tenderloin. Don’t slice through the other end. Season in and out properly with salt and pepper.

Mix together the ingredients for the rub and when mixed rub into the pork loin , cover and put in the fridge for an hour.

Uncooked pork loin

While the Pork is absorbing all those lovely flavours prepare the stuffing mix.

Finely chop the Red Onions and cook in Olive oil until soft. Add Apples and ginger, stir and cook for 5 mins.Add remainder of ingredients stir to combine and simmer gently until mixture thickens and reduces. Cool slightly before stuffing the loin.

Stuffing the Loin was quite messy the first time I made this. I tried a plastic sauce bottle which was ok..but now I use an icing bag which is much easier and quicker.

Stuff loin and then cover with bacon slices.Put tin foil on top as bacon cooks very quickly and remove foil about ten mins from end cooking to brown bacon. Rest loin for 10 mins before carving.

Stuffed pork cooking

Once rested, carve and serve we made the gravy from the meat juices and pork stock and it was lovely. Served with vegetables and crispy roast potatoes..mmmm.

This versatile little berry can be used to make lovely little potato pancakes.

Ingredients:

  • Peel and grate 2 russet potatoes; squeeze dry.
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 grated onion
  • 1/2 cup each chopped cranberries and breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt and a freshly ground pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook!

Form into 2-inch pancakes and fry in 1/4 inch vegetable oil ( or oil ) of your choice (adding more as needed) in a large skillet over medium-high heat until golden, 6 to 8 minutes.

N.B. The original recipe added sugar I didn’t we don’t like added sugar in our savoury food …I know cranberries are quite sour but mixed with everything else and eaten with meat or fish with vegetables we find them very nice and don’t think sugar is necessary.

For a nice change, this little salsa using cranberries is very moreish and of course, it has the requisite chillies…lol

 Cranberry and Jalapeno Salsa.

Finely chop 2 cups cranberries with 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor. Toss with 1/3 cup each chopped cucumber and cilantro, 1/4 cup chopped white onion, 1 minced jalapeno, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

Did you know you can also get Cranberry Beans they are really pretty although they go brown when cooked?

cranberry beans-1353042_1280

Cranberry is an odd name for a lovely, versatile bean. Thought to originally come from Colombia, the bean is now grown around the world and has been known by many names such as  Madeira, Borlotti, Tongues of Fire and  Wren’s Eggs.

Cranberry beans are soft and dense with a velvety, rich texture. They are a thin-skinned bean which produces a rich bean broth and is the natural friend of Pasta e Fagioli which is a lovely bowl of pasta and beans with Italian sausage.

I hope you have enjoyed these cranberry recipes as it is a lovely fruit which can be eaten dried or used frozen or fresh when in season.

If you enjoyed this post then please reblog  or share on your social media x

If you still want to see even more from me???? Although I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…Then I have added some links below xx

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Until  next time x

 

 

 

Hannah’s Challah French Toast

I just fancy some eggy bread and found this recipe…I have some blueberries so into the kitchen I go …

EsmeSalon

Hannah's Challah French Toast

Start or end your day with French toast made with rich homemade challah.

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Smorgasbord Health 2017 – Cook From Scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor – Brussel Sprouts.

Sprouts! You know you love them! Or do you????
I hope that after you have read the health benefits that Sally has presented for you and perused the recipes that you will be tempted to try them…They are coming into their season now and are at their best, so easy to prepare and cook…Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to our weekly post where I look at the health benefits of my favourite foods and Carol Taylor provides delicious recipes so that you can include these foods in your diet. Brussel sprouts are not necessarily the most asked for vegetable by children as they do have a slightly bitter taste (actually the healthy element of the Brussels), but if you prepare them following Carol’s guidance, they should be a hit with all the family.

Variety is the spice of life….and our bodies need a wide variety of foods to extract all the nutrients it needs to be healthy.

We are just coming into the Brussel sprout season and I shall be taking full advantage. I eat cabbage all year round, but Brussels are so much easier to prepare and are a powerhouse of benefits all on their own.

The Brussel sprout is a miniature cabbage and is usually…

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A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.

Hello again. It’s that time methinks, I am loving this blogging and I hope you all are too.

Yesterday afternoon/evening was our Phuket Writers meeting coupled with a Thanksgiving dinner.  It didn’t take long before we all unanimously voted to ditch the meeting and start our merry-making in earnest. Having all bought a pot or two the banqueting began and what a feast transpired.

It was awesome. We  drunk ( too  much),  ate ( too  much ) and made merry ( haha you thought I was going to say too  much.)  You can never have too much fun……The after dinner conversation was lively….Very lively!…lol. thankgiving dinner

‘Twas a very merry band  of revelers who made their way home that night.

With Christmas fast approaching I am sure like me all your thoughts are turning to that Christmas Dinner or the preparation of. Not long now girls….

Loving cranberry’s like I do and never having thought how they are harvested …….

cranberry-387284_1920

Cranberries courtesy of Pixabay

Well, today most cranberries are “wet harvested.” This is done by flooding the bog with water so the berries float to the surface. This is the image most people associate with cranberry bogs. A lot of people think that cranberries grow under water. You learn something new every day…well I do….. I thought they grew on trees!

My frog is back.. .on his own…. though there is also a perfectly round sphere of frogs spawn on the tree branch.

001 004 005      Isn’t nature amazing?

My garden always reveals something new every time I walk around it…the Pomelo fruits are now lovely and ripe…..I love the segments frozen and use instead of ice in my drinks…lovely and refreshing….The red ripe wax apple of which I have an abundance at the moment only resembles an apple on the outside in color.

fruit-2429368_1920

Picture Free from pixabay

It does not taste like an apple, and it has neither the fragrance nor the density of an apple. Called a Red Pear or Chom – poo in Thai. The very middle holds a seed situated in a sort of cotton-candy-like mesh. This mesh is edible but flavorless. But if I can get to them before the ants…which we have in copious amounts then I like them.

Enough of fruit methinks…I have the beautiful smell of roast Pork and Red Cabbage drifting in waves past my nostrils as I type so a visit to the kitchen beckons…best show willing.

Looking positive…it is the washing machine mans second visit within the half hour so fingers crossed he can get it working…………and on a Sunday…now that’s service…..The circuit board has shorted and burnt…hey ho…all good fun…….best go and see what progress has been made….. nada…got to order the part…..although he did try…….

Monday morning and it’s a lovely sunny one…No 2 son is on his visa run so early morning drop off at airport……..I feel a visit to Super Cheap coming on…got to get bits..stamens, glue etc for flowers…..need to make a table centerpiece for Crimbo ..

Next as promised my recipe for curing a ham.

Christmas Ham Recipe.

A piece of Pork…top of leg……mine was 3 kilo.

Suitable plastic( not metal) container to brine meat in.

Ingredients for Rub:

4 tbsps salt (coarse)

2 tbsps  Sugar.

1/2 tbsp Saltpeter.

Ingredients for Brine:

5 litres water

900gm salt (coarse)

2 tbsp Sugar

1/2 tbsp Saltpeter.

Day one:

  1. Mix the dry rub, and rub the ham, making sure it’s well covered. If using a 7-8 kilo ham you will need a double batch.
  2. Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge.
  3. Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave to cool and save in a cold place.

Day two:

  1. Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered.
  2. Store the ham cold.
  3. Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves.
  4. Let the ham brine for 14-20 days.

IF the brine goes cloudy, make new brine and replace the old brine with that and keep curing it.

Tip: Wear gloves even when dry rubbing.

Ham home cured

When ham cured use favorite recipe to cook and voila a lovely ham.

Please excuse my photos because I am an amateur photographer and have on  my Xmas wish list the request for a better camera so you have genuine home pics taken with my bog standard digital camera with the occasional one that I think really will pass muster…in other words I am getting better folks….

On my recent writer’s retreat, we were given a subject and generally 15 mins to pen something. One afternoon we were given a piece of wrapped Salt Water Taffy and asked to open it together, smell and try it and write about our thoughts.

Salt Water Taffy by Carol Taylor.

Brilliant turquoise in colour, my fingers now sticky on my screen, sweet nothing on my tongue with a sort of fudge like texture.  Would I eat another?

“No”

The disappointment flooded over me when I realized it wasn’t blueberry flavour.

But, instead it invoked pictures in my memory of a hazy blue sea,  sail boats, men in boaters,  ladies in bloomers and those wonderful beach huts which are now so in vogue. Children running along with kites, donkey rides on the clean white sand. Ice Cream and Candy floss

How one tiny rectangle of sweet stickiness could evoke long forgotten memories of an idyllic childhood was truly amazing.

Long Live Salt Water Taffy.

Well, I could go on…but that’s for next time….I now have my bits and bobs to make flowers so will take pics and put instructions on my next blog……… my Thai lesson is tomoz so will give you an update on how that went and any thing else that pops up.

Also just for fun… I am going to see how many ways I can say ” Goodbye ”   and if you can guess what language then out of the goodness of my heart you will get…” nothing”…sorry…just my sense of humour.

 

So until next time Donadagohvi.

All photos are my own unless otherwise stated..