Tag Archives: Food

The Annual Bloggers Bash Awards…Voting is now open…

Time to vote for your favourite blog… The vote is now open until 24th April…I am truly honoured to have been nominated for the Best Food Blog( Retired No One Told Me)  I also wish all my fellow nominees in that category and the other categories… Good Luck x

The vote is open please click the link below to make your votes…

https://annualbloggersbash.com/2019/04/10/the-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-vote-is-live/

As you know I blog about food ...A lot…I love food…Good Food…Home cooked food from scratch…The recipes I learnt from my grandmother and my mum and over the last few years have gathered many lovely recipes from people I have met on my travels…

https://carolcooks2.com/2015/07/17/age-and-glasses-of-wine-should-never-be-counted/

Healthy Eating, good food prepared from scratch is my motto as is the environment…Just in case you hadn’t noticed…haha

salmon-steamed-Thai- coriander-chilli

Thai style steamed salmon with coriander and fish sauce, chilli and lime

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/03/27/healthy-eatinghow-to-lose-weight-and-eat-the-foods-you-love-6/

To me, it all goes hand in hand …If we pollute the oceans and the fish, poison the fields and the vegetables, If we ignore the signs …We won’t have healthy food to eat it will be lab-grown meat, highly processed foods all which will shorten our lives and that of our children…So yes I do blog about that alongside food but as I said to me it is a circle and one doesn’t exist without the other…

If you agree with me then please vote for me( Retired No One Told Me) as I will always give you good, wholesome food made from scratch and which I feed my family …No fad, No fancies just good food…

https://annualbloggersbash.com/2019/04/10/the-annual-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-vote-is-live/

I will also spread the good news like…

Pork Crackling is healthy… It is good fat… https://carolcooks2.com/2017/07/02/carols-perfect-crispy-crackling/

 

Scientists have unveiled their top 100 rankings of the most nutritious foods, and pork fat has – surprisingly – cracked the top ten.

Sharing the top spots with almonds, chia seeds and swiss chard, pork fat scored number eight on the list of top 100 nutritious foods.

Pork fat was ranked highly on the BBC list because of its high content of B vitamins and minerals. Scientists revealed that – although the fat has a very high-calorie content – pork fat is a more unsaturated and healthier alternative to other meat fats, like lamb or beef.

Also Red wine and Chocolate are good for you…

Lips-chocolate-woman

Lips and chocolate

So don’t go thinking that all the food recipes I post are for rabbit food and the like it is all food which you would love to eat…But all cooked from scratch and which comes from sustainable sources …

I am also extremely chuffed and honoured to have been nominated for the Best Food Blog( Retired No One Told Me) and would like to wish all the other nominees in this and the other categories the very best of luck…xx

To cast your vote(s) please click the link below…

The Annual Bloggers Bash Awards 2019 Vote is LIVE!

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!

More and more of my blogging friends have joined me on MeWe…A social media site which is fairly new and which promises much without the restrictions some other social media sites are choosing to impose on many of us…Join me if you will on  mewe.com/i/caroltaylor3 

 

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

Santa Claus or ???

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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.

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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,  know 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).

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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 roasties 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…

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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)

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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.

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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 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…

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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????

Merry Christmas xx

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s What Fruits And Vegetables Looked Like Before We Domesticated Them…

For me, a very interesting post from Chris@thestoryreadingapeblog…Here on the farms some of the fruit is similar to the first fruits on this post not been commercially grown. The watermelon we are currently eating is not exactly the same as a commercially grown one and I have been having a conversation with my grandson as he pointed out the difference and thought it was bad?? I told him it was grown on his nan’s farm and they just come up every year so this post was interesting and another topic for conversation with him so thank you, Chris… Kids certainly know how to stretch ones grey matter…lol…A good share and timely for me….I can resume this conversation armed and ready..haha

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

By Tanya Lewis on Science Alert site:

Next time you bite into a slice of watermelon or a cob of corn, consider this: these familiar fruits and veggies didn’t always look and taste this way.

Genetically modified foods, or GMOs, inspire strong reactions nowadays, but humans have been tweaking the genetics of our favourite produce for millennia.

While GMOs may involve splicing genes from other organisms (such as bacteria) to give plants desired traits – like resistance to pests, selective breeding is a slower process whereby farmers select and grow crops with those traits over time.

From bananas to eggplant, here are some of the foods that looked totally different before humans first started growing them for food.

Wild watermelon

This 17th-century painting by Giovanni Stanchi depicts a watermelon that looks strikingly different from modern melons, as Vox points out. A cross-section of the one in the painting, which was…

View original post 82 more words

Beat the Blues with food.

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Updated from 6 months ago ❤

Is depression on the increase? Is medication the answer? Sometimes.

Depression is not caused by just one factor but can WE help ourselves by eating well?

Can we help control our depression by diet?

A new trial from Deakin University http://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/media-releases/articles/world-first-trial-shows-improving-diet-can-treat-major-depression  has shown for the first time that improving diet quality can treat major depression.

Just cutting out sugar, caffeine and drinking more water can have a huge effect on our moods.

Well, I don’t know about you but I love good food…

I love proper food, meals the whole family can eat and not pick at, meals I can knock up quickly for one or for 6 people. Food which is not expensive and I can easily obtain or grow myself even if I only have a window box.

1.Dark, leafy greens:

Spinach

Thai Spinach:

The healthiest greens on the planet are Kale, high in Vitamins,  folate and potassium with Collard greens, Spinach, Broccoli and sprouts following close behind they all promote good brain function.

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But I don’t like greens.

Just how many times have we heard that and not just from our kids but from some adults also…

Well, let’s introduce them gently and a little sneakily…lol

Mix lightly steamed, thinly sliced collard greens into your mashed potatoes.

Layer your lasagna with spinach which is low in calories and high in vitamins.

Better cooked than raw although great in salads. For the best sprout recipes ever sprouts with garlic, chilli..ha ha snuck that one in…lol

  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/dec/20/our-10-best-brussels-sprouts-recipes  You will never notice you are eating greens.

2.Fish:

Salmon, trout, mackerel, snapper all high in omega 3 oils, they can be grilled, baked or steamed. Packed with protein, vitamins and potassium all healthy for your well-being. As long as you source and buy fish responsibly sourced and not farmed… fish is very good for your health and well-being.

Thai Salmon Trout.

salmon

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Ingredients:

180 gm Trout or Salmon fillet.( per person)

For Topping:

1 spring Onion finely chopped.

2/3 stems Coriander chopped finely…I use the stem as well.

1 red birds eye chilli finely chopped help promote the release of pleasure-boosting endorphins in the brain.

1 tbsp Fish Sauce.

A cheek of lime.

Mix ingredients together.

Put fish on foil and spoon topping on reserve some topping to add when serving. Seal foil and put in the oven on 180 for 10/15 mins until cooked.

Serve with steamed rice, boiled new potatoes or over noodles.

3.Walnuts:

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  7 a day may be all it takes to improve your health. The walnut is a little powerhouse packed with Vitamin E, folate, melatonin and omega 3 oils all of which support good brain health.

 

4. Tomatoes

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Packed with lycopene and antioxidants that reduce stress and repair damaged brain cells eating a tomato a day is said to reduce the blues by 52%.

My favourite recipe for sun-dried and beautiful tomatoes and here is how you do it yourself….. https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2015/06/06/yesterday-i-was-clever-so-i-wanted-to-change-the-world-today-i-am-wise-so-i-am-changing-myself-rumi/

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Just words of caution tomatoes are acidic and as with anything moderation is advised because it may cause heartburn in some individuals.

5.Beans:

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 Packed with nutrients copper, folate, magnesium, zinc and calcium.You can use beans in a lovely chilli, salads, add tinned beans to soups and stews. Make a chickpea hummus to dip your veggies in. Beans are a very versatile food  and so healthy for you as this post from the Sally and Carol Cooking from Scratch series  will show you HOW

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6.Berries: 

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Some of the healthiest food on the planet, juicy, brightly coloured, sweet or sour, fresh or frozen add them to smoothies, yoghurt, a compote on porridge, pancake batters or in salads.

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These foods are easily available everywhere and will help decrease depression and work alongside prescribed medication.

Does Junk food shrink your brain??  http://www.deakin.edu.au/about-deakin/media-releases/articles/does-junk-food-shrink-your-brain

This study thinks it just might!


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Salmon, Tomatoes and Spinach photos are from my personal photo collections.

All other images are Pixabay and no attribution is required.

 

Celebration Cake | Orange Blossom, Yoghurt, Cardamom

Once again a wonderful recipe from Chez Moi I just love everything she does her photos are divine and her cooking awesome. This sounds like a beautiful cake and one I will surely make very soon…

 

Source: Celebration Cake | Orange Blossom, Yoghurt, Cardamom

Healthy Eating…..Just Pickled!

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

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

Pickled Cucumbers:

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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 alternative slices of cucumber and onion in pre-sterilised jars, then pour the vinegar mix over the cucumber and onion making sure to cover completely.

Screw the lid down tightly and refrigerate they will be ready to eat in 2 days in fact if you leave these too long they get too vinegary. They are really a quick pickle recipe.

If you missed my previous pickled cucumber recipe then here it is 🙂

Pickled cucumbers. 

3 medium cucumber

1 large Onion thinly sliced.

85g sea salt flakes (essential- table salt will render your efforts inedible)

500ml cider vinegar

250g granulated sugar

1 tsp Coriander seeds

2 tsp yellow mustard seed

1 tsp peppercorn

1 tsp ground turmeric

small bunch dill

Wash the cucumbers, split along their length and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into finger-length chunks, then cut into 5mm strips. Mix with the onion and salt in a large bowl, cover and leave to soak overnight.

Next day, drain the juices, rinse the vegetables in cold water and drain well. Put the vinegar, sugar and spices into a very large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 mins to let the flavours infuse.

Add the vegetables and bring the pan to a rolling boil over a high heat, stirring now and again. Boil for 1 min, then remove the pan from the heat. Tear in the dill, then pack into sterilised jars making sure that no air bubbles are trapped. Store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.

in jars..pickled

I also had a lovely message today from a lady who had made the recipe and said they were lovely and it was a great recipe and to keep writing …How lovely was that?  It really made my day…

Pickled Garlic:

Pickled Garlic

8-10 garlic bulbs

500 mls white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

90 gm sugar

1 tsp salt…I always use salt mined here locally or Himalayan salt.

1 tsp per jar of either mustard seed or fennel seeds (optional)

2 x 250-300 ml jars with good lids

Separate the bulbs of garlic into cloves and peel.

In a saucepan bring the vinegar, salt and sugar to the boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the garlic cloves to the pickling liquid. Bring it back to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

Transfer the garlic cloves to sterilised jars. Add the mustard or fennel seeds if using. We actually couldn’t decide Fennel or mustard seeds so I normally do some of both they are equal in taste to us. Carefully fill the jars with the hot pickling liquid. Seal.

The garlic will be ready to use in about a week but improves over time.

Pickled jalapenos:

Pickled Jalapenos

This recipe was given to me by a Texan friend and it has carrots in the Jalapenos something I hadn’t thought of. His mum’s recipe and they are the best ones. The carrots taste lovely pickled with the jalapenos. It is our go to recipe and I make them all the time …The current batch has some blow your head of Jalapenos isn’t it funny how they vary in heat just like chillies. But pickled they are oh so scrumptious.

INGREDIENTS:

10 large Jalapenos sliced into rings.

1/2 to 1 carrot sliced into rings.

3/4 cup of water.

3/4 cup of distilled white vinegar.

3 tbsp white sugar.

1 tbsp salt.

1 clove garlic crushed.

1/2 tsp oregano.

METHOD:

Combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and oregano in a saucepan over a high heat.Bring to the boil.

Add carrots bring back to boil and lower heat slightly, cook for 5 minutes.Stir in Jalapenos and remove the pan from heat. Alow to cool for about 10 minutes.

Pack carrots and Jalapenos in sterilised jars using tongs. Cover with vinegar mix or put in sterilised storage container and keep in the refrigerator.

Thai Pickled Cabbage ( Pak Dong)

SAM_6824

1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.

8 large spring onions chopped

Coarse Salt.

Method:

Pickled cabbage is very easy to do and there are many variations I have seen it with fresh chillies. It can also be made with Chinese cabbage or Pak Choy..Our preference is just plain old white cabbage and spring onions it is quick, easy and very moreish it can be eaten on its own, stirred into soup or with a curry as an accompaniment. It doesn’t last long here at all as our little granddaughter loves it and just eats it on its own.

To Pickle:

Layer Cabbage, Onions and salt in the dish add a little water . Mix it all together with your hands.

We then leave the dish covered on kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.

Then drain and lightly rinse and add more salt if required. Cover and leave for 2/3 days or until it reaches your ideal taste. With pickled cabbage, it is purely down to personal taste some like it saltier than others. Just play with it and you will soon discover your ideal version.

Then refrigerate and enjoy!

Images:

All images are mine and from my own photo collection.

I do hope you enjoyed this pickle of a post…it reminds me of the song of Peter Piper who picked a peck of pickled peppers..try saying that quickly…lol

Also when I was a little girl…I am not telling how many years ago…My nan used to give me the liquid from the greens when she cooked them…although I will say they massacred them then..no lightly steamed veg then it was cooked for at least an hour and she added vinegar to the green juice…It was such a treat though I loved it!

Can anyone else remember that?

If you enjoy my posts then please share or reblog it makes this whimsical English lady very happy and if you comment I will always reply back..I love comments and making new friends and exchanging recipes and tips….I love it!

So enjoy those pickles..always in moderation of course as vinegar is a fermented food, so if you suffer from gout be careful as too much will aggravate your condition otherwise the vinegar in pickle juice is actually good for the digestive system. “It encourages the growth and healthy balance of good bacteria and flora in your gut”

You didn’t think you were going to get away without a little bit of a Healthy Eating Talk, did you?

I am sure or I know there are lots of other benefits of pickles and a few downsides and all that is for another time and post just enjoy those pickles in moderation as with everything.

Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as laughter is the best medicine you know…Happy endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals which in turn make you feel relaxed.

Love you all…..

 

 

 

Egyptian Lamb Flatbreads

Lamb is very expensive here and a treat for us…Monday we had a lovely butterflied shoulder and had some leftovers ..cold lamb is not very nice so decided to make some flat bread..a first time for me and I was really pleased with how they came out..very quick and easy to make and use the leftover lamb. Hence my Egyptian Lamb flatbreads.

Egyptian lamb flat breads (2)

Ingredients:

Flat Bread:

flat-bread-easy-recipe

Flatbreads

  • 1/2 cup water.
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 cups flour.
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder.
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt.

Filling Mix:

  • 300 gm leftover cooked lamb…can use beef, pork or chicken.
  • 1 lemon finely zested.
  • juice half lemon.
  • 2 tsp black pepper.
  • 1 tsp oregano or marjoram.
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • I tsp Paprika.
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted.
  • 2 eggs beaten.
  • 1 tsp sea salt….I always use Himalayan salt.
  • 4 Spring onions finely sliced.

Let’s Cook!

To make flatbreads.

Sift dry ingredients together. Add liquids and mix thoroughly…I used my food processor and it took literally 2 mins…. if that and formed a ball. If it is too sticky add little more flour. Divide into 8 pieces. Flatten with the heel of the hand and roll out very thin.

My first attempt at this and I didn’t roll mine out thin enough to start with.

Heat pan and cook 2/3 minutes each side turn over with tongs or fish slice and done… finito..ready to fill…easy peasy.

flat-bread-uncooked-esy-recipe

 

Lamb Filling:

Chop lamb into rough little chunks and pieces. Put in large bowl with lemon zest and squeeze half of the lemon juice into the mix. Add all your spices, the eggs, salt and pepper and most of the spring onions..retain some for garnish. Mix together thoroughly.

Layout flatbreads and cover half with filling, then fold over and press together. You get half-moon shape.

Get 2 large baking trays rub one with Olive oil Lay flatbreads on an oiled tray, lightly rub other tray and pop this on top of flatbreads. Put trays into the preheated hot oven and cook 6-8 minutes. This way the flatbread will get lovely and crispy on top. If you have small trays you may need to do in batches.

Depending on the size of flatbreads cut in two …I left mine whole as I served individually( see picture) and not on a large serving plate but for a party or just because you want to….. serve on one dish with Houmous… Just as a little note it was my young grandson(11) who arranged these on the plate for me…didn’t he do well?

Ehyptian-lamb-flatbreads

.Recipe  for hummus can be found on a previous blog ..published June 18th ..titled ..If you think sunshine brings you happiness, then you haven’t danced in the rain.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2015/06/18/if-you-think-sunshine-brings-you-happiness-then-you-havent-danced-in-the-rain/

The yoghurt dip was made with some chopped mint, good squeeze lemon juice and a pinch of salt.

Scatter over reserved onions, sprinkle with little cumin. Serve with lemon/ lime wedges.

Voila ………… Eat and enjoy!