Tag Archives: Hot Chocolate

Saturday Snippets…3rd April 2021…

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I indulge my whimsy and my passions… maybe a tune or two…something which has caught my eye this last week…just anything out of the ordinary or extraordinary…No rants this week I was just so angry and disappointed but I have calmed down and will write about this docu over the next few weeks …I hope those of you who celebrate Easter have a lovely Easter holiday…

I have been busy this week planting seeds and seedlings which is all in yesterdays post…it has also been extra hot and humid so I have spent as little time in the kitchen as possible…no new recipes this week apart from Simnel Cake and  BBQ Sauce…

Today is also National Chocolate Mousse Day...The word mousse is French and translates as “froth” or “foam.” they are often poured into decorative glasses and garnished with fruit, sweet sauces, or whipped cream…maybe in the absence of any form of Easter Egg I should make chocolate mousse…

The first written record of chocolate mousse in the United States comes from a Food Exposition held at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1892…my favourite chocolate mousse is one with chilli…Chilli and chocolate is for me a marriage made in culinary heaven…

This week my chocolate habanero seedling arrived maybe when those beautiful chocolate coloured fruits start appearing a mousse would be a good idea…

Are we talking chocolate mousse?

Chocolate mousse… it could be milk chocolate, dark, chocolate, white chocolate or a combination of all 3…It could be mint chocolate…It could be just 2 ingredients or you could go the whole caboodle and make the most decadent mouse containing whipped egg whites, whipped cream, or both, and flavoured with one or more of types of chocolate, coffee, caramel, puréed fruits, or various herbs and spices, such as mint or vanilla and not forgetting even chilli… I mean chilli and chocolate…heavenly…

chocolate-mousse-2003019_640

The combinations are endless…I am not in favour of using uncooked eggs …I have tried chocolate mousse with avocado..once was enough and never to be repeated…If I want chocolate mousse I will stick with Nigella I mean she loves to cook and eat with no thought to anything especially calories…

Serves: 4-6

  • 150 grams mini marshmallows
  • 50 grams of soft butter
  • 250 grams good dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids) chopped into small pieces
  • 60 ml hot water (from a recently boiled kettle)
  • 284 ml double cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate, and water in a heavy-based saucepan.

Put the saucepan on the hob, over low heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, mixture.

Pour or scrape into 4 glasses or ramekins, about 175ml / ¾ cup each., or 6 smaller (125ml / ½ cup) ones, and chill until you want to eat.

Enjoy!

Now for some Hot Chocolate…and Emma…

Conservation Corner…Chocolate Eggs…

Easter Eggs…The good news…

Easter egg packaging has often hit the headlines in the past because of its inability to be easily recycled. However Which? reports that industry improvements have been made, and now almost all packaging from the eggs in the study is recyclable…

Green Pawed Sea Otters and Kelp Forests…

Sea otters are a ‘keystone species’: they play a disproportionately important role in their ecosystem, influencing the populations of the plants and animals that live there. In particular, they protect kelp forests by preying on sea urchins.

Further info on how it is important to protect sea otters…Nothing works in isolation everything depends on others…Sea otters are part of the chain...

Quote!

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”
Jane Goodall

A year on it is still with us...still not under complete control…Vaccines seem to be working are they the answer…I do wonder what this year will bring…

https://www.unicef.org/peru/en/stories/Peru-the-sun-helps-vaccines-keep-their-cool

Did you know?

#1… Of course, one of the most well-known dates of April is April Fools’ Day on the 1st of the month. No one is sure where this originated from, but some believe it to be inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s story in “Canterbury Tales” called “Nun’s Priest’s Tale.”

#2...1722 – On Easter Sunday, Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered a Polynesian Island 1400 miles from the coast of South America and named it Easter Island.

#3…The English poet William Wordsworth was born April 7, 1770, and one of his best-known poems is perfect for April in the northern hemisphere: “I wandered lonely as a cloud,” which he first published in 1807. Here’s a little snippet for an April day:

I wandered lonely as a cloud, that floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

I can’t go without mentioning a dear blogging friend Sue Vincent…I have never witnessed such pure acceptance of what was to be or seen such passion to depart this life on her terms… There must have been times of great angst and recriminations of why…to us, she just showed such a passion for life and worked to leave a legacy for her family and us… she made memories for those she was leaving behind… my admiration of Sue’s bravery has no bounds…she looked all that was happening in the face and seemed to say… do what you may but these are my terms of how I will live and die…R.I.P dear Sue my condolence to her sons and grandchildren, to you Stuart for sharing this and little Ani…how sad she must be wondering where her 2 legs has gone x

https://scvincent.com/2021/03/31/swift-passage/

That’s all for today thank you for dropping in I hope you enjoyed my whimsy… I would love to hear from you in comments as you know how I love to chat…Love Carol xx

 

Christmas Recipes…Winter Warmers…

Christmas Recipes Winter Warmers

On a cold Winters Day or just because…..These recipes will warm you right down to your toes.

Hot Chocolate.

hot-chocolate-1 

To serve 2 people:

  • 2 cups of milk.
  • 3 oz of best quality chocolate..either bittersweet or semi-sweet.
  • 1 cinnamon stick.
  • 2-star anise.
  • 2 tsp of honey or Tate and Lyle’s Golden syrup.
  • 1 tsp brown sugar.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • 2 tbsp or as you like it of spiced rum or dark rum.

Let’s Cook!

Put the milk in a saucepan with the chocolate broken into pieces, cinnamon stick, honey and sugar and heat very gently until the chocolate has melted.

Add the vanilla extract and using a small hand whisk start whisking, add 1 tbsp of the rum( still whisking) stop long enough to TASTE and add more rum as required for your taste.

Still whisking, add some more sugar if required.

Take out the cinnamon stick and star anise, pour hot chocolate into 2 cappuccino cups or caffè latte cups.

If you are making this for someone who is tee-total or a kiddie omit the rum and add some marshmallows or add marshmallows anyway…Why not? Spoil yourself.

Enjoy!

In the run-up to Christmas, we all want something which is quick and easy to do and when it is cold which warms us up…

Fish Pie can be pastry topped or topped with mashed potato…or just sprinkled with some fresh breadcrumbs for a lighter pie.

fish-2552022_1920

My mum always used to make it topped with potatoes sometimes she sliced them and others she boiled them… I think the slices potatoes look very pretty if you are having someone to dinner but when I am making especially if I am busy then mashed potato fits the bill nicely.

I top with mashed potatoes either sweet potatoes ( which) I love but everyone one else likes the normal mashed potato as they call it…

Ingredients:

For the filling

  • 400 ml whole milk
  • 1 small onion finely sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500 gm thick white fish fillets, skinned…although if I can I get a pack of mixed fish pieces which includes salmon, smoked fish and other fish and it is very nice.
  • 40 gm butter
  • 40 gm plain flour
  • 150 gm frozen peas/sweetcorn
  • 200 gm large raw prawns, peeled
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping

  • 800 gm medium  potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 40 gm  butter, cubed
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 100 gm mature cheddar cheese, grated/ or breadcrumbs and parmesan makes for a nice topping.

Let’s Cook

Preheat the oven to 200C /400F/ Gas 6.

To make the filling, pour the milk into a large pan and add the sliced onion and bay leaves. Season with salt and black pepper.

Place the fish fillets in the pan and bring to a very gentle simmer, cover and cook for two minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand and infuse for 20 minutes. Remove the fish and transfer to a colander over a bowl, then pour the milk into a jug.

Half fill a large saucepan with cold water. Add the potatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Drain the potatoes and cover with a clean tea towel which absorbs the steam. Mash with the butter, milk and three-quarters of the grated cheese. If I have cream in the fridge and feel a bit decadent then I omit the butter and milk and mash with cream.

Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

To finish the filling, melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for a few seconds, then gradually add the infused milk, stirring constantly, and simmer over a medium heat for 3–4 minutes until the sauce is smooth and thick. Stir in the peas and season with salt and black pepper.

Spread one-third of the sauce into the base of a 1.5 litre/2¾ pint ovenproof dish. Scatter half the fish fillets over the sauce, breaking them into chunky pieces as you go and discarding the onion and bay leaves.

Arrange half the prawns on top of the fish and pour over another third of the sauce. Repeat this with the remaining fish and prawns and finish with the final third of sauce on top.

Spoon the mash over the fish mixture, spreading to the edges with a palette knife. With a fork just take it across the surface and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.

Sometimes I also slice some tomatoes and arrange them around the side of the dish.

Place the dish on a baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling.

Fish Pie Potato topped

Serve with some lemon slices.

Some steamed vegetables can be served if a more substantial meal is required.

N.B This is also a nice recipe and can be made in individual servings just divide the mix between 4 bowls and brown the top for about 15 minutes.

Curries are also a nice warming dish and most can be kept warm so as someone arrives home cold and chilled or just worn out it can be served almost immediately.

One of my all time favourite is a Duck Curry, not one I make often and when I do I vow to make it more often but generally I make it when I want something a little more special.

I had Duck curry for the first time on a little island just off Phuket, Thailand it is a fiery curry offset by pineapple and tomatoes. Some add lychee as well as pineapple but we found it a little sweet for us but experiment, everyone’s taste is different….I also add some vegetables, mange tout or sugar snap peas maybe a few florets of brocolli..really whatever I have in the fridge.

Let’s Cook!

Duck Curry

Firstly cook your duck breasts, we like ours medium rare.

Put the duck skin side down in a cold pan, turn the heat to medium and cook the duck breasts for 6-8 minutes until the skin is golden and crispy, turn the breasts over and just sear the other side for 1 minute. Turn over so they are breast side up and put in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes before slicing the breasts thinly.

  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 2 duck breasts
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3/4 cup fresh pineapple cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • 10 cherry tomatoes.
  • 6-10 mange tout..or other vegetables of your choice.
  • 100 gm Thai eggplant cut into quarters. ( Pictured below)

SAM_7044

  • 1-2 tbsp red curry paste.
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves torn
  • Bunch Thai basil washed and leaves picked..
  • 2 tsp lime juice.
  • 100gm pea eggplants( Pictured to the right above)

To make sauce put a very tiny drop of oil in the pan over a medium heat add your curry paste and stir to cook for 1 min, add fish sauce. Gradually add coconut milk whilst still stirring.

Bring to a slow boil and add torn lime leaves and eggplants cook for 5/6 mins and add tomatoes and pineapple, cook for a further 10 minutes then add mange tout and stir in some Thai basil leaves and lime juice.

Now taste and adjust curry paste if you want more heat. If anything else needs adjusting you can also do that now. Thai flavours are very pronounced and if you get it balanced ..very nice if not…I have had some disasters and I don’t mind admitting that…which is why I always say TASTE and Taste again.

When you are ready to serve then add sliced duck to the sauce and just warm through and serve with some Thai basil over the top and a sliced red chilli if you like.

Serve with steamed rice.

Enjoy!

christmas-tree merry christmas-3825102_640

I hope you have enjoyed these easy to make Winter Warmers…

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