Tag Archives: Recipes

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 LaughterūüėÄūüėÄ
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/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://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‚ĶPlus a bit of chat and trivia it would be boring otherwise‚ĶWouldn’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‚Äôt edible‚Ķ.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/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://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

 

 

 

 

My Favourite Christmas Recipes…With Chestnuts…

Christmas Recipes ...Chestnuts

Chestnuts to me are synonymous with winter and Christmas my memories are my father putting the chestnuts in the ash pan under the fire they are also of toasting crumpets and toast over an open fire and if you got too close getting burnt legs all red and mottled… Health and Safety would have kittens now and get all freaked out methinks…

So today I am going to share a few of my favourite dishes using chestnuts…

Not only are they delicious but their health benefits are enormous… Dr Mehmet Oz, MD said…Chestnuts are the only low-fat nuts, containing just 1 gram of fat and a little less than 70 calories per ounce of dried or roasted nuts. Additionally, chestnuts are the only nuts that contain vitamin C; in fact, just 3 ounces of chestnuts supply about 45% of the recommended daily amount of this vital antioxidant nutrient. And they‚Äôre a great source of dietary fibre, which helps lower blood cholesterol levels. When chestnuts are in season, you can roast them in the oven. If you‚Äôre pressed for time, you can buy them prepackaged and ready to eat any time of year. You should eat up to 3 ounces of chestnuts a day to maximize their benefits.

https://www.sharecare.com/health/health-value-of-foods/the-health-benefits-eating-chestnuts

This dish is a recipe I have had for a long time‚Ķ These little cakes are very tasty and lovely with some steamed vegetables or a salad. This mix makes 6 rice cakes. If you haven’t made risotto before please don’t let it put you off. As long as your liquid is hot and you let each addition of stock become absorbed into the rice before adding more stock it is a doddle. So much easier than most people think it is certainly don’t let the disasters on the TV cooking shows put you off.

Risotto Cakes with Chestnuts and Brussel Sprouts.

chestnuts sprouts risotto

These lovely risotto cakes also are vegetarian and the first time I made them was at Christmas for a veggie friend and they loved them.

I also think meat-free dishes have come a very long way…Don’t you? There is so much more on restaurant menus and I also think home cooks are more adventurous with flavours.

These risotto cakes certainly fit the bill even if you are a die-hard meat-eater.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz risotto rice
  • 8 oz Brussel sprouts finely shredded
  • 6 shallots finely chopped
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 oz cooked, shelled chestnuts, chopped finely
  • 1 3/4 –¬†2 pints of hot vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 8¬†oz fresh breadcrumbs.

15-20 Sage leaves for garnish, a little flour for dusting and a pinch of paprika.

Oil of your choice for deep-frying.

Line 6 x 4-inch cooking rings with cling film.

Cook the shredded Brussel sprouts in lightly salted water for 1 minute. Drain set to one side.

Melt the butter in a pan and cook the shallots for 2 mins until soft but not coloured. Add the rice and stir until the rice is evenly coated with the melted butter.

Stir in 1-2 ladles of the hot vegetable stock at a time and stirring until the rice has absorbed the stock before adding your next ladles of stock. Do this until the rice is just tender but with a little bite. This will take about 25 minutes as does any risotto.

Add the cheese and season being careful of the salt as both the cheese and the stock contain salt. Gently stir in the chestnuts and the sprouts. If the mixture seems too thick add a little more stock.

Divide your mixture between the cooking rings. Leave to cool and then chill until set and firm.

When the rice cakes are nicely chilled remove the rings and the clingfilm.

Double dip the lightly floured rice cakes in egg and then breadcrumbs…repeat. You may need to reshape the cakes.

Heat the oil until a small crouton of bread turns golden within a minute and dust the sage leaves with the flour and paprika and fry for 1-2 minutes…set aside on kitchen paper.

Deep fry the cakes for 5-7 minutes until they are golden and crisp. It is probably best to do these 2 at a time while keeping the cooked ones warm in the oven.

To serve:

Add some deep-fried sage leaves to the top of the cake served with your Christmas vegetables it is wonderfully tasty and makes a lovely Christmas main course for anyone who isn’t eating turkey.

Wandering around a food market in Wanon, Northern Thailand…and losing myself among the sights and smells of beautiful tempting Thai food. I spied a few fruits and vegetables which were unknown to me and this one. Although once I knew what it was then I recognised the taste ….without knowing the name I was puzzled I sort of knew the taste but didn’t connect the dots…lol

We were talking and looking for these a few weeks ago when we were thinking about what to cook for dinner and reminiscing about the Chinese food we remembered having years ago with these crunchy water chestnuts in..you never got many just a few slices… I was then looking in the shops at imported goods to see if I could them and no luck…Then there they were the other day right under my nose and fresh ones….strange world…When your thoughts take you unexpectedly to what you were looking for.

Water chestnuts

Usually available in speciality groceries or supermarkets, they should be washed thoroughly and peeled with a sharp knife, especially if to be eaten raw. At this point, adding a few drops of lemon juice keeps them from turning brown when steamed or sautéed.

Once peeled, they’ll only remain fresh in water that’s changed daily for two to three days.

Chinese Chicken with Water Chestnuts.

Ingredients

  • ¬Ĺ lb of chicken breasts or pork finely sliced.
  • 1 tbsp dry sherry
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of corn flour or arrowroot
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2/3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 tbsp of spring onions
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated or Julienne
  • 2 cups of water chestnuts peeled and sliced ( tinned are fine) and can be found in most¬†Asian sections of supermarkets.
  • 1 cup of bamboo sliced (optional) or bean sprouts.

N.B…I have started using arrowroot instead of corn flour it is tasteless and gives a glossy sauce and where corn flour has a slight taste and cloudy appearance arrowroot is glossy and clear. It is a great thickener and can easily replace corn flour.

Arrowroot powder is fast gaining in popularity in the western world as people are looking for substitutes and alternatives to cornstarch either because they have corn allergies/sensitivities or they want to avoid anything GMO and laden with pesticides.

Let’s Cook!

Mix the sherry, soy sauce and arrowroot together, set to one side.

Heat the oil in a pan and add chicken /pork and stir-fry for 2 minutes add garlic, spring onions, ginger and bamboo and stir-fry for a further 3 minutes or until meat is cooked.

Add water chestnuts and stir-fry I minute then add the arrowroot mix and stir-fry for another minute or two until juice thickens slightly add beans sprouts if using.

I always add my bean sprouts if using add the very end as I like mine crisp and just cooked.

I also add other vegetables if I have a few odds and ends like broccoli or mange tout, baby corn.

Serve immediately with steamed rice or noodles…

chicken and water chestnuts

 

Enjoy!

Who doesn’t love stuffing at Christmas??? If it contains chestnuts I am happy…

Stuffing Mix with Chestnuts.

Now stuffing mix is hard to get here and because it is imported also expensive. I have tried various stuffings in the past with limited success…we didn’t like them!

I found this recipe on a blog the other week and it sounded great…It had bacon in it…

Picture this‚Ķ. I thought I had all the ingredients .. wrong!‚Ķ.no bacon and nearest shops were a way away so I put my thinking cap¬†on and tweaked the recipe and it turned out brilliant‚Ķ..Replaced the bacon with Minced Pork, The stuffing mix( which) I had not heard of became just breadcrumbs. Chestnuts …tick…

Ingredients:

  • 200 gm of Minced Pork
  • 6 oz¬†¬†of breadcrumbs
  • 3 oz finely chopped chestnuts
  • 5 shallots finely sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Bunch of Thai celery chopped finely. Which when chopped did take on more of a celery smell.
  • Freshly made chicken stock.
  • Salt, fresh ground pepper.
  • Tbsp dried Sage
  • Fresh rosemary.
  • 2 tsp Dried Thyme.

Heat pan with a glug of olive oil and 1 oz butter. Add shallots and garlic cook 2/3 mins until soft but not coloured add mince and celery and chestnuts if using cook for a further 4/5 mins. Add breadcrumbs gradually moistening mix with spoonfuls of stock as required.

The mix should be fairly thick but soft so you are able to form balls.

 

Add herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Allow to cool slightly and then form into balls.

Stuffing Balls

If you want to freeze them then do it at this stage. Pack into a freezer box and all ready for Christmas day.

If not then cook in oven until lightly browned and crispy approx 20/30 mins on 180 degrees. I didn’t need to add any additional fat as the oil and butter already incorporated in the stuffing mix kept them moist and not too dry but if required add more oil.

I generally don’t like meat in stuffing mixes but the amount I added was small and gave a nice texture and flavour but wasn’t the overriding taste.

This is now going to be my Christmas stuffing.

This lovely dessert is a popular Thai dessert made from water chestnuts. It is called  Ta-Ko Haew…..Sweet Water Chestnut with Coconut Custard.

Ingredients:

  • For base:
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 2 tbsp tapioca flour.
  • 1 3/4 cup water.
  • 1/4 cup pandan leaf juice. This gives lovely soft green colour which is often seen in Thai desserts.
  • 8 oz can water chestnuts or fresh if you can get them.
  • 1/3 cup sugar.
  • For topping:
  • 1 can coconut milk or again fresh coconut milk if you can get some.
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp salt.

Let’s Cook!

Dice the chestnuts very small.

Mix both flours and sugar together add water and pandan leaf juice. Mix well. Put in pan and bring to the boil, stirring it until the mixture thickens add the diced water chestnuts and bring back to the boil then remove from the heat.

Spoon the mixture into small individual foil cups. Or if you have banana leaves then they would be traditionally wrapped in a banana leaf or on the markets they are sliced into squares and displayed.

Now make the topping.

Mix the coconut milk, sugar, rice flour and salt together bring slowly to a soft boil whilst stirring until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and spoon over the bases.

Allow to cool and serve immediately.

These are lovely if you enjoy sweet desserts‚Ķ Also an ideal Christmas dessert with a difference for those who don’t like Christmas Pudding.

I hope you have enjoyed my favourite recipe using chestnuts or water chestnuts…

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://carolcooks2.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://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

 

Hummus 3 ways…Traditional, Beetroot and Apricot Hummus.

Christmas Recipes Hummus 3 ways (1)

My Christmas Recipes today are for hummus three ways and homemade Tahini paste… I had always bought my hummus it has only been since I have lived here and not being able to buy hummus that I investigated how to make it…The other factor was the extortionate cost of Tahini paste. To say I was amazed at how easy and quick it is to make is an understatement…this picture has the date and was my very first batch so I have been making it for a few years now…I think I  need to update my photo next time I make it…

Tahini Paste

How to make your very own Tahini paste/butter..it is so quick and easy and the cost of a packet of sesame seeds is virtually pennies against the cost of a store-bought jar of tahini paste and no nasties….

Let’s Cook!

Into the kitchen, a quick toasting of the Sesame Seeds, then into the mini blender, 3 tbsp Olive oil, and a quick whizz, scrape down the sides, another tbsp Olive oil and another scrape, a  bit more oil and a quick whizz and viola your  Tahini Paste is now made and ready to use. How easy is that?

Next step…Hummus.

  • 3 tbsp Tahini Paste
  • ¬†2 tbsp fresh Lime Juice¬†and blitz in the food processor
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and the juice (Aquafaba) reserved and put in the fridge to chill
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil or Aquafaba Juice
  • 1 clove Garlic,
  • half tsp ground Cumin
  • half to one tsp salt to season

Put the tahini paste and the Lime/lemon Juice in the food processor or liquidiser and blitz.

Add half of drained, rinsed can of chickpeas and again blitz 1-2 mins.

Add the other half of Chick Peas and blitz again 1-2 mins.

Add garlic and cumin if using and the oil/aquafaba juice to loosen hummus.

Taste and season…

Put in a suitable container or serving bowl drizzle with tbsp Olive Oil and sprinkle with  Paprika.

Voila, it’s now ready to eat with Sliced pitta bread or cut up vegetables of your choice.

This will keep up to 1 week in the fridge.

To make a change add beetroot or apricots.

Beetroot Hummus.

To the Hummus recipe above add 250 gm cooked beetroot and reduce tahini paste to  2 tbsp. You may want to add more seasoning as beets have quite a strong flavour but it makes a lovely change from a traditional hummus and looks so pretty.

Apricot Hummus.

hummus-1058000_640

  • 3 tbsp olive oil, more for serving
  • Salt to season
  • 1 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp¬† tahini
  • 2 tbsp lime/ lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped apricots.
  • A sprinkle of paprika or red pepper flakes to serve or sesame seeds if you don’t like the heat.

Combine 3/4 cup aquafaba water, 3 tbsp. oil, the chickpeas, tahini, lemon/lime juice, garlic, apricots and 1/4 tsp. salt in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with some more oil and a sprinkle of paprika pepper,  red pepper flakes or sesame seeds.

Serve with pitta bread or cut vegetables or to add a bit of spice quarter your pitta bread and separate into two halves Make a little paste in a small bowl with 5 tbsp¬† olive oil, 3/4 tsp salt, a good tbsp of red pepper flakes or seasoning of your choice put the pits pieces smooth side up on two baking trays brush the tops with the oil and bake at 425 F until crisp¬† about 7 mins …

These are really nice, crispy with a touch of spice and lovely with hummus.

Enjoy!

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/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://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

 

 

 

 

 

Smorgasbord Christmas Celebrations – The First Day of Christmas with guests Mary Smith, Jacquie Biggar and John W. Howell

The 1st day of Christmas courtesy of Sally @ Smorgasbord and what a treat you have in store and if like me you haven’t made your mincemeat then the recipe is here ūüôā Enjoy!

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the first of the Twelve Days of Christmas party where guests will share their best ever Christmas presents ever…and there will be food, drink and of course music and to get you into the spirit of the season.. here are some choristers with particular appeal..

I tried to remember the first Christmas that I was aware of as a child. I must have got the general idea of the concept of presents quite young as at age seven when we moved to Malta I began the practice of putting a pillowcase on the end of my bed from around mid-October…. I think this ticked my mother off somewhat because she sat me down at the beginning of December and told me that Father Christmas did not exist and that from now on I would have my presents around the tree like my two sisters who were in their…

View original post 2,518 more words

How to Cook the Perfect Turkey

How to Cook the Perfect Turkey (2)

Turkey…It is very easy to assume that everyone knows how to cook a turkey but I am sure there are many of you who don’t it could be your first home and your first Christmas dinner you have cooked and it can be pretty daunting.

In the UK alone last year over 10 million turkeys were eaten at Christmas so I expect there are quite a few chefs/people stating they have the recipe on how to cook the perfect turkey and a few who will be cooking the not so perfect turkey aka Mr Bean…

To cook the best turkey you also need some delicious stuffing…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/christmas-recipes-homemade-stuffing/

I stuff the neck cavity and just put onion or a lemon with some cloves and butter in the main body cavity. You could use fresh herbs and butter in all honesty mine does vary from year to year.

A tip is to include a small handful of rice in the stuffing as it absorbs all the raw juices from the turkey creating the most delicious stuffing.

I also cook my turkey breast down as then the juices fall into the breast which keeps it moist and succulent…

The turkey must then be turned over 30 minutes before it is done to brown the top….delicious.

Some chefs also push butter under the skin of the turkey…..

It really is a personal choice and I wouldn‚Äôt presume to tell you how to prepare your turkey as we all have our own way of cooking this bird and all delicious there is no right or wrong way it‚Äôs a personal preference so I am just going to give you a few different options…

Cooking Times:

Take the turkey from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature while the oven is heating up.

Here is the link to a handy  http://www.britishturkey.co.uk/cooking/cooking-calculators.html

This recipe is the one I am going to use this year because I don’t trust my oven temperature and I think adding the hot water into the cavity of the turkey will help not only keep it moist but will ensure it cooks properly.

The night before roasting, soften some butter and season with salt and pepper mixing well. I used about 6 oz of butter.

Remove the giblets from the bird and wipe it inside and out with kitchen paper. Remove any feathers… if there are a lot of them you can singe them over a gas flame.

I remember my dad doing that but most of the turkeys now are fully plucked and dressed..ours may not be as it is fresh from the farm so I am guessing it will have a few feathers left to pluck out…

Open the cavity of the bird and season the inside with the remaining salt and pepper. Rub the seasoned butter over the turkey. Take a piece of greaseproof paper twice the size of the breast and fold to give a double layer. Lay this over the breasts (it will protect them during the cooking) and return the turkey to the fridge until morning.

Calculate your cooking times and preheat your oven… A 5kg bird should take 3 hrs 10 minutes at 180C(fan) 375F/Gas mark 5 approx as it will depend on your oven…

Stuff the turkey neck with your desired stuffing.

Set the turkey on a trivet inside the tin. Bring a kettle of water to the boil and carefully pour around 250ml of the hot water into the cavity of the bird. Seal with a skewer.

Pour another 500ml of hot water into the roasting tray with some onions and carrots and a few fresh herbs Thyme and Rosemary plus some garlic cloves.

Then cover the whole thing with foil (I use two layers) and make sure that it is well sealed around the edges.

Put the lot in the oven and cook for 20 minutes on 250 C, then reduce the temperature to 180¬įC/Gas 5 for the remaining cooking time. After 2¬Ĺ hours, remove the foil and the greaseproof paper and close the door. Don’t open it again until the cooking time is up.

To test whether the turkey is cooked, insert a skewer or knife blade into the point where the thigh joins the breast. The juice should run clear. If it is pink, then roast the turkey for another 20 minutes and test again.

If you are using a meat thermometer then it should read 180F in thigh and 165F in breast or stuffing.

Roast Turkey

Take the bird from the oven and leave it to rest in a warm place for at least 30 minutes.

Strain the juice from the bottom of the roasting tin into a large jug to settle. The fat will rise to the top, leaving the aromatic turkey and onion juice beneath. Skim off the fat and thicken the juices if you wish, or serve as it is…..

Enjoy!

The turkey Carcass…

I have many happy memories of the luscious soup my mum used to make with the leftover turkey carcass…Do you????

Ingredients:

  • Turkey Carcass
  • 2 large Onions chopped
  • 4 carrots chopped and divided into 2 halves
  • 3 potatoes chopped
  • 1-2 cups roughly chopped cabbage
  • 3 celery stalks 2 rough chopped and one cut into bite-sized pieces
  • A Cup uncooked barley or mixed dried lentils
  • A sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • ¬ľ tsp poultry seasoning
  • ¬ľ tsp paprika
  • Worcestershire sauce ( optional)
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Water to cover carcass.

N.B. You can use any vegetables which you have available sometimes I add some swede or turnip it depends what I have ….anything goes sweetcorn…just some examples ..What do you use?????

Let’s Cook! 

In a large pot put the chicken carcass and cover with water add your roughly cut carrot, onion, a bay leaf and thyme sprig bring the water to the boil reduce heat to very low and simmer for 2 hours.

Take the turkey bones out of the pot and pick off any meat. If required chop the meat and reserve. Throw away the bones and strain the broth through a fine sieve reserving the liquid and discarding the cooked vegetable.

In a clean soup pot add the strained broth add the remaining raw chopped vegetable carrot, onion, celery, potato, cabbage) parsley, barley, and simmer for an hour until the vegetables are tender. Adjust seasoning and add Worcestershire sauce if using.

My mum would sometimes add dumplings or we would eat with fresh crusty bread.

It is a lovely soup basically using leftovers and my kids still love this and remind me sometimes of their memories of eating this soup….

I think that is what makes turkey such a special meal…The memories we make‚Ķ..

My Christmas this year is going to be mixed as my Thai family are coming so it will some of us up the table and some on traditional mats on the floor and I daresay some chilli dips…. I know they will eat the meat and vegetables, they love sausage…The sauces and potatoes maybe not and they tend to like the gravy but we will see …

I hope they will enjoy being sort of part of our traditional Christmas dinner mixed with a few chillies and raw veg…. It will fun and no doubt the traditional whiskey will be lurking around and I know they love my Baileys… well, the ladies do…

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/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://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

How to cook the perfect Turkey

How to cook the perfect Turkey (1)

https://carolcooks2.com/2018/12/10/christmas-recipes-bingsu-sticky-rice-with-mango-creme-brulee-and-fresh-fruit-salad/

..Christmas Desserts

Until next time xxx

 

Beef Bourguignon…

 

christmas Eve Supper

A lovely one-pot Beef Bourguignon which would make a lovely Christmas Eve supper dish it is also really easy to double up if you are having guests just make sure you lengthen the cooking time.

One of the first dishes that I cooked my husband some 40 odd years ago was Beef Bourguignon…He was a man who ate only meat and two vegetables and did not like garlic???

Well..he ate it! .. I didn’t tell him what was in it apart from¬†Beef¬†and Red Wine…

When he asked after saying ” That was really good” and I said¬†Beef, garlic, red wine etc….

But I don’t like garlic

He now eats this dish at every opportunity and asks me to make it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg¬†Beef…I use good braising steak. Cut into cubes.
  • 3/4 rashers smoked bacon cut in 1/4 pieces.
  • 250gm button mushrooms..small as I use whole.
  • 10-15 small onions/shallots used whole.
  • 3/4 pint good¬†beef¬†stock.
  • Half bottle red wine……..I use a Shiraz.
  • 2/3 bay leaves.
  • 4 large cloves garlic chopped not too fine.
  • 2 tbsp flour for the roux. plus extra flour to coat¬†beef.
  • 2 tbsp¬† Good Olive Oil.

 

Let’s Cook!

Toss the cubed beef in flour seasoned with salt and pepper.

Heat some oil in large pan over med heat seal cubed beef in batches.

Once all beef is sealed set to one side.

In the same pan add a little drop of oil and cook bacon and garlic until bacon cooked nicely just slightly crispy.

Add Beef and stir in 2 tbsp flour.

Then add¬†beef¬†stock and stir until smooth gravy. It’s like making a roux.

Add Bay leaves and Red wine bring to slow boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 1/2 hrs until meat is tender. Depending on your cut of meat it may take a little longer.

About 30 minutes before the end of cooking add button onions and 15 mins before add button mushrooms.

Taste and adjust seasoning it may need more pepper. Again it is personal taste.

Beef Bourguignon 2

This can be served with mashed potatoes and vegetables or rice and vegetables.

I hope you enjoy!

If you loved this recipe please pin me!

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/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://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