Tag Archives: Recipes

Week 4…In my kitchen…

Welcome to week 4 in my kitchen…Where do the weeks go?? Did I tackle that big cupboard? Actually, no not yet… I have turned the kitchen around completely…My kitchen is sort of in two parts plus one…So part one holds my sink and ceramic hob and built-in cupboards separated by maybe it was supposed to be an open plan dining area?  The problem being there is nowhere to put an oven in part one so my lovely wooden table was against the wall to hold the tabletop oven… Confused yet…haha.

As I have a new oven it had to go that side so I have ( with) hubby’s help…Moved the table top oven into the second kitchen as I never know when I might need an additional oven… My lovely table is now in the middle  (where) it should have been in the first place…I now have my lovely big work surface to work on again instead of a small top and also more room as if someone is using the hob I am not in their way…More workspace plus my big cupboard is this side of the kitchen…Thais love cupboards at least when they are building European style houses…They also like to build two kitchens in case you were wondering…The second one to house the gas hob for their stir fries…

my kitchen

Which means generally the Thai wife is happy in her kitchen and husband happy in his one… Which means two cultures exist in harmony…

Let’s Cook!

A take on Tom Yum Soup… This is one of my favourite Thai soups and so easy to make from scratch. It also brings back memories of a certain lady…Keeleigh who when she visited us could not get enough of this fabulous soup…I am sure she would also love this version…

  • 2 litres of water
  • 4 stalks of lemon grass
  • 1-inch chunk of galangal
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 10 Thai chillies
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 85 gm salmon per person
  • 100 gm noodles of your choice per person
  • 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into quarters.
  • 5-6 shallots halved if really small if a little bigger quartered
  • 1 and a half tsp of sugar
  • 7 – 10 tbsp of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
  • Juice of 5 -8 limes.
  • A handful of cilantro ( Coriander)
  • Half hardboiled egg per person…optional

N.B  I recommend using the lowest amount of limes and fish sauce and Taste! Adjust if necessary as everyone’s taste varies.

Let’s Cook!

The first thing to do is put about 2 litres of water in a large pot to boil.

Then I like to start by squeezing my limes. This is not the first step of the recipe, but it’s best to have your limes squeezed so when you need them later, you don’t need to rush to squeeze them all.

Take your stalks of lemongrass, and first tear off the outermost leaf and throw it out. Then, I like to use a rolling-pin or the handle end of a knife to lightly pound the lemongrass to release the flavours. Then just slice it diagonally into 1-inch strips or so.

Take about 1 thumb-sized chunk of the root part of galangal, and chop it into slices.

Coarsely break about 10 kaffir lime leaves – no need to cut them, just tear them – which is going to help release their flavour.

Peel about 5 cloves of garlic.

I used about 10 Thai birds eye chillies for this recipe, but you can use however many you’d like. First, take off the stem, and then you can either just slice them in two pieces, or give them a little pound on your cutting board like I did (just be careful of flying seeds). You can also remove the seeds if you still like the chilli flavour but not as much heat.

Throw the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, garlic and chillies into the water.

You can put the lid on just so it starts to boil which releases the herb flavours quicker.

Boil your soup with all the herbs in it for about 10 minutes.

Then add your mushrooms, which you should pre-rinse beforehand.

Cook for 4-5 minutes.

.Add tomatoes and onions.

 

Cook for further 6-8 minutes.

Now add your noodles and after 2 mins add your salmon and cook for a further 5 mins until salmon is just poached…

Remove from heat and gently stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and cilantro.

Taste and adjust if necessary.

This delicious soup is now ready to serve. Garnish with half a boiled egg and some coriander… Enjoy!

tom yum salmon

If you are doing an original Tom Yum with prawns only add your 500 gm of prepared prawns and cook for 2-3 mins max ( if overcooked the prawns will sink to the bottom of the pan. If you get any scum on the surface of soup it’s from the prawns then just skim off with a spoon. Then remove from heat and gently stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and cilantro.

Taste and adjust if necessary.

Enjoy!

Pigs Trotters…Not on the menu this week maybe next week…

Today at long last I have started my sourdough starter…Something I have kept putting off but hubbies favourite baker and they are few and far between here…Upped and left…As cut bread doesn’t feature on either of our radars …This has to be done…

♦♦♦♦♦

Our chicken dish this week was Thai Green Curry… A curry which is a staple in this house and everyone likes it…To get the recipe

Thai-green-curry

As a treat, this recipe also includes the recipes for 5 authentic made from scratch curry pastes…

As I have been trying to find some nice flavoursome meatless recipes I came across this one and as Larb is a favourite here I decided to give this version a go… The initial reaction from the meat eaters in this house was not one of joy…haha

Made using the shiitake mushroom which is great in stir-fries, soups and with pasta, it also apparently makes tasty veggie bacon.

12 oz shiitake mushrooms cut into 1/2 in pieces…Remove stalks and reserve for stir fry etc

3 spring onions chopped

1-inch piece of ginger, grated

1 clove of garlic finely diced

1 small shallot sliced thinly

1 tsp dried chilli or 1 fresh chilli finely sliced

1 tbsp fish sauce

A handful of mint leaves

Lime Juice plus wedges to serve

Few peanuts roughly chopped.

Oil to cook mushrooms.

Let’s Cook!

Add 2 tbsp oil to pan over a medium to high heat add mushrooms and cook for 3-4 mins, shake and cook for another 3-4 mins until mushrooms are crispy…Do not add salt or they won’t crisp.

Add ginger and garlic and remove from the heat.

Add spring onions, chilli, fish sauce and half the nuts stir to combine and add mint leaves.

Taste and add a squeeze of lime juice adjust seasoning if required…

shiitake mushroom Thai larb

 

Serve with wedges of white cabbage, lime and peanuts…

Larb is also traditionally eaten with sticky rice…

Our verdict…It was nice even hubby and he is a die-hard meat eater…I would definitely make it again.

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

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

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

Healthy Eating…How to shift those Christmas Kilos…

Well, January is nearly over and I think by now most of you will have finished those boxes and tins of chocolates or maybe you have been really good and given them away??

Who am I kidding?? Who does that???

Who’s waistband is feeling a little snug?

So now you have enjoyed that awesome Christmas dinner …Just to recap what was your favourite part…I just love bread sauce and stuffing with cranberry sauce and the Christmas pudding and cream…After eight mints you know the ones with the little hard pieces of crunch in them? Or the peppermint creams…

But I have now finished the red cabbage we have had a little portion with our meals since Christmas…

But it is now time to get real once again…Christmas just knocked me off my little healthy eating path..a few potholes…

car on road potholesWe can do it can’t we???

Normally I am fine…I walk every day or 6 out of 7 days… Eat generally what I like 80% of the time and occasionally my 20% kicks in when I fancy something a bit naughty but nice…Who doesn’t???

I also only eat between certain hours normally 8am to 8pm…That way my body has a good fast…

My weight has dropped 4 stone since  I have been living here and my tummy is quite flat…There is not so much temptation here as the food is entirely different and the diets… Lots of fresh produce and eaten raw as well most of the time…so I guess not so much temptation and now I don’t crave sweet things like I did…I can make that box/ packet of goodies last a week or more..happy with 1 piece of chocolate a day instead of the whole box…

But to be fair, I shop at local markets and they don’t sell crisps and goodies like chocolate bars so it is easier for me.

Do I love food?… Of course, I do… But I love my health and wellness better…

Do I love spending hours in the kitchen?? In this heat, you must be kidding!

So as I need…No want to kick those few extra kilos into touch I have gone back to watching what I eat just a little closer as generally, I am ok… I have also been researching and trying new recipes which are healthier and tasty and will make your taste buds sing..

I also have the added incentive as my big boy is coming for a short visit in Feb so I want to just drop a few pounds… 

So Tuesdays are still going to be my healthier eating day when I will bring you some tasty food and of course some chatter those of you who know me … Just know I love a chat! So talk to me, tell me what you want, where you need help and if I can I will…

girl with a question

Just know I am not quiet, shy and retiring…I love to chat and I love finding out about the food I eat and it is harder for me than most of you…I don’t have fancy cooking pots and pans here…I am lucky I have a kitchen most Thai houses don’t!

Just a two ring burner and a BBQ ..most of the time outside and not even a kitchen sink… I am luckier than most here…I have a sink…lol… and a ceramic hob… the oven has now arrived but is basic, no numbers on the thermostat just a dial so I have a little oven thermostat so I can get the right temperature although it will be bottled gas as there is no mains gas here…It is a tad more difficult to regulate but I am getting there.

But if you have visited Thailand then you probably have seen the marvellous tasty amazing food which is produced by the side of the road, on a street market stall …Who needs a state of the art kitchen??? Look at that beautiful squid!

SAM_7514I will bring you tasty healthy recipes which take longer to cut your veggies than cook..most of the time…I can hear your thoughts…I bet I can’t get the ingredients…Yes, you can…Well, not all of the time…But most of the time you can and if not I will suggest a substitute…

It won’t all be delicious Thai food, it may be European, Indian I have some wicked recipes given to me by my Indian friends…It won’t come from a packet it will be cooked from scratch…For those of you who can’t cook or don’t cook it will be easy… I don’t do complicated very often and I don’t do many cakes and puddings…But I will for those of you who like them..only sometimes…haha… as a treat… I can be mean…Who needs a pudding when you have just eaten the most delicious lunch or dinner???

Ok, Ok…I know sometimes you do…

I can do snacks like lovely fresh salsa…and yes Doritos or crackers…You have your 20% … Don’t you???

Use it wisely…

I want you to love your food and lose weight…But we all know that it is not always easy for some and some go into it half-heartedly but I want to live as long as I can…by watching what I eat…I am not fanatical…I eat proper food… I just like to know what is in my food… I don’t do gyms for exercise I walk..but if a gym is what you like and enjoy then go for it…That is half the battle won…

If we love our chosen exercise and food we do it and eat it!  stay healthy and lose weight… No fads..No get slim quick..no fancy foods…No going without…Think moderation… No right way or wrong way ..Just your way! It has worked for me but I am a single-minded cussed old cow sometimes who loves a bit of Christmas pudding and cream…I don’t follow a rigid diet or exercise plan… I enjoy my life and want it to continue as disease free for as long as I can…

It works for me…Will it work you?? Only you can answer that…

Moderation is all I ask and honesty… be honest…So don’t feel guilty about what you eat..Enjoy it! Love it!….We are all grown ups and we know what is good for us and what is not…

If that television advert, or magazine spread or that famous celebrity or doctor is telling you about something marvellous…They are laughing all the way to the bank…If it sounds too good to be true…It is!

Well, that’s my not so little spiel over…Will you join me on a  Tuesday ???

For delicious healthy recipes???

I hope you do xxx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

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

CarolCooks2…My weekly roundup…

It’s Sunday already and nearly the start of another week…It has been a funny week I still think my brain is not quite in gear since the Christmas Festivities …Lots of different things going round and round in my head… Maybe it is the time of year?… Anyway …Take a pew, grab your favourite drink and enjoy my roundup of posts…There is something for everyone …

great reads a weekly roundup

If you are comfortable …Let’s Begin!

I skipped Monday…Just because…

Which meant the first post of the week was all about Christmas leftovers, Will Power, gremlins with some healthy eating thrown in…Well, we do have to ease ourselves gently into the New Year and our New me…Don’t we???

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/01/15/no-more-diets-healthy-eating/

Which eased us nicely into Sally’s post which gave me something to think about…How about you?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/15/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-respect-in-our-modern-world-by-sally-cronin/

Wednesday already and my Cookery Column over at Sally’s Place…Where the cogs in my brain are whirring frantically as to what to bring you this year…Sally bless her has given me time to think…My grey matter is a bit slow at times and in the meantime, everyone was treated to the health benefits of asparagus and some lovely recipes…Who doesn’t love bacon? With asparagus, it is a marriage made in culinary heaven…Just Yummy…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/16/smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-asparagus-nutrient-packed-and-delicious-recipes/

I will say I adore WP’S new colour scheme I do love that fuchsia colour…They are also one of my favourite flowers their perfume is divine…

Next was a lovely recipe that I came across when I thanked Anna for following my blog…I will be making this Potato Peels Pie this week. I also took some time out and watched the film …Not my normal genre but delightful and I think I needed a bit of delightful time.

potato peels pie

edf

https://mybookish.kitchen/2018/12/26/the-guernsey-literary-and-potato-peels-pie/

My next post the first of this New Year over at Esme’s Salon was the next letter in my Culinary Tour of the alphabet…The letter L. What better than these Lamb filled flatbreads.

flat bread-home-cooked-lamb-Egyptian

Homemade flatbread and lamb filling.

 

https://esmesalon.com/the-culinary-alphabet-beginning-with-the-letter-l/

Lastly, it was time for your fly on the wall look at my week in my kitchen…I cooked and I had burnt bottom…No spoilers…If you haven’t already done so please head over for a read…Life in my kitchen is never dull x

Roasted spices Indian cooking

https://carolcooks2.com/2019/01/18/carolcooks2-week-3-in-my-kitchen/

Thank you so much for reading I do hope you have enjoyed the variety of posts and please as comments are one of the things I love best about blogging please share your thoughts… xx

Lastly...A question…I am a computer dummy…I have been playing with my header and I want it to portray what my blog is about ( you may) have noticed a few header changes of late…What do you think of this one? 

Enjoy your Sunday and have a brilliant week xxx

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

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

 

CarolCooks2…A roundup of my New Years posts…

CarolCooks2

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

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

Goodbye 2018…Hello, 2019…

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

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

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

tomatoes

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

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

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

banana maple syrup pancakes

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

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

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

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

That didn’t last long… I’m back!

kodiak-brown-bear-2042153_640

Just Fish…Or a chemical Cocktail…

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

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

china green tea pot

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

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

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

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

Sharks!

hai sharks-3347789_640

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

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

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

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

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

 

CarolCooks2…Week Two…Join me in my kitchen…

Welcome to Week Two  …In my kitchen…

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

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

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

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

morning Glory water spinach

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

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

morning glory Uk flowering plant

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

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

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

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

lentil mung beans legumi

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

cherry tomatoes

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

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

What has been cooking in my kitchen this week??

Lasagne and salad.
Ingredients for Spaghetti Bolognese:

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


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

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

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


Serve with mixed Salad and or Garlic bread.
Enjoy!

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

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

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

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

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

naga chilli vodka

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

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

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

The environment is also something I am passionate about and there will be more on this on my blog this year

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

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

 

 

 

 

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’re 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’re 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… 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

  • ½ 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…. I thought I had all the ingredients .. wrong!….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…..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… 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/

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

 

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/
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