Tag Archives: Tried and tested

This week in my kitchen…Tried and Tested Recipes…


Welcome to this week in my kitchen…Still lots of tropical showers …Everything is growing like crazy …sun and rain has that effect…

I don’t buy tinned goods often mainly just baked beans which hubby loves and I have not made any to his taste yet..and tomato puree  I always do my own tomatoes fresh for spag bol and chilli etc…But the puree it is easier to buy a tin…However, tin openers here are the worst ever cheap and last 5 minutes…I saw this video as there have been occasions when the cheap can opener has died making no more than a minuscule opening and then hubby has dangerously resorted to knives and the like…This made me smile and I thought it was an ingenious idea…Not so hubby but you can’t please everyone all the time can you…haha

They make it look so easy, don’t they?

In my kitchen this week…Shepherds Pie an old family favourite…This recipe has been around forever… well a good few years and no two people make it alike… I change my recipe every time I make it …The term Shepherds Pie refers to a pie made with lamb and if it is made with beef it is known as a Cottage Pie …The topping is potato and not a pastry crust which one could be forgiven for thinking as a pie normally does have a pastry crust…Not in England or Ireland when it refers to this pie…My mother used to make hers with the leftover lamb from Sunday lunch which was minced and then she added carrots and onions, gravy and topped with potato.

The term cottage pie was in use by 1791, when the potato was being introduced as an edible crop and something the poor could afford… the term cottage meaning a modest dwelling for rural workers.

The term shepherd’s pie did not appear until 1854 and was initially used synonymously with cottage pie, regardless of whether the meat was beef or mutton. However, in the UK since the 20th century, the term shepherd’s pie is used only when the meat is lamb we do love to be proper us Brits…haha

As for a recipe just cook your mince with onions and add any vegetables you like i.e mushrooms, peas, carrots, sweetcorn and make a gravy just like when you make a stew cook it for about 10 mins then pop the meat mix into an ovenproof dish top with mashed potato and if liked add some grated cheese and or breadcrumbs to give it a crispy top when it browns  in the oven .

Home made Shepherds Pie

Serve with steamed vegetables or just some crusty bread…If you like to add a little gravy or sauce…Some people like ketchup and some brown sauce there is no right or wrong way just however you like it …Just get the name right if talking to a Brit…haha

This Orange Pork is a family favourite or you could use chicken although I was reading today that as regards to your cholesterol a new paper out said there was no difference between red meat and chicken and turkey in the tests they had conducted… What I love about this is the rice it is a way of getting vegetables into your diet by adding to the rice.

Orange Pork with Watercress Rice…

Orange Pork with Watercress Rice


  • 1 1/2 cups of rice
  • 1 ¼ lb Pork tenderloin cut into cubes
  • 3 cups of coarsely chopped watercress reserving a few sprigs for garnish.
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp of oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 2/3 cup Orange marmalade
  • A ½ cup of finely julienned ginger
  • Salt and pepper to season

Cook the rice and toss in the watercress with ½ to 1 tbsp oil, cover and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes.

Season the pork and with the pan on medium heat add the oil and add half of the ginger and cook until the ginger is golden, drain and set to one side.

Add the pork and brown for 3-4 minutes and then remove from the pan. Add the remainder of the ginger and the garlic and cook for 30 seconds add the marmalade, fish sauce and lime juice bring to a slow rolling boil stirring until it is syrupy then return the pork to the pan simmer for 1 minute and serve over the rice.

Garnish with the crispy ginger and watercress sprigs.

This was very nice I wasn’t sure about watercress but the heat of the rice just wilted the watercress and it was very nice even hubby liked it….Me, I might add some chilli flakes next time…Just saying…

I love to eat fish and while we were shopping and having a mooch around the fish stalls I spied this beautiful fish with a broad yellow stripe down the middle one of my favourite fish is back in season…

The Yellow Tail fish or Amber Jack is native to the North East Pacific from Japan to Hawaii. It is also not related to the Yellowtail Tuna.

In Japan, this fish is eaten cooked or raw and known as Hamachi or Buri.

As you know I am firmly in the camp of eating healthily and choose my fish carefully …I steer clear of farmed fish and only eat locally caught straight off the boats or fish which is responsibly sourced. It doesn’t mean however that it is expensive which a lot of people seem to think …You can buy fish responsibly and at good prices by researching your local markets or even buying frozen.

This fish has extra lean, firm white meat and if you want a lighter meal then it is a lovely tasting fish with a mild flavour.

For two servings.

  • 2 x 150 g pieces of yellowtail fish.
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to season…..I use a mineral salt which is farmed close to my home.
  • 1 egg white whisked until it is foamy.
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds.
  • Oil for frying…I use coconut oil.

For chilli, lime and soy sauce.

  • 60 ml Soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey……
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 chilli, deseeded and finely sliced..guess who leaves the seeds in? Moi
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • A drizzle of  sesame seed oil
  • Fresh coriander leaves to serve

Preheat the oven to 180 °C.

Season the yellowtail fillets with a little salt and freshly milled black pepper. I cut the fish into steaks…BUT next time I will leave as a piece it will be easier for the Sesame seeding. I didn’t think it through when I cut the fish into steaks..yep I boobed. My sesame seeds didn’t all stay put.

Dip the seasoned fish into the egg white and coat both sides with sesame seeds.

Heat a little coconut oil( or oil of your choice) in a frying pan and sear the fish for about a minute on each side or until the sesame seeds are golden brown. Remove the fish and place in a roasting pan.

Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through.

Meanwhile, make the soy sauce reduction. Place the soy sauce, honey, garlic, chilli, lime juice and sesame oil into a small saucepan and bring to the boil.

Put the soy sauce, honey, garlic, chilli, lime juice and sesame oil into a small saucepan and bring to the boil.

Cook for about 2–3 minutes or until the sauce has reduced slightly and has thickened so it coats the back of your spoon.

Remove the garlic clove and set to one side…

Once the fish is cooked, remove it from the oven and serve immediately, drizzled with a little soy sauce reduction.

Sesame crusted Yellowtail fish

Served with jasmine rice, steamed pak choi and fresh lime wedges.


I do hope you have enjoyed these recipes which are all tried and tested in my own kitchen 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!

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

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

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

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

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all are having a great weekend and have a creative week ahead xx


Papaya and Custard Apple Protein Shake.

Papaya and Custard Apple Protein Shake

For those who exercise quite hard and take or think you should take protein drinks then how about making your own?

I know many people who exercise who take these… So I thought I would do a little research and make my own… Cost wise it is a no-brainer against the cost of some most Protein powders.

The protein shake is 3/4 cup of liquid and 1/3 cup of your main protein…

This is the fourth protein shake I have made and today I have used Papaya and Custard Apple.

Why Custard Apple? Because my kind neighbours bought me some round they have a tree in their garden and as with all fruit it tends to ripen at once.

The Custard Apple.

Also called the Sugar Apple or Cherimoya Fruit it is high in Magnesium and Potassium and is known to be great as an aid for indigestion. Containing natural sugars it makes a great snack and also lovely desserts.

Soft and mealy the fruit is best eaten with a spoon after of course having removed the black seeds. The taste is slightly tangy, sweet with a little of a citrusy taste some say. It is also great for fruit shakes and makes delicious ice cream. Hence today I have used it in my shake …Tomorrow I will be making either a dessert or some ice cream.

Below are what you can use to make your own protein shakes and in all honesty, they taste really nice although having  never, ever used powders and the like I can’t really compare taste except to say I have been told the tastes are not always great and those who know me know I  don’t do manufactured stuff…I prefer to know what is in my food.


Almond milk, Coconut milk or water or Soya milk… It important to get the right balance not what liquid you choose.


Greek yoghurt, Silken tofu, nut butter i.e raw cashews ( which) require soaking overnight to soften.

Extra proteins:-

Chia seeds, hemp hearts, ground flax or whole oats.

Just have a play with the above ingredients to find your favourite combo…Mine is Greek Yoghurt and coconut water…Let me know in comments what your favourite is I would love to hear from you.

Papaya and Custard Apple Protein Shake.


  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen Papaya
  • 1 Custard Apple ..the flesh.
  • 1-2 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1/2 limes…1/4 cup or  60ml
  • A piece of carrot sliced
  • 1/3 cup of greek yoghurt
  • 3/4 cup coconut water
  • 1 tsp chia seeds ( optional)

Blitz everything together, TASTE and add more lime if required or honey if you like a sweeter drink and enjoy!

Papaya and Custard Apple Protein Drink

Isn’t it a beautiful colour… Almost as nice as the raspberry and beet one …

I hope you are enjoying these recipes for homemade protein drinks if you are then please hit the share buttons xx

If you missed the previous protein drink recipes then the links are below:

Mango Protein Drink

Raspberry and Beetroot

Connect to Carol( Moi)

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



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

Enjoy your week, be happy and mindful xx


Gail’s Tuscan Bean Soup

And to go with your luscious bread is this very tasty soup again from the lovely and talented cook …Gail


Gail's Tuscan Bean Soup

It was sooo cold in Cape Town today so it had to be soup and homemade bread for supper 😘😘 my version of a Tuscan Bean Soup with homemade Tiger Bread. It was delicious 👍👍ticked all the boxes😉😉

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Gail’s Tiger Bread

I love Tiger bread and haven’t had it since I left the UK and now thanx to Gail I can bake my own…There will be some happy bunnies in this house 🙂


Gail's Tiger Bread

Tiger bread is the commercial name for a loaf of bread which has a unique mottled crust. 

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