Tag Archives: Yeast

The Culinary Alphabet XYZ…

Finally after two years …I have reached the end of this series we are on  XYZ…No zebras in sight…haha…I have enjoyed writing this series and my thanks go to Esme for indulging my passion… I love researching and finding out new methods of cooking and foods…

Here we go then…The Culinary Alphabet The Letter XYZ (1)


Xawaash Spice Mix…

Xawaash (pronounced Hawash) comes from the Arabic word Hawa’ij (حوائج). Hawa’ij can be translated as ‘requirements’ or ‘essentials’. For example, there are the essentials accompaniments for Arabic coffee, Hawa’ij al-Qahwa (حوائج القهوة). The Hawa’ij spice mix is believed to have originated in Yemen.

In the southern regions of Somalia, Xawaash refers to the spice mix that is added to savoury dishes: meats, stews, soups, etc. However, in the northern parts of Somalia, Xawaash is used in a broader sense and it refers to any spice mix, even the spices that are added to tea and coffee.

Keep in mind that the types of spices used and their proportions are not cast in stone. There are regional variations dictated by personal taste as well as the availability of certain spices.

The use of the aromatic Xawaash is what gives Somali food its unique character and flavour.


Or cactus fruit a cousin of the prickly pear…The bright red centre of the Xoconostle cactus fruit has a few dozen, small edible seeds that have an appearance similar to the seeds of passion fruit. The flavour is described as complex with a sour tang and an acidic finish.


A small fruit, only about 1 1/4 inches (3 cm) long. It will ripen to orange, or red with white spots, or yellow, depending on the diversity. The Ethiopian variety goes yellow. There will be 1 seed in every fruit. The pulp is sour and tart. Birds also love this fruit. Known as a powerful healthy fruit it is packed with Vitamin C as well as Vitamin E, phosphorus, fibre, carbs, starches, magnesium, calcium, and lots of protein too… The stems, bark, and leaves of the tree also contain lots of natural steroids that may be used in the future for treating diseases such as cardiovascular disease and strokes… New studies are underway…


Photo credit: berniedup on Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

In traditional medicine, the bark is used to treat oral infections and toothache… It is also commonly known as tallowwood, hog plum, yellow plum, sea lemon, or pi’ut (Chamorro), it is a small sprawling tree native to the tropics, a sour plum found in South-East Africa also a related species grow in the Western United States.

Xiaolongbao…long bun…

Quite simply are the popular bao buns which.is a type of Chinese steamed bun from the Jiangnan region, especially associated with Shanghai and Wuxi. They are made from either leavened or unleaved dough with minced pork or another meat filling. Many of these buns are eaten here they come in different shapes and colours and look very pretty…

bao bun pork filled


Photo credit: wallyg on VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND


Yams are a relatively low-protein food, yam is not a good source of essential amino acids. Experts emphasize the need to supplement a yam-dominant diet with more protein-rich foods to support healthy growth in children. Although often in the poorer countries this does not happen. This is the purple yam there is also white yam and some are quite hairy they are a common sight on the markets here.

Yam is an important dietary element for Nigerian and West African people. It contributes more than 200 calories per person per day for more than 150 million people in West Africa and is an important source of income. Yam is an attractive crop in poor farms with limited resources. It is rich in starch and can be prepared in many ways. It is available all year round, unlike other, unreliable, seasonal crops. These characteristics make yam a preferred food and a culturally important food security crop in some sub-Saharan African countries.



Photo credit: Kirinohana on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Is a Japanese sweet similar to Turkish Delight…which is a favourite of mine and generally a treat at Christmas… The above yokan is made with matcha green tea, chestnuts are also used and other colourings mainly natural colours…Like pandan leaves…


The first known yeast was some hundreds of millions of years ago…There are some 1,500 different species which are currently recognised. Most of us know yeast is used in baking, winemaking and brewing…Yeast is a single-celled microorganism that is classified, along with moulds and mushrooms, as members of the Kingdom Fungi. It is also the subject of much research.

Yellowtail Fish…

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.

Sesame crusted Yellowtail fish

In Japan, this fish is eaten cooked or raw and known as Hamachi or Buri…For further info and the recipe for the fish …

We thoroughly enjoyed this recipe which was tried and tested in my kitchen and are looking forward to this fish coming into season again although the recipe could be used with any fish steaks.

Yerba buena

Yerba buena or Hierba Buena is the Spanish name for a number of aromatic plants, most of which belong to the mint family.


A Middle Eastern spice blend …this aromatic spice blend has been around for ages, but the recent surge in popularity of Mediterranean foods and flavours has sent the demand for this bold blend through the roof. And as the spice grows in popularity in mainstream culture, it’s gearing up to become the next everything bagel seasoning: sprinkled on just about everything by just about everyone to make dishes instantly ten-times tastier.


zest-4180654_640 (1)

Doesn’t the zest of citrus fruits just liven up your cooking? As a garnish, in baking, it just adds that extra zing. I am a big fan of adding lemon, orange or lime zest to my cooking…Both sweet and savoury dishes…


Popular in French cuisine it is a sauce made from chopped ham, tongue, mushrooms and truffles combined with tomato sauce, tarragon and sometimes Madeira wine. Additional ingredients may include white wine, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and orange rind. It is also known by the name of gypsy sauce…



I have always called it courgette which is the British/ English name whereas Zucchini is the American/English name…Classes as a summer squash it is harvested when the skins are soft and immature as the skins harden and it grows in size I know it as the Marrow…Very popular now and cooked in many ways …It can be baked, stuffed made into zoodles and used as a healthier answer to pasta…It can be used in baking bread, cookies, shaved in salads or rolled with veggies or prawns so many recipes.

That’s it…Finito, finished, the end…

If you have stayed with me throughout this series then thank you and thank you, Esme…I hope you have enjoyed this series if you are new and have missed it then pop over to Sally’s as she has very kindly offered to repost this series instead of my normal posts on my cookery column over at Smorgasbordto allow me the time to finish my cookbook and novel…It will be the same just with a few tweaks from moi…  Thank you 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!


You are never too young to cook!

I believe that if children want to cook then they should be allowed…There are always things they can do …..Even Lily she bashes the biscuit crumbs for the cheesecake base..she is a dab hand with the pestle and mortar and can cut a mean mushroom. She also has to clean up..you cook…You clean…Is my motto…


Aston has progressed, he cooks all the steaks and eggs, the pie tops and is my taste tester for Thai food… A bit more lime or fish sauce and ramp up the chillies is his mantra.

Even Lily especially when it is beef salad sits with tears rolling down her cheeks saying Ped (hot) and still eats it…lol…. A true Thai 🙂


Aston cooking brushing the pies

Aston sharing what he has cooked…His friends in the village wanted to try our food..this time it was spaghetti bolognese….next time he is going to make carbonara so he tells me…I think food unites us..well it certainly does here.

do they like spag bol

Aston cooking Grapow Moo ( stir fried pork with the herb grapow) which is served with steamed rice with an egg on top. Grapow belongs to the basil family.


Lily is making biscuits.

Lily (2)


Aston helping with the bread he loves kneading the bread….


Ready for the oven just brushing with milk.

brushing rolls with milk

Fresh from the oven….

bread rolls from oven 1

I have had this post half done for a while…Current events have greatly saddened me and I believe we can change things although some things have to come from those in power and publicly.

Some of my grandchildren are mixed race and we love them all equally and are very proud of them. I believe food can transcend some barriers if we share. We do this and if my grandson comes across prejudice we make bread…He can knead and bash that bread and we then get lovely bread and his anger at any injustice is forgotten…Dough is a wonderful thing and anyone who dares to tell me it cannot change …I will defy them and say it must change..there are many wonderful tolerant, loving people in this world and we can’t change the past but we can affect the future and need to look forward to a better one for our children and grandchildren by taking a stand against those who don’t want that…If we all did that it would have to pass on that message that says we don’t want this, we don’t agree with this… But stand and be counted..we must do that…

Until next time stay safe, laugh a lot and be happy ..I love you all and am thankful that you read my posts….If you like them please reblog and share….