Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Social Media Shenanigans, Spring Flowers, Mexican Getaways, Italian Food, music, humour and Fabulous Guests


Welcome to the weekly round up of posts that you might have missed.

Firstly, an update on the Facebook debacle which only gets worse I am afraid. I know that several of you have been hit by blocked posts that contain links and are still having issues. I can comment, and share posts internally on Facebook but post links are still being blocked.

Disturbingly today that included the link to Debby Gies Sunday Interview which I sent to her in a Direct Message… supposedly private! It was blocked and in bold red told me that it did not meet community standards. I have appealed of course but it does have a warning for us all. Do not disclose private information in a direct message. For example if as they say Facebook is selling our data to health insurance companies, and we mention in a private message about a health issue we have to a friend, and then apply for insurance! Does that sound paranoid? Probably. What about your email address that you send in a message, or your postal address and the dates you will be away on vacation.

I had no illusions about Facebook but they have now embarked on a wholesale censorship programme that is unacceptable. They want you to have a page where they can bombard you with messages to boost your post to thousands of others at a cost. And they want to encourage you to buy from one of their advertisers and when you do, by all accounts you never hear the last of them.

I have friends and family on Facebook and I can at least for the time being share your posts from there. But over the next few weeks as MeWe grows and develops mewe.com/i/sallycronin and the author’s group which now has nearly 50 members https://mewe.com/join/theliterarydivashangout – I will be only using Facebook sparingly to stay in touch and to share others work internally. Eventually, I will be closing my account as I won’t be blackmailed or have any more of my private messages intercepted.

On a brighter note.. I have done the sums and the statistics show that the referrals to the blog is approximately 10%…thankfully most of those who share from Facebook are also contacts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or other sites that I am a member of such as MeWe. My main concern was for the book promotions that I post for other authors but after two weeks there has been no change to the response which is a relief.

Thank you for all your support and I appreciate all the shares to FB from here in the past, but I have now permanently removed the share button, as I don’t want you to be faced with messages from FB telling you that it is not allowed. They are intimidating and offer not recourse so I am done.

And as an aside.. new users are asked for a photograph before they are allowed to sign up for an account. It can take several days to get back to you. But in the meantime with facial recognition they can have mined a great deal of information about who you are and your history online. Whilst this does mean that the fake generals and other trolls will not be accepted, it also means that they can pick and choose who they admit to the site and if you do not fit their profile as a potential buyer of the advertising that they send your way… who knows where it will lead!

It is now affecting millions of users and you might find this post interesting sourced by Carol Taylor: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/135476927/posts/1232

On with the posts from the week, and as always I am very grateful to the contributors who spend time and a great deal of effort to write columns and guest articles.

Welcome to Debby Gies March edition of her Travel Column where she shares the first part of her trip and two month vacation in Puerto Vallarta in Mexico.. and the flight did not go as planned!

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/11/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-puerto-vallarta-mexico-part-one/

This week Paul Andruss shares the bulbs that will make your late spring garden abundant with colour.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-light-up-your-life-with-brilliant-late-spring-bulbs-3/

This week my guest is regular contributor non-fiction author D.G. Kaye, Debby Gies who reveals her contents of her purse, fashion sense, strangest dream and her love (hate) of the vacuum!

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/17/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-d-g-kaye

This week Silvia Todesco shares a fabulous recipe for oven baked, bacon wrapped cod which has to be a family favourite..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/17/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-silvia-todesco-italian-cookery-oven-baked-bacon-wrapped-cod-fish-light-crunchy-and-so-good/

This week we look at the health benefits of honey… and Carol Taylor uses this as an ingredient in some stunning dishes.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/13/smorgasbord-health-rewind-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-honey-nectar-of-the-gods/

A new series looking at ‘One Hit Wonders‘ from the 1950s onwards….this week ‘Lollipop’ by Ronald and Ruby…who were they, were are they now?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/12/smorgasbord-music-column-new-series-one-hit-wonders-lollipop-ronald-ruby-1958/

My response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 127 and this week the prompt words are ‘Follow and Lead’…. I have chosen ‘Succeed and Hint’ as my synonyms.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/13/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-weekly-poetry-challenge-etheree-how-to-succeed-in-life-by-sally-cronin/

A further look at the rights as laid down by the United Nation that we should all be entitled to, but have an obligation to protect.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/13/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-survival-in-a-modern-world-our-rights-to-personal-freedom/

It is March 1986 and we drive back from Atlanta in one day.. and attend a BBQ cookout in Conroe Texas, this is my letter home to my parents in the UK.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/14/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-road-trip-atlanta-houston-and-bbq-cookout-1986/

This week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills involves a chisel…as a noun or a verb… you will also enjoy Charli’s description of the thaw that is occurring on her finger (or thumb) that reaches out in to Lake Superior- here is my response – The Dancer.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/16/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-the-dancer-by-sally-cronin/

Before you Get Started on your weight loss programme– Managing People, Environment and your expectations

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/16/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-before-you-get-started-managing-people-environment/

This week Balroop Singh shares her experience of arranged marriages and her own happy relationship.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/11/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-why-i-married-at-23sometimes-we-do-make-wrong-decisions-by-balroop-singh/

This week Darlene Foster finds and visits the grave of her great-great-grandmother.

DSCN0188

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/12/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-a-special-resting-place-by-darlene-foster/

In this post Jennie Fitzkee shares the connections that she was able to make between reading Little House on the Prairie and her own grandfather from a similar era and his experiences of mining.

image

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/13/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-one-picture-for-a-thousand-words-by-jennie-fitzkee/

This week Robbie Cheadle shares a wonderful poem that she wrote on 9th of February 2017 which was her sixteenth Wedding Anniversary…

wedding-photo-1

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/14/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-contrasting-colours-a-poem-for-my-wedding-anniversary-by-robbie-cheadle/

Sharon Marchisello shares the strategies that her mother employed to make the most of every penny.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-remembering-my-frugal-mother-by-sharon-marchisello/

Bette Stevens shares a moving poem in tribute to her mother.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/16/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-poetry-thank-you-mama-by-bette-a-stevens/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-how-dare-the-birds-sing-book-one-in-the-love-and-fate-series-1-by-marina-osipova/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-a-very-special-house-by-thea-ramsay/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-special-price-the-princes-protege-the-five-kingdoms-book-three-by-deborah-jay/

Author Updates – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-updates-reviews-john-w-howell-jane-risdon-and-christina-jones-and-sue-coletta/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-offers-joy-lennick-olga-nunez-miret-diana-j-febry-and-richard-dee/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/12/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-6/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/14/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-7/

Thank you very much for all your support and I would love to hear from you about any of the posts or if you would like some book promotion. .Have a great week.. thanks Sally.

Advertisements

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round up – Social Media Woes, Jazz, Gardening, Italian Recipes, Nutritional cooking, Flash Fiction and Books Galore


Welcome to the round up of posts that you might have missed this week… especially if you normally pick them up on Facebook!

I won’t go into detail as I covered it in a post early in the week, but suffice to say that I was in Facebook quarantine for two days with my posts removed as not meeting the community standards and I also received notification that someone has reported my posts as offensive.  I also got this message when I tried to share other blogger’s posts.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-removal-of-the-facebook-link-button/

Those clicking the Facebook share button were also getting a blocked message and rather than cause them upset, I removed the button until Friday after I had sent numerous appeals to the governing body and emails (still no response) and I was able to finally share from other blogs and those sharing from here got through.

I have not posted any links to the blog posts themselves until today.. and hopefully you are reading this because it has gone onto my timeline.

I am not the only person to be affected this week including Debby Gies who you know as a regular contributor here. It is allegedly down to the new policies on fake news and too many external URLS being posted.

Clearly though someone thought that book promotions and health posts were offensive and rather than hit the unfriend button, decided to report me.

That’s life… Going forward I am restricting my own links to other blogger’s posts and once week my round up and hopefully we can maintain the status quo.

In the meantime several of us have also joined MeWe with is a similar interface as Facebook but is more user friendly. They also guarantee that none of our data will be sold. It is early days, but if you are an author you might like to check it out, as Colleen Chesebro, Debby Gies and myself are part of a Literary Diva’s Library on the new site to help you promote your books, reviews and interviews. Just click the image and it will take you there.. my personal profile is mewe.com/i/sallycronin

Anyway.. no more drama…… and on with the week’s posts…

This week William Price King introduces us to the unique talents of jazz bassist and singer Esperanza Spalding.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-esperanza-spalding-jazz-bassist-and-singer/

This week Paul Andruss introduces us to the Hellebores… and some of the poisonous beauties much loved in ancient times as instruments of death…including deadly nightshade.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-heavenly-hellebores-3/

The next in the series to prevent nutritional deficiency by creating dishes containing the nutrient for the whole family… Carol Taylor has produced some wonderful recipes using ingredients rich in Vitamin B1.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/smorgasbord-health-column-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiency-vitamin-b1-thiamin/

In the second of this series, Silvia Todesco shares a traditional ricotta and beef meatballs in tomato sauce….

IMG_2826

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-silvia-todesco-italian-cookery-ricotta-and-beef-meatballs-an-italian-classic/

My personal stuff – Short stories and poetry

My response to Diana Wallace Peach’s monthly speculative fiction photo prompt..a story titled A Moment of Alignment.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-short-stories-diana-wallace-peach-marchs-speculative-fiction-a-moment-of-alignment-by-sally-cronin/

Colleen Chesbro’s weekly poetry challenge is an escape from my WIP that I look forward to…. this week my poem was an etheree… March Hares

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-weekly-poetry-challenge-march-hares-etheree-by-sally-cronin/

This week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction was to create a story about a mouse.. in 99 words, no more, no less….

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-my-mouse-by-sally-cronin/

This week a look at how our childhood can influence both our willpower and how we regard the food that we eat. Understanding your relationship to food is important for health and also for weight loss.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-emotional-factor-willpower-and-childish-things/

This week a look at more of the official human rights as laid down by the United Nations, and our obligation to protect that right and to abide by the law… and when you look at the mortality rates of car accidents vs. murder rates and the high percentage of fatalities associated with texting and drink driving, you will find it hard to separate the two.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/something-to-think-about-survival-in-modern-world-our-rights-part-two-by-sally-cronin/

An unexpected gift of a turkey causes untold mayhem in the farmyard which as always creates an entertaining episode from the family archives of Linda Bethea

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-linda-bethea-pass-the-chicken-please-or-fowl-friends/

There are a number of flash fiction challenges on WordPress that are really fun to take part in and certainly do hone our skill at brevity.. Here is a post from Joy Lennick’s archives on the subject and an example of her own flash fiction.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-on-the-subject-of-flash-fiction-and-minimilism-by-joy-lennick/

I am delighted to welcome author L.T. Garvin (Lana Broussard) to Smorgasbord with a series of guest posts, and her first is a heartrending poem about the past, her family and the devastating loss of a mother in wartime. Lana will be joining us every two weeks until April 8th.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-l-t-garvin-poetry-looking-homeward/

My guest this week is author Ann Barnes who shares the animal she would like to have a conversation with, her weirdest dream, what is in her handbag, and what she would have done differently.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-ann-barnes/

This series offers you a chance to share posts from your own archives that you would like seen by a new audience. Perhaps a post your wrote a year or so ago. If you are interested you can click on the link in any of the posts below to get the details. It is another opportunity to promote your books or other creative work as well.

Can you remember your first flight in a plane? Poet and author Balroop Singh shares hers which was a magical experience… she would love to hear about yours.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/smorgasbord-blogs-from-your-archives-family-my-first-flight-by-balroop-singh/

Childrens/YA author Darlene Foster, shares more of her extended family that emigrated to Canada in the 1900s… this time her father’s relatives.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-the-other-side-of-the-family-by-darlene-foster/

Jennie Fitzkee who has over 30 years experience as a pre-school teacher, and loves sharing stories with her class, shares her childhood in relations to fairy stories and how many have an element of violence. She explores the need for a reality check for children from an early age about life in general, but there need to be guidelines on how they are introduced.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-my-mothers-fairy-tales-by-jennie-fitzkee/

Robbie Cheadle spends a great deal of time tempting us to eat scrumptious baked delights, and this is no exception as she shares the family recipe of Granny Una’s apple pie…bibs on…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-granny-unas-apple-pie-by-robbie-cheadle/

Sharon Marchisello learnt some valuable financial lessons from her parents, and this week the advice given to her by her father.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-financial-lessons-from-my-father-by-sharon-marchisello/

Children’s author Bette A. Stevens shares her poem in tribute to her grandmother.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/09/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-poetry-grandmas-legacy-by-bette-a-stevens/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/06/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-romance-skating-on-thin-ice-by-jacquie-biggar/New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-shades-of-sepia-cover-model-book-2-by-laura-m-baird/

Author Updates – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-updates-reviews-deborah-jay-andrew-joyce-and-jacqui-murray/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-rachele-baker-dvm-marina-osipova-and-d-wallace-peach/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-doctors-and-side-effects/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-5/

Thank you very much for visiting today and I hope you have enjoyed the posts. Thank to those who have shared to Facebook, sometimes using alternative methods!  I appreciate the support.

Hopefully all is more or less back to normal!!!!!!

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Estate Agent Code, Gardening, Roast Dinners, Numerology, Italian Cookery, Editing, music and Books galore..


Welcome to the round up of posts on Smorgasbord this week that you might have missed.

It has been a varied week weather wise as we had a false spring for two days and then were plunged back into frosts and rain. I sat out for an hour in the garden those two days and it was wonderful. I was tempted to come out of hibernation but I am now back in the cave waiting for the real deal.

We need good weather for the next phase of the garden renovation at the back of the house which will have the current tarmac extended and the creation of an outside eating area to take advantage of the summer late evenings. With the addition of some benches in various places and some more tubs of flowers the garden will be complete.

We have a few jobs left inside and the plan is to put the house on the market, probably spring of 2020 and then downsize. We have been here for three years in June and it was always intended as a ‘doerupper’ as far too big for just two of us. It has gone from a wreck to a lovely family home and deserves to have children running around it to bring it to life.

We have no idea where we will go next, but at least with the Internet, google maps and satellite views, you can explore everywhere these days and see every detail of a property in relation to towns and facilities to the neighbours. Estate agents rarely (never) provide any downsides to a property, using a creative approach to descriptions, as you will see from this info graphic courtesy of House Simple

As always my thanks to the contributors who create some amazing posts to share here. And to everyone who has visited this week and like, commented and shared the posts.

This week Paul shares the beauty of primulas..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-primulas-2/

How to get fluffy Yorkshire puddings crisp on the outside, and produce the perfect pork crackling…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/27/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-how-to-cook-the-perfect-sunday-roast/

Annette Rochelle Aben shares the universal energy for the month of March and what it means for us as individuals.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-numerology-with-annette-rochelle-aben-your-monthly-universal-energy-march-2019/

Sarah Calfee is an editor who specializes in romance, and all the sub-genres. In this first post, she shares the various roles involved in editing.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-demystifying-the-levels-of-fiction-editing-a-bit-by-sarah-calfee/

This week’s guest is childrens/YA author Audrey Driscoll. Sharing her love of Tofino, dislike of swimming and the contents of her purse.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-audrey-driscoll/

A new guest writer Silvia Todesco, and her first post is an appetizer and in the coming weeks she will be sharing a full Italian menu for us to enjoy.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/03/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-silvia-todesco-white-onion-bacon-and-blue-cheese-savory-pie-the-utimate-recipe-for-a-magnificent-appetizer/

sunshine-blogger

I was very honoured to be nominated for the Sunshine Blogger award by Mary Smith of Mary Smith’s Place to whom I am most grateful….if you want to find out about my first attempts at forgery at age 7……

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunshine-blogger-award-and-personal-questions/

I was the guest of Sue Vincent this week with a story about Sam, our Shaggy Dog and Henry the feral cat… Henry shares his story

Guest author: Sally Cronin ~ Henry’s Story from Sam, a Shaggy Dog Story

Another post in the series The R’s of Life, and this week part one of a look at the basic human rights as laid out by the United Nations.. and our obligations to respect and protect those rights.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-survival-in-a-modern-world-our-rights-part-one-sally-cronin/

The second part of the romantic ballad requests from Valentines day by Brigid Gallagher, Mary Smith, Jennie Fitzkee, Darlene Foster and a special performance by William Price King..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/smorgasbord-music-column-romantic-ballads-part-two-brigid-p-gallagher-mary-smith-jennie-fitzkee-darlene-foster-and-william-price-king/

Our first trip to Atlanta in 1986, Gone with the Wind and home of Coco-Cola

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-atlanta-gone-with-the-wind/

My response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 125. From Cave to Stars – Double Etheree

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/27/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-weekly-poetry-challenge-double-etheree-from-cave-to-the-stars/

In this post, I share how to starve the overgrowth of Candida Albicans, at the same time as nourishing the body.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/smorgasbord-health-size-matters-the-sequel-candida-candida-starving-the-fungus-and-feeding-the-body/

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge -‘Buried in the Snow.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/02/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-buried-in-the-snow-by-sally-cronin/

Poet Balroop Singh shares memories of her family home and how we become attached to them throughout our lives.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/25/smorgasbord-blog-posts-from-your-archives-family-walls-do-respond-to-emotional-attachments-home-is-where-the-heart-is-by-balroop-singh/

Children’s author Darlene Foster shares some of her family’s history and their arrival in Canada from southern Russia.

11071564_10153267314708936_3092559696858088784_n[1] (2)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-is-everything-by-childrens-author-darlene-foster/

Jennie Fitzkee shares her memories of living in her log house and listening to the trains at night.

A lovely tribute to Robbie Cheadle’s mother

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-poetry-our-mother-by-robbie-cheadle/

Sharon Marchisello shares her mother’s very wise advice when it comes to money.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/smorgasbord-blogs-from-your-archives-family-financial-lessons-from-my-mother-by-sharon-marchisello/

New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-paperclip-by-dan-woll-and-walter-rhein/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-special-pre-order-price-partners-in-time-by-stevie-turner/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-childrens-the-first-star-by-janice-spina-illustrator-john-spina/

Author Updates and Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-m-j-mallon-sue-vincent-and-stuart-france-bette-a-stevens-and-charles-e-yallowitz/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-judy-penz-sheluk-amy-reade-and-terry-tyler/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-4/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/28/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-its-all-about-food-and-other-edibles/

Thank you for dropping in and I hope to see you again next week.. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – How to Cook the Perfect Sunday Roast


How to cook the perfect Sunday Roast.

Sunday Roast…They range from the best to the worst they also strike fear into the heart of many people…Some people thing it is the easiest meal in the world to cook and then find out it isn’t…

Why?

Meat…Depending on what meat you are cooking it could take anything from an hour to three plus hours…

Potatoes…Who doesn’t love a nice golden, crispy potato with a soft fluffy inside?

Vegetables… Most are cooked in a flash…

But they all have different cooking times and methods …Getting them all perfect and ready at the same time is no mean feat.

If Yorkshire (puddings) come into the equation then…That can throw a spanner in the works…They should be well risen and golden… Flat and stodgy doesn’t cut it!

We used to cook one of the best roast dinners in the area when we had our restaurant and even the other night we met up with an old friend from where we used to live and he mentioned my roast dinner and promptly invited himself to dinner…

The questions I get on how to cook the potatoes, Yorkshires, crackling and gravy are the most common…

Let’s break it down…

Roast potatoes…

  1. Peel your potatoes, although I like them roasted in their skins, but traditionally in an English roast they are not.
  2. Bring to the boil in lightly salted water and cook until they are just tender when you test with a knife.
  3. Drain and I keep the water sometimes to thin my gravy.
  4. Then shake the pan so the edges of the potatoes just break a little this gives you a nice crisp.
  5. Then cover the pan with a clean tea towel until you are ready to put in the oven.
  6. You now have two choices you can either cook in a separate pan or cook in the meat juices.
  7. We like ours cooked in the meat juices as you don’t get that firm crisp outside it is broken if that makes sense crispy but a softer crisp…
  8. Either way the fat must be hot…

I normally cook the potatoes around my meat and then when they are ready to turn over after about 20 minutes, I then remove the meat to rest turn up the oven and cook the potatoes until they are nicely crisped and golden about another 15-20 minutes depending on how many roasties you are doing…If you are cooking for two then they don’t take long.

Fat you can cook in the meat fat or use goose or duck fat which make really crispy roast potatoes…I tend to use those fats at Christmas as a general rule I use a good cooking oil or coconut oil.

Yorkshire puddings…

I could debate the merits of a good Yorkshire pudding as depending on which part of England you come from “Ours is the best”

I will not enter into that conversation but will impart to you how I cook my version.

Originally the Yorkshire was served as a first course and traditionally only with beef. It was served as a first course as a filler, and then not so much of the expensive meat would be required, or in the poorer households the Yorkshire pudding was served with the meat drippings as the only course.

The Yorkshire pudding is meant to rise…In 2008 the Royal Society of Chemistry suggested that “A Yorkshire pudding isn’t a Yorkshire pudding if it is less than 4 inches tall”

The debate lingers on and I am sure it will for many more years to come…

Ingredients: To make 6 Yorkshire puddings.

• 70 gm flour
• 2 eggs
• 100 ml milk
• Oil to cook.

Let’s Cook

  1. Oven to 230C (fan 210) Gas 8.
  2. Make your batter by adding the eggs to the flour and gradually adding the milk to make a smooth batter. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  3. When you are ready to cook your Yorkshires make sure you have cranked the oven up add a little oil to your 6 hole tin and put in the oven.
  4. When the oil is hot 3-4 mins add the chilled batter and put straight back in the oven you will hear the sizzle as the cold batter hits the hot fat.
  5. Cook for 20-25 minutes until nicely risen and golden…

Tip: Do not open the oven door or they will go flat…

Gravy…

Should be smooth, lump free and tasty.

Again the gravy train rumbles on and it all depends on your preference…Ours is for a gravy which has a bit of body but one that you can’t stand your spoon up in …an old saying if gravy was too thick however in some parts of England thick gravy is a must…

A British tradition is to make the gravy in the meat pan using some of the juices…No posh jus and sauces just good tasty gravy.

  1. Remove the meat from the pan and if you have too much fat drain some of the fat off you need about 1 to 1 ½ tbsp.
  2. Put the pan on the hob, and on a medium heat, let it bubble and scrape the pan to get the drippings; now you need to put a bit of speed behind this or you will end up with lumpy gravy so no gentle scrapings
  3. Add a tbsp of plain flour keep stirring add gradually
  4. Add about 570 ml of hot stock or a combo of potato water and vegetable water and keep stirring, allow to simmer to infuse all the flavours, and reduce a little if it is too runny for you, or add a little more stock if it is too thick.
  5. Season as required I normally add black pepper and a dash of Worchester sauce.

Pork Crackling…

If you are having pork roast you need that crackling to be crispy and crunchy don’t we?
Nothing is better than perfectly crisp Pork Crackling.

How to achieve it, well,

It’s easy! When you know how!

I have lost count of the number of times that I have been screaming at the screen when watching my favourite cooking programs…Turn it up and leave the door shut…

When you buy your Pork look for pork which has a layer of fat underneath the skin (this) produces the best crackling.

It has to be thinly scored, for this, I actually use a Stanley Knife and woe betides anyone who uses it for D.I.Y. The piece of Pork I have pictured is a piece of Pork loin approx 2 kilos which I scored and rolled then tied with kitchen string.

  1. Right, let’s go, Heat oven and set to 250C.
  2. Next, take a small amount of oil and rub into the skin.
  3. Then generously salt the skin making sure you rub it well into the fat.
  4. (The specs) you notice on mine is sage as we like added herbs on ours.
  5. But just salt is fine.
  6. Put in very hot oven until skin starts to blister up.
  7. If you tap with a knife you can hear it or once you get used to it you can see it blistering up.
  8. But keep an eye on it (as my pic) below shows I took my eye off the ball and burnt the edges. Even I have little lapses and disasters in the kitchen but I caught it in time and all was well…
  9. Reduce heat of the oven to about 170 degrees for the remainder of cooking time which depends on the size and cut off your pork. Pork loin cooks quicker.
  10. You should now have a lovely piece of Pork with crispy crackling and a lovely melt in your mouth pork.

Serve with lovely roast potatoes and an assortment of vegetables…Thank you for reading and for those of you who haven’t cooked or struggled to cook a Sunday Roast I hope this has helped…Any questions please ask…If it about coming to Sunday dinner I can only seat 12 x

©Recipes Carol Taylor

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 vegetables 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 have 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

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round up – Waterford Castle, Romance, Great Food, Music and a few Laffs.


Welcome to the weekly round up and I have been off on a jaunt this week. As a birthday treat we went down to Waterford, which is David’s home town for a couple of days and stayed at the Waterford Castle Hotel on its own private Island.

You reach the island by a chain link ferry which only takes two minutes and runs every 15 minutes during the day and 30 minutes at night. We had a suite overlooking the magnificent gardens and all the rooms have wonderful features introduced over the long history of the castle. Such as this fireplace with a Wedgewood insert.

History of Wateford Castle

Throughout the centuries, the Island’s strategic location, in a pivotal position near Waterford City, brought it historical fame playing a major role in the history of the region.

From the 6th century settlement of Monks to the Vikings in the 9th – 11th Centuries. Followed by Norman Invasion of 1170 were Maurice Fitzgerald became the potentate of the Island and the Fitzgerald family legacy lasted for over 800 years.

You can download the full history of the castle
Click here to download our History brochure.

The food was wonderful and we ate in their award winning restaurant on the first night – freshly sourced produce, deliciously prepared. The service was brilliant and it was a meal to remember. We were treated to some live music in the form of a talented pianist and each course was much appreciated. Certainly a stunning venue for a Wedding.

The next day we had a wonderful breakfast (great poached eggs) in an atrium overlooking the gardens, with some of the wildlife in attendance. Including a red squirrel, unusual to find in Ireland but clearly the grey squirrels who decimated the red population have not learnt to use the ferry to get to the island. As we walked to the car park, we also encountered to deer intent of feasting on the new crocus shoots.

We spent the day touring the coast and revisiting some of David’s childhood and teen haunts as well as the cottage, right on Woodstown beach where Geoff Cronin (you might have read his memoirs here) grew up. Also Dunmore and Tramore, holiday spots in the summer when the family lived in the centre of Waterford.

That afternoon we went in to the city and checked out the regeneration that took place in the 1990s up to the present day. We had a birthday tea in The Vintage Parlour Tea Rooms and I had the best Victoria sponge I have ever eaten… with fresh cream… and David had a delicious piece of apple tart. Fortified with a couple of cups (porcelain) of tea, we explored the local estate agents with a view to moving to Waterford once we sell our house here in Wexford next spring (or sooner). Certainly Waterford is on the list of options as the city has great facilities and is close to some stunning coastline.

We ended the day with dinner at The Bodega Mediterranean Restaurant and I can highly recommend, especially the monkfish scampi starter. The  food, atmosphere and service was excellent and brought back happy memories of our years in Madrid.

If you are planning on visiting Ireland I do recommend that you put Waterford on the schedule. If you are travelling with family then I suggest you book one of their lodges which sleep six people and are self-catered, but you can still eat in the restaurant or clubhouse if you wish. There is a golf course, tennis courts and fabulous walks around the island. You are central for the coastline to the south of Wateford towards Cork, and when the new bridge is completed (the longest in Ireland) later this summer, it will be a much faster trip to Dublin.

Now time to catch up with the posts on Smorgasbord you might have missed during the week.

This week Paul Andruss shares part two of his recommendations for early spring bulbs.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-this-week-spring-bulbs-part-two-daffodils-narcissus-jonquils/

And on the subject of food…. something from the Thai kitchen of Carol Taylor.. a three course meal that should get Valentine’s evening off to a good start.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-st-valentines-day-thai-three-course-dinner/

A new series of Posts from Your Archives and to kick the series off, one of D.G. Kaye’s heartfelt and heartbreaking – Memoir Bytes where she shares her childhood memories. Details of how you can share previous articles from your archives are in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-memoir-bytes-love-notes-and-other-words-by-d-g-kaye/

This week my guest is author Abbie Taylor who shares her inspiring story as well as some interesting responses to the questions.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/17/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-abbie-taylor/

Here is my response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 123

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-weekly-poetry-challenge-etheree-romance-by-sally-cronin/

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction this week prompted 99 word stories on the subject of Valentines.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-flash-fiction-challenge-together-forever-by-sally-cronin/

In this week’s music column, I share a song from each of the decades that I have been listening to music… and next Friday I will be sharing the requests that you shared, the songs that you felt were the most romantic.

Now time for the round up of the posts this week that you might have missed.

An extract from Tales from the Irish Garden to celebrate romance. Queen Filigree meets the roguish Prince Ronan.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/tales-from-the-irish-garden-valentines-day-story-the-magic-garden-comes-to-life-by-sally-cronin/

Last year I wrote this post for USA Today Bestselling romance author Jacquie Biggar on keeping the magic of romance alive…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/keeping-the-magic-of-romance-alive-every-day-by-sally-cronin/

This week in the R’s of Life, part two on the subject of relationships, and the impact of a dysfunctional childhood on our ability to connect as adults.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-relationships-in-a-modern-world-part-two-adulthood-by-sally-cronin/

I reviewed two books this week.. the first being The Beast Within (Mended Souls Two) by Jacquie Biggar.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/smorgasbord-book-reviews-the-beast-within-mended-souls-book-two-by-jacquie-biggar/

And the second book was first book in the Braxton Campus Mysteries, Academic Curveball by James J. Cudney

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-book-reviews-mystery-academic-curveball-by-james-j-cudney/

Author Updates and reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-claire-fullerton-darlene-foster-and-angie-dokos/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-jacquie-biggar-clifford-browder-and-christine-campbell/

Many foods have been labelled aphrodisiacs through history, some deservedly so…but they also tend to be highly nutritious and have a positive effect on the whole body and not just the libido.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/11/smorgasbord-health-column-foods-to-get-you-in-the-mood-for-st-valentines-day-by-sally-cronin/

This week’s chapter looks at the impact of an overgrowth of Candida Albicans on our overall health. The symptoms number around 125, and I included some of the key signs that your gut may have been compromised.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/16/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-candida-albicans-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-valentine-special-you-knows-i-loves-you-right/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-valentines-day-special-and-a-parrot-with-moves/

Thank you very much for dropping in today and for your visits this week. Your comments and sharing on your own social media is much appreciated as always. Have a great week and hope to see you again soon.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – St. Valentine’s Day – #Thai three course dinner


If you are looking for a special way to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day then perhaps a romantic dinner for two, created by Carol Taylor from some of her most popular recipes from the last couple of years, incorporating wonderfully warming and spicy Thai ingredients.

Tom Yum Soup with Prawns (Tom Yum Goong)

This is one of my favourite Thai soups and the first time I made it from scratch I questioned the colour as in many restaurants it is a bright orange colour. It is because a Tom Yum paste or stock cube is used…This one is made from scratch it also doesn’t have that sharp taste but is more mellow and I think more pleasant.

Ingredients:

  • 2 litres of water
  • 4 stalks of lemongrass
  • 1 inch chunk of galangal
  • 10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 10 Thai chillies
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 500gm Prawns
  • 300 grams of oyster mushrooms
  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into quarters.
  • 2 white onions (medium-sized) cut into large chunks.
  • 1 and half teaspoons of sugar
  • 7 – 10 tablespoons of fish sauce (depending on your taste)
  • Juice of 5 -8 limes.
  • Handful of cilantro ( Coriander)

N.B Next time I will use shallots instead of white onions and I recommend using lowest amounts of limes and fish sauce and Taste! Adjust if necessary as everyone’s taste varies.

Lets Cook!

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 bird chilli for this recipe, but you can use however many you 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’d still like the chilli flavour but not as much heat.

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

  1. You can put the lid on just so it starts to boil which releases the herb flavours quicker.
  2. Now prepare your prawns I remove everything except for the tail…..others put in whole peeled prawns…personal preference.
  3. Boil your soup with all the herbs in it for about 10 minutes.
  4. Then add your mushrooms, which you should pre rinse beforehand.
  5. Cook for 4-5 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes and onions.
  7. Cook for further 6-8 minutes.
  8. Now add 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.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and cilantro.
  10. Taste and adjust if necessary. This delicious soup is now ready to serve.

 

Orange pork with watercress rice. Serves 2/3 people

Ingredients

  • 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
  • ½ cup of finely julienned ginger
  • Salt and pepper to season

Let’s Cook

  1. Cook the rice and toss in the watercress with ½ to 1 tbsp oil, cover and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Season the pork and with the pan on a medium heat add the oil and add half of the ginger and cook until the ginger is golden, drain and set to one side.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 hope you have enjoyed this little foray into the world of the watercress aquatic plant species its health benefits and recipes…

And for dessert…..Green tea Ice-cream

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups half & half or 2 cups whole milk + 2 cups heavy cream.
  • 5 tbsp matcha green tea powder.
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch sea salt salt

Lets Cook!

  1. Start by freezing the ice cream bowl for at least 12 hours.
  2. In a medium saucepan whisk together your cream, sugar and salt.
  3. Then over a medium heat start to heat the cream mixture and add the green tea powder stirring often and making sure all the powder has dissolved and there are no lumps.
  4. Heat until the mixture reaches a soft rolling boil.
  5. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl which is sitting in water filled with ice. When the mixture is cool, cover with plastic wrap and put in the freezer.
  6. After about 45 minutes check and if it has started to freeze around the edges then remove from the freezer and beat it to break up any frozen pieces then return to the freezer.
  7. Check the mixture about every 30 minutes stirring vigorously as it is freezing.
  8. Obviously if you have an ice cream maker then follow those instructions I don’t I have to use elbow grease or you can use a hand held mixer.
  9. Keep checking and repeating the above step until your ice cream is lovely and smooth…It should be ready in 2-3 hours.

Enjoy!

©Recipes Carol Taylor

I hope you will enjoy putting this three course meal together and Carol will be back again next week with her regular column and a new series of Cook from Scratch 2019.

 

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 vegetables 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 have 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

You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE

Connect to Carol via her blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Bloggers Bash Nominations, Winter Warmers, Arizona, Spring Bulbs and all that Jazz


Welcome to the round up of posts you might have missed on Smorgasbord this week.

We are actually enjoying some sunshine despite very cold temperatures and we are hoping it is a sign spring is on its way. I know for many of you in the UK and USA, this has been a very tough couple of weeks with snow and storms, so hopefully you too will have a more settled week ahead.

It is hard to ignore the turmoil going on in the world, especially as the press is having a field day with fake news, assumptions, predictions, fear-mongering, pot-stirring and allegations. There may be a reason that we as yet have not been invaded by an alien species. I suggest that they have popped in from time to time, to the excitement of the UFO buffs, and exited rapidly when they see what they might be getting into.

The actions of those in power are completely at odds with the promises made in their wonderful election speeches, and at the very least they should be prosecuted for false advertising and misrepresentation.

Meanwhile, in the real world, all we can do is keep doing what we are doing and try to stay as positive as possible.

If all else fails………..

My thanks to my regular contributors who continue to spread a positive message and to your for dropping in and liking, commenting and sharing..

And on that note……

I was very honoured to be nominated for the Best Book Blog award, and my thanks to those who put my name forward. Voting begins at the end of March and you still have time to nominate your favourite bloggers in the new categories. The links are in the post.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-bloggers-bash-awards-2019-nomination-best-book-blog/

This week William Price King shares the life and music of legend Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-charlie-bird-parker-saxaphone/

Paul Andruss with some suggestions to bring colour to your garden with early spring bulbs.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-rewind-light-up-your-life-with-brilliant-bulbs-part-1-early-spring-bulbs/

Carol Taylor shares some recipes that are easy to prepare and that will warm the cockles of your heart…..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-winter-warmers-stews-and-casseroles/

Debby Gies is still on vacation in Mexico and busily creating future travel posts about this fantastic vacation spot, but in the meantime, she gives us a guided tour of Jerome, Arizona which is a preserved copper mining town that generated billions for investors.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-jerome-arizona-mining-town-with-d-g-kaye/

Joy Lennick shares two poems that bridge the end of winter and the start of spring.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-poetry-spring-by-joy-lennick/

Welcome to the blog for the first time to romance author Laura M. Baird who shares her love of country, music and tattoos, as well as one of the craziest and most detailed dream

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-romance-author-laura-m-baird/

I am now participating in is Diana Peach’s monthly speculative fiction challenges and this month she had a delightful photo prompt. My story is called ‘The 1812 Overture”

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-short-stories-diana-wallace-peach-februarys-speculative-fiction-prompt-the-1812-overture-by-sally-cronin/

Another of my weekly challenges is the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/smorgasbord-short-story-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-sea-mist-by-sally-cronin/

It is that time of the week when I get my syllables in lines in response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 122.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/smorgasbord-poetry-colleens-weekly-poetry-challenge-122-poets-choice-etheree-metamorphosis-by-sally-cronin/

It is February 1986 and we are preparing for my birthday and I get a new car.

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1986-birthday-party-and-new-car/

Relationships – So far I have covered respect, recognition, relations in Previous Chapters, which leads me very conveniently into relationships. In this first part, I am looking at the socialisation of children before and during school that form the basis of their relationship skills in the wider world.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/06/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-relationships-in-a-modern-world-part-one-childhood-by-sally-cronin/

Author Updates and reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-fiona-tarr-and-jan-sikes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-miriam-hurdle-linda-g-hill-and-mark-d-giglio/

Every year, 4.2million people die worldwide within 30 days of surgery. This is a staggering 1.23million more deaths than HIV, TB and malaria combined makes up 7.7% of all fatalities – with only heart disease and stroke killing more. You can make a difference to this statistic by preparing for elective surgeries in the weeks before the operation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-health-column-new-statistics-on-surgery-recovery-that-are-shocking-and-preparing-for-an-operation/

The next chapter in my rollercoaster weight gain and loss history, with a pattern emerging that linked a number of physical events in my life, antibiotics, candida albicans and stress together.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/09/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-morbid-obesity-a-physical-rollercoaster-anti-biotics-candida-hormones-yo-yo-dieting/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/05/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-some-funnies-and-things-kids-say/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/02/07/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-3/

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have an amazing week……

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – #Winter Warmers- #Stews and Casseroles


Winter Warmers. Stews and Casseroles.

While I am basking in the sun as our high season is nearly here I know many of you are in the throes of some severe weather conditions minus a lot according to friends…

If I could bottle some of the warmth I would but even I can’t do that so the next best thing is one pot stews and casseroles something you can do in the slow cooker and come home to that lovely aroma or leave simmering on the stove or in the oven…

Comfort food at its best and warmest and not with chilli well maybe one or two…ha-ha

A lovely one-pot Beef Bourguignon which 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 often 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 then 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.

This can be served with mashed potatoes and vegetables or rice and vegetables even noodles go well with dish.

I hope you enjoy!

If you are working then just put the beef in the slow cooker and add the button mushrooms and onions when you come home…

Lamb Stew

One of our favourites as a child was my mum’s lamb stew she used neck of lamb or something she called scrag of lamb with onions, carrots, turnips, barley, butter beans then cooked low and slow she never added any gravy browning it was what we called white gravy just seasoned with salt and pepper…Then dumplings added near the end of cooking and served with greens…Plain simple cooking but delicious.

That is the wonder of a stew anything can go in…

Rabbit stew was also a favourite and cooked more or less the same as her lamb stew but had brown gravy…The rabbits were ones (shhhh0 which were poached as my mum wouldn’t buy a ready skinned rabbit as she said it might have been a cat…I wonder where I get my suspicious nature from….ha-ha and then there was the Myxomatosis scare so that was the end of our rabbit stew for years.

This recipe was given to me by a good friend when I lived in Phuket and it is a lovely Chicken and Potato stew which originated many moons ago in Columbia and it is now a well-known national dish called Ajaico… A Colombian Chicken Soup.

When the gales are blowing and it is a snowy, blustery winters night when the wind chill goes right down to your toes and even your wee freezes then this is just what you need.

She told me that her grandmother used to keep a pot simmering on her stove ready for when any cold mortal came to her door…It sounds to me a little like she was a welcome port in the snow storm.

I can just picture her granny standing in her kitchen serving up these luscious bowls of hot stew.

Traditionally served with thinly slice avocados, sour cream, chopped coriander and capers…..I am now salivating as I type…

Ingredients

• 1 1/2 lbs of chicken pieces, skin on and on the bone.
• 1 1/2 lbs of potatoes……mixed varieties maybe 3 different ones.
• 2-3 Corn cut crosswise into quarters or 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn.
• 1 large brown Onion chopped roughly.
• 5 cloves of garlic roughly cut.
• 4 cups of good chicken stock…I cook up chicken carcases.
• 1 tsp of coarse salt…I use Himalayan.
• 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper.
• 2 tbsp Olive Oil.
• I bunch of coriander…tied.
• 1 bunch of spring Onions (green onions) …tied.
• 2tbsp dried guascas.
NB: Also known as Quick weed or Galinsoga in the US and Gallant Soldiers in the UK……It is a very prolific edible weed.

Or…You can use dried Oregano as a substitute.

Let’s Cook!

  • Marinade your chicken pieces with the onion, garlic, salt and pepper in the fridge for 8-24 hrs.
  • When ready to cook heat olive Oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Add the chicken and all the marinade bits. Brown the chicken on both sides about 6 minutes.
  • Pour the stock into the pan and raise the heat to bring to the boil, turn down and cook at a rolling simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove chicken from the pan and when it is cool enough to handle remove skin and bones.
  • Cut or tear the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  • Put the potatoes in the cooking liquid and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Then add the corn, tied spring onions, coriander and quascas (oregano). Cover pan and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.
  • Remove coriander and onions and return chicken to the pot and warm through.

Serve soup in individual bowls with the prepared avocado, sour cream, coriander and capers as accompaniments.

Enjoy!

Stews and casseroles can contain anything you like …Rosemary, thyme, bay leaves are some of the herbs that go well in a stew or casserole. Beans and lentils help to bulk it out and have lots of fibre, lovely root vegetables. You can also add beer, wine, cider which all marry well. What is your favourite combo…?

Chicken Chasseur is a lovely dish which is simply chicken cooked in white wine.

Ingredients:

• 8 skinned and boned chicken thighs/legs or as I do I remove the bone near the end of the cooking time.
• 4 large thyme sprigs picked
• 100 gm shallots about 3
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 3 cloves garlic chopped
• 1 tbsp tomato puree
• 200 ml dry white wine
• 200 ml fresh chicken stock
• 300 gm small chestnut mushrooms halved
• 2 fresh bay leaves
• 1 carrot sliced
• 200 gm fresh chopped tomatoes
• 2 tbsp flat leafed parsley chopped

Let’s Cook

  • Heat a deep, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and fry the chicken pieces until golden all over. Set aside.
  • Add the rest of the oil, shallot, carrot and garlic to the pan. Fry for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Stir in the purée, cook for 1 minute, add the wine and stock, and bring to the boil.
  • Return the chicken to the pan with the mushrooms, remaining thyme, bay leaves and some seasoning.
  • Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover, stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 30-35 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken now and then, cooking until the chicken is tender and the sauce has reduced.

Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with mashed potatoes, rice or noodles.

If I am doing a posh chicken chasseur I do bone the thighs but we prefer chicken cooked on the bone as it has more taste…It is personal preference.

Lastly if you want a meat free stew…This lentil stew recipe was given to me by Darlene Foster and I made it for the first time last week… It is pure comfort food at its best and eaten with some lovely homemade flat bread it was lovely.

Yakhmat ‘Adas (from Syria and Lebanon)

Ingredients:

• 1 cup lentils, rinsed
• 5 cups water
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 medium onions, chopped
• 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
• 1/4 cup rice, rinsed
• 1/4 cup fine noodles
• 2 cups stewed tomatoes
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• salt and pepper to taste
• 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried crushed basil

Let’s Cook

Place lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté onions over medium heat until they begin to brown. Stir in garlic and rice and stir-fry for another 3 minutes.

Add frying pan contents along with remaining ingredients, except basil, to lentils and bring to a boil. Cook another 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

Enjoy!

Note from Darlene: I usually cut the recipe in half as it makes a lot. *Did you know that lentils are good for anaemia, low blood pressure and for ulcers? From my favourite cookbook, Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa by Habeeb Salloum.

Thank you, Darlene it was delicious I used really fine vermicelli noodles, fresh ginger as I grow my own and don’t use dried and Thai basil…It definitely makes a lot though I am pleased I halved the recipe on your advice xxx

My go-to flatbread recipe…

Ingredients

• 1/2 cup water.
• 1/4 cup of milk
• 2 cups flour.
• 1 tbsp Baking Powder.
• 2 tbsp oil
• 1/2 tsp salt.

Let’s Cook!

  • Sift dry ingredients together.
  • Add liquids and mix thoroughly…I used my food processor and it took literally 2 mins…. if that and formed a ball. If it is too sticky add little more flour.
  • Divide into 8 pieces. Flatten with the heel of the hand and roll out very thin.
  • My first attempt at this and I didn’t roll mine out thin enough to start with.
  • Heat pan and cook 2/3 minutes each side turn over with tongs or fish slice and done…

That’s all for this week if you are out in the ice and snow…Stay safe and upright and wrap up warm xx

My thanks to  Carol for the recipe for these delicious and warming stews.. something for all family.

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 vegetables 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 have 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

 You can find all of the previous posts in the directoryCarol Taylor Food Column

We would love to hear from you… perhaps you can share your favourite winter warmer? Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Good music, food, books, humour and great guests.


Welcome to the weekly round up of posts that you might have missed and I hope you have had a great week. This morning the sun is shining although it is cold. Being close to the south east coast we rarely get snow here, although last year it was an exception and it lasted a week. I know that some of you are facing extremely harsh conditions and whilst I may moan about the rain here in Ireland, we don’t have the extremes of weather that cause havoc.

It has been a busy week offline as I am back to writing everyday, posts for the blog and also new projects. One of those projects is to revive some of the stories and books that were started and then fell by the wayside. Apart from paper copies from long ago, there are also digital files that have been designated to a folder and then forgotten. I am enjoying reading stuff I wrote long ago, including some song lyrics from my 20s that have been lying dormant. I don’t remember the angst that I clearly felt when penning some of them, nor to be honest the people who caused such emotional outpourings!  Anyway, some of it will find its way into stories and poetry going forward and at least it won’t have gone to waste.

It is a lesson however, to make sure you do revisit previous stories or poems, as it is amazing how time, age and experience can bring new life to them.

Here are the posts from the week and as always my thanks to the team who contribute such amazing posts and for you for coming in to read and share them.

William Price King shares the life and music of Wee Pee Russell… Jazz Clarinettist

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-with-pee-wee-russell-clarinettist-jazz/

Carol Taylor, who is in the middle of her summer, kindly creates some winter warmers for those of us who are freezing…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-winter-warmers/

This week my guest is American author Karina Bartow sharing her craziest experience, fashion sense and her love of country life.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/27/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-karina-bartow/

The R’s of Life – Recognition

As a young manager over forty years ago, I was tasked to manage an established team who were all at least twenty years older than I was. I had already run my own business and also managed good-sized teams in the catering industry, but this was daunting. Thankfully I had been lucky enough to have worked for a wonderful manager, when beginning my career, who had given me a valuable piece of advice. That was to identify as quickly as possible, what motivated an individual member of staff and to develop a relationship based on the recognition of that motivation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-recognition-our-place-in-a-modern-society-by-sally-cronin/

It is 1998 and we move into our new home in Ireland, find the dog of our dreams and I buy a business.. all to the beat of Shania Twain.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-and-memories-1998-new-home-meeting-sam-a-health-food-shop-and-shania-twain/

This week’s  Colleen Chesebro poetry challenge – Freezing and Tempest – My first attempt at a Butterfly Cinquain

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/23/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-poetry-challenge-120-freezing-and-tempest-sally-cronin/

The second part of our trip to New Mexico.. with a hike in McKittrick Canyon and a visit to the living desert.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1986-new-mexico-mckittrick-canyon-and-the-living-desert-part-two/

This week the accumulation factor of food and life.

It is very easy to think that a couple of biscuits with coffee every morning and with tea in the afternoon, will not make any difference to your weight.. but the accumulation factor tells a different story. Over a year having four digestive biscuits a day adds up to 32lbs or nearly 15kilos in body fat! Having a healthy diet is not about giving up everything we enjoy, but moderating how much of it you eat.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/26/smorgasbord-health-morbid-obesity-size-matters-the-sequel-chapter-two-the-accumulative-factor-of-food-and-life-sally-cronin/

Now that I have scheduled more time to write, I thought that I might join the many participants of the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge under the dedicated management of Charli Mills. It is a great exercise in brevity and I am looking forward to challenging myself. Here is my response…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/26/smorgasbord-short-story-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-challenge-broken-by-sally-cronin/New book on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-the-bright-side-of-darkness-by-j-e-pinto/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-price-life-in-a-conversation-by-geoff-le-pard/

Author update

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-teagan-riordain-geneviene-robbie-cheadle-elsie-hancy-eaton-and-vashti-quiroz-vega/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-c-s-boyack-balroop-singh-and-patty-fletcher/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-debby-gies-and-another-dip-into-my-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-jokes-from-the-archives-3/

Thank you again for being part of my week and for all your support.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Winter Warmers.


For many of use the it is bitterly cold right now with northerly winds increasing the chill factor. Meanwhile, Carol Taylor is experiencing much warmer temperatures in her home in Thailand, and not just because of the weather, but because she is toiling away in her kitchen to bring us something to warm the cockles of our hearts… I will hand you over to Carol to do just that…

I know many of you are in the throes of some seriously cold weather and what you need is something which keeps you warm…

There is nothing better before you go out to brave the cold than a lovely bowl of hot porridge…This is where the slow cooker comes in handy I used to put my porridge on before I went to bed and it was ready in the morning…Hubby was first up so he had his bowl and as the kids appeared they had theirs. The beauty of making the porridge in the slow cooker is that it doesn’t burn and it means you have no pans to scrub clean and it doesn’t matter what time the family get up it is ready and waiting for them… Hot and delicious…

I used to love mine with some fruit compote…I just used to cook some frozen mixed berries with a little honey until it had reduced nicely and it kept in the fridge for about a week…I would then have a couple of spoonfuls with my porridge.

This kept me going until lunch time.

Lunch…Would either be a jacket potato or a bowl of soup…

To cook a jacket potato:

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminium foil.

Scrub the potato clean under water, dry it with a towel, and then poke a few holes through to the centre of it with a fork.

Bake the potato for one hour or until tender.

Slice into it, fluff it up inside with a fork, and then add butter, salt, and pepper and filling of your choice.

Toppings for Jacket Potatoes:

If you have made a pan of chili and have some left over freeze in portions just enough to top a jacket potato… Or add some grated cheese and Beans or caramalise some onions and mushrooms. These are toppings which can go into a container and are quick and easy for you to heat up at work and add to your potato…

My favourite one when we were kids was a corned beef jacket potato my mum used to remove the flesh from the potato mash it with some butter and corn beef return it to the potato skin and cook it in the oven until the top was lightly browned we used to love them.

Soup can be made in advance and again can be taken to work and reheated or if you are at home it doesn’t take long to heat up…There is nothing better on a cold day than a nice mug or bowl of hot soup.

This soup is quick and easy to make either using lentils or I used to buy a soup pack of mixed lentils and add to soup this soup has a little kick to it to warm you up and can be served with some nice fresh crusty bread for a more substantial lunch. It is also lovely with some cooked bacon hock my kids used to love it and still remind me of how they remember me making it.

Spiced lentil soup.

Ingredients

• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large red onion, diced
• 4 stalks celery, diced
• 1 large carrot or two medium size carrots, diced
• 5 cloves garlic, minced
• 26 ounces/737g fresh tomatoes, chopped – you can also use a 28oz can diced tomatoes and drain the liquid
• 1 cup dried brown lentils, picked over, rinsed and dried
• 1 tbsp garam masala or curry powder
• salt & pepper to taste
• 6 cups vegetable broth
• 2-3 sprigs thyme, to be removed at the end
• 1 cup kale, roughly chopped
• Juice of two limes, about 2 tablespoons, squeezed over.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Heat half the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat add the onions, celery, carrot and garlic and cook for about 8 minutes until the onions are softened.
  2. Add the tomatoes, lentils, garam masala stir together and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the vegetable stock, add the thyme bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer cook for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.
  3. Remove the thyme and remove about two cups of the soup mix and blend then return to the soup mix, add the kale and lime juice and stir to combine.
  4. This soup will keep in the fridge for about 4-5 days and is ideal to take to work in a container as it can be heated up quickly.

For the evening this meat free soup makes a tasty meal if you prefer some meat maybe add some chicken thighs for a lighter, healthier casserole just fry them off when you cook the onions. Myself I used to enjoy a tasty vegetable stew on a cold winters evening.

Beer Casserole with mustard dumplings.

Ingredients

• 125 gm pearl barley
• 2 tbsp oil
• 500 gm baby onions
• 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
• 3 tbsp of flour
• 250 ml of homemade vegetable stock
• 500 ml bottle pale ale
• 1 small Swede ( about 450 gm) cut into cubes
• 3 carrots chopped
• 4 sticks of celery chopped
• 350 gm potatoes halved if small or cut into 4
• 1 bouquet garni…

Mustard Dumplings

• 250 gm self raising flour
• 100 gm shredded vegetable suet
• 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
• 3 tbsp chopped parsley.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Rinse and drain the pearly barley, put in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 30 minutes, adding more water if required.
  2. Meanwhile heat the oven 180 C fan, 160C and Gas 4
  3. Heat the oil in a flame proof casserole and add the onions cook for 3-4 mins…stir in the garlic and cook for 1 min.
  4. Sprinkle the flour and cook for 1 min. gradually stir in the stock and ale and bring to the boil.
  5. Rinse and drain the pearl barley then stir into the casserole also add the Swede, carrots, celery, potatoes and bouquet garni.
  6. Season and then bring to the boil reduce the heat and cook for 45 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile make the dumplings, sift the flour into a bowl then stir in the suet, mustard and parley, season and add 100 ml of water mix…It should form a soft dough.
  8. Remove the casserole from the oven and remove the bouquet garni, place 12 spoonfuls of the dumpling mix in the casserole return to the oven and cook uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  9. Serve with wedges of steamed Savoy cabbage.

Or if you prefer fish this lovely fish pie is nice and warming it can be made in one dish or in individual ramekins.

Fish Pie.

Ingredients

For the mashed potato topping.
• 1kg potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks
• 2 tablespoons butter, zest of 1 lemon
• Salt & Pepper to taste.

For the fish pie filling.
• 500ml (2 cups) milk
• 1 bay leaf
• 200g frozen hake fillets.
• 200g frozen smoked haddock fillets.
• 300g fresh uncooked prawns ( peeled)
• 2 onions sm or one large finely chopped.
• 1 carrot, finely chopped.
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped.
• 3 tbsp flour.
• 1 heaped tsp English mustard.
• 40g (1/2 cup) mature cheddar, grated.
• Juice of half lemon.
• Salt & pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot of boiling water or in a steamer and cook until soft. Mash the potatoes then mix in the butter and the lemon zest. Season to taste.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
  3. To make the fish pie, poach the fish (not the prawns) in the milk with the bay leaf. When the fish is cooked, remove the fish and flake into large chunks. Reserve the milk.
  4. In a large, oven-proof frying pan fry the onion and carrot in a splash of olive oil until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic and fry for another 30 seconds.
  5. Add the flour and stir then add the milk the fish was poached to create a creamy sauce.
  6. Add the English mustard and fish including prawns and stir well then add the cheese and lemon juice and stir.
  7. Season to taste.
  8. Top the fish filling with the mashed potato and create indents with a spoon which will become nice and crispy in the oven.
  9. Place the pie in the oven and allow to bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and crispy.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow cooling for 10 minutes then serving.

Note: I don’t cook the prawns with the fish but add prawns right at the end when adding cooked fish to sauce this way the prawns will be lovely and succulent.

My thanks to  Carol for these winter warmers and it has certainly given me some ideas for this week.

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 vegetables 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 have 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

 You can find all of the previous posts in the directoryCarol Taylor Food Column

We would love to hear from you… perhaps you can share your favourite winter warmer? Thanks Sally