Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Easter Parades, Short Stories, books and guests.


Welcome to the posts you might have missed during the last 8 days… a little later than usual as I have been taking advantage of the wonderful weather over Easter and have been away from the screen for most of each day.

The two Easter parades have been great fun for me to put together and I am thrilled with the wonderful behatted guests who have participated. A little music, dancing, funnies and genuinely lovely people who are all very supportive of me and the blog.

It is not too late to pop in and add the link to your latest post and your Amazon Link.

How many of these guests or their representatives do you recognise?

Easter Parade Saturday.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/20/smorgasbord-easter-parade-blog-party-part-one-eggellent-time-to-add-your-links-music-dancing-food-and-behatted-guests/


https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/smorgasbord-easter-parade-blog-party-part-two-music-dancing-food-behatted-guests-and-time-to-drop-you-links/

And here are the other posts from the week.

William Price King shares the life and music of jazz pianist/electric keyboardist and composer Chick Corea.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-pianist-electric-keyboardist-and-composer-chick-corea/

The House by the Sea  by Paul Andruss – The final three episodes

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/20/smorgasbord-blogs-from-my-archives-the-house-by-the-sea-part-three-by-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-house-by-the-sea-part-four-by-paul-andruss/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-my-archives-the-house-by-the-sea-final-part-by-paul-andruss/

This week Carol Taylor and I share the foods you need to include in your diet to ensure you do not become deficient in Vitamin B5.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiency-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-vitamin-b5-pantothenic-acid/

This month Silvia Todesco shares a recipe for a special sugar glazed pie that uses up your fruit that is going squishy…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-italian-cookery-with-silvia-todesco-fresh-fruit-pie-with-sugar-glaze-dessert/

My review for Survival of the Fittest (Book 1 of The Crossroads Trilogy) by Jacqui Murray

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/smorgasbord-book-reviews-survival-of-the-fittest-book-1-of-the-crossroads-trilogy-by-jacqui-murray/

A Haibun – The Circles of Life

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/smorgasbord-poetry-haibun-circles-of-life-by-sally-cronin/

This week in the R’s of Life I look at the billions of dollars spent in regulated and non-regulated cosmetic surgeries and procedures in an effort to look young.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-survival-in-the-modern-world-rejuvenation/

Donna Hill shares the retirement process for guide dogs and how they can be absorbed into the family or extended family.

Hunter, Donna's black Lab guide dog, on Hill's Pond-Berm Trail with blooming yellow Birdsfoot Trefoil, Showing his Gray in Summer of 2013: photo by Rich Hill.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/15/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-retiring-guide-dogs-no-one-size-fits-all-solution-by-donna-w-hill/

Miriam Hurdle shares the story of her brother-in-law and the challenge of waiting for a perfect match.

P1020092

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-kidney-transplant-a-good-match-by-miriam-hurdle/

This week Susanne Swanson introduces us to Benji – the runt of the litter who soars in his dreams.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-cats-in-my-dreams-i-soar-by-susanne-swanson/

Patty Fletcher shares a difficult time during her first experience of Seeing Eye Dog training school being away from home at Easter.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-the-easter-bunny-came-after-all-by-patty-fletcher/

I share more of the contributors to this anthology of interviews with fellow authors who have experienced significant life events.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-special-feature-understanding-an-anthology-of-true-and-significant-life-events-contributors-lucy-v-hay-miriam-hurdle-phil-huston/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/smorgasbord-special-feature-understanding-an-anthology-of-true-and-significant-life-events-contributors-pamela-jessen-lynda-mckinney-lambert-and-jaye-marie/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-delilah-and-the-dark-god-the-eternal-realm-book-2-by-fiona-tarr/

Author Update – Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/15/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-deborah-jay-julia-benally-robbie-cheadle-and-elsie-hancy-eaton/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-sue-coletta-james-j-cudney-and-lucinda-e-clarke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/16/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-what-were-they-thinking-part-one-and-a-joke-from-the-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-what-were-they-thinking-part-two-and-a-joke-from-the-archives/

 

Thank you very much for dropping in through the week and today, I hope that you had a peaceful Easter and that the tragic events in Sri Lanka did not touch your lives.  Sally

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up- Glenn Miller, Roses, Mexico, New Books, Reviews and Guests.


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

Some stand out moments from the week that I would like to make a special mention about.

The first was the nomination for the blog for the Versatile Blogger Award by Brigid Gallagher which I was very honoured to receive. I know that many bloggers are now award free. I quite understand, as when you are at full tilt, it is tough to take the time to respond to an award and also to draw up a list of willing nominees.

However… even after six years, I still get a kick out of awards and I have met so many wonderful bloggers through other people’s nominees, that it is well worth the effort. And also it is an opportunity to showcase newer bloggers who are still finding their feet or deserve to have some promotion.

Anyway.. this was my response with 7 more secrets about me…..and some nominees who are terrific bloggers.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/smorgasbord-and-the-versatile-blogger-award-nominated-by-brigid-p-gallagher-7-things-you-may-not-know-about-me/

The second highlight is the release of Understanding: An Anthology of True and Significant Life Events… Compiled and contributed to by Stevie Turner and 18 other authors including myself and quite a few of our blogging community.

The proceeds from this anthology will be going to Cancer Research and it is a very worthy cause.

Over the next week I will be posing a number of author profiles of those who have contributed and I hope that you will follow those authors and also support their work in this collection.

About the anthology

The following authors and bloggers kindly answered questions posed by Stevie Turner regarding significant life experiences they had undergone. These events include sexual abuse, a near death experience, alcoholism, being diagnosed with cancer, depression, losing weight, getting married, being a mother to many children, being the daughter of a narcissistic mother, and many more!

In this first post I share the authors who have contributed with a profile on Stevie Turner, D.G. Kaye and in the coming two weeks will feature the other authors in separate posts.

All proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research:

You can buy the anthology for only 99c: https://www.amazon.com/UNDERSTANDING-Anthology-True-Significant-Events-ebook/dp/B07Q5NLHRZ

And on Amazon UK for 99p: https://www.amazon.co.uk/UNDERSTANDING-Anthology-True-Significant-Events-ebook/dp/B07Q5NLHRZ

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-special-feature-proceedscancerresearch-understanding-an-anthology-of-true-and-significant-life-events-compiled-by-stevie-turner-and-18-other-authors/

Now on with the other posts this week.

This week William Price King shares the life and music of the legendary Glenn Miller whose music is still loved over 70 years since his untimely death during the Second World War.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/02/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-glen-miller-trombonist-composer-big-band-leader/

In his final gardening post, Paul Andruss shares the beauty and background to the rose.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-only-a-rose/

In the second part of her posts on Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, D.G. Kaye shares the fundamentals that you need to know about renting, shopping, tipping, exchanging your cash, dining and how to drink safe water.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-with-d-g-kaye-puerto-vallarta-mexico-part-two-renting-shopping-tipping-and-water/

This week my guest is author Ann Chiappetta who shares where she would love to live in the world, the animal she would most like to talk to and her favourite season.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-ann-chiappetta

My review for Small Town Kid by Frank Prem – recommended

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/05/smorgasbord-book-reviews-small-town-kid-by-frank-prem/

This week Carol Taylor and I join forces to share the foods that contain good amounts of Vitamin B3 and the recipes that the whole family will enjoy.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-to-prevent-nutritional-deficiencies-vitamin-b3-niacin/

A lovely guest post from Joy Lennick in tribute to her mother…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-joy-lennick-a-tribute-to-my-dear-mama-mum/

Sally’s personal stuff

This week in the R’s of Life,  I look at the true cost of retail therapy and the waste associated with our drive to own the latest and the most fashionable.  And also the mountains of food that goes uneaten in most of our countries when millions are starving.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/02/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-survival-in-a-modern-world-retail-therapy-the-true-cost-by-sally-cronin/

This week I share the abundance of food that you can enjoy as you lose weight… starving the body is not an option, and cutting out food groups is counter productive.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-weightloss-all-the-delicious-foods-you-can-eat-by-sally-cronin/

Being the first week of the month… .Colleen Chesebro allowed us to pick our own words as prompts…My Etheree is entitled ‘April’

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-weekly-poetry-challenge-etheree-april-by-sally-cronin/

 

Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction – the Prompt this week is ‘Fire’

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-fire-by-sally-cronin/

Donna W. Hill is a breast cancer survivor and in this week’s inspiring post she shares her motivation and also encounters with butterflies and knitting.

Blue butterfly on milkweed: photo by Rich Hill

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-butterflies-me-an-authors-breast-cancer-survival-story-by-donna-w-hill/

This week Jen Moore, shares the delightful character who is her son, and the warm and embracing way that the family manages his dyslexia.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/02/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-the-funny-thing-about-dyslexia-by-jen-moore/

This week Norah Colvin shares all things berry.. which resulted in a lot of discussion about what is a berry and what is not, and how to get hold of our favourites…

mulberries

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-berry-delightful-by-norah-colvin/

A new contributor this week and the first post from the archives of Susanne Swanson who shares her return to her kindergarten school, celebrating its 100th anniversary.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/05/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-frank-b-cooper-school-refrain-by-susanne-swanson/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-amie-savage-safari-amie-in-africa-book-5-by-lucinda-e-clarke/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/03/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-special-pre-order-price-99c-99p-the-mayhem-series-book-3-silent-mayhem-by-sue-coletta/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-trudys-diary-libraries-of-the-world-mysteries-book-1-by-amy-m-reade/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-shortstories-a-box-of-memories-by-allan-hudson/

Author Updates

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-d-wallace-peach-barb-taub-and-mary-smith/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/05/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-jean-lee-paulette-mahurin-pamela-s-wight/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/02/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-a-mixed-bag-and-some-observations-on-life/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/04/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-another-odd-assortment-and-more-observations-on-life/

 

Thank you very much for visiting this week and for all your support, it is always appreciated.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Cathaoireacha, Cats, More Cats, Irises and Beans!


Welcome to the weekly round up of posts you might have missed this week. As always my thanks to those who are regular contributors and guest writers. Some wonderful posts on family, music, food and life in general.

Guest writers.

I began this blog magazine to share content with as wide a range of interest as possible. That includes showcasing other writers and if you would like a guest writing spot you can share posts that you have already written and would like to showcase again to a new audience here on Smorgasbord. It can be on any topic but I do have some younger readership so it does need to be family friendly.. Get in touch on Sally.cronin@moyhill.com with four links to your posts and I will come back to you with any further information that I need to create your post.

If you would like to see previous posts then just type in Guest Writer in the search box to the right of the blog title at the top of the page and it will bring them all up for you.

Posts from Your Archives

There will be details on a new series of Posts from Your Archives with a different theme after Easter. The family posts have been wonderful and thanks to all those who have shared their posts. These posts are different from the guest posts as they have a specific theme.

Both of these series offer you the chance to showcase your writing but also your books with any recent reviews..

Tribute to a writing companion…my office chair and Cathaoireacha…

I have been using the same chair that we bought in Carrefour supermarket in Spain for 15 years. It is leather with stainless steel arms and trim and was the most comfortable chair I have ever used for writing. I would swivel it around to watch television as well in our office and when we first arrived in Ireland three years ago, I was parted from it for six months. I noticed the difference.

Last week as I swivelled to pick up a file at the end of my desk, the chair tossed me unceremoniously onto the floor where I lay in a bemused heap. The handyman (in house) inspected the chair from every angle and we realised that one of the five stainless steel feet on the pedestal was being held up in pain and was an inch above the floor. Further investigations revealed a stress fracture and it was not reparable.

Going online to look for a similar style of chair, in leather was  a bit of a shocker. Looked like it was going to be 400 Euro which is good value if I could get another 15 years out of it but still worth checking around.

When we first moved here David had bought some second hand office furniture from a warehouse in Wicklow and following a phone call we headed up there yesterday to inspect the stock. What a great guy… and it was a treasure trove in his warehouse with furniture stacked to the rafters including leather office swivel chairs. We spend 15 minutes moving things about and of course I spotted just the chair I wanted right at the back under a bunch of other ones.. David dug it out and I sat in it.. more fancy than my old one with more padding and leather arms, deep seat and back and perfect. Easily a 500 euro chair..

We called the owner over and prepared to negotiate..especially when he said it was from a bank office clearance and was the CEO’s chair…..you can imagine our surprise when he offered it to us for 70 Euro… wow.. no negotiating needed.

And as a bonus. We mentioned the demise of my stalwart writing companion… and lo and behold he had a five leg pedestal that fits all the models and he gave that to us for free.

David has now repaired the old chair and he is going to use from now on to replace the wooden one currently doing the job. I love my new chair as it has a bit more padding which is a bonus for my butt… and very happy that an old friend is not going to end up on the scrap heap. Here they are together… family.

I am married to a man who thankfully believes in buying second hand… I was too…. and whilst it is lovely to have shiny new stuff….at the end of the day a little bit of wear and tear and a fantastic bargain is as satisfying as spending six time more on a new item.

Recycling is so important and as the landfills continue to grow into mountains of household goods that have been usurped by new items, it is well worth donating them to charity shops or passed on to people like this guy who provides a wonderful service. Thanks to Pat Harvey who also sells a multitude of other products for the home.. Wicklow Hygiene Products Ltd..so if you live in the area.. he’s your man!

On the subject of family and cathaoireacha…chairs

When David and I came over to Ireland in early November 1980 to meet his family (we met and married in 6 weeks) I was given a warm welcome. When presented with a glass of wine.. which was often.. I would wish everyone ‘cheers’. Eventually I asked what the Irish was for ‘cheers’ as as one they announced that it was ‘Kaheeraka’ (phonetically). For many years afterwards when in Ireland or in the company of Irish acquaintances, I would raise my glass and say ‘Kaheeraka’..  only discover that I had been hazed.. and what I was really saying was Cathaoireacha..’Chairs’. Gotta love family…. all in good fun….No wonder himself is laughing in this photograph taken that weekend…..

On with the posts from the week…

This week the beautiful Iris..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-taste-the-rainbow-with-irises/

Recipes for beans to include in your family’s menus.. full of energy and nutrients. Homemade without all the additives.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/smorgasbord-health-column-rewind-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-beans-a-staple-food-for-12000-years/

Annette Rochelle Aben shares the universal energy of April and how it might impact us as individuals.. bring it on..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-numerology-your-universal-energy-for-april-2019-by-annette-rochelle-aben/

My guest today, Julia Benally shares what she did grab when she had two minutes to get out of her house, why it would be wise not to cross her freshly mopped floors, a very disconcerting Christmas holiday, her favourite children’s song and a rather bouncy mis-purchase…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-author-julia-benally/

One of life’s certainties is that at some point you are going to be rejected personally or professionally. It can happen at any age and because it is a certainty, it does pay to prepare for it, or if unexpected have some strategies to cope with it.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-live-survival-in-a-modern-world-rejection-a-fact-of-life-by-sally-cronin/

Trash can punch by the pool and a trip to San Diego and Sea World in April 1986

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1986-trash-can-punch-and-sea-world-april-1986/

With any project plan you need to have a start point and and end point…measurement is the key to identify progress and also to create significant events that warrant celebration.

How much do you weigh now?

And how much should you weigh to be healthy?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-weightloss-how-much-should-you-weigh/

This week for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills The prompt is the word ‘Eminence’ in all its glory…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-your-eminence-by-sally-cronin/

This week’s response to Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 129

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-weekly-poetry-challenge-haibun-i-wander-down-memory-lane-by-sally-cronin/

This week a one hit wonder… Rockin’ Robin by Bobby Day.. that was his only major chart hit, but led to a career as a successful songwriter.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-one-hit-wonders-rockin-robin-bobby-day/

 

My review of More Glimpses by Hugh W. Roberts – short stories across several genres with something for everyone.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/29/smorgasbord-book-reviews-shortstories-more-glimpses-by-hugh-w-roberts/

Delighted to welcome Donna W. Hill to the blog with a series of posts from her archives. A wonderful story of a rescue cat.

Goofus, a male, Strawberry-blonde tabby, hangs upside-down in the family room: photo by Rich Hill

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-stray-cat-working-dog-abandonment-rescue-redemption-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-by-donna-w-hill/

Please welcome Jen Moore who has been blogging about life with chickens, cats and children for five years.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-the-futility-of-a-feline-rooftop-protest-by-jen-moore/

This is the second post from the archives of  educator and storyteller Norah Colvin and this week Norah shares her own experiences of telling real stories about family to young children, not just their immediate family but passing on living history about those relatives we have met but the younger generation may not have.

Nor and Bec reading

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-whose-story-is-it-anyway-by-norah-colvin/

Miriam Hurdle shares two post in one with a letter that she wrote to her daughter and then she shares a very special post where Mercy shares the words that she associates with her mother, and the strengths she has inherited from her.

20160910_150915

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-letters-between-a-mother-and-daughter-by-miriam-hurdle/

Welcome to the third of the guest posts from author L.T. Garvin and this week a short story of the difficult transitional years between child and adulthood, commonly called the ‘Teens’. The story is infused with its author’s personal experiences.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-l-t-garvin-the-dairy-treat-princess/

New on the shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-braxton-campus-mysteries-book-3-flower-power-trip-by-james-j-cudney/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-words-of-life-by-ann-chiappetta/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-the-man-who-found-birds-among-the-stars-part-five-phenix-rises-a-biographical-fiction-by-lorinda-j-taylor/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-a-mountain-of-memories-by-christine-campbell/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/29/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-book-on-the-shelves-survival-of-the-fittest-book-1-of-the-crossroads-trilogy-by-jacqui-murray/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/30/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-childrens-sir-chocolate-and-the-fondant-five-story-and-cookbook-by-robbie-and-michael-cheadle/

Author Updates Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-updates-reviews-janice-spina-robbie-and-michael-cheadle-and-hl-carpenter/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/29/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-vashti-quiroz-vega-jim-webster-and-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/26/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-next-time-you-complain-about-your-job-and-a-joke-from-the-archives/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/28/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-a-little-heaven-hell-humour/

Thank you for dropping in today and for your support throughout the week. If you would like to be part of Smorgasbord Blog Magazine as a guest then please get in touch… either with posts from your archives on the subject of family… or as a guest writer on a variety of subjects. Sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Smorgasbord Health Column Rewind – Cook from Scratch with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Beans – A staple food for 12,000 years


This week in the Cook from Scratch rewind I explore the health benefits of beans and Carol Taylor will then use them as ingredients in dishes to please the whole family.

Beans can be tricky so Carol has been working away in the kitchen to give you some fool proof recipes to try so that you can include this very nutrient dense food.

 

 

Mention the fact that you are an ardent bean lover and people automatically give you a wide berth. Unfortunately this very nutritious food group has developed a rather anti-social reputation over the years but prepared and cooked correctly beans can overcome their wind producing properties.

History of the Bean

There is evidence going back nearly 12,000 years that peas were part of the staple diet in certain cultures and certainly natives of Peru and Mexico were cultivating beans as a crop 9,000 years ago. It is likely that they were one of the first crops to be planted when man ceased to be nomadic and settled into communities.

There are many types of bean used as a staple food in different cultures around the world including Black beans, Chickpeas, Kidney Beans, Navy Beans and Soybeans. In Asia where consumption of soybean products is very high it is regarded as one of the best preventative medicines that you can eat.

What are the main health benefits of beans.

For anyone suffering high cholesterol levels, blood pressure, heart disease, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, Diverticulitis, colon cancer, diabetes or iron deficiency, beans are definitely on the healing foods list. One of the main health benefits of eating beans is their high fibre content.

Although fibre is not exactly up there on everyone’s favourite foods list it is extremely important to our overall health. Fibre is carbohydrate that cannot be digested and there are two types, water-soluble and water insoluble. Primarily water-soluble fibre comes from oatmeal, oat bran, nuts and seeds, fruit and legumes that include peas, lentils and beans. The insoluble fibre is mainly found in wholegrains, wheat bran, seeds, root vegetables, cucumbers, courgettes, celery and tomatoes.

Fibre acts like a vacuum cleaner, travelling through the blood stream and intestines collecting cholesterol plaque, toxins, waste products from normal bodily functions and anything else that should not be there.

Provided you do not pile high fat sauces and butter onto this group of foods they can be a very healthy aid to weight loss as fibre has no calories and the foods containing it are generally low in fat and high in nutrients.

Other healthy elements in beans.

Beans are packed with nutrients as well as fibre including Vitamin B1 (thiamin) copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and tryptophan. The combination of nutrients will help boost your immune system, balance blood sugar levels, lower your risk of heart disease and help protect you against cancer.

Vitamin B1 (thiamin) is essential in the metabolism of carbohydrates and for a healthy nervous system. Every cell in the body requires this vitamin to form the fuel the body runs on, ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate).

Copper is an essential trace mineral needed to absorb and utilise iron and also assist in the production of collagen.

Folate is a B Vitamin essential for cell replication and growth. It is needed for our nervous system and heart health as folate helps lower homocysteine levels in the blood, a leading contributory factor in heart disease.

Magnesium is an essential mineral needed for bone, protein and fatty acid formation, forming new cells, activating the B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood and forming ATP. The secretion and action of insulin also needs magnesium as does the correct balance of calcium in the body.

Iron is an integral part of the oxygen-carrying haemoglobin in the blood, which is why a deficiency can cause fatigue and ill health.

Manganese boosts energy and the immune system and molybdenum another trace mineral helps detox the body of sulphites a commonly used preservative in processed food and one that many people have a sensitivity to.

Tryptophan is an amino acid that is critical in the manufacture of serotonin a neurotransmitter that affects our mental wellbeing.

Preparing beans to avoid the wind factor.

If you are not used to fibre then you need to introduce it into your diet over a period of days. This guideline applies to eating beans as people who eat them regularly seem to have less of a problem. There are a number of guidelines to ensure that you receive all of the benefits and none of the more anti-social side effects.

  • 1. Soak your dried beans for at least 6 hours before cooking. Change the water several times.
  • 2. Put the beans in a large pot and cover with cold unsalted water usually 3 to 6 times the amount of beans. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Drain the beans after 30 minutes and replace the water. Bring back to the boil and then simmer.
  • 3. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface of the water.
  • 4. When the beans have softened add some salt, as this will bring out there flavour. If you add salt at the beginning of cooking it can make the beans tougher. If you are on a low sodium diet then be careful about how much salt you add or use and alternative.
  • 5. When the beans are cooked you can prepare in a number of ways. Include in brown rice dishes; stir-fry with a little olive oil, seasonings and favourite spices.
  • 6. A lovely way to eat beans is in a casserole with tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, carrots, potatoes, celery and vegetable stock.
  • 7. Make your own baked beans with homemade tomato sauce and serve on jacket potatoes or on toast.
  • 8. You can blend with other ingredients and make hamburgers, meatloaves and pates.

Now it is time to hand you over to the cooking expert who has created some wonderful ways to include beans regularly in your diet.  Here’s Carol………

Full of Beans by Carol Taylor

Beans are such a versatile legume…it is the name used for the seeds of several plants that includes beans, peas and lentils and they are among the most versatile and nutritious foods available and if you have perused Sally’s writing before you got to my recipes you will know just how beneficial to our health and wellbeing they are.

Sally has even included a little tip which may make the air surrounding you be a little less sulphuric…ha ha…Methinks we have all been on the receiving end of that one!

Here in Thailand beans are included in most Thai diets and come in many guises some I had never seen or heard of before living here and have now come to love and one which is very aptly called the Stink Bean grew on me as after eating these your urine will smell very much like the smell you get after consuming asparagus.

Firstly my time in the kitchen over the last few days has been fraught to say the very least and also hilarious….My first effort at making Baked Beans ended in a culinary disaster…and I forgot to take pictures but trust me the pot was encrusted with burnt beans and the smell invaded everything…My other half who was left in charge while I went to the hairdressers…Big Mistake… went on the defensive…

When he managed to get his nose out of his book (why) after all those years of not reading anything did I encourage him to read??? He had a simple task og keeping an eye on the pot of beans… As soon as I walked in I could smell the burning. The answer to my “ Could you not smell the burning?” Was.. and I quote “I thought that was a cooking smell “

Those who know me don’t very often see me stunned into silence…..I was just speechless …If the volcano had erupted it would still be spewing forth…lol

Take 2.

As these beans have very little cooking juice they need constant stirring and watching (and folks) let me tell you I have made the mistakes so you will not…. See how good I am to you!
I set the timer on my phone to go off every 5 minutes… My office is in my bedroom and up 2 flights of a marble staircase… I forgot how quick I could get down and up to reset the timer and at my age…I was impressed and so was little Lily who turned it into a game…I got 2 hours of up and down the stairs which was good exercise …I felt invigorated..truly… I knew if I burnt these beans I would never ever live it down.

The result:

They were ok…took ages to soften and so next time I hope they will be just perfect and not take so long to cook so I have slightly rewritten the recipe…. And next time I make these baked beans I will not only pre-soak them but will be pre-cooking them in water before adding the ingredients…You live and learn don’t you???

Baked Beans:

Firstly, cover the beans with water and soak the beans overnight. Secondly cover the beans with fresh water and cook for at least 2 hours until they are nearly soft it will depend on the age of the beans as apparently the ones you buy of of the supermarket shelves can be years old so it is best to buy online or from a health food store as they have a bigger turnover and the beans are likely to be somewhat younger.

Now we can add our tomatoes and seasonings and cook for a further 2 hours or until soft.

Ingredients:

  • 250 gm Navy Beans or haricot beans
  • 200 gm passata or good chopped tomatoes
  • 20 ml Apple cider vinegar
  • 10 ml Soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme or other herbs
  • A dash of olive oil
  • Salt to season (Don’t) add salt until near the end of the cooking time.

This was my basic bean recipe and I have also included underneath a few ideas for variations.

Let’s Cook!

In an oven proof dish mix all the ingredients except for the salt together and pour over your pre soaked and pre- cooked beans. Cover with the lid and cook at 175C for about 2 hours or until soft. Don’t forget to stir occasionally and add water if required.

Enjoy!

Oh! And a little cooking tip…
Never throw away the liquid you pre- cook your beans in it makes an idea base for soups.

Now for a few ideas for some additions to your basic bean mix…

Apple-Cheddar Baked Beans: Core and cut up 1 tart apple (such as Granny Smith) and stir it into the bean mixture before baking. Sprinkle the beans with 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded smoked cheddar cheese after baking.

Hawaiian Baked Beans: Stir one 8-ounce can pineapple titbits, undrained, into the bean mixture before baking. Bake the beans uncovered for the last 10 minutes.

Apricot Baked Beans: Substitute apricot preserves for the honey, and stir 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots into the bean mixture before baking.

Maple-Pecan Baked Beans: Substitute maple syrup for the honey. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans over the bean mixture before serving.

Another great idea for beans is a lovely mixed bean salad with my favourite feta cheese.

Mix black beans, kidney beans and great northern beans, dice some fresh tomatoes with green chilli peppers, feta cheese, red onion, Greek seasoning, and 2 cloves of garlic finely diced in a bowl. Whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey mustard, and Worcestershire sauce in a separate bowl; pour over the bean mixture. Toss to coat.

This is lovely served with some grilled fish, a nice chicken breast cooked in garlic butter or a piece of medium rare steak.

This can be whipped up in minutes with ingredients you probably have in your fridge or store cupboard.

Ideal when you really don’t want to cook.

Hummus:

My home-made Tahini is now made and in the fridge. Click the link below for the recipe.
https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/happiness-often-sneaks-in-through-a-door-you-didnt-know-you-left-open/

Ingredients:

  • 3tbsp Tahini Paste
  • I can of chick peas or you can use soaked dried, cooked chickpeas.
  • 2tbsp fresh Lemon Juice
  • 2tbsp Olive Oil,
  • 1 clove Garlic,
  • 1/2 tsp ground Cumin
  • ½ -1 tsp salt

Let’s Cook!

  1. Combine your tahini paste with the lemon juice and blitz. Add olive oil, cumin, salt and garlic and blitz. Add half the drained can of chick peas and blitz 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add other half of Chick peas and blitz again for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Put in suitable container or serving bowl drizzle with 1 tbsp Olive Oil and sprinkle with Paprika.
  4. Voila it’s now ready to eat with Sliced pitta bread or cut up vegetables of your choice.
  5. This will keep up to 1 week in the fridge.

Wing Beans:

This lovely fluted edged little bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus), Is also known as the Goa bean, asparagus pea, four-angled bean, four-cornered bean, Manila bean, Mauritius bean, and winged pea.

Winged bean is nutrient rich, and all parts of the plant are edible. Leaves can be eaten like spinach, flowers can be used in salads, tubers can be eaten raw or cooked, and seeds can be used in similar ways as the soybean.

All you need is Wing beans, garlic, a small chilli chopped( optional) and some seasoning sauce I use Oyster sauce….Which I believe is available worldwide now in Asian stores.

Chop your wing beans in ½ inch pieces on the diagonal; chop your garlic and chilli if used.

Add a little coconut oil to a pan quickly stir fry the garlic and chilli add the beans and stir fry 1-2 minutes add 1-2 tbsp oyster sauce and stir fry for another minute and viola a lovely little dish which I eat for a quick lunch with some steamed rice or it can be served as an accompaniment to a main meal.

Enjoy!

Stink Beans:

This recipe is for one of the most popular beans in Thailand called the Stink Bean it is often eaten raw with a spicy dip and also stir fried with prawns , chicken or Pork.

Ingredients

  • 400 grams shrimp (you can also make this recipe with chicken or pork)
  • 2 – 3 heaping tbsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 cup of shelled stink beans (I used 6 pods, and you can use more or less)
  • ½ tsp shrimp paste
  • ½ tbsp oyster sauce
  • ½ tbsp sugar (This is the Thai way, but I use less or none)
  • 6 – 8 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 tbsp oil for frying

Let’s Cook!

  1. Prepare the shrimp by taking off the head and peeling the shell, and then devein them. If you want to prepare your shrimp Thai style, peel the body, but leave the tail on.
  2. Stink beans grow in a long twisted hard pods, so the first thing to do is peel the stink beans out of the outer shell. The skin is quite tough so it’s easiest to take a sharp knife and slice the bean, almost in half first. Then peel back the skin and remove the stink bean inside. You’ll also see an inner, beige colored skin that coats the stink beans, and you want to remove that too.
  3. Go through all the pods and remove all the stink beans – this will probably take a few minutes.
  4. Put your wok or frying pan on a medium heat and add about 2 tbsp of oil. I normally like to use less oil when I stir fry Thai food, but with this stink bean curry recipe, you really need to add some oil so the curry paste gets nice and fragrant when frying and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  5. When your oil is sizzling hot, add in the curry paste, first start with 2 tbsp. – you can always come back and add more later if it’s not flavourful enough. Then add about ½ tsp of shrimp paste.
  6. Stir fry the curry paste, working it into the oil, and scraping it off the bottom of the pan. Immediately you should start to smell those beautiful chillies, the lemongrass and the turmeric. Keep stir frying for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, making sure the paste doesn’t burn, but is nice and fragrant.
  7. Add the shrimp, and stir fry continuously for about 30 seconds. The shrimp should pretty quickly start to turn from transparent to pink orange in colour. If the curry paste starts to get dry, you can toss in a splash of water, and that should give you some liquid to work with as well as a little extra sauce.
  8. Then toss in the stink beans, and stir fry for about another 30 seconds or so. You want to keep stirring hard so the curry paste doesn’t stick to the pan.
  9. Season with ½ tbsp of oyster sauce and ½ tbsp of sugar (the normal Thai way is to use sugar, so I showed it this way in the recipe, BUT, when I cook it myself I normally omit the sugar or use just a tiny bit – so up to you how much sugar you want to add).
  10. Again, if your stink beans ( goong pad sataw) get dry, add another splash of water, and then stir fry for just another minute.
  11. The final step is to take 6 – 8 kaffir lime leaves, and tear them off the stems directly into the curry. When you tear the kaffir lime leaves, it will release their flavour. Stir fry for just 10 seconds, and then turn off the heat.
  12.  Immediately put it onto a serving plate, and you’re ready to start eating.

Serve with some steamed rice…

Enjoy!

Lastly we have a ..Chilli Con Carne of which there are many variations. Most of which I think are a generic chilli as a proper Mexican chilli is normally chunks of beef and no tomatoes and actually bears little resemblance to the Chilli Con Carne we know and love…

Ingredients

  • 500 gm lean minced Beef ( I use pork) as I can’t get minced beef here.
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 red or yellow pepper chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped2 inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 1-3 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 beef stock cube or 1 pt of fresh made beef or vegetable stock
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410g can red kidney beans, drained

Let’s Cook!

  1. Put the olive oil in a large pan and heat add the chopped onions, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and cook for 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.I like to add my cumin seeds with the onions as it brings out their full flavour and we love cumin.
  2. Add the minced meat and cook , stirring until nicely browned.Add the tomatoes, stock, peppers and tomato puree stirring in well and bring to a soft simmer.
  3. Add the paprika, marjoram and sugar. Cook for 20 minutes now this is where I taste and add more chilli and usually more cumin seeds and then add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes.
  4. Serve with steamed rice and sour cream dusted with a little smoked paprika.

Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed these bean recipes and I would like to thank Sally once again for allowing me to add my recipes to her wonderful posts on the health benefits of the food we eat.

As always I am so grateful to Carol for the time and effort that she puts into preparing these recipes, including misunderstandings with her assistant!  She is a treasure.

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/

Thank you for dropping in today and if you have any questions for either of us then please do not hesitate to ask in the comments. Your feedback is always welcome.

Please feel free to share thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Social Media, Jazz, Tulips, Cookery, Guests, short stories, poetry and guests.


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

The social media shenanigans continued this week with Facebook failing to respond and telling those kind enough to share or tag me in comments that I had been reported for abusive content. I had received no response after four weeks of appeals and emails so decided to pull the plug on my account completely late last week. I cannot have other people being embroiled in this, and also I felt that my reputation as an individual and an author was under attack and was potentially damaging. Without recourse to prove my innocence, I feel that it is becoming an issue for Facebook in general. I know that I am not the only person to have been treated in this manner, and I doubt the situation will improve.

I was on Facebook for ten years and had made many friends who have been incredibly supportive. If I was reported for alleged abuse, it would seem that 4000 other contacts did not feel the same way, as they would I am sure simply unfriended me.

Thankfully I can connected to most of those on other platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn and now the developing MeWe. Because of that there has been no impact on the traffic to the blog, which I am pleased about because of the author promotions that run each week. The plus side is that I notice considerably less junk in my email spam folders which is interesting…..

If you are not already connected to me on those platforms then here are the links to my main sites.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sallycronin1/ (a growing number of authors who after all are in business for themselves)
MeWe Personal: mewe.com/i/sallycronin   (no ads, similar interface to Facebook, guarantee that they will not sell data)
MeWe – Authors Group with Debby Gies, Colleen Chesebro and other familiar names: https://mewe.com/join/theliterarydivashangout
MeWe – Authors/Bloggers Circle: https://mewe.com/join/authorsbloggerscircleabcgroup
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ie/cronin1423/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7979187.Sally_Cronin

Anyway.. onwards and upwards and here are the posts on Smorgasbord this last week. Enjoy….thanks Sally.

Yusef Abdul Lateef (born William Emanuel Huddleston; October 9, 1920 – December 23, 2013) was an American jazz multi-instrumentalist, composer, and prominent figure among the Ahmadiyya Community in America.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-yusef-lateef-jazz-multi-instrumentalist-and-composer/

Paul Andruss wanted to make sure that tulips in all their glory, received a showcase and so has written an extra column this month to do just that.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-tulipmania/

In her second guest post, L.T. Garvin shares a poem about an event in history that is forever etched in the memories of people around the world… It is one of those events that people ask “Where were you when….?”

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/18/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-l-t-garvin-november-dallas-texas-l-t-garvin/

This week Joy Lennick shares some shenanigans from her visits to an old people’s home where life was celebrated as much as possible, and sometimes romance overcame the sensibilities…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-joy-lennick-and-sweet-pea-lodge/

In this week’s R’s of Life, I explore our right to Freedom of Speech and Religion and our obligations with regard to them.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/something-to-think-about-the-rs-of-life-survival-in-a-modern-world-our-right-to-freedom-of-speech-and-religion-by-sally-cronin/

This week getting a project plan in place with some easy to follow rules to keep you on the straight and narrow as you embark on this healthy weight loss programme.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/smorgasbord-health-column-size-matters-the-sequel-weightloss-the-project-plan-for-success/

Last Sunday I was the guest of educator and storyteller Norah Colvin as part of her new series School Day Reminiscences Norah asked me about my education and schooling and I had to delve back over 60 years to access those memories…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/smorgasbord-reblog-from-norah-colvin-school-days-reminiscences-of-sally-cronin/

My response to the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge by Charli Mills offers us the prompt of a ‘bucket of water’. Following Elephants.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/smorgasbord-short-stories-carrot-ranch-flash-fiction-following-elephants-by-sally-cronin/

It is the time of the week when I attempt to get my syllables in a row to participate in Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 128

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/20/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-weekly-poetry-challenge-haibun-the-footsteps-of-my-ancestors-by-sally-cronin/

This week we find a lost puppy… and decided to swap are rented furniture for second hand at a great price.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/21/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1986-march-1986-pool-parties-lost-puppies-new-furniture/

This week we share the possible symptoms resulting from a vitamin B2 deficiency, the best food sources and Carol Taylor shares some amazing recipes with those food as ingredients.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/20/smorgasbord-health-column-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-to-prevent-nutrient-deficiency-vitamin-b2-riboflavin/

My guest today is American poet and author Lynda Lambert who shares what is in her briefcase and purse, her fashion sense, a book close to her heart and dreams.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/24/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-lynda-mckinney-lambert/

Balroop Singh shares her experiences and views on the traditional Indian Wedding and the enormous burden of the expense of the lead up and event.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/18/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-of-traditions-conservatism-and-giving-by-balroop-singh/

This week Darlene Foster shares the sad loss of a family farm due to wildfires in 2017. Buildings that had weathered many a storm, and sadly the fires also brought tragedy to the community.

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https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-what-was-lost-in-the-fire-by-darlene-foster/

In her first post from 2015, Norah Colvin who is a dedicated participant in the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction challenge, was reminded about a family mystery. And she shares a way to share family relationships with young children.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/20/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-understanding-family-relationships-by-norah-colvin/

This week Robbie Cheadle share a heartwarming poem about her son Michael.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/21/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-poetry-my-michael-by-robbie-cheadle/

Welcome to the last of the posts from Sharon Marchisello’s archives.This week the very important issue of keeping our elderly relatives safe with regard to their money should they become forgetful or worse develop dementia.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-family-protecting-memory-impaired-loved-ones-by-sharon-marchisello/

New Book on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-pre-order-short-and-not-always-sweet-by-dorinda-duclos/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-more-glimpses-by-hugh-w-roberts/

Author Update #Reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/18/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-annika-perry-miriam-hurdle-anita-dawes-and-jaye-marie/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-colleen-m-chesebro-billy-ray-chitwood-deanie-humphrys-dunne/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-its-all-in-the-headlines/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/03/21/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-the-benefits-of-getting-older-hang-on-a-minute-im-still-looking/

Thank you again for dropping by and your amazing support.. Have a wonderful week.. Sally.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Christmas book promotions, Music, Humour, great food and fantastic guests.


I cannot believe that it is December and we are less than four weeks away from Christmas Day. I am on target to feature all the authors in the Cafe and Bookstore before the big day and I hope you will enjoy this week’s selection of gift ideas.. They will also be in the main menu in their directory and I will be sending that out on social media regularly.

Apart from that we have been sorting out our own Christmas. Usually David puts up our artificial tree which we have had for about 20 years, adds the lights and then I decorate. Last year because of getting ready for visitors, he actually decorated it and did such an amazing job, I have volunteered him to do it again. I will sit with a glass of Cava and admire his expertise.

Next week I have a Christmas fair locally and I am selling some of my books (not the weight loss one!) and homemade fudge. I am about to have a practice run… and will try not to eat too much of the first batch. I have downloaded a fail safe recipe from the Internet, which in my case usually just ends up as a fail….will keep you informed.

It is getting close to the wire for new books on the shelves but still have a couple of slots left for the week after next. So please let me know if you are in the Cafe and Bookstore and have a new release before Christmas.

Also I have 6 spots left for the Christmas party – Twelve Days of Christmas so please think about sending your 100 words about your best Christmas Gift Ever ASAP.. here is the link… and don’t forget it is another opportunity to promote your blog and books, even if you have already been in one of the promotions.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/smorgasbord-christmas-promotions-the-twelve-days-of-christmas-party-guests-food-and-music-promotional-opportunity/

There are a lot of posts to get through… so on with the show.

As always a huge thank you to my regular contributors William Price King, Carol Taylor and Jessica Norrie.

If you are new to book marketing… or would like to find out how to maximise your presence on social media.. you might like to pop over to Lisa Burton, whose author is Craig Boyack, and take advantage of some of the promotional opportunities offered by some seasoned bloggers. They include The Story Reading Ape, Colleen Chesebro, Sue Vincent, Annette Rochelle Aben and myself..

https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/exposing-your-work-on-lisaburtonradio/

William Price King introduces us to the amazing Flutist, Herbie Mann

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-herbie-mann-flutist/

It is 1992 and fun and games in the Docklands in London… plus music from Roy Orbison.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/smorgasbord-music-column-1992-london-docklands-roy-orbison-request-from-jane-risdon-gloria-estefan/

Cranberries have a wealth of health benefits which I share, and this is followed by some amazing recipes from Carol Taylor that will make your mouth water.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/28/christmas-smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-cronin-and-carol-taylor-cranberries-bittersweet/

Jessica Norrie shares an interesting way to find some bestsellers: Ahem! Shortly I’ll have a significant birthday present from Transport for London of free travel on bus, tubes and some trains. If you’ve never tried people watching from the top deck of a London bus, put it on your bucket list. But I’ll need a book for those long underground rides. Where better to start a stockpile than rereading bestsellers published in the year of my birth? When I googled them I was surprised and rather moved to find how many I’d read and how they still resonate. (Do this for your own year of birth and see if the same thing happens. Obviously, I read them at appropriate stages in my life, not when they first appeared!)

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-literary-column-with-jessica-norrie-what-bestsellers-were-released-in-the-year-of-your-birth/

Joy encourages to dust of our shelved creative work, and also shares a short story that is very topical at this time of year.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/30/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-disinterrment-by-joy-lennick-shortstory-writing/

It is that time of the week when I throw my hat and my syllables into the ring prompted by Colleen Chesebro Poetry Challenge no. 112

This week the two prompt words are ‘Cold and Safe’ and we can only use synonyms… so I have opted for ‘Chill and Protected’.

Beast from the North

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/28/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebros-tuesday-poetry-challenge-112-etheree-beast-from-the-north/

The first of the two short stories this weekend was about Yves… a ladies man with a penchant for attracting the lost but loaded widows and divorcees in the South of France… but what happens when he falls in love for real?

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-yves-be-careful-what-you-wish-for-by-sally-cronin/

The second story is about Zoe.. who offers her services as a clairvoyant… with some surprising results.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/02/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-volume-2-zoe-looking-to-the-future-by-sally-cronin/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-romance-humour-if-you-love-me-im-yours-by-lizzie-chantree/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/26/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-memoirs-brigid-p-gallagher-chuck-jackson-karen-ingalls-and-d-g-kaye/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-supernatural-marcia-meara-charles-e-yallowitz-stuart-france-and-sue-vincent/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/28/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-nonfiction-denise-ohagan-terri-webster-schrandt-dolly-aizenman-and-sacha-black/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-historical-wwii-mary-adler-m-c-v-egan-paulette-mahurin-and-marina-osipova/

 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/30/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-fantasy-adele-marie-park-vashti-quiroz-vega-and-nicholas-c-rossis/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-historical-frank-parker-tony-riches-romance-shehanne-moore-and-lyn-horner/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/12/02/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-vampires-paranormal-scifi-dragons-anne-marie-andrus-mae-clair-janet-gogerty-and-paul-cude/

This week a look at dairy which does have many nutrients that the body needs, and for most of us… there is no problem in eating moderately (too much cheese and butter, whilst good for you, can put weight on). But for some eating dairy results in a number of digestive problems.

The subject of eating fat has had us all going around in circles for years. One minute you need to dump it all and the next it is poor carbohydrates on the chopping block. I have written a number of posts on the subject. Unhealthy fats: Industrially produced fats and Healthy Fats: Essential Fatty Acids and Good fats

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-allergies-and-intolerances-dairy-leaky-gut/

Some new guest comedians with a wicked sense of humour about the drinks we embibe and some health posts as well..The Lords of the Drink

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedians-the-lords-of-the-drink/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-hot-flashes-and-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Thank you for visiting and all your support during the week, every week. It is much appreciated…

Christmas Smorgasbord Health – Cook from Scratch with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Cranberries – #bittersweet


Here is another of our posts where I share the nutritional benefits of an ingredient and Carol Taylor incorporates it in a delicious recipe. Next week Carol will be back to share some of her creations from her Thai kitchen offering you some alternative delicacies to eat over the festive season.

This week… ..Cranberries – a bitter berry which has a long history in medicinal terms and is still used today in certain over the counter preparations.

Cranberries have a documented medicinal history and were used by the Native American Indians as a nutritious addition to their diet normally sweetened with honey as of course the berries are very tart. The Indians also used the berries in poultices for wounds as they recognised the antibacterial and antibiotic effect of the fruit even if they could not scientifically prove these properties. Colonists, who had been introduced to the berry, exported it home to England at the beginning of the 18th century.

Modern research into the therapeutic properties of the cranberry is not one sided and there is usually a commercial reason behind all the debate! However, I have used cranberries for over 20 years personally, with family and clients, and certainly have found that there is  some truth to its health properties. Cranberries act like your own defence team to repel opportunistic invaders who are intent on stealing your health.

Most of us, before the 80’s, restricted cranberries in our diet to Christmas and the odd time we had turkey at other times in the year. Then came the very welcome news that for those of us, who suffered from attacks of bacterial cystitis, drinking the juice of these tart little red berries could bring relief. In fact drinking cranberry (although disputed in some scientific areas) can help prevent attacks of this painful condition. Cranberries contain a unique component in which is technically termed High molecular weight non-dialysable material or NDM for short. NDM prevents bacteria from clumping and damaging soft tissue in various parts of the body including the urinary tract. It is common for many over the counter cystitis treatments to contain cranberry combined with alkaline elements to reduce the build-up of acid.

Emerging evidence shows that this fruit is a lot more versatile than we thought and there are now several very good reasons to include cranberries on a daily basis in your diet.

Cranberry the antioxidant

A free radical is a molecule. A normal molecule has an even number of electrons and is considered stable. Free radicals on the other hand have an uneven number of electrons and are unstable. They are desperate to be like the normal molecules so they have to steal from them to get another electron. This of course means that they have created another free radical. More and more cells become damaged and leave the body open to many diseases – from cardiovascular to cancer.

The free-radicals cause cells to oxidise and die. The major damage is done to our DNA, which results in mutations and death of the cells. Our body does produce anti-oxidants and enzymes that can repair this damage if we eat healthily. However, as we get older so do our cells and it becomes harder to repair them and they die. This is ageing! In our brains when cells are damaged beyond repair you are susceptible to loss of co-ordination and memory and in extreme cases dementia.

To prevent this we need a diet that is very high in anti-oxidants, which work through the body immobilising free radicals and preventing damage. Cranberries contain one of the highest levels of anti-oxidants of most fruit and vegetables and that is why drinking at least one glass per day can provide you with enough of these defensive players to protect your brain.

Artery health

In the same way, flavonoids in Cranberries function as very potent antioxidants and may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is when the arteries become clogged and narrowed restricting blood flow to the heart. The most common cause is a build-up of LDL (Low-Density lipoproteins or lousy cholesterol) oxidising and causing plaque to cling to the walls of the arteries narrowing and hardening them. This can lead to angina, blood clots and heart attacks.

Cranberries contain the flavonoids and also polyphenol compounds that have been shown to help prevent the LDL from oxidising and therefore forming the dangerous plaque that leads to arterial disease.

Dental health – another good reason to drink cranberry juice.

One would think that drinking cranberry juice with its natural sugars would have a harmful effect on the teeth but in fact the reverse is true. Cranberries actually help prevent dental problems.

A study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association reported that the unique component in cranberry juice that I mentioned earlier, NDM not only prevents bacteria attaching itself to soft tissue but to the harder substances such as enamel too.

Hundreds of different types of bacteria in the mouth clump together and attach themselves to the teeth and gums and over time harden causing cavities and gum disease. This film on the teeth becomes resistant to saliva, which would normally remove bacteria from the mouth and also our normal oral hygiene routines such as brushing. One of the most resistant bacteria in the mouth is Streptococcus and in tests indications showed that Cranberry mouthwash reduced the presence of this in the mouth significantly.

Cranberry juice and peptic ulcers

Helicobacter Pylori (H.Pylori) bacteria can have a painful and devastating impact on the health of your stomach and also its ability to process the food that you eat.

A peptic ulcer is a sore on the lining of the stomach or duodenum, which is the beginning of the small intestine. They are quite common and one of the main causes is bacterial infection and the chief culprit is H.Pylori. It is not certain how people contract H.Pylori but it is believed that 20% of people under 40 and half of the population over 60 are infected with it.

H.Pylori weakens the protective mucous coating of the stomach and duodenum, which allows acid to get through to the sensitive lining beneath. Both the acid and the bacteria irritate the lining causing a sore or ulcer. H.Pylori is able to survive in stomach acid because it secretes enzymes that neutralise the acid. Once in the safety of the mucous lining the bacteria’s spiral shape allows it to burrow into the lining.

H.Pylori has also been associated with stomach cancer, acid reflux and gastritis. Finding a natural way to prevent H.Pylori from completing its mission is therefore a very prime research topic. As in dental health and in the urinary tract, the NDM prevents the H.Pylori from attaching itself to the lining of the stomach therefore preventing an ulcer developing.

Other benefits of cranberries

Emerging research is indicating that the benefits of cranberries are even more far reaching with research into its anti-viral properties in the treatment of infections such as herpes and the prevention of kidney infections and kidney stones. What is extremely interesting is the cranberries ability to inhibit the growth of common food related pathogens including Listeria and E.Coli 0157:H7. This antibiotic effect of cranberries was recognised centuries ago by the American Indians and it is a pity that we are only just catching up with these enlightened people.

By far the best way to get your daily fix of cranberries is fresh, mixed with other fruit or juiced. You can also include in many savoury dishes and to give you some idea of how versatile this fruit is, I am going to hand you over to  Carol Taylor who is going to share some of her recipes from her series Fruity Friday

Hi everyone and thanks for joining us for another festive post, and next week I will be back with some alternative recipes for you to try for Christmas…

First some versatile Cranberry Sauce for not just turkey but some richer meats too.

Ingredients

• 3 cups or 12 oz of cranberries.
• The juice of 2 large Oranges.
• A cup of sugar.
• 1 stick of cinnamon.

Put all the ingredients in a heavy bottomed pan, bring to the boil and turn down so it is still a rolling boil and cook for 10 mins if ( using) frozen berries or 20 minutes if using fresh cranberries as they will take a bit longer to pop.

Store in a sealed container.

Camembert Puffs:

These little puffs don’t take long to make so if I need a quick snack if visitors pop in around sundowner time then these don’t take long. I always keep a little box of already cut puff pastry squares which I can just pop in the oven and I always have a container of cranberry as we like it in a sandwich if we have cold chicken or pork and it is lovely with hot meat or pork schnitzels which I just top with some cream cheese and a spoonful of cranberry sauce.

Ingredients:

• I pack of frozen Puff Pastry, thawed.
• 125 gm(4 oz) of Camembert Cheese.
• 100gm Cranberry Sauce.
• 1 sprig of thyme…leaves picked.
• 1 large egg, beaten.

To Make:

Line 2 baking tins with baking parchment.

Roll out puff pastry and cut into bite-sized squares ( 3cm)

Put onto baking trays making sure you space well apart. Brush top with beaten egg. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 mins.

Put into pre-heated oven 180 or gas mark 6. Cook for approx 10 minutes or until golden brown. Slice Camembert into equal sized pieces and put one in the centre of each pastry square. Top with a tsp of cranberry sauce. Put back into the oven until cheese has melted.

Garnish with Thyme.

Enjoy!

This next recipe is one I use if I am rolling and stuffing a piece of Pork and I have stuffed chicken breasts as well using the same stuffing.

Apple and Cranberry Pork.

Rub for the Pork Loin ingredients

• 4 lbs Pork Loin,
• Bacon ( enough to cover Pork Loin)
• Salt & Pepper to taste,
• 1 tablespoon Olive Oil,
• 2 finely chopped Garlic Cloves,
• 1 tablespoon chopped Thyme,
• 1 tablespoon chopped Rosemary…

Stuffing for Pork Loin:

• Half cup Vinegar,
• 1/4 teaspoon salt,
• 2 small diced red onions,
• Olive oil as required,
• 1/2 bottle Lager Beer,
• 3/4 cup Brown sugar,
• 1 teaspoon Cinnamon,
• 1 tbsp chopped ginger,
• 2/3 cup dried cranberries,
• 1 teaspoon Mustard Seed,
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves,
• 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper,
• 4 peeled and chopped Granny Smith Apples.

Let’s Cook!

Cut a pocket through one end of the tenderloin. Don’t slice through the other end. Season in and out properly with salt and pepper.

Mix together the ingredients for the rub and when mixed rub into the pork loin , cover and put in the fridge for an hour.

While the Pork is absorbing all those lovely flavours prepare the stuffing mix.

Finely chop the Red Onions and cook in Olive oil until soft. Add Apples and ginger, stir and cook for 5 mins.Add remainder of ingredients stir to combine and simmer gently until mixture thickens and reduces. Cool slightly before stuffing the loin.

Stuffing the Loin was quite messy the first time I made this. I tried a plastic sauce bottle which was ok..but now I use an icing bag which is much easier and quicker.

Stuff loin and then cover with bacon slices.Put tin foil on top as bacon cooks very quickly and remove foil about ten mins from end cooking to brown bacon. Rest loin for 10 mins before carving.

Once rested, carve and serve we made the gravy from the meat juices and pork stock and it was lovely. Served with vegetables and crispy roast potatoes..mmmm.

My thanks to Carol for donating her cranberry recipes for us today and to finish off… a holiday cranberry cocktail…courtesy of An Appetizing Life Lisa Marie Todd who I think might have tested a couple of glasses during the process..love it..

Now you are all set… thanks for dropping and please feel free to share.

©Sally Cronin- Carol Taylor 2017

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!

Connect to Carol

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

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Brussel Sprouts, Fire Ants, music, books, health, humour and a full guest list


Welcome to a round up of the posts from the week that you might have missed. And also a reminder of some of the Christmas Promotions coming up later in December.

The main one is a 12 Day party beginning on 13th of December until 24th December. I have some special guests appearing each day, in the form of contributors to the blog, and I am delighted that many of you are already signed up for one of the days. Out of the original 40 spots I just have 15 left. This is an opportunity to showcase your blog or books, even if you have already or will be featured in the other Christmas promotions. All I am looking for is 100 words (approx) about your favourite Christmas Gift ever… full details are here Twelve days of Christmas Party

I am also working my way through the Cafe and Bookstore and will be featuring every author on the shelves either with a New book on the shelves for Christmas or in a Buy a Book for Christmas feature.

The only thing that I need from you if you are in the bookstore is the link to any new releases between now and Christmas.

If you are a new author to the Cafe and Bookstore then email on sally.cronin@moyhill.com and I will let you know what I need. (it is FREE)

 

And here are the Christmas promotion posts so far…they will now go in a directory in the menu until the New Year.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-special-preorder-price-mistletoe-inn-by-jacquie-biggar/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-sci-fi-ya-tarkentower-by-daniel-scott-white/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-thriller-desperation-rules-the-day-by-colin-guest/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-the-worst-noel-a-juniper-junction-mystery-by-amy-reade/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-love-at-first-swipe-by-gareth-fosberry-onlinedating/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-broken-heart-attack-braxton-campus-mysteries-book-2-pre-order-99c-99p-until-november-25th-james-j-cudney/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-for-christmas-shortstories-after-ever-little-stories-for-grown-children-by-d-avery/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-children-victoria-zigler-jann-weeratunga-janice-spina-bette-a-stevens-and-gigi-sedlmayer/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-children-andrea-balsara-robbie-and-michael-cheadle-annabelle-franklin-and-jemima-pett/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/16/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-children-teens-ya-paul-andruss-m-j-mallon-hl-carpenter-darlene-foster-deanie-humphrys-dunne/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-rachele-baker-dvm-judith-barrow-c-s-boyack-and-pamela-s-wight/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/sally-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-fantasy-science-fiction-tina-frisco-d-wallace-peach-lorinda-j-taylor-and-teri-polen/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-poetry-ritu-bhathal-christy-birmingham-colleen-m-chesebro-natalie-ducey-and-dorinda-duclos/

The Story Reading Ape

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-poetry-agnes-mae-graham-annette-rochelle-aben-and-balroop-singh/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-short-stories-linda-bethea-sarah-brentyn-eric-halpenny-and-gregg-savage/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-short-stories-mary-smith-annika-perry-and-hugh-w-roberts/

My review for Legacy; Book Four Project Renova by Terry Tyler

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/25/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-buy-a-book-for-christmas-book-review-for-legacy-project-renova-book-four-by-terry-tyler/

Other posts in the week.

This week we take that ‘marmite’ of the vegetable kingdom, Brussel Sprouts and I showcase their many health benefits and Carol Taylor cooks them in several ways to delight your family.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/christmas-smorgasbord-health-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-taylor-brusselsprouts-bitterly-healthy/

This week Linda Bethea gets up close and personal with feisty Houston residents.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-guest-writer-family-houston-fire-ants-and-murderers-by-linda-bethea/

Smorgasbord Short Stories from Volume 2- What’s in a Name

Walter is a scruffy customer, along with his dog at the local pub. Nobody seems to know his story…..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/24/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-walter-lost-and-alone-by-sally-cronin/

Xenia… two special family members never to be forgotten.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/25/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-volume-two-xenia-beloved/

This week our lives in 1991 and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life and Bohemian Rhapsody

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-1991-always-look-on-the-bright-side-of-life-and-bohemian-rhapsody/

Smorgasbord Poetry – #Etheree in response to Colleen Chesebro’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/21/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-poetry-challenge-no-111-celebrate-and-number-etheree/

This week a look at the difference between and allergy and an intolerance..

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/smorgasbord-health-column-a-z-of-common-conditions-allergies-and-intolerances-christmas-can-be-a-challenge/

Guest comedian D.G. Kaye Debby Gies with more finds on the Internet and a joke from the archives.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke/

Guest standup comedian.. D.G. Kaye.. Debby Gies gets us in the mood for Thanksgiving

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/11/22/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-how-to-turk-the-carvey-and-quickies/

Thank you for dropping in today.. and don’t forget that there are a few places left for the Twelve Days of Christmas parties… and if you have a new book release between now and Christmas, please let me know – sally.cronin@moyhill.com

Christmas Smorgasbord Health – Cook From Scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor – #Turkey – If you can catch it you can eat it!!


For the next couple of weeks, whilst Carol Taylor slaves away in her Thai kitchen preparing some alternative delicacies for you to eat over the festive season, I shall be repeating our collaboration series from last year.. I provide the nutritional background to the ingredient and Carol prepares it from scratch to give you some wonderful recipes..

This week… The Turkey.. a bird that was usually eaten mainly at Thanksgiving (coming soon) and Christmas, but is available all year in supermarkets and butchers. Before handing over to Carol.. a look at all the health benefits this large bird brings to the table.

Meleagris Gallopavo (you can eat if you can catch it) Turkey

The wild turkey Meleagris gallopavo (something to do with difficulty in catching it I think) is native to North America. The bird was brought into Europe, in the early part of the 16th century, by the Spaniards. The English name “Turkey” arose because of a confusion with Guinea Fowl – which were imported through Turkey, from Africa. Both birds were originally known as “Turks”. Eventually, in the 18th century, it was given its Latin name but the original name stuck.

The Native American Indian used the turkey as a staple of their diet. They introduced it to starving pilgrims, along with their native plants and seeds including corn and squash. The pilgrims were so grateful they celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621 where their American Indian friends were guests of honour.

Why is turkey so good for you?

Turkey is first and foremost a lean source of protein – 4 oz. gives you 65% of your daily protein requirement and has about half the amount of saturated fat that red meat does.

We are made of protein and we need it to repair ourselves – a bit like the bionic man – we take animal and vegetable protein, add some amino acids and rearrange the nitrogen from the mix to repair or make parts of our body. Don’t forget we are meat – and still a savoury delicacy in certain parts of the world.

Turkey is very high in methionine, which is an essential amino acid that ensures that any protein that we eat is completely used. This means that we get the maximum benefit from the turkey and is particularly important if we find it difficult to digest food as we get older.

Turkey is very high in the amino acid tryptophan, so it stimulates the B3 vitamin, Niacin, into producing serotonin the neurotransmitter. This has a calming effect, and helps depression (particularly useful after a family festive lunch!) And also helps us sleep well and feel good (afternoon siesta). Niacin is involved in cell health. DNA requires Niacin to be healthy and a deficiency of this B-vitamin – and the other B’s like 6 and 12 – has been linked to DNA damage that can lead to Cancer.

Turkey is very high in Selenium, which is a trace mineral and is fundamental to our general health. It is involved in thyroid hormone metabolism – antioxidant defence systems and our entire immune system health – many studies into this mineral are revealing its positive effect on cancers. As an antioxidant, it encourages DNA to repair cells and damaged cells to self-destruct.

Turkey is richer in calcium than any other meat and has over twice the calcium of chicken or beef. It also contains B6, which is extremely important for blood cell health.

It is also high in phosphorus, which is a fundamental need for bone and teeth formation and the production of red blood cells. Phosphorus is also part of the chemical energy store in each cell and in DNA – so is vital for cell health. One of the things to watch for with phosphorus, however, is that it you eat a great many processed foods you will find that they are far too high in the mineral and can cause an imbalance with other minerals.

So, Turkey is low fat – half the fat of chicken – low in cholesterol, sodium and calories. Finally it is also called a short fibre meat which means that it is very easily digestible for any age group.

How to select the best Turkey

I am a carnivore at heart (apologies vegetarians) and even though I do not eat a lot of red meat, I do eat fish and poultry. However, I was put off for a couple of years from eating Turkey at Christmas or any other time of year following the advert for cigars in 1989. For those who missed it – a flock of turkeys are surveying the darkening skies and flakes of snow begin to fall. They look at each other resignedly and head off into the turkey house where they light up a Hamlet Cigar. It was heart wrenching and I think it was salmon for lunch that year.  Just so that you can all feel the emotion here it is….sorry…..

There is usually some debate around the table on Christmas day as to who is getting the white meat and who the dark. Usually you end up with a bit of both but it is the white meat that is the most prized.

I am reliably informed that in the United States, turkeys are often bred by artificial insemination because they have now grown too large to get close enough to mate, which seems very sad considering they are also destined for the table. You would have thought they might have been granted a little fun along the way. A turkey can grow up to 70 lbs. but the average for a male (tom) is 20 lbs. and for a female (hen) around 12 lbs.

Buying your Turkey

Although I eat poultry I always buy from guaranteed organic and free range sources.  I am also keen that any food that we eat is farmed humanely as possible.  The fact is we as humans have been carnivores from the outset but there is still a long way to go in many parts of the world as to the level of respect we afford the animals we consume.

As the turkey has become more popular all year round, smaller breeds have been developed that weigh around 5 to 8 lbs. and fresh and frozen turkeys are now available at any time.

If the turkey is fresh the meat should be smooth, creamy and soft. If the turkey is whole make sure there are no bruises or cuts in the skin as this can lead to bacterial infection.

If the turkey is frozen it is more difficult to judge the condition of the bird but make sure that the wrapping is still intact.

Now over to Carol to share her recipes for Thanksgiving and the festive season and as a regular on your dinner table throughout the year.

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

To cook the best turkey you need some delicious stuffing…

Mushroom stuffing using porcini mushrooms.

Ingredients:

  • 25g pack dried porcini mushrooms
  • 425ml hot vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 200g risotto rice
  • 100ml white wine
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp shredded basil
  • 4-6 tbsp grated parmesan

Let’s Cook!

Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

Oil a non-stick 12-hole bun tin and line holes with two strips baking parchment, to form a cross. Put the mushrooms in a bowl and pour over the hot vegetable stock. Leave for 20 mins, then strain, reserve the stock and chop the mushrooms, if large.

Heat oil in a pan, add onion and fry for 5 mins until softened. Add the pine nuts and fry until lightly toasted. Add the garlic, rice and cook for 2 mins.

Tip in wine, let it bubble, then add the reserved stock, mushrooms and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 mins, until the rice is just cooked. Remove from heat and cool, then stir in the egg, basil, pepper, and salt, if using.

Fill the tins with stuffing, sprinkle over parmesan. Bake for 20-25 mins, until golden on top. Cool in the tins, or for 5 mins if serving straight away. Remove by pulling up the parchment crosses.

You can make these up to two days ahead. Then reheat on an oiled baking sheet, at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for 10 mins.

You will find several other recipes from a post Carol wrote for The Recipe Hunter: https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/christmas-recipes-homemade-stuffing/

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

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

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

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

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

It really is personal choice and I wouldn’t presume to tell you how to prepare your turkey as we all have our own way of cooking this bird and all delicious there is no right or wrong way it’s personal preference so I am just going to give you a few different options..

Cooking Times:

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

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

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

The night before roasting, soften some butter and season with salt and pepper mixing well.

I used about 6 oz of butter.

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

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

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

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

Stuff the turkey neck with your desired stuffing.

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

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

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

Put the lot in the oven and cook for 20 minutes on 250 C, then reduce the temperature to 180°C/Gas 5 for the remaining cooking time. After 2½ hours, remove the foil and the greaseproof paper and close the door. Don’t open it again until the cooking time is up.

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

The turkey Carcass…

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

Ingredients:

  • Turkey Carcass
  • 2 large Onions chopped
  • 4 carrots chopped and divided into 2 halves
  • 3 potatoes chopped
  • 1-2 cups rough chopped cabbage
  • 3 celery stalks 2 rough chopped and one cut into bite sized pieces
  • A Cup uncooked barley or mixed dried lentils
  • A sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ tsp poultry seasoning
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • Worchestershire sauce ( optional)
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Water to cover carcass .

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

Let’s Cook!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So this is not so many recipes in this my last post but I hope you have enjoyed it and I hope you enjoy your Christmas….

As always Sally has provided an insight into the benefits of eating turkey and as a meat it is low fat….Her knowledge of the benefits and nutrition of foods is astounding and I wish to thank her for allowing me to complement her health knowledge with my recipes…

©Sally Cronin- Carol Taylor 2017

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!

Connect to Carol

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

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

I hope that you have enjoyed this look at Turkey and its versatility… just in time for Thanksgiving as well as Christmas.. thanks from us both.

You can find recipes to keep you going all year in the Food and Cookery Column Directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor – Onions and Garlics – Keep the Vampires and the doctor away!


I will be resharing some of our joint Cook from Scratch posts that Carol Taylor and I posted last year.. And since it is Halloween... it seems appropriate to give you plenty of reasons to liberally consume onions and garlic… it might keep the vampires off you tonight.

Welcome to this week’s post where Carol Taylor and I hope to give you reasons and recipes to include some of nature’s medicine cabinet in your daily diet. Today some really basic vegetables that add taste and nutrition that can help boost your immune system and have been utilised for 1000’s of years by ancient cultures for the treatment of disease.

First I will cover the nutritional elements and the health benefits of these everyday staples and then hand you over to Carol to share some wonderful recipes.

Onions

Despite the current emphasis on healthy eating and weight, not many of us look at a plate of food and separate the ingredients out according to their nutritional or therapeutic benefits.  However, many foods have a long and distinguished history in natural medicine and the inclusion on a regular basis in your diet can bring many benefits.

One of the enormous benefits of living in Spain was the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables available in supermarkets, most of which is sourced from within Spain and the Islands.  Despite my concerns about our modern diet, there is a positive, and that is with vastly improved transport links and methods, the same foods can be enjoyed in most countries in Europe.

Although the French may lay claim to being the ‘Onion Kings’, Spanish onions are well known for their pungent and flavourful addition to cooking around the world.

Onions and garlic fit well into the category of ‘Superfood’ as they are both nutritional and can influence health in a very positive way.

Despite any claims to the contrary, onions (Allium cepa) originated from Asia and the Middle East and have been grown for over 5,000 years.  They were even used by the Egyptians as a weekly wage for the workers who built the pyramids, not something they would get away with today.  They were sent into the afterlife with Pharaohs and used in this life by many different cultures to prevent a premature passage to the other side.  The Israelites apparently wandered the wilderness longing for the onions, leeks and garlic that they had left behind in Egypt, something to think about when you next pass them in the grocery section of the supermarket.

The onion is part of the Lily family, which includes garlic, leeks, welsh onions and chives.  The word onion comes from the old English word unyun derived from the French word oignon, which in turn came from the Latin unio.  There are words for the vegetable in ancient languages but none seems to be related to each other indicating how widespread the use of the vegetable was.

Onions have been used for thousands of years as a seasoning for otherwise bland food and today we can buy them all year round and use them raw or cooked in a wide variety of dishes.

Health benefits of onions.

The onion has a powerful sulphur-containing compound, which is responsible for the pungent odour and for the health benefits.  Onions contain allyl propyl disulphide, chromium, Vitamin C and flavonoids, the most beneficial being Quercitin.

Allyl propyl disulphide lowers blood sugar levels by competing with insulin, which is also a disulphide for space in the liver where insulin is normally deactivated.  This results in an increase in the amount of insulin available to move glucose into cells causing a lowering of blood sugar.

Chromium is a mineral that also helps cells respond efficiently to insulin, which in turn decreases blood sugar levels.  These two properties in the onion make it a vegetable worth including in our daily diet as we get older to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Chromium has also been shown to improve glucose tolerance, lower insulin levels, and decrease total cholesterol levels whilst increasing levels of the healthy cholesterol (HDL).

The reduction in unhealthy cholesterol levels leads to reductions in blood pressure levels, which is of course a leading cause of cardiovascular disease. Eating onions with other foods with high levels of Bioflavonoids (tea, apples, broccoli, cranberry juice etc.) has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease

Quercitin combined with Vitamin C work together to kill bacteria, which is why they are so valuable added to soups and stews during the cold and flu season.

There are other areas where eating onions regularly can reduce your risk on developing degenerative and sometimes life threatening diseases.  These include Colon cancer, Osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and other inflammatory diseases.

An exciting area of research into bone health has identified that a compound in onions with a mile long name but GPCS for short, may inhibit the activity of osteoclasts, which are the cells that break down bone.

Onions also contain healthy amounts of other nutrients such as manganese, Vitamin B6, tryptophan, Folate, potassium, phosphorus and copper making onions a well-rounded nutrient source.

Garlic

garlicThe garlic is a multi-bulb cousin to the onion.  Again originating in Asia it has been used for thousands of years as a pungent additive to food but also as a healing agent.  In recent years, its reputation has been validated by hundreds of research studies and like the onion; it is worth including in your diet very regularly.

Garlic contains many helpful compounds including thiosulfinates such as allicin, sulphates including alliin and dithins the most researched being ajoene.

Research has identified that garlic lowers blood pressure, decreases the ability of platelets to clump together forming clots, reduces blood levels of lousy cholesterol (LDL) whilst increasing levels of healthy cholesterol (HDL).  It also helps our blood vessels relax which prevents atherosclerosis, heart disease and the risks of heart attacks and strokes.

Garlic, like the onion is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral. With the current concerns that we have about potential ‘Super bugs’ it is interesting that garlic appears to be an effective antibiotic, even against some of these resistant strains.

Cancer protection is essential for all of us.  The compound ajoene might be effective in the treatment of skin cancer and eating two or more servings a week of garlic may help prevent colon cancer.

Allicin has also been researched in regard to weight loss, as there is some indications that in the laboratory at least, that this compound may inhibit weight gain.

As in the case of most spicy and pungent foods ‘less is more’ with this particular flavouring especially if you wish to maintain close relationships with family and friends.

Now it is time to hand over to Carol Taylor, who as usual, has been working very hard this week to turn these two nutritious ingredients into wonderful recipes.

Onions and Garlic every day.. keep the Vampire… and the doctor away!

Onions and garlic…Not as easy as it first seems as I use onions and or garlic in practically every dish I make on a daily basis….

But making the Onion or the garlic the hero of the dish as all these cookery programmes like to say…Is much harder than first thought…

Cooking head on and into the kitchen…first job though is to get my ham on…There is nothing like Home cured ham but after teasing you with the thought that recipe unless you trawl through my archives is for another day….lol.

Onions…. Do you know your onions???? Sally has given us the low down at the beginning of this post and the health benefits of the onion…I would say most people use the onion every day as part of their cooking whether it is shallots, red onion, brown onions, spring onions( green onions) so many varieties.

They can be eaten cooked, raw or pickled.

Lovely with some fresh bread, cheese and either pickled or raw they make a lovely Ploughman’s lunch.

Raw in a cheese and onion sandwich….

Spring onions are lovely in an omelette or quiche… A cheese and onion turnover which is a pastry eaten as a snack.

Who hasn’t has Onion Bhaji with your Indian meal?

Popped into cold water they curl up and look so pretty decorating a green salad.

This stuffed Onion is one I have made many times and it is lovely for a vegetarian and quite special so looks like you have made an effort to cook something nice and tasty. But equally as nice for a light meal with a glass of vino…

Stuffed Onion with goat’s cheese and sun dried tomatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large onions.
  • 150 gm goats cheese
  • 50 gm fresh breadcrumbs ( I use olive oil breadcrumbs)
  • 8 sun dried tomatoes in oil chopped and drained. I am lucky that I live somewhere nice and sunny so I can sundry my own tomatoes please click  HERE to see how.
  • 2 tbsp oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 Tsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste.

Just reading that list of ingredients makes my mouth water….I am salivating.

Let’s cook

  • Add the onions in their skins to lightly salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the boiling water, drain and cool. When they are cool enough to handle cut in half and remove skin.
  • Using a small dessert spoon scoop out the centre leaving a thick outer layer… 3 layers are sufficient.
  • Reserve the flesh for later.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 190C/375F
  • Place the onion shells in an oiled oven proof dish.
  • Add all the other ingredients except for the tomato oil and pine nuts to the scooped out onion flesh and season well. Stir in the pine nuts.
  • Divide the mix between the 4 scooped out onion shells and cover the dish with foil.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, remove foil and drizzle with the sun-dried tomato oil cook uncovered for a further 25-35 minutes until bubbling and cooked.
  • Baste occasionally during cooking.
  • And smell…. your kitchen will be filled with such a lovely aroma and even those who are not onion lovers will be salivating…I have had many a convert to this dish.
  • It is lovely just served with warm bread or as a side to some lovely grilled sardines.

Now all of those ingredients have amazing health benefits.

Some lovely variations to this recipe include using Feta cheese instead of goat’s cheese and substitute mint and pitted green/black olives instead of the other ingredients for a real Mediterranean taste. Just stir into the scooped onion mix; you could also add some currants or sultanas.

If you don’t want sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts use 75 gm chopped walnuts add them to the scooped out onion mix add 115 gm chopped celery and cook in a tbsp oil until the celery is soft and put in the onion shell.

Experiment by substituting your own favourite ingredients that is what cooking is all about.
Onions and garlic are also lovely pickled.

Pickled Garlic

Ingredients

  • 8-10 garlic bulbs
  • 500 mls white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 90 gm sugar
  • 1 tsp salt…I always use salt mined here locally or Himalayan salt.
  • 1 tsp per jar of either mustard seed or fennel seeds (optional)
  • 2 x 250-300 ml jars with good lids

Let’s Cook!

Separate the bulbs of garlic into cloves and peel.

In a saucepan bring the vinegar, salt and sugar to the boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the garlic cloves to the pickling liquid. Bring it back to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

Transfer the garlic cloves to sterilised jars. Add the mustard or fennel seeds if using. We actually couldn’t decide Fennel or mustard seeds so I normally do some of both they are equal in taste to us. Carefully fill the jars with the hot pickling liquid. Seal.
The garlic will be ready to use in about a week but improves over time.

Pickled onions I have tried many ways and this way seems to produce the crispiest onions and we love a crispy pickled onion…Don’t you?

Pickled Onions. There is nothing like your own crispy pickled onions… I use shallots…But pickling onions are fine.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb Pickling Onions, peeled.
  • 11/2 pints pickling vinegar…I use white vinegar or a mix of apple cider and white vinegar.
  • 2tbls Pickling spices or your mix…again I mix black, white peppercorns, coriander seeds.

Method…2 days before mix 2pts water with 4 oz salt pour over onions, cover and keep in cool place. I keep in the fridge due to the heat here.

Then drain onions and pat dry. Pack into sterilised jars layering pickling spices as you go then pour over vinegar making sure onions are completely covered. Store for 4-6 weeks and they ready…They are the crispest onions I have eaten, far better than shop bought and generally don’t get to 4 weeks let alone 6 weeks as they get dipped into …men!

Pork Belly in Onion Sauce.

This recipe has been handed down through the generations.

I just roast belly pork until it is nearly cooked, then scatter with 2 onions sliced then pour over some white sauce and then pour over some gravy.

I then cook for a further ¾ of an hour until the onions and the white sauce are all bubbling with the gravy. This is very tasty and again my 20% comes into play…lol

Fried Onions.

Ingredients

  • 2 large onions , sliced
  • Milk to soak
  • Flour to dredge onions
  • Oil to fry.

There is nothing like lovely, crispy fried onion with a hot dog or a steak sandwich… Top a lovely Biryani or Indian curry and it is then to die for…That’s healthy gone right out of the window but hey ho….That’s why I follow a 80%/20% diet (not every day)

Just slice those onions and soak them in milk for 5 mins them lightly take them through the flour with a fork and pop into a pan of hot oil…Stirring to brown evenly….

Enjoy!

Baked garlic and shallots with sherry.

This to me is perfection…. Lovely young garlic cloves and beautiful banana shallots… Serve on grilled bread, with a spoonful or two of goat’s curd, or as an accompaniment to a simple roast chicken. Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 garlic bulbs
  • 8 banana shallots
  • 5 lemon thyme sprigs (or ordinary thyme)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 600 ml fresh chicken stock
  • 180 ml sherry
  • 50g unsalted butter, in pieces
  • 50g parmesan, freshly grated
  • Salt and black pepper

Let’s Cook

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.
  • Slice the garlic bulbs in half horizontally and place in a roasting tray. Halve the shallots, slip off their outer skins and add to the garlic. Season, with salt and pepper, and then scatter the lemon thyme and bay leaves over the garlic and shallots…
  • Bring the chicken stock to the boil in a small pan; pour over the garlic and shallots. Drizzle over the sherry.
  • Cover the tray tightly with foil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, until the shallots and garlic are golden brown and the stock has reduced down and thickened. Add the butter and parmesan and stir to combine. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and then serve.

Garlic is also a lovely thing infused in Olive oil and is a base for many dishes, a lovely garlic aioli or roasted garlic puree alleviates a dish to new heights. It is such a versatile little bulb as well as being packed with health benefits.

That’s all for now on Onions and garlic…I could go on and on….but I won’t… I hope you have enjoyed reading about the health benefits of these bulbs of goodness and if you have any favourite recipes for onions or garlic then please share with us….

My thanks to Carol for all the amazing ideas on how to bring these two powerful immune boosting foods into our daily diet.

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!

Connect to Carol

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

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Please feel free to share thanks Sally and don’t to pop back later today for the Halloween Party and a chance to leave your links to blog and books…