Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – Music, Language, Honey, Books and Humour


We got back from the UK on Thursday night and it was a terrific two weeks away. The weather was wonderful until the last couple of days, but we had been keeping an eye on the four storm fronts coming up from the south. These days forecasts are very accurate and we saw that Tuesday when we were due to catch our ferry was going to have waves over 20ft high.. We had a flexible ticket so moved our booking to Thursday which looked like the calmest day of the week. As it happened we crossed in the only four hour window of calm which has to be the luck of the Irish.

It was great to be in the company of a dog again, and Miss Ellie is well used to us as a family. The break and spending a lot off time unplugged did us both good and we are now back with batteries fully charged and ready to go.

I tried to keep up with comments once a day, but apologies if I missed yours. I am very grateful for all the generous post sharing that went on in my absence and also your messages.

We had to stay in a hotel due to the change and if you are heading to South Wales we can recommend The Cliff Hotel… fantastic views and great walks. The Cliff Hotel Gwbert Wales

 

Here are the posts from this week…

In the last of the current series by William Price King, who will be moving to a different schedule, he interviews American composer Mark Bradley about his life, work and the future.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/the-music-column-with-william-price-king-interviewing-mark-bradley-composer-classicalmusic/

Writer in Residence Rewind – Proto-Indo Europeans and the origins of language – Paul Andruss.

In this post, Paul explores some of the assumptions made about the development of our individual languages from a common root many thousands of years ago. He also addresses the question of whether languages were spread by conquerors sweeping across continents or farmers gently moving across fertile plains and establishing communities that fed and watered the nomadic tribes who came after them. I am sure that Paul would love to hear your views and answer your questions.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/writer-in-residence-rewind-proto-indo-europeans-by-paul-andruss/

Carol Taylor has been taking a break whilst I was away but will be back this week with a new post. In the meantime….. I have started to reshare our joint series last year with the health benefits of what I consider to be essential foods, and Carol turns them into delicious meals. This week – Honey – Nectar of the Gods.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/19/smorgasbord-health-column-rewind-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-honey-nectar-of-the-gods/

New series of Posts from your Archives from the amusing and talented Linda Bethea

image

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-mixed-nuts-part-1-by-linda-bethea/

The Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You – Poet and author Dorinda Duclos

If you had intended to participate in this series then can you get your answers to your questions to me soon as I will be starting to get a new series ready for Christmas…..

Here is the link to find out more about Getting to Know You : https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/04/22/the-new-series-of-the-smorgasbord-sunday-interview-geting-to-know-you-and-i-will-go-first/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-dorinda-duclos/

Short Stories – What’s in a Name.

Two stories about people with a name beginning with ‘H’. Both of which share the darker side of life.

Hannah – Finding a Way to Move On.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-hannah-finding-a-way-to-move-on-by-sally-cronin/

Hector – The Homecoming

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-hector-the-homecoming-by-sally-cronin/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/19/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-fantasy-adventure-lost-war-of-nytefall-book-2-by-charles-e-yallowitz/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-while-the-bombs-fell-by-robbie-cheadle-and-elsie-hancy-eaton/

Cafe and Bookstore Update and reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/17/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-fiona-tarr-and-barb-taub/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-victoria-zigler-d-wallace-peach-and-terry-tyler/

Smorgasbord Health Column

An update on the erosion caused to our teeth by drinking mineral water that is too acidic.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/smorgasbord-health-column-acidity-in-mineral-water-and-tooth-enamel-erosion-update-by-sally-cronin/

An update on the research into the effect of curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric, on cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and inflammation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/smorgasbord-health-column-food-in-the-news-turmeric-curcumin-cancer-alzheimers-inflammation-update/

Laughter Lines and Afternoon Video

We all love Lawyers… right?

judge

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-rewind-lawyer-jokes/

A shaggy pirate tale or two and a word from their parrots.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-a-shaggy-pirate-story-or-two-and-their-parrots/

Thank you once again for all you support and hope you will drop in next week for more of the same.

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Smorgasbord Health Column Rewind – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol – Honey: Nectar of the Gods


Carol is on her summer break and I am house and dog sitting for my sister, so we thought you wouldn’t mind having a reminder of some of the dishes that we put together this time last year. I supplied the ingredients and their nutritional benefits and Carol prepared delicious meals from scratch. Carol will be back next week with her usual Food Column, and I am sure that she will have something special for us.

This week it is the turn of honey which has been providing sweetness to our diet for thousands of years. First a look at its many health benefits and then Carol is going to work her magic in the kitchen.

Many people are enjoying the benefits of plant based sweeteners such as Stevia which are very useful in cooking and as an alternative to table sugar.  I do use at times but I still use honey for its reputation for thousands of years as a healing food.

I doubt that there are many people today who are not aware of the health risks in consuming too much sugar-rich food. Diabetes is on the increase, especially in children, and along with obesity is likely to be one of the top causes of premature death within a few years.

To my mind, the insidious inclusion of sugars in processed foods and equally as bad the introduction of toxic artificial sweeteners is one of the reasons for increased levels of cancer and degenerative diseases such as arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. We are becoming nutritionally deficient as we become more and more reliant on convenience and junk food laden with fats and sugars.

Honey is the exception and I encourage even my clients with Candida Albicans to use it in moderation as a healthy alternative to sugar or artificial sweeteners.

History of Honey.

For thousands of years it has been used both as a nutritious addition to diet and as an effective medicine and the oldest reference to this delicacy dates back to 5500 BC. At that time Lower Egypt was actually called Bee Land while the Upper Egypt was called Reed Land. By 2500 BC bee keeping was well established and a thriving trade existed between Egypt and India – where honey became associated with religious rites.

Apparently, 110 large pots of honey was equivalent to one donkey or ox. Babylonian and Sumerian clay tablets describe honey’s use as a medicine, some of which included powdered bees, which was considered a cure for bladder stones and dropsy. In all over half of the documented remedies, recognised from these periods in our history, were based on honey.

At first honey was treasured, due to not only its sweet taste but also its rarity. It was considered to be a divine substance and therefore it played a substantial role in many ancient people’s rites and ceremonies. Apart from anointing the dead, jars of honey were sent into the next world to nourish the deceased and in some civilisations honey took on mythical and magical properties.

The Aztecs and Mayan cultures of South America kept colonies of native bees, for their honey and wax, mainly for use as medicine. Sometime in the 16th or 17th century settlers brought European bees into the Americas and honey became more available to everyone.

It is considered to be very pure and therefore used in marriage rites around the world including in our own expression of “honeymoon” as it promoted fertility and was thought to act as an aphrodisiac.

If all that is not enough to tempt you to use honey on a daily basis then some of the health benefits of honey may be able to persuade you.

Raw Irish Honey: http://www.coolmorebees.com/honey-harvest/

Health benefits of honey

Having given honey such a wonderful lead-in I now have to put in a proviso and that is that not all honey is created equal.

Bees make honey for their own nourishment from the nectar collected from flowers and the enzymes in their saliva. They carry the honey back to the hive where it is deposited in the cells in the walls where it dries out and forms that consistency that we are familiar with.

The quality and medicinal qualities of honey are very dependent on the plants that the bees producing that honey have had access to. Most of the commercially available honey originates from bees feeding on clovers, heather and acacia plants but there are some wonderful flavours available from bees with access to herb plants such as thyme and lavender.

Unfortunately, in the processing of wild honey to the commercially acceptable product you find on most supermarket shelves, many of the nutrients can be lost. One in particular that is a very valuable anti-bacterial agent is Propolis, the glue that bees use to seal the hive and protect the contents. This is usually present in small amounts in wild honey but is lost in processing – unless it is marked on the jar. You can buy Propolis honey but it can be a little more expensive but worth it.

One of the best honeys in the world comes from New Zealand and is called Manuka honey and because of its reputation for healing it is very heavily tested and regulated to maintain its high standards.

Active Manuka honey is used both internally and externally to treat a number of medical conditions and research is being conducted to legitimise the claims that are made of its effectiveness which show a great deal of promise. Currently it may help prevent stomach ulcers, poor digestion, gastritis, Helicobacter Pylori (H.Pylori), skin ulcers, sore throats, skin infections, boost immune system and energy levels. It is thought that it might even work effectively against MRSA, which would be very interesting.

If you are eating honey then do buy locally and if possible from source. Visit the beekeeper and you should see someone in glowing health, which will be a testament to the quality of his bees and honey. We had bee farms near where we lived in Madrid and they are miles from pollution and surrounded by wild plants of every variety in the hills.

Internal health benefits

Good quality raw honey is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. It is also an amazing energy source and certainly Greek athletes used both honey and figs to enhance their performance on the track. Modern researchers conducted a study using athletes, some of which were given a honey, some sugar and some maltodextrin as the carbohydrate source. The athletes who were given the honey maintained a steady blood sugar level throughout the two hour training session and their recovery times was much better than those athletes on the alternative energy sources.

For anyone suffering from diabetes, finding a sweetener that does not affect blood sugar levels dramatically is vitally important and honey would appear to raise levels far less than any other refined alternative. However, this still does not mean that a diabetic can eat honey freely but it does mean that breakfast porridge and cups of tea can benefit from a little sweetness if it is required. Please check with your doctor beforehand.

It has also been found that natural honey rather than processed honey can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels (smaller particle cholesterol that when oxidised can attach to the walls of arteries and block them), homocysteine levels and increases the level of HDL (healthy cholesterol) helping to prevent heart disease.

Honey’s healing properties are beneficial for stomach ulcers, sore throats and intestinal damage with a balancing effect on intestinal bacteria. This includes Candida Albicans, which goes against most therapists’ philosophy of eliminating all sweeteners from a sufferer’s diet. All my clients have switched to honey in their programmes and it seems to not only help in the recovery but also provides a small element of sweetness to satisfy cravings.

It has been found that taking natural honey on a daily basis raises blood levels of the protective antioxidant compounds that we need to prevent disease and to heal ourselves. Admittedly the subjects in the study that confirmed this consumed four tablespoons of buckwheat honey per day which would grate on even my sweet tooth. I do believe as you know in the accumulative effect and therefore over a period of time taking a teaspoon or so of honey per day on food or in drinks should benefit you in the long term.

External health benefits

As with ulcers internally, honey is excellent for external wound healing. Honey absorbs water in the wound inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungi. Also honey contains glucose oxidase that when mixed with water produces hydrogen peroxide which is a mild antiseptic. There are also specific enzymes in honey, particularly Manuka honey that appear to speed up the healing process in combination with the common antioxidant properties.

Now time to hand over to Carol to share some of the wonderful ways you can incorporate honey into your diet.

Honey, Nectar of the Gods.

What a brilliant post from Sally on the benefits of honey, there is nothing like locally produced raw honey if you can get it, if not buy the best honey you can either Manuka or Propolis honey, you will reap the benefits health and taste wise.

Where do I get my honey? Well my first bottle ……I was sitting on the beach with my sun downer…..fending off the ever-present sellers of touristy bits and bobs……when a man appeared carrying a very heavy-looking bucket ….what did he have…Well I had to look and what a surprise…it was fresh, very fresh honeycomb..and he strained the most glorious bottle of fresh honey…I just had to purchase it…the taste was so fresh and very slightly scented…amazing and a beautiful golden colour.

Just the thing to make some delish Honey, Coconut and Lemon Pancakes.

This recipe makes 5-6.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup of coconut flour.
  • 1 tbsp of honey.
  • 1 cup of coconut milk.
  • 8 eggs.
  • 1/4 tsp of baking soda.
  • Coconut oil or butter for frying, lemon wedges and extra honey to serve.

To prepare:

Place all of the pancake ingredients in a large bowl and combine well. Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat and add one teaspoon of coconut oil, covering the base of the pan while it melts. Add a large scoop of pancake batter into the frying pan and cook until the top of the pancake begins to bubble and has started to cook. Flip the pancake over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until the pancake has cooked through. Repeat with the remaining batter then serve with a drizzle of honey and a lemon wedge for squeezing the juice over the pancakes.

And enjoy!

Now I have moved to the North of Thailand I get my honey straight from the comb…I am so lucky and I know that and it is beautiful.

I always take a little apple cider vinegar with a spoonful of honey in hot water first thing in the morning…on an empty tummy I have been taking it for a couple of years ..it is said to fight off joint inflammation and I don’t suffer from joint pain or anything…..

Almond and mixed nuts

Need a quick gift or a healthy snack then these almonds or mixed nuts are delicious and super easy to make. Just mix honey into some raw almonds or nuts of your choice and sprinkle them with sea salt. Bake for about 25minutes in the oven…You can even get creative with the spices…a little chilli or cinnamon….

Honey mixed with Dijon mustard makes a lovely glaze for BBQ meats. Or one of my favourites is ¾ cup of honey, 1 tbsp red chillies finely chopped, 1 tbsp green chillies finely chopped and 1 tbsp lime juice. Mix all together and leave for 1 hour in fridge it is then ready to use.

Another wonderful dip for a cold meat platter on a summer’s day

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil,
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped,
  • 1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes,
  • 1/3 cup honey,
  • 2 tsp soy sauce,
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar,
  • ¼ to ½ cup water
  • and 2 tsp cornstarch.

To prepare:

In a small bowl stir together the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ¼ cup of water and the cornstarch.

Put the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and let the mix warm up for about 30 seconds, add the garlic and cook until fragrant and just starting to colour, 15-20 seconds max.

Add the red pepper flakes and cook for another 15-30 seconds until garlic is very lightly browned.

Restir the honey mixture and pour into the saucepan, bring to a simmer stirring, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 mins stirring frequently.

Add more water if desired.


.You now have a lovely dip for your cold platter.

What I also love is chilli infused honey… Place honey in a saucepan and warm until it reaches 180 degrees on a sugar thermometer. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn. Then pour your honey over a jar of chillies. Cool to room temperature.

Beautiful with meat or fish….

For a lovely honey, ginger and mint tea which not only tastes great but is full of health benefits as it is anti oxidant and anti flammatory.

  • Take a 1 inch piece of fresh ginger and chop finely or grate.
  • 2 cups of water
  • The juice of 1 med lemon or lime about 3 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Mint leaves.

Bring the water to the boil and steep the ginger fro 10-15 minutes, add the honey and lemon juice then strain to catch the ginger bits although if I have grated the ginger then I leave it in. Add the mint.

Serve hot or cold …I like it chilled and keep a jug in the fridge.

Well, we can’t leave you without a cake to have with your elevenses or afternoon tea… Can we???

This lovely honey cake is beautiful and lasts for 4-5 days wrapped and stored in an airtight container.

I definitely need airtight and ant proof container here as those pesky little sugar ants get in the smallest of gaps they even get in unopened packets…grrrr

Honey Cake.

Oven 140C Fan/160C/Gas 3.

Grease and line a 20cm round loose bottomed cake tin.

Ingredients:

  • 250 gm clear honey plus 2tbsp to glaze cake.
  • 225 gm unsalted butter
  • 100 gm raw cane sugar
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 300 gm unbleached SR flour

To prepare:

Cut the butter into pieces and put in a pan with the honey and the sugar once it has melted then increase the heat and bring to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Then leave to cool for 10- 15 minutes as you don’t want the eggs to scramble.

Once the mix has cooled down beat the eggs into the mix then add the mix to the sieved flour. Beat until smooth.

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until well risen and golden brown. A skewer should come out clean.

Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and melt 2 tbsp of honey and brush the top of the cake with the melted honey.

Leave to cool.

Well that all for this week I hope you have enjoyed mine and Sally’s collaboration because we love doing it.

If you love it then please share with your friends or reblog as we want to show as many people as we can that good, healthy food need not be expensive or hard to find it is just normal foods you can grow yourself or buy from your farmers market or local store.

My thanks to Carol for another fantastic array of foods that bring honey into the spotlight.

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Carol

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

Please feel free to share thanks Sally

The other posts in the Food and Cookery Column can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

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Smorgasbord Health Column Rewind – Cook From Scratch with Sally and Carol – Carrots from Afghanistan


Carol is on her summer break and I am house and dog sitting for my sister, so we thought you wouldn’t mind having a reminder of some of the dishes that we put together this time last year. I supplied the ingredients and their nutritional benefits and Carol prepared delicious meals from scratch.

Carol Taylor is a wonderful cook and uses fresh ingredients that she either grows herself of buys a the market in Thailand where she lives.

First a look at the carrot’s origins and its health benefits.

The humble carrot is a vegetable most of us take for granted. Carrots have an ancient history originating in Afghanistan.  The Greeks and the Romans ate carrots and in fact, the Greeks called the carrot ‘Philtron’ and used it as an aphrodisiac.  Don’t all rush to the supermarket!

In Asia, the carrot was an established root crop and was then introduced to Europe in the 13th century.  It was the Middle Ages before the carrot became better known and doctors of the time prescribed carrots for numerous ills including snakebite!  In those days, the carrot was available in far more radiant colours including red, purple, black, yellow and white.  They were cultivated together and over time, it resulted in the orange vegetable we know today.

The Elizabethans on receiving the carrots from mainland Europe did some rather strange things with them.  Some ate the roots but others used the feathery foliage for decoration in hats (Ascot) and on their clothes.  I am sure like every fashion statement this may come and revisit us at some point.  The colonists took the carrot to America but they were not cultivated there until the last couple of centuries.

The Health benefits of carrots

Carrots eaten as a fresh, raw and unprocessed food is full of nutrients including Vitamin A (retinol), beta-carotene (turned into Vitamin A in the body), other carotenoids, B Vitamins, Vitamin C and minerals calcium and potassium.  Of all of the nutrients, Beta-Carotene and latterly Alpha Carotene are seen as the most important properties of the carrot.  As far as the eyes are concerned it is the Vitamin A and the Beta-carotene which are the most important nutrients. Vitamin A, helps your eyes adjust to light changes when you come in from outside and helps keep your eyes, skin and mucous membranes moist.

Vitamin A also prevents night blindness. If the vitamin A deficiency causing night blindness is not corrected, it can then lead to a condition called xerophthalmia, causing extremely dry eyes, possibly corneal ulcers and swollen eyelids. If left untreated, xerophthalmia can lead to blindness. In fact, vitamin A deficiency is one of the leading causes of blindness in developing countries. Vitamin A may possibly prevent cataracts from forming and may help prevent macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in the world.

Beta-carotene is one of about 500 compounds called carotenoids, which are present in most fruit and vegetables. The body changes beta-carotene into Vitamin A, which promotes a healthy immune system and healthy cell growth.  The body can only change so much beta-carotene into Vitamin A and any excess boosts the immune system and is a powerful antioxidant in its own right.  Antioxidants prevent free radical damage to cells, tissues and most importantly to the fat in our bloodstream that can lead to blocked arteries and heart disease.

Alpha carotene has often been overlooked in carrots but some interesting studies in Japan indicate that Alpha carotene might be even more powerful than Beta-carotene in the fight against cancer. As far as our general health is concerned, carrots play an important role in neutralising acid in the body.

Acidity and alkalinity in the body.

All acids have similar properties to each other because they all release hydrogen into solutions. Acidity is measure using the pH (potential of hydrogen) scales.   The scale runs from 0 to 14.  All acids have a pH measurement between 0 to below 7 on the scale.

Acids are present in all living organisms including the human body.  Acids in plants react differently than acids in protein rich foods such as animal products. All foods are burned in the body leaving an ash as a result, if the food contains a predominance of sulphur, phosphorus, chlorine then an acid ash is produced.

The body has developed different strategies to ensure that the balance between acid and alkali is optimum for each of its different organs and systemic functions.

A minor deviation from the optimum balance can have a devastating effect on the operating systems of the body and can lead to coma and death so the body has a number of buffer systems to maintain that balance. When the blood is too alkaline the heart contracts and ceases to beat and when too acidic it relaxes and ceases to beat.

Eating carrots and other vegetables and fruits that burn to an alkaline ash in the body help balance both the acidic ash foods we consume and some external stress triggers.

I am now handing over to Carol who is going to show you some terrific ways to prepare this humble but nutritionally packed vegetable.

All vegetables are versatile but I think the humble carrot which is cheap to buy, easy to grow and with so many health benefits and culinary uses that it deserves just a bit more than being called just a carrot.

Today I am going to show you a few recipes which I make using carrots so come with me and if you have any wonderful carrot recipes then please share with us in the comments we are always on the lookout for wonderful local recipes using carrots.

Sally and I hope that you are enjoying reading all her good sound advice about the healthy benefits of the carrot and having recipes in the post so that you can then incorporate carrots into your diet. We are trying to show that good healthy food needn’t be boring or bland but can be enjoyable to cook and eat.

Because food should be fun and enjoyable.

What better way to get one of your 5 a day than to add a piece of carrot to your smoothie.

I am getting a tad more adventurous and using all sorts of fruit and veggies in my smoothies.

Today I not only used a chunk of carrot but a slice of tomato and a slice of beetroot(not)pickled…lol…as well as the fruit and I think it is one of the best I have made.

I used a large chunk of watermelon, pineapple, yellow melon and dragon fruit. A slice of tomato, a slice of beetroot, a chunk of carrot and some crushed ice.
Then into the blender, blitz until smooth and viola a lovely healthy smoothie.

But play with and use whatever fruit you have which is in season…I might add a squeeze of lime or a little coconut milk it really depends how I feel and what I have..Even frozen fruits are great for smoothies.

I always find the smoothies are sweet enough for me from the natural fruit and vegetable sugars but some don’t and add a little sugar syrup with the fruit and vegetables.

And that is my tropical sunshine in a glass…. Isn’t it a beautiful colour?

Lovely new spring carrots just cooked in olive oil, glazed with honey and seasoned, delicious in their simplicity.

Photo by Thomas Gamstaetter on Unsplash

Ingredients

You need 1 kilo of baby carrots or new carrots
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp honey…I use fresh raw honey
Salt and pepper to season.

Heat your oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Tip the washed carrots into a roasting pan and toss with the oil and season with salt and pepper. If you have some fresh or frozen herbs then in they can go. Roast for 25/30 minutes then drizzle the vinegar and honey over the carrots, toss well and return to the oven for about 20 minutes.

Serve as a side dish.

Other ways to include carrots in your daily diet.

  • Grated carrots can be added to your coleslaw, or add a few sultanas to some grated carrots and drizzled with a oil dressing they make a nice accompaniment to a salad.
  • Washed pieces of carrot can be given to children to snack on…nice and healthy.
  • Carrot batons are lovely with batons of peppers and a nice home- made hummus or dip.
  • Carrots steamed gently and then pureed with a little juice from the steaming water and a tiny bit of butter mixed in and a little pepper and no salt as there is salt in the butter it makes a lovely puree for a baby..my son lived on buttered carrots as a baby and nothing else he loved them. He is now a fit healthy adult who loves and eats lots of vegetables. You can also steam a little cauliflower and broccoli to add to the carrots.
  • Pickling Jalapenos then add a few carrots they are lovely pickled with the jalapenos. Just slice a carrot thinly and add to the pickling vinegar when you are heating it, cook for 5 minutes then add your sliced jalapenos and put into sterilised jars. So easy to do and very nice.

On a cold winters day how about a nice warming bowl of carrot soup? I also add carrots to my pumpkin soup…it is such a versatile little vegetable.

Carrot Soup.

Ingredients: Serves 2

2 carrots washed and sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
Half onion chopped
1/2 cloves garlic chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger finely chopped or grated
The zest and juice of half an orange 500ml of fresh vegetable stock or chicken stock
Salt and black pepper to season.
Crème fresh and coriander, to garnish. I use Coconut milk and a sprinkle of chilli flakes…but that’s me I love my chilli.

To prepare…

Gently cook the onion in a saucepan with the olive oil until it has softened but not coloured, add the garlic, ginger and orange zest and cook for a minute or 2. Then add the carrots and pour in the stock.

Simmer until the carrots are very tender and using a hand blender blend until smooth.
Serve and garnish as above with crème fresh and coriander or coconut milk and some chilli flakes as I do

Well, we can’t have a post about carrots and not have a recipe for carrot cake…Can we???

Ingredients:

  • 2 and ½ cups (310 gm) of all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 and ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp each of ground cloves, nutmeg and ground ginger (I have fresh ginger )in my garden so always finely chop or grate and add to the mix instead of ground ginger.
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup of coconut oil
  • 1 and 1/14 cups (250 gm) of light or dark brown sugar (I use raw coconut sugar)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 large carrots grated
  • 1 cup (8oz) of crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup (125 gm) chopped walnuts

To prepare

Pre heat the oven to 350F (175C) and grease a 9 x 13 oven proof dish.

Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spices all together in a large bowl. Set to one side.

Stir the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract together and then pour the wet ingredients onto the dry and stir or whisk until combined.

Fold in the carrots, pineapple and the walnuts. Spread the batter into the prepared dish and bake for 45-55 minutes and as ovens vary keep an eye out so it doesn’t overcook. If you find the edges are browning too quickly then lightly cover with foil.

When it is cooked a skewer or toothpick inserted into the cake centre will come out clean.

Allow to cool completely before adding topping.

For the topping you will need:

  • 8 ounces (224 gm) block of cream cheese softened.
  • ½ cup (115 gm) butter
  • 3 cups (360 gm) of icing sugar plus extra if required.
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract.
  • Salt if required to taste.

To make topping using a hand held or stand mixer beat together the softened cream cheese and the icing sugar on low speed. Add in vanilla essence and beat on high for 2 minutes if you like your topping a little firmer then add more icing sugar but if you put the cake into the fridge the icing with set a little more.

This is a lovely moist cake made even better by the addition of the pineapple.

Cut into squares once cake is iced and ready.

That is all for now I hope you are enjoying this collaboration with Sally and myself as much as we are writing it and testing recipes. I have lots of other recipes with carrots but it would have ended up being like War and Peace so maybe we can incorporate some of the others in another post. There are plenty more exciting posts to come and if you try a recipe please let us know how it turned out as we love to hear from you.

Until next week stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot as laughter is the best medicine known to man and it has no side effects.

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Carol

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

My thanks to Carol for these wonderful recipes and I hope you will join us again Please feel free to share thanks Sally

The other posts in the Food and Cookery Column can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

Smorgasbord Health Column Rewind- Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol – Banana – Nutrient Boost, no packaging required!


Carol is on her summer break and I am house and dog sitting for my sister, so we thought you wouldn’t mind having a reminder of some of the dishes that we put together this time last year. I supplied the ingredients and their nutritional benefits and Carol prepared delicious meals from scratch.

The Banana – Nutrient Boost, no packaging required

The banana is not only a superfood packed with nutrients but it is also a definite winner in the therapeutic arena. The fruit has been around for at least a couple of thousand years and many cultures have used the banana in their fight against illness.

I have often been told that people do not eat bananas because they are fattening but will admit to eating a doughnut or a bar of chocolate everyday. A bar of chocolate which is 100gm is around 500 calories and 55% fat. A 100gm of banana (large) has 120/150 calories and is virtually fat free. I will leave you to do the maths.. and to read just want that 120 calories piece of fruit can do for you.

Health benefits.

The banana has many talents including keeping your bowels healthy, reducing your risk of heart disease and strokes, protecting you from ulcers, improving blood pressure, boosting your energy and your mood and help you reduce water retention.

More specifically the banana is a medicine cabinet in its own right. If we look at the diverse diseases and conditions that it is connected to you will realise how important it is in your diet.

Anaemia is the result of a lack of haemoglobin the oxygen-carrying agent in red blood cells. Iron is essential in the manufacture of this haemoglobin in the bone marrow and bananas are high in this mineral.

High blood pressure and stress related conditions effect many people and not just as they age. More and more children and young adults are showing signs of following a poor diet, high in junk food and low in natural fresh produce. Junk food is high in salt, which in the form of sodium and in excess causes elevated blood pressure.

The potassium in bananas helps lower blood pressure by dilating blood vessels, enhancing he excretion of water and sodium from the body and suppressing the hormones that cause elevations in blood pressure.

Potassium helps normalise the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates water balance. When we are stressed our metabolic rate increases, reducing our potassium levels and by eating a banana we can help re-balance all these symptoms in one snack.

Depression and nervous conditions can be helped by eating bananas as they contain tryptophan, a protein that converts into serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that makes you relax and improves your mood. The B vitamins in the fruit are also essential for a healthy central nervous system.

Heartburn is eased by eating a banana due to its antacid effect, and it has the added benefit of not causing stomach problems when used long term.

Ulcers in the stomach are very delicate and the banana is one of the few foods that can be eaten raw without causing any further distress or inflammation to the ulcer site. It also reduces over acidity and the irritation this causes to the lining of the stomach.

PMS is dreadful, not just for the woman concerned, but usually for the family around her. Eating a banana with its B6 not only helps alleviate the stress symptoms but also works to regulate the hormones causing the problem.

Weight loss – Contrary to popular belief that the banana is fattening, it actually provides one of the most complete meals in history for only 120/150 calories for a large banana.. As weight can be related to stressful environments, a banana is also very good as a work place snack to help you get through the day; without resorting to more unhealthy comfort foods.

Morning sickness and hangovers whilst hopefully not connected, tend to afflict us in the morning when blood sugar levels are likely to be low. Eating a banana is said to help stabilise this, and if you blend your banana with some milk and honey, you will also soothe and hydrate your body whilst calming the stomach.

Smoking – Cigarettes are tough to give up. I know having gone through the withdrawal symptoms myself 25 years ago. If you can manage without a nicotine patch, you might think about including a banana in your diet every day or when you have a craving. Not only will all the nutrients give you an energy boost but also the potassium and magnesium in the banana will help with your withdrawal symptoms including stress.

Warts and mosquito bites can be unsightly and the bites very itchy and whilst there are some products available in the pharmacies there are some old fashioned remedies that are worth mentioning. It is said that if you wrap the inside of the banana skin around a wart that it will disappear and it is reported that rubbing the inside of the skin over mosquito bites will take down the swelling and irritation. I cannot personally attest to that one but it won’t hurt to try.

As you can see the banana is a very useful ally in efforts to prevent illness and to help our bodies fight conditions when they occur. It is not the complete answer, as it needs to be included in a diet that contains all the essential elements. It is also not intended to take the place of necessary medication for serious illnesses. It is part of the wonderful pharmacy that we have available at our fingertips and should be enjoyed in as many ways as possible.

Now I am going to hand you over to Carol Taylor who is sharing some delicious ways to include bananas in your diet.

The Banana also known as the fruit of wise men.

I am sure most of you can get Bananas in your supermarket; these bananas will probably be the Cavendish by name as the original Banana favoured by the supermarkets was the Gros Michel which became extinct by 1960 as it was wiped out by a fungus called the Panama Disease.

This could happen at any time as Bananas are actually clones and if they become infected with a fungus it just runs rampant and kills them all.

The Banana a most versatile of fruits with so many uses…..Here in Thailand and in my garden Bananas grow in abundance.

So much so that I always freeze some ready to make smoothies.

The Bananas scientific name is Musa Sapientum which roughly translated means “Fruit of wise men”

Here it is called Kluay pronounce “ glue eye” spellings vary slightly around the regions and it is a tree-like perennial and officially classed as a herb, the world’s largest herb as it can reach 25 feet in height. The fruit is also classed as a berry.

Here in Thailand leaves are used to serve food on or wrap food in like these little parcels of tri coloured sticky rice topped with shredded pork.

The purple flowers are steamed and eaten with a spicy Thai dip.

To make Thai spicy dip:

Finely chop one small shallot, 1 clove of garlic, finely slice 6/8 fresh chillies, add 3 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tbsp fresh lime juice…I stir in a little-chopped coriander. If the dip is too salty add a little warm boiled water.

Mashed and mixed with a tbsp of heavy cream and a tbsp of honey and then applied to dry hair covered with a shower cap and a hot towel. Left for an hour and then rinsed off before shampooing the hair it is a wonderful moisturising treatment.

There is no end to the properties of this low calorie, no fat, no sodium, no cholesterol berry which is also rich in Vitamin C, Potassium, fibre and B6.

Here it is used to make bread and muffins.

Banana Bread.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 ripe bananas.
  • 1/3 Cup melted butter.
  • 1 cup sugar (I only used slightly less than 1/2 cup) don’t like it too sweet.
  • 1 egg beaten.
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence.
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder.
  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour.
  • Handful walnuts chopped (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350/175 degrees.
Use a 4 x 8 inch loaf tin.

Method:

  • Mash Banana, Stir in butter. Mix in Baking Soda and salt. Stir in sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix in flour.
  • Bake for 1hr- 1hr 10 mins.
  • Cool completely before removing from tin.

Once cold it can be eaten sliced on its own or with butter…I serve mine with a passion fruit butter sometimes it is nice to experiment with different flavoured butters.

If cooked the banana skins are edible, you will see fried bananas in abundance on the street food stalls…they are fried in batter, grilled on the BBQ in their skins and turned into golden fritters ( Kluay phao)

Banana spring rolls with a sweet dip or eaten green and raw with a spicy dip. (See recipe above)

They can be used to make a beautiful Banana Blossom stir fry.

Just wash the blossoms and put in a bowl of cold water with some lemon.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil/olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp yellow split peas/chana dhal
  • 1 tbsp split green lentils/urad dhal
  • 1-2 dry red Chilli halved
  • 2 tsp tamarind juice
  • 5-8 Curry Leaves
  • 1 Banana flower blossoms
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
  • ¼ cup grated unsweetened coconut, fresh/frozen
  • Salt to taste

To cook!

Bring some water to the boil in a cooking pan and add the banana flower to a boiling water pot and cook for 10 minutes, until they are soft and done. Drain the water through a colander and squeeze with the hand to remove any excess water. Set them aside.

Heat oil in a cooking pan and once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, Let them pop, add lentils and halved red chillies. Now add tamarind juice and curry leaves and mix well, Mix in finely chopped onion and saute on a medium flame till they are light golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add turmeric and mix well.

Add the cooked banana flower to the pan. Stir fry for 2 minutes at on a medium flame until they are mixed well with the spices.Add salt to taste and sprinkle grated coconut on top and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot with steam rice.

Green unripe bananas are also used to make Tam Maak Kluay which is a version of the famous Som Tam (Papaya Salad) which I first had from a roadside stall near Bang Tao beach in Phuket and it is beautiful.

Just a piece of trivia…did you know? That more songs have been written about the Banana than any other fruit.

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Carol

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

My thanks to Carol for these wonderful recipes and I hope you will join us again Please feel free to share thanks Sally

The other posts in the Food and Cookery Column can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Music, Books, Food and End of Summer Party with amazing Guests,


Welcome to the weekly round up and the last day of the End of Summer Party. I have so enjoyed seeing so many of you over the weekend and have put on several pounds eating the left overs from the various meals… If you missed the posts at the time, no worries the food is still fresh and you can still meet the guests and enjoy the banter.

Thanks for all the support to get the posts noticed and I am very appreciative. I love this community and it is a lot of fun being part of it.

I was not able to play all the music requests but will share the ones not played in the Blogger Daily this coming week.

Paul Andruss did a fabulous post to kick off last year’s end of summer party over the same weekend and as he is busy at the moment with other projects, I asked if he minded me using again to kick this one off…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/24/smorgasbord-end-of-summer-party-deja-vu-august-25th-26th-far-from-this-thing-by-paul-andruss/

The great new is that Paul has taken the time out to write a brand new post for the end of the week…when the last of the music has been played and we head into September.. Look out for it Friday.

The End of Summer Party – Brunch, Afternoon Tea, Dinner and Sunday Lunch with 35 guests. There is still time to pop into all the meals and to leave your links in the comments. It is a place to meet great writers and supporters of others. Don’t be shy.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/25/smorgasbord-end-of-summer-party-brunch-meet-robert-goldstein-victoria-zigler-john-w-howell-becky-ross-michael-jemima-pett-marcia-meara-luna-saint-claire-and-anita-dawes/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/25/smorgasbord-end-of-summer-party-afternoon-tea-colleen-chesebro-sue-hampton-jane-gogerty-norah-colvin-jane-risdon-wendy-janes-gigi-sedlmayer-jena-c-henry-and-darlene-foster/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/25/smorgasbord-end-of-summer-party-dinner-taster-menu-with-robbie-cheadle-patricia-salamone-leslie-tate-carol-taylor-debby-gies-noelle-granger-marjorie-mallon-and-mary-smith/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/26/smorgasbord-end-of-summer-party-sunday-lunch-with-guests-annette-rochelle-aben-stevie-turner-jaye-marie-balroop-singh-lisa-thomson-janice-spina-dolly-aizenman-ritu-bhathal-jacquie-biggar-and-sharon-m/

And here are the other posts from the week that you might have missed.

The start of a new series with William Price King for The Music Column – The Jazz Instrumentalists. Richard Galliano – Accordion

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-instrumentalists-accordion-richard-galliano/

The Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Carol had technical problems this week so I shared our nutritional guide to Salmon and recipes from last year.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/smorgasbord-health-revisited-cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-salmon-omega-3-on-a-plate/

Getting to Know You Sunday Interview with author Patty Fletcher.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/26/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-patty-l-fletcher/

Personal Stuff – Short stories – What’s in a Name – David – In Remembrance

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/24/smorgasbord-short-stories-whats-in-a-name-david-in-remembrance-by-sally-cronin/

Letters from America – My parents last week and visit to Sam Houston Museum and Galveston.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/23/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-1985-1987-my-parents-visit-to-sam-houston-museum-and-galverston/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New books on the shelves.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-unbroken-hearts-short-stories-by-lisa-thomson/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-wwi-drama-the-dandelion-clock-by-rebecca-bryn/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-the-eyes-of-grace-omalley-by-john-quinn/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/23/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-the-magicians-blood-a-paranormal-romance-the-great-dagmaru-book-two-by-linda-g-hill/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-fantasy-magic-the-labyrinth-warriors-of-light-book-1-by-alethea-kehas/

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore Author Update and Reviews.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-william-luvaas-sacha-black-pamela-s-wight-and-christy-d-birmingham/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/24/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-colleen-chesebro-rebecca-bryn-and-claire-fullerton/

The Blogger Daily – Blog posts that are worth sharing.

Tofino Photography, Dan Alatorre, Adele Marie Park and Judy E. Martin.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-monday-20th-august-2018-tofino-photography-dan-alatorre-with-adele-marie-park-judy-e-martin/

Karen Ingalls, Lifelong Metamorphoses and Cynthia Reyes.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-tuesday-21st-august-2018-karen-ingalls-lifelong-metamorphoses-cynthia-reyes/

Vashti Quiroz-Vega, Nicholas Rossis and Stevie Turner

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-something-to-think-about-with-vashti-quiroz-vega-nicholas-rossis-and-stevie-turner/

Lizzie Chantree, R.K Brainerd, The Book People.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/23/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-thursday-23rd-august-2018-discovering-new-authors-courtesy-of-lizzie-chantree-r-k-brainerd-and-the-book-people/

Cathy Ryan, Janet Gogerty, Judith Barrow and the Narbeth Book Fair.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/24/smorgasbord-blogger-daily-reviews-friday-24th-august-2018-cathy-ryan-janet-gogerty-judith-barrow-narbeth-book-fair/

The Health Column

Foods to boost your blood health.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/20/smorgasbord-health-column-foods-to-boost-your-blood-health-anaemia-fatigue/

Part one of the female reproductive system.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/smorgasbord-health-column-the-female-reproductive-system/

Nutrients the body needs – Choline, B8, Inositol, Bioflavonoids, Co-Enzyme Q10, Trace Elements.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/22/smorgasbord-health-column-nutrients-the-body-needs-choline-b8-inositol-bioflavonoids-co-enzyme-q10-trace-elements/

Humour and the Afternoon Video

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-marriage-butlers-hygiene-and-watches/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/08/23/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-health-and-safety-and-workarounds-part-one/

Thank you again for dropping in and for all your help in promoting the posts. Have a great week.

Smorgasbord Posts Revisited – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol – Salmon – Omega 3 on a Plate


Carol Taylor is taking a break this week due to a laptop breakdown so I had decided to share the first of the Cook from Scratch posts that we collaborated on last year.

Some of you are familiar with my Medicine Woman’s larder and Carol and I have teamed up to provide you with recipes to make the most of these amazing foods.

I am providing the ingredients and sharing their nutritional and medicinal properties and Carol is taking them to a whole new level with her delicious recipes. You can find out more about Carol at the end of the post.

Today we are going to be looking at salmon and because most of these foods are very nutritious the posts with the recipes will be even longer than my usual offerings. I suggest you bookmark for a time you can put your feet up with a libation and enjoy at leisure.

Salmon – Omega 3 on a plate.

Much of the salmon available today comes from fisheries and conditions and feed of these farmed fish have improved through regulation in recent years. However, I am not convinced by the publicity and prefer to eat fish that has been caught in the ocean and to me there is definitely a difference in the taste of this salmon. You can buy ocean caught fish frozen or fresh, but be prepared as Salmon prices have been higher in the last couple of years due to longer winters and shorter fishing seasons in the north.

There is always some concern about the levels of mercury in fish and studies indicate that ocean caught salmon from the northern seas and rivers have levels that are considered to be low and safe for more regular consumption.

There are a number of health issues apart from heart function that eating salmon benefits including weight loss, bone health, a healthy immune system and brain health. The nutrients in this important source of protein are also helpful in preventing cancer and diabetes.

I will begin with Omega 3, which is abundant in fatty fish such as Salmon. Omega-3 (Linolenic Acid) is the principal Omega-3 fatty acid and is used in the formation of cell walls, improving circulation and oxygen. It is important that your overall cholesterol is kept to a normal level but it is equally important to ensure that the balance between the LDL (lousy cholesterol) and the HDL (healthy cholesterol) is maintained with a lower LDL to HDL ratio.

Omega 3 appears to maintain that correct balance. LDL (low density lipoprotein) has smaller particles than the higher density lipoprotein and when oxidised becomes dangerous. Because it is smaller it is able to clump and attach to the walls of the arteries and cause a dangerous narrowing. Pieces can also break off and travel in the bloodstream to major organs like the brain and the heart. An added bonus in eating salmon muscle is that it contains peptides that may also lower blood pressure.

Omega 3 is linked to brain health in a number of ways. The brain contains a large amount of fat especially Omega 3 fatty acids in particular DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). In studies DHA levels determined levels of brain activity and cognitive function and is thought to be essential for the growth and functional development of the brain in babies. This ability is not limited to young humans as it is vital that this brain activity and function is maintained into old age. Including Omega 3 fatty acids in our diet therefore may well decrease our risk of developing degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Carrying additional weight can certainly contribute to strain on the heart muscle and the salmon has a rather unusual property that whilst yet unproven may help in weight loss.

There is a protein that is released when we begin to eat called amylin. This protein travels to the brain where it is measured and the brain then decides when we have eaten sufficient food and should stop eating. Unfortunately we have got very adept at overriding this message from the brain and consequently we tend to eat more than we actually need leading to weight gain.

The salmon produces a hormone called calcitonin, which has the same effect on animals as amylin does in humans. There is no conclusive proof but it is felt that this hormone when eaten might result in us consuming less food.

As we get older the risk of bone fractures increases with many women particularly suffering from hip joint disease after menopause. Omega 3 may be instrumental in decreasing bone loss and therefore osteoporosis.

Salmon is high in selenium,which is a very important trace mineral that activates an antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase, which may help protect the body from cancer. It is vital for immune system function and may help prevent prostate cancerin particular.

Overall, the salmon contains many nutrients in the flesh and also in parts of the fish such as bone that is often included in canned fish. It is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, manganese, copper, phosphorus and zinc, some of which are of particular benefit for the cardiovascular system and the heart.

You can read more on the health benefits of Salmon at this link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2016/08/25/medicine-womans-larder-salmon-fresh-from-the-sea-or-wild-is-an-amazing-food/

Now I will hand you over to Carol who is sharing some wonderful salmon recipes to whet your appetite for this versatile and nutritious fish.

Fish one of my favourite foods and cooked with fish sauce, chilli, lime and coriander it’s to die for….. so yum. My favourite is Loch Fyne Salmon Trout which I can get it here but when I do it is a welcome treat.…Salmon is so good for you in many ways and Sally explains that very well so between the two of us Sally will give you the astounding health benefits of Salmon and I will provide some easy to follow healthy recipes all cooked from scratch.
Firstly we have Salmon done the Thai way very tasty, very easy and wherever you are you should be able to easily obtain all the ingredients.

Ingredients:
180gm Salmon Trout or Salmon fillet.

For the topping:

  • 1 spring Onion finely chopped.
  • 2/3 stems Coriander chopped finely…i use stem as well.
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli finely chopped.
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce.
  • A cheek of lime.

To prepare

  1. Put fish on foil and spoon topping on. I reserve some of topping to add when serving. Seal foil and put in oven on 180 for 10/15 mins until cooked.
  2. This of course depends on thickness of fish.
  3. When cooked remove from oven and serve with rice.

Enjoy!

Another favourite is Salmon with Linguine.

Ingredients

  • 180gm Salmon
  • 2tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/4-1/1/2 tsp of red chilli flakes. or 1 fresh chilli finely chopped. (you can omit this step)
  • 2/3 large cloves of garlic, crushed.
  • 2 small shallots finely chopped.
  • The zest of 1 lime or you can use lemon.
  • 3/4 tomatoes chopped.
  • Chopped parsley.
  • Fresh parmesan as desired.
  • 400gm of Linguine or pasta of your choice.

To Prepare

  1. I lightly steam my salmon and set aside to cool.
  2. At the same time cook your pasta in boiling salted water as per the packet instructions.
  3. Heat your oil in a pan, add the garlic and the shallots and chilli if you are using cook for 2-3 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.
  4. I often just add a small piece of butter to this…it stops the olive oil burning.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for two minutes then add the flaked salmon, the lime zest and parsley and cook for a further 2/3 minutes.
  6. Drain the pasta and reserve 70 ml of the cooking water.
  7. Add pasta to the salmon mix and gently combine.
  8. Season and add some freshly grated parmesan cheese…this is where I can get a bit over zealous as we love parmesan, also adjust seasoning if required.
  9. Stir in all or some of the reserved pasta liquid and sprinkle with parsley to serve…with a lovely green salad or some lightly steamed vegetables and of course a glass of your favourite vino.

Enjoy!

Snacking

Sometimes you just want a little snack and this one is quick and easy to do…Most of us have a packet of rice cakes in the cupboard don’t we?…Well lets jazz it up a little and take it from the boring to the sublime.

Just mash an avocado coarsely add some black pepper, lemon juice and a little mint if liked or maybe a little crumbled feta.

Spread on the rice cakes and top with a little smoked salmon…divine.

Having a BBQ?

Then skewer the salmon with some small onions and lemon slices if doing chunks or cut salmon length ways and thread on to the skewer and then brush them with this lovely dip when you turn them on the BBQ or grill.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 2 smashed garlic cloves
  • ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Large pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil preferably light as extra virgin tends to burn.
  • 2 tbsp lemon or lime juice

Salmon is very versatile and goes with lots of combinations of sauces with oil, white sauces or burnt butter sauce there are many ways you can dress up that lovely salmon

I hope you enjoyed this selection of recipes and reading about the health benefits of the Salmon.

I will be sharing more Cook from Scratch in coming weeks

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

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

My thanks to Carol for these wonderful recipes and I hope you will join us again next week another Food and Cookery Column….Please feel free to share thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor – Thai Curry Pastes and #recipes


I hope you enjoy making these curry pastes All these recipes are authentic Thai recipes and very easy to make, most ingredients are available at most major stores or Asian shops around the world.

Thai Curry Pastes made from scratch.

Before we start Thai food is all about the TASTE those important flavours of sweet, sour, hot and salty so my advice always taste and taste again, start with less and taste you can always add you cannot take away.

I am lucky in that I can buy these pastes ready made from the local markets but I know only too well from when I lived in the UK that the ones I could buy were not quite the same and obviously have preservatives in them also Coconut milk always check that it is 100% as they are not always and will split when you cook your curry.

Once you have made these pastes from scratch and tasted the difference between store bought pastes you will never buy them again and apart from the Thai Mussamun curry paste they are quite quick to make.

Pad Thai Paste.

Ingredients:

• 1 to 1.5 tbsp tamarind paste to taste
• ¼ of a cup of chicken stock
• 3 tbsp Fish Sauce
• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• ½ 1 tsp of chilli sauce or 1/3 -3/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
• 1/8 tsp of ground white pepper
• 3-4 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar

Let’s Cook!

Place all ingredients in a cup and stir to dissolve both tamarind paste and sugar (note you will need lots of sugar to balance out the sourness of the tamarind). When taste-testing, keep in mind the following tips: In order to achieve the best results, your pad Thai sauce should taste sweet first, followed by spicy-salty and sour last.

Add more sugar if it tastes too sour to you, or add more chilli for more intense spiciness.

Also note that the sauce will taste almost too strong at this point, but once distributed throughout the noodles, the flavour will be perfect.

Your pad Thai sauce is now ready to be used, or store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

Note: this recipe makes 2/3 cup Pad Thai Sauce (enough for 1 batch of Pad Thai, enough for 9 ounces of noodles to serve 2-4 people)

For an authentic pad Thai soak your noodles prior to cooking in sauce.

Next we have…

Thai Yellow Curry Paste.

This is the curry used to make my favourite Khao Soi Noodle Curry.

Ingredients:

• 1/2 to 1 stalk lemongrass (minced)
• 1 to 2 yellow chillies (sliced)
• 2 shallots (sliced)
• 1 thumb-size piece of galangal (sliced)
• 4 cloves garlic
• 1 tsp coriander (ground)
• 1 tsp cumin (ground)
• 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon
• 2 tbsp fish sauce
• 1/2 tsp shrimp paste
• 3/4 tsp turmeric
• 1 large pinch of white pepper
• 2 tbsp brown sugar
• 1 tbsp lime juice
• 1 tbsp tomato puree
• 3 to 5 oz coconut milk

Preparation

Place all ingredients in your food processor or blender. Add more coconut milk as needed to blend ingredients to a smooth paste or sauce.

This paste will store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Thai Green Curry

This famous fragrant Thai green curry is sweet and spicy with a touch of bitterness given by the eggplants. It’s virtually known and eaten all over the world but for a truly authentic taste I give you the recipe below.

Ingredients

• 1 tbsp coriander seeds
• 0.5 tbsp cumin seeds
• 1 tbsp white peppercorns
• 3 to 6 green bird-eye chillies (3 chillies for mild, 6 for spicy depending on your spice tolerance or preference.
• 3 tbsp finely chopped galangal
• 1.5 tsp finely chopped coriander root
• 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and stems
• 1 tbsp kaffir lime rind
• 2 lemongrass sticks, minced
• 4 cloves garlic
• 2 small shallots, minced
• 1 tsp shrimp paste

Preparation

Using a mortar and pestle, grind the ingredients, adding them little by little into the mortar until you’ve achieved a smooth paste. If you don’t have a mortar, use a food processor (add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil if using a food processor).

This paste will keep in a sealed bag or container for at least 2/3 weeks.

Next we have Thai red curry…

The red curry paste is a base for many Thai dishes. It uses small dried red chillies, which means it is very hot. Thai Penang curry is used making this paste or it can be used in a stir fry or to make Thai spicy liver (which is very nice)

The recipe given is enough to use in a curry for 4 people.

If you like a milder curry (adjust) the amount of chillies used… For a medium spicy curry, use half of the chillies.

For just a bit spicy, use a quarter of the chillies (the other ingredients remain unchanged).

Ingredients:

• 12 sm dried red chillies stems and seeds removed
• 1 tsp coriander seeds
• 1 tsp cumin seeds
• 1 tsp white peppercorns
• 2 cloves garlic
• 2 stalks lemon grass sliced finely
• 1.5cm galangal chopped
• 1 coriander root
• 4 shallots chopped
• 1 tsp Kaffir lime rind
• 1 tsp fermented shrimp paste.

Preparation

Rehydrate the chillies in hot water for 10-15 minutes, drain, chop and put to one side.

Dry roast coriander, peppercorns, cumin seeds, garlic and shallots until the flavours are released. Put to one side.

Pound the peppercorn, coriander and cumin seeds and lastly the chillies.

When the mixture is smooth add the other ingredients a little at a time or it will be difficult to pound. Pound until smooth and then add the shrimp paste.

If not using immediately, store the curry paste in the fridge, covered by vegetable oil, to protect from oxidation. It can also be stored in the freezer as well, but first add vegetable oil into the paste and mix well

While red and green curry pastes require hard to find ingredients like kaffir lime zests, Mussamun curry paste’s ingredients are easy to find. Most ingredients are available at most grocery stores, especially at Indian markets or Asian stores around the world…

Thai Mussamun Curry Paste.

Compared to other Thai curries, the distinct characteristics of Massumun curry paste is that all ingredients are roasted prior to pounding/grinding. When all the spices are roasted and the aroma fills your kitchen, the real work begins: pounding. When you finally grind everything in your mortar, I promise you the wonderful fragrance from all the spices will fill your kitchen!

Ingredients:

• 4 pods cardamom
• 2 inch piece cinnamon sticks
• 5 cloves
• 1 tbsp of coriander
• 1/3 tbsp cumin
• 4-6 dried whole chillies
• 1/2 inch piece julienne galangal
• 1 head garlic
• 1 stalk lemongrass
• 1/3 tbsp peppercorns
• 1 tbsp salt
• 3 shallots
• 1 tsp shrimp paste
• 1 Mace
• 1 Nutmeg

Preparation

Grill or roast the garlic and the shallots with the skin on. Here in Thailand the garlic and shallots are buried in the ashes below the fire in the charcoal grill. They are then roasted until the skin is charred and the flesh is soft and cooked. This takes 5-10 minutes depending on the method you use. If you haven’t got the BBQ on then you can put them directly over the gas flame and char them that way.

Once they are cooled, then peel the skin and remove any charred spots.

Tear the chilli stems off and remove the seeds. Cut or tear the chillies into big pieces.

Slice the galangal and julienne. Slice the lemongrass thinly. You will only require about half the stalk and use the softer white piece closer to the root.

In a pan over a medium heat, toast the chillies and the lemongrass until slightly browned 2-3 minutes.

Remove from the pan and set to one side and add the remainder of the spices except for the garlic and shallots and toast tem by moving them around the pan or they will burn…roast until they are fragrant about 2 minutes . Remove the spices from the heat.

Start by grinding the chilli peppers with the salt when roughly ground then add the lemongrass. Pound until the lemongrass is roughly ground add all the other spices except for the roast garlic and shallots. Pound until well blended, this can take up to 30 minutes depending on how strong your arms are and the size of your pestle and mortar…Add the roasted garlic and shallots pound until smooth. Lastly add the shrimp paste and pound.
Mussamun Curry Paste should be dark red from the roasted ingredients.

This paste will keep in the fridge for about a month and a year in the freezer.

I hope you have enjoyed these curry recipes and I will let you into a little secret if I make the Mussamun I use my blender.

Obviously in the villages they don’t have the mod cons and are all hand ground, lovely and fragrant.

I hope you have enjoyed this post and let us know if you make the pastes as we love to hear your comments.

Curry made from scratch has so much more of an authentic aroma and flavour and as Carol had demonstrated the pastes can be kept for quite a long time. Impress your family and friends….

The other posts in the series can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Carol

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

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

Thank you for dropping in today and Carol would be delighted to answer any of your questions and we always enjoy your feedback. Thanks Sally

.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor – A veritable feast of Chicken


Carol Cooks! Chicken…

Welcome back to my cookery column I do hope that you enjoyed getting to know me better last week and although I have sung in public I will not be singing any chicken songs today…lol

No… I will be sharing with you some of my favourite chicken recipes most of which can also be made with Pork or Beef…

Chicken is the preferred meat of many people as it is a white meat and depending on how it is cooked low in calories… It is the sauces, the skin and the method of cooking which bumps up its calories and can take it into the unhealthy zone…

They all fight and hover here to see who I am going to bequeath my crispy chicken skin to…lol

I will start by giving you my recipe for chicken stock as I always make my own and freeze in ice cube trays and different portion sizes…Easy to do and lower on the salt and of course any preservatives also cheaper as you can make quite a big quantity I normally make enough for the month at a time.

Chicken Stock.

Ingredients:

  • 2 kg raw good chicken carcasses , legs or wings chopped
  • ½ head garlic , unpeeled and bashed
  • 5 sticks celery , roughly chopped
  • 2 medium leeks , roughly chopped
  • 2 medium onions , roughly chopped
  • 2 large carrots , roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 5 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 5 whole black peppercorns
  • 6 litres cold water

Let’s Cook!

Place the chicken carcasses, garlic, vegetables, herbs and peppercorns in a large, deep-bottomed pan.

Add the cold water and bring to the boil, skim, turn the heat down to a rolling simmer.

Continue to simmer gently for about 3 hrs, skimming as necessary, finally pass the stock through a fine sieve or muslin.

Allow to cool for about half an hour, and then refrigerate. Once the stock is cold it should look clear and slightly amber in colour. This is where I usually divide mine up at this point and freeze it. It will keep in the fridge for about 4 days and in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Lemon Chicken with asparagus and mushrooms.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 8 oz mushrooms sliced
  • ¾ cup of milk/cream
  • Juice of a Lemon
  • Lemon slices
  • Couple sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook!

Heat pan and add 1 tbsp of the oil when the oil is hot add the chicken skin side down, cook for about3 mins both side and set aside.

If required add the remaining oil to the pan and add the garlic, asparagus and mushrooms saute until the asp is lightly browned about 8 mins.

Return the chicken to the pan, add the milk and lemon juice slowly heat, throw in thyme and arrange lemon slices on top of the chicken bring to a very slow simmer then cover the pan and put in a preheated oven until chicken is cooked or if you prefer carry on cooking on the stove top.

Taste and season.

Serve with steamed rice, pasta or zucchini ribbons (zoodles)

We make this dish fairly often and sometimes add a little white wine, capers and flat parsley instead of asparagus.

Chicken and Thai basil.

This is one of my favourite Thai dishes and one I make often it is eaten with sticky rice and is one of little Lily’s favourites as well…She is 5 and eats it with tears rolling down her cheeks and saying Pet which is hot but still eats it…typical Thai…lol

It is quick and easy to make for lunch is Gluten Free… although the name glutinous rice infers it has gluten it does not… it means sticky. The rice is also gluten free.

Ingredients: Serves 2.

  • 200 gm chicken breast
  • 2 shallots sliced thinly
  • Handful coriander chopped
  • Mint a big handful, stripped for the stem
  • A tbsp of ground roasted rice
  • 1-3 tsp dried chilli
  • 2 cheeks of lime
  • 1-2 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced (optional)

Let’s Cook

Firstly cook chicken on a griddle or BBQ until just cooked allow to rest before slicing.

Thinly slice shallots.

Mix with coriander and mint leaves. Thinly slice chicken and add to dish with shallots, mint and coriander. Also, add any juice from the meat. Add fish sauce, dried chillies, roasted rice and lime juice then gently combine and TASTE… Adjust seasoning if required. Taste!

Serve with Sticky rice and a dish of washed Thai vegetables.

The meat for this dish can also be sliced thinly and cooked in a little water which a lot of Thais do…I prefer mine griddled I think it has more taste…

N.B: HOW TO DRY ROAST THE RICE.

Heat a small pan and add a handful of glutinous rice, stir to prevent it burning until the rice has coloured slightly a nice light brown, then remove from the heat and grind in pestle and mortar…Do not grind to a powder it needs to be a little coarse as it gives taste and texture to a dish. It will keep in a sealed container for about 6 weeks.

Enjoy!

Chicken strips can also be threaded onto a skewer and lightly cooked they make a nice little appetizer with peanut sauce…I much prefer the Thai version it has so much more taste that any others I have tried in the past.

Peanut Dip.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 tbsp dry roasted peanuts grind in pestle and mortar
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp of tamarind paste.

Let’s Cook!

Put red curry paste in a small pan and gently heat slowly add the coconut milk stirring to keep the mix smooth once all the coconut milk is incorporated with the curry paste then add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine if the sauce is too thick then add a little water until you get your desired thickness.

Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Jerk Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 big bunch spring onions , roughly chopped
  • thumb-sized piece ginger , roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ a small onion
  • 3 scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded if you want less heat – I can’t always get scotch bonnet chillies so use the small, hot Thai chillies.
  • ½ tsp dried thyme , or 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • juice 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice
  • 1 lime
  • 12 chicken thighs…bone in

Let’s Cook!

To make the jerk marinade, combine all the ingredients in a food processor along with 1 tsp salt, and blend to a purée. If you’re having trouble getting it to blend, just keep turning off the blender, stirring the mixture, and trying again. Eventually it will start to blend up – don’t be tempted to add water, as you want a thick paste.

Taste the jerk mixture for seasoning – it should taste pretty salty, but not unpleasantly, salty. You can now throw in more chillies if it’s not spicy enough for you.
If it tastes too salty and sour, try adding in a bit more brown sugar until the mixture tastes well balanced.

Make a few cuts in the chicken thighs and pour the marinade over the meat, rubbing it into all the crevices. Cover and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.

If you want to BBQ the chicken, get the coals burning 1 hr or so before you’re ready to cook.

Authentic jerked meats are not exactly grilled as we think of grilling, but sort of smoke-grilled. To get a more authentic jerk experience, add some wood chips to your barbecue, and cook your chicken over slow, indirect heat for 30 mins.

To cook in the oven, heat the oven to180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the chicken pieces in a roasting tin with the lime halves and cook for 45 mins until tender and cooked through.

Serve with rice and or a mixed salad and a spicy dip if you want more heat.

Enjoy!

I hope you have enjoyed these chicken dishes and there is something which you fancy making… My last dish is chicken with shitake mushrooms and tarragon… If you can’t get shitake mushrooms then normal mushrooms will suffice.

Tarragon Chicken with Shitake Mushrooms.

Ingredients:

  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 200g shitake mushrooms…soaked
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 med onion finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 250ml chicken stock or water
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp picked tarragon

Let’s Cook!

Slice the soaked mushrooms and leave to one side. Put the olive oil, garlic and onions into a pan with a tsp of butter. Cook until onions start to soften about 5 mins

Season the chicken thighs; add them to the pan and sauté until the skin is crisp and nicely coloured.

Add the stock or water and the mushrooms and simmer for up to 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Remove the thighs and leave to rest on a warm plate.

Reserve any liquid from the pan and saute the mushrooms in a teaspoon of butter.

Add the cream, simmer until it reduces by half, and then add the chicken and any remaining stock.

Garnish with the tarragon and serve with a crisp green salad or rice.

Enjoy

That’s all until next week I hope you all have a great week …xx Carol

Sometimes we get into a bit of a rut with our recipes and as we eat a lot of chicken it is great to have all these new ones to try.. thanks to Carol’s efforts in the kitchen.

The other posts in the series can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Carol

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

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

Thank you for dropping in today and Carol would be delighted to answer any of your questions and we always enjoy your feedback. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor – #Pork! Perfect!


 

Pork! Perfect!

Welcome once again to Carol’s Cookery column and this week it’s one of our family’s favourite meats after Beef (now) I have found a butcher… I do hope that you enjoyed the Beef recipes last week.

Perfect pork crackling eludes many, and there is many a time when I am screaming at the screen when those cookery contestants don’t get their crackling crispy…

How to get perfect Pork crackling every time.

Nothing is better than perfectly crisp Pork Crackling.

How to achieve it, well, it’s easy!

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

It has to be thinly scored, for this, I actually use a Stanley Knife and woe betides anyone who uses it for D.I.Y.

The piece of Pork I have pictured is a piece of Belly Pork approx 2 kilos and we scored it and then rolled it.

Right let’s go,

  1. Heat oven and set to 250C.
  2. Next, take a small amount of oil and rub into the skin.
  3. Then generously salt the skin making sure you rub it well into the fat.
  4. You will notice on mine there is sage as we always add herbs to ours.
  5. But just salt is fine.
  6. Put in very hot oven until skin starts to blister up.
  7. If you tap with a knife you can hear it or once you get used to it you can see it blistering up.
  8. But keep an eye on it (as my pic) below shows I took my eye of the ball and burnt the edges.
  9. Reduce heat of the oven to about 170 degrees for the remainder of cooking time which depends on the size and cut off your pork. Pork loin cooks quicker.

You should now have a lovely piece of Pork with crispy crackling and lovely melt in your mouth pork.

Next is one of my favourites and also my favourite rice is when I add some herbs.

Orange Pork with Watercress Rice.

Ingredients

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

Let’s Cook!

  1. Cook the rice and toss in the watercress with ½ to 1 tbsp oil, cover and leave to stand for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Season the pork and with the pan on a medium heat add the oil and add half of the ginger and cook until the ginger is golden, drain and set to one side.
  3. Add the pork and brown for 3-4 minutes and then remove from the pan.
  4. Add the remainder of the ginger and the garlic and cook for 30 seconds add the marmalade, fish sauce and lime juice bring to a slow rolling boil stirring until it is syrupy then return the pork to the pan simmer for 1 minute and serve over the rice.

Garnish with the crispy ginger and watercress sprigs.

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

Pork ribs are the men folks favourite in this house and the dogs as he gets the bones…

Braised Pork Ribs.

This is by far the best recipe I have eaten so far for ribs. I nearly didn’t eat them as I am not a fan of chewing on a rib, however, the meat on these was so moist and soft it just fell off the bone. We cooked it as one whole piece rather than cut the ribs into portions.

Ingredients:

  • A 2-kilo piece of Pork Rib.
  • For the marinade.
  • 160 ml Hoisin sauce
  • 4 tbsp BLACK Soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice and the grated zest.
  • 4 tbsp raw brown sugar
  • 10cm piece of fresh ginger julienned
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 4-star anise

Let’s Cook!

  1. Mix all of the above ingredients together.
  2. Then paint over the rack of ribs and put in the fridge for at least an hour to marinate and absorb all those lovely flavours.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees.
  4. Cover the dish with foil and cook the ribs for 2 ½ to 3 hrs, basting the meat occasionally.
  5. When nice and tender remove from the oven and portion up and those lovely leftover juices from the pan we drizzled over the ribs and served them with a mixed salad, potato salad, and beetroot.

A finger bowl and serviettes were required as they made for quite a messy eating but very enjoyable and we would definitely make them again.

Enjoy!

These spicy rice balls are a lovely way to use up any leftover cooked rice and are quite delicious. They are one of the first things I was taught to cook by my daughter in law more years ago than I care to remember. Whenever we have a party or anything they are one of the first things to be eaten, adults and kids alike they love them.

We had these last night and we did have a couple left over….. Guess what I have just had with some ginger and chilli, lime juice squeezed over it and wrapped in a white cabbage leaf… all the Thai flavours and textures…so yummy!

Spicy Pork, rice and coconut balls.

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm cold cooked rice.
  • 250 gm minced pork.
  • 150 gm coconut flesh. I have a funny little gadget that I bought long ago and I scrape the flesh out of a fresh coconut…
  • 1-3 tbsp of red curry paste.
  • 2-3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar.
  • 2 eggs beaten.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Mix all ingredients together it will be slightly sticky.
  2. With wet hands shape the mixture into medium sized balls about 3-4 cm.
  3. Heat the oil until hot but not smoking as the outside will cook before the inside and cook rice balls 15-20 minutes until brown and cooked through.

Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these Pork recipes until next time…stay safe , have fun and laugh a lot xxx

Another fantastic collection of recipes and my thanks to Carol for spending so much time in the kitchen again this week, creating such tempting dishes.

The other posts in the series can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Carol

New additional Blog: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

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

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

Thank you for dropping in today and Carol would be delighted to answer any of your questions and we always enjoy your feedback. Thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Peppercorns


Welcome… I hope you have all had a enjoyable weekend and the weather has been kind to you…We have been celebrating Thai New Year…Songkran which is three days of sunshine and water… I have been very wet but in this heat it was most welcome however three days of running the gauntlets at my age is wearing a bit thin so yesterday I pulled the age card and said no more I do not want to go shopping soaking wet and with a floured face…Luckily I got away with it…lol

Peppercorns are something I use daily in my kitchen either fresh as pictured or freshly ground. I use black, white and green peppercorns which are all from the same seed of the same plant they are just at different stages of their development.

You then get the pink peppercorns!

Peppercorns don’t go through the same ripening cycles as many fruits and vegetables …nope nothing like it so come with me…

They look very pretty…Don’t they? Do you know which one is the odd one out?

Black Peppercorns.

I have always assumed black peppercorns were at the final stage of development …not so although they have nearly reached maturity they are not quite ripe.

When they have been harvested they are then dried in the sun and it is the enzymes in the berries which causes the skin to turn black.

Black peppercorns also are the strongest flavoured of the peppercorn family.

For the fullest flavour black pepper is best freshly ground as required as left whole they retain their freshness, flavour and essential oils.

Kept whole and in a sealed container and kept cool and dry they will keep for up to a year. Once ground or cracked the flavour decreases after about 4 months.

Black pepper is the fruit of the black pepper plant from the Piperaceae family and is both used as a spice and for medicinal purposes. The chemical piperine, present in black pepper, causes the spiciness. Since ancient times, black pepper is one of the most widely-traded spices in the world. It is not a seasonal plant and is, therefore, available throughout the year. It is when it is dried, that this plant-derived spice is referred to as a peppercorn.

Because of its antibacterial properties, pepper is used to preserve food. Black pepper is also a very good anti-inflammatory agent.

Black pepper is also the agent which makes the turmeric such a powerful drink for you health and well being when you make Golden Milk.

White Peppercorns

The mature peppercorn berries are red…The red berries when harvested are soaked using a process known as retting in water for about a week during which time the flesh softens and decomposes the flesh is then rubbed off leaving the seed which is then dried in the sun.

The red ones are also brined or pickled.

White pepper has a different taste to black pepper it is milder and generally used in cookery when mashing potatoes or making light coloured sauces or dishes where the black specs of pepper would spoil the look of the dish or where a milder pepper is required.

It is also more expensive than black pepper.

Green Peppercorns

Green peppercorns are the unripe fruit and they are often pickled in vinegar or brine or dehydrated/freeze dried which enhances the flavour.

Picked at the same time the green peppercorns are not allowed to dry whereas some are dried to produce the black peppercorn.

Fresh green peppercorns are used a lot in Thai cooking if I am just cooking a quick stir fry for me I take about 75/100 gms of sliced pork loin or chicken and stir fry it in some Thai red curry paste to which I add a little fish sauce and some coconut milk I then cook it over a fairly high heat until it is quite dry and add some fresh peppercorns and maybe a squeeze of lime it all depends how I feel. If I am eating it with sticky rice I prefer it drier but if I am eating it with steamed rice I leave the sauce a little runnier.

That’s a Carol special for me though as I like it super hot sometimes for the family I bring it down a little they love the flavour of a lovely peppercorn sauce over meat or fish although the recipe for fish is slightly different.

This Pork is a family favourite.

Pork shoulder with peppercorn sauce.

Ingredients:

  • Lean pork shoulder slices
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • A pint of fresh stock.
  • Cup of full cream milk
  • 5/6 stems of fresh peppercorns
  • Half tbsp Worcester sauce (optional)
  • Corn flour or arrowroot to thicken sauce.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook!

Before I start I will just say we make this recipe quite often and as many of you will know I go by taste rather than exact amounts.

Season the slices of shoulder portions with salt, pepper and little olive oil and cook in the oven about 180 turning and basting for about 30-40 minutes depending on the size/ thickness of your portions.

To make the sauce saute the garlic in a little olive oil and butter then add the stock and let simmer for a couple of minutes then add Worcestershire sauce if using and milk. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper.

Thicken the sauce with a corn flour or arrowroot slurry to your desired thickness. I now add the sauce to my pork and cover the pan so that the sauce doesn’t cook away. We like it like this as the meat juices and garlic add extra flavour to the sauce and then cook for a further 30 minutes or until meat is lovely and tender. Stir in your fresh peppercorns and check the seasoning.

We then serve with rice and green vegetables but it is also lovely with potatoes either mashed or new potatoes.

Enjoy!

Unless your peppercorns are super fresh they will sometimes turn black with cooking this does not detract from the flavour.

I also freeze peppercorns if I am not using them all straightaway this also turns them black but they are still ok to use although I use within about 2 weeks of freezing them.

Now Pink Peppercorns are totally unrelated to the other peppercorns and are also known as the Christmas berry or Florida Berry. The pink peppercorn is mildly spicy and often found in a mixed pepper pot.

Just crushed with green, white or black peppercorns they make a lovely seasoning for steak or fish, mixed into a salad dressing or added to minced meat when making a burger.

That’s all from me for this week I hope you al have a lovely and productive week and all of you who have been nominated for a Bloggers Bash award I wish you all good luck although I think you are all winners.

Until next week … Carol J x

I am very grateful to Carol for all the hard work that goes into these posts, especially this week when celebrating Thai New Year.

The other posts in the series can be found in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/carol-taylors-food-and-cookery-column-2018/

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Carol

New additional Blog: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

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

If you have missed previous posts in the Cook from Scratch series you can find them here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/cook-from-scratch-with-sally-and-carol-recipes/

Looking forward to your comments and any questions that you have for Carol, and it would be great if you could hit a few share buttons..thanks Sally