Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday November 15th 2019 -#Xmas Carol Taylor #Maths Jennie Fitzkee – #Interview Colleen M. Chesebro with Darlene Foster


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first author today is our food expert Carol Taylor who shares some Christmas trivia, tips and some awful jumpers!!! and news that her own farm bred turkey will be gracing their table this year. Guaranteed free range, highest welfare standards and organic. Not all of us can say that when we buy a supermarket frozen or fresh chicken!  Anyway here is a snippet and I recommend that you head over and read the rest.

Christmas…In my house…Traditions, Treats and a touch of Trivia…

Good afternoon…A lovely here though the morning was a tad chilly…Picked up some lovely fennel and some beautiful eggplants from the Kings Project Farmers market also some beautiful peppercorns and some other fresh vegetables…Next Friday will be the start of my sample Christmas menus…I will be featuring more plant-based menus as I know many people are changing and cooking with more vegetables, lentil/beans all of which I love but the menfolk here not so much…so there will also be some recipes with fish or chicken…

Today I am reposting a post from last November which I hope you enjoy…x

Christmas stockings gingerbread houses

Please head over to enjoy, especially those jumpers: Carol Taylor – Christmas Traditions, Treats and Trivia

You can find all of Carol’s posts: Carol Taylor’s Food and Cookery Column 2019

The next post that caught my attention is from Jennie Fitzkee who has been teaching pre-school children for well over thirty years, and once you read Jennie’s posts, you realise how very lucky those children are.

Hands-on Maths for Children

Often, in the flow of our day, there are unplanned learning opportunities. Typically, this is when some of the best learning and the most fun happens. Recently we were playing with Squigz, a toy with multiple sized rubber pieces of various colors that have suction cups for building and attaching. When it was time to clean up, we collected all the pieces, fifty to be exact. In order to make sure we had all fifty, we began lining up and counting the pieces by color.

Head over to read the rest of this wonderful post: Jennie Fitzkee – Hands-on Maths for Children

And two of my favourite people on one page with Conversations with Colleen Chesebro and her guest YA author Darlene Foster talking about the well loved Amanda Travel series and other aspects of Darlene’s life.

Hello everyone! This week I’m thrilled to bring you one of my favorite award-winning children’s authors, Darlene Foster. I asked her to pick three or four questions from my huge list HERE. This is Darlene’s second visit to my blog. We had so much fun last time, she couldn’t wait to stop around again!

Darlene Foster writes the kind of children’s books that I would have loved to read as a child. Pull up a seat and stay awhile. Let’s talk writing!

What kind of research do you do for a children’s book, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Find out the answer to that question and enjoy the rest of the interview: Colleen Chesebro meets Darlene Foster

Thank you very much for dropping in and I hope you will head over to read these posts in full.. thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Thursday 17th October – C.S. Boyack with Roberta Eaton Cheadle, Carol Taylor #Pumpkins and Jack Eason #Politicians


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post that I recommend that you read is the interview on Lisa Burton Radio of Hugh Bigod one of the stars of Through the Nethergate by Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

Lisa Burton

Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today, my special guest is a cute black doggie with the awful name of Hugh Bigod. He’s here to talk to us about a problem he has. Probably something to do with that name. “Welcome to the show, Hugh.”

“A cute black doggie! How dare you refer to Hugh Bigod, the First Earl of Norfolk and the most evil man who ever lived in Norfolk as a cute black doggie? I am the most powerful ghost in Bungay, master to all the other ghosts. I choose to take the form of a huge black dog with red eyes as it strikes fear into the heart of my victims.”

“You’re telling me, you’re not actually a dog, but a ghostly apparition of a man named Hugh Bigod?”

“Yes, you imbecilic machine. After King Henry I of England died, I betrayed his successor, Stephen of Blois, usurper of the crown, and allowed him to be captured and imprisoned by dissidents. I then formed a huge gang of bandits who roamed the countryside, spreading terror, burning villages and torturing people and holding them to ransom.

Head over and discover more about Hugh Bigod and Through the Nethergate: https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2019/10/17/through-the-nethergate-on-lisaburtonradio/

C. S. Boyack, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/C.-S.-Boyack/e/B00ILXBXUY Goodreads: C.S. Boyack Goodreads Blog: http://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com

Please visit Amazon to view all of Craig’s books.

and Roberta Eaton Cheadle, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ Goodreads: Robbie Goodreads

picture641uwzl1aqpl-_sx260_

The next post is from Esme’s Salon where Carol Taylor has been contributing a monthly A – Z Culinary alphabet, and today the featured letter is U…. from Ugli Fruit to Umani.

Welcome to this month’s installment of the Culinary Alphabet. The Culinary Alphabet, The letter U, yes we are on the letter U.

Halloween is nearly upon us, the trees are changing color and what glorious colors we are seeing around the world. I love the changes of the seasons and Autumn is one of my favorites. At this moment in time, it is 77 sleeps which sounds a lot. The reality is before we know it, it will be Christmas Eve.

Without further ado. lets look at the letter U – not so many this time although maybe as I write some more will spring to mind.

Ugli Fruit, Fruit, Citrus, Organic

If you would like to know what Umani is.. head over and read the rest of this informative post: https://esmesalon.com/the-culinary-alphabet-the-letter-u/

About Esme

I grew up loving to bake and cook as I watched my Mom so lovingly prepare meal after meal for the family and all our friends. I live in Vancouver, Canada, for the past 20+ years, but originally from a then small village called Somerset West, just outside of Cape Town, in South Africa.

How did this blog come about?

Over the last number of years, I have been pouring my heart and soul into my blog, first The Recipe Hunter (Cook and Enjoy) and now I have upgraded to  EsmeSalon..

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

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

Connect to Carol via her blog and enjoy posts on healthy eating, conservation, waste management, travel and amazing recipes: https://carolcooks2.com/

The final post today is from author Jack Eason who does have a reputation for telling it how it is.. and in this updated post particularly, he has a very forthright and accurate opinion of the state of our politics in the UK…. and I would say that there were few places in the world that the population has a differing view about their politicians. Of course it could be worse. It could be the portrait of a dictator on the walls of our government offices. However, as Jack says, surely there is a better way to get things done. Can we truly afford them any more?

cartoon-politician

Sometime during the last twenty years, the clear distinction between all political parties disappeared forever. At one time not so long ago you knew for certain that the Conservative/Republican party represented the privileged rich and big business while the Labour/Democrats worked to protect the rights and privileges of the ordinary working man and women – no longer.

Today’s crop of politicians, no matter which of the eighteen parties they belong to, can only be described at best as opportunistic chancers who entered politics to grow rich at the expense of the nation they purportedly represent. Here in the UK I defy anyone to show any appreciable difference between the Tories, Labour, Liberals, or any of the others, with the exception of the Brexit Party whose platform is all about getting the UK out of the EU.

If like me you believe that all politicians are pathologic liars and hypocrites, then, like me, you must be wondering can we as a nation truly afford them anymore. To illustrate my point, a previous Prime Minister paid a lot of lip service recently on the issue of tobacco. He declared that he was going to force the tobacco companies to either employ disgusting photographs of cancerous body organs like lungs etc on the packages, or force them to put out their product in plain packages with no company logo. To gain the bleeding heart vote he and his cronies had already acceded to the anti-smoking lobby by forcing retailers to hide all tobacco products, announcing that it was to discourage children from buying cigarettes. If you believe that you need your bumps felt. What a load of crap! Pull the other one; it’s got bells on it!
 

Do head over to Jack’s and I am sure he will be delighted to hear your views on politicians and also to offer any suggestions on how to improve things.. I left a couple: https://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/can-we-truly-afford-them-anymore/comment-page-1

Jack Eason, Buy: https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Eason/e/B003MEA7AY/ Bloghttps://havewehadhelp.wordpress.com/ – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4026249.Jack_Eason

To view all of Jack Eason’s book please visit his Amazon Page or his blog

Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over to read the posts in full.. thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Friday September 27th 2019 -D.G. Kaye Interviews Stevie Turner – Carol Taylor #pies – Paddy Cummins #Guinness


This series is an opportunity to showcase posts from around our community and the brilliant bloggers who share with us. It would be amazing if you would follow the links to the post I have highlighted and whilst visiting follow and support the blogger.

The first post is the from D.G. Kaye as part of her new Q & A series and today her guest is author Stevie Turner.

D.G, Kaye Book Promotions

Welcome to the second of my new interview series, this week featuring women’s fiction author Stevie Turner. Stevie has a vast selection of books to her credit, and I’m happy to share that I’ve read a few of them and look forward to reading many more awaiting me on my Kindle. So today we’re going to get to know a little more about Stevie and her writing.

Author Stevie Turner

About Stevie Turner:

Stevie Turner grew up in the East End of London and was fortunate enough to attend an excellent primary school which encouraged creative writing. After winning an inter-schools’ writing contest, Stevie began to keep a diary and often added little stories and poems to it as the years went by. However, she did not take up writing seriously until 2013. By this time her two sons had left home and she had more time to herself.

Stevie has now written 11 novels, 6 novellas, 1 memoir, and 18 short stories, winning a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her third novel ‘A House Without Windows’. You can find details of all her books on her website http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk

Stevie still lives in the same picturesque Suffolk village that she and husband Sam moved to in 1991 with their two boys. One of her short stories, ‘Lifting the Black Dog’, was published in ‘1000 Words or Less Flash Fiction Collection’ (2016). She has also written an article ‘Look on the Bright Side of Life’ which was included in the 2016 book ‘They Say I’m Doing Well’ which are articles about mental illness, proceeds of which go to the charity MIND. Her screenplay ‘For the Sake of a Child’ won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival, and her novel ‘A House Without Windows’ gained interest in 2017 from an independent film production company based in New York.

Let’s get down to some Q and A with Stevie: Do you agree with the consensus that writers are loners?

Find out what Stevie has to say about this question and the others in the interview: https://dgkayewriter.com/q-and-a-with-d-g-kaye-featuring-author-stevie-turner-promote-your-book/

D. G. Kaye – Buy: http://www.amazon.com/D.G.-Kaye/e/B00HE028FO
Blog: http://www.dgkayewriter.com Goodreads: D.G. Kaye on Goodreads

Stevie Turner, Buy: http://www.amazon.com/Stevie-Turner/e/B00AV7YOTU
Website:http://www.stevie-turner-author.co.uk/ –  Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172051.Stevie_Turner

Please visit Amazon or Stevie’s website to view all her books.

I have to share the post from our resident food expert Carol Taylor, as I am definitely a pie kind of girl…my father’s pastry was as light as a feather and we always cleared our plates..

National Homemade Pie Day Banner

Pies have been recorded as early as the Neolithic Period, around 9500 BC. The ancient Egyptians’ diet featured basic pies made from oat, wheat, rye, and barley, and filled with honey and baked over hot coals…

I would never get into a discussion as to who makes the best pies as all around the world if you start a discussion on the merits of pie…Someone’s mum always makes the best pies for me my mum does…Be it Steak and Kidney, Fish Pie, Mince pies or an Apple pie her pastry is the best and her pies lauded …

A pie can have a top and a bottom or just a top and it could be a pastry or potato topping…Plain or latticed…There is no end to the variations of the fillings or the case or indeed the type of pastry…

My Hubbies all-time favourite is the Steak and Kidney Pie…

Speaking of which however hot it gets and it is currently only 10am and 30C and rising…Hubby will still eat meat pie…I make individual ones and then he can have pie and I have my Thai food…

Head over for the recipe to ensure your pie is perfect: https://carolcooks2.com/2019/09/26/national-home-made-pie-day/

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.

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

Connect to Carol via her blog and enjoy posts on healthy eating, conservation, waste management, travel and amazing recipes: https://carolcooks2.com/

Next a post from Paddy Cummins on the subject of Sir Arthur Guinness. Founder of The Irish Black Gold. You can’t go into any pub in Ireland and not see pints of Guinness being enjoyed, and that can be said of any Irish pub, anywhere in the world. It is now in cans, bottles and available in supermarkets, but I have to say there is nothing quite like a pint that has been drawn straight from the barrel. A bottle was often prescribed to get people back on their feet after an operation or illness and I find very useful as a pick me up from time to time.

Sir Arthur Guinness was born in Celbridge, Co. Kildare, in the Irish midlands on 28th September 1725.

Arthur 1

From small beginnings.

As with most historic trades, Arthur Guinness learned the craft of brewing from his father Richard, who among other tasks performed as the steward on the estate of Dr. Arthur Price, Archbishop of Cashel, brewed beer for the workforce.

But although young Arthur was not attracted to pursuing a farming career like his father, he would go on to play a significant role in Irish agriculture particularly in the rich grain growing areas of the country. His sights were set on the city of Dublin where he would lay the foundation of an idea that he envisaged would grow in Ireland and spread out around the world.

Head over and find out more about the life of the founder of the iconic Irish beverage: https://irelandtoday.net/2019/09/26/sir-arthur-guinness-founder-of-the-irish-black-gold/

Paddy Cummins writes books on Ireland but also his second home Malta and can be found : https://www.amazon.com/Paddy-Cummins/e/B0034NVEA0

paddy's books collage

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you would head over to read the posts in full…thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food And Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Soups in 25 minutes – Smoked Mackerel and Tomato and Cannellini Bean with Cavolo Nero


Soups in 25 minutes – Smoked Mackerel and Tomato and Cannellini Bean with Cavolo Nero

Welcome to Carol’s Cookery Column where taste and nutrition go hand in hand and can be cooked in a trice…

Soup can be eaten whatever the weather as a starter or as a snack even as a main meal if it is a substantial one served with lots of fresh crusty bread or with the addition of rice or noodles as it is served here…

I know for many of you… Autumn is here which although often brings some lovely sunny days it turns a tad cooler in the evenings….

However for those of us (me) who are experiencing warmer weather soup is eaten a lot here and is a staple in the Thai diet…think Thai chicken noodle soup or Tom Yum…it seems that no matter what the weather many people enjoy a bowl of soup…Don’t you???

Soup can also be so quick to make when we are busy and these two recipes I am giving you today are filling, tasty and nutritious…

Soup has gone through many revivals over the years I remember my mother making soup from chicken or turkey carcasses or as a treat we had Heinz tomato soup…

This saw an increase of packets and cans of soups of many varieties and tastes some memorable and some best forgotten…

Then came the gourmet soups along with of course a higher cost to the consumer….Some very tasty…

But I think this also prompted a revival amongst cooks to recreate these in their own kitchens and we have been treated to some marvellous soups from around the world…Ingredients we have never tried or thought to add to our soups but it has opened up a whole new world of soups.

The base for many soups is tomatoes and herbs…I always use fresh tomatoes as they are plentiful here and anything imported is expensive. I avoid canned foods where possible as leaching is a concern of mine…But if you use canned then that’s fine. I use fresh herbs where possible, but also dried when required. So again use what herbs you have, and in the quantities that you like, as obviously dried herbs have a stronger flavour so less are required.

Also personal taste comes into the equation…

I do tend to use tinned beans, as I have a problem, that however I cook them, soaked overnight, without added salt and cooked well covered in water, they are never as soft as the tinned varieties…I don’t have a pressure cooker so maybe that is the way to go in the future.

Both these soups are tasty and quick to make…

Cannellini Bean Soup with Cavolo Nero…

Cavolo Nero is a very dark green cabbage with a nutty flavour it is rich in nutrients, with high levels of iron and vitamins A and C, however although it has similar properties to regular kale it has a softer taste but any dark cabbage can be substituted. Cavolo Nero is also known as Italian Kale regular curly Kales tall, dark cousin…

Ingredients:

• 250 gm cavolo nero
• 2 x 400 gm tins chopped tomatoes or finely chop 800 gm fresh tomatoes
• 400 gm tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
• A large bunch of fresh mixed herbs, picked to include rosemary, thyme, basil, dill or any herbs of your choice.

I always use far more herbs than any recipe recommends as we love food which is heavy on the herbs but of course you don’t want to overpower the taste of the lovely Cavolo Nero…

Let’s Cook!

  1. Saute the garlic being careful not to burn then add your tinned or fresh tomatoes season with salt and pepper bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer…
  2. If using tinned chopped tomatoes then add a can of water. If using fresh tomatoes squeeze out some of the pips and finely chop the flesh.
  3. Roughly chop the cabbage leaves and add to the pan with your fresh herbs…If you don’t fresh herbs then add some dried mixed herbs and or some oregano. Partially cover and simmer gently for about 15 mins or until the tomatoes have reduced and the cabbage is tender…
  4. Add your cannellini beans and cook for a further few minutes to warm the beans through.
  5. Check the seasoning and adjust if required.
  6. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with some olive oil to serve…Chilli oil is also quite nice…
  7. Sometimes I also add a little crumbled feta or blue cheese…
  8. This serves 3-4 people depending on serving size.

Enjoy!

My next quick soup uses smoked mackerel fillets…which have had the skin removed and any little bones and just break into large pieces.

Smoked Mackerel and Tomato Soup…

Ingredients:

• 200 gm smoked mackerel fillets either plain or if you like a spicier soup then peppered mackerel fillets add a touch more spice.
• 4 Tomatoes
• 1 lemongrass stalk very finely chopped
• 2 in piece of galangal finely diced
• 4 shallots finely chopped
• 2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
• 3 tbsp thick tamarind juice made by mixing tamarind paste with warm water.
• Small bunch of green onions or chives to garnish
• 4 cups of fresh vegetable stock
• ½- 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
• 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
• 1 tsp light brown sugar

Let’s Cook!

  1. Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out most of the seeds then finely dice the flesh and set to one side.
  2. Add the stock to a large pan and add the garlic, galangal, lemon grass and shallots. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the remainder of the ingredients and simmer for 4-5 minutes until both the fish and the tomatoes are heated through.
  4. This soup serves 3-4 serving depending on portion size…
  5. Serve garnished with the green onions or chives either as it is or with noodles for a more substantial meal…

Two lovely soups which are quick and easy to make…Enjoy!

We are definitely coming into soup season and have stock pot on the go all the time.. I had not thought of adding smoked mackerel but will do so in the future.. thanks to Carol for another great idea to jazz up everyday favourites.

 ©Carol Taylor 2019

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Carol via her blog and enjoy posts on healthy eating, conservation, waste management, travel and amazing recipes: https://carolcooks2.com/

My thanks to Carol for all her efforts to bring great cookery and healthy options into our diets and I know she would love your feedback. thanks Sally

Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch to prevent nutritional deficiencies with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor – Vitamin C (ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid)


In this series we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

After the summer we will pick up the series with Vitamin D and minerals that are essential to our health.

We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.

Thankfully most of us eat reasonably well, with plenty of variety, but if you take a look at a week’s worth of meals, do you find that you are sticking to a handful of foods, all the time.

Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best interest. Giving it foods that the body can process and extract everything it needs is vital.

Over the next few months we are going to be working our way through the most essential of these nutrients and I will share the symptoms that you might experience if you are becoming deficient in the vitamin or mineral and list the foods where you can find the nutrient.

Carol Taylor is then going to provide you with some wonderful recipes that make best use of these foods… Cooked from Scratch.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid) is probably one of the best known of our nutrients. It is rightly so as it has so many important functions within the body including keeping our immune system fighting fit. The best way to take in Vitamin C is through our diet, in a form that our body recognises and can process to extract what it needs. For example a large orange a day will provide you with a wonderfully sweet way to obtain a good amount of vitamin C, but to your body that orange represents an essential element of over 3000 biological processes in the body!
.
Vitamin C is water-soluble and cannot be stored in the body. It therefore needs to be taken in through our food on a daily basis. It is in fact the body’s most powerful water-soluble antioxidant and plays a vital role in protecting the body against oxidative damage from free radicals. It works by neutralising potentially harmful reactions in the water- based parts of our body such as the blood and within the fluids surrounding every cell. It helps prevent harmful cholesterol (LDL) from free radical damage, which can lead to plaque forming on the inside of arteries, blocking them. The antioxidant action protects the health or the heart, the brain and many other bodily tissues.

Vitamin C is an effective agent when it comes to boosting our immune systems. It works by increasing the production of our white blood cells that make up our defence system, in particular B and T cells. It also increases levels of interferon and antibody responses improving antibacterial and antiviral effects. The overall effect is improved resistance to infection and it may also reduce the duration of the symptoms of colds for example. It may do this by decreasing the blood levels of histamine, which has triggered the tissue inflammation and caused a runny nose. It has not been proven but certainly taking vitamin C in the form of fruit and vegetable juices is not going to be harmful. Another affect may be protective as it prevents oxidative damage to the cells and tissues that occur when cells are fighting off infection.

This vitamin plays a role along with the B vitamins we have already covered in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps determine our emotional well being.

Other areas that Vitamin C is vital to our health.

Collagen is the protein that forms the basis of our connective tissue that is the most abundant tissue in the body. It glues cells together, supports and protects our organs, blood vessels, joints and muscles and also

Our hormones require Vitamin C for the synthesis of hormones by the adrenal glands.
The cardiovascular system relies on Vitamin C that plays a role in cholesterol production in the liver and in the conversion of cholesterol into bile acids for excretion from the body. The vitamin also promotes normal total blood cholesterol and LDL (lousy cholesterol levels) and raises the levels of the more beneficial HDL (Healthy cholesterol) It supports healthy circulation and blood pressure, which in turn supports the heart.

The other areas that Vitamin C has shown it might be helpful to the body is in the lungs reducing breathing difficulties and improving lung and white blood cell function. It is recommended that smokers take Vitamin C not just in their diet but also as

Many studies are showing that Vitamin C can protect the health of the eye by possibly reducing ultra violet damage. .

Research is ongoing with Vitamin C and certainly in the fight against cancer there are some interesting developments.

Vitamin C works as part of a team helping in various metabolic processes such as the absorption of iron, converting folic acid to an active state, protecting against the effects of toxic effects of cadmium, copper, cobalt and mercury (brain health).

One word of warning if you are on the contraceptive pill. Vitamin C in large supplemental doses can interfere with the absorption of the pill and reduce its effectiveness.

What are the symptoms of a deficiency of Vitamin C?

A total deficiency is extremely rare in the western World. A total lack of the vitamin leads to scurvy, which was responsible for thousands of deaths at sea from the middle ages well into the 19th century. Some voyages to the pacific resulted in a loss of as much as 75% of the crew.

The symptoms were due to the degeneration of collagen that lead to broken blood vessels, bleeding gums, loose teeth, joint pains and dry scaly skin.

Other symptoms were weakness, fluid retention, depression and anaemia.

You can link these symptoms back up to the benefits of vitamin C and understand how many parts and processes of the body this vitamin is involved in.

In a milder form a deficiency has also been linked to:

  • increased infections
  • male infertility
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • and gastrointestinal disorders.

Best Food Sources.

The best food source of vitamin C is all fresh, raw fruit and vegetables. Avoid buying prepared peeled and cut vegetables and fruit, as they will have lost the majority of their vitamin C. If you prepare juices at home, always drink within a few hours preferably immediately. Do not boil fruit and vegetables, it is better to eat raw whenever possible preserving all their nutrient content, but at the very least only steam lightly.

Researchers believe that taking in adequate amounts of Vitamin C is the best private health insurance that you can take out.

The best food sources is of course fresh fruit and vegetables but the highest concentrations are in:

Blackcurrants, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cherries, grapefruit, guavas, kiwi fruit, lemons, oranges parsley, peppers, rosehip, potatoes, tomatoes and watercress.

Time to hand you over to Carol Taylor who has been creating dishes that include ingredients that are great sources of Vitamin C.

Vitamin C…To me it is the sunshine vitamin as all the fruit and vegetables which are high in this vitamin are the most glorious colours.

Eaten raw or cooked although lightly steam or roasted as this retains most of the vitamins… Of course depending on where you live there will be other fruits/veggies which are high in Vitamin C…For me here that includes Pineapple, Mango, Papaya and even my favourite, the chilli.

The easiest ways to get your vitamin C is of course to eat the fruit raw, you could also add some spinach to your cooked rice and just let the heat of the rice wilt the spinach, Raw peppers sliced and eating with hummus or which we love here just chop some peppers all three colours, shallot stir into some cooked rice add some sweet corn if liked and I just make this little Italian dressing.

Ingredients

• 3 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
• 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
• ½ tbsp fresh lime/lemon juice
• 1 clove garlic finely chopped
• 1 tbsp dried basil crumbled
• Pinch oregano

Whisk together and chill until required and then add to rice and stir through this recipe is also easy to double up.

This rice salad is easy to make with leftover cooked rice and eaten with some grilled fish or meat. It is also lovely with all the colours of the peppers and if like me you want to up the garlic just chop some extra cloves of garlic and add…

Grapefruit is also high in vitamin C…Here the Pomelo is more common it is just like a bigger grapefruit…

Pomelo Salad or as it is known here Yum Som O is a wonderful light refreshing salad made with Thai Grapefruit( Pink Grapefruit) can be substituted and there is very little difference in flavour.

Ingredients:

• 2 Pink Grapefruit or 1 Pomelo.
• 12-16 peeled shrimps.
• A sm cucumber diced.
• 1/4 cup finely sliced shallots.
• 1/4 cup fresh Thai Basil or Mint.
• 1/4 cup Fresh coriander.
• 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts/cashews.
• 2 tbsp shredded coconut.
• 1 Red Chilli finely sliced.

Dressing:

• Half to 1 lime.
• 3 tbsp Fish Sauce.
• 1-2 tbsp palm sugar.
• 1 -2 red chillies finely sliced.
• Kaffir Lime leaf very finely sliced for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Set a pot of water to boil on the stove. Add shrimp and boil for just a few minutes, until the shrimp turn pink and are plump and firm to the touch. Drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Place shredded coconut in a dry frying pan or wok over medium-high heat and stir until coconut turns light golden brown and fragrant. Tip coconut into a small bowl to cool and set aside. Repeat with shallots frying in a little oil until golden and crispy tip into small bowl and set aside to cool.
  3. Prepare your grapefruit or pomelo, removing as much of the white peel as possible from the fruit. Break into bite-size pieces – 3 to 4 cups is a good amount. Set prepared fruit in a salad bowl.
  4. Add to the bowl: cucumber, basil/mint, coriander, and fresh chilli.
  5. Combine all dressing ingredients together in a cup, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.

To put the salad together: Add shrimp to the salad bowl, and then pour over the dressing. Toss well to combine. Add most of the toasted coconut, shallots and nuts, reserving a little for garnishing, then toss again. Taste-test the salad for a balance of sweet/sour/spicy/salty. Adjust to your liking, adding more sugar if too sour. For more depth of flavour, add a little Fish Sauce. Your salad is now ready to serve. Top with reserved coconut, nuts and shredded lime leaf.

Enjoy!

Tip: Like most Thai salad dressings, this is an oil-free dressing, so it doesn’t appear to ‘cling’ as well as oil-based dressings, naturally collecting at the bottom of your salad bowl. This isn’t a problem – just be sure to toss a little more than you would for a regular salad in order to saturate ingredients with the dressing.

This salad is better served and eaten immediately, the fresher the better. If preparing for a party, keep the dressing apart from the salad until you’re ready to eat, and then toss them together just before serving.

I do hope you enjoy as this is one of my favourite salads, I do shred my Pomelo much finer though rather than having too chunky. But as with anything it is personal preference.

Cauliflower is one of my favourite vegetables it can be lightly steamed and if you make a cheese sauce then it makes a lovely side dish sometimes I also mix the florets with broccoli florets and make a broccoli and cauliflower cheese…

You can turn the cauliflower into rice which is very popular now…

And all you need is a Cauliflower and an Onion. A little Coconut oil to cook or other oil of your choice. Sea Salt and a squeeze Lemon Juice.

Let’s Cook

  1. Either grate or blitz in a food processor (but not too fine) you want some texture.
  2. Heat pan and keep pan HOT as you don’t want Cauliflower to steam and go soggy.
  3. Use a tbsp of Coconut Oil and put in the desired amount of Cauliflower and onion mix.
  4. Cook quickly and then season and add lemon juice.

All in all, it only takes a few minutes to cook….. a bit longer if more than one portion but keep pan hot.

If you wish to vary the taste you can add 1 tsp of Cumin seeds to oil before adding Cauliflower if you are eating Indian Food.

If you require colour if eating Mexican……. then add 1/2 tsp turmeric to oil and tsp tomato puree.

This is very versatile and just use your imagination and add any herbs and spices that you like.

To store...I make a batch and keep in the fridge for during the week but keep in a glass jar or zip lock bag…I think plastic containers may make it sweat too much…..Enjoy…. and if you are cutting the carbs it is an ideal and yummy substitute for rice and I love rice…… eat it all the time but happily substitute this as I am also a cauliflower lover.

The cauliflower is truly versatile… I love it! X

How about making a cauliflower Pizza base?

I love this more than my family do but then I am not a huge pizza fan I don’t really like pizza bases so tend to just pick of the topping so this cauliflower base suits my taste and I can crisp it up a bit..and viola something I really like…

Ingredients:

• 1 medium head cauliflower.
• 1 egg, large.
• 1 tsp Italian seasoning (dried oregano or basil)
• 1/8 tsp salt.
• 1/4 tsp ground black pepper.
• 1/2 cup Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded.
• Cooking spray, I make my own spray I don’t do bought oil in spray cans…I have a little stainless steel one for oil.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/190 C and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Rinse cauliflower, remove the outer leaves, separate into florets and chop into smaller pieces.
  3. Process the cauliflower in a food processor in 2 batches, until a “rice” texture forms.
  4. Transfer cauliflower rice on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 mins this just removes some of the moisture.
  5. Remove cooked cauliflower rice from the oven, transfer to a bowl lined with a double/triple layered cheesecloth or linen towel, and let cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Then squeeze the liquid out of the ball as hard as you can. Be patient and do this a few times until barely any liquid comes out.
  7. Increase oven temperature to 4 degrees F/200 C. Then in a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg with dried herbs, salt and pepper for 10 seconds.
  8. Add cheese and squeezed cauliflower mix very well with a spatula until combined.
  9. Line the same baking sheet with new parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  10. Transfer cauliflower dough to the middle and flatten with your hands until thin pizza crust forms.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes, carefully flip with a spatula and bake for a few more minutes. Top with your favourite toppings and bake again until cheese on top turns golden brown.

Slice and enjoy!

This recipe was one that intrigued me because individually I loved the ingredients except for the egg plant and even though I eat egg plant it is not my favourite.

It is an Indian spiced egg plant salad with mango, tomatoes and lentils … It turned out to be one of the nicest salads ever and had a few ingredients which my hubby doesn’t eat ever like egg plant, tomatoes and lentils and he liked it…

Spiced Egg Plant Salad with tomatoes, mango and lentils.

• 4 tablespoons peanut oil or olive oil, divided
• 2½ teaspoons chilli powder, divided
• 2½ teaspoons curry powder, divided
• 2 medium eggplants ( ¾ pound each), trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
• ⅓ cup lemon or lime juice, plus more if desired
• ¼ cup prepared salsa
• ¼ cup honey
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
• 1½ cups cooked lentils or one 15-ounce can, rinsed
• 2 bunches spring (green) onions, coarsely chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)
• 4 cups torn romaine lettuce or white cabbage
• 2 large ripe mangoes, peeled and diced
• ¼ cup coarsely chopped roasted walnuts or cashews
• ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander

Let’s Cook!

  1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Combine 1 tbsp oil with 2 tsp each chilli powder and curry powder in a large bowl. Add eggplant and toss well. Spread the eggplant on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring halfway through, until tender, for about 15 minutes.
  3. Thoroughly combine the remaining 3 tbsp oil, remaining ½ tsp each chilli powder and curry powder, ⅓ cup lemon (or lime) juice, salsa, honey, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  4. Add the roasted eggplant, lentils and spring onions; gently toss to combine. Taste and season with more pepper and/or lemon (or lime) juice, as required.
  5. Serve the salad on a bed of romaine, topped with mango, nuts, cilantro and the reserved 2 tbsp of spring onions.
  6. I used white cabbage and we ate by adding some salad to the cabbage and eating them both together…
  7. To cook the lentils: Put ½ cup red or brown lentils in a medium saucepan add 1 ½ cups water then bring to the boil over a medium heat, reduce the heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the lentils are tender…12-20 minutes( red lentils ) cook quicker. This makes 1 ½ cups lentils.

I actually think this would go equally as well with pineapple or even orange…It is a lovely recipe with your vitamin C coming from your fruit and tomatoes even egg plant contains some Vitamin C as do chillies and of course you are getting fibre from the egg plant and the lentils so overall a very healthy dish to which you could add some chicken or fish…

Our verdict… I made half the recipe which is what I always do when I am testing a recipe. I just made a small amount of fresh salsa but all together the flavours complemented each other nicely much better than I originally thought and the honey just brought it all together. I used japans egg plants the long purple variety as I don’t think they are so bitter as the Thai green egg plants.

I hope you have enjoyed these recipes showing how you can include fruit and vegetables into your diet to ensure you get adequate Vitamin C.

My thanks to Carol for preparing these delicious dishes to ensure you and your family are obtaining adequate amounts of vitamin C..

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

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

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

Smorgasbord Easter Parade Blog Party – Part One – Eggellent time to add your links!! – Music, Dancing, Food, and Behatted Guests..


Welcome to the Smorgasbord Easter Parade with some behatted guests, music, humour and food. And since you have dropped in today.. please don’t leave without leaving the link to your latest post…. or your Amazon link and a little bit about yourself.

While you are all standing around waiting for the parade to begin.. here is the first of the entertainers…

Here we have Laura Ganley of the Ganley Sisters,  http://www.theganleysisters.com/ performing a Sean-Nos Barrel dance! All on a Wild West Irish Tour!

We have quite a few special guests today who have joined us from all over the world, wearing a hat of their choice or have brought a guest wearing one….and the first to join the parade is children’s author Darlene Foster who has travelled all the way from Spain to take part.

About Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster is a writer, an employment counsellor, an ESL tutor for children, a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves travel, shoes, cooking, reading, sewing, chocolate, music, the beach and making new friends. Her 13-year-old grandson called her “super-mega-woman-supreme”.

“Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask” was her first published novel. Once bitten by the travel bug, Amanda travels to other interesting places, sticking her nose in other people’s problems and getting herself in trouble. Read “Amanda in Spain – The Girl in the Painting”, “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel”, “Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone”, and “Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music” and “Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind” to find out the adventures Amanda has as she travels the world.

A small selection of books by Darlene.

Discover all of Darlene Foster’s books and reviews: http://www.amazon.com/Darlene-Foster/e/B003XGQPHA Find more reviews on Goodreads: Darlene Foster Visit her website: www.darlenefoster.ca

Please help yourself to a free coffee as you pass by.

The next guest is Science Fiction/Thriller author Richard Dee who has popped over from the South Coast of England..wearing his own version of an Easter bonnet…..

About Richard Dee

Richard Dee is a native of Brixham in Devon, England He left Devon when he was in his teens and settled in Kent. Leaving school at 16 he briefly worked in a supermarket, then went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986.

Coming ashore to be with his growing family, he used his sea-going knowledge in several jobs, including Marine Insurance Surveyor and Dockmaster at Tilbury, before becoming a Port Control Officer in Sheerness and then at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich.

His first science-fiction novel Freefall was published in 2013, followed by Ribbonworld in 2015. September 2016 saw the publication of his Steampunk adventure The Rocks of Aserol and of Flash Fiction, a collection of Short Stories. Myra, the prequel to Freefall was published in 2017, along with Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café, a murder mystery set in space and the start of a series featuring Andorra Pett, an amateur detective. He contributed a story to the 1066 Turned Upside Down collection and is currently working on prequels, sequels, and new projects.

A small selection of books by Richard Dee

Discover all the books and read the reviews: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Richard-Dee/e/B00CN4TTCG/ Read more reviews and follow Richard on Goodreads: Richard Dee – http://richarddeescifi.co.uk/ Connect to Richard via his website: http://richarddeescifi.co.uk/

Debby Gies will be joining the Monday Parade but in the meantime she has found all the funnies shared today. ..D.G. Kaye Writer Blog

Time for another guest and joining the parade is master storyteller Hugh Roberts who looks very Dapper in his boater and who has ferried it across from Wales this morning. Clearly prepared for the vagaries of the Irish weather!

About Hugh Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.

My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my posts on blogging tips. I’ve learned a lot about the world of blogging since I first discovered it in February 2014. All of the tips and advice I give are free of charge and will cost you nothing apart from, maybe, your time. To see all my posts that include blogging tips, click on the ‘Blogging Tips’ button on the menu bar.

I’m a member of the committee of the Bloggers Bash, a group set up to organise annual get-togethers for all bloggers. The next event is 15th June in London and full details can be found on the website about tickets and the awards: https://annualbloggersbash.com/about-the-bash/

Hugh is the author of two multi-genre short story collections and I can recommend both.

Books by Hugh Roberts

Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hugh-W.-Roberts/e/B01N40ZABP – Read more reviews and follow Hugh on Goodreads:Hugh W. Roberts Connect to Hugh via his blog: https://hughsviewsandnews.com/

Time for a little more entertainment in the parade and still in Ireland… some music…Celtic dueling violins Smith & Nesbitt. Live from Hyde Park London. Uploaded by AdriFlaherty

If you are now feeling a little peckish.. here are some fresh Hot Cross Buns..please help yourself…

My next guest is Children’s author Victoria Zigler whose delightful books on family pets are very popular. She lives in South East England and has sent over a representative her much loved Kero.

About Victoria Zigler

My name is Victoria, but most of my friends and family call me Tori. Feel free to do the same.

Born in the shadow of the black mountains in Wales, I now live by the sea in the south-east of England with my husband, Kelly, a degu named Joshua, a pair of chinchillas named Mollie and Maizie, and a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie.

Having battled with glaucoma since birth, I now find myself completely blind. But I didn’t let that stop me from chasing the dream I’ve had since I was a young child: the dream of being a published author. I’ve loved to read and write since I learned how, and always wanted to get my work published. Finally, in 2012, I made that dream come true by self-publishing eBooks via Smashwords. Three years later, I began using CreateSpace to make my books available in print. So now I’m a published author of children’s fiction, as well as a couple of poetry collections; all of which are available in multiple eBook formats, and as paperback books.

A small selection of books by Victoria.

You can read reviews and buy the books from Amazon in print and audio: https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6 Victoria has many more reviews on Goodreads: Victoria Zigler Connect to Tori via her website: http://www.zigler.co.uk/

My next guest  is the entertaining author Geoff Le Pard whose humour overflows onto social media as well.. I hear that he had the flight crew from Gatwick in stitches on his way over for the parade. I have substituted Geoff’s original hat for this photograph which I think is far more Easter orientated…..and funny.

 

About Geoff Le Pard

I have been writing creatively since 2006 when at a summer school with my family I wrote a short radio play. That led to a novel, some more courses, more novels, each better than the last until I took an MA at Sheffield Hallam. I published my first novel in 2014 – Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle. In 2015 a second followed – My Father and Other Liars. In 2016 I have an anthology of short stories out, Life, in a Grain of Sand. I have now added ‘memoir’ to my list of genres with the launch of Apprenticed To My Mother. Other novels can be found here. I write in a range of genres so there is something for everyone..

Before writing, I was a lawyer, ending up at the London Olympics. Now I mix writing with a range of activities, often walking to find inspiration or taking in a variety of sports events.

A selection of books by Geoff

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Geoff-Le-Pard/e/B00OSI7XA0 – Read more reviews and follow Geoff on Goodreads: Geoff Le Pard  Connect to Geoff via his website: http://geofflepard.com/

Time to join in with the West Coast Swing dancers from Sydney just mind the puddles… thanks to Swing Skool

Following on behind the Easter Bunny we have our next guest in today’s paradeRitu Bhathal lives in London and has joined us with her feline companion today.. As you can see Ritu wears many hats.. including being a published poet.

About Ritu Bhathal

Ritu Bhathal was born in Birmingham in the mid-1970’s to migrant parents, hailing from Kenya but with Indian origin. This colourful background has been a constant source of inspiration to her.

From childhood, she always enjoyed reading. This love of books is mostly credited to her mother. The joy of reading spurred her on to become creative in her own writing, from fiction to poetry. Winning little writing competitions at school and locally gave her the encouragement to continue writing.

As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, and teacher, she has drawn on inspiration from many avenues to create the poems that she writes. A qualified teacher, having studied at Kingston University, she now deals with classes of children as a sideline to her writing!

Ritu also writes a blog, a mixture of life and creativity, thoughts and opinions, which was awarded The Best Overall Blog Award at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in 2017.

The poetry collection by Ritu Bhathal

Read the reviews and buy:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetic-RITUals-Ritu-Bhathal-ebook/dp/B01H46DN5Q Read more reviews and follow Ritu on Goodreads: Ritu Bhathal Connect to Ritu via her blog: https://butismileanyway.com/

My next guest is one who is very familiar to most of you.. Chris Graham, The Story Reading Ape who has gone the extra mile with his Easter photograph… thankfully his Cites wildlife permit was up to date to enable him to join us in Ireland today.

About the Story Reading Ape.

My literature Hero is Terry Pratchett who, in one of his Science of Discworld books, postulated that Homo Sapiens Sapiens survived all the pitfalls that made other Homo Sapiens species become extinct, by being story telling apes.

If this is the case, then in order to be effective, for every story telling ape there had to be a story listening ape.

I am descended from them, except I read stories instead of listening to them; and author’s are the tellers of the stories I read. I don’t so much read books as devour them, (sometimes re-devouring them several times), so I’ve set myself a long term task, to list all the books I’ve ever read on Goodreads – trouble is I’ve got the memory of a sieve and I must have read thousands of them!

The Indie author supporter.

Part of Chris’s immense enclosure is given over to The Great Hall of Fame… This is where Indies can exhibit their work by penning an article talking about themselves and their work. (Talk about a writers dream!) Once posted the author is then elevated to the Hall of Fame to reside with hundreds of other authors from around the world, who have taken that exciting but challenging step of being a published author. http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/halls-of-fame/tsras-hall-of-fame/

Chris and his sister compiled his late mother’s wonderful poems written about growing up in Northern Ireland before, during and after the ‘Troubles’? My Vibrating Vertebrae and other Poems by Agnes Mae Graham

Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Vibrating-Vertebrae-other-poems-ebook/dp/B01HA8Q116   Read more reviews on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30845724-my-vibrating-vertebrae Connect to Chris, The Story Reading Ape: http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com

And last but not least in the parade today is Carol Taylor who is the resident foodie here on Smorgasbord. I mentioned the word ‘Partee’ and the she whipped up a bunch of friends, chartered a flight from Thailand and landed this morning…..

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology:  https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS You can find out more about Carol and catch up with her Food and Cookery Column HERE Connect to Carol via her blog: https://carolcooks2.com/

Please help yourself to a chocolate bunny before you join in the dancing of the incredible Indlondlo Traditional Zulu dance group who have featured as guest here on the blog several times in the last six years. You can find more amazing videos via their YouTube Channel. Indlondlo Zulu Dancers

Thank you for joining us today for part one of the Easter Parade.. Part Two on Monday with more guests and entertainment.

Please drop your links to your latest blog post that you would like to share.. and your Amazon Author Page if you have one… Thanks Sally.

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Cook from Scratch with Sally Cronin and Carol Taylor to prevent nutritional deficiencies – Vitamin B3 – Niacin


In this series we look at cooking and your diet from a different perspective. Usually we emphasize the health benefits of food and how they can be incorporated into your diet. But, what happens if you do NOT include them in your diet.

We wanted to share with you what happens if your body is deprived of individual nutrients over an extended period of time.

Thankfully most of us eat reasonably well, with plenty of variety, but if you take a look at a week’s worth of meals, do you find that you are sticking to a handful of foods, all the time.

Variety is key to good health, to provide your body with as broad a spectrum of nutrients as possible that the body needs. Taking a supplement or relying on shakes and bars to provide your daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients is not in your body’s best interest. Giving it foods that the body can process and extract everything it needs is vital.

Over the next few months we are going to be working our way through the most essential of these nutrients and I will share the symptoms that you might experience if you are becoming deficient in the vitamin or mineral and list the foods where you can find the nutrient.

Carol Taylor is then going to provide you with some wonderful recipes that make best use of these foods… Cooked from Scratch.

Vitamin B3 is also known in different forms as Niacin, Nicotinic Acid, Nicotinamide and Nicinamide. When the vitamin was first discovered it was called nicotinic acid but there was a concern that it would be associated with nicotine in cigarettes, leading to the false assumption that somehow smoking might provide you with nutrients. It was decided to call it Niacin instead.

It works with other nutrients, particularly B1, B2, B5, B6 and biotin to break the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in food down into energy. B3 itself is essential in this process and it goes further by aiding in the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach to aid the digestion of food. It is actually involved in over 40 metabolic functions which shows how important it is in our levels of energy on a daily basis.

We are at the mercy of toxins and harmful chemicals in the body that need to be eliminated efficiently to prevent build up and illness. B3 works with the body and other nutrients to achieve this. Additionally when we are under attack from bacteria and viruses that we have not managed to eliminate fast enough, B3 will also assist in the antioxidant processes within the body to help us heal faster.

Enzymes in the body are unique substances that speed up chemical reactions in the body. They are responsible produce the energy we need, the breakdown of dietary fats, the production of certain hormones and cholesterol. In addition they are needed for the processing of genetic material (DNA) and the growth and healthy maturing of cells. B3 is essential for the efficiency of many of these enzymes.

One of the areas that B3 is used therapeutically is in the lowering of cholesterol. B3 actually lowers LDL (lousy cholesterol) and raises HDL (healthy cholesterol). In tests, supplemented B3 proved more effective than many of the normal cholesterol lowering drugs although there have been instances of side effects in the form of excessive flushing. To prevent this you can take time release tablets and also begin on a low dose, gradually building up to the therapeutic level.

High dosage of any vitamin therapy should only be undertaken with the supervision of a medical professional and there are a number of different forms of B3 supplementation that can be used to minimise side effects whilst still acting to reduce LDL and raise HDL.

People at risk of being Vitamin B3 deficient.

It is not considered to be a common deficiency but even a mild one can have an impact on your health. People who are intolerant to gluten are at risk as are those with other intestinal problems including Crohn’s Disease and IBS.

Also when considering a vegetarian or vegan diet it is important to substitute animals products with foods that contain all the B vitamins, and may need additional supplementation too.

The elderly and those suffering from a decreased appetite also may need additional B vitamins in supplement form.

The mild symptoms of a deficiency.

General fatigue
Insomnia
Being cold all the time,
Mild depression
Muscle cramps
Tingling in the fingers
Depressed appetite
Digestive problems
Headaches

Severe deficiency of the vitamin leads to Pellagra and can be fatal

Skin disorders including dermatitis
Diarrhea
Dementia

B3 is water soluble and therefore needs to be replenished daily from your diet it is found in liver, chicken, Turkey, salmon, swordfish, tuna, venison, eggs, cheese and milk. Plant sources include green leafy vegetables such as Asparagus, broccoli, carrots, dates, mushrooms, peanuts, potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, sunflower seeds and wholegrains.

I am now going to hand over to Carol who has whipped up some delicious dishes for the whole family using some of the B3 rich foods as ingredients.

I am thoroughly enjoying this new series as it is helping me to know which of the foods I eat are the ones I need for my optimum health…I hope you are also finding this series helpful with your healthy eating plans.

Cauliflower cheese with broccoli

My go to dish when I want something that reminds me of home…Broccoli and cauliflower cheese…

I will let you determine how much you use because you know how much you eat and how many you are cooking for.

Ingredients

• Broccoli… cut into florets.
• Cauliflower cut into florets.
• Steam the vegetables lightly as they will finish cooking when the sauce is added.
• Tomatoes for decoration.
• For the Sauce:
• 2 tbsp Corn flour
• 1 0z/25gm Butter… I generally just slice it off the block so probably use a tad. more
• 3/4 pint Milk
• Salt
• Freshly ground Pepper.
• 3 oz/70gm Cheddar cheese plus extra for topping.
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard.

I have always used a flour/butter roux to make a white sauce and if that’s how you roll then that’s fine.

My son (bless him) has turned it on its head and asked me why did I make it hard for myself….mmm…teaching mum to suck eggs?

His version and now I have got used to it…it is easier. But am I going to tell him that…Nope!

Let’s Cook

  1. Mix the corn flour to a smooth paste with a little of the milk set aside.
  2. Bring your milk to a slow boil, add the butter and let it melt.
  3. Now…pour your corn flour mix into the milk in very small amounts stirring as you pour, repeating until all the corn flour is incorporated you now have a very smooth sauce.
  4. Season with Salt and pepper and add Dijon mustard again stirring the entire time cook for 1-2 minutes stirring to cook off the taste of the corn flour.
  5. Stir in your cheese I use a strong English cheddar but you can use gruyere cheese or another cheese of your choice or mix your cheeses.
  6. Put steamed vegetables into an ovenproof dish and pour over the cheese sauce. Grate some more cheese over the top you could also mix the cheese with breadcrumbs to make a crispier topping.
  7. Put halved small tomatoes or sliced larger ones around the edge of the dish.

Yes, you will notice a gap…No I didn’t run out of tomatoes….We have… he who shall remain nameless who doesn’t like tomatoes anywhere near his portion.

I am saying no more!

Enjoy!

Lemon Chicken with Asparagus

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Taste and then season.
  5. Serve with steamed rice, pasta or zucchini ribbons (zoodles)

Thai Mushroom Larb

As I have been trying to find some nice flavoursome meatless recipes I came across this one and as Larb is a favourite here I decided to give this version a go… The initial reaction from
the meat eaters in this house were not one of joy…ha-ha but on reflection they had to admit it was nice.

Made using the shiitake mushroom which is great in stir-fries, soups and with pasta, it also apparently makes tasty veggie bacon.

Ingredients

• 12 oz shiitake mushrooms cut into 1/2 in pieces…Remove stalks and reserve for stir fry etc
• 3 spring onions chopped
• 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
• 1 clove of garlic finely diced
• 1 small shallot sliced thinly
• 1 tsp dried chilli or 1 fresh chilli finely sliced
• 1 tbsp fish sauce
• A handful of mint leaves
• Lime Juice plus wedges to serve
• Few peanuts roughly chopped.
• Oil to cook mushrooms.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Add 2 tbsp oil to pan over a medium to high heat add mushrooms and cook for 3-4 mins, shake and cook for another 3-4 mins until mushrooms are crispy…Do not add salt or they won’t crisp.
  2. Add ginger and garlic and remove from the heat.
  3. Add spring onions, chilli, fish sauce and half the nuts stir to combine and add mint leaves.
  4. Taste and add a squeeze of lime juice adjust seasoning if required…
    Peanut butter

Quite by accident (we were drying) peanuts some must have escaped and took root so I can now say I grow my own peanuts.

I am not talking about the salted peanuts that you buy in packets in the shop or supermarket but peanuts grown naturally and roasted or made into healthy peanut butter.

These peanuts are high in monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that is vital in the heart healthy Mediterranean diet. There have been many studies on peanuts and they have shown that this little legume is very vital for heart health.

Peanuts are a good source of Vitamins as well as providing resveratrol, the phenolic antioxidant also found in red grapes and red wine. While it cannot compare with the fruits highest in antioxidants i.e. pomegranate, roasted peanuts do compare with the antioxidants of apples, carrots and beets.

Rather than buying store bought peanut butter which is full of nasties it is easier and it is very quick to make your own. It is the quickest easiest recipe to make ever, the kids can help blitz it and as well as being tasty it has no nasties.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Take 500 gm raw peanuts. Put in oven on tray and cook on high for 10 mins.
  2. Take out of oven and reserve a few (if you like crunchy peanut butter) like me. Put the remainder of nuts in a food processor and blitz at 1 min intervals scrapping down the sides. Do this for 4 mins or until smooth.
  3. Add 1tsp of salt, 1 tbsp oil and remainder of reserved nuts if using. If you want to add honey, Nutella or flavouring of your choice then add now.
  4. Blitz again for 1 min and put in a suitable container. Stores in fridge for 3/4 weeks…….IT’S DELISH!

Sunflower seeds…

Sunflower seeds are a little powerhouse of nutrients they can be added to a crumble topping, roasted as a snack or with scrambled eggs which is a new one on me …What do you think…?

For a crumble topping

Make the topping and then layer with the stewed fruit as pictured above.

Ingredients

• 150g/5½oz light muscovite sugar
• 150g/5½oz walnuts, roughly chopped
• 50g/1¾oz sunflower seeds
• 100g/3½oz softened butter
• 50 g/1 ¾ oz plain flour
• 50 g/1 ¾ oz porridge oats

Let’s Cook

  1. Put the dry topping ingredients in a mixing bowl and rub in the butter until it is evenly distributed and the mixture has formed small clumps.
  2. Spread the mixture evenly over a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden-brown and crisp.
  3. Stir to break up the crumble and sprinkle over the hot fruit of your choice…

That’s all for this week I hope you enjoy the recipes please let us know in comments if you have any questions or queries we love to hear from you.

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

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

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

As I move from Facebook to share my posts, you will find me with some other blogging friends on a relatively new, and friendlier site called MeWe….you can find me on mewe.com/i/sallycronin

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


Winter Warmers. Stews and Casseroles.

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

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

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

A lovely one-pot Beef Bourguignon which is also really easy to double up if you are having guests just make sure you lengthen the cooking time.

One of the first dishes that I cooked my husband some 40 odd years ago was Beef Bourguignon…He was a man who ate only meat and two vegetables and did not like garlic???

Well…he ate it! I didn’t tell him what was in it apart from Beef and Red Wine…

When he asked after saying” That was really good” and I said Beef, garlic, red wine etc….

” But I don’t like garlic”

He now eats this dish at every opportunity and often asks me to make it!

Ingredients:

• 1 kg Beef…I use good braising steak. Cut into cubes.
• 3/4 rashers smoked bacon cut in 1/4 pieces.
• 250gm button mushrooms…small as I use whole.
• 10-15 small onions/shallots used whole.
• 3/4 pint good beef stock.
• Half bottle red wine……..I use a Shiraz.
• 2/3 bay leaves.
• 4 large cloves garlic chopped not too fine.
• 2 tbsp flour for the roux. plus extra flour to coat beef.
• 2 tbsp Good Olive Oil.

Let’s Cook!

  • Toss the cubed beef in flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • Heat some oil in large pan over med heat seal cubed beef in batches.
  • Once all beef is sealed then set to one side.
  • In the same pan add a little drop of oil and cook bacon and garlic until bacon cooked nicely just slightly crispy.
  • Add Beef and stir in 2 tbsp flour.
  • Then add beef stock and stir until smooth gravy. It’s like making a roux.
  • Add Bay leaves and Red wine bring to slow boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 1/2 hrs until meat is tender. Depending on your cut of meat it may take a little longer.
  • About 30 minutes before the end of cooking add button onions and 15 mins before add button mushrooms.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning it may need more pepper. Again it is personal taste.

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

I hope you enjoy!

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

Lamb Stew

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ingredients

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

Or…You can use dried Oregano as a substitute.

Let’s Cook!

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

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

Enjoy!

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

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

Ingredients:

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

Let’s Cook

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

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

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

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

Yakhmat ‘Adas (from Syria and Lebanon)

Ingredients:

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

Let’s Cook

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

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

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

Enjoy!

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

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

My go-to flatbread recipe…

Ingredients

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

Let’s Cook!

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

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

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

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

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

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – Who is referring others to your blog? Guests, music and laughter


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

This week I got back into the swing of things and began the 2019 book promotions and the first of the Sunday Interviews. It was a terrific break but very happy being back to normal.

As always a huge thank you to my regular contributors and guests as well as the support on social media. Whilst managing the various platforms is time consuming and sometimes distracting, it was interesting to see, when I looked at the year’s analytic data, where the most referrals were generated from.

At the top end of the list and accounting for approximately 50% of the referrals out of 221,000 views:

  1. WordPress Reader.
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Yahoo.com
  5. Other search engines.

The other 50% were referrals from individual bloggers.

This confirms a few things to me:

  1. That WordPress Reader is a very powerful promotional tool for promoting not just our own posts but also when we reblog and ‘press’ posts we enjoy by other bloggers. Since people browse the Reader looking for posts that are interesting, it is well worth making sure you titles and the short summary at the top of your post catch their eye.
  2. That my time spent on Twitter and Facebook is not wasted!
  3. That using key words and tags on blog posts gets results from search engines. (but need to do better)
  4. That connecting and becoming part of a supportive community is essential to the success of a blog.

A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to share the posts this year directly to their own blogs which resulted in referrals and to all of you who took the time to like, share on social media and comment.

This week William Price King shared the life and music of the legendary Duke Ellington.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-with-william-price-king-jazz-duke-ellington/

This week Carol Taylor shares her favourite recipes of 2018… and they look delicious.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-column-with-carol-taylor-favourite-dishes-of-2018/

D. G. Kaye – Debby Gies shares a recap of her 2018 travel column with a reminder of the places you might like to visit on vacation.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-travel-column-recap-take-a-look-before-you-book-your-summer-holiday-with-d-g-kaye/

Welcome to the first of a new season of Getting to Know You and my first guest for 2019 is Australian author Frank Prem who has recently released a collection of poems and short stories about his childhood – Small Town Kid.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/13/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-with-author-frank-prem/

I was delighted to review Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration by Colleen M. Chesebro.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/smorgasbord-book-reviews-fairies-myths-and-magic-a-summer-celebration-by-colleen-m-chesebro/

I wrote the original Size Matters in 1998 about my 150lb weight loss… I did update when the book went digital but that was several years ago. After working as a nutritional therapist for the last 20 years, and having continued to research and study food and its role in our health, I decided that it was time to write the sequel. 

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/11/smorgasbord-health-size-matters-the-sequel-after-20-years-by-sally-cronin-introduction/

It is 1996 and it is a year of change with a move to Brussels and Anthony Robbins Life Mastery.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-music-column-1996-a-year-of-change-and-celine-dion/

I am had fun with Colleen’s Tuesday Poetry Challenge 118 with the synonyms this week of ‘Begin’ and ‘Fresh’

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/09/smorgasbord-poetry-colleen-chesebro-tuesday-poetry-challenge-week-118-etheree-initiate-and-crisp/

It is now 1986 and both David and my father have their birthdays back to back. We are also making plans for a day trip and a much longer road trip over to New Mexico.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/12/smorgasbord-letters-from-america-houston-1986-birthdays-and-plans/

New on the shelves this week.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-new-book-on-the-shelves-sciencefiction-fantasty-voyage-of-the-lanternfish-by-c-s-boyack/

Author update with recent reviews

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-don-massenzio-marcia-meara-and-teri-polen/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/11/sallys-cafe-and-bookstore-author-update-reviews-bette-a-stevens-jane-risdon-and-christina-jones-sally-cronin/

The Gentle Detox

As part of a gentle detox it is useful to employ the power of nature as a cleanser for your liver and kidneys. Dandelion is powerful and has many health benefits.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-tool-box-water-retention-dandelion-by-sally-cronin/

It is a good idea to complete a gentle detox to find out what food triggers or environmental contaminants might be causing you to suffer from allergies or health issues.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/smorgasbord-health-column-the-gentle-detox-food-intolerances-nightshade-family-and-environmental-toxins-by-sally-cronin/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-guest-comedian-d-g-kaye-and-a-joke-from-my-archives-2/

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/01/10/smorgasbord-laughter-lines-snitching-cheating-failing-and-a-change-of-career/

Thank you very much for dropping in today and for your continued support. It keeps me motivated to keep writing.. thanks Sally.

 

 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food Column with Carol Taylor – Favourite dishes of 2018


Some of my favourite dishes – Carol Taylor

Wow…Another New Year has begun where does the time go? It does seem to be that the older I get the quicker the time flies…

For my first post of the year I thought I would share my favourite foods …

I love food…Good food, but my tastes have changed over the years, is that with age or location and availability of foods? Maybe, but here are a few favorites of mine…. recipes I make often, or if the family asks for…

This is a recipe that my daughter gave me along with a packet of Chia seeds as I couldn’t
always get them here. That has now changed due their growing popularity and they are sold everywhere here now.

Banana Smoothie

Bananas we have in spades as they grow in abundance here so my freezer always has frozen bananas ready to make a smoothie.

Ingredients:

• 1 frozen Banana
• 1 cup of coconut milk.
• 2 tbsp oats.
• 1tbsp peanut butter or you can use halved walnuts as in the picture.
• A shot of espresso.
• 1 cup of ice
• 1tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds and honey.

Put all ingredients in your blender and blitz away. Pour into glass and enjoy!

This little dip is a recipe from Bali given to me by my grandson’s girlfriend it is very easy to make but made more special by the addition of tamarind.

Called Rujak sauce it is lovely with mangoes.

• Take 200 gm of palm sugar shaved.
• 15 gm of tamarind flesh and 5 tbsp of water leave to infuse for 5 mins and then drain and keep the tamarind flavoured water.
• 6 or more Thai chillies.
• 1/4 tsp shrimp paste and 1/4tsp salt.

Blitz all these ingredients together and you have fiery little dipping sauce.

Since living here I have met many people from around the world who are willing to share their recipes which is great for me as I have tasted so many wonderful dishes and some I had never even dreamed of…

Beef Rendang is one such dish made with Tamarind, which is a fruit I hadn’t cooked with until I lived here In Thailand …Tamarind is lovely with prawns but this recipe for Beef Rendang is a recipe given to me by my friend Mamik and is very nice… the beef is amazing.

It is also my go-to recipe if I want that special dish to impress, although there are many ingredients. and it has quite a long prep time. It is so worth it and as I said earlier if I am having guests a really lovely dish. You can see how rich and flavoursome that meat looks, and it tastes amazing…

It is also probably the only dish I will spend as much time as I do preparing and making it.

Ingredients:

• 2” Galangal
• 2” Ginger
• 1 kg beef (Bottom Round)
• 1-litre Coconut Milk (3 sm tins and made to one litre with water)
• Grind together and put on one side, 1 tbsp Coriander seeds, 1 tsp Cumin seeds and 1 tsp white peppercorns.
• 2 Star Anise.
• Half cup toasted coconut (pound in pestle until oil is released and it looks like a paste.)
• 1 Turmeric Leaf (Leave the leaf whole but tear side to stem along leaf) this releases the flavour.
• 2 stems lemongrass crushed along the stem.
• 2 Lime leaves.
• Soak 1-2 tsp Tamarind pulp in a little water and set aside for later.

Curry Paste: Blitz the next 4 ingredients together.

• 2cm Fresh Turmeric.
• 10 Shallots
• 5 Cloves Garlic
• 10 large red chillies (de-seed if you want a milder curry)

Let’s Cook!

  1. Cut the beef into large cubes.
  2. Put a tbsp oil of your choice in a cooking pot (I use a wok). Add Curry paste, ground coriander seeds, cumin and white peppercorns plus add chopped ginger, turmeric and galangal stir for 5 mins, add beef and stir to combine. Add coconut milk/water mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Slowly bring to a gentle simmer, add torn turmeric leaf, lemongrass and lime leaves and star anise.
  4. Cover pan and cook until meat is tender at least 3 hrs on a low simmer, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the ground coconut paste about half hour before the end of the cooking time and also the tamarind liquid and this is when the magic happens and the taste goes from just another curry to something wonderful.
  6. When the meat is cooked and tender remove the turmeric leaf and lemongrass stalks although if we are not eating the curry until the next day I leave them and remove them before we eat the curry.

This curry should traditionally have a very thick paste and is also best eaten the next day to allow the flavours to develop.

However, as Europeans prefer a thinner sauce you can choose not to reduce down as much.

Enjoy!

Pizza is something I rarely eat however I discovered this lovely cauliflower Pizza Base and love it…

Ingredients

• 1 medium head cauliflower.
• 1 egg, large.
• 1 tsp Italian seasoning (dried oregano or basil)
• 1/8 tsp salt.
• 1/4 tsp ground black pepper.
• 1/2 cup Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded.
• Cooking spray, I make my own spray I don’t do bought oil in spray cans…I have a little stainless steel one for oil.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/190 C and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Rinse cauliflower, remove the outer leaves, separate into florets and chop into smaller pieces. Process in a food processor in 2 batches, until a rice like texture forms.
  3. Transfer cauliflower rice on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 mins this just removes some of the moisture.
  4. Remove cooked cauliflower rice from the oven, transfer to a bowl lined with a double/triple layered cheesecloth or linen towel, and let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Then squeeze the liquid out of the ball as hard as you can. Be patient and do this a few times until barely any liquid comes out.
  6. Increase oven temperature to 4 degrees F/200 C. Then in a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg with dried herbs, salt and pepper for 10 seconds. Add cheese and squeezed cauliflower mix very well with a spatula until combined.
  7. Line the same baking sheet with new parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  8. Transfer cauliflower dough to the middle and flatten with your hands until thin pizza crust forms.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, carefully flip with a spatula and bake for a few more minutes. Top with your favourite toppings and bake again until cheese on top turns golden brown.

Slice and enjoy! If you are like me and love a nice thin crispy base then this it and so tasty…I love it!

Pad Thai is the ultimate “street food” The best of these cooks have cooked the same dish day-after-day, year-after-year and have achieved near perfection.

A great Pad Thai is dry and light bodied, with a fresh, complex, balanced flavour. It should be reddish, brownish in colour.

Pad Thai is another dish which is perfect for vegetarians, just omit the shrimp and substitute soy sauce for a vegetarian substitute. Add tofu if you like and viola perfect for a vegetarian.

Ingredients:

• 1/2 pack Thai rice noodles
• 1-1/3 cup bean sprouts.
• 1-1/2 cup Chinese chives.
• 2 tablespoon cooking oil
• 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
• 2 tablespoon sugar ( I use palm Sugar)
• 1 minced or finely chopped shallots
• 1/2 lime
• 2 tablespoons peanuts ( Optional )
• 1/2-1/4 lb shrimp.
• ground pepper
• 1/2 teaspoon ground dried chilli pepper
• 3 cloves minced garlic
• 1tbsp Soy sauce
• 4 teaspoons fish sauce
• 1 egg

Tips:

The trickiest part is the soaked noodles. Noodles should be somewhat flexible and solid, not completely expanded and soft. When in doubt, under-soak. You can always add more water in the pan, but you can’t take it out.

In this recipe, pre-ground pepper, particularly pre-ground white pepper is better than fresh ground pepper.

For kids, omit the ground dried chilli pepper.

Tamarind adds some flavour and acidity, but you can substitute white vinegar.

Preparation

  1. Start with soaking the dry noodles in lukewarm or room temperature water while preparing the other ingredients. When you are ready to put ingredients in the pan, the noodles should be flexible but not mushy.
  2. Cut the Chinese chives into 1 inch long pieces. Set aside a few fresh chives for a garnish.
  3. Rinse the bean sprouts and save half for serving fresh. Mince or finely chop shallot and garlic together.

Let’s Cook

  1. Heat wok on high heat and pour oil in the wok. Fry the peanuts until toasted and remove them from the wok. The peanuts can be toasted in the pan without oil as well. Add shallot and garlic; stir them until they start to brown.
  2. Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Stir quickly to keep things from sticking. Add tamarind, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and chilli pepper. Stir. The heat should remain high. If your wok is not hot enough, you will see a lot of juice in the wok at this point. Turn up the heat, if it is the case.
  3. Make room for the egg by pushing all noodles to the side of the wok. Crack the egg onto the wok and scramble it until it is almost all cooked. Fold the egg into the noodles. The noodles should soft and chewy. Pull a strand out and taste. If the noodles are too hard (not cooked), add a little bit of water.
  4. When you get the right taste, add shrimp and stir. Sprinkle white pepper around. Add bean sprouts and chives. Stir a few more times. The noodles should be soft, dry and very tangled.
  5. Pour onto the serving plate and sprinkle with ground pepper and peanuts. (I serve peanuts) on the side as do many restaurants now.

Serve hot with a wedge of lime on the side, raw Chinese chives and raw bean sprouts on top.

That is all for this week I could go on forever with my favourite foods as there are many…What is your favourite dish or food?

About Carol Taylor

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

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

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

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

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

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://carolcooks2.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

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

My thanks to Carol for her wonderful contributions. You can tell each dish is made with love and with taste in mind… She will be back soon with new recipes and posts for 2019.