Monthly Archives: March 2017

Pasta wih sausage and tomato sauce.

sausage and pastaMy pasta recipes seem to go down very well so I am having a bit of a change from Thai Food maybe it is not to everyone’s taste. I love pasta and it always goes down well although my love is Thai or Indian food as yoou all know.

 

Pasta and sausage with tomato and cream sauce.

Ingredients:

1 tbsp Olive Oil.

1/2lb of sausages skinned and broken into pieces. I use a spicy sausage but you cann use any sausage of your choice.

1/4-1/2 tsp of red chilli flakes

2 garlic cloves finely  chopped.

Diced and skinned red onion.

I can of tomatoes diced or if like me you have a glut of fresh tomatoes then I also use them skinned and chopped.

3/4 cup of cream

1/4 tsp salt  I use  pink Himalayan salt.

2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leafed parsley.

Parmesan to serve.

Let’s Cook!

For quickness you can put your pasta on now in boiling salted water or if you are making the sauce in advance then cook pasta when you are ready as per instructions on the packet.

To make the sauce.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the crumbled sausage. Cook until sausage is no longer pink about 7-8 mins then add the onions and garlic and cook for a further 5-6 minutes until sausage is nicely browned and onions are soft.

Add the tomatoes, cream and salt and simmer..do not boil for a further 4 minutes or until the sauce has slightly thickened.

If you are making the sauce in advance then cover and store in the fridge until later or the next  day.

If you are using the sauce immediately then put pan to one side and cook pasta in boiling water. When ready, drain and add the sauce and stir to combine. Bring the pasta and sauce back to simmer and make sure it is heated through.

Serve in serving bowl or individual bowls , sprinkle with chopped parsley and grate parmesan over the top.

Serve with green vegetables or salad and garlic bread.

Enjoy!

 

Tuna and Linguine # Fish Friday#

Tuna and linguine

Tuna & Linguine # Fish Friday#I   It’s # Fish Friday# and I am doing one of the kids favourite meals today. It’s quick and easy to make and I can add chillies…Oh Yes!

You will need a can of Tuna in spring water, drained.

2 tbsp Olive oil

1/4-1/1/2 tsp of red chilli flakes. or 1 fresh chilli finely chopped.( you can omit this step)

2/3 large cloves of garlic, crushed.

2 small shallots finely chopped.

The zest of 1 lime you can use lemon.

3/4 tomatoes chopped.

Chopped parsley.

Fresh parmesan as desired.

400 gm of Linguine or pasta of your choice.

While you are cooking your pasta in boiling salted water as per the packet instructions.

Heat your oil in a pan, add the garlic and the shallots and chilli if you are using cook for 2-3 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic.

I often just add a small piece of butter to this..it stops the burning.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for two minutes then add the drained tuna, the lime zest and parsley and cook for a further 2/3 minutes.

Drain the pasta and reserve 70 ml of the cooking water.

Add pasta to the tuna mix and gently combine. Season and add some freshly grated parmesan cheese..this is where I can get a bit over zealous as we love parmesan, also adjust seasoning if required. Stir in all or some of the reserved pasta liquid and sprinkle with parsley to serve.

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I serve with a green salad and lots of garlic bread. I also sometimes if I have them throw in some green olives.

Enjoy!

I will be posting a different food dish each Friday as when I was a child we always had Fish on Fridays and I suppose I am being nostalgic…So please humour me…lol

Traditional Handmade Thai pancakes..Khao Gle-at.

 

Pancakes drying  Making these pancakes the traditional way is still done in the Thai villages and I am very lucky to be able to witness these traditions which are passed down through the generations. The working of the wooden presses is a sight to behold again these are family heirlooms and passed down. And something which all the family participates in and is learning how to make, the oldest passes on her knowledge and the young ones start at the bottom and learn but if you look at the smiling faces everyone is enjoying it.

coconut mix

If you look closely when the old lady is pounding the flesh from the coconuts the children are working it by jumping up and down at the opposite end it is just like a see-saw and as much fun.

pounding the coconut

These pancakes are made from the flesh of the older coconuts and mixed with palm sugar, sticky rice which is ground into a flour and sesame seeds.There are many variations on this some are mixed with eggs.

Once the mixture is made it is shaped into pancake shapes with a wooden press. See below.

Flattening the pancake mix

Pancakes drying

They are then left to dry for about 3 days and then toasted over the open flames of a Thai BBQ rotated by hand between two wooden fan like paddles to ensure even cooking.

It is fascinating to watch.

I have seen these sold on the roadsides and now know how they are made in the homes. It certainly is a family affair as from the youngest to the oldest they all have a part to play.

I hope you enjoyed this little visit into this Thai families home.

How to make your own Coconut Oil.

Living in the North Of Thailand is so very different from living in the South of Thailand.. I am learning so much about Thai cultures and traditions which have been passed down through families for centuries and I am loving it.

Coconut oil and its benefits are known throughout the world and it is quite easy to buy a bottle from your local shops now….. But how is it made? it is still made by hand in many local homes here..it takes time but you get a far superior product and you also get the lovely by-product which you can eat.

So come with me ……Over a fire…. a pot is put to heat up when the pot is hot then the coconut milk which is extracted from the white flesh is added, in the villages they grate this and as you need the flesh from 10 coconuts to make a litre of oil …it is time-consuming and hard work by hand….

If you  lucky enough to live close to a local market and they have the machine which extracts the milk then it  is far easier although you still have a long way to go before you get the finished product.

Firstly the Coconut milk is  poured into the ready heated pot and it is now a waiting game where all the exciting stuff happens and you can see the stages and transitions that milk goes through to get your oil.

So you sit and stir and watch and wait while still stirring as the milk changes.

The first sign you see are little oil spots which start to appear on the surface of the milk….you still have to keep stirring.

The oil spots spread as the milk bubbles away and indeed will come right to the top of the pot and almost boil over.

So as the milk is coming to the top is not a good  sign you have to stir and stir  so it is simmering and bubbling after a while it takes a few hours the milk disappears and you are left with oil…

At the bottom of the pan you get a thick crust which looks like crumbled digestive biscuits…this is scooped out and kept as a topping for ice cream.

A very small amount is left in the bottom maybe a teaspoonful and this gives the oil a more vanilla/chocolate smell/taste it is then scooped out and the oil is left to cool down.

You now have your very own hand-made  Coconut Oil.

I think it is lovely to see this tradition of making your own oil in the home as so often we buy a carton or bottle and we don’t where it has come from ..what processes it has gone through..Is it pure ? We all know that labelling can be misleading.

I am sampling so much now of lovely home produced oils, honey, vegetables , herbs some grown some foraged and it is not just the marvelous taste but just the knowledge that I have seen it made or helped make it and that I  know where it has come from..it is a marvelous feeling ..

The photos are from my friend Sonya..Thank you so much Sonya Russell for allowing me to use them. It is very much appreciated…Thank you 🙂

I do hope you enjoyed reading this and please feel free to share this post……

 

 

 

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going!

Every year I think we have..Well I do ..The same thoughts we may have moved forward but the same thoughts….I think this post which was one of my very first posts on here shows that…I have rejigged it a bit…ha ha

Retired? No one told me!

Well that’s a sweeping statement but true.

I am at a crossroads , I think, what to do?, where to go?, who with? when? why? shall I ? shan’t I ? will I? won’t I? the brain just whirls around and around in never-ending circles.

How many of us have agonised like this over our jobs, our kids, parents, holidays, cars, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, what to have for dinner? …well gotta eat!

I think it’s amazing that we ever get anything done given all of that.

Isn’t the human brain just  awesome ?

At last we have rain..yippee, surveying my garden this morning there are a few branches on the grass , oh yes and we had wind….the sun is showing it’s self albeit with a watery smile. It’s Songkram…Thai New Year…water fights galore..the shops full or not so full now of water pistols of varying colours and…

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One a penny, Two a penny, Hot Cross Buns!

It will soon be Easter once again so I have revived my Hot Cross Bun recipe for you

Retired? No one told me!

Yes it’s that time of the year when we celebrate Easter with Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday followed by Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday and Simmel Cake on Easter Monday.

So without further ado here is your recipe so you can have them tomorrow hot from the oven.

SAM_6855

Ingredients:

For the dough

  • 450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast
  • 50g caster sugar …I use natural golden sugar.
  • 150ml warm milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g  butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • oil, for greasing
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Salt…ordinary salt is ok.

The spices and dried fruit

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 100g currants
  • Optional: Orange or lemon zest.

To decorate

  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar.

Method:

Put the flour, yeast, castor sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl with the…

View original post 476 more words

Tropical sunshine in a glass…Take 5

smoothies-785678_1920

I am really getting into this smoothie making and today I think is one of my favourite smoothies. I am learning to get the right amount and what I do is take the glass I am going to drink it from and fill the glass with my fruit that way I make just enough and if I am making more than one glass then I double up but it eliminates the guesswork.

Todays smoothie was a mixture of fruit and vegetables.

I used a large chunk of  Pineapple, Watermelon, yellow melon and dragon fruit. A slice of tomato, a slice of beetroot, a piece of carrot and a little ice.

Then into the liquidiser and a blitz for a minute and voila a lovely smoothie.

Enjoy!

If you missed my previous smoothie recipes then I have put them all in this one post just for you along side a little chatter and trivia about some of the fruits.

Banana and Pineapple smoothie (4)

Banana and Pineapple smoothie.  

I have never made so many smoothies ever as I have done recently but so much fruit…

This mornings smoothie was Banana, Pineapple, Tomato and Raspberries with a touch of fresh Lime juice.

Yes, tomato...I have had tomato in a smoothie from a fruit stall but never used it at home but again I have lots of tomatoes.

So we get lots of nutritional goodies all in the one glass and it’s yummy. Not like one of those yucky coloured juices which claim to be good and you have to literally hold the nose and down it in one and at the same time hope it doesn’t come straight back up…What is the point of that??? We like nice tasting drinks don’t we girls and boys???

Put 2 small bananas, 2 rings of pineapple chopped, half a tomato skinned and I added a handful of frozen raspberries and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. All together in a blender ….blitz and pour into a chilled glass.

Enjoy!

Now for some facts about the very versatile pineapple….Well, first things first…who doesn’t like Pina Colada???? Best served cold on the beach….Delicious!

Thailand is the biggest producer of pineapple and in the wild pineapples can live and fruit for up to 50 years.

The pineapple is not an Apple or a pine but a berry….

Eaten fresh, juiced, cooked …it is lovely in a curry or fried rice or preserved. It is also great for tenderising meat.

Strawberry Raspberry banana smoothie (3)

Strawberry and Raspberry smoothie.

Phew, it is now topping 104F here and rising by the day…Lots of strawberries and bananas…The thing is the bananas we pick by the hand and it is big so I have to think of all ways to use them apart from just freezing them. Strawberries well you can only eat so many and we can’t give them away…

So it’s smoothie time again, strawberries, a banana, a few frozen raspberries and 3 cheeks of lime juice and about half small glass of coconut milk. I like my drinks a bit tart and I don’t do sweet drinks so you may want to cut the lime a little and add some honey to sweeten but the beauty of the smoothies is anything goes you can make to order.

If I want it colder and more frozen then I use frozen bananas.

Now for a little bit more about the Strawberry which is cultivated world wide, most people love a strawberry….Don’t they????

The garden strawberry was first bred in the 1750’s in Brittany, France and believe or not they are not technically berries but accessory fruits!

A member of the rose family they are the only fruit to wear their seeds on the outside. Although the seeds can be propagated they are more commonly reproduced by the runners which are then pegged into the soil.

A piece of trivia: There is a museum in Belgium dedicated to the Strawberry.

 

Papaya,Banana,Lime smoothie

Papaya, Banana and Lime smoothie.

This one has just 4 ingredients.

Half a papaya….  seeds removed.

1 banana

4fl oz of coconut milk

1-1 1/2 limes. I like to taste the lime so I would add one and a half hubby prefers just 1 lime.

But like with anything….and you know what I am going to say…Don’t you??? TASTE.

Blitz the papaya and banana with the coconut milk then add your lime juice, Taste and add more if required.

Pour into a chilled glass and enjoy!

If you want a more frozen smoothie then just freeze the papaya and banana. I always keep bags of frozen fruit for smoothies…I just didn’t want brain freeze today…ha ha.

 

 

Mango smoothie

Mango and Tamarind smoothie.

For 2 servings.

8 oz of ripe mango (frozen). You could use frozen mango pulp as I do when mago is out of season.

2 tbsp honey

2 tsp Tamarind paste

7oz coconut milk …chilled.

Put all the ingredients into your blender and whizz until it is nice and smooth. Spoon into 2 glasses and enjoy!

If it is too sour for you then add more honey or sweetener of your choice but I love the sourness of the Tamarind.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do…. until next time thank you for reading this post and please leave a comment if you try a smoothie and if you wish to share this post then please do.