Category Archives: No nasties make from scratch

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Carol Taylor’s Food Column – Introduction and Egg Drop Soup.

My very first Food Column over on Smorgasbord which is hosted by the wonderful Sally Cronin… I do hope you enjoy my first post ūüôā Enjoy!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

I am so pleased that Carol Taylor has joined the blog in a new capacity as the food columnist. I will leave Carol to introduce the topics that she is going to be sharing each week and also a delicious recipe for

Carol Taylor‚Äôs Food Column ‚Äď Introduction and Egg Drop Soup.

Hello, I am beyond excited to be asked by Sally to host a cookery column in her new magazine…Thank you Sally x

Many of you know me by now but for this first post on the cookery column I thought I would set up my stall and tell you a little more about myself.

My passion for cooking and writing is all consuming, I love to cook, find new recipes, unusual foods and living here in Thailand I am discovering foods I haven’t seen before, tasted or even heard of.

The world of blogging has also opened up…

View original post 1,401 more words

Advertisements

Tonight I dream , Tomorrow I do !

Another archived post from 2015..Cured Pork Belly, Art and Spiders. I hope you enjoy my older posts as they give you the reader some insight into what makes me tick…

Retired? No one told me!

Well, I flipping hope so.

I have spent days trying to figure out this linking. Had some great advice thank you, you know who you are.

Thought I had cracked it. Wrong! Published it and nought but blanks this picture is soooooo me at the moment.

questions-1922476_1920 (1)Photo source:

Where’s the vino???????

Rant over.

I’ll start again.

Good Morning everyone what a lovely sunny day it is.

The bacon has been sizzlingSAM_6497 and sampled so as promised here you go folks.

The Recipe:

2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.

For every Kilo of Pork use:

2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.

4 cloves garlic.

2 bay leaves

A bunch of Lemon Thyme.

20/30 Mustard Seeds,

12 Pepper Corns,

Celery Juice.

Method:

Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other Spices in Pestle & Mortar.

Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with Celery juice until damp.

Rub into Pork.SAM_6494

Place Pork in a sealed container…

View original post 270 more words

Christmas Recipes…. The Beautiful Juniper Berry…. Saucy…

christmas-1695531_1920

Christmas is coming and very quickly now so I will be giving you a daily recipe of¬†either a tried and tested family favourite or something new to me…

Every year I try to make at least one new dish and it is so much easier here as so many people come and go from all corners of the world through my life now and I mostly manage to wheedle a recipe or two from them…lol

The Juniper Berry I had heard of but not used in my cooking until I moved here…My Swiss friend gave me a recipe for Surre¬†Moche…..which is very, very nice and similar to the Beef Bourgogne which was the very first dish I cooked for my husband…A man who didn’t like garlic, spices anything that wasn’t meat and two vegs…..Guess what? He does now.!..haha

The Juniper Berry comes from beautiful evergreen trees which can grow as high as 131ft or Junipers can come on small low growing spreading shrubs so depending on where you hail from in the world you should able to find these luscious little berries.

They are also used to  make a spice which is used in a variety of cuisines and culinary dishes.

But ladies just in case you didn’t know it the primary flavour in Gin….

Oh yes, one of those would go down very nicely at the moment…lol… Cooks perks!

gin-2126375_1920

I also have a recipe( for) most things and I just happen to have one for a lovely homemade tonic water and once you make it you will never ever buy a can or bottle of tonic again…I will share the recipe with you not sure which day so keep watching and don’t miss a post…

The sauce recipe paired with game¬†meat like Venison, quail, pheasant it makes a great sauce. I give you…Ta Da!

Juniper Berry Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana shallot peeled and finely chopped.
  • 8 juniper berries very lightly crushed.
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 200 ml white burgundy or a dry white wine.
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 40 gm butter
  • 25 gm flour
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme¬†leaves.
  • 3oo ml venison stock
  • 100 ml double cream
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Let’s Cook!

Put the shallot, garlic, sugar, white wine vinegar, juniper berries, white wine and the fresh thyme in a pan and bring to the boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes this needs to reduce to about 2 tbsp.

In another pan melt the butter and whisk in the flour to make a roux. ¬†Strain¬†your wine reduction through a fine sieve and still whisking…we don’t want a¬†lumpy¬†sauce¬†now do we? Add the wine reduction….keep whisking!

Pick out the juniper berries from the strained mix in your sieve and add to the sauce. Keep whisking and add the stock slowly ….to the sauce a ladle at a time. ¬†Cook the sauce for 10 mins or until it coats the back of a spoon.

Finally, pour in the cream and bring to a very slow simmer.

Remove from the heat and season.

The sauce can be used immediately or reheated when it is needed.

This is a beautiful sauce over when poured over a ¬†luscious piece of beautifully cooked venison¬†or my favourite¬†quail… if you have guests for dinner or just for that special occasion.

quail-727968_1920

 

Enjoy!

Want to see more from me????

I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…

Still, want to see more from me???

Then please subscribe to me on WordPress….. https://myhealthyretirement.com

Which is my new blog or this one which is Retired No one Told Me!

Until next time have fun and don’t forget lots of lovely gifts over on Orienthailiving¬†and you can shop from the comfort of your own home…No crowds, aching arms and feet..just feet up and shop…..

Smorgasbord Health 2017 – Cook from Scratch with Sally and Carol Taylor – Don’t forget to eat your Purples – The Aubergine

The Aubergine….we all have eaten or cooked Mousaka or Ratatouille haven’t we?? Here are some different recipes for the aubergine which I hope you will enjoy…

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to the series where I provide the nutritional health benefits for a food and Carol Taylor works all week in the kitchen to provide delicious recipes to include in your regular diet. I hope you will go over to her new blog which she has just started: http://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/ and discover more about her beautiful home in Thailand.

Before we enjoy another wonderful selection of recipes from Carol Taylor it is time to look at the health benefits of this richly coloured vegetable.

Don‚Äôt forget to eat your¬†purples! ‚Äď The Augergine history and health benefits.

There are certain foods that on my shopping list regularly as daily or weekly additions to our diet and others that we might have a little less often.. One of these is aubergines which I love but only eat occasionally as I have a tendency towards gallstones. If you do not suffer from either gallstones…

View original post 2,794 more words

Sticky Jerk Chicken with Blood Oranges

chicken-1559579_1920

Recently I have been going through my recipes and came across this one that I was given when I was in Jamaica for my daughter’s wedding.

Which I must say was beautiful,  a carrot cake wedding cake, steel drums, and a peaceful. beautiful beach.

In Caribbean cooking, they have what call is their sunshine kit which includes ginger, bonnet peppers, nutmeg, sweet thyme and bay leaves.

I think I love chilli but those scotch bonnet peppers are something else. They are some hot bad boys. However, I can’t always or very often I should say get scotch bonnet but Thai chillies especially those little birdseye ones can certainly pack a punch so what I am saying is use whatever chillies you normally cook with.

Let’s Cook!

12 chicken wings or drumsticks or a mixture just remember if you mix them cooking times will vary.

For the marinade, you will need.

4 spring onions chopped

2 tbsp thyme leaves

1 scotch bonnet chilli

A knob of ginger finely chopped

100 ml cider vinegar

1 tsp cinnamon.

3 tbsp of honey

1 tsp allspice

Salt and pepper.

Put all this in a pestle and mortar and pound away or blitz in a food processor.

Marinate the chicken for at least 3 hours or overnight turning a few times in marinade to ensure even coating.

Cook the chicken on your BBQ or in the oven ..wings take about 15 mins on a high heat but test, as they vary, depending on the heat and size and if cooking drums they will take longer.

Sugared blood oranges

A nice accompaniment to this is sugared oranges. To sugar, the oranges take two seedless oranges if you can get blood oranges they are better tasting and slice and cut into rings, roll them in 2 tbsp of brown sugar and put on the grill or in a hot pan turning until they are caramelised or they will burn.

Smokin Hot Chilli Sauce:

This is a recipe for a blow your head off chilli¬†sauce from my friend Susan who hails from Dubai and she thinks that even I will find it hot…The photo is also Susan’s and it looks lush. Absolutely wonderful. Thank you, Susan.

Let’s Cook!

Take a half kilo of Cayenne peppers or peppers of your choice.

A large handful of¬†garlic cloves, peeled and blanched…it is not a requirement but the sauce will be less acrid if you blanch the garlic.

Smoke the chillies and garlic over charcoal mixed with smoked apple wood for 2 hours.

Then put in a blender with a cup of organic live cider vinegar, a cup of sugar and half a tsp of salt.

Smokin hot chilli sauce

Just look at that lovely rich, red colour, it looks amazing.

After you have made your first batch you might want to play around with the quantities to suit your taste …but that is the fun and what cooking is all about. The high sugar content makes it great for BBQ’s and helps with the preservation.

Put the sauce into sterilized jars. It is then ready to use as a spread on your bacon sarnie, to coat your meats and is a great base for a chilli or my friend makes her version of Mole by adding cocoa powder, nuts, and some Mexican spices.

Play around with flavours you might find something new and exciting. Maybe blanch some red bell peppers and char them with the chillies and garlic.

Serve with a lovely fresh salad, that smokin chilli dip and a nice yoghurt dip for the potato wedges.

Enjoy!

I bet you thought I had forgotten about my love of chillies…Never!

I will still be publishing the odd recipe here and there I may be on a healthy eating crusade but chillies are healthy and a little of what you fancy does you good…If you eat healthy 80% of the time and semi the rest that is great….

Just in case you missed mine and Sally’s post on the benefits of eating Asparagus with recipes no less then here it is please Click Here

Until next time stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot because it is the best medicine and it’s FREE!

Apple Pie

My mum makes the best apple pie in the world…made with Bramley Apples, a few cloves and her amazing melt in the mouth short pastry.

coffee-2760064_1920

Picture source: Pixabay

Make the shortcrust pastry.

I use half fat to flour so for example for 8oz of flour I use 4oz of fat. 

The flour is not same here and very recently when I was comparing items from the UK against the US….I made some startling discoveries of the differences and it has made an instant difference to my cooking especially my pastry…. I will say no more but I had a silent rant!

Again I cannot get the same cooking fat so I use an olive oil based fat and crispo. For this sort of pastry when I want a nice soft pastry I used1/3 olive oil fat and 2/3 crispo.

And cake flour, not all purpose flour, and the difference was remarkable…….mmmm I am still silently ranting…lol

Prepare your pastry making sure you use ice cold water from the fridge and wrap in clingfilm and put in the chiller for at least 20 minutes.

Roll out and line a pie plate or dish.

Some prebake at this point and some don’t …I have done both depending on the time I have or just how I feel.

If I don’t prebake I stand the dish on a¬†baking tray¬†so as to make sure there are no ¬†“soggy bottoms”

Peel and core your apples. If I am using Bramleys or large cooking apples I would use 4 apples any other normal sized eating apples I would use 8 for a pie plate.

 Cook in a pan with a little water until they soften slightly. I like my apples to keep their shape and not be mushy in a pie. But that is down to personal preference. I also add a couple of cloves or nutmeg and cinnamon.

If I use Bramleys I would add a little sugar as we don’t like our filling too sweet but here I cannot get them so I use a new Zealand dessert apple which doesn’t need any added sugar.

Drain off the juice and put into pie base.

cake-597175_1920

Photo source: Pixabay

Roll out remaining pastry and put over the top of the apples. Making sure you crimp the edges. Cut 3 slits in the top to allow steam to escape.

Brush the top with a little-beaten egg and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 40/45 mins or until pastry is cooked.

To check just lightly scrape fingernail on edge of pastry and if it crumbles off it is cooked.

If you make individual pies the cooking time is slightly less.

When cooked remove from oven and sprinkle with castor sugar..it is nice mixed with a little cinnamon.

Serve with custard or fresh cream.

Enjoy your slice of pie with a nice cup of tea or coffee..a lovely mid-morning or afternoon treat…Go on you deserve it!

 

Coleslaw

 

food-1206771_1920

Picture Source: Pixabay

There are so many permutations of this dish and all wonderful in their own way…Our version, 5 ingredients plus mayo and you have a beautiful slaw to eat with anything…

I add no sugar as carrots and apples have their own natural sweetness.

So….Lets Cook!

 Shred half a white cabbage or red or half and half.

Peel and quarter at least one apple and then slice thinly.

Grate or dice a carrot.

Put in Bowl, add some mayo,  pinch of salt, freshly ground black pepper and a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve. It will keep in the fridge maybe covered until the next day but I just make it as I want it so easy to make enough for 1 or 10.

 

Enjoy!