Category Archives: Recipes,Lifestyle

This is a general blog charting my life with the addition of a recipe or two.

My most popular posts in 2017…

My Top Ten posts of 2017…Did it surprise me?

Not really it seems that many of you love Thailand as much as I do, that you advocate healthy eating with Halloween and Christmas thrown into the mix for good luck…

Numero 1.

Why I love Thailand!  

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This post  I suppose is my snapshot of the Land of Smiles, the food I love, the sunsets, the people, the festivals and traditions and there is more as you know we now grow our own Turkeys. I have discovered many fruits and vegetables which were previously unknown to me…

Thailand certainly has the power to surprise me… Every day I see something which makes me smile …

Numero 2.

Healthy foods which may help reduce your Blood Pressure.

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I suppose there was no surprise that this post was as popular as it was as High Blood Pressure also known as the silent killer is something which many suffer from. I hope by writing this post I gave you the tools to better understand how food can be thy medicine I am a firm believer in that…Not always a replacement but something which can work alongside prescribed medication if need be.

Numero 3.

Healthy eating…Turmeric Drinks.

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Again no great surprise as Turmeric is being hailed as one of the best cure-alls ever… It has its place like many fruits, vegetable and herbs but no one size fits all…What suits you may not suit the next person and it is moderation…And do not believe everything you read ..do your own research because if it sounds too good to be true..It is!

A good example is my own father who took drinking water…yes water to another level he did not apply moderation and ended up in hospital.

Numero 4.

Fish Friday…Thai Shrimp Cakes

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These lovely tasty little cakes are so very popular and are found on almost every menu in Thailand and market stall….very moreish eaten with a lovely spicy little chilli dip. Also so easy to make at home in your own kitchen…

Numero 5.

Some of Thailands most unusual foods.

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Yes, I have tried some of them…As long as they are really crispy and not squidgy I will try them… Hands up who has eaten crispy fried whitebait???? Or crispy prawn heads??? Not too much different… Do you think?

Numero 6.

Halloween recipes…Will you dare to try??

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I would be interested to know who did try it???

Did you??

Numero 7

Healthy eating…Waste not- want- not

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From pickle juice, potato water or oil from a can of sardines there is a use for everything …my favourite as a child and we used to fight over it…When my nan used to strain the cabbage water add a little vinegar and give it to us to drink we thought we had been given the world.

Numero 8.

Beat the blues with food and So pretty, so deadly tied in 8th place…

melientha-cookingVillage cooking…I was taught to use herbs to make a healthy soup…

So pretty! So deadly!

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A word of warning when so many flowers are used in cooking…sometimes they can be so deadly and they are used in Brides bouquets even now… So just check which takes but a minute or two and could save a life or a nasty rash…

Numero 9.

Christmas recipes…Drink anyone?

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There is nothing like a homemade drink recipe…

Last but not least…

Numero 10.

Matcha Tea Cookies.

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Matcha drinks can be found on every stall and drink outlet here it is very popular… It is also open to tweaking because what I get here is not always what you can get where you live… A prime example for me was and is coconut milk… when my son went to the UK very recently most cans or cartons were only 40% coconut milk and it’s anyone’s guess as to what made up the other 60% but I think we know by now…Don’t we??

It is the same with drinks…many are loaded with sugars so all I am saying is read the labels or buy from a reputable source.

I have to get my little rant in as it bugs me that we have to be so careful because of the unscrupulous practices of manufacturers.

I hope you enjoyed my top 10 of last years posts and if you did please share as sharing is caring…

I would like to wish you all a very happy, healthy New Year …

 

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As 2017 draws to an end…A recap of last year…A preview of what’s to come in 2018?

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I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to what 2018 brings you.

First and foremost I want to thank all of my loyal followers for without you my blog would go nowhere… Some who have followed me since day one and others I have met as my blogging journey continues… wonderful friends who have inspired me to do better next year….. There are some wonderful blogs out there and each and every one of you in your way inspires me… For that I thank you ❤

So no long list of New Year resolutions for me (I don’t) generally do resolutions in print… maybe in my head or verbally to friends and family but in print… No!

So my  New Years resolution this year is to work smarter, schedule posts and allocate time to write and stick to it…

It takes time to build a following and if you are very lucky you will go viral as for the rest  of us it’s hard work and dedication… true…I have been blogging for 3 whole years now and have seen a steady increase in followers and views over the years especially in the last 6 months but it is a hard slog ..no easy route just hard work and of course writing posts which people want to read and want to come back for more…..

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My core readers come from the USA they all seem to like this whimsical, English lady and they are not even closely followed by the UK…You guys are awesome …so thank you ❤

My biggest source of views on social media comes from FB and Flipboard with Twitter/Pinterest pretty close in 3rd and 4th place.

Overall my highest views come through WP reader…

August and October were my highest views topping over 3K…..which for me reflect all the hard work I have done since last June and my sincere thanks go out to each and every one of you who have enabled me to reach those views…Thank you x

My best post being ” Beat the Blues with Food” and I truly do believe that food should be your medicine albeit sometimes alongside prescribed medication.

I always cook from scratch and that will never change…It is cheaper, easier and no nasties and I think that overall I have been surprised how easy it is to make some food items which in the past I have bought …Driven by the fact that where I now live I don’t have access to much of which I previously purchased from stores…

I also have a little more time to experiment and have I had some disasters along the way…Oh yes!

We also now grow much of our own including Turkeys and very soon I hope to have lots of little turkey babies as the mums are sitting on their eggs and have been for a few weeks now…Exciting times and I have seen lots of new fruits and vegetables spring up over the last year as well.

All of which will provide lots of ideas for my posts in the new year…I do hope you enjoy them…

Overall a good year for me but next year will see me spend time out ( I will) schedule more posts to enable me to finish my “Cookbook”..Come on…who doesn’t write a cookbook?

It will incorporate recipes I have discovered and been gifted since living here and recipes passed down through our family over the years…Coupled with my move to Thailand this has seen my outlook and recipe file expand greatly over the last 7 years…

I have also started a new blog called Orienthailiving  so please if you support me here it would be lovely to have your support over there… It covers travel, recipes and also it has associate links but this coming year I will be selling goods which I have locally sourced so if you love my Thai recipes I will be providing some of the pots and pans which we use here…

My idea is/was to keep my baby..my first blog completely separate…What do you think.?..should I merge them at some point this year????

Maybe it would be a good idea .. it would definitely make life easier for me…

I have also been invited to do a Food Column by Sally @ Smorgasbord Health which I am very excited about and will be sharing recipes from around the world including my tried and tested ones which have been passed down through  the family for generations and my chatter because you all know I can’t just write a recipe and leave it there…haha

My monthly slot over on The Recipe Hunter which is a wonderful source of truly tried and tested recipes…will continue with my next one scheduled for the 18th January 2018.

Last but not least my Cookbook or maybe 2 and then to complete my first stand-alone novel…I have short stories in two Anthologies…so thought it was high time I sat down and wrote a novel which is an extension of one of my already published short stories.

That concludes my recap of last year and my plans for 2018…

Thank you again to all my loyal followers you are awesome and I hope you have the best 2018…

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I wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year… Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parenting and Food: It’s OK if Your Kids Aren’t Eating the Perfect Diet Everyday

A great post and my sentiments exactly…We should enjoy our food ….and if we eat a Macedo’s occasionally…So What! ..Enjoy this post and Eat happy!

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Every parent wants to do what’s best for the kids. Whether that be feeding them healthy foods or setting the right example by eating well ourselves, it can be tough to keep to our own standards all the time. And don’t even get me talking about expert recommendations or trying to keep up with the supermom down the block who grows her own vegetables, raises her own chickens and bees, grinds her own ancient grains, and bakes healthy Paleo breakfast treats for her kids while running between hot yoga and spin class, and still never has a single hair out of place!

We need to be kind with ourselves. Not only that, but we need to understand that it isn’t reasonable to expect perfection from ourselves. We wouldn’t put that on anyone else, so why do we always think we need to be perfect? Same goes for our parenting, and…

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Some of Thailand’s most unusual foods.

I got to thinking…….Ha Ha….Yes, you are right every last one of you, when I do that it’s dangerous!

On a weekend boat trip to the Red Lotus Lake, I was amazed when I learnt what you can make with the Lotus flower. It was so beautiful here just miles and miles of water covered in these lovely lotus flowers. Little did I know until our friendly boatman told us that these wetlands not only had fish but flora which was edible.

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A long time ago the petals were used basically as fag papers..just like my dad used Rizzlas I used to sit and watch him with a child’s fascination as he rolled his tobacco into cigarettes.

The flowers are also edible and make lettuce cups look positively boring. The seed pods are lovely to eat just pop those little circles out..take off the outside and eat.

and some say they taste like popcorn. I now knew what all those lovely green pods we saw being sold on the roadside were and how to eat them. The local people are allowed to harvest these for free.

Even with the stems, you can make a lovely soup. This beautiful lily is not only a beautiful decoration but also a source of food……I never cease to be amazed at what I learn here…

This got me thinking..shhhhhh that word again! Of the things I have eaten since I have been here in Thailand and the things I haven’t ..yuk!

I have eaten different types of veg and things like the banana pod and the lily flowers which can only be harvested at dawn both of which are steamed and eaten with a dip…..Now we come to the more unusual…

Insects of all sorts ..deep-fried and crispy…

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I quite like, well except for the ones which look like the witchety grubs they eat on I’m a Celebrity get me out of here..Not for me! Yuk!Frogs fried

Frogs..I like crispy fried they taste like chicken which brings me on to the Chicken Feet sold by the kilo in Makro and Tesco Lotus are a staple here.

Chicken feet salad.

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Lizards…not tried them yet…but I love ants eggs, they make a lovely salad..it tastes lemony and it is actually very nice. So if you are in Thailand and see anyone hopping about and brushing themselves down quite frantically  under a tree…They are collecting Ants Eggs…..A dangerous game and why they are by Thai standards a delicacy and quite expensive to buy.

Ant egg salad.

ant egg salad

Ingredients:

3 tbsp Ant Eggs.

1 tbsp Fish sauce

1 tbsp Roasted rice

1/2 tsp chilli flakes.

2 Spring onion finely sliced.

Handful chopped coriander

7-10 Mint leaves

2 tsp. Grounded pepper

1/2 tbsp. Lime juice

3 shallots finely sliced.

Stir all ingredients together gently. Add the seasoning. Serve with fresh vegetables.

Enjoy!

If you get over any initial reticence to try it most people like it….really….I do.

Well, I will be honest.with you…I shut my eyes…How THAT helps I don’t know…ha ha

The fermented eggs and fish called Phla which is fermented fish which a lot of Thais add to Papaya salad and soups….. Is an acquired taste and one which in the main I give a miss but on some occasions I have eaten and can now tolerate it although I prefer my food without.

So when you think no one should ever go hungry here...There is always something to eat……. You are moreorless correct but I guess if you really think about it and be creative wherever you are there is always something to eat. I often think that when we say we have nothing to eat what we mean is nothing we fancy we probably have a store cupboard full of jars and packets. A fridge with at least the basics in and maybe a few veggies…. Am I right?

You know I am…..

I see it here all the time ..nothing to eat means nothing to eat…Truly…

Most of us don’t know the meaning of nothing to eat…..

Well, I guess you didn’t expect that little sermon at the end of this post…ha ha….Just occasionally I  get carried away with my thoughts…which those who know me are well aware of and I hope you just accept that as one of my little foibles…ha ha…I am a writer after all ….so have fun and laugh a lot as laughter is just the best medicine we can all take 🙂

If you enjoyed reading this then please share or rebog so a few more people will get to know this whimsical English lady and the weird and wonderful things she brings to you….

Until next time stay safe , have fun and laugh a lot ….

The health benefits of Mustard seeds.

You are what you eat…The benefits of Mustard Seeds.

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Those tiny little seeds belong to the Brassica family and do they contain a bounty of benefits to your health and beauty.

I am loving what I am discovering about all these seeds and herbs we have so much at our fingers tips or growing naturally in our environment which benefit us for little or no money…Some effort? Yes, but some of that is minimal.

How long does it take to mix some mustard seeds with lavender or rose oil and you have a completely natural scrub and skin exfoliator?

Mix mustard powder with Aloe Vera and it is a natural skin hydrator…I am lucky that I have some growing in my garden…Do you or could you grow some?

I do think that more and more of us are becoming aware of just what we can make or grow and that is good…

Better for our health and easier on our pockets…

Mustard seeds have been found to have been mentioned in the ancient Sanskrit writings which go back 5,000years. They have been mentioned at least 5 times in the Bible and in the New Testament, The Kingdom of Heaven is compared to a grain of mustard seed.

There are about 40 varieties of Mustard seed but generally, they are divided into  3 principal categories of black, white and brown.

Black is the most pungent and is found growing in the Middle East.

White mustard seeds are actually yellow in colour and come from the Mediterranean region, the mildest in flavour and American yellow mustard is made from these.

Brown mustard seeds are actually dark yellow and grown in the foothills of the Himalayas and are what Dijon mustard is made from.

There have and are currently many studies in the health benefits of mustard seeds and they are known to contain plentiful amounts of phytonutrients called Glucosinolates. They are also an excellent source of Selenium and Magnesium which is proven to help reduce inflammation in this case particularly beneficial in the gastrointestinal tract and colectoral cancers.

They have also been found to be an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, copper and Vit B1.

The powder can be used as an effective muscle soak.

Also due to containing sulphur mustard has excellent antifungal properties.

It can be used in your diet in many ways, it can be used to baste meat or fish, a dip for vegetables or add the seeds to cabbage at the end of cooking.

Once my new blog is up and running I will be giving you recipes to help you integrate some of these seeds and herbs into your daily diet.

In the meantime, you can always message me and ask …I am happy to help.

Have fun and enjoy!

Here is my recipe for homemade mustard

Until next time enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salt of the earth…

 

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Salt seems to be a topic of conversation around here at the moment so I have decided to resurrect this post from aunt juju which I reblogged over a year ago.

Since then I have purchased a salt block as a present for my daughter and am awaiting feedback as she has had it for a good few months now.

This article by aunt juju is a very good comprehensive view of salt block cooking backed up by some wonderful recipes. So please take a look you will love it as much as I do… I just know you will.

Once I self-host this blog I will be offering these amongst other things for sale…..I will not have loads of ads all over the place but the sale items will be relevant to my posts. Which means folks you will still get recipes and hopefully some good advice to get you thinking about your health alongside them.

Young Sally also penned a very good post on salt and our health and I discovered salt farming as some of you know on my proverbial doorstep.   So much to do and discover in this little corner of Thailand.

Salt is definitely being featured in our corner of the world of WP and is worth a look as that and so many other things which we were advised to steer clear of consuming don’t seem to be really as bad for us….What are your thoughts on all this backtracking?

A short post to read as you drink your morning coffee…well depending on where you live…ha ha ….coupled with some interesting links for when you put feet up later.

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I hope you enjoy all of this and it links everything together for you….Do you have any What are your thoughts on Salt and your health?

We would love to know so please comment and if you have used salt blocks ..tell me your experience did you love it or hate it?….Good or bad…. I would love to know.

Thank you for reading I hope it gave you food for thought? Stay safe and laugh a lot..it’s free and it releases all those good endorphins which are responsible for our feeling of wellbeing…. it is the biochemical of the substrate aka ” The Spice of Life”

Until next time……..

 

 

 

 

Salt Farming in Northern Thailand.

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Driving to Nong Khai towards the Mekong we suddenly started to see lots of roadside stalls selling salt and then I remembered nothing grew here because the land was so salty …No rice…Nothing!

Proud of their salt producing heritage there is now a 3 day Salt Festival with talks, educational displays and the most beautiful sculptures crafted from salt.

Before I show and tell you about the salt I will show you how I use salt …Which produces the most succulent fish you have ever tasted and eaten with Som Tam Green Papaya) Salad and Sticky Rice ( Kow Neow) is one of the most amazing meals you could wish to eat.

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BBQ Salt Fish

Just take 3/4 stems of lemongrass and tie in a knot, stuff it in the cavity of the fish and then roll the fish in sea salt do not descale the fish as it will not stick. Put on a BBQ and cook until fish is just cooked, nice and juicy turning the fish a few times this takes about 30/40 mins and you will have the most succulent fish you have ever tasted.

How is the salt produced:

Thailand’s unique cuisine with its sweet, sour, bitter, spicy and salty tastes which combined make a Thai meal so memorable. Salty eggs, fish, salt are used in many dishes and the most iconic Thai fish sauce takes pride of place on every table. A meal would not be complete without salt or fish sauce being used in every dish or as a condiment.

Do not try to put salt in a traditional western salt grinder or shaker as due to the humidity here it will just clog or cause the grinders cogs to rust.

Used firstly as a preservative long before fridges were invented, salt has become as essential as breathing.

Here in Thailand it is not only used in food but in the spa industry. Now, who hasn’t been to Thailand and hasn’t had a traditional Thai massage?

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From popular skin exfoliating, scrub massages it has great anti-bacterial properties and helps to prevent itching and provides relief from insect bites and stings.

Add lemongrass to your salt and a wonderful massage will let all your stress and jet lag just fade away.

How is salt made? 

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The ponds are flooded with salt water and left for about 10 days until the sun has evaporated the water leaving the salt, which is then collected and carried away in shoulder baskets to be bagged ready for sale.

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There is very little if any shade on these salt flats to protect the workers from the sun and it is hard heavy work.

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Health Benefits of Salt.

For years  I have been warned about the use of too much salt whereas here because of the heat and humidity I have used more salt in my cooking and diet.

I have changed the salt I use and use Pink Himalayan Salt or more recently as we live close to the above salt flats I use the mineral salt fresh from there.

The taste is vastly different from the salt I used to buy and I use less as it is saltier but since living here my Blood pressure is now normal…and for those who know me I have never been normal…lol..but it is.

Asians have for many years believed that we have an energy body as well as a physical body. All of our glands, organs, blood and skin consist of cells. They believe that our health depends on the health of those cells. Different cells require more or less of cell salts e.g nerve cells require larger amounts of cell salts but blood cells carry a higher amount of certain cell salts.

Hence salt plays a larger role in the diet in  Asian countries as they believe cell salts provide a rebalancing of the body to enable its natural disease function which controls the bodies mechanism to function fully.

I am finding northern Thailand such a lovely place to live the people are friendly and I am discovering so many fruits, vegetables and ancient crafts which are still being used and passed down to generation after generation.

Thank you for reading and please feel free to share or reblog.

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All images are from my own private photo collection I have no problem if anyone uses them as long as you just ask my permission.

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