Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – Getting to Know You.

I do lead a boring life…Carpet slippers and hairnet included… Haha…Fooled you…

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

I know that you were expecting some new and delicious recipes here today from our resident cookery expert Carol Taylor… however, I thought instead that I would share Carol’s Getting to Know you post instead. Since you were already here!!!

Carol and I teamed up a year ago for a cook from scratch series (expect that to be reshared at some point). And then as the blog moved towards a more magazine style, I suggested that Carol might like to be the food columnist. Since the beginning of the year we have been treated to recipes for many of our favourite ingredients but also some of the more exotic offerings of her home in Thailand. Always beautifully presented and easy to follow.

Carol’s column directory:

Before Carol shares the five questions that she has chosen for her interview, here is a little more about her.

About Carol Taylor

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Healthy Eating…No More Diets…Obesity around the world… The UK.

No more diets England

Welcome back to Carol’s Bootcamp…I can’t think why I called it that as this is not about being on a diet but Healthy Eating and I know some people like structure but at some point you will either get fed up with the restrictions of the said diet and then pile the pounds back on or spend the rest of your life eating foods which you don’t really enjoy but they are supposed to be good for you… Well, to hell with all that!

Life is for living…Food is for enjoying…

So what I have decided to do is some comparisons …It started with a headline about obesity …Country by country and percentages and then I got to thinking about the difference in lifestyles and options or just what we have always eaten..But then those stats began to make sense to me…

Today I am looking at the eating habits of the English who are at numero 33 with a percentage of 28.10%.

If you wish to check your countries ranking then please Click Here

I am sure now that you are all thinking that this is an easy one for me…Well, yes and no…I haven’t been back to the UK for a number of years but I have family and friends there and we do talk food…Surprise, Surprise…lol

Traditionally and very well-known is the Full English Breakfast  which consists of Bacon, Eggs, Sausage, Baked beans, mushrooms, fried bread and maybe even black pudding but as everyone is very busy working a breakfast such as this is now eaten just on weekends or holidays times and replaced by a fruit shake, tea and toast or grabbing a McDonald’s brekky to eat on the way to work during the week…Food on the go seems to be the norm for many people.

In the cold weather, of course, it is a lovely bowl of porridge …. which keeps you going for much longer and avoids the need to snack.

muesli-3186256_1920 porridge fruit

Snacking… the British love their snacks…Midmorning, midafternoon or suppertime so many meal times. The snack food industry has increased at an alarming rate but so have waistlines and diseases which could be avoidable if less snacking between meals was the norm and more exercise …


Fridays always used to be Fish but now that has been replaced by kebabs, pizza, Chinese, Indian so many takeaways and restaurants which serve food from around the world. Britain as are many western countries are a nation of snacking and takeaways…

Although the sales of white bread have dropped by 75% and brown bread and wholemeal sales are up 85%…Brits love a sandwich.


Britain’s eating habits have changed over recent years and they eat less fat and more fibre.., low-fat foods are being purchased by many instead and of course we know low-fat doesn’t mean low sugar.

Because of the working life of many Brits, many children didn’t learn how to cook which seems to be a major problem because that means unhealthy microwave meals and the like…

On the positive side in recent times many gyms and free exercise groups have sprung up and parks have regular fun runs so that is all positive …More people are walking or cycling to work which is obviously much better.

Cooking from scratch also seems to be on the increase with quite young children wanting to cook which I find refreshing…

Many more people grow their own foods either in their gardens or on allotments or communal allotments are springing up on rooftops and in towns and cities which are positive moves for health and well being.

I do believe there is so much more to be done and kids need to be educated regarding food … I admire the French and their eating habits they seem to have got much correct and they are one of the nations who don’t snack and enjoy meal times with family and have a good work-life balance.

I think there are many positives but too much emphasis on fast food and snacks although many chefs are working to get the message out there which is good …I think the UK has had and still has in many people’s eyes a bad reputation for food but we have some of the best chefs and young chefs whose restaurants stand a very respectable 7th in the World with their tally of Michelin stars this is some feat and shows that the interest in food and health is on the increase.



I just hope that happens sooner rather than later as we have lots of farmers markets which sell wonderful fresh produce it is just making it accessible to the many rather than the few… Making mealtimes family time and celebrate real food, not crap and snacks.

Up the tax on unhealthy food and lower it on healthy food… Would be a good start and make schools toe the line and serve good healthy food  I know many do but many don’t as Jamie Oliver pointed out not so long ago…Bring exercise back into schools every day…

Well, I feel I can have a little rant even though I don’t live there any more…

I do hope you are enjoying my travels around some of the world’s countries eating habits…

On another note, I have bought my first ever pack of tofu… although the reception from the menfolk in this house is not promising I am going to give it a try and I am also hoping Dolly will soon be enlightening you on the benefits of maybe replacing a meal or two with tofu…

Watch this space…

Talking about watching who watched the Royal wedding? Ahhhh I loved it…The bride was beautiful and the service so refreshing and she who shall be nameless scowled her way through it…Hubby looked handsome though as usual…Just saying…

I loved the dress and I do wish people would leave the girl alone her hair looked lovely and if a few strands escaped so what! There have been some nasty comments about that in the media and on some FB Groups and all from people whose pictures did them no favours at all… Why can’t people just be nice???…

I hope you have enjoyed this post if you have please hit the share buttons…xxx

I have also just received my badge for coming second in the Hidden Gem section of the Bloggers Bash Awards and would like to thank everyone who voted for me …Thank you very much… I would also like to say well done to all the other winners and nominees you are all stars… Congratulations …

hidden gem (2nd)

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???

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Have a great weekend everyone I hope the weather is kind to you…Until next time xxx









Smorgasbord Health Column – Food Allergies or Intolerances – The difference.

A very valuable and well-written guide to Allergies and Food Intolerances from Sally…Well worth a read 🙂

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

In this post I am going to take another look at the terms Allergy and Intolerance and explain the differences between the two. Many people will say that they have an allergy to certain foods for example but in fact they have an intolerance.

At this time of the year people will be finding that they are experiencing hayfever, resulting in sore eyes and sneezing from pollen. It is very wearing and not pleasant at all.

Today I am looking at one of the other causes of allergies. When we react to certain foods in our regular diet.

There are many symptoms, and common ailments that are linked to food allergies. Finding out what might be causing these is the first step in resolving the problem naturally.

Some of the health conditions associated with dietary allergies or intolerances.

  • Anxiety,
  • Arthritis,
  • Asthma,
  • Bronchitis,
  • ME.(myalgic encephalomyelitis)  also known as CFS (Chronic…

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The Bloggers Bash 2018


Oh, how I wish I could have been there… Next year hopefully. I was there in spirit in between watching the Royal Wedding and it was glorious… A beautiful wedding … Ahhhhh I did shed a tear or three.

I was very honoured and surprised to be even nominated and many, many thanks to everyone who voted for me as I got second place in the Hidden Gems award…I would like to congratulate the worthy winner The Quiet Knitter on her 1st place…

I would also like to say well done to everyone else …The Winners, those who came 2nd and 3rd and not forgetting the other nominees…Everyone is a star and a winner placed or not …winning is a bonus …A lovely one but a bonus…

You all rock and have wonderful blogs.

I now have lots of new blogs to check out as many of the winners and placed blogs I didn’t know but why would I?

The blogosphere is huge and so many blogs…

From the comments I have seen the committee did a brilliant well done you all deserve a badge of honour for your hard work.


Thank you again to everyone who took time to vote me…I truly am beyond honoured xxx  Love you all xxx


Travel Australia…Penguin Island…Shoal Water Bay, Perth…

Penguin Island Shoal Bay Perth

Since retiring and settling in Thailand we are closer to my daughter in Perth, WA and of course other Asian countries  l will be sharing with you our travels around Asia alongside any hints and tips which we have picked up on our travels if you have any questions then I will try my best to answer them from my travel experiences.

My first post of call is the beautiful  Penguin Island it sits on Shoal Bay just 45 minutes from southern Perth and it is only a short 5-minute ferry ride out to Penguin Island.

It is home to approx 1000 pairs of the worlds smallest penguins in the world.

Aptly and most originally called Little Penguin.

The island and the marine park has over 50 species of birds and other wildlife which includes wild dolphins, Sea Lions, Stingrays and a resident Pelican colony.

Seagulls penguin island

Closed over the winter period to allow the Little penguins to nest it is open the rest of the year where the penguins spend most of the day feeding in the waters of the marine park. They are habitually very shy birds so if you catch a glimpse you are very lucky.

There are however a small colony of rescued Penguins kept in a dedicated enclosure on the island.

Known as ” The Discovery Centre” it was built in 1987 by the Department of Environment and Conservation.

Little Penguin.JPG

As well as being a sanctuary to care for injured wild penguins it is also home to about 10 resident penguins that have been badly injured, orphaned chicks or born in captivity and it is very unlikely that they would survive in the wild.

Designed to reflect the penguins natural sandy coastal scrub environment it includes a saltwater pond with viewing panels to watch the little penguins swim.

Penguin feedings are held three times daily hosted by one of the Wildlife rangers who are very knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions.

This is not a ZOO and everything is geared towards the animals here living in peace and in a natural environment so they can breed and feed quite happily.

NO food or drink can be purchased on the island… A picnic area is provided but has NO bins. Visitors are expected to take their rubbish away with them.

Designed as a preventive measure to stop being a food source for destructive animals such as the Black Rat.

The island can also be accessed by private boat, kayaking, swimming or walking across the Tidal Sandbar which is exposed at low tide. Although it is only 700 metres across from Perth the weather can change very quickly and there have been incidents of drownings, so if you walk please be aware of the weather conditions.

View showing tidal sand bar

If you do visit this lovely wildlife island and marine park please be respectful and careful where you tread and ENJOY!

It is a beautiful island. please respect that. The one thing I love about Australia is that they take every possible step to protect wildlife in their natural habitat… we are allowed to view that which is a privilege so please respect that and do not behave like an idiot.

I hope you have enjoyed this post if you have please hit the share buttons…xxx

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Have a great weekend everyone I hope the weather is kind to you…Until next time xxx


Matcha or Green Tea??

Matcha or Green Tea

My last post had many comments … so thank you…It did, however, raise the question of what is the difference between Green Tea and Matcha powdered tea…

What is Green Tea?

Like all teas, it is brewed from the dried leaves of the Camellia Senensis but it is the level of oxidation in the initial production of tea which determines the type of tea.

Green Tea drinking set-3057645_640

Green tea is produced from unoxidized leaves which means it goes through fewer processes thus it has more antioxidants and polyphenols than it’s sister black tea.

Green Tea has been used for many thousands of years in traditional Chinese and Indian medicines.

The amount of research into the medicinal properties of green tea is mind-blowing and very interesting but this post is about Taste and the difference between Green Tea and Matcha powdered tea…

Like lots of other products, the Green Tea market is a very lucrative one. It can be bought ready made to drink on the go… BUT just because it says Green Tea somewhere on the label …Please don’t be fooled…

If it is sitting on the shelf among the other sodas you can bet your life it is loaded with sugars and the like…

Here I only promote good teas…no nasties..just green tea… Nuff said!

So what does Green Tea taste like?

The most common comment I hear and I have also been guilty of this…It’s bitter!

I now know why?

It is only bitter because either your tea is low-grade aka cheap or it has not been brewed correctly,  brew with cooler water and don’t leave the leaves in the tea once it has brewed. Once you have that bitter taste no amount of sugar or milk will get rid of it….

It is only since living here that I have learnt the art of brewing a nice green tea but no matter where you live the amount of information online is astounding and with a little effort you can benefit from an amazing cup of beautiful green tea.

Cup of green tea-1887042_640

How to brew Green Tea.

Makes 1 cup.


6 ounces of water, a little more if you are pre-warming your cup or teapot.

About 1 tsp of or 2 grams.

Let’s brew….Get that on to boil and get your cup or teapot.

Your water ideally should be 160F -180F so bring your kettle to the boil and let it cool it should be just short of boiling. Obviously, if you have a temp thingy that is great.

Pre-warm your cup or pot ( my mum) always used to…I don’t well if it is a pot I do but my cup…I know I should and I will…promise.

Measure out your tea leaves set to one side pour your water into your cup and add the tea leaves then cover your cup..let it steep for 1 -3 minutes if your tea is small-leaved it will be quicker…I just set my kitchen timer to start with but practice makes perfect and no more bitter green tea…

Once it is ready…Enjoy!

When you use a new brand of tea it takes a little adjustment in amounts of tea or steeping time to get your perfect cuppa… But when you do a sense of achievement.

I spent so many years really disliking green tea and only drinking because it was ” good” for me….Since I have learned how to brew it correctly…I can say hand on heart…I am a convert…

What is Matcha Tea?matcha-tea-with name

Matcha tea is nutritionally equal to 10 cups of Green Tea and is said to have 137 x more antioxidants. It is easy to use and cook with.

Matcha means powdered tea and it is made from tea leaves which are specially grown for Matcha powdered tea the leaves are kept covered during growth which aids the production of more chlorophyll. Hence the lovely green colour of Matcha powdered tea. It is also only the leaves which are ground the stems and veins are removed which is why it grinds down into a very fine powder.

Traditionally it is made by mixing about a tsp of powder with half a cup of hot but not boiling water and then whisked with a bamboo brush until it is frothy. Doesn’t that brush look cute? I always get a feeling of calm when I just look at these photos…

bamboo brush matcha-2042569_640

Matcha powdered tea comes in two grades…

Culinary Grade which is mainly used for cooking and baking.

Grown to taste slightly bitter is why the cooking grade Matcha powder combines well with many foods, milk-based drinks, smoothies, ice cream, beautiful sponge cakes and much more.

Ceremonial grade Matcha Tea powder is the one used in traditional Japanese Tea Ceremonies.

The crème de la crème of tea. It is grown specifically for drinking and can command very high prices for a superior tea. spends the last few weeks of its growth cycle in the cool shade of bamboo mats, sometimes several layers of them, to keep the sunlight out.

Then, only the top one or two leaves of each plant are hand-picked and allowed to dry, usually indoors, again away from any direct sunlight. That’s why this grade of matcha powdered tea is so green and so full of nutrients.

My Conclusion:

I have drunk some very nice Green Teas since living here in Thailand the choice is far bigger than when I was in the UK and I now know how to brew it is little wonder that mine was so bitter…Lesson

Matcha powdered tea is another level and nutritionally more beneficial so if it because you want the greatest nutrition value from your tea then it has to be Matcha powdered tea…

If you do a lot of baking using the culinary-grade Matcha powdered tea which you can also drink it makes sense to use culinary Matcha tea powder as its use is two-fold.

The ceremonial grade is probably out of my price range for tea so I would drink that when I was out and wanted a treat…

Green tea suits me very well on a day-to-day basis as I only drink 1 cup daily….

I would say based on that it is down to each person’s individual circumstance but as with anything I always advise moderation.

I hope you have enjoyed this post if you have please hit the share buttons…xxx

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???

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Have a great weekend everyone I hope the weather is kind to you…Until next time xxx