Tag Archives: Recipes

Fruity Friday’s…The Tomato!

Fruity Fridays bruscheta

The tomato botanically known as a berry type fruit is also considered to be a culinary vegetable it belongs to the nightshade family and was at one time called the poison apple. In the 1700’s many aristocrats got sick and died after eating tomatoes the actual truth of the matter was that because tomatoes are so high in acidity and the wealthy ate off pewter plates the fruit would leach lead from the plates and the many deaths were from lead poisoning not from eating the actual tomatoes.

This is pretty much why I don’t buy tinned tomatoes any more as the coating inside the tins reacts with the acidity of the tomatoes which then leaches nasties into the tomatoes so similar scenario to all those years ago except it is now manufacturers who are poisoning us by their actions.

I make my own and it is so very simple to do… I choose the ripest, sweetest tomatoes and blitz them in my food processor…freeze them in portions and no nasties. Cheaper by far and healthier it takes me 20 mins to make enough portions for the month ahead. Simples!

Tomatoes can be eaten raw, sun-dried, pickled, cooked so many ways to enjoy the tomato, they come in many colours particularly the Heirloom variety which is growing in popularity and usually grown organically or by small companies so as of yet are not widely available everywhere.

heirloom tomato-2375152_640

I have heard they come in black, brown, ivory, purple, blue, pink as well as the red, yellow and green varieties …Have you seen or tried black or blue tomatoes???

Living here and not being able to buy sun-dried tomatoes I have resorted to drying my own and they are very nice …Hubby made me a little wire cage and I just sit them in the sun and watch the magic happen. Some fresh rosemary and a good olive oil and I am in foodie heaven.


Of course, I have to mention that they also make a damn good Bloody Mary…Just saying…


  • 3 ¼ cups of tomato juice
  • 1 ¼ cups of vodka ( or thereabouts) Hic
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 tbsp horseradish
  • 2 tsp Tabasco sauce or peri peri sauce
  • 2 tsp Lea & Perrins sauce ( Worcestershire sauce)
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 stalks of celery with leaves.

Let’s Brew!

Combine everything together in a jug or cocktail shaker and TASTE… this is where I adjust and give it a tweak or two…I make my own tomato juice and as tomatoes vary so does the TASTE….It is a fine art and needs much testing to get this just right …
Chill in the fridge until required… this recipe makes about 6 glasses.

Bloody Mary

Bliss Beach club Phuket my favourite place to drink a Bloody Mary.

To serve.

Add some ice to a chilled glass and fill with the Bloody Mary mix…pop in your celery stick and a slice of lime and or some olives and if you are feeling really …well… If you have some bacon to use up then crisp it up and stick a slice in with the celery… Anything goes when I am making cocktails.


A lovely vibrant salsa or a topping for a bruschetta or just sliced with mozzarella cheese, some good olive oil and some fresh basil and you have a wonderful little snack.

Chilli? well, I couldn’t do a post without using a chilli or three and they are red… Chilli and Tomato Chutney is a wonderful thing.

This lovely vibrant chilli and tomato chutney gets hotter the longer you keep it if it lasts that long..but is lovely with cold meats, cheese, hot sausages, Pork Pies or just use as a glaze over your meat when you are cooking it or your prawns…it is lovely on your BBQ prawns.


  • 500 gm of mixed tomatoes..some can be green.
  • 4 large red chilli..deseed if you don’t want your chutney too hot or maybe just reduce the chillies.
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced.
  • An inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 300 gm of sugar golden or brown.
  • 100 ml red wine vinegar or balsamic.
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce.

Let’s Cook!

Skin the tomatoes by putting in hot water. Then add to the food processor with the chilli and ginger.

Blitz…I love that word…

Then put in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar and bring it to the boil slowly so as not to burn the mixture, keep stirring and then lower heat and let it simmer for 25-35 minutes or until the mixture has gone slightly darker and sticky.

Pour into warm sterilised jars with secure lids.

I turn my jars upside down to get rid of any airlocks until cooled.


This will get hotter the longer it is kept although it doesn’t last that long in this house and by the time my friends have begged a jar from me…They normally return the empty jars hoping I will give them a full one in return…lol


Did you know ??? The tomatoes scientific name is Lycopersicum which translated is Wolf Peach…

Just some words of caution tomatoes are acidic and as with anything moderation is advised because it may cause heartburn in some individuals.

My recipe for tomato sauce for spaghetti Bolognese or lasagna.



  • I kilo minced beef or pork
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 250 gm mushrooms sliced
  • 3/4 cloves garlic
  • 5/6 Fresh Basil leaves.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500 gm fresh tomato pulp
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree.
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp sage.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!
Heat a glug olive oil in a pan and saute onions and garlic.
Add the mince and cook until browned
Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes then add tomato puree and mixed herbs, bay leaf, oregano, balsamic and Worcester sauce.
Cook on a slow simmer for 20 minutes and then add mushrooms, cook for another 10 minutes and stir in fresh basil…

N.B. I always add extra herbs depending on what fresh herbs I have…I think herbs and spices are down to the individual as we all have our own preferences so I say taste and adjust as necessary.

This sauce can be served with pasta of your choice if making lasagna then you will need to make a white sauce.

To make lasagna start with a layer of mince then pasta sheets, Then meat sauce, white sauce, pasta until you have completed 4 layers finishing with the white sauce.
Grate over your favourite cheese… I use cheddar or a mix of mozzarella and cheddar.
Cheese can be difficult to get here so if I have plenty then I also use some cheese between my layers for a cheesier lasagna.
I think lasagna is the type of dish where anything goes really sometimes I add bell pepper to my sauce it depends what I have in my larder.
Cook lasagna on 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until pasta is cooked and cheese is golden and bubbling.

Lasagne with salad
Serve with mixed Salad and or Garlic bread.

Lastly, did you know that on the last Wednesday of August in a little town called  Buñol just outside Valencia in Spain one of the highlights of Spain’s Summer Festival is La Tomatina Tomato fight and they use at least 245,500 lbs (110,000)kg of tomatoes and have a massive tomato fight… anything that moves gets pelted. I bet that is fun though have you ever been to a tomato fight???

That’s all, for now, I hope you enjoy the recipes and don’t forget ..tomatoes lose their flavour if you store them in the fridge.

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???

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/



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



Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Cookery and Food Column with Carol Taylor – #Pork! Perfect!

How to make perfect Pork crackling every time 🙂

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Pork! Perfect!

Welcome once again to Carol’s Cookery column and this week it’s one of our family’s favourite meats after Beef (now) I have found a butcher… I do hope that you enjoyed the Beef recipes last week.

Perfect pork crackling eludes many, and there is many a time when I am screaming at the screen when those cookery contestants don’t get their crackling crispy…

How to get perfect Pork crackling every time.

Nothing is better than perfectly crisp Pork Crackling.

How to achieve it, well, it’s easy!

When you buy your Pork, look for pork which has a layer of fat underneath the skin (this) produces the best crackling.

It has to be thinly scored, for this, I actually use a Stanley Knife and woe betides anyone who uses it for D.I.Y.

The piece of Pork I have pictured is a piece of Belly Pork approx 2 kilos and…

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Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – #Recipes Beef Stroganoff, Corned Beef, Thai Beef Salad ( Nam Doc Nua)

It’s Wednesday again and this week my recipes are using Beef …I hope you enjoy!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to Carol’s cookery column I have just discovered a lovely little shop which sell Thai/French beef…Now I am not a great beef eater at all but this beef has the best taste and I could quite easily have eaten so much more… I have my old, old recipe for Beef Stroganoff, a recipe I have been making for about 50 years and I have tried to remember where I got that recipe from with no success… I have trawled books and the internet and have found many versions none the same as mine…so I decided that even way back then I was experimenting…

My original recipe was sliced rump steak, onions, mushrooms, cream, white wine and lots of freshly ground black pepper.

Onions in the pan then the steak, quickly cooked, add the mushrooms, cream and wine , copious amounts of black pepper and served with rice.

Quick and…

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Healthy Eating…No More Diets…Obesity around the world… Germany.

No more (4) Germany

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 Germany, they currently sit at numero 95  with a percentage of 20.10%.  Just looking at Thailand and Germany I can see why Germany sit higher on the chart although not so high as some nations if you look at their cuisine of lots of meat, processed sausages, bread of all kinds, dumplings sprezle, schnitzels, potatoes and the home of Sauerkraut the list of delicious food is endless…

If you wish to check out your country click here

Germans traditionally have eaten pretty much the same for breakfast as other countries but now because of busier lifestyles simpler breakfast are eaten and traditional ones eaten on the weekends.

Traditionally the main meal was eaten at lunchtime but because people are becoming more weight and health conscious a light snack is often eaten at lunch.

Dinner is now the main meal usually eaten at home with the family. It looks very hearty, doesn’t it? Rouladen, red cabbage and sprezle with a lovely thick gravy.

roulades-red cabbage and sprazle

Germans have always liked their side dishes. Noodles, potatoes and dumplings in all forms are very common -, especially in the south.

Red Cabbage is another side dish for which Germany is known for and is also one which we love..my recipe was given to me by a dear friend who is sadly no longer with us who was married to a German and gifted me the recipe…It is now a family favourite and one which is always on our table at Christmas.


Potatoes and dumplings are also a favourite on the German plate…succulent roasted pork with a delicious gravy and dumplings made from bread…


Did you know that there are over 1500 different varieties of sausage ( Wurst) and over 300 different types of bread?

Bread rolls

Typically German foods… are washed down with beer.

Pretzels…The pretzel is actually the shape, while the bread is called Laugen and comes in a many of shapes and sizes.

pretzel-1209345_1280 German food

Generally eaten as a snack with sausage and mustard either eaten for breakfast or lunch and washed down with beer or two.

Fermented cabbage called sauerkraut is also a German staple which is packed full of probiotics and a great source of iron, fibre, Vitamins A, C, and K… made from just cabbage, salt and water it is served with most dishes in hotdogs as an accompaniment to dinner or with cheeses and sausage.

sauerkraut-sausages and smoked hock

Just looking at the images you can see how the typical German diet is pretty high in fat — including saturated fat — as well as refined sugars and carbohydrates.

However, in East Germany, the typical diet is more natural and healthy than in the industrialized West.

But they are not fat and definitely not the fattest nation…Why? Do they have a better metabolism, a better attitude to food, they seem to defy all the rules …and eat well…Very well!

I have not even started on the deserts yet…The apple strudel, Black forest gateaux, Kartofekkpuffer which are grated potatoes, shallow fried and served with applesauce, blueberries, sugar and cinnamon… I am now salivating and as much as I love Thai food I think I would quite enjoy a week here tasting all that luscious fare…


these lovely potato fritters are served as a savoury dish or accompaniment or as a luscious dessert…either way it is very, very, eatable.

I will be back next week with another country…Will there be any more surprises?

No more (4) Germany

If you missed last weeks post then I have attached it below for you.


If you enjoyed these posts then please hit the share button…Thank you xxx

Connect to Carol( Moi)

New additional Bloghttp://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/



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My 2nd Pinterest account is my new one connected to my new blog please have a look and follow me I don’t have many boards at the moment but I am adding to them every day…Thank you x



I am just going through some old posts and my drafts and came across this little gem…A story and a recipe entwined…Love it! Ha Ha and I can use Tequila…so double whammy!!

It really is a lovely post from Harvest and Honey with beautiful images and I think it deserves another airing…

Homemade Moonshine Hot SauceSpicy Roasted Chicken with Boozy Hot Sauce“Poor old fool,” thought the well-dressed gentleman as he watched an old man fish in a puddle outside a pub. So he invited the old man inside for a drink. As they sipped their whiskeys, the gentleman thought he’d humor the old man and asked, “how many have you caught today?”

The old man replied, “You’re the eighth.” – from A Prairie Home Companion

Homemade Moonshine Hot Sauce“They call ’em the flyover states because no one wants to spend any time in ’em, you see, they’re just for driving through and flying right on over, you know?” He motioned with his hand in mock airplane fashion, making a whoosh! sound as it passed in front of my face. I do the same thing to my son when I’m trying to get him to eat something. Open wide! Here comes the airplane …

I was perched at a relatively empty old bar in DC…

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Orienthailiving and Retired No One Told Me, Weekly update…Tamarind, Obesity and Horseradish.


Carols Weekly Update 26th April

Quite a mixed bag this week in this weeks update not so many posts. I have lots of ideas but haven’t translated them into posts… I have been trying to do more work on my Cook Book it is taking shape and has lots of recipes so I am now filling in the blanks you all know how I love to chatter …Don’t you?

The first post in this update is my monthly guest post on the Recipe Hunter and this month it was the letter C and surprise, surprise not a chilli in sight… haha… There are Curry Plants, Cloud eggs and much more but I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t read it yet.



Next, we have Fruity Fridays which is the lovely Tamarind. This week I have a lovely rare Thai fruit for you… The reason I love it here as I come across some little gems quite by chance and this is just one example…It was sooo hot so we decided to get a tuk-tuk back from shopping..The driver was a lovely old Thai man and he had a bag of fruit in the back of his tuk-tuk and of course being nosey well …lol…Tiny little dark pink fruits like small lychee and being generous like all Thais he gave me some…It has taken me a lot of research and I have found out very little really but all will be revealed tomorrow in Fruity Fridays. An unexpected treat, the other one was my neighbours were picking their mangoes and of course gave me some, one weighed exactly a kilo it is a whopper of a mango…

green unripe TAMARIND PODS


Next, we have a post reblogged from a lovely lady from the blog Invisiblenomore who gave Sally and me a wonderful little mention and added our links promoting our healthy eating posts…Which was so nice of her…Thank you very much from Sally and myself 🙂



The 4th Annual Bloggers Bash awards…I was so honoured to be nominated and I am amongst great company as I love all the other blogs which have been nominated so if you haven’t voted for your favourite then please do as you will make someone very happy.

voting is now open


Carol’s boot camp… Obesity was the theme this week and will be for the next couple of weeks…I happened on a chart and of course, I wanted to see where Thailand came in and the UK …  a few hours later the idea for a post was born  I started with Thailand as it is where I now live and I will be finishing with the top and the bottom of the chart…Comparing eating habits and the types of food per capita… Just a little exercise really… To see if there are any common factors or foods/lifestyles… I hope you enjoy it!

No to diets Thai food collage


Lastly, it is the Horseradish a lovely plant which when the root is grated it makes a great accompaniment to many foods and also to my Bloody Mary’s… just saying!


That’s all for this week I will be back tomorrow for Fruity Fridays and with my new-found rare Thai fruit…

Thank you for reading this post and I hope you have enjoyed the catchup if you did then please hit the share buttons… Love you all xx

Connect to Carol( Moi)

New additional Bloghttp://myhealthyretirement.com/welcome-to-orienthailiving-my-first-post/

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/



Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Pinterest ( 2 ): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor635035/pins/

My 2nd Pinterest account is my new one connected to my new blog please have a look and follow me I don’t have many boards at the moment but I am adding to them every day…Thank you x




Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Food and Cookery Column with Carol Taylor – #Horseradish

It is cookery column time yet again @ Sally’s I hope you enjoy the lovely horseradish and the recipes…Have a lovely day xx

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

Welcome to Wednesdays Cookery column on Smorgasbord and thank you for all your kind comments on Peppercorns I am now trying to get hold of the Tasmanian peppercorn called Pepper berries which are said to be 10 times hotter than the black peppercorn…I saw these last week on MKR which I love watching… anyway I waffle and this week I am showcasing the Horseradish root which I love and also which I can get here…Happy Days!

The horseradish is one of my favourites it goes with so much and really elevates the flavour and although I don’t eat very much beef at all…Beef and horseradish are one of my favourite combinations.

The horseradish is part of the brassicaceae family alongside wasabi, broccoli, mustard and cabbages. Closer to wasabi and mustard when the horseradish root is sliced the enzymes which are released when the plant cells break down produce sinigrin which…

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