Monthly Archives: March 2015

Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be – David Avocado Wolfe.

And how many of us wish we could do that and just don’t? or try to but it’s too hard, or don’t know how??????

During my life I have done a mixture of all of those, some I am glad I did or did not, some I wish I hadn’t and some I didn’t even try.

But “That’s life ”  as the song made famous  by Frank Sinatra goes.

And what a life.. would I change anything??? well somethings but all of that is with hindsight which is a wonderful thing!  Ha ha.

When I think back my dad was a strict disciplinarian but well  was that a bad thing? no… really my mum countered that by just being our mum. She made all of our clothes and taught us to knit and sew and cook.

And she loved us! Note the shiny shoes!001

I remember walking for miles over fields to see my nan ( she lived on a farm) I loved it there and this was at 9/10 years old, we had no phones so at some point my mum would get a call from a phone box to say I was ok but didn’t know when I was coming home. But it was safe to do that then, I could walk for miles and  see no one or maybe just one person who invariably knew who I was, knew where I was going and or gave me a drink of water.

How I loved it there, I got to wander around the farm ( with the strictest instructions ) from my granddad of where I could wander and where I could not. I learnt to milk a cow and had great fun in the hay lofts and at harvest time. My Nan  showed me how to cook on an Aga. So between my nan and my mum I think that’s where I got my love of cooking.

My other nan lived but  5 mins away and had a lovely piano….so most days after school I would wander up the road to see her and get to play the piano…I loved that piano and one day maybe I’ll get to tinkle those ivories again. But I have special memories of both my Nan’s.

I was a choir girl.. yes folks and I won’t treat you to a rendering on the karaoke.

I hated frills and bows and dolls!

Dolls I hated them and fringes….everytime we had our hair washed owwww did it hurt when mum got the tangles out..well.. she obviously had enough so took us all for a haircut with a fringe….not for long…madam here.. me…hands up…got a pair of scissors and cut if off. That solved that mmmmmm….that got me an early to bed with no tea…well mum snuck up a sandwich a bit later……

My sisters would walk neighbours  babies up and down ,up and down the street…awwww my worst nightmare,  my favorite was climbing the big oak tree on the village green, except when I climbed it in the NEW pink spotted dress my mum had made me , mmmmm  she didn’t get cross often, but I think she made an exception then..ooooooppps.

I remember the day I got a bloody nose.. well I did aggravate this boy ..but no need for that.. did my dad jump to his daughters defence…..don’t be silly…he asked what I did to deserve it..mmmm.

AND not a calculator , phone or computer in sight……infact I didn’t know anyone who had one!

Camping..I loved camping in the garden…a blanket over the clothes line…which had been lowered made a great tent and we giggled all night long….

Reading under the bed-clothes with a torch.

I remember when the circus came to town how we all loved the clowns on stilts and all our dad’s making us  ” stilts ” …..did we have fun and spills on them that summer holiday…ohhhhh and the snow when it come sledges made from doors and trays…I remember being red raw and freezing and then the pain when we thawed out in front of the roaring fire but the crumpets toasted on the fire and chestnuts in the embers. Memories.

So that peeps is a deprived childhood with no computers and games well except for snakes and ladders, ludo, hangman and noughts and crosses.  Oh and Jacks and I bet I could still beat you at that! Hopscotch ! downside was we had to clean the chalk marks off the pavement…


Well that’s my childhood but I look back and don’t think it was a bad one I think I learned a lot…..How to love, laugh, cook,,earn respect

The computers came later, very much later so a whizz kid on them I am not but also I am not that bad so all in all ” That’s Life “

Hoping you enjoyed my ramblings through what was my childhood.


Love you all xx

I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” W.C.Fields.

Good morning I have deliberated , digested  all of that over my G & T(s) and decided that this blog will be all about the “staff of Life” otherwise known as food!

I have cooked from an early age and started with good old British Fare and when I was old enough to cook myself my first dish was one that probably most youngsters start with ” Spag Bol “

This was in the 60’s and I always remember my father..bless him..saying ” I’m not eating that foreign muck” he was a good old-fashioned Englishman who was used to good old-fashioned ” meat and 2 veg” very ably cooked by my mother.

Life moves on and it was probably a good few years before he did in fact .. eat it!

My aim in this blog is to give you recipes from the Uk and the rest of the world. Recipes that I have enjoyed, picked up on my travels or have been given to me by friends or just that now I have more time to do as I wish am experimenting with …..I make my own Bacon and Ham, bread,and am experimenting with cultures and pickling, all sorts really anything and everything… my minds an open book……..I hope you are as excited as I am…..

I would also love it if any of you had recipes you want to share, have eaten and don’t know how to cook or what the ingredients are in it and just have a name…..I will gladly research, cook it and share it…how’s that for a  good deal ??????

Salmon Trout.


180gm  Trout or Salmon fillet.

For Topping:

1 spring Onion finely chopped.

2/3 stems  Coriander  chopped finely..i use stem as well.

1 red birds eye chilli finely chopped.

1 tbsp Fish Sauce.

A cheek of lime.

Mix all ingredients together.

Put fish on foil and spoon topping on. I reserve some of topping to add when serving. Seal foil and put in oven on 180 for 10/15 mins until cooked.SAM_6823 SAM_6827 This depends on thickness of fish.

When cooked remove from oven and serve with rice.(This is when I remove the skin from fish.) and also add any additional topping. Enjoy!

Thai Pickled Cabbage ( Pak Dong)

1 white cabbage. cut or torn into pieces.

8 large spring onions chopped

Coarse Salt.


Layer Cabbage,Onions and Salt in dish ( with lid)

We then leave dish on kitchen top or in the sun for 1 day.SAM_6824

Then refrigerate for 2 days. It’s now ready to eat.

The longer you leave this mixture then it gets  more sour so if you prefer you can leave longer.

No liquid is necessary as salt draws moisture from Cabbage and it makes its own liquid.

This can be eaten as a snack or with fish/or chicken .I prefer this to sauerkraut as it’s not so acidic but it’s personal taste.

Bread Pudding.

An old Favorite of my dad’s.

I keep all of my bits of stale bread in the freezer until I have enough for a pudding .


2/3 Ib of bread ( brown /white) or mixed.

tbsp Mixed Spice.

2 eggs beaten

3 oz butter melted.

12/16 oz  dried fruit (sultanas or raisins)


Put bread in large mixing bowl and cover with water or mix or milk and water to soak.

When soft I squeeze out in colander as much liquid as I can.

Add melted butter,mixed spice, eggs and fruit and  combine.

I like lots of spice and fruit so if I think it needs more at this point then I add it is one of those dishes where you can add what you like for example if I have had some other fruit left over as in cranberries or blueberries I would add.

Put in hot oven 180 degrees for 1 hour if top seems to be browning too quickly then reduce heat a little. It should rise a little by end of cooking. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sugar.004

This is when I invoke my rights to cooks perks and have the 1st try of course as it’s yummy hot and straight from the dish. It is also great served with custard or cold if there is any left..ha ha. It also uses up all your bits of stale bread.


I hope you enjoy these dishes..until next time xx And now for that glass of wine!

And today we cook!

Hey there everyone I’ve been thinking..yep that was the clanking you heard…ha ha…cogs are a bit rusty…he he.

I love writing and love cooking……

But…..I think the twain don’t really meet…well not in one blog… I thought…. one will just be my thoughts and ramblings of the moment and of those I have plenty……then  have a separate one for cooking’ and recipes, cakes,biscuits,brining,pickling,Thai Food and lots more.

So what do you think??????

Am I on the right track????

Thoughts please!

Love you all and lets hear from you xxx

Oh and I made some yummy Buttermilk Bread today….with the help of my grandson mmmmmmm……just saying byeeeeeee.

Try never to do or say anything to anyone that you have to say sorry for.

Wow..that’s a big ask..but a can do…..

Maybe if we all thought, really thought, before we do or say something hurtful the world would be different…I think it would.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we opened a newspaper or tuned into the news and we read or heard nicer, heartwarming stories….there will always be natural disasters, an engine that fails, a rope that breaks…….I could go on…but deliberate acts: aimed at maximum hurt or impact… it’s those I am talking about.

It still wouldn’t be a perfect world…but who wants perfect? Just better, a nicer place to bring our children up in………a nicer place to live in……..

well ..we can dream…

But all is not lost…..

Lewis Hamilton won the 1st Grand Prix of the year.

Arsenal beat West ham… just saying..ha ha

A granny goes skydiving for her 100th Birthday….wow

NASA captures solar flare….amazing

Canadians asked to stop ” Spocking ” bank notes..that made me laugh.

“Pee power ” toilet generates electricity…… waste not want not …just saying…


By now you probably think I am a very excentric  ex.pat…… and British to boot… are probably right…..ha ha..but it’s my blog and today I am just writing what I feel…..

What do I feel…..great sadness at the loss of a fellow author……Sir Terry Pratchett…..I say, fellow author if anything I ever write is only 10% as great as his work…i’ll be a happy bunny.

He championed and fought publicly and bravely that terrible disease that is Alzheimer’s and campaigned for better care and further research into this progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions.

R.I.P. Sir Terry Pratchett 

And last but never least ” Happy Mothers Day ” To my mum and to Mothers everywhere, enjoy your day and I hope you get spoiled.

Love you all xxx

The miracle is this: the more we share the more we have. Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015.

Now come on…fess up..who else is a Trekkie ??????

The first episode was aired in 1966 and a thirteenth theatrical feature, the next sequel to Into Darkness, has been confirmed for release in July 2016, to coincide with the franchise’s 50th anniversary. Who would have thought all those years ago that Star Trek would become a cult phenomenon?

Fans of the franchise are called  Trekkies or Trekkers.  The series even has its own full-fledged language, Klingon. Several parodies have been made of Star Trek. Its fans, despite the end of Star Trek episodes on TV, have made several fan productions to fill that void.

Star Trek is also noted for its influence on the world outside of science fiction. It has been cited as an inspiration for several technological inventions such as the….you’ll never guess…. the “cell phone”. Moreover, the show is noted for its progressive era civil rights stances. The original series included one of television’s  very first multiracial casts…….. Star Trek references can be found throughout popular culture from movies such as the submarine thriller Crimson Tide and the cartoon series South Park……. Yes, South Park……. It makes me wonder what if any of our current TV  will reach such heights and have so much influence…any guesses??????

Nimoy’s fame as Spock was such that both of his autobiographies, I am Not Spock (1975) and I am Spock (1995), were written from the viewpoint of sharing his existence with the character.

Quote…..”His legacy as that character is key to the enjoyment of Star Trek. The way that Spock was used as a device for the writers to examine humanity and examine what it meant to be human, that’s really what Star Trek was all about. And in finding Leonard Nimoy, they found the perfect person to portray that.” Matt Atchity, Editor-in-Chief, Rotten Tomatoes.

R.I.P. Mr.Spock you will be remembered as one of the most popular alien characters ever portrayed on television…… an iconic figure.

Did you all get your free download???? If so what did you think of Deep Deceit? Great read I thought…Pacy and really transported you to Dubai and Saudi and certainly left me feeling  that I now have an insight into how women were treated and expected to behave and what few rights they have….. we are lucky in the west…or are we…?????

Next Wednesday 25th is our official book launch and signing…exciting…. we have been given the use of an amazing villa…so it will be posh frock time and best practice my public speaking as some of us will be reading exerts from our Anthology….. I am sooo excited as it’s my first and hopefully not my last.

After that I hope to interview the amazing Anne O’Connell whose book ” Deep Deceit ” Is in Amazons top 10 in Canada and on its way in the Uk ………so to get to interview her as part of her Virtual Book Tour is exciting times for me …….best get some great questions together….


Nearly forgot recipe!! This a great stir fry if you are short of time you can pop Pork in oven and rice cooker on while you shower and then just 5 mins ish when you are nice and refreshed and it’s on table……the more you cook it the quicker it is to could even prepare Kale before and pop in fridge.

Crispy Pork & Kale.

2 Belly Pork Strips.

8 Large leaves of Kale.

3/4 cloves Garlic. squashed with the flat blade of a knife.

2/3 birds eye chillies.

2 tbsp Oyster Sauce

1 tbsp Soy Sauce

2/3 shakes of Maggi Sauce.

Half tbsp. Oil.


Cook Belly Pork in the oven until tender and crispy. For about 30 mins.

I normally cook on about 180/200 degrees to start and then reduce heat slightly to160 degrees.When tender turn up the heat to crisp pork. Take out and chop into bite pieces.

Heat the wok or large frypan and add half tablespoon oil.

Add crushed garlic and chillies, add little hot water and cook for 1 min…at this point the chillies may overpower you..ha ha….turn on expel fan and add chopped Kale.

Stems first if using as take longer to cook.I use stems of Kale also if they are quite thick slice into 2-inch pieces.

Cook for 2 mins and add remainder of Kale leaves and turn over a few times ….I use fish slice as I find it easier to just turn kale over.SAM_4858

Add 2 tbsp Oyster Sauce and 1 tbsp Soy along with few shakes of Maggi. Taste and adjust if necessary. Cook for further 2/3 mins.

Add crispy Pork turn or stir a few times to mix.

Check seasoning again and serve with steamed rice.



I hope you enjoy this recipe and reading my blog..until next time  take care and have fun………..







It’s your life-but only if you make it so.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

What a wonderful Lady…Eleanor Roosevelt.

She seemed to have the common touch and people loved her for it.

She was also very right when she said it’s all about “choices” It’s your life- but only if you make it so ….all very true..although I will be the first to admit that it hasn’t always been easy to make choices or get them right and life …well ain’t always easy so maybe we take the easy options sometimes…it doesn’t make us a bad person or a weak person..just maybe it’s not the right time or place to stand up and be counted. Now for a little bit of  plugging for my ” Rock “

One day only …..Deep Deceit

And now I’m going to plug my friend’s new book…..It’s called ” Deep Deceit” by Anne Louise O’Connell….so last chance to read for free @.,…/…/ref=sr_1_1…, and download her FREE book. Today is the last day.

It is a tale of just that.It is a fast-paced novel which sympathetically covers mental illness, life in Dubai and The Kingdom ( Saudi ) and I really felt I was there and it’s not until the last few pages that all is revealed..very cleverly crafted.

So that’s it really another blog in a few days will have recipes etc for you but just wanted to showcase  ” Deep Deceit ”  Happy Reading.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Do you remember taking your 1st step?????

Neither  do I

But I remember my children’s, my grandchildren….. My tentative steps at writing and the encouragement I received…… My 1st driving lesson… ( brave man) ha ha……the first time and this will make you mum is a great home cook..traditional British food….newly married ( me)…Hubby says to pick something from the cookbook….if we don’t like it then we won’t have it again….fair enough…so I did…..recipe looks simple..1 clove of garlic etc….mmmmm…never used garlic ( this was a few years ago)…mmmm  40 ish….. I now know that the whole garlic is a ” bulb ” and a segment is a  ” clove “…guess what folks..can you see the picture…I still can….and he ate it…That man encouraged me to cook and I now can…Thailand has taught me to be an even better cook.

I now look in my fridge ..see what there is and make something…. as it’s very much a culture here of if you haven’t got it what can you substitute for it……so it has freed my mind where cooking is concerned and I love it!

Miang Kham Recipe.


Ingredients: Filling

3/4 cup grated coconut (this is often available in the baking section of most supermarkets) if you are not as lucky as me and can buy from our local fresh markets.
2 small limes, unpeeled (try to get limes with thin skin), cut into small cubes
6 tablespoons shallots, peeled and cut into small cubes
6 tablespoons roasted peanuts
6 tablespoons small dried shrimps4-5 fresh Thai chillies, cut into small slivers
4 oz fresh ginger, peeled and cut into small cubes

Ingredients: Sauce

1 tablespoon shrimp paste, roasted until fragrant
2 oz fresh galangal, cut into slivers and roasted until fragrant (see note below)
1/4 cup grated coconut, roasted in a low-heat oven until lightly brown
4 oz small dried shrimps.
2 oz shallots, peeled and coarsely cut
1.5 teaspoons fresh ginger, sliced
8 oz palm sugar (broken into small chunks)
2 tablespoons table sugar
salt for seasoning

Method: Sauce

In a pestle and mortar, pound together the shallots and galangal until fine (note about galangal: it’s ok to use dried galangal as long as it’s placed in a dish of lukewarm water for a few minutes to reconstitute). Add roasted shrimp paste, ginger, coconut and dried shrimp, and continue pounding until smooth. Remove the mixture and place in a pot with 1.5 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, add palm sugar and table sugar, then reduce heat and simmer, wait until reduced to 1 cup or a bit less. Taste, and adjust by adding a bit of salt. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl.

Wrapping Leaves

Your choice of what leaves to use is up to you. Some use lettuce or spinach leaves due to ready availability, but to get an authentic flavour you should use the fresh Betel Leaves, or Piper Sermentosum. In Vietnamese language, these leaves are labeled as La Lop.


Roast the coconut in a low-heat oven until lightly brown. Spoon the roasted coconut into a serving plate. In separate small bowls, arrange each filling ingredient listed above. With a fresh wrapping leaf in hand, fold it once across the bottom then sideways to form a pocket. Place about 1 teaspoon roasted coconut in the leaf together with a small amount of each filling to create a bite-sized quantity. Spoon the sauce on top, pop in your mouth and enjoy!

Although this can be a little time consuming to prepare it is well worth it.

Next blog I will make it easier and give you a rrecipe for a lovely Massam Curry which we are having for our evening meal tonight…..just thought i’d tickle your taste buds…ha ha..I do have that wicked streak don’t i?


I just thought of something funny…but until next time…….and remember have faith and take that first step …that leap of faith….love you all xx