Thursday, 12 December 2013

Sticky Pork Spare Ribs

Last day of school before the holidays today, which has led to two inconsolable children.  At our school, the Year 5's graduate on this day, and both of my kids have friends in this year level.  Mstr H in particular is losing one of his best friends today.  He knows we will keep in touch, but he is still very sad.  Consequently we are all in our PJ's watching movies for the afternoon to cheer them up.

I decided to try to make some comfort food in the shape of spare ribs for dinner.  If you love American style spare ribs, you know that these are not allergy friendly.  Yummy, but you will be sick for a week.  A friend of mine suffered with this recently.  I found this recipe by Donna Hay, and after tweaking out the nasties, this is my attempt to make a yummy sticky dinner that is gluten free, fructose friendly and delicious!

1/2 cup GF Tamari Hoi Sin Sauce or Teriyaki Sauce (Ayami)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup Tamari Oyster Sauce
1 handful garlic chives, snipped into small pieces
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 cup water
2kg pork spare ribs

Mix all the sauce ingredients together.  Place the ribs in a baking dish in a single layer and cover with the sauce.  Cover with alfoil and bake at 180C for 1 hr and 15 mins.  Remove the foil and bake for a further 25 mins.  Increase the heat to 200C and cook for 20 mins.  Serve with chips and steamed green veg.  Yumm!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Party Share Plates

Miss A's class was having a shared recess today.  This is where all the Receptions and Year 1s take in a plate of food to share.  Obviously these sorts of situations can be stressful with dietary issues, and there is no real right way to tackle them.  Because of the stress that can be felt, I thought I would share with you what I do to give you ideas for tackling your own challenges.

Firstly, I like to take a selection of food so that if there is nothing else she can eat, Miss A has some variety to choose from.  Given all the yummy-looking food that will be there, it also needs to be presented nicely.  She misses out on so much, the last thing she needs is to share an ugly plate of food.  I also try to make the plate healthy-ish, but palatable so she doesn't feel unsatisfied.

For this recess, I decided to make watermelon trees, choc dipped strawberries and some gluten free chocolate muffins.  I cheated and used the Orgran Chocolate Muffin mix.  Usually for this mix I add a grated zucchini, it makes it really moist and yummy with the hidden veg to add nutrition, but from past mistakes I have realised that these things are an aquired taste born from necessity.  None of Miss A's friends appreciate this sort of effort so her food ends up being passed over by the other children as 'yukky' or 'strange'.  Instead I made as per the packet instructions and used a delicious chocolate butter frosting to top.  The recipe for the frosting I got from google, but cannot remember the page.  Feel free to let me know if it is your recipe and I will give credit.

It is 1 cup butter and 1/2 cup cocoa, whipped until smooth.  Add 5 cups pure icing sugar and 1 tsp vanilla essence and continue beating.  Gradually add small amounts of milk until the desired consistency is reached.  I made this as a soft frosting to be extra gooey and yummy for little people.  If you have never choc dipped a strawberry, just melt some choc melts (I used dark, but white or milk work too), and dip the strawberries in, leaving the green leaves at the top.  Place onto some baking paper on a tray and put in the fridge to harden.  The chocolate will not stick to the baking paper so this works perfectly.

You don't need to do a sweet platter, nice savoury platters are easily achieved with your favourite quiche slice recipe, popcorn and veg cut into sticks, or popcorn, cheese and ham sticks and gluten free jaffas makes a lovely supper.  Lots of ideas to get creative with.  With important thing is variety and presentation.  This is what makes it bearable for little people who can't eat off of anyone else's plate.

Let me know your ideas in the comments.

Strawberry Shortcake

It was my dad's birthday a while back, and when thinking of the birthday cake, which I obviously offered to prepare, I drew a blank.  You can only make mudcake so many times.  We are all getting sick of it.  I remembered seeing a recipe in the ones my mum got from the library for Strawberry Shortcake (which was a red headed doll in my day!) and thought I would give it a go.

Being a sponge-type cake I was dubious.  The gluten free ones I have tried in the past have a nasty after taste and are just 'not quite right' in the consistency/texture feel.  They have always been a big disappointment.

I tried this one, and although it is still a different consistency to a normal sponge, it works with the cream and strawberries.  Looks pretty nice too, if I do say so myself.  The recipe comes from Lola, so here goes.

100g castor sugar
2 tsp butter
1 tbsp glycerine (edible - from supermarkets and cake decorating shops)
4 tbsp hot water
100g gluten free plain flour
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
2 tsp vanilla essence

1 punnet strawberries
250 ml cream
2 tbsp pure icing sugar
few drops vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 180C.  Grease sides and line the bottom of 2x20cm round cake tins.

Place the eggs and sugar in a large metal or glass bowl and hand whisk over a saucepan of hot water until the mixture is slightly warm and frothy.  Remove from the heat and continue beating with an electric beater until the mixture is thick and creamy, but not stiff.  In a separate bowl, add the glycerine and butter to the hot water and let stand for 1 minute.  Fold the flour and baking powder into the egg mixture.  Mix in the vanilla and glycerine mixture.  Fold lightly but thoroughly.  Pour into prepared tins and bake for 30 mins.  Let stand for at least 1 minute before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

Beat cream until thickened and add the icing sugar and vanilla.  Continue beating until stiff.  Reserve strawberries for decoration, and thinly slice the rest.

Place down your base cake (the least pretty of your two cakes) and spread thickly with cream.  Top with a layer of strawberries.  Place the other cake on top.  Pipe swirls of cream on to the top and decorate with strawberries.  To fan you slice thinly, but not all the way through.  Fan with fingers.  When decorated, sprinkle the entire cake with icing sugar to serve.

Yummo!  A great cake to take to someone's house or to share with a cuppa!  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

BBQ Season

Here we are, at the end of Spring and BBQ's are being fired up in every backyard.  This presents its own problems for those who are have allergies and intolerances.  Even with the beautiful array of lean meats and veg to put on the grill, most people go for prepackaged sausages and patties that contain all of the foods that we or our loved ones can't eat.  Most contain onion and garlic, a banned food for Fructose Malabsorption, and/or gluten for coeliacs or those intolerant or allergic to wheat or gluten.  The other issue is salad dressings or the chosen vegetables in the salad.

Tonight, being the tail end of a 35C day in Adelaide, we have guests coming over for a BBQ dinner, so as I was pressing my burgers and marinading my eggplant I thought I would share the recipes with you.  I am not as organised as I would normally be, as Miss A had to stay home today.  It appears she has caught Mstr H's virus from last week.  She is itchy, spotty (eczema) and running a temperature periodically.  Argh!  I had hoped to have a sick-day-free school term for her, but we are now up to 4 days off.  Oh well.  With vague symptoms like this, Miss A usually has a swollen, hard, sore tummy, and this is no exception.  She is also inflamed 'down below', leading to redness and pain.  All due to her digestive issues.

Back to my yummy food!  I have previously given you my hamburger recipe, so here is one for chicken burgers!

500g chicken mince
1/2 cup nomato sauce
1 carrot (grated)
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tsp paprika
herbs and spices to taste

Mix all the ingredients together well.  Separate mix into 8 equal portions.  Using your hands, shape each portion into a round, hamburger shape.  Grill carefully on a BBQ or in a frypan.  Remember that these burgers are fragile, so may break apart if you are not careful when flipping.  Serve with veg or in a gluten free roll of your choice.

The best accompaniment for these is corn on the cob with butter, marinated eggplant and stuffed field mushrooms.  Here are the recipes for the eggplant and mushrooms.

2 eggplants
1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
herbs and spices to taste

Slice the eggplant fairly thinly, each slice should be about 2 mm thick.  Place rounds overlapping in a large seal-able container.  Mix the remaining ingredients thoroughly.  Pour evenly over the top layer of eggplant and seal the lid.  Shake the container to distribute the marinade evenly.  Sit for at least 30 mins.  BBQ and serve.

Field mushrooms or any large mushroom
1 pkt spreadable cream cheese
diced bacon
black pepper

Mix together the cheese, chives, bacon and pepper.  Carefully remove the stem from the mushrooms.  Fill the hole with the cheese mixture.  BBQ until cooked.  Yummo!

I hope you enjoy!  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Chocolate Gelato

Wow, we have had such a busy week!  Mstr H has been sick all week with a nasty virus.  I hate those vague viruses!  He is really lethargic, has a nasty cough and occasionally asthma.  Such a pain.  This has led to a lot of 'stay at home' time, but very little time to actually achieve anything.  We have also been getting together some donations to help the people in Ormoc in the Philippines after a typhoon wiped out the entire area.  So sad and so many people affected.

With all of this happening, we have been using the BBQ a lot for dinner.  I just get the meat out, cook the veg and hubby takes care of the rest!  We are even planning a BBQ Christmas this year.  Who needs a big roast, when we have prawn kebabs, salmon fillets and marinaded lamb chops instead?  Also taste testing a recipe to make a frozen Christmas pudding.  I thought choc chip strawberry icecream, vanilla bean ripple and all encased in rich chocolate fudge icecream.  Will let you know how I go.

We have also been experimenting with glucose powder as a way to introduce Miss A to some higher fructose foods.  She is loving banana smoothies with yoghurt, a handful of strawberries, rice bran and some glucose powder.  I am hoping this will mean she can eat some cherries at Christmas, by mixing them into an icecream and using the glucose to balance out the fructose.  Feeling like a mad scientist!

I also have to share the break through we have had with Miss A's eczema.  I saw an article on a current affairs show for Robertsons Skin Repair.  This is an ointment that is all natural, basically made up of cod liver oil and oatmeal, and it actually works!  You apply 3 times a day, and in our case, the eczema has cleared up.  We no longer need to use steroid creams and Miss A has a lovely smooth face free of scabs!  She is no longer itchy all the time or oozing and bleeding.  Her skin is smooth, and free of the roughness she has always had.  It is not a cure, if we don't use the eczema comes back, but it is making it liveable for us.

On to the promised recipe!  In South Australia, we have always called Italian ice cream 'gelati', so I was confused when I saw all the signage changing to 'gelato'.  Was it the same stuff, or something different?  Was it a change inspired by America, like so many of our language changes are?  The answer is that it is the same, and that the change has come from us calling it the wrong name for all those years.  Who knew?  Will be hard to make the change!  So given all of this, I googled to find Miss A's favourite flavour, chocolate!  I found this low fat recipe on, and it is fantastic!  It uses cornflour to make the custard base, rather than egg yolks.  I will try this method on other flavours!

3 cups skim milk
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 tbs gluten free cornflour
3/4 cup gluten free cocoa

Whisk together 1 cup milk with the sugar, cornflour and cocoa.  Place the remaining milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Add the cocoa mixture and continue heating until it thickens.  As it starts to thicken, remove from the heat and stir periodically.  Using the gluten free cornflour means that it will thicken on standing.

Cool to room temperature, chill for an hour.  Place in ice cream maker.  Yum!

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Creamy Tuna Mornay and Soda Bread

We are coming up to the Christmas season.  Here in Adelaide, we have the famous Christmas Pageant every year, where we sit on the side of the road and watch lots of floats with fairy tale and Christmas themes go past.  It is a real tradition, and we go every year with the kids.  We get into the city at around 6am, have a picnic brekky, the kids draw on the road in chalk, play games, and then the pageant does its thing, and we have a great time.  Tomorrow is the day!  This heralds the season for Christmas baking, house decorating and present buying and wrapping, if you haven't done it already.  Santa comes with the Pageant, so he starts appearing in stores to get the lists from hopeful children, and the streets get their Christmas overhaul.

This means that my posts between now, and the big day, will probably focus on Christmas or party treats.  Watch this space if you need some ideas!  Last night I was planning to make our family favourite meat pie, but after a bad day, I just didn't have the energy.  Here is one of our family favourites, with our favourite loaf of fresh bread to munch, covered in butter, on the side.

This recipe comes from, and the Soda Bread comes from

1 tbsp butter
3 sticks celery, finely diced
2 tbsp gf plain flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup cream
2/3 cup grated cheese
1 440 g can corn (drained), or 1 cup frozen peas and corn mix
425 g can tuna in springwater, drained
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I freeze the ends of gf bread, or any stale bread, thaw and put in the whiz to make crumbs.  Add some herbs and spices, and freeze in ready to use packs)
1/4 cup grated cheese, extra

Melt butter and saute celery for approx 3 mins.  Add flour and stir over heat until bubbling.  Remove from heat and slowly stir in milk and cream.  Return to heat and continue stirring until thickened.  Add cheese, corn, and tuna and mix to combine.  Place in a casserole dish and top with crumbs and extra cheese.  Bake at 200C for 15 mins.  Serve with soda bread.

500g gluten free white flour blend
1/4 tsp salt
1 2/3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
500ml milk, or rice milk
2 tbsp milk or rice milk, extra

Mix together dry ingredients.  In a jug, mix oil, vinegar and milk.  Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix to combine, until a soft, sticky dough is formed.  Press into a loaf tin, brush the top with extra milk, and bake at 180C for 90-100 mins.  I find mine is baked after 45 mins, so check every 30 mins or so.  Serve warm topped with your favourite spread.

Can be made into muffins or rolls, just by pressing into smaller tins.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Green Smoothy and Halloween

Last night, we did Trick or Treating at a lovely street party run by one of the mums at school, you know who you are!  The issue with this sort of activity is that Miss A cannot eat most of her haul.  This leads to the night being fraught with emotional highs and lows as we try to guide her to make sensible choices about the lollies she can and cannot eat, without crushing her little spirit in the process.

The way we managed this was to take our usual picnic for the shared dinner, this week's selection was GF lepinja rolls with homemade schnitzels and salad greens, with a salad and some strawberries.  We also took a selection of chocolates and some lollies from Sue Shepherd's gluten free and fructose friendly lollie collection.  I highly recommend these lollies!  Anytime we are going to a party, fete or gathering where there is likely to be lollies and other sweet foods we have a small bag of these for Miss A.  They are not recommended in large quantities, this is always a no-no for people with Fructose Malabsorption, but a small handful so she doesn't miss out is fine.

Given that all of Miss A's friends and school chums are really understanding, I love our little school for how inclusive they are, she had no problems swapping her lollies for chocolates so she still got a pretty nice selection of sweets without making herself sick.  It was, as always, a lovely night, and we walked away from the experience with renewed confidence that we can live with this lifestyle and still raise two well adjusted, normal children who have not missed out on all the fun things due to circumstance.  If you put in the planning, anything is possible, regardless how difficult your eating plan needs to be.

Green smoothy time!  Because of how educated my kids have become through this process, they have both been really eager to try a green smoothy for a healthy breakfast option.  All the recipes I have come across either have ingredients that Miss A cannot tolerate or are outright allergic to, or things that are not readily available in Adelaide or I have not heard of.  This has led to us not yet giving this a try.  Even a search on the web for Fructose Friendly recipes came up with recipes that are not ok for us, for example, they all call for banana as the main ingredient, a big no-no for Miss A, or nuts which we have to avoid completely.  One even called for cherries which are on every High Fructose list I have ever seen!

Once again, invention needed to be my saviour.  We gave this a go, and it was drunk by both kids and only uses ingredients that we can consume readily.  There are a couple of moderate fructose ingredients in there, but with the high percentage of low fructose ingredients, I think the balance works.  It is not an attractive looking drink, being a muddy orange colour, but is packed with nutrients and tastes pretty good.  If too strong for your taste, add extra coconut juice/water to thin it out.

1 cucumber
2 sticks of celery, with leaves attached
2 tangelos, peeled
1 punnet strawberries
1 carrot
2 cups coconut juice or coconut water

Put all ingredients except the coconut juice/water through a juicer.  Add the coconut and mix to combine.  Serves 4.

Give it a try and see what you think!  You could try some spinach leaves to improve the colour and boost the iron as well.  Let me know how you went in the comments.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Hamburger Patties

Spring is always a busy time for us, and this year even more so.  This is why I have been so quiet lately!  We have had a lot of specialist appointments for Miss A, school has started back and after school activities are in full swing.  Miss A and Mstr H both have concerts coming up, and both are starting up miniball (little basketball), which should be interesting...........neither are naturals with balls!  I have joined Weight Watchers to deal with my weight problem, as well.

We have been messing around with lots of fresh produce in the kitchen, all as a way to improve the health of our little family.  Both kids get really excited when I get the juicer out of the cupboard, or the ice cream machine to make frozen treats!

All is looking positive in our little house!  We have even dusted off the BBQ, in the midst of Spring Cleaning, which has given rise to this gem of a recipe I want to share with you.  I love hamburgers!  There, I said it!  Unfortunately, I hate the prepackaged kind, but prefer the gourmet, juicy, fat laden kind that you get in cafes and restaurants.  I had never made them myself, as I really dislike playing around with raw meat, but when in need a quick picnic dinner one night, gave this a go.  They are yummy!  The kids both ate two each, with veg, and it is now a staple in our house.  They work hot or cold, with or without the bun.


500g lean, organic beef mince
1 handful garlic chives
1/2 cup nomato sauce
100g diced bacon
SeasonAll and Mixed Herbs to taste
8 slices Colby (or equilavent) cheese

Mix all the ingredients (except the cheese) in a large bowl.  When combined, separate into 8 even portions.  Using your hands, flatten and shape the portions into hamburger patties.  Heat and oil a large fry pan or BBQ.  Carefully place the burgers on the heat, remember they are fragile.  After 2 mins, carefully flip and place a slice of cheese on the cooked side to melt.  Should be cooked after 2 mins on second side.

We served these with sauteed Silverbeet, straight from the garden, and barbequed Portabello mushrooms.  You can serve with a roll or bread, but they are lovely on their own.  With the sauce in the mix, you don't really need any condiments, depending on your taste.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!  Let me know what you think in the comments.  Will keep you updated with test results for Miss A when they come in.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Baked Beans

It has been a busy couple of days for our little family.  Miss A had a big singing audition, should hear today, and Mstr H had his first Acrobatics competition.  Love my beautiful kids.  Hayfever season has really knocked them about, too, so we are going through tissues like you wouldn't believe.  Oh well.

Because Miss A has been not loving breakfasts, but has been eating a lot more lately, I put on my thinking cap.  It dawned on me, baked beans!  So here is my adaptation of a recipe from the Choice Practical Cooking for Babies and Toddlers book.  I have made it easier to make, Fructose Friendly and Gluten Free, and it is pretty yummy, especially on toast.  Miss A loves the LifeStyle Bakery Chia and Quinoa bread.

1 tin beans of your choice (kidney, white, butter, cannellini), drained
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup nomato sauce
100g diced bacon
1/2 tsp each dried chives, mixed herbs, SeasonAll
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp tamari soy sauce

Place all ingredients into a large saucepan and bring up to the boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 15 mins or until beans are soft, stirring occasionally.  Sauce should thicken and reduce.  Serve spread on buttery toast of your choice.

Mstr H had two serves this morning!  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.  What is your favourite wheat free bread?

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Mouthwatering Meatball Sauce

I think just about everyone loves IKEA meatballs.  Unfortunately with Miss A's dietary restrictions, this is not an option for us anymore.  One day she may be able to eat these things, but we are still waiting for her health to improve to a level that we can try things.  We have too many days of her being in pain and unwell to even attempt anything like that.  I always try to look for the easy way to do things, and this shows in this recipe.  The first cheat is that I buy the meatballs.  Woolworths has a range of beef and lamb meatballs that are gluten, wheat and nut free so I start with those.  They are pretty cheap too!  Not the best meatballs I have ever tasted on their own, but cook them in this sauce and you will be convert!  (I hope)

1 kg beef or lamb meatballs (premade or make your own, up to you)
1 cup beef stock (see recipe below)
1 cup nomato sauce (see recipe below)
1/2 cup thickened cream
herbs and spices to taste

Place meatballs in a large frypan in a single layer.  Poor over the stock, this will stop them sticking a burning.  Heat, stirring, until stock comes to the boil.  Add nomato sauce and herbs and spices.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally so the meatballs cook evenly, until the meatballs are cooked.  Stir in cream.  You can serve at this stage, or keep cooking until the sauce reduces and thickens.  I serve these with mash potatoes and silverbeet out of the garden, sauteed in butter.  Yumm!  I even caught my mum and husband eating the sauce out of the pot last time!   It is so yummy!

Now to recap, here are the recipes for stock and nomato sauce again.  I know they are on a previous post, but if you like the ease of it all being together, then here it is!

1 sml beetroot, peeled and diced
6 carrots, sliced
3 sticks celery, diced
1 leek, finely sliced
1 1/2 cups water
herbs and spices, to taste

Place all ingredients in a pot, cover and simmer until vegetables are soft.  Blend until smooth.  Replaces tomato in most recipes, works as a salsa, pizza sauce, pasta sauce, flavouring in casseroles and soups, everytime you see 'tomato paste' or 'tinned tomato' in a recipe.

1 kg beef bones or chicken frames
1 leek, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
1 green capsicum, seeded and chopped
10 cups water
herbs and spices

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and leave overnight or up to 2 days.  Skim off the fat, and strain into a container, ice cube trays or lined muffin trays for freezing.  Use whenever a recipe calls for stock or a stock cube.  Lasts up to 4 days in the fridge or indefinitely in the freezer.

I hope you like my blog and senseless chatter, as much as I like doing it for you.  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Party Time! How to make Marshmallows, Rice Krispie Treats and Ice Cream Cake!

Mstr H is 9!  Can you believe it?  I can't!  He is getting so old!  He had his birthday yesterday, and asked for Minecraft Creeper Rice Krispie Treats to take to school, and a lasagne cook up and ice cream cake for dinner last night.  So I went to work.  I love doing lasagne night, we do normal meat with nomato sauce and make a second one of spinach and mushroom.  Everyone eats up big!  I even make some GF garlic bread for Miss A (I used a tiny amount of Garlic and some herbs in her mix.  Next time will use garlic chives instead.)  As I always fail when I try to make marshmallow in the 'cook' method, I scoured the internet for a no-cook marshmallow.  I found one!  It was posted by Jody on  Here it is:


2 cups white sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 tbsp gelatine
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Dissolve the gelatine in the boiling water.  In a large stand mixer, place the sugar in a clean bolw and pour in the gelatine mixture and salt.  Beat on the highest setting for approx 10-15 mins or until the marshmallow is really thick and white.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  If you are making Rice Krispie Treats, add a whole pack of GF rice bubbles, mix, colour if necessary and press in a greased lamington pan.  Refrigerate until set.  If making marshmallow bunnies, grease your moulds and press in the marshmallow.  Refrigerate until set.  If you are making marshmallows to coat in coconut, grease a lamington pan and press in the marshmallow.  Refrigerate until set, cut into squares and roll in coconut.

See how easy it is?  I added the rice bubbles and some green food colouring and made chocolate Creeper faces.  I put these on the mix while still sticky.  When set, I cut out the squares and we were done!  Gluten, wheat, nut, egg free, fructose friendly Minecraft Creeper Rice Krispie Treats!  If you use Agar Agar instead of gelatine, and vegan chocolate for the faces, you can make vegan easily too.

After the success of the treats above, I set about trying to find a gf cheese sauce that actually works, and I found one!  The sauce in our lasagnes was perfect, so I have to share it.  The trick, it appears, is not to cook the butter and flour and make a roux, but to just mix them together, add the milk, and wait for it to thicken.  This recipe was found on a site called Carla's Gluten Free Recipe Box and I will definitely be going there again.


4 tbsp butter
1 Tbsp Tapioca flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated cheese (optional - if making a cheese sauce)

Melt butter in a frying pan.  Do not allow to burn.  Whisk in flour.  Slowly pour in milk while whisking constantly.  Cook and continue to whisk until it thickens to the required consistency.  Remove from heat and stir in cheese if using.

It is the first time I have actually had a gf cheese sauce work.  I doubled the amounts and it was so perfect!  Yummm!

Now to the fun stuff!  The Ice Cream Cake.  I know it isn't pretty, but trust me, the taste was incredible!  Everyone ate a huge piece and was tossing around flavours for our Christmas Ice Cream Pudding!  I think strawberry and coconut won!  I just need to work on my

To start with, I made my Simple Vanilla Ice Cream out of the Cuisinart Recipe Booklet I got with my Ice Cream Maker.  I lined a cake tin with Glad Wrap, and put half of the ice cream in and pressed down tight.  I placed the tin in the freezer to harden.  Then I added 1 tbsp of cocoa to the rest of the ice cream.  It made a light chocolate taste that was not too overpowering.  I placed that bowl in the freezer too as it was quite melted by then.

Next I brewed a decaffinated coffee pod in our coffee machine and refrigerated that.  Then I crushed up a pack of plain chocolate gluten free biscuits, the Macro brand double choc ones but any will do, and put a layer of that on the vanilla ice cream, and smoothed the chocolate ice cream over the top.  Back in the freezer it went.  Now is the good bit!  I whipped up 600 mls of thickened cream and added 2/3 cup icing sugar.  Just as it got really stiff, I added half of the shot of coffee and mixed it in.  This was then spread on top of the chocolate ice cream to make a harder base (when you turn the cake out).  Back in the freezer for at least 2 hours to get really hard.

20 mins before you cut it, you need to take it out of the freezer to soften slightly, and turn out onto a plate.  And voila!  You too can have an ugly, but delicious, ice cream cake!  Now to work on making to pretty for next time!  I love that the ice cream is home made for this, it gives a great sense of achievement, even if I did cheat by using ready-made biscuits!

If you want the ice cream recipe, you can find in one of my previous posts.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Eczema Flare

A lovely, warm sunny Spring day here in Adelaide, and to my delight, I had two healthy children to send to school today.  I was reveling in my garden, two garden beds ready for soil preparation and piles of weeds removed, seeds planted ready to turn into seedlings, everything on track.  After hard morning working in the garden, washing and dishes done, I lay down for a quick nap.  I suffer from fatigue, so this happens sometimes when I have done a lot of physical activity.  Just doze off, phone rings 'Miss A's eczema has is bad, can you please pick her up'.  I arrive at the school to see a spotty, swollen face looking at me.  Oh well, so much for two kids at school.

The annoying thing about her eczema is that we have no idea of the cause.  We have tried elimination diets and scratch and blood testing for external allergens, but have come up negative for everything.  Unfortunately, her eczema can be so severe that it stops her doing things, which is really sad.  Imagine a child who is scared of rolling down a grassy hill or making a sandcastle?  Life can be so cruel.

So for now, I have her in a nice bath, I will cover her in creams and give her a dose of antihistamine and hope she can cope at her guitar and singing lessons tonight.  Maybe a nice frozen yoghurt treat for the car (homemade coconut frozen yoghurt is her favourite).  After a good night's sleep, maybe she can face school again tomorrow.  I will include the frozen yoghurt recipe below, but really I just wanted to whinge.  Feel free to post your suggestions on eczema below.


1 1/2 cups Greek yoghurt
1 1/2 cups coconut cream
3/4 cup sugar
few drops coconut extract
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes (toasted)

Mix all the ingredients except the coconut flakes together until the sugar has dissolved.  Put in icecream machine and churn.  Serve sprinkled with toasted coconut flakes.

Great with fresh fruit, or just eaten out of the tub!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Veal Scallopini Funghi, as promised and Picnic Ideas

It has been about a month since I have posted in this blog, and the reason is simple - too busy!  Miss A and Mstr H have spent the last month very sick, so when I did get some down time, I was too tired to do anything.  I know you all in Internet Land will forgive me, we are all in the same boat, so I will put two posts together as a reward!  Firstly, here is the yummy Veal Scallopini Funghi recipe.  This is so easy, and such a crowd pleaser.  I got the original recipe from Weight Watchers, but as it was high in fructose and nuts, I have switched the sauce out completely (which was a lemon, garlic and pine nut jus) for a yummy mushroom sauce.  My new recipe is also gluten and wheat free.


2 tbsp buckwheat flour
500g Veal Scallopini cut or schnitzel steak (from Woolworths)
2 tsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil for frying
200 mls thickened cream
500g sliced mushrooms (if you are short on time, you can buy fresh mushrooms ready sliced from the supermarket)
Squeeze of garlic paste (optional)
black pepper

Season flour with SeasonAll and pepper.  Lightly coat the schnitzel steak with the flour.  Heat oil in a large frying pan until smoking.  Add steak and fry for 1 min each side and remove and set aside.  Add butter to pan and saute mushrooms, reducing heat to low.  When mushrooms are golden, add garlic if using (small amounts of garlic can be tolerated by some people with Fructose Malabsorption, so use your own discretion) and cream, cook until the cream with bubbling.  Add steak back to the pan and cook for a further 2 mins each side in the sauce.  I like to serve with broccolini, mashed potato and green beans.

If you follow my Facebook page, MummyCook, you will know that I took Miss A and Mstr H to the Royal Show yesterday.  This sort of outing is always fraught with danger as to all the allergens for Miss A in this sort of environment.  Animals and food everywhere!  Perfumes, face painting, glitter, bubbles, smoke machines, cigarette smoke, etc.  Since her diagnosis we have avoided these sort of places out of sheer terror of messing up and harming our little one.  This is how we combated the day.  I made sure that every inch of her body was covered so that there was no incidental eczema flares due to contact.  To do this was simple, socks, leggings, long sleeve tee, sneakers.  Hair was plaited to avoid dermatitis from hair contact (yes, this can happen when her skin is flaring), and I packed gloves in case she looked irritated to protect her hands.

This may sound like a bit of overkill, but we have had so many situations where after animal contact her clothes have stuck to her body where the skin has come away, that we try to avoid this at all costs.  The weeks of treatment afterwards do not make for an easy time and it is so painful for her.  Next comes the medications list.  We started the day with a double dose of Claratyne (antihistimine) to give her a fighting chance.  We packed the bottle, as well as Phenergen (a stronger antihistimine), Panadol for pain and Buscopan for IBS flaring.  We also had her EpiPen in case of a food mistake, and baby wipes for clean up after animal and food exposure.  We have noticed that her skin flares are less if we clean her mouth after eating and wipe her hands.

Now the picnic food.  We know from past experience that there is very little food that can be purchased for Miss A, and no drinks except water or milk.  This meant that two days before our outing I was in the kitchen cooking up a storm!  I made Vegan Doughnuts, see my previous post for recipe, which Miss A decorated with butterflies, quinoa crumbed chicken thighs (dip thighs in egg and coat in a mix of Orgran Multigran Crumbs with Quinoa, polenta, SeasonAll and Mixed Herbs, place in a lined baking tray and bake at 200C for 30 mins), Quiche slice (see recipe below) and salad leaves with carrot, celery and cucumber sticks and grated beetroot.  I packed some Mixed Berry Aqua Pura spring water for drinks, and put it all in an esky with wheels. Done! (big sigh of relief)

The day was beautiful and she even tolerated a visit to the Farmyard Nursery, held a baby chick and patted a miniature horse and an alpaca.  The smile on her face was worth the few spots.  We gave her some Phenergen for the ride home and only a minimal flare today to show for it.  Very successful day.  As you can see, all of this preparation means that we can never leave the house on a whim.  I must be ever-vigilant and have stocks in the freezer at all times of safe food, or be ready to cook something up at a minutes notice.

Now you know how our life is, here is the yummy quiche recipe I use.  This is also a Weight Watchers recipe.  Their recipes are really good as they are big on veggies and lean meat and low on wheat, so substitutions are easy.  Give this one a go, it is really yum!


1 tsp oil
1 large zucchini, grated
1 large carrot, grated
1 leek, finely sliced
100g diced bacon (optional)
3/4 cup GF plain flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk of choice
1/3 cup grated parmesan (optional)
herbs and spices to taste

Squeeze the moisture from the zucchini.  Cook the bacon until lightly brown, add the leek and cook until soft.  Place bacon, leek, zucchini and remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined.  Place in a rectangular pan and bake at 180C for 40 mins.  Cool and cut into squares.  Delicious hot or cold.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagne and Simple Chocolate Ice Cream

Looking at my past blog posts, I notice that we have been eating a lot of red meat.  Although there are reasons, Miss A is low in iron, I still felt that I needed to balance out our diet.  This prompted me to investigate some fish options and some vegetarian options.  The lasagne recipe below is not technically vegetarian, as I use beef stock in the sauce, but you can substitute that for vegetable stock if you prefer.  I also do not make my own pasta, I have not found a GF recipe that works for me, so I have used the San Remo GF mini lasagne sheets.  These have a fairly chewy consistency, so if you can get them, I recommend the frozen sheets that are fresher when thawed.  I have not included a bechamel sauce recipe as mine has failed the last 2 times I have tried to make it.  I will trial a new recipe and keep you posted.

I have also included a simple ice cream recipe.  I usually make the custard based ice creams, but these simple ones are great on the side of a nice dessert, and the kids love them in cones.  Mstr H will prefer these to the store bought ones, even though he has no dietary needs at all.  He just likes the taste!  Homemade ice cream has a freshness you just can't get in a plastic tub!

We have hit birthday season with Miss A's bday a few weeks ago, Craig's in just over a week and Mstr H's in 4 weeks.  I have decided to discard the idea of catering for Mstr H's party, and will just order in some pizzas for the boys, while taking Miss A to the movies.  Much easier than trying to make party food for a heap of 9 year old boys!  Although I am loving that I make the food my kids eat, there are times when I need to take a break and let someone else do the cooking.


GF lasagne sheets
1L bechamel cheese sauce
500g sliced mushrooms
500g baby spinach leaves
100g baby kale leaves
100g rocket, chopped finely
1 cup Nomato sauce
2 cups beef stock (optional - can be substituted for vegetable stock)
2 cups grated Colby cheese
Mixed herbs and spices
Knob butter, dairy free spread, or oil, as preferred

Melt butter, spread or heat oil in a large frypan.  Saute mushrooms lightly.  Add spinach, kale and rocket and cook until wilted.  Add Nomato sauce, stock and herbs and spices to taste.  Be aware that the rocket has a pepper taste, so you may not need to add more pepper.  Simmer until reduced and sauce is thick.

Preheat oven to 180C.  In a lasagne dish, put a layer of mushroom sauce, a layer of bechamel sauce, a layer of pasta.  Repeat.  Top with remaining bechamel sauce and grated cheese.  Bake for 45 mins.

SIMPLE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM (from the Cuisinart Ice Cream booklet)

3/4 cup cocoa
2/3 cup granulated sugar
pinch salt
1 cup whole milk (I use skim)
2 cups thickened cream
1/2 tbsp vanilla essence

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, salt and cocoa.  Add milk and whisk until sugar has dissolved.  Add remaining ingredients, and mix until combined.  Here, the recipe suggests refridgerating for 2 hours, but I put straight in ice cream maker.

Churn in ice cream maker until frozen, about 20 mins.  Will need to be put in freezer for about 20 mins to firm up.

Let me know what you think in the comments!  My next installment - Veal Scallopini Funghi!  Yum!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Old School Beef Casserole with Cheesy Polenta Dumplings and Simple Vanilla Ice Cream

It has been a while since my last post because my husband and I had a lovely weekend away in the Clare Valley.  The food and wine was spectacular and we had a great stay at the Clare Country Club.  I definitely recommend it.  Beautiful view of the lake, great food, great service.  Meanwhile, on the home front, the kids were sick, so we have had a busy few days with doctors appointments and just looking after little people.

I thought I would share with you this great casserole dish that I got from my Granny when she was still with us.  It is a lovely, homely recipe with the surprise of the cheese dumplings to soak up all the juices.  It is a complete meal in itself and needs no sides.  I have, of course, tweaked it a bit to make it allergy friendly.  Feel free to tell me what you think in the comments.  I believe it was originally published in a Readers Digest cookbook called One-Dish Meals, the Easy Way, but has been altered a few times since then.


1.5 kg chuck steak, cut into cubes
1/4 cup maize flour
generous pinch salt and pepper
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 leek, chopped
2 sticks celery
2 green capsicums, cored and sliced into rings
1 cup homemade beef stock (see previous post)
2 cups Nomato sauce (see previous post)
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
Mixed herbs and spices to taste

3 cups water
Good pinch salt
1 cup polenta
30g butter or dairy free spread
1 cup grated Colby cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
Paprika for garnish

Dredge the cubed beef in flour, salt and pepper.  In a frypan, heat the oil until smoking, add the beef and brown for 6-7 mins.  Place in a large casserole dish.  To the frypan, add the veg and cook for 5 mins, stirring occasionally.  Add the sauces, stock, herbs and spices and bring to boil.  Put into the casserole dish with the beef and mix to combine.  Place in a 180C oven and bake for an hour.

Prepare the dumplings.  Bring the water to a boil and add the polenta and salt.  Reduce to low heat and simmer for 15 mins stirring occasionally.  When thickened, remove from the heat and beat in the butter, cheese and egg.  Remove the casserole from the oven, and arrange the polenta in mounds on the top.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Return to the oven for 30 mins.

To follow and extravaganza of this nature, you need something simple.  Here is a really simple Vanilla Ice Cream recipe that I got out of the cookbook for my icecream machine.  I refuse to buy icecream for my kids as it is such a hotbed of additives, sugar and, unfortunately, wheat in that sneaky glucose syrup.  By making my own, which only takes a few minutes of prep, I know what they are eating, as well as the quality of my ingredients.  This recipe comes from the Cuisinart Recipe Booklet and it is really yummy.  It is smooth and creamy with a strong vanilla taste, perfect on a chocolate pudding or in a GF cone.


1 cup whole milk (I use skim and it is lovely)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch salt
2 cups thickened cream (I use light)
1 tbsp pure vanilla essence

Whisk together sugar, salt and milk, until the sugar has dissolved.  Add the cream and essence and mix to combine.

Here, the recipe suggests you chill for 2 hours, but I have found pouring straight into the ice cream maker works fine.  Refrigerate if you like, or just churn until frozen.  This will be a very soft consistency, so you will need to freeze for a short time to firm it up.  Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Makes 5 cups of ice cream.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Gluten Free and Fructose Friendly Coffee Scrolls

Day 2 of our influenza quarantine, and I got a little bit bored.  Miss A spent most of the day sleeping, not surprising considering she has a 40C temperature, and there is only so much television you can watch.  Mstr H was off at school, Daddy at work, so it was just me and Sleeping Beauty.  I decided to watch Great Australian Bake Off, to see dozens of golden, shiny, dripping in deliciousness coffee scrolls, and thought to myself, what a shame you can't make lovely bakes like that that are gluten free.  The sultanas rule out the fructose quota, and you just can't get gluten free dough that you can knead.

I sat there for a while, thinking about the deliciousness, and also contemplating the cruelty of no caramel ice cream, due to not being able to use brown sugar (high fructose), so I decided to play with a couple of recipes.  The ice cream was a disaster, it turns out I burned the caramel and it tasted wrong.  I will try again.  The scrolls are lovely.  With all this creative energy, I completely forgot to cook dinner, so Daddy came home and there I was, up to my elbows in baking, the kitchen looking like a war zone, and no dinner to be seen.  Oops!

Being a lovely guy, he whipped up some quesadillas while I finished up and we ate late.

Back to the scrolls.  They are not like the usual wheat scrolls, they are not as light and they did not rise like a normal scroll would.  Having said that, they are still soft and sweet and taste lovely with a cuppa.


1 3/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup oil
3 tbsp dry yeast
sprinkle salt
2 tbsp GFG (gluten free gluten - available at any supermarket)
3 1/2 cups GF plain flour
2 cups rice flour

1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup melted butter

Place the water, sugar, oil and yeast in a medium bowl, mix and leave to activate for 15 mins.  Add the salt, gfg and flours and mix until smooth.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead.  Yes, this dough will knead like a normal dough!  Knead for 10 mins and shape into a rectangle.  Roll out into a long rectangle, and cut off any messy edges.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon for the filling.  Brush dough with the butter and sprinkle liberally with the sugar mixture.  Starting with the long side of the rectangle, roll into a tight scroll.  Cut into 12 even scrolls.

Place on a line baking tray, and brush the tops of the scrolls with left over butter.  Bake at 200C for 15 mins.  Remove from oven and put on wire rack to cool.

When cool, ice with coffee frosting.  Dissolve 1 tsp of granulated coffee in a tbsp hot water.  Add icing sugar until desired texture is reached.  Drizzle if thin, or spread on scrolls.

Let me know what you think in the comments!  If you are wondering about the pink plate, we have a whole pink section in the house as a way to prevent cross contamination or diet errors.  If I cook something that is not ok for Miss A to eat, I will make her food on the pink plate, using pink utensils and she knows that is safe food.  Makes for less chance of mistakes at parties.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Coconut Frozen Yoghurt

Health update for today - Miss A has the flu!  She is quarantined until Sunday, meaning a missed birthday party, missing out on ballet and a miserable little girl.  She is fighting high fevers, grumbles and asthma attacks, pretty worrying actually.  So we are still in comfort food mode, leading to me posting about her favourite 'feel better' food, homemade coconut frozen yoghurt.

I have an icecream maker, thanks to Mum, and it is amazing.  We like to try different flavours, and all organic.  I love knowing exactly what is in it, without all the rubbish.  Icecream can be a lot of hard work, between cooking the custard mix, and the chilling time, but frozen yoghurt has none of that.  Mix and churn, baby!


1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups greek yoghurt
3/4 cups caster sugar
few drops essence

If you have a normal icecream churner/maker, remember to freeze your bowl the night before.  These machines work by freezing the mixture as churning it, so have to be really cold.  If you are making by hand, freeze the mixture, beating every hour or so until frozen.

Mix together all the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.  Place in churner until frozen.  As the yoghurt tends to set very hard, I freeze in individual serves.  After churning, the yoghurt will be very soft, so you need to freeze for an hour before it is completely set.  My kids love it soft so will usually eat it straight out of the machine!  Serve on its own, with fresh fruit or topped with toasted coconut.


Swap the coconut milk for greek yoghurt, omit the coconut essence, add 1 tsp vanilla essence.  For a more decadent yoghurt, add a vanilla bean to the mix.

Swap the coconut milk for greek yoghurt, add 1 tbsp cocoa powder, omit the coconut essence.  Add choc chips by grating some good quality dark chocolate, we like Lindt 70%.

Swap the coconut milk for greek yoghurt, add 2 tbsp prepared strong coffee (we use organic decaffinated), omit the coconut essence, add choc chips as per Chocolate Frozen Yoghurt.

I hope you enjoy this sweet treat as much as we do.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Today was one of the worst days we have had with Miss A's health.  We had a long awaited gastroenterologist appointment.  We were so full of hope for some sort of answer or something we could follow up.  The only news we got was, that in his opinion, the diet revamp we have done, all our hard work, is for nothing.  He has no faith in diet remedies at all.  I was so angry and disappointed.  Of course I am not going to change how I treat my daughter, and will continue to give her foods that are high in nutrients, low in sugars and try to stick to the dietary guidelines we have been working from.  His narrow-minded opinion will not change that.  It is just so disheartening when every specialist we see has a different opinion and you have to mash all the advice together and hope you are doing the right thing.

To top this disappointment off, Miss A is very sick again.  Yet another course of antibiotics.  Last night she grabbed her head and started screaming that her head was falling apart.  It hurt so bad.  Sounded like a migraine to me.  She went to bed with some Panadol on board, and fell asleep, without dinner.  This morning she looked like a zombie so I took her back to the GP this afternoon.  Another sinus infection!  We are up to 4 days off of school in two weeks, and counting................

With all of this happening, and Mstr H feeling the brunt of it all, I have decided that some comfort food is in order.  This has prompted me to give you one of my favourite slow cooker recipes, Pot Roast!  Yum!  Great with fresh GF soda bread or corn bread, slathered in butter!  Yes, we are back on dairy, soy and egg!  Yay!  We also like to serve with fresh, green beans, steamed.  These are Miss A's favourite veggie as she can pull them apart, eat all the 'baby peas' and then the skins.  Hours of enjoyment!


2kg meat, roast (any red meat will do.  Corned beef is our favourite as it is cheap and tasty)
1 leek, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 zucchini, chopped
1 eggplant, chopped
250g mushrooms, quartered
1 green capsicum, chopped
2 cups Nomato sauce
1/2 cup Tamari soy sauce
herbs and spices to taste (I use Mixed Herbs and Seasoned Salt or SeasonAll)
2 cups homemade beef stock (beef bones boiled with leek, green capsicum, carrot, herbs and spices until aromatic.  Strain and store in freezer.)

Place all the veggies into a slow cooker, sprayed with oil.  Give them a stir and place meat on top.  Cover with sauces and stock and sprinkle with herbs and spices.  Place lid and leave for at least 6 hours.  All day is best.  Serve with steamed green veg, mashed potato and fresh GF bread.

See how easy that is?  My kids just love it.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Vanilla Buttercream, Chocolate Cupcakes and Mocha Mudcake

Yesterday was Miss A's 7th birthday, and it was so busy!  By the time I made 36 mini vegan doughnuts (see my link to Chocolate Covered Katies blog in a previous post), topped with pink icing and sprinkles for school, 12 chocolate panda cupcakes and a large panda mocha mudcake, I was all worn out!  I was disappointed when the children who eat normal food did not like my creations, but most of the adults and kids who are used to GF did.  Proves that GF is an acquired taste.  It also meant that Miss A got to eat 10 of the doughnuts, so she was in heaven!  Surprisingly we didn't even get a full out for the amount of sugar she consumed, so I was really happy.  I felt renewed in my efforts that I could give my daughter a beautiful birthday, and not have a sick girl the next day.

Now, I chose pandas because they are cute, and really easy to replicate.  I cheated and bought some of the black candy melts (never again!  Really hard to work with compared to chocolate and the taste was not good either.  Normal dark chocolate next time!) and the ready-made candy eyes.  Now is the easy part, I drew a template of big, panda eye circles in biro on a white sheet of paper, a triangle nose piece and two half circles for ears.  Mstr H did the same, but smaller for the cupcakes.  Then I made a baking paper cone for piping and melted the black candy melts.  If you place baking paper over the templates, you can use it as tracing paper and the set chocolate/candy melts come right off with no fuss.  It also means you can use one template for many shapes.

I melted the chocolate/candy melts and piped the shapes and filled in, and while still wet, placed the candy eyes on top of the eye pieces.

You may think that mocha is a strange flavour for a 7 year old, but you need to understand that with the strict nature of Miss A's diet, her tastes are slightly different to most kids her age.  And yes, I use organic, decaffinated coffee in my cooking, so they get the taste, not the nasties.

The following cake recipes are not mine, they have come from cookbooks, but I am not sure which ones.  Since we started this diet, we have been copying and altering recipes to see us through from books from the library, so this is part of the collection.


1 1/4 cup gluten free SR flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup Sweet William dairy free choc chips

1/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 170C and grease and line a 12 hole muffin tin with patty pans.  Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Make a well in the centre and add wet ingredients.  Mix until they form a batter, but do not mix too much.  Spoon into prepared pans, filling close to the top of each case.  Bake for 15-20 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean.  Cool in tray for 5 mins before turning onto a wire rack. Top with chocolate frosting or vanilla buttercream when cool.


3 tbsp strong coffee
250g Sweet William dairy free choc chips
180g Nuttelex
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup caster sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup fine rice flour
1/4 cup potato flour
1/4 cup maize flour
1 tsp xanthan gum

Preheat oven to 160C.  Grease and line a 20cm round cake tin.  Place the coffee, chocolate, Nuttelex, vanilla and cocoa powder in a medium glass bowl.  Set over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water) and stir until melted and well combined.  

Place the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and beat with electric beaters on high for 3-5 mins, or until light, fluffy and doubled in volume.  Gradually fold in the chocolate mixture, stirring gently with a metal spoon to combine.

Sift the flours and xanthan gum three times into a large bowl.  Gradually fold into the chocolate mixture with a metal spoon.

Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 50-60 mins.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin for 15 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


500g pure icing sugar, sifted
250g Nuttelex
1 tbsp vanilla essence

Beat the butter until light and fluffy.  Add half the icing sugar and the essence and beat until all the sugar is combined.  Add the remaining icing sugar and beat til light and fluffy.  Add colouring of choice or leave white for a fluffy look.  

To create the panda look, I covered the cake completely in the buttercream, topped with a sprinkle of dessicated coconut for fur and added the chocolate shapes.  Voila!  Easy cake decorating!  haha

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Slow Cooker Split Pea and Ham Soup

Yum!  This is Miss A's favourite thermos lunch!  She loves to open this up at school and munch on it.  Also a favourite on a Monday night, which is music night.  I put it on in the morning and come home to house smelling like soup.  A loaf of fresh soda bread and some home made soup, too good to be true!

It is coming up to Miss A's birthday, so my next post will be about allergy-friendly cakes.  Stay tuned!

2 cups split peas, rinsed
1 ham hock, smoked
2 carrots
2 celery sticks
1 leek
herbs and spices
10 cups water

Put all ingredients into slow cooker, adding water last.  Just add enough water to cover, between 8 and 10 cups.  Add lid of slow cooker and cook!  Just before serving, remove ham hock, and cut off the meat, adding back to the soup.  Serve with your favourite bread.  Hmmmm.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Egg Puffs

My sick little girl is still sick!  Doctors this morning, with the standard diagnosis - it is just a virus.  This may be so, but we are on our third day off of school this term, and it is only week 2.  Miss A's eczema is out of control, so we are back off of milk and soy to see if that is the problem, but I suspect it is this nasty virus causing the problems.

Here is another fun egg recipe that includes veggies.  It comes out of the Jessica Seinfeld book - Deceptively Delicious, where she adds veg puree to just about everything.  Most of the recipes are not fructose friendly, but a few, like this one, are fantastic.  In the recipe she uses pumpkin, but I have found mashed carrot to be Miss A's favourite, while Mstr H prefers pureed spinach.  To puree the spinach in my blender, I add the eggs to it for moisture, otherwise it just jumps the leaves around without blending them.

2 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup veg puree or mash, depending on what veg you use.  Steam your veg of choice (or raw if leafy) and mash or puree as needed
2 tbsp grated cheese
2 tbsp all purpose flour (I use maize flour)
1/2 tsp baking powder
sprinkle of salt for seasoning

Preheat oven to 200C.  Coat 6 ramekins with spray oil and place on a tray.  In a large bowl, whisk eggs, egg whites, puree/mash, cheese, flour, baking powder and salt until combined.  Divide mixture between cups and bake for 15 mins, or until puffed up and cooked all the way through.  Serve on a plate with some warm, cut up tortilla wrap (gluten free of course) or some gf toast soldiers.

Great to take as a lunch too.  Quite tasty cold.

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Green Eggs and Ham (well, bacon actually)

Today is one of those rare days where I have no children.  Thank you Mama and Papa!  So I was wracking my brain on what to write on the blog, and decided to draw on one of Mstr H's favourite recipes, that is still allergy friendly.  Over the last couple of weeks we have been reintroducing eggs, milk and soy to Miss A's diet with success in small amounts, so the occasional eggy breakfast will soon be part of our life again, yay!  I love this recipe as it is chock full of leafy green spinach, tasty and fulfills all childhood quotas by being a direct quote out of a Dr Seuss book!  What more could you want?


lg handful baby spinach leaves
4 eggs (depending on how many people you are feeding)
splash milk
lemon pepper
100g diced bacon, cooked until crisp
grated cheese for sprinkling

Place spinach, eggs and milk into a blender and blend until smooth.  Spray a frypan with oil and add mixture with some lemon pepper to taste.  Fry like normal scrambled eggs, stirring constantly, until cooked.  Add the bacon and mix through.  Serve in bowls with a sprinkle of cheese, or on toast if you prefer.

We love this as a light dinner for the kids when they aren't very hungry, or as a snack before swimming.  It is very green!

Let me know what you think in the comments.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Moroccan Beef and Lentil Casserole

Here we are, day 2 of my Blog, and it has been eventful!  Miss A is still sick, so had to miss the day of school, meaning I had a helper to do the shopping.  Unfortunately, as anyone with unusual allergies or intolerances knows, you cannot buy all your items in one place.  For example, Woolworths has the best GF snacks in their Macro range, but does not sell nut free, wheat free bread.  Coles has a great range of baked goods that are allergy friendly, but does not have the snack range or cake mixes.  Foodland has a good range of bread and cake mixes, but not much else.  This means I have to shop at all three stores, and usually visit a health food shop or two in the bargain.  Makes for a tired, grumpy, sick chick!  To help alleviate her boredom, I have taught her how to read and understand the ingredients on products so she can see for herself what she can eat and what she can't.

Today I did the usual marathon shop, and my Mum sat out the front of the local Woolworths with Miss A, reading and playing games.  During this exchange, a woman stole my Mum's handbag. Thank you to the security guard who found it, and the stranger who handed it in!  We all needed a cuppa after thatt!

As I always do when we leave the house, I pack  a lot of snacks for Miss A because we cannot buy her anything to eat from any food vendors.  This means that she has a lot of snacking on her menu today.  Unfortunately, because a lot of what she can eat is tasteless, and a lot of the spices and herbs are not ok on the Fructose Friendly plan, we let her do the 'grazing' style of eating, rather than expecting her to eat large amounts of food she does not like.

Here is tonight's dinner that I put in the slow cooker this morning, the house smells divine!


500g chuck steak, cubed
3tsp cumin
3tsp paprika
1tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt for seasoning
2L homemade beef stock (mine was made with leek, celery, green capsicum, beef bones)
3 sticks celery
2 cups red lentils
2 cups Nomato sauce

Place beef in a bowl and add the spices, mixing thoroughly.  Heat some oil in a pan and brown the meat.  Add to slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.  Use the instructions of your slow cooker as a guide, I left mine all day.  Serve with steamed veg and mashed potato.

I just love easy cooking like that!  Now I will give you Miss A's eating plan for today:

Quinoa Porridge - 1/4 cup quinoa flakes, 1/4 cup coconut milk, 1/4 cup rice milk and cook until the texture of porridge.

Morning Tea
2 vegan mini doughnuts.  I got this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie and love it!  Best doughnuts I have ever eaten.  Here is the link

Fried Rice - rice, diced bacon, peas and corn, simple and easy!
1 Quinoa Crumbed KFC drumstick

Afternoon Tea
Coconut Rice Custard
Pumpkin seeds - toasted with cinnamon, vanilla essence sprinkled with sugar

Moroccan Beef and Lentil Casserole with mashed potato and steamed green beans
Gluten Free Soda Bread - my favourite wheat free bread recipe, from Doves Farms.  Here is the link

If you have any suggestions on improvements I can make to recipes or to the food I am feeding Miss A, please let me know in the comments.  See you all tomorrow!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Quinoa Crumbed KFC

My idea is to give you an insight into day-to-day cooking and eating for my Miss A, as so many of my friends are intrigued by what I actually feed her given the restrictions.  I hope this will be a ray of light for anyone else in a similar situation.

First off, Google is my best friend.  I have found I can type searches like 'wheat free nut free noodle recipes' and get some choices to use.  This has saved my life!  By taking these recipes and making the necessary changes for the diets we are using I can give my little one as varied a diet as possible.

Invention has also been a big help, and making sure my kitchen is stocked at all times with the necessary ingredients for everything she likes to eat.  Bearing in mind, take out is NEVER an option for us.  There is no take away food that meets her needs.

So here is today's menu for her:

Breakfast - Freedom Foods Cocoa Bombs (a special treat as she has a sinus infection today)
                 A cornbread muffin - I use the Orgran Cornbread mix, I have had no success making cornbread from scratch without the milk or egg.  It is too crumbly.

Morning Tea - A vegan doughnut (recipe to come in the next couple of days)

Lunch - Homemade Pumpkin Soup (recipe to come on future posts)
             Macro popcorn, small packet

Afternoon Tea - Coconut Rice Custard

Dinner - Quinoa Crumbed KFC, Chips, Green beans

Dessert - Homemade iceblock

This is not a normal day menu, this is the 'comfort food' version that we trott out on weekends and when she is sick.  Tomorrow will be better, I promise!  As you can see I do use premade ingredients where appropriate, but not often.  There are not many out there that I can use.  But if there is one that fits the diet and makes my life easier, I say 'Go for it!'.  I have not need to prove myself to anyone.


Chicken pieces - thigh fillets or drumsticks work best
1/3 cup Orgran Multigrain crumbs with Quinoa
1/3 cup rice crumbs
1/3 cup maize flour
egg, beaten (or rice milk to wet the meat so the crumbs will stick)
herbs and spices of choice

Mix the crumbs and flour together with some herbs and spices for taste.  Dip chicken in egg or milk and then coat in the crumbs.  Then bake in a moderate oven for 30 mins or deep fry, depending on choice.

Serve with chips and green veg.  Chips can be easily made by peeling and chopping a potato into chips and baking as above or deep frying.  Yum!

Let's try this again..............

Here is my attempt at a blog again.  My last try led to me posting a heap of recipes, only to find that my information was wrong.  So I tried again, and my daughter's medical condition changed and again, my recipes were wrong.  Since my last post 2 years ago, she has had so many diet changes that I have lost count, and none of them have been fun.  To add to the joy, she has been diagnosed with IBS, Fructose Malabsorption and multiple food allergies, and is currently on an elimination diet too.  She still has chronic eczema and has many digestive problems, is low in iron and spends a lot of her time in pain from bloating and abdominal distention.  Basically, she is a mess, but we love her anyway.

With my journey, many of my friends have suggested I document it here to share with other people who may be going through similar things, so here goes.

I won't bore you with all the ins and outs right now, bit by bit on future blogs will be enough whinging for anyone!  Needless to say, we are currently feeding her foods that avoid egg, dairy, soy, fruit (except apricots, lemons and limes and limited strawberries.  She is allergic to wheat, oats, nuts, tomato and mint, and can only eat leafy green veg, potatoes and limited carrots and butternut.

Here are my two favourite recipes for survival - Nomato Sauce and Coconut Rice Custard.  They are easy to make and are a staple food in this house.  I am planning to put up any interesting recipes that I cook, with links to where I got the recipes from.


This is a great recipe as it is easy, and can be substituted for pasta sauce, pizza sauce or even for dipping your chips and nuggets in!  It DOES NOT taste like tomato sauce, because it isn't, but is nice and light as a substitute.

1 small beet, peeled and diced
6 carrots, diced
1 leek, diced
1 1/2 cup water
herbs, spices to taste  (don't do too much flavouring as you can do that when you cook with it)

Place all ingredients in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid.  Bring to the boil and simmer until veggies are soft.  Blend in a blender or food processor until fairly smooth.  It does not need to be completely smooth as it is a nice veggie sauce.  Use like you would any tomato sauce or paste.

See how easy that is?  It does tend to turn your bolognaise sauce pink, but otherwise is easy to use!


Miss A (who is 6 yo) uses this as a breakfast cereal, to fill up as a dessert or we add some cocoa and freeze as an iceblock.

1/4 cup arborio rice
400 ml coconut milk
200 ml rice milk or alternative of your choice
2 tbsp sugar

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring up to the bowl.  Simmer for at least 20 mins, stirring often, until it has thickened to a custard consistency.