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.