On The First Day of Blogmas….

Don’t worry I’m not going to be singing to you. I sound like a budgie on helium it wouldn’t be pretty.

However I am using this – my first blogmas post as a brief introduction of all the festive loveliness that I have lined up for the the run up to the big day.

I love Christmas, it’s no secret and I have a feeling that mini me is going exactly the same way. I kid you not she’s been asking about how many “sleeps” there are left since mid October. If I confess I’ve had a reignited passion for all things festive since having children, and ( the real clincher) leaving retail. To those of you who do work in the retail sector, hang in there, Christmas Eve is in sight and so is that large G&T to reward yourself when you get there.

Anyway I’ve digressed a tiny bit…. so what have I got planned?? Well seeing as allergies and Free From is a lot of what we are about I’ll be featuring some recipes and reviews of the best of Christmas goodies on offer this year, as well as how we go about things in our house in terms of traditions, and the obligatory Christmas tree post as well. There also might be the odd competition.

I hope that has tickled your tastebuds? Sit back and relax and have a good read of all the posts that will drop over this blogmas period.

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Roasted Summer Squash

 
Looks good hey? Well I might have ( slightly) underestimated how many of these funny looking space ships came from a single plant. The answer is loads in case you are wondering.  

In my quest for expanding my vegetable growing I decided on these mainly because they looked funky and bright yellow 

 

Anyway a very quick update on how I cook them. 
  

Into a roasting tin chop your squash, courgette, onion, garlic cloves- anything you fancy really. 

  • Drizzle in olive oil  and fresh thyme 
  • Cook in an oven at 180 for 30-40 minutes
  • Et voila roasted veg.

 

Gluten Free Chocolate “Mini Milks” 

Hello to you all, hope you are enjoying this fine sunny weather we are having. It’s Monday it’s the last week of term for most of the munchkins and I’m sure you’d like to know about a really easy treat?  I’m right aren’t I? 

Whilst it’s great that tesco have lunch a GF DF mini milk style lolly, it still hs the dreaded may contain nuts message, so still best avoid for us.  Anyway I that I’ll make my own, on mini me’ request we got some of these

 Kitchen Craft, Ice Lolly Moulds, Set of 6“>

And set off to make these. You have to excuse the photos- the down side of this mould is that they look less umbrella like when out of its plastic case……

  

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 tbs cacao or cocoa powder
  • Either 2 tbs of caster sugar or 1-2 tbs of maple syrup to sweeten. 

Method

  • Place all ingredients into a pan and heat, do not let it boil
  • Let the mixture cool for 5-10 minutes then pour into the moulds
  • When cold place in the freezer
  • After 30 minutes- 1 hr I give the mixture a stir to help stop crystals forming
  • Eat when completely frozen.  

The added benefit of these is that you could use a combination of coconut milk and cream for a dairy free version.  

See there you have it- not really cooking by any scale of the imagination but delicious none the less.  
*this post does contain an affiliate link. If you do click and buy the moulds it just means I get a few pennies. 

Grilled Salmon In A spiced Marinade  

Seeing as it’s National BBQ week I thought this would be apt.

Free From Foodie

Well fingers crossed that the last few days haven’t been our summer, and we can look forward to long, hazy days and BBQ season. Now I love a bbq and alfresco dinning, but get a bit bored of the usual sausage and burger offerings. This year I’ve decided to mix it up and try new things on the grilling front.

I know salmon isn’t a new thing, far from it, but I’ve been experimenting with marinades and I think this is yummy, and not as calorific as some of the shop brought offerings, it also includes one of my new favourites -turmeric, which also give a great colour to the fish as well.

Ingredients

  • Salmon filets I used a side and cut it into portions.

For the marinade

  • 100mls natural yogurt ( or dairy free alternative)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1…

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Review – Nush Dairy Free Yogurt 

You may, or may not have noticed a new brand of the free from market? Nush Foods are the company behind dairy free, gluten free and vegan yogurts that are made from either almond or cashew milks. I believe they are the first in the UK to offer such a product. 

Anyway I’m rambling, I saw these in Tesco (£2) and thought I’d try one. I should add that they are nut based so all testing was done well out the way of mini me.

 

  I was really impressed, I’m not sure what I was expecting really- possibly a more gloopy texture that you can get with other plant based yogurts, but this has a consistency of, well yoghurt.  Considering this was almond based, you are not over powered with the taste, there was a subtle, but pleasing blueberry flavour, not overladen with sugar or sweetness- all positives for me. I should also add that this is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans. 

  
So will I buy it again? Well yes, although not every day as it is a bit pricey.  That said I’m also interested in trying the cashew milk yoghurt when I track it down. Well done Nush keep up the good work. 
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All views are my own, and honest. 

Strawberry and Vanilla Cheesecake Gluten Free

I admit I’ve had strawberries on the brain this last week.  In my efforts on embracing the good life the vegetable plot is growing, and strawberries are one of this years projects.  My new plants are in, and we are waiting for them to grow.  However in the mean time, what better excuse for a free from cheesecake? Oh and we had a houseful for Mother’s Day and cheesecake is always a winner. Plus this is a no bake cheesecake so it’s easy to make as well. 

My error with this was that I personally think it would be better in an 8 inch tin, but I misplaced mine so the 9 inch had to be the tin of choice ( I don’t  think my guests noticed anyway). 

  

Ingredients 

Base

  • 250g biscuit I used gullon as they are nut free. You can click Here to buy them. 
  • 80g melted butter

Filling

  • 600g  full fat cream cheese
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 200ml double cream 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence. 

Method

  • Crush the biscuits either in a bag with a rolling pin, or in a food processor
  • Add the melted butter and pulse until you have a damp rubble.
  • Press into the base of a spring closing cake tin and leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes. 

  

  • For the filling whisk the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla together. 
  • I whisk the double cream separately until it forms stiff peaks. Then gently combine this with the cream cheese mixture. 
  • Put this on top of your biscuit base and leave to set in the fridge ideally overnight. 
  • I decorated with fresh strawberries and mini meringue kisses. 

  

  

Apologies…..

I’m not ignoring you all. I’m at my wits end with BT trying to fix our phone/ internet.  Seemingly the line had an argument with a tree the other night in the gales. 

Normal service will ( hopefully) be resumed asap.  TTFN my lovelies. 

New Product Review -Naturelly Jelly Drink

Naturelly has just won Best Toddler Snack in the LBC awards. See my review here.

Free From Foodie

Parents behold, there is a new product in town , and it doesn’t disappoint. This is Naturelly jelly juice. The lovely people at Naturelly were kind enough to send me ( well mini me) some samples, so what follows is our thoughts.

Naturelly is a jelly juice/ snack made from natural fruit juice And jelly made from a dietary fibre called Gellan gum. This means its gelatine free and been approved by the vegetarian society and coeliac uk. As a mum to a toddler with allergies I can see these being great for picnics, lunch boxes and days out as they are easily portable, great out the fridge and have a screw top to save for later.

They are gluten free, dairy free, nut free and only 7.2g of sugar per pouch. For us ( and I’m sure many others) I see this a huge positives. For the record I…

View original post 240 more words

Chocolate Courgette Cake 

Since I’ve gone all good life ( as my friends tell me) my garden is in full produce production. Courgettes are one such thing that I have a glut of. There are only so many ratatouilles that you can eat, although I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like them, so on went the thinking cap and amongst other things a courgette cake was one of my ideas. 

  
Now don’t be put off by thinking ( baby George style) “yuck, veg in a cake” you cannot tell and the sponge is wonderfully moist. This is great as my version is gluten free as well, which can have a tendency to dry out, but the moisture from the courgette gives the cake a fudgy texture. It’s great warm as a pudding with some kind of creamy addition or with your afternoon cup of tea. 

I topped it off with a dark chocolate ganache which works well- be warned though your kids get plastered in it. Mind you its a win win as licking the bowl does keep them quiet for a while. I take no responsibility for the messy chops and clothes though. 

Ingredients 

  • 350g self raising flour ( I used Doves farm gluten free) 
  • 50g Cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice 
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 300g caster sugar 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 175 ml melted coconut oil 
  • 2 medium courgettes grated 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 

Method 

  • Preheat the oven to 180 C and line a 24cm cake tin. 
  • Grate your courgette and set aside.
  • In a bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, mixed spice and xanthan gum. 
  • Mix the eggs with the sugar and melted oil and vanilla extract and then fold in the courgette. 
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients and pour into your cake tin.
  • Cook for roughly 40 minutes or until your inserted skewer comes out clean. 

If you want to make a ganache place 200g of chocolate ( I used kinnerton)  in a bowl Andreas until boiling point 100 ml of double cream.  Pour this over the chocolate and stir well. Once the mixture has cooled and thickened then pour on top of your cake. 

  

Turmeric Latte 

It’s that mid-afternoon slump, and unseasonably cold here in then leafy shires. I fancied a latte.  Today I’m having a latte with a difference – Turmeric. As in the South Asian grown spice (related to the ginger plant) widely used in Indian and Asian cooking. I’m not going mad bear with me. 

Now there has been many a claim about the miracles of this spice. Some of which I’d take with a pinch of salt as there isn’t enough hard evidence to credit or discredit it. So I’m not stating these, however this type of latte is better than your usual sugar laden offerings from high street coffee houses and I’ll stand by that ( oh and it’s tasty to). 

  
Ingredients

  • 250ml of plant based milk, I used coconut but almond or cashew work well to. 
  • 1tsp Turmeric
  • 1tsp agave nectar ( or less if you prefer) 
  • A sprinkle of cinnamon to serve. 

Method

  • Place all ingredients into a milk pan, and heat until steaming.
  • I mix with a milk frother 
  • Serve in mug and sprinkle with cinnamon to serve. 

Sit and relax with your mid afternoon drink. Enjoy.