Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Something for the kids ...

... er and something for the mums too if you're anything like me!
I posted this on my other blog Busy Lizzie, but obviously it wasn't gluten free back then in BC. (Before Coeliacs).
I have found there is a bit of trial and error with baking, but also with bought stuff like biscuits or breakfast cereal. I have just been buying stuff because it was gluten free, but have found I'm becoming a bit more selective, now that I know I'm not going to starve to death from lack of variety. So with that I have had a box of gf cereal lying around the pantry giving me the guilts every time I looked at it. (Even on special it's more than I would normally spend on Rice Bubbles!) But it was so anemic looking and tasted a more like the box it came in, that I couldn't face it for breakfast. So like other cereals that get relegated to the weevil department I thought I should make something for the kids lunch boxes. So here is my gluten free version of the good old Kiwi classic, Bubble Log!


~125 grams of butter (about 4 oz in the old money)

~1 cup of brown sugar (or you can use a cup of white sugar and a drop or two of vanilla essence)

~2 tablespoons of honey (I had to use my best Manuka because I couldn't find the cheap one that I bought. Note to self: Tidy out the Pantry!)

~4 Cups of Cereal. (this cereal was rice bubbles with bits of fruit and a couple of seeds lurking in there, but I chucked in a small handful of pumpkin and sunflower seeds, because I somehow feel I am counter balancing the butter and sugar! Dream on Liz!)

~Melt the butter, brown sugar and honey in a decent size pot (because you are going to add the 4 cups of cereal to it), and then boil for 3 minutes. If you are using vanilla essence add this now.

Take off the heat and quickly fold in the cereal mixture. Press into a tin lined with baking paper. (Mine measures 32cm x 20cm.) Cut while still a bit warm, although if you have a really sharp knife you should be okay, because I forgot to cut mine until I got to this bit of the recipe!

You can replace the cereal with popcorn, which is really nice. I have a popcorn popper and it's cheap as chips to pop my own and make this up. You can add coconut (I don't because my kids aren't that keen on it), any dried fruit like raisins or craisins, and some nuts or seeds. Its up to you. Go for it! Beats paying a fortune for made up ones, and at least you know whats in it!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Good Wifes Gluten Free Guide ... kind of.....

I re-wrote the Good Wife's guide a while back and figured I would post about it seeing as though I don't have a recipe to share. I have included the original Good Wife's Guide from 1955, just so you can see how far we have come!

..from 'Good Housekeeping Magazine', 13th May 1955
• Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious dinner ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favourite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.

• Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. he has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
• Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

• Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and if necessary change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

• Be happy to see him.

• Listen to him. You may have a dozen things to tell him but the moment of is arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.

• Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late, or goes out to dinner or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure.
• Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. have a warm or cool drink ready for him.
• Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
• Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity. remember he is the master of the house and as such will always excercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
• A good wife always knows her place.

And now Mrs Busy's version:

Good Housekeeping
A wife’s guide for 2008
By Liz Jury©

• Have dinner ready. Line up several takeaway menus next to the Visa bill on the breakfast bar. This is a way of letting him know that you have been at least thinking about dinner. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal is part of the warm welcome needed. Therefore make sure you phone your take-away order in ahead of time ensuring he can collect it on his way home from work.

• Prepare yourself. Get changed into your old trackies or those comfy pyjamas, and pour yourself a glass of wine.

• Be gay. Remember its okay to add a bit of spice to your marriage. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.

• Clear away the clutter. Make sure your coffee group friends have all gone home before your husband arrives, and pour yourself another glass of wine.

• Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper etc, and pop them all on the dining room table until someone claims them.

• Over the cooler months of the year, don’t forget to wear your big rabbit slippers, they are comfy and will provide you with immense personal satisfaction. Pour yourself a glass of wine.

• Prepare the children. Remind them not to tell Daddy about the dent in the rear bumper of the car, which happened that afternoon at the mall, or they can forget about getting that playstation game.

• Be Happy to see him. Especially if he brings wine with the dinner.

• Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire. The wine should help here.

• Listen to him. Blathering on and on about his day. Remember, to him his topics of conversation are more important than yours. You may need to pour another glass of wine at this stage.

• Make the evening his. And remind him that the kids need a bath and hair wash before he reads them their bedtime stories. After that he might like to load the dishwasher.

• Your goal. Ah... have another glass of wine.

• Don’t greet him with complaints and problems. You are probably becoming a little incoherent at this stage, but what the hell open another bottle.

• Make him comfortable. Offer him a glass of wine.

• Arrange his pillow, and then lie back on it and watch Coronation Street.

• Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement. It will be enough for him trying to recall why the hell he married you in the first place.

• A good wife always knows her place. Credit card in one hand, glass of wine in the other.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Carob fruit balls... a video tute....!

I tried some really lovely things called Frooze balls, but funds can really get away with you on a gluten free diet so needs must and I had a crack at making my own version. There are loads of tutorials around for these sorts of things, and a lot of them had lots of stuff I didn't have hanging around in the pantry, so I just figured chuck some stuff in the food processor and see what happens. They are pretty good as it goes, so while you are watching this I might go and make myself a cup of Chanui tea and do a bit of taste testing on them....
PS I know I do not have a "media" voice, and twelve hours in hair and makeup wouldn't have gone a-miss, but it was mid morning and the Dyson hadn't had a run out yet!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Uh Oh.....

I know I shouldn't. But I just discovered that they are Gluten Free!!!

And you know I won't stop until

A: I finish the pack


B: I Throw Up!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pumpkin Soup

Being in the middle of winter, soup is really one of those comfort foods that I just love. I used to make the typical huge pot of Kiwi Vege soup, using Kings Soup Mix, with all it's barley glory, but of course that has been banished to the past, although I consider myself lucky that I still have lovely memories of my Mum making it, and of coming in from netball on a cold wet and freezing Saturday to a big bowl of one-stop-shop goodness. Now the soup mixes along with all the other baddies in the pantry, have been donated in the huge food parcel for my almost 22 year old daughter. Her flatmates thought it was great, and I hope they are scoffing themselves silly on all that "hidden" gluten! I also hope they don't think that food parcels like that are going to be a regular event. Blimey we would go bankrupt!

Anyway it's not so much of a loss, because now I just make up my own soup mix, with lentils and split green and yellow peas, and it not that much different. But my biggest crush this winter has been pumpkin and coriander soup. This recipe is really easy and pretty quick. The longest bit is chopping up the pumpkin and peeling it, but if you have a good sharp knife its not as wrist breaking as I used to find it! I just made this up as I went along, but in my opinion it's a bit of a winner. I dunked some of the bread (I use that term very loosely) I made, which really just turned out to be a one inch thick slab of dense "something or other"! I froze it for scientific purposes, but it did actually taste quite nice as a "soup dunker".

What follows is a less than scientific recipe. Probably more as a guideline really, because I am not much into measuring out stuff. (hence the now aptly named Soup Dunker Bread).

Pumpkin Soup

1 pumpkin. (Any size but obviously the bigger the pumpkin the more soup you will yield!)

Splash of Olive oil (probably about a tablespoons or two worth)

A handful or two of Coriander finely chopped (I love Coriander so sometimes it ends up a bit more,

A few average sized garlic cloves

1 decent sized onion

teaspoon or so of GF chicken stock (or vegetable or non if you don't have any, because you can use some salt)

Salt to taste


Dice the onion and and chop the garlic. You don't have to be too fussy but don't have great hunks of it.

Peel and de-seed the pumpkin, and cut into about 1 inch size pieces. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Throw in the coriander and give it a bit of a mix around, and then the pumpkin. **I actually added a Kumara to this one, which sweetened it a little, but I don't normally** Add about a teaspoon of the stock if you are using it, and then cover with water and simmer until the pumpkin is soft. Once it has all cooked, ladle it into a food processor or blender until it is pureed. You will have to do it in batches, so have another container or pot on standby. If it is too thick you can thin it down a bit with water or some cream or milk.

It will keep in a covered container in the fridge for a good few days or you could freeze it, but if its anything like ours it won't be around that long!!

Hope you like it! ~Liz~

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Getting on with it....

I have starting coming to grips with this GF thing, and it feels a bit easier. Our evening meals are all gluten free, because its just makes more sense, so there is no really big adjustment to be made. We don't have a lot of convenience meals so its not like I have had to make huge changes for family meals or anything. Having said that I am in a fortunate position where I am not working, so I am not rushing in the door starving and then trying to get a meal together.

The other night I did some lamb chops, and thought I would give the mint sauce a go with white vinegar instead of the usual malt. It wasn't quite as nice somehow, but that could have had something to do with the lack of mint! Mike planted mint in the garden, so I expected to go down there and find it had run amok. It was a pretty sorry sight though. A couple of measly stalks with a few leaves on the end of it. I didn't really matter in the end because I'm the only one who likes mint sauce anyway!
And this was what I managed to harvest...

Fairly miserable don't you think?

The upside was that the rhubarb had been struggling away and I was able to pick a bunch to stew. I love rhubarb and had thoughts of doing something decadently gluten free. Truth is, I couldn't help my gutsy self and ate it all with some cereal for desert. Ah, and just for the record no one else wanted rhubarb either.

It's not the most robust looking rhubarb, because our garden is quite slopey and dark. Due to the neighbours trees, which she won't let us top, so growing stuff in it is a challenge to say the least, but come summer the figs will be ripening and we will be fighting with the birds to get at them first. And just for the record, no one else eats figs either!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

To eat or not to eat

That is the question....
I decided to make my "world famous" lasagne last night. (Actually it's really only famous in my family, because everyone loves it so much, but world famous gives it a bit of weight). I did have some angst that it wouldn't turn out as well gluten free, but I have to say I couldn't really tell the difference, and the family devoured it, so I needn't have worried so much. But I will tell you a little confession. I didn't actually have any myself, apart from a tiny taste of the pasta bit. And for a couple of reasons. I am off dairy for now, and the cheese sauce, even though made with cornflour (and turned out beautifully) had cheese and milk. And then just before I opened the tinned tomatoes I happened to read the nutritional information, which has remarkably quickly become habit, and found that they had acidity regulator 330. What the heck is that ???? Well I hurriedly tried to google it, and then tried to quickly leaf through the info that I have, but time was marching on, and in the end it all became a bit hard, so I resorted to a jacket potato with some ham, mushrooms and sweetcorn with a dollop of soy mayo. It was yum anyway so I wasn't too bothered, but I was bit annoyed that I wasn't sure of something. It was quite hard to find out whether it was safe or not, and that one small thing had scuppered my plans for a totally GF lasagne. I guess these are the perils of a Coeliac, and I am hoping as I get used to this way of life (sorry that sounds a bit dramatic) that I will not have to second guess everything, all the time.