Tuesday, 28 September 2010

It would be rude not to Raspberry Mousse

(Before anyone cracks a joke about boobs, yes, I am well aware that it looks like a breast!)

  • 4 1/2 oz Raspberries
  • 2 tbsp Orange juice (or maybe a raspberry liqueur if your hardcore!)
  • 2 tbsp Icing sugar
  • 2-4 tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 2 1/2 gelatin leaves
  • 150ml double cream
  • Get yourself some medium sized glass bowls, or even large wine glasses and keep them to hand ready to put your mousse in at the end.
  • Pop half the raspberries into a bowl with the icing sugar and orange juice, mix it all through with your hands to get the raspberries coated with the icing sugar, stop when the icing sugar has melted. Cover with some clingfilm and whack it in the fridge until you need them for a 'heres one a made earlier' finale.
  • Cut your gelatin into halves and put in a bowl of cold water, make sure the water covers the leaves and that its completely submerged.
  • Chuck the rest of your raspberries (the ones that haven't been iced and juiced) into a food blender and pulse gently for literally a few seconds, any longer and it will be totally liquidised and you don't want that.
  • Put a medium sized saucepan over a low heat and pop your whizzed raspberries in (tasting them before you pop them in to see how sour they are), if you like tart desserts only add 2tbsp's of sugar, 4 if you like things a bit sweeter. Heat gently and slowly until the caster sugar has melted.
  • Your gelatin will be ready by now, so give them a little squeeze to get all the water out and pop them in with the raspberries and sugar while they're still warm. Stir through until they're dissolved, it will take just a few seconds. Pour the mixture into a bowl to cool.
  • If your an impatient busy body like me you can pop the bowl with the mixture in over another bowl of iced water so that it cools quicker. If you have the patience of a saint leave to one side to cool.It must be completely cool before you add the cream or it will be a big curdled mess and it'll be all your fault!
  • When the mixture is cool and starting to set, (give the bowl a shake, it should wobble while still keeping its shape slightly) whisk the cream up until it forms peaks (use an electric whisk if you have one, because whisking double cream could categorised as torture by the Geneva convention).
  • Fold the cream into the raspberries mixture, stirring through so that its lump free.
  • Pile some of your oranged raspberries in the bottom of your bowls/glasses, and then heap some of the raspberry cream mix over the top, keep layering it up until you have none of the mixtures left and the raspberry cream mix is the final layer on top. Pop in the fridge, it takes a good few hours to set. Eat with a spoon whilst watching Xfactor.

My memory, or lack thereof.

Yes, I know Tuesday is not in fact Sunday, which is when I promised the raspberry mousse recipe for, but Sunday came and I was still feeling icky, and then I started watching The Vampire Diaries and doing arroword puzzles and before I knew it it was 6pm and the day had got away from me, and it was time for a bath and bed (Sunday is going to bed early day). And then yesterday my Bessie Anna came over for a coffee and a giggle. At 2pm I had to hike to the doctors for my b12 injection, and then I bought some goodies in Superdrug and had a nosey at the 1/2 price sale in La Senza, and by the time I knew it it was 5pm and time for a nap before dinner. so you see due to unscheduled events, planned appointments and my sieve like memory the raspberry mousse recipe slipped from my mind like water going down a drain.
My nurse,Lisa, who did my b12 jab took my temperature as according to her I looked a bit 'pale and peaky' (the cheek!) and it turns out the old kidneys are infected again (not that I realised, if I broke my arm I probably wouldn't know it until it dropped off), anyway, I managed to dodge a course of antibiotics and promised her I'd go home and take some paracetamol and chug some cranberry juice. So I went for lunch with Anna and drank a strawberry milkshake.
Anyway. Apart from the raspberry mousse I haven't physically baked anything for at least a week and I'm starting to feel a bit fidgety, so I think I'm going to whip up a round of cinnamon and sultana cookies after I've put this post up.
Guess what? for 2 hours I was the No.1 up and coming blog in food&drink on bloglovin', how ace is that? Of course by the time I text, rang and emailed everyone I know I was no longer number 1.
I've been promising for weeks to do some meal posts and I am working on it, after the disaster with the cat food..sorry crab kedgeree which I thought would be fail safe I was a tad despondent with the whole marvelous meals thing, but I'm back on tract, I've got a good 5 meals to dry run and tweak so expect something by the end of next week.
So back to the mousse. I was having some problems with the flash on my camera on Saturday night so the pictures I got of the mousse were all a bit rubbish so I'm just making do with an overexposed snap of said mousse. It was really nice, quite tart though so I've tweaked the recipe so you can make it as sour or sweet as you like. also you have the thrilling experience of using gelatin leaves (which wasn't half as thrilling as I was expecting it to be) its quite an easy recipe and the perfect dessert for a dinner party because you can whip it up, chuck it in the fridge and take it out when you need it,sorted! 

Saturday, 25 September 2010

The magic of miso, the return of Nigella, and apologies from a shoddy blogger.

Hello, once again I have been a shoddy blogger, very sorry indeed. This week was meant to be the start of my Marvelous Meals series but unfortunately I've been rather ill all week and just the though of food has made me want to chunder (a excellent term chunder, a phrase I picked up from an Aussie pal, Cheryl).
The week started off OK and I managed to throw out the epic birthday cake I promised my Mum on Tuesday morning, and in the afternoon my friend Kate came over for a chin wag and a cuppa and she updated me on all the goss. Then disaster stuck Tuesday night (I say disaster, but what I really mean is disaster in Kate terms) first my crab kedgeree turned out to be vile and looked like cat food and there was no way I could put that on the blog when I thought it was vile and looked like catfood. Secondly I spent the majority of the night being sick, all part of the 'other bowel problems' I'm sharing my life with at the moment.
So in my weakened state I've spent the last few days watching The Hills and Grand Designs on my laptop and occasional dragging myself out of bed to answer the door to the postman or to pour myself a glass of water or make a peppermint tea with honey. The Wagamama's cookbook I ordered arrived on Wednesday, £6.77 from new&used on Play.com, not a mark or bent page to be seen, what a steal, I felt like the man on the Burger King advert who thinks he must have been under charged for his burger. Its now my mission to make the best Miso soup ever so I can get the recipe up on here. Does anyone else love Miso? Its heavenly, and you really feel like your doing yourself some good when you drink it. Like eating celery. I heard once that you burn more calories eating celery than it actually contains. Miso feels like that, like your supplying yourself with so many nutrients and other lovely things.
Anyway, Thursday my ASOS order came, which was highly exciting until I tried the top on that I ordered and it was ginormous, I can't be bothered with the ball ache of sending it back so I may ask Mother to take it in for me as my sewing skills don't extend to the alteration of clothing.
Today Dad and I are cooking a meal for Mum for her birthday which was on Wednesday, but she had to work so we're doing it today instead. I've been put in charge of the pudding (what else) because when it comes to puddings my dads a bit heavy handed. I've doing a yummy raspberry mousse, the most exciting part is I get to use gelatin leaves which I've never used before. so I'm going to whip that up this morning before Mum and I have an afternoon of pampering, manicures, facials and the like. I shall put the recipe up tomorrow for the the raspberry mousse after its gone through the taste test tonight.
In other news, did anyone catch the final of The Great British Bake Off? Edd won!Hoorah, I knew he would, my physic abilities have proved correct once more! Nigella is back on our screens next week(mainly because she has her new book to plug), and Hugh's river cottage started this week as well. After having a sneaky peek at my followers I've noticed there's a few of you living across the pond, have you got any favourite chefs or cooks that are popular where you live?
A friend from uni, Sophie, was diagnosed recently with a gluten intolerance, poor lamb, shes already lactose intolerant, she gave me some great feedback on the blog though, and said that the recipes and 'No Go' food list were really helpful. It's always nice to know that people find the blog helpful or that they enjoy reading it. Without getting to soppy and inducing wide spread vomiting, Id like to thank all the people who have supported the blog; passing it on to friends, adding the link on their facebook, even writing little ditties to advertise the blog, and also for all their useful feedback and comments, everyone has done their part, but the real heavy weights have been Becky at D/S, my Dad, Stevie B and Stephen M, muchos gracias! I'm done, you can all go and throw up now.
Ive papped a few snaps of mums birthday cake so you can have a gander, if anyone wants the recipe just let me know. See you all tomorrow, enjoy your Saturday!

Strawberry Victoria Sponge Tower

Peppermint tea and a blondie, curative for many an ailment.

Monday, 20 September 2010

My Mama's Mini Bread n' Butter Pudding's

 My Mum never actually gave me a recipe for B&B pudding, I just watched her make it over the years and picked it up along the way. This version is of course G/F and is so quick and easy you'll wonder why you didn't make it before. This recipe serves 4, and you'll need 4 ramekins or 4 small oven proof dishes which are oven safe and roughly the same size.

  • 4 Slices of gluten free bread, with the crusts cut off and quartered.i used genius bread for this recipe, other bread is smaller so you may need more.
  • Marmalade
  • Butter or margarine
  • Sultana's
  • Soft brown sugar
  • 2 Medium eggs beaten
  • 100ml Milk
  • Cinnamon
  • Pre-heat your oven to Gas 6
  • Butter both sides of your cubed bread and spread marmalade over one side, start a layer of bread in the bottom of the ramekins, sprinkle over sugar, cinnamon and sultana's.
  • Keep building up the layers this way with the bread as the base of every layer.
  • After you've finished layering your pudding, beat the eggs and milk together and pour over the puddings.
  • Pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the egg is cooking and the top layer is golden.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes before serving (when they first come out of the oven the puddings are nuclear).

The Great British Kate Off

I unexpectedly have the company of my mother today which is always nice because we get to have a good ol' gossip and drink coffee. Its my mums birthday on Wednesday and I have an epic girly birthday cake planned.
I had quite a busy weekend (busy by my standards anyway), my Dad and I did some last minute birthday shopping for mums birthday, I got a few bits for myself, and I came across a G/F brand that I hadn't heard of before called Sunstart and I bought a pack of  biccies to test, and they were yummy.
I also kicked off my Kilner jar collection. I loved Nigella's kitchen with her shelves lined with glass jars filled with pasta and flour, it looked so pretty and neat, then more recently on The Great British Bake-Off the contestants had all their ingredients in big glass Kilner jars, that sealed the deal for me and I vowed that I had to start my own jar collection. I lead a terribly exciting life.
Yesterday I had a good old day in the kitchen, I made mini bread and butter puddings (today's recipe) and some cheese and onion twists. Tomorrow is the first of the Marvelous Meals series so don't forget to check in for all the new recipes.
Bread and Butter pudding always reminds me of my mum, she makes a mean B&B pud. It's a proper winter comfort pudding, but yummy anytime. The Boyf told me the big guns like Gordon Ramsey use marmalade in their bread and butter pudding so I thought it give it a go, and its lovely, it sort of caramelises and bubbles . This recipe uses any gluten free bread you have knocking around, but you could use G/F croissants for a luxe twist, or sweet rolls.
I hope you all had a good weekend!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

The Gluten-Free Bakers Stock Cupboard


 Welcome to Part-1 of The Gluten-Free Bakers Stock Cupboard, this post is going to cover different flours and raising agents that every savvy gluten-free Goddess or God should have in their cupboard.
Before you start to worry that the G/F stock cupboard is going to be like that of Delia and Nigella who's larders are akin to the Tardis filled with floor to ceiling ingredients from Harrods food hall let me point out that 1) I have but two shelves at my disposal and 2) I am significantly poorer than Delia who owns a football team, therefore value for money is essential!
I could probably go on forever about various ingredients that might come in handy in your pursuit for domestic deity, but for now I'll just give you the main ingredients that you will find useful on more than one occasion (ahem, Delia, crystallised ginger, hardly useful for everyday cooking is it madam?). The aim here is to give you a list of ingredients that are useful alternatives for use in gluten free cooking and baking. The items listed are approved as safe for coeliacs and those on a gluten free diet by the codex alimentarius (food standard agency).
These are my top ten flours and raising agents, also at the end is a list of stockists where you can find the items I've listed so you can get started on your own stock cupboard.

Part 1- Flours and Raising Agents
  • 1- Chickpea/Gram Flour 
Chickpea (or gram flour) is used a lot in Indian cooking, onion bhaji batter are is more often than not made from gram flour. Gram flour is quite high in protein which is good for anyone on a vegetarian or vegan diet. When gram flour is mixed with equal parts of water it can be used as an egg replacement in vegan cooking or for those who have an egg allergy or intolerance.

  • 2- Rice Flour
Milled from brown or white rice, rice flour is used a lot of Japanese cooking and is used to make rice noodles which are G/F. Rice flour is great for pairing with other flours to make pastries or as a thickener for soups and sauces. All rice flour is high in protein, but brown rice flour more so, with high levels of calcium and B vitamins, helpful in a vegetarian and vegan diet and for those with a B12 deficiency.

  • 3-Potato Flour
Potato flour is one of the cheapest alternatives to normal flour that you can find. While its high in carbohydrates its also equally as high in calcium. Potato flour is great as a thickener, and used with other G/F flours for biscuits,cakes and bread.

  • 4-Maize Flour (corn meal)
Maize flour (don't confuse it with corn flour) is often used in Mexican and southern American cooking, in nacho and taco recipes. Discovery Foods use maize flour in their gluten free recipes. Maize is a good source of minerals and vitamin B12, and can be used in recipes for vegetable fritters and as a thickener.
  • 5-Gluten Free Plain Flour Mixes
If your coeliac you are probably aware by now that you can get a plain flour mix on prescription. Glutafin and Dietary Specials both do plain flour mixes that are available of prescription. Plain flour mixes are usually made up of a mixture of some of the flours listed above.if you want to make your own plain flour blend here's an easy peasy recipe;

300g Maize Flour
500g brown rice flour
200g cornflour

Whizz it all in a blender until all the flours are well mixed and pop in a airtight container, it should last up to 6 months.

  • 6-Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
Again this sort of flour should be available on prescription and can be used for cakes, scones and biscuits. Again these mixes are usually made by combining a mixture of the flours I've listed above. If you want to make your own self raising flour add 50g of gluten free baking powder to your plain flour mix. I find these mixes really useful, and just about as good as I used to find normal flour in baking.
  • 7-Bread Flours
There are lots of bread flours available on prescription, in the supermarkets and online including brown and white bread flours that can be used to make loaves, rolls and other bread products. Bread, I have to admit is probably the thing I really struggle to make well, the various mixes you can buy or get on prescription are really tasty, although they never rise as well as a normal loaf would, the actual making of the bread is really quick and easy.

  • 8-Xantham Gum
Xantham Gum, weirdly can be found in many beauty products, but when used in gluten free cooking gives food the elasticity and stickiness that gluten free products sometimes lack. Added to cakes and scones xantham gum is a powdered additive that helps provide texture and bounce. Never again will anyone ever guess that your Victoria sponge is gluten free!

  • 9-Cream of Tartar
Cream of tartar is a raising agent which can be used in the same way as baking powder.

  • 10-Gluten Free Baking Powder
Baking powder is a raising agent that you can put in pretty much anything to give it a bit of oomph.

Doves Farm
Naturally Good Food
Gluten Free Foods Direct
Dietary Specials
Holland and Barrett

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Office Space

My house is currently the epicentre for every illness, ailment and sniffle in the country. I've been huddled under my slanket, sipping peppermint tea and reading All Quiet on the Western Front whilst feeling sorry for myself over some unspecified bug that my mother has probably passed onto me from all the ankle biters she works with. I thought today's post (as I've been too poorly/idle/distracted to drag myself into the kitchen to whip up some goodies for the you), would be a sneaky peek into where the 'magic' happens (as they say on Cribs) with a few (highly edited) snaps of where I do all my blog writing.
I've always loved having a good old poke round peoples house, even as a kid I loved nosing into peoples rooms, and nothings changed. Eleanor over at bonjour,bbydoll put some lovely pics of her super cute flat up, and her desk is so chic and tidy, while everything on my poor old dresser is fighting for space.
I'm a hoarder by nature, for the most part my room is clean and (fairly) tidy, the clutter and crap resides on the shelves and surfaces in quite orderly piles, although I gave my desk a quick spruce up for your benefit before I took the pics.
You will be completely unsurprised to learn that my room is pink, I was planning on redecorating a while ago, but I never got round to it, the reality is I probably spent the decorating budget on clothes and handbags. Anyway, I like my little pink room, its quite comforting, almost like being in the womb I imagine (obviously I cant remember that far back).
Obviously this post has absolutely nothing to do with gluten free baking, I thought as I have no recipe for you I'd allow you a glimpse into what you already know to be my very scatty, chintzy existence!
Before I let you go to witness my domestic sluttery, I'd like to draw your attention (loquacious today aren't I?) to my Booty-ful Blog section, I've added two new blogs written by the equally booty-ful Becky over at Dietary Specials, check them out by clicking on the links for Tru Free and Dietary Specials. Also you may like to have a gander at a article from The Guardian yesterday about catering for dinner guests who have dietary restrictions, Cooking for guests on a special diet.
Also under Links to Love there's a link to new brand Kent&Fraser whom I discovered in the Lakeland catalogue this morning, they do a range of yummy scrummy cakes and biccies so check the site out at your leisure.
My heart memo holder, bearing a funny letter from my Dad, a snap of Stevie, postcards and magazine clippings.

The 'K' I bought from Within Reason in Sheffield, the cat painting my parents bought me back from Paris.

Another vintage goodie from Great Grannie.
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Sunday, 12 September 2010


I forgot to say, I used my new heart measuring spoons today and was far more excited about using them than was warranted really, being 25 and all, but they're just so sweet, and PINK,with gingham ribbon holding them all together I mean, what more could you ask for really? Anyway I've got to go, my Barbies hair needs brushing.....plus I need to hone my sharp wit.

Beautiful Blondies With Cinnamon Cranberries

(Check out my Great Grannies vintage plate!)

When these bad boys are cool they can be stored and frozen and kept for around a month or until you need them.

  • 200g Butter (melted)
  • 150g Caster sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 250  Gluten-free self raising flour
  • 150g Dried cranberries 
  • 1 tsp Golden caster
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 100g White chocolate cubed (or white chocolate drops)
  • 2 tsp's Vanilla Extract
  • Pop the oven on to heat up at gas 3 (160c). Line a tin (20cm) with baking parchment.
  • You can buy cinnamon cranberries, but if you cant get hold of them, either leave plain or make your own by popping a tsp of cinnamon and a tsp of sugar into a bowl with the cranberries and mix through with your hands until the cranberries are coated with the cinnamon/sugar mix.
  • Melt your butter over a low heat and pour into a large bowl to cool down a wee bit. 
  • Next beat in the sugar with an electric whisk or manually with a balloon whisk (work those guns!).
  • Add the eggs and vanilla essence, mix and then add the flour and mix until combined.
  • Gently stir in the choccy and cranberries then pour into your baking tray, making sure the mixture is level and even.
  • Bake for around 40 minutes, it should be just about set on the top and slightly golden, don't worry if it sinks in the middle, its meant to (at least thats what I tell myself).
  • Run a knife around the edge of the baked Blondie so that as it cools it doesn't stick.
  • When its cool cut into squares and serve with a glass of milk or a big cup of coffee. try not to eat them all yourself.

Blonde Bombshell

I think I must be the only person in the UK to be looking forward to winter. I love the dark nights, and cuddling up under a blanket and watching films when its cold and raining out, I especially love feeding the love handles some stodgy comfort food and hot peppermint tea with honey. Plus I have a lovely pink coat that i got for Christmas from my grandad last year that just didn't get a good wearing, I also stocked up on some cute cosy jumpers when Stevie and I went to Brighton last Monday so I'm hoping summer chokes its last breath sharpish because Ive got a new wardrobe that needs showcasing.
Anyway, back to the baking.
I was going to post my Yummy Lemon Cookie recipe, but I decided that I should have at least one secret recipe (then when I have kids, and then they have kids, I can make them cookies and say, 'this is Grannies secret recipe'). So I decided to do a previously untested recipe which I adapted from this months Sainsbury's magazine (I'm constantly living on the edge).
I don't know how you guys feel about brownies but I detest them, despite loving chocolate so much I'd gladly exchange an eyeball for a Dairy Milk I've never really liked chocolate cakes, brownies or chocolate desserts, they seem too rich and filling somehow. Today however this peroxide blonde is posting a recipe for Blondie's, a Brownie for all intents and purposes but made with white chocolate, they are delicious! However, don't expect them to be the same as a Brownie, the recipe varies for Blondie's from the Brownie recipe and because they're gluten free (as with most things) the texture is different, not as dense or chewy, more like a sponge really, but still yummy, if slightly crumblier.
The public has spoken and Marvelous Meals got the majority of the vote in the poll so I'm doing some research and testing various recipes to post in a week or so. Let me know if you have a particular meal they would like to see adapted to G/F and posted in the future.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Two for Tea

Just thought I'd pop in and say hello to the blog before the recipe post tomorrow.
The day started off rather well because my heart measuring spoons from dotcomgiftshop arrived this morning, that's one thing to tick off The Wish List. I had to exert extreme willpower in order not to buy one of their new pink polka dot milk pans as well, I'm quite proud of myself actually,maybe there is hope for me as a frugal goddess yet!
I actually thought I'd pop a post up because I've just discovered  Pip Studio, an Amsterdam based company who do chinaware, bed covers and the like. Urban Outfitters website supply part of the collection, but Pip Studio's own website is amazing, if your like me and love pretty chintz along the Kath Kidson train of thought you will love the site. Although at the moment not even the Kate's Pretty Things Contingency Fund will cover the cost of all the lovely things I want from the range, I may have to sneak a few of them on my Christmas list (my mum asks me to write my list in October).
I thought I'd whack a few pics up for you to have a gander at, I especially love the teacup, its one of my fantasies in life to own a tea set. Even though I'll have limited use of such a thing, I know I wont feel like I've filled my potential as a woman unless I own a tea service.
Anyway, toodles for now, see you all tomorrow!

I had to hunt the net looking for some pics for you because the actual website for Pip Studio wouldn't let me copy the pictures, probably something to do with copyright, but I found these for you to enjoy. I make no apologies for the major pink, chintz-ness, this is a Girls Guide after all!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Brighton Rocks

Sadly the miracle of me actually writing a final post for the Back to School spesh didn't come to fruition, although I have to admit its a miracle in itself that I got four posts up in a week, let alone five (I'll give myself a pat on the back for that later).
I had a fan-tab-ulous (another phrase from the Dictionary of Kate) week with The Boyf, we went to Brighton on Monday and had a good old nosey round the shops, and I got a few bits and bobs including some cosy PJ's, which when I added to my pile The Boyf's eyes rolled to the heavens (I have what you might call a pajama obsession, 14 pairs and counting!). We had a yummy lunch at Wagamama's which has it's own gluten free menu! We went to our favourite store, The Cook Shop, which as the name suggests sells cooking equipment as well as various bits and pieces for the kitchen. There's so many things I want from there, but they will probably have to be added to the wish list that includes meeting Nigella Lawson and her telling me my cupcakes are better than hers, and staying overnight in Cinderella's Castle in Disney.
Stevie (that's The Boyf) was rather edgy as I was toting the worlds biggest handbag and several shopping bags and kept banging into things of considerable worth and knocking them off stands and shelves etc. I think he was rather glad to get out in the end.
Saturday morning saw the arrival of How to Be a Domestic Goddess thumping through my letterbox at 9am, excited wasn't the word!! It was just as good as I thought it would be, perhaps better, theres a whole chapter dedicated just to chocolate, I congratulated myself on a terrific buy by adjusting her cupcake recipe for my G/F purposes and they were YUMMY, perhaps the best cupcakes I've made yet!
Did anyone catch The Great British Bake Off on Tuesday? My favourite, Edd, was dangerously close to being booted off after a disastrous couple of rounds. I did feel sorry for him because he did so well in all the previous programs, but he was utterly flumoxed by the pudding rounds this week. In the second round they had to bake lemon souffles and all the contestants fluffed it, it made me feel very smug as I made my Lemon Curd souffles on Sunday and they came out great, especially with the help of my new electric whisk (courtesy of daddy!).
I've been reading all the fab blogs out there (some of whom are followers of mine) and I felt a bit disheartened. My blog seems a bit amateurish compared to the gorgeous blogs out there, I love all the snazzy personalised headers but due to severe lack of experience in computer programs I have no idea how to personalise my own, do you guys have any ideas?
I've also noticed that the clocks ticking on my poll, so anyone who had voted get your vote in sharpish, while I think up some recipes!
Anyway, I have one of two new recipes up my sleeve for you at the weekend, I just need to get a wiggle on and make them so I can take some snaps rather than pinching them from the BBC website.
Also in the coming weeks I have a Eating Out Guide and some tips for those of you who are gluten-free and are panicing about eating out, plus some recipes for cross over intolerance's, for example those who are gluten free and lactose intolerance. I've just realised that I've given myself quite a bit of writing and cooking to do so I'm going to have to love you and leave you for now, here's a few pics from our trip to Brighton. See you all at the weekend!
The Cook Shop

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Quick Cute Quiches

  • 1x 200g pack of Dietary Specials shortcrust pastry (or if you want to make your own pastry follow the recipe for which went with the Treacle Tart recipe I did in June)
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g cheese
  • 100ml milk or double cream
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 5 mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp's olive oil
  • 2 thin slices of ham, or 2 rashers of bacon cooked and cooled. 
  • We're blind baking the pastry so look out your baking beans or in my case Uncle Ben's Rice. Pre heat your oven to Gas 6. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin, roll your pastry out until its around 1/2 cm. For the large quiche line a 7inch tart case with the pastry and then line with parchment and your beans/rice and pop in the oven for 10minutes until golden round the edges. If your making the mini quiches you will need a cupcake tray with 12 holes. Use a medium sized mug or cutter to cut circles out of the pastry and use them to line the holes in the cupcake tray. the pastry will still need to be blind baked, but don't worry with faffing around lining every case, you'll be there all day and they're so small it doesnt matter if they rise slightly in the middle. Pop them in for 10 minutes, but keep an eye on them, because they're small they'll burn easily!
  • While your pastry is cooking you can get one with dicing your onions and veg. Make sure you slice them all up fairly small and the same with the bacon or ham, make sure you dont have any peices that are too big to fit in your little quiche cases.
  • When your case(s) are cooked, set them aside to cool.
  • Next heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and gently fry your veg and onion (leaving your bacon/ham to one side). Once soft, season and spoon into the pastry case(s). If your making the mini quiches make sure they're not too full with the ham and veg mix, you need to leave room for the egg and milk mix.
  • Next whisk the eggs and milk up in a bowl and pour over the veg mix until nearly full. Grate the cheese and sprinkle over the quiches and then pop in the oven for around 15-20minutes, remember to keep an eye on them. When they're cooked they will be firm, and bounce back to the touch.
  • Serve hot or if they're going in lunch boxes wait for them to cool before covering.
More quick quiches.
cheese and onion quiche: omit the other veg and add an extra onion or two, use a stronger cheese.
Meat feast quiche: omit the veg, but keep the onion, add a few chopped cooked GF sausages and 3 rashers of cooked bacon cubed. 
Traffic light quiche: omit the pepper and mushroom and add 3 chopped tomatoes, 1 yellow pepper diced and a good few handfuls of whilted spinach
Again we are sans picture, just imagine a big quiche, but you know, really small.

Quiche Me Kate

Good job I came up with that blog title the other day, because my brain is completed fried today, despite having a million things to do, I've left all of them until today to do,which as you will have probably guessed is rather typical of me. Even at uni I used to hastily throw together an essay the night before hand in date even though Id had a good few months to write it.
Carrying on the 'Mini' theme with the 'Back to School' spesh today I'm all over mini quiches like a rash! Especially with the new Dietary Specials shortcrust pastry you can literally whip them up in seconds, well 10-20mins which is the time it takes for them to cook. I enjoy making my own pastry, but with an attention span as short as mine if the pastry doesn't go right I'm liable to throw a strop and chuck the whole lot in the bin, but not any more! I mean, I knew that ready made pastry (the non gf kind) existed but I never really thought we G/F folk would ever have something like that. Thankfully it has arrived and anyone that says its cheating should try and make gluten free pastry first! (you can't see me, but I'm dramatically throwing my head back in disgust!).
On a lighter note, my dad bought me my very own electric whisk today, which was very exciting indeed, no more tedious hours meringue making with a balloon whisk. Sorry...back to the quiches.
The beauty with this recipe as well as the easy peasy pastry is that you can swap and change what you want to put in your quiches. To be honest pretty much anything can go in a quiche, and the mixture measurements that I've listed will be enough for one big quiche if you didn't fancy doing itty bitty ones. As with the other recipes I've listed a few different variations you can try, but really any vegetable or meat could be thrown in as long as its cooked first.
Now, about the final post tomorrow. It made be a day or two late as I have The Boyfriend staying for a week, in an ideal world I'd get it written and posted before the week is up, but with my brain as easily distracted as it is this might not happen. although I have managed to get a blog post up the other four days this week, so that proves that miracles can happen..I just wouldn't hold your breathe waiting for this one.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Fabulous Mini Falafel Burgers

These tiny little burgers are again small enough to pop into a lunch box with a G/F pitta bread and a small tub of dip or even just left plain. The best thing of all is that they're naturally gluten free! Hooray! They're also cheap, and the mixture makes plenty that can be frozen for the future. Double Hooray!
Should you want a dip to accompany your fabulous falafel's I've listed a few quick to whip up dips and the like at the end of the recipe, good to you aren't i?

  • 1x 425g/15oz Can of chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 Large onion roughly chopped
  • 2 Cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp Cumin (use half this amount if you or your kids don't like a bit of spice)
  • 1 tsp Coriander 
  • Sunflower oil for frying 
*If you wanted you could add some chopped red pepper, carrot, or spring onions, pop them in with everything else at the start of the recipe. Some people like to add breadcrumbs to the mixture, but I find they tend to make the falafel's burn when fried, but if you want to try them with breadcrumbs add 2 tbsp of G/F breadcrumbs to the mix, either make your own by whizzing two slices of bread in the food processor or buy ready made breadcrumbs, Mrs Crimbles do a hefty sized pack for under £2.

  • Pop your chickpeas, onion, garlic and spices into a blender, season with a bit of salt and pepper and pulse until the mixture is a smooth paste that will hold its shape.
  • Shape the mixture into walnut sized balls and flatten with your palm to make them resemble incy wincy burgers.
  • Heat your oil in large frying pan (around 1/4 inch of oil), test the oil to see if its hot by dipping a little bit of the mixture into the oil, it should sizzle. Be careful, they will spit!
  • You will need to fry your falafel burgers in batches, I usually put them in the pan in a clockwise circle (like you would if you were cooking scallops) that way you know which burgers went in first and which will be cooked first (top tip of the day!)
  • Fry until golden (not black!) and leave them to drain of a plate covered with kitchen paper to soak up all the nasty excess oil.
  • Eat while  they're still warm or when they're cool, they will keep in a sealed box in the fridge for 2-3 days, and can always be popped in the freezer  to eat at a later date.

Delicious Dips
  • Mango and Mint Yogurt Dip  : 1 Small can of sliced mangoes or half of one fresh ripe mango, 2 tbsp's fresh mint finely chopped, 200ml plain natural yogurt. Pop in a food mixer until well Incorporated and then spoon into a bowl serve or cover and put in the fridge until you need it.

  • Guacamole: 1 Ripe avocado, 1 tomato finely chopped, 3 spring onions finely chopped, squeeze of lemon, 1tbsp fresh coriander chopped, salt and pepper. Mash the avocado up in a bowl with the back of a fork, then add the other ingredients and mix until all combined, serve or cover and pop in the fridge until you need it.

  • Garlic and Coconut Dip : 5 Cloves of garlic, 5oz grated coconut, 1/4 pint of natural yogurt, tsp mild chili powder.  Pound the garlic with a pinch of salt, gradually adding the coconut and then the chili to make a paste. Stir the yogurt into the paste and serve or cover and pop in the fridge until you need it.

  • Tzatziki : Half a cucumber diced, 4 spring onions finely chopped, 1 garlic clove crushed, 200ml Greek yogurt, 3 tbsp chopped mint. Pour the yogurt into a bowl and add all the ingredients, plus a pinch of salt and pepper and mix through, serve or cover and pop in the fridge until you need it.
Sadly, again I have no photo for you, take pleasure in the one that I pilfered from the BBC food website.

Day 3: Back to School Special

Its day 3 of the B.T.S.S and I'm a little bit nervous about this recipe post as it involves chickpeas. Over the years I think chickpeas have got a bit of a reputation for being ultra bland and a bit of a hippy vegetarian food rather than something that can be used in an everyday diet. To be honest I resisted eating chickpeas and lentils for ages because of the pre-conception that chickpeas are as dull as dishwater but when I turned gluten free there was suddenly a limit to the amount of things I could potentially eat and thats when I started to introduce chickpeas into my diet. Any veggie will tell you that chickpeas are actually super good for you, as well as being low in fat they're a great source of zinc and protein and also have a high calcium content, good for ankle biters growing bones.
Dont get me wrong, I'm not that much of a fan that I sit in front of the telly eating chickpeas from a tin, but they're good for bulking a meal out, or for the basis of something that you can add flavours too.
The poor humble chickpea is a hard sell, but hopefully after you try this easy peasy recipe i'll have converted you, and then maybe you can work at convincing the kids!