Sunday, 20 February 2011

Lemon Happiness Cookie's

I call these cookies, but technically they should be called shortbread since they have no eggs in and loads of flour. They're called Happiness Cookie's because they make me very popular in my house (which in turn makes me happy), everyone seems to like them and they're my Baking Trump Card which I usually play when a person who has previously been cynical about gluten-free food comes over for coffee and I palm them off at non G/F. Nobody knows the difference and the g/f sceptics go home with a few tucked in their handbags and the recipe in hand. Yes, I am that good.

  • 50g/2oz Salted butter
  • 75g/30z Caster sugar
  • 150g/6oz Self raising flour (Doves Farm)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Makes 16

  • Large baking tray
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Butter or oil for greasing
  • Preheat your oven to Gas 3 and get to work greasing and lining your baking tray.
  • Beat together the sugar and butter in a large bowl either with a wooden spoon or if your a lazy mare like moi then dig out the electric whisk. give the whole lot a good beat/whisk until its soft and light and well mixed.
  • Stir in the rind and juice of the lemon (careful of paper cuts!) and mix through the sugar/butter mix.
  • Sift the flour into the bowl and rub it in with your finger tips, pulling the mixture into a ma-hussive ball. At this stage if it feels dry add a few drops of milk,likewise if it feels too wet add a sprinkle of flour. Your aiming for a non crumbly non sticky dough (clear as mud,eh?).
  • Pull small bits off of the mixture and roll into large walnut sized balls and pop on the baking tray.
  • Bake in the oven for around 15minutes, due to the totally unpredictable nature of g/f baking they may need 5-10minutes more. They will brown slightly on top and will be firm when cooked so check on them and give them a poke to judge whether they're done.
  • Serve to all those who say 'I don't want any of your manky/dry/bland gluten-free crap' and once they've devoured your awesome cookies, they can then EAT THEIR WORDS. 

    What's in my baking tin?

    We are all nosey. Fact. Given half the chance many of us would love to have a good fish around in a friends handbag while she pops the loo. That's why I love the various 'Whats in my handbag/purse' sort of posts on the fashion and lifestyle blogs.
    So. Since this is a baking/food blog (supposedly) I thought I'd do a variation on a theme, because I doubt very much you'd want to see the contents on my handbag (my front door key and various hairbands and receipts) especially if you come here hoping for baking and gluten-free content! Instead...(the tension is palpable!)...I'm going to do a 'Whats in my baking tin?' post. Exciting, no?
    I'm not sure if it's going to be anymore interesting than the hairband/receipt/key contents of my bag, but I often get asked what type of cake cases etc I use so I thought this might answer a few questions and give you all a break from my usual word heavy posts. The contents of my tin is a bit sparse at the moment, I need to stock up on a few things like colourings and cases and I've got my eye on some vanilla paste that Jamie is always waving around on 30-Minute-Meals.
    My No.1 untapped resource is Holland and Barrett's, you can pick up whole nutmeg and cinnamon sticks for really reasonable prices, and vanilla pods (which the supermarkets charge mega bucks for) is so cheap it might as well be free! Sainsbury's also do great vanilla extract and other flavours like orange and rose water for under a £1 in their Taste the Difference Range, and they've got a good choice of sprinkles and sparkly bits to pop on your cakes.
    I would highly recommend silicone cases, even though it seems expensive (mine were 6quid for 12) it works out cheaper in the long run because they can be washed and reused. My next purchase will be a few big silicone cases for doing things like birthday cakes and bread.

    Thursday, 10 February 2011

    And for my next trick..

    After you've got over the intial shock of me posting twice in the same week, I hope your sitting down for a third helping, you lucky devils!
    After being on very intimate terms with the toliet for the past few weeks-and believe you me, no one will ever know the grouting round the tiles and the rattle of the cistern quite like I do- I'm finally starting to feel a smidge better, perhaps not fighting fit but no longer in a morphine induced haze or revisting every meal I eat.
    Illness aside, January hasn't been too bad a month. I ordered a new wardrobe and bedside cabinet which (with a wee bit of help from my dad) I managed to construct hitch free, you will know by now is quite the achievement for me since A. I'm beyond clumsy and B. I have the attention span of a malteaser.
    You've also probably noticed that the blog has had a reshuffle. I downloaded a photoshop type program which I used to do my blog header, it's probably wildly amateurish but I'm quite proud of it, and also my new computer skills (thank-you to Matt for your advice and help!). What do you all think? I'm loving some of the girls new headers and layouts; Beth's labels are very cute, Gem's new layout and header are fab, and I love all the little touches Emma's added to her blog.
    I've been slacking a bit in my 365 project, but I've taken loads of pictures (although none from my hopsital stay-not overly keen on documentation of me looking rough being broadcast on here!) I just need to upload them all. Is anyone else doing their own 365 project?
    I hope that people found my review helpful, I got some great feedback. I try to cover all bases when I do the reviews but if there's anything I'm missing or something in particular that I havent included leave me a comment, similarly if there's a product you want to see reviewed let me know. Coming soon in reviews is Marks and Spencers and Starbucks new sandwiches, and also my first edition of Gluten-Free Heroes which I'm really excited about.
    Anyway I shall leave you with a few pics from the past month and a few bits and bobs I got for Chrimbo-better late than never eh?
    See you all soon my Katie-Boo Babes!

    The lovely pile of pressies I got from The Gorgeous Becky
    Owl handwarmer from The 'rents
    Super sweet suprise parcel I recieved from soph (cider with sophie) as a get well soon.
     Vivienne Westwood necklace from The Boyf (do excuse my puffy and bruised hand-they had to poke around to the get an IV in
    Cute or what? Only £4!
    After bawling down the phone to my mum from my hospital bed she bought me in this fella
    My new wardrobe,minus the doors
    My very own cake stand from The 'rents.


    The commercial enterprise that is Valentines Day is just round the corner. Unfortunately I have a colonoscopy the day after on the 15th so I shall be spending the most romantic day of the year chugging 'bowel prep'. Sexy.
    Anyway, that hasn't dampened my spirits and I've been surfing the Internet for a few sweet nothings that you might like to bestow upon the guy or gal in your life. Or if your on the singles train go ahead and treat yourself, because who cares if you don't have a 'Date Du Jour' when you have a frying pan that makes heart shaped fried eggs?

    Card from Marks and Spencer's
    Card from Marks and Spencer's

    Heart Necklace from Sunday Girl

    Sign from

    Ladle from

    Heart shaped egg pan from

    Red Velvet cake from the Hummingbird Bakery's 'Made Without Range'

    Card from Paperchase
    J'taime t-shirt from Wildfox

    Sunday, 6 February 2011

    Review: Sainsbury's Freefrom Soft Multigrain Rolls

    A few weeks ago when I was languishing in my hospital bed, the lovely PR team at Sainsbury's sent me some samples from their new bakery selection from the Freefrom range. The range includes a white loaf,  brown multi grain rolls (which I'm reviewing here) and white rolls.

    The low down
    Started in 2002, Sainsburys 'Freefrom' selection was the first of it's kind to be developed by one of the 'big gun' supermarkets, pipping major retailer Tesco's to the post. Today the range is 200 products strong and Sainsbury's have recently launched the 'new and improved' look as well as the previously mentioned 'fresh bakery' selection.

    What Sainsbury's say
    "We're proud to be able to add such a delicious selection of fresh bakery products to the Freefrom range"

    RRP £2.19 (pack of 4)

    My take
    From the outset the product looks promising. The packaging is clearer and more concise than the older version and theres less of it, I'm also pleased to see none of the god awful vac-pack so many gluten-free products seem to be sealed in.
    The rolls are a decent size (no dreaded micro portions here!) and feels like a 'normal' roll when I slice it up for my lunch, and unlike a few other products in the range it isn't 'par baked' and doesn't need to be heated or toasted, this in turn means less faffing which is especially good if you've not much time to make your lunch or are busy etc.
    The rolls themselves are soft without being brittle or the least bit dense the way some gluten-free bread products can be, and they stay in one piece when I butter them without falling apart or cracking.
    With regards to taste Sainsbury's have outdone themselves on their already excellently tasting range: the rolls are yummy, filling and tasty, and for all intents and purposes are like a 'normal roll'. Great for making a quick sandwich at lunchtime or taking with you to have 'on the go', they are also great to have with a bowl of soup or with a meal, it's a product that you could probably use as a burger roll as well as for a sandwich.

    Sainsbury's are cottoning on to the fact that meal times are what many Coeliacs and allergy suffers struggle with. Instead of pushing sweet treats like the biscuits and puddings, they are one of the only supermarkets to put the emphasis on providing quick, easy and affordable meals.
    These new additions to the range are a triumph. The updated packaging and the meal time marketing of the products will ensure Sainsbury's Freefrom will be first choice for a lot of people when it comes to choosing not only gluten-free, but dairy free products as well.
    The only slightly sour note (and this is me nit-picking) was seeing the fresh bake loaf on the shelves in my local Sainsbury's and noting with disappointment the mini dimensions of it, especially compared to the mighty Genius loaf, but not having tasted the loaf I will hold judgement until I have!
    All in all, a brilliant product, fresh, tasty,versatile and great value for money.

    For more information on Sainsburys Freefrom range visit their website here.
    It's probably also worth mentioning that Sainsbury's magazine do a variety of great gluten-free meals, recipes and ideas, I buy it every month and I always find great recipes which are safe and suitable, so it's well worth a purchase and at £1.60 its one of the cheapest foodie mags on shelves!