In our house, we just LOVE Christmas. I’m all about establishing traditions with my daughters and we have devised all these wacky, wonderful food creations which seem to begin earlier and earlier every year. My daughters all inherited a love of anything peppermint from my amazing Mum, and this peppermint candy cane-flavoured (as if they should be any other flavour! But apparently some people love tropical flavoured ones…yuk!) ice-cream with chocolate shards is pretty much the best thing about the start of the Christmas season.
I was lucky enough to be sent a couple of books featuring allergies to review by Jackie at My Food Allergy Friends (https://www.facebook.com/Myfoodallergyfriends/). It was pretty awesome timing actually because my 3 year old is really into books and reading at the moment, but has also recently started preschool after me keeping her home primarily because of her allergies. I think the move to preschool has probably been more anxiety-provoking for me than her (and she has been blessing me with bouts of sobbing at drop-off, so not a walk in the park!), just because I worry that she’ll get into something like egg that is really dangerous for her. We don’t actually talk about allergies a lot, she just knows that she can’t eat most foods and she can reel off the few foods that are ok for her. If you asked her why, she would probably just tell you she gets very itchy, I haven’t really gone into a big conversation about the really scary side of allergies.
Apologies to the nut free and egg free camp, but this chocolatey goodness will make you want to eat gluten free every day of the week if you don’t already have to! It is also great iced or plain with just a sprinkle of icing sugar 🙂 This is so good the hotel director and F & B manager on the cruise ship where I was working came in one day saying I must have made a mistake because it had a sign on it saying gluten free but it tasted really fab. The ultimate compliment…This also makes a great dressy dessert if its heated up slightly and served with ganache, ice-cream and a berry compote. I KNOW! YUM!
I am an an absolute sucker for oooey gooey hot chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven…and my daughter just loves the raw mix! But I find most recipes have at least an egg or two in which is very problematic for us 🙁 But these adapted cookies are yummier than the other ones with eggs I had tried anyway. If your household is anything like ours…they won’t make it to the biscuit tin! Honestly, I am the chief guilty party though.
- 1 and a half cups flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 150g dairyfree margarine
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons golden syrup
- 1 Tablespoon white sugar dissolved in 1 Tablespoon water, and cooled
- 2 Tablespoons milk alternative (we use rice milk)
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup dairy free chocolate chips (we chop Whittakers 74% chocolate up in a food processor)
- Cream the margarine and sugars together until white and fluffy. Pour the cooled sugar syrup in gradually. Make sure its quite cool otherwise the mixture will melt. Add the dry ingredients which have been sifted together, milk and vanilla and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Take care not to over mix. Place teaspoonfuls on a tray and bake at 175 degrees until golden.
I distinctly remember swearing to myself a few years ago when working on a cruise ship where apple pie was a staple on the room service menu, that I would NEVER, EVER make apple pie ever again…well, today I broke my oath. I’m quite glad I did actually, because it was pretty yummy! Quite a few people have asked me for an allergy-friendly recipe lately, so I thought I’d have a play around. The first substitution is dairy free margarine for the normal butter, but usually the pastry has a couple of eggs in it as well which make it a wee bit easier to work with. I’ve tried it without, and while you need to be quite gentle with it, it works well and is really melt-in-the-mouth 🙂
Here in Christchurch, New Zealand we have been blessed with a really warm Spring so far…which has got me and the kids a bit excited about planting veges out in the garden. Honestly, it’s a bit early but I’m feeling pretty confident! We started growing veges from seed way back in mid to late winter so we’ve got a few things really ready to plant out as they are outgrowing their pots!
I’ve had quite a few people asking lately if I have a gluten free recipe for a proper stuffed Roast Chicken. So I put my thinking cap on today to see if I could recreate one that my most allergic child could eat. This isn’t easy as she can only eat about 12 foods and rice and quinoa are the only two grains she’s ok with. But she can eat chicken so it would be awesome if she could eat the stuffing too! I’m so glad I did though because it was pretty sensational! In fact, I’m not sure I’m going back to my former bread-ladened traditional one.
This quite fantastic chocolate brownie recipe is one of those ones which will have people completely confused about why they bother eating egg and dairy! And if you have apple allergy like we do in our house, just substitute pear. Nut allergy? No problem, leave them out..it is still fantastic!
All my children are allergic to dairy and tomatoes amongst many others..which doesn’t really make for fun Italian nights! Luckily my oldest and youngest can both eat potato and wheat, and they just love this potato pizza 🙂 I do cheat a bit by using my trusty bread maker, but there is no reason you can’t make it by hand if you are keen. The gluten free camp could use a gluten free base too..but my wheat free Miss 3 is horrifically allergic to potato so I haven’t had to bother trying it out. It’s also a great recipe to get the kids helping in the kitchen, mine love spreading out all the potato, kneading the dough and sprinkling the herbs over.
My Miss 3 is my most difficult child in terms of allergy, only being able to eat about 12 foods. So I worry about her more than a Mum should have to. But I’m finding that she really enjoys helping me in the garden and it’s a fantastic learning curve for her (yesterday she found out you can’t ‘grow’ spaghetti hahahaha), even if she can’t eat 99% of what we grow. I think a lot of Mums I know think gardening is a lot harder than it actually is and shy away from it…so while I’m no professional gardener, I’m going to show you how easy it is to make a kid-friendly garden 🙂