Gluten Free Gingerbread House

Gluten Free Gingerbread House (dairy, egg, nut and gluten free)

Every year one of our Christmas traditions is to make a gingerbread house.  This has been challenging to make dairy and egg free as I find they are really not as sturdy as the ones with egg in…but we persevere.  When my middle girl came along with her 100 + allergies, we put a house for her in the ‘too hard’ basket sadly.  We did try to do one last year but it wasn’t strong enough to stay together for very long and her food aversion issues meant she wouldn’t even taste it.  This year though I was determined to make one for her as she is all about being included right now…and slightly braver with trying foods (sometimes!).  I’m pleased to say it was a success…the dough worked out well, and it stayed together really nicely.  At this point, it hasn’t been tasted at all but I’m optimistic she will try it at some stage! It’s not exactly picture perfect, but Miss 5 wanted to do it ALL HERSELF. Bless.

Gluten free gingerbread house
We just made a really small one as I wasn’t sure if it would hold together, so you would need to double or more the recipe if you want a bigger house. We used a selection of gluten free lollies, marshmallows and candy canes for the decoration.

Gluten Free gingerbread house

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Candy Cane Marshmallow

Candy Cane Marshmallow

Every year my daughters and I make plates of Xmas cookies to give out to teachers, family and friends. This candy cane marshmallow is one of those spur-of-the-moment concoctions we dreamed up together one night and came about as my daughter just loves anything peppermint, candy canes and marshmallow. So we tried to put all three together!

This Candy Cane Marshmallow recipe is dairy free, egg free, nut free and gluten free if you use gluten free icing sugar.  

*Thanks to Edmonds for allowing me to publish their base marshmallow recipe which this concoction is adapted from.

Candy Cane Marshmallow

Candy Cane Marshmallow

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Cinnamon Christmas Cookies

Cinnamon Christmas Cookies

These Cinnamon Christmas Cookies are my eldest daughter’s favourite cookie.  In NZ it is great as Xmas baking season coincides with all the raspberries ripening and fresh raspberry jam!  These really are so much better with fresh jam, but don’t worry if you don’t have it..they still taste amazing and make the house smell sensational. These are a feature on our plates of xmas baking for gifts every single year 🙂

Cinnamon Christmas Cookies

 

Cinnamon Christmas Cookies

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Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Slice

Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Slice

Honestly, this is only very loosely Christmas-related but everybody LOVES it!  Other than the peppermint-hating crowd….We actually make the slice year round but add these decorations on the top for Christmas.  We cut it into slices and add it to our selection of Christmas baking we gift to our wonderful teachers and friends. This recipe is dairy, egg and nut free. It could be made gluten-free by using gluten free chocolate biscuits (I have used the Leda peppermint ones and its quite delicious!), and checking the marshmallows and icing sugar are gluten free.  

Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Slice

Chocolate Peppermint Christmas Slice

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White Christmas Slice

White Christmas Slice

This White Christmas Slice is not my original recipe (there are many versions floating around the internet such as this one), but one I have adapted slightly to work for our allergy household.  It is part of the Christmas cookie/baking selection we make every year to gift to family, friends and teachers.  It is dairy, egg, nut, and gluten free so okay for all of my kids and they love it!  Truthfully Miss 5 painstakingly picks out all the currants but other than that it’s a huge success.  It also keeps for a couple of weeks in sealed containers in the fridge 🙂

White Christmas Slice

White Christmas Slice

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Dairy and egg free vanillekipferls

Dairy and egg free vanillekipferls

One of the jobs I absolutely loved doing at Xmas time when I was a pastry chef on cruise ships was making all the Xmas cookies and gingerbread villages.  It was about as close to a Northern Hemisphere Christmas as I’ve ever had and it all seemed really magical.  So ever since my eldest was old enough to bake with me, we’ve made our own allergy-friendly cookies every year and we gift them to preschool and school teachers and our beautiful friends.  

Dairy and egg free vanillekipferls

These Dairy and egg free vanillekipferls are an adapted recipe from a dear Austrian chef I worked for many moons ago.  Of course we made them with rich butter and eggs so they’ve needed a few changes for our household.  The key to these is leaving them in a sealed container of vanilla-enriched icing sugar for a few days.  The smell is divine!

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Decoupage Christmas balls

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activities | November 25, 2017 | By

We were really lucky recently to receive a box full of cute collage items for making Xmas decorations from a dear friend.  In it were a few boxes of plain Xmas balls, lots of glue and glitter and a pile of brightly coloured napkins.  A couple of years ago we had decoupaged plain coasters with Xmas serviettes and they were pretty cute, plus have lasted really well, so we thought we would have a go doing it with these balls.  The kids had a fab time in the process!

Decoupage Christmas balls

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gardening with kids of all ages

Anyone that knows me well, knows I’m very passionate about my garden!  We don’t have huge amounts of money to spend on making a fancy one, but every year we grown lots of vegetables and fruit from seed and its a process my children are very much involved with.

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Cherry blossom poured painting

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activities | November 24, 2017 | By

We’ve had a couple of messy weeks with nasty strep infections and a few of us down with tonsillitis…so yesterday we decided to handmake a few Xmas presents.  I had seen a gorgeous poured cherry blossom painting on Facebook and wondered if it was something the children could have a go at. I found a youtube clip showing the process: if you are interested, this is the link here.  Otherwise these photos should show you how to do it if you are interested.  For those in NZ, I got my supplies from Warehouse Stationery.  

cherry blossom poured painting

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Munch Organic Baby Carrier Review

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Reviews | November 7, 2017 | By

*this Munch Organic Baby Carrier Review is a sponsored post for Munch.

I was lucky enough to receive a gorgeous organic baby carrier from Munch recently to review.  I love Munch for a range of awesome products such as food pouches and storage with a focus on sustainable and eco-friendly products for parents and children.  I am a recent convert to baby carriers: I tried with my eldest daughter but bought a very uncomfortable carrier before there were lots of them around which really put me off!  My eldest was nearly 5 when I had number two so I didn’t feel a need to get one, although in hindsight it would have kept me a bit saner if I’d found a good one to use with her then as that was my chief allergy kid who was obviously really fussy and distressed.  However with two children keeping me very busy, when I found out I was pregnant with number 3, a really good baby carrier was top of my list of things to buy!  I’ve been completely converted now.  Although my youngest is getting a bit old for them as a very tall 2 year old, I do pull them out occasionally when she’s fussing and I need to get things done: usually getting dinner prepared if Miss 10 is too busy to help.  I also love using them when we are out and about at trade shows and similar as there is never enough space for prams.

organic baby carrier

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