Monday, 23 September 2013

Baked Beans

It has been a busy couple of days for our little family.  Miss A had a big singing audition, should hear today, and Mstr H had his first Acrobatics competition.  Love my beautiful kids.  Hayfever season has really knocked them about, too, so we are going through tissues like you wouldn't believe.  Oh well.

Because Miss A has been not loving breakfasts, but has been eating a lot more lately, I put on my thinking cap.  It dawned on me, baked beans!  So here is my adaptation of a recipe from the Choice Practical Cooking for Babies and Toddlers book.  I have made it easier to make, Fructose Friendly and Gluten Free, and it is pretty yummy, especially on toast.  Miss A loves the LifeStyle Bakery Chia and Quinoa bread.

1 tin beans of your choice (kidney, white, butter, cannellini), drained
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup nomato sauce
100g diced bacon
1/2 tsp each dried chives, mixed herbs, SeasonAll
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp tamari soy sauce

Place all ingredients into a large saucepan and bring up to the boil.  Lower heat and simmer for 15 mins or until beans are soft, stirring occasionally.  Sauce should thicken and reduce.  Serve spread on buttery toast of your choice.

Mstr H had two serves this morning!  Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.  What is your favourite wheat free bread?

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Mouthwatering Meatball Sauce

I think just about everyone loves IKEA meatballs.  Unfortunately with Miss A's dietary restrictions, this is not an option for us anymore.  One day she may be able to eat these things, but we are still waiting for her health to improve to a level that we can try things.  We have too many days of her being in pain and unwell to even attempt anything like that.  I always try to look for the easy way to do things, and this shows in this recipe.  The first cheat is that I buy the meatballs.  Woolworths has a range of beef and lamb meatballs that are gluten, wheat and nut free so I start with those.  They are pretty cheap too!  Not the best meatballs I have ever tasted on their own, but cook them in this sauce and you will be convert!  (I hope)

1 kg beef or lamb meatballs (premade or make your own, up to you)
1 cup beef stock (see recipe below)
1 cup nomato sauce (see recipe below)
1/2 cup thickened cream
herbs and spices to taste

Place meatballs in a large frypan in a single layer.  Poor over the stock, this will stop them sticking a burning.  Heat, stirring, until stock comes to the boil.  Add nomato sauce and herbs and spices.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally so the meatballs cook evenly, until the meatballs are cooked.  Stir in cream.  You can serve at this stage, or keep cooking until the sauce reduces and thickens.  I serve these with mash potatoes and silverbeet out of the garden, sauteed in butter.  Yumm!  I even caught my mum and husband eating the sauce out of the pot last time!   It is so yummy!

Now to recap, here are the recipes for stock and nomato sauce again.  I know they are on a previous post, but if you like the ease of it all being together, then here it is!

1 sml beetroot, peeled and diced
6 carrots, sliced
3 sticks celery, diced
1 leek, finely sliced
1 1/2 cups water
herbs and spices, to taste

Place all ingredients in a pot, cover and simmer until vegetables are soft.  Blend until smooth.  Replaces tomato in most recipes, works as a salsa, pizza sauce, pasta sauce, flavouring in casseroles and soups, everytime you see 'tomato paste' or 'tinned tomato' in a recipe.

1 kg beef bones or chicken frames
1 leek, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 sticks celery, sliced
1 green capsicum, seeded and chopped
10 cups water
herbs and spices

Place all ingredients into a slow cooker and leave overnight or up to 2 days.  Skim off the fat, and strain into a container, ice cube trays or lined muffin trays for freezing.  Use whenever a recipe calls for stock or a stock cube.  Lasts up to 4 days in the fridge or indefinitely in the freezer.

I hope you like my blog and senseless chatter, as much as I like doing it for you.  Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Party Time! How to make Marshmallows, Rice Krispie Treats and Ice Cream Cake!

Mstr H is 9!  Can you believe it?  I can't!  He is getting so old!  He had his birthday yesterday, and asked for Minecraft Creeper Rice Krispie Treats to take to school, and a lasagne cook up and ice cream cake for dinner last night.  So I went to work.  I love doing lasagne night, we do normal meat with nomato sauce and make a second one of spinach and mushroom.  Everyone eats up big!  I even make some GF garlic bread for Miss A (I used a tiny amount of Garlic and some herbs in her mix.  Next time will use garlic chives instead.)  As I always fail when I try to make marshmallow in the 'cook' method, I scoured the internet for a no-cook marshmallow.  I found one!  It was posted by Jody on  Here it is:


2 cups white sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 tbsp gelatine
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Dissolve the gelatine in the boiling water.  In a large stand mixer, place the sugar in a clean bolw and pour in the gelatine mixture and salt.  Beat on the highest setting for approx 10-15 mins or until the marshmallow is really thick and white.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  If you are making Rice Krispie Treats, add a whole pack of GF rice bubbles, mix, colour if necessary and press in a greased lamington pan.  Refrigerate until set.  If making marshmallow bunnies, grease your moulds and press in the marshmallow.  Refrigerate until set.  If you are making marshmallows to coat in coconut, grease a lamington pan and press in the marshmallow.  Refrigerate until set, cut into squares and roll in coconut.

See how easy it is?  I added the rice bubbles and some green food colouring and made chocolate Creeper faces.  I put these on the mix while still sticky.  When set, I cut out the squares and we were done!  Gluten, wheat, nut, egg free, fructose friendly Minecraft Creeper Rice Krispie Treats!  If you use Agar Agar instead of gelatine, and vegan chocolate for the faces, you can make vegan easily too.

After the success of the treats above, I set about trying to find a gf cheese sauce that actually works, and I found one!  The sauce in our lasagnes was perfect, so I have to share it.  The trick, it appears, is not to cook the butter and flour and make a roux, but to just mix them together, add the milk, and wait for it to thicken.  This recipe was found on a site called Carla's Gluten Free Recipe Box and I will definitely be going there again.


4 tbsp butter
1 Tbsp Tapioca flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated cheese (optional - if making a cheese sauce)

Melt butter in a frying pan.  Do not allow to burn.  Whisk in flour.  Slowly pour in milk while whisking constantly.  Cook and continue to whisk until it thickens to the required consistency.  Remove from heat and stir in cheese if using.

It is the first time I have actually had a gf cheese sauce work.  I doubled the amounts and it was so perfect!  Yummm!

Now to the fun stuff!  The Ice Cream Cake.  I know it isn't pretty, but trust me, the taste was incredible!  Everyone ate a huge piece and was tossing around flavours for our Christmas Ice Cream Pudding!  I think strawberry and coconut won!  I just need to work on my

To start with, I made my Simple Vanilla Ice Cream out of the Cuisinart Recipe Booklet I got with my Ice Cream Maker.  I lined a cake tin with Glad Wrap, and put half of the ice cream in and pressed down tight.  I placed the tin in the freezer to harden.  Then I added 1 tbsp of cocoa to the rest of the ice cream.  It made a light chocolate taste that was not too overpowering.  I placed that bowl in the freezer too as it was quite melted by then.

Next I brewed a decaffinated coffee pod in our coffee machine and refrigerated that.  Then I crushed up a pack of plain chocolate gluten free biscuits, the Macro brand double choc ones but any will do, and put a layer of that on the vanilla ice cream, and smoothed the chocolate ice cream over the top.  Back in the freezer it went.  Now is the good bit!  I whipped up 600 mls of thickened cream and added 2/3 cup icing sugar.  Just as it got really stiff, I added half of the shot of coffee and mixed it in.  This was then spread on top of the chocolate ice cream to make a harder base (when you turn the cake out).  Back in the freezer for at least 2 hours to get really hard.

20 mins before you cut it, you need to take it out of the freezer to soften slightly, and turn out onto a plate.  And voila!  You too can have an ugly, but delicious, ice cream cake!  Now to work on making to pretty for next time!  I love that the ice cream is home made for this, it gives a great sense of achievement, even if I did cheat by using ready-made biscuits!

If you want the ice cream recipe, you can find in one of my previous posts.  Let me know what you think in the comments.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Eczema Flare

A lovely, warm sunny Spring day here in Adelaide, and to my delight, I had two healthy children to send to school today.  I was reveling in my garden, two garden beds ready for soil preparation and piles of weeds removed, seeds planted ready to turn into seedlings, everything on track.  After hard morning working in the garden, washing and dishes done, I lay down for a quick nap.  I suffer from fatigue, so this happens sometimes when I have done a lot of physical activity.  Just doze off, phone rings 'Miss A's eczema has is bad, can you please pick her up'.  I arrive at the school to see a spotty, swollen face looking at me.  Oh well, so much for two kids at school.

The annoying thing about her eczema is that we have no idea of the cause.  We have tried elimination diets and scratch and blood testing for external allergens, but have come up negative for everything.  Unfortunately, her eczema can be so severe that it stops her doing things, which is really sad.  Imagine a child who is scared of rolling down a grassy hill or making a sandcastle?  Life can be so cruel.

So for now, I have her in a nice bath, I will cover her in creams and give her a dose of antihistamine and hope she can cope at her guitar and singing lessons tonight.  Maybe a nice frozen yoghurt treat for the car (homemade coconut frozen yoghurt is her favourite).  After a good night's sleep, maybe she can face school again tomorrow.  I will include the frozen yoghurt recipe below, but really I just wanted to whinge.  Feel free to post your suggestions on eczema below.


1 1/2 cups Greek yoghurt
1 1/2 cups coconut cream
3/4 cup sugar
few drops coconut extract
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes (toasted)

Mix all the ingredients except the coconut flakes together until the sugar has dissolved.  Put in icecream machine and churn.  Serve sprinkled with toasted coconut flakes.

Great with fresh fruit, or just eaten out of the tub!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Veal Scallopini Funghi, as promised and Picnic Ideas

It has been about a month since I have posted in this blog, and the reason is simple - too busy!  Miss A and Mstr H have spent the last month very sick, so when I did get some down time, I was too tired to do anything.  I know you all in Internet Land will forgive me, we are all in the same boat, so I will put two posts together as a reward!  Firstly, here is the yummy Veal Scallopini Funghi recipe.  This is so easy, and such a crowd pleaser.  I got the original recipe from Weight Watchers, but as it was high in fructose and nuts, I have switched the sauce out completely (which was a lemon, garlic and pine nut jus) for a yummy mushroom sauce.  My new recipe is also gluten and wheat free.


2 tbsp buckwheat flour
500g Veal Scallopini cut or schnitzel steak (from Woolworths)
2 tsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil for frying
200 mls thickened cream
500g sliced mushrooms (if you are short on time, you can buy fresh mushrooms ready sliced from the supermarket)
Squeeze of garlic paste (optional)
black pepper

Season flour with SeasonAll and pepper.  Lightly coat the schnitzel steak with the flour.  Heat oil in a large frying pan until smoking.  Add steak and fry for 1 min each side and remove and set aside.  Add butter to pan and saute mushrooms, reducing heat to low.  When mushrooms are golden, add garlic if using (small amounts of garlic can be tolerated by some people with Fructose Malabsorption, so use your own discretion) and cream, cook until the cream with bubbling.  Add steak back to the pan and cook for a further 2 mins each side in the sauce.  I like to serve with broccolini, mashed potato and green beans.

If you follow my Facebook page, MummyCook, you will know that I took Miss A and Mstr H to the Royal Show yesterday.  This sort of outing is always fraught with danger as to all the allergens for Miss A in this sort of environment.  Animals and food everywhere!  Perfumes, face painting, glitter, bubbles, smoke machines, cigarette smoke, etc.  Since her diagnosis we have avoided these sort of places out of sheer terror of messing up and harming our little one.  This is how we combated the day.  I made sure that every inch of her body was covered so that there was no incidental eczema flares due to contact.  To do this was simple, socks, leggings, long sleeve tee, sneakers.  Hair was plaited to avoid dermatitis from hair contact (yes, this can happen when her skin is flaring), and I packed gloves in case she looked irritated to protect her hands.

This may sound like a bit of overkill, but we have had so many situations where after animal contact her clothes have stuck to her body where the skin has come away, that we try to avoid this at all costs.  The weeks of treatment afterwards do not make for an easy time and it is so painful for her.  Next comes the medications list.  We started the day with a double dose of Claratyne (antihistimine) to give her a fighting chance.  We packed the bottle, as well as Phenergen (a stronger antihistimine), Panadol for pain and Buscopan for IBS flaring.  We also had her EpiPen in case of a food mistake, and baby wipes for clean up after animal and food exposure.  We have noticed that her skin flares are less if we clean her mouth after eating and wipe her hands.

Now the picnic food.  We know from past experience that there is very little food that can be purchased for Miss A, and no drinks except water or milk.  This meant that two days before our outing I was in the kitchen cooking up a storm!  I made Vegan Doughnuts, see my previous post for recipe, which Miss A decorated with butterflies, quinoa crumbed chicken thighs (dip thighs in egg and coat in a mix of Orgran Multigran Crumbs with Quinoa, polenta, SeasonAll and Mixed Herbs, place in a lined baking tray and bake at 200C for 30 mins), Quiche slice (see recipe below) and salad leaves with carrot, celery and cucumber sticks and grated beetroot.  I packed some Mixed Berry Aqua Pura spring water for drinks, and put it all in an esky with wheels. Done! (big sigh of relief)

The day was beautiful and she even tolerated a visit to the Farmyard Nursery, held a baby chick and patted a miniature horse and an alpaca.  The smile on her face was worth the few spots.  We gave her some Phenergen for the ride home and only a minimal flare today to show for it.  Very successful day.  As you can see, all of this preparation means that we can never leave the house on a whim.  I must be ever-vigilant and have stocks in the freezer at all times of safe food, or be ready to cook something up at a minutes notice.

Now you know how our life is, here is the yummy quiche recipe I use.  This is also a Weight Watchers recipe.  Their recipes are really good as they are big on veggies and lean meat and low on wheat, so substitutions are easy.  Give this one a go, it is really yum!


1 tsp oil
1 large zucchini, grated
1 large carrot, grated
1 leek, finely sliced
100g diced bacon (optional)
3/4 cup GF plain flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk of choice
1/3 cup grated parmesan (optional)
herbs and spices to taste

Squeeze the moisture from the zucchini.  Cook the bacon until lightly brown, add the leek and cook until soft.  Place bacon, leek, zucchini and remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined.  Place in a rectangular pan and bake at 180C for 40 mins.  Cool and cut into squares.  Delicious hot or cold.