Choc Oat Slice

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Ready!

After a simple afternoon tea slice straight from the pantry? Here’s one I cooked up this week that was free of our allergens and delicious too.

(See below Libby’s recipe for a Coeliac Friendly version from Jess)

It made enough for a piece each for two afternoons with one or two left over (hmm, not sure where they went…?!) but it is easily doubled so that it lasts longer (or serves more people).

125g Nuttelex
1/2 cup sugar (I used raw sugar and just didn’t fuss that it wasn’t all dissolved)
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup SR flour

1. Mix cocoa and oats together in a bowl (whilst preheating the oven to 180C)
2. Melt the Nuttelex and sugar together in a saucepan until sugar dissolved (or almost!)
3. Remove from heat and pour it over the cocoa and oats and mix them together.
4. Mix in self raising flour.
5. Press into a 20cm x 15cm baking dish (I used a small pyrex dish lined with baking paper)
6. Bake for 15min at 180 degrees Celsius. Cool in the dish.

Yum! For regular people, just change the Nuttelex to regular margarine or butter.

Verdict
5 thumbs up! Crumbs devoured.

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Yum. Love baked treats.

 

For a coeliac friendly option: replace the flour with a standard gluten free flour mix plus 1 tsp GF baking powder. Replace the oats with crushed GF weet-bix, shredded coconut, or rolled quinoa.

Ice if you like.

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Enjoy 🙂

Creamy Tomato Pasta

creamy pasta

Well hello again. Life is busy in my household with 4 littlies now – little Tessa is almost 3mths old and she’s gorgeous even if exhausting. So finding quick and easy recipes is what I’ve been doing and I made this one up last night and thought I’d share it because we thought it was tasty and super easy.

Ingredients
Pasta of your choice – we used thin spaghetti. Enough for your family
1 tbsp olive oil (or oil of choice)
2 small garlic cloves (or 1 regular/large), crushed
1 270ml can Coconut Cream (I used regular but you could use light. I use Ayam brand because it doesn’t have additives)
2 Tbsp or 1 sachet Tomato Paste
Water
Salt to taste (I think I added ~1/2 tsp)
Parsley, finely chopped (I added about 1 Tbsp but would have added more had my little plant been bigger!)
1/2 head of broccoli florets, chopped smaller
Pepper
Extra option for those who can – Parmesan cheese finely grated

Method
Start cooking your pasta to al dente in a large saucepan.
In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and garlic until sizzling and cook for about a minute.
Add tomato paste and coconut cream and stir until well combined. Add water using the coconut cream can (I added about 100ml) if you think you would like it a bit thinner. Add parsley and stir in.
Taste your sauce and add salt until it tastes balanced (I’m going all Masterchef on you!)
When your pasta is almost done, add the broccoli florets. When everything is cooked, drain pasta/broccoli and return to the saucepan. Pour over sauce and mix in. Serve into bowls and add pepper to taste and sprinkle with parmesan if you can or nutritional yeast flakes if you can’t.

Notes – I made the sauce an hour or so before the pasta and it was easy to reheat. You could potentially make it a lot earlier and put it in the fridge until you need it. I reckon you could add finely chopped fresh spinach or even finely grated zucchini to it. You could use fresh asparagus or snow peas instead of broccoli too. It was nice as leftovers too. Not suitable to freeze.

Verdict:
3 thumbs up (from the adults and toddler)
1 ‘I don’t really like it’ but ate it
1 ‘I don’t like it’ and didn’t eat much but I went to two birthday parties this afternoon so my verdict isn’t useful because I am already full of cake and sugar….

Homemade bread crumbs

Two things made me want to make my own bread crumbs – the ingredients list on a box of commercially produced bread crumbs (hard to believe you need fish in them!) and a comment on a series of Survivor a few years ago about a lady who had been in the competition and realised how much food she wasted including the end crust of a loaf of bread. She said she’d never throw one away again, she appreciated food so much more. So now, I keep our end crusts in the freezer and when there’s enough I make my own bread crumbs. Here’s how I do it:

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Collect my crusts from the freezer
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If only I could recycle the rubbish too!
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Tear the bread into small bits and place into a preheated oven at a low temp around 100C until the bread is completely dried out and crusty. It usually takes a couple of hours.
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Put the cooled bread into a food processor and wizz it up. Store bread crumbs in an airtight container.

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle
Retro Mummy inspired me to go the rustic look with the baking paper and I love it!

I enjoy reading Retro Mummy’s blog and we have been loving her recent cake recipes. I adapt them to be dairy and egg (and nut when required) free and usually they turn out really well. The best so far has been the Lemon Drizzle Cake. You can see Corrie’s recipe here. I made my cake in my KitchenAid and loved using fresh lemons from our tree, saving them from ending up as balls for my kids to play with in the garden! I have a feeling that this cake would even cope with being gluten free as well – the flavours are so good.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • grated lemon rind from 2 lemons
  • 125g Nuttelex
  • 1tsp vanilla essence/extract
  • 2 eggs equivalent of No Egg, made up with water and mixed well.
  • 3/4-1 cup soy milk (or whatever milk you can have – coconut milk might work really well) I had a juicy lemon so didn’t need as much milk.
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup or 55g desiccated coconut (I used shredded and it was good!)
  • 1½ cups/250g SR flour

Drizzle icing

  • juice of 3 lemons (2 would be enough if they were as big/juicy as the ones off my tree)
  • 1½ cups icing sugar
Method
  1. Cream the butter, lemon rind and sugar until thick and creamy.
  2. Add in vanilla and combine.
  3. Add in No Egg mixture, milk and juice of 1 lemon and mix until creamy.
  4. Add in flour and coconut and mix until well combined and creamy and fluffy. I’m not sure why mine went super fluffy but I did leave it for a little bit to attend to children so I think the No Egg really got working like eggs. Worth being distracted for!
  5. Pour into a lined cake tin and bake for about 40 minutes in a 170C/340F oven.
  6. While cake is cooking combine the icing sugar and juice of two lemons in a bowl. Leaving it for a while ensures any icing sugar lumps are dealt with by the juice.
  7. When cake is cooked, remove from tin and leave to cool
  8. Drizzle icing over the cake. I drizzled the icing over while the cake was still warm, like Corrie suggested. I think it absorbs it better too.
  9. Enjoy while still warm – mmm mmm!

Results

5 thumbs up and lots of ‘more’ signing from Miss Emmalyn!

Dairy/Nut Free and Fair Trade

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Image credit

It was a sad day when we had to stop eating choc-hazelnut spread in our house. We actually do keep a little in the top shelf of the pantry for when we “can’t bear it any longer” (Cohen isn’t anaphylactic to hazelnuts and we eat it carefully). There are a couple of options out there for our kids these days and it’s great that the big supermarkets now stock them rather than having to order online. I bought Oxfam’s Fair Dark Chocolate Spread last week having discovered it in my local supermarket and treated the kids to it on their sandwiches for lunch yesterday. I had it on my sandwich mixed with Free Nut Butter and that was delicious. The kids weren’t as keen on it though as it is not as sweet as your typical kid-friendly chocolate spread but I felt it hit the spot. It’s also great to be supporting free trade companies where possible. For those who can’t have soy, it does contain soy lecithin as the emulsifier.

Tips for having a successful weekend away

“How many sleeps Mum?!”

We fielded that question for at least 10 days – the kids were super excited about our weekend away in the country, and so was I. There was some trepidation on my behalf though – having kids with allergies makes travelling quite a bit harder and requires some forward planning – but I think my preparation made our weekend a great (and allergy safe) one.

Before you go:

– think about where you are going and staying –

  • What type of accommodation are you booking? I think self-contained is a great idea for families with food allergies. It doesn’t give the cook as much of a holiday but it certainly reduces the risk.
  • Is there a hospital in the vicinity? This is something to think about if you are dealing with anaphylaxis. We had a district hospital nearby and I knew we were only a short air-lift to Perth.
  • What activities will you do that could be risky? We were staying at a farm where we would be feeding animals – I made sure I remembered to ask the farmer when we arrived if there were nut products in the feed – there was, so we were able to help our kids adjust to the fact that they coudn’t feed certain animals and the farmer was fabulous too – he let our kids feed the other animals so they didn’t miss out.
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Feeding Katie the Kangaroo

– plan your meals –

  • Dinner – I planned our menu for the weekend and froze two dinners/partial dinners from our meals in the week so that I didn’t have to cook much while away. We had soup and rolls the first night – all I had to do was reheat the soup and put the rolls in the oven for 5mins. The second night I used the leftover taco mince I had frozen in a pasta bake – so I cooked pasta and added some grated carrot, cooked broccoli (just throw it in the pot of boiling pasta 5min before it is finished) and then I took Jemima’s portion out before sprinkling cheese on top and baking in the oven.

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    Ready to bake my Vegan Chocolate Fudge Cake – thanks to RetroMummy
  • Snacks – I brought fruit and dip and crackers (as well as baby snacks)  but I also baked a cake for us to have as a treat (see here for the recipe). Very exciting for the kids!
  • Lunch – we planned to have bakery lunches as we knew there was a bakery in the town. Those who could had pies and Jemima had hot chips as the bakery wasn’t as well stocked as we had hoped. Very thankful for the humble hot chip! The one thing that could have gone wrong was that the pie Cohen chose didn’t end up being the one he got (the lady picked up the wrong one) but we didn’t notice until he was a few bites in. That made us very thankful that there hadn’t been a satay pie or something and that we will need to be more careful next time!
  • Breakfast – we had special “holiday” cereals that we don’t normally allow at home. 2 days of Coco Pops and Nutrigrain was super exciting for the kids and easy for me. Emmalyn was very happy with her Weetbix still especially with the view of the alpacas out the breakfast window.
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Saying hello to the duck who was after our breakfast!

– Make a list

  • My Mum always wrote packing lists so that’s what I do too. I write it a couple of nights before so that it’s in the back of my head and I am less likely to forget something come packing night.
  • Don’t forget your medications. As well as our regular emergency bag (epipens, asthma prevention meds and ventolin), I make up a little first aid kit including Panadol, Nurofen, Redipred (that’s a prescription one so only if you need it), our extra epipen, bandaids and Paraderm Plus (an antiseptic, anaesthetic and anti-itch cream – covers lots of bases).

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    Out collecting rocks and feathers

While you are there:

– Activities

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Fresh sour dough with lemon infused olive oil
  • With little kids, not doing much driving is the best choice for us so we enjoyed being a walk into town (that option had made the accommodation very appealing) and spent time exploring the farm, feeding the animals, playing in their playground and made one drive out to an olive oil company for a parents’ choice activity – yum!
  • We continued with our regular rest routine as Emmalyn needed to sleep anyway and the kids (and us!)love their downtime.
  • We enjoyed not having anything else to do and having my husband around without work needing to be done was great.
  • We brought a couple of toys each as we planned to be outside most of the time. The best one for the older two was Jemima’s Lego briefcase with a couple of extras. How great is Lego?!

We had such a wonderful weekend away – hoping we can do it again soon!

Fish Pie

fish pie
Not exactly gorgeous plating up but, as they say, it all comes down to taste 🙂

Lately I’ve been convicted that I should buy fish from Australia or New Zealand rather than anywhere else that isn’t as concerned about water pollution as we are. So that has meant the cost has gone up a bit and I’ve been thinking about ways of making a smaller amount of fish feed my growing family. I love pies (mainly I love the pastry…) and so I tried making my first ever fish pie. I had a browse of a few recipes to get the idea of ratios and vegetables that went well and then made up my own according to what I had. I couldn’t quite believe how delicious I found it!
Serves 4
Ingredients
1/2 onion, diced very finely (my kids aren’t keen on onion so I tried to hide it)
1 stick celery, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 potatoes, peeled and finely diced
300g trevally (or other white fish), cut into 2cm chunks
300ml coconut milk
250ml chicken stock (home made would be best but I used Massel Stock powder as I didn’t have any in the freezer)
1/4 cup plain flour (I used less than this and my mixture was too runny. Substitute GF flour or potentially GF cornflour but use less I’d say)
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 sheets puff pastry (you could cover it with mashed sweet potatoes or a GF pastry)

Method
– Preheat an oven to 200C (180C fan-forced).
– In a frypan or saucepan, fry off the onion, celery and carrots in some olive (or other appropriate) oil until the onions are translucent. Add in flour and mix in. Then add the stock and coconut milk, stirring well as you pour in to create a white sauce (ie it should be thickening but you don’t want it super thick). Bring to simmer.
– Add in potatoes and cook on a low simmer for 10 mins.
– Add in the fish around now – I did it at the same time as the potatoes and then realised I probably shouldn’t have given the difference in how long they take to cook… thankfully trevally doesn’t seem to overcook in this! Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep testing the potato and when they are tender take the pot off the heat. Place in a pie dish (You can see in the photo I used a rectangular pyrex dish) or individual ramekins.
– Prepare the puff pastry – allow to defrost enough to cut into shape and place on top of pie mixture. I found 1 sheet covered my dish easily but I do love my pastry so I doubled it…! I had some leftover pie mixture, enough for 1 ramekin, so the off cuts of pastry went on top of that one.
– Cook for approximately 20mins until the pastry is golden (It took longer for mine as I don’t have a fan forced oven and it only has a bottom element).
Tip – Pie will freeze well – Allow the mixture to cool a little before putting the puff pastry on. Then cover and freeze. I froze my little ramekin and then had it for lunch yesterday – it was fabulous for lunch. Of course it needs cooking for longer as it was all frozen so around 35-40mins depending on your oven – you know it’s cooked when pastry is golden and mixture is bubbling.

Serve with a side salad or something – I didn’t and we needed more food. You could add homemade fries but there’s already lots of potato, you could add cooked veg like broccoli or corn on the cob.

Results
3 thumbs up
1 “I like the pastry bit” (but ate it all)
1 “what is this you are giving me?” faces from Emmalyn. Normally she likes fish so I think the ear infection may have had something to do with it…

Zucchini Slice

IMG_2194Zucchini Slice has to be one of the most kid-friendly and yet still adult-friendly recipes I know when it comes to cheap and nourishing meals. Sadly it contains all the allergens Jemima has been allergic to over her life. Now that wheat is in the picture, there’s a lot more we can do, but with 5 eggs and a cup of grated cheese, it’s still very much on the shelf. With some leftover Chreese sauce, I thought I’d give it a go. Now I must caveat this recipe by saying that I only made a small serving (two ramekins worth) and so probably divided it by 5. Therefore I can’t say how it would turn out as a full recipe. Here’s what I did, I’m afraid I wasn’t particularly exact but this recipe is quite giving.

Serves 1-2

Large pinch of grated zucchini
IMG_2198Large pinch of grated carrot
1/2 rasher of bacon, chopped
Small pinch of sliced green onions (typically it’s chopped normal onion, but I didn’t have one.)
1 tbsp Chreese sauce (if you can’t/don’t have that you might want to try Jessie’s cheese sauce)
Equivalent to 2 eggs of No Egg with 2 extra tbsp water, made up prior to adding in.
1 Tbsp oil
1/3 cup self raising flour
salt and pepper

Mix it all together – it should look like a thick cake mix really. I may have added a couple of extra tablespoons of water because I find No Egg doesn’t always give as much liquid as a normal egg. I will double check my measurements once I get some more Chreese sauce and edit if necessary.
Pour into greased ramekin/s and bake for 30mins in a moderate oven (180 degrees C) or until golden.

Jemima didn’t like it but I ate some and thought it tasted quite delicious. I think it was the texture she wasn’t keen on – she doesn’t even eat some sweet muffins if there’s anything slightly gooey involved….

Happy Easter

Wishing you a happy Easter as we remember the amazing sacrifice Jesus made – dying on the cross to pay for our rebellion against God. How amazing to know that he rose again from the dead, defeating death and now reigns as King and Judge. We hope you can think more on this over the long weekend.

We’ll be celebrating the new life we have with these sweet treats too. 🙂

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