Tuesday, 31 May 2011

HOMEMADE BREAD AND BEEBZ GETS A MAKE OVER...


After visiting my salon for a a bit of a dodgey hair chop. Bobbin was looking a little bit small and chilly, so i knitted her a new nautical jumper...

Ahoy there Beebz! doesn't she look chic? Bang on trend with those stripes, girl. Only took a very rainy afternoon to crochet. The pattern i used can be found here.

 Yesterday, whilst twiddling my thumbs during a day of drizzly weather I dusted off the bread maker and was set on baking my own fresh gluten free loaf. the first i used regular GF flour mix but it didn't fair well so i marched out and purchased strong white gluten free flour mix by doves farm, from Holland and Barrats...

First, I poured the liquid ingredients into the bread machine pan: 1 1/4 cup warm water (at 110 to 115 degrees F)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
2 eggs

 Then measured out and added the dry ingredients, adding yeast at the very end.
 2 1/2 cups of strong white gluten free flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 packet rapid dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons

Then i pressed a button and it started movin' and a bakin' me some homemade warm bread.
I kept peepin' through the widow watching the dough. it was pretty exciting stuff! a couple of hours later the beeper beeped and i had bread. marvellous.
once turned out and sliced it kinda tasted like crumpets... can't wait to toast and butter it up.



Sunday, 29 May 2011

Blueberry Pie (Gluten free pastry)

 Since finishing University I have found my self feeling liberated and able to bake with out a guilty "i shouldn't be icing this cupcake i should be studying'' conscious. I can breathe a sigh of relief and get down to what i ultimately love most, baking and Beebz. Bobbin has been getting lots of extra walks and attention and my kitchen has been a hive of activity.
My mind has been racing with lots of recipes I want to try out or convert to gluten free. This afternoon I took on pastry... This was a first attempt and I'm gonna keep dabbling with quantities but here's my very healthy GF recipe for
BLUEBERRY PIE.
  
Gluten free sweet short crust pastry
1 cup sifted gluten-free flour mixture (I used doves white flour mixture)
1 tbsp granulated sweetener
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup applesauce (orrrr 2 tsp butter)
2 tablespoons ice-cold water
1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum
around 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar (dusting/ for rolling)

    1.    In a medium bowl, sift together the flour mixture, sugar, and salt.
    2.    In a small bowl, combine the oil, water, and vanilla.
    3.    Pour the liquid mixture into the center of the flour mixture. With a rubber spatula, stir the dough well until it holds together.
    4.    With your hands, knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball.
    5.    With a rolling pin, roll out the dough into an 11-inch circle.
    6.    lift pastry and press in to greased 8' pie dish.
    7.    with remaining dough roll out and cut into strips for the pie top.
 Blueberry pie filling
1 cup Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
4 dates finely chopped
1/2 tsp xanthum gum
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 tsp water

    1.    In a saucepan add all ingredients and simmer on a medium heat for 10 minutes or until mixture is thick and dates are soft.
    2.    pour blueberry filling in to pie crust and basket weave the strips of remaining pastry, brush with egg and sprinkle with a little caster sugar.
    3.    bake ya pie at 185/350 for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is golden.... allow to cool and slice it up.
  Enjoy on its own but I shoveled my slice down my pie hole with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. mmmmhmmmm.
 I have to say the gluten free and mostly fat free pastry was quite crispy on top, and a little chewy when still hot, but once it had cooled completely this pie was awesome. I think its the sweet fruity filling that makes it.
 One day i will make buttery flakey pastry but something inside me yearns to find and invent healthy alternative recipes...probably because when, like me and my sweetooth, you have 3 servings of pudding type meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner and pudding) something like butter has gotta give....but some times i have to admit the original is best. So if its special occasion or you just want an super amazing crust i would substitute the applesauce for 2tbsp of chilled butter. 




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Saturday, 28 May 2011

Baking Goodies for gifts...


 
This afternoon I baked some non-gluten free sweet treat gifts. Sticky Date crumble slices, rustled up and wrapped up as a thank you present, for someone who helped me out massively with my interview and ultimately landing me my first proper job!

Aaaaaaaand just popped this pretty little blueberry pie into the oven...

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Gluten free and fat free Strawberry and Date crumble bars.


 

So, after searching quite extensively, there really aren't many gluten free baked goodies/ dessert recipes out there on the big ol wide web. So this afternoon i took it upon my self to do some inventing/experimenting...
And so i bring to you...

STRAWBERRY DATE SHORTCAKE CRUMBLE SQUARES!
yep the name needs working on but it describes my baked treat adequately,
They have a short bread biscuit base, sticky sweet strawberry and date center and a crunchy, nutty crumble topping. I was a bit apprehensive and worried they may be a bit bland but they kinda tasted like a cross between a jammy dodger and one of those fig roll biscuits.
Completely fat free and gluten free and no processed sugar. 
You will be amazed at how good these are. They’re low in everything, except flavour.
88calories per square.
 INGREDIENTS
Makes 12 servings (2''x2'')
crust and crumble topping
1 1/2 Cups of  gluten free plain flour mix (i used doves)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
120g unsweetened apple sauce
2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
 (add choice of chopped nuts for topping and or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon)

filling
3/4 cup dates
1/2 cup fresh strawberries
1/4 cup water


DIRECTIONS
  1.  Pre heat oven to 180 degrees or 350 F.
  2. First, chop dates and strawbs and throw them in to a pan with the water and simmer until mixture bubbles and dates have all mushed. 
  3. In a bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder. add puree and honey and rub until mixture is cumbley. 
  4. Line a tin win foil and press 3/4 of crumb mixture in to the pan.
  5. Pour and smooth over date and strawberry puree.
  6. Add nuts to remainder of crumble mix and sprinkle over.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. remove and allow to cool and set completely before cutting up.
  8. Boil kettle, make cuppa, put feet up, tv on and enjoy your tea time treat.


    JOB SEEKER

    I had an interview this morning for a job, as a teaching assistant at a cute small primary school in my hometown. I was so nervous and wanted to comfort my jittery tummy  so breakfast this morning was PB on gluten free bread with a sliced up apple, to fuel my grilling/interview!
    Smartened myself up!
    interview outfit:
    Blazer -topshop,
    Shirt - h&m
    trousers- topshop
    belt- thrift/charity
    heels- god knows...
    bag- stolen/borrowed from mum's wardrobe.

    Well...

    ONLY WENT AND BAGGED MYSELF THE JOB!!! After the meeting with the headteacher, I recieved a phone call, soon after, confirming my postion as teaching assitant. I can't explain how ellated I am. I've only just finished university but im on the career ladder! its such a massive relif. So, this afternoon I AM GOING TO BAKE TO CELEBRATE!

    Sunday, 22 May 2011

    Day Trippin'

     Yesterday I took my cousin to Eastbourne for a sunny shopping trip before she headed off back to Brighton.
    After fueling our tummies with a Blondie , Nana and cuppa for breakfast, we headed out and boarded the train for Eastbourne, our destination...charity shops and ice creeeeeam. I was so excited, It felt a little like were going on a summer holiday, and we sorta were. The sun came out and the sea was beautifully clear... lovely.

     Realized once on the train i was very much accessorized to the max in bubblegum pink... nails, phone, mac lippy.... a bit like this shih tzu  here all pretty in pink.
    Whilst shopping I found a book dedicated to knitted dog jumpers...turned the page and... SHIH TZU IN A JUMPER! Bobbin needs this if she want to keep up with me in the style steaks ;) Pinks her fave too along with kibble. Such a diva.

     After looking around the shops and not really buying anything we strolled along to the sea front for lunch. Amy had fish and chips, Smelt soooo tempting but my gluts free lunch was a Mr Whippy ice cream (minus the cone) and pick n mix chocolate mice....hmmmm. There really weren't many options for my sensitive tummy but like a kid i was overjoyed with this and a little nauseous once i had finished the lot.

    Amy had her whole fish stolen by a seagull in a mugging incident! it was an aerial attack and it left us both a little shaken and Amy fish-less...
    Titanic?

    Saturday, 21 May 2011

    BRUNETTES BAKE HEALTHY BLONDIES.

    My cousin Amy came to stay the night and we had a girly slumber party fueled by fajitas, diet coke and healthified chocolate chip blondies!
    This my first attempt at gluten free baking, after looking at several recipes online we went with something chocolatey and fudgey. But These are no ordinary blondies... they have no carbs and no saturated fats... their secret ingredient... chick peas, Yes, yes... Chickpeas. Sounds bizarre but trust, you need to try it before you judge me. This healthy dessert is packed with fiber and protein and was even tastier the morning after for breakfast. 

    CHOCOLATE CHIP BLONDIES
    1 Tins of chick peas
    1 banana
    1 egg white
    1 tbsp honey
    1/4 cup sweetener
    2 tbsp peanut butter
    Lotta chocolate chips
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp vanilla extract

    • Preheat oven to 350°F /180°C, or gas mark 4. Lightly coat a baking pan with spray oil and line the bottom of the tin.
    • In a bowl, combine chick peas and bananas and blend until perfectly smooth, scraping sides often. add egg, honey, sweetener and PB and continue to blend til all ingredients are well incorporated. add 1 tsp of baking powder and chocolate chips and gently fold in.
    • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
    • slice up and serve up. delicious warm or cold.
    Dont worry, you cannot taste the chick peas at all, It tastes like a gooey denser chocolate chip banana bread. Works out 72 calories for a generous slab. GLUTEN FREE CAN TASTE GOOD!

    I adapted this recipe from two... this one by Allie and you can also make them vegan if you follow this recipe by Katie.

    now get mashin' them peas.

    Wednesday, 18 May 2011

    What I Ate Wednesday.

    I photographed everything i ate today, wednesday. Can't wait for my studies to be over so I can post some proper recipes and blog to my hearts content. so here is... W.I.A.W.

     Breakfast.
    Homemade oaty appley protein bar. recipe to come ;)
     Bobbin assissted in helping me sort out some University work.
    Then we ate Lunch
    A sort of luxurious student's lunch of Smoked Salmon a top of scrambled egg whites and the M&S gluten free bread I purchased yesterday.Bobbin looked longingly on as a chowed down. The bread roll weighed a ton! It was dense and very dry, but toasting it halved, and a good slavering of 'I can't believe its not butter.' sorted it out.
    Obligitory Diet cola
     On research, The internet reliably informs me that all of the American candy stash i have if GF! Waaaahey... snacks ahoy.
    Banana and mini mallow cup consumed...

     Dinner Time!
    Curried butternut squash with roasted chick peas and aload of veggies.
    Sippin' on hot cocoa and cuddling up this is creature now.

    Tuesday, 17 May 2011

    Gulten Free day one. Challenge one: eating out.

    Today I had a very busy day at Uni, im currently running around running errands and constantly seem to have my stress head on as this is my final week of University studies... everrrr. Scary stuff. My looming deadline for my exhibition is Monday so its all go at the moment. This afternoon however I took a little moment to have lunch with my cousin, Amy, whose in town at the moment working.
      We decided to head to the lanes for a ladies luncheon and catch up, Our destination was one of my favourite eateries Iydea. Iydea is a wonderful canteen-style restaurant in North Laine catering for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs, ( gluten free me catered for! hurrah!) All of their dishes are clearly marked as to their suitability for each of these dietary requirements meaning that I find it an incredibly easy and delicious place to eat. They have a range of tempting, delicious and healthy hot and cold food, which always varies on a day-to-day basis.
    Tofu and Aubergine Madras with
    parsely butter carrots, roasted broccoli,
    pickled beetroot and tzatzki
    I spent a good while weighing up the vast option and was torn between gluten free Falafel or  Tofu madras curry. Amy instantly chose the curry, so I followed suit. You get given the option to add your choice of vegetables, salad and toppings...
     I opted for carrots served in parsley butter, Roasted rocked and pepper broccoli, pickled beetroot chutney and a cooling tzaziki dip... I'm not too sure what Amy chose to accompany hers i was too interested in scoffing mine...
    manic food happiness
     after lunch we said our goodbyes and I headed to Infinity health foods to purchase some gluten free baking produce.
    Also picked up some Gluten and wheat free bread buns from marks and sparks... Miss bread already (I think its a case of you always want what you cant have.)  I will be road testing these tomorrow!
    AHHH yes... Confession, I can't help myself when it comes to Brighton's to American Candy Store... I momentarily went crazy in the aisle and bought,  PB cookie dough bites, mini mallow cup and Charleston chew... not sure if there GF friendly (will have to hide them til i know for sure) but the Betty Crocker chocolate peanut butter cookie lip balm certainly is, Ohhhh it tastes just like a nutty cookie, I am reapplying every 5 minutes... no exaggeration. It will just have to satisfy my sweet tooth for now whilst i read up on some gluten free baking recipes!