Friday, 29 April 2011

Easter egg -gluten, lactose, nut and egg free

This posting is a bit late to have much relevance this year, but might help you spot a good safe Easter egg next year.  I was bought a Kinnerton egg, and have just finished eating the main egg though not the bar of chocolate it came with.

It would have been more fun if  the egg contained silly chocolates rather than being empty, but as a safe egg packaged in a bright and jolly wrapper it meets lots of needs.  It does contain soya.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Gluten-free Lasagna sheets - home-made then frozen

lasagna made from sheets of frozen 'fresh' pasta

Some time ago I made lasagna and stored some of the sheets in the freezer.  Yesterday I made these up  for supper.  Some had been frozen direct from making, others had been cooked in boiling water.  I was curious to find out what the best method of freezing lasagna would be so that a single batch of making could be enjoyed as a convenience several times.

The sheets frozen before cooking were easy to handle as they did not stick to the plastic wrap I had stored them in.  I cooked them in boiling water for  a few minutes and layered up with tomato sauce and baked.

The pre-boiled sheets were a nuisance.  As they weren't flat they had stuck into folds of plastic wrap.  It took me longer to get these disentangled than it did to cook the dry sheets.

In future I would freeze the fresh pasta dry and just boil before use.

Both pastas tasted pretty much the same after cooking.  I didn't do a blind testing, but neither I nor TT had any preference.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Genius gluten-free bread and my weekend with the grandchildren

We just had the grandchildren, their mum and the dog visit for a few days.  Fortunately it was sunny and hot - quite a surprise for April, and they played in the pool most of the time.  As I have been busy getting the house ready to sell I haven't been baking.

The kids are happy with crepes for breakfast, and are becoming expert in their handling of the classic french tools for spreading and flipping.  Because their mum was visiting, and she always wants toast, I bought some Genius Bread.  I won't eat it as the xanthum gum means I cant leave the house the next day, but I used a few slices to make breadcrumbs to make chicken nuggets.  The girls did the chopping, dipping in egg, and breadcrumbing, and ate a large portion of these baked morsels each.

The next day was windy indoors even though calm and sunny outside.  I can only conclude that their guts don't like xanthum gum much either.  The rest of the bread went out for the birds this morning, and several hours later is still untouched (still there the next day).  My own gf bread, when I throw out portions that are too stodgy due to hasty cooking, get gobbled in minutes.

The dog ate gluten free dry dog food for the first time.  I figure that she eats her food and then spends the day affectionately licking people, so switching to a gf dog food reduces the chances of me feeling unwell.  The girls father, busy working over the weekend, phoned to find out how this experiment had gone as the dog gets the runs from many dog treats and is only allowed one type of food.  Pleased to report absolutely no problems in that direction, and a bouncy and happy dog the whole visit.

I bought James Wellbeloved hypo-allergenic, no cereal kibble in three flavours.  I was surprised to see how much choice there was at our local pet store for dogs with gluten intolerance.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Philiphaugh estate cafe, gluten free in Selkirk

I am spending a few days visiting my sister in Selkirk, Scotland.  We have had wild blustery weather and visits to lots of cafes.
The Philiphaugh Estate has a salmon viewing centre and other activities and a lovely cafe in a wooden chalet style building.  The coffee tastes good and there is a choice of carrot cake made with almonds and olive oil, so dairy and gluten free, or a lemon slice. The lemon slice is made with Doves Farm self raising flour, so has xanthum gum in it, so I didnt try that.

I mentioned the need fo clean tongs, and instead of the usual peeved or blank look I was told that of course they had seperate utensils that were kept wrapped up.

The carrot cake was more a moist almond cake with shreds of carrot and pine kernals and a few raisins.  I ould have been pleased with.myself for having made this, which is pretty high praise for me.  My sister tried the lemon cake, and thought it seemed a little undedone, but possibly we had hurried the baking as both slices were warm.

The cafe can handle requests for other allergies and intolerances to be taken into account as they make all btheir own food and take the issue seriously.