Monday, June 27, 2011

fresh hibiscus cordial recipe

Our backyard is awesome. It's fully enclosed so the kids can happily play out there alone without any fear of them running onto the road. It's flat. There's grass. Trees. Two lemon trees. Rose bushes in full bloom. And an overgrown hibiscus plant covered with bright pink pom-pom like flowers. 
One day recently as the kids and I were playing out there, Ada asked if she could pick some flowers to play with (she likes making smelly "stews" out of them, with water and grass). You know what? I said. Why don't you guys help me to pick all of the flowers on here, and we can make hibiscus cordial! The kids thought I was slightly mad, but went along with it anyway. We're gonna eat flowers mama? They laughed. We sure are kids, and you're going to love it. I promise.

On one of my late night blog reading missions recently I read of a sparkling Rosella water that had me looking at my hibiscus flowers in a whole new light. I love hibiscus tea made with dried flowers, but using fresh petals is all new to me. 
The kids helped pluck the petals off the stems until they realised how much work was involved and left me to it. See, our hibiscus flowers are not the beautiful smooth 5 petal variety that grace most Hawaiian postcards, but rather the slightly over-the-top, frilly numbers you see above. Ants and other critters seem to be drawn to them, making the soaking stage in the recipe a must to dislodge any die-hard ants or bugs. 
Thursday, June 23, 2011

gluten & dairy-free multi-grain bread recipe

You may have wondered to yourself why I never post bread recipes on here. I mean, it’s taken me almost a year to do so! And what is a world without bread?! It’s what every newbie gluten-free person craves and tries to replace right? It’s not that I don’t like making bread, I actually love it and in my pre-gluten-free days it was one of my favourite things to do at home, at work, where ever. I was even known on the odd occasion to pop over to my mother’s house and whip her up a batch of cumin flat breads, roll them out and freeze them; stacked neatly with baking paper between all ready for her to cook when the urge took over.

But here’s the thing…

When my body decided (during my first pregnancy, but it took a lot longer before I figured out what the problem was) that it no longer agreed with me eating gluten and dairy, it also decided that it would no longer tolerate me eating yeast also. Yup. Awesome right? So not only was my body telling me I couldn't eat gluten and dairy, along with my vegetarianism and breastfeeding diet (which went something like this; strictly no wind causing foods, broccoli, cabbage, onion, garlic, beans, chickpeas and legumes. No sugar and no stimulants, yep you guessed it, no chocolate) there really wasn't much left to eat. I had a new born (screaming in pain) to deal with and there was no way in hell I was going to be found baking bread. Full stop.
Saturday, June 18, 2011

flourless chocolate coconut cupcake recipe

I’ve been thinking about how to begin this post for way too long. Ever since Monday when I baked these little chocolate coconut cupcakes you see up there to be exact. Bloggers often talk about writers block, so far I am yet to experience this… does that mean I like to talk too much? The reason I’ve been stumbling trying to begin this post has more to do with the fact that I have been reading way too many food blogs lately! I’ve come across some real amazing ones, and while the kids are fast asleep at night I've been staying up way past my bedtime, reading blog, after blog, after blog. Salivating over every photo, studying every recipe. Don’t get me wrong, I love nothing more than to do this. It’s just that I find my mind races after reading other peoples blogs, ideas spin around in my head keeping me awake at night, I come up with ideas for posts, and then change them the following day. So you see, it’s with that scattered mind that I bring you this recipe for chocolate coconut cupcakes today.

For a long time I have been reading the big blogs; the 101cookbooks, Tartelette, Cannelle et Vanille, Smitten kitchen and David Lebovitz kinda blogs. Those ones are easy to find. They have made their mark, big time. And their name is on everyone’s lips. What I am talking about here though, are the lesser known ones, the ones generally written by people out of blog-central America. The Green kitchen stories, My new roots, Easy-Peasy Organic, Scandi Foodie, a baking life, one small kitchen, Golubka,and Indian simmer to name but a few. Sometimes if I have a good stint of reading, I come away feeling rather overwhelmed. There really are so many amazing ideas and ultra creative people out there, so many recipes to try and not enough time! (That could just be my frustrated-too-busy-no-time-for-myself mother self talking though…)
Monday, June 13, 2011

sparkling apple, pear & ginger juice recipe, sick kids and painted fabric roads

This past week has been a long one, again. We are entering into round two of the dreaded cold, in just under two weeks. After a relatively sickness-free summer it was so easy to forget how damn hard life can get with kids in the winter months. We’ve been hiding indoors for most of the week out of the chilly wind, Ada’s been off kindy and Si’s out of town for work. *Sigh*
In a bid to knock the kids colds on the head I have been making them freshly squeezed fruit juices, topped up with sparkling mineral water. We love them. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

chocolate hazelnut slice recipe

That’s not exactly what I should be naming these babies, but sometimes I just feel it’s a little bit of an over-kill to write gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar free in the title of a recipe. Even if that’s exactly what this is. Would I sound like a real geek if I mentioned too that these are raw also? If you leave out the toasting of the hazelnuts that is. I couldn’t help myself. The chef in me just had to do it. I love raw cashews, eat raw almonds by the handful. Brazil nuts, pecans, sunflower and pumpkin seeds… you guessed it, raw. But hazelnuts, never.

Nothing beats the earthy aroma and crisp crunch of freshly toasted hazelnuts. Mixed with anything chocolaty and you’ve got me in one bite. Like my carob tofu bliss balls from a wee while back, this slice is naturally sweetened with dates and maple syrup, making it one of those treats you really don’t mind the kids eating as often as they like. I used dried dates but if you can get your hands on (and afford) fresh medjool dates, go ahead, knock yourself out! I imagine they'd make this slice mind blowing. If you can eat butter, feel free to use that in place of the coconut oil, omitting the salt if you do. Honey can be used in place of the maple, however I prefer the lovely not-so-sweet and in your face nature of maple. Agave would be another good substitute if that's your thing.

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