Thursday, December 29, 2011

purple carrot salad with feta + herbs recipe

I've had a lovely few days off blogging filled with excited kids ripping into presents at an alarming rate, ice-blocks (aka icy-poles or popsicles) in the backyard and family gatherings. At the last second we decided to have our Christmas celebrations at our new house, I know, I know... mad eh only 1 week after moving in? But knowing how many kids were going to be here this year and looking at our massive backyard it was a no-brainer. The kids ran around all afternoon while my mother-in-law maned the BBQ. I contributed a couple of salads, a gluten-free mango, raspberry and coconut trifle and pavlova roll for dessert, that seemed to go down a treat even though everyone's bellies were stuffed to the brim. 

Ada did a great job taking over from my usual family photographer position (I was too busy!), snapping up well over 300 photos in only 3 days on her new camera from Santa (yes, one very happy girl!). She even stopped me from drinking my green smoothie on Boxing Day morning so she could take a quick little photo, I wonder where she's learnt that from? She also took this amazing picture above, the arty shadow one. Pretty cool huh?
Wednesday, December 21, 2011

salted coconut caramels recipe

In amongst the flurry of packing last week, Ada had her last day of Kindy. It was a big day as any mother knows, my baby is all grown up and ready to start pre-primary next year! Far out.
As a little token of my appreciation for all the hard work her teachers have put in this year, I made up a few little gift bags containing a version of these cookies and a handful of home made salted coconut caramels. 

When I think back to Christmas as a kid, along with the memories of Hawkes Bay cherries by the boxful from my Great Aunty June, water pistols fights on the lawn and Nana-naps after lunch, are the evocative memories of big bags of Mackintosh lollies! It was the only time we were allowed to eat lollies freely and although it's been years since I've eaten one I still remember my favourites being the yellow; eggs and cream and harrogate, followed by the blue; malt and pink; coconut. The last one being my inspiration for today's recipe.
Friday, December 16, 2011

a few of my favourite things {december 2011} and a giveaway!

We've just moved house and now have two gorgeous big mango trees in our back yard! While I unpack my kitchen, here's a few little festive links that have caught my eye lately. Also, it seems the Martha Goes Green girls got their wires crossed as I ended up receiving two calendars in the post, a few days apart! Rather than posting it back to them, or claiming it for myself I thought I'd ask if I could give it away to one of you, my dear readers as a little bit of a late Christmas treat! So with the permission of Rosie that's exactly what I'm going to do, I'm happy to post to anywhere in the world...
Sunday, December 11, 2011

spiced pumpkin, millet & radicchio salad recipe

If you've been a reader of this blog since it began, firstly, thank you! That sure is a whole lot of reading you have done over the past year and a half! And secondly you may remember way back at the beginning when I shared a wonderful little independently published cookbook that was co-written by a friend of mine Rosie Percival? If you remember well done, if not, no worries here's a little refresher. 
So the wonderful ladies behind Martha Goes Green: A Vegetarian Cookbook have just put out a limited edition Seasonal Recipe Calendar and I was lucky enough to be sent one hot off the press. 

The featured recipes are simple, seasonal & fresh and although they are not gluten-free, many are naturally free of gluten, others can easily be adapted and all are vegetarian. Their minestrone soup caught my eye, with its use of pantry staples and the nutritious addition of quinoa and borlotti beans for added protein. There's also a vegan gingerbread loaf with fresh ginger and molasses that I'm keen to try out using 1 cup of almond meal (ground almonds) in place of the flours. 
Wednesday, December 7, 2011

gluten-free spiced orange chocolate chunk cookie recipe

I nearly didn't post this recipe. At first I felt like I wanted to make it a few more times, change the ratios a little more, cutting out some of the sugar to making them less sweet.
When I made them I tasted the mix at every stage, as you do. Creaming the butter and sugar, lick. Lick. And lick. Eggs almost ready to go in, one last lick before they do. Lick. Flour etc and chocolate in. Mmm, don't mind if I do. Raw cookie dough, munch, munch. Mmm that tastes good, a little more, munch. Rolling balls of cookie dough, oh there seems to be a little bit left. Not really enough to make a worthwhile cookie out of, I'd better just eat it. Munch, munch. 

You do this right? Please tell me it's not just me...

As much as I love doing this, and more often than not I actually have no control over my hand and mouth by this stage, it does make you feel rather ill. And by the time the cooked cookies came out of the oven they tasted ridiculously sweet to me. Hrmmm. Maybe that last mouthful of cookie dough wasn't the best idea I've ever had.
I think it's called sugar overload.
Saturday, December 3, 2011

vegan mango jelly with strawberry + mint salad recipe

Sometimes it's funny how things turn out. Right when we were starting to feel like the world was turning against us (hurt ankle, broken leg, bung computer, notice to vacate our house... you get the picture) a little light in the form of two mango trees appears at the end of the tunnel.

It's such a simple little thing, I mean, they are trees right? But for us they are so much more. When we first heard last week of our landlords plans to move back into our house (we had been under the impression we would be here long-term, so it really was a shock!) our first thoughts were of our garden that we'd be forced to leave behind. Silly I know, when there are so many more important things going on in the world. But when you have grown plants from seed, nurtured them and after months of tending too they are finally near ready to produce food, food that will in turn feed and nourish us and our family, well, you can see it's more than just plants to us. 

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