Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Happy Pancake Day - Gluten, wheat, dairy and egg free recipe

Happy Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday everyone.

To celebrate Pancake Day, the Wee Man and I will be making and consuming copious amounts of pancakes.  Not that we need an excuse to do so, but with it being officially Pancake Day, there is a little less guilt associated with my soon to be bloated tum.

The Wee Man is determined to see me toss a pancake.  I'm not really sure if I can do so as I use a very heavy iron skillet to fry pancakes with.  I could end up with a broken wrist, so I'm hoping I can talk the Wee Man down.

We'll be using my yummy allergy free pancake recipe that is free from gluten, wheat, dairy and egg.  The recipe can be found here.  I wonder what shapes we'll come up with today?

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Where do you keep your recipes?

There was a bit in a Nigella Lawson programme many moons ago that had an effect on me.  In it she showed us her mother's and grandmother's recipe books and told how they had been handed down over the generations.  She then proceeded to cook some of the recipes in the books.

It got me thinking, my mum is not one for keeping things or writing things down.  I learned to cook her recipes from watching and helping her in the kitchen and I have never watched either of my grandmother's cook or bake.

I am a sentimental old thing so after the programme I decided to start a recipe book that I hoped would be handed down through the generations. What started out as a lovingly handwritten keepsake has, over the years, become a rather stained book with lots of loose papers, post it notes and crappy handwriting.  I hope my great grand children will be able to decipher my scrawls.

I nabbed a book from work, one of the many marketing materials we use to get on a daily basis.  I liked the ribbon tie on it and the sturdy wipe clean cover.  See I can be practical.

Post it note and printer paper recipes.  

A print out of recipes from the Wee Man's dietician, recipes torn from magazines and some more scrawls on printer paper. 

A recipe from a Pret a Manger sandwich box! 

One of the first recipes I wrote in the book.  Written in 2004 and check out the neat handwriting. 

Recipes from the Big Man's Mum.  She wrote them out and my father in law typed and printed them for me.  Very sweet of them. 


I need to transfer all these recipes into the book but the thought of hand writing them all scares me.  I don't do hand writing, as you can see from the spidery scrawls.

Do you keep recipes?  Where do you keep them and what do you keep?

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Car Boot Loot #13

Yesterday was the Grand Opening of a charity shop that's a 5 minute walk from my house.  I'd spied a gorgeous F&M picnic hamper in the window and was determined to make it mine.  Unfortunately the woman in front of me in the queue was just a little bit quicker than I was.  Grrr!

The Big Man was not in the slightest bit sympathetic when I told him I'd missed out on the hamper.  I've obviously married an idiot.  He reasoned that I had enough F&M hampers, we don't have room for any more and I'd bought the exact same one from a charity shop a couple of months ago. 

Hm.  Maybe he's not that much of an idiot after all.  But I do love baskets and I especially love Fortnum and Mason ones.  They make me feel posh.

I've bagged a few bargains since my last Car Boot Loot post.  Mostly from charity shops as the car boot season has ended in my town.  There is one in a neighbouring town but the Big Man has been working weekends recently.  Thankfully the show he was working on has ended now so we shall be heading up there next Sunday.  

Here's some of the goodies I got recently.

A beautiful Royal Ascot tea cup trio.

Gorgeous pink Grindley and Johnson Bros bowls.  They go perfectly with the pink tea pot the Big Man gave me.

A Johnsons Bros Rose Cloud platter.  This thing is huge!  It would comfortably fit a Christmas turkey with all it's trimmings.  I'm not sure if pink is a suitable Christmas colour scheme so I'm not too sure what to do with it.  It's currently on top of my dresser looking pretty.  

My utility china collection is getting a wee bit out of hand now.  But the Wee Man has now moved into his new bedroom which means I can now move his toys in there, which means there's more space downstairs for me to have more gorgeous things on display.  Result!

I've got loads more to flaunt but I'll keep them for another day.

This post is shared on Flea Market Finds, Magpie Monday, Coastal Charm, Vintage Thingie Thursday The Brambleberry Cottage

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Bedside Cabinet Makeover

After a dry spell, I've got into my groove again and have been painting up a storm.  No furniture is safe from my trusty paint brush and Annie Sloan chalk paint.  Last year I made over some bits of old furniture I'd scored from freecycle and car boot sales.  There was my beloved dresser from a very lovely young lady and my ever useful little side table.

Now I'm in the process of making over the Wee Man's new bedroom.  We are moving him into the spare room to give him more space which means the furniture in there needs to be made more Wee Man friendly.  I've just finished the last coat of wax on his new bedside cabinet.

The Wee Man's favourite colour is blue and wanted his whole room to be a blue haven, blue walls, blue curtains, blue carpet, blue furniture.  Luckily he was born to a mother with some sense and that idea was quickly quashed.  We compromised with some touches of blue and we are both happy.

Here's a photo of what it looked like originally.

A plain old very boring and very orange, pine bedside cabinet, found in the majority of 1980s UK homes.  The cabinet was originally the Big Man's, bought from Argos for £60.  £60 for a bedside cabinet?!

It's had two coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint in "Old White" and the stripey front is wallpaper (a "sample" I acquired from Wilkinsons).  It was a very quick project to complete and it's now cluttering up my living room waiting for the Big Man to move the Wee Man's bed into his new room.

This post is shared on Transformation Thursday, Open House Party Furniture Feature Friday  Feature Yourself Friday Nifty Thrifty Sunday, Blue Cricket design, Momnivore's Dilemma, Saved by Suzy

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Banana Cinnamon Bread - Free from wheat, egg, dairy, soya

Who doesn't love the smell of banana bread baking in their oven?  The smell makes me feel homely and smug.  Smug in the " I made that gorgeous smell" sense.

The Wee Man and I have made banana bread a few times now and each time it seems to disappear more quickly than the last.  Maybe it's magic?  ;0)

I've adapted this recipe from a great blog called mywoklife.  Go check it out.

Here's what you'll need:

125g Dairy and soya free spread (I use Pure Sunflower spread)
130g soft brown sugar
1tsp vanilla exract
2 tsps of Orgran No Egg whisked with 4 tbsp water
2 ripe bananas masked
50ml Non dairy or non soya milk (I use Oatly oat milk)
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
175g Gluten Free self raising flour ( I use Doves Farm)
1tsp Xanthan Gum 
1tsp cinnamon (or less if you don't want it too cinnamoney)

1/ Preheat the oven to 180C
2/ Cream the dairy and soya free spread, the sugar and the vanilla extract.
3/ Add the Orgran No Egg mixure a bit at a time and mix together.  Add the mashed banana and ensure they are all well combined.
4/ Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk.
5/ Sieve the flour and add the cinnamon and xanthan gum.
6/ Add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the creamed spread and sugar a bit at a time.  Ensure the mixture is well combined.
7/ Pour the mixture into a greased loaf tin.
8/ Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 mins.

This gets a big thumbs up from the Wee Man.

This recipe is shared on Momnivore's Dillema

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Quick Knob Painting Tip

I've recently got back into my furniture makeover groove and been painting like a loon.  I'll show off my recent projects once I get some decent pics of them.

But until then, a quick tip for painting drawer knobs...use chopsticks.  The picture explains it all (rather dark but you get the idea).

No messy fingers and every inch covered (including the chopsticks - yikes).

Ginger Snap Biscuit Cookies - Free from wheat, gluten, dairy and soya

My favourite, favourite biccy with a cuppa is a good old fashioned ginger snap.  I love the crunch and the sweetness and the gingeriness.  So I thought I would inflict my love of the ginger one on the Wee Man and make him his own version.

Of course I had to change it's name from ginger nut to ginger snap as there really is no nut in it and I wouldn't want the Wee Man to think he was eating nuts.  That would be disastrous.  I wonder why they are called ginger nuts if there aren't any nuts in them.  Anyone know?

What you'll need

4oz Gluten free self raising flour ( I use Doves Farm)
1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1 tsp heaped ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 oz caster sugar
2 oz Dairy free and Soya Free spread ( I used Pure Sunflower spread)
2 oz Golden Syrup

Firstly sift and mix the flour, xanthan gum, ginger and bicarbonate of soda.
Then add the sugar and butter and rub until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Next add the golden syrup and mix until you get a smooth paste.
Using oiled teaspoons (oiling them means the mixture is less likely to stick), spoon teaspoon fulls onto a lined baking sheet.  Be sure to keep them well apart as they do spread.  Flatten the top of the mounds.
Bake in a preheated 180C/ 350F oven for 10 mins - 15 mins.  For a soft chewy texture bake for 10 mins and for a more crunchy texture bake them for 15 mins.

The Wee Man gave them a big thumbs up and has asked to make more today.

This recipe is shared on Momnivore's Dilemma, Cowgirl Up 

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Wee Man's Millions

I've been having yet another clearout.  No matter how often I do it, it seems to just keep piling up.  Toys, toys and more toys.  Where does it all come from and why after five years am I still tripping over that stupid plastic quacking duck?!  I blame myself.  The Wee Man has inherited my hoarding collecting instinct and it's well and truly biting me on my bum.  Look at all the money boxes he has for his savings?  And these are the ones that have survived the many culls.

He likes counting his pennies

All of them are filled to the brim with pennies he's literally picked up here and there.  The Big Man has an annoying habit of emptying his pockets and leaving little piles of coins everywhere.  It use to really annoy me until I had a brainwave and told the Wee Man he could keep any coins he found around the house.  So now my house is free of little piles of coins, instead I have six  money boxes to contend with.

So I've decided to open a savings account for him.  He already has a few to his name.  There's his Child Trust Fund account, his university account and his gifted money account.  He tells me regularly not to worry about paying for the house as he has money saved up(!)  I'm not really sure his pennies will cover our extortionate mortgage but it's the thought that counts.

But another savings account is required and we shall call it his "I've-got-too-many-money-boxes-so-I'm-keeping-my-money-in-the-bank-before-Mum-has-another-strop!" account.
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