Thursday, August 15, 2013

Meringues (Gluten Free, Corn Free, Vinegar Free)

Meringues


So many people think Meringues are difficult to make yet they are truly not that difficult!

There are a few things that are good to know before you start that will help you get a great result.

Use old eggs at room temperature
Separate egg whites and leave uncovered overnight
Make sure the bowl is completely dry
Use a glass or metal bowl
Be extra careful to not get any yolk in with the whites
Beat till very thick and glossy with no grains or sugar remaining in the mixture
Mixture needs to go straight into the oven and not sit out - only make what will fit in your oven
Bake in a slow oven

4 Egg Whites
1 cup White Sugar
pinch of Cream of Tartar

Beat Egg Whites till thick, on a slow speed add Sugar and Cream of Tartar, once its all in, turn speed up to high and beat till very thick and glossy. Rub a little mixture between your thumb and finger tips and if there are no grains remaining it is ready.

Drop spoonfuls onto lined baking trays or if you like you can use a piping bag.

Bake in a slow (120) oven until you can tap them and they are hard and don't break. Turn the oven off and leave the door ajar to cool down slowly so they don't crack. Cooking time depends on the size you make your Meringues.

Store in an airtight container.

I usually use a dozen eggs (three times the recipe) as it fits nicely in my Sunbeam Mixmaster Bowl and I can fit 4 trays in my oven.

You can also use the Egg Yolks to make Lemon Butter that goes delightfully with Meringues!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Chocolate Brownies (Grain/Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free & Legume/Soy Free)



Chocolate Brownies

What could be better than a quick yummy Chocolate Brownie! I made these with my Sunbeam Mixmaster but you could easily do them in the Thermomix.

Into a large bowl add
8 Eggs
375 grams Nuttelex
1 & 1/2 cups White Sugar
2 tsp Pure Vanilla
1 cup Pure Organic Cocoa (or Cocao)
1 & 1/2 cups Potato Starch
1 tsp Allergy Friendly Baking Powder

Mix well until combined. Pour into two lined 18x28 cm slice tins. Bake in a Moderate Oven (175) for 30-35 minutes. It is better a little undercooked rather than overcooked.

Frosting
3 tabs Nuttelex
3 tabs Pure Cocoa
1 tab Pure Maple Syrup
1 cup Pure Icing Sugar
1 tab Filtered Water
Combine all the ingredients into a small bowl and mix till well combined and creamy. Add a little more water if needed to bring mixture together.

Frost while Brownie is still warm. Frosting will spread better as it warms.

Will keep in Pantry for a day or two but I like to keep it in the fridge. If you have a smaller family than I do you may like to halve the recipe or freeze one slice and frost it later.

In my house it disappears quickly!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Homemade Marshmallow (Gluten&Grain Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Legume&Soy Free)



Homemade Marshmallow's take me back to my childhood. Every year my Mum would made loads of yummy delights for the school Fete. I loved helping and cleaning up the beaters and bowls!

Toasted Marshmallow's were always a favourite. Sadly people have become 'busy' and many of the simple homemade treats have been overlooked for ready made chemical laden copies that are nothing like the original. Thankfully the word is out that chemicals and processed ready made foods are in no way healthy and really not an option especially when the real food is so simple to make. I know white sugar is processed but its still a real food and for most people a little is ok.

If you don't do well on sugar there is a link below to Maple Syrup Marshmallows and a photo of some that I made. They were pretty yummy too!

MARSHMALLOW

500 grams white sugar
40 grams gelatine
 1 1/3 cups of filtered water

Place above ingredients into a big pot on medium heat stir gently until the sugar is dissolved. Turn heat to where the syrup is gently boiling and time for 10 mins then take off heat immediately. Do not stir!

Line a Lamington tin with baking paper.

Have your Mixmaster all ready to go and as soon as the syrup
has finished its 10 mins pour it straight into the bowl and turn onto a low to medium speed. Add a teaspoon of organic vanilla.

Keep an eye on it and turn it up to a speed where its not spattering every where. Beat till thick and white and creamy. Pour into Lamington tin and let sit for a few hours to set.

Once its set cut into squares using a hot knife and then roll in the toasted  coconut or icing sugar. Rinse the knife under hot running water in between cuts.

TOASTED COCONUT MARSHMALLOWS
To make Toasted Coconut Marshmallows dry roast about 2 cups of desiccated coconut in a pan stirring continually with a wooden spoon till lightly toasted. Roll the Marshmallows in the coconut to coat evenly.
You can also use the coconut left after making Coconut milk in your Thermomix. Link here


MARSHMALLOW ICING & FONDANT

To cover a cake or cupcake in marshmallow you can use the marshmallow as soon as its ready and spread it directly onto the cake or you can let it set then cut it into bigger pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl into the microwave for a few seconds to melt.

Here's a couple of cakes I have used Marshmallow to cover.

You can also add more sifted icing sugar and a little vegetable glycerine or an egg white to make into fondant. I just keep adding icing sugar until its the right consistency then add a little at a time of either glycerine or egg white just to give it a little more give. It's not quite like the pre-made fondant but you are still able to do a few basic decorations with it like the blue flowers below.

The white cake was for my parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary. I piped the pattern over the top with melted marshmallow.

MAPLE SYRUP MARSHMALLOW        Lexie's Kitchen Maple Marshmallows

Monday, May 13, 2013

Driveway Art

I LOVE Gerni's!

When I was growing up on the farm one of the jobs I loved to do was to hose out after the milking! If you are not a Country kid like me this may sound a little gross but I loved using the high pressure hose and hosing out all the cow poo. It was more to do with the negative ions from the water flow and making something lovely and clean after all that mess than it was to do with the cow poo but it was a necessary activity and one I enjoyed.

I found it relaxing and an escape into my own little world, the noise blocking out all other external happenings. These days since I no longer have the privilege of a Dairy Farm to play about, a Gerni has become my new found friend!

There is something to be said about the effect of Negative Ions. You would think Positive Ions were the ones with a Positive effect but in truth the Negative ions are proven to increase serotonin levels which makes you feel happier, relieves stress and increases energy levels throughout the day.

Negative ions are abundant when there is falling water. Being near any flowing or falling water will have a positive effect. What flowing water does is split positive or neutral ions and create negative ions. Think about how being at the beach with the waves crashing in makes you feel good or being near a waterfall in the mountains or taking a shower. Next time you are there you will know why that is.

There are other great benefits too. Negative ions help eliminate dust, spores, pollens and other allergens floating in the air. Household appliances like computers, TV's, microwave ovens and refrigerators, emit positive ions. While outdoors, whenever warm, dry wind blows or when there is pollution, there’s an abundance of positive ions. Maybe a Water fountain is a good idea for us all!

Back to the Driveway Art!

A couple of years ago I did a Welcome Home artwork on my parents driveway after they had been on a trip to America to visit with my sister and her family. My intention was to finish the cleaning process with the Gerni a couple of days after they came home but they loved it so much they wanted to keep it. Of course I was more than happy to let it stay!

Then I did another when some dear friends were returning after a couple of years away. And once their tenants moved out I moved in with my Gerni! They had a great big long driveway so plenty of room to play! I think the neighbours thought I was a little mad but I had fun!

I'm always keen to play with Art. It can take whatever shape or form that you can imagine. I have even done a little dust artwork on my husbands work ute!

The first Artwork on Mum & Dad's driveway faded over time creating a new clean or should I say dirty slate so that I could once again get busy creating. Mother's Day and my Dad's birthday are only a couple of weeks apart and since both my parents haven't been able to do much garden work with health issues I organized a family working bee. It was a great afternoon with all the family working hard in the garden. Amazing what some cardboard boxes, mulch and pruning can do! I also had some fun before everyone else arrived creating a new driveway artwork. I did offer to just clean it but Mum wanted it pretty! Thanks Mum!

With a little imagination anything is possible!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sweet Chilli Jam (Thermomix)

I love Sweet Chilli Jam!

My Chillies are growing nicely out in my garden so its Chilli Jam making time again!

As my Chillies ripen I keep them in the fridge until I have enough. This time I had enough to make two batches which filled 12 little Salsa Jars. That should keep us going for a bit but probably not too long as we all love it!

I wear latex free gloves when cutting up chillies. I am not too fond of the Capsaicin burn!

With your gloves on and using a paring knive cut or break stalks off ends and then slit down one side of the chilli and then pull out the seeds and the white pith. I react a bit to the capsaicin in the air so I cut them under running water and leave it running a little to lesson my sneezing and coughing! (of course if there are water restrictions you may need to alter this!)

If you would like to grow some of your own chillies, if you don't already, you can save the seeds then plant into your garden. They are super easy to grow and you can put them in amongst your flowers as well. I have some growing in my front garden with parsley and pineapple sage and pretty flowers!

The Thermomix is perfect for making Chilli Jam.

Sweet Chilli Jam

200-300 grams de-seeded Chillies (if you would like less heat you can swap some for Capsicums that are milder in intensity)
1 bottle of Verjuice 375mls (this is an alternative to vinegar)
1300 grams White sugar
200 grams Coconut or Rapadura Sugar

Weigh into Thermomix bowl 200-300 grams of Chillies and about half the bottle of Verjuice. Blitz on speed 10 for up to 20 seconds.

Weigh the sugars into the Thermomix bowl and replace lid. Cook on Varooma 10 minutes on Speed 3 with the rice basket on top of the lid to stop spitting. Reduce Heat to 100 degrees and cook for a further 10 minutes on Speed 3.

While the sauce is cooking prepare your jars. Make sure they are cleaned well and place on a tray in the oven to sterilize. The jars must be completely dry and still warm when the sauce is added. I take the jars out when the cooking still has a couple of minutes to go, then turn the oven off and put the lids into the hot oven on a tray until they are needed. Be very careful when handling hot jars and liquid!

Scoop off any froth off the top and discard. Pour immediately into clean warm jars and put lids on making sure the bottles are correctly sealed. Turn jars upside down for about 2 minutes, then invert and leave to cool. You should hear the lids pop as they cool which is a good sign that they are sealed well. If they don't pop you may need to make sure the lid is tight then microwave for a minute and let cool again. If it still doesn't pop use that jar first keeping it in the fridge.

The sauce will keep for up to 12 months in a cool dark place and once opened for about 6 weeks in the refrigerator.

Warning... this sauce is addictive! We eat it with lots of things its a great dipping sauce for Wedges and yum with Mock Fish!






Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pumpkin Scones (Thermomix)

Pumpkin Scones
(Gluten Free, Grain Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Legumes Free, Nut Free & Cane Sugar Free)

I love pumpkin scones! Even my daughter who does not like pumpkin loves Pumpkin Scones! This is my Mumma's recipe that I have altered.

Ingredients
150grams Cooked Pumpkin (I used Jap Pumpkin)
(*Note: Pumpkin can be cubed and cooked in the Thermomix basket or you can microwave it)
2 Eggs
1 tablespoon Coconut Syrup
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1/2 teaspoon Bicarb Soda
100grams Coconut Flour
100grams Potato Starch (Sulphur Free)
50grams Arrowroot Starch (Sulphur Free)

Thermomix
Place all the above ingredients into the Thermomix bowl and blend on speed 10 for 20-30 seconds or until combined.

Place 6 x If You Care Jumbo Baking Cups into a large muffin tray. 
Spoon Mixture into trays. Bake in a Moderate (180) oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden on top and cooked through.

Enjoy!

I love mine with a little Nuttelex and
home made Plum Jam.

This recipe can easily be doubled and any left overs can be frozen to enjoy another day!




Friday, March 8, 2013

Allergies continued!

Allergies!

What a drama they are! It seems to continue to become more difficult with reactions to things that I had been able to eat still happening.

At Christmas time I made some lovely Cocoa Butter Chocolates and in just a few added a Hazelnut. They were yum and we enjoyed them after Christmas lunch. A couple of weeks later (after the Allergy Specialist had informed me that I had no 'True' food allergies) while sitting with my family I ate one of the Hazelnut Chocolates and immediately started coughing and feeling very alarmed. We found a doctor and after two injections and much distress, I was informed that I had an Anaphylactic reaction to Hazelnut! Very bizarre since I have enjoyed a variety of nuts all my life with no adverse reactions whatsoever! It was a scary experience, one I hope I never have to go through again! I now carry an Action Plan and a Epipen which in itself is both a comfort and a little alarming!

The expensive Immuno Cap ISAC test that I had done, of which I expected to show my Pollen Food Allergies and help me determine a few more problem areas, was entirely disappointing and only showed my Dust Mite Allergy. I talked to the Pathologist who did the testing. He was helpful and told me not to despair as I am not alone and that the number of Adults with Food Allergies is on the increase especially in the last 5 to 10 years. He also said that just because I did not come up with allergies on the test does not mean I don't have them. Through my research I had already come to that conclusion but was grateful to hear it from him as well. There are several different Allergy Responses and the Allergy Tests only test for the most common IgE Allergy response. Which it seems I do not have. That should not have come as a surprise to me since my family has a tendency to do everything the hard way and have the most rare of conditions making nothing ever easy or within 'normal' ranges.

I still need to find a Allergy Specialist who is willing to help me! In the mean time I am not game to eat anything nut related and am still reacting to new things the latest being Quinoa.... that changes everything! Now I need to rethink my flour options and work out how to cook with only Potato Starch, Arrowroot Starch and Coconut Flour! It's never simple!


What is anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction and is potentially life threatening. It must be treated as a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment and urgent medical attention.
Anaphylaxis is a generalised allergic reaction, which often involves more than one body system (e.g. skin, respiratory, gastro-intestinal and cardiovascular). A severe allergic reaction or anaphylaxis usually occurs within 20 minutes to 2 hours of exposure to the trigger and can rapidly become life threatening.

COMMON SYMPTOMS
Mild to moderate allergic reaction
•Tingling of the mouth
•Hives, welts or body redness
•Swelling of the face, lips, eyes
•Vomiting, abdominal pain
Severe allergic reaction- ANAPHYLAXIS
•Difficult/noisy breathing
•Swelling of the tongue
•Swelling or tightness in the throat
•Difficulty talking or hoarse voice
•Wheeze or persistent cough
•Persistent dizziness or collapse
•Pale and floppy (young children)