Valentines Day is fastly become a big celebration in the UK with it being a day not just for couples but something that the children now join in with.
My older children all attend Valentines discos at school and the younger ones have made some beautiful cards at school.
To be honest for me it should be something special left for couples to enjoy but im going with the flow and letting the kids join in with the celebrations too!
Number four wanted to do some baking this week so we went with a pink theme and made some strawberry flavoured cupcakes that were suitable for his allergies.
Strawberry Flavoured Cupcakes
- 110g self raising wheat free flour
- 110g dairy free margarine
- 110g caster sugar
- Egg replacer equivalent to 2 eggs
- 1 tsp strawberry flavouring
- 1tsp red colouring
- 140g dairy free margarine
- 250c icing sugar
- Few drops red colouring
- Strawberry flavoured sparkles
- Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4 and lay out 12 cake cases ready for filling.
- Best the butter and sugar together, add the egg replacer, flavouring and food colouring.
- Fold in the flour until completely mixed. Then transfer to cake cases.
- Cook for 10 mins then place in a wire rack to cool.
- Make up the buttercream by combining the margarine with the sugar and then mixing in the food colouring.
- Once the cakes are cooled place the butter cream on top and pull a fork over the top to create a rough surface and then sprinkle over the strawberry sparkles.
One of my biggest pitfalls when it comes to eating a healthy balanced diet is portion control and my love of all things stodgy! Bread, pasta and rice in abundance are my love and something I need to try and get under control.
I had seen a few recipes for cauliflower rice in the past but had not tried it until today and I was very presently surprised. It’s light cous cous like texture was the perfect accompaniment to my spicy mince.
Spicy Mince And Cauliflower Rice
- 1 cauliflower
- 500g turkey/beef mince
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 thumb sized piece of garlic
- 2 red chilli
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 100ml stock
- 1 onion
- Half a bag of kale
- Chop the onion and garlic and fry with a little olive oil until softened.
- Add the mince and cook until browned.
- Add the grated ginger, chopped chilli, soy sauce and stock.
- Simmer for 15/20 mins and add a little water if it begins to dry out.
- For the last 5 mins add the kale and cook until it is wilted.
- Whilst the mince is cooking take the heads from the cauliflower and place into a food processor and pulse until it is the consitincy of cous cous.
- Transfer to a bowl and cover with cling film and pierce a couple of times.
- Cook in high for 7mins.
- Serve together with the mince.
There is nothing better than a lovely warming cup of hot chocolate and a yummy biscuit with the cold weather in the lead up to Christmas.
I’ve made some pretty biscuits that are allergy friendly and can be balanced on the side of your favourite mug or cup and decorated any way you like.
Christmas Cup Biscuits
- 300g Gluten free flour
- 150g soft brown sugar
- 150g dairy free margarine
- 1 egg equivalent of egg replacer
- 2tsp all spice
- 250g icing sugar
- Juice half an orange
- Preheat the oven to 180c/Gas Mark 4 whilst lining two large baking trays with greasproof paper.
- Mix together the flour, and sugar and then rub together the butter and egg replacer to make fine breadcrumbs. Leave it in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes.
- Once chilled roll out onto a floured surface until it is about 1cm thick. Take any festive cutter you like and cut out the shapes. Once out then cut a small rectangle into the bottom of each biscuit slightly larger than the rim of your cup.
- Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes whist mixing the icing sugar and orange juice to make the icing.
- Once the biscuits have been taken out and cooled place your icing into a piping bag and pipe on your design.
- When the icing has set serve on the side of a cup of hot chocolate.
Who doesn’t have those few browning bananas left in the fruit bowl that nobody really wants but it is always such a shame to throw away.
What better way to use them up than to make a super yummy banana cake that the whole family will enjoy.
I came across this recipe on Cerea’s Kitchen blog and jiggled it around a little so it was also perfect for my little allergy boy too.
- 5 bananas
- 50ml maple syrup
- 130g rolled oats
- 150g wheat free flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 75g coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 60ml melted coconut oil
- Preheat the oven to 360F or 180C and lightly grease a square baking tin with coconut oil.
- In a large bowl mash the bananas and add the coconut oil, sugar, vanilla extract, vinegar, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.
- Next mix in the oats, flour and baking soda.
- Finally add the mixture to the tin and cake for around 35-40mins.
Saturday nights should be about rubbish food and easy watching TV with the family.
With number four’s allergies the biggest no no is pizza so instead of ordering a big greasy takeaway we love to get the kids involved and make our own pizzas so that number four doesn’t get to miss out on the fun.
This allergy friendly pizza crust recipe is fine for the whole family but to be honest the others prefer a normal base.
We let the children chose which topping they like and let them get on and get creative.
Here is my pizza crust recipe if you fancy giving it a go:
Allergy Friendly Pizza Crust
- 450g Wheat Free Flour
- 3/4tsp Xanthan Gum
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2tsp Baking Powder
- 1tsp Sugar
- 1tbsp Yeast
- 360ml Warm Water
- 1tbsp Olive Oil
- Preheat the oven to 180C 160CFan or gas Mark 5.
- Combine half the water with the yeast and leave for about five minutes. Add the sugar after the first few minutes.
- In another bowl add the flour and baking powder and mix well.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the yeast mixture, oil and the rest of the water. Stir well with a wooden spoon.
- Take the dough and place onto a floured surface and form your pizza base. Place into a lightly greased tray and cook for around 30mins.
- Remove from the oven and cover with a tomato sauce base and your favourite ingredients.
- Place back into the oven and cook for another 20 mins.
We had a selection of cheese, ham, pepperoni, sweetcorn, olives and peppers.
The children loved the whole process and cleared their plates.
What is your favourite pizza topping?
I love nothing more than saving a few pennies on the food shop so today we headed into town to pick up some bargains from the butchers and the greengrocer. On the way back we stopped and picked a few handfuls of blackberries that are still around.
During the summer I very rarely make any puddings so as the weather is now on the turn I thought tonight would be great to have a yummy crumble.
This recipe is great if you suffer with food allergies but can easily be converted to your usual ingredients.
Allergy Free Apple, Blackberry And Rhubarb Crumble
- 120 wheat free flour
- 60g caster sugar
- 60g dairy free spread
- 150g cooking apples
- 30g demerara sugar
- 30g dairy free spread
- 100g blackberries
- 1/4 tsp all spice
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan or Gas Mark 5.
- Add 60g dairy free spread, sugar and flour to a bowl a drub together making a breadcrumb like mixture.
- Next put the 30g of dairy free spread and demerara sugar onto a saucepan and melt together for a few minutes. Stir in the rhubarb and apple along with the cinnamon and cook for a few minutes. Add the blackberries and cook for another couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and place into a deep gratin dish.
- Lastly poor the crumble mixture over the top and place in the oven for around twenty minutes.
Sadly we forgot the custard so had it served by itself. I think we might have to get some for the leftovers tomorrow!
What is your favourite fruit to add to a crumble?
With the colder weather and darker nights drawing in a firm family favourite has appeared back on our menu…cottage pie goes down well with all of the children and this recipe makes it safe for number four too.
Allergy Free Cottage Pie
- 1kg Minced Beef
- 2 Chopped Onions
- 3 Sliced Carrots
- 2 Cloves Chopped Garlic
- 3 tbsp Wheat Free Flour
- 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 850ml Wheat Free Beef Stock
- Sprigs Of Thyme
- 1 1/2kg Chopped Potatoes
- 220ml Oat Milk
- 25g Dairy Free Margarine
- Heat a little oil in a large pan and brown the mince. Next add the vegetables and cook for around twenty minutes. Add the puree, flour and garlic and cook for another few minutes. Add the stock and herbs and cook uncovered for about 45 minutes.
- Place the potatoes into a pan of boiling water and cook until soft. Once ready drain and mash together with the milk and margarine.
- Lastly spoon the meat into a large ovenproof dish and spoon the mash potato into the top. Score all over with a fork and cook for 30 minutes in the oven at Gas Mark 7, 220C/200 Fan.
- Once bubbling and golden it will be ready to serve.
There is always a big debate in this house as to how it is served. My favourite is fresh green vegetables and the the others favour baked beans. What is your favourite accompaniment?
I posted a picture of my dinner on Instagram the other night and had a lot of my followers ask for the recipe.
It’s a real family favourite and actually the only meal the whole family enjoy. It’s from the ‘Hairy Dieters Eat For Life‘ book which is full of lots of great food that is good for the waistline which is always a bonus!
Spicy Pork And Rice
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion sliced into wedges
- 500g pork tenderloin cut into 1cm slices
- 50g chorizo sausage cut into 5mm slices
- 2cloves thinly sliced garlic
- 100g green beans trimmed and cut into small pieces
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
- 1 red and orange pepper deseeded and sliced
- 750ml chicken stock
In a large frying pan fry the onions until softened and lightly browned. Stirring regularly.
Add the pork to the pan and fry for another 2 mins until browned. Add the chorizo, garlic, peppers, and beans and stir fry together for another 2mins. Sprinkle over the spices and stir in the rice, pour over the stock and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20mins, stirring regularly until the rice has been absorbed and the pork is tender.
We serve ours with a small green salad and sometimes some crusty bread if the children are really hungry.
At the end of term we always like to say a big thank you to the teachers by making them something homemade.
This year I used a recipe from Life Currents that I had originally set aside for number four as it is allergy free; but it seemed something nice and easy for number three to prepare herself.
- 200g Shredded Coconut
- 230ml Coconut Oil
- 2tbsp Maple Syrup
- Half tsp Vanilla Extract
- In a saucepan mix together the coconut, coconut oil and the syrup and heat for about 5mins until some oil is absorbed.
- Remove from the heat and pack firmly into a 9 by 5 inch loaf tin and refrigerate for around an hour.
- Once hardened remove from the tin and cut into 21 small pieces.
I found some lovely jam jars in our local kitchen suppliers The Art Of Living which were perfect to home our handmade gifts.
Number three then cut a gift tag from some coloured paper and added her own message.
To finish the gift off she tied her gift tag to the jar with some string.
Hopefully her teachers will be pleased with the gifts and have a great summer holiday.
What gifts do you normally chose for your children’s teachers?
After school my children are always both bored and hungry; so to avoid sticking them in front of the TV with a snack tonight we killed two birds with one stone and prepared our own snacks.
Painting bread is super easy and loads of fun. It also requires very little equipment so I’m sure you will all have the bits indoors to get started.
Firstly get yourself some small pots and mix together some milk with a few drops of food colouring to create the colour that you would like.
We used oat milk so it would be ok for number fours allergies, but any milk would work.
Next grab some white bread and paint brushes and get to creating whatever design you wish.
Once they have created their master piece then allow to dry a little before toasting.
As you can see number four was not to happy with waiting!!
We simply buttered ours but you could add any topping you like. We also saved a few slices to make colourful sandwiches for tomorrow’s lunch boxes.