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.
Shrove Tuesday is alway one of our favourite days, from the pancake flipping to stacking them high and all of us tucking in to piles of them covered in lemon and sugar!
So that number four is not left out we always make him some allergy friendly ones to enjoy.
This recipe is the closest we have got to the real thing and to be honest it’s really hard to tell the difference!
Allergy Friendly Pancakes
- 250g Plain white wheat free flour
- 2tsp Baking powder
- 300ml Oat milk
- Egg replacer, equivalent of two eggs
- Oil for frying
- Place the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
- Add the egg replaced and slowly whisk in the milk until you have a smooth batter.
- Allow to stand for a while whilst heating the oil in a pan.
- Once hot place a ladle full of the batter and cook for about 30 secs until cooked on the underside.
- Either turn the pancake over or if you are feeling brave give it a flip!
- Once cooked serve with a topping of your choice. I always go for traditional sugar and lemon but go ahead and use your imagination.
We are midway through the month and some of us may still be going strong with our New Year healthy eating plans and some of us may have already fallen off the wagon. Whatever boat you are in this yummy pudding is the perfect sweet treat without to much guilt!
Coconut Rice Pudding
- 400g pudding rice
- 1 litre oat/almond/rice milk
- 2 tbsp honey/agave syrup
- 100g desiccated coconut
- Sprinkling of seeds of soft fruit to serve
- Place the rice, milk, syrup/honey and 200ml water into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for around 30 mins stirring regularly to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Serve straight away with some seed of soft fruit and a dusting of desiccated coconut.
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?
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?
With Fathers Day celebrations happening this weekend I knew there would be lots of treats flying around that number four would not be able to join in with; so whilst the older children made chocolate muffins for their Dad we set to making some super easy chocolate plops.
All that is need is a large bar of dairy free chocolate and some cake decoration sprinkles. There are lots available so you can be as creative as you like with your decoration.
Firstly get a chopping board that will be able to lay flat in your fridge and cover with a layer a cling film.
Then melt your chocolate in a bowl I’ve some boiling water, take a teaspoon and put a 5cm drop of chocolate onto your covered board. Then add your sprinkles to each plop.
One all the chocolate has been used up place them into the fridge to set. This takes about 10mins depending on the thickness of the plops.
Whilst they were hardening number four enjoyed licking the bowl!!
When they were ready we easily removed them from the board and placed them in a box to be taken out as and when we wanted.