Christmas is approaching, FUDGE TIME!

7 of December, and I was done with ALL my gifts over a week ago. First time ever! Usually Im running around like a headless chicken until hours before getting myself together. But no. This year, I am calm, organised and dare I say a perfect little wife. Tree is up, decorations are up, kids are watching the Elf movie and here we go. Bliss. Or…. boredom…?

I decided today is the day I will make christmas sweets. last time I made Christmas sweets I was probably 16. It was the one thing I always did at Christmas as a kid. Time to revive this tradition. Only obviously now, gluten free. Or maybe they always were? I remember things dipped in chocolate and fudge and ginger biscuits.

I am going easy on myself, starting with fudge 🙂

You will need;

  • 3 dl sugar
  • 2dl heavy (whipping) cream
  • 1/2 dl coco powder (make sure its gluten free as many are not!)
  • 50g butter
  • vanilla sugar or essence, or if you dont have, scrap it!
  • chopped nuts or seeds. (OPTIONAL)

Im going bare, no vanilla essence or nuts in my fudge. I like it plain.

In a pan with a thick bottom, add your sugar and cream and stir. Bring to a boil and lower the heat. You want it to continue to bubble, but not rapidly. The temperature needs to get to 122 degrees apparently, but a meat thermometer will NOT work. I do it the Swedish way and do “kulprovet”. This means you drop a small amount of liquid in a glass of cold water, when the liquid balls together to a lump and you can easily mould it with your fingers, its ready. This took around 15 minutes. Add your coco powder and stir until there are no lumps. Turn your heat off and stir in the butter (this is where you add your vanilla and nuts if using). DO NOT TASTE THE MIXTURE. Its hotter then hot and your tongue will be on fire for the rest of the day. Trust me.

Pour the mix in to your pan of choice that you prepared earlier. I lined mine with parchment paper, but you can use butter or oil if you like. The bigger your dish/pan, the thinner your fudge.

Leave it to cool. You can leave it out or pop in the fridge, up to you. Once its cool, take it out and cut in to squares on a chopping board.

Eat!

Store in fridge and eat within 2 weeks.

Linda

There are many versions of fudge. Some like it grainier, some like it chewier. Cook longer for less chew and more grain. Mess about with it, try adding the chocolate at the start, try it without butter 🙂 Anything goes in chocolatey gooey fudge world 🙂

Check out my pinterest Christmas board for more gf goodies!

 

Beef in paprika and tomato sauce

Another quick and easy staple dinner recipe. Change it up using different veggies.

I used:

  • half an onion (I have kids remember! Use more if you like)
  • 1 green paprika
  • beef, I used two nice steaks and cut them, but you can buy the ready made stroganoff pieces if you like. (NOT braising beef as it takes ages)
  • passata, I used about 250g

If you are serving this with rice then the sauce takes about the same time as a pot of basmati rice to cook, so get the rice going then make the sauce 🙂

Frying pan on hot, add olive oil (extra virgin obviously, never fry in any other olive oil) then pop the beef in (don’t wait to heat the olive oil as it ruins the oils flavour). Add salt & pepper. Once the beef has sealed (that means its gone a nice brown on all sides) add your onions and paprika and turn the heat down to medium. Once the onion has gone soft add your passata and a teeny bit of water, if you like you can add half a stock cube at this point, I usually do, but no need. If you do, make sure its organic and gluten free!

Simmer the sauce until the paprika is soft but not soggy, if you have that rice going then the sauce should be done around the time you drain the rice 🙂

The kids eat this with Rice, I eat mine with some cabbage, or on its own to make it LCHF.

Enjoy 🙂

Linda

Easy Peasy Orange chicken (that doesn’t taste of orange!)

Im bad at writing recipes, but good at cooking, so here we go, Im continuing with easy simple stuff that anyone can make 🙂 Real food baby, its the way to go. And real food doesn’t have to be hard at all!

Ideally to make a gourmet meal of chicken you should marinade, but hey, Im a busy mum of 2, running a gluten free house and I hardly have time to shower some days let alone think ahead to marinade stuff in advance! So, keeping it simple here. My kids love and adore this chicken, and so does anyone else that eats it, and its so super simple!

I used:

  • 4 good size chicken thighs (you can use drumsticks or whatever you like)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • half an orange

Pop your Chicken in an oven pan, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Then squeeze the juice of half an orange on top. Bung it in the oven 175º degrees for 45 minutes.

Thats it. Like really. I mean it 😉

This particular batch Im keeping in the fridge (juices from pan included) to make a quick dinner with after sons football game tomorrow. you could serve it as is with rice and veggies and a sauce or use it for salads or lunch boxes, anything goes.

Enjoy 🙂

Linda

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Autumn soup

1622014_726987724021811_5018130055690459151_nThe leaves are turning orange here in Poland and its gorgeous. Everywhere you turn there are gorgeous fall veggies to be seen. My kids always eat well when I give them soup so what a great opportunity to make some!

Im not one for following a recipe, and when I cook I never measure or remember how I made something, if you are needing precise recipes then all I can do is apologise! Dollops and drops and a bit of is the way to go (unless you are baking). So here we go.

I used :

  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 gluten free organic stock cube
  • water
  • red lentils (you don’t need lentils, I like to add them for some extra dimension and nutrition)

Clean up your pumpkin discarding the inner bits and seeds and the peel (obviously). Peel the carrots and onions. Chop everything roughly (the pieces can be pretty big, it doesn’t matter). Make sure the onions kindof stay together or they will burn. Pop everything in a roasting tray and drizzle with a  generous amount of olive oil, add salt & pepper.

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Now, pop it all in the oven, 175º degrees for 45 minutes.

Once its ready take it out and discard any black onion bits. Add everything to a large pot. Add your water and stock cube, you want to just cover the veggies. You can always add more water later if you want. IMG_9577

Bring your soup to a boil. Once its boiling you can add your red lentils, I just use around a handful two. lower the temp and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Now its time for that trusty hand mixer to do its job again, get it in there and whizz until everything is nice and smooth with no bits. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. I leave my soup nice and thick and freeze in portion sizes, then I just add a bit more water when I reheat.

This soup is a fab way to use up leftover veggies from a roast dinner, just don’t add the potatoes 😉

-Linda

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Cauliflower Mash (LCHF staple)

My kids absolutely love cauliflower mash, at first I would have it as a main for me as Im on LCHF (Low carb high fat), and give the kids only a small bit as a veggie along with their starch (rice, potato etc), but then I realised how much they love it, so now we all eat it in a full portion. The kids even like to eat it on its own with cheese on top! RESULT for mummy!

So, although this is so simple and basic, I have had several people ask me how to make it, so here goes 🙂

You need, one cauliflower, butter, cream, salt and pepper (yeah, thats really it!)

Clean the cauliflower up and cut it in to 4 (or less) pieces. Boil in a large pot of water with some salt added. When the cauliflower is ready, drain it in a colander and pop the cauliflower back in the pot. Add a big dollop of butter, if you are an LCHF’er like me, then you know what big means, lol, if you are your average person, then just whatever is big to you, don’t be shy 😉 Add some salt & pepper.

Get your hand mixer/blender in the pot and work it baby!

When everything is mashed and smooth add a teeny dollop of cream, and whizz a bit more. I cant say how much cream as I don’t know how big your cauliflower is, but a few table spoons is more then enough, if you add to much you will have soup.

Thats it, khalas! You are done 🙂

(this dish reheats well, so make a big batch and keep leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days)

-Linda

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Tomato Sauce from scratch

When I say I make everything from scratch, I almost never lie. (<- note the almost ;))

I always preferred making food from scratch, even before the gluten issue. As time goes on I realise more and more how many people cant cook to save their lives. Many were brought up with processed foods themselves, so even a simple thing to them can seem totally overwhelming.

So, here it is, a simple (like totally simple, you can get your no cooking experience tween to do it simple) tomato sauce. My kids cant get enough of this one. You can use it as is, or use it as a base for whatever you need to make 🙂

You need;

  • Tomatoes, roughly diced, sliced, chopped or mashed in any way you so wish.
  • Onion, roughly chopped, sliced, diced or whatever you wish.
  • Spices
  • Olive Oil (extra virgin, always extra virgin)

So, today I used 4-5 large tomatoes, slightly overripe. Any tomatoes will do. Pop a deep saucepan on the stove on medium – high heat, add olive oil and onions. Once the onions have sizzled for a bit add your tomatoes and spices. I used a large basil leaf from my garden and salt and pepper in this batch. If you have homemade stock you can add some of that, or an organic gf stock cube, if you don’t have any, then go without. Add some water, just a little so that the tomatoes have something to boil in (about half a cup-ish). Lower heat and walk away.

Return at some point to stir and check, once your tomatoes are dissolved more or less you are ready. I use a rice colander and pour the whole thing through in to another pot, this gets rid of the onion bits and tomato skins. You will need to push with your spoon a bit to get all the good bits through. Whats left is a thick tomato sauce that tastes like heaven, if you want it a deeper red, add some tomato puree!

I never do this in advance, its so fast and fresh and easy I really don’t mind doing it when I need it.

Kids will have theirs over some gf pasta and veg and I will eat mine with broccoli later (yes, still on the low carb diet!)

Try it with some added cream as a soup, or with garlic and chilli!

Enjoy!

Linda

Lunch box staples

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You all know I write most of the content for GlutenFree UAE right? I was looking at some of the stuff I have written for there and thinking some should be moved over, but not only is it time consuming, but it already exists 🙂

Having said all that, I know that GF lunches are always a hot topic when gf mums get together. Its not easy doing a gf lunch thats interesting and nourishing day in and day out. Some lucky mums, like those in Sweden get lunch provided for their kids in school (yes, even gluten free!), but even those kids sometimes require a packed lunch.

So, about a year ago I did a small series of my favourites over on GF UAE. Do go have a look, each one opens in a new window.

Enjoy! All of these contain egg obviously, I need to rework them and come up with new staples!

For more ideas for lunch boxes, don’t miss out on My top 10 tips for a gluten free lunchbox! 

-Linda