Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas Snaps

Soooooo are you all stuffed? Full of GF goodies? I know I certainly am....I hope you all had a great Christmas! The eating started waaaay before Christmas Day and continues while I write as I just reached for the box of Cadbury's Heroes oooops!

Christmas dinner is a predictable thing to blog about. I figure there is not much to say. There is a winning formula to GF Christmas dinner which is

Turkey + veg + roasties + Black Farmer sausages + Mrs Crimbles stuffing + Bisto Best Gravy = perfect GF Christmas dinner!!! Thanks Mum! 

So for this weeks post I present to you my Christmas photo album.....a whistle stop tour of GF Christmas in the Price / Freeman households! Sit back and enjoy the festive snaps (possibly with a Hero or two?!)

Fancy Festive Chocs all given the GF seal of approval!

Chocolate Reindeer from Hotel Chocolat

Chocolate Tree from Charbonnel et Walker

Jamie Oliver's white choc and banoffee choc.

I also received a Throntons Gruffalo but he didn't last long enough to have his picture taken! All the above delicious and "normal" chocolate too!

Boxing Day

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOOOOU Marks and Spencer for your amazing party food that just happens to be Gluten Free! Wow! It tasted great and was enjoyed by everyone! Hopefully other supermarkets / brands can learn from M&S......gluten free food doesn't have to be different to everyone else's food! With a little thought great tasting, good quality food can be naturally gluten free! Hip hip hoooraaaay for Marks! 

Chocolate log, made by Dale (obviously!!!). Dove's Farm Self Raising Flour, Sainsburys cocoa and Tesco Value Dark Chocolate.....another successful food formula!! (Maths would have been far more interesting at school if taught like this lol!)

Food Heaven cheesecake in summer fruits flavour. I'm a newbie to the Food Heaven range but I can't wait to try more! This cheesecake was so light it slipped down nicely after tucking into all of the above! Apparently they are Dairy Free too. I found this cheesecake hiding with all the regular ones in the freezer section of Sainsburys...I was happy to rescue it! 


Fabulous leftovers / cheeseboard combo! Mrs Crimbles cheese crackers with Sainsburys Taste the Difference Fig Chutney (figs + tomatoes = 2 of my 5 a day right?! Ok, maybe not!!)

Sales Shopping

Oh yes, Dale and I arrived at Westfield Stratford bright and early on Boxing Day morning! Sadly, no bargains were to be had. However, I did have my trusty bag of snacks with me and happily tucked into my Udi's Strawberry breakfast bar to keep me elbowing my way through the crowds with vigour!

Great! If any of you out there used to be fans of the Nutri Grain bars these are just like them! Really filling too so kept me going till ...well.....till the next snack break!

I received a really exciting present just before Christmas..... Udi's hamper! How exciting!! I cracked open the cinnamon and sugar bagel chips straight away.

These are great but should come with a warning......scarily moreish!!!! Makes a nice change to have something crispy but sweet. A great little box of treats which will be making a reappearce in our "nibbles" bowls when our friends come round this week...they'll never know they are GF! (Unless they are reading!!)

Finally, after all this eating (ok, well no more than normal for me .... but anyway...) I thought I'd share a little treat I found online. I know I normally blog about food but you can't eat as much as I do without having to do a little something to burn it off! I go through phases of going to the gym, using the Wii, doing fitness DVDs but during the summer I subscribed to It has a bank of all kinds of fitness classes for you to do in the comfort of your own home, it's fab! It costs about six quid a month and I think you can have a free trial at the mo! Definitely worth a look...working out at home definitely has it's the kitchen for post work out snacks......oh well! ;0)

Have a great new year everyone! X

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Have a Soupa Doupa Christmas!

As Christmas looms and I'm mentally preparing myself (and my stomach) for the onslaught of mega roast dinners, puddings galore, Marks and Spencer's GF buffet food and endless sweets and nibbles, I thought I would treat my stomach to a "Pre Christmas treat", a mini detox......ok, that might be pushing it a bit but hey ho it's as close to a detox as I'll ever get! So, this week, I dedicate to soup!

Those of you who know me may be surprised by this. I'm not the hugest soup fan....drinking your lunch just never seems right to me but in the name of prep for Christmas binging I thought I'd give it a go. So here we have the top five in the Soupa Doupa awards ( I know the play on words is poor but let me have is Christmas after all!!!!)

Number 5

Amy's Kitchen French Vegetable Soup

Big fan of Amy's Kitchen but have never tried this flavour. Have to say it wasn't my favourite and felt I needed to add a little salt which is quite unlike me! Nevertheless, the veg and beans were really filling and kept afternoon snacking at bay ( well, for a little while anyway!) 

I would like to say that Amy's Kitchen do many other flavours and my particular favourites are these...

.....which I'm saving for another week!

Number 4

A regular brand of soup, ie not a dietary / freefrom brand. All ingredients and allergy warnings checked and a big GF thumbs up given. Again, a little lacking in taste which was disappointing as it's called "spiced butternut squash.."! Nevertheless, the huge quantity of beans were filling and knocking out three of your five a day in one hit can't be bad!

Number 3

Heinz Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup

Again, a regular brand that is suitable for GF diet. Really enjoyed this. Very tasty and despite being a smoother soup it was still very filling. Two of your five a day is pretty good going too!

Number 2

I am absolutely thrilled to be able to award second place to Pret a Manger! If you have read my previous blog posts you will know I haven't had the best Pret service in the past. However, this week was hugely different! They are now clearly labelling their food so no need to wrestle the "Allergy Bible" from unhelpful staff!

Something as simple as this makes dining out with a dietary requirement so much easier! I went for the Butternut Squash and Sage soup (are you getting the theme with the soup flavours?!.....I'm a butternut squash fan...ok....I've said it!! Here's hoping I don't turn orange for Christmas!!)

This soup was delicious. Hot, steamy, tasty, filling and kept me going as the cold winds whipped through Biscester Outet Village! Well done Pret!

Number 1

I feel a drum roll would be appropriate now........

Ilumi Tom Kha Gai Soup

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm! Chickeny, mildly spicy, ricey, creamy....mmmmmm! Delicious! I'm a big Ilumi fan but had not tried any of their soups until today! Will definitely be ordering again!! Soooo tasty! Portion size seemed smaller than others I have tried this week but actually it filled me up for much longer...a lesson to be learnt there I feel! 

How amazing that the best soup is one made by a dietary requirement brand! For so long dietary brands have been seen as poor substitutes to the "real food" out there! Congratulations Ilumi (and many other new dietary food brands) for waving the freefrom flag and showing the world that good, healthy, allergy friendly food can be super tasty too!

Well, at the risk of over using my play on words I would like to wish all my readers a really Soupa Doupa Christmas! I hope you all have a happy, healthy and Gluten Free time with your family and friends and I look forward to sharing all the calorific Christmas delights with you next week! Xx

Sunday, 15 December 2013

How do you like your eggs in the morning? be perfectly honest, I like them still in the box!! As I stagger out of bed at 6.00am the last thing I feel like doing is frying, poaching or scrambling! Therefore, I have a stash of quick, easy, GF, fail safe brekky combinations that I thought I would dedicate this blog to!

Back in the day, shortly after my diagnosis I struggled with eating carb heavy meals (even GF carbs!) In my pre GF days I was a cereal and toast kinda gal but I suddenly found I couldn't stomach even the GF equivalents. As a result the following is my regular breakfast staple.

Sainsburys Freefrom fruit loaf...light and not too "mixed spicey" but yet still masquerades as toast fairly well. I was also advised to eat live yogurt in the mornings and these are the best, tastiest GF yogs I have found (and low fat!!) which I usually eat with some sort of fruit mixed in (fresh or tinned I'm not fussy!)

Thankfully, a year and a half after my diagnosis I have found I can tolerate more carbs and if spaced out strategically, I feel better for it (energy levels really dipped when I cut them out!). I still have to plan when and how often I have them but it has meant I can add a little GF cereal or "proper toast" to my regular breakfasts.

Cereal, it seems, is a little like lipstick! I can't stop buying them but rarely use them....and only on special occasions! Here is a little selection from my cupboard...

Nature's Path O's- great substitute for all those Cheerios fans out there! Scarily crunchy, no chance of any soggy O's here! 

Nature's Path Maple Sunrise - Just recently tried this. Love it! It's certainly not for the faint this is a sweet cereal but it's right up my street! Really appeals to my sweet tooth but definitely limited to once a week!

Perkier Red Berry Flakes- Tasty and perhaps a more "grown up", healthier option! A great Perkier breakfast option for those who cannot eat the oats in their porridge. (Although their oat free porridge is pretty tasty too!)

Tesco Everyday Value Corn Flakes - Now, I'm ashamed to admit that this box is quite old. I really don't know if current boxes of this cereal are still GF but I hope they are! Great cornflakes and soooo much cheaper than the Freefrom equivalents!

As far as toast goes...well...there are so many great GF breads out there now and everyone seems to like different ones! However, my personal fave is the Newburn Bakehouse Seeded Loaf. It toasts really well, doesn't fall apart like some brands and freezes well too.

I am also partial (as some of you may remember!!) to a bagel or two! Udi's cinnamon and raisin bagels are great first thing in the morning.....jam is optional!!

You may notice the jam theme in the last couple of photos!? As I wrote my blog last week Dale was frantically stirring a bubbling pot, trying his hand at jam! 


Please ignore the mess, he is not known for being a tidy cook! The jam is fab and has become a regular accompaniment to my various toasts....makes a change to Flora, although once again I have to limit the sugar high to once (ok, maybe twice!!) a week!

Well, the Christmas hols are here and term is officially over til 2014....did you hear me whooping on Thursday?! So, here's to week one of the Christmas holidays!mCan't wait to tell you all about it next week! Have a good one! X

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Gluten Free Envy!

Never mind the saying "The key to a mans heart is his stomach" , it is most definitely the key to mine!! Therefore, you can imagine my delight when a friend at work presented me with these on Tuesday morning!

What a great start to the day! I have been trying to get hold of some of these for weeks but my local Tesco doesn't seem to stock them. The most problematic thing about this delicious duo is that there are two different flavours in the pack so how do you know where to start?! I plumped for the toffee and saved the choc chip for Wednesday.... even a girl with my appetitie for sweet stuff has to pace herself! Well, I can't call it! Both of these were great! Soft, sweet, sticky.....mmmmm muffin heaven! You really could not tell that these are gf! Anyone would happily enjoy, they could unite the gf and non gf world!! Now, I just need to contact Tesco and get them stocking them in my local branch!

Dale's weekly cooking challenge was inspired by our last visit to GBK. Never one to be out done he decided to try and rival the GBK GF burger extravaganza we experienced a few weeks ago! And do you know what?! The boy did good!

Pretty impressive I reckon! Ok so here we have..... a homemade seasoned beef burger with bacon, caramelised onions and blue cheese (gf!!) all in a Sainsburys Freefrom white roll! Needless to say I didn't have any "sides"! Maybe he should go into business!?

So, Friday night was the staff Christmas party! I'm sure most Coeliacs would agree that the prospect of a gluten filled buffet fills me with dread! If it's not the pastry filled quiches, it's the cross contamination risk of an over excited gluten eater mixing his vol au vents with the ham and cheese platter! So, I girded my loins and contacted the venue before hand to see what they could do for me. They assured me the chef would organise something and plate it separately. After the fiasco of ill fitting shoes, ladders in tights and a dress that wasn't 100% right I tentatively approached the man in charge of our "do" and asked about my "special" plate! It was all I could do to stop myself from hugging him in delight when he not only knew what I was talking about but produced this....

Let's take a moment to give a big gf cheer to The Brookmans Pub, Brookmans Park, Hertfordshire 

I experienced something I had never experienced since my diagnosis of Coeliac Disease.....Gluten Free Envy! Please note the size of the plate just behind mine....yep...that's right....that's what everyone else got heeeee heeeee! Don't get me wrong their food looked great and they could go up as many times as they liked but ha ha ha ha ha ha! There were more than a few envious glances at my gf feast! Thank you Brookmans Pub! Can't wait to come back and order from your regular menu! 

As I write this Dale is peering into a bubbling pot on the hob and even though he is muttering something under his breath, it doesn't appear to be "Hubble bubble toil and trouble!". Today he is experimenting with jam! So, as this week brings kids Christmas parties, entertainers, Christmas dinners, the glorious "break up" for the school holidays and a trip to Wales.... I will be fuelled by pure sugar! I will bring you a jam update next week.....have a good one everyone! X

Sunday, 1 December 2013

I'm so excited!!

Woooooohoooooo!! I'm sooooo excited.....and I just can't hide it! I'm about to lose control and I think I like it tra la la la!! Hope you're singing along?! It's a cross between blogging and karaoke.....blokey maybe?!! Hmmmmm......

Anyway, you may be wondering what the cause of this jovial start to my weekly blog update is?! You might remember I left you on a little cliff hanger last week regarding the Terry's Chocolate Orange Ice Creams!! It was almost worthy of the famous Eastenders "Doof Doof Doof's" at the end of each episode....ok well maybe not BUT good news fellow GF people they are A-MAZ-ING!!!!! Why oh why can't the real choc orange not be made in the same factory therefore (presumably?) getting rid of the need for the"May Contain" label that appears on them at the mo! 

Ahhhhhh they are really lovely. Just chocolate orangey enough and very close to the actual chocolates. Definitely a suitable substitute if not a little chilly to be indulging in at is time of year! The box states they are a limited edition but here's hoping they catch on and decide to make them permanent. I'll certainly be panic buying until then just so I can have my fix! Thank goodness I have two freezers! Also, I don't need to keep longingly sniffing my choc orange Carex hand wash now.....although it did fill a gap for a while! 

So, last Sunday saw Dale take to the kitchen to cook for a church social. Always up for a Masterchef style challenge he decided to make the whole meal GF. We only let everyone in on the secret once they had finished! Mwahahahahahaha! A cunning plan eh?! Did anyone notice?!? Did they heck! Fab! Mission accomplished! Well done Dale!

Chicken and Broccoli bake (Dove's Farm Plain flour used in the cheese sauce) for main

Clearly went down well.....

Followed by jam sponge and custard (Dove's Farm Self Raising flour in sponge. Sainsbury's own low fat custard.....cos now I'm counting the calories?!)

Everyone went home full, happy and Gluten Free! Dale's already working on his next menu....must be a glutton for punishment lol!

Maybe he'll get some ideas from GFree Radio! If you haven't tuned in to any of their shows yet...what are you waiting for?! sooooo worth a look! Really informative and keeps you up to date with all things GF.

Well, I'm just settling down and warming up with a cup of Options White Hot Chocolate (need warming up after all that ice cream!!)........

.....and mentally preparing myself for a week of dressing 20 children in various Christmas Nativity costumes for MANY performances!!!? I'm sure there will be treats a plenty this week to get through the madness! Wish me luck! See you next week......altogether now "Away in a Manger....." X