Festive Recipe Round Up

2016

You’ve caught me, dear reader, I’m updating this on the Q.T. I’ll reblog it nearer the season, there are enough people bring the festivities out too soon already so I won’t add to the misery, or mayhem. The fun? Don’t be silly. Same idea, probably not a huge number of recipes to add. But there are still all the originals to choose from so it’ll all turn out good in the end. Same as before, a bit of fun and recipes collect by similarity. You ain’t seen me, right?

 photo WP_20160731_002_e_zpsyzoxqqty.jpgSadly I don’t have any Harlequin squash left *Sniff*

Toasty and Roasty

I’m running out of title gags, cut me some slack, dear reader. Now though I’ve mentioned a few vegetable sides I’d be remiss to neglect the duo of Roast Cauliflower and Roast Broccoli. Now, prepping vegetables can be a pain. Here’s where this comes in so handy: You can blanch and freeze your own vegetables. Both these work well from frozen and all you need do is drizzle some oil, season and roast. Simple, a crispy crunchy side. Speaking of crispy, perhaps better as a snack, but I’m never fussy when it comes to crunch. We have Roasted Julienned Sweet Potatoes. With nightshade intolerance a lot of vegetables, especially the ones I love, are forever out of my scope of eatables, but as you can see there are a variety of options when it comes to vegetables. Even the ones you might not like become better when roasted.

 photo WP_20160922_005_e_zps4wdvatds.jpgServe your caviar on pigweed crackers!

Giftables and Guest-ables

You, dearest reader, might be playing host. Sometimes the simple things are best. There are two options for crackers, Buckwheat and Amaranth. For canopies if you’re posh, or have delusions of grandeur or if you’re common as your pal, then for smearing cream-cheese on. If you’re really lazy just make the tortillas instead of baking them and pile everything on, I won’t judge. They both cover a lot of diets so that a bonus. On the other hand say you’re playing guest, you could pack up some Honeycomb, Brittle, Fancy Brittle What? It’s French. Therefore it’s fancy. Oh! And Sesame Seed Brittle for the nut-free. I imagine home-made candy makes a great gift, I saw it on TV once. Naturally most baked goods make great gifts. It’s just that candy feels special.

 photo WP_20160821_001_e_zpsznvqrh68.jpgThis nightshade free stuffing is worth getting the ingredients.

Harlequin? I Assure You I’m Not Joking

What are the odds of you having harlequin squash to hand, probably not good, but hope springs eternal and as far as potato replacements go it’s the best I’ve found. So for nightshade free roast potatoes we have Faux ones made with Harlequin squash. Not to be outdone I also have Stuffing for you, a traditional family recipe. You can’t beat a simple sage and sausage stuffing. You might be lucky enough to have fresh sage still growing. Even if you just sauté them, harlequin squashes are a wonderful side and delicious all year round.

 photo WP_20160503_003_e_zpsfhqbkbwk.jpgWith or without pastry lemon curd and meringue is a match made in heaven.

Spreading Sweetness and Light

I don’t know how traditional a Lemon Meringue Tart is, but in our house it was mandatory. You’ll need to assemble it from other recipes, three to be precise, but it isn’t as daunting as it sounds. You’ll want your Pastry, use the chia egg for easy rolling out, then make some Lemon Curd, with an option to just use the egg yolks so you can save the whites for your Meringue Topping. You could make little Meringues if you’d rather, maybe as little snowmen or women. At any holiday that involves food you’ll find everything is fair game, so why don’t I go all out go all out and mention this Strawberry Mousse.

If you’ve stumbled across this page then you might want to pop back nearer the holidays as it might see some more additions. I’m not big on holidays, which is a very polite way of saying I have on occasion abhorred them. I’m getting better at indifference. This is just a little help for those who do love them, but struggle when looking for suitable recipes. I like to think it will help someone out there.


2015

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not big on the holidays, but I realise that there are plenty of people out there who love this time of year, so rather than being a Scrooge, or a Grinch, I’ll instead be compiling a list of my recipes that could be said to fit into the festive theme. They really just fall into desserts and sides, but I’ll try to lump them together in a slightly more fun and creative way. All recipes will be hyper-linked so just follow them to their respective pages. This is going to be more of a pain thanks to WordPress changing the way links work, but I’ll persevere, for the children, the poor little babbies! *Picks up baby* Look at it…poor little guy *Tosses it over shoulder* So, this list is just my meagre contribution. I will say one thing, lord knows you can’t shut me up even if you try, do remember that it’s just one day, it’s not the end all and be all of everything, if you can’t eat all you want then it’s no big deal and remember waiting until New Year to start the journey to a “new” you is useless if you precede it with a huge binge. I started when I first thought of it, I didn’t wait for a specific date and it’s worked for me. If you start anything start at that very moment of decision and steel your resolve. I’m just being pre-emptively cranky, tis the season, but really, I hope this helps make the season more fun/a little easier. Onwards an upwards! To the recipes.

Keep an eye on this throughout the month, I may have more recipes to add as time rolls on.

 photo IMGP3826_e_zps8yvvzrmv.jpg

Flah La Flah…etc

Roll-out Biscuits that hold their shape. An original recipe made especially for this time of year. For the young and the young at heart. Check out the page for details. I may look into these again soon, a really enjoyable recipe.

Tis the Season for Giving.

 photo IMGP3807 - Copy_e_zpseoketrtk.jpg

Okay, back again with a new recipe. Another gingerbread cookies, this time a Buckwheat one. Hit the page up for the full recipe. I used half an egg rather than a flax egg because I feel you need the rise an egg provides. You can do half or just follow the recipe for a full 22 cookies, it can vary depending on the sugar, but only by a cookie or two. I was going to try these with treacle as it goes really well with the spice blend, but I’d be weary on the stability, thankfully dark muscovado sugar gives them enough of that treacly taste to compliment the warming spices of the blend. A crunchy exterior and fluffy interior make for a lovely cookie. A few lines of simple icing would finish these off a treat.

 photo 2015-11-03 23.53.23_e_zpsvusmfkrg.jpgSautéed Sweet Potato with Butternut Squash Gravy.

Sweet Potatoes, Not Just for Thanksgiving

Go nightshade free and you’ll hear nothing but sweet potatoes. I honestly hated them at first, but I’ve grown to love them. Sadly it’s a love kept in check by moderation, they don’t love me quite as much. Sweet potatoes make a handy side dish so you can have them a few different ways. Sautéed Sweet Potato with SP Seasoning (Two ways) is time consuming, but not as daunting as it sounds. Squash works here too, maybe try both for a real variety of flavour. How about Muffins? Sure it’s an unusual choice, they’re better with a blob of butter, but nothing says you have to have them as a dessert. They’re on the Buckwheat Muffin Page. If all else a nice SP Mash can’t be a bad option either. The muffin and Mash cane be prepared ahead of time and frozen. I’ll be mentioning what can be frozen as it really helps to plan ahead.

No Potatoes? No Problem!

My nightshade intolerance is showing up a lot, huh? I have no idea how common it is, but it’s plagued me all my life. At times where potato dishes are ubiquitous it becomes a real pain, but mash isn’t out of the question! You could opt for a Chickpea Mash, which really makes a great substitute for potato. Butternut makes a lovely mash, a dash of salt and pepper and you’re all set, a better variety for a potato like experience is a Harlequin squash, but a butternut will be just as good. Now onto the odder side of things it’s: Cashew Butter Amaranth! Thick and delicious, it’s a shame I can’t get it here any more. Even plain, or maybe stock cooked, amaranth would make a great side. Quinoa is a nice option too. Remember you can use anything here in conjunction with another recipe, mix it all up and see what you can create. The butternut would be the best for freezing, the chickpeas are a maybe, but I never tried them. Quinoa can be frozen and reheated.

Good Gravy!

Do remember to check out the respective pages to see what allergies are accounted for, a lot of recipes have a lot of accommodating options. Just two this time the ever wonderful Cashew Butter Gravy and the Nut Free Butternut Squash Gravy. The cashew gravy was born from a mistake and was made a few Christmases ago. As far as freezing goes I’d say you should try making them fresh, but they both should be freezable, the BNS suffers a bit in the colour department after freezing. Remember you can use any stock you like so they can be vegan as well.

 photo WP_20161121_007_e_zpsgltza8dd.jpgFor my best pastry yet check here.

An Empty Shell is like a Blank Canvas

You know my Buckwheat Flour Pastry, best with a chia egg. Imagine the possibilities here, a Curd, maybe an easier version of my Bakewell from last year, fill them with gluten free mincemeat and you’re set. Maybe individual Cheesecakes, no bake. I don’t recall ever having tried freezing the pastry, I imagine it could work, but you’d be best to test it out first with something small. It’s worked so easily and can be rolled so thin it’s really versatile, I imagine baking for a large crowd would open up a lot of options.

Gingerbread: The Taste of Christmas

You have to love Gingerbread, whether it be in Cookies, or Muffins, as a separate Blend, for hot drinks, baking or maybe just as a gift, a decadent Loaf, whatever you decide it’s important to remember you’re not limited to these recipes, take the spice blend and run wild. All but the cookies can be frozen in advance. I love the blend when combined with treacle and muscovado sugar. A decorative cake tin might really make the loaf stand out, a little frosting or just a dusting of icing sugar and you’d have a great centre piece.

Drink up!

I’m afraid this is a short one, I don’t drink alcohol or eat chocolate. So this is just an old recipe in the Nutella Hot Chocolate and a simple one in the Hot Carob Drink. It can be a pain when you can’t have what others are having, but try not to let it bother you. If they persist, just throw a baby at them. That’s socially acceptable, right? (Don’t do that. Just ignore them and find something you can enjoy, not throwing babies though)

The Odds and Ends Round Up

If you’re having guests, or you’d just like a cheeky slice of something sweet try my Flourless Nut Cake, they’re a bit of work in the preparation, but worth every second. They present lovely, but only keep a few days so eat up. For a freezable option, no one need know, try my Treacle and Tea Bread or perhaps a Fruit Loaf, a slightly more traditional option, but much faster to prepare. Thankfully the latter two are pretty low in sugar so you can have quite a bit without worrying over-much. Lastly we have some Rice Stuffing and Mixed Spice, the stuffing freezes well, it’s best enjoyed in small portions as it is very strong. The spice blend is a common one, but add it to cakes and loafs for a festive kick.

So that’s it from me. I’ll add any new recipes that pop up so do check back over time. You could do anything you like from my hundreds of recipes I just thought I’d put together a few that really fit in with the season. As for me it’d be a quick dinner and maybe a dessert, this is the day I take a lazy day. It’s a 365 job, no eating out and no breaks so I don’t make a big fuss over this day. I’ll just make a curry, double it, freeze it and have it Christmas day and have  a cold turkey dinner the next day. Like I say it’s just one day, but if you are making a celebration of it I hope this list helped somewhat. Take care.

Buckwheat Flour Fruit Loaf

 photo IMGP3790_e_zpskxjhajvi.jpgWith a slightly crisp exterior and a soft yielding interior this loaf ain’t bad.

My buckwheat bread recipes has really helped me create some amazing recipes. It’s so versatile and so healthy to boot. No need for a load of sugar or butter here, just a simple celebration of the natural sweetness of honeybush tea and fruit. I gave a slice of this to a non-celiac and they loved it. That’s always the measure of a good recipe in my estimation. I’m honestly shocked how well it came out. I assumed it’d either be mushy inside of it’d just fall apart from the fruit. Thankfully the ever useful flaxseed meal comes to the rescue and keep everything in place.

 photo IMGP3781_e_zpsj2l9d0kc.jpgI managed to get some soft dried fruit, it’s surprisingly hard to basic ingredients around here.

There aren’t any tricks here. Rice flour helped it pop right out without any hassle or sticking. The melted butter guaranteed that there were no patches left ungreased. The apricots and dates were the ready to eat variety, so there was no need to soak them. Usually soaking the fruit provides all the moisture needed, but because of the flax and soft fruit I was able to add more tea and control the texture of the loaf, I say loaf since it’s not as sweet nor as delicately soft as a cake would be. I washed the glacé cherries to take off the sugary syrup. Flouring the fruit helped to stop it sinking, like I say no real tricks just some basic knowledge and experience.

 photo IMGP3782_e_zpsk1lfbovx.jpgI didn’t want a massive mess so I just filled it to halfway. I really wasn’t sure it’d work.

It bakes the same as usual. You could even take this further with the zest of any citrus, a dribble-over icing and some cherries to top it off, or maybe a dusting of icing sugar. The sky’s the limit as far as decoration goes, I would say that you should stick to the 250g of fruit, I also think the mixture of soft and dry helped keep the cake stable. Though I like the difference in texture between the fruit, the sweetness varies between them too, so each bite is a little different from another.

 photo IMGP3784_e_zpszpmtpfoo.jpgI had no hope of it coming out clean, but it did! I did wipe off the excess rice flour.

So, here we are. A really healthy fruit loaf, all natural sugars from the fruit, a little extra for sweetness too, and all the good of dried fruit, the little bit of Mixed Spice is a nice addition, of course Buckwheat flour and flax are heavy hitters in the nutrition department. All things in moderation naturally, but when it comes to something like this  a little extra will do you more good than bad. I hope you will try this out, remember you can substitute a lot of things in this recipe, if you like you could even change the flour for a wheat one and you wouldn’t be far different in texture, or so I’m told, just lessen the liquid. Until next time, take care.

 photo IMGP3788_e_zpstlgo6xuo.jpgFor only half the tin it looks really nice. Impulse buy pays dividends.

Ingredients

200g Buckwheat Flour
500ml Boiling Water
2 Teabags, Honeybush Rooibos etc
50g Sultanas
50g Raisins
50g Soft Apricots, Chopped
50g Soft Dates, Chopped
50g Glaze Cherries, Washed and Halved
25g Ground Flaxseed
25g Sugar
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Large Egg
1/3 Tbsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Mixed Spice
Dash of Vanilla Extract

Makes one loaf.
Can be frozen.

Method

1. Add the Teabags to the Water and stew until a strong Tea has been brewed. Remove Teabags and add Sultanas and Raisins. Cover when cool and leave in fridge overnight.

1. Preheat oven to 175c (No Fan). Brush a Bundt tin with melted Butter and dust with Brown Rice Flour or grease and line a 6×3 inch loaf pan.

2. Drain the Soaked Fruit and reserve the Tea. Add the other Fruit to the soaked Fruit and toss with 1 Tbsp of Buckwheat Flour.

3. In a large bowl mix together the Egg, Olive Oil, Mixed Spice and Sugar until well combined. Add the Buckwheat Flour, Flaxseed and Baking Soda and stir until combined, then add the Fruit and Stir together. Finally add the reserved Tea, a bit at a time, until a thick but stirrable Batter has been formed.

4. Pour batter into prepared tin, wet a spoon with the remaining tea and smooth down the top, then bake for 40 minutes, turning halfway if needed, until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Let cook in tin for 15 minutes then remove to a wire-rack.

 photo IMGP3789_e_zpsajkxwbf5.jpgCut hot out of the oven with no crumbling.

Southern Style Honey Rice with a Honeybush Twist

 photo IMGP3779_e_zpsts0xrsgq.jpgI had no chopped peanuts, but a Peanut Curry works well too!

A quick and tasty update today. Just another variation on my Wholegrain Basmati. Just roll down the page and you’ll find it. This will work with any cooked rice. Although for the twist you’ll need to cook it fresh. I decided to try cooking the rice in some Honeybush tea, which is, if you’re not already aware, a variety of rooibos: My tea, or tissane, of choice. It worked well, the honeybush gave it a nice background flavour and the main pour-over gave it a sweet, warmth that works wonderfully with the peanut curry. You could even cook the rice with peanut butter and then add the mix. Without nuts will be fine too.

I’d like to say a quick word on honeybush. There are quite a few members of the rooibos (Pronounced roy boss, or so I’m told) family, I’ve used wild, green and red before and although I’ve drunk it before, I haven’t had any access to honeybush in a long time. That’s now changed, so you can expect to see a few recipes using it in the coming posts. This is a tea made for desserts. The fragrant perfume,  aroma doesn’t do it justice, and the naturally sweet taste are a match made in heaven for sweet treats. Not to say you couldn’t use it in other ways, in a syrup (Akin to the Espresso one) or in Smoothies instead of water and of course a Tea Bread will be incoming. I have a bundt tin to try (Hope it works!) and some dried dates and apricots too. When I get my hands on ingredients you know I’ll make full use of them. Until later!

Green Rooibos Rice

I…don’t remember writing all that. I was engrossed in a murder mystery visual novel so maybe that’s taking precedence in my memory.

I just feel like typing blah blah blah over and over, a decidedly lazy day, but fear not dear staunch support of this humble blog I would never do that to you! (Not unless I could get away with it). I’ll delay this post to spread it all out a bit. This can also be found, amongst other recipes on the Wholegrain Basmati Page, which has a lot of recipes I’d forgotten I’ve have. This brain can only hold so much, like the fact that the baby was the murderer! (It wasn’t, really a shame).

So, what is Green Rooibos? It’s a tisane, ummm, it’s prepared like green tea, but, oh just Google it. All I know is it tastes better than green tea did to me, none of the weediness, just a light refreshing version of rooibos. My tea, or tisane, of choice. I contacted a company about the presence of gluten and was helpfully informed all their tea are gluten free, so I popped down to the shops and am, once again, enjoying a cup of “Green Red Tea”. The rice holds some of the taste of the tea, but there’s more of a salty sweet note due to the fruit and salt. I’m not sure how the Original holds up, but this was rather pleasant and one I’ll return to again. If anyone has tried a lot of green tea, I had one cup once, certainly no expert, then perhaps you’ll also try green rooibos and see how they compare. That’s it for a few. See you soon.

My Almond Curry has a new option too. Adding the Garam Masala at the end for a flavour boost.

Green Rooibos Rice

Ingredients

1/2 Cup of Wholegrain Basmati Rice
250ml Water
1 Green Rooibos Teabag
1 Tbsp Raisin/Sultanas
1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil or Butter
1/2 Tsp Curry Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt

Method

1. Steep the Teabag and Sultanas in boiling Water or 5-10 minutes depending on desired strength.

2. Add the Olive Oil and Curry Powder to the pot and cook for 1 minute on a low heat.

3. Add the Tea (Topping up to 250ml as necessary) and Sultanas and Rice the pot. Stir it together and turn the heat to high. Wait until the water boils and starts bubbling then turn the heat down to medium (3 on hob) cover and let it just sit there for 20 minutes.

3. After the 20 minutes is up, turn off the heat. Let it stand for another 10 minutes or so. After 10 minutes, lift the lid, add the Salt and then take a fork and fluff the Rice.

A Post Nine Months in the Making

It’s finally the day. A whole lot of blood, sweat and Googling and I’m the proud owner of ten (One already used) Harlequin Squash.

I never thought I’d see a single squash. This is my first year gardening and I couldn’t be more pleased. I’ll just add that I’m really under the weather, very little sleep, back and head pain coupled with some kind of bug, so if anyone of this seems odd or off that’s why. In saying that I still stood for four or five hours in the kitchen working at this. That’s the thing I mention a lot to anyone asking, there are no breaks when looking after yourself, weight slips back on as habits slip away and health takes a dive. That’s harsh, but look at me, I went into that kitchen barely able to stand and still pumped out all this wonderful food. It all stands to you, hard work for your health does help you, even if you feel it won’t be worthwhile it is. Something that’s been bothering me is the people seeking an easy way out of weight and health problems, or rather the people exploiting that weakness with fad diets and magical cures. You have to answer to yourself and look out for yourself. There’s a little piece I posted last night on my Facebook I’d like to share here. It’s a tad harsh sounding, but well intentioned. I wish there was something simpler and better I could share, but even with all my experience I’m still only able to tell you the hard truth, it’s better than easy lies.

The recipes will follow. I just feel like I want to put this out here, maybe it’s the kick someone needs. I was given something similar once myself and have been ever thankful since.

It’s strange watching others starting their own weight-loss journeys. I happened to see two, just Yesterday, online. Two strangers, worlds apart, trying to do their best. The funny thing is how little I could help either if I was asked. There’s nothing to say, it’s all up to them. All these years and the only advice I could offer is, simply, just get on with it.

That sounds terrible, but it’s true, it’s up to the individual to sort out themselves and they’ll always have to fall back on their own strength rather than relying on others. Sadly many people, some with good intentions, many just arrogant enough to think they know best, will try to advise and will probably do more harm than good. If you make the person feel they’re being observed it ups the pressure exponentially, don’t get me wrong praise is fine, wonderful even, but groundless praise can be damaging as the individual in question can now blame you if they’re struggling. Why? It’s stressful and any outlet for that stress is acceptable, couple that with the idea that you’re somehow pressuring them do it can give them an excuse to stop. Like I say, well intentioned people can be forgiven, but the jerks who rant and rave will do untold damage.

Ultimately I think it’s best to get the bare help you need, keep quietly chugging along, not alone, or at least not hiding what you’re doing, that’s dangerous, and wait until you’ve accomplished something of note, then, well then just get over that and keep going, it’s a journey that lasts a lifetime, you can’t stop and soak in the praise for each and every achievement. Let them add up and then be proud of them, but never stop. It’s always on you to keep going, if you only have yourself to answer to I feel you’ll always have a better chance. Support is great when needed, but too much becomes suffocating and will cause damage.

I guess what it boils down to is simply being everything you need in yourself: A harsh disciplinarian, a supportive friend and a student because you’re going to need to learn a lot. Supportive people are wonderful, but they shouldn’t be the ground you base your foundation of a healthy life on, that should be all you. Let them help you with the building, but know you’re the one who’ll hold it up. It’s tough, but if it wasn’t we’d all be doing it, wouldn’t we?

From 4150g to 2500g. That’s a lot of peel and seed fibers.

You’ll notice that the Weight Loss tag is never tips or tricks, just thoughts and some general advice, I won’t be writing guides or tutorials, but I will offer what help I think will be beneficial. I do say I sometimes feel harsh saying things like the above, but I suppose I can only say look at these recipes, look at the lunkhead telling you all this. I did it, and cliché mode to the max: If I did it, anyone can. You just need to know a few truths, there are probably better people to listen than me out there, but soak it all in and form your own views. Now, shaddup me, the squashes are calling. So as you can see I went with a little mash, thankfully plain because if it wasn’t I never would have seen my bread as I had a kitchen accident where some squash met the floor and that nearly stalled the bread, but no pepper, no butter and no salt means I could use some of this batch instead. One thing I have to say and I’m really peeved I’ve never seen it mentioned before. Harlequin squash is exactly the same as a potato. Solid enough when steamed and when mashed is still firm. That’s something worth investigating if you’re nightshade intolerant (Which is rarely covered even now) and want a replacement for a potato. Taste-wise it’s different, but the texture matches so well you’ll forgive it. I regret not getting to sauté it, there’s always next year, eh?

This is the closest this recipe has come to a potato version. Still couldn’t get the right trays. Eh, they’ll do.

I really love the yellow colour of the cooked squash (Speaking of colour the Hokkaido Pumpkin Gnocchi had a beautiful; orange hue when cooked, they looked stunning). It gives the ole cottage pie a real bright look and with the aforementioned texture it means I can’t wait to try these properly. The only change today is the topping. There are now four variations of topping to try. As always you can add as much vegetables in the filling as you’d like, even leaving out the mince if vegetarian. Maybe shred some vegetables and cube others for texture, the sky’s the limit. Seriously, look at that colour, I grew that. Me. Woah.

And now…Bird’s Custard?! Nah, It’s Pasta Sauce again!

Now the Hokkaido Pumpkin tasted lovely in this sauce, or thick soup as I keep calling it, but this is just something else. It’s the limit it is, it’s eggs in my coffee, it’s…okay I’ll stop. What it is is really creamy, it poured out from the blender like a thick cream, with a lovely subtle sweetness that worked so well with the onion and garlic. I was weary of trying this as I thought it’d just be a waste and perhaps end up as a thick mess. Now I think if worked with it could make an amazing vegan mac and cheese sauce. That’s up to a better cook than I, one with access to these squash outside of a garden too.

The brown one is just my Buckwheat Nutty Banana Bread minus the banana with carob. I wanted one slightly sweet bread and one nutritionally dense one.

What, asks you gentle reader, is a bread doing in this squash post? Heh heh heh, read on.

Hmmm, what is this bread, or loaf rather, that I’ve posted? It’s a buckwheat base as are all my breads, it’s soaked, not unlike my Treacle Bread can be, it has rooibos tea and some Mixed Spice, some cherries and sultanas and what else, oh yes, some harlequin squash! Hah, some of you are reading this incredulously, whist others are feeling rather peculiar, perhaps a brave few know the wonders of squash breads. I’ll add all these recipes to their respective pages, but I’ll just say a little on this here. I ditched the sugar this time as I found it too sweet, I went for a fairly plain loaf. What the squash does here is give the bread a lovely springy texture closer to a wheat-based version of the same recipe. It’s oddball, but I love it. It makes it more than it could have been given any other ingredient. The taste isn’t changed much by it either, there’s a hint of mixed spice, the sweetness of the sultanas tamed by the strong rooibos. Nothing overpowers or overwhelms.  You could make it without the squash, try it with first and you won’t want to leave it out.

I always knew these as Glacé Cherries, I assume that’s the common name, but you never can tell.

This has been a long post, I’m honestly holding myself up, so I guess it’s time to wrap this up. I had an absolute blast today with all this food. This is what it’s about, finding your happiness even in your work and, yes, this is work, let no one ever undermine the hard work you’ll put into minding and improving your body and health. I have recipes to update, sort out and hope I remember them all. Until later!

Rooibos Quinoa

Just a small update to my Quinoa recipe today. I used my Rooibos Jasmine Rice as a basis for this tweak. I just omitted the Parsley as I thought it’d be too strong in such a small amount of Quinoa, the rest of the recipe is essentially the same. It’s all on the Quinoa page alongside other variations. It’s a little bit sweet, from the Rooibos I assume, but it works well and it really fluffed up nicely. I think the fat in stock might have a slight effect on Quinoa, I know from experience that too much will stop it cooking properly or at all. I should make my own, but it’s just me eating this and that’d be a huge hassle. Stock Cubes for life!

One slightly tangential story before I sign off. I was stocking up on Quinoa like it was the end of the world, as usual, and someone who had helped me before, she’s the overseer of the free-from section from what I can tell, a very kind and courteous lady, started talking about how she had seen a program on television about quinoa and we got to talking about it for a few minutes. It was nice to be able to talk to someone about this. It sometimes feels like it’s just me against the world when it comes to this kind of food, I know it’s not, but it does feel good when I find a fellow free from foodie (Say that five times fast). Just a slightly desultory story, but one I thought might be worth sharing. That’s it for today, hopefully I’ll have something more exciting in future, or at least exciting as food can be. Exploding quinoa it is! Kidding…maybe.

A Magically Muddled Mess of Updates

One bit before we start: I admit to being a lurker rather than a participator. I’ll read through posts, but neglect to like them, admire great food photography, but leave it at that, I’ll always share links to original recipes, but feel abashed at leaving a comment. In short: I’m wowed by the blogs, so professional, each and every one, of everyone who has come to this site and I can’t thank you all enough for your support, whether it be a view, share or a like. I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m getting my recipes out there and that’s all that matters for now. I can learn and looking at all these amazing blogs I have a lot of learn from. I’ll enjoy every minute of it. Okay we now return to our regularly scheduled blog post.

This is it. The big one. Don’t screw this up, kid. You can do it! Just check your notes and you’ll be fine.

Oh dear, oh dear…

Al-right, first things first. I decided to get over my irrational dread of dark tahini and give it a shot. It’s just unhulled tahini, somehow I came under the impression that it was more roasted for some reason. I decided to try it in the Tahini Bread recipe, which is oddly popular despite being oddball and really simple, still it beats letting it go to waste and it tastes just fine, and thankfully it worked well.

Looks lovely before it sinks, eh?

And it’s sun…wait, not it’s not as bad actually.

Apparently the dark tahini gives the bread a firmer texture. It’s also not as intense as the one made using hulled tahini. I wouldn’t call it a sandwich bread, but it certainly is a tastier version when using the dark and probably healthier to boot. I have yet to try it in a sauce, but I have high hopes it’ll be just fine.

A few short updates before the finally big one. I added some Quinoa to my Whole Grain Basmati, just 25g, and it wasn’t too bad. It was a tad firmer, but you could add some more water if you wanted. It was also really filling, I was shocked that a bit of quinoa in rice would add so much.

Shamefully I realised I never tried my Nightshade Free Curry Powder. That’s a rarity for me, I guess I took the recipe down and just forgot to try it out. Thankfully I’ve rectified that and I’m happy to say it’s just fine. I still prefer individual blends for each curry, but it never hurts to have a few blends written down (Or typed up as the case may be).

I tried adding an additional banana to my Nutty Banana Flax Bread (Just scroll down) and it worked well. Gives it a slightly moister texture, but I still wouldn’t class it as a banana bread, which suits me as I’m not a huge fan of banana bread. It’s a little softer outside too, but it still cuts just fine. You’ll get 12 big slices out of it.

The extra banana makes it shiner. Leave out the curry powder though!

Onwards! Oh, one more thing. If you tap the bottom of any of these breads, and most others too, and it sounds hollow that means it’s cooked. You should still skewer/knife test it too, but it’s great if you can’t cut it yourself to check.

Rooibos Soaked Sultanas?!

I just realised that I neglected to post the first treacle bread. The more traditional version with un-soaked fruit. Can you pretend you saw that first? Thanks. The variation, which came first strangely, is just like my Mother’s treacle (Or molasses) bread that I grew up eating. I tell you it was a real treat to be able to eat it again.

Brown muck! Huzzah! Take my word for it, it looks the same as the gluten version.

Add the reserved tea slowly or you’ll have too much liquid.

These two recipe have their own page here: Buckwheat Flour Treacle and Tea Bread. There are two versions, the main one is more time consuming and has a moist texture, whereas the quicker, traditional one is drier, but goes wonderfully with butter. I can’t decide which I like more. Nostalgia is battling with taste and either way I’m a winner.

Just like Momma used to make, er, still makes.

I’ve put down all you’ll need on the recipes pages, just know the main version can be a little trickier, but it’s still really simple. It’s nice to be able to share a real Irish, family recipe. This has been a fairly long and graphic, geddit? Because of all the photos? *Crickets*, and I hope it made sense. I had fun this week. When you have to cook and bake entirely for yourself with no breaks, no eating out or having someone else cook, it can be tough, but I like to use my time to try new things, if I have to make bread why not make something new and then share it with others, that way I get more value from the time I spend toiling in the kitchen. Okay I’ve had me moan and I’ll go and eat bread now.

The tea version.