Caramel shortbread on a whole new level…(and it’s wheat free)

These caramel shortbread should come with a health warning.

They’re just plain dangerous!IMG_9730 I mean, look at them.

Unless you have the world’s best self-restraint, these are exactly the type of thing you will find yourself over-consuming right up to the point at which you start to feel unwell… and possibly even past that. Continue reading

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Date and marmalade flapjack crumble bars

Snowed under with essays and a dissertation back in May, I couldn’t think of anything better than time like this. Free, empty time with no deadlines and very little that I ‘had’ to do. I imagined it would be fantastic; time to do whatever I wanted. I could spend entire days reading, writing, creating recipes and working on blog posts.date and marmalade flapjack crumble bars

But somehow it just isn’t quite working out like that.

I’m currently experiencing a classic case of tasks expanding to fill the time available. Somehow largely fruitless job searches on-line, the occasional job application when I do finally come across something and editing a book for a family friend, seems to be taking up my entire time.

I have also fallen into a bad habit of losing vast stretches of time to the internet, reading blogs, looking for recipe inspiration, researching wheat-free baking. It’s just far too easy to get lost out here! Continue reading

On cravings, a cookbook and wheat-free soda bread

It’s been tough this week…the cravings have kicked in!

One morning I woke up desperate for toast and headed straight to the little Sainsbury’s round the corner for some free-from bread. The slices were disappointingly miniature. I toasted them up and smothered them with peanut butter and then they were just about edible.

I’ve been feeling like I ‘need’ to eat an apple. That’s probably just because I know I can’t.

I am envious of my mince pie and cinnamon bagel eating boyfriend.

I’ve also been stranded away from home due to flooding, causing me to run out of all the FODMAP friendly goodies I brought with me…granola, home-made ginger cookies, chocolate torte (which was amazing, by the way). Continue reading

Mini chocolate-courgette cakes

Nine times out of ten – no, maybe make that nine point five times out of ten – whenever I bake something, out pops the perfectionist in me trying to fish out the flaws in whatever I’ve made. Was it, perhaps, a touch too dry, too sweet, a bit dense, not flavoursome enough or the spice too overpowering? What does it need to step it up from really good, to amazing?

But when I took my first bite of one of these little chocolate and courgette cakes, the perfectionist was well and truly silenced. All I could think was amazing… perfect, even. Continue reading

FODMAP friendly vegetable stock

Not being able to use stock cubes right now due to the onion they contain, I haven’t had much choice but to start making my own stock. The plan was to make a massive batch of veg stock (so much quicker than meat ones), reduce it down and freeze it in ice cube trays.

So… I pulled out the two largest pans I had, filled them up with FODMAP friendly veg and litres of water, simmered for 30 minutes, removed from the heat, let the vegetables steep in the stock for the rest of the day, strained the stock, returned it to a pan, put it on the boil to reduce it, cooked and ate dinner, checked on the stock – about halfway there – went upstairs, worked on a blog post, got distracted by blog post, lost track of time…can you guess where all this is going? Continue reading

FODMAP friendly spicy carrot soup

Soup ticks so many of the right boxes for me.

It’s warm, comforting, satisfying and more often than not it’s pretty good for you.

It also pretty much always contains onions, which is now a massive tick in the wrong box…

No more lunch-time staple of cartoned soup from the chiller cabinet for me.

But now, if I want soup, it’s going to have to be home-made, without sweating off any onions first, or using a stock cube.


Continue reading

Figuring out FODMAPs

(Please note this post discusses digestive issues and so may not be found as appetising as my usual posts! Skip it if you’re not keen on reading about these things. There’s some pretty interesting stuff here though…)

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Over the last few months, my digestive system and I really haven’t been on great terms. I felt bloated after most meals, my appetite was pathetic and my… um… bowel movements could be pretty variable to say the least, swinging from one extreme to the other without ever seeming to find the middle ground.

For weeks and weeks I drove myself crazy trying to figure out what I should eat to help ease the symptoms. I read up on things like the alkaline diet, the raw diet, the not too much raw diet, the ayurvedic diet, high fibre, low fibre…And after hours of brain frazzling research, all I discovered was that the internet is filled with heaps of conflicting advice!

Lamb, tomato and aubergine tagine with quinoa

I complained about my symptoms to my GP on several occasions to little effect. I’ve been informed that GPs don’t much like IBS, which I think is partly to do with the fact it’s so difficult to treat and every case so individual. Continue reading