My Aunt used to make this dessert every Christmas and I loved it. She was a strict Baptist so she never added the sin bit that I’ve put in – but my attraction to sin always did make me the black sheep of the family.
Its super quick to whip up.
500 grams of chopped strawberries ( don’t make the pieces too small) halves is usually okay unless they are those enormous G.M strawberries that the supermarket shelves are now full of.
1 sliced banana
1/4 cup of liqueur , – there’s the dash of sin. I used limoncello but cointreau would work, as would grand marnier, brandy, champagne etc. If you don’t want the alcohol you can omit it.
Leave this to marinade for about 1 hour in the fridge
2 cups of chopped marshmallows
1 cup of grated eating chocolate, I used Lindt Dark Strawberry Intense, but Toblerone would be great or Lindt Dark Chilli Chocolate.
300 mlx of thickened cream whipped
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint
Gently combine this with the fruit.
Serve in a glass and sprinkle fresh mint on top – voila – a kinda healthy dessert – well it has got fruit in it so that means no calories right?
I lived on this soup when I was a poor art student in the late 70’s. I dressed in bright green tights and retro 1930’s dresses from the op shop, lived on a student allowance of $70 a fortnight and made gallons of this soup. I passed on this recipe to my youngest son who is at present a poor Jazz Piano student at the Conservatorium in another state (God I miss him!) . This soup is great because you can use it as a base and add anything you like to it according to your budget. It’s super healthy and so now I am putting it here for my son Seth who is an actor on the other side of the world in L.A. (God I miss him!) ,
Into a large pot place one and half cups of each of the following vegetables:
1 tablespoon of mixed herbs
A good lug of olive oil – about 4 tablespoons
salt and pepper
Fry everything for about 5 minutes stirring often. Its really important not to skip this step, this is what really brings out all the lovely vegetable flavours.
500 g (1 lb) of the cheapest bones you can find, lamb, beef, oxtail, ham hock, chicken anything is fine. I used lamb bones today but I just use what ever is cheapest. If you want a vegetarian soup leave out the bones but add some lentils or other legumes instead.
2 litres of vegetable stock, you can use the ready made stock or you can use powder or cubes and water which is what I did.
Bring to the boil then simmer gently for one hour.
Remove the bones. The dog is waiting patiently for the bones, this is the dog with his I’m being good waiting for those bones face
Chop a bunch of parsley and add to the soup – this will taste great and give you a really good shot of iron.
Serve sprinkled generously with parmesan or tasty cheese.
Things I sometimes add to this soup are
bacon pieces, lentils, white legumes like haricot beans, other veggies like potato, yams, zucchini etc.
This is Peter’s favourite curry – the one he asks for as his birthday dinner. Here it is for Seth who is looking for yummy veggie meals for those trying to live on a budget in L.A, and all the rest of you who want to try a really yummy, easy vegetarian curry.
1 chopped onion
1 chopped capsicum
1 teaspoon of seed mustard
1 dessertspoon of curry paste ( more or less to taste)
2 dessertspoons of dark brown sugar, (I hate to use sugar but it really does bring out the lovely sweetness of the pumpkin)
1 dessertspoon of lemon juice
2 heaped dessertspoons of sultanas (preferably sun dried no sodium nitrates which are super bad for you)
1/2 cup of cashews
a few lugs of olive or cocoanut oil
Throw all these into a good sized pot and stir over heat until the aromatic smells combine into deliciousness and start to fill your house and make you all hungry, reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and leave to sauté whilst you prepare the veggies.
1 large tomato chopped
1 zucchini (courgette) chopped
200 grams of mushrooms sliced
1/2 butternut pumpkin chopped unevenly, (this is so the smaller pieces become mushy saucy bits whilst the larger bits retain their shape)
Add all these to the spices and stir well, still sautéing for a few minutes so the spices coat the vegetables. Its really important to sauté it all to really give the pumpkin its nuttiness. Then pop on the lid and keeping on low simmer for 30 minutes or until the larger pieces of butternut are cooked. It doesn’t matter if the smaller bits get a bit mushy as you want that – they will become part of the curry sauce.
When the butternut pumpkin is cooked add 270 mls of cocoanut cream and 4 dessertspoons of chopped fresh coriander (more or less to taste – I love coriander so there is never enough for me).
This is a such an easy salad to toss together, so healthy and fresh and it’s my girls favourite salad. Often if I’m short of time I take short cuts and use store bought dukkah and sesame dressing. I’m including my recipe for dukkah and dressing so if you want to make the whole thing yourself you can.
This make 4 ample serves for hungry eaters.
500 grams of Chicken fillets
4 eggs boiled for 8 minutes
4 freshly cooked baby beetroots
1 bunch of freshly steamed asparagus (don’t over cook it, you want a crispness to it)
4 handfuls of fresh salad greens of any type
1/2 cup of sesame and pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Dukkah – or make your own (recipe below)
Japanese creamy sesame dressing (or make your own)
Ingredients for the Dukkah
4 tablespoons of pistachios (almond, hazelnuts are a good alternative)
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of pepper
4 good slices of lemon peel
Throw all this into a food processor and blitz, (adjust the pepper if you don’t like it too hot)
2 dessertspoons of tahini
1/4 cup of sesame oil
3 dessertspoons of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
mix the oil into the tahini, slowly add the lemon juice so it doesn’t curdle, add salt and pepper
Making the Salad
Coat the chicken strips in the dukkah and fry until cooked and golden brown.
Peel the hard boiled eggs, rinse but don’t dry and coat each egg in the dukkah.
Cut the eggs into four pieces
Place a handful of greens on each plate.
Add the beetroot, asparagus, egg, chicken strips.
Sprinkle with the pumpkin and sesame seeds.
Drizzle with the dressing.
My baby daughter (okay she is 17 so maybe not a baby) is off to the other side of the world – to Italy and she wants to make a Fair Dinkum Aussie Meal for her host family. She decided there was nothing more Fair Dinkum Aussie than Shepherds Pie and asked me for my recipe.
So why do I call it Hidden Shepherds Pie – I have been making this one for years and when the kids were little they never picked up on the hidden veggies and lentils which add to the texture. But its not just stuff kids don’t like that are hidden in here – there are also yummy slices of Tomatoes and Cheese.
It looks like a lot of ingredients but it is really quite simple to make.
The secret to this recipe is it tastes even better the next day.
This serves 6-8 people.
2 – 4 cloves of Garlic (depending on taste – we are 8 cloves kinda people)
2 Tablespoons of fresh Herbs or 1 tablespoon of dried Mixed Herbs. For fresh I used rosemary, thyme and oregano because that is what grows on my back porch.
1 Stick of Celery sliced thinly
1 kg of Minced (Ground) meat. We use Kangaroo – its low fat, cheap and ecologically sound in Australia. Kangaroos breed prolifically and don’t hurt our environment. You can use Lamb or Beef just as easily
I Grated Carrot
I cup of Peas fresh or frozen
1 can of Lentils
2 Tablespoons of any Gluten Free Flour
2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Red Wine (more if like me you want to have a glass while you cook) or Balsamic Vinegar
4 generous Tablespoons of Tomato Paste
3 Cups of Diced Sweet Yellow Potato or Yams or Butternut Pumpkin
4 Cups of Diced Potato’s
Sliced or Grated Mature Tasty Cheese
Let’s Make it
In a deep saucepan fry the onion, garlic and herbs in a good lug of olive oil until the onion is transparent. Then add the meat, grated carrot, celery and peas and continue frying until the meat is cooked.
Remove from the heat.
Add the flour and stir thoroughly so lumps don’t form. Then add the Lentils, Soy, Worcestershire, Red Wine or Balsamic and the Tomato Paste.
Pour into a deep baking dish and pat flat.
Cover the meat with slices of fresh tomato
Cover the tomato with a yummy layer of Tasty Cheese.
Boil the diced Potato until cooked soft enough to mash.
Mash the potato with Olive oil (I used 3 tablespoons of Oil) – you want a soft but firm consistency.
Place the mashed potato on top of the cheese and spread evenly with a fork
If you want to you can drizzle olive oil or grated cheese over the potato to assist browning.
Remember school – for me it was just like the movie “Mean Girls” where the bullies always seem to get everything they want and the good girls (that was me – super goody goody) get trampled on. All my kids are the good kids and I always tell them that it turns around when you’re adults but I don’t know that’s really true or we wouldn’t need all those workplace bullying laws.
Anyway school can be tough. And what do us mothers do when we can’t solve our kids problems for them – we feed them up instead so that at least they will stay strong. So I made these for my daughters lunch box, a nice cheer up treat that is also super healthy for any work or school lunchbox – AND – They are super easy to make, I think all up it took me 10 minutes to throw these together.
These Bliss Balls are fruit free because like many people my kids really hate dried fruits.
1 cup of ground almond meal or other ground nuts (almond is technically not a nut but a kernel)
2 tablespoons of coconut flour
1 teaspoon of treacle or golden syrup or honey (make sure its a very generous teaspoonful)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
3 tablespoons of coconut flakes or shreds
3 tablespoons of chia seeds
125 ml of tahini or peanut butter (tahini is a good option because peanut butter is not allowed at some schools due to allergies)
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 generous tablespoon of cocoa powder
toasted shredded coconut to roll. (to toast the coconut I pop it into a fry pan and gently heat stirring occasionally till it starts to brown. You have to watch it though because once it browns it will do it quickly and will continue to brown after you remove it from the heat)
Making the Bliss Balls
Throw everything together in a food processor and blitz till it holds together.
With wet hands roll mixture into balls and roll to cover in the toasted coconut and refrigerate.
It is so difficult to make gluten free pastry that stays together when cooked and doesn’t taste like thongs (flip flops for non aussies).
This recipe for pastry is fantastic, its rich and buttery and crisp. So I have used it to make a traditional Apple Pie.
Shortcrust Pastry Dough
1 cup of Ground Almonds
2 Cups of Plain Gluten Free Flour
2/3 Cup of icing sugar
200 g of cold butter or margarine
Crumb together the flour, almonds, icing sugar and butter. Then add the egg and with floured hands work into a dough. Now for non gluten free dough you would pop it in the fridge at this stage and let it rest but I find that just doesn’t work with gluten free flour and the sooner you use it the better and the less you work it the better.
Saving 1/3 of the dough for the top of the pie roll out the remaining dough.
So I roll it out straight away on baking paper and use the same baking paper to line the pie tin, so I just lift the whole thing into the pie tin and trim any edges that need trimming. Its good to do it this way because even though this pastry is yummy, its still gluten free which means its a pain in the you know what to work with. Cover the pie with baking paper and pop in your blind baking balls and bake in a warm oven 180c/350F for 12 minutes. Remove the ceramic balls and let the shell cool.
8 Granny Smith Apples
I made a thick custard and once cool spooned it into the bottom of the pie dish. But you don’t have to, you can just go full on apples.
I used thinly sliced granny smiths (green apples). Make sure to cut all the cores out thoroughly or they will taste like toe nails in the pie.
In a pot cook the sliced apple with a cinnamon stick and the zest of one lemon for no more than 10 minutes. You want the apple softened but still firm so it doesn’t turn mushy. Drain the apple and let it cool before adding to the pie.
Add the cooled apple to the pie. Now you can either lattice the top or completely cover the pie with dough (if you do this make sure you make fork holes for hot air to escape), decorate the top however you want to, let your imagination run wild and create a painting on top of the pie. The rolled out pastry will still need supporting as you place it on the pie. I actually cut strips right through the baking paper and the dough and supporting the dough with the paper turned them onto the pie.
I used natural food colouring for the rose buttons.
So I had a really crap week, really bad, I felt really screwed over by someone I cared about and I may have spent several days lying around with tissues and ice-cream or not :).
Then my friend Louie set me a challenge, could I make a gluten free fruit tart?
There is nothing better when you feel like crap than to cook something that is celebratory and forces you smile just by looking at it and fruit tarts are such bursts of colour.
So I took up Louie’s challenge.
The first two efforts went in the bin, despite using flour assured by the manufacturer, was perfect for gluten free pastry. The outcomes were like most gluten free pastry, rubbery enough to re-tread a tyre.
So I then I had a light bulb moment and here is what I came up with for Louie.
And if you live in Cairns and want to try the real thing – the actual tart I made, you can do so at the gorgeous Louie’s gorgeous café – Tosca’s at Earlville. (P.S thanks Louie for cheering me up)
I made this with a lovely zingy lemon filling but I will also give you the recipe for a chocolate
1 1/2 cups of shredded coconut
butter for greasing
2 tablespoons of marmalade jam
for lemon filling
250 mls of cream
250 gr of cream cheese
100 gr of lemon curd/butter
for chocolate filling
250 mls of cream
1 cup of chopped chocolate good quality
To Make the Tart Shell
You will need to really grease with butter or margarine a pie/tart tin.
The best to use is one with a removable side.
Now you can’t grease this enough. Its really important every part of the tin is well greased.
Separate 3 eggs. Put the yolks aside (don’t tip them out you will need them) and mix the egg whites with one and a half cups of shredded coconut.
Gently spread this over the bottom and sides of the tin. It will be quite a thin layer. But egg white is an excellent binder. Artists used to use it as a medium to paint with by mixing egg whites and pigments.
Put it in a slow over around 160C until it browns. Leave to cool.
To Make the Filling
In a saucepan mix together 250g of cream cheese, 4 generous tablespoons of lemon curd/butter and 250 mls of cream. Stir this together over a low heat until there are no lumps and it is runny or alternatively mix it all up in a blender. Continuing over a low heat mix in the 3 egg yolks. Continue stirring over a low heat until you see the first sign of reaching a boil. Its important to keep stirring, you dont want the egg to cook, you dont want the filling to catch on the bottom of the saucepan and burn or create lumps.
Remove and leave to cool a little.
Putting it altogether
Pour the filling into the pie shell and pop it in the fridge to really cool.
Once cool decorate with fresh fruits and glaze.
Bring to the boil 2 tablespoons of marmalade jam/jelly.
With a pastry brush gently brush the hot jam over the fruit.
Decorate with fresh mint leaves.
Melt together I cup of chopped dark chocolate (good quality) and 250 mls of cream Add the egg yolks Stir continuously until the first sign of boiling as above.
I made these for my daughter’s class when she had to take morning tea to share. She said the kids loved them and ate them before the junk food. I make them for the ultimate in comfort food on a cold afternoon in front of a movie, or afternoon tea with friends.
The recipe is actually based on an old school text book from the 60’s and 70’s called ‘Cookery the Australian Way’. I wanted to do Wood-work but only the boys were allowed so I had to learn to make exciting dishes like fried liver, junket and arrowroot custard – then one day we got to make butterscotch scones and they were delicious.
I have changed the recipe quite a bit to accommodate gluten free flours but these goodies owe their heritage to a falling apart school text book.
125g butter (not margarine)
125g dark brown sugar
3 cups of Self Raising Gluten Free flour
300g Sour Cream
Making the Salted Caramel
1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy – add salt to taste and set aside
Making the Scone Dough
1.Combine the eggs and sour cream and add to the 3 cups of flour. Mix well and then with floured hand knead into a ball of dough.
2. Place the dough on a floured sheet of baking paper. Sprinkle some flour on top and place another sheet of baking paper over the top.
3. Roll the dough out between the two sheets of paper into a rectangle approximately 40cms long, 25 cms wide and .5cm thick (5mm).
4. Spread the caramel evenly over the dough
5. Roll from the long side into a 40cm long roll (like a long sausage)
6. With a sharp floured knife slice into 2cm thick slices and lay flat on a baking tray
7. Bake in a hot oven of 200o Celsius for about 10 mins
8. Wait till they have cooled a bit before removing from tray but they are hard to resist and usually get eaten as soon as they are cool enough for fingers to grab
Yes my son ate 5 bowls of this Gnocchi in one sitting (he has grown to over 6ft tall – maybe it was the Gnocchi). It’s his favourite dish. I make this with a Gorgonzola sauce and prosciutto crumble but my kids do like really strong flavours, if yours don’t you could just as easily use parmesan or tasty cheese instead of Gorgonzola and make the dish veggo by omitting the prosciutto crumble and using parmesan or herbs to garnish.
For the Gnocchi
2 cups of sweet golden potato (sometimes called yam or kumara)
2 cups of white potato (I like Desiree)
1 cup of Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
3 heaped teaspoons of Herbs (I used fresh Parsley, Chives and Oregano from my pot plant garden because that’s what I had, you could also use Basil)
For the Sauce
2 teaspoons of crushed garlic
1 cup of sour cream
100g of Gorgonzola (or other cheese)
1/2 cup of vegetable stock (I use Massels, it has no nasties and is gluten free)
To finish off
3 tablespoons of prosciutto fried till crisp and crumbled or grated parmesan or chopped fresh herbs
Chopped Baby Spinach
Making the Gnocchi
1. Dice and cook the potatoes till soft, drain and cool. Whilst cooling I make the sauce.
2. Once cooled mash the potato very well
3. Add 1 egg
4. Add flour 1/3rd at a time and mix in well
5. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and then bring it down to simmer
6. Using floured fingers and a floured teaspoon, gently take teaspoons of the potato mixture and form them into Gnocchi shapes – don’t overwork them or they will become heavy.
7. Carefully drop them into the simmering water, don’t overload the saucepan.
8. When Gnocchi have floated to the top let them cook for 1 – 2 mins before removing with a slotted spoon. Don’t let them cook for any longer or they will become soggy.
9. Place the Gnocchi on a bed of chopped baby spinach (so your kids get some greens and because baby spinach is sooo yummy) and pour the sauce over the gnocchi, garnish and serve
Making the sauce
1. In a saucepan fry the garlic till browning
2. Add sour cream and stir regularly till melted
2. Crumble in the Gorgonzola and melt whilst stirring regularly
3. Add the vegetable stock
My daughter says this slice is so good she would give up meat for veggie food like this and she asked me to make it two nights in a row. It’s super easy so have a go!
3 heaped cups of Mixed Veggies (I used spring onions, asparagus, parsley, corn, spinach and potato but have added others and basically use what I have in the fridge)
4 large eggs
3/4 cup of sour cream
200g of Fetta (I love Danish fetta because of its creaminess)
1 cup of shredded parmesan plus a bit extra for on top
3 tablespoons of Pesto
6 tablespoons of Gluten Free Corn Cous Cous (or GF breadcrumbs)
1. Lightly cook the veggies until they are just tender (you don’t want them to go mushy when baked). Drain very well.
2. Sprinkle the cous cous over the base of an 8 inch, well buttered or oiled square baking dish. The cous cous will form a base for the slice.
3. Mix together until there are no lumps (well maybe only a few, it’s hard to get rid of them all) the eggs, fetta, sour cream, parmesan and pesto
4. Sprinkle the drained veggies over the cous cous
5. Pour the mixture over the top and shake a little so it gets in around the veggies
6. Sprinkle the extra parmesan (and some tomato slices if you feel like it) over the top
7. Bake for 25 minutes at 180C
8. Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving
It tastes even better the next day for brunch!!!
Welcome to my Gluten Free Recipe Blog.
So I am starting this blog with my kids favourite recipe. Aussie Meat Pie with an epic gluten free pastry. I thought I would bring my kids up to be good Vegetarians and to entice them I made them Apricot Tofu instead of Apricot Chicken which they declared was yuk! and Kidney Bean Bolognaise which was yukker! and eventually I gave in to their demands for meat. Mince is without a doubt the easiest meat to cook, especially for an ex veggo.
My Coeliac daughter bemoans the lack of gluten free comfort food – (as she’s a bit of a carnivore) especially a good yummy gluten free aussie meat pie.
So I made her this one.
Credit where credit is due it was inspired by Jamie Oliver – thanks for the cream cheese idea Jamie – it’s great for holding gluten free flour together.
I thought there would be left overs but it all got gobbled up.
I served this pie in Aussie tradition with Mash, Gluten Free Gravy and Peas.
200 grams of Gluten Free Self Raising Flour. (I use Organ)
100 grams of Cream Cheese
100 grams of butter
A good splosh of Olive Oil
600 grams of lamb mince (you can use beef)
1 large onion – red/purple onion is best because of their sweetness
2 teaspoons of French mustard grained
1 Tablespoons of GF Soy Sauce (I use Kikomans)
3 Tablespoons of GF Worcestershire Sauce (I use Spring Gully)
2 extra Tablespoons of GF Flour
140 gram tub of Tomato Paste
1 heaped cup of grated carrot
1 Gluten Free beef stock cube (I use Massels)
2 Tablespoons of Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar
Prep Time 20 mins.
Making the Pastry
Now normally you would use plain flour in this recipe but I rarely use plain flour for any Gluten Free flour item because anything using GF flour tends to be heavy. So to combat that I nearly always use Self Raising.
Put the 200 grams of Self Raising Flour into a food processor with the 100 grams of cream cheese and 100 grams of butter and pulse process until thoroughly mixed. It won’t form a lump like ordinary flour but will form granules like bread crumbs. Tip it into a bowl and then form a ball of the pastry with your hands.
Put the pastry into glad wrap or aluminium foil, seal and put it in the fridge. I use aluminium foil because I think that plastics leach into our food and we don’t want that! Leave it in the fridge whilst you make the filling.
Making the Filling
Leave the pan on the stove for all these steps, I am a patient cooker and use a low gas setting.
Finely chop or process the onion.
Put the onion into the olive oil in a pan and fry till browning or at least translucent. Stir occasionally.
Add the mince and fry until browned, continue to occasionally stir.
Add the 1 heaped cup of grated carrot, stir well.
Add the 2 teaspoons of mustard, the 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire, 2 tablespoons of vinegar, sprinkle in the crumbled stock cube, add the 140 grams of tomato paste and stir to combine.
Sprinkle the extra 2 tablespoons of gluten free flour over the top then stir really well and cook for a minute to cook the flour to remove the flour taste and thicken the filling.
Remove from the stove top, cover and set aside to cool.
Don’t worry that the carrot isn’t cooked.
It will be by serving time.
When the filling is room temperature remove the pastry from the fridge.
Now this is the tricky bit with Gluten Free flour. Put the pastry onto one sheet of baking paper and work the pastry until it is soft and warm and pliable again.
Then push it into a round shape and flatten it out as much as you can without over working the pastry.
Put a sheet of baking paper over the top of the pastry and roll it out the rest of the way until it will cover the top of the pie dish.
Put the filling in the pie dish.
Keeping the pastry on the baking paper gently tip it onto the filling then chuck out the baking paper and with a fork make some holes in the pastry for air to escape and scallop the edge if you like. It’s really important to use the baking paper to support the pastry while you get it on the filling, gluten free pastry is extra crumbly.
I started writing letters to my daughters and sons about the things that I wish I'd known about love, life, sex and everything. Then I was inspired by Neil Young's song to write letters to friends I've known and loved.