Food

Gluten free custard tarts with berry compote

This recipe is E A S Y ! On a pantry stock up spree I bought some gluten free sweet pastry shells from gfpantry.com. They looked fun. As soon as the order arrived I just had to create something, anything we had in the kitchen would do. Some eggs, almond milk and berries. . .

The berry compote recipe is from thehiddenveggies.com. I added some extra brown sugar to it for a bit of extra drool. This with my go to healthy custard recipe from traditionalcookingschool.com is literally the easiest and the best healthy custard recipe I have come across. I added 2 tsp extra gelatin to make sure the custard sets well.

Once you have prepared both the custard and the compote, you must cool to room temperature prior to filling so that the pastry does not go soggy.

I used an organic gelatin powder from Changing Habits. It is full of natural amino acids and protein, great for your gut health and tissue repair. There is so much you can make with gelatin like gummie bears, jellies, thicken sauces, panna cotta and cheese cake!

Makes 24 small tarts , there will be extra custard!

Custard:

Ingredients:

3 cups unsweetened almond milk

4 egg yolks

1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

1/3 cup arrowroot powder or cornflour

1 tbs butter

4 teaspoons gelatin powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

Whisk together arrowroot and gelatin in a small bowl.

Into a medium saucepan, pour milk, egg yolks, maple syrup, and sea salt.

Sprinkle the arrowroot mixture over its surface, and whisk again to combine.

Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring CONSTANTLY until the pudding begins to thicken. It will start to steam first, which is your sign that the custard is almost done.

Once thickened, remove immediately from the heat.

Add butter and vanilla and continue to stir until mixed.

Chill to room temperature.

Berry compote

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup berries of choice (fresh or frozen)

3 tbsp sugar or sweetener of choice

1/3 cup cold water

1 tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)

1/2 tsp lemon juice

Method

Add berries to a small saucepan and sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice.

Heat the berries on medium-low until they start to release their juices.

In a separate bowl, mix corn starch (or arrowroot) and cold water and then pour it into the berries and stir well. 

Stir constantly and continue to heat the berry sauce until after it has boiled for about 30 seconds.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Assembly:

Place pastry cups onto a platter

Spoon custard into a piping bag and pipe to fill ¾ of the cup.

Spoon the berry compote over the top. Chill for an hour to set and then dust with icing sugar if desired.

My First Crap Cake

*With beginner cake decorator tips!

This amazing white chocolate cake is both way out of your baking league, and delicious -assuming you are also a beginner cake decorator. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this unless you have such low self esteem that the only way you can survive this life is through feeding off others disastrous attempts and mishaps and just plain untalentedness. It’s ok, we all do it.

You can find the recipe for this absolutely scrumptious cake here: https://livforcake.com/white-chocolate-cake/ This site has a heeaapp of mouth watering cakes to choose from too!

As you can see from this photo, I read a beginners food photography blog prior to preparing the cake.

I told everyone I was making this heavenly white chocolate cake, an extravagant one that’s three storeys high and decorated. I invited them all to save a spot in their treat bank for it this week and await this amazing cake sensation.

**beginner cake decorating tip: Beware of ‘the slope’ look and layer by evenly distributing weight by evenly cooked cakes and evenly spread frosting

The heavenly whipped merengue frosting is full of white chocolate and a ton of butter, and so is the cake. It surprisingly still kept its light merengue texture and when it melted on the tongue my whole central nervous system goes ‘mmmm … relaaaaax….I’m hooome” while euphoric memories of warm fires, cuddles and puppy dogs flood into my mind.

This merengue frosting was to be used in between each layer of the cake, for the smooth outer layer of the cake, and then for the ultimate finish- my creative input, the intricate piped flower craft on the top of the cake. At this point I am a bit disappointed about my not so smooth finish on the outer layer, but feeling hopeful.

I also threw in a tub of caramilk cream cheese in between the first layers of the cake for the caramel lovers.

**Beginner cake decorator tip: de-crumb cake prior to applying the frosting. Also look up the term  ‘de-crumb’ in cooking methodology.

Now this next step was going to fix my uneven layer… but something just doesn’t look right. White chocolate ganache phleghmnache. Looks like a lumpy goosebumps book cover. It was just not at all what I had been dreaming about over the past week. But I’m not going to let that bum me out I thought.. I’m taking to the sky and with my fantastical imagination and I will make a masterpiece!

Well, now I’m starting to regret telling my boyfriends mum all about this new hobby … and on borrowing her Russian piping tips excitedly telling her I would send photos and bring her some.

When the Russian piping flowers didn’t work my heart sank. They came out in big blue boogie monster globs. I am wondering, should I have followed the recipes directions instead of making this creative disaster? It was crap. This cake was now getting the official crap label. Those dark chocolate layers in there are actually burnt cake. That parmesan cheese around the edges are white chocolate swirls. *Sad face*

At this time my boyfriend had to interfere with some motivational talk all like “it looks goooood” and “the cake decorating craft takes practice, you’ll get better”

Well, boyfriend, if I had a child who was a boy and I was sexist, maybe it would be ok for his 2nd birthday with a previously purchased little blue Choo Choo train on top.

It tasted sensational.

No one received a gift or a photo.

  • **beginner baker tip:
  • – don’t tell anyone about your new hobby yet.
  • – my boyfriends mum recommends completely setting the icing overnight before decorating
  • – I believe in you and a better world with beautiful cakes for sharing.

Well, there’s a lot to learn from cooking fails. I think I will try it again someday and learn from my mistakes.

Please tell me about your wonderful cake fails and I wonder, did you still serve it up? How did it taste? Any tips to share that you learned from it?

Love,

Rosie

Choc Mint Protein Balls

Full of satisfying good fats, protein to keep you going, and it’s plant based. Choc mint is one of my favourite flavours. I love the coolness of the pure peppermint with a kick of cacao. Mwah! Simple recipe yet soooo delicious!

I used doterra peppermint oil, it’s a beautiful high quality oil but you can use what ever you have on hand. Vanilla protein powder along with medjool dates give the bliss balls a luscious almost chewy feel with caramel undertones.

Ingredients

12 Medjool dates

1/3 c Cashews

1/2c Macadamias

1 heaped tbs vanilla protein powder ( I used a plant based one called Amazonia RAW Protein Isolate Vanilla )

6 drops doterra peppermint oil

Pinch of salt

1 tbs coconut oil

1c Shredded coconut for rolling

Method

Throw it all into someone’s food processor and whiz until clumps together slightly.

Place coconut into a shallow bowl

Roll mixture into bite sized balls and roll in the coconut.

Store in the fridge and don’t forget to share!

 

The best trail mix

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I love our trips to the local whole foods shop. Especially when it’s time to make a trail mix. This one was created by choosing what they had in store, for an easy shop and chop snack. Yep that is a thing, the shop and chop.

According to my dude, this is the best trail mix ever. I almost have to keep tabs on how much he’s eating so poor me dont miss out! We whip it up about once a month now on our rotation of snack attacks.

We need dietary diversity to nourish the body and its senses. The multitudes of nutrients and flavours give us life in many ways. It really is incredible when you think about the chemistry between us humans and what we eat.

So, let yourself indulge in these ingredients. .

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Firstly I’m going to start with the star, the carob coated banana is the best bit. Carob is sweet and doesn’t need sugar, though most brands add it anyway. It’s a great alternative to chocolate and caffeine free!… for those who dig that kind of thing? I’ll stick to eating the carob as well as the chocolate thank you.

The dried banana tastes slightly caramelised and is a magnificent match with carob. It’s like the treat part of the mix that always bloody disappears first. We chop these into 1 CM pieces.

Pumpkin seeds or pepitas, these big green ones are grown in Australia and pesticide free. I notice a big difference in flavour from the supermarket ones.

Organic Mixed raw nuts simple as that. Packed full of goodies they are. Magnesium, protein, folate, good fats, brain food. Keep you full. Don’t eat too many , an overdose may induce a food coma. *lifts one eyebrow* Seriously.

And lastly the second star to the show is the dried pear. Decadent, soft, sweet and juicy. Just so delicious.

This healthy treat just gets me through the day. Especially when my body and brain are working hard. Find the recipe below!

I’d love to hear from you, what are your easy go-to snack attacks?

Love, Rosie

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Ingredients:

1 c Carob coated banana cut into 1 cm slices

1/2 c pumpkin seeds

2-3 c mixed raw nuts

3/4 c dried pear cut into 1 CM chunks

Method:

Throw it all into a huge bowl

Mix with spoon or hands.

Store in airtight container or jar.

 
 

 

The dahl that was made

** Easy style IC diet friendly recipe below

It all started in the early afternoon. I was getting through a full day and finally home to study away on my laptop. I was putting my all into it, you see when I have a vision I do my all to create it, that’s who I am.  And if you have endo or know someone who does -you will know that there is only so much one can do in a day before fatigue, or extreme pain or the multitudes of crappy symptoms come kicking down your positivity door and don’t stop there ….   

Well I’m just getting accustomed to the IC diet. And honestly when I’m super strict I feel a bit bloody better. But it takes more energy to be strict doesn’t it? Ahh… Preparation is for another blog. So I fought the urge to do something super easy, cheesy and inflammatory- this is how I got through making a healthy IC diet approved meal on a bad day.

Firstly I decided to make a quick Dahl. Went to the fridge and got out the veg that caught my eye- pumpkin, celery, garlic and broccoli were thrown onto the bench. My man came in and saved the battered veg. He chopped them up lovingly as I gazed through my grumpy eyes searching for the red lentils.

He then walked away because I was cranky pants grumbling so I chucked his wonderfully chopped veg and the seeds into the pot to sauté in coconut oil. How boring I said, look at our boring dinner.

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The steam smelled sad. But then fragrant. Is that what started to change the chemicals in my brain?

After rinsing the impurities or starch off the lentils I threw them in with the low sodium/no crap in it vegetable stock (Maggie beer from the supermarket is great when you don’t want to make your own) while reminiscing the coffee I once enjoyed daily which now is a fuel for the fire in my pelvis. That percolator just sits there some days with nothing to do. You see, when one person suffers from endo, everyone around them does too. Our poor lonely appliances…

I try to remind myself that sometimes we need to grieve the way things used to be, but also see that there is always a light.. that shines.. somewhere?…. At least I’m not bed ridden today. This diet isn’t forever. um. Etc. (Obviously I need help on this today)

The man walks back in perfect timing as usual, gives me puppy eyes and cups his hand over my shoulder. We cuddle by the warm stove.  

I’m feeling a bit more present and sentimental towards the ingredients now. After placing the broccoli and cream in carefully I add some dried mint, a great cooling herb, give it a stir. With the lid on it simmers until all cooked, about 20 minutes. The coconut creams up the dahl nicely. This was making to be a pretty quick meal which also will freeze well for future easy meals.

*ic diet tip!

– turmeric is an antiinflammatory root/spice, but it can cause irritation for ic sufferers, so if you have tested it, grate up a fresh piece of turmeric, throw it in at the sauté part with some pepper to enhance the benfits! Or dried is good too if you are tired.

I like to make sure to have something super easy on hand for these unexpected days as I work and play with this disease. But, sometimes we’re not prepared. It just doesn’t happen. So, the Dahl was made. The extra beans from yesterday conquered it with a dump of roughly chopped coriander for my FULL ON coriander cravings. Coriander will help move toxins out of the body so if your taking lots of meds, just eat it.  Plus some super crunchy and large papadums that my dude made for dipping. He’s so good. What would I do without him and his puppy eyes? If you don’t have a dude or a dudette or a puppy that likes to help- well don’t give up, there is love for everyone. Also a microwave or pre. Chopped veg from the shops is a good helper with no feelings to unintentionally hurt during flare ups.

** Additions on the try list for IC sufferers would be a dollop of natural yogurt and a drool .. I mean a pool of mango chutney.

** Other additions for IC sufferers would be boring rice and another sad mad fit. But really, try to enjoy each ingredient – natural stock is a lifesaver for my flavour lovin tongue buds. And those papadums packed a happy crunch.  Be creative on good days and try to be kind on those.. other  days!

Love, Rosie 😉

Recipe for 2 below.

Ingredients:

1litre vegetable stock (low sodium, nothing artificial)

250ml coconut cream

1-2 tbs coconut oil

1 c dry red lentils

1c cubed pumpkin

2 stalks celery, sliced

1 c broccoli chopped smallish

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1-2 tsp fennel seeds

½ tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp dried mint or fresh equivalent

Papadums of your choice*

A load of fresh coriander chopped for garnish

Method:

You have to read my whole sad story for the method. *evil laugh*

Sauté pumpkin, garlic, celery and seeds

Stir in lentils and stock, cook with lid askew for 7min

Add cream, broccoli, and mint, cook again until lentils are soft, about 15 min.

Meanwhile prepare garnishes and papadums.

Serve up.

*Visit your Indian grocer for a nice variety of papadums and change it up.

 

 

The Hills of Bread

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I used a sourdough buns recipe from https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/buttery-sourdough-buns-recipe  for this creation. The topping and shaping recipe is below.

There is something about the shapes of food that really does it for me. Particularly bread. Looking at the bread from different angles instantly swept me away to the hills out in the Otways where I grew up. The layered and swirled curves speckled with herbs resemble the wonderful and windy Great Ocean Road. An abstract landscape.

And well, trips down that road with my family or friends would usually result in eating some kind of scrummy comfort food at some point along the journey

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Gorgeous pic by @alexkolca on instagram
 
 

So.   I am honoured to introduce to you the most melt in your mouth, soft and hilly , and moreish bread. The type for special occasions or picnics with your friends or lover. The type that sits in the center of a finely set dinner table where you each take turns in ripping and breaking it to shreds. The bread endures a lovely, somewhat torturous and slow death over the two or three course meal, and then some.

You sit there salivating almost like a wild animal, smearing butter all over the steaming hot piece before you that is already filled with butter and cheese, giving birth to those sensuous hills and curves around your hips. Are you not yet licking your lips? *Wink* So why not make one or two more? This is that kind of bread.

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I hope that you will want to share it with your loved ones, too. And during these Covid times with those closest to you.

What other types of food do you love that are great for sharing or remind you of places?

Lots of love,

Rosie 😉

Ingredients

Topping:

2 tbs butter, melted

2 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp dried dill

2 tsp dried parsley

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 C finely grated tasty cheese

Method:

Instead of making buns, I made a twist/swirl. This is done by rolling the dough into a large rectangle, brush the butter on and throw on the topping.

Roll into a long sausage, closing off each end.

Slice two inches from the top, all the way to the end.

Place one piece over the other consecutively until it is twisted to the bottom.

Curl up one end at a time, in opposite directions and shift to your liking.

Brush more melted butter over the top before baking for 30 minutes at 180°.

 
 
 

Night Market 3

Queen Victoria Night Markets

So where’s the best way to spend way to spend with friends and family? Well! Let me tell you this is a staple of Melbourne if you haven’t been or if you are just checking this out to see the amazing place that Melbourne can be. Look no further then the Queen Victoria night Markets.

It’s somewhere where I usually end up a few times during the summer (even winter). This time was spent with Friends, Girlfriend (who would’ve thought) And then there was my sister. All great friends and people.

The Queen victoria markets have been around for as long as I’ve been around. Well longer in fact and has always been an amazement for food and cheap shirts and 10 dollar aviator sunglasses. Not to mention the staple of hot jam doughnuts. This was just the start of the amazing food that exists within these markets during a weekly basis.

But since about 2012 has been a yearly staple in my life. Apparently in it’s 19th year as you can see has no chance of slowing down.

Night Market 1
People checking out the markets. One pondering what food to have to the left another smiling and enjoying his time to the right.

This is how the markets are the hustle and bustle and great times. If you want to find some of the best food in Melbourne while enjoying a Pimms or one or a sangria from one of the many sangria stands this is where it is.

It has it all. You want pasta. It’s got it. You want a paella it’s there! You want a pulled pork or fried chicken burger made from the softest bread that is used to make dumplings from the amazing Wonderbao well hot damn! it’s also there. Which is the way I decided to go tonight. But there is every type of delicacy you feel like from around the world. It’s there…

I decided to go for the fried chicken wonderbao burger. With the softest tastiest bread in the world. It is an amazing feast. I remember getting their mini open dumplings from the noodle markets a few months ago in  and I had to come back for more. They are somewhere I tend to get into while out on market nights.

Night Market 2
Wonderbao delisousnes Crispy chicken bun burger designed for the Queen Vic Night Markets

Simple and delicious! That’s all I had to say I mean you can get paella at any market souvlaki at any market. It’s all there! The food is so amazing though. These were so damn tasty to a delicious experience none the less the bread wonderbao makes in my opinion is second to none soft, fluffy, succulent tastes amazing as a steamed bun but to make a burger life can’t get much better. As I did enjoy the Gua Bao that they make but this is next level. If you want the softest succulent tasting food in the world in a larger form then look no further. Served which chips to which you can take or leave. To be honest it’s all about the burger.

It’s amazing the food you can get from here though. It’s all world class and if you want a one stop place for some great Melbourne food look no further the Queen Victoria Night markets really does have it.

Not to mention they are so successful and the weather lately in Melbourne has been so nice. Today with a perfect 30 degrees Melbourne life doesn’t get better then this.

Night Market 4

It really doesn’t.