peach & rosemary preserve

peach, rosemary & white wine preserve... gluten-free

I think I’ve got the canning bug. Although of course I just had to wait until all the good fruits were out of season before I decided I wanted to try to preserve them.

Still, managed to get my hands on some peaches.

Here’s my dirty little secret though. I didn’t reach for those nice, fresh, just ripened peaches with that beautiful yellow coloured flesh…. I wanted my peaches close to death. All soft & squishy. Starting to turn colour. Completely unappetising to eat with that horrendous overly-rippened-now-starting-to-rot mushy thing going on.

Want to know why? These are usually the sweetest & make the best jams. Doesn’t do wonders for my pictures though… but holy toledo Batman, that flavour is GOOOOD!

What I’ve got here isn’t your typical preserve either. I mean, it’s not something I’d put on pancakes in the morning. It’s more for toasted english muffins, or paired with brie & prosciutto. It’s for the more savoury of pairings with the earthy undertones of the rosemary & the slight hint of spice from the pepper corns. Personally, I’d like a little less sugar in the recipe, but then we start getting into the realms of adding more pectin & it’s just not something I want to deal with.

I think maybe I’m going to start going crazy with the preserving process & start getting ready for homemade christmas presents. Continue reading

jellies, jams & preserves… oh my!

red grape & rum jam, perfect for the morning toastI have a question for you all….

How many of you can tell me the difference between a jelly, jam & a preserve?

Anyone?

Yea, that’s a tough one. I’ll admit, I had to google it to find the answer. It’s true, I’ve existed 28 years on this earth without knowing the fundamental differences between these spreads. A little appalling, but brutally honest.

Here it is in a nutshell (so to speak)…
1. Jelly: made using the juice of the fruit
2. Jam: made using the pureed flesh of the fruit
3. Preserves: made using either whole pieces or large chunks of the fruit.

There you have it! Pretty easy once you know. Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t, however.

What we have here today is a JAM made using red grapes. I’ve gone ahead & thrown some red apples in there too since apples are just chock full of pectin which will eliminate the need for so much sugar.

The whole reason I find myself making jam at all is because I seem to have a wicked craving for a PB&J. I know traditionally these are fixed with jellies & not jams… but I’m not all that traditional.

Try this recipe out. I threw in a little dark rum & lemon zest to give it a nice little edge. Let me know what you think xxx

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coconut chocolate chip pancakes!

light, fluffy, filling, coconut & chocolate chip pancakes. Completely gluten-free, dairy-free & sugar-free

What a day!

I had planned on posting these coconut pancakes up yesterday. I actually made them in the morning so that I could have a nice filling breakfast in preparation for the long day ahead….

Of course, as soon as I was done eating, I got called in to work.

I am beyond happy to report that this week I have been working alongside Eirini to help make the desserts for the wedding that happened last night. That’s right, 200 chocolate mousse & 200 mini strawberry pavlovas.

Yesterday, all our work paid off too. Yesterday, I got to put on some fancy chef whites & work alongside Vangelis (from Chili Catering) doing the mies en plas for the event.

12 long hours on my feet & a non-stop go-go-GO approach & it was FANTASTIC!

I had the time of my life!

So clearly, there was no time to share my filling pancake breakfast. Thank god for that breakfast too since I didn’t have a chance to eat anything else until 01:00 the following morning…. where I stood quietly in the shadows stuffing my face with left over dolmades & sipping on a cocktail from Baba that Vangeli had brought in as a little treat for the staff once we were done. What a night!

So here I am, sleepy on a Sunday morning, planning to melt on the couch the entire day with my feet up, feeling the warm summer island breeze coming through the open doors, the sun light hitting the floor & a little take-out to sedate my hungry stomach…. & now I have to tell you how wonderful my little chocolate chip pancakes were.

Light, fluffy, filling, slightly sweet from the bitter chocolate & honey, completely gluten-free, dairy-free & sugar-free…. but nothing about them makes you feel like you’re lacking or missing out. They are what they are. & what they are, is delicious.

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heavenly cinnamon rolls

gluten-free cinnamon rolls

The last cinnamon roll I can remember having was from a tin. You know, one of those cardboard tubes where you peel off a layer of paper, press along the seem & the whole thing pops open. Icing included.

I do enjoy a nice, warm, gooey, freshly baked cinnamon roll straight out of the oven though. I had kind of written them off all together once the gluten was cut from my diet. Except for the odd occasion where I found myself lovingly looking through the glass display cases at CinnaBon trying to remember the extent of how good they could be.

Still, the only time that would ever happen was when I was on my way to the movies (since the store was conveniently located at the mall, and I never frequent the mall unless it’s for viewing pleasure), & by the time I was at the movies, the only thing on my mind was popcorn & beer. Well, not beer any more.

Back to the case in point. The only reason I’m even thinking about cinnamon rolls now is because my boss at work has asked that I come up with a homemade croissant for the hotel… being as I can’t work with wheat flour, I’m going to have to achieve something that I thought to be impossible…

One thing lead to another in my train of thought & all of a sudden I was making a list of all the bread-like items that I’d written off permanently as a fond memory. There you have it. My list comprises of gluten-free: bagels, cinnamon rolls, croissant, doughnuts, french toast & more.

I’m doing the cinnamon rolls first since now they are stuck in my head. I’ll save the croissants for when the hotel gets the ingredients in.

As for these gluten-free cinnamon rolls, they are heavenly. They have this moist, warm, chewy texture. Traits that I think are excellent since from what I remember, the majority of cinnamon rolls out there always got dry & more like cardboard. They are just delicious!

I’ve popped a few of them in the freezer before they had a chance to rise or bake. I want to see how they defrost & bake up so I know if they can be stored. Will let you know how that works out…

P.s. the photo is on suspension, the weather is like crap & I can’t get the lighting right to reflect the sheer awesome power of them.

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chocolate energy bites

raw, vegan, chocolate energy bites

Mel has this obsession with these raw, vegan energy bars. I’m not denying that they’re delicious, but at 2€ a pop for a bar that provides you with no more than three meager bites…. I’d say they’re all hype with a high price tag.

Still, I’m not one to tell my man “no”. I am however one to take a sneak peak at the back of the packaging to see if they’re smuggling gold into the bars & that’s why they’re robbing us blind for them.

Nope, no gold in them either.

I did get to see though that the bars were made up of five ingredients. All things I could pronounce too.

I decided to make my own version with four ingredients instead, and I’ll be damned if they aren’t better than the original bars. They even look better too.

Conclusion:
I have a satisfied man. The wallet hasn’t been depleted. & I can make as many as I want whenever I want.

Ingredients:
– 200g dates, de-pitted
– 50g raisins
– 100g almond butter
– 50g ground almonds
– 30g cocoa +more for dusting

Directions:
1. place the dates, raisins & almond paste together in your food processor & blend until it has all become a creamy mess. Remove from the blender & add in the cocoa & ground almonds.
2. mix until it is all completely & thoroughly combined.
3. roll into balls the size of un-shelled walnuts & place on a baking tray lined with parchment. Place in your oven for 2 hours @ 50C. This is just to dry them out a little, not to cook them.
4. once the time is up, remove them from the oven & allow them to cool before dusting with cocoa. Keep in an air tight container in a cool dark place for up to 2 weeks.

If you liked the recipe, go check out our KICKSTARTER project for an upcoming Gluten-Free Cookbook!

……..for a full history of our recipes, check out our archives. For the more sensitive tummies, check out our gluten-free archives….. and if you’re just interested in something pretty, check out our designed page.