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

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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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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.

roasted pistachio nut butter

creamy roasted pistachio nut butter

I use a lot of pistachios. I know this. I have good reasons to though. Like….
– pistachios are my favorite nut…. followed closely by pecans
– they are beautifully colourful
– roasted with salt & lemon they are absolutely divine
– we have an abundant supply of them courtesy of Mel’s aunt who has a farm

Does that explain it? Would you say it sums it up nicely? I would. In fact, I do.

Mel also happens to be addicted to every kind of nut butter he can get his hands on. We’re limited here to walnut, almond & peanut… but any time I go back to the US I bring him back pecan, cashew, hazelnut & anything else I can find.

What I’m saying is I made roasted pistachio nut butter for mel. We spread it over toasted slices of the blueberry, oat & buckwheat bread I made a couple days ago… perfect combination.

He’s mentioned something along the lines of using it to cover the outside of a rack of lamb to create a delicious crust on it.

I’m thinking about adding a tablespoon or two to a white chocolate ganache.

….either way, there’s more you can do with this than just put it on toast. Use your imagination xxx

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blueberry, oat & buckwheat loaf

gluten-free blueberry, oat & buckwheat loaf. Diary free, egg free & vegan

 Let me start off by saying HAPPY 2013 everyone!!!!!

Yeah yeah yeah I know, we vanished over the holiday season & kind of forgot to give a heads up to anyone who follows along. It wasn’t intentional I assure you, it’s just, we kind of got swept up in it all. I’m sorry, it wont happen again.

What I mean to say is, it’s not uncommon for us to take a couple weeks off here & there, but we wont vanish without a heads up next time. Deal?

Good, lets move on.

gluten-free blueberry, oat & buckwheat loaf. Diary free, egg free & vegan

Right, being as we’ve entered into a new year, I’ve decided it’s about time to tackle some of the recipe ideas that I keep scribbling down at random intervals.

For example….. blueberry french toast. I have been wanting to make some of that since I spent a month in Boulder, Colorado last November. It’s not that I had any whilst I was out there, but as soon as I left & got back to Athens, it was all I could think about at 03:00am when I was wide awake with jet-lag.

Can’t make blueberry french toast without a decent blueberry bread though, so, I present to you my oat, buckwheat & blueberry loaf.

We may not actually make it as far as the blueberry french toast…. Mel & I have gotten through half of this gluten-free bread already & every time I look at it, it appears as if it’s shrinking. Did I mention that it’s also egg free, dairy free & vegan friendly?

Still, my craving for the delicious egg fried bread is what brought me to this beautiful, beautiful state of baking, & that, is never a bad thing.

Before I pass on the recipe, I just want to say that it’s been snowing on our island! That may not sound like a big deal to you, but it’s like being in the Twilight Zone.

I digress as always…. Happy 2013 xxx

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