Brixham

Thursday, 22 June 2017





















A couple of weeks ago we headed down to Brixham in search of fish and chips by the sea and for me to satisfy my need to take photos of fishing boats.  We went to Rockfish who do gluten free fish and chips prepared separately so safe for coeliacs.  In my former gluten eating life I can’t say I was notorious for my consumption of fish and chips but the novelty of gluten free fish and chips by the sea had me pretty excited.  I’m glad to say they didn’t disappoint but neither of us could get more than half way through our gigantic portions and the little man wasn’t interested in anything other than having a tantrum.  The looming presence of a seagull on the wall behind our bench didn’t do anything to contribute to the tranquillity of the sea views.  Such is real life.






March

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

We’ve recently moved to Devon and I’m sitting here in our rented house with the sun shining in, it’s impossibly quiet.  At night we leave our bedroom window open and hear nothing until the birds wake us up with their dawn chorus.  Gone are the sirens and occasional cars backfiring or motorbikes revving that accompanied our nightly slumber in the city.  I sleep deeply here and yet feel so tired.  I’ve never understood that.

I’ve wanted to get back to this blog for a long time and can’t believe it’s been over a year now since I visited this site but I haven’t felt much like writing about food lately, it’s felt too trivial to talk about gluten free this and that when there is so much happening that is raw and painful in so much of the world.  One of the most important things I did when we moved was make sure we updated our details so we could vote.  That Labour did so well in the elections is the one thing that has lit a spark of hope in me that change might be possible.  That so many young people turned out to vote feels like a positive shift for this country.  In the wake of the Grenfell tower disaster and recent terrorist attacks building a vehicle for change seems more important than ever.

Maybe it’s moving across the country (which hasn’t been without its challenges) or just a new found appreciation for the good in life but for better or worse I hope to return here more often.  I’ve saved you many political rants over the last few months.  I don’t quite know what this blog is at the moment but for now…

In March we gathered with family on the Isle of Wight to celebrate my Dad’s 90th birthday.  There were cakes and candles and walks along the beach.  I think my Dad had a wonderful time, but then he always does, he is one of the most positive people I know.  A man who truly knows how to live in the moment, always enthusiastic about what is happening now, never regretting the past or fearing the future.  He continues to be an inspiration.  A few photos of the beautiful place where I was privileged enough to grow up and where my Dad continues to live his life in his wonderfully eccentric way.






Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata

Saturday, 30 April 2016





















I’m not exactly reinventing the wheel here but lately I’ve been stuck in something of a cooking rut partly determined by a drive to make sure we don’t waste food thus reducing our grocery bill and partly due to the boy becoming more and more about routine and vocalising his disgust very loudly when I try and put something new in front of him.  After repeated attempts frittata has now firmly met with his approval and it is a great vehicle for using up vegetables.  An added bonus is that it’s cheap to make, hearty and filling.  Also he currently likes broccoli but only the tender stem variety.  As a parent this makes me a) very smug and b) very poor as it costs double the amount of regular broccoli and I really shouldn’t be indulging his inclination towards fancy vegetables.

For me the key ingredient for a successful frittata is good hard goat cheese that has plenty of flavour. Choose your own combination of vegetables if kale and sweet potato aren’t your thing.  Personally I like the earthy and sweet mix.  I imagine asparagus would be pretty great at the moment and of course you could try tender stem broccoli.

Any attempt to style food photos these days goes out the window, especially when I have a small boy standing at the kitchen gate jumping up and down for his lunch.  I’m all about realism although I did make an attempt to avoid the bits of dried food stuck to our hob.
























Sweet Potato and Kale Frittata
Serves 2 very generously but will stretch to 3.
I used an 8 inch skillet.
1 small sweet potato peeled and cut in to dice
2 large cavolo nero or kale leaves
1 shallot finely chopped
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
4 large eggs beaten
50g (2oz) hard goat’s cheese, grated
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

Preheat oven Gas Mark 7, 220°C, 425°F.  *I have a truely rubbish oven so you may want to keep an eye on your frittata to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Toss the diced sweet potato in the olive oil, thyme and paprika.  Place the diced sweet potato on a baking tray lined with parchment and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the potato is tender and starting to turn golden.  Meanwhile add a splash of olive oil to your skillet and gently cook the shallot for about 5 minutes.  Add the cooked sweet potato and kale and continue to cook until the kale has started to wilt, about 2 minutes.  Add the egg mixture and cook on the hob until the egg is almost set but the top is still a bit runny, about 5-10 minutes.  Sprinkle liberally with goat’s cheese and place skillet in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the frittata is golden brown and cooked through.  


Crayons, Cake and Pasta etc.

Monday, 22 February 2016

A few photos from this month.  February is always a month I look forward to waving adieu to.  It hints at spring around the corner but keeps you firmly in the midst of winter.  We started the month recovering from another virus.  We’re ending the month with a broken down car but in between there has been this cake, fun at the playground, visits to our favourite local cafe, a trip to the farmers market, messing with crayons but also teaching the smallest member of the household about his favourite vegetable, streams of sunlight across my cup of tea, daffodils because spring soon please and Rachel Roddy’s Tomato Pasta with roasted aubergine chucked in because see above.





Under the Weather and Winter Salad

Tuesday, 19 January 2016






















We’re a household suffering from a heavy cold at the moment, originating from the smallest member of the family who caught it from his nursery pal.  I used to be fairly OCD about getting ill, if you rummage through my bag you are likely to find at least one pack of anti bacterial wipes and if you go through my desk drawers at work it’s likely you’ll find more so perhaps the OCD hasn’t quite left me but I am now resigned to the fact that I am going to spend the next few years catching every germ that comes my way courtesy of little people and trying to relax about it.






















In a bid to eat a healthier lunch at work in 2016 I’ve been making this salad in various forms.  Salad in January always sounds very wrong to me but salad in January made with roasted winter vegetables seems just about right.  I tend to use whatever vegetables we have that are in season so carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, you get the idea.  I chop them up, roast them in olive oil and then once cooled mix with salad leaves such as little gem, cos, romaine and sometimes chard.  I also throw in some tomatoes, cucumber, avocado and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds.  Really you can use whatever you like or have to use up.  To this mix I add a large dollop of houmous.  It is quite literally the glue that holds the salad together and makes it extra delicious.  I think houmous and cold roasted vegetables are a match made in heaven. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten everything up.  So far I’ve been really enjoying my work lunches but I can’t say that all the extra vitamins are doing much for my ability to ward off errant toddler germs but then who can stay well when a little snot covered hand wants to explore your face. 


Spiced Carrot, Pistachio and Almond Cake and Random Things

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Happy New Year to you if it’s not too late to say it.  I can feel a tad ambivalent about New Year.  Having already broken one of my New Year’s resolutions I feel I am not off to the best start but perhaps things can only get better.  I do acknowledge that for some reason the change in year on the calendar does give me a little kick to change things I have been procrastinating about even if I don’t always follow through with said changes.  I’m thinking about them.  Surely that’s a good start?




















Way back in the dim and distant past or a couple of weeks before Christmas I made this carrot cake found on Lottie + Doof.  I only had time to snap one picture and I’m going to link to the recipe because I followed it pretty much exactly.  It was delicious and hearty and the warming spices are just the thing at this time of year.























Predictably for New Year we are on a bit of a health kick around here and I have many recipes I am eager to share here in the (I hope) not too distant future.  I’m currently dealing with a toddler who is existing on a self imposed diet of peas, grapes and yoghurt.




























In other news we’ve discovered an amazing gluten free and vegetarian cafe, Cafe Meon, which is absolute heaven as far as I am concerned.  The food is amazing and my carnivore hubby even loves it.  I cannot express how exciting it is to eat out somewhere and not have to think about checking everything with the chef.  The entire menu caters for people like me.  Added to this is the fact the cafe is housed in the beautiful Chesapeake Mill selling antiques and vintage wares so I get to combine two of my favourite things, food and antique browsing.  Website here.  Pictured above, their beetroot burger which so far is my favourite thing on the menu.  They also do fantastic cakes and hot chocolate.

Gluten Free Mexican Chocolate Almond and Pistachio Cookies

Tuesday, 8 December 2015






















I’ve just munched down two of these before 9.30am and I had breakfast as well so I can’t say I was starving hungry.  I didn’t even eat them properly with a nice cup of tea and a book in hand.  I picked at them.  I took half a cookie from the tin, just to fuel me through the washing up.  The other half as a reward for doing the washing up.  I then decided that if I was eating cookies I would require a cup of tea but before the kettle was even boiled, oh look at that, another half eaten.  Finally I made it with my tea and the other half cookie to my laptop.  So there you have it, so delicious I can’t even wait for the kettle to boil.  That’s recommendation enough I think.

I found this recipe on My Darling Lemon Thyme, a brilliant blog full of delicious gluten free creations.  I’m going to be lazy and link to the recipe because I followed it almost exactly.  The only changes I made were to use cacao powder instead of cocoa and to use pistachios chopped up in the cookie instead of almonds because...have you seen the price of almonds lately?  The end result is a densely chocolate cookie with a nice kick from the cayenne pepper which apparently I can’t stop eating.
Recipe here.