Gooey Salted Caramel and Coconut Slice

How good is caramel? I love it, and I’m not letting the lack of dairy in our household hold us back! This yummy slice keeps very well in the fridge, and is great for a school lunch box treat (or a hooray! it’s morning tea time treat). I won’t pretend it’s super healthy, but it is super yum!

Ingredients

1/2 cup of dairy free margarine
1 cup of loosely packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup of gluten free self raising flour
1/2 cup gluten free plain flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup of soy milk

Salted caramel topping

270ml light coconut milk
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
Pinch of salt

Cream dairy free margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix well.
Fold in sifted flour alternately with milk. Stir in desiccated coconut.

Bake at 180 degrees for 35 minutes (or until cooked).

While slice is cooking, bring coconut milk and brown sugar to the boil, and then simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Add pinch of salt (to taste).

Allow slice to cool. Pour over caramel topping to serve

 

Lemon Biscuits – gluten, dairy, nut and egg free

img_1066Need a quick afternoon pick me up? Try these yummy lemon biscuits with a cup of tea. Super quick and easy!

Ingredients

100g Nuttelex or other dairy free spread
1 tsp of vanilla
1/2 cup of caster sugar
Zest of a lemon
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tablespoon of soy or other dairy free milk
1 1/4 cups of gluten free plain flour

Method

Preheat oven to 190 degrees
Beat nuttelex, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest until light and fluffy.
Sift flour and baking powder into nuttelex mixture
Fold in flour with a spatula
Gradually add enough of the milk to create a soft dough that isn’t too sticky. If it starts sticking to your fingers, add a little more flour.
Roll into approximately 15 balls, and flatten into discs
Bake for 8 minutes, until lightly golden

Easy Peasy Paleo Pancake with Berries

It’s Saturday morning. We normally like a lazy morning with pancakes at my place. Unfortunately, I have just been diagnosed with gestatational diabetes, which means regular GF pancakes are a definite no no for me!

What to do? Well, I won’t let this low carb thing make me miss out on the fun! So here’s a super easy recipe for berry pancakes for one.

Cooking time: about 10 minutes

gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soy free, refined sugar free.

Ingredients

Pancakes

1 tbsp coconut flour

1 egg

2 tablespoons non dairy milk (whatever you like to use, doesn’t really matter)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/2 teaspoon of bicarb soda

if you like your pancake sweet, add a little stevia. If you don’t (like me) leave it out.

Raspberry Sauce

50g raspberries

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/2 a teaspoon – teaspoon of stevia (adjust to your own taste)

fresh strawberries

Instructions

  1. Beat the egg, milk, and vanilla together with a fork. Add coconut flour. Stir well, getting rid of any lumps.
  2. Heat a small frying pan on medium heat. Add a small amount of oil (about a teaspoon) to the pan.
  3. Pour in pancake mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes (until sealed and brown on pan side) then flip, and cook for a couple more minutes. Remove from the pan.
  4. Add raspberries, vanilla and stevia to the pan. Cook for about 30 sec to 1 minute, until the raspberries get syrupy.
  5. Serve with chopped strawberries on top of pancake, with raspberry sauce poured on top.

Enjoy!

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Strange Dreams and Making Stuff

It’s 4am, and I can’t sleep. I had a strange dream, and that led to lots of thinking, which is never conducive to getting back to sleep. I dreamt about hospitals. Being in one, visiting people I knew who were there, and the trickiest part, dreaming that my dad was visiting me there. That part was the most real. I remember my hand on his arm, feeling the warmth of his skin, and the strangeness of the vibration of his fistula (he was on dialysis for many years).

Last week, I was given the eviction date for my baby boy. I’ll be having a c section at 38.5 weeks. It’s a strange thing to know in advance the exact date your baby will be born. Of course I knew there’d be a c section happening, and let’s face it, there’s not really any fun way for a baby to come out! That said, it’s got me thinking a lot about hospitals, my last two c sections, and wondering what it will be like this time.

My first was born via emergency c section, 26 hours after I had been induced. It was surreal and dramatic, full of fear and confusion (perhaps it is always a bit like that the first time?). I remember the slowness of the induction. Waiting for things to “happen”. Wanting to be shut away alone as the contractions increased. It felt quite primal, despite the medical intervention that got me there. I remember my sister and my husband trying to entertain themselves through the long, and rather boring hours (for them, anyway). No iPhones back then! Arguing with my husband about whether he was allowed to video the event – no bloody way, as far as I was concerned. Then suddenly things got very serious very quickly. A whole bunch of people rushing into the room, strange faces telling me what they were about to do to me, being rushed down a corridor to the operating room, the terrified look on my husbands face, and that painful wait to hear my baby cry, and know that he was ok.

I spent the next few days shell shocked, while I tried to process exactly what had just happened. As I lay there in pain post surgery, doped up on morphine, I thought of my dad, and how brave he was to have so many operations, so many times. Despite what people say about mummies who are “too posh to push”, a c section is really bloody painful. I know it isn’t always like this, but I couldn’t walk upright for weeks. Getting out of bed, out of chairs, pretty much everything, hurt for months. I still have a numb section on my stomach from the nerve damage. After that, I was pretty nervous about the prospect of baby number 2.

My second c section was very different. I had a date booked at 39 weeks. At just over 36 weeks, my daughter decided that was too long to wait, and I went into labour. 10 minutes after I got to the hospital, the spinal was in, and I was off to the operating room. 30 minutes later, she was out. It was all so calm and civilised. While I was in recovery, I chatted to the nurses about their holiday plans. Then up to my room for the first proper cuddle. It was surreal, in that it was so fast and calm, but had none of the terror of the first time around! The recovery was painful, but no where near as bad as the first time.

I am expecting (hoping?) this time will be more like the second. It’s still hard not to feel fearful though. Scared of the procedure, scared of something going wrong, scared of the pain and recovery. I won’t be able to take as many painkillers (I can no longer tolerate NSAIDs), and that makes me nervous.

This time around, I also have two older children. I think they will be helpful, and love their little brother. I also suspect they will be a bit cranky and resentful of the amount of time he takes up.

All of the contemplation and waiting of pregnancy is a great motivator for creativity. When pregnant with my son, I painted about 70 watercolours. With my daughter, I took up knitting and did lots of abstract acrylics.

This time around, I’m making endless flowers. Watercolours, pen drawings, collages and embroideries. It’s like there is a surge of ideas, and an urgency to get it all out NOW, while I still have the chance. I kind of like that while my body is performing the ultimate act of creativity, my artistic self is on such a roll.

Here are some of the things I’ve been making…

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Studio Flood

It’s a sad day for my studio. After the torrential rain on the weekend, I went out to check on my studio space today, and it was very, very wet. I had a big pile of watercolour paper that I’d painted for collages, some glitter paper and some beautiful Nepalese paper stored on the floor as I’d run out of space. It’s all wet! The carpet is wet, some of my furniture is swelling, the ceiling is bubbling.

I’m feeling very grateful that it is not my whole studio. My desk and computer are ok. Thankfully all my silk was stored in sealed plastic tubs, and is dry.

Hopefully as I clean up, I won’t find more damage. Sigh.

In in the grand scheme of things, I know I am very lucky. People have lost their entire homes. But I may be a bit quieter on the creative front, while I deal with tradespeople to fix the roof and clean up the mess.

Anyone else get hit by the wild weather?