Pistachio Cookies (G/F, D/F)

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Out of trouble comes good fortune! It seems like ever since the car accident happened I have been having a lot more good luck when it comes to health and well being. The doctor who treated me at the hospital after the car accident ended up recommending I start taking regular pain medication, and this was the best possible advice he could have given me. For a long time now a base level of pain and discomfort has prevented me from doing a lot of different activities. It ended up being that doctors would tell me what not to do, and recommending I swim for fitness. But each time I did go swimming I experienced excruciating knee and ankle pain, and couldn’t swim more than two hundred or so meters. It also gave me quite bad headaches. But I was becoming weaker and more fragile, and it was getting to the point that I was worried  I wouldn’t be able to keep doing the things I loved because of this. But since I have started taking pain medication I have found things so much easier. It’s made a huge difference in how I move and how much more energetic I am. I was so used to a certain level of pain that I didn’t even notice it was making me so fatigued until it stopped. I now do a little workout before and after work, and I am focusing on small and achievable goals. It’s been great! I have been at it for a couple of weeks now and I feel like I’m improving. So I owe a big thanks to the doctor at Calvary Hospital. Thanks to him I am back on track to a healthier life!

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But flowing on from that, I have made an executive decision to cut back on the sweets for awhile. I love baking to death. It’s no doubt that I love to make up sweet treats and that I will never tire of it. But I am also finding I am liking cooking main meals more and more as I get that little bit stronger. I think it’s a sign, my body knows what it needs and it’s trying to tell me. So although I will still be cooking sweets for special occasions – such as when I go to a friend’s house for a dinner or meal, I’ll be focusing on making some savouries for awhile. I’m looking forward to it! I found not one or two, but three women’s weekly cookbooks at the nearby salvation army store! For a dollar each no less! I picked up a weeknight meals cookbook, a four ingredients or less cookbook, and a slow cooker cookbook. Fantastic! I have bookmarked some main meals that when I first saw them, I knew would be delicious. I’m looking forward to it a lot!

But these pistachio cookies are the perfect last treat to post before I get cooking on some delicious main meals. These were crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and an absolute breeze to make. The first taste testers to have a bite of these couldn’t stop moaning and saying how amazing they were, and insisted I add them to my recipe box. I keep a recipe box of my absolute favourite go-to recipes, and this is now in there. So I thought it would be perfect to take along to Fiesta Friday!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies (GF)

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As much as it is one of the more common cookies out there, there is still something to be said for the humble chocolate chip. It’s homely and familiar, and with a few twists you can make it quite different – be that making it chewy or crunch or small and round or large and flat. I never get bored of making chocolate chip cookies because there are so many variations out there, and one of the things I decided to do when getting back into baking after the accident, was to make something for those I know with nut allergies. A few of the last things I’ve made have had tree nuts in them, and I know a few people who can’t eat that at all. So I decided to make these chocolate chip cookies from a recipe in a fantastic little cookbook called Gluten Free Classic Snacks. I absolutely loved the pecan shortbread cookies from this book, and although the chocolate chip cookie recipe in Gluten Free Girl Everyday was also tempting it required it’s own flour blend and would be more wasteful.

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Making this recipe also made me quite glad that I decided to bite the bullet and get a silicon mat for rolling out dough and pastry. I have a slippery bench top, and I always ended up having to either chase dough around it or use less flour and risk sticking. This mat made rolling this cookie dough into a log quite a breeze. I then popped it into the freezer as per the instructions and used the time while it was freezing to go have a shower and get ready for the day, as I was going to go dog-sitting for a friend. Marvel the dachshund is as cute as can be, and I am fortunate that I get to look after her. I’m kind of smitten with her. I also feel extremely privileged that my friends trust in me enough to come around and help look after her while they’re away. It goes to show I have a great friendship there.

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Cloud Cake (GF)

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If you were to ask me who I draw inspiration from at the moment in terms of cooking and baking it would have to be a family friend of ours – Polly. Polly has always amazed me with her culinary skills. She’s not only an incredibly talented chef but also an artist, and someone with a very big heart. Polly has also been treating us to delicious home-cooked meals and sweet treats for as long as I can remember. In fact the first banana split I can ever remember eating was at her house, and even now her chocolate pots are still a nostalgic favourite that could never be beaten. Now this post is quite belated and I take the blame for being too distracted and forgetting to get the recipe at the time. Polly had invited us – that is Mum and I, to a candle party at her house on the estate quite a while ago. For those who – like me, were ignorant to candle parties, candle parties are the candle equivalent of tupperware parties. A representative shows you all sorts of wares and at the end of it all you have the option to order some things from their catalogue.

Mum and I bought a trio of glass bowls with little glass candle holders that would sit in the top. I saw Polly had some and fell in love with them. She fills hers with rock salt and spices and shells and it looks stunning. Mum and I are debating what to put in ours but I am still adamant that we put cinnamon quills in the tallest of the three. I think it would look fantastic. And as we recently visited Polly for a gorgeous roast lunch I managed to nab both the recipe for the chocolate cloud cake which we ate at the candle party and a few others too! I’m looking forward to the next time I have a dinner party so I can give the chocolate pots a go. Oh! But I have to mention that Polly uses this as a base cake recipe and makes whatever alterations she likes when making it. She is a taste-tester, so whatever we end up with is always exquisite because of her care and experience. So feel free to test and change it up too.

Happy FF!

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Chilli (GF, DF)

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I have been meaning to put more midweek meals onto this blog for quite a while, but never got the chance to snap a photo of the things I’ve been whipping up. I decided that I would make this batch of chilli earlier than usual for the sole purpose of getting a photo of it so that I could put it up on this blog, because I absolutely love it and know a lot of you will as well. For one thing, it’s a women’s weekly recipe. That to me instantly means deliciousness and success. For another thing it’s a hugely versatile recipe in that it can be used on top of pasta, corn chips, mixed with rice and salad, or even had on toast for a protein rich breakfast! It freezes well, so it can be thawed out in the fridge overnight and then taken to work the next morning for a simple lunch. It’s really just a delicious and easy meal – and if a batch of it is made fresh it can feed at least four for dinner. Not bad I think!

I found this recipe in a fantastic cookbook I picked up from a place called the Greenshed. It’s a neat place that deals in second-hand and recycled goods, selling them at bargain prices and then using a lot of those funds to support local charities and businesses. They also take donations and are always ready to help you lift or move things to and from your car, which also makes it a lot easier for those of us who aren’t allowed to do too much of that. I often like going there to either donate or look for props and the like. I tend to stick to second hand stores that support charities because then I know that whatever I purchase or provide is helping other people. But this cookbook was a fantastic find! It’s called The Australian Women’s Weekly One-Dish Suppers and contains nothing but recipes that can all be cooked using one pot or pan, which is handy as it saves on washing up.

Happy FF!

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♪ Everything is Awesome!!! ♫

deliciouslynell:

Had to reblog this. This is such fantastic news! I also love the attached recipe. But I am so glad to wake up to this great news this morning!

Originally posted on go2cakes:

Go2Cake_CelebratePride

The US Supreme Court took a huge step for mankind today, by passing the law that turns same-sex marriage a reality.

Congratulations to everyone that is working hard to reduce, and eliminate, prejudice not only here but worldwide!

Love – in any of its expression – should always be celebrated and supported.


Gummy Lego-Guys

I have been waiting for a while to post this recipe and today sounded like a good opportunity.

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup of corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin
  • 1 box of flavoured gelatin (Cherry, Orange, Pineapple, Lime, Blueberry, Grapes – or any other ;) )
  • Lego-guys molds

What to do:

  • Completely dissolve the corn syrup on the water.
  • Add the unflavored gelatin and the flavoured gelatin and stir thoroughly, letting it rest for 2 minutes.
  • Cook it in medium-low heat for approx. 10 minutes (the time may vary depending on the flavour… I really don’t know…

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Paleo Swiss Roll and A Shout Out (GF, DF)

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So, I have a few things to mention in this post. The first is that I want to give a big shout out to a few people in the Canberra Community who did me a huge service. On Wednesday I was involved in a car accident. It ended up not being too serious for me in terms of hurt done, and whatnot. But it was still a huge shock. I was rear-ended at some traffic lights, when I was coming home with my newly serviced bike on the back of the car too, and shunted forward into another car. I was in shock at the time and very shaken up, but a woman who had stopped after seeing the mess came straight over to help me. I didn’t end up getting her name, but she was kind and professional – and knowing first aid she was really able to help me relax and make sure I was all right until the emergency services got there. I have to say a huge kudos to the emergency services as well. The police came and ripped through the crash report, the paramedics were fantastic, and when I went to hospital everyone there was so good to me despite how inundated the hospital was with patients requiring urgent care that night. So a huge thank you to all the people involved who helped me through. We’re now waiting to see if the car is going to be written off – due to the sheer damage done to it, and whether I can claim insurance on my bike.

But before all that mess I had the chance to whip up a delicious swiss roll recipe from the gorgeous cookbook: My Paleo Patisserie. I am very quickly falling in love with this cookbook, and not only because it is so allergy friendly and has so many recipes, but also because of the step by step photographs for some of the more complex recipes. This swiss roll recipe also has step by step photographs, which can be very handy for people like me who like to see how it’s done first. Now, I also made this using hazelnut meal as I didn’t have enough almond meal. I would suggest that if your hazelnut meal isn’t very fine that you blend it and grind it up a bit first, as doing that really helps the batter fluff up and also makes the sponge a lot lighter. I will also say that if you can’t use ghee or shortening, I have used nuttelex in this recipe and it worked out really well too. So feel free to experiment! Also if you don’t use maple sugar be aware that the sponge might not be as sweet.

But I will mention that this cake can be quite time consuming, especially if you do want to make sure that all the ingredients and fillers are paleo and allergy friendly. You will either need to outsource some paleo jam and dairy free whipped creams, or will need to make them. I stuck to a coconut whipped cream recipe from the cookbook but I know a lot of people use some sort of cashew cream filler. I have never had a chance to test it so I didn’t want to post it here. I have, however, put the recipes for some of the recommended fillers from the cookbook in this post as well, especially as I know that a lot of people – like me, don’t have easy access to a lot of allergy friendly grocery stores. But although this cake can be quite a lengthy process the results are lovely, and it means it’s an allergy friendly treat for all! You can also use this some sponge cake recipe for sponge cakes like Opera Cakes, which require thin layers of sponge that are then stacked, etc. You can also use the filler recipes for other things as well, so hopefully these will all work out well for everyone and come in handy! But I thought, given that it is my birthday today it’s quite fitting to have an extravagant project to work on!

Happy FF!

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Tongue and Groove and Koko Black

For this Fiesta Friday I did something a little different, I met up with some work colleagues – and one of their cousin’s, and we went out for a very late dinner. It was off to a rocky start at first because we had been unable to get a booking at the original restaurant we wanted to eat at, and then we had to do some roaming in the cold night air looking for a place that would sit five. In the end we hit upon a place called Tongue and Groove, which was quite nice. Sandra and her cousin didn’t mind doing a little modelling for me, as seen below. You should all definitely visit Sandra’s modelling site, she’s just stunning!

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The service was not so bad, and the prices reasonable. Unfortunately there were extremely limited gluten free options, especially as I could see Tongue and Groove was more set up to be a bar.

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So I had to make do with something that would be less upsetting for the ole stomach than a lot of the other options. However, I was impressed that the chips were gluten free, as it’s normally the one thing on a menu that no one can ever do gluten free! The food also came quite quickly, and for the mains the portion sizes were quite generous. I had some of the twice cooked pork belly, which while not being gluten free was in fact dairy free, and I also ordered some chips.

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My lovely colleague Trixie Bombshell, ordered the nachos.

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I didn’t get a chance to see what the others ordered, or how it was plated up, because we were all too hungry to wait! But come the end of the meal we were all quite full, and only just in the mood for dessert.

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We went along to another cafe called Koko Black, which is famous for it’s chocolate obsession and all the chocolates it sells inside the cafe as well. I have never been inside there, so it was all new to me and quite stunning. And after a short wait outside we were able to squeeze into a table inside in the warmth and place our orders.

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What I loved was the detail about allergens in their menu, they had markings to note what did or didn’t have alcohol, nuts, gluten, etc. I ordered a Caramel Delice, which was free of nuts, gluten and alcohol, whereas Trixie ordered the Belgian chocolate mousse, Skye ordered the vanilla bean ice cream with caramel sauce, Sandra ordered a hot chocolate affogato and her cousin ordered a cappuccino as she was so full to bursting she couldn’t cope with much more.

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It was a night of firsts! Sandra often gets hot chocolate with ice cream on the side, and this was the first time she had ever heard about hot chocolate affogatto.

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So we was thrilled. I loved mine, but it was so rich that I couldn’t make it through the whole dish. Trixie’s was gorgeous and had that rich, bitter taste of dark chocolate that just makes the dish, and Skye’s vanilla bean ice cream was divine.

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I had hoped to get some dark chocolate to take home at the end of the meal, but after having gorged so outrageously on such divine sweets I couldn’t even bear to look at their large selection of dark chocolates let alone consider purchasing some to take home!

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I then came home, collapsed, and had a very decent sleep! Happy FF!

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Tongue and Groove

Corner of Genge and Bunda street, Civic.

ACT, 2601

Email: info@tandg.com.au

Phone: (02) 6230 4455

Koko Black

Shop FG02, Canberra Centre, Bunda St

ACT 2601

Phone: (02) 6230 4040