My review of McCain’s new gluten free Home chips

Recently McCain asked if I would be happy to try their new gluten free Home chips and review them . I normally have a bag of McCain original oven chips in my freezer as they are gluten free,  so I was interested to try these new gluten free Home chips.


These chips have a battered coating made from potato starch,rice flour,dextrin, pea fibre, raising agent . Prepared with sunflower oil

I had family over on Sunday so we decided we would all give them a try for a quick supper. they cook straight from frozen in a hot oven for 20mins . I turned them a few times while they were cooking  .

The result was a chip with a crisp exterior and a soft fluffy inside, we all agreed they were a perfect chip . An essential for the freezer .


The family enjoyed them, and as my home is gluten free I will probably keep some in my freezer for a last minute supper.


When I have time I like to treat myself to homemade chips made just from potato or sweet potato and oven cooked in beef dripping for 25- 30 mins in a hot oven.

McCain The Home Chip 1.5kg bag £2.50 Now available from Tesco 

click here for website -McCain 

I would be interested to know what you think , please let me know!

I was not paid to write this review . A bag of frozen chips were given to me free of charge to test.

Gluten free Bagels

I love all of Isabel’s free from mixes My  favourites are the Dough balls and the Pizza mix. Both popular with my gluten eating family too.

Today I thought I would have another go at Bagels using the Pizza mix. I’ve made these a few times before but knew they should have risen more in size than they had done.


These latest yeast free gluten free Bagels are the best by far! This time I used 3 medium size eggs , rather than two eggs. I’m not sure if that made a difference. I also kneaded the bread dough for much longer. When it came to adding the bagels to boiling water , I left them in the boiling water for three minutes bubbling away ( I flipped them over once during this time ). I saw them double in size .


I finally sat them on a tea towel to dry then popped them on a greased baking tray at fan 160c for 25mins. Some I sprinkled with sesame seeds some I left plain.

I was astounded at the difference from my  previous attempts. They were a great size, they did collapse a little when cooling but far superior to previous attempts.


They freeze well and are best refreshed in the microwave

Click here for the recipe from Isabel’s free from

I have also tried Isabel’s Tea cakes made in a very similar way. Totally delicious. Tea cake recipe

Isabel’s recipe for Bagels

200g Isabels pizza mix

2 eggs , I used 3 medium eggs

2 tbsp Veg oil , I used olive oil as a healthier choice

50ml water

gluten free baking powder

1 tsp sugar

160c fan oven


Isabel’s mixes available from Morrisons and Asda, online at Ocado or

What will you fill your Bagel with ?





On days like today I really miss buttered toast!

In the early hours of yesterday morning I woke up with extreme stomach pain, a cramping pain that grew stronger by the hour. Anyone with IBD will know exactly what I mean . I have been fortunate enough to have avoided this for almost two years. I don’t as yet take any drugs but do stick to a very specific diet that works for me.

Avoiding all grains especially gluten and reducing my dairy intake particulary cows milk . Butter seems to be fine for me, but I often use coconut oil and beef dripping in my cooking. I also avoid yeast, onions and garlic and paprika which have all been triggers in the passed.

Anyway back to the other night, after the pain started the nausea and then vomiting and also strangely a runny nose. followed.  Aching inflamed joints and all in all after several hours I was exhausted . The pain etc carried on for seven hours in all . My husband was a star and nursed me through the night.

About 8.30am half an hour before I fell asleep .In despiration  I whats app’d my Church home group to ask for prayer to take the pain away. I had eight replies in a few moments. I remember very little after this as I then slept until 3.30pm. My faith is a great strength to me and my home group are a huge support.

Thankfully when I awoke the pain and nausea had gone. I never eat after a flare up like this and find that mint tea and water to rehydrate is all I can handle.

Today I have managed homemade chicken broth which I had in the freezer. My broth/stock is just slow boiled chicken carcass and water.

I’m hoping tonight to have cooked plain chicken a little mash and a few well cooked green beans . I was researching low residue diet today to see what was best to eat. I have never been given any dietary help with my diagnoses of Crohn’s disease so its all trial and error.

I would be interested to hear from anyone else with Crohn’s Disease or Colitis as to how  you manage your symptoms with diet and what you eat after a flare up.

On days like today I really miss simple buttered toast.

Bake off will be extra hard to watch tonight as its bread week.



Gluten Free Hazelnut Tuiles

As its Biscuit week on The Great British Bake Off tonight I thought I would have a go at a new biscuit.


Inspired by a Mary Berry recipe from a book from 1995 Mary Berry’s complete cook book ( my most used cookery book )

I set about making a gluten free version using hazelnuts to decorate.



2 egg whites

125g caster sugar

60g gluten free plain flour

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

60g melted butter

rough chopped hazelnuts or flaked almonds


Line a couple of baking sheets with baking parchment

put egg whites and caster sugar into a mixer , beat until frothy

add sieved flour , butter and vanilla extract


mix well

put 6 teaspoon’s of mixture on to the sheet leaving plenty of space between each one

sprinkle with a few crushed hazelnuts


bake in a hot oven 180c for 6 mins

take out immediately and using a spatula or fish slice

put each one on a greased rolling pin


to cool, then put on a wire rack

They should resemble roof tile’s ‘tuile’

repeat until all mixture is used up.

store in an airtight container.

I think if these had been presented to Paul and Mary on the ‘gingham alter’ I think they would probably have said they needed another minute in the oven as they were slightly softer than intended . Still delicious though.


Enjoy watching Bake off!











Gluten free at the Medicine garden Cobham

On one of the hottest days of the year I decided to go and investigate a walled garden with cafe’s and shops in Cobham. I only recently found out about this beautiful walled garden on  Instagram. After seeing lovely pics I was keen to go and explore.


Not far from the centre of Cobham Surrey the Walled garden can be found on Downside road KT11 3LU . My sat nav didn’t quite get the position right , undeterred I phoned up and a helpful lady explained that it was just a little further up the road. Medicine garden shares an entrance with a fencing company. Both sets of signs are clear to see from the road. There is plenty of free parking and the Gardens themselves are free to enter. A donation is requested for the upkeep of the gardens but this is not compulsory .


As I visited towards the end of August many of the beautiful flowers were going over, but this did not take away from my overall experience. Bees and butterflies were still busy amongst the remaining bright colours and seed heads stood to attention in the heat on the midday sun.


It was quite a lot to take in at first, I hadn’t gone with any preconceived ideas. The Medicine garden is enclosed in a gorgeous old wall and with the bright blue sky and honey coloured stone and palm tree you could have been somewhere far more exotic than Cobham. Not that Cobham isn’t a lovely destination !


Firstly I took a tour around the entire area taking in the Airstream converted to a cafe, a canopied south facing raised seating area with miss match of bright coloured chairs a huge pink leather settee and large ornate mirror.




A more shady area to the left with white roses growing up the wall and long tables perfect for a large group.



A small play area fort for 4yrs and up surrounded by sand , full of little ones making the most of the school holidays. Next to a small veggie patch.


Bike stands available for cyclists  making it a perfect half way spot for an espresso.


This bike had seen better days but made a perfect container for flowers.

Glistening in the sunshine the vintage Airstream has pride of place serving teas and coffee’s etc from late spring to early autumn.


On through to the most quirky garden pod cafe, set in the courtyard and formerly the potting shed open daily throughout the year. I was here to seek out any gluten free offerings, and I wasn’t to be disappointed. The staff were very friendly and helpful and explained that all the gluten free cakes and biscuits came from a local bakery Le Papillon Patisserie ( this is not a dedicated gluten free bakery ) but the GF labeled cakes on site in the cafe were stored in separate glass covered containers. There were three choices of gluten free and a vegan choice.




I chose a gluten free macaroon and a cup of english breakfast tea, I tend to take my own milk as I prefer unsweetend almond. I imagine that the cafe would offer a dairy free alternative to milk. I think my bill was about £4 about average for anywhere in Surrey.


I carried my tray out onto the south facing terrace under the shade of the huge white canopy . It was maybe a little to hot to be sitting in the sun but it looked so welcoming that I embraced the heat! For those who prefer the shade there was a cool shady courtyard on the other side of the cafe offering relief from the hot sun and many people were sensibly enjoying their lunches in the cool.


Even though the car park was very busy there was plenty of places to sit I chose a tiny table and chair looking out onto the grass slowly getting scorched in the sun. My gluten free macaroon was a real treat , I have to admit I am always nervous of eating baked goods out as I worry about cross contamination. I have been absolutely fine after eating it and I’m sure they are careful to avoid causing any ill effects. I really liked my mug, and the tea and would definitely take friends along next time.


Soon the heat became too much so I retreated into the shade of the courtyard. A selection of tiny shops. The Art shed, The Beehive, Blid and Hattan gatherings, The White Orchid flower shop and The Pineapple store entice you in. Plenty of plants for sale too and garden pots etc .


Most of the little shops were in the shade and on the more northerly side of the courtyard allowing a rest bite from the intense heat of the day. I enjoyed a browse and could think of quite a few friends who would enjoy these indie shops too.


The courtyard is also home to The Hothouse cafe, on my visit it certainly was a hot house! but on a regular English day I’m sure it would be lovely to sit inside. Gluten free bread was on offer but as always if you are Coeliac check first about their cross contamination policy ( separate toaster etc )


The Medicine garden does not allow you to bring picnics along, but encourages you to buy something tasty from the cafe’s and eat it in or alfresco on one of the sun decks and for a picnic style you can borrow a blanket or sit on one of the extra large deckchairs.

Babies food is an exception and home prepared can be eaten in the gardens. Many families with young children where gathered in groups under the shade of the trees. Ice creams and lollies were available and I noticed a sign saying most flavours were gluten free. To upkeep the beautiful gardens and walls they  encourage you to purchase something from the cafe’s . A small price to pay to spend as long as you like in this stunning environment and to maintain it for the future.


I made time to walk around the circle of trees reading carefully the inspirational texts written at each point . Even with the sun beating down it was a few moments of calm.


My next visit won’t be too far away I’m sure. But I particularly look forward to late spring / early summer 2017 when I’m sure the gardens will be at their best.


I can really recommend this hidden gem, why not go and check it out for yourself .


You can follow Medicine garden on Instagram @medicinegardencobham 

Twitter @medicinegarden 









Chocolate and Hazelnut Cookies

I made these new cookies today, and as they were so delicious I wanted to share the recipe straight away.

I’ve eaten two already and they are not even cold , a crisp outside with a soft chocolatey and nutty inside . I hope you enjoy them too.


Recipe –

100g ground almonds

2 tbsp coconut flour

2 tsp cacao

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips gluten free

1/4 cup maple syrup

70g melted unsalted butter

1 beaten large egg


mix together all the dry ingredients

add the melted butter , maple syrup and beaten egg

stir together well

mould small balls of cookie dough and pop onto a lined baking sheet

bake in a pre heated oven 170c for 14 mins

cool on a wire rack

Enjoy !




Easy grain free soft cookies

While away I was looking for a cookie that I could make quickly, These have been so successful I have made three batches in a couple of weeks. You can add anything you fancy I have added raisins, dark chocolate chips or cherries . Maybe try adding chopped nuts. I think hazelnuts would work well.


Recipe –

100g ground almonds

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

2 tsp ground flax seeds

2 tbsp coconut flour

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp cinnamon ( you could add cacao or ground ginger instead )

1/3 cup honey

1 large egg

70g butter or coconut oil ( melted )

1/2 cup  or more – a mixture of raisins / cherries / chocolate chips /  sultanas  Be inventive !


Put all the dry ingredients in to the bowl

then add in the egg, honey, melted butter or coconut oil.

mix well together , form into balls , place on a baking sheet with  greaseproof paper

squash down with your hand to flatten as they don’t spread much by themselves

bake for 12 mins at 175c

cool on a wire rack


store in an airtight container or freeze in two’s ready for a snack attack!

The ground flax seed and coconut flour are not cheap but kept in an airtight container they last ages .

Happy Baking !