Sandringham Flower Show and gluten free picnic.

Today was my first visit to the Sandringham flower show in the grounds of the Queens ‘holiday home’ in Norfolk.

Knowing there would be very little that I would be able to eat there, I baked a loaf of Sukrin sunflower and pumpkin seed bread, which is gluten and yeast free.

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The bread slices beautifully and is very like a good seeded regular loaf. I would say almost better than regular gluten filled bread. Sadly just more expensive!

I made some yummy egg sandwiches and cheese and tomato ones, A real treat when you never normally eat bread.

I was accompanied by my Mum and we headed off early to avoid the crowds. Parking was easy and free. We were directed to one of Sandringhams large fields. Making sure we made note of where abouts we were parked we set off for the small gardens.

ImageSew and Sow was a small garden by Emily Louisa Smith

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Fancy a stroll? by Tamara Bridge

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Modern tranquility by Fakenham garden centre Landscape and design.

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Art, Cities and Landscape BY Sarah Moore, Borough council of Kings Lynn.

We moved on to the Large show gardens, fortunately the sun was still shining and the crowds had not  built up.

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Love every drop by John Farley

To raise awareness of how important water is.

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A large Gunnera plant was used as a centre piece next to the fountain which hit the leaves before disappearing into the gravel.

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Rural Norfolk by Linda and Ralph Nichols

Depicting a disused lime kiln and work shed.

ImageCretaceous garden by Hall landscaping and design.

Featuring a Sarcosuchus better known as a Super Croc!

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A story garden by Jonny Baker.

Inspired by stories from Beatrix Potter.

My favourite of the large gardens.

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We stopped off at the Horticultural talks marquee for a demonstration by Hunstanton’s very own Florist Nicholas Godfrey-Cole from Scent with love

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A very interesting demonstration with lots of tips and ideas for budding flower arrangers.

Outside the rain had started, just in time for Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall to make there entrance.

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Sadly umbrellas and Royal canopy obscuring our view.

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A surprisingly small display of vegetables and fruit. Reminiscent of a local garden show.

By midday we were desperate for our lunch but every food marquee was packed with people sheltering from the rain. We decided to make our way back the the talks marquee, sadly to late to see the next demo by Scent with Love but nice and early for a talk on growing organic vegetables. A great spot for lunch when its raining outside!

Good old British weather!

The sandwiches were delicious and very welcome after a busy morning. So glad we had brought a picnic as very little else available even for gluten eaters and difficulty getting to the stalls. Mainly due to people camping out in the food marquee’s to avoid the rain.

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After visiting a large floral marquee we headed back to the car with a few new beautiful plants to remember our day.

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Gluten free Chocolate cake mix by Incognito cakes

Incognito cakes kindly offered to send me a new Chocolate cake mix for me to try.

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I normally make a homemade cake for my son’s birthday but as I had the Incognito cake mix to try I used that. I wasn’t disappointed and have to admit it was lighter than my cakes.

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The cake used coconut milk in the mixture and I used butter as apposed to vegetable oil as I am not dairy intolerant.

The mixture was like a batter quite different to my usual sponges, I was very interested to see how it would turn out.

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I have to say I was impressed with the bake, the cake had risen very well. Now just had to leave it to cool and add the icing mix provided.

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The topping was easy to make up and there was enough to sandwich the two halves together and ice the top of the cake.

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Now the proof of the pudding is in the eating! Well this Birthday cake had a thumbs up all round. Amazingly light, a very impressive cake!

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Find out more about the mixes here incognito cake mixes

Tips to avoid cross contamination from gluten

Newly diagnosed with Coeliac disease or sensitive to gluten? I have put together a few tips for staying gluten free.

Use separate area if possible for preparation in your kitchen, use easily identified chopping board. preferably not wooden. Glass or plastic work well as they can be cleaned easily.

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Have your own labelled butter dish to avoid contamination from gluten covered knives. It is advisable to have separate jams and spreads as it is hard to keep these free from gluten crumbs. Squeezable jams and honey work well.

Wipe surfaces well before baking and cooking and make sure cloth hasn’t been used to wipe up gluten crumbs, flour etc .

Make sure utensils are thoroughly cleaned before preparing a gluten free meal.

Always keep gluten free food stuffs in separate cupboard to gluten containing foods especially flour. If using wooden spoons they need to be clearly marked gluten free and only used in GF cooking and baking as gluten can lurk in the wood. If possible have your own colander to drain gluten free pasta as the families colander/ sieve can have hidden gluten lurking in the holes even after using a dishwasher.

Treat yourself to your very own toaster clearly labeled and away from gluten toaster to avoid crumbs.

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Make sure family grill is clean before using for gluten free food. Gluten lurks every where!

Wash hands thoroughly after feeding pets, most pet foods contain gluten.

There are Pet foods  available now that are gluten free.

Fridge doors can be a gluten trap, wipe down regularly.

Do not serve gluten free food and gluten containing food on the same plate e.g cakes. bread rolls

Best not to share a drink with someone if they are eating gluten, have heard of a case of friends sharing a water bottle causing her to be glutened.

Check with restaurants that they use a separate fryer to cook deep fried food like chips as oil will be contaminated with tiny amounts of gluten.

Always good to encourage family members to ‘clear as they go’ and not leave dirty plates possibly containing gluten on the work surface for you to clear up.

Wash hands regularly and change tea towels and cloths often.

If these simple precautions are taken, living and eating with gluten eaters doesn’t need to be a problem.

Any other tips? let me know

A new gluten free carrot muffin mix from Incognito cakes.

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New to baking?  Not a problem! using this incognito muffin mix, instructions are very simple and the end products are delicious.

Firstly empty contents of mix into a mixing bowl and add 3 eggs and 170ml of vegetable oil. I am not dairy intolerant so prefer to use melted butter. Another option might be coconut oil, will try that next time.

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Then add 3 medium sized grated carrots and stir in.

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spoon the mixture into the cases provided, I had enough muffin mixture for an extra one, result!

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The muffin mixture then goes in a pre heated oven for 15 – 20 mins 

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check they are cooked by lightly touching the top of a muffin it should feel quite bouncy. Cool on a wire rack and wait. We struggled, Mr S ate his before it was completely cool. He loved it and he is a gluten eater.

Loved the texture and subtle cinnamon and nutmeg flavour, the grated carrot was still visible which I really liked. I think I will top my next muffin with a cream cheese and icing sugar topping, which I think would work well.

Incognito cakes hope to launch these mixes soon, to find out more click here

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gluten free, dairy free coconut muffin mix from Incognito cakes

Yesterday I tested a new muffin mix from award winning Incognito cakes based in Ripley Derbyshire UK.

The mix is gluten, wheat and dairy free and the instructions were very easy to follow.

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Firstly I combined the mix provided with the 3oz butter and the 2 eggs.

I used butter as I do not have an intolerance to dairy.

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Once stirred together it had the consistency of a batter. I used a spoon to fill the muffin cases. I choose to fill big cases so made 5 rather than the 6 it would normally make. As the photo shows Im not the neatest baker!

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This all only took a few minutes. I had pre heated my fan oven to 180c so I could then quickly pop them in the oven.

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Just over 15mins later I was treated to the sight and smell of these delicious coconut muffins, beautifully golden brown.

ImageI left them to cool for a few minutes, not easy as I wanted to jump straight in!

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The coconut muffins were delicious light with a crispy outside edge very spongy. I would say more cake like than muffin but I prefer that. The smell of coconut filled my kitchen but the taste was more subtle. My family tried them too, giving them a thumbs up. Both agreed with me about the lightness and lovely flavour.

Check out kickstart here and read about what Incognito cakes are hoping to achieve.

They hope to produce cake mixes for chocolate cake, carrot muffins, coconut muffins, plain muffins, and limited edition chilli and chocolate muffins.

Cannot wait for these mixes to be available.

gluten free RHS Hampton Court flower show

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Today I visited the RHS Hampton Court flower show. Knowing it would be tough to eat gluten free I packed a picnic of cheese and tomato sandwiches made using sukrin bread mix, which I made yesterday. Crisps from Tyrrells (lightly sea salted) as they are yeast and gluten free and bottled water, which I was very glad of today!

I choose to drive to the show and followed the AA signs to the park and ride at Apps court farm. After a short bus journey I arrived across the river from the sight. The best way to get to the flower show entrance is to take a ferry. This can been seen easily from where you are dropped off. Parrs flower show ferry charged £2.50 per journey. A lovely experience on a hot day like today to take a boat ride on the Thames. You can also easily walk, probably about 15 mins. 

Once in, I advise buying a programme. I didn’t and wasted valuable time finding the gardens.

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Some of the Low cost High impact gardens were stunning.

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This was – Mid century modern

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A room with a view.

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I particularly liked this garden called Layers and links. One of the summer gardens, I think the seating area is very inviting.

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This garden was also lovely, called A cool garden. Perfect on a day like today,

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This garden called Four corners, looked very inviting today, love the rill ! 

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another view of this beautiful garden.

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and this is the well named  Hot stuff garden.

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Not so keen on this one, although in todays heat it looks very cool. Called Willow pattern.

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This is The Witches of Macbeth.

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Between the lines.

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I was very excited when I saw this marquee, love Vintage and roses.

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I absolutely loved these roses, very flouncy!

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Bill and Ben the flowerpot men.

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The QEF Garden of joy.

Lunch by the water under a shady tree. Perfect. Sandwiches survived really well. The Sukrin bread is not crumbly or dry in fact it is very moist and full of seeds, absolutely delicious. What better than a cold Pimms to go with a summer picnic. Not cheap but necessary today.

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The One show winners garden, not keen on the plastic looking toad stall, nice idea though.

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The Macmillan legacy garden.

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The crowds were incredible today, only ever been to the show before on Gala night, noticeably busier today.

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Gorgeous huge deck chairs, lovely wildflowers too.

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A conceptual garden, not for me! Falls the shadow

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The claw!?

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The Clints and Grykes garden, another conceptual garden.

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Spirits of the land.

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This garden is called Home spun, like the seating, just wish it was a little bigger, only room for

one person to sit.

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You cant beat a VW Van, especially surrounded by gerbera.

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After a lovely day and some fabulous weather,  I headed back home by ferry, bus and car.

 

gluten free easy cheesy dough ball mix

Today I tried a new bread mix which is gluten and yeast free. I found the mix on the Ocado website Made by the lovely Isabel from Isabel’s naturally free from . I cannot believe I hadn’t seen it before.

The directions were very simple and clearly written on the reverse of the box.

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I used melted butter instead of the vegetable oil. The mix came together easily and I then kneaded the dough until it was smooth and pliable.

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Then split into little balls, I made 14 little rolls.

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I had pre heated the oven and they cooked in 25 mins.

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They looked and smelt amazing, I couldn’t wait to try them.

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When gluten eating Mr S tried them, he commented that “they tasted like the cheesy rolls from Gaucho’s” He absolutely loved them, saying it was the best gluten free food I had made.

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They had the most lovely airy texture, bouncy ! One of the best products I have found that is gluten and yeast free.

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Lovely filled, I chose egg and bacon today. I urge you to try them. Definitely not just for kids!

I’m going to stock up on these.

Follow Isabel on Twitter @isabelsfreefrom 

Website isabelsfreefrom.co.uk