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.

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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 .

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

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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.

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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 .

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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.

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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

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Isabel’s mixes available from Morrisons and Asda, online at Ocado or isabelfreefrom.co.uk

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.

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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.

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Recipe 

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

Method

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

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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

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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

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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!

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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.

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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

Method

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 !

 

 

 

Coconut Muffins grain free

I was looking to make a light spongy cake that could be made grain free and dairy free , these are delicious!

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I’ve made these twice now in a hotter oven 200c. But think they would be better at 180c as mine caught slightly on top.

They really are very light and were enjoyed by the family.

Coconut Muffins

Recipe –

300g ground almonds

pinch salt

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 large eggs

1 tin coconut milk ( use 300ml of the thick cream inside and a little of the coconut water )

1 tsp vanilla essence

4 tbsp honey

Topping of your choice – I used low sugar jam and strawberries

Method 

pre heat fan oven to 180c

put all the dry ingredients in the bowl, the ground almonds , salt and bicarbonate of soda

add the beaten eggs, honey and vanilla

Open a can of coconut milk . Using a measuring jug spoon in the lovely thick cream that comes to the top of the tin and a little of the coconut water to make up to the 300ml mark

add to the mix

mix well

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prepare muffin tray and paper cases

spoon mixture into the cases, I made 11 muffins

You can add desiccated coconut on the top if you wish

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( I added dessicated coconut and lime zest to these )

Bake for 15mins at 180c and then check if they need slightly longer .

Cool before eating on a wire rack

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We enjoyed them topped with lower sugar strawberry jam and a fresh strawberry on each perfect for Wimbledon week

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you could make lime and coconut muffins

or maybe top with chocolate

These muffins also work well with a hidden spoonful of jam inside, put a little mix in your muffin case then add a spoonful of jam then top with more muffin cake mix.

Happy Baking!

 

My visit to the stunning Wiveton Hall, normal for Norfolk!

I love the North Norfolk coast and I’m a regular visit to Wiveton Hall ,café and fruit farm . Usually I go along for tea and gluten free cake and buy seasonal fruit and vegetables . I find it a great place to take friends and family.

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The location is just perfect with views stretching down towards the marshes and sea. After watching the BBC 2 series Normal for Norfolk the documentary about Wiveton Hall and the undeniably slightly eccentric character that is Norfolk gentleman farmer Desmond MacCarthy . His mother the lovely Chloe at 100 is still very much part of the farm and cafe and who I spotted enjoying a gluten free brownie , which I have to say looked delicious.

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On Sunday inspired by the tv series I made the drive along the coast road to Wiveton hall fruit farm with my husband. The sun was shining brightly and although the car thermometer was only reading 12c it felt much warmer. The scenery along the coast road was gorgeous. winding through pretty villages, passing a windmill , fields of rapeseed and hedgerows of cow parsley.

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I had pre booked a lunch for two at 1. 30pm We arrived and parked up, as always it was packed . Do book in advance online if you want to eat at Wiveton Hall. Its always been very busy but I’m sure due to Normal for Norfolk’s popularity this summer will be its best!

We were shown to a large clean table with views down to the sea in the distance. Bright coloured chairs and fun patterned table cloths make this light bright airy cafe the perfect place for a sunny Sunday lunch. I was delighted that Desmond himself was in the cafe chatting to families. He kindly agreed to a photo for my blog post and was interested to hear where we had come from.

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Chloe, Desmonds mother has her own designated table. Where she was sitting waiting for her Sunday lunch and possibly waiting for Desmond to finish chatting with one and all and come and sit down!

The big table next to us was a family celebrating the grandparents 50th wedding anniversary. Wiveton cafe is very family friendly and if you prefer there is a seating area outside for families and dogs. The chairs and tables outside are painted in zingy bright colours and have an outstanding view of the Norfolk countryside and distant views of the sea.

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Before I booked online I contacted the cafe by email to explain my dietary requirements. Charlotte emailed me back straight away assuring we I would be well looked after and also giving me a menu idea for my visit that would fit in with my many intolerances. This was very reassuring .

At the cafe you take your order to the till where you can pay in advance or at the end. The  kitchen is open and right next door and if you had any questions, which I did about choice of gluten free puddings they were quickly answered.

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I chose Hot smoked salmon and Wiveton asparagus salad with a horseradish, tomato and lime creme fraise dressing, this was the menu idea from Charlotte.  Followed by homemade Wiveton strawberry sorbet. My husband went for the roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with roasties and asparagus. His dessert choice was cappuccino panna cotta  with nut praline and raisins soaked in rum. Tea for one and a ginger beer.

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The drinks and food arrived promptly and were well presented. My salmon and asparagus salad was a good size and delicious the flavours delicate and a flavour combination I hadn’t tried before. Baby salad leaves, fresh asparagus picked from Wiveton farm and a good size piece of salmon with tomatoes. I would definitely chose it again.

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I eat out so rarely that when I do, and feel confident in the chefs , I always get a little emotional. The sheer joy of not having to cook and to be able to eat out like everyone else. That might seem quite crazy and difficult to understand but when you are intolerant to gluten , yeast thats vinegar, wine etc. Onions, garlic and paprika. Eating out becomes so difficult especially with the worry of cross contamination from gluten. These days any of these foods can cause me to be extremely ill for days and weeks to come.

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My husband enjoyed his large roast dinner with perfectly cooked pink slices of beef with crispy Yorkshire with plenty of hot meaty gravy.

Our desserts were both gluten free so I was able to sample to cappuccino panna cotta. My husband wasn’t convinced on the flavour combination with the nut brittle and the rum soaked raisins but I thought it was a clever idea that I’m sure worked well. My Wiveton strawberry homemade sorbet was a real treat. Bursting with early english strawberry flavour and more than a little sugar! ( well it was a treat pud ! )

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I thought the prices were ok my salad was £13.50 and the roast was £16.50 the desserts were £6 each. I found the waiting staff were friendly and very helpful.

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After my delicious meal I suggested we took a walk around the gardens this costs £2.50 each from the shop. Which by the way is amazing and I got carried away buying a Wiveton mug, postcards and Wiveton jam. Some lovely things, much of which is locally made.

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The gardens was something after seeing the tv show I really wanted to explore.

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Unfortunately the hall itself isn’t open to the public this is very much Desmond and his families home. But the walled garden , the outside of the hall and wild woodland gardens  are truly worth an afternoon stroll. I properly fell in love with the place and could of quite easily spent hours there.

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If you are up in Norfolk it is well worth a visit. Just don’t forget to book in advance if you want to eat at the cafe. You can click through here to find availability. There are also holiday cottages to stay in.

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Wiveton cafe is open for lunch and afternoon tea. Friday evenings for Beef and Reef. Saturdays are Tapas night, also pizza evenings . Special events are on the website too.

Before you leave its well worth checking out the plants, fruit and vegetables available to buy.

Wiveton Hall website

follow on Twitter @wivetonhall 

check out @Iizzirainey handmade lovely things available in the Wiveton shop

Missed the series Normal for Norfolk? click here to view 

 

These views and this stunning scenery is really Normal for Norfolk! come and see for yourself

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