Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Kez's Free Gluten Free Vienna Eclair Biscuits

mmmm Viennese Shortbread.. light fluffy, buttery, delicious.. I thought I had lost you forever my golden baked-good friend.  Life can be so cruel...

but wait..

Kez's have created a gluten free equivalent in their Kez's Free Range.  The Vienna Eclair Biscuit.
There is a GOD <enter choir of angels>

These are my all time FAVOURITE gluten free indulgence. A dainty double shortbread biscuit, jam sandwiched and chocolate dipped. 6 in a pack they won't last long (they don't in my house anyway *sigh*).

Selfishly, I have thought long and hard about divulging these little gems.. hahaha.. no seriously...
Feel like a treat?  You can't go past these!

Available in the health food aisle of Coles & Woolworths

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Patties Lamingtons

Lamingtons.. synonymous with our Australian culture.  Our delicious chocolate coated, coconut dusted square sponge friend.

This is not as new product, they've been around for a while but they are gooooood and worth a spruik.

As far as lamingtons go this gluten free version is pretty good.  The cake is light and not a dense heavy product we sometimes encounter with gluten free.  It is chocolatey and has a jam filling that makes it just a little different from your everyday garden variety.

Australian made and baked in a 100% gluten free environment, they boast a new improved recipe however I thought the old recipe was pretty good too..  

The only drawback.. there's only three in a pack but they are a decent size and a half for the lunchbox will fill a hole.

You'll find them in the frozen food aisle of Coles and Woolworths.

Aussie Aussie Aussie

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Coles Gluten Free Food & Healthy Living Expo - Perth

Seeing as though Abbey was firing on all four cylinders we decided to go to the expo and partake in a little gluten free activity and merriment.  Only days before, we had thought that it was just bad timing so soon after Abb's surgery and that we were certainly going to miss it but you just never know what's going to happen do you..

As expected, the place was buzzing. So many people and so much gluten free food... arrrggghh where to start where to start??  It's a little bit of a novelty when you don't have to think about what you are eating or deliver the old "do you have any gluten free options?"  EVERYTHING is gluten free baby.. GO CRAZY!  So we did

Stalls included.. Bodhi's Bakehouse, Zehnder, Slim Pasta, Well & Good, Schar, F.G. Roberts, The Coeliac Society of Western Australia, Genetic Support Council WA, Coles, Billabong Brewing, just to name a few...


There were cooking demonstrations, educational seminars, gluten free beer, organic wine AND COFFEE

So if you are Coeliac, gluten intolerant or just curious don't miss it next year.  Great stuff to see, there are always new products about and loads of free samples plus it's just nice to talk to others that deal with your kind of stuff on a daily basis too.

Slim Pasta

The kids also had a supervised craft and face-painting area so it was a great opportunity for the big kids to fly be free if you follow..

Oh and just a word of advice.. it may pay to calm yourself a little before entry and actually pay attention to the signage.. or maybe just don't have one of your family members partake in open heart surgery beforehand - I paid full price for entry for both myself and Garrick when Coeliac Members of WA had an admission of just $5.00 (Doh!)

Oh well, consider it a donation :)

The Booty
See you next year!

Coles Gluten Free Food & Healthy Living Expo
March 17 - 18
Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre 2012

Monday, 19 March 2012

Open Heart Surgery

So when I say it was a BIG week in the Hart household this past week.. that is an understatement  Abbey's heart surgery was looming and we had the 4 cancelled surgeries from last year hanging over us like a dark, heavy cloud.. what was going to happen..

This was scary stuff we were dealing with.

Well I am extremely happy to report that surgery went ahead as planned (woo hoo) and everything went exceptionally well.  Open heart surgery on Tuesday and discharged from hospital on Thursday (yes 2 days later..) Who does that??

Abbey had what is called an ASD - Atrial Septal Defect.  It was picked up when Abbey was 22 months old. What.. the Coeliac Disease wasn't enough?? Sheesh.

The atrial septum is the wall that separates the left and right atria.  These are the two upper chambers of the heart.  This keeps the oxygen rich blood separate from the oxygen poor blood.

An ASD is a hole situated in the wall between the left and right atria of the heart.  The hole allows some blood to flow from the left atrium through to the right atrium then into the right ventricle and back to the lungs.  Blood from the lungs returns to the left atrium where again, the hole allows some of the blood to flow back into the right atrium and the cycle repeats.  This causes an extra load to the right side of the heart and can result in an enlargement of the heart muscle which was the case with Abbey. (This explanation care of Matters of the Heart - Fact Sheet #3 Queensland Paediatric Cardiac Service not from my own profound medical knowledge.. sorry to disappoint)

Abbey really is a remarkable young lady.  So much already taken on in her young life, she is a fighter, she is courageous, she is resilient..  I cannot think of enough appropriate adjectives to adequately express my admiration and love for this child of ours.

Thank-you most sincerely to Kelly - our cardiac liaison at Princess Margaret Hospital, our surgeon Mr Andrews and all of the exceptional nursing staff in ICU & on the ward.  What would we do without you?  The world truly is a better place because of people like you.

But wait.. a complaint? Abbey had apparently grown quite fond of the "boom tisha boom" and feels a little ordinary with the "boom boom boom..."  You are kidding right Abb??

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Lime Cafe

A visit to Princess Margaret Hospital today saw us in the same neighbourhood as Lime Cafe and so we headed over for a little nourishment.

Lime Cafe is a gluten free & vegan friendly cafe located in the heart of West Perth.  This cafe offers fresh, healthy and organic deliciousness with everything from chocolate mud muffins to yummy wraps, super funky salads, curries, quinoa, roast veggies, jacket potatoes with fabulous fillings, freshly squeezed juices, ice-cream & organic coffee.. and that's just for starters..

The food is excellent and the choice is extensive.  Very popular with the West Perth corporate crowd and everyone in-between..

Located at 1260 Hay Street, West Perth it's definitely one not to miss.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Risotto with Chorizo & Mushrooms

2 Tablespoons of the good oil (Olive Oil)
30g butter
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 leek sliced finely
1 GF Chorizo sliced into chunky pieces or GF bacon if preferred
2 cups Arborio rice
1 litre GF chicken stock (simmering and at the ready)
1/4 cup white wine
1 punnet button mushrooms sliced
handful flat leaf parsley - chopped (reserving some for a garnish)
1/3 cup Parmesan
Coarsely grated black pepper

Heat oil and butter in a large non-stick pan and add garlic, leek and chorizo and cook for 3-4 minutes or until chorizo becomes a little coloured & smells delicious.

Stir in rice and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes or until rice is coated and becomes a little translucent, stirring frequently.

Add wine and continue stirring until the rice absorbs all the liquid then start to add warmed stock a cup at a time waiting until each cup has been absorbed before adding the next (always stirring).

Add mushrooms after first addition of stock.

Once all the liquid has been absorbed remove from heat and add parmesan and chopped parsley and stir through.

Some coarsley grated black pepper will enhance the dish and a parsley garnish on top will make you look like a pro.

** use a brown or red onion if no leeks available

Works well with bacon too

The power of a sticker
If your preschoolers turn up their noses at carrots or celery, a small reward like a sticker for taking even a taste may help get them to eat previously shunned foods, a U.K. study said.

Taking the forceful approach? You may want to try a different tactic..
Forcing your children to eat their vegetables, and punishing them if they don't, actually decreases the chances that they'll develop a taste for healthy foods, a new study suggests.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Marvellous Muesli

A random click on a link on the Internet led to a free sample of Brookfarm's Macadamia Muesli with Cranberries being sent to me recently.

For a split second, OK maybe just a moment longer.. my heart raced thinking I had won some marvellous prize in a competition I had forgotten I had entered.. OK so I was a little disappointed...

A few days later I decided to take a closer look at this strange little parcel of goodness lying abandoned on the counter. "Let's give it a go Tara" I said to myself, "OK lets!" I replied (I really need to get out more.. clearly I am enjoying my own company far too much..) and you know what?? It really was quite marvellous :)

Further investigation revealed that this muesli is an 'award winner' no less and who wants to argue with these kind of credentials?  Not me.  As far as muesli goes, this is really delicious.  With ingredients sourced from our own Australian soil including GF grains, sultanas, currants & pumpkin kernels lovingly combined with a little bush honey, how could they possibly go wrong.  Lightly toasted and a taste sensation.  All this AND no preservatives.

and what's more.. Brookfarm's own macadamias are cholesterol free.. what's not to like!

Available from selected IGA's, Gourmet Deli's, Fresh Produce Outlets and some health stores throughout Perth and country Western Australia as well as Australia wide, I recommend checking the website for your nearest stockist.