Sunday, 10 November 2013

Chocolate Mousse

We were meeting up with friends for a BBQ and I naturally had left things to the last minute.
What to make? What to make? I needed something simple, something delicious and something fast.  Chocolate Mousse?  BINGO. 

I used those small plastic wine goblets that you can purchase from any supermarket for around $3-$4 for TEN.  The kind you can throw away but are rigid enough to wash and re-use if you feel so inclined.  The idea was no washing up.  I liked the idea immediately.

The following recipe is from www.taste.com and just adapted so as to make it gluten free.  No changes actually, just ensure you are using gluten free cocoa powder and chocolate.  It's a no brainer.

300g Gluten Free good quality dark chocolate
3 eggs
1/4 cup caster sugar

1 Tbs Gluten Free cocoa powder sifted
300mls thickened cream (I actually used whipping cream so I didn't have to buy thickened AND whipping - less waste) plus extra whipped cream to serve
Grated chocolate for decoration

Melt your chocolate.
Now you can do this in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water as long as the bowl isn't actually touching the water - stir gently, remove from heat and set aside to cool

OR

Use your microwave.  Naturally I used this lazy option.  Just make sure you reduce the power to 50% and do in small bursts.  My chocolate could have probably done with more melting but tiny bits of unmelted chocolate through the mix equalled WIN WIN later when tucking in.. Totally your call.

Either way, set aside to cool slightly.

Place eggs and sugar in your mixer and beat for 5 minutes until mix becomes pale in colour and increases in volume.  FOLD in your sifted cocoa powder and chocolate.  In a separate bowl beat cream until thickened and fold through chocolate mixture.  Chill in  fridge for 1 hour then decorate with extra whipped cream and grated chocolate.

I half filled NINE of these small plastic wine goblets easily with this quantity of mousse and then topped up with whipped cream.

ENJOY!









Saturday, 12 October 2013

A cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down.. (THE LEMON MERINGUE PIE EPISODE)



What's going on?  Lately Lemon Meringue and versions of it are popping up everywhere.
Why this timeless classic is back in vogue don't you know!

When we lived in country Queensland a few  years back, I discovered early on in the piece, how very seriously these country women took their baking,  There was some stiff competition around & recipes for pies and baked goods were fiercely guarded.  These fantastical formulas had been handed down from generation to generation.  Oh yes.. there was even talk that local folk had traded the farm for one such coveted heirloom. OK so I embellish a little..  I decided to get baking baby.  I wanted a piece of this baked goods action.. thus my GLUTEN FREE LEMON MERINGUE PIE was born.

It is actually a recipe I tweaked from The Australian Cook Book (Compiled by Anne Thorpe) - a rather large and heavy doorstop of a book that I had secured as a young lady for my glory box and have been lugging around ever since.  Traditionally, Lemon Meringue Pie has a pastry base. Not so here peeps.  I figured my old cheesecake base was a sure thing and have never looked back. WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER. I've never had any complaints anyway.. so here it is.


Base

300g crushed sweet GF biscuit crumbs
80g butter (melted)

Combine crumbs and butter and press into a pie dish - refrigerate.


Filling 

4 Tablespoons GF Plain Flour
4 Tablespoons GF Cornflour
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
90g butter, melted
4 egg yolks

Combine sifted flours, lemon rind, juice and sugar in a saucepan.  Add the water and blend until smooth - I use a flat whisk for this.  Stir over a low heat until mixture boils and thickens - this will take a BLOODY LONG TIME and just when you have severe upper arm cramp and are about to throw the whole bloody lot in the garden, in the trash, down the drain or on top of your husband's head..  it WILL miraculously thicken. 

Reduce the heat and stir for a further 2 minutes before removing from heat and adding butter and lightly beaten egg yolks - stir until well combined.  Allow to cool then spread evenly onto your base.

Meringue 

4 egg whites
pinch of salt
3/4 cup caster sugar

Beat your egg whites and salt until soft peaks form.  Slowly add your sugar.  Be patient.  It will all be worthwhile if you do it properly.  TRUST ME.  Beat well until the sugar has dissolved.  If you rub a bit of meringue between your thumb and finger tip and can't feel any gritty stuff, you're good to go.
Spoon meringue on top of your pie filling - be as rustic or decorative as you like but make sure you spread the meringue to the edges of your dish to create a seal.  Bake at 180°C for around 10 minutes or until the meringue becomes lightly browned.  Cool then into the fridge she goes!

Enjoy!

 
 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Pumpkin & Fresh Greens {GUEST POST}


Hello!  Hello! Have I got a treat for you today!
The very fabulous Jodie from Fresh Home Cook  is here and who after being coerced with large sums of money happily agreed to write a GUEST POST for Gluten Free Hart (and is our very first GUEST!!)
 
I am mildly envious (ok A LOT) at her ability to GROW amazing things let alone COOK amazing things so you can go ahead and marvel at her capabilities and hopefully be inspired perhaps to grow your own.. or at the very least, cook something delish from stuff that others have..  Read on punters.. BE AMAZED

and when I say AMAZED, I mean swing by her blog and share some of your loving cause she really is ALL THAT :)


Quinoa Salad with Roasted Pumpkin, Pistachios & Fresh Greens

Hello lovely people who love Gluten Free Hart as much as I do!  I was very excited when I came across Tara's blog, it has such a beautiful feel & look.  Once I looked through her gorgeous recipes, I was absolutely hooked!  So, when Tara asked me to guest post, I was thrilled - I think I even did a little happy dance!  :)
While my recipes are not all gluten free, I do have family members who are coeliac, &, as a foodie, I love to experiment with all types of food & flavours to make wholesome & (mostly) healthy dishes that my whole family enjoys (mostly).  With two little ones under four, fussy eating is an issue for us, so coming up with clever ways to add the 'good stuff' to our menu is part of the fun of it all (mostly)!  ;)

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Pumpkin, Pistachios & Fresh Greens

We are fortunate enough to have our own little veggie patches in the backyard, meaning I get to cook with what's fresh & in season.  At the moment, our garden is jam packed with peas & beans, carrots & herbs.  It is a little smorgasbord of fresh greens & with the weather warming up as we get further into the Spring time, for me that means making all things salad!  
One of my favourite ingredients is quinoa.  I know ... it's all the rage these 'super-paleo-clean-eating-grain-free-cala-fraga-listic-food' days, but I can honestly say I have been eating this colourful little seed for a long time, since well before the hype & I just love it.  
According to Wikipedia quinoa is a superfood, whose Protein content is very high for a cereal/pseudo-cereal (14% by mass), yet not as high as most beans and legumes. Quinoa's protein content per 100 calories is higher than brown rice, potatoes, barley and millet, but is less than wild rice and oats.[30] Nutritional evaluations of quinoa indicate that it is a source of complete protein.[31][32][33] Furthermore, it is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also a source of calcium, and thus is useful for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant.[34] Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest.
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Pumpkin, Pistachios & Fresh Greens

For those reasons alone, it is hard to go past, but you know what, it also has a great texture & when infused with the right combination of flavours, it makes one of the best salad bases you can eat.  It comes in three colours, white, red & black - apart from the obvious difference, they cook & taste the same.  I like to mix them together, it makes for a great visual & given we eat as much with our eyes as our taste buds, it just adds to the experience.
The recipe I am sharing here is one I love to savour, either on it's own as the perfect light lunch, or as a side dish with a main meal.  I am a big fan of all things pumpkin, especially roasted, the rich, soft texture melds beautifully with the light & fluffy quinoa seeds & the creaminess of marinated feta cheese.  Cut through with the crunch of toasted pistachios & fresh garden greens, this dish is a wonderful feast for the senses & will leave you satisfied, without that heavy feeling of overindulgence.
Anyway, enough from me, here's how it goes;

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Pumpkin & Fresh Greens

INGREDIENTS
750 grams pumpkin - Kent or Butternut - seeded & sliced into wedges approx. 1cm thick - no need to skin
1 - 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons of Moroccan Seasoning (or similar) - I use Masterfoods
1 cup quinoa - any colour, or combine them as I do - well rinsed
2 cups of water or low salt vegetable stock
250 grams broad beans - fresh or frozen
A small pinch salt
250 grams snow peas, roughly chopped
2 small radishes, thinly sliced
A big handful of baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
A big handful of Italian parsley, roughly chopped
A big handful of baby carrot tops, roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries, or raisins
3 tablespoons of pepitas & sesame seeds, lightly toasted
Juice of 1/2 lemon
50 grams or so of marinated feta cheese - (I used South Cape)
2 teaspoons or so of feta marinade for dressing salad
METHOD
First;
Preheat oven to 210oC (non fan forced).
Slice pumpkin into about 1cm thick wedges & place on baking tray in single layer.
Drizzle pumpkin with extra virgin olive oil to lightly coat both sides.
Sprinkle pumpkin slices with chopped pistachios & moroccan seasoning.
Roast for about 30 minutes or until pumpkin is tender & beginning to caramelise.
Meanwhile;
Using a medium saucepan, cover quinoa with water or stock.
Place over high heat, bring to the boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover & simmer for about 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed & quinoa is tender.
Allow to cool.
Next;
Place broad beans in a small saucepan & cover with water & salt. If your broad beans are fresh & in the pods, remove them first.
Blanch the beans in the boiling water for about 2 minutes.
Drain & refresh with cold water.
Drain again & gently peel the light green skins off the beans - underneath you will see the gorgeous green flesh - this is the part you want!
Then;
Roughly chop the snow peas, spinach & parsley.
Thinly slice the radishes.
Dry toast the pepitas & sesame seeds over high heat in fry pan until they start to just start to crackle & change colour - about 3 minutes.
Making the Salad;
In a large bowl combine the quinoa with the chopped greens, radish, cranberries, pepitas & sesame seeds.
Season with the lemon juice & a little of the feta marinade.
Toss gently to mix.
Spread the quinoa mix over a large serving platter or plate, top with the roasted pumpkin & pistachios.
Crumble the feta over everything.
Sprinkle with a little more feta marinade & any left over pistachios.
TIPS / SUGGESTIONS
You can use any kind of greens or herbs you prefer in this dish. I used what I was fortunate enough to have in the garden. 
Serve this cool or if you prefer, you can warm it slightly before eating - just don't nuke on too high a heat it, or it will lose the freshness.
Serve as a single dish or as part of a main meal. (I served it with slow cooked pork medallions with sweet potato & apple sauce - recipe will be on the blog soon!).
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Pumpkin, Pistachios & Fresh Greens

A huge thanks to Tara for having me on her beautiful blog - I really appreciate the opportunity & hope you like this recipe as much as we do.
Cheers,

Jodie xx

Cook!  Eat!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Small wins


Sometimes it seems the universe is trying to speak to you and everything feels just a little unfair.. you feel a little hard done by.. 
Ever heard that expression.. "like pushing XXXX uphill"?

Mmm.. well... I've had that kind of a week but I've decided to focus on the little things - in between the chaos and calamity there's been a few small wins and that is what will see me through this week and into next.. and hopefully, I'll look back and have a chuckle about the week that was.



Even though the risotto dinner choice was unanimously UNPOPULAR with the wee folk in my house the other night ~ it meant delicious leftovers and plenty of it for me for lunch today.  SMALL WIN

Even though our heating problem is STILL not resolved 3 weeks later and it's freezing ~ the serviceman was a little cocky about the whole affair and didn't want to accept any responsibility preferring instead to "pass the buck" but tripped through the doorway walking back through my house and looked completely stupid (and I'm sure from his expression FELT the same).  SMALL WIN

Even though the rain has been non-stop and a bit dreary to say the least ~ all the kids toys and paraphernalia outside have been put away and so the backyard has remained neat and tidy and RESPECTABLE all week.  SMALL WIN

Even though I have had to wear very UNattractive flannies to bed, with a singlet underneath, with socks, a very thick dressing gown over top, then sheet, then doona, then coverlet {due to serious lack of heating} ~ I have had THE BEST sleep for the past few nights than I have had for the past few years. SMALL WIN


Even though it looked like all efforts at obtaining decent SPRINGSTEEN tickets for the Perth shows in February had been thwarted ~ a third show has been announced and hopes are again HIGH.  SMALL WIN

AND THEN. This afternoon whilst hurrying to collect Abbey from class and dodging showers, Ben tripped and fell. Right in front of me. That's when I accidentally stood on his hand.  Ouch. It REALLY hurt.. I could tell from the way it squished under my boot. There was that.. and then there were his screams that rang out across the schoolyard.. Call me intuitive.  AND YET he's still my friend. GO FIGURE. SMALL WIN right there.
 


I hope you're kicking goals this week.. 


Digital Parents Blog Carnival
 

Monday, 9 September 2013

A little HIGH TEA frivolity


High Tea.  Good for the soul. Not so good for the waistline.. 
 
High Tea.  Time to catch up with your very best girlfriends and partake in a little merriment decorum.  Admit it ~ we are all guilty of the old "you know.. we really must catch up..." and NEVER do..  Why not?  Because life just gets in the way that's why. Plain and simple.  But it is a travesty. Really it is.  Laughter truly IS the best medicine.  We need it like we need air. AND we need tea and cakes and other tasty morsels.. 
 
High Tea.  alas.. no such thing exists for the coeliac amongst us.. ahhhh see.. that's where you're wrong..
It had come to my attention that an establishment in Victoria Park (Western Australia) put on a particularly lovely high tea and best of all, could cater to the gluten impaired. 
 
Not to sound crude but WAHOO!  'twas music to my ears I tell you. 

 
and so... my Coeliac and gluten intolerant compadres  ~ it was with great intestinal fortitude ( see what  did there .. )  I urged myself to delve deeper  ~ purely for the greater good of others of course..  It was a selfless quest ~ one that I humbly took on.. (strangely it wasn't that hard) and before I knew it, I was in over my head.  There was nothing else for it.. I was FORCED to make a booking. FORCED I tell you.

This quaint little establishment is called The Sassy Cookie 

Adjective:sassy

[sa-see]
Usage: N. American
1. Improperly forward or bold
= fresh, impertinent, imprudent,

   lippy, overbold, saucy, smart, wise


I love my word web dictionary app definition of sassy.  I was definitely in... and I knew just the improper riff-raff ladies to drag along
accompany me..

The Sassy Cookie
41 Duncan St, Victoria Park

 
Open Mon - Fri 8.00am - 4.00pm
Sat & Sun 9.00am - 4.00pm


High Tea only available on weekends

Offering morning and afternoon teas.  Their offerings and service are extremely popular so be sure to book ahead.  The Sassy Cookie's main range of cupcakes are also gluten free :)

A decadent range of teas, mouth watering macarons, tasty tarts and scrumptious scones just to mention a few of the delectable morsels on offer.  Starched white linen and impeccable table settings will transport you back to Victorian times where ladies often partook in these eloquent gatherings.  Naturally we fit right in ;)
Fab afternoon.  Lots of laughs. A little tea. Some cheeky bubbles and a bit of cake...
Good times..



It is important to note that The Sassy Cookie is not a 100% gluten free environment.

Although the gluten free cakes and some other food items are made from gluten free ingredients and great care is taken in prep and baking ~ The Sassy Cookie cannot guarantee the possibility of possible cross-contamination from other products in their kitchen..  However.. I am happy to report that this little Coeliac happily indulged and suffered no ill effects :)