I am a 24 year old who loves baking and cooking, I am also a Coeliac and Salicylate Sensitive.
This blog is about my cooking and baking ventures, I hope that you enjoy and have fun cooking and baking with me.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Snow Day Stew

Snowy days in Aberdeen

The snow before it got bad


The snow

Sitting now with a foot of snow at least outside and having a gas leak, so now we were left without heating or hot water on the coldest night of the year so far. Not impressed and being all on my own as Alan was at work it was a cold night in bed, I had my microwave booties and teddy, so I was needing to cook to at least warm the kitchen up so I wouldn’t freeze to death. 

The snow now!

So only using what I had in the freezer and cupboard I made snow day stew. I know that I am ok with these things but again just omit the things you can’t have. To make this a low salicylate recipe omit the paprika, cayenne, cumin, cranberries and apricots and just use the same quantities of apples it tastes just as good.

 Snow Day Stew Recipe
500g Diced Shoulder Pork (from frozen)
750g Stew Pack (frozen mine contained Onions, Celery and Carrots)
1tbsp Olive Oil
3 tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 tbsp Cumin
½ tsp Cayenne pepper
50g Cranberries
50g Apricots
2 Apples cored and chopped
Big handful of chives chopped
1 litre Chicken Stock
100ml Apple Juice

1.Brown the diced shoulder in the casserole dish on the hob with the olive oil, I did this straight from frozen just do it on a low heat,
2.Add the paprika to coat the meat, then add in the chopped fruit and vegetables,
3.Add 500ml stock, the apple juice and chopped chives
4.Cook on high for about an hour, and reduce to a simmer for another hours adding in the rest of the stock as needed as the level reduces.
5.Cook until the meat is tender

You can eat it like this. So yummy!

I made dumplings again as they fill Alan up. The Recipe is similar to before just added in more cheese, 2 cloves garlic chopped and used chives for the delicate flavour.
Remember if you are adding dumplings your need to add more stock as the dumplings absorb so much liquid so the level needs to be about here. 
Stock at this level before the dumplings 
Just popped the dumplings in


Also this is great served with toasted bread with parmesan butter 
Parmesan Butter Recipe

100g parmesan grated then mashed into
50g butter
Then  spread on toast. Very rustic but delicious.

This did not taste as I expected it to. It tasted far nicer and warmed me right up and the kitchen too.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Pink Polka-Dot Baker

For me it all started when I became allergic to food, it began with one thing then progressed to many, so cooking to me has been a fast and wonderful learning experience. Not having the luxury of being able to go out and eat in a restaurant or eat any pre-packed food in the supermarket. I had to learn...and fast, being unable to eat all of my favourite food I started on my adventure of learning, experimenting and just going for it. 

I love tea, baking and cooking its a great way to spend time with friends and I love doing it. 
No one ever taught me how to cook or bake, my mum's one and only attempt to bake was to help me make rock cakes for brownies age 7. This was the first and last time that my mum would ever try and bake! They were actual rocks! So following my intuition I began. 

All my recipes are gluten free usually using corn, gram or rice flour however they work just as well with normal flour and in the same quantities, I know as I have made both. These recipes contain food that I can eat and things I can't, however for lower salicylate levels or allergies just omit the things you can't have and add in the things you can. You don't have to be exact just use your intuition and the food in the cupboard.
Follow the link for more information on Salicylate Sensitivity and food levels. My recipes are for everyone not just people with salicylate sensitivities, coeliac disease or allergies.  I would love to hear yours too.

On a freezing cold, wet, blustery normal Aberdonian day there is nothing that I love more than proper home cooked simple one pot meals that warm you up from the inside out.
I recently bought a cast iron casserole pan, it can go on the hob and in the oven, after watching one of my friends crack many a dish trying to do both. The best £28 ever spent and its great for everything.

The first thing that I cooked in it was my Amazing Beef Stew with dumplings


500g Stewing Beef cut into cubes
1 Carrot
2 Parsnip
2 Leeks
3 Celery Stalks
1 Red Onion
5 Potatoes (or more if you have very hungry people)
A big handful of green beans
3/4 Bottle of red wine (this gives the richness in the sauce) or use just use all chicken stock,
(Just use parsley and chives instead of the other herbs for a low salicylate recipe)
5 Cloves Garlic

This can be made in a pot and popped in the oven and forgotten about (so you can go and tidy up the house, be at work) or in the slow cooker both work well.
1.Chop all the vegetables into relatively large chunks.
2.Sauté the onions, celery, leeks, with herbs and garlic with the meat in some olive oil. Once soften add in the carrots, parsnips and potatoes with a little water in the bottom of the pan leave for about 15 mins. Once they have all soften add in the wine and 300ml of chicken stock, bring to the boil. Once at boiling point it's ready to go in the oven. 
3.Pop it in the oven on a lowish heat of 160° for about hours

or on low in the slow cooker for about 12 hours.

For the Dumplings
225g Gram Flour, (any works)
115g Butter (or Suet, but contains gluten)
100g Extra Mature Cheddar (grated)
140ml Water
1/2 tsp salt
1tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Big handful of fresh chopped herbs (Rosemary works best)

1. Pop the butter, salt, baking powder, soda, herbs and cheese in a mixing bowl.
2. Pour in the water slowly until the mixture comes together and can form balls, you may need a little extra flour on your hands. 
3. Pop them on top of your stew cook covered for 40 mins, then take the lid off and cook uncovered for 25mins.