Friday, January 24, 2014

Allergy free Jamaican sweet potato and coconut pudding recipe

Mine will look different to yours as I used a bundt pan, sprinkled the topping over the cake after baking and put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes to toast the top. Just for fun.

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsps rum
  • 1 cup Orgran self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 500g large sweet potato, peeled, cooked
  • 5 tsps Orgran No Egg whisked with 240ms water until thick
  • 400mls coconut milk
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsps lactose free butter or Nuttlex, melted
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tbsps brown sugar
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Grease a cake pan with Nuttlex.
  • Toss the raisins and rum in a small bowl and then set the bowl aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, nutmeg and salt.
  • Mash the sweet potato in a separate large bowl.
  • Add the No Egg mixture and stir until combined.
  • Add the coconut milk, brown sugar and butter or Nuttlex and stir until combined.
  • Stir in the flour mixture until evenly combined.
  • Stir in the raisins and any remaining rum.
  • Spoon the batter in the prepared cake pan and level the top.
  • Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle the topping over the cake.
  • Bake the cake for 75 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Let the pudding cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it.
  • Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Rosy's scrawled book recommendation: Chomped by Carl Hiaasen

Carl Hiaasen

Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he's grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, and snappers in his backyard. The critters, he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one.
When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called Expedition Survival!, Wahoo figures he'll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show's inept and egotistical star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger foolishly believes his own PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo's acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who's sporting a shiner courtesy of her father and needs a place to hide out.
They've only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna's dad shows up with a gun . . .
It's anyone's guess who will actually survive Expedition Survival. . .

Knopf Books for Young Readers


Rosy's scrawlings on Chomped
Now here's where I have failed. I have other books by Carl Hiaasen stashed and ready for reading but they've somehow sunk beyond sight into the void at the back of my double stack and top stacked and layered bookshelf (one of them anyway - yes, I need more and I'm hoping one day to create a home library of sorts but the odds of that happening...). So I saw this book for sale recently, recognised the author's name and bought it for the unusual blurb. This one I did manage to read fairly immediately as it was just there and I didn't need to search for a prequel or sequel or behind, on top or under other books. And my hunch about Carl Hiaasen's writing proved correct. He writes a zinger of a book.
Chomped is a young adults book but mostly in lieu of the humour, the more serious issues addressed and the age of Wahoo and Tuna, the two protagonists. Wahoo is a happy go lucky sort of a lot of experience with animals and determined father's whose main friends include Alice the alligator and his mother. Wahoo seems to have a time of it handling his harebrained father and making sure he acts in the family's best interests and pulls them all out of debt but his issues, which tend to lead to humorous situations more than anything, pale in comparison to those of Tuna who's alcoholic gun-toting dad has decided to hunt her down, gun blazing. Tuna, for her part, is a studious girl who works hard to remember all the scientific names for the flora and fauna she sees as a method of mentally escaping the scary life she's leading. Wahoo and Tuna take the helm of the story and their lives as they are increasingly placed at risk by a cast  of out-of-control characters like Link the ex-abused son now grown up criminal and fraudster, Derek Badger the fake survivalist and spoilt TV star, Tuna's abusive father Jared Gordon and Derek's manager, servant, carer, 'mother' and general dogs-body Raven Stark. No-one has their life in order so in the chaos that surrounds them Wahoo and Tuna are spot of true survivalist sanity.
The writing style of Chomped is light and easy to read, both aloud and silently, despite the heavy issues included and the odd naming of characters. The main writing element that makes this book young adult is that there aren't too many overly-complicated words. I don't mean to say that there aren't such references as the scientific names for things or explanations of how these names are constructed but that you won't be running to the dictionary as everything is spelt out or of a level a high-schooler of any age should understand rather well. Chomped definitely doesn't read as dumbed down. In fact, I'd have to say that this is a well written book suitable for a wide audience but the marketing and cover targets it to young adults more than the writing.

I'd recommend this book to: both boys and girls, those who enjoy reading books with believable youths as protagonists, readers wanting more depth to their teen fiction than obsessive teen romance, and those looking for a fun and quirky romp of a story.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Allergy free honey chai pumpkin pie recipe

  • 1 cup Orgran all purpose flour
  • ½ cup Orgran self-raising flour
  • ½ cup cornflour
  • ⅓ cup Orgran gluten free gluten
  • 125g Nuttlex
  • 2 tbsps caster sugar (optional)
  • 1 tsp Orgran No Egg whisked with 40mls water until thick
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • Pumpkin, cooked (approx. ½ a large pumpkin, 1 medium, 1 ½ small)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 star anise, ground
  • 1 cup lactose free cow’s milk or goat’s milk or, for a treat, lactose free cream
  • 6 tsp Orgran No Egg whisked with 120mls water until frothy and firm

  • Peel, seed, and dice pumpkin to fairly uniform sized pieces.
  • Bring the pumpkin to boil in a large pot and simmer until cooked through (soft).
  • Drain the pumpkin and then replace into large pot.
  • Allow pumpkin to cool while you make the pastry.
  • Grease your pie dish.
  • Combine the pastry flours, gluten free gluten, Nuttlex and ¼ cup sugar in a large bowl and rub the Nuttlex through until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add the No egg mixture and ¼ cup cold water.
  • Combine until the pastry just comes together.
  • Roll and press the pastry together until smooth.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
  • Place remaining pastry between 2 sheets of cling wrap or baking paper.
  • Roll out until large enough to fit the pie dish.
  • Peel away one piece of cling wrap, flip the pastry into the pie dish, shape and cut away any excess.
  • Set aside to rest.
  • Mash or puree the pumpkin until smooth.
  • Add the honey and spices, mixing until smooth.
  • Slowly and carefully fold the Orgran No Egg mixture into the pumpkin mix until evenly combined. Do not over stir, you want lots of tiny bubbles to remain in the mixture.
  • Pour the pumpkin mix into the pastry, level with a spoon if necessary.
  • Cook until the top begins to crack: approximately ¾ hour-1 hour at 180°C.
  • The spice level in this pie is moderate so if you like a strong chai, add half again of the ingredients.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Laser disc clock

My latest project: A laser disc clock.

The hubby, see Explosive Action, has a huge movie collection that includes some odd and rare laser discs. One of which got cracked for one reason or another. On a whim he decided he wanted it made into a clock but he really has no idea how to do such a thing so he handed it onto me. So, with a spare piece of masonite from the blackboard project, I made a circular backing board, painted it black, cut out a section for the mechanism to sit in as the clock was too thick to just whack it on the back and fix the hands in place, created a hanger to balance the mechanism, glued and nailed it all together, got the mechanism running and polished it up. Here's the finished project. It was a bit fiddly in parts and I have to admit to using the sink as a stand and dust catcher while drilling because the hubby's movie collection has taken over the garage, including my work bench. Half a dozen random objects also had to be moved out of the way to reach my drill bits too... Hmm... Can you tell I miss having a workshop? Oh well, this was fun to make. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Allergy free creamy mixed berry ice cream recipe

  • 300-500g berries, fresh or frozen, to taste
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 250mls lactose free milk
  • ¼-½ cup sugar, to taste (optional)
  • 2 tsps guar gum
  • 2 tbsps glucose syrup, warmed over hot water
  • 500mls lactose free cream, chilled

  • Put the berries, vanilla, sugar, guar gum and milk into a food processor and mix for 40-50 seconds until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into a pan and stir in the cream and glucose syrup.
  • Open the ice cream machine and pour in mixture.
  • Turn on the machine and allow it to stir until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Spoon the ice cream from the machine into an air tight container and freeze.
  • If you don’t have a machine, blend until smooth and freeze. While freezing whip the mixture every hour to break up any large crystals until the mixture is nearly frozen through. Then leave to freeze completely.