The prospect of high tea is always very exciting, when you’re on a gluten free diet it can be a little daunting. Scones? Where did my old friends go? I was excited when I found out that the Great Northern Hotel in Newcastle’s high tea is gluten free friendly. The Northo is my latest building crush, yup, I have a crush on a building. It is probably because I am still shocked that this is the same hotel I was dragged to as an 18 year old to dance and drink at, with sticky carpets, crap music and seedy dudes. It is now a beautiful swan, with high tea! In short, I love the Northo. High tea was a little disappointing. There were unlimited hot drinks - win! Mini sandwiches on gluten free bread - win! But when it came around to the sweet side, it all went down hill from there. I know beggars cannot be choosers, I should be really happy I can eat anything at all. The first sweet course was massive scones with jam and cream, which my friends struggled to get through. My equivalent was three solider like slices of gluten free toast with cinnamon sugar and caramel in between the slices. It was okay but minature in comparison. The next course was a tart, a mini brownie and a mini blueberry cheesecake tart. I was expecting three items also but I ended up with one strawberry shortcake slice. Disappointing when you’re paying the same amount and watching your friends get their monies worth with three items and you’re eating one. One that you eat rather quickly while they’re going back for seconds and having leftovers to take home. Like I said, beggars can’t be choosers - hello cliche - but it doesn’t seem fair to finish high tea fifteen minutes before the rest of your table. I had fun - great company - but I doubt I’ll go back again for high tea. Dinner, drinks, gigs, markets, yes! High tea not unless I become tolerant again.
'So good' ice cream is now in chocolate, whoooooo!
Gluten free muffins have been a bit of a fail for me. I found this recipe and decided to have a try. Another great one from taste.com.au.
Banana muffins with passionfruit glace icing
Made these last night, they are absolutely delicious. I probably needed to put a bit more jam on mine but tasted yummy all the same. Towards the end, I was a little worried that I stuffed them up but was pleasantly surprised at the end. Woah, horn toot much?
Here is the recipe from taste.com.au.
Makes 18 biscuits…
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease 2 baking trays. Line with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add flour. Beat to combine.
Roll 1 level tablespoon of mixture into a ball. Repeat with remaining mixture to make 18 balls. Place balls, 4cm apart, on trays. Using the palm of your hand, flatten each ball slightly. Shape edges to remove any cracks.
Make an indentation in the centre of each biscuit (see note). Fill each indentation with 1/4 teaspoon jam.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, swapping trays halfway, or until light golden. Cool biscuits on trays for 15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Serve.
Keep biscuits in an airtight container for up to 1 week (I doubt they will last longer than a week in my house).
To make indentations in biscuits, dip the end of a wooden spoon handle in flour, shaking off excess. Gently press tip in the middle of each biscuit, being careful not to push all the way through. Fill indentations with jam. (I wasn’t so great at this but my little indentions were okay..)
Ice cream has become slightly problematic of late, I was verrry excited last week when I thought I had discovered what appeared to be a gluten free ice cream (from my reading of the labels). However, my rookie gluten spotting skills let me down and I was sick not too long after finishing my bowl.
I was legitimately excited in the ice cream aisle today when I discovered that Sanitarium’s ‘So good Vanilla Bliss’ is now gluten free! This must be fairly new as the website still lists ‘wheat’ as an ingredient but the packaging looks the same in design, hooray for a change!
It is not only gluten free but dairy free. I used to be a bit apprehensive of soy, I thought the milk looked a little gross. Now, I am pretty much up for anything that will make me feel better and I am happy that I’ve given soy a chance.
It doesn’t look like traditional vanilla ice cream, the colour looks natural, it doesn’t look ‘yellow’ or ‘cream’, more of an ‘off white’. The taste is a little different too but that isn’t a bad thing, it just different. I liked it!
So far, there have been no rumblings of my stomach or any other tell-tale glutenous signs. Delicious.
I’ve noticed that a day trip or going to a festival involves more preparation than it used to. I used to take for granted how easy it was just to go and buy a cup of hot chips, a pizza or an ice cream cone for dinner or a snack. Now it involves packing lunch, a nut bar and some fruit for the day.
I was soooo excited in February at the Good Vibrations festival in Sydney when there was a gluten free kebab stand. I had kissed kebabs out of my life and a festival was the last place I expected to find them. They were delicious and allowed for me to have a dinner more exciting than the nutbar and disappointment I had expected.
After attending the Groovin’ the Moo festival a few years ago and not recalling much diversity in food options I thought I’d email the organisers and see whether I should pack a lunch beforehand. To my surprise and delight this is the response I received:
"Yes there will be gluten free food options; in fact we have a stall dedicated to vegetarian & gluten free foods!
There will also be seafood snacks, woodfired pizza (not sure about gluten free base though), Mediterranean food + Gozleme, and more.
Have a great day!
How exciting is that? Great news for the vegetarians and the gluten intolerant alike.
An amazing lineup and food options, perfect.
Am looking forward to seeing what is on offer.
ANZAC Day is on Sunday and you may have thought that a beloved tradition was out of your reach. DO NOT FEAR. Here is an awesome recipe from Better Homes & Gardens…
Who would’ve thought ANZAC biccies would include puffed rice and cornflakes? AMAZING. Gluten free versions by Freedom Foods are stocked at Woolworths. These biccies were also a hit with my gluten loving family.
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 2 large oven trays with baking paper. Put the puffed rice, cornflakes, sugar, coconut and flour in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Put the butter and golden
syrup in a small heavy-based pan and cook over a low heat until melted and combined.
2. Combine bicarbonate of soda and water in a small bowl, add to the butter mixture and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the butter mixture. Stir until
well combined and all dry ingredients are moistened.
3. Put tablespoons of biscuit mixture, well apart to allow for spreading, onto the prepared trays. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Stand the trays on wire racks until the biscuits are firm
and cool. Transfer the biscuits to the wire racks and leave until cold. Store the biscuits in an airtight container for up to 7 days.