But Isn’t Coffee Gluten Free


Yes, coffee is gluten free but beware of the additives.

There are always those little surprises that come with the territory of a gluten free diet.

I most probably had not told my gf teenager to “Beware of Coffee” or at least “Be Aware” that not all chocolate powders shaken over the top of your cappuccinos are gluten free.

But on a recent day out together, we sat down for coffee and he ordered a cappuccino.

It was then I realised that I had to add another complication to his life…. if you order a coffee which is to be sprinkled with chocolate powder either ask if the chocolate powder is gluten free or ask for a cappuccino without chocolate powder.

Just as we thought we had covered all topics in the “lessons for a gluten free life” we are brought back to reality.


Must Have Gluten Free Magazine

If you only buy one gluten free recipe book this year, then think about adding The Gluten Free Scallywag Magazine Volume 4 to your library.

Gluten Free Scallywag

There is something homely and honest about Jasmine’s yearly magazine with practical recipes and beautiful photography.

I have made many GF Anzac Cookie recipes and have then left this challenge unconquered: too soft, too buttery, too dry.

Not so with Jasmine’s recipe for Quinoa ANZACS, so even if this is the only recipe you use, your purchase is worth it.

Anzac Quinoa (1)

Mango season gave me the ideal opportunity to try this Raspberry and Mango Smoothie which is  perfect for our steamy humid tropical afternoons.


My husband has earmarked the Crispy Pork Belly with Chilli Ginger Greens and my next baking will be the Upside-Down Apple and Hazelnut Cake with Rummy Caramel Sauce.

And the magic doesn’t stop there with recipes for : Apricot Breakfast Cake, Lemon Curd Sponge Roll, Balsamic Lamb Shanks, Rustic Pumpkin & Feta Tart with Balsamic Onions just a few of the menu items waiting to be made.

Thank you Jasmine for keeping gluten free cooks and bakers; and mothers of gluten free children interested and inspired.

Spanish Turrons


A Christmas speciality in Spain, the traditional varieties are made from almonds, honey and egg whites.

Turrons are one of my special childhood memories.  Around Christmas, my Nana would receive a parcel from her cousin Providencia in Barcelona.  Packed in pine boxes and wrapped in wax paper were Turrons Jijona.  She would slice a sliver of turrons for us and my memory is that it was a most heavenly taste. So for me, turrons had a special magical quality about it : coming all the way from Spain, a package covered in stamps with the Spanish King’s head,  packaged in pine boxes and sweet, smooth and delicious.

Turrons disappeared from my life for many years but nowadays I try to source a few packets for special gifts and our Christmas table. And I try to convey to my children and granddaughter the special association turrons have for me and to our heritage.

 Turrons take me back to my childhood, standing in my Nana’s kitchen savouring my slice of turron and having a sense that this was special.

Today, there are many more varieties to choose from and if you are in Spain close to Christmas, then visit one of the specialist turron shops.

Every year I try to source Turrons locally but I will also buy from delis in Sydney or Melbourne and have them posted to me.  Casa Iberica in Melbourne are now well stocked with the Jijona (soft) and Alicante (hard) turrons.

They make ideal gifts and are also perfect for the dessert table of your Christmas celebration.

And the bonus is that they are gluten free – or at least the brands I purchase.  Check the Alicante varieties that have a wafer cover.  The packets I purchased have the wafer made with potato starch.

Olive and Bacon Focaccia

I am always looking for variations on the gluten free bread theme and so thought I would try this recipe.

Focaccia 2

As a taste test, I made half the dough mixture for this recipe and then used 1/2 pkt Well & Good Crusty Bread Mix to make the second focaccia.

The bonus of this recipe is that there is no proving time so is much quicker to make.  My GF son’s preference though was the one made with bread dough.


1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons extra

4 rashers bacon, thinly sliced

1/2 cup milk

14/ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups gluten free SR flour, plus extra to dust

1 egg, lightly whisked

1/4 cup grated mozzarella or pizza cheese

1 cup grated cheese, extra

1 cup slice olives


Preheat oven to 200C. Place two oven trays in oven to heat.

In a large frying pan, heat oil on high. Saute bacon for 3 – 4 minutes until golden. Drain on paper towel.

In a saucepan, combine milk, oil and salt. Bring to boil  Transfer to heatproof bowl.

Gradually add in flour stirring.  Mix in egg and cheese.

Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth.  Roll into large rectangle and sprinkle with 1/2 olives and 1/2 bacon.

Divide dough in half.  Roll each half between 2 sheets of baking paper to a 25cm rectangle.

Drizzle with extra oil, scatter with extra cheese and remaining bacon and olives.

Transfer to hot transfer on baking paper.

Bake 15 – 20 minutes until golden and crisp.

(from a weekly magazine)


For the Santa Sack…


Werther’s Original Golden Mix, found at Coles supermarket last week and perfect for the gluten free Santa Sack or Secret Santa

(Glucose syrup made from wheat)

Satay Chicken Drumettes

Satay Wings (2)

Easy to prepare, cook and assemble, this is an enjoyable summer’s meal full of flavour and colour.


750 g chicken drumettes

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

500 g kumara, peeled, sliced

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 cucumber sliced

1 tomato, cut into wedges

2 eggs, hard boiled

100 g snow peas, sliced

Satay Sauce

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/4 cup kecap manis (or use gf soy sauce)

2 tablespoons lime juice


Score thickest parts of chicken drumettes.  In a large bowl, combine chicken, oil, juice and spiced and mix well until chicken is coated and marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to hot, 200c.

Place kumara on oven tray lined with baking paper and drizzle with additional oil.  Bake until cooked. Remove from oven.

Place chicken drumettes on trays lined with baking paper and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until golden and skin is crisp.

In a saucepan, whisk peanut butter, coconut milk, kecap manis (gf soy sauce) and simmer for 2 minutes.  Stir in lime juice.

Arrange on a platter the kumara, cucumber, tomato, halved boiled eggs and snow peas.  Place chicken drumettes in centre of platter and serve with a drizzle of satay sauce.

(recipe from New Idea magazine 2015)

Christmas comes but once a year…



May you find PEACE with your coeliac disease diagnosis, knowing that you are on the road to good health and may you find JOY in the gluten free food that will heal your body

A few ideas for gifts to help share in the spirit of Christmas

1. Australian Gluten Free Life  has magazine subscriptions or a “The Box” full of gluten free goodies or you can purchase single copies in newsagencies.


2. The Gluten Free Scallywag has been busy and you can now pre-order her Volume 4 Magazine.  If you missed Volume 3, it is available for purchase as a Printed Edition or Downloadable File.

If you want to try before you buy, then download Volume 1 and 2 for FREE!  You won’t be disappointed.

3. Springhill Farm Gluten Free Delights Hamper or the Springhill Farm Gluten Free Sample Pack

4. Jen’s Gluten Free Crackers paired with Beerenberg Red Pepper Relish


5. Jelly Belly Jelly Beans are a gluten free lolly staple especially at Christmas time. Myers in Townsville are already stocking their shelves.

Jelly Beans

6. The Happy Cookbook by Lola Berry

Happy Cookbook

7. My 2013 and 2014 Blogs for Christmas might also give you inspiration: Christmas Stocking Fillers and A Special Gift for Christmas

Every cloud has a silver lining…

Silver Pearls

I told my KJ about Dr Oetker’s Chocolate Silver Pearls – which are gluten free by ingredient, and he had to remind me once again about the time that I poisoned him with  a Silver Cashous.

It was the day before Christmas and I was icing and decorating KJ’s birthday cake.  I had beautifully and carefully laid down a ring of silver cashous on the outside rim of the cake.

All looked beautiful and I was very pleased that the heat of a tropical summer’s day had not caused me grief and the cake damage.

As KJ popped a silver cashous in his mouth he turned over its bottle and read out loud “wheat starch”.

KJ was 18  months into his gluten free life-long regime and I had thought I had purged all gluten products from my pantry.  But I had missed this one.

Christmas was not a happy day for KJ.  He spent the day either in bed or using the bathroom facilities.

Did this one gluten containing silver cashous swallowed 24 hours before cause his day of illness?

Had it taken 24 hours for the cashous to dissolve and cause a violent reaction?

Did he have a stomach bug and not gluten poisoning?

Who knows?

So with much joy, I am pleased to know that KJ can now have a birthday cake adorned with a crown of silver and topped with  a wafer butterfly and  chocolate hearts.

The Dr Oetker’s range of cake decorating items are new to Coles supermarkets with potato and rice being the starch ingredient.

I didn’t check each individual item but as a ‘good’ and ‘observant’ mum of a gluten free teenager I will do my due diligence when buying new products and try to never to caught out being complacent.

As we all know, there is no blanket guarantee that a product range will all be gluten free.

Cake Decorations

Mexican Chicken and Bean Stew

 Mexican Bean and chicken

Quick and easy and versatile.

Serve with tortillas or  a bed of rice or a green salad.


1 tablespoon olive oil

500 g chicken thighs, cut into 2 cm pieces

1 large carrot, cubed

1 red capsicum, coarsely chopped

1 tomato, coarsely chopped

1 can x 420 g Heinz Beanz Creationz Fiery Mexican Style Beans or Heinz Beans Creationz Mexican Salsa Chilli (for a milder meal)

100 g canned corn kernels, drained


1 tomato, finely chopped

1/3 cup coriander leaves

1 avocado cubed

Lime wedges to serve


Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan over the medium heat.  Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until browned.  Remove chicken to a bowl.

Add carrot and capsicum to pan and cook for 3 minutes or until starting to brown.  Add tomato and ¼ cup water and bring to a simmer.  Add the chicken and beans.  Cook covered stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked.  Add the corn and stir through until heated.

Salsa: in a bowl combine tomato, coriander and avocado.

Serve with tortillas or tacos or nachos and lime wedges.

(Coles Food magazine August 2015)

Gluten Free Cheesy Cob Loaf

 Cob Loaf

My KJ asked  in passing, if we could  make a Cob Loaf because he saw one at a party and it looked really nice.

 We make a good team, so our latest collaboration produced a really cheesy crunchy gluten free cob loaf.

Cob Loaf

1 pkt Well and Good Crusty Bread Mix* + 1 x 18cm round cake tin + baking paper to line tin + 45m @ 180C = Cob Loaf

Cheese and Bacon Filling

(1 onion finely diced + 250 g bacon diced + tablespoon of olive oil to fry) + ( 250 g sour cream + 250 g cream cheese at room temperature + salt + pepper + 1 1/2 cu0ps grated cheedar cheese) = Filling


(Cob loaf – lid – scooped out bread from inside) + filling + alfoil to wrap + 45m @ 180C = almost ready to eat

(Cob loaf – alfoil) + scooped out bread pieces at side of baking tray + lid + 10 m @ 180C = Cheesy Bacon Crunchy Gluten Free Cob Loaf

* Follow the bread mix recipe as per the packet but do not halve the dough, use a cake tin for cob shape and bake for 45 m or until hollow when tapped

Cob Loaf (2)


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