27/12/2014

Have I Got News For You.

We. Have. A. Flat. And it ain't no false alarm this time either. We wanted to wait until everything was signed and sorted before we shared it with you lovely lot. The flat is absolutely perfect for us, very spacious and they even popped in a wet room for me (so I'll be having my first shower in 2 & 1/2 years!). We can't wait to share this massive new start with you so expect lots of interior posts and many more recipes now we'll have a much better oven. So, on the 12th January we will be moving into our new home. Now, the down side, as you will know I'm severely affected by M.E. and am permanently bed bound but the council don't seem to get that, which means I've had to leave the comfort of my bed many times to get shit done. They wouldn't come to us but they wouldn't hand the flat over without me so off I toddled. This has really affected me, so much so that, after I finally stopped and rested properly on Christmas eve, my body went into shutdown. I spent most of Christmas barely being able to keep my eyes open, though the good side is Michael found me very cute. I'm not feeling any better and feel incredibly scared of how the actual moving is going to affect me. I know I will have lots of support but its still very stressful and instead of just resting quietly with Michael every day or only talking to someone for 5 minutes a day, there will be people in and out. Also, Michael will have to help with heavy lifting of furniture whilst I still need him so help me do things (Mum and Nan aren't strong enough). I don't want to sound like a moaning minny but this is the truth of big changes on a chronically ill person, it sucks. It's terrifying when you can do so little anyway to be faced with a pretty certain possibility that you will end up feeling much more poorly than your current worse. I am so happy though that it's finally happening and we can start our own little life and I know that all my lovely Spoonies will be so pleased and supportive. What's keeping me going? The thought that Izzy will finally be at home, with us. Now, I think it's time I started leaving things in the hands of Papa Bear.

21/12/2014

The Best GF&V Mince Pies.

4 days 'til Christmas. I know it's a cliché, but where on earth has the time gone? I hope you're all looking forward to Christmas, I love hearing about other people's traditions so feel free to leave me yours in the comments. Personally, me and Michael are having a very chilled day whilst the family all go to have dinner cooked for them. Christmas is really hard when you're so so poorly; everyone's happy, there's Christmas markets and events to go to, wine to drink, dinner to make. And here we are, stuck in bed and having to get your fiancé to open your presents. But! There is something we can enjoy... Christmas food! It makes me feel a lot more festive when I have hot mulled juice to drink and mince pies to eat (although our free from pudding went mouldy!). Anyway, if I actually get to the point, we've found the perfect Mince Pies for us lot with picky tummy's and soppy animal-loving hearts. These guys are so damn delicious you just have to make them. We had to go do something the other day (exciting news coming soon) so I took 2 amazing mince pies to costa to eat with a chai latte for a wake me up breakfast. Yum.

Vegan & Gluten Free Mince Pies (makes 12) 

Pastry Ingredients:
60g vegan butter
4tbsp brown sugar
1/2tsp vanilla extract
85g brown rice flour
50g chickpea flour
60g cornflour
1/4tsp xantham gum
pinch of salt
3tsp water

Fruit Mincemeat Ingredients:
60g chopped dried apricots
100g dried cranberries
70g raisins
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1/2 orange
zest of 1 lemon
1tsp ground cinnamon
  •  For the pastry: In a bowl cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract, then in a separate bowl mix together the flours, xantham gum and salt. Now mix the two mixtures together, add the water and mix with your hands into a dough. Knead for around one minute, roll in a ball, wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for half an hour.
  • For the filling: Put all the ingredients for the fruit mixture into a blender and pulse until you achieve a rough consistency.
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/350f and grease a cupcake tin with 12 holes with some vegan butter.
  • Dust a work surface with some extra rice flour and roll out the pastry to around 3mm thick. Use a round pastry cutter to cut out 12 circles (re roll and cut again if needed) then put the left over pastry to one side.
  • Put the cut out pastry rounds into the tray, then fill each with one tablespoon of the mincemeat, making sure not to overfill so it won't bubble over whilst cooking.
  • Roll the remaining pastry out to 3mm thickness again. Now you get to choose whatever cutter you want to make 12 pastry toppers for the mince pies. Once 12 are cut, place them over the top of the pies and gently press down.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or very lightly golden.
  • Remove from the oven and pop out onto a wire rack to cool down (but you better just test one straight from the oven, eh?). Once cooled, dust with icing sugar and then munch away.

14/12/2014

GF&V Delicious Apple Upside Down Cake.

Note: Sorry about the phone photo's, a certain someone lost our memory card under all of our boxes, but don't worry, we found it!
Lately we've seemed to have a bucket load of apples, which I was avoiding due to them being too hard to eat (baby food's my jam!). Then, I found this recipe and there were no apples left, typical! Anyway, Mum bought some more, this cake was made, it was destroyed. To be honest, it was so lovely for me to be able to share a bake with my handsome fiancé. You see, Michael doesn't really have much of a sweet tooth and he probably eats one portion of fruit and veg a week. No. Joke. But, this one, we shared and boy, was it good! Unfortunately, this isn't our own recipe (they seem to be loved the most), however at the beginning of 2015 you're gonna get a shit load of amazing home grown recipes! So, this weeks recipe is the Breakfast Apple Cake by Tabatha at Kitchen To Nirvana. There's one thing I have to say about this cake; you can not tell that it's vegan and gluten-free! Wow.

And here are our tips:
  1. Whatever you do don't use a loose bottom tin, it will be a disaster and all the caramel will just seep (maybe pour) out of the tin.
  2. Don't be daunted by how thick the cake batter is, just spread it in the pan and throw it in the oven.
  3. Leading on from that point, don't be worried about the thin consistency of the caramel, it's all good.

07/12/2014

My Christmas Movie List.

Note: Sorry for any bumbles, i'm very poorly atm.
Yup, i have a memo on my phone containing a list of 6 festive movies that i must watch before Christmas day. Disclaimer: Elf isn't one of them, and no, i've never seen it! Pleas don't lynch me! Also, i love watching Harry Potter on ITV all throughout December, much to Michael's horror, i just find the Potter franchise really relaxing (just me?). Anyway, i'm getting off track. Here's my favourites in order of most loved:

  1. Miracle on 34th Street (the 1994 version). If you don't love this film, something's very wrong. Who doesn't think Mara Wilson (fact: she's a writer now) was just the cutest child actor going too? I don't really have much to say, just i love it and Richard Attenborough is the best Father Christmas. Ever.
  2. Rise of the Guardians. This one had me chuckling throughout and even Michael loves this one (he's not a big lover of cheesy Christmas movies, i've got enough of that for both of us!). It's fairly new so if you haven't seen it yet it's well worth a go. Two words. Russian Santa.
  3. White Christmas. An oldie but a goodie. It's kinda tradition in my house to watch this around Christmas time, seeing as it's my Mum's favourite. This film is so beautiful and everyone in it looks so classicly glamorous.But, of course, you can't beat a bit of Bing.
  4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie. I know this probably isn't to many peoples tastes but i watched this every year without fail when i was little and you know how we all love our childhood-favourites. I think every child should watch this (unless they're animation snobs).
  5. Love Actually. Classic. This film must get to everyone, it's just so damn heart-warming. I don't know anyone who hasn't seen this film, and i don't know anyone who doesn't like this film. So many mushy bits to keep you smiling and cosy throughout these cold days of winter, sounds good to me.
  6. Arthur Christmas. We only watched this film last Christmas but it was well worth it. It definitely highlights how families interact around each other at Christmas time, we've all got that one in our family, eh? It's a really relaxing watch and very sweet too.