Autumn Apple Crumble


Warm comfort food,woolly warm jumpers, steaming mugs of coffee, a cosy corner with a warm blanket and a good book or a long walk in the crisp Autumn air , when you think of Autumn what springs to mind ?

For me its all the above and the smell of warm apple crumble straight out of the oven. That warm apple and cinnamon smell that just makes the whole house seem so cosy. The middle farmer came home from work last week with a bucket of fresh apples so I had to make some crumble. The one thing about being coeliac is the flour, it is just rotten in most things and baking is never as nice but I think I nailed this crumble and it was just as nice or nicer than my old recipe for apple crumble. It lasted all of one night and was eaten by all the farmers with custard, what more could you want on a dark Autumn evening only warm crumble and custard.

So here is my apple crumble, if you want to make it and you can use normal flour then just change your flour for normal and leave out the xanthan gum.

  • Tray for baking crumble in, I used a glass one.
  • I used about 8 apples but use as much you need to have a nice layer in your tin.
  • 210g or so of gluten free/ normal flour.
  • 2 teaspoons of Xanthan gum if you are using gluten free flour only.
  • 50g roughly of porridge oats.
  • 70g sugar can use brown or white whichever you have.
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon.
  • 170g butter salted or unsalted butter.
  1. Peel and cut up your apples put them in your tray and cover with some extra sugar and a good sprinkle of cinnamon.
  2. Put your flour , oats , sugar , cinnamon and xanthan gum if you are using it into a bowl and then hand mix in the butter till it looks a little like bread crumbs and you have no lumps of butter next. ( leave out your butter for a few hours so its soft makes it so much easier to mix).
  3. Cover your apples with the crumble mix and then cover it with tin foil for the first 25 mins in the oven, bake at gas mark 5/6, this gives the apple a chance to cook and not just your crumble topping.
  4. After about 25mins take off the tin foil and put it back in the oven till your crumble topping is nice and golden. Take it out and enjoy with some custard.

So that’s it a very easy and we all think tasty Autumn Apple Crumble hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.

When To Say Nothing.


Now before I start this post I want to make clear I have no issue with anyone that chooses to be vegetarian, vegan or have any other food choice, each to their own. What has been playing on my mind this week is something one of Ireland’s top influencers said on her Snapchat after a Tv interview she gave. Suzanne Jackson of Sosueme was interviewed on an Irish television station and she was joined by a vet who had brought a pet lamb with him. Before the appearance Suzanne showed the lamb on her Snapchat and all looked fine but after her interview she snapped that it was one of her worst interviews because during the interview they spoke about the fact that eventually the lamb would be sent to the factory for meat. Suzanne stated on her Snapchat she felt this was so fucking cruel and that she was just about vegetarian before the interview and after it she would never eat meat again. 

Suzanne is a beautiful and successful business women who has hundreds of thousands of followers over all her social media which I feel makes her comments all the more unfair. I was disappointed that as Ireland’s top influencer she could make such a statement when she has no understanding of where her meat had come from before she changed her diet. Her voice is heard by many young and easily influenced people who will now make the same totally misinformed conclusion on meat production and farming in Ireland. She has no issue wearing expensive leather products which some come from calf skin or that some make up products she uses are tested on animals.  

As a top influencer there should be some responsibility put on comments that are made, they should always be well informed and correct so that their influence on their audience is coming from knowledge and not emotion.

The statement that it’s so fucking cruel was just not fair to all the farmers who put their lives into producing food for people who do wish to eat it, they put months and months into keeping their animals as happy and healthy as they can.The comment Suzanne made came from no knowledge of farming and when offered the chance to learn about farming her response was to block me on Twitter. 

To not eat meat is perfectly fine but to make any statement about it’s production without having correct facts is just wrong. I think this is the first time I have seen a top influencer make this kind of mistake as they are normally well informed if they do speak about a subject and they know when to say nothing if they don’t but very few comment on something with emotion being the driving force. 

I hope someday Suzanne will take the time to look at the bigger picture and learn more about where her food comes from and not because I think she should eat meat but because she has a strong voice which if used right could  educate more about their food production in a good way. 

This I think was a time that an influencer should have said nothing.

Elaine x

Porridge bread


Who loves their bread ? Me , Who loves really good homemade brown bread ? Me , Who can’t have gluten and misses having good bread ? ME !  and who just loves good bread ? ME well if you answered yes to any of these read on for a really good recipe. Since I found out I am Coeliac before the summer I have been making it my mission to try every made and mixture of gluten free bread and let me tell you they are all pretty crap in varying degrees. Some taste like the package they come in , some are so full of crap they make your mouth feel fuzzy and some are just plain nasty but what do you do ? you are very limited to choices being Coeliac . Gluten free bread is also a total rip off , some loaves only come with four or five slices and are just so expensive. I have found some good multi seed rolls from Lidl which are fairly nice but that is it for my bread intake.

So I had planned that when I was off on my Halloween break I would try make my own gluten free bread. So I spent last week looking up recipes for breads and nearly all were made using gluten free flour which to be honest is not good either , using it stops at pancake making after that I have yet to make a good cake or scones or buns using it. Then one recipe caught my eye and it was for porridge bread. Now porridge oats are gluten free naturally straight from the field but what can happen when they are in the grain store they can get mixed with other grains that do have gluten so the companies how make them can’t guarantee their oats are gluten free. There are lots of companies who do gluten free porridge oats and they can guarantee their oats haven’t mixed with any other grains so for me I can use them.

As I looked more porridge bread recipes up I decided I would give it a go and see how it turned out. I did change it a little because I add honey to it which I used to do when I was able to make normal brown bread.

Porridge Bread :

  • 300g of porridge oats , normal or gluten free if you need them it makes no difference in taste which you use.
  • 1 x 500g tub of natural yoghurt.
  • 1 x egg
  • 2 x teaspoons of bread soda
  • 1 x level teaspoon of salt
  • 1 x tablespoon of honey
  • 1 x 2lb loaf tin greased and lined
  •  I added a handfull of mixed seeds to mine and also sprinkled some on top.

Mix your honey  , yoghurt and egg together and add your seeds. Then add in your porridge , seeds ,  salt and bread soda and mix till well combined then put it all into your loaf tin and bake in the oven at gas mark 5 / 190c for about 50 to 60mins checking its cooked with a knife, it should come out clean when the bread is cooked.

It is such an easy and really tasty bread for anyone and its even better for someone who cant have gluten because it just tastes so good and its easy to make gluten free. I hope you guys enjoy it as much as we are at the minute.

Send me some pictures of your bread if you try it to my snapchat @ elaineslife or to my Instagram I would love to see how it turns out for you.

Elaine x

 

Food To Hibernate With.


Hibernation sounds so good except for the not eating for months, that part doesn’t sound as much food to someone who loves her food. The sleep part of Hibernation does sound really good as the evenings start to get a lot darker and the mornings the same. The air is getting more of a chill and you can feel autumn  really starting to take hold. The woolie hats and jumpers are starting to appear and the longing for comfort and warmth is growing.

When it gets to this time of the year all I would love to do is snuggle on the couch with a warm blanket , a huge mug of coffee, a good book or something comforting to eat. You just start to crave heat and comfort. 

When I think about hibernating and the perfect food to bring with me it has to be rice pudding. It’s creamy, warm , filling and sweet. It just shouts comfort and Hibernation, like a big warm creamy hug. So today when I had time I made rice pudding and we were also given some lovely apples today so I stewed some of them to go on top of my rice pudding.

Here is my rice pudding and stewed apple recipe so you can make your own Hibernation food.

  • 250g pudding rice
  • 1ltr of milk
  • 100g of sugar (I only used 70g because I don’t like it too sweet ) 
  • Place all the ingredients into an oven proof dish. Preheat your oven and bake for about 40 minutes at gas mark 4/5 till rice is nice and soft.
  • While your rice is baking peel and cut up two or three cooking apples depending on how much stewed apple you want at the end. Place it in a saucepan with a tablespoon of water , a sprinkle of cinnamon and some sugar to taste. Stew on a low heat till all the apples is nice and soft. 
  • When your pudding is done dish it into some bowls and place some stewed apple on top. Any left over apple goes really well on porridge. 

 So there it is my perfect food to hibernate with. Now all you need to do is find a comfy seat , a snuggly blanket and hibernate for a little bit while you enjoy your creamy pudding.

Elaine x 

Come say hi on my snapchat you will find me here elaineslife or on my Instagram .

Blackberry Pancakes.


We had picked some blackberries at the start of the season and had them with pancakes but hadn’t gone back to get any more. There is just something nice about going out to a field and getting to pick your fruit fresh from the bushes rather than having to pay €5 for them in a shop. 

Blackberries are really a sign that autumn is here and yesterday Sid had nagged me long enough to go blackberry so after the homework was done we put on our wellies and headed out to the field to pick some nice , juicy berries.

We spent about half an hour picking berries and the farmer even came to help, we picked enough for pancakes yesterday and we had some in smoothies today. So here is our pancake recipe and for any little or even big people who don’t like fruit you can blend the blackberries and make purple pancakes ! 

Blackberry Pancakes : 

100g of flour ( plain for flat pancakes, self raising for thick and gluten free for coeliac )

1 egg 

Milk or soya/almond/rice milk to make a nice batter.

1 tsp of vanilla extract  (so good in sweet pancakes)

Mix flour , egg , vanilla and milk in a bowl till you have a nice , smooth batter. Heat your frying pan and add a little butter then drop in your batter to make the size of pancake you want. Sid has four little pancakes. Then you can top them with blackberries and some honey on top , mix some blackberries into your batter before you cook your pancakes or you can blend your blackberries and mix it into your battery to make purple pancakes for anyone that doesn’t like their fruit. 

I hope you enjoy making these as much as myself and Sid did.

Elaine x 

Autumn Fruits.


Autumn is really the time of year for snuggling on the couch on a dark evening with something good to read and a nice coffee. It is also a time for walks in the crisp air and taking in all the vibrant colours of the changing landscape around you but it’s also a time for some really good fruit. 

Somehow making apple and blackberry crumble in the middle of the summer doesn’t have the same appeal as it does this time of the year. The smell of warm cinnamon and apple floating around the house is like a giant warm high and an invite to relax with a bowl of crumble and some custard guilt free.

So after the homework rush and while dinner was cooking I made some apple and blackberry crumble. I used apples from the farmers dad’s trees , they are always so much nicer than shop bought ones and tried it with gluten free flour and while it wasn’t as tasty as using proper flour it’s was still pretty good.

What are your favourite fruits of the autumn ? 

Apple and Blackberry crumble.

150g of gluten free flour or normal.

150g of gluten free porridge oats or normal.

175g of brown sugar or coconut sugar which I used.

200g of butter.

Sprinkle of cinnamon.

  • Mix the flour and butter together till you get a texture like bread crumbs mix in the sugar and oats well and this is your topping.
  • Peel and chop up cooking apples till you have enough for a good layer in the dish you are using. Add in as many blackberries as you like and Sprinkle the cinnamon on top as much or as little as you would like.
  • Cover the fruit with your crumble topping and bake in the oven till the topping is a nice golden colour.

I hope you all enjoy this as much as we did this evening.

Elaine x

My First Trip To A Dietician.


On Tuesday I headed for my first appointment with a dietician since I found out I am coeliac. I was a little worried about what she was going to tell me about my diet because it has been changed so much already I was afraid I would have to change it all again.

When I arrived at my appointment I was met by a really nice women who made me feel instantly at ease. As we started to chat about being coeliac and what that means for my everyday life we also went through what my day to day diet is at the minute and when it’s down on paper it didn’t seem too bad. She showed me all the food groups and how much of each we should have everyday and while I did feel I was lacking in something lately mostly due to the amount of coldsores I am getting I didn’t realise just how much protein I was missing each day. I have been getting nearly no protein at all since the end of March and that was the only thing that the dietician wants me to change other than that I am on track with my diet.

So to get the protein back in I am to start trying some meat again , I have had none for well over a year so we are starting with chicken and Turkey.  I need to try have two portions a day which need to me the size of the palm of my hand. So far so good with that and my stomach is tolerating it really well , thank God because it gives me one more food choice anytime we go out for food.

I was delighted that I had manged to change my diet with little or no help and I was only missing out on one part to make it balanced.

The next thing I asked her about was my weight, I think our weight for most women it’s a thing that’s always in the back of your mind but to be told you are obese and need to be three stone lighter that makes it very real. So on the scales I went and was so relieved when she said that I am only 2kg away from being a healthy weight for my height. This was one thing that probably played more on my mind because my weight has just settled now and isn’t changing so 2kgs is do able but to drop to ten stone for me isn’t I think.

I found my meeting with her so interesting, how she explained what coeliac means , how all our foods work on our bodies, how we need to take time to enjoy our foods and should try to make our foods from fresh as much as we can. I would love to have met this woman years ago to set me off on the right diet path and it would be a good thing for anyone to do. I came away delighted with my weight and excited to start eating some meat again.

Has anyone else ever been to see a dietician ? Did you find it as interesting as me ?

Elaine x