Thursday, 29 May 2014

Lunch out on a rainy day

Well half term has been a bit of a wash out.  Yesterday I decided that the only thing me and the kids could do without getting drenched was to go out for lunch. The deal was we'd have lunch wherever they picked,  Harvester won, then they'd watch a film whilst I finished my OU EMA off.
Off we went to Riverside retail park in Northampton. We arrived around 12.30pm only to discover that for some reason the Harvester wasn't opening until 1pm. Mmm so much for not getting wet. After a quick toilet stop next door in KFC we decided to have a mooch about in Homebase to look for Father's Day present ideas. We arrived back at the Harvester just before 1pm and got a lovely table. The allergy menu was provided without a problem, however it was in a mess. It took me an absolute age to find the junior menu to check what L could eat, it appeared everything much to her delight.  Then I had to work out what I could eat.  By this time the kids had drunk their drinks so I was glad we'd ordered the refillable soft drinks. Eventually I was ready to order and had the bacon and cheese burger.  C had beef burger, B had chicken burger, L had chicken breast and R had BBQ chicken wings. Off they went to get their salad and to use the toilet again lol. Before I knew what had happened L had wolfed down two rolls and half a bowl of salad, there was no way she was going to eat her meal!
At 1.50pm lunch arrived (was it still lunch or was it dinner now?) Everything was delicious more fizzy pop was drunk, they were very impressed with the ipad dispenser and kept concocting weird drinks. As predicted L struggled with her dinner hiding most of the chicken in the cup in which the chips had been delivered!  A discussion about pudding then en sewed as I wanted them to have the meal deal for £5 plus drink (very naughty I feel) they however wanted different puddings to the tuti fruity or boring sundae.  We compromised. They could have their chosen pudding if they gave me £1 each towards the extra,  if they didn't want to do this they could have the boring pudding. They all picked more exciting puddings :) I however had to have plain vanilla ice cream, which to be honest wasn't the best ice cream I've ever had, it was very watery and not very vanillery.
I was fine, L felt sick. I think she had just eaten too much and had too much fizz though rather than eating anything she was allergic to. Although I can't be 100% certain due to their disorganised menu.
Overall I don't rate this Harvester as highly as the one in Meadowhall because it was almost impossible to work out what we could eat from the mess that the allergy menu was in. Our waitress also wasn't prepared to double check anything for me and there was no offer of having our food prepared separately.  I would have been better off looking online and would have done if my phone wasn't playing up. Next time I'll check before we go.


On back holiday Monday we visited Wrest Park and managed to have a great time despite the weather. Well until lunchtime. We had taken a carefully prepared picnic free from peanuts and nuts for L and soya, lupin and kiwi for moi. I munched on my marmite sandwich, homemade chocolate brownie and a flapjack bite bought by my parents (which were safe for me but not L, but she's not keen anyway) I quickly developed severe stomach pain, I took ibuprofen and antihistamine and managed to keep going. I thought I had eaten too much wheat, but last night whilst visiting my Mum and Dad I had two more flapjack bites (well it would have been rude not to), and again within twenty minutes had severe stomach pain, not sure how I made it home! Again I took ibuprofen and antihistamines and after a few minor alterations on my OU EMA went to bed with what felt like a red hot poker in my belly. I woke up feeling okay, if a little tired as the two little ones are having swimming boosters this week and we have to be at the pool by 8!  Managed to get shopping and home in time for dear friends who were visiting only to immediately get a migraine :( I survived the day on pain killers and am now resting but unable to sleep.  The ingredients in the flapjacks are: oats, sweetened condensed milk, golden syrup and margarine.  Not sure what doesn't agree with me, but I will be mentioning it to the dietitian if I ever get an appointment. Must ring them again tomorrow.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


I knew I shouldn't have had the pasta for dinner like everybody else. I knew I'd eaten too much wheat today. A wrap for lunch, with a couple of the chocolate brownies that I'd made (well I had to test them, I'd also had some of the batter when making them too) and now I have bad stomach cramps and I feel sick.  

Chocolate brownies

Here's our favourite chocolate brownie recipe. It's nut and soya free. I Googled chocolate brownies without using chocolate years ago and this is the one I chose. I don't know where I got it from and I've changed it slightly as it uses a lot of sugar.

Makes approximately 30 shallow brownies or 16 deep ones. I use an 8 inch square pyrex ti cook them in.

225g melted butter
4 eggs
300g caster sugar
60g cocoa powder
225g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Mix it all up with blender and cook at gas mark 4 for about 25 minutes.

I have made these with only 2 eggs and they still worked,  they were stickier in the middle and made a lovely hot pudding with ice cream.

Less cocoa makes them less chocolaty.

You could add nuts or chocolate chips if you wanted to.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Busy, busy, busy

Well it's been a bit busy around here lately. I made a coeliac friendly birthday cake for my daughter as her best friend has coeliac disease. B had asked for a brownie cake and so I bought a packet mix, I usually make my cakes from scratch but I had heard baking with gluten free flour can be difficult and didn't want to risk having a flop. It worked well and was delicious. 
Sunday was R's football presentation and it was a lovely day, the sun was shining and he won the trophy for most improved player :)
Food was more of a problem though, there was only a bbq and crisps/peanuts from the bar and so I couldn't eat anything. I had taken a few snacks with us and I did have an ice cream from the ice cream van that arrived half way through the day. We were there longer than expected though and really enjoyed dinner when we got home.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014


I have suffered with asthma for most of my life, as has my sister and one of my daughters, so this is very important to me, if you can, please sign the petition.

Thank you

Monday, 12 May 2014

Stomach ache

I've got stomach ache, it's not a bad one, just an annoying one and I feel so bloated.  I haven't eaten anything with soya in so I don't know what has caused it. It's such a pain. If I knew what was causing it, I could avoid it and not have to spend the night curled up on the sofa. I hope that my dietician appointment comes through soon so I can work out what's causing them and stop thevpain and bloating.
On another note, J and I were buying some bake at home bread earlier, one of the packets had lupine flour in. Needless to say we didn't buy those ones as we weren't sure if that was lupin, so I must go and look it up so I know for next time.
Yep, it is lupin. Good job we didn't buy it!

Sunday, 11 May 2014


Today we have had the family over for birthday celebrations for our eldest two. (I can't believe we have a 14yr old!) I decided we would have a BBQ instead of the usual buffet and the weather could have been nicer, but we managed to cook (well J did) all the food outside.  All of the food was nut free (apart from the carrot cake, brought over by my lovely sister, which L doesn't like), and I managed to dodge the soya burgers and sausages which my father in law bought up as he's vegetarian, and the meat burgers from Morrisons which my dad bought over which for some reason contained soya!
All in all a great time had by all (after the stress of getting four children to help tidy up anyway.  Blood, sweat and tears were shed!)


Well lunch was a success. After we'd spent an hour walking around the food court trying to decide where to eat! We ended up in Harvester.  I asked for the allergy menu and the manager (who was seating us, Amber) knew exactly where it was (a good sign) and said that it I was unsure about anything to just ask. When we placed our order Amber double checked that it was ok for me, and then when she bought our food over she told me that she'd made sure that the chef had cooked it on a separate, clean grill away from any other food so it didn't become contaminated. I was very impressed. This is the only restaurant I've been in where this has happened and I knew I could eat my meal without any worries about becoming ill. I give Amber 10 out of 10 and wish she could train waiting staff everywhere :)

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Coffee and cake (or not)

My mum, sister and I are having a girlie day shopping at Meadowhall shopping centre.  We've finally stopped for coffee, and we're hungry so thought we might treat ourselves to a cake too. I wanted to go to Starbucks, it's my favourite coffee shop and I have money on my Starbucks card so I can treat everyone for a change. I took their orders and they went to get a seat.  It's very busy, but the lady kindly goes to check the ingredients. Their cakes however come in two's only in plastic, no boxes and no ingredients list! Their go to"free from" brownie does have ingredients, and contains soya. So we've just had the coffee, and the Vienese whirl that my dad kindly packed for us so we could save money. Just hope I have better luck finding a proper lunch, don't really want to have McDonald's when we're without the children!

Thursday, 8 May 2014


Well, I finally succumbed to the Christmas pudding that has been hiding in the cupboard. I ate some with some rum flavour sauce and it was delicious.  I could have eaten more as I'm so hungry lately (just hope it doesn't mean I'm going to get a migraine! ) anyway, now I can't stop itching, its driving me bonkers. The pudding contains milk, wheat and gluten, and the sauce just milk.


Tonight I am cooking jacket potatoes with a choice of fillings. Tuna, cheese or beans. I have bought my beans from Tesco on the way home from picking my youngest son up from school. Tesco baked beans may, apparently, contain nuts! Now I'm quite lucky really that my peanut allergic daughter doesn't like baked beans, but what do other people do? Do they teach their children to follow the labels, in which case they wouldn't be able to have baked beans, or do they give them the beans and risk them ignoring another product which says may contain nuts, which may be a high risk product?
I am also seeing if the Facebook like button is appearing on this page (not so good with the technical stuff!)


Hi there,

I'm starting a blog to review the restaurants, pubs, and supermarkets that I buy food from.

I am allergic to lupin, which nobody has heard of, check this out 

soya, Quorn and kiwi fruits.  I think I also have either an intolerance to, or an allergy to wheat as my mouth and lips tingle if I eat something like cake, muffins and rolls and if I have a lot of wheat/gluten (like I had to when I gluten loaded for the coeliac test) I end up with severe stomach ache, headaches, feeling tired and bloated.  I am currently waiting for an appointment with a dietician and am keeping a food diary (again!)

My nine year old daughter has also recently been diagnosed with a peanut allergy after having a reaction to a Snickers bar.

Last night I went out for dinner with my Mum and Sister.  We went to The Sun Inn in Hardingstone, Northamptonshire.
After looking at the menu I had a couple of dishes that I thought looked tempting, so I went to the bar to ask if they could find out if either soya or lupin was in the lamb Shish.  As the waitress went out into the kitchen I said to my Sister that I bet I got told that it was gluten free (this is what often happens when I say I can't eat lupin)  sure enough, I could hear her say 'No she said lupin not gluten' pleased that the lady had listened properly and corrected the chef who had obviously thought she had meant gluten, I waited curiously for the outcome.  The chef came out to see me himself, a lovely chap who confessed to never having heard of lupin.  After an explanation from myself as to what it is, he said he couldn't be sure if it would be in the dish, he didn't think it should be and he did list the ingredients, but explained that he did not know whether or not there would have been risk of cross contamination before they had got to the kitchen. (He was very knowledgeable about coeliacs and the need to make sure nothing with gluten comes into contact with the food as he has family members with the condition)  As lupin causes an anaphylactic reaction in me I decided to avoid that dish and went with my second choice, which was on the specials board, creamy chicken, mushroom and bacon chicken with chips and salad, which was safe, and delicious.  I have to say the whole night was lovely and I felt like the chef took my food allergies seriously and would definitely eat there again.  The chef even went to look up lupin after our chat.