Thursday, 30 July 2015

Herby, Sugar Free Bread

After last weeks failure! I thought I'd go back to the Doves Farm recipe. I remember I used to make a herby bread in the days where I ate gluten and wanted to try making a gluten free version. I also wondered if it was possible to make a loaf using honey instead of sugar.

Follow the Doves Farm Recipe but switch out the sugar for 2 tablespoons of honey and add 2 tablespoons of dried mixed herbs, I also added a heaped teaspoon of xanthan gum powder to the recipe. 

I'm not sure why this loaf hansn't mixed properly, but it may be because I didn't open the machine up and scrape the mixture down with a spatula as directed on the flour packet so will do that next time!

When I sliced open the loaf, it was mixed properly on the inside, and the herbs were spread evenly throughout.
It tasted just like I remembered it tasting and the honey hadn't done anything weird to it, you couldn't taste it so I may bake bread using honey in future.
This is definitely a loaf I will be making again!

Lupin Girl x 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Catch Up

Wow! What a busy week I had last week. I went from looking forward to enjoying the summer holidays with the kids, to working the holiday full-time, all in the space of a day! 

I went for an interview for a relief-administrator post on Tuesday morning and was asked to stay and work that day!  I could only work a couple of hours as I had to get to my ordinary job. When I got home I had to arrange child care for the holidays and would like to thank my amazing Mother-in-Law, H and Mum and Dad for helping me out at such short notice. 

It was a whirlwind few days trying to learn all of the different procedures, who everyone is and what needs doing by when. I have 2 pads full of notes and just hope I can remember everything when I'm on my own. 

I now have a different type of problem I never know what to wear as most of my clothes aren't office clothes!

Lupin Girl x

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Bread Recipe #2

So I thought after the success of making the loaf using the Doves Farm Recipe that I would have a go following the recipe in the bread machine book.

I made a brick! 

It is so heavy and didn't rise at all. I'm not even going to bother putting the recipe up as I won't be using it again. I think this loaf is destined to become bread crumbs so that I have a frozen supply for when I make burgers, either that, or bird feed! 

Better luck next time I hope!

Lupin Girl x 

Monday, 20 July 2015

Weekend Catch Up 18-19 July 2015

Before I update you on my weekend I want to say a huge Thank You to Emily from The Dairy Free Diner for adding me and my little blog to her home page as one of the bloggers she loves to read.  Emily blogs about her struggles with giving up dairy and has excellent reviews of products and restaurants she has visited.  Emily's blog is one I love to have a read of over a coffee and you should definitely go and check it out.

Emily asked if she could put a picture of me on her blog, or if she should just use my Twitter picture.  I had a long think about this, as when I started out blogging I was planning on doing it anonymously, however as I've started to make friends through Twitter, Facebook and blogging, and most of my real life friends now know that this is my blog, and so I decided to let her have a picture of me, so her I am:

So, here we are again. Welcome to my second weekend catch up post.

Since last weekend I have learnt that my car isn't worth repairing and therefore I am temporarily car-less. 

Thankfully I have yet more amazing friends who are going to the Isle of Wight with us and are going to take L in their car when we go so that we can still get there in J's car. Thank you C and A. 

Friday I had an awful migraine and felt sick and faint with it. I managed to doze for most of the day and headed up to bed once J got home. 

Saturday L was in a show at a The Lighthouse Theatre and I chaperoned for the dress rehearsal. It was hectic but I love doing it and the girls were amazing. Which was good as I was still suffering!  Then I got to watch the show in the evening, which was just fantastic. L was brilliant and sang, danced and acted her little heart out and I got some gorgeous pictures if her in her outfits. 

It was a very late night for us, and J who had to come and pick us up, and it was midnight when we went to bed. 

Sunday I was feeling a lot better and J's Mum popped round (after we'd had a lovely lay-in), which was nice as we hadn't seen her for a while as she's been on holiday. After a cuppa and a catch up we popped to my Mum and Dad's to collect their old kitchen wall cupboards as they're having a new kitchen fitted and said we could have their old one. 

What we thought would be a fairly simple task of taking ours down and putting theirs up, turned into an all night job as our cupboards are stuck fast to the wall!  The long story short is, we've put Mum and Dad's cupboards on the opposite wall and will try to get new doors for all of the cupboards at a later date so that they all match!  R and I now have a completely gluten free cupboard which is lovely.

As if that wasn't enough, J drove to Nuneaton to pick up some roof bars so we can put the roof box on his car so that when we go on holiday we can get everything in and we still managed to have a lovely roast chicken for dinner. 

All in all it's been a hectic weekend! 

Lupin Girl x 

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Bread Machine

So, I've toyed with the idea of getting another bread machine for a while and when Aldi had them in, with a gluten free setting I thought I'd get one and give it a go. 

Here's my first attempt. 

It was lovely, although I think next time I might add a teaspoon of xanthan gum powder to the recipe as it was a bit crumbly, but R was so happy to have proper sized sandwiches again!

I used the machine recipe off of the Doves Farm White Bread flour blend packet. 

Medium loaf Recipe:

           12oz/310g Milk

           1 teaspoon Vinegar

           6 tablespoons Oil

           2 Eggs

          16oz/450g GF Bread Flour

          1 teaspoon Salt

          2 tablespoons Sugar

          2 teaspoons Yeast


          Mix the milk, eggs, oil and vinegar in a bowl, then pour into your bread maker. 

         Put the flour over the top of the liquid so that it is covering it all. 

        Add the yeast, sugar and salt in separate corners. 

The packet says to use the normal setting on the bread maker, I used the gluten free setting and it was fine. 

I'm going to try the recipe from the bread machine book next so I'll let you know how that goes. 

Lupin Girl x 

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Baking Conversion Charts and Substitutes

So far today has not gone as planned.

Firstly it should have been sports day at the L and R's school.  The rain held off (just about) long enough for them to all get down onto the sports field and do their dance.  By the end of the dance it was drizzly rain.  The children all went off to their stations and the first groups of children started their first race/sport and the heavens opened and it was called off. 

A kind mum gave me a lift home and I thought I would make some cupcakes, I put the oven on, lined my muffin tin and went to get out my ingredients, I wasn't sure I had enough lacto free butter so I thought I'd use oil instead, cue a Google hunt, I could only find a cup to oil converter so then needed a gram to cup converter, then I discovered I only had one egg.  I gave up the cooking until this afternoon and decided to write a post on conversion charts ready for the next time!  

The information is all on Google (other search engines are available!) but I thought it would be handy for me to have it all in one place, and hopefully it will help one or two of you out as well.

 Grams to Cups
30g = 1/8 cup
55g = 1/4 cup
75g = 1/3 cup
85g = 3/8 cup
115g = 1/2 cup
140g = 5/8 cup
150g = 2/3 cup
170g = 3/4 cup
200g = 7/8 cup
225g = 1 cup
Butter to Oil
1 teaspoon = 3/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon = 2 1/4 teaspoons
2 tablespoons = 1 1/2 tablespoons
1/4 cup = 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup = 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup = 1/2 cup
3/4 cup = 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
1 cup = 3/4 cup
Sugar to Honey or Maple Syrup
Use 1/3 less
For example 150g sugar = 100g honey/maple syrup
Also use 3 tablespoons less liquid from the recipe because the honey/maple syrup is liquid otherwise your batter will be too runny.
Egg Substitutes
If using fruit based substitutes such as apple sauce, fresh or tinned pumpkin puree or bananas, ideal for cakes, then 1 egg = 1/4 cup
If using starches, best in pie fillings, custards and puddings then 2-3 tablespoons of corn starch/potato starch or arrowroot with 1 tablespoon of water = 1 egg, you need to be careful though as they can dry out quickly.
Three tablespoons of a nut or seed butter/spread = 1 egg
Gas Mark to C/F
Gas 1/4 = 110C = 225F
Gas 1/2 = 130C = 250F
Gas 1 = 140C = 275F
Gas 2 = 150C = 300F
Gas 3 = 170C = 325F
Gas 4 = 180C = 350F
Gas 5 = 190C = 375F
Gas 6 = 200C = 400F
Gas 7 = 220C = 425F
Gas 8 = 230C = 450F
Gas 9 = 240C = 475F
I hope these make your life in the kitchen a bit easier and if anyone has any other tips then please feel free to comment below and I'll update (I left soy out of the egg substitutes on purpose as I am allergic to it)
Lupin Girl x

Monday, 13 July 2015

Weekend Catch Up

Well, where to start?

This weekend was one we had all been looking forward to for ages as we were off camping with a big group of friends.  Everything was going well, the logistics of picking children up from different schools.  Contingency plan for if J couldn't manage to finish early enough to travel with us, this meant packing my roof box and getting the tent in the car the night before, and having everything else ready to chuck in Friday afternoon, was all sorted.

I had been organised and made safe burgers for our traditional Saturday night BBQ, made a yummy lemon drizzle cake, and was all prepared. 

J called me to say he had been allowed to take half a days holiday and was going to be home for 3 o'clock, this meant I could pack the rest of the car (leaving space for J!) and head off to pick B up from school and by the time we got home, C would have picked up L and R and they would all be home and changed ready to jump in the car so we could head off.

Then, it happened. 

My car broke down.  Right on a roundabout.  Just after I had collected B. 


I rang J to see if he could come and tow me home, but he said to call the RAC in case it was something which could be fixed at the side of the road.

I want to say here how amazing the RAC were.  I rang at about 3.40pm and they took all of my details, and told me that I should have somebody with me by 4.20pm and that the mechanic would ring me with an updated time when they knew better.

I texted J and the friends we were going with, as well as my Mum, who then phoned me to see if she could help in any way, as I was getting off of the phone to her the RAC man rang me to check exactly where I was, and said he'd be two minutes, and promptly pulled on to the roundabout in front of me, as he travelled around the roundabout and pulled up behind me, it was 3.54pm!

The RAC man had a quick look, then pushed me off of the roundabout so that we were on a quieter road so he could run a few tests.  The results of which were not good.  The water pump had gone, and he thinks taken the head gasket out.  I was towed to a local garage and B was upset as we now didn't know if we could go camping as J's car only has 5 seats.  Luckily I have an amazing friend, S, whom having been told of our predicament said that they would take both of their cars so that they could take some of our stuff and one or two of us so that we could still go.  Yay for S. 

Both J and S met us at the garage to unload my car into their cars, we then headed home to collect C, L and R and off we went.

We had an amazing time and owe our lovely weekend to S and her family for rescuing us.  We have had camp fires, a BBQ, a trip to Hunstanton with gluten free fish and chips.

Ice cream, slush puppies and tree climbing, as well as lots of fun and laughter with our friends.

Now we just have to wait and see how much the car is going to cost, if the RAC man is correct, it could be a right off!  Please keep your fingers crossed!

So it's been a weekend of mixed halves for us, I hope you had a good one.

Lupin Girl x

I'm linking this post to #MummyMondays

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Individual Veggie Shepherds Pie

After one of our dinners this week, we had some leftover vegetables and mashed potato. Rather than throw them away, I decided to make individual veggie shepherds pies for the boys to have when we had jacket potatoes as they aren't keen on those.

Here's how I made them:


           Leftover vegetables (I used peas, green beans and sweet corn)

           Leftover mashed potato

           A little leftover gravy (gluten and soya free)


          Place your vegetables into little, individual dishes. 

          Add a little of your gravy, then top with mashed potato. 

         Cover and refrigerate until needed

To re-heat place in an oven on Gas mark 5 for about 20-30 minutes. 

Lupin Girl x

I've linked this post up to #FoodPornThursday



Wednesday, 8 July 2015

My 5 Favourite Pictures of June

I'm a little late with my 5 favourites post! Here it is and I hope you enjoy x

1. Homework isn't always boring! L made this amazing bag out of one of her Uncle's old shirts!

2. Father's Day fun, looking forward to more lovely summer evenings around the fire pit. 

3. Fun with Grandad. We had a lovely day and the children made paper logs. 

4. Gluten free wrap based pizzas! These were amazing and you can find the recipe here

5. Our 18th wedding anniversary, here's to many more! 

I hope July is as much fun!

Lupin Girl x

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Amazing Latte

If, like me, you love coffee, you've probably got a coffee machine, or use a cafatiere, probably both. 

I do love to go out and have a treat in Starbucks or Costa. My absolute favourite coffee is the caramel macchiato from Starbucks, but as they cost an arm and a leg, they are just special occasion treats. 

As the weather warmed up I started using my Tassimo coffee machine to make lattes, and if you enjoy the flavoured coffees, hot or iced, you need to get to Aldi NOW! Right now they have an Anerican themed event on and are selling pancake syrups for £1.99

They are AMAZING in coffee!  Here's how I made it. 

I fill my glass with ice, either cubes or crushed depending upon your preference. 

Fill with full fat milk so that your glass is about 3/4 full of iced milk. 

Now, here's the exciting part. Add a slosh of the syrup, watch as it oozes it's way through your iced milk. 

Pop in an espresso disk and press go. 

Give it a quick stir, pop in a straw and savour. You could, if being very decadent, add some cream and another drizzle of syrup over the top. I'm saving that for a hot coffee treat. 

So, what are you waiting for? Run to Aldi now, now I tell you, before they sell out!  Go!

Lupin Girl x 

Homemade Potato Salad

This is so easy, and a great way of using up extra potatoes, either that have been cooked and not eaten (I've used left over roast potatoes from Sunday's dinner) or ones that are going a bit soft and need using up. 


           Potatoes, cooked and left to go cold. 


           Chopped chives (optional)


            Chop up any larger potatoes into nite sized chunks. 

        Squeeze in some mayonnaise. 

         Add herbs if using and mix up

Serve with a salad and enjoy. 

Lupin Girl x 

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Lime Drizzle Cake (GF, LF, SF)

We love lemon drizzle cake in our house, we have it fairly often so I thought if mix things up a little bit and make a gluten, lactose and sugar free lime drizzle cake. 


          4 eggs

          225g softened lacto free butter

         150g honey

         250g gluten free self raising flour

         Juice and zest of 1 lime

         1 teaspoon of xantham gum powder


         Beat the butter until soft and fluffy. 

         Add the honey and eggs and beat again. 

         Add the flour and xantham gum powder gradually whilst beating. 

         Add lime juice and zest and mix through. 

          Pour the batter into a greased and lined tin and bake at gas mark 4 for approximately 40 minutes or until cooked through, check with a skewer. 

Ingredients for lime drizzle:

           Juice of 1 lime

           2 tablespoons of honey


           Whilst the cake is cooking put the honey and lime juice into a saucepan and heat gently to combine. 

As soon as the cake is cooked poke holes throughout the sponge with the skewer and pour you lime drizzle over the sponge. Allow to cool for 10 minutes them take out of the tin and place on a cooling rack. 

It was lovely and made a change fro
 our usual cake. 

Lupin Girl x 

Friday, 3 July 2015

4th July Inspired Pudding

For all of my American readers out there I have come up with an Independence Day inspired pudding ready for tomorrow.  My children loved it and so I hope you all will too.

Red, White and Blue Pudding: 






Lupin Girl x

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Hottest Day of the Year

So yesterday was the hottest day of the year, so far.  What was I desperate to do?  Well it certainly wasn't to be sat in the waiting area of a hospital, that's for sure. 

L had an allergy clinic appointment though, so off we went.  We managed to nab the last space in the car park, I was glad we'd gone a bit early, and went and bought a nice bottle of Coke to share whilst we waited.  We were half hour early so wondered down to paediatric outpatients, buzzed and nothing, it all looked dark and we couldn't see anyone.  I thought this was a bit strange, but as L's appointment was 10.15am I thought maybe the clinic started at 10am so we went up to a seating area we had passed on our way and had a natter and some of our Coke. 

At 10am we strolled back down, but it was all still dark.  I thought maybe they had changed where the clinic was being held, so we went and spoke to the lady on the reception desk, who said that she'd just spoken to another patients mum who had tried to get in from the outside of the clinic (there are two entrances) and had found out that the clinic had been cancelled.  She did phone through to somebody to check that every appointment had been cancelled and was very apologetic as she said we ought to have been told.  That however didn't really help with the fact that I'd had to take L out of school, that I'd had to pay the ridiculously overpriced charge for the car park, or that I was missing out on sitting in the garden!  We were told that the clinic would be re-arranged and that we'd hear from them, so off we went.

After I had taken L back to school, I did manage to get half hour in the garden before work, then spent the afternoon helping out at the school, it was soooo hot in the classroom, I felt really sorry for the children sweltering away in there, trying to concentrate.

Once home the children had ice poles and went in the paddling pool and I made lemon and herb chicken salad for dinner, which we ate al fresco.  For the past couple of nights it has been warm enough to sit out until half nine ish reading and chatting, which is just so nice, although it was very sticky last night and we were all grateful that J had gone into the loft and found all of our fans, it is days, or nights, like this where we all wish we had air conditioning.

R has not been too bad with his hayfever.  He has been sneezing a bit more than usual and last night his throat was itchy, which I have to admit is not nice as it's been how I've been feeling for the last couple of weeks, but thankfully his eyes haven't swollen shut like they did the other year.

I hope you're all coping/enjoying the sun,

Lupin Girl x