Monday, 30 January 2012

Carolina Kitchen

We finally tried out Carolina Kitchen on the weekend. This is a little place right down the road from us that sells ribs, wings, and hoagies. It has been opened for a while now, but it took me forever to get around to finding out if they have any gluten free food on their menu. Turns out their ribs and fries are. Yay!

It's a simple little place (and I do mean little) with just 4 tables. There is nothing fancy about this place at all, but the prices are good and the food is great. Chris had his ribs, I had my wings and we were in food heaven :)

Sorry about the photos - they aren't the best, I was in a rush to get back to eating :)

Friday, 27 January 2012

Hello Kitty to the Extreme

I lived in Japan for a few years and yes, I do like Hello Kitty. I am too old to like Hello Kitty, but I just can't help it. There are however, some very strange things out there. Check it out!

Hello Kitty bacon

Hello Kitty Lawn Mower

kitty air Hello Kitty: The Funny, The Weird, And The Horrifying picture
Hello Kitty aeroplane
Hello Kitty RV

And these are some of the tamer things!

Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

To Market to Market

Tomorrow is Australia Day and there are of course going to be lots of events to celebrate. I'm going to have a stall at the Young Designers Market at South Bank from 10am to 8pm, which will be great, but I just hope this rain stops! The market has been cancelled due to the weather :(

I'll also be at this market on Sunday 5th February from 10am to 4pm.

Here are some of my latest things I have managed to take some photos of!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Pink Rain

It is raining and horrible here in Brisbane, so I thought I needed the pretty side of it all!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Gluten Free Pierogies

So, we finally did it, we finally made pierogies. What an effort! My kitchen really is not big enough for this kind of cooking.

I used the dough recipe from herself (gluten free) with a little less flour and salt and then just put together some things for the filling based on what my husband has told me.

4 cups plain flour
1/2 tbs salt
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 egg
1tbs vegetable oil

1. Whisk the oil, egg and water together in a large bowl.
2. Add 3 cups flour and mix together.
3. Add the final cup of flour while kneading.
4. Continue kneading until it all comes together.
5. Put aside for 20 minutes.

4 potatoes
1 tub creamed cottage cheese
4 rashers bacon, finely diced

1. Boil the potatoes and mash when done
2. Add the tub of cottage cheese and mix well
3. Cook the bacon and add to the mix

Once all of the above is done, roll out the dough until it is about 2mm thick. Remember to dust the bench and rolling pin with flour. Cut out rounds (we used a large plastic cup to do this), add a spoonful of filling and close. Place the pierogies on a tray and cover with damp paper towel so they don't dry out.

When finished, boil them - they are done when they come to the top of the water. To fry them, after boiling, place in a pan with some oil and cook over a medium heat.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Beautiful Beaches

Broadbeach, Queensland

Byron Bay, NSW

Coolangatta, Queensland
Moreton Island, Queensland

Byron Bay, NSW

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Craft Spaces

home office after final


I am so jealous of these gorgeous spaces - check them out here, here and here

Monday, 16 January 2012

Gluten Free Pierogies

How delicious do these look?

from Tasty Eats at Home
My husband loves pierogies and managed to get some gluten free ones from Lorenzo's in Winnipeg. They are now on his wishlist - we were supposed to make them during the holidays, but we were just too lazy. Maybe this weekend?

Friday, 13 January 2012

It's All Good!

First of all, some exciting news - I am going to have a stall at the Boutique Markets on Sunday 26 February! They have a new location - they used to be in Hamilton, by the water, but they are now going to be in the city. This will be the first time for me at these markets, so I am pretty excited. I have so much to do to get myself organised before then. Will keep you up to date.

But the most exciting news of the day is....we got ourselves 2 kittens :)

How angelic are they?

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Canada Adventure - Gluten Free Style Part 2

As I said last week, we did a lot of cooking for ourselves when we were in Canada as we stayed with family over half of the time. The rest of the time, if we stayed anywhere more than 1 night we tried to get accommodation with our own kitchen.

So here is some info on our gf stash and where we went to find it.

London Drugs
With locations across the 4 provinces we travelled in (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba), if we couldn't get to a supermarket London Drugs was great for snacks. One of Chris' favourites was this Granola, made by Bakery on Main - it was great for a snack and he also had it for breakfast with yoghurt and fruit.

A supermarket in Vancouver and a few scattered across BC and Alberta. A little pricier than other places, but it had a good gluten free section. We got some gf bagels and Chris was so excited! He hasn't had bagels for years (they aren't really that popular in Brisbane).

This is why Chris' relatives called our local Coles a 'corner store' (our Coles is a regular size supermarket for Australia). The place is huge. I think I walked in with my mouth hanging open. I was in grocery shopper heaven. They had a good range of gluten free biscuits and sweet food, including chocolate caramel slice. Mmmm. We also got some stir-fry sauces - quite a few of them were gluten free.

For someone with coeliac disease, this little shop in Winnipeg is heaven. They have a nice range or packaged and frozen food and at the counter they have some totally delicious looking cupcakes (unfortunately we didn't have any).

This company makes the most delicious sausages and deli meat. It was widely available at I think pretty much all of the supermarkets we went to and it was brilliant for BBQs, sandwiches, pasta dishes and snacks. They have a wide range of meats and are a little more reasonably priced than similar products in Australia.

Our trip was in the summer so there was a lot of gorgeous summer fruits available and it is all so much more affordable than in Australia. We had lots of cherries, apricots, and peaches.

If you like your junk food and have coeliac North America is a haven for you as most chocolate bars, lollies and chips are gluten free. Chris was happy as he got to eat Old Dutch Ketchup chips again - they have so much flavour on them your fingers are red by the time you finish.

 Most chocolates and lollies are made with corn starch rather than wheat in North America, so if you like M&Ms you can gorge yourself! Check out the websites of the manufacturers and remember there may be some differences between products in the US and Canada.  If you do a Google search you will find lots of lists as people put them together for Halloween.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

New Noren

Noren (or door curtains) are hugely popular in Japan. I bought quite a few when I lived there and also made a beaded one for myself. I made this one and a blossom one recently after wondering what I should do with all the blossoms and pinwheels I'd made!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Healthy Spring Rolls

This recipe came about partly because we can't get Spring Rolls when we order take out and partly because of another recipe I have for vegetable pasties which I can't use it because it has pastry in it. I know you can buy gluten free pastry, but it costs a fortune. I know you can make gluten free pastry, but seriously? Can't be bothered.

This is a healthy recipe because instead of frying them in a ton of oil, they are baked. It makes for a different texture completely, but they are still yummy!

Spring Roll wrappers
1 small tin bamboo shoots
1 small tin bean sprouts
1 can corn
1 carrot
1 capsicum
about 100g ham
some rice vermicelli
any other vegetables you would like

Pre-heat oven to 180°C
  1. Soak vermicelli in a bowl of hot water or follow cooking instructions. When cooked, cut up into small pieces.
  2. Place all vegetables and ham in a food processor and process until finely chopped
  3. Place chopped ingredients into a hot pan and fry until cooked - approximately 10 minutes - you want it to be dry.
  4. Now you will need a large bowl (slightly bigger than the spring roll wrappers) filled with warm water, a damp tea towel and 2 greased oven trays.
  5. Take your first wrapper, place in the bowl until it becomes soft - this takes about 15 seconds, but depends on how warm the water is. Place it on the damp tea towel. Be very careful as it will tear easily.
  6. Take a generous spoonful of vegetable mix and place on the wrapper, close to the middle.
  7. Fold to enclose filling. I usually fold the bottom edge up first, then the sides, then roll to finish.
  8. Place on the tray. Repeat until the mixture is finished. Make sure you leave space between the rolls on the tray otherwise they will stick together.
  9. Spray the tops of the spring rolls with cooking spray.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes.
  11. Serve with dipping sauce of your choice - I usually use Sweet Chilli Sauce. Delicious!

How many it makes will of course depend on what vegetables you use and how much filling you put in the rolls. Based on the above I got about 16 last time I made them.

These can be reheated in the microwave, but the wrapper will be soft (I love them like this!)

Friday, 6 January 2012

Adopt a Kitten

We are going to be adopting 2 kittens soon - 2 so they can keep each other company while we are at work. I had 2 cats as pets growing up and have wanted one for ages, but it hasn't been practical.

Here are some of the kittens available at shelters around us.

He looks stunned, but so cute!
Another picture of Chester

They are all too cute!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Canada Adventure - Gluten Free Style

Before leaving for Canada I spent a lot of time online searching for gluten free options so we wouldn't waste time or worry so much about food during our trip. I found it quite difficult to find information - a lot of restaurants were listed as gluten free in online searches, but then when I checked the menus they didn't have any gluten free options marked. Frustrating! In the end one of the best sources for where to go was blogs - thank God for bloggers!!!

We only had 1 bad eating experience in our 5 weeks of travelling across Canada and the States. We did cook and prepare our own food a lot of the time, but I think that's still a pretty good outcome.

White Spot
The bad experience was at a White Spot in Vancouver. We both had the Big Bowl Breakfast without toast and pretty soon after finishing, Chris was sick. Not good for your first day overseas.

Nothing was marked as gluten free on the menu, but a friend emailed for us and we were advised of dishes that could be modified.

Red Robin
Mainly in British Columbia and some in Alberta
We had a great experience at Red Robin - the manager came out to speak with us, went through the menu and reassured us that there would be no cross-contamination or any problems. There weren't a whole lot of choices, and a lot of them involved taking out the ingredients which made the food tasty (I really hate it when they do this!). So Chris chose a burger, which meant that the bun was replaced with lettuce. He was a little skeptical at first, but by the time he was finished he was a convert.

The Lighthouse Bistro and Pub
Chris went with the safe option here of steak. I think it was a little dry, but no ill effects. I had a wrap - who knows why when what I really wanted was the chicken wings! 

Located right across Canada
Chris went for the safe option of steak again here, and I finally got my wings :) The staff have a gluten free info sheet which they showed us. It said across the top that staff should not show it to customers - who knows why, especially when the wait staff didn't really know what gluten free meant.

The Blue Moose
Grand Forks, North Dakota
We went shopping in the States one weekend and both nights we ate at The Blue Moose. It was brilliant! Chris finally got to have ribs, so he was in food heaven. Gluten free options are marked on the menu and we had no problems at all.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Impatient to Create!

I think I may have mentioned just once or twice before that I have been going through a crocheting craze. Well, it got worse. I visited family over the holidays and came home with 2 bags full of wool, some dating back to when my sister and I were babies! So the craze continued, but I wanted a finished product, not just a load of flowers. I was too impatient to make what I was planning, so I put this sweet little garland together.

Coming back to work has been extra hard as all I want to do is make my ideas a reality!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Sweet Sweet Supplies on my Wishlist

Happy New Year! Here are some supplies that inspire me - hope you enjoy!