Adventures in Half Term

So this week, as well as whipping by like lightning, has been blissful. I love holiday times with my little lady and feel very lucky to be able to spend most of these days with her.

Monday began the holidays with Twycross Zoo, just a 40 minute drive from us and a guaranteed fun day out.  Tuesday found us wandering down our local canal, feeding the ducks and muttering about how we really should do this more.  Wednesday with more rain, was spent with a quick trip to the supermarket and a potter round the newly housed local library then an afternoon slobbed out on the sofa watching Tinkerbell (living the dream!).

half term fun
Then today, well today was a special day. We began with a trip to the morning showing of ‘Charlie and Lola’s Extremely New Play’ at the REP theatre in Birmingham, well wow, it was simply magical. I won’t give away too much but I highly recommend this production, the puppetry is amazing and I found myself grinning from ear to ear throughout the whole show. It’s on until Saturday here in Birmingham, see here for details. We have seen this company before in Wimbledon at the Polka Theatre, an awesome children’s theatre in south London so I was so excited to hear they were touring and dropping by on old Brum with their new production.

day out 29th may

The second wonderous event today ( I won’t count the unfortunate trip to Monsoon and the calamitous accidental purchasing of not one, but two, oh ok, three items of beautiful clothing in between, that is to be kept between me and you ok?).  Anyway, if it wasn’t for my stumbling on a few bargains, which may have hampered our chances of being seated immediately at a couple of other restaurants,  we wouldn’t have been forced to try the new burger joint in the Bull Ring shopping centre . So Five Guys, oh my. It. Is. AMAZING. I had thought the delights of such dirty, filthy American burgers would never come to the tropical climes of Birmingham, but they have. AND…drum roll please, they only go and cater for coeliacs. Now don’t go all ape on me dear readers they didn’t go so far as offering gluten free buns, although their website does state you can bring your on should you wish. They do however offer god damn delicious, delectable and down right d__________ (you fill the blank with an appropriate alliterative adjective, go on spoil yourself) bun free burgers with ALL the toppings and frankly fantastic chips, golden brown, skin on, crispy, salty goodness (most importantly for us coeliacs, not cross contaminated by any other frying, just pure glorious potatoes). I’m dribbling salivating just thinking about them.  *Sigh* People of Birmingham, people of anywhere, seek this place out, it’s awesome.

Ok, and onto the third and final, ok maybe less monumental but equally wonderful flavour revelation of the day, and feeling rather virtuous too I might add.  I may be a tad late to the party on this one, but when seeking out a naughty little sweet something before we popped on the train home, we found Yoomoo frozen yoghurt stand in the Food Hall in Selfridges.  I don’t know why I’ve never tried this before but boy is it good, we had a vanilla pot with strawberries, white chocolate buttons and chocolate sauce (good choice lil m) and I have to say me and my little companion were mighty pleased with our choice.

So after another classic game of eye-spy on the train back, we are home, cartoons might be on the telly, we might well be planning to *forget* we have washing to sort and we may have turned a blind eye to the mounting  toy covered carpet in the living room, but who cares, we had an ace day and I hope you didn’t mind me sharing it with you.

What have you been up to this week?

 

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Chocolate Tofu Pudding

I’ve been developing a bit of a dessert habit of late, oh who am I kidding I’ve been developing it most of my life. A liking of the sweet stuff, sadly, does no good so I’ve been looking at ways of getting my fix without the heavy laden of calories. This was a pudding I was keen to try out. Tofu is full of good stuff – bloody amazing huh?! Anyways recipe time, you can have this little wonder pus whipped up and ready to serve in minutes or leave it in the fridge to set further ready for your guests oh yeah think of this as upmarket vegan angel delight.

Ingredients:

300g pack of silken and firm tofu
1 dessert spoonful of agave syrup
50g dark chocolate (vegan chocolate if needed)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Method:

Drain the tofu and whizz in a blender. Melt the chocolate, then combine with liquid tofu, syrup and vanilla extract and whiz some more. Serve in little dishes with a bit of grated chocolate on top or spooned from the blender into your gob. Delish.

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My Instagram Feast

Clockwise from top left: the ever amazing cress (sewn by my even more amazing 3 yo on cotton wool, can’t beat it), a griddled courgette, aubergine, mozarella and tomato salad; good old strawberries and ice cream; pesto and spinach potato salad with carrot, tomatoes and fruit salad for al fresco eating on the grass outside our flat, more potato salad with yummy smoked salmon; home made ice pops – a daily habit at the mo; feta, cucumber, spinach and mint salad with the new Genius tomato and basil pittas – approved, very scrummy cheese and potato pie from Clives at the Allergy and Free From show; and my lazy dinner du jour of pasta, pesto and sugar snap peas – I know I’m a real gourmet!

Chocamole

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I know, I know everyone has done a chocamole, but I was intrigued, surely a green fruit mixed with cocoa could not make a thick, creamy and satisfying pudding. It does though. I made a quick portion tonight using this recipe herewith the maple syrup substituted with agave. I’ve been eating it whilst reading the health benefits of avocados, I know, multi tasking pudding eating with web reading, that’s just how I roll.

If this post looks a bit funny it’s because it’s my first complete upload from the app on my phone, fingers crossed it works though.

Marks and Spencer’s Gluten Free Chocolate Muffins

Marks and Spencer’s Gluten Free Chocolate Muffin

Marks and Sparks are doing pretty well at this whole gluten-free lark, I happened to be in need of a little respite in the Croydon branch today so decided to have a little nosey at what one might purchase for elevenses in their Cafe Revive and what did I find? Choice, that’s what.  There were not only these pretty damn delicious and intensely chocolatey muffins, there were fruit cakes, sandwiches and the offer of a wrapped gluten-free roll with their soups.  Yes that’s right, you are not hallucinating, as well as the usual standby of jacket potatoes there was quite a selection of both sweet and savoury offerings for us gluten sensitive coeliacs.  So I salute you M&S, well done, and I think I shall be returning around lunch time next week for a taste of one of the more substantial savoury offerings.

I’ll keep you posted dear readers but in the mean time, what about you?  Found any more new and exciting gluten-free morsels on the high street?  Let me know!

New Costa Gluten Free Bakewell Tarts – Review

I’m getting a bit obsessed by new gluten free products in cafes and was most pleased to see a new addition to Costa’s pretty limited selection of gluten free goodies, I mean everyone loves a brownie and fruit cake is good but sometimes you just want a bit more choice, yeah?

Costa Gluten Free Bakewell Tarts

So when I saw these pretty little tarts I quickly placed them on my tray, paid and headed off to snaffle them in a corner.  They are very cute mini tarts and the pastry is good quality and tasty but unfortunately being so small they lack that real almond kick you get from the frangipane in the bigger versions and sadly they were rather swamped in a thick layer of fondant icing.  So the verdict, well, if you dig icing and pastry go for them but I think in future I’ll be sticking to a bit of brownie with my coffee.

Have you sampled any new gluten free goodies?  Have you tried these? Let me know what you think… 🙂

My Instagram Feast

I’ve been between phones this week and am not a happy bunny about the fact I’m still using my old phone over 2 weeks after purchasing my new one but that is something I need to tackle with the dreaded O2 and not bore my lovely readers with, anyways it means I’m a little short on choice of pictures to use but hey ho, it’s still a lil peek into what has fallen into my belly over the last week.

From top left: chicken and chorizo tray bake, my favourite icecream flavour in frozen yoghurt – trying to convince myself I was beeing healthy even though I ate the tub in less than 5 days, amazeball gluten free chinese feast courtesy of my dad on Friday night, beautiful gf afternoon tea from the lovely Tiffen in West Bridgford, a frickin awesome gf double chocolate eclair made again by my most talented father (I’ve only eaten one so far dad, although not sure how long the other one is going to last in the fridge) and these very moreish crisps from Tescos, a rather healthy week no?!