Thursday, September 25, 2014

Blueberry and zucchini muffins -FODMAPs friendly

Being the mother of a three year old, I'm always keen to get said three year old to eat vegetables. She is actually pretty good with it, but you can never have too many veggies and she has become rather enamoured of the muffins found at the supermarket nearby. They are not fabulously healthy items, so I thought I'd try and make some at home to ensure that if she was eating a muffin, it was also benefiting her health.

I googled and found a blueberry and zucchini muffin recipe that I then adapted to make it low FODMAPs. 

I present said recipe here for your enjoyment. Photos to come when there are some left. I didn't get a chance to photograph any before TWO (the wee one) decided to eat them all.


1 1/2 cups gluten free flour mix

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder (if you make this with regular flour, use only 1 teaspoon)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lactose free milk

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup grated zucchini

3/4 cup frozen blueberries


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Mix all the ingredients together with help from the small person until well mixed. The mixture will probably appear quite runny. It works anyway and they are incredibly moist.

Cook in the oven until a skewer comes out clean. About 15-20 mins. I didn't really time it just went back and tested them. 

I made these in a small muffin tin that fit 24 mini muffins in a tray and I got a tray and a half out of it. Next batch will be large muffins and photos will be forthcoming. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Moist vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese icing - FODMAPs friendly


Last night we had friends over for a late summer/early autumn BBQ. The weather has been unseasonably warm. The whole summer has been the hottest and longest one since we moved here 5 years ago. We thought it best to take our possibly last opportunity to enjoy eating outdoors.

I adapted a Sue Shepherd cake recipe to make vanilla cupcakes instead of a big chocolate cake and I can definitely call it a success. I changed out the cocoa for soy flour. I know that some people still react to soy flour and I have plans to try a different flour combination next time I make these to see if it still works. But personally I have no problem with small quantities of soy flour in baking. 

In any case, these cupcakes were indeed moist. The icing/frosting was pink at the request of TWO and incredibly tasty. The recipe ended up making about 30 cupcakes. I have a whole bunch still left in my fridge and they are very very tempting. 

I bring you : moist vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese icing!


130g rice flour
75g corn flour
90g potato flour
70g soy flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
50g unsalted butter, melted
200g lactose free vanilla yoghurt 
2/3 cup lactose free milk
1 tsp vanilla essence


Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.

Whisk the eggs and sugar until well combined. Add melted butter, yoghurt, vanilla and milk and stir. 

Sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Add the wet to the dry and mix well with electric beaters. 

Fill cupcake moulds two thirds full and bake for 10-15 mins. They are ready when they are firm to the touch and slightly golden. The standard skewer inserted into the middle of the cake coming out clean is a good test. 

Cool and while they are doing that, make the icing/frosting.

Icing instructions

200g icing sugar
1 packet lactose free cream cheese
food dye of choice

Get the ingredients together in a bowl and mix with electric beaters until they are a lovely mix of sugary goodness. 

Ice as you like and add sprinkles if it floats your boat. The only thing left after this step is to enjoy. I sure did. 


Tuesday, September 16, 2014


No racists on this street

Sweden held their elections on Sunday. 13% of the country voted for sverigedemokraterna, or the Sweden Democrats, otherwise known as the ultra right wing scary racist party. 

There is a bit of the old outrage on the go around town. This was on the street near our house. The translation is "No racists on this street!". Made me feel better about the part of Sweden I live in. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

When we were in 'Flance'

I have a few memories from our trip to what TWO refers to as "Flance" to get out here. It comes with pretty pictures, so it won't be entirely boring for people to read/look at.  Or so goes the hope. Most of my experiences in France seem to relate back to food or knitting. I was most pleased that my belly coped so well with being away from the comforts of home and that I was able to enjoy some of the delights that southern France had to offer. 

Here is a pictorial representation of what I got up to, when it comes to food, while there. 

First day we were there we went to a giant supermarket to grab supplies and for a bit of a stickybeak. I think going to a supermarket in a new country is a great way to really get a sense of what the culture is like. What sort of things are commonplace? 

The things I found that I enjoyed, apart from the entire row of alcohol that seemed to never end were the following:

Rainbow pasta: Rainbow pasta

I'm sure that this exists elsewhere in the world. But I've yet to see it in Sweden and it was really really pretty. Shame I couldn't eat any of it, what with the whole wheat is the fructan containing devil that wants to destroy me from the inside out. 

And the wall of sausage: 

For the Love of Sausage

So much dried sausage. We took home a giant dried duck sausage that was enthusiastically enjoyed by all members of the family. It is a big shame that it is all gone now. It was ever so good. 

The first southern French meal we enjoyed was confit duck with cubed potatoes cooked in duck fat and a salad. Can I just say now *drool*? It was amazing. Crispy duck, crispy spuds and some lovely salad. All washed down with a local red wine. I was in heaven. 
Confit duck. NOM!

Our adventures continued at the local market on Sunday. The boy, Kristin and I went to get some ribs and vegetables for our evening meal. We found both without difficulty. We also found a ginormous piece of beef that we just had to buy. We cooked it up as it came, on a giant bone. Sealed both sides in the pan and then into the oven to finish up. It was perfection in steak form. You can see just how enormous this steak was. I think it must have been close to 10cm thick. It took up the entire pan!

Enormo steak is enormous

While at the market, Kristin and I got ourselves an espresso from the only coffee van at the market. The sugar packets were very cute.

Toulouse Market sugar

And we were given a complimentary biscuit. I ate it, even though it was a wheat laden treat. I survived this small test of the fructan group. It was worth testing too. Delicate and light biscuity goodness. 

French market coffee

I did thoroughly enjoy my long weekend in Toulouse. I think I might find my way back there sometime to visit again and get some more duck! We brought home two tins of confit duck. They are sitting in our pantry now. We are thinking they might make an excellent Christmas dinner this year. Most years we have a roast chicken and watch Kalle Anka. But maybe this year we will eat duck and watch the duck? Could be good. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tex-Mex low carb mince -FODMAPs friendly


Our household has always been enthusiastic about Tex-Mex food. For my 23rd birthday the boy got me a Mexican cookbook. It was really good but was really written for a US audience who have ready access to Hispanic grocery stores. However, we took a fair bit out of the book in terms of flavour combinations. 

I made up this recipe for mince when adapting one of the recipes from my book. I use very approximate measures for the spices and taste as I go along. It is actually a very quick meal to prepare. We serve it with a salad and TWO gets corn chips with hers. I occasionally have corn chips with mine too, depending on how high my FODMAPs load has been that day. Corn is moderate when it comes to FODMAPs and should be limited. 


500g minced beef
garlic oil
2-3 tablespoons cumin
2-3 tablespoons dried oregano
3 bay leaves
1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2-1 teaspoon dried paprika
1 large dessert/tablespoon tomato paste
a little bit of water (yay for accurate measures)
a splash of balsamic vinegar
salt to taste

To serve: 
Baby spinach leaves
Red capsicum/bell pepper chopped
coriander leaves
cucumber slices
lactose free sour cream (if available)
grated cheddar cheese
lime wedge, if you so desire
corn chips, optional


Fry the herbs in garlic oil on a medium/high heat in a frying pan or saucepan until aromatic. This takes a few minutes. 

Add the beef and brown it up. 

Splash in the vinegar and add the tomato paste. Stir through and if it looks like it could do with some moisture add a bit of water. I usually just add a little bit at this stage, usually from my kettle.

Reduce heat way down and let it simmer with the lid on for 20-30 minutes or until you are ready to eat.

Always before serving I check to make sure that the taste is right. I usually end up adding a bit of salt at the end and maybe a little more vinegar. I'm a bit of a fan of sour food. 

Serve in a bowl with your salad items underneath and mince piled on top with sour cream and cheese. 

You can even serve this with some of my FODMAPs friendly salsa but it won't be quite so low carb as it currently is. But it will no doubt be tasty. The salsa has a pretty similar herb profile and I love it. 

Enjoy! I know I did. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Broken seed stitch socks

Socks are my go to knitting project when I don't want to think about anything complicated. I recently saw this cool pattern on a facebook group I'm in for knitting. Broken seed stitch is both easy and pretty. 

So I made a pair for my friend Anni for her birthday. It's a while before she'll have a chance to wear them, but they should be nice and warm for the upcoming winter. 

I'm looking forward to handing them over soon. I think it might be time for a rice paper roll dinner at ours again. 

anni's socks
ravelled here

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Making playdough

Saturday morning playdough cake
TWO has had some form of bought playdough in the house now for a year or so. But as is the way with all the playdough in the world, it was getting dry and sad recently.

We were getting towards the end of the holidays from dagis and I was still pretty immobile, so playing in the park and adventures outside were out of the question. 

So we made some of our own and as is my wont, it was dyed with bright colours. 

I used a recipe I found on the playgroups Australia website and it worked really well. I added a few drops of peppermint essence to the dough too. 

Here's the recipe if you don't fancy following the link:

1 cup salt
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon of oil
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
2 cups water
food colouring

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat, stirring continuously until the dough becomes thick and pulls away from the side of the saucepan. Take out and knead. Split into small balls for dying and mix through dye in each. I made 6 because I had six pots leftover from the store bought stuff. Store in airtight container.

Playdough morning

We had a great time making different cakes and shapes. So my objective was achieved, entertain madam in a manner that allowed me to sit down and rest my knee. The colours got all mixed up and it's not necessarily the prettiest looking dough anymore. But It's still good for making things and when it's done its job I can just make some more. Cheap and cheerful. Huzzah.

Cherry on top