The adventure of trying to make a house a home that we built for our family of six plus some craft, home d├ęcor, recipes & any family fun we might have.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Caramel Gluten Free Cookies

My children love cookies and its been ages since I've made a batch of cookies for them. So last week I set about making these Caramel Cookies for the kids just before I left to do school pick up. The plan was to have them finish cooking just as I was about to drive away, hopefully they would still be warm by the time we got home. However, what I got out of the oven was nothing like the picture in the recipe book. They looked terrible but they did taste nice and the kids seemed happy.

I posted this picture of my FLAT COOKIES on my Facebook Page and I also shared it with a few other blogging friends. Thankfully I had a few people give me some suggests on how to selvage my cookies. The suggestions made so much more sense as did reducing the cooking time and with these few piece of helpful information I was able to make some more Caramel Cookies. So here is my version of the Caramel Cookie, I hope you have the same success as I did the second time round.

Caramel Gluten Free Cookies
110 grams butter, not to soft
110 grams brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 small egg
230 grams of gluten free self-raising flour
30 grams of cornflour (make sure it doesn't contain gluten)

1. Pre heat oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until the mixture has changed colour slightly.
2. Add the syrup and egg and mix until its light and fluffy.
3. Mix in the flour and cornflour until a soft dough has formed and the texture is such that you can roll into tablespoon sized balls. It your dough is to soft add about 10 grams of flour until the dough has formed.
4. Place on a lined baking tray, 2cm apart and press each gently with a fork.
5. Bake for 7 minutes or until golden.
6. Cool completely before eating and enjoy with a glass of cold milk.

Gluten Free Cookies

I'm really happy with the how the cookies look. They kept there shape, they didn't melt all over the baking tray like the first batch and they were ready to eat five minutes quicker than the first batch. In my world that's a good thing because it means my kids are eating quicker and complaining less about been hungry. I'd love to hear about the disasters and the successes you've had when making cookies and cakes.


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Banana Pancakes

In my family my sister is known for her love of sharing recipes on Facebook. My brother thinks its strange but as a male who's in his twenty's he doesn't have the desire to create quick, simple and delicious things. I'm always guaranteed that my sister will share something that the kids will want to eat of that Mr Opoes will spot and start drawling over for awhile. So when she shared these Banana Pancakes on Friday night I knew straight away we'd be having them for breakfast sometime during the long weekend. 

As Monday was a public holiday for the Queens Birthday (we changed the date so we celebrate it after her actual birthday) and I knew the kids would love having something special I wiped up these pancake in a matter of minutes thanks to my Thermomix, however you can still make them without one. I've included both the recipes because sometimes it makes for difficult reading.

Banana Pancake
1 egg
1 Banana, mashed up
1 cup Milk
1 cup Self Raising Flour

1. Sift flour and add a pitch of salt. Add the egg.
2. Beat gradually while adding the milk and mix until its thick and smooth.
3. Add banana and mix through.
4. Heat non-stick frying, pour desired quantity into frying pan. Cook until bubbling on top and then flip.
5. Serve with maple syrup and sliced banana.

Banana Pancake (Thermomix)
1 egg
1 Banana, mashed up
1 cup Milk
1 cup Gluten free Self Raising Flour

1. Add banana and egg speed 7 for 5 seconds or longer if you want your banana to be smoother. Scrap down the side of the bowl.
2. Add milk, salt and flour on speed 8 for 15 seconds until its smooth.
3. Heat non-stick frying, pour desired quantity into frying pan. Cook until bubbling on top and then flip.
4. Serve with maple syrup and sliced banana.

Tip: you can use any types of milk it's up to you. You can also use any type of flour be it gluten free or wholemeal but you need to remember to use 175 grams of flour whenever you make this recipe.

I really like how versatile this recipe is. As it's Winter here in Australia I really liked how basic this pancake recipe was. Next time I make this for the children I going to put warm caramelised bananas on top. If you're enjoying the lovely Summer weather at the moment you could add fresh berries or a tropical fruit salad on top to accompany your pancakes.

The kids really enjoyed these pancakes and I was able to get my four year old to eat these. She isn't a huge fan of pancakes but when she eats three of them for breakfast and asks you for more you know you're on a winner.


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Costco will it work for us!

A week ago Costco opened in Brisbane, Australia and the number of people who visit the store is amazing. People camped out overnight just to be the first in line, some of them even missed watching 'The State of Origin' (big football match here in Australia) and others spent ages in line waiting for the large cues to shuffle through the doors. Since it's opening last Thursday our major media outlets have done there best to either sell Costco as a great thing for people OR they've fallen over themselves to give you all the negatives.

I've seen a few media reports on the television about Costco and I must admit they're trying really hard to sell the other three major (Woolworths, Coles and Aldi) grocery stores as been better value for money. I tend to shop at all three for different things but the majority of my shopping is done at Aldi and that's because I can get better value for money. The only things I buy in bulk is toilet paper, nappies and rice so having an issue with storage isn't a big deal. Now with our family of six I tend to spend around the $200 mark for a weeks worth of groceries and that covers everything. There are weeks when I spend more, especially if I don't FAIL to draw up a Menu Plan.

So when a girlfriend offered to take me to Costco for a look see I was really excited to say the least. The car park was nearly full by the time we arrived arrived. I took my youngest two children with me and when I told them what we were doing they jumped up and down. Their reaction was priceless and I was lucky enough to get a picture of them.

I spent about 90 minutes walking around the store and honestly I have to say that I probably only saw about forty percent of the store. In part this was because my little boy was tried and I straggled to keep him in the trolley. He was happy when various Costco ladies offered him food samples, which he took, ate and said thank you for. Although he was in a bad mood I was pleased that he did remember to say Thank You.

I did make a purchase from the bakery section so that the kids could taste something yummy after school. However, what Viveca and Quinlan enjoyed the most was the Hot Dogs after we'd paid for our purchases. My girlfriend contacted me later in the day, letting me know she'd returned to purchase the strawberries and blueberries we'd spoken about as we walked around the store.

I haven't made up my mind yet as I'd like for Mr Opoes to take a look before we sign up to becoming members of Costco. So far I'm happy with what I saw especially as Costco has more health food items than my local supermarket does. One thing I'm thinking of doing is doing up a price comparison per 100 grams to see if Costco offers me value for money. I read an article today from Christina, Plain and Simple and she raises a few points relating to the true value of Costco and other Wholesale group.

I have decided that I'm going to wait a few more weeks before deciding to sign up or not as I'd like to take a better look inside and preferably without the children in tow. I would have to say that I am very interested in the store especially if I'm able to make some savings with our food budget. I'd love to know if you're a Costco customer and how long you've been shopping there.