Apple, Ginger and Cinnamon Tea Cake

About a year and a bit ago (I think, it feels like forever), with a specialists help, I finally managed to figure out that I have developed an allergy to egg. If you can’t hear the wailing and the knashing of teeth over here, you are lucky! Egg was one of my favourite foods, was an essential part of my baking and was a very difficult ingredient to replace. Not so much for its sticking power (banana does a great job for that), but for the light and fluffy-ness it adds to sponge cakes. So I have been experimenting for months and months with increasing despair – trying to bake a half-decent vegan, gluten-free sponge is hard!

But with the help of Jaime Oliver, and his magnificent Vegan GF sponge recipe, I now have cracked the code. This is not the same recipe, though his recipe is superb (I am incapable of not-tampering with any recipe). But it gave me a few pointers in the right direction for how to craft my own recipe that is repeatable and delicious.

So this is it, my Apple, Ginger and Cinnamon Tea Cake!
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Gluten and Dairy-Free Chinese Beef Buns

Whenever I walk past a Chinese restaurant, I tend to get a little sad because of all the lovely food I can no longer eat. I particularly miss the lovely steamed buns which are springy and glutinous and soft inside. So in desperation, I checked online to see if there were any recipes that were able to show me how to make a gluten, dairy and yeast free Chinese bun. Nada. (Of course I was hungry, so it’s possible there’s one out there somewhere.) Thinking about how my bread mix doesn’t have yeast in it but does rise, I decided to experiment, and it worked!

These buns are so close to my memory of what Chinese buns should be it’s scary. There were a few hiccups along the way, as I misjudged the length of time they would need to steam and had to do some bun-surgery. I also created some wonderful carbon when the steam-water ran out and charcoaled in the steamer. Very lucky escape that one – and the buns weren’t hurt either!

This is so worth giving a try – you may need to fiddle around with the quantities for making the buns till you get them just right. I will be doing these ones again as they were a hit, so I’ll be able to let you know if they continue to work.
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Lamb and Sweet Potato Curry

This is a nice, simple and quick curry that we have started to make a bit – it’s a variation on a coconut cream-and tomato based curry – that has neither ingredient!

This one can also be made vegetarian, just add carrot, Kumara, potato and/or parsnips instead of meat. It’s also good with other stew-type vegetables – like tomatoes, or green, canellini, or kidney beans. Though it’s best not to try it with broccoli or zucchini. Shudder. This can be made quite hot, but we tend to keep it mild for the kids. This recipe has had some success on the children-will-eat front.
It should take about 1/2- 3/4 of an hour to put together. Don’t forget to have with rice or thick fresh bread.
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Campervanning Across New Zealand on the 2e Bandwagon: Soothing The Sensitivities

It started as a dream 7 years ago, and a then, a few months ago we decided, why not? It was the same cost to fly to New Zealand as to fly and visit rellies interstate … we would live our dream.

So off to NZ we went. We had a whole list of things on our to do list. But dragging a toddler and primary schooler around NZ with as little stress as possible? That was the challenge.

Today I am going to go through the things that worked, and the things that didn’t.
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