February, 2012

Feb 12

Free From Food Awards 2012

Here we are again – this year has really flown past!

The shortlist is out for the Free From Food Awards and I am delighted to say that we have been shortlisted for the second year running, although last year, we were delighted to have won our category!

Free From Food Awards 2012

The Free From Food Awards are run by the very wonderful Michelle and Cressida who run Foods Matter, an excellent online resource; a collection of websites which contain a wealth of information on all manner of information on allergies, intolerances and health.

I was thrilled to have been asked to be a judge this year, too. I spent a fascinating day at Foods Matter HQ trying all sorts of exciting free from foods. As we know from experience (Tony my boyfriend has numerous food intolerances) great freefrom foods provide a lifeline to so many people and this is a market which is rapidly expanding. Winning a Free From Food Award 2011 for our chocolate brownies was a very proud moment, and we got a lot of business on the back of winning the award, so it was very interesting for me to be part of the awards from the other side this year. Following an early start, I travelled up to London from Dorset for the day to the Foods Matter HQ in Hampstead. One of the highlights of the day was meeting the other judges, some of whom I knew already and some I had been tweeting for a while. As is the case for many of these events, you often end up introducing yourself as @gofreecakes! Some of my fellow judges for the day were: Caleigh @Glutenfreek, Alex Gazzola @healthjourno, Siân @glutenfreemrsd, Christine Bailey, Rosemary Moon, Sue Cane and Lucy FreeFrom.charl

It was most fascinating sampling the products entered into the awards as many of them are only available online, it is a great opportunity to try foods I haven’t tried before. It really did serve as a fantastic reminder for me, as to how far freefrom foods have come in recent years.

Here is a link to the Free From Food Awards 2012 Shortlist with information  on all the suppliers. As you will see, there are plenty of new names entering this year.

And, because we are so proud of our win last year for our chocolate brownies at Go Free Foods, here are the judge’s comments from last year, and a photo of me proudly collecting our certificate from AWT!

Watch this space to catch the lowdown on the party and find out who wins in 2012.

Anthony Worrall Thomson & me!

Feb 12

Love is in the air – Part II

Now, on to something sweet.

As it’s just so cold at the moment, I’ve gone for a lovely fruity, warming pudding to round of my Valentine’s meal. I’ve been playing with some lovely goodies I’ve received from Womersley Foods this week and have come up with these delights for you. Thank you to Rupert for the inspiration behind the rice pudding recipe!

Baked vanilla rice pudding with apple and geranium jelly

Note that this serves 4, but who doesn’t love leftover rice pudding?


  • 50g soft light brown sugar
  • 100g pudding rice
  • 1 litre full-cream milk
/soya or rice milk
  • 1 vanilla pod, cut open lengthways


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 140C or equivalent
  2. Place the rice, milk, sugar and vanilla pod in a saucepan and cook for a few minutes.  Cook until the rice starts to become
  3. Bake the pudding in the oven for about 2 hours, until it is cooked and a nice skin has formed on top.

Baked nectarines with strawberry and mint dressing

I allowed two nectarines per person. Simply half the nectarines and remove the stone. Place them skin side down in a baking dish (I use a large Le Creuset dish). Drizzle over about a tablespoon of strawberry and mint dressing and bake for around 30 minutes until soft and sticky.



Feb 12

Love is in the air – Part I

Here are some ideas for Valentine’s day dinner. I’ve decided on a Moroccan theme. It’s warm, fragrant and comforting. Perfect for this time of year. Both recipes can easily be adapted to suit varying dietary requirements.

First is a lovely lamb and date tagine. Use quinoa instead of couscous if you are gluten free.




  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.2kg lamb shoulder, cubed
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ras el hanout (I use Steenbergs)
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 3 star anise
  • 800ml lamb stock
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 250g soft dried prunes, stoned
  • A handful of sultanas
  • 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Couscous or quinoa and fresh coriander to serve


1. Heat the oil in a large casserole. Brown the lamb in until golden brown.

2. Add the onion and carrot, and fry over a medium heat until they start to soften. Add the garlic, ras el hanout and ginger and fry for a few minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Add the saffron, stock, tomatoes, star anise and cinnamon. Stir, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer over a low heat for 45 minutes.

4. Add the prunes, sultanas and chickpeas, season and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour depending on how long you have.

6. Serve the freshly made tagine with the couscous or quinoa and fresh coriander in a warmed tagine.

If you are a little more constrained for time this Valentine’s day, why not try this:

Rose Harissa roasted roots

I’m afraid I didn’t get a photo, as it was wolfed down before I got a chance. I guess that is a rather good testament to this recipe though!


  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and quartered
  • 1 dessertspoon harissa with rose petals (I use Steenbergs)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C or equivalent
  2. Place the vegetables in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle the harissa over the vegetables
  4. Mix evenly with your hands
  5. Bake the vegetables on a large baking sheet for around 25-30 minutes
  6. Serve with grilled steak or lamb


Thank you to Steenbergs for the lovely Harissa and Ras-al-Hanout


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