Little Miss GF

The Life and Adventures of Little Miss Gluten Free

June 15, 2015
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Calluna Essentials, a new favourite of mine! 

Good evening lovely readers! 

As the subtitle of this blog is ‘The Life and Adventures of Little Miss Gluten Free’ I thought it was about time I started sharing about more than just my gluten free eating… 

I’m a girl who loves dancing, baking (as you already know), crafting (all sorts of lovely things from sewing projects for my friend’s kids to creating sparkly masterpieces for my upcoming summer wedding), catching up with friends, shopping, trying fabulous new products and most of all living in what many often describe as ‘my own little world’. 

So, what did I pick to write my first non-food-related post about? A truly fabulous gem I have found that is now proving to be a pivotal part in prepping for my big day. 

Calluna Essentials Tea Tree and Peppermint Scrub 

  
This lovely handmade tub of yumminess arrived in the post last week, and I’m addicted! The second you take off the lid the smell is so refreshing and uplifting, the scrub itself is soft enough and scrubby enough to give a perfect result of scrubbed but not raw skin, and the essential oils left on my skin afterwards feel like they are doing a world of good and ensure that the subtle smell stays all day! I took advantage of a special offer and got these scrubs on a 3 for 2, but even at their usual price of £10.00 each I think they’re worth every penny. What a fab price for something totally natural, homemade and evidentially beneficial for my skin!

This lovely little company also do a fantastic take on bath salts; the bath tea bag. An amazing and novel idea where you literally submerse this divine smelling tea bag in the bath and it makes it smell gorgeous with the added benefit of no crazy bath clearup mission afterwards! 

Thank you, Calluna, for uplifting my bath and shower and pampering my skin! 

See you soon! 

Little Miss GF x

Www.facebook.com/callunaessentials

 

May 28, 2015
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Little Miss Gluten Free’s Pea and Ham Soup 

I love a good bowl of soup as much as the next person, and this gorgeous weather calls for something a little more summery. 

This Pea and Ham Soup takes about 30-45 minutes to prepare and if you make enough it can be fridged, frozen or just fed straight to friends and family! 

 (This photo hasn’t been edited or filtered, those colours are real!) 

Ingredients 

Bag of frozen peas

One onion

One clove garlic

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Chilli flakes (optional) 

One pack pancetta

One pack ham hock 

Chicken/vegetable stock (I favour Knorr)

Method

  • Heat a large saucepan on a medium heat and add a splash of olive oil. 
  • Finely chop the onion and slowly cook it in the pan (don’t let it colour). 
  • Add the pancetta, a teaspoon of chilli, salt, pepper and garlic (crushed or sliced) and cook for 4/5 mins. 
  • Boil the kettle and mix in the stock cube. Then add to the pan (to about half full). 
  • Bring to the boil. 
  • Add the peas and boil until they float to the surface (this is the sign that they are cooked). 
  • Take of the heat and blend (be careful, if you aren’t using a stick blender you will need to wait until it has cooled). 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Reheat (if you let it cool) 
  • Serve with the ham hock and a handful of freshly cooked peas (for texture). 
  • I also like to swirl through a teaspoon of natural yoghurt, but that’s up to you! 
  • Serve with fresh gluten free bread, or on its own, and enjoy! 

Happy cooking! 

Little Miss GF x
 

May 27, 2015
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Fortnum and Masons, London 

Yesterday, my fiancé and I took the day off work and headed up to London to find a suit for him for our upcoming wedding. I love wandering around London, and used to have plenty of favourite places for a coffee, a snack, lunch, afternoon tea, some nibbles on the go… you get the jist! 

Since becoming gluten free, I have found this kind of unplanned eating pretty difficult, and generally choose not to risk it. 

However, on our way from Saville Row to Jermyn Street, we happened to be passing Fortnum and Masons. I suggested popping in ‘for a browse’ in the knowledge that there is a lovely cafe there, and if nothing else I could enjoy a scrumptious cup of Fortnum’s tea (a must try for every tea lover!). 

Whilst mooching around the picnic hampers and homeware, we found ourselves right next to The Parlour. I slipped away to ask the manager if there was anything on their menu gluten free (I had to do this subtly, as my other half is a huge ice cream fan and I didn’t want to disappoint him by suggesting we go there and then finding there is nothing I can have). 

  
 Well, I was absolutely delighted! All the ice creams and sorbets in their extensive range are Gluten Free! (Apart from the cornflake one, which I really couldn’t care less about anyway!). 
As you can imagine that was all I needed to hear, and we took a seat in the beautifully decorated parlour, and enjoyed a truly delicious selection of white chocolate, banana and raspberry ripple ice cream. We shared this time, next time I’m flying solo! My fiancé, being Italian, insists on having espresso wherever we go, and even that came with an adorable little surprise! 

   I thoroughly recommend this little gem inside Fortnum and Masons to anyone in the West End looking for an indulgent treat, or indeed for anyone heading especially there to treat someone special! Look no further for a perfect birthday treat for your gf best friend!  
On the way out we passed the chocolatier… A fatal error that was cemented by the offer from Mr Italian of a little box of chocolates ‘if they’re gluten free’. 

Good news, chocolate lovers, they are! The lady behind the counter has a comprehensive list of what we can and can’t have, and much to my delight, all of the truffles are on the ‘yes’ list! So I came home with a little box of heaven; salted caramel, Bellini, peach, champagne and passion fruit. I’d love to say I’ll savour them, but I reckon that by tomorrow they’ll be gone! Fear not, though, I will absolutely love every single one!

  
 
If you do pay them a visit, be sure to let me know what you think! 

Happy ice-creaming!

Little Miss GF x 

http://www.fortnumandmason.com/restaurants/the-parlour

May 22, 2015
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Chez Vous, Warlingham 

Yesterday I decadently dined at this wonderful restaurant/hotel just off the green in Warlingham, Surrey. It was my Godmother’s 50th birthday lunch and a delicious set menu had been organised. 

As always, I take extra care when someone else has been responsible for informing the restaurant of my dietary requirements and was delighted to be able to eat the same starter and main as everyone else. 

The pudding was two tarts and ice cream, so I politely declined. The restaurant manager then popped over to ask what I would like. So as not to appear rude, and also in the hope of being easy to cater for, I suggested maybe some fresh fruit. You can imagine my delighted when this specially created dessert arrived for me!! 

  
Thank you, Chez Vous! I loved it! 

See you soon,

Little Miss GF x

Www.chezvous.co.uk 

May 14, 2015
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Being Coeliac Sucks!

Good evening! 

What a positive title that one is!

I havent posted on here in quite some time as I’ve had a fair bit going on; moving house, taking exams, planning a wedding, etc. 

However, as it’s Coeliac awareness week and everywhere I turn I can see, hear and read fascinating interviews, recipes and offers, I thought I’d add my two-pennies worth:

Being Coeliac sucks. 

I was diagnosed just under a year ago, in June 2014. It sucked then and it sucks now. But, as with all life changing events, you learn to live with it. I have changed the way I look at food; ingredients, packaging and preparation, I have a huge mistrust for unfamiliar kitchens and a nervousness around inexplicable additives, I always feel like the nightmare dinner guest who has to be specially catered for and I feel sorry for those eating with me who sometimes have to have their meal choices dictated by where I can and can’t eat. 

My least favourite sentence is ‘surely a little bit won’t hurt?’ closely followed by ‘oh yes, the gluten free diet, it’s very fashionable at the moment isn’t it’. 

Firstly, a little bit will hurt, a lot. I will feel horrifically ill for a very long time with no medicine that can make me feel better and it will do unimaginable long term damage. 

Secondly, yes, for some bizarre reason the GF diet does seem to be in fashion at the moment. But I’m not on it to be fashionable, I don’t follow trends. I have something called Coeliac Disease, a nasty, painful and commonly misunderstood chronic illness that you could seriously exacerbate if you dont take my ‘gluten free diet’ seriously.

Don’t get me wrong, getting a diagnosis after 7-8 years of unexplained illness and fatigue definitely has had it’s plus points. Now I follow a strict gluten free diet I have more energy, I’m fitter and healthier, my skin is as a 27 year olds should be (not a teenage disaster zone), my hair grows nicely and looks healthy (thanks to all you lovelies in my life who have noticed and commented) and I am free from dibilitating stomach cramps and all the other gruesome effects this mean nasty illness brings. I also look at food in a new way and enjoy baking and creating goodies from scratch. 

Set backs are rare, but do still happen. Three weeks ago I was glutened while eating at a very upmarket restuarant where a series of failings occured, ultimately resulting in me consuming a relatively small amount of gluten that had a catastrophic effect on my health. Unluckily for me, this isnt my only auto-immune condition, so when I get glutened it triggers everything else and my body effectively shuts down and attacks itself. Not much fun, as you can imagine. However, on the plus side I have been in communication with the chain of command and they have completely re-written the way they deal with food intolerances and allergies and I feel confident that the awful mistakes that occured during my dining experience will never happen again in this setting. If only it didn’t take someone being made horrendously ill for restaurants and the like to take allergies and intolerances seriously. 

For all the reasons detailed above (and many more that I shan’t bore you with) I am thrilled with the huge amount of publicity that Coeliac Awareness Week is receiving. The more people who are aware of this condition, the better, and the sooner people start realising it isn’t a fad or a fashion for us to eat gluten free, but an essential  part of maintaining  a healthy  lifestyle and living with the disease, the easier life will be for many people in the same position as I am in. There is no cure for this illness – all we can do is follow a gluten free diet, forever, to prevent the after effects that consuming it has on our bodies.

I must admit I did have a real giggle recently, when I told someone that I am Coeliac and their priceless response was ‘oh yes, celeriac, I’ve heard of that!’. Funny as this was it further highlighted to me how unaware most people are of this condition and that the only thing that seems to receive attention is the gluten free diet people are on for weight loss purposes. 

The sooner we can educate everyone about this disease, the better. It will be easier for them and easier for us. There will be no more emabarrassing moments in restaurants while we try to painfully explain to the waiter (who has seemingly never heard of such a thing) how important it is not to cross-contaminate our food and to know what each item on the menu contains and to then sit back and enjoy a meal in confidence.   We won’t have to go through every ingredient on every packet of every item of food, becuase there will be a clear sign saying whether it is or isn’t safe. And there will be no more highly frustrating incedences where people think we are on the diet ‘for fun’, but instead understand the huge implications that eating gluten would have and offer thier support instead of their quips. 

So there you have it – Coeliac Awareness Week I salute you!

If you’d like to read more about Coeliac Disease I recommend hopping over to http://www.coeliac.org.uk and having a mooch about, or if you are reading this in real time – there is a lot on iPlayer and other tv catch up  services at the moment so grab a cuppa and have a read, watch or listen. 
Until next time, 

Little Miss GF x

February 10, 2015
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Comfort Food for a Rainy Day

So it’s cold, it’s dark and I’m a little bit under the weather.

This definitely calls for some homemade comfort food.

I used to be a huge fan of corned beef hash, and at the first sign of a cold or after a hospital visit my lovely mum would always rustle one up for me.

I learnt early on that corned beef isn’t gluten free, so it was time to find a new comfort food!

Introducing Little Miss GF’s Comforting Tatty Skins

Per person:

One baking potato
A knob of butter
A dash of milk
A handful of grated cheese of your choice
Some ham (or salami, or bacon, or whatever you fancy!)
Salt
Pepper

1. Pierce the skin of the potato and bake on 180/200 for 1.5 hours.

2. Remove from oven and cut in half. Scoop out the potato (leaving enough in the skin to support it) and put it in a bowl.

3. Add all the other ingredients except for a sprinkling of the cheese.

4. Mix well with a wooden spoon until it’s a creamy consistency.

5. Pop it back in the skins, place them in an oven proof vessel, sprinkle some cheese and pepper on top.

IMG_0737

6. You can either cook immediately for 20ish minutes or chill and then cook when required for 30ish minutes.

Hey Presto! One yummy, simple and comforting supper.

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January 23, 2015
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Snacking the gluten free way!

I’m a nightmare for snacking between meals. Not necessarily naughty snacking, but I have an inbuilt need to nibble!! This is not the easiest of feats when you’re newly diagnosed, however it gets so much easier! I tend to reach for the chocolate buttons (Cadburys) when I’m feeling in need of chocolate! I love fruit too, so that’s an easy snack (berries in cute little pots are great for on the go) and I’ve found out recently I really enjoy cheese (who knew!). Aside from these there are two snacks I particularly enjoy: Metcalfe’a Popcorn is absolutely scrummy and very satisfying. I pick it up with my weekly shop and it’s only 78 calories a bag, perfect.

2015/01/img_0456.jpg I also love these scrummy little bags of fruity goodness:

2015/01/img_0457.jpg They come in all shapes and flavours from the Fruit Factory and are great for adults and kids alike. Once again I pick these up with my weekly shop!

Happy snacking,

Little Miss GF x