Sunday, 27 May 2012

vintage crates

I have been pondering how to be more effecient at the market, and how to make sure when the sun comes over in the afternoon, to keep the cookies, especially the chocolate coated ones from being affected.

I liked the idea of an awning (expensive- I'd have to buy it, and a new money for that at the moment) this might solve the afternoon sun issue, but the more I look, the more I love the idea of having a storage shelf at the back of the table, this would lift the stock up out of the suns way and also give me room to store a couple of each product where I can easily access it, and don't have to go reaching under the table into a box to find the right product, fumbling and nervous and poorly lit and oh....I really need to fix this issue before the next market.

Hopefully seeming more professional and efficient.

Look aren't these lovely?

I like the slender look of these, I think they just might fit my boxes in there just perfect
I'd have it like this so the market goers would see them from this angle, and pop some stock on a display on top
These great finds were on etsy
I love these old wooden crates, the more I see them, the more I love them. Plus would be good for carting to and from the car, and add some character to our display too.

The only part I don't love is the $, and when we have $0 budget at the moment, anything is out of reach...

But how awesome would a few of these look on the back of my table (I know, I think I'd get a lot more custom with the beer too, but, not gunna happen)

This dude even stamped it himself- I'd love to make a custom stamp for our cookies on the box
I have been looking up some DIY crates on instructables and I love this style the best, it looks vintage, and the wood could be quite easily sourced. And the best part- that vintage look was made with steelwool and vinegar-easy!

So I'm off to see if there is any spare timber lying around...(good luck to me with that one)...

Which style do you like the best?
Which one do you think would work best?
Which one do you want in your home?

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Non Coeliac gluten intolerance

Our cousin's fiancee has just started eating gluten free and dairy free, not so much for herself (although she has said how much better she feels alround from this change) but for her new baby.

Bubba was reacting, during and after each breast feed. Most of the time she would simply projectile vomit immediately after each feed (which many people dismiss as 'normal'), but there was one time where she had turned blue and stopped breathing during a feed. As it would, this 'concerned' mumma, who promptly took her off to get some answers, when she got no answer from the nurses and doctors in her local area she took her to a kinesiologist. This was where she got the answers she was looking for. Simple as they were, they were frightening. Bubba was having an allergic reaction to her breast milk.
The Kinesiologist then assessed mumma as well and recommended she remove gluten and dairy from her diet.

Not to stop breast feeding.-GOOD!

When mumma did this she noticed a difference immediately in her daughter, and not to just assume it was her change in diet she reintroduced dairy and gluten at different times, and found as soon as she did this, not only did bubba have an immediate reaction, but also she did.

She was lucky enough to chat to a relative who just happened to be a natropath about her circumstances, and luckily enough she was very encouraging and provided her with some information on non coeliac gluten intolerance. Which is basically those people who have the symptoms of a coeliac, but not the test results.

I asked if I could share them too, as I think this sort of information should be readily available to everyone, so I hope you enjoy the read!

Let me know what you think..
Do you sometimes feel like you are in a wheat coma?

How going gluten-free can benefit your health!

Gluten is found in many foods including rye, oats, wheat, malt and barley. While it has been found to cause mild allergic reactions in some people, it can lead to full-blown Coeliac disease in others.

What’s the difference between gluten allergy and gluten intolerance?

According the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit in Sydney, an allergy is an immune response to a food protein, whereas intolerance does not involve the immune system at all. Technically, intolerances involve an irritation of nerve endings and can be caused by a large variety of different food components, and this can cause uncomfortable symptoms. True intolerances usually cause more minor symptoms than true allergies.

Around ½% of the world's population is Coeliac. This means 1 in 200 people. Some people are not coeliac, but have intolerance to gluten. Some studies show gluten intolerance to be around 30 times more prevalent than coeliac disease. Up to 15% of people or 1 in 7 are gluten sensitive and suffer the same symptoms. These are people who test negative or inconclusive for coeliac disease. They are known as Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitive (NCGS). Symptoms include gastro-intestinal issues, headaches, mouth ulcers, weight gain or weight loss, poor immunity to disease, and skin problems like dermatitis and eczema.

Therefore many people have found it beneficial to eliminate gluten from their diets, ranging from those with ADHD to those with auto-immune disorders.

Gluten-free diets have also been shown to be beneficial to those suffering from thyroid disease, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, anaemia, autism, and irritable bowel syndrome. Eliminating gluten from the diet can also be of great benefit to those wishing to lose weight.

By eliminating gluten from your diet, it is also possible to increase your energy levels, lower bad cholesterol levels and even assist the body`s digestive processes.

Gluten is found in almost all processed foods, often masked on labelling by names like shortening, natural flavouring, stabilizer agent and thickener. This makes it very difficult, and if not almost impossible, to avoid entirely as it is even found in chemical medications, some vitamin supplements as a binding agent and also in cosmetic products such as lipsticks, lip balms and chap sticks. Soy sauces and MSG can also contain hidden gluten.

Going gluten-free helps to eliminate symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating and excessive gas. A gluten- free diet is also low in carbohydrates, therefore making it very effective for those wanting to lose excess weight. It has also been shown to reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis, which is a skin ailment that causes itchy blistering. Gluten has also been shown to compromise the immune system in some individuals.

By eliminating products from the diet that contain gluten, you may find yourself instead consuming more fresh, whole and organic foods. This in itself will be greatly beneficial to your overall health, as it will mean that your chances of consuming processed foods will be virtually eliminated. Another benefit to going gluten-free is that your sugar and fat intake is drastically reduced.

One of the best ways to avoid gluten completely is to prepare meals from scratch. Ensure that utensils that are used to prepare them are kept and used entirely separately from those used to prepare foods that contain gluten.

It is interesting to note that many people who live in gluten free households due to a family members allergy, find that they have improvements in their own health conditions once their own diets transition to being gluten free as well.

Bon Appetite!

Natalie Fox BHS.ND. Grad Dip Ed.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

De-stress Baking

So hello finally from the other twolicious sister. This is my blogging debut and I am excited to join in!

Now one thing that I really enjoy about cooking is being able to create something. While the things that I create may not always be the way they were meant to be, it is all part of the experimentation process. The other thing that I love about cooking is that it is a great way to de-stress and forget about all of the worries and concerns that are going on in life...even if just for an hour or so.

And let me tell you, stress is high in my life at the moment. It sort of feels selfish to be stressed about 'first world problems', but sometimes I just can't help but have some moments of stress. I am about to start a new job in 2 weeks (yay!) but this also means that I have the enormous task of preparing a handover for my current role. I also need to buy a new phone and make my first car purchase so I can get to the new job!

 Heading to my boyfriends house, he requested some snacks for work so I thought I would make some simple choc chip cookies to satisfy his hunger throughout the day (however I still make them GF!). So I looked up a simple recipe on and adapted it slightly.

125g butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups GF self raising flour (I used Whitewings)
3/4 cup dark choc chips

Preheat a fan forced oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Cream the butter and sugars together with an electric mixer. Add the egg and the vanilla essence and mix in. Add the flour in parts, mixing in before adding more. When combined into a cookie dough, mix in the choc chips.

Form into small balls on a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven for 12 minutes or until golden brown.

The saucepan mixing bowl.
So in theory these would have been great biscuits, but I was faced with several bumps along the way. Cooking at my boyfriends house means that it isn't well equipped for baking. To start, I had no butter, but instead had to use margarine. Then there was no mixing bowl so I made the cookies in a saucepan. I also had no electric mixer, so I mixed the margarine and sugar together with a spoon (what a work out!). The rest of the process went OK, but I don't think I had enough flour. I put them in the oven anyway.

The end product resembled a biscuit pizza, and they were a little crumbly, but they still tasted good!
One of the better ones!

In contrast to my cooking fail, my boyfriend presented me with a delicious lamb roast and then an apple crumble to top it off! Not to mention he made the crumble gluten and dairy free! I think it was a good trade off because he was pretty happy with his choc chip cookies for his working week.
What a delicious end to the weekend!

Friday, 18 May 2012

To Market, to market...

Well after a lot of anxiety and hours baking and creating, we finally did it! Our very first market ever!
This is the GF Cookie stall at Bowral Public School markets 12/5/12, that's me in my big fat jacket, keeping warm.
I know, I know...signage !!

I will admit I did not get a lot of sleep last week, at first I wasn't sure if we had a place at the market, and was waiting for the invoice to come through, and by that time (Monday) I had done just about everything except prepare the stock....oh yeah and tables! (which darling dada took care of, along with the loaner gazebo)

So I guess those little things added to the overall anxiety. But in the end I got it all done (I should say we, because dada helped pack the car and prep for the day), and it was fresh (1am that morning!!), that is the stock and the weather, hehe...

Market morning...

After I had finished preparing the stock (at 1am as I said earlier!!) I was just about to grab a quick snuggle in a nice warm bed, until...little bunny (20mths) woke up, and decided that she would not be easily settled.
So then it was not until maybe 2:30am that I was finally able to close my eyes, and it felt like I'd just closed my eyes and the alarm went (well of course in reality there must have been some time I was asleep because brother bear had snuggled up beside me and I didn't even know!).

I carefully climbed out of my deliciously warm bed sandwich between my two favourite boys :(  and quickly got myself ready, and popped the cakes from the fridge into the esky, kissed the dada and my babies and drove off into the darkness.

Not knowing exactly where to go, or what to expect, I found a place to park the car and called the market director - Page (so helpful, and very supportive- thank you Page). She showed me my place and introduced me to my neighbour Pierre (they do organic and heirloom veggies- they didn't stop all day!).

I was feeling quite on top of things and had loaded up my little trolley (really a $5 pram- a find at the tip from dada on his way home the other day, we stripped it down, cleaned it up and it works a treat), and travelled down to my spot to set up.
the arm that broke

Upon unpacking the loaner gazebo I was gutted when I found that one of the connections (cross arm to leg/roof) had broken. I didn't let this get to me, I figured we could still use it, and just moved that corner to the rear.

So I was almost set up, and who should arrive, but my adorable mum! Thank you mum, It was so nice to spend the day with you, especially since you got up so early on a Saturday and you still had reports to write.

Mum brought her little teapot, cake tiers and a few eclectic teacups and saucers (let me tell you we could have sold that teapot at least 5 times that day...maybe I should be selling teapots!). They made the sweetest little set up, there was even one chic who took photos of our display, she loved it so much.
I did forget to take photos until almost half way through the day!!

We had such a lovely day and had some friends stop by to show their support which was so encouraging. Thank you Miss Krisha, Inga and her family, Janelle, Amanda and Sienna, it was so nice to see your smiling faces. But most of all thank you to the dada and bunny and bear for coming to see me, nothing could have lifted me more.
P.nut butter BOMBS!!, chocolate mint thins and Decorated sugar cookies (Love Mum Style)

What was also encouraging were the people at the market, there were stall holders who asked if we wanted to do a swap for the most delicious hot lemon drink, it was like a chai spiced hot lemon drink, soooo delicious, I hope they want to swap again!

There was also enquiries into sugar free options, of which I had only brought one successful tested recipe (my red velvet cupcakes, they can be dairy, egg, gluten and sugar free, I also made some original red velvets which were just gluten free. The sugar, dairy, egg, gluten free cupcakes showed interest from quite a few customers, so I think I'll try a few more recipes this month and see what else we can bring that is sugar free.
very hungry caterpillar cookie series
red velvet mini cupcakes and french breakfast puffs aka baked doughnuts

I kinda can't wait until next market, I want to go round and introduce myself to the other stall holders (I really only got to chat to a couple this time), and I want to get out and see what new things are out and about. I had a little look around the last month, and chatted to a couple of stall holders, but not as many as I liked.
my cookie tree

So I guess I would count this market as a success, not that I sold out- (I did go overboard in making stock, hence the sale this week (don't forget to check out the great prices on our etsy and madeit pages!!) We covered our cost for the day, and we are starting to get our name out there which is what we need to do.

We will see how we go next market. Maybe you'll come visit next time, all our blog followers will get a freebie!!

So what is it you look for in a market?
Do you like the small town markets, the handcraft markets, produce markets or the ones with it all like Bowral Public School Markets?


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Mother's Day is on it's way...

Soooo, What are your plans for Mother's day?

1- Maybe there is already big plans and you just have to show up.

2- Maybe you are the organiser and have a gazillion (that is an actual number right?) things to think about before Sunday arrives.

3- Maybe you have a real quite day planned to just cherish your family and being a mum/ or just cherish your mum.

I choose #3, however, I bet it  doesn't go down that way. Firstly because Mother's day isn't just about me, you know (however much I wish and hope and pray, hehehe.).
There were Mother's who came before me, and they must be paid their dues, just as in your home and most other homes on Mother's Day.

So What about a brunch for Mother's day (even though I said I'd never do a brunch again after the last one!), So cliche but, everyone loves brunch.

Brunch is also a great excuse to eat dessert for breakfast (and breakfast for breakfast too!).

But what do you accompany such a lovely Brunch with. Why of course a warming cup of tea on a fresh Autumn morning.

Mum will love a homemade cup of chai (well my mum won't, she likes to stick to black, but even if your mum doesn't like it she'll like the effort you went to to make it for her!).

I've been making a chai recipe for a couple of years now, I don't exactly remember where it came from (there are so many variations), but this one seems quite similar to how mine began.

Chai Tea:


Mortar and Pestle
Sieve/ strainer
Large teapot


3 Cinnamon quills
3t Cardamom pods (little t for a little teaspoon)
1t Cloves
1t black pepper
1t ground ginger (or fresh grated if you have it)
1L/ 2pints/ 4C water
3T (big T for Tablespoon)black tea leaves (or 8 tea bags if you don't have loose leaf)


Use your mortal and pestle to pound the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and black pepper (not to a powder) so they are crushed and the aroma is released, you could just break the cinnamon quills and squash the rest with the end of a rolling pin or something. Make sure you can smell them, if you can't smell your spice, then they have gone out of date- go get some fresh ones.

Pop them in your small saucepan with the ginger and cover with water.

Bring them to the boil, then turn off the heat.

Now it's time to add your tea leaves, pop them in and let them steep for about 5 minutes.

Strain into your large teapot and serve with warm milk.

I like to drink it half and half (half the cup filled with chai, half filled with warm milk), and honey is real nice in it too, but not essential, I really just love it as it is.

There are so many different ways to serve this tea.

I have a friend who enjoys drinking it black, another who likes a vanilla bean added to steep with the tea leaves.

Because I'm the only one who drinks chai in our home, I keep the teapot in the fridge, and it lasts me about a week depending on how much chai I feel like!

There is so much versatility with all tea, What tea are you liking at the moment, and how do you take it? Would you like to have a cup with me?