Our Australian Summer Holiday

The Beach Well the time has come and our wonderful trip home to Australia has come to an end. It was a fantastic holiday catching up with all our family and friends.Here are some of the Gluten Free highlights ~

* Thai Food: Since living in North America one of the things I has miss most about Australia is Thai Food. We really have some of the best Thai in the world. It was great to go back to Kirribilli and eat at our local Thai restaurant – Spice Market. When James’ & I lived in Kirribilli we would go there once or twice a week. It is hands down the best Thai food I have ever had (and after traveling throughout Thailand that’s saying something). They are always accommodating of my Gluten free needs and the Thai Green, Yellow and Red curries are simply delicious!!!

* Sausages: It wouldn’t be a trip to OZ without a few ‘snags on the BBQ’. These are my favourite brands: The Peppercorn Company Gourmet Sausages, Woolworth’s Beef Sausages and David Jones’ Beef Sausages.

* Muesli: Wow Australia has so many Gluten Free varieties to choose from I was barely able to get through them all before I left. Something we definitely need to import to Canada!

* Coffee and Treats: Every day look forward to my morning latte and with all the Gluten Free goodies in the cupboard, it was quite a treat.* Shopping: I really enjoy grocery shopping and seeing the variety of Gluten Free foods available at the supermarket & in specialty stores. It seamed everywhere I went there was a sign or a label for Gluten Free. The Australian Coeliac Society and Gluten Free Aussies have worked hard to increase the awareness of Coeliac Disease and coming home after 2 years away I can really notice the difference. Well Done!

* The Wedding: James’ brother Tim & his beautiful wife Mandy were married at Bilgola Beach on a sunny Friday afternoon. It was a cocktail reception and Mandy had pre-arranged lots of Gluten Free goodies for me. I am so spoilt.

* Mum’s Roast Dinner: Nobody cooks a roast dinner like my Mum! No matter how hard I try her Gluten Free gravy is always nicer than mine

* Gluten Free Beer:While I was home I was able to try both Silly Yak & O’Brien’s Gluten Free beers. Both were delicious, but as with all Gluten Free beers it was liquid gold at $24.95 a 6pk.

* Fish & Chips: There really is nothing like good old fashioned fish & chips wrapped in paper and eaten down by the water on a hot summers day with a Gluten Free beer in hand.

Morning Latte & Gluten Free treat

* Meals with family and friends: I am always impressed at the effort my family & friends make to accommodate my Gluten Free needs. Some of the great dishes I was spoilt with were: Chili Lamb with grilled Halloumi & Baby Spinach, Lebanese Herbed bread, Roast Lamb, Penang Curry, Greek Spinach and Aubergine Pie, BBQ Snapper with Halloumi & Baked Pumpkin, Changs Noodle Salad, Potato Bake, Profiteroles, Eton mess, Raspberry Muffins, Shortbread, Lemon Polenta Cookies, the list goes on….

Family Dinner


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Newly Diagnosed

Posted : Fri, Feb 23, 2007 2:23 am
Filed under : Gluten Free Living

On the BoatSun, surf, boats & bikinis, my hometown of Port Macquarie is simply fantastic. My childhood friend Bronwyn still lives there & just like old times we spent our day’s horse riding, wakeboarding, surfing, swimming, playing backyard cricket and catching up about our various adventures over the last few years.

Bronwyn’s mother has recently been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease. It is a big change at first so we spent lots of time talking about ways to help her adjust to her new Gluten Free lifestyle. Here are a few tips ~

Altering your favourite recipes: These days there are so many great substitute products out there that no longer need to miss out. Readily available in local supermarkets are Gluten Free bread, pasta and flour mixes. In most cases you are able to substitute these right into your recipe without any other adjustments.

Changing to Gluten Free brands: Often you simply need to just select a different brand of product to make your meal Gluten Free. The best example of this is Beef, Chicken or Vegetable Stock. So many times I have not been able to eat a meal, just because of a few teaspoons of stock . So when I find a Gluten Free brand I just let my friends & family know so that next time they are shopping they know which one to choose. By changing a few key brands in her kitchen pantry Bronnie was able to cook as she normally would without having to worry about her Mum getting sick.

Cross Contamination: This is something that is often overlooked and many people do not realize the importance. I once heard someone say ‘would you put a piece of bread on a chopping board where you have just chopped raw meat?’ It is the same with Gluten; you cannot stir the pot of Gluten Free pasta with the same spoon as the regular pasta. The BBQ is another great example; the Gluten Free sausages cannot be cooked or put on the same plate as the non-gluten free sausages. You should be especially careful here with marinates, always have your Gluten Free foods on a separate plate & use separate utensils.

Lighthouse Beach, Port MacquarieIt is amazing what a difference family and friends can make in smoothing out the transition to a Gluten Free lifestyle. It is not just about changing over to Gluten free foods, it is about everyday Gluten Free Living and how to make sure your Gluten Free needs don’t become a disability. It’s great when family & friends take the time to learn about your Gluten free requirements. They don’t want to go to the effort of making you a dinner only to find it makes you sick, so take the time in the beginning to educate everyone and as time goes on you will forget what all the worry was about.

Enjoy!


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Greek Aubergine Spinach Pie

Posted : Thu, Feb 15, 2007 11:01 pm
Filed under : Gluten Free Recipes

Gluten Free: Greek Aubergine and Spinach PieThis is fantastic for lunch. It keeps overnight & reheats well.

A great dish to take to a pot luck dinner party.

Gluten Free ~ Greek Aubergine and Spinach Pie

Enjoy!


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Gluten Free in the Desert

Posted : Wed, Feb 7, 2007 7:38 pm
Filed under : Eating Out > Gluten Free Australia > Gluten Free Living > Traveling Gluten Free

Uluru Sunrise

My husband and I recently spent a couple of days in the Aussie Outback at Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park.

Kata Tjuta It was the middle of summer and an average of 45C during the day. We spent our first afternoon at Kata Tjuta (The Olga’s) where we attempted the ‘The Valley of the Winds’ walk. Only the first section was open due to ‘extreme temperatures’ and they were not wrong, I thought I was going to melt!

That night we were booked in for the ‘Sounds of Silence Dinner in the Desert’. From your hotel you are driven by coach to a secret location in the desert were they have set up a beautifully prepared dinner under a starlit outback sky. It really is the most incredible experience. You start the evening with drinks & canapés on top of a fire red sand dune & watch the sunset over Kata Tjuta & Uluru. Afterward you sit down to a gourmet barbecue buffet of authentic Australian delicacies. Now for those of us who are Gluten Free, the chef prepares us our own Gluten Free Aussie BBQ cooked separately and 100% Gluten Free. For dessert I was expecting the usual fruit platter but I was delighted to be served a beautiful Gluten Free Orange Cake. Not bad when I had only given them 1 hours notice of my Gluten Free requirements. (Which is not recommended, but time had got away on me).

After dinner the candles are blown out and the dreamtime begins. An astronomer takes you on a magical journey of the spectacular southern night sky. The night is topped off with a port, tea & coffee.

The following morning we set out before dawn to Uluru to watch the sunrise. The sheer physical and spiritual enormity of Uluru and its shades of orange, red, yellow, purple & brown are overwhelming. It is definitely worth the early rise.

Sunrise

The Australian Desert landscape is truly spectacular. A must for any traveller!

Uluru


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Lemon Polenta Cookies

Posted : Sun, Feb 4, 2007 3:37 am
Filed under : Gluten Free Recipes

These are an absolute gem! For the recipe check out Lemon Polenta Cookies on GFL Cooking.

Lemon Polenta Cookies


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Freefrom: Woolworths Gluten Free Brand

Posted : Thu, Feb 1, 2007 9:55 pm
Filed under : Gluten Free Australia > Gluten Free Products

In just a few short years the availability of Gluten Free foods in Australia has exploded. This is no more prevalent than in my local supermarket Woolworths. Not only are they stocking an extensive range of local Gluten Free brands but they now produce their own Gluten Free brand ‘Freefrom’. This is great news for Coeliacs. The more the Gluten Free market expands, the more choices Coeliacs will have and at much more affordable prices.

Currently the Freefrom range stocks:

- Double Choc Biscuits
- Golden Choc filled Biscuits
- Coconut Rough Biscuits
- Choc Crunch Biscuits
- Fruit Filled Shortbread Strawberry Flavour
- Savoury Chive and Onion Biscuits
- Orange and Poppy Seed Muffin Mix
- Choc-Chip Muffin Mix
- Choc Cake Mix
- Lemon Cake Mix
- Pizza Base Mix
- Cereal Cocoa Puffs

Woolworths - Freefrom


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Boxes of Tomatos

Posted : Thu, Feb 1, 2007 6:31 am
Filed under : Gluten Free Living > Gluten Free Recipes

Today whilst on the way out to visit a friend, we decided to stop at the local farm market – Riccardo’s Tomatos. They have a fantastic selection of the local produce in the Port Macquarie region, not to mention their own famous tomatos. My Mum & I were making our various selections when the cashier asked if we could make use of some stewing tomatos? My Mum is a fantastic cook said she could make Jam & Relish with them. Next thing the gentleman came out & gave us a whole box for free! Delighted with our score, we purchased our other items & continued on to visit my friend for lunch.

The next day we cooked up batches & batches of Gluten Free Tomato Relish & Tomato Jam. It was loads of fun, relatively easy to do, and makes for great gifts to family & friends.

Gluten Free Tomato Jam

For my Mum’s secret recipes & tips, check out

Gluten Free Tomato Jam
Gluten Free Tomato Relish


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