Ingredient: Egg
Cookies

Christmas spiced place name cookies

Christmas spiced place name cookies

Day three of my make ahead Christmas recipes is for Christmas spiced cookies.

Christmas spiced place name cookies - A Free From Life

There will be ten of us around the table on Christmas day and I like to make it look extra special for the big occasion.

This year, I’m trying something different to the usual place name holders by making them edible! These Christmas spiced cookies were fun to make because I let the children decorate them (yes you read that right, I relinquished the control on this one). With our collection of angel, snowman, Christmas tree and star cookie cutters, we were able to make some lovely little place names that the guests can eat if they feel that way inclined (or can fit anything else in).

Christmas spiced place name cookies

These are wheat free, as I made them with spelt flour. They are also dairy free.

A variation of gingerbread, I used mixed spice instead of just ginger, to give the lovely blend of spices that remind us of Christmas and I’m hoping they’ll make an interesting addition to the table. That is, if you can see them amongst the crackers, selfie masks, napkins and little stocking cutlery holders. Perhaps it’s over the top, but who cares? It’s Christmas.

Christmas spiced place name cookies - A Free From Life

 

Christmas spiced place name cookies
Christmas spiced place name cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
10
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings
10
Cook Time
10 minutes
Christmas spiced place name cookies
Christmas spiced place name cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
10
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings
10
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C, gas 4 and grease and line two baking sheets
  2. Sift together the flour, bicarb, salt and mixed spice
  3. Rub in the butter to the flour mix, until you get a texture resembling breadcrumbs
  4. Add the sugar and mix well
  5. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the egg and golden syrup
  6. Use a fork to whisk in the egg and syrup to the mix until it starts to form a dough, bring it together with your hands if necessary
  7. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll out to about 3mm thick and cut out your shapes, taking the extra and re-rolling until all the dough is used up.
  8. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden
  9. Leave to cool completely before decorating and for a finishing touch, dust with icing sugar
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Breakfasts

Mother’s Day breakfast ideas – decadent French toast

Mother's Day breakfast ideas - A Free From Life

Did you know it is Mother’s Day on Sunday? Not that I’m hinting or anything. It’s just that I made this breakfast for my kids the other day and it occurred to me what a lovely breakfast it would make for someone’s mum on Mother’s Day… and in bed too… with a cup of tea (just saying).

Mother's Day breakfast ideas - A Free From Life

This is so easy that I made it on a school morning and considering my eldest daughter has to leave the house at 7.30am, that just shows how little effort it took. Not that your mum needs to know that and when she sees it, she will never know that something so lovely and elegant took so little time.

My recipe uses homemade spelt bread, but of course you can use any bread you like. This is also a great way to use up stale bread (but again, not something mum needs to know). I also used coconut milk, which is my favourite dairy free milk. It’s fresh, clean consistency makes it so similar to cow’s milk, but with just a hint of coconut flavour, it has a natural sweetness too.

If you’re plotting ways to spoil your mother this weekend (and I’m sure you are), making breakfast is just one idea. As a mum, I can tell you that the little things mean a great deal and I know such a gesture will be really appreciated.

Mother's Day breakfast ideas - A Free From Life
Mother's Day breakfast ideas - decadent French toast
Print Recipe
Easy to make, fool proof and healthy breakfast idea to spoil your mum with this weekend.
Servings Prep Time
1 5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Servings Prep Time
1 5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Mother's Day breakfast ideas - A Free From Life
Mother's Day breakfast ideas - decadent French toast
Print Recipe
Easy to make, fool proof and healthy breakfast idea to spoil your mum with this weekend.
Servings Prep Time
1 5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Servings Prep Time
1 5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Whisk the egg with the milk and vanilla extract, then add the cinnamon
  2. Pour the egg mixture into a shallow bowl and put the slice of bread into it, turning to allow the bread to soak up the mixture on both sides
  3. Transfer the bread to a non-stick pan and fry on both sides until golden brown (you can finish off under the grill if you prefer)
  4. Put the toasted eggy bread on to a plate and top with the strawberries and blueberries
  5. Add the yoghurt to the fruit and drizzle with maple syrup (optional)
Recipe Notes

It really is that simple. In fact, I only added measurements to make it easier to follow. I don't tend to measure things out and so if I'd wrote this recipe in the manner of how I make things it would read: a glug of milk, with a splash of vanilla extract and a sprinkling of cinnamon. That's the beauty of cooking though, you can just go for it and trust your judgement and if you are a little bit over or under, so be it.

Have fun with this recipe and hope you like it (or your mum does!).

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Savoury Dishes

Sweet Potato and Chestnut Gnocchi – #glutenfree #nightshadefree

Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life

I love Italian food and in particular it’s versatility. Having said that, I can only buy gluten free pasta these days and being nightshade intolerant, I’m limited to tomato free sauces. Then for a change the other day, I bought some gnocchi for my daughters and served it up with a cheese sauce. I was so envious. Those little potato dumplings, so simple and yet so satisfying, are beyond my reach now.

That doesn’t mean to say that I can’t become inventive and make my own though does it? Avoiding potatoes isn’t a big deal when you can use sweet potatoes instead, I thought. Not related in the slightest, means that sweet potatoes are a perfect substitution for ordinary white potatoes for anyone following a nightshade free diet.

So, I had the idea of trying out sweet potato in a gnocchi recipe and then I wondered what to use as a replacement for the flour in order to make it gluten free too. I don’t use rice flour and I thought that buckwheat and chickpea flour might be too strong in flavour and would clash with the sweetness of the potato. Then I stumbled across chestnut flour. Having never used it before I was intrigued and the idea of chestnut and sweet potato together seemed like a good combination to me, so off I went.

Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life

I wasn’t wrong on the flavour choices. These little dumplings, together with homemade pesto, made a truly scrumptious dinner that satisfied my craving for gnocchi. They were so simple to make and are a great alternative to pasta too.

Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life

 

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Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life
Sweet Potato and Chestnut Gnocchi
Print Recipe
A sweet and nutty combination to give little gnocchi dumplings that are bursting with flavour
Servings Prep Time
2 30
Cook Time
5
Servings Prep Time
2 30
Cook Time
5
Sweet potato and chestnut gnocchi - A Free From Life
Sweet Potato and Chestnut Gnocchi
Print Recipe
A sweet and nutty combination to give little gnocchi dumplings that are bursting with flavour
Servings Prep Time
2 30
Cook Time
5
Servings Prep Time
2 30
Cook Time
5
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Add a good pinch of salt to the mashed sweet potato
  2. Beat the eggs, then add to the mash, followed by the flour
  3. Mix to form a smooth dough
  4. Cover a surface with the flour
  5. Take half of the dough and roll into a sausage shape, about 2 cm in diameter. Then cut into 2 cm pieces and set to one side
  6. Repeat with the other half
  7. Add to a pan of boiling salted water and cook for around 5 minutes, or until the gnocchi floats to the top
  8. Remove from the pan and serve with a sauce of your choice
Recipe Notes

I served this gnocchi with homemade pesto, along with some mozzarella pearls (for my non-dairy free girls). Grate over some dairy free or lactose free cheese (if you can tolerate this).

Homemade pesto - A Free From Life

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