Thursday 7 July 2016

Gluten-free, egg-free crumpets

We were fairly broke recently, ran out of eggs, and didn't feel like having mealie pap for breakfast AGAIN. So, after googling a few recipes and improvising with what we had in the fridge and cupboard, I made these:

Gluten-free, egg-free crumpets

Dry ingredients:

1 cup mealie meal
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup maizena (cornstarch)
1 teaspoon tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)

Wet ingredients:

2 teaspoons vanila essence
3 heaped tablespoons butter, melted
About 2 cups milk

Optional ingredients:

2 eggs (unnecessary, but eggs are always nice! Add them in with the wet ingredients)
1 or 2 teaspoons Cinnamon (Add in with the dry ingredients)

  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together (if you only have mealie meal, that works too! Just use 2 cups of mealie meal instead of all of the other flours and starches)
  2. Add all of the wet ingredients and mix everything up (make sure the butter isn't too hot from being melted, or it will cook some of the batter when you add it in) - the amount of milk is an estimate - you don't want batter as thin as pancake batter, it should be about as thick as a runny cooked porridge. Add milk until you're happy - rather add too little than too much, make one crumpet to test the consistency, and then add more as needed.
  3. Oil and heat a non-stick pan on medium-high heat (about 1/2 teaspoon oil should be fine, just re-oil before each pancake)
  4. Pour some batter into the pan (the size is up to you! You could make a small crumpet, or one as big as your pan! Just start small for testers) and flatten the batter by spreading it out with a spoon. It should be under 1/2 cm thick.
  5. Once bubbles start to appear on the surface, check if it's browned underneath by gently lifting an edge with your spatula. 
  6. Once it's golden brown, use the spatula to make sure all of the edges are loose, and the crumpet is slipping around the pan... Then flip it! 
  7. Cook until the other side is also nicely browned, and serve as desired (I like mine with peanut butter!)
The crumpets should be nice and moist inside, slightly chewy (they won't be as soft as regular crumpets), but not gritty - if they're gritty, turn your heat down and cook each crumpet for longer, giving the mealie meal time to cook properly.

These are very filling crumpets - one batch is enough to stuff two adults with big appetites (we often have a bowl of porridge with three eggs on top for breakfast, so that should give you an idea!).

Typically, I only decided to write this post after eating all of the crumpets... So I'll update this post with a picture the next time that I make some.

Wednesday 11 May 2016

What I've been doing for money lately

I've been taking a bit of a break from waitressing lately, which has been made possible by a company called Kotive. They have an app for creating something called "Taskflows", which help people to automate tasks in their companies, communities, or day-to-day lives.

What I've been doing for them (and being paid for, of course!) is creating taskflow templates for people to use and adjust to suit their own needs. After that, I write up a post about the taskflow to show to potential new clients all over the world. So far one of the taskflows I've created is for automating the procurement process in a small company. There are more to come - I'll add more links in here as soon as they've been published on Kotive's blog.

Something else I've been doing for them is starring in webinar-style videos that explain how to use their app.

You can check it out on Kotive's blog, along with a written-out explanation that goes hand-in-hand with the video, or you can just watch it here on my blog.

Anyway, that's all for now, folks! I really just wanted to share this video, so I had to write up a whole blog post to justify it. :P

Oh, and apparently my foetus is now the size of a playing die.

Bye now!

Saturday 7 May 2016

There's no use crying over spilt butter!

This is a very short post about the fact that I'm pregnant. (The title doesn't refer to this fact, by the way. I'm not upset about it. :P Rather, I'm fairly excited, if not a little nervous.)

Most of you probably know this already, because I've mentioned it on Facebook. I'm about six weeks along, and will probably be due right at the end of December, which is awfully convenient for all of the family members who will already be in the area because of the holidays!

So far I've had aches and pains as things start to get stretchy in my belly. I've had morning sickness (YUCK!! What a waste of a pear), excessive loo-trips and some minor emotional adjustments.

Were they happier than these
people who eat lard? I must know!
Emotional adjustments? What do you mean, Caroline? Are you bursting into tears while watching a butter commercial like your mother did when she was pregnant with you? (I know, that's a pretty common one, it's difficult to stay emotionally stable when you see REALLY happy people in a butter commercial. Was I allowed to share that funny story? If not, sorry Grandma!)

Well, no... My emotional moment was as follows:

I was reading an article in a Your Pregnancy magazine (which Janine bought for me, thanks Ouma!) about milk banks. In this article, they spoke about how premature babies often don't make it because they don't have access to breast milk, which would have given them a much better fighting chance. SO, there are women all over who donate their excess breast milk to these preemie babies. Here's the emotional bit: Some of these women had miscarriages, or their babies died, so they donate all of the milk they produce to the wee little premature babies. That is HARD CORE SAD STUFF right there, and wonderful at the same time.

My sister, Kathryn, would have bawled her eyes out over something like that. I know, she told me. And she's not even emotionally compromised.

How did I, the pregnant lady with crazy hormones flowing through her body, react to this heartbreaking article? I'll tell you.

I almost got teary.

Yup. I know. What a wimp!

Anyway, that's all for now, folks! Watch this space for the possibility of more blog posts, most likely filled with information about babies and stuff.

Thursday 3 December 2015

I Made Cake!

The gluten-free flour mix stuff.
A while ago, I bought some gluten-free flour mix, because it was cheapish and I planned to make pizza bases with it. I then promptly forgot about it, and it's been standing in my cupboard ever since.

Then, yesterday, Francois and I went over to Bergen (my grandparents' home) to meet Dad and Carol for a creative day of decorating stuff to do with the wedding (which is just over a month away now!), and while we were there, everybody had some cupcakes except for me. No, don't feel sorry for me! I've gotten very used to not having wheaty goodies, and I barely felt any cake-envy at all. I swear.

When we left, Carol gave me some of the leftover icing that she had with her, thinking that I could use it for something. Well, that reminded me of the flour sitting in my cupboard, and so today I Googled how to make sponge cake. And I didn't just Google it. I DID it.

I followed the recipe for Basic Sponge Cake from Huletts, and improvised a little bit because I didn't have white sugar, or enough butter (I halved the recipe below), or normal cake flour. Here's what I did:

Gluten-Free Sponge Cake

  • 125g Butter (Meant to be room temperature, but it's HOT today and room temperature meant melted butter in my case. Oops!)
  • 200g White Sugar (I didn't have white sugar, I only had brown. And I think my cake turned out alright, so it doesn't seem to matter TOO much.)
  • 5ml Vanilla Essence (1tsp)
  • 3 Extra Large Eggs (With my halved recipe, I used two average boring normal size eggs from Pick 'n Pay, and as I just mentioned, my cake seemed to work!)
  • 280g Flour (Huletts says cake flour, but I say gluten-free flour mix! I used this stuff from Health Connection. I think I bought it at Dischem.)
  • 15ml Baking Powder (1Tbs)
  • 3ml Salt (1/2tsp)
  • 150ml Milk (I just realised I made a hilarious mistake and only used 1Tbs of milk! THAT explains why it wasn't quite runny enough... And why it had difficulty rising. Haha! It's still yummy though.)
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line 2 x 20 cm cake tins. (I had one square glass baking dish.)
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. 
  • Add the vanilla essence.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. 
  • Fold into the creamed mixture, alternately with the milk.
  • Spoon mixture into the prepared cake tins, and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden in colour and a skewer inserted comes out clean. 
  • Leave in pans for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

After following those instructions (albeit hilariously incorrectly), I then quartered my cake to ice in three different ways. 

On one quarter, I poured some glaze icing (water, icing sugar and vanilla essence) that Carol had given to me. 

Voila! Vanilla sponge cake with vanilla icing!
On another quarter, I poured very thin orange glaze icing (Carol's glaze icing mixed with orange juice) which soaked into the cake - yummy!

Voila! Orange-soaked cake!
On the other two quarters, I smeared the delicious chocolate icing that Carol made. 

Voila! Chocolate-coated vanilla sponge cake!
Well. My goodness. How tasty all of this cake is. It may not be perfect, but I no longer have cake-envy! For that matter, I think Francois is envious of MY cake! :D 

There's only one problem... 

I haven't eaten doughy delights in so long, that I can hardly eat any before I feel overcome by rich, sweet, cakey goodness. I can't eat all of it while it's fresh. I'm going to have to put some of it into the fridge for later. Woe is me. :(

Anyway, have a lovely day, all!