Sunday, 13 April 2014

Review: Udi's Gluten Free

Udi's Gluten Free sent me some of their products to try recently and I was delighted to give them a go!  As you know, being Coeliac means following a strict gluten-free diet, so I'm always on the look-out for different gluten-free options.  Here's my thoughts on the range!

I'd already tried the plain bagels before Udi's sent me the cinnamon and raisin bagels to try.  The flavoured bagels were lovely toasted with butter for breakfast, and the cinnamon wasn't overpowering - normally I give cinnamon a wide berth as I'm not overly keen, but these bagels made a yummy breakfast and it made a change from my usual toast and butter.  However, my preference is for the plain bagels.  I always find that lunch is the hardest meal of the day for Coeliacs, particularly when out of the house.  I like the plain bagels toasted, then spread with cream cheese and topped with ham.  I've noticed that the price of the bagels has come down in both Tesco and Asda in the last couple of weeks, making them more affordable.  They freeze well too.

My favourite product in the Udi's range was the ancient grain crisps!  Udi's sent me jalapeno cheddar and aged cheddar varieties to try - I preferred the jalapeno ones, which went particularly well with a glass of red wine!  But the aged cheddar ones were nice too.  A tasty alternative to "normal" crisps, these snacks were crunchy and so moreish!  Sadly the price is a bit steep (£2.50 a bag in Tesco last time I checked) so I don't buy them as often as I would like... mind you, that doesn't do my waistline any harm!

I wasn't so keen on the strawberry toaster pastries - these are equivalent to a "pop tart" kind of thing - I think!  I was never a fan of pop tarts in my pre-coeliac days so I didn't have anything directly to compare them to, but I found them a bit to sweet for me.  Maybe something coeliac kids would like for a treat?

Finally the two-pack of muffins were really nice, and I thought it was a great idea to have two different varieties in the same pack - chocolate chip and toffee flavours.  I liked both and couldn't choose a favourite.  The texture was perhaps slightly dense but the muffins were moist, flavoursome and went well with a cuppa in the afternoon!  I do like cakes!

It's great to see brands like Udi's moving into the UK and increasing the variety on offer for people following a gluten-free diet.  The Free From shelf space in supermarkets continues to increase and for Coeliacs like me, that can only be a good thing!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Scotch Pancakes

Pancake Day, Shrove Tuesday, is the one day of the year we're guaranteed to make pancakes.  This Pancake Day was no different!

I made my mum's tried and tested recipe for scotch pancakes. I used gluten free white mix but self raising flour would do the job too!

8oz flour
1oz butter/margarine
4oz sugar
Pinch of salt
2 eggs

Rub the butter into the flour and add the sugar and salt. Beat the eggs and add these along with as much milk as required to make a thin consistency. Pour a dollop at a time into a heated non-stick frying pan (over a medium heat) and when bubbles appear over the surface of your pancake, it's time to flip over and cook the other side.

These scotch pancakes are delicious with sugar and lemon (Lizzie's preference) or with golden syrup (Dougie's favourite). Personally I prefer my scotch pancakes cold with butter!


Monday, 3 March 2014

Weekend away!

This weekend saw a break away for me as I headed off to Glasgow for my dear friend's hen weekend. She gets married in 4 weeks and I'm thrilled to have been asked to be her bridesmaid on her special day!

Despite Glasgow city centre being just over an hour away by bus, I've only been a couple of times, other than to the airport! So off I went to join women who had travelled from London and Aberdeen for a weekend of celebration and frivolity!

We arrived at our penthouse apartment and once our sleeping arrangements had been sorted, we cracked open some wine and snacks and set about catching up. Our paths have all crossed at many points over the years, and it was so nice to see where all these women's lives had taken them so far.

Saturday, and after breakfast to set us up for the day we headed out for our hula hoop lesson. What fun! We enjoyed practising our new moves (surprisingly energetic!) and by the end of an hour and a half of tuition, we'd confidently mastered the basics and were hula hooping away!

After lunch in the apartment, we headed out to browse the shops. Wow - Glasgow is great for shopping! If ever I win the lottery, I'll be heading straight there for a massive spending spree!! We barely even scratched the surface of the shops on offer before it was time to head back and get ready.

Once pampered and preened for a night on the town, we headed out for a meal at Bella Italia (great for me, as they have a gluten-free menu) and afterwards moved on to a bar and then a club until the small hours.

At 3am we called time on the festivities (yawn!) and the morning saw us packing up and heading home in our various different directions.

How I loved my weekend away with such a lovely bunch of women. But oh how happy I was to get home to my family! My darling husband had put fresh sheets on the bed for me in anticipation of my crawling wearily under the covers at the end of the day. Bliss!

Great to get away - but always great to come home.