Gluten Free Shortbread


It took a fair bit of trial and error to make my favourite shortbread taste like the wheat version.

Normally, egg yolks are not used in shortbread but with the flours here you really need the yolk both to bring the dough together and to add a little colour to the very white flours.

Glutinous rice can be found at Asian food stores and just double check your cornflour is wheat free!

I use salted butter as I would for wheat shortbread.

Makes 24


220g butter, salted, at room temperature

110g caster sugar

200g glutinous rice flour

120g cornflour

2 egg yolks


Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Centigrade.

Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and egg yolks until light and fluffy.

Sieve the flours over the butter mix and mix well to form a dough.

Roll into walnut sized balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Using a fork, gently press down a little.

Bake in the oven for 30mins.

Allow to cool slightly on the baking sheet, then gently move to a baking rack to cool completely.


Bean and Cheese Chowder


This was one of the first soups that the boys would eat,  nothing beats the flavour of baked beans and cheese.

Check that your ingredients are gluten free if cooking for a coeliac, Worcestershire sauce is often not gluten free.

Serves 6.


50g butter

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

2 x 400g tins baked beans in tomato sauce

500mls chicken stock

250mls full cream milk

250g Cheddar, grated

60mls Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper


In a large pan, melt the butter and add the onions.

Cook the onions until soft, add garlic and cook gently for 1 minute.

Add the baked beans and chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins.

Remove from the heat.

Using a stick blender, liquidize the soup.

Return the pan to the heat, add the milk, cheese, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.

Heat gently, stirring the cheese until melted.

Check seasoning and serve.

Sushi Rolls


When life is getting too busy with lots of comings and goings I rely on sushi to feed the boys.  Given the choice this is one of their favourite meals, they can nearly eat their body weight in it!

When it comes to fillings I love using raw fish, mostly salmon and tuna, however, for school lunches raw fish is not an option, so I use smoked salmon and tinned tuna instead.

For the vegetarian options I have one boy who likes cucumber only and another who likes Asian omelette, cucumber and carrot. The fillings are only limited by your imagination, teriyaki chicken, prawns and tofu, just make sure your filling is one that’s easy to slice for serving.

This recipe makes 10 rolls of sushi.


3 cups sushi rice

125mls rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons caster sugar

3 tablespoons mirin

10 sheets of nori/ seaweed


Place the sushi rice and four and a half cups of water in a pan with a well fitting lid.

Bring to the boil and then turn down the heat to low, allow to cook for 15 mins, do not remove the lid.

After 15mins, turn the heat off but leave the lid on.

Combine the rice vinegar, salt, sugar and mirin in a jug.

After 5mins standing tip the rice into a large bowl.

Pour the rice vinegar solution over and give it a gentle stir to combine.

Allow to cool.

Now prepare to make the sushi, you will need a bamboo roller and a bowl of warm water.

Place the roller in front of you, so you can roll away from your body.

Take a sheet of nori and place, shiny side down on the roller.

Wet your hand in the water and take a handful of rice and gently spread it onto the bottom half of the nori, you may need another handful of rice to reach the edges.

Press the rice gently down and use the side of your hand to make an indentation the length of the sheet. This is where your filling goes.

Once filled, take a little water and spread it on the far side of the nori, furthest from your body.

Gently roll the sushi away from you, towards the wet area, using the roller, keep a little pressure on the roller until you have rolled all of the nori.

Set aside and repeat.

Cut the prepared sushi into 8 pieces.

Serve with gluten free soy sauce ( Tamari ), pickled ginger and wasabi.




Mexican Bean Cakes with Fresh Salsa


Gluten free, wheat free and vegetarian deliciousness!

These truly hit the mark with a wonderful fresh flavour from the coriander and chilli and the squishy ness of the beans.

They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

I love these served with a wedge of lime, lots of fresh salsa and some avocado possibly dressed with lime. The boys eat them broken up in a tortillas with fresh salsa, recipe to follow, and sour cream, sometimes they even add an egg and as they eat with their hands they love these!

Makes 16.


2 x 400g tins of kidney or black beans

1 420g tin creamed corn

2 eggs, beaten

100g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks, rinsed

1 medium carrot, peeled and finely grated

1 small onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1-2 jalapeño chilli, deseeded and chopped

1 tablespoon ground cumin

150g chickpea/besan flour

2 teaspoons salt

pepper to taste


In a food processor grate the carrot.

Change the blade to the cutting blade and add the coriander, onion, garlic and chilli, process to a rough paste.

Add the beans and pulse, just enough to begin to break them up.

Pour this mix into a large bowl.

Add corn, eggs, cumin, chickpea flour, salt and pepper.

Mix well.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat with enough sunflower oil to cover the base.

Once hot spoon cakes onto the oil, spread them out a little to around 8-10 cm, allow to cook for 3-4 mins until browning.

Flip the cakes over and repeat cooking time.

Set aside on a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain and continue cooking the rest of the bean cakes.

Serve with salsa.

Fresh Salsa

This salsa is so quick to prepare we have it with most Mexican or TexMex meals.

As this was for the boys there is no added chilli, if it was just for the adults I would add 1 jalapeño, deseeded and chopped and 1 avocado, cubed.

6 roma tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

1 shallot, peeled, halved and cut into fine slices

a few stems of coriander, leaves and stems cut roughly.

1 lime, juiced

salt and pepper to taste

Combine the ingredients and serve at room temperature.



Growing up in Scotland, shortbread was often in the biscuit barrel.

This is an easy recipe that lasts well in an airtight container.

The  dough can be rolled out and cut into shapes too but I find this method less time consuming and still quite attractive!


220g butter

110g caster sugar

330g plain flour

100g Demerara/ Raw sugar


Preheat the oven to 170degrees Centigrade.

Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

Process the butter and sugar in your food processor.

Add the flour and process until the dough has come together  remember to scrape down the sides occasionally.

Place a large piece of cling film/plastic wrap on your work surface and sprinkle a line of the Demerara length wise.

Take half of the dough and shape it into a sausage around 4cm thick,now roll it in the Demerara and wrap the cling film around it.

Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Pop in the fridge for 30mins.

Remove from the fridge, discard the plastic and cut the dough into 2cm discs.

Place on the baking sheets and bake for 25-30 mins until pale golden.

Remove to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.


Slow Roasted Leg Of Lamb with Rosemary and Garlic


I love a roast.

When we have a busy weekend planned I can throw this in the oven and know dinner will be waiting all ready, veggies and all, in 7 hours!

Due to the long slow cook the meat is “spoon able”, it falls apart easily so use a spoon or tongs to serve.

I am lazy so no browning of the lamb and vegetable quantities are really up to you. Left over veggies are all used up in my Shepherd’s Pie recipe with left over meat so there is no waste with this.

Serves six with enough leftovers to make the Shepherd’s Pie


2.5-3kg leg of lamb

2 onions, peeled and quartered

2 bulbs of garlic

12 small/ medium potatoes, peeled or not

6-8 carrots, peeled and cut in half

4 beetroots, peeled and quartered

12cm piece of rosemary

750mls red wine

500mls water

salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade.

Place the onions, potatoes, carrots and beetroot into a large roasting tin.

Cut one garlic bulb in half horizontally, you don’t need to peel it,add it to the veggies.

Remove four cloves of garlic from the next bulb, set aside. Cut the remaining garlic as before and add to the roasting tin.

Take the 4 garlic cloves, peel them and finely slice them.

Place the lamb on a chopping board.

With a very sharp knife cut the meat all over.

Take a slice of garlic and a couple of rosemary leaves and push these into the cuts, repeat with all of the cuts.

Place the lamb on top of the veg, add any remaining rosemary, pour over the water and the wine, season well.

Cover well with tin foil and pop in the oven.

Remove after 7 hours, there will be a lovely dark juice/ gravy at the base of the pan, use this to make your gravy or, I just use it as is and spoon it over the meat.

A little mint sauce goes well with this just to break up the richness of the meat.

Once you have finished, keep the bones and boil some water in the roasting tin to scrape off any lamby goodness, this makes cleaning up easier and you can use this juice, any leftover gravy and the bones to make a beautiful stock which will then be used to make Shepherd’s Pie.

You can make this stock and freeze it too if that helps. I like to make the stock and freeze it next to my leftover lamb and veg so when I come to make the pie it’s all there ready to go.




Gluten Free Apple Slice

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This is a hard sweet to define, adapted from a cake recipe but actually lovely warm with cream or ice cream too.

As it is quite crumbly by nature I also use it to make apple pie ice cream if there is any left over.


120g butter, melted

400g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

150g ground almonds

100g brown rice flour

2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

4 apples, peeled, cored and diced


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Grease and line a 30cm by 15cm cake tin.

Whisk the butter, sugar and eggs in a large bowl.

Add the ground almonds, brown rice flour, baking powder, cinnamon and apples, mix well.

Spoon into the prepared tin, spreading it right up to the edges.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.

Allow to cool in the tin.

Feeding a hungry family!