Two slices of chocolate tiffin on a plate next to the packaging.

Lazy Day Tiffins and Slices

This is less of a review and more of a tribute!  The other evening I was at home, the Allergy Brothers were tucked up in bed, and Allergy Dad was working as he does most weekday evenings.  There was an unexpected knock at the door.  My first thought was “it’s Halloween and I haven’t bought treats yet so I better pretend I don’t exist.”  There was a second knock; this time it was louder.  Now, I convinced myself that it was some kind of serial killer or, at best, robber.  There was a third knock; this time even louder.  And I finally realised that if I was going to be murdered in my kitchen then the perpetrator probably wouldn’t be considerate enough to not use the doorbell for fear of waking up the Allergy Brothers.  I was glad I answered the door because it was our friends, P and K, who had decided to do a run of the neighbourhood buying treats for everyone, who is home alone with sleeping little people and can’t sneak out to a shop.  What nice friends!

Two slices of chocolate tiffin on a plate next to the packaging.

For me, they had chosen Lazy Days Foods Free From Tiffin.  These are, as you would expect from such lovely friends, a really good choice.  They are free from gluten, wheat, dairy, egg, and hydrogenated fats.  They are suitable for coeliacs and vegans.  They also have a long best before date.  There are many situations where we have to buy food for large groups of people, such as buying cakes for the whole office on your birthday.  If you want to be very considerate, like P and K, then I would recommend putting an extra packet of Lazy Day Foods tiffin or slices in your supermarket basket as it just might mean that someone can actually have a treat with everyone else and it might make their day a little brighter.

Twp Jack O Lanterns with bags of sweets

Trick Or Treat With Allergies

This is the first year that the Allergy Brothers have shown any interest in Hallowe’en.  They decided that they would like to have a small party and hand out sweets to the trick or treaters.

Twp Jack O Lanterns with bags of sweets

I wanted to have a range of treats to accommodate as many food needs as possible.  I was surprised how easy it was to find allergen free sweets.  The Monster Mallows are gluten free and it turns out absolutely yummy.  The marshmallow is creamy and chewy, and the chocolate coating actually tasted like nice chocolate; in fact, it reminded me of the caramel taste of Galaxy chocolate.  The Swizzels Monster Treats mix contains soya, but it is otherwise free from gluten, dairy, and egg.  The Swizzels Double Lollies are actually suitable for the Allergy Brothers as they don’t contain soya either.  We also have some glow sticks as non-food treats.

I would love to know about any more of your tips and suggestions for Hallowe’en in the comments!

Amisa rice bread

Amisa Rice Bread With Flax Seeds

Ingredients: Cereals 59% (Kibbled whole rice 37%, Millet 8%, Kibbled buckwheat 6%, Rice thickening flour 4%, Maize grits 4%), Water, Lupin flour, Flax seeds 3%, Salt, Thickener: guar gum, Yeast, Sunflower seeds, Caramel.

Amisa rice bread

My favourite thing about this product was that I looked up exactly what kibbled meant (to chop or grind up coarsely, in case you weren’t sure either) so the ingredients list enlarged my vocabulary.  If you can’t eat any other form of bread then this will be okay toasted well with something strongly flavoured, such as Gentleman’s Relish or Marmite, on it.  If you can eat other forms of bread then eat them instead.

Two slices of Amisa rice bread toasted and buttered on a plate.  One slice has a bite out of it.

Two bottles of beer, packets of stroopwaffels and speculooos

Going Dutch for a Day (Gluten free) – Beer!

It’s 5.30.  It’s Friday.  It’s Vrijdagmiddagborrel or Vrijmibo, AKA Friday evening, after work drinkies, AKA Pub Club.  And I have two gluten free beverages to test.

Two bottles of beer, packets of stroopwaffels and speculooosFirstly, Mongozo Premium Pilsener.  Ingredients: Water, Barley malt, Rice, Yeast, Hops.  I picked these bottles up a long time ago at The Free From Show in London.  I wasn’t absolutely sure how a product could contain barley and still be gluten free.  The Mongozo salesman did explain it to me, but he had quite a strong accent and really quite a lot of free samples.  So I don’t understand the process, but I completely trust him because he is my best friend…

Also, while we are at it, let’s clear up some pickiness.  These beers are brewed in Belgium, but it’s for a Dutch company so they are still legit for our Dutch day.  The Pilsener was crisp, mild and fizzy.  It made me feel slightly nauseous as it brought back unpleasant memories of my teenage years.  In summary, it was exactly the same as normal lager, but without the gluten.

The second bottle had got me really excited, because it is a white beer.  I love the flavour of white beer, but it was one of the earliest signs that gluten and me were no longer friends.  One sip would really make me very ill indeed, which was so unfair as I really loved that sip.  The ingredients are water, barley malt, rice, buckwheat, yeast and hops.  My hopes were so high for this product that it seemed inevitable that they would be dashed.  And they weren’t!  This really was a fantastic product.  Light, refreshing, gently hoppy with a hint of sourdough.  If you are ordering for me at the bar, then “mine’s a Mongozo Buckwheat White Beer.”  I am buying myself a case for Christmas.

And on that happy ending, I hope you have enjoyed our wheat free/gluten free day of Dutchness, and I hope you have a great weekend.

The flags of Scotland, The UK, and The Netherlands

Two bottles of beer, packets of stroopwaffels and speculooos

Going Dutch for a Day (Wheat free) – Stroopwafels

How is your Dutch day going?  It’s still raining here.  I think it is time for another snack, Molenaartje brand Spelt Stroopwafels.

Ingredients: Spelt flour (gluten), Spelt syrup, Vegetable oil (palm oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil), Rice syrup, Honey, Soy flour, Corn and barley malt syrup, Emulsifier: sunflower lecithin, Sea salt, Raising agent: sodium bicarbonate, Cinnamon, Citric acid.

May contain traces of milk, egg, sesame seeds and nuts.

These stroopwafels are about the size of a coaster.  They consist of two crisp biscuits with a sticky syrup in between.  Stroopwafels are generally very yummy and somewhat addictive.  The spelt version tasted a bit too healthy, but still had a big enough sugar hit. Thanks to that energy boost, I think I can stagger on for another two hours until the next blog, and it’s a favourite of mine.  It’s time for a borrel.  Intrigued?  See you back here at 5.30pm!

The flags of Scotland, The UK, and The Netherlands

Going Dutch for a Day (Gluten free) – Speculoos

We recently had a delivery from Holland At Home so we thought we would have a Dutch day.  Plus, it feels quite Netherlandsy round here.  Firstly, it’s raining a lot at the moment.  Secondly, the landscape in our part of England is very similar to the Netherlands.  This is probably because, thirdly, we are geographically very close to the Netherlands.  This means we have lots of Dutch tourists, which is why we have the Dutch flag flying in our town.  [Sorry for the poor photo.  The Allergy Brothers’ need to get to the playground trumped my need to take a nice photo of the flags.]

The flags of Scotland, The UK, and The Netherlands

If we were in the Netherlands, then it’s probably time for a snack and some coffee.  We tried the gluten free spicy speculoos made by Consenza.

Ingredients – Cane sugar, Corn starch, Butter (milk), Tapioca flour, Potato starch, Egg, Spices (3%)(Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Mace, Nutmeg, Allspice, Ginger), Dextrose, Thickener: guar gum, Lupine flour, Salt.

May contain traces of soy, sesame, and tree nuts.

These biscuits were really very cute as they are shaped like little windmills.  They had a pleasing, lightly spicy flavour, and a soft, cookie like texture.  This is particularly unusual in a gluten free product as these tend to be brittle and crisp. In fact, I was very happy with these speculoos until I got to the last one.  It had an unpleasant fibrous mass attached to it!  I can’t decide if I am glad or nauseated by the fact that it was the last one.  Certainly if it had been the first then I would have thrown the rest away, and I won’t be buying them again!

Oh well, better luck later.  We’ll meet again at 3.30pm for another fortifying snack and some more coffee (we’re going to miss lunch as a blog entry, but we’ll probably make a gluten free cheese toastie to keep to the theme!).