Semper Crostini & Purely Haricot bean, caramelised onion and rocket hummus

Purely Haricot Bean, Caramelised Onion and Rocket Hummus Ingredients

Cooked haricot beans (Haricot beans, water, salt), Caramelised onions (Onion, sugar, rapeseed oil), Lemon juice, Rapeseed oil, Sesame paste, Fresh rocket, Salt, Garlic, Pepper.

If hummus was a person then it would probably find me overbearing because I just love hummus.  A lot.  Too much.  So I was pleased to find this opportunity to step outside my chickpea rut without going too far from my comfort zone.  Unfortunately, it didn’t really hit the spot.  Not because of the haricot beans (they were fine), but because the hummus was so sweet.  The onions weren’t caramelised; they were toffee coated.  Not good.

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Semper Crostini Ingredients

Maize starch, Water, Yeast, Dextrose, Olive oil, Maize flour, Psyllium seed shell, Capers, Olives, Salt, Sugar, Emulsifier (Guar gum, hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose), Rosemary, Oregano.

I have waxed lyrical before about how much I love Semper brand products.  The range of ingredients are just a really good fit with the Allergy Brothers’ safe foods.  Even so, I nearly didn’t bother checking this product out when I saw it on the Holland At Home website.  Little crunchy slices of bread, no way the boys can eat that!  I was wrong, but I still have to check the ingredients list every now and then because I am not sure that I believe my eyes.

These crunchy crackers are very versatile.  You can make tiny, pixie sandwiches out of them.  You can use them for dipping.  You could add them to soup.  Etc, etc.  They also taste good with a punchy herb and olive oil flavour.  They would be great as a base for bruschetta canapés.

In summary, ditch the dip, keep the crostini!

Christmas Marshmallow Crispies

Ingredients

45g dairy free spread (we used Pure sunflower spread)

300g marshmallows (ideally mini marshmallows, but we used Flumps)

200g cereal (we used Kellogg’s Puffed Corn Cereal and Nature’s Path Choco Munch because that’s what we had in the cupboard!)

Christmas shaped marshmallows or similar to decorate (we used Snowman marshmallows from Lidl)

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Method

  1. Melt the spread in a saucepan over a low heat.
  2. Add the marshmallows and heat them until they are completely melted into the spread.  Stir continuously.20151211_211604
  3. Take the pan off the heat and mix in the cereal.
  4. Press the mixture into a pan (we used a lasagne pan) lined with baking parchment.  It will be very sticky.  If you are going to add any sprinkles or extra marshmallows, then stick them on now.20151211_131508
  5. Leave the marshmallow crispy squares to cool in the pan.  Then cut into squares.

The Patisserie, Colchester Zoo, UK

We recently had a slightly soggy day out at Colchester Zoo.  We had a picnic with us, but we really wanted to eat inside and warm up with hot drinks.  The staff at The Patisserie were really helpful from the beginning.  They quickly agreed to the Allergy Brothers eating their packed lunches here while we purchased food, despite the stern sign over the entrance.

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The waitress also excelled herself by bringing us a folder of all the allergen information.  This folder was unusually good as it gave the full ingredients of every dish, and full ingredients of every ingredient.  For example, it would list goats’ cheese as an ingredient in a salad, and then list the ingredients of the goats’ cheese.  This meant that we were actually able to find gluten free food for me, and a salad for the Allergy Bros.

I chose a goats’ cheese and ham salad with gluten free bread.  Unfortunately, they had run out of gluten free bread.  However, the waitress suggested some crisps as a substitution, and she had already checked the ingredients for me.  The bad news was that the Allergy Brothers ate my crisps.

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The children’s menu included a ham, grape and apple salad. The allergen folder showed that the ham was suitable for the boys as it wasn’t breaded or injected with milk protein or anything weird.  The photo is a bit blurry because I couldn’t get the Allergy Brothers to leave the food alone long enough to take a photo!  I suppose that’s a good sign. It’s such a simple combination of food, but it really makes a difference for them to be able to order food.

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So we all had something to eat while we sat on a heated veranda watching the bird show.  Job done.