Sunday, February 26, 2017


We are giving away a 400g packet of our chocolate cake pre-mix this week on our FACEBOOK PAGE. So get on over and be in the draw!!  (Only open to those in NZ sorry!)

This mix is so easy to use by just  adding milk, eggs and oil, but if you want to fancy it up a bit you can add berries, or even make it into a black forest gateau.
Mike makes the Black Forest Gateau by, sprinkling the sponges with Cherry Brandy, or even Rum (but you could leave the alcohol out if you don't want it) and then layering the chocolate sponge, drained Morello cherries and whipped cream.  He then covers the whole thing with whipped cream and either garnishes with fresh cherries (if in season) or finely grated chocolate.  Its very decadent but great for impressing guests after dinner with coffee!



Sunday, February 19, 2017


We work pretty long hours at Gluten Free Store, and I would love to tell you I'm super organised with meals for the family worked out in advance, but I'm in fact normally chasing my tail constantly, and will often get home realising that I've "taken nothing out for dinner".  I tend to have a few staples in my pantry and fridge, so I can whip up something in half an hour or so.  (I love that sort of timeline for meals!)
Dried Pasta, tinned tomatoes, Verkerks Chorizo, (I love Verkerks products, made here in NZ,  this spicy sausage is my favourite), and there are always some veges lurking around in the fridge somewhere, or some frozen beans or something in the freezer.
This dish which always varies depending on what I have in the fridge has over the years in our house become known as Pasta Surprise.  The kids always groaned when they were told it was Pasta Surprise, but I've improved it since the early days, so now they actually like it and our adult daughter now makes her own variation on it now that she has her own little family!  This recipe is pretty loose, as I cook on the fly most of the time, and just taste as I go.


1 250g packet of Buontempo Dried Pasta (I like this brand and I find it most cost effective)
800g Tinned Tomatoes
Dried Herbs (optional) even better are fresh if you have them in the garden!
Couple of tablespoons of Tomato Paste.
1 Large Onion
1 or 2 Verkerks Chorizo Sausage sliced or diced.  Couple of strips of streaky bacon (optional)
Gluten Free Powdered Stock (I use Massels)
Finely diced carrot, capsicum, courgette, kumara.  (whatever you have in the vegetable crisper, but I tend to not use potato).
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Cook Pasta according to instructions.

Fry onion and other vegetables in a pot or pan until soft.  (Pot is better as its deeper)
Add in herbs, and a couple of teaspoons of stock.  Chicken, Beef or Vegetable (they are all vegan)
Then add your Chirozo, and if you like a few finely chopped strips of streaky bacon.  Once these are browned, add tinned tomatoes and stir it all in.  Add the tomato paste, and let that all gently simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Giving it a stir every 5 minutes or so.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain (and I rinse it) stir a slug of olive oil through it, and then add it to your tomato mix.  You can either fold it in and serve from the pot or transfer to an oven dish and sprinkle generously with grated cheese and bake for a crispy top.

Adding a teaspoon or two of sugar when cooking tomatoes, brings out the flavour.
Add a bit of Chilli Powder or Spicy mix, can give it a bit more kick.
Bake with a generous sprinkling of cheese with some gluten free breadcrumbs to give it a really cruchy top.
I add all sorts of vegetables to this depending on what I have.  Different coloured capsicum, carrots etc, all give it a lovely colour too.
Serve with or without a green salad.



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Our new Batter Mix

Summer has finally arrived, but we have been urging it on with the release of our new Batter Mix.
This light and crispy batter has been such a winner, working with everything from fish, and prawns to vegetables, and being able to deep or shallow fry is a bonus!  So great if you are away on holiday and just want to be able to have battered seafood to cook in the pan!
We love it so much, and its been really popular on fish and chip nights!
A few tips when using the batter:

*Make sure your water is cold.  (We keep some in a glass bottle with a lid on it in the fridge)
*Dust whatever you are battering with some rice flour so that the batter does not fall off when frying. You can even use a bit of the dry mix.
*Add your battered morsel to the pan slowly, so as not to let it stick the bottom.
*Take your batter mix to the next level by adding some Lemon Pepper, or Cajun or Moroccan Spice to your mix.

Here is a wee video:  Click on link if video wont play.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Gluten Free Scones!

One of our first pre-mixes, the scone mix is a great pantry staple, to have on standby! On their own or as a jumping off point, its so easy to make a savoury scone with the addition of cheese, herbs, and or onion or add some dates for the old favourites that remind me of my childhood.
I still love the "devonshire tea" scone, with jam and cream, and always hard to stop at just one!

This week we are doing a giveaway on our facebook page, so why not get on over and get in the draw!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pancakes! Not just for breakfast!

This versatile yet impressive Buckwheat Pancake Mix has become really popular, and depending on the consistency of your mix you can have pancakes, crepes or pikelets. A lot of people immediately think of breakfast pancakes, which are always popular in our household, with some bacon and maple syrup. My favourite is a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of sugar!  Pikelets are one of my "go to's" to serve visitors with a cup of tea.  With cream and jam!  It never fails to impress.  Another great way with them is making blini's.  These little mini pikelets are a fantastic hors d'oeuvre, with the addition of some tasty toppings. A great way to impress your guests, whether they are gluten free or not!

Suggested toppings:

Pate and Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 tub of Chicken Liver Pate 
1/2 Block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Squeeze of lemon
Cavier (Its not "real" cavier and costs about $8 in the fish section of your supermarket, but goes a long way!)  
Blitz Pate and Cream Cheese in a food processor or whip in a mixer, check if you need to add any salt or pepper.
Should be a consistency so you can pipe it.

Pipe or spread on to cooled Blini's, and add a little dollop of cavier with a sprig of coriander or parsley.

Cream Cheese and Salmon
Spread cream cheese on Blini's and add a sliver of smoked salmon with a dot of coriander or finely chopped red pepper.  
Or Blitz the cream cheese and smoked salmon as you would the above recipe.

Of course if you don't want Blini's, good old pancakes never go amiss.  Serve with your favourite accompaniment.  Bacon and Maple Syrup, or Blueberries or Fruit of your choice!  An ideal lazy Sunday breakfast!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Can I use a Bread Maker for Gluten Free Bread?

We often get asked if our bread mixes can be used in a breadmaker.  The short answer is no.
The results tend to end up a small doughy loaf.   Gluten Free Bread is made using a totally different technique, and the secret is not only in the finely tuned balance of flour blends but in the way they are mixed.  Traditionally bread is kneaded, and a bread maker emulates this with a small slow moving paddle.  In place of the gluten, GF bread needs to contain gum.  Xanthan and Guar being commonly used, the gum takes place of the gluten which gives the bread structure, and holds it up. Using a bench top mixer at reasonably high speed emulsifies the gum, and with the mix being quite stiff, it is almost impossible to mix by hand. Therefore we always advise that a benchtop mixer is really the only way to get a decent gluten free loaf.
Each breadmaker is different, and therefore devloping a mix that will work in various machines, would be extremely challenging.  However at Gluten Free Store, we love to give things a go so are keen to do some testing and see if we can work some magic!
But to see how easy it is to make our Gluten Free Bread, we have a short video here.

We use Kenwood mixers