Gluten free pizza topped with fresh ingredients (two ways)

Gluten free pizza topped with fresh ingredientsSo we started a new diet for Tomas this month. We (which is really me) decided that his eczema may be caused by gluten intolerance. Like with any other diets we tried this includes a long 6 weeks trial where we change our menu to avoid the ingredient in question. I found gluten is not that difficult to avoid. Unlike dairy gluten mostly can be found in carbs. So essentially I thought I need to start baking my own bread, but then I was putting that off as bread baking involves quite a lengthy process…. however without gluten it is not so lengthy. The trouble with gluten free bread is that is difficult to bake a nice bread, but it does not take that much time to make it since we don’t need to kneed the dough to get the gluten to stretch. So all and all no gluten means hello quick bread!
I have been recently inspired by fresh tomato toast recipes from Half Baked Harvest blog. Fresh tomatoes in summer are just amazing! I don’t have such a big harvest of tomatoes (yet) this year, but I thought it would be lovely to make fresh tomato pizza anyways. I made pizza with cucumber as well (I have started getting them in my green house too!!).Gluten free pizza topped with fresh ingredientsGLUTEN FREE PIZZA TOPPED WITH FRESH INGREDIENTS
Makes two pizzas
(for the base)

  • 600g gluten free flour mix (mine consisted of rice, tapioca and potato starch)
  • 25g xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2tsp brown sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 10g quick acting dry yeast
  • 350ml warm water

(for the fresh tomato pizza)

  • 125g mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces
  • 100g cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-5 tomatoes, sliced
  • basil

(for the potato and cucumber pizza)

  • 125g mozzarella cheese, torn into pieces
  • 1 potato, pealed and thinly sliced (I used a grater)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • chives, finelly chopped
  • 1-3 cucumbers, sliced

1. Mix together the flour, xanthan gum, garlic salt, sugar, baking powder and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle. Pour the water into the well and mix everything to form two balls. Roll out the dough onto the baking sheet until it is 5mm thick.Gluten free pizza topped with fresh ingredients 2. To make the cheese and fresh tomato pizza sprinkle the garlic, mozzarella and cheddar cheese over the base. Season it and drizzle some olive oil on top. Bake the pizza in the preheated 200C oven for 20-30min. Once baked top the pizza with sliced tomato and fresh basil.Gluten free pizza topped with fresh ingredients 3. For the potato and cucumber pizza sprinkle the base with mozzarella, potato and chives. Heavily season it (potato requires more salt) and drizzle some olive oil on top. Bake the pizza in the preheated 200C oven for 20-30min. Gluten free pizza topped with fresh ingredients 4. Once baked, top the pizza with cucumber and more chives (and maybe salt if needed). Gluten free pizza topped with fresh ingredientsEnjoy!
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Salad in a crepe

Nicoice salad in a crepe recipeMy love for crepes have reached the next level while in France. I knew crepes can be savoury and sweet but it never crossed my mind that crepes can be served with salad inside it. Woaaaah!!! Sunny times like these require a lot of salad eating I think! I also decided to brave up this time and make crepes 100% buckwheat (we all know pancakes without gluten are just too complicated). But after many failures you eventually get it, buckwheat pancakes need a lot of practice and patience. If you are not up for challenge, regular crepes/pancakes taste just fine ;-).Nicoice salad in a crepe recipeNICOISE SALAD IN A CREPE
(for the crepe)

  • 200g buckwheat flour
  • pinch of salt
  • about 500ml water
  • knob of butter for frying

(for the salad)

  • 3-4 potatoes, pealed and thinly sliced
  • sunflower oil
  • 200g canned tuna in brine
  • 20 green olives, halved
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful of lettuce, chopped
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 eggs, quatered
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard (we did not use it here, but I think it would taste good)
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed to paste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • chives, finelly chopped

1. First prep the crepe batter by combining all the ingredients. Start with dry ingredients and then gradually add water into it till the batter reach double cream consistently (be careful not to overmix). Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.
2. Boil the eggs.
3. Fry the potatoes in the frying pan with the generous amount of oil.Nicoice salad in a crepe recipe4. Make the salad. Arrange prepped ingredients ready for serving. Sprinkle with chives and seasoning.Nicoice salad in a crepe recipe5. To make vinaigrette combine vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, garlic paste, lemon juice and sugar in the jug. Add salt and pepper to taste. Nicoice salad in a crepe recipe6. Melt the butter in well heated frying pan. Pour one spoonful of crepe batter and immediately start swirling round the pan to get nice even layer. Loosen around the edge with a spatula once the top “dries up”, then turn the crepe and cook for further 1 minute. As you can see its not easy as with lack of gluten these crepes are flaky and therefore easily collapse when flipping. However I am sure lovely crepes can be achieved once you have a bit of practice.Nicoice salad in a crepe recipe7. To serve arrange Nicoise salad on the crepe and scatter more chives on the top.Nicoice salad in a crepe recipeBon Apetitte
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Ice cream for breakfast

Ice cream for breakfast! Click here for mango lassi ice lolly recipe ;-)I’m feeling really really hopeful for the summer to come. Hey Summer, don’t keep us waiting here!
Anyways, I am still passionate about ice cream and not having great great weather does not put me off from having some for breakfast. This particular ice lolly I tried making the other day is actually specifically for breakfast. It’s pretty easy to make too! Just what you need when a sunny morning does finally come :-).Ice cream for breakfast! Click here for mango lassi ice lolly recipe ;-) For these breakfast ice lollies you will need mango lassi that can be bought, although it is so easy to make it yourself. This is how I made mine….
MANGO LASSI adapted from good old Jamie Oliver

  • 3 cardamon pods, seeds out and crushed
  • 1 ripe mango, pealed and chopped
  • 250g natural yogurt
  • 50g ice cubes (if serving straight away)
  • runny honey (just a drizzle)

1. Place all the ingredients into food processor, whizz a little and voila!Ice cream for breakfast! Click here for mango lassi ice lolly recipe ;-)2. Serve with fresh mint Mango lassi Mango lassiMANGO LASSI ICE LOLLIES

  • Mango lassi (recipe above)
  • Hand full of granola (can be shop bought as well)
  • Fresh mint, finely chopped

1. Mix the mint into the lassi.
2. Pour the lassi into ice lolly mould and sprinkle granola on top.
3. Freeze for at least 4 hoursIce cream for breakfast! Click here for mango lassi ice lolly recipe ;-) Ice cream for breakfast! Click here for mango lassi ice lolly recipe ;-)Happy hot weather longing 😉
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A healthier coke float

A healthier coke floatLast week I tried making popsicles for the very first time. This week I thought I will give a try on making an ice-cream float. I have never tried a soda float that I liked, but I definitely like the idea of it! I tried root beer float in the past and I hated it, maybe it’s not my cup of tea (maybe root beer requires acquired taste). Anyhow I decided to go with coke this time and make it slightly healthier than usual recipes I have seen. Just because (I am not quite sure why I went with this challenge at all!)…
First I thought I will make diary free and low fat almond milk ice cream. I thought the taste of coke and almond would go well together, a bit like amaretto and coke! I froze some almond milk with a small amount of ground almond in the cups…A healthier coke float: attempt to make almond milk ice-creamBut when I whizzed it in the food processor (because I don’t have ice-cream maker), it turned into something of sorbet consistency.  Not something I would put on top of the coke!A healthier coke float: attempt of making almond milk ice-creamNext I thought I will make the coconut milk ice-cream (something safer as many I heard tried and made this successfully). Not as low fat, but still on the healthy side ;-). Here is the recipe!
COCONUT COKE FLOAT
(for ice-cream)

  • 1 400ml can coconut milk (choose the creamiest brand like “Chaokoh”)
  • 1 tsp stevia

(for soda)

  • coke life

1. First make the ice-cream, strain the coconut milk loosely so liquid separates from cream as much as it can. Mix the stevia into the cream and freeze the mixture for 3-5hours.A healthier coke float: making coconut milk ice-cream2. Once the cream is frozen (in shallow container preferably), break it up and whizz it in food processor. A healthier coke float: making coconut ice-cream3. The mixture will become chalk like, but don’t worry! Once you start mixing it, the ice-cream should loosen up and gain cream texture (which is what we want! right?). A healthier coke float: making coconut milk ice-cream4. Finally, time to enjoy this ice-cream float! Pour the coke into the glass and then scoop the ice-cream on top. Alternativelly you can scoop the ice-cream first into the glass and then pour coke over it.A healthier coke floatEnjoy!
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Homemade Solero

Passion fruit & cream popsicles recipeIf you have been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that I looooooove ice-cream (not only in summer)! I have made many type of ice-creams in the past, although I feel there are so many types still to try. During weekend I made my first batch of popsicles! I sneakily tried to copy Solero ice-cream, because that is my favourite popsicle in the whole world (I first tasted it when I was 14 years old and I basically fell in in love with it!).
To make these popsicles was quite a challenge. I wanted plain ice-cream completely concealed in frozen fruit juice. Since I never buy special equipment to make the ice-cream I thought of first freezing cream part in smaller cups and then dip them in fruit juice that is in bigger cups. For the smaller cups I used plastic disposable cups that made it difficult to remove the ice-cream pops from them, especially when Ice-cream is softer than ice. For the bigger cups I used silicone cupcake moulds that worked so much better!
PASSION FRUIT & CREAM POPSICLES
(for ice-cream)

  • 250ml whipping cream
  • 200g condensed milk

(for fruit juice ice)

  • 60ml (1/4cup) orange juice
  • 170g passion fruit pulp (either from a can or from around 6 passion fruits)

1. First make the ice-cream part. Whisk the cream and carefully combine it with condensed milk. Spoon the mixture into the smaller cups than the cups for the final freezing (it’s best to use silicone ones for easy removal). Insert popsicle sticks into each filled cup before freezing (I used coffee stirrers instead since I had some leftover at home). For best result freeze it overnight. Passion fruit & cream popsicles recipe2. Once the ice-cream is completely frozen then prepare the second cups for the final freezing. Pour a small amount of orange juice mixed with passionfruit pulp into each cup. Passion fruit & cream popsicles recipe3. Dip the ice-cream pops into prepared cups. pour some extra fruit juice on top if it does not cover the cream completely. Freeze them for at least 3 hours.Passion fruit & cream popsicles recipeThese may not look exactly like Solero, but they taste amazing!Passion fruit & cream popsicles recipe Passion fruit & cream popsicles recipeEnjoy!
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Joni's birthday trifle cake

Trifle cake, perfect summer occasion cake!I know this might be a bit delayed, but I thought I will share what cake I baked for Joni’s birthday. This year Joni wanted a trifle (he mentioned that long time ago), but as you may all know it’s a difficult one to transport (We celebrated the birthday in Mudeford). I instantly thought I of making a cake version of trifle dessert! I decided to use a basic sponge as a base and lady fingers holding the cake’s shape (hence me experiments of baking lady fingers last week). Basically the aim was to make an edible dish if you know what I mean ;-). The result was great, however if I made this again, I would have filled it with more filling (the recipe edited accordingly). Unfortunately I wasn’t prepared for such a large trifle “dish” :-D. Here it’s how I got on… Trifle cake, perfect summer occasion cake!RASPBERRY TRIFLE CAKE
(for the sponge)

  • 225g butter
  • 225g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder

(for the filling)

  • 500g mascarpone and 500g fresh custard mixed together
  • 100ml sweet fruity liquor (such as cherry or  blackberry liquor)
  • 500g or more raspberries, drizzled with 2 tbsp elderflower cordial and lightly mashed

(extras)

  • lady fingers, enough to cover the cake sides (try baking your own or just buy them ready baked)

1. Bake the sponge. Cream butter with sugar then gradually add eggs, flour and baking powder. Mix everything to combine well. Spoon the cake mixture into lined round baking tin and bake it in the preheated 180C oven for 45min or so.
2. Once the sponge has cooled I have cut the top away with the knife. The reason for this was so there would be no “hill” caused by the rising cake and because I did not want the crust stopping the sponge from absorbing the liquor.Trifle cake, perfect summer occasion cake!3. Next I have arranged the lady fingers around the sponge base sides. I used a bit of filling cream to make them stick. I tied the ribbon to fix everything in place.Trifle cake, perfect summer occasion cake!4. Layer the filling! Started with the cream layer then the raspberries (then the cream and raspberries again and so on), just because I thought cream would seal the sides better and stop the raspberry juice running through the lady finger gaps. Trifle cake, perfect summer occasion cake! Trifle cake, perfect summer occasion cake!Chill the trifle cake in the fridge before serving. Enjoy!
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Crochet this lacy crop top

lacy crochet crop top, click here to find the patternI finally finished crocheting this lacy crop top that I originally was making for spring. The weather wise it’s perfect! June this year feels more like April :-D. However this top doesn’t fit me any longer (hence my new bump)…
So last weekend I met up with my sister in London, she was more than happy to model my new creation. Here is how it looks on non-pregnant woman :-). If you are interested to make one yourself the pattern is herelacy crochet crop top, click here to find the pattern lacy crochet crop top, click here to find the pattern lacy crochet crop top, click here to find the pattern lacy crochet crop top, click here to find the patternThanks for letting me share 😉
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Pinterest challenge: chilled cucumber soup

Chilled cucumber soup recipeAlthough it went chilly outside, I have been craving for refreshing foods such as salads or chilled soups like this one. Chilled soups aren’t common in England but because I am Lithuanian I am quite familiar with it. My favourite was chilled beetroot soup until I came across chilled cucumber soup here on this adorable blog! I slightly modified the recipe and served it with roasted new potatoes (just what any other Lithuanian would do). Chilled cucumber soup recipeCHILLED CUCUMBER SOUP adopted from Dishing Up The Dirt
Serves 2

  • 1 large cucumbers, sliced
  • 300ml natural yogurt
  • 1.5tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • small handful of dill, (plus some for the garnish)
  • small handful of parsley (plus some for the garnish)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 sliced radishes for the garnish (optional)

1. In a blender combine cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, dill, parsley and olive oil. Blend until smooth.Chilled cucumber soup recipe2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.Chilled cucumber soup recipe3. Garnish with herbs and sliced radish if using. Serve it with roasted potatoes and drizzle of oil.Chilled cucumber soup recipeEnjoy!
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Visiting Thermal Springs in Italy

Thermal Springs in Saturnia, ItalyIf you are going to Italy sometime soon, be sure to visit thermal springs in Saturnia. We were lucky to stay in North Tuscany, so we reached this little town in two and a half hours by car. It was totally worth it! The only thing I would have done differently is to visit different locations of the hot springs instead of settling for a free one. In fact the setup is so confusing that we did not even know where to go once we are in Saturnia itself. We took at least an hour to actually figure this out. We used information listed on Discover Tuscany website, which have been quite useful in getting there and had some clues how to find this place. However I have recently found this comment on Trip Advisor that would have been useful if only… well, I did find it earlier before going to Italy!Thermal Springs in Saturnia, ItalyIt’s quite amazing to dip yourself into warm waters while adoring a wonderful view of an Italian landscape. I suppose it would be much more interesting to experience the thermal springs in autumn or even winter when the air temperature drops. The only think I should warn you about however is that you will be smelling of rotten eggs (just slightly) because of sulphurous waters.Thermal Springs in Saturnia, Italy Thermal Springs in Saturnia, Italy Thermal Springs in Saturnia, Italy Thermal Springs in Saturnia, Italy
 
Have a lovely weekend!
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Super easy fresh strawberry ice-cream

Super easy strawberry ice-cream, only three ingredientsWhile in Italy I fall in love with strawberry ice-cream, otherwise called gelato alla fragola. You might think this is very basic, but actually it taste really refreshing as it taste of real strawberry! Sadly, I often find the shop bought strawberry ice-cream taste like candy powder.  Super easy strawberry ice-cream, only three ingredientsThis strawberry ice-cream might not be traditional Italian, but it is really easy to make as it requires little effort. Unlike other ice-cream I made it doesn’t contain any egg and there is no need to keep mixing it while freezing!
FRESH STRAWBERRY ICE-CREAM

  • 500ml whipping cream
  • 1 can condensed milk (397g)
  • 400g-700g fresh strawberries

1. Whip the cream and carefully combine it with condensed milk and pureed strawberries (can also be finely shopped).Super easy strawberry ice-cream, only three ingredients2. Once the ice-cream mixture is combined pour it into plastic container and freeze it for at least 4 hours. Super easy strawberry ice-cream, only three ingredients3. Serve ice-cream in your favourite cups or glass jars ;-).
Super easy to make fresh strawberry ice-cream with aged balsamic vinegar if you dear! Only three ingredients needed..I have recently discovered that aged balsamic vinegar goes really well with ice-cream. I dare you to try it!Super easy strawberry ice-cream, only three ingredients
Enjoy!
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