Apricot & Almond Tea Slice

IMG_4687_gluten free scallywg_apricot almond tea slice

Something about these sorts of tea slices make me think of my gorgeous Nan, baking with us whilst we were staying over for a night or two as children or as grown ups on one of our numerous trips to Margaret River (even now).  Which floats me back to a little over a month ago when Nan came and visited my Mum (and us now - woo hoo!) in Melbourne and we all took a little trip to the Mornington Penninsula. Yes, that's the three of us, three generations; Nan, Mum and I. Photo taken by my gorgeous man.

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We stopped in at Lilo Cafe on the Esplanade in Mornington as the morning was ticking on and our four bellies were rumbling. I'm so, so glad that we stopped in at this little cafe - thanks much in part to the 'Mornington PeninsulaGuide that I took out of my ABC Delicious magazine subscription some months ago - this cafe is simply gorgeous!

They have decorated this west facing (over the bay) cafe with retro kitchen and homewares finds all in different shades of green. Simply gorgeous! We had alot of fun spotting different items from various kitchens - Nan's, her Mum's and my man's. It's amazing what memories do and the memories at Lilo Cafe went all the way through to the bathroom where, if needing to wait in line you were kept busy by a rack of gorgeous (and yes, green!) retro clothes!

melbourne wandering_mrngton_lilo cafe

Once our bellies were filled, mine with a delicious open mushroom omelette and two cups of steaming hot creamy coffees, we headed out to taste some of the regions produce. First stop was Crittenden Estate where we Mum, who is not a drinker and therefore our designated driver, fell in love with the Moscato. We ended up with a nice bottle of Pinot Gris to share over dinner one evening and warming ourselves by the fire we decided upon our next stop - Port Phillip Estate , but not before we'd stopped to take a few photos of cows....

melbourne wandering_mrngton_cows

This was all before we stumbled upon the most gorgeous little store 'Little Red House' where I fell in love with everything and it was clear to me that yes, someday, I will open a homewares store. As what's better than shopping for things that you love that can then bring joy to others? (Apart from baking cake of course!)

melbourne wandering_mrngton_visits

So, on cold afternoons whilst your honey is at the gym getting all hot and sweaty (like mine was when I baked this) grab your apron and bake this delicious gluten free apricot & almond tea slice . It's not only perfect as a dessert with ice cream at your next dinner party, but also a lovely treat to surprise (they were expecting brownies) your glutenous workmates just how yummy gluten free can be!

IMG_4694_gluten free scallywg_apricot almond tea slice

Gluten Free Apricot & Almond Tea Slice

12-15 squares adapted from AWW

130g butter, softened

125g brown sugar

2tsp vanilla


40g desiccated coconut

85g plain gluten free flour

160g almond meal

220g gluten free yoghurt (vanilla or greek is fine, I used low fat)

6fresh apricots, halved and de-stoned or a tinned halved apricots

Apricot jam to glaze

Preheat the oven to 170degrees celcius and line a 28cm x 18cm baking tin with baking paper. 

Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla until thick and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time to combine. 

Whisk together the coconut, gluten free flour and almond meal together. Add this to the batter in batches alternating with the yoghurt until combined. 

Pour the batter into the lined lamington tray and smooth out. Top with apricot halves, open side up. Press them only just into the batter

. Bake for approximately 40-45minutes, a skewer inserted should come out clean.

Remove from the oven and brush with a few tablespoons of warmed apricot jam. Allow to cool completely (or at least for 30minutes) before serving with fresh cream, gluten free vanilla yoghurt or even a big scoop of cremy ice cream.

Delicious and will last for 3-5days if you don't share and decide to eat it morning noon and night!

Carrot, Pumpkin & Lentil Soup (DF, EF, NF + V)

IMG_4526_gluten free scallywag_pumpkin red lentil soup

Of late I've been awfully side tracked... life has changed a little after our move, because, well....we not only moved homes but states too !! Yep. We're now residing in the fabulous city of Melbourne, Victoria! It's a gorgeous city, Melbourne, and one I can't wait to explore a little more....of course, we've already been visiting the Prahran Markets and even located some fabulouslocal gluten free eateries.

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Of course, if you follow me on twitteryou may have noticed a few tweets mentioning the lovely experience that is 'attending interviews', as I was also on the job hunt. Luckily, that hunt is over and I'm now settled in a position that is conveniently located just a short tram ride away - YAY! The team at the office is sad to hear that I'm gluten free "awww no cookies!" was the first exclamation! However, I think that with this gluten free brownie, these gluten free cookies and maybe something new... they'll be converted in no time!

Melbourne wandering_Malvern

A few weeks ago I made this delicious soup, in my kitchen which is slowly coming along ! It's warm and conforting and I love the sweetness of the pieces of carrot found by your spoon. The lentils make this a super hearty soup and the aromatics of the ginger and garlic make it a good winter soup. Add some cayenne pepper to get the metabolism going.

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Rustic Carrot, Pumpkin & Lentil Soup

Warms 6-8 bellies

1 brown onion, peeled and diced

1cup red lentils, soaked overnight and rinsed

Half a butternut pumpkin, deseeded and peeled

4carrots, peeled

1 celery stick,

1tsp ginger

1tsp minced garlic

1.5L gluten free vegetable stock

salt & pepper to taste

Once you've de-seeded and peeled the pumpkin, cut it into medium sized pieces or approximately 5cmsq. Cut the carrot into 1.5cm rounds and slice the celery into half centimetre 'crescent's. Set aside.

Heat a large splash of olive oil (about 2tblspn) in a large pot and saute onions until soft and translucent. Add the ginger, garlic, carrot and celery. Saute for a minute or two until the aromas of the ginger and garlic are wafting beneath your nose. Add the lentils, pumpkin and the stock to cover and simmer for approximately 1-1 1/2hours or until the soup is of a thick consistency and the vegetables are soft. Season to taste and serve as is, rustic and charming with gluten free bread.

I love coming across the large pieces of sweet carrot. Yum!

Can also be cooled and blended if you wish.

Will keep for 3-5days in an air tight container in the fridge. Suitable to freeze if blended.

Sundried Tomato & Porcini Mushroom Gnocchi with Beef (NF)

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I've been a photographer's assistant for quite sometime, actually, since I was big enough to hold a professional sized camera I've been following my Dad around with one! I've also helped out Sammi, who is a gorgeous person and photographer behind some of the most lovely wedding photography in Perth, Western Australia.

This past January, I had the opportunity to photograph a wedding. Solo. Yep, all by my lonesome.  No Dad, no Sammi. Just me. My camera. A backup camera (thanks work!) a few lenses... and a gorgeous couple, surrounded by their closest family and friends in a candleit lit backyard of the suburbs of Perth...

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Recently though, we've moved house.We're currently giving a bit of a make over.... a lick of paint, oh and a WHOLE new kitchen! Eeek! I can't wait till it's done! So far it's been 4weeks without a kitchen - no stove, no sink, no kitchenaid *sniff*. (It's also been quite some time without proper internet - it's doing my head in, but we won't get started on that particular fiasco...)

In the meantime, we've bought ourselves a campstove ($29 for the stove + $8 for 4 butane canisters from the local chinese grocers = happy us), our wine has arrived (wee haa!) and we are happily cooking ourselves some hot meals - pasta, warm beef, been and olive salads and don't forget those sunday mornings with crispy bacon and scrambled eggs and hot coffee. Oh I do love a good hot coffee on the weekends!

campstove gnocchi

The other night I threw together a hearty beef and gnocchi dinner. The gnocchi was thanks to my gorgeous best friend (who know food was in boxes that weren't yet available to unpack) who ordered a care package for me from Three Ducks Gluten Free Gourmet which included lots of gluten free treats; pomegranate shortbread, gluten free pastas, pizza pases, sauces, nuts and lots of other gluten free goodies. was warm, hearty and filling. Exactly what we're been after these past few weeks.... and coming into winter here in Australia, exactly what you'll be after too!

campstove gnocchi_cooking

Sundried Tomato & Porcini Mushroom Gnocchi with Beef

Serves 4-6 hungry bellies

50g porcini mushrooms

1/2 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

500g beef mince

1/4cup tomato paste

1/2cup semidried tomatoes, chopped

400g tin tomatoes

Pepper to season

2 packets gluten free gnocchi

Parmesan, to serve

Soak the mushrooms in warm water in a small bowl. Leave to soften. Pull out a frypan and heat it up - hot - add some oilive oil and the garlic and onion. Saute for a few minutes until cooked through. Add the beef mince and break up with a spoon, cook until sealed. Add the drained mushrooms, tomato paste, semidried and tinned tomatoes, reduce heat to low and cook for approximately 30minutes until sauce has reduced and beef is cooked. Check seasoning and keep warm at very low heat whilst you coook the gnocchi.

Boil a large pot of water and pour in the gnocchi. Wait for the gnochii to rise to the top and scoop out with a slotted spoon straight into the warm sauce. Once all of the gnocchi is cooked and mixed through, spoon onto some warmed bowls and sprinkle with parmesan. 

Serve hot, sprinkled with parmesan and a glass of good heart red wine.

Luscious Green Cream Cheese Dip (EF, NF + V)

Gluten Free Scallywag_Luscious Green Dip 1

Wow - I still can't believe we're at the beginning of yet another year! Last year was a bit of a whirlwind with organising the

Gluten Free Scallywag Bakery

and moving jobs, it all went terribly fast! I always wonder if everyone else's year seemed to go as fast as mine... did yours?

This year has just as much in store as last year, I'm sure. I've had some


from the bakery and I'm looking forward to learning much more about food photography, doing regular weekly posts and expanding my gluten free baking range...especially after the epic gluten free pastry fail I had yesterday! I even have an intimate

wedding to shoot

in late January! 2011 is all about expanding my range (and that's not my waistline - that will be slimmed down a little thanks to some swimming and crosstraining!) and I hope that all of you, my lovely readers, who visit this blog regularly and leave lovely comments will do something new this year too! Even if it's just baking your first

gluten free chocolate cake

from scratch!

Margaret River 2010 - The Lodgings

This holiday season, we trotted off down to Margaret River in the South West of Western Australia.We spent the week lazing in the sun on the deck. A few trashy magazines piled up on the coffee table or falling asleep on the lounge, only to wake later with


next to me, panting away and wriggling around during his doggie dreams!

Margaret River 2010 - The Deck
Margaret River 2010 - Surf Boards

There were afternoons spent driving up and down Caves Rd visiting the odd winery and cafe and enjoying the cool waters at Smiths Beach. Trips into town for some gluten free sausages (Coles has a fabulous range of gluten free snags for those who are bbq mad - like me!) were bbq'd then thrown into some gluten free bread and enjoyed with a green salad. It was another lovely summer holiday and I hope you enjoyed yours as much as I enjoyed mine!

Margaret River 2010 - Hang It Out To Dry

This dip was made in my friend Dom's new toy; a Thermomix . We had a gluten free (apart from the bread) Thermomix demonstration during our holidays and I must say it certainly seems to be a most handy appliance - grinding nuts into meal, risotto in 17minutes, a cheats lemon & berry sorbet in moments and it grinds raw sugar into castor sugar and then icing sugar.  Ahh.... the idea of only having to by raw sugar for the rest of my life ...bliss! Now, this dip was adapted from the recipe book that comes with the Thermomix, but can easily be made in a food processor.

Gluten Free Scallywag_Luscious Green Dip 3

Luscious Green Cream Cheese Dip: Gluten Free Recipe

Make approximately 1cup

250g cream cheese

1/3cup grated parmesan cheese

1small bunch parsley

1small bunch chives

handful of basil leaves

2 cloves garlic, crushed

pepper, to taste

Wash your parsely, chives and basil and add into the food processor/Thermomix with the garlic. Buzz for a few seconds, till finely chopped. Stop to scrape down the bowl. Add the cream cheese and parmesan, buzz until smooth. Test a little and add pepper to taste.

Serve immediately with some gluten free crackers. Would also store well in an air tight container in the fridge for 2-3days.