Thai Sweet Potato Soup with Roasted Cashews: Easy Gluten Free – Helen Tzouganatos

Easy Gluten Free by Helen Tzouganatos

Published by Plum

RRP $39.99,

Photography by Jeremy Simons

 

SERVES 4–6 DF, GF, VG
Sweet potato is beautiful in soups because it has a thick, creamy texture when pureed and carries other
flavours well, particularly spices that balance its natural sweetness. If you love extra heat feel free to
increase the quantity of curry paste in this recipe; I keep mine fairly mild so it’s family friendly.” p 91

 

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 tablespoons gluten-free Thai red curry paste
1 kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into
3 cm cubes
1 tablespoon gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos
750 ml (3 cups) gluten-free vegetable stock
125 ml (1/2 cup) coconut milk
juice of 1 lime
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
handful of chopped roasted cashews,

 

to serve

handful of coriander leaves, to serve

 

Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the ginger, garlic and curry paste and sauté for another 2 minutes.

Add the sweet potato, tamari or coconut aminos and stock. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until the potato has softened. Take the soup off the heat and stir in the coconut milk and lime juice.
Blitz with a hand-held blender or in a food processor until smooth and creamy.

Adjust the seasoning to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with cashews and coriander.

NOTE
• Sweet potatoes are a great source of fibre, vitamins and beta-carotene,
a powerful antioxidant that gives orange fruits and vegetables their colour.

 

Review: Summerwater – Sarah Moss

I am going to go out on a limb here and say I have recently read THE  TWO BEST LITERARY/CONTEMPORARY READS OF THE YEAR…with a caveat that I can add more to this short list if I come across anything super exciting. 🙂

Covid 19 has certainly impacted on my reading habits and mood. I find myself shying away  (but not given up on) my favourite genre – crime fiction, in favour of more contemporary reads – dont ask me why?

In the last couple of weeks I have read Summerwater by Sarah Moss: and Betty by Tiffany McDaniels.

 

Summerwater

Sarah Moss

Picador

Pan Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781529035452

RRP $32.99

Description:

Set in an isolated Scottish cabin park over the course of one rainy summer’s day, A DAY LIKE TODAY follows a group of holidaymakers and their growing curiosity about a disruptive foreign family staying at the site. As the residents become more closely entwined tension mounts between them, but no one can know what lies ahead as night falls. Sharp and devastating, Sarah Moss’s newest novel is the perfect follow up to her Women’s Prize longlisted GHOST WALL

 

My view:

SUPERB!       SUBLIME!!!    READ THIS BOOK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Betty – Tiffany McDaniel

**Best reads of 2020 Must reads of 2020**

Tiffany McDaniel who is quickly becoming one of my favourite writers, ever!

Betty
Tiffany McDaniel
W & N :
H
achette Australia
ISBN: 9781474617536

Description:

A stunning, lyrical coming-of-age novel set in the rolling foothills of the Appalachians in which a young girl, with only the compass of her father’s imagination, must navigate racism, sexism, and the dark secrets that will haunt her for the rest of her life.

“A girl comes of age against the knife.”

So begins the story of Betty Carpenter. Born in a bathtub in Arkansas in 1954 to a Cherokee father and white mother, Betty is the sixth of eight siblings. The world they inhabit is one of poverty, racism, abuse, and violence–both from outside the family, and also, devastatingly, from within. After years on the road, searching in vain for a better life, the Carpenters return to their hometown of Breathed, Ohio, in northern Appalachia. There, they move into a sprawling wreck of a farmhouse that local legend says is cursed. The townsfolk decide the Carpenters are cursed, too: “My mother gave birth to eight of us,” Betty tells us in her frank, wry voice. “More than one would die for no good reason in the prizewinning years of their youth. Some blamed God for taking too few. Others accused the Devil of leaving too many.”

But Betty is resilient. Her father’s inventive stories are kindling for the fire of her own imagination and even in the face of tragedy and death, her creativity is irrepressible. Against overwhelming odds, she may be the first member of her family to break the cycle of abuse and trauma–and escape.

 

My View:

I Love Tiffany McDaniel’s writing – I just want to grab a pen an underline or flag words to read again – and I never ever mark my books! Or read again. Just like her debut The Summer That Melted Everything – I love love love the writing, the emotions, the themes, the protagonists, the contemporary issues and that this writing is based on family history.   What a story! Grab the tissues there are so many poignant moments without being melodramatic – in fact melodrama is the opposite of how this book is written.

 

Let me share an example of the scintillating writing:

After dinner Old Woman Slipperwort went to bed. I fell asleep watching TV through the crawling ants and static. I woke a few hours later, needing to pee. I walked quietly toward her bedroom, hoping I could pass through to the bathroom.

Like the night before, I found her naked and sitting on the edge of her bed. Unaware I was there, she continued to massage her legs, their blue -green veins twisting beneath her skin.  I wasn’t as afraid seeing her body this second night. In the folds and creases, I saw her history. Her skin the diary of her soul. All the springs she had watched the flowers bloom. The summers she had stood before the moon and kissed its face. The autumns she had grown wiser. The winter that had frozen the initials of her name. Each wrinkle was a record of this and every hour, minute an second she had lived. The things she had asked God for. The things she had cursed the devil about. In the folds and creases I saw beauty.“p 294 ( The back story to this will make your heart break) I am tearing up revisiting this section. This writer can see into the souls of people and transform that vision in words on the page

 

READ THIS BOOK.

 

Like The Summer That Melted Everything I predict awards for Betty.

Simple Chocolate & Hazelnut Cake: Easy Gluten Free – Helen Tzouganatos

Easy Gluten Free by Helen Tzouganatos

Published by Plum

RRP $39.99,

Photography by Jeremy Simons

 

This cake is so easy to make and so delicious – I think hazelnut meal is my new favourite ingredient. It was our daughters birthday, I made the cake and grandson decorated – with ALL the decorations.  It was delicious.

When I was growing up I loved smearing chocolate hazelnut spread on white bread as an afternoon treat.
Thankfully supermarkets now stock organic dairy-free chocolate hazelnut spreads that are much tastier
and cleaner than the leading brands. Hazelnut meal is fantastic for baking because it has a buttery, nutty
flavour and keeps cakes incredibly moist without the need for added fat. This cake is super quick to whip
up and the two-ingredient chocolate ganache couldn’t be easier.” p258

 

6 eggs
310 g (1 1/3 cups) caster sugar
330 g (3 cups) hazelnut meal (see Note)
2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
pinch of sea salt flakes
chopped hazelnuts, to decorate

GANACHE
150 g (¾ cup) dairy-free chocolate
hazelnut spread
60 ml (¼ cup) coconut cream

Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan-forced). Grease and line a 20 cm
round cake tin with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar for 3 minutes or until
light and fluffy. Add the hazelnut meal, baking powder and salt and
mix until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes or until
a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for
10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the ganache, place the chocolate hazelnut spread and
coconut cream in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until
smooth and well combined.
Pour the ganache over the cooled cake. Using a spatula, spread it
right to the edge and smooth the surface, allowing a little ganache to
drizzle down the side of the cake. Decorate with chopped hazelnuts,
then cut into slices and serve. Leftover cake will keep in an airtight
container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

NOTE
• You can replace the hazelnut meal with almond meal if you like. It will
have a finer texture and a milder flavour but will be just as delicious.

#FridayFreebie : Easy Gluten Free – Helen Tzouganatos

Easy Gluten Free by Helen Tzouganatos

Published by Plum

RRP $39.99,

Photography by Jeremy Simons

Description:

Discover how easy it is to cook delicious, gluten-free food for the whole family, every night of the week, with Helen Tzouganatos, host of the SBS Food series Loving Gluten Free.

Easy Gluten Free makes cooking for the family simple with more than 100 delicious recipes: enjoy favourites such as pizza, pasta and breads as well as soups, salads, hearty mains and desserts you won’t believe are gluten free!

Inside you’ll also find tips on what to keep in your pantry, on the different gluten-free flours and how to use them, as well as a guide to cooking different grains and seeds.

Recipes include: Easy Bowl & Spoon Gluten-Free Loaf; Leek & Mushroom Tart in Shortcrust Pastry; Cauliflower Pizza 3 Ways; Roasted Miso Pumpkin & Rocket Salad; Greek Horiatiki Salad; Hearty Chicken Drumstick & Vegetable Soup; Smashed Pea & Corn Fritters with Lime Avocado; Slow-cooked Beef Ragu Rigatoni; Best-ever Beef Lasagne; Crispy Salt & Pepper Squid; Sticky Pork Ribs with Tamari Honey Mustard Glaze; Molten Chocolate Puddings; Raw Mango Macadamia Cheesecake and many more.

AUTHOR INFORMATION

Helen Tzouganatos is a television presenter, passionate home cook and recipe developer, specialising in delicious gluten-free food made from scratch. Helen’s gluten-free journey started 12 years ago when she was diagnosed with coeliac disease. She began sharing her passion for simple gluten-free food in 2015 via her blog, http://www.helentzouganatos.com, and today she hosts SBS television show Loving Gluten Free. Helen lives in Sydney with her husband, Spiro, and three children, Vasili, Sofia and Ruby.

 

**I have 5 copies of this amazing cook book to giveaway. To enter, comment  which recipe you would love to make if you had a copy of this book. (Entries open to Australian residents only)  Entries close 4/9/020 winners will be randomly selected **

Easy Bowl and Spoon Gluten Free Loaf: Easy Gluten Free – Helen Tzouganatos

‘Easy Gluten Free by Helen Tzouganatos, Published by Plum, RRP $39.99, Photography by Jeremy Simons’  

 

Gluten Free cooking is my new “everyday”, I love this book!

 

Easy Bowl and Spoon Gluten Free Loaf

MAKES 1 LOAF DF, GF, V
Baking doesn’t get much easier than this. Unlike regular bread, which requires kneading, all you need to
do with this loaf is mix the ingredients in a bowl like a cake batter, then pour into a tin for a light, fluffy
loaf (not dense and heavy, as gluten-free bread can often be). Tapioca is fantastic in gluten-free bread
because it gives it a soft, bouncy texture, and buckwheat injects a nutritious boost of protein, fibre
and antioxidants. Get creative and replace the sesame seeds with chia seeds, poppy seeds, linseeds or
pumpkin seeds, or you could even go seedless. All combinations are delicious.” p29

 

1 teaspoon caster sugar
7 g sachet dried yeast
2 eggs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,
plus extra for drizzling
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
210 g (1 3/4 cups) tapioca flour, sifted
210 g (1 3/4 cups) buckwheat flour, sifted
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Place the sugar, yeast and 300 ml of lukewarm water in a jug and whisk to combine. Leave to stand for 10–15 minutes or until the mixture foams.

Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl, then stir in the olive oil and vinegar.

Combine the flours, salt and xanthan gum in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the yeast and egg mixtures into the well and mix with a spoon until well combined.

Grease a 20 cm × 10 cm loaf tin with olive oil and sprinkle sesame seeds on the base and sides to create a seeded crust. Spoon the dough into the tin and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place for about 1 hour or until the dough has almost doubled in size.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (fan-forced). Drizzle olive oil over the risen dough and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden. Remove the tin from the oven and immediately transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool (this will help the crust stay crisp). Leave to cool for a few hours before slicing.

The loaf will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for 1 week. Alternatively, slice it and freeze for up to a month. Frozen slices toast well – no thawing required.

TIP
• Don’t slice the bread while it’s still hot as it will be gummy and sticky.
You need to let the steam inside settle for a few hours first.
VARIATION
• Replace the buckwheat flour with tiger nut flour for a slightly sweeter
loaf that is equally nutritious.

#FridayFreebie House of Correction – Nicci French

 

House of Correction 

Nicci French 

Simon & Schuster

Description:

‘So,’ said Mora Piozzi, her lawyer, looking down at her laptop. ‘In brief: you are charged with the murder of Stuart Robert Rees, on December 21st, between the hours of ten-forty in the morning and half-past three o’clock in the afternoon.’

Tabitha is accused of murder. She is in prison awaiting trial.
There is a strong case against her, and she can’t remember what happened on December 21st.
She is alone, frightened and confused.
But somehow, from the confines of her cell, she needs to prove everyone wrong.

House of Correction is beautifully written, clever, shocking, twisty, so believable and utterly compelling. This is another stunningly brilliant novel to relish from Nicci French.

 

 

**Thanks to the generous people at Simon & Schuster  Australia I have one copy of this magnificent read for you to win. ( I finished reading this a couple of days ago – it’s brilliant! ) Australian residents only – answer me this in the comments- who is Nicci French? I will randomly select the winner on the 2nd of September – publication day. **

Review: Torched -Kimberley Starr

Torched

Kimberley Starr

Panterra Press

ISBN: 9780648571537

 

Description:

An explosive, haunting and utterly compelling crime novel about mothers and sons and the ties that bind them.

 

A small Yarra Valley town has been devastated by a bushfire, and Reefton Primary School Principal Phoebe Warton can’t sleep. She’s the single mother of Caleb who is accused of starting the fire – on purpose. Twelve people are dead, students from her school among them; only a monster would cause such carnage. But where was her son that day? No one knows but Caleb, and he’s not talking.

 

Against mounting community rage, Phoebe sets out to clear her son. But every avenue leads back to Caleb. Why did he vanish from his Country Fire Authority shift? Who else was at the abandoned goldmine that day? Why is Caleb refusing to speak?

 

Phoebe will be forced to confront the nature of guilt and redemption, and decide what boundaries she is willing to cross to save the son she loves.

 

 

My View:

The publishing date for this read was changed a few times due to COVID- 19 issues of restrictions and the coincidental major bush fires in Australia- how difficult it must have been to be planning to release a book whose central character is a fatal bush fires and then an actual fire ravishes huge parts of Eastern Australia, devastating for the author and for the areas affected by the fires.

 

And so, I read this book, was fascinated, loved the tension packed pages, loved the family story and if you have ever wondered how it felt to actually be in the mist of a bush fires – well this read is so believable, so visual…I was “there”, smelling the fire, heat burning my nostrils… And then everything halted. The release was postponed and the book languished on my desk, pretty soon covered in various notes, other books to review…

 

This book is fabulous! It is on my list of “best reads of 2020” and I hope it will soon be on yours.

 

Review: There’s a Zoo In my Poo – Professor Felice Jacka and Rob Craw

There’s a Zoo In my Poo

Professor Felice Jacka and Rob Craw,  

Macmillan Australia

ISBN: 9781760783044

 

Description:

 

There’s a Zoo in your Poo!

It needs a Zookeeper

And that Keeper is YOU!

 

Did you know that trillions of tiny bugs live in and on all of us? And there’s a Zoo of bugs in our poo. But which are the good bugs and which are the bad? What should we eat to keep our good bugs happy and our body strong?

 

Get to the guts of what you need to know about you and your poo.

 

Professor Felice Jacka is a world expert in the field of Nutritional Psychiatry and gut health. Teacher and musician Rob Craw is a world expert at drawing bugs!

 

They want kids to know all about the amazing stuff going on in their bodies.

 

Get ready for a journey inside the most exciting of places … YOU!

 

 

My View:

Brilliant!

 

This book is the new #1 on my 4-year-old grandson’s reading list.  We have read over and over and over. He even took it in the car with him, to read on a short holiday.  He loves this book and I must say I agree with his view. It is brilliant! It is the perfect book to start a dialogue with your pre-schooler about gut health, healthy food choices, digestion etc.

 

This book is packed with easily transferable knowledge – one page reads “factorially” – with information that a parent/guardian or teacher will find useful, the opposite page is filled with images and fun facts that are attention grabbing and keep your pre schooler entertained. And the best page of all? The poo chart 😊  ( https://continence.org.au/bristol-stool-chart )  What is it with pre-schoolers and poo? Yes my grandson joyfully shares with us the number on the chart that matches his poo. Too much information you may ask? Well, a little gross but not really; he is at a great age to start healthy lifestyle conversations😊 and this book does a fabulous job of starting these conversations.

 

This book is a must have resource for every school and library.

 

 

Review: Fair Warning – Michael Connelly

Fair Warning

Michael Connelly

Allen & Unwin Australia

ISBN: 9781760877989

 

Description:

The hero of The Poet and The Scarecrow is back in the new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Connelly. Jack McEvoy, the journalist who never backs down, tracks a serial killer who has been operating completely under the radar–until now.

 

Veteran reporter Jack McEvoy has taken down killers before, but when a woman he had a one-night stand with is murdered in a particularly brutal way, McEvoy realizes he might be facing a criminal mind unlike any he’s ever encountered.

 

McEvoy investigates—against the warnings of the police and his own editor—and makes a shocking discovery that connects the crime to other mysterious deaths across the country. But his inquiry hits a snag when he himself becomes a suspect.

 

As he races to clear his name, McEvoy’s findings point to a serial killer working under the radar of law enforcement for years, and using personal data shared by the victims themselves to select and hunt his targets.

 

Called “the Raymond Chandler of this generation” (Associated Press), Michael Connelly once again delivers an unputdownable thriller that reveals a predator operating from the darkest corners of human nature—and one man courageous and determined enough to stand in his way.

 

 

My View:

Michael Connelly remains my all-time favourite male crime fiction writer! I don’t know how he does it, the writing is always fresh and intelligent, the themes, contemporary and plausible and so addictive.

 

The introduction is dramatic and gripping, the characters then propel the story forward. Some contemporary science and policing methods are brought into the discussion and for about 5 minutes I was convinced I knew where this story was heading and who was the culprit. I was wrong, so wrong!

 

Engaging, relevant, dynamic, character lead, crime fiction – Michael Connelly has this genre sewn up.