Friday, December 30, 2011

Serving up luck for the New Year

There are many foods thought to bring good luck and fortune in the New Year. In the Italian tradition lentils are eaten, as they are thought to resemble coins, bringing with them prosperity in the New Year. 

Not only are lentils naturally gluten free, but they are also jam packed with nutrients and health benefits. Lentils are high in fibre and a great source of B vitamins. They are also high in iron, making them an excellent meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians. Lentils are a cholesterol lowering food and are full of protein. 

So with all these health benefits in mind, and hope of some extra luck in 2012, we have decided to make a lentil salad to serve on New Years Eve. See recipe below. 

2011 has been such an amazing year and we would like to thank you for all the support you have given us! This year we kick started our blog and even started up our very own Facebook page. If you haven’t already, head over and click LIKE on our page, or you could be missing out on loads of extra tips and gluten free news! 

Wishing you a safe and happy new year and looking forward to more great adventures and surprises in the kitchen in 2012! 

2 rashers bacon, diced 
1 tin (400g) lentils 
1/2 Spanish onion, finely sliced 
1/2 tin (200g) whole baby beetroot 
25g walnuts, roughly chopped 
2 tablespoons continental parsley, chopped 
1 tablespoon mint, chopped 
60g goats cheese, crumbled 
Juice of 1 lemon 
1 tablespoon oil 

1. Fry bacon in a non-stick pan until browned and crisp. Once cooked, place on a plate covered with kitchen paper to absorb the oil. 

2. Drain and rinse the tinned lentils and place into a medium bowl. Add the bacon, Spanish onion, walnuts, parsley and mint, and stir together. Cut the baby beetroots into quarters (or halves depending on size) and add to bowl. 

3. Whisk lemon juice and oil in a separate bowl and pour over lentils. Season with salt and pepper. 

4. Add crumbled goats cheese and toss through salad.

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Red Velvet Christmas Tree Cakes

One more sleep left till Christmas and so much cooking to do! 

At least we have our desert sorted. We are making these cute little Christmas tree cakes, made from a red velvety cake mixture and luscious cream cheese frosting (see recipe below). 

We wish you all a very Merry GF Christmas and Happy New Year! 

2 1/2 cups GF plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon xanthan gum 
1 teaspoon salt 
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened) 
50ml red food colouring 
1/2 cup (approx 113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
1 1/2 cups caster sugar 
2 eggs, at room temperature 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature 
1 teaspoon white vinegar 
1 teaspoon baking soda 

Cream Cheese Frosting 
250ml cream cheese, softened 
50g unsalted butter, softened 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 1/2 cups GF icing sugar mixture*, sifted 
pinch of salt 

1. Preheat oven to 180°. Butter and flour 6 Christmas Tree cake moulds. 

2. Sift together the GF flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt into a medium bowl; set aside. In a small bowl, mix food colouring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps and set aside. 

3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula. 

4. Make sure you have cake moulds nearby. In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Add it to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Working quickly, divide batter evenly between the cake moulds and place them immediately in the preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. 

5. Allow cakes to cool completely before frosting. 

6. To make the cream cheese frosting, blend together cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Turn mixer to low speed and blend in icing sugar mixture, salt and vanilla extract. Turn mixer on high and beat until light and fluffy. Spread over cakes. Use immediately. 

*TIP: Sift cake flour once before measuring, then sift again with the other dry ingredients per recipe instructions. 
If you prefer a sweeter and/or stiffer frosting, more icing sugar mixture can be added (up to four cups). But remember, the more sugar you add, the less you’ll be able to taste the cream cheese.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Christmas time brings back a childhood memory of being in the kitchen with my two sisters making snowballs. Food has always been a passion for us, so it was only natural for our mum to get us started at an early age. I remember making these delicious chocolate coconut balls with condensed milk goodness... my sisters would roll the mixture and I was given the task of coating the balls with the coconut. Being the youngest, I really had no choice! They told me I was too young and that was all I was allowed to do. 

Traditionally these were made with milk arrowroot biscuits. But since being diagnosed with Coeliac it got me thinking, why not make a gluten free version! I searched high and low for the recipe and finally found it. 

With the school holidays coming up, these are great to keep the kids entertained. And they would also make a gorgeous Christmas gift! So here is my version of gluten free snowballs. 

{Gluten Free Recipe} SNOWBALLS 
1 packet (200g) plain, dry gluten free biscuits* 
50g linseed meal 
40g gluten free cocoa powder 
45g desiccated coconut (plus extra for rolling) 
1 tin (395g) condensed milk 

1. Crush the biscuits until fine and place into a mixing bowl. You can use a food processor for this, but I find it easiest to place the biscuits into a tea towel and pound using a rolling pin (great to de-stress!) 

2. Add linseed meal, cocoa powder and coconut. Stir together. Then add the condensed milk and stir until it forms a wet mixture. 

3. Pour some extra coconut into a separate bowl. 

4. Take teaspoons of the mixture and roll into balls, then roll through coconut and place onto a tray. Continue until all the mixture has been used up. 

5. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 

*TIP: Use dry biscuits, such as Eskal Tea Biscuits. Try to avoid buttery biscuits like shortbread. 

These snowballs are kid-friendly but for a naughty adults only version add a splash of rum, or why not even try Malibu to go with the coconut flavour!

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

‘Tis the Season to Bake Gingerbread Cookies!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… With less than 2 weeks to go, the spirit of Christmas is truly in the air! This is one of my most favourite times of year. There are flashing lights everywhere, Christmas carols can be heard from buskers, shop windows are filled with sparkling decorations and no matter where you go you will most probably end up with glitter all over you! But most importantly Christmas is a time for sharing food with loved ones. 

Nothing says Christmas more than gingerbread cookies. When the cookies are baking, the smell of Christmas floats through the kitchen, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves... 

The following was adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. 

2 cups GF flour, plus more for rolling 
1 teaspoon xanthan gum 
2 teaspoons ground ginger 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup (approx. 113g) unsalted butter, room temperature 
1/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar 
1/3 cup unsulfured molasses* 
1 egg 

Icing to decorate (I used Queen decorating icing which is GF!) 

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, xanthan gum, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and salt; set aside. 

2. With an electric mixer beat butter and brown sugar, in a separate bowl, until smooth. Beat in molasses and egg. With mixer on low, add dry mixture and mix just until a dough forms. Place dough on floured plastic wrap and pat into a 20cm square. Wrap well and chill until firm (1 to 2 hours). 

3. Preheat oven to 180°C . Divide dough in half. Working with one half at a time (rewrap and refrigerate other half), place dough on floured baking paper; roll out 1cm thick, turning, lifting, and flouring dough (and rolling pin) as needed. Freeze dough (on paper) until firm, for about 20 minutes. 

4. Loosen dough from paper. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and transfer to baking tray. Handy hint: for the neatest edges, dip cutters in flour before cutting out each cookie. 

5. Bake for 10 to 18 minutes, depending on size, until firm and edges just begin to darken. Cool completely on baking sheets. 

6. Decorate cookies with icing. 

Makes 40-50 cookies (depending on size of cutters) 

*NOTE: Unsulphured molasses is made from mature sugar cane. It is a sweet, sticky syrup used commonly in baking. This can be found in supermarkets and health food stores.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Supersize Me! GF Brownie Cookies

These jumbo sized gluten free brownie cookies are very decadent and are definitely not Weight Watchers approved! 

The following was adapted from a Donna Hay recipe.


350g dark chocolate, chopped
40g butter
2 eggs
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup GF plain flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon GF baking powder, sifted

Peanut butter frosting
1/2 cup GF icing sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
80g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup mascarpone cream

1. Preheat oven to 180◦c. Place 200g of the chocolate and the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Set aside.

2. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and whisk with an electric mixer  for 15 minutes or until pale and creamy. Stir through the flour, baking powder, chocolate mixture and remaining chocolate and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

3. Spoon tablespoons of the mixture onto a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until puffed and cracked. Allow to cool completely on tray.

4. To make the peanut butter frosting, place the sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 6 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the mascarpone and beat for a further 2 minutes.

5. Spread half the cookies with the peanut butter frosting and sandwich with the remaining cookies.

Makes 6.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Ricotta Pancakes

So we couldn’t help entering another recipe into the Vitarium Gluten Free Bake Off! Keeping to the ricotta theme, we decided to enter our delicious Ricotta Pancakes. Check out our entry.

This is one of our favourite recipes for a delicious breakfast on the weekend and makes a great brunch dish which you might find useful for all the Christmas festivities coming up!

The ricotta used in this recipe should always be fresh. We always use fresh ricotta from Paesanella (and most of their other cheeses for that matter)

Another handy tip when making these pancakes, apart from using the fresh ricotta, is to always use a metal spoon when folding in the egg whites with the ricotta batter. This will keep the mixture light and fluffy. Make sure not to over work the mixture, as the pancakes will become too tough and dry. 

Ricotta pancakes

1 1/3 cups ricotta
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs, separated
1 cup GF plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
50g butter 

1. Place ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a bowl and mix to combine.

2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add ricotta mixture and mix until just combined.

3. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold egg whites through ricotta batter in two batches, using a metal spoon.

4. Grease a frying pan with a small amount of butter and drop 2 tablespoons of the batter into the pan.  Cook over low/medium heat until the pancake is golden on both sides.

5. Serve with your choice of fruit or with maple syrup. Makes approx 10 to 12 pancakes.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Gluten Free Bake Off

We have been busy little bees baking up a storm in our kitchen, because this year we have decided to enter the Vitarium Gluten Free Bake Off! After many tantrums and flour covered surfaces, we finally narrowed our recipe list down to our Buttermilk and Ricotta Sage Scrolls. 

Check out our entry and leave a comment of support! 

The great thing about the recipe below is that you can make so many different variations with the filling. We also love making ricotta, sundried tomatoes and olive scrolls – just substitute the sage with sundried tomatoes and pitted olives. Or if you have a sweet tooth, simply sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the ricotta! 

3 cups GF self raising flour 
1/2 tsp salt 
80g firm butter, chopped 
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, plus extra for glazing 
200g ricotta 
60g greek fetta 
20g goats cheese 
12 sage leaves 

1. Preheat oven to 220◦C. Grease a 30cm x 20cm lamington tin with butter. 

2. Sift GF self raising flour and salt into a large bowl and then rub in the butter using finger tips. Make a well in the centre and pour in buttermilik. Stir until combined and a sticky dough forms.

3. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead gently until smooth. Use rolling pin to roll dough out into a rectangle. To make this step easier, place the dough onto a piece of baking paper smeared with oil – it prevents the mixture sticking to the bench when rolling out. 

4. Crumble ricotta over dough and spread with spatula. Crumble fetta and goats cheese over the top of the ricotta layer. Scatter over the sage leaves. 

5. Roll the pastry into a log, using the greased baking paper to guide you. 

6. Cut into 1 inch thick rounds, place scroll-side up into the prepared tin, making sure buns touch. Brush top of buns with extra buttermilk. 

7. Bake for 25-30 mins until scrolls are golden and sound hollow when tapped. Allow to cool & serve.

This recipe leaves you with some extra goats cheese to use up. Here’s a little tip on how to store the extra cheese, simply cut the goats cheese into small pieces and place them in a bowl. Add good quality extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove of garlic (crushed or chopped), light sprinkle of sea salt and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Very decadent but this makes a nice addition to a cheese platter! 

This will keep in the fridge for a while as the olive oil will help preserve the cheese, just make sure all the cheese is submerged in the oil.

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Monday, November 07, 2011

It’s Moustache Season – Movember 2011

The Chaplin, the Handlebar, and the Walrus… there are all sorts of shapes and sizes of moustaches, and in the month of November we see them all. Currently known as Movember, the month where men all around the world grow their moustache with pride, raising money for men’s health. 

The funds raised in Australia go towards the two biggest issues of men’s health today – prostate cancer and depression. All money raised goes direct to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue: the national depression initiative. 

In 2010, over 130,000 Australian Mo Bros and Sistas got on board, raising $25 Million AUD. This year Two Silly Sisters have decided to get behind our fellow Australian Mo Bros and show our support by becoming Mo Sistas. For more information about Movember head to 

Did you know that gluten could affect behaviour patterns? Studies show that symptoms of coeliac can include an inability to concentrate or focus, known as ‘foggy brain’, as well as lack of motivation and irritability. Some doctors think coeliacs, in rare cases, can also be affected by autism, attention-deficit disorder (ADD), attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression. Studies show that these conditions can improve on a gluten free diet. Have a read of this very interesting article on the link between gluten free diets and mental health.

Please show your support by clicking on the link below and donating to the Two Silly Sisters Mospace 2011

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Spring has finally sprung!

After some truly miserable weather, and most possibly the coldest and rainiest winter in years, spring is finally here. You can feel it in the air. Days and nights are warming up, and people are just generally happier. Flowers are blossoming and fresh, vibrant spring fruit and vegetables are in season. As the warm weather sets in, our social lives seem to come back to life – BBQs, picnics, beach gatherings, and lazy Sunday afternoon drinks while the sun sets. No more excuses about the rain and wanting to curl up on the lounge with a movie and tea. And the best part – it might be a girl thing - but you can leave the house without a jacket! 

So what fresh produce is available in spring? You will find grapefruit, lemons, blood oranges, blueberries, honeydew melon, new season mangoes, papaya, rhubarb and strawberries are in season. As well as artichokes, asparagus, beetroot, brussels sprouts (for those who dare!), cabbage, fennel, leeks, peas and spinach. 

With this in mind I decided to make a spring inspired asparagus and goats cheese frittata. Here is the recipe.


20g butter
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
8 eggs
1/3 cup pure cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley and basil
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 bunches asparagus*
60g goats cheese, crumbled

1. Preheat grill to medium-high. Whisk eggs, cream, chopped herbs and parmesan in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Melt butter in a 22cm non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden.
3. Blanch asparagus in hot water, drain and add to frying pan. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes or until bright green and just tender. Pour egg mixture over asparagus. Lift and tilt pan to distribute egg mixture. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle goats cheese over the top. Cook for 10 minutes or until almost set.
4. Place pan under grill. Grill for 3 minutes or until set and golden. Stand for 3 minutes. Loosen frittata with a spatula. Slide onto a plate. Serve with salad.

*TIP: The ends of asparagus can be quite dry and woody. Remove these by snapping the ends off. The stems will naturally break where the tough woody part ends and the tender stem begins.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Eat, Talk, Laugh @ Hugo’s Manly

A girls day out at Hugo’s in Manly was the perfect way to catch up with my sisters.

We had so much to catch up on, that our plan of attack for the day was to talk, talk, talk until we ran out of things to say to each other (it could take hours or maybe even days before we would run dry in conversation!) and eat to our hearts content.

Hugo’s Manly is located on Manly Wharf, right on Sydney Harbour. The day was overcast but warm enough to sit at a table near the huge open windows, looking right onto the water. What an amazing view! We couldn’t have asked for a better location to start off our girly day.

So in between our conversations that seemed to go off into tangents as we all excitedly pushed each of our stories in, and telling the waitress to come back in 5 mins (about 3 times!), we decided to share gluten free pizzas, (even though sister number 3, Lori, is not coeliac!) a bowl of polenta chips and a nice bottle of red wine.

We chose to share the Fig pizza with fresh figs, pancetta, gorgonzola, tomato & basil, the Prawn pizza with chilli prawns, roasted capsicum, tomato & salsa verde and the Lamb pizza with potato, fetta, olives, capsicum, onion & chilli. Yum, yum and yum!

The pizza base is nice and thin, which made it taste like a “real pizza” – even Lori agrees! My favourite was the Fig pizza with the Prawn coming in a close second.

The polenta chips with truffled parmesan were heaven. They were nice thick pieces, which made them crispy on the outside and soft and smooth on the inside. They were accompanied by a condiment of red tomato salsa, but the truffled parmesan really made the dish.

We enjoyed the long afternoon chatting, eating and sipping nice wine while the rest of the world went by!  And then it happened, maybe it was the wine making us sleepy, but there was a small silent pause.  Have we run out of things to say?? No, never!

As the lights dimmed and the dinner crowd approached, we decided to move on to Lori’s place.

Awaiting us at home was a marathon of the “Barefoot Contessa”. We LOVE that cooking show, so we were in heaven. As the marathon ended, we continued to sloth on the couch and decided to watch Eat Pray Love.

Lori had prepared some baked chocolate mousse desserts which she topped with freshly whipped cream and some chocolate flakes.  Decedent to say the least! It went down way too well, with a nice warm cup of Lady Grey tea.

All in all, today was a great “girls only” kind of day and we can’t wait till next time!

Hugo’s Manly
Shop 1, Manly Wharf East Esplanade, Manly NSW
(02) 8116 8555

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Down the rabbit hole to a GF Wonderland

Where has the year gone? It’s coming up to my first year wedding anniversary which got me reminiscing about the lead up to our wedding and it brought back some very happy memories. 

One of the best food related memories was my kitchen tea. My two beautiful sisters and mum threw me a kitchen tea to remember. Knowing how much I loved Alice in Wonderland, they themed the event as the Mad Hatters Kitchen Tea Party. 

They transformed my parents living room into my very own wonderland! With huge playing cards, teapots full of flowers, hanging lanterns and they even had a digital projection of the original animation on the wall! 

Guests were told to wear their maddest hat, my sisters dressed up as the white rabbits and of course I dressed up as Alice. 

There was an abundance of gluten free food and all the desserts were to die for. But the highlight of the day was my themed cake. It was shaped as a Mad Hatters hat - moist orange syrup cake on the inside with a velvety purple icing on the outside. King & Queen playing cards were placed on one side of the hat and cute little mushrooms surrounded the base. All my guests - gluten free or not - loved it!

My amazing Mad Hatters cake!

Chocolate mousse with orange mascarpone

If you are looking for a good gluten free cake maker, I highly recommend Carol Medcalf at Cake Plus. She made this amazing creation for my Kitchen Tea and also made the top layer of my wedding cake.

Carol Medcalf
(02) 94391171

Guests were asked to sign my very own Wonderland DVD cover

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Lilli and Loo – Gluten Free Chinese in NYC

American’s are famous for their Chinese food. We see it all the time in the movies… take away food in those cute little white boxes. But as most of you know eating gluten free Chinese food can be a bit of a hassle. A lot of their food is coated in flour and most of their sauces are thickened with flour too. Not to mention the use of sauces such as Soy sauce and Oyster sauce, which are a hidden source of gluten. So when I heard about Lilli and Loo I had to try it!

Lilli and Loo is a fantastic Chinese restaurant located in mid-town Manhattan. Not only do they understand gluten free dining but they also have an entire separate gluten free menu! The love began with one of the business partners daughters, diagnosed with coeliac disease. So the owners wanted to create a safe gluten free environment while still keeping food flavoursome and exciting for their customers.

Now with such a large menu the problem was deciding exactly which dishes to choose! Two things caught my eye in the starters section… dumplings and spring rolls. Dumplings are very rare to find as the dough usually contains gluten, however there are a few places in Sydney which I have tried gluten free dumplings. However did somebody say spring rolls?! I have not touched a spring roll since I was diagnosed nearly three years ago! Naturally I ordered both. And they were both delicious!

For main I ordered the sautéed beef with vegetables. Another great dish… the beef was tender, the vegetables crunchy, and the sauce was thick and very tasty.

And then for dessert, my favourite… Coconut sorbet served in a shell. Absolutely amazing, the perfect way to end a delicious meal!

Lilli and Loo have a great variety of Chinese dishes, including meat, seafood, vegetarian, rice and noodles. Or if you feel like something lighter, a selection of sushi, sashimi and hand rolls are also available.

I highly recommend paying a visit to Lilli and Loo if you are ever in New York. I know I’ll be back!

Lilli and Loo
792 Lexington Avenue, New York

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