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July 11, 2014 / thevazfamily

GF Birthday Cake

GF birthday cake

A quick post today – I had to make decorate this cake this morning at 7am with a hangover (thanks to Carla at Paper & Party Love and some tequila….)

Anyway – my son wanted one of those kit-kat cakes that are all over the internet at the moment but gluten free kit-kats are not easy to get in Switzerland (and would cost a fortune!) so I used Lindt chocolate insead and think it looks cute.

The cake inside is the chocolate one I have used before and the sweets are jelly beans but you could use any sweets you want (or fresh berries!)

You cover the whole cake with butter icing and use this to “glue” the chocolate to the sides of the cake – making sure you leave a bit of space for the sweets – I also put some butter icing on the top of the cake to stop all the sweets falling off when you cut it.

The biggest problem I then had was to stop the kids stealing all the sweets before I got it to school……….

Stop stealing the sweets

Have a great weekend xxx

June 10, 2014 / thevazfamily

GF Gazpacho with basil granita

Hello – the sun is out and summer is here!!! Fantastic news 🙂  With the weather being hot we had this for dinner tonight – it was lovely – nice and cold and not too heavy!




There are so many recipes – the one I made up is as follows –

1kg of ripe tomatoes – the redder the better

1 red pepper

I cucumber

2 cloves of garlic

100 to 150 ml olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Half a chilli (optional  or you can serve this on the side with garnishes if you people don’t like spicy food)

Garnishes – optional – but can include finely chopped cucumber, GF crùtons, red pepper, red onion, spring onion etc


Add all your ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth – taste and adjust seasoning if required then refrigerate until served


To make the basil granitia (probably better to make this first as it has to be frozen!)

Take a bunch of basil and blend with a tablespoon of sugar, a squeeze of line juice and 100ml of water.   When this is blended pour into a shallow dish and freeze – stirring during freezing to break up the ice crystals


To serve – pour the gazpacho into your serving glass and top with some granita.  Serve garnishes separately for people to add as they want – or not if you can’t be bothered!!  Sit back and enjoy – preferably with a glass of sangria!



April 25, 2014 / thevazfamily

I am SURE I left the oven on & other things that happen when I go on holiday……

OK – I am just checking if I am mad or other people do this too…..

I can guarantee that everytime I go on holiday this happens – anyone know why????


1 – If I have to be somewhere (eg the airport) in the morning I will set the alarm – not just one alarm but every ipad, iphone etc in the house…. before I go to bed.   I will then wake up on the hour every hour thinking I have slept through the alarm even though I NEVER sleep through and alarm….. needless to say I wake up feeling well rested….

2  I will find the passports and leave them on the luggage so that I can check that I have them before I leave the house  (note – do not do what I did last time and just pick up 4 passports because there are 4 of you – I mistakenly took an old passport of mine instead of my sons and we only found out when we were over 500km away and trying to get into another country….)    I will pack those in my bag when we leave – but I will have a panic on the way to the airport that I have forgotten them – every time!??!

3  Even though I haven’t cooked anything I will convince myself that I left the oven or hob on!! This will cause panic – and me calling a friend to go round and check or if that is not possible a sleepless night where I worry that the house is going to burn down and waiting on someone calling me to tell me thats whats happening!!

So – am I mad?? Do you have this sort of this happen to you too??    First world problems I know!



April 18, 2014 / thevazfamily

Gluten Free Lemon Drizzle Cake



I am sorry about the photo – but I took this to German class this morning and this is all that was left!  I was in too much of a rush to take photos before I went – why I decided to make it this morning I don’t know…. Anyway – it went down really well and I was asked for the recipe by some of the girls – I think they were surprised it was gluten free!!  I love it when that happens as so many of the pre packaged gluten free things really are not nice….


To make this you will need :

220g butter

220g sugar

4 eggs

210g gluten free flour

10g gluten free baking powder

zest of one large lemon

For the drizzle

Juice of 2 lemons

100g sugar


Beat the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time (with a spoonful of flour to stop it splitting), then add the flour and lemon zest.  Mix then add to a loaf tin and bake for 45mins at  180c (or until a knife comes out clean).   When the cake is still in the tin cooling – heat the lemon juice and sugar in a pan until the sugar is dissolved.   Pour this slowly over the top of the cake where it will sink in.   Allow to cool if you can – serve and enjoy!!




April 11, 2014 / thevazfamily

Easter Gluten Free Cup Cakes


I made these the other day when my friend Carla came over – she was the first friend I made in Zurich – I introduced myself by asking if she wanted rubbish bags – the things you do in a foreign country when you don’t know anyone and NEED to talk to an adult – now we just talk rubbish :-).    Anyway,  I had bought the little silicone flower pots from Lakeland Ltd (LOVE this shop!  Always buy so much I never knew I needed – these plant pots being just one example!!)



They are so cute – I served them in a little wooden crate and if it hadn’t been so early in the morning I would have had a glass of something to celebrate 🙂



To make them you can use any chocolate cupcake mix you like – or vanilla and then grate chocolate over the buttercream to make the “dirt”

The recipe I used is :

150g butter

150g sugar

2 eggs (beaten)

a few drops of vanilla essence

210g gluten free flour

10g gluten free baking powder

60g unsweetened cocoa powder

200ml milk


Mix together the butter & sugar until soft and fluffy – then add the eggs beating throughly.  Add the vanilla.  Then spoon in the flour / baking powder / cocoa powder – with a spoon of milk each time you add some until its all combined.

Fill your flower pots (or cupcake cases) and bake for 15 – 20 minutes at 180c – until a knife comes out clean.

Take out of the oven and allow to cool

To decorate I used a chocolate buttercream (cocoa powder, butter and icing sugar combined) and then sprinkled some crumbs from a spare cake (the mixture made just over the 12 pots I had).   I used marzipan carrots – but you could use gummy worms, tissue paper flowers or real flowers (If using real flowers use a straw folded over at one end to seal – wrap it with tape – as you don’t want the stems to come in contact with the cake.

If that all seems like too  much work you can make chocolate rice crispy cakes – make an indent in the top and add some sweet eggs to make easter nests!




Those rabbits were determined to get a cake!!


April 9, 2014 / thevazfamily

Easter crafts – bunny poop and bunny tails :-)



I have to take some goodies to an easter egg hunt this weekend so I roped in my friend Carla at  to help out with them and she has very kindly done these labels as a free printable – head over to her blog to see how you can download these for free!

We are going to be watching the movie Hop so the bunny poop is perfect – its just candy eggs with the topper from Carla – but I bet they will love eating it during the film – and we will try to convince them its real 🙂



For the Bunny Tails – I wrapped marshmallows in clear plastic wrap and then in white tulle and tied with a yellow raffia ribbon – I thought the white went well with the tails 🙂  They are really cute and I am sure they will go down well.

Hope you have a great easter egg hunt!!

April 7, 2014 / thevazfamily

Gluten Free Chocolate “carrot” Cake


With my son being gluten intolerant I like to take a cake with me when I go so that he can have some – I never like to ask anyone who isn’t used to making gluten free to make things as I remember before we had to switch,  thinking it was a hassle..  Anyway – this weekend I took this cake with us –



Its a chocolate cake with a “carrot” hidden inside



The kids loved this when it was cut open to reveal the surprise!


To make this you need to make 2 cakes so it takes a bit of time (I made this in the morning before going for lunch – thats why my chocolate ganache is a bit runny as I didn’t have time to let it thicken before we had to run out the door!)


Cake one – a basic sponge cake baked in a square brownie tin


115g butter

115g sugar

2 eggs

few drops of vanilla essence (optional)

orange food colouring

115g gluten free flour

1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder

1/4 teaspoon xantham gum

Mix together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Add and egg and spoonful of flour and mix well, add the other egg and orange food colouring and mix – then fold in the rest of the ingredients.  If too dry add a spoonful of milk.   When mixed pour into your greased brownie pan and bake until a knife comes out clean (oven temp 180c).  This should take around 30 minutes – maybe less depending on your tray.  Take out of the pan and allow to cool.


When this is cooled you need to cut this to make your carrots – make these triangles that are not as high as your loaf pan – like this photo below.




Then you can make your chocolate cake mixture..


200g gluten free flour

1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder

1/4 teaspoon xantham gum

2 eggs

125g butter

250g brown sugar (caster or fine)

75g cocoa powder

150ml hot water

100ml cold water

Combine the butter and the sugar until fuffy.   Add the eggs one at a time (with a spoonful of flour to stop them splitting).   Add the rest of the flour , baking powder and xantham gum – mix well.   Mix together the hot water and cocoa powder.  Then add the cold water.   Add this chocolate mix to the other ingredients and mix well.

Now add a thin layer of this mix to the bottom of your loaf tin – this stops the carrots moving around too much 🙂   Note – grease your tin with butter – I forgot to….


Add your “carrots” and then the rest of the mixture.   Cook in the oven at 180c until cooked – around 40 minutes until a knife comes out clean.   Take out of the oven and allow to cook out of the pan on a wire tray.


When it is cold – slice the top so that its flat – you are going flip the cake onto a plate to make the top of the cake the bottom – that way the carrots will be the correct way up!   The cake you have sliced off – crumble to make the “dirt” for the top of the cake


To ice I used a chocolate ganache – mix together 150g of melted chocolate with 150ml of double cream – allow to cool and then use to ice the cake – you push this to the sides of the cake to make the “drips” down the side.   Sprinkle the “dirt” along the top.   Then you need to use add the “carrot” leaves – I used white chocolate with green food colouring but they melted so quickly I would suggest you use green fondant icing or even some fresh herbs (depending on how real you want the carrot tops to look)




April 5, 2014 / thevazfamily

Easter Pinata

I have been invited to a couple of easter parties so decided to make some Easter pinatas to take –




The main reasons for this are –


1  I had forgotten to recycle the newspapers (again!!) and this uses some of them…

2  I need to get some of the sweets out of the house before the supplies are full again from the easter egg hunt…

3  I banned the kids from the ipad so had to find something for them to do…..



To make these the supplies you will need are :-

A few old newspapers torn into strips

A cup of flour

2 cups of water

A spoonful of salt

A paint brush and bowl

A balloon

Some string

Paint (optional – you will need this if your decorative paper is pale)

Paper glue

Any tissue paper / crepe paper / cup cake cases you want to get rid off

Whatever you are going to fill them with – sweets, toys, confetti (only if you don’t plan to open them at your house 🙂 )


To start – blow up your balloon.  Then mix the flour, salt and water in the bowl – this will be used as a glue to stick the strips of newspaper to the balloon.    Glue the newspaper to the balloon and keep doing this until you have 4 or 5 layers – or more if you think the kids will smash it quickly 🙂


When this is done leave to dry (overnight or for a few hours if its hot).

When its dry pop the balloon – this will leave you a hole at the top – you use this hole to feed in the prizes you have selected – before you fill you should pierce 2 holes either side about 2/3rds of the way up – feed the string through and tie to allow you to hang the finished pinata.    Add all your goodies and then use more paper & “glue” to cover over the hole.  Allow to dry




When this is dry you can paint the “egg” and leave to dry before decorating – or if you have dark paper you can miss out the painting step.    Tear up the paper you have and decorate the way you want – we also used cup cake liners as both children wanted dots on their eggs for some reason?

Once dry you can hang the egg and hopefully have a “smashing” easter!!

Have fun!


April 3, 2014 / thevazfamily

Tzatziki & Hummus


I had some friends over the other night and decided to be healthy and have some dips and vegetables with our wine instead of just chips (aka crisps 🙂 )   It didn’t help with the hangover the next day but made us feel a bit healthier that night!



To make the Hummus

1 can of chick peas

1 clove of garlic (peeled)

Juice of 1 lemon

Olive oil 


Add the rinsed chick peas to a bowl with the garlic and the lemon juice.  Add olive oil (5 tablespoons to start with) and puree – if the mixture is too thick add more oil until you get the consistency you like.   Add salt to taste.  Cover and leave in the fridge until you want to serve it – you can drizzle with olive oil when its served – and I added chili flakes because I like spicy things.


For the Hummus

1 large tub of yogurt

half a cucumber – finely diced

chopped mint (optional)

1 or 2 cloves of garlic


Add all the ingredients and mix well – leave in the fridge until you are ready to eat – then you can drizzle with oil if you want


Because easter is coming up I served my vegetables like this but I think it just made everyone think I was mad……


Bye for now



March 31, 2014 / thevazfamily

Gluten Free Pancakes


Sorry been away for a long time!!  Those of you who know me will know that my son is gluten intolerant so I have been learning how to make everything gluten free!  Fun and games – and a bit of a shock when you look at some of the recipes – I have no idea what some of those ingredients are or where I can get them in Switzerland!?!

Anyway – I have been trying lots out so will start publishing them here when I get the chance – hopefully not as long as from my last post!!


A super easy one to start with – gluten free pancakes – soooo easy and great to whip up for breakfast!

1 cup of gluten free flour

1 cup of milk

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon of gluten free baking powder

If you want them sweeter you can add a spoonful of sugar but I don’t think it needs this


Mix these ingredients together and leave for a few minutes – if the mixture is too thick add a bit more milk – it should be like custard

Spoon the mixture into a medium hot pan – if they go brown too quickly turn the pan down a notch.  When they start to look a bit dry on top flip them over.  Keep making until you have used all the mixture – you can keep the cooked ones on a warmed plate.  This makes enough for 2 hungry children – each time makes a different amount of pancakes due to them either wanting them plate sized or small!!  Serve with maple syrup or nutella or anything you fancy!

For a fun touch you can make faces on the pancakes (draw your face or letters on – them them cook for a few seconds then add the rest of the mixture!)







For a silly thing to make – try this rabbit – I cut out the “ears” from gluten free toast with ham, and used carrot slices for eyes – but you could use anything your child likes 🙂


The egg was a bit over cooked as I used the same pan from the pancakes and it was too hot!!  Oh well – my children loved their breakfast this weekend – back to cereal during the week!!