I have always considered myself quite a nice person. I like food of all shapes, flavours and colours. From every country and continent. I don’t discriminate, I am an equal opportunity eater. It’s only the doctors who say I’m intolerant. And certain foods who refuse to tolerate me. They certainly refuse to recognise and respect my right to eat them without major physical discomfort and distress.

Gluten and lactose are not my friends.

Despite the negative attitudes surrounding me from many of those I love best, (cakes, ice cream, hot toast) I decided to become a chef. Not always easy when you live in a bread and milk filled world. I like to think that this has helped me become a better person as I embrace my differences and refuse to let the gluten get me down. I believe InTolerance. I am the InTolerant Chef.

Food should not be about what you can’t eat, but what you can and what you enjoy eating. This blog is about my journey of cooking and eating and discovery. It’s not a definitive guide to allergy awareness nor do my intolerances make me an expert. Your body is your responsibility, not mine. I only know what works for me.

I can tell you this..... No glutens were harmed in the making of this website.

January 24, 2015

In a Pickle!

This is the time of year when my garden comes into it's own

We've had LOTS of rain, LOTS of sun, and long, long Summer days. All of this adds up to LOTS of veggies!

The only thing that's confusing me is that my garden has somehow gone all topsy-turvey.
Normally I have heaps of carrots, capsicums and beans, and struggle to get a cucumber or two growing. But this year the cucumbers are starting to strangle the garden, my carrots are hibernating and my beans reluctantly spat out 6 pods. Who knows? I figure the best way is just to plant, plant, plant and hope for the best. With this weeks rain achieving one third of our annual precipitation in just one day and the bulk of the heat yet to come, my garden may spring into tropical mode and surprise me with bananas growing from the compost heap :)

Cucumbers aren't great keepers, they really need to be eaten fairly quickly after harvest. I have put them in salads, made instant pickles, juiced them, made cocktails and sorbet, gazpacho, given them away....and still have more than I can deal with. Littlej and I eat a lot of pickles/gherkins, so the logical choice was to process some ourselves for the lean times when the garden hunkers down for winter
Lovely fresh herbs, garlic from the garden and a simple pickling vinegar makes this a nice and easy recipe that will have you wishing you had cucumbers growing in your garden too

Cucumber Pickles

5 medium Cucumbers
3 cups White Vinegar
2 cups Sugar
1 head of Garlic
2 Tb Mustard Seeds

Slice the cucumbers nice and thin- the easiest way to do this is with a mandoline slicer

Layer the the slices in a colander and sprinkle each layer with a dusting of salt. The idea is to allow the salt to draw out some of the natural water in the cucumbers so they will stay crisp and last longer in the pickle. Leave these overnight

Rinse briefly to remove the salt, then drain well or pat dry

See how nice and bendy they are now? You couldn't do this with a fresh piece

Pop the vinegar, sugar, seeds and sliced garlic into a pot and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes

While the vinegar is boiling, fold the slices into warm, sterilized jars and add a few sprigs of dill to each

Pour the hot vinegar into the jars to almost the top, tapping them hard on the bench to make sure there are no air bubbles hiding in the cucumber slices. Make sure the slices are fully covered

Screw on the clean jar lids then turn the jars upside down briefly so the boiling hot vinegar comes in contact with the lid as well
Let the jars sit on the bench overnight to cool, the lids should pop down as a vacuum is formed and seal the contents perfectly. If any of them don't pop down, put them in the fridge and use first

You can of course eat these pickles after a day or two, but they really do taste much better indeed if you leave them for a few weeks to mellow and mature. The colour will change from bright green to a sort of khaki, but that's just from the acid and is nothing to worry about at all

Sweet and tangy, sharp and crunchy and with the fragrance of dill- Perfect with a Ploughman's lunch, delicious indeed!

So Dear Readers, do you like pickles and what's growing in your garden right now?

January 8, 2015

In My Kitchen- January 2015

Happy New Year Dear Readers!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that the New Year brings you lots of fabulous Fun, Family and Foodie Adventures!

With the start of a new year and the start of a new month, it's time for another In My Kitchen post. January is an extra fun post as I get to show many of the lovely Christmas pressies my wonderful family and friends gave me over the Festive Season- I'm a very blessed little Chef indeed :)

If you'd like to join in the foodie fun, check out Here for  the delightful Celia's monthly roundup of In My Kitchen Posts

In My Kitchen...
is this GINORMOUS Monster Crab Claw! My present to me this Christmas. Yes, that is a full sized dinner plate that it's sitting on :) BigJ had to crack it for me as it was just waaay too hard to get into. The  lovely, warm, garlic-buttery goodness was well worth waiting for though. Delicious!

In My Kitchen...
this absolutely delicious Curry Paste from Celia She made me promise not to mess with it AT ALL and follow the directions absolutely. Just for the record, I did...nearly :) The recipe wanted the chicken boiled in the sauce until cooked, the only thing I changed was that I browned off my chicken cutlets first. Flabby, pale chicken skin is not appealing at all, but crispy, tasty, browned skin is much nicer. My family LOVED it! I definitely need to find this sauce here in Canberra, I can see it becoming a firm favourite indeed

In My Kitchen...
a present from Ali , some Barberries. I've not used these before, so look forward to trying them very soon

In My Kitchen...
from Liz, is this beautiful local honey. So sweet and pure, Honey Delight for sure :)

In My Kitchen...
is a very amazing, very addictive Pedro Ximenez Caramelized Balsamic Sauce. Sooooo gooood! Gorgeous with cheese, strawberries or figs, even on ice cream

In My Kitchen...
is yummy Saffron White Balsamic. It made an appearance on our Christmas greens, adding a lovely tangy sweetness that really made them special

In My Kitchen...
for a touch of sleek sophistication on the table, is this very pretty Black Sea Salt. BigJ bought me so many gourmet treats for my Christmas Stocking didn't he :)

In My Kitchen...
because you can't have salt without pepper, is this cove/cinnamon/nutmeg tasting hot pepper. Very nice for a change from the usual

In My Kitchen...
some beautiful bottles from BigJ and littlej. Perfect for the hot weather and helping to make sure I drink my 2 litres of liquid a day

In My Kitchen...
would have been a fantastic gift from BigJ- if it was the right one for my machine! Sadly it doesn't fit my large Kenwood, and being a sale item we can't get a refund from the store :(  Not to worry though, this mincer will soon be making an appearance on ebay with all profit gong towards the right model for my machine instead

In My Kitchen...
are kilos and kilos of plums from my friend Pony's tree. Supposedly an ornamental variety, it fruits prolifically each year with small, sweet, little morsels that shall be transformed into sauce and jam by littlej and I

In My Kitchen...
are the first of my tomato harvest. These particular ones start off dark purple and turn red as they ripen. Nothing beats the taste and sweetness of homegrown tomatoes

In My Kitchen...
a present from MiddleC, is the cookbook from my favourite TV show, Duck Dynasty! I may not have access to all the ingredients like bullfrogs, but there are enough down-home favourites to keep me busy indeed

So my Dear Readers, have you made any New Year Resolutions, and have you broken them yet? :)


January 2, 2015

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 2015

Happy New Year Dear Readers!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with lots of fun, family, friends and feasting!

Here at the InTolerant Household we had a lovely time with no Doggy Dramas like last year. Just lots of relaxing and of course, plenty of food as always :)  Would you care to share a peep at our day?

A little treat for Santa- he has to keep his strength up you know

All wrapped up and ready to go!

InTolerant Cat just couldn't stand it any longer. Once we started ripping off the wrapping paper, she just had to get stuck in too. She was very efficient with those fangs of hers

Aha, Smoked salmon! Just what she always wanted :)

The table starting to get loaded up with Festive Feasting

Beautiful roasts just waiting to be popped into the oven. The tray is loaded up with my own fresh garlic and herbs, onions, green apple wedges and a litre of sparkling apple juice to keep the roasts nice and moist and to help make an awesome pan gravy later. Lamb, chicken and turducken snuggled in comfy cosy- the pork was baked separately as it is so fatty

Slow roasted for hours and basted with lovely, sticky juices from time to time

Look at that crackling!

Duck fat roast potatoes, celariac, pumpkin, parsnips, onion, garlic and a tray of scalloped potatoes as well

Baby tri-coloured carrots, green and butter beans, sugar snap and snow peas, all tossed with fresh parsley, EVOO and saffron white balsamic

Littlej's plate- I'm pretty sure the veggies were just there to keep me from nagging. As you can see it takes a lot to feed a growing girl. Please note that this was only her first helping, she did come back for seconds :)

Our Guilty Secret...don't tell my chef friends, but Tomato Sauce makes an appearance at practically every meal. BigJ just loves it, and has even been known to have it straight on toast in the morning- yuck! I believe it has it's place, and that's NOT on the Christmas Table!!!

What would Christmas be without Leftovers? Here we have the bird roasts, pork and lots of veggies cut up ready to mix with leftover gravy to make meals for the next little while. I love having dishes ready-to-go in the freezer for busy/lazy days over Summer

So Dear Readers, I hope you enjoyed our day as much as we did, and how did you spend Christmas this year?


December 12, 2014

Festive Feastings with a Christmas Caprese Salad

Doesn't it get hectic this time of year?

Work parties, School functions, Carol Nights and just general End-of-Year-CatchUps. It all means one thing....not enough time!

It's also the time of year for Bring-a-Plate functions as well, and when you're already running short on time you need something that's quick, tasty, easy and still Christmassy all at once

This is where my Christmas Caprese Salad comes in. It can be made in minutes- straight from supermarket packets if needed, but still manages to look lovely and festive. It's great as a stand alone salad, or makes a yummy side dish for a BBQ on our hot Summer nights,  or is light enough to go with a more substantial main dish for our Winter bound friends up North as well

Traditionally of course, Caprese salad is made up of just tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese. I've boosted up my Christmas wreath version a little to include baby spinach and baby rocket to make it more substantial and give lots of body to the wreath itself, and using the cute little balls of mozzarella and tiny tomatoes adds the bling of edible baubles to make it extra pretty

Christmas Caprese Salad

1 bag pre-washed baby Spinach Leaves
1 bag pre-washed baby Rocket Leaves
1 punnet red Cherry Tomatoes
1 punnet orange/yellow Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
1 tub baby Bocconcini Cheese- drained
1 bunch of Basil - reserve the nice top tip from a couple of stems
1/4 cup Olive Oil- extra virgin or basil infused is perfect
a few good splashes of Balsamic Vinegar
big pinch of Salt

Start by picking the basil leaves from the stems. I like to rip the larger ones into smaller pieces just to help distribute the flavour easily

Toss the rocket, spinach and basil leaves really well to mix together

Then arrange in a nice, fluffy wreath pattern on a platter

Arrange the tomatoes and bocconcini in and on the greens so they look like pretty little Christmas Baubles, then add the tip of a basil stem to make a bow for a focal point

Simply mix together the salt, vinegar and oil for a simple dressing, and serve in a little jug on the side. If you drizzle it over the whole salad it will stain it and spoil the pretty colour effect

That's it! Simple, pretty, seasonal and- most importantly- delicious as well. Perfect for last minute or busy Christmas entertaining

So Dear Readers, do you have many functions to go to before Christmas, and what's your favourite Bring-a-plate salad?


December 1, 2014

In My Kitchen- December 2014

Happy Summer and  Merry Christmas Dear Readers!

First of December already and the first day of Summer.....wow, where did the year go?
While some minds might be turning to Sugar Plums and Turkeys, mine is turning to darling Celia's monthly In My Kitchen series where we can explore the globe one kitchen at a time and see who's being naughty or nice this time of year. Check out the list of posts here and join in the fun

In My Kitchen...
is just a tiny bit of the produce I'm picking every day. So many berries that I'm freezing them, green beans just coming in and a mix of pretty purple and green snowpeas- yummo!

In My Kitchen...
is a Beautiful Bowl of Berries from my garden. A gorgeous mix of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, youngberries and logan berries. They are a glorious tangle of plants in the backyard, so it's hard to tell most of them apart- but that's what I planted and they all sure taste good

In My Kitchen...
is my Christmas Lunch Master List. I've been buying things bit by bit lately or as they come on sale, then stashing them in the freezer or pantry in readiness for the Big Day. We like the full roast dinner which happens to leave mountains of left-overs for the next week or so- very handy in the hot weather when you don't want to cook too much

In My Kitchen...
just happens to be a Turducken. This strange chimera-style creature is quite rare, seemingly only in season for a very few weeks over late November to December. To be honest, I wouldn't have bothered with it but for the fact that it was 60% off and only cost me $23 for this 2.5kg beast. I sure do love a bargain! :)

In My Kitchen...
is a picnic lunch I packed lately for a meetup with some fellow Canberra Bloggers. Stuffed into my favourite little Tiffin Box was a mix of dolmades, truffle salami, baba ganoush, cherry toms and cucumber, goat cheese, pinot paste, gerkhins and cherries. What a wonderful feast indeed!

In My Kitchen...
is a cute little tin box I just had to buy myself. It will be used for something very important....but of course I can't tell you what it will be...shhhh.....

In My Kitchen...
just a few more Cookie Cutters for my collection. I have looking for cutlery ones for ages, and these are juuust right

In My Kitchen...
are some yummy sliced pickles just waiting for all the ham sandwiches after Christmas. I always buy a really big ham just so we can live off it for a couple of weeks over the hot weather. We like it brushed with glaze and baked; sliced and fried for breakfast; chopped into omelettes or scrambled eggs; cold with  salad; and of course on sandwiches with all the fixin's

In My Kitchen...
is something I just might be a bit inordinately proud of- my very first homegrown Garlic Braid! I know it's not the biggest or bestest you may have seen, but it's all MINE. I grew the purple Australian garlic from scratch, dug them, dried them, and plaited them all by myself. I just don't know if I can bear to eat them! Luckily I have another variety of garlic still growing, so I might be able to at least start on this one with the promise of more to come to comfort me

In My Kitchen...
sitting on the extreme end of the bench (because she knows she shouldn't be up there at all) is my little friend watching over me. She is such good company during the day, following me around for companionship and racing around like a mad thing for no apparent reason at times too. My little friend knows that she won't get any attention in the morning until I have visited my personal litter-box, and as she knows this is straight after I wake up (sorry if TMI) she solves the problem by nipping sharply at my heel or toes as a gentle reminder to GET UP! Who needs an alarm clock?

From My Kitchen...
I can see our Dining Room. Decked out already in Christmas Cheer

I love the golds with the wood and browns

In My Powder Room...
is my take on a Partridge In a Pear Tree. Yes it might be a quail, and there might not be a tree, but the pears are there and you can sort of get the right idea.. can't you?

Also From My Kitchen...
I have an uninterrupted view of my Upside Down Christmas Tree. I wished it looked as good in photos as it does in real life. I just love how everything hangs so beautifully without bumping or banging into each other. It's all botanical, and you might catch a glimpse of grapes, pomegranates, acorns, pine cones, flowers, pea pods and vines, leaves, ferns, berries, birds, butterflies, dragonflies, and various woodland creatures

In My Lounge Room...
is our other Big Tree, this one all in reds and golds. It's also botanical with rosehips, apples, pears, berries, grapes, pomegranates, acorns, ladybugs, butterflies, birds, chilli's and so much more as well

In My Library...
is littlej's tree. She has just started collecting her own decorations in blues, teal and mint green with the usual touches of gold and silver. It has acorns, leaves, ferns, olives, birds and peacock feathers all through it. It might not look like much now, but with another trip to our favourite Christmas shop this week, it will soon fill up and each year will see it getting bigger and better indeed

Finally, In My Hallway...
is a reminder of the True Meaning of Christmas. Trees and Santa can so easily take precedence over this miracle that sometimes we need to stop and recall the Reason for the Season

So Dear Readers, are you organised for Christmas, and what plans do you have for the Festive Season?