Mothers’ Day

All you Moms out there – have a happy day today!
Mine started at 5.16 a.m. sharp when the little monkey woke up and was no way going back to sleep again. Not exactly the kind of kickstart for the day I had in mind. It got better though. Shortly after the smallest was up also the two bigger monkeys were wide awake and without discussing agreed to keep an eye on their little brother and keep themselves company and busy so hubby and I could stay in bed for another hour of sleep.
When it was eventually time for me to get up, too, I got spoiled with loads of hand- and love-made presents from my kids:

IMG_7540

It kind of brought me back to those days when I myself was actually making presents for my Mom on Mothers’s Days, instead of just running down to the shops at the last minute to simply buy her something. I know my middle monkey spent a whole afternoon, say 3 to 4 hours, this last week to make my present! All by himself, behind closed doors. Miss Monkey was quicker and more self-dependent but the great card she gave me was all hand- and love-made, too.

Also, I am glad we decided to take our own Moms and also one of my Grandmas out to celebrate today. We drove out to the country with them, took them to a lovely, picturesque, refurbished castle where we had a remarkably delicious brunch all together. It was a glorious, happy morning and it also made my own Mothers’ Day really perfect.

I am especially happy and grateful today because very early this morning I had to learn of the death of a woman I know. I cannot even say we were close friends because we were not. I got to know her when living in Australia; she worked with my husband and we occasionally met. She died this morning after battling cancer. She and her family are beyond brave and positive and strong. They had to bear more than anybody can possibly bear and they never gave up. She was a Mom, too, and she died on Mothers’ Day morning leaving two small kids and a husband, a family, friends, people who knew her and who were happy to have her in their lives. I feel overly sad to know that she’s gone because she of all people would have deserved to win this battle. And I feel grateful and blessed to be here, happy and healthy, with my kids, husband, family and friends happy and healthy, too.

Katja, I know you are up there and keep an eye on your dear ones. I wish from now on, there will only be sunshine for you on every single day, because this is the least you deserve.

Post-holiday – again

 

Hi all, I’ve been absent for a while as you probably noticed. We took a week off and went to Denmark for a family vacation with the monkeys and my brother plus his family. Let me tell you this was a totally different kind of holiday from what we’ve experienced just 3 weeks ago when taking a timeout in Italy! 🙂 But it was no less fun and enjoyable and first and foremost: it was spending quality family time together all the 5 of us, something we really needed to do. We captured playgrounds in the woods or at the beach, conquered numerous castles and watched the Royal Guards and Horses on duty. We had a lot of Danish ice cream and some nice BBQ-lunches in the sun. We got drenched on a walk as short as 150 meters and discovered the fun of Viking Chess Battles with the whole family.

IMG_7094 IMG_7097 IMG_7104 IMG_7205 IMG_7354 IMG_7372
Due to those vacation and the following Easter weekend which we spent with hubby’s family at the cottage, I haven’t tried new or transformed old gluten-free dishes lately but I do have a number of delicious meals queuing which I will of course write about here shortly. So be prepared for gluten-free versions of traditional food such as Lasagna or pie and culinary experiments including Quinoa and Buckwheat and yet another new bread.

Gluten-free Cheese Cake (New York Style)

As it was my middle monkey’s birthday last week and we usually have a family get-together on these occasions I was on the hunt for nice gluten-free cakes and sweeties to serve the family on an April-afternoon. When I came across this recipe a couple of weeks ago I thought on the spot it would be an easy transfer into gluten-free: it does not at all contain too much flour and the pastry of the cake (which contains the flour) is not supposed to be a fluffy and soft one but thin and more like a cookie.

This cake recipe is originally adapted from Donna Hay, I changed more than just the type of flour though so I consider it ‘mine’ now 😉

What you’ll need for the pastry:

– 150g gluten-free flour (again I used bake’n’cake-flour mix)

– 100g butter

– 50g sugar

IMG_7019

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl, until it becomes a crumble-dough. It’s best to use your fingers instead of a food processor. Cover a round normal baking pan with pan liner, preheat your oven to 175 degrees C. Fill the crumbles/dough into the pan and spread evenly until the pan is fully filled with dough.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, then set aside.

IMG_7020

For the cheese filling you’ll need:

– 500g ricotta cheese

– 300g cream cheese (I used fat reduced cream cheese and it worked well)

– 4 eggs

– 250g sugar

– rind of one big lemon (preferably organic)

– juice of one big lemon

– 1,5 tbl spoons cornflour

– 2 tbl spoons water

IMG_7021

Mix all ingredients except water and cornflour in a bowl, using your food processor. Mix water and cornflour in a small extra bowl until smooth then add to the cheese filling, stir thoroughly. Fill the mass into the baking pan on top of the pastry and bake for another 70 minutes.

IMG_7026

Actually one should then turn the oven off and leave the cake inside until cooled. As I had several other baking goods already queuing I had to take my cake out of the oven and let it cool outside. Maybe this is the reason why it seemed a little pale in the end, though taste, shape and stiffness were supreme. It was the real winner of the party and no-one actually noticed it was gluten-free. 🙂