Christmas letter welcome!

My parents are the biggest free advert for my blog!

A couple of weeks ago my parents visited and gave us a Christmas card (our first this year) with a copy of their Christmas letter. And in said Christmas letter, my blog is mentioned. This means family and family friends will soon hear about my blog and might visit it! No pressure…

If you have dropped by because you have seen the advert in my parents’ Christmas letter, welcome! They’ve advertised it as a weekly cooking blog, so I should probably write about some cooking.

Handy, as yesterday I made these banana coconut cookies. Again I changed the ingredients and used ground almonds instead of almond flour, and used half the amount of maple syrup so that I was sticking with my no sugar plan (see below). They’re yummy though and my tasters agreed – our son wanted another one and hubby said they taste a bit like bakewell minus the cherry.

I’m now looking for sugar-free Christmas baking ideas. I’ve found two cookie recipes to try. The thing is it seems that all of the sugar free recipes I find contain nuts, which is fine for us but one of hubby’s brothers is allergic to nuts so I couldn’t serve any alternatives at Christmas. Hmm. I probably need to do a bit more research but I am loving desiccated coconut at the moment. Yummy!

Maple syrup & honey on a no sugar diet? Well I’ve decided that I can have maple syrup and honey occasionally, but I’m not using any agave nectar, Stevia, or anything like that which is suggested in a lot of recipes, partly because we don’t have any and partly because that seems like cheating!

Honey is a tricky one. Our son absolutely loves it because it’s ‘Grandad’s honey’ made lovingly by my parents’ bees. But I’m still making my own bread in our bread machine and honey can be used instead of sugar to feed the yeast. I have been working hard at trying to make this 100% wholewheat bread recipe work without sugar. It doesn’t rise. So for the last loaf I added honey as the recipe suggests. It didn’t make a lot of difference but the loaf does taste oddly sweet. All the loaves have been edible, just a bit dense. Aside from buying vital wheat gluten which is suggested in the recipe but just seems like another odd expensive thing to add to my cupboard, I’m a bit lost. Tomorrow’s loaf will be on the slow wholewheat setting instead of the rapid that is suggested in the recipe. Maybe then it will rise a bit!

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