Back to Basics Pie


In this household, mainly due to my aversion to thinking about and cooking evening meals, our children each cook one night a week.  The menu pretty much consists of homemade ‘takeaways’ such as nachos, pizza, fish and chips and tortilla however my eldest is beginning to branch out a little more, a little more often.

She loves pies, well actually anything pastry orientated to be truthful, and making mince pies for tea is a favourite – we haven’t quite got to the catering for all your dinner guests including your vegetarian mother ……. Anyway this has proved a bit trickier for her since we have be making a point of buying Palm Oil free as all the pre-rolled pastry has said oil in it.


Almost ready for the oven

Although I have offered to show her how to make pastry it has always been declined …. until recently that is.  Over the last few weeks she has seen just how easy pastry can be to make and also how much yummier it is to eat!  So I thought I would share this very simple pastry recipe (from Edmonds Cookbook) which works equally as well for both sweet and savoury dishes.  It does make a lot of pastry though so either half the recipe or begin thinking of dessert ….. apple parcels anyone? 🙂

Back to Basics Pastry

2 Cups flour

125gm Cold Butter in small cubes

Cold Water

-Rub the butter into the flour until it is the consistency of breadcrumbs.

-Slowly add and mix in cold water until a dough begins to form.

-Lightly and quickly knead the dough together.

-Roll out on a floured board and use as desired.

Yes it is that easy!  The results are so much better than shop pastry too so go on and give it ago … that is the gluten and diary tolerant amongst you 🙂

Hope this finds you healthy, happy and full of energy.



Palm Oil Free Bread


A few years ago the kids and I got to reading about orangutans and the way that their habitats are being destroyed as the rainforests are cut down for wood and the land is cleared to grow palm oil, an ingredient in lots of foods. These actions, combined with baby orangutans being taken for pets, means that these animals are currently endangered and have a real chance of extinction if humans do not change our behaviours.


My Basic Bread…. no palm oil in sight and only 3 ingredients.

After watching  a few mini documentaries about this the kids decided that if we stopped buying foods with Palm Oil in them it would help the orangutans by lowing the demand – even if ever so slightly.  So the label reading began at each supermarket shop and we avoided buying anything with Palm Oil or unidentified vegetable oil in it very successfully. The children were happy to go without things they had before if it had palm oil in it and would actually ask about the ingredients more often than not. With the information we had, we were doing a pretty good job……. then, as often happens, new information came to hand in the form of Auckland Zoo’s Palm Oil free shopping list (NZ shopping).

With this handy document we have now realised that Palm oil is often hidden (aside from the unidentified vegetable oil) within many foods through the use of scientific names and numbers.  Our shopping today didn’t change that much thankfully due to our preference for packaged food with minimal ingredient lists which I can also understand however the big one for us was our  bagel treat.  It seems that the bagels and pizza bases we normally get, both GF and regular, aren’t Palm Oil free for sure and so while I await an email reply from the manufacturers about the source of their additives we decided to try alternatives that were on the Palm Oil free shopping list.

The choices however weren’t exactly huge or ideal either for different reasons.  Looks like I may be practising a new skill soon 🙂  So I thought this may be a good time to offer my basic bread recipe again so that if any of you wanted to make a change in your eating behaviours and at the same time create change in the world you had an easy, cheap and yummy alternative to bread at least.  This recipe is for one loaf and only has 4 ingredients – water, yeast, flour and a little bit (honestly I’m not one for lots of kneading and hard work) of  manual labour.  You can find it here on my recipe page.

Until next time… I hope this finds you happy, healthy and living the life you dream of.