Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The Reluctant Star??

My very supportive hubby is fairly used to being sidelined when it comes to any Eve’s Better Bake media. Since the business began, he has jokingly complained about never being invited to be one of the faces of our company. “Why can’t I be on the website?” he says in jest “ I can be the eye candy” he jokes.  Well, we’ve finally called his bluff. Several weeks ago, we filmed a branding video with the talented and inspiring Jennifer Parlanti from Paper Box Media.  My hubby was asked to be in one of the starring roles, as the all important senior pastry chef and nurturer of his two young chefs as they created delicious baked goodies for afternoon tea.  I think he was quite chuffed to be in the forefront for once and slotted into the role with ease.  I also have to hand it to him, the cookies he and the girls whipped up, were very tasty!

Filming our video was an adrenalin filled, exhausting day but one our family will never forget.  We can’t wait to share our video with you all very soon, right as we launch our new products!

Eve xx


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Salad Season: Walnut Quinoa Salad

Eve’s Walnut Quinoa Salad

The weather is warming up, we’ve come out of winter hibernation, ready for the busier social scene summer tends to invite.  After baking, my second love is putting together new and unique salad combinations.  This one was begging to be made in anticipation of lazy summer BBQ’s with family and friends and I had fun putting it together over the warm weekend.

One of my favourite ingredients is quinoa and not because it’s uber-cool but because it is healthy, delicious and versatile.   High in protein and many essential nutrients, quinoa contains a balanced combination of all essential amino acids.  There’s my spiel, now go and make this salad immediately!

To make a large size serve to feed 8-10 friends at a BBQ you need:
1.5 cups of Quinoa – rinsed
2 cups cold water
200gm block of firm fetta, chopped
340gm jar of roasted red pepper cut into strips (or roast your own - 2 red capsicums in oven 200C until blackened skin, then sweat in a freezer bag and peel off skin)
240gm can chickpeas, rinsed
150gm walnuts – lightly roasted (grill on tray, turning regularly – they burn quickly, so keep an eye on them!)
A large bunch of rocket to mix through salad


1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3-4 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
Dash of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
(You can adjust these amounts according to taste and amount required)


1)      Soak quinoa in the cold water in a medium size pot for 15 minutes.  Then put on a medium heat until boiling with lid on. Reduce to a low simmer with lid for about 15 minutes until almost all the water is absorbed.  Stir with a fork and then leave to sit for a few minutes with lid on.  Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool in fridge.

2)      After quinoa has cooled slightly add fetta, chickpeas, roasted pepper strips, rocket and mix together.

3)      For dressing, mix all ingredients together (a shaker is best) and stir into salad just prior to serving. Finally sprinkle salad with roughly chopped walnuts.


You can experiment with your own additions, e.g. change the type of nut, add corn kernels, sundried tomatoes, roasted eggplant or change the dressing – also nice with a pomegranate dressing.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Gingerbread - Gluten Free, Nut Free, Dairy Free

My 7-year old has a friend coming to play after school today and I thought it would be nice to whip up a quick and easy gluten free gingerbread.  A lovely comfort treat on a cold, wet day like today.
This is a recipe I've adapted from the iconic Kiwi cook Alison Holst to make it dairy free, mostly refined sugar free and incorporating a more nutritious flour.

You Need:

¼ cup dairy free spread or butter (I used Nuttlex Olive)
1 Household tablespoon golden syrup (a household tablespoon size is 1 standard tablespoon plus a bit more)
½ cup firmly packed muscovado sugar (or brown sugar, I like muscovado because it's unrefined)
1 egg
½ cup Mt Uncle’s Banana Flour* (or ½ cup brown rice flour) 
½ cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup rice milk

1)      Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line small loaf tin with baking paper.
2)      Melt the dairy free spread and golden syrup together in a medium-sized pot. Take off heat and beat in sugar then egg with a wooden spoon.
3)      Add in remaining dry ingredients except the baking soda.  Beat with a wooden spoon.
4)      Dissolve baking soda in milk, then add to mix, beating in with a wooden spoon.
5)      Pour mixture into tin, then bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.
6)      Leave in tin for 5 minutes before turning onto cooling rack
7)      Serve warm or cool – nice with dairy free spread or butter!


Post script: This recipe was given the double thumbs up by two 7-olds and a 9-year old after school today :) 

*I am most definitely not being paid for this, but thought I’d mention Mt Uncle’s Banana Flour in case you didn’t already know about it.  This unique flour is made from 100% Australian Bananas, it is gluten free (of course) and is a resistant starch, which is low GI and super good for your digestion.  You can find it online or check out their website for info on their stockists.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Age of the Coconut

Nectar of the gods?

So who knew the humble coconut and all it derivatives would become the ‘it’ thing.  I must admit, I became a convert a couple of years ago, finding no better way to quench my thirst than to sip on chilled coconut water on a hot day.  Last summer my daughters and I took regular delight from madly hacking into a drinking coconut, thrusting three straws in its gaping wound, knowing full well fastest sipper gets the most coconut water.  As a side note I might add that I was wielding the knife not the kids, but my husband is that certain my haphazard knife skills are one day destined to equate to loss of digits, I’m sure he would almost prefer that it was the 7 year old doing the honours.

Managing to enjoy fresh coconut water with the added bonus of retaining all 10 fingers, I have since branched out further in my coconut consuming journey.   Coconut oil.  I know I’m not telling you anything new here, with all the hype, I’m sure you’re well aware that this medium-chain saturated fatty acid is said to be bursting with health benefits. Increasing evidence suggests that it can potentially help with weight loss, boost metabolism, lower cholesterol, aid digestion and support immunity among other things.  It’s got to be the virgin, additive free kind mind.  One example here of many such articles touting the benefits of this miracle stuff:  

I for one, have embraced coconut oil wholeheartedly, bringing it into my life in a number of different ways:

1)      Moisturising with it – I get very dry skin and sometimes I feel like my regular moisturiser just won’t cut it. That’s when I slather on the coconut oil. Works a treat.

2)      Baking with it. Baking needs fats and oils for texture and moistness.  I find coconut oil works beautifully in many cakes, muffins and biscuits.  Plus it’s better for you than butter.

3)      Frying with it – has a slightly higher smoke point than olive oil before the oxidisation process starts to occur, although it's not as high as rice bran oil or avocado oil. 

4)      Oil pulling – now this is an interesting concept and one I recently thought I would give a crack. This is based on an ancient Ayurvedic technique where you swish oil all around your mouth for 5-20 minutes to help remove any nasty mouth bacteria that contributes to plague and gum disease.  Be very careful not to inhale it (this is definitely not for children) and it must be spat into the bin not swallowed, not in sink. As a side note I did get top marks from my dental hygienist recently for excellent oral health so perhaps there is really is something in this oil pulling?

You may or may not buy into all the hype surrounding coconut oil.  For me? If it was good enough for the Ayurvedic Indians then it’s good enough for me.

*this story is the opinion of the author and is not health advice. Where necessary, ensure you seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Encouragement from a Supermum - My Mum

Is there anything better than a pat on the back from your own mum? Here's one from my amazing mum, who manages a busy physiotherapy clinic full-time, dedicates hours of voluntary time each week to a leadership role in her church, helps with her grandchildren, runs her house and keeps extremely fit and healthy. It was thanks to my own mum that I find myself on this new path. Mum really did make the kitchen the heart of the home as we were growing up. We were the envy of many of our friends with what our lunch boxes beheld each day with ever appearing new creative cookies, muffins and slices.  My brothers even became a bit entrepreneurial at times, with some kids at school prepared to offer up their own lunch money in exchange for the goodies from my brothers' lunch boxes.

Thanks for your show of support Mum!

As Eve’s Mother and being in the health and fitness sector of professional rehabilitation and having a Diploma in the field of nutrition it is heartening to see individuals like Eve who are cautious, thoughtful, professional and desirous of creating a healthy environment for the general public.  It still surprises me how uninformed and uneducated many people are about food and especially nutrition. This topic has always been one of huge interest and I have tried to influence in my sphere as much as I can. Patients often ask about diet even though they are consulting my husband who is a Physical Therapist on other matters.

Eve, I absolutely support what you are doing and hope you just go from strength to strength in your purpose to help educate people with food and nutrition.
Practice Manager 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Gluten Free Expo MELBOURNE 2014

Are you going to the Gluten Free Expo MELBOURNE 2014?

Ok, so I’m keen to get an idea on the best event you have been to so far this year in 2014?
For me? I’d have to say the recent school trivia night. 

Um, no this photo is absolutely not a couple of dads from school, it really is the real Bono and Bono’s alter ego…..maybe not so much. But how fantastic to see the school mums and dads get into the spirit of the night while raising good funds for our wonderful primary school.  If however, you are looking for an event that while unfortunately can’t promise an appearance by any famous rock stars (we think), you can experience a vibrant exhibition with a fabulous range of Gluten Free food!

So only 59 days to go until the Melbourne Gluten Free Expo…..
59 is still quite a lot you say, but much to do, much to do.  Not only is this our first gluten free show in Melbourne (or anywhere else for that matter) but it is also the much anticipated launch of our Eve’s Better Bake baking mixes. So of course, we are just a tad excited! We would love to see some friendly faces so come and say hi to us on stand 93, Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

Expo Details:          Eve’s Better Bake; stand 93
Location:                 Melbourne Exhibition Centre, South Wharf (2 Clarendon St)
Dates:                     Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th October
Times:                     Saturday: 9.30am – 5.00pm
                                Sunday: 9.30am – 4.00pm 

Like last year the Melbourne Gluten free Expo promises to be a fantastic event with plenty to taste and explore, so come along to the Gluten Free Expo MELBOURNE 2014 on October 11th and 12th 2014 and call past Exhibitor stand 93 to experience some of Eve's Better Bakes delicious Gluten Free products

The Melbourne Gluten Free Expo 2014 is proudly owned and presented by Coeliac Victoria and Tasmania.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Little Heston Blumenthal's in the Making?

My two daughters and I have got into quite a lovely habit lately of snuggling up at the end of the evening (if there is time after dinner, bath, homework, reading) and watching a pre-recorded episode of Masterchef.  Obviously the Masterchef winner has just been announced, but I’ve managed not to spill the beans to my girls, who both have their predictions on who is the most deserved of the title.
Yes, it’s just a tv show.  But it’s also been nice bonding time with my daughters, sharing our opinions on what way the contestants have chosen to cook that day, or ingredients they are using (eeew, they use squid ink, really Mum??)  or which herbs they are racing out to the Masterchef garden to grab (just like my 7 year old does for me a lot during dinner prep).   What I have loved with this little temporary tradition we’ve got going (is that an oxymoron?) is that it has sparked some extra culinary imagination for my children. When the contestant’s challenge is announced by Gary, George and Matt, we hit the pause button and each of us has a turn at saying what they would choose to cook for that particular Masterchef challenge.  Last night my 7 year old was creating (in her head) a Heston Blumenthal inspired fruit platter, involving green yoghurt and some grapefruit sauce.  Ok, so maybe it wouldn’t have won dish of the day, but I love that she believes there are no limits to what is possible.
My 9 year old is a basic as basic gets when it comes to eating. Yep, your cut and dried ‘fussy eater’ no matter what attempts we make to expand her dietary repertoire.  The most adventurous she has been as of late, is to wrap meatballs and some plain rice in a lettuce leaf and call it San Choy Bau.  Being different from each other is what makes life interesting though, including with our tastes in food.  I just love the idea that we continue to explore and experiment in our cooking and tasting and broaden our culinary horizons.  I guess this continuous pushing of the envelope is what leads to society’s evolving food styles, but perhaps that is a conversation for another day…..


Monday, 21 July 2014

Food and Health - First Guest Blogger

I would proudly like to introduce my first guest Dad!  My Dad is a New Zealand based health professional and a lover of crunchy (not soft and chewy) cookies. We'd love to hear any thoughts. Enjoy!

Most people only look at their health in very broad terms.  We feel well or unwell, we are tired or energetic, our muscles look good or flabby, digestive system works, or doesn’t.  If we consider our bodies from the single cell, many of us would change our habits, possibly profoundly.

If a single cell in the liver was known to be cancerous, but could be killed off by a lifestyle change, would we not make that lifestyle change immediately? If a single lung cell was actually seen failing due to smoking and other bronchial cells would follow rapidly, only the obtuse would not cease smoking in the first instance.  

The problem for all of us is, we wait until several cells are ‘unwell ‘before we take notice of our bodies.  In other words we only look at the gross. A dictionary definition of a gross is twelve dozen. A grocer was originally someone who sold in larger quantities.

When we ingest and digest food do we really consider the quantities of the formulae that make up that product. As humans evolve, so will the finesse of what we eat, drink and do, transform and become more precise. 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Healthy and Delicious Baking, Let's Get Started!

First day of my new blog, which I am pouncing upon in great anticipation. I hope that this becomes a place to find a warmth, comfort and a shared interest in health and well-being. At it's heart, the joy of baking wholesome, delicious and nutritious goodies that cater to a wide range of food allergies and intolerances.

I've lined up some great guest bloggers, who are not only close to my heart but are incredible resources in the human quest for enhanced mind, body and spirit.

I've always loved baking and now with two growing daughters and school lunch boxes to fill, it motivates me even more to be able to create yummy wholesome treats made with love.  I know that so many mums out there love to do this too and are fighting the good fight against some of the foods that for too long we have accepted in good faith. Foods that are loaded with gluten, refined sugar and refined white flours. It's no wonder there is a dramatic increase in food allergies and intolerances and an obesity crisis. Navigating food choices has become harder than ever.

I am proud to be even just a tiny part of the people's revolution in taking charge of their health and well-being.

Join me!