31 Jul 2014

GLOVE PUPPETS - Handmade, Unique, Ethical, Natural and just Oh So Cute!!

So we've finally got everything together and we're about to launch our latest product at Wildly Woolly Ltd! For those on our Wildly Woolly Fan's newsletter (sign up NOW if you want to be a fan and get our latest news first) it's almost the long awaited moment.

Kenana Knitters' Glove Puppets have arrived and we've got a wonderful variety:
  • Cow
  • Sheep
  • Elephant
  • Monkey
  • Lion
  • Zebra

The wonderful Cow glove puppet!

These magical Critters are great accessories for story times with young children, for interactive play and to excite their imaginations. They make ideal small gifts.

As with our other products, the glove puppets can all be washed on a wool cycle (see Wildly Woolly's FAQs for more details on wool washes).

So by the end of today Wildly Woolly will have these lovely Critters up for sale.

Asante sana - Thank-you, for empowering women with the help of your child's smile!

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14 Jul 2014

Being Gluten Free - 5 Top Tips

I have been Gluten Free for over 10 years now, and yes in the early days it was very hard, it wasn't as well recognised as it is today. There weren't the substitutes there are today - breads, pastas and biscuits. And yes I was about a stone lighter!

But today I look at it as being EASY, and you will too with these top tips for those of you GF or cooking for a GF.

The most important tip to bear in mind overall is that it's Trial & Error - Yes, in the beginning it's going to be more hard work that just grabbing a receipe and going for it. You will have to stop and think about it, BUT it's trial and error, try something and if it doesn't turn out how it should (make sure you taste it first as sometimes what GF lacks in the looks department, trust me, it makes up for it in the taste department - a GF person will really appreciate a tasty treat when the other option is nothing!), just try again in a slightly different way.

  1. Use a mixture of flours, most gluten free flours you buy in the shops are a mixture of a number of different flours, to name a few - tapioca, maize, rice, potato, buckwheat, and gram flour. The bought ready mixed packets can be expensive and although useful when starting out, I do suggest later on sourcing the individual flours separately and mixing them yourself, start with 1/3 of three varieties ie if the receipe says 300g use 100g of each (again trial and error to see what mixes make the best cakes/pastries/biscuits - it will vary).
  2. Keep a receipe book, when you try a receipe jot it down in your receipe notebook and then make comments underneath to remind yourself how to try it differently later on or if it was a great one. This way you will get to a point where you can just grab a receipe (of your own) and get on with it!
  3. Xanthan Gum, the issue with GF flours is that they dont have the GLUTEN which is the gloopy (for want of a better word) stuff that hold the flour together and makes its stretch when you make dough, the elastic part. So we need to make sure we compensate for that - eggs are a good way of making things stick. I often use a regular receipe and sustitute the flour for GF (a mixture of those above if I havent any 'bought' packets) but I will add an extra egg if the receipe says to uses eggs. But a magical ingredience is something called Xanthan Gum which you add to the flour mixture, it comes in a powder form usually in a small pot/tube (Xanthan Gum is found in most regular supermarkets, look in the free from section or the baking section, otherwise ask!).
  4. Fruity baking, if you like fruity cakes then you're in luck, these kinds of GF cakes seem to work much better. Possibly due the extra stickiness the fruit brings to it, but I suggest you try all forms of 'fruit' cakes - dont be afraid to explore, there's so much fruit out there! Plus its feels healthier!

 Finally, a few words of wisdom. I always take with me a packet of plain rice cakes when ever I go away, atleast when everyone else is tucking into sandwiches you can pull out you rice cakes add a few toppings and tuck in too. But don't forget to ask if you're at a restaurant or B&B as a lot of places do have GF products for people like us, they just forget to advertise it! I know Premier Inn often have GF products available if you ask, and these days you can request GF meals on the aeroplane if you get served food on the flight, so remember to tell your travel agent to request it, as its too late when you're already on the plane.

Below are a few website I found useful:
  • For the best Yorkshire puds receipe - http://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/recipes/yorkshire-puddings/
  •  For GF pancake with just 2 ingredients - http://www.theskinnyconfidential.com/2012/09/25/ummm-seriously-dying-ingredient-pancakes-flourless-full-protein/ 
  • For Xanthan Gum online - http://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/flour-and-ingredients/baking-essentials/xanthan-gum-1-x-100g/