About ‘Cut out the Crap with Style’ Cookbook
Since being diagnosed with multiple food allergies I have challenged myself to stay excited and passionate about food … like I was when I could eat ‘everything’. My passion increases daily as I learn more about health, nutrition and different ingredients, especially those that cater for intolerances. I love creating new recipes and I am often found in the kitchen when the kids are asleep and at school as cooking and creating has become my therapy. It is such an enjoyable experience for me when I serve something I have made from scratch that brings smiles to other’s faces.
The biggest hurdle I have found with my food intolerances is eating out at restaurants, as I am always petrified that I am going to get sick (which for me results in hours of major stomach cramps).
Throw 4 children into the mix, including young twins and the times we have braved heading out to a restaurant have been disappointing more often than not. I end up eating only a plain garden salad (fear of getting sick) wearing flat shoes (I am a girly girl and love dressing up in heels but can’t chase twins in them) and shoveling food down as quick as I can (whilst the kids are sitting still for 5 minutes). Whilst I don’t have to wash up, this is still not an experience that makes me want to rush back for more!
After having a dinner out like this one night I questioned why I didn’t simply stay at home and cook something myself? I could cook a far more scrumptious meal at home and save money in the process. I knew my cooking wouldn’t make me sick and the kids would be happy as they are in their own home, with their own toys which makes it a much more relaxed experience for everyone. With this thought in mind I began creating ‘Cut out the Crap with Style’ ….
Josh and I love beautiful food. Whether it is just the 2 of us enjoying something special, a fancy dinner party, or a casual gathering with family and friends. My aim is always to cook one meal that no one would know is Gluten, Dairy and Preservative Free …. and of course, taste is of the highest importance!
My biggest challenge of a dinner party I hosted was, believe it or not, with only one other couple and their 2 teenage daughters. It was a ‘Thank you’ gift so it had to be special! The twins were only one year old and we were blessed enough to have good friends just around the corner mind them for a couple of hours over dinnertime. Invitations went out in the mail. One for the teenagers asking them to come to a causal movie night, wear their trackies or Pjs. The other to the parents advising it was Cocktail dress code and they were being picked up at 6pm.
I had blankets, pillows, popcorn, spaghetti bolognaise and a pile of DVD’s all in one room for the kids. They were set for the night and ended up falling asleep on the lounge room floor!
For the adults a Cocktail dinner party. I planned a fancy menu in advance (which I typed up and framed for the table). It gave all 4 adults a choice of two entrées, two mains and two desserts and that was on top of the 2 platters of finger food I served! I cooked for 4 hours that day and prepared all I could in advance. Giving them this ‘menu’ and not knowing what they were going to choose meant I had a fair bit to prepare. The table was set beautifully yet simply with candles, soft music played in the background and I matched wine for each course. I had a timeline sorted, I was organized and knew what I had to do and when. I dressed up, put on some heels and enjoyed every moment. At 4am I drove our guests home. I guess you could say it was a success!
In this book I have created 3 full dinner parties for you from start to finish. It includes a menu, shopping list and timeline. It is not as daunting as the one I mentioned here but it will be a hit just the same! On top of that I am excited to give you a large selection of finger food recipes, entrées, mains and desserts.
This book has been the most challenging for me as I wanted to bring you something different to what I have done before and I believe I have captured that. On the same hand though, I wanted these recipes to cater for the ‘average’ cook and to use ingredients that are easily accessible. I wanted something for the adults this time, to make you feel like you are dining out in the comfort of your own home. For wives to cook a special meal for their husbands and easy enough so that the husbands can cook something special for their wives! (Sorry hubby’s I’m being a bit cheeky!) I wanted to show you that you CAN eat fancy and tasty food even though you have food allergies or intolerances and that entertaining family and friends doesn’t have to be daunting. You don’t have to miss out on mouth-watering food!
I truly hope you love making my recipes and eating them as much as I have enjoyed creating them for you. I hope they inspire you to try something different and that they give you the confidence to eat in style.
Take Care of You,