Caffeine-free Coffee Share #3

I spent yesterday juicing, grating & freezing the glut of veggies in my fridge. So today, I am drinking one of these:#cucumber #gingerbeer #ginger #mocktail #detox

Anthropologie EU posted a more elegant recipe for a veggie cocktail of delicious proportions. However, if you’re craving the caffeine, pop into the kitchen, grab yourself a mug and a delicious slice of this gluten-free chocolate goodness, and let me tell you about some thoughts running through my head this week.

Did you know that fashion & textiles account for 10% of the world’s global carbon impact and occupy more than  5% of landfill waste? The industry also uses 3 trillion gallons of freshwater, accounting for 20% of freshwater pollution. Read more about this via Marci Zaroff’s post on Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen. I’m seeing this as an opportunity to do some more vintage/charity shopping and maybe even take a sewing class to improve my basic skills. My 9yo has already volunteered herself as a mannequin.

After the whole beach body uproar in the UK, and the booking of our summer holiday, I’ve been wondering where I fall on the beach body scale. Honestly, I’m not fussed about my weight; as long as anything on display isn’t wobbling TOO much, I’m good to go. Anastasia Amour’s blog is a great source of positive inspiration. Read her post You are not a work in progress.

I’ve been debating a blog refresh recently. I’ve been checking out other blogs and Finnoula at My Kitchen Notebook gave me some serious blog envy. I want to LIVE in her blog, it’s so pretty. I get the same feeling looking at her blog as I do when walking into the Anthropologie store on King’s Road. Blisssssssssss.

Also still being debated by the Petal & Mortar board: Bloglovin’, Hiive, Instagram, Crowdfire….and darn it, a Facebook page. What are your thoughts on these platforms?

So, what are you up to? What have I missed thanks to the scatty WP reader? Catch me up!

Grain Free Chocolate Torte (also GF, DF, SyF, SF, PF)

#GF #DF #glutenfree #dairyfree #celiac #coeliac #grainfreeSome days, it’s perfectly acceptable to eat cake for breakfast.

Seriously, look at the ingredients list and tell me why not? I know there are a bazillion GF and grain-free chocolate cake recipes out there, but this time, I didn’t want the sugar rush or the prep time. I wanted a quick, grown-up, I-can-eat-it-for-breakfast-Nutella-cake. So I used the Nutty Date Cake 2.0 as a base recipe to get creative, and here is the fruit of my labour. Perhaps I could try and conjure up an after-school babysitter, too?


  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • ½ cup ground hazelnuts
  • 1 cup ground/finely chopped dried apricots or dates
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder (I used Equal Exchange Fairtrade & Organic Cocoa)
  • 1 tsp GF baking powder OR 1/4 tsp baking soda + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon milk (dairy or non)
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil
  • 2 medium eggs (equally sized)


Preheat oven to 180C/375F.

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet in another.

Mix wet ingredients into dry.

Pour batter into prepared cake tin or muffin liners (I baked mine in two layers to make a sandwich).

Bake for 20-25 minutes, check with a skewer/clean knife.

Frost or not, to your taste. I used creme fraiche and icing sugar for my ‘frosting’.

Shared on:

Domesticated MomsterFree From Farmhouse

Mother Mands tried the recipe successfully…

Re-Adjusting Focus

Yesterday, I wrote about meeting potential after-school carers/nannies, and throwing my worries to the wind (or putting my trust in the Lord, if we go with ma-in-law). Today, it’s back to the drawing board. So what went wrong?

Weeeeellllll…..the first candidate was OK: pleasant, educated, not the most fluent English speaker, but seemed competent. I ranked her a 15/20. The second gave me serious cause for concern. She seemed tired, confused and I had to repeat myself every second sentence. Also, she had a very wet, limp handshake. One of my pet peeves is a wet, limp handshake. Shudder. If the option was her or nothing, well, as I told husband on Skype, let’s just say I’d trust DD on her own.

Instead of this experience truly throwing me, and sending me into a panic spiral, I was just annoyed that they didn’t work out. Breton Bestie and the neighbour have reminded me they can help in a pinch. My old assistant who’s in between jobs has agreed to cover all next week, and another nanny emailed this morning, asking if I still needed help. So maybe this whole ‘worries to the wind’ thing works! I wrote about the compounded effect of a thousand small adjustments and corrections, and the power of small wins and slow gains in a PTSD-recovery post in February. Today, I feel like I’m reaping the benefits of CBT: I think I’ve finally had a ‘normal’ reaction to a setback.

Disclaimer: I still wanted to resort to baking this morning (I went up 4 sizes due to PTSD-related baking after DD was born), but I opted to make one batch of aubergine dip and one batch of chicken liver pate to nourish, rather than numb, myself. Tomorrow, I will experiment with a gooey, gluten-free chocolate something, ready for the #FoodPornThursdays link-up. 

How are you doing? Have you made any small adjustments which have resulted in huge gains? How do you get yourself out of a panic spiral?

Nutty Date Cake, version 2

Quick blurb to get my new followers (Hi!) up to speed: I’ve been tagged with two auto-immune conditions in the last 18 months. I kicked the first one into remission with steroids and an adapted diet. High on my own success, I started sneaking in trigger foods, which resulted in my feeling sicker and sicker, to the point where I was exhausted all the time. Tests confirm I have almost no Vitamin D in my body, as well as coeliac disease. Shopping in supermarkets and eating out have acquired a whole new level of insanity (socially phobic, I am). Who knew treats like chocolate mice and French fries in most restaurants have wheat in them (whaaaaa?). Another discovery? To make gluten-free foods palatable, a lot of them are loaded with sugar. Which makes me think I can live without them. I’m not trading one illness for another, thank you very much. So it’s back to basics, and the experimentation in the kitchen.#glutenfree #dairyfree #GF #DF #almond

Last week, I made a delicious (I say so myself) Nutty Date Cake, and this week, I adapted the recipe a little more. I wanted a fluffier result, so that I could slather it in purple fig jam.  I used what I had in the cupboard…

  • 1/2 cup dates and walnuts, ground pretty fine
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

Heat oven to 180C/360F.

Mix all the dry ingredients, add the oil, then the egg (I just used a fork and did it by hand).

The batter/dough should all come together beautifully in a ball. Put in a small loaf tin, gently press down with the fork, and bake for 20-25 minutes. It came out with a lovely moist, cakey texture.

I think I may use this as my base recipe mix when I try adapting my Carrot Cake recipe. If you have any gluten-free/coeliac-friendly recipes you use, or have seen but haven’t tried, leave me a link and I will happily experiment for you.

Domesticated Momster

Celebrating 100 posts, 1000 likes and 1000 tweets

It has been a crazy old weekend. The Follow Friday post resulted in so much feedback into Saturday, I had a hard time keeping up on my phone. We were out in the countryside and the only way to get a proper signal was to balance on one leg and dangle my arm out the window!

Today, I’ve logged back onto my laptop and discovered (since 19 January this year) I’ve written 100 posts, received 1000 likes, and tweeted 1000 times. So today’s post is a round-up-best-of-Petal-and-Mortar bonanza.

I suppose a good place to start is with my intro to motherhood. Then read about some setbacks on the road to recovery. Read my open letter to the Duchess of Cambridge and her new daughter. Maybe bake a batch of peanut butter cookies, or tahini cookies, before you settle down to read. Enjoy some of my attempts at photography, such as BlissConnect and Oddities. If you’re looking for books to read this summer, I can highly recommend Maine and The Lemon Grove. Laugh along at my daughter’s thoughts. Get swept up in the excitement backstage. Make some carrot cake. You’ll need a sugar rush to get you through grief, rage, panic attacks and social phobia.

If you’ve enjoyed the ride so far, follow my blog for more adventures, or come say Hæ/hej/hello on Twitter (@petalandmortar). Also, check out the fellow bloggers who like and follow my posts. They’re pretty awesome, too!


Nutty Date Cake

The original recipe Moelleux noisettes de Lola was given to me by the Breton Bestie. She made it for a gathering which included my GF husband. As usual, I have put my unique adaptations on the recipe, because I’m trying to reduce the amount of sugar we eat.

#almond #glutenfree #dairyfree #GF #coeliac #celiac

Prep time: 10 mins / Cook time: 25 mins / Serves 6

Ingredients I used today:

– 200g ground almonds & walnuts (or hazelnuts)
– 60g ground dates – more sweetness, less sugar
– 60g melted butter (or coconut oil)
– 1 tbsp xylitol (or brown sugar or coconut sugar)
– 2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180C / 360F.

Mix the eggs, butter/oil & sugar. Blend in the dates and nut mix. The batter should resemble cupcake batter. If it’s too runny, add more ground almonds.

Pour into a non-stick cake pan and bake for anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on your oven. Mine took 25 minutes for a skewer to come out clean. Cool before serving.

Domesticated Momster

Whelmed Wednesday

I had one bad migraine over the weekend and now I think the hayfever meds are getting me down (looking piteous). I am not feeling ‘one with the words’ today, so I’m going to do my post in the form of interpretive dance (tries to choose music, set up webcam to record…)

Sod that, you’re just getting photos today.

Anthropologie mug

My new pretty mug…in my favourite colours!

No, it's NOT too big for my face!

Does this mug make my face look smaller? Score!

I baked banana bread this morning. Recipe to follow…perhaps in the form of dance. I think the ‘peel & mash banana’ bit could be loads of fun.

Fellow bloggers, how are you feeling? How do you lift yourself out of a case of the ‘blahs’?

Happy Birthday, Dad!

#carrot #cake #spelt #walnut

Some carrots were harmed in the making of this cake…click on the photo for more…

Today, my amazing dad is 65. His adoring granddaughter said, “Don’t be ridiculous. He couldn’t be a day over 53.” It’s a mutual admiration society; they are as thick as thieves when they are under the same roof, and anything “my John” says at any point in time is gospel.

This year also marks the first time he’s finally admitted to possibly putting his career of over four decades to rest, and this is possibly the last birthday he will spend away from friends & family. I have no idea what his plans are, but I hope he finds peace and fulfilment as he enters the next phase of his life. No doubt it will be an adventure!

❤ you, Dad!

Grain-Free Tahini Waffles

Adapted from the original recipe which uses cashews: Grain-Free Waffles by Danielle Walker

If you tried my Tahini Cookie recipe, or are thinking about getting a jar of tahini and wondering what to do with the rest of it, look no further! As always, my recipes are tweaked, so use your judgement on the consistency of the batter; you may need a little more flour or non-dairy milk.

PREP TIME: 12 mins / COOK TIME: 10 mins / TOTAL TIME: 22 mins


  • 2 eggs for almond meal, 3 eggs for coconut flour (I used medium)
  • 1/3 cup (75g) tahini
  • 1/3 cup (75ml) almond milk 
  • 3 tablespoons honey, maple or date syrup
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour (1/5 cup) or 1 cup (115g) almond meal
  • A pinch of cinnamon & nutmeg (optional)


  1. Preheat your waffle iron.
  2. Combine the eggs, tahini, non-dairy milk, honey/alternative and melted coconut oil in a blender. Pulse & blend until the batter is smooth & creamy. 
  3. Add the salt, baking soda, and chosen flour, then pulse & blend again for about a minute until the dry ingredients are mixed in.
  4. If the waffle iron requires oil, brush on a little coconut oil (both sides). Pour the batter into the waffle iron so it just covers the bottom portion of the iron. DON’T overfill as I did; these waffles rise nicely and you’ll waste valuable eating time doing clean-up!
  5. Cook the waffles for about a minute or so, depending on your waffle iron. If they lift easily with a fork when you open the lid, they are ready!
  6. Repeat until you run out of batter. 

Serve with date syrup, honey or maple syrup.

Tahini Cookies (gluten free)

Because I’ve had waaaaaaay too much sugar this week (I turned a year older), I’m now feeling the urge to detox a little and was experimenting in the kitchen today. The result is a mildly exotic, not-too-sweet tahini cookie, tweaked from my peanut butter cookie recipe. Tahini is a sesame seed paste, similar to peanut butter, and very popular in the Middle East, especially to make hummus. Here are instructions from The Kitchn so you can make some at home!


  • 1/3 cup tahini (I used Meridian Organic Light)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (I had to!)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (with nothing but the honey)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil or ghee, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you could also use orange essence & some zest)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (gluten free)
  • 1 medium egg


Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Mix the oil/butter with the tahini. Add in the vanilla extract and honey. Whisk the egg gently (too hard and the cookies go stiff). Stir the egg into the tahini base.

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and baking powder.

Add this to the tahini base and fold gently till you have a smooth dough (check my PB cookie recipe photos).

Roll into balls, flatten with a fork on a lightly greased baking tray or tray lined with baking paper.


Bake for 10-12 minutes till the edges are golden. Cool on wire rack. Enjoy!

I might try these with some almond flour next time. And maybe some chai spices, like cardamom & cinnamon. Let me know (below) if you have any tweaks you could suggest or have tried!