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Eating out: Gluten free carvery at The Hunters Inn, Newton Tracey

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I love a good Sunday roast and gluten free carveries are, luckily, becoming more and more easy to come by. As it’s a dish that can easily be converted for coeliacs, many more establishments are starting to offer various free from options.

I had heard a number of good things about The Hunters Inn at Newton Tracey, North Devon, from both gluten free people and gluten eaters, so for Mother’s Day I booked a table for their Sunday carvery.

The Hunters Inn is set on the road between Barnstaple and Torrington – a lovely little country drive to this classic old pub which has a nice little beer garden area and a fire indoors.

The menu was clearly marked with gluten free – showing which dishes could be made gluten free on request. If you go, remember to state you want the dish gluten free as some of them are prepared different for gluten eaters!

We decided to go all out and opt for starters, mains and desserts, and mum and I share the mushrooms on toast (gluten free style) which was amazing!

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Delicious mushrooms in a rich and creamy sauce, placed on a lightly toasted gluten free roll, and served with a generous portion of salad. The mushrooms were so tasty and half of this was the perfect size to whet my appetite.

Obviously for my main course I had to go for the roast, and with crackling on the menu, pork was my number one choice. I was definitely not disappointed at all!

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Mine came with it’s own gluten free gravy, and all of the vegetables were gluten free (except the cauliflower cheese, but I was advised the chef could cook me up some plain cauliflower if I wanted).

The food was amazing and I well and truly stuffed my face! The braised red cabbage was amazing, the other vegetables were cooked to perfection and the roast potatoes were deliciously fluffy.

The meat itself was so tasty and the crackling – OH MY GOD, the crackling! I was in heaven.

Even though I was so full after this, I still went for dessert! It would have been rude not to, I reckon. I opted for the espresso panacotta with a hazelnut and cinnamon brittle.

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It was the perfect combination – the panacotta was so light and creamy, and not too sweet at all – which made the sugary crunch of the brittle just perfect. The whole meal was delicious.

My only criticism would be the pub does not serve espresso coffee – I normally love a cappuccino after my meal – but that is just me being fussy I guess!

I would certainly recommend The Hunters Inn for their gluten free choices and hope I can go back again one day soon and experience their evening menu choices too!

Filed under: eating out

Gluten Free Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce

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With Saint Patrick’s Day coming up, I thought I would take this opportunity to rant about clear up some common misconceptions surrounding the day.

First of all, let’s look at what most Americans view as the traditional Irish meal to serve on Saint Patrick’s Day – Corned Beef and Cabbage.

I am Irish-American and yes, we ate corned beef and cabbage on Saint Patrick’s Day. But notice I said I am Irish-American – an American of Irish descent – not Irish. You would be hard pressed to find corned beef and cabbage on Saint Patrick’s Day in Ireland. Sure, some restaurants will serve it, but that’s for the tourists, not the locals.

Generations ago, beef was not readily available in Ireland, it was expensive and considered a luxury item. Irish immigrants arriving in America found that beef was abundant and inexpensive and corned beef had a similar texture to joint bacon, an Irish staple, which was not common in America. Thus, the commonly eaten dish from home of boiled bacon and cabbage became corned beef and cabbage in America.

Saint Patrick’s Day is a holiday in Ireland, so the banks and many businesses are closed. It is a special day, so serving something as common and lowly as boiled bacon and cabbage would be unlikely. Something like roasted lamb would be more appropriate.

Now let’s talk about green beer. Again, an American notion. In the early 1900’s, a social club in New York served green beer in celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day and for some reason we Americans thought this was a really great idea. I am having a hard time imagining any self-respecting Irishman trying to get his Guinness green.

Finally, if one feels the need to shorten, make more familiar, or nickname Saint Patrick’s Day, it is St. Paddy’s Day or Paddy’s Day. Not St. Patty’s Day. Not Patty’s Day. Not St. Pattie’s Day. And definitely not Patties.

Paddy is a fine, masculine diminutive of Padraig; a variant of Patrick.

Patty or Pattie is a woman’s name; it comes from Patricia. Patties is plural for patty, as in hamburger patties.

Before he was a saint, Patrick was a man, and not a couple of burgers.

Class dismissed. Let’s eat some cake.



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Gluten Free Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce

For the cake:
Gluten-free nonstick cooking spray
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons Wholesome! organic sugar, divided use
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1¼ cups gluten free all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
3 tablespoons milk
3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and diced

For the sauce:
4 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons Wholesome! organic sugar
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Make the cake:

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9-inch springform pan generously with cooking spray.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and ½ cup sugar together until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients along with the milk and beat until combined. (The batter will be thick.) Stir in the apples. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes before removing the cake from the pan. The cake can be served warm, at room temperature, or cold. Place on a serving platter and serve with the custard sauce.

Make the custard sauce:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it just begins to bubble. With the mixer on, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, beating continuously. Once combined, pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. It should coat the back of a spoon but not be too thick. It should be pourable. Stir in the vanilla. Pour the sauce into a small pitcher and serve with the cake. (The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator until serving time.)


A gluten free recipe that serves 8.

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Overnight Apple Fritter French Toast Casserole

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Whether you’re looking for a special Easter brunch recipe, or just an easy main to make Sunday mornings special, this apple fritter French toast casserole is one to consider. It’s made with just a handful of ingredients that merge into a flavorful, sweet, crowd-pleasing dish. And I mean really, who doesn’t love apple fritters? By far my […]

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IL, Chicago – Little Goat Diner

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Little Goat Diner may have a menu rich in cheese, but they actually offer separate vegan, dairy-free AND gluten-free menus, each with tons of delicious options to satisfy. The menu items are truly inspired, too, with unique selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner (think traditional diner food with international, culinary and farm-fresh twists), plus bakery goods […]

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MD, Baltimore and Berlin – Piaza Fast Brick Oven Pizza

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Piaza fast cooks fabulous brick-oven pizzas customized for each order – kind of like Subway. Their pizza dough is handmade and garnished with a wide variety of premium meats, vegetables and sauces. But beyond the ordinary and not so ordinary (chickpeas?) topppings, they also provide dairy-free cheese, vegan beef crumbles and gluten-free pizza crust. Plus, Piaza is working to […]

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