Quinoa porridge

I don’t know about you but for me with the diagnosis of coeliac, quinoa has become my best friend. Last weekend at the Orange farmers market I got introduced to the idea of quinoa porridge made with almond milk by Roquette Science . A way to make quinoa porridge even tastier (and healthier!). As a bonus, all it takes is 2 ingredients plus toppings.

For my breakfast this morning all i did was cook quinoa in almond milk on the stove, top with raspberries and shredded coconut, and devour! The best gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo breakfast yet!

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Cook the quinoa to your own taste – I use lots of almond milk as I like it creamy and not at all chewy! Just make sure you keep and eye on it whilst it’s on the stove!

Enjoy your weekend :)

Franzi’s cupcakes

My dear gluten-free friends I have just died and gone to cupcake heaven! Down at Orange Farmers Markets today is a stall of ‘Franzi’s cupcakes’.

Every single one is gluten free and flavours range across: lemon cupcakes with white choc icing, chocolate, apple-cinnamon, traditional Swiss carrot, raspberry, black and white with chocolate icing.

They are so beautiful too! Check out my personal favourites – the duck pond icing collection:

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To show her thanks and for having so many gluten free types I have eaten my full… And bought a take home pack… Come and help out too! Or if your not near orange – check out the Facebook page – https://m.facebook.com/franziscupcakes

Happy Saturday Coeliacs!

You havn’t had a real Hong Kong experience until you have been hospitalised!

So I consider myself pretty lucky that it is only in my last 2 weeks in Hong Kong, thereby amounting to almost 4 months in which I had avoided it, that I had to make a trip to hospital. I don’t know about you, but visiting a Chinese hospital wasn’t high on my to-do list. Alas, after my first ever rugby game last night, it became somewhat unavoidable that I go and get my finger tended to today. Don’t worry, it was well worth it, I absolutely loved playing last night and I love my team. So much so that I really wish I could stay longer. They are all so lovely and so much fun. 

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Anyway, back to the point. No time to get sappy just yet, I’ll save that for December 9th! In the line of duty, aka ‘SMASH’ (yes, that is the actual description of my on-field role), my finger had a somewhat unfortunate encounter with the rugby ball. Well it actually happened in the warm-up… in the cold and with my injury-prone luck, the second ball i encountered bounced hard and fast straight into my finger… I played with it taped and it didn’t seem to phase me but I woke up early this morning to an ache in a very puffy, purple, slightly off centre finger. Bummer. A short trip to the CUHK clinic saw me soon heading to the ER room at Prince of Wales hospital. 

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It was in the hospital that the real fun began. I went alone which was probably my first mistake and immediately got lost looking for the ER department I was referred to. I then had to try and overcome a HUGE language barrier which ended up with me getting my referral letter out (which was also in English) but had a CUHK stamp and they soon directed me to the ER reception and a lovely English speaking receptionist. Alas, the doctor at CUHK had neglected to tell me that you need your passport to go to the hospital. He would put me into the queue but I needed to have my passport before I could be seen. So a huge shout and and cudos to Rochelle who not only brought my passport but sat with me and entertained me for around 2 hours whilst we waited. 

I then had to go and try and communicate with a Cantonese speaking nurse who after checking me out spoke to me and pointed in a very generalised direction and then turned to the next patient. I understood he wanted me to go somewhere but I had no idea where that was. I tried to ask him again and he just waved his hand in the same direction and spoke more cantonese. After wandering in that general direction, I found a queue and suspected I was meant to join it. I tried asking the those in it, but again, no English. I really should have studied Cantonese and not Mandarin basics. Being able to talk about my university classes and what floor I am going to in Mandarin is no help in a Cantonese hospital (who would have guessed right?). Finally, they called my name over the loud speaker after I think they realised I had gone the wrong way and was probably lost. After that, a very kind nurse decided he would shepherd be everywhere and explain/translate everything. He even came hunting for me after he realised I had been told the wrong thing, some people really do deserve gold stars. It is probably thanks to him that after 5 hours, an x-ray, 3 doctor visits and some strange gas that my finger has been reset, I was prescribed some drugs (which I will probably never take.. something about pills in a zip lock bag just doesn’t seem legit to me), and was on my way home. 

All in all, it was an eye opening experience. Despite taking forever, they really looked after me and it was about as enjoyable as any hospital visit can me, and I would do it all over again if it meant I could play more rugby games in Hong Kong! 

If you come to Hong Kong on a longer-term basis (6 months or more) I definitely recommend looking up sporting teams and getting involved, everyone is so accepting and it’s a great way to meet some amazing locals. Just try and avoid getting injured, the hospital system, like most systems here, is over complicated and slow. If you are studying at CUHK, look up the rugby team, you will not regret it!

G.E.B.

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The best cocktails in Hong Kong – Feather Boa

Earlier this year, I worked in Shanghai for 3 months at DDB. Lucky for me, my boss, Michelle, turned out to be one of the nicest and amazing women I know. Even luckier, was that between the time I went home from DDB and came to Hong Kong, she had moved to the DDB Hong Kong office. It is owing to Michelle (centre, below) that I have found my favourite cocktail bar in Hong Kong and who you can all thank for this great tip!

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Feather Boa is located on Staunton St in Soho on HK Island. The front of the building is unmarked so it can be a little hard to find but look for the building with curtains across its windows which a lady opens occasionally when people knock. Whilst all the drinks are amazing, Feather Boa is known to serve the city’s best strawberry daiquiris, and believe me, they are insanely good! Even my lantern Elmo loves them!

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Another favourite among my friends is the Malteser Martini. Yes, they have done it. Taken two of the world’s best inventions and put them together! Whilst not on the list of gluten-free things, and thus not for me, I have been assured by many of my friends that they are simply divine. I cannot wait for Janma to get here and have one – I’ll keep you posted on her thoughts!

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If you are in Hong Kong, I cannot recommend this place enough for either a girls night out over great cocktails or even just a stop-through to see what it is all about! If your here before mid-December you may even see me there, its an understatement to say I’m addicted to the place!

Much Love,

G.E.B.

Tip for Yangshuo, China – Stay at Monkey Jane’s and use the free guide!

This weekend I have been exploring the amazing little town of Yangshuo, near Guilin in China. It is a very friendly little town with lots of really cool things to do. We have wandered through caves, had a mud bath, hikes mountains and biked around small villages. And that’s just the day activities! The food is insanely good and there is lots of cute shops and cool bars to wander through at night! The best thing for me though is that Chinese locals who want to learn English volunteer at the hostel we stayed. As such, you get a free guide to do all the activities which – and for coeliacs – a free guide to ensure what you are eating is gluten-free! Today’s treat was specially made gluten-free, the names of which I couldn’t really understand but they were great:

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These were probably my favourite! I am pretty sure it was Taro covered in sticky rice, but you can never be sure! Q (our guide) ensured me I could eat them though!

Here’s what the other treats were:

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The first is a “pumpkin biscuit”, again made with sticky rice, and the second is sticky potato inside sticky rice… So many carbs I am sure it was terrible for you, but it was gluten-free so I’m not complaining!

Coming to Yangshuo has been amazing and when I am back in Hong Kong and have my computer I promise to write all about it! If your going to Asia or looking for a holiday – check it out!!

Much Love,

G.E.B.