Pizza Express (actually a reasonable option for the dairy and egg-free)

It may seem strange that I’m writing a review of a very well-known pizza chain – doesn’t pizza rely on cheese? However, we’ve eaten at a LOT of Pizza Express branches as a family and the girls have always been able to eat a safe and tasty meal, one that is almost completely on the kids menu (very unusual for us, we normally end up having to eat ‘off menu’ and always lose out financially for it).

At Pizza Express the waiting staff have always seemed friendly and well trained. They have unfailingly listened to our requirements and made no fuss…. And we’ve never had any food mistakes in any of the branches we’ve visited.

On the bambino menu the girls can start with dough balls and side salad (dairy, egg and nut free). This is followed by a pizza (minus the cheese)…. A cheese-less pizza might sound a bit substandard, but since the bases are unfailingly delicious and the tomato sauce good too, it is still a surprisingly satisfying main course. It’s all rather dough-based, but hey, it is a pizza restaurant!

But most exciting of all, there’s a new addition on the menu, a dairy, egg and nut-free raspberry sorbet. My girls hardly ever get to eat a pudding in a restaurant so this new development is hugely exciting, and the sorbet tastes gorgeous too! Although must admit we only actually ate it on third attempt as it had sold out the first two times we went, but that’s another story.

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Welcome Home Chocolate Biscuit Cake

She’s home! Big S came home from her activity camp today and the family is again as it should be. We are so so so pleased she’s back where she belongs. She had a great time, did so much it’s hardly believable, but she’s very happy to be back home. To welcome her home (along with the family party!) I made a dairy-free chocolate fridge cake, certain to please a hungry and tired little girl!

Chocolate Biscuit Fridge Cake (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes about 12 large slices

  • 200g dairy-free digestives, Waitrose own brand is good (or other plain biscuits)
  • 150g dairy-free spread, I used Pure
  • 3 tbsps golden syrup
  • 170g dairy-free dark chocolate, I used Kinnerton
  • 50g raisins
  • optional: 50g any other dried fruit you may like

– Place the biscuits in a bag and crush with a rolling pin, being sure to keep some big-ish lumps

– In a microwave/over a bain marie, melt together the chocolate, dairy-free spread and syrup.

– Stir the biscuit crumbs and raisins into the chocolate mixture until well combined.

– Pour into a lined loaf tin and level off the top.

– Place in the fridge to set (at least a couple of hours)

– Dust the top with icing sugar and cut into thick slices.

Nice one Tesco!

I really didn’t think I’d start my blog with a review. It is, after all the cooking that I like the most. But…. there I was in Tesco’s this morning after dropping off the children at school (along with a bunch of other mums!) and I came across a whole new area of chilled free from foods. Maybe it isn’t a new section but I’d never noticed it before and could have literally jumped for joy. There are various flavours of soya puddings and a variety of different dairy-free milks. I nearly went crazy with excitement and bought the whole range, but held back to just two varieties. Smooth mango soya yoghurt (there is an aversion to ‘bits’ in this household from the younger members) and creme caramel. They haven’t been tried yet as the kids are still at school, but I promise to report back….