Chocolate Brownie Recipe Which Hedgehogs And Children Love

Chocolate Brownie Recipe, Guaranteed To Attract Hedgehogs Into Your Garden

My Grandchildren love these Chocolate Brownie cookies as well:

3/4 cup butter

1 cup white sugar

2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar

3/4 cup S.R.flour

5 Tablespoons Cocoa powder

2 free-range eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chopped nuts or peanut butter

2 Tablespoons of yellow cornmeal
2 Tablespoons of shredded coconut

Melt the butter a little and add the sugar and cocoa powder.

Add the eggs, peanuts or peanut butter, and vanilla – stir in well.

Add the eggs and vanilla – stir in well.

Add the flour and cornmeal.

Mix altogether.

Grease an oven tray with butter or oil.

Make balls of the dough, and flatten out with fingers or a fork on the tray. You may need to sprinkle some cornmeal or flour over the dough so that the dough does not stick to your fingers when you form the balls.

Bake at 180 degrees C for around 10 minutes.  Turn down the oven after about 5 minutes so they do not burn. You can tell when they are cooked, as the most delicious cookie aroma will permeate the air when they are ready.

When you bring out the tray, slide a fish slice or spatula under each cookie, and put on a wire tray to cool.

Once properly cooled, you can put them into a glass jar with screwtop lid, or an air-tight plastic container.


Hedgehogs Are Endangered In New Zealand

Hedgehogs are a wonderful asset to any garden, in my opinion.  They eat all the slugs and snails which would otherwise eat your vegetables and delicate flowers.

In the United Kingdom, environmentalists are working to save the hedgehog, whose forraging areas are rapidly being depleted, with people culling out gardens and having walls built around their properties which do not allow hedgehogs to visit. The poor hedgehog is having a rough time of it, with fewer good places to live and forage for food.

In the UK, the protectors of hedgehogs are encouraging people to grow hedges, and make little holes in walls and fences where hedgehogs can enter into the garden.

I am sure the UK people will be promoting organic gardening without the use of toxic pesticides and herbicides which have the potential to kill or sicken hedgehogs, birds, cats and dogs. Snail and slug poison is especially bad for hedgehogs, and birds too.

I heard a radio announcer talking on Radio NZ recently, who said that hedgehogs were NOT friends of ours, because of their threat to NZ wildlife, and especially to the Kiwi, the highly prized national icon.  A ridiculous and short-sighted view, I think.

It has been decided by MAF in New Zealand that hedghogs, as well as cats and dogs, present a threat to Kiwi.  Because they might eat the odd Kiwi egg, it has been decided to kill every hedgehog in New Zealand.

Then the discussion on hedgehogs in New Zealand drew in a scientist/researcher from Massey University, who said that DOGS are the biggest threat of all to Kiwi in New Zealand. Do we want to kill dogs because of their threat to wildlife?

MAF are not interested in destroying every dog in New Zealand, though dogs be the biggest threat to Kiwi, but they want to destroy every living hedgehog.  It just does not make sense.

Well, I have been looking after the hedgehogs in my area for a while now.  I have discovered their very favourite food:  Chocolate Brownies. They can smell the rich chocolate of my chocolate brownies from way down the road, which literally gets them running towards my place, and the big fry-pan which I put their food into.

See Merrilyn’s song ‘Marianne, Let Us Be’ on Youtube:




Gluten Free Protein Rich Dumplings For Soup

Gluten Free Recipe Using Chick Pea Flour:

How To Make Wheat-Free Dumplings.

These are really delicious things:  Great for celiacs or other people following wheat free or gluten free diets.  The chick pea flour dumplings will give richness and flavour to your winter soups, and provide good protein as well.

They come out well when they are cooked in a vegetable soup which has plenty of clear liquid in it.

These gluten free dumplings are a great protein resource for vegetarians.  Of course, you can add a little gravy beef or fish if you wish.

Take one regular cup of chick pea flour, also called besan flour.  Put into a clean dry bowl.

Add one free range egg, preferably organic.

Add half a teaspoon of sea salt and two teaspoons of baking powder.

Add enough water to mix – around half a cup or a little more.

If you like, you can add some spices to the dumpling mixture.  A little turmeric for colouring, or some chopped fresh chilli, or some chopped fresh coriander, are some additions which you can use to excite the taste buds.

Get your wooden spoon and stir the mixture well, grinding out any lumps of pea flour as you go.

The mixture should resemble a stiffish batter – just thin enough so that you can drop balls of batter into your boiling soup.  Be careful not to add too much water in the mixing of it, as it will not hold together if it is too runny.

Get your soup up to simmering point, but not boiling heavily.  It should be simmering away gently when you add your dumplings to it.

Use all the mixture up, dropping balls of dough into the soup.  Cook for 10 minutes on one side, then turn the dumplings over for 5 minutes or so.

Serve the soup with the dumplings.

You can experiment with using the same recipe above, but fried in olive oil instead of being boiled as dumplings.

You can make the batter slightly more runny, and put slices of zucchini, or aubergine, or slices of onion with it.  Take a piece of  your chosen vegetable, surrounded with a spoonful of the pea flour batter,and pop it into the hot oil.  Fry until brown.  Turn over and cook on the other side.

Eat while hot.



Homemade Gluten Free Pickled Ginger (Uncooked)

Herbal Recipe:  How To Make Your Own Gluten Free, Uncooked, Pickled Ginger.

This easy recipe can be used as a condiment and as an herbal remedy.

Making your own pickled ginger is a rewarding exercise. Apart from the creative process of making it, you can also gain satisfaction from the knowledge that your homemade product does not contain any added harmful preservatives which a commercial product might use.

Homemade pickled ginger is useful as an addition to curries, meat, fish or vegetarian dishes, and can also be used as a medicine, taken a teaspoon at a time.

Ginger has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years.

Ginger is an amazing herb:  In modern language, it is known as a ‘blood thinner’, as a heart and circulation booster, as a digestive aid, as an antidote to nausea and food-poisoning, for motion sickness, as an antioxidant and detoxifyer of poisons in the liver, and as a catalyst for other herbs and nutrients to be assimilated efficiently.  It is a common ingredient of many traditional herbal remedies, because of its ability to increase the effectiveness of herbs and nutrients in foods.

So – here is how to make your gluten-free,  homemade pickled ginger.

Take fresh, peeled, ginger roots. Grate up enough to fill two cups.

Pour boiling water over the grated ginger, and leave to soften for one minute.

Strain the ginger and reserve the water for tea,

Into a glass jar which has a good fitting lid, put:

1 cup wine vinegar or cider vinegar

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt

Stir the sugar and salt into the vinegar.

Now pack your grated and softened ginger into the jar, making sure that the ginger is covered with the vinegar.  Top up with a little more vinegar if necessary.

Put on the lid and shake for a minute or so.

Leave the jar on the window-sill for two days, shaking every day.

After two days, put the pickled ginger into the fridge and use as needed.

This is best if it is used within two weeks.

A slice of pickled beetroot added to the jar will give the ginger a pinkish colour. Alternatively, you can buy some shiso leaves from an Asian grocer, and add a little to the pickle mixture.  These will give your homemade pickle a pink colour.

As a digestive tonic, take one teaspoonful per day at mealtimes.  Note:  Do not use ginger in your food, or as a herbal remedy if you are taking a chemical blood thinner such as warfarin.  Ginger, like Vitamin C, and Vitamin C rich fruits such as grapefruit,  is a natural blood-thinner, so if you take it along with a prescribed medicine such as Warfarin, then you will be doubling up on the blood-thinning effect.  Use only one or the other – traditional remedies, or the medication prescribed for you.

Personally, I think it is better to use herbal remedies, and eat the appropriate foods, so that the blood is thinned naturally, rather than take pharmaceutical preparations.  Drugs which are commonly prescribed often turn out to have very deleterious effects on the vital organs and nervous system of the body.  The side effects of warfarin are not so pleasant, and it can even induce a stroke, the very thing it is meant to prevent.  But if you have decided on the standard medical approach for preventing strokes, then do not use ginger as well.

Merrilyn’s new book is available on Amazon:

Gluten Free Gingered Cabbage Soup Recipe

Nutrient-Rich Cabbage-Ginger  Soup To Help Fight Flu and Colds

Note:  I don’t believe that Warfarin and other chemical blood thinners are good for anyone, and I believe that the natural sources are the way to go.

However, if you ARE taking warfarin, or any other blood thinner, then you should steer clear of this recipe.  Cabbage and ginger are both natural blood thinners, and so if you include them in your diet, together with a synthetic blood-thinner such as warfarin, the result might be too much blood-thinner.

Natural Food-Based Blood Thinners:  You might ask yourself, ‘Well.  Perhaps I should switch to the natural remedy and use food-based blood-thinners instead?  Up to you and your doctor to answer that question.

This recipe creates a very tasty and warming soup – Ideal for those winter months, or even spring time, when the weather fluctuations tend to bring on those unexpected bouts of cold and flu.

It uses fresh ginger and a dash of red cayenne pepper to spice it up, drive out those flu germs,  and make it interesting.  The soup mixture is blended at the end of the cooking, with a little extra cold water, and  just half a raw onion added to the blender.  This gives the soup a real fresh zest which gives extra potency to the antioxidant, anti-vital properties of the cabbage and ginger combined.  You re-heat the blended soup, which slightly cooks that raw onion, but you do not boil the soup.

Cabbage is a great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food.  It is very high in calcium, and contains folate, vitamin C, iron, beta-carotene, and B vitamins.  Cabbage is one of the foods which helps prevent cancer, especially of the lungs, the colon, and the breasts.  It is good to include cabbage in your diet  several times a week.

Ginger in this recipe provides more germ-killinig and cancer-destroying agents.  These specific compounds found in ginger are called gingerols and terpenes.  They are antioxidants  which are helpful in preventing and treating cancer of the colon, ovaries and rectum, as well as having a general anti-viral effect on the health.

The carrot provides more carotene-Vitamin A, an important constituent for health and, particularly, for eye-sight.

Onion provides zinc for healing,  chromium which helps regulate blood sugar levels, diallyl sulphide which helps protect against viral diseases and cancer, and other important antioxidant compounds such as quercetin.

ToMake Gluten Free Gingered Cabbage Soup:

Roughly chop up half a medium-sized cabbage.  Put into a large saucepan which has a lid.

Now peel a large knob of ginger.  Chop it up finely.  There should be at least a tablespoon of chopped ginger – use more if you would like.

Add the ginger to the cabbage.

Add one chopped onion.

Add one chopped washed potato with its skin still left on.

Add one roughly chopped carrot.

Add one litre of water, put the lid on, and bring to the boil.

Once the vegetables are  cooked, add another half litre of cold water to cool the vegetables.

Put some of the vegetables and some of the liquid into the blender.  Blend until smooth, just about a minute.  Pour the blended vegetables into a bowl.  Then gradually blend the rest of the vegetables and liquid in the pot.

Return all the vegetables to the saucepan.  Reserve about 2 cups of soup to use in the blender.

Next –   Chop up half a medium sized onion and add to the blender with the blended soup.  Put in a half teaspoon of red paprika, one teaspoon of sea salt,  and blend up with the raw onion.

Add the blended raw onion mixture to the soup in the pot.  Reheat the soup to hot, but not boiling.

Serve with grated cheese on top of the soup.  Alternatively, add a dollop of sour cream, or some basil-flavoured hummus.

Merrilyn’s new book is out on Amazon:




Recipe Gluten Free Salmon Cornmeal Quiche

No Need For Boring – This Gluten Free, Protein-Rich and Tasty Corn and Salmon Dish will  switch your family onto  Gluten-Free food,  for good.!

Instead of a wheat base, this recipe uses a gluten-free cornmeal  polenta mixture instead, which is very quick and easy to make.

Gluten-free food, I believe, is better for everyone than using wheat or wheat-products.  By going ‘gluten-free, you end up using a range of nutritious foods which you might not otherwise be bothered with.  You also save yourself the trouble with bowel problems by eating less bread and going for vegetables, cornmeal or rice, and protein instead.

Bread is constipating unless you compensate by eating major amounts of raw food.

Making pies and quiches at home is very satisfying, and your family will love you for it.  As well, by making your pie at home, you can make sure that your food is devoid of those harmful food additives such as flavourings, preservatives and colourants which are very bad for everyone.

First, pre-heat the oven.  Turn it on to 180C.

Here’s How To Make The Gluten Free Polenta Base:

Take three quaters a cup of fine yellow cornmeal.  Boil up three cups of water.  Add two tablespoons of butter, a pinch of sea salt, and slowly add the cornmeal into it, stirring well as you go to prevent lumps from forming.

Gently cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.  Allow to cool a little, then spread out the mixture over the bottom and up the sides of a well-greased pyrex dish, or another suitable pie dish.

How To Make The Gluten Free Salmon Filling:

Take a 400g can of salmon and drain the liquid off.

Put into a bowl with:

3 large free range eggs

One and a half cups of cream

Half a finely chopped onion

One finely chopped red capsicum

Half a small teaspoon of red paprika

One cup of corn kernels or cooked asparagus or green peas

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Quarter a teaspoon cinnamon

A pinch of sea salt if desired

Mix the salmon up with the eggs and other ingredients.  Then pour out over the cornmeal polenta which you have spread around the pie-dish.

If you wish, you can sprinkle some grated cheese over the top, or some sesame seeds.

Put into the oven at about half-way up.  Bake for half an hour, or until the quiche has set.  Turn the oven down early on if the quiche begins to brown too fast.

This is a nourishing dish which can be served as a mains with a salad and/or cooked broccoli or mashed potato.  It can also be eaten cold as a lunch-slice.

It contains good quantities of iron, calcium, protein, fibre,  lecithin, fish oils, Vitamin C, Vitamin B2 Riboflavin,  Vitamin B3 Niacin, and Vitamin A.