...style is more than what you wear, it's how you live your life

July 8, 2014

Patriotic Pavlova

After my latest sinus infection, my Doctor suggested I stop eating all wheat, dairy, sugar, beans and alcohol.

She called it the Allergy Diet...I called it... ludicrously impossible!
The no alcohol and no sugar restrictions were tossed out the window immediately, but the others I've been able to avoid.

We had the whole family for July 4th dinner last week and because of my new restrictions I needed to be extra creative with the menu. I hate making foods I can't eat!


Of course the star of the day was our cutie pie. There were copious amounts of  smothering fawning, over our grandchild James. I was probably the worst culprit!

As I started dinner preparations, he crawled into the kitchen to keep me company.  He's just learned to pull himself up to stand and found my maxi skirt most helpful :)) Such a brilliant child!

I gave him some wooden spoons and Tupperware... but he seemed much more interested in what I was doing. Lucy wasn't leaving my side either. She braved the beard pulls and tail grabs to stay glued to my leg.

For our dessert, I made my first Pavlova, to great accolades and appreciation!

A dessert of Australian and New Zealand origin consisting of a meringue shell topped with whipped cream and usually fruit.

I checked online for several recipes, then altered and combined a few to come up with this one.



6 ( room temperature ) egg whites -I used organic egg whites from a pint container.
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice


Put mixing bowl in refrigerator to get very cold.
Preheat oven to 300 and place rack in center of oven
Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

With stand or handheld electric mixer, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Gradually add sugar, in small batches, mixing thoroughly after each addition until glossy.
(Most recipes said to add sugar one tablespoon at a time, which I thought was insanely slow, so I added 1/4 cup at a time)
Fold in cornstarch, vanilla extract and lemon juice.

Spoon mixture onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet, making a large circle... building outside edges by ladling excess around edge and leaving a slight indentation in the center.

Bake on center rack for 60 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow meringue to cool completely on cookie sheet.
Place plate on top, flip over and peel parchment paper off.

To avoid the dairy I made whipped coconut cream. Again, there were complicated and simple recipes online. I modified them to make this one.



2 cans full fat Coconut Milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons white sugar


Put cans of full fat Coconut Milk and mixing bowl in refrigerator overnight. I used Thai Kitchen.
When ready to make "whipped cream", remove can from refrigerator, invert and open the bottom. All the coconut water will then be on top and poured off to use in other recipes or chucked. I drank it.

Scoop very thick coconut milk into mixing bowl and whip with electric mixer. When fluffy, add vanilla extract and sugar.

Spread Coconut Cream on top of meringue and cover with berries of your choice. I chose organic Blueberries, Strawberries and Raspberries in honor of the 4th of July.

The only picture I was able to snap of the finished product is blurry because it was moving so fast! We literally inhaled this dessert. Elegant, easy and delicious.

In hindsight, I realize it looked a bit skimpy in the Whipped Coconut Milk department, but tasted perfect. I may or may not use a third can next time.

Have you made Pavlova?

It's basically a huge Macaroon without the top meringue.


  1. It's the dairy I'd struggle with, I eat three Greek yoghurts a day, it's my favourite along with creamy cheese like Mascarpone, I don't know what i'd eat if I had to stop.
    I love any kind of Eton Mess/meringue/Pavlova , with lashings of cream obviously.

    1. I'm finding avoiding dairy the most painful. I adore cheese!! There is really no substitute for fine cheese :(

    2. I'm with Tabitha, I could not give up dairy happily or easily. I cannot remember the last time I went a day without cheese!
      Your grandson is so adorable! I can tell he brings you lots of joy.
      See you soon!
      xo, A

  2. Wonderful substitution! Is that the cutest boy ever???????? Love the pictures of him and Lucy!

  3. The pictures are terrific. Grandson is going to be quite the charmer. Your dessert looks fantastic. Hope you don't have to get desperate with your sinuses but it may very well be worth it.

    1. I'm doing everything I can to avoid it. Having bad sinuses runs in the family...along with a lot of other nutty things!

  4. I make Pavlova once or twice a year -- it's always a crowd-pleaser! And, as you say, easy to make (I don't think I've ever put cornstarch in my meringue -- interesting!) although I have friends who claim not to be able to manage meringue. . . Your meringue looks gorgeous with those patriotic colours. But your little guy? Truly the star of the show -- so cute!

  5. Looks delicious although we are envious of other's grandchildren as our daughter's are tired of hearing that I looked at him mostly!

    1. I always have to say..."it's great to see you too", to my son and daughter in law. It's not that they aren't important, it's just that they aren't James:))

  6. YES< I HAVE and it turned out WONDERFULLY TOO!Plus, I can eat it as I am GLUTEN FREE!
    Happy July..........what a cutie I know I have said it about a half a dozen times but he is something SPECIAL!

    1. She has me going gluten free too...I suppose that goes along with the wheat but gluten is in so many other things!!

  7. Looks delicious!
    I am not a medical expert but I am not sure about the connection of a sinus infection and food?
    Must do some research on that!
    Your grandson James is adorable!

    1. I've been reading into it a bit, and there does appear to be "some" evidence that dairy increases upper respiratory congestion. I'm not happy about it, but will give it a go for several months, then gradually add some back into my diet and see what happens. I miss cheese :-O

  8. I have got to lose some major weight. The reason I haven't done so before is because I must eat about 500 calories a day to lose.
    Ludicrous? Yep. And, when one has to cook from time to time it is almost impossible. My will power is zero I think. It used to be all I lived for...to look fabulous day & night. Now, not so much. I actually go outside sometimes with NO makeup! And, the allergies to food? I really really don't know about this. If we've been allergetic WHY didn't it cause problems before? I wish you luck on this, my love. And, that little boy is absolutely adorable. Home soon, more then....

    1. Just avoiding wheat and dairy, I dropped 8 pounds in two weeks. Imagine if I dropped wine and sugar!! I don't plan to, but the possibilities...

  9. Your grandson is adorable...I love the way he's pulling at your skirt and the dog looking up at you longingly too...you are a popular lady:) Your pavlova looks fabulous!
    Have a lovely weekend xx

  10. How delicious and what an adorable grandson!!
    Jennifer I love the way you adapted these fabulous recipes and I will be trying your versions!!

    The Arts by Karena

  11. Wow your little guy is growing so much Jennifer. He's adorable! I love Pavlovas and my favorite, I think I mentioned, is from Nigella's Summer cookbook. It's an easy dark chocolate one that you put whip cream, raspberries and chocolate shavings on top. It's so light and good my kids go ape and it gets eaten in a second. I also like Eaton Mess which you usually only see in the U.K. but it's pavlovas crushed and mixed with berries and whip cream. Amazing!! Hope your gluten/dairy free diet is working. It's got to be hard especially the dairy! xxoo Kim

  12. Jennifer, I've found there is a link between sinusitis and dairy/sugar. I feel amazingly well when I don't have any, but still eat it on and off. I don't know why it's so hard to give up when I feel so much better without it. Why is that???

  13. Thanks Kim! I will be googling the Eaton Mess to see how I can make that!! It sounds terrific!! See you soon xoxxo