I met the ever-inspiring Carly from Facepaint and Flavour through the Makelight Community we’re both members of. We have loads in common and have recently developed a WhatsApp friendship as Carly volunteered to be a food photography accountability partner with me. Food photography is very difficult to get right, but with a chum who can be completely honest with you, slow and steady progress can be made.

Carly is a coeliac on a mission to share all she learns about living free-from as a mum of two children who also have allergies. Her website Facepaint and Flavour features loads of free-from products, recipes and musings on having allergies when you’re a foodie as well as colourful and quirky photography of family life in Windsor.

If you are searching for more ideas and recipes for curating a free-from family menu, take a look at her #inclusivefood hashtag on Instagram which will encourage the living daylights out of anyone feeling that free-from food is unexciting – Carly brings her recipes to life with incredible splashes of colour, and clearly everything is super tasty, as she has a very discerning palate!

Here are her answers to our Five Things questions:

What’s your favourite recipe book?
River Cottage Light & Easy – it’s one of the few books I use again and again – it’s full of very simple, but delicious seasonal meals; and most are free from dairy and wheat which is essential given our family’s dietary restrictions.

What’s the most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
I’ve been an adventurous eater for as long as I can remember, and have never shied away from trying local delicacies when we’ve travelled. My first taste of sushi was at 5am in a Tokyo fish market, and included fugu (poisonous Japanese pufferfish).

What’s your worst food memory?
Luckily not the fugu, as I lived to tell the tale! Actually it was soon after being diagnosed with coeliac disease (a lifelong autoimmune disorder meaning I can’t eat gluten). I took the diagnosis in my stride, until one day, hungry after work trying to find something convenient to eat in the supermarket. Not one ready meal seemed suitable, and I was left in tears in the chiller section. It’s turned me into an almost obsessive meal planner.

What’s your best tip for eating out with children?
The 5pm ‘tea time’ slot is a good time to go – restaurants are usually quieter before the evening shift, the children aren’t over-hungry, staff are often more accommodating, and eating together as a family at this time gives you the evening free when they are in bed!

My biggest talent in the kitchen is…
Turning any random set of ingredients in the cupboard into a decent family meal – ‘Ready Steady Cook’-style. I’m not usually big on following recipes!

Thanks so much to Carly for taking the time to chat and answer five things for us. I’m so glad the tearful moment at the chiller section was something you turned into a positive that we can all benefit from. Go on to her website or social media and show her some love – she’s doing such great work for free-from families.