Sunday, June 5, 2011

Saturday Round Up

Here's what Thermie has been doing for me lately!

Sunday
  • Blueberry pancakes (with bacon & maple syrup, mmmm!), creamed corn, Family Chowder
Monday
Tuesday
  • Breakfast smoothie, mashed potato
Wednesday
  • Breakfast smoothie, Gozleme (Janelle Bloom), custard
Thursday
  • Blueberry & apple porridge, Dijon-style mustard, Tomato Salsa, grated cheese
Friday
  • Blueberry & apple porridge, Zucchini Slice (muffins), grated cheese (for nachos), Impossible Lemon Pie (absolutely delicious - highly recommended) 
Saturday
  • It was my day off, so Thermie had a day off too!

        Saturday, May 28, 2011

        Saturday Round Up

        Here's what Thermie has been doing for me lately...

        Sunday
        Monday
        Tuesday
        Wednesday
        • Blueberry & APPLE porridge (had to change things up a little), focaccia (EDC), pizza dough (used 1/2 to make 2 pizza bases for the freezer and 1/2 to make cheesy breadsticks), savoury toast mixture (used the focaccia as the base), onion & cheese sauce (to go with maple syrup corned beef which I cooked in my slow cooker - haven't tried it in the Thermomix yet)
        Thursday
        Friday
        Saturday
        • Blueberry & apple porridge, orange juice, bechamel sauce, bolognaise sauce (using pepperonata), pasta dough (for lasagne)
        I hope your Thermomix has done some nice things for you this week as well.  I'm considering taking up the challenge of macarons next week??!?!?!?!  Help!!!

                Friday, May 27, 2011

                Chorizo, Spinach & Lemon Risotto

                 Another facebook fan request (thanks Jeanette :-) )!

                This is based on another of Janelle Bloom's recipes, although hers was a baked risotto.  No need to dirty a casserole dish when using one's Thermomix!

                Ingredients

                • 4 chorizo sausage, (probably could get away with 2 or 3)
                • 1 red onion, halved
                • 400 grams arborio rice, rinsed
                • 2-3 teaspoons chicken stock paste
                • 1000-1100 grams water
                • 1 bunch english spinach, shredded
                • 2 tablespoon parsley, chopped
                • 1 lemon, juiced or zested
                • 50 grams parmesan cheese

                Directions

                1. Place cubes of parmesan into TM bowl and grate on speed 8 for 8 seconds. Set aside.
                Place onion into TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 5.
                2. Use a knife to split the sausage casings and peel each chorizo sausage. Discard casings. Place sausages, quartered, into TM bowl. Set dial to lid closed position and Turbo until chopped to desired texture (2-3 pulses). Insert butterfly and cook at 100ºC for 5 minutes on speed 1. Add the rice and cook for a further 5 minutes at 100ºC on speed 1.
                3. Add water and stock paste (or you could use 1100 grams of chicken stock) and cook for 16 minutes at 100ºC on speed 1.
                4. Transfer risotto to Thermoserver, add shredded spinach and lemon juice or zest and parmesan. Stir through, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
                5. Serve with additional parmesan if desired.

                Thursday, May 26, 2011

                Pepperonata

                I am 100% guilty of owning quite a collection of cookbooks, but not making the effort to make something new.  As a reasonably new Thermomix owner, I've been concentrating on making recipes from the forum that are tried and tested, or from the Everyday Cookbook, or making things that we've always made.  I've done plenty of experimenting with the baking side of things (you may have noticed a bit of a theme on my blog) as I can do this during the day without the pressure of having to put up something edible for my three ravenous boys for dinner.

                So, in an effort to remedy this, I was thumbing through my copy of Janelle Bloom's Fast, Fresh and Fabulous earlier this week looking for some recipes to try.  I decided this would be a good one to try in the Thermomix, because when required, it can be really delicate and I wanted to see how slow cooked strips of capsicum would hold up.

                The answer would be...really, really well.  I was surprised as I did kind of expect capsicum mush at the end of the cooking time, but not to be.  I was also surprised at how well the capsicum was stirred around while cooking when using soft speed.  Often I have found that this is just not enough to get things moving, particularly when the bowl is nearly full.

                Anyway, this turned out to be a lovely topping for our scotch fillet steaks tonight for dinner.  Quite tart, so a good match for the rich meat.  I expect that the flavour may indeed develop further as it sits in the fridge over the next couple of weeks.

                Ingredients

                20 grams olive oil
                1 small brown onion, halved
                2 cloves garlic
                2 red capsicum, cut into strips
                1 yellow capsicum, cut into strips
                1 orange capsicum, cut into strips
                1 can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
                1 teaspoon caster sugar
                3 teaspoons red wine vinegar

                Directions

                1. Place onion and garlic in TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds speed 5. Scrape down. Add the oil and cook for 5 minutes at 100ºC speed 1. Add the capsicums and cook for 20 minutes 90ºC speed soft + reverse.
                2. Add tomatoes, sugar and season with salt & pepper. Cook (without MC) for 15 minutes at 100ºC on speed 1 (or until sauce has thickened). Add vinegar and cook for 1 minute 100ºC speed 1.
                 
                Janelle recommends this as a great sandwich filler with ham, or tossed through hot pasta.  I tend to agree.  I think I'll be having a great dollop of this on a fresh, hot, crusty bread roll with leftover corned beef for lunch tomorrow.  And it may very well turn up in next weeks meal plan as a quick and easy pasta dinner.

                Happy cappy days :)

                Wednesday, May 25, 2011

                Apricot Bites

                Delicious, crispy (on the day they're baked anyway) and chewy at the same time, teeny tiny cuties.  A good way to use up some homemade condensed milk.

                This recipe is modified from a recipe on Bestrecipes.com.au.

                Ingredients

                85 grams dried apricots
                45 grams dessicated/shredded coconut
                1 tablespoon self-raising flour
                1 tablespoon cornflour
                150 grams sweetened condensed milk

                Directions

                1. Place the apricots in the TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 7. Add the remaining ingredients and stir for 20 seconds on speed 1 + reverse (or until thoroughly combined). If the mixture is too stiff and not mixing well, heat on 50ºC while stirring to thin the condensed milk a little.
                2. Roll level teaspoons of mixture into balls and place on baking paper lined oven tray about 3 centimetres apart.
                3. Bake at 180°C for 15 minutes. Stand on trays for 5 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool.

                VARIATION: Replace half the dried apricots with choc chips.  This recipe could be doubled easily.

                TIP: Leave the mixture in the TM bowl as you're shaping your balls.  If you find the mixture getting quite difficult to work with, you can then just heat on 50ºC, speed 1 + reverse for 10-15 seconds to get it more flexible again.

                There's no denying that I DID NOT roll my bites into balls here.  I just used two teaspoons and prodded them into some kind of resemblance of a ball.  This mixture is seriously sticky.  So because they had quite a bit of coconut 'hair' sticking out all over the place, they don't look as pretty as they could.  I'm sure if you had wet hands it would be ok to roll them, but I just wasn't up for it, chasing after two little boys!

                Tuesday, May 24, 2011

                Not Chow Mein Mince & Not Samosas

                I'm sure this recipe came into being perhaps in the 70's, when here in Australia, folks were beginning to discover 'cuisines' that involved things other than meat and three veg.  It's such a classic from my childhood that I still make it today.  I love it, my oldest son loves it, hubby loves it and it contains a lot of cabbage, which is REALLY good for you.  I have changed the ingredients to remove the old faithful 'packet of chicken noodle soup' (man that stuff was in everything back then!) and when I run out of Keen's Curry Powder, I'll be making my own from whole spices.  And this recipe is a super easy one pot meal to boot!
                I don't think my Mum ever ran out of this stuff, it was always in the cupboard!

                Ingredients

                500 grams mince
                2 teaspoons curry powder (I normally use 1 teaspoon when making for the kids)
                2 onions, quartered
                1 carrot
                1 stick celery
                2 teaspoons chicken stock paste
                500 grams (2 cups) water
                280 grams rice, rinsed
                ¼ cabbage

                Directions

                1. If using Thermomix to chop cabbage, place large-ish chunks into TM bowl and chop for 2-3 seconds on speed 4. Remove and set aside.  If not using Thermomix, finely shred the cabbage using a knife.  The shreds of cabbage need to be quite small so that the full amount will fit into the TM bowl.
                2. Place onions, carrot and celery into TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds speed 5. Add the oil and mince and cook at 100ºC for 10 minutes on speed 1. Add the stock paste, water, rice, chopped cabbage (and any other chopped veggies) and continue cooking at 100ºC for 20 minutes on speed 1 + reverse (MC off, basket on top to prevent splatters). Use the spatula every 5 minutes or so to give the mixture a good stir to ensure all the rice and cabbage is pushed under the liquid.
                3. Check to ensure the rice is cooked, remove to Thermoserver and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.
                This recipe makes too much for one meal in this family.  In fact, there's enough for lunch the next day plus more.  So, today, I got to thinking about how I could jazz this very basic meal up a little.  Samosas?  Well, kind of...

                Not Samosas

                Ingredients

                1/2 batch of rough puff pastry (either EDC or this one or the bought stuff)
                leftover Chow Mein Mince 

                Directions

                1. Roll out the puff pastry to 3mm thick.  Use a knife or pastry cutter to cut out square or circles (or whatever shape excites you).
                2.  Place a teaspoon (or so) of the mince mixture in the centre of the pastry, wet one half of the edges with water, fold over the pastry and seal by pressing together with your fingers.
                3.  Brush with egg wash and bake in a hot oven until the pastry is cooked, golden and crispy.
                These are a great finger food idea for your next party.  If you make a batch of the mince mixture specifically for the Not Samosas, I recommend using the full amount of curry powder.  As there is a reasonably small amount of filling, they are very mild with only half the curry powder.
                  
                 
                Happy 'Not' Days :D

                Monday, May 23, 2011

                Making Sweetened Condensed Milk - UPDATE

                Those of you who read my last post on this topic, will know that I make condensed milk primarily for making vanilla icecream for my husband.  I have made this a number of times since that post, and have a few updates for you.

                Firstly, I now make a smaller batch.  Only enough for one batch of icecream, which for me these days is around 300 grams (sorry, I haven't ever weighed the end product).  Secondly, I've reduced the amount of sugar down to half the weight of milk.  So, if I use 400 grams of milk, I use 200 grams of sugar.

                I'm still using raw sugar and it still has the background taste of the raw sugar when it's done.  I suspect if I were to use white sugar, this after taste wouldn't be present.  However, my husband hasn't complained and I prefer not to have white sugar in the house.  Making the smaller amount also shortens both the cooking time and the cooling time before I can make the icecream.  Additionally, it means the speed doesn't have to be as fast.  I still put it on speed 4 to allow maximum evaporation, but because the bowl isn't as full, it won't boil over at the slower speed.

                Here's my current recipe.  Note, that these quantities can be increased proportionally to make whatever amount of condensed milk you need.  Just increase the cooking time by the same ratio.

                Ingredients

                400 grams milk 
                200 grams raw sugar
                1 teaspoon vanilla extract

                Directions

                Place all ingredients in TM bowl and cook at Varoma temp for 17 minutes at speed 4 with the steamer basket on the lid to prevent splatters.
                Happy icecream days :)

                Sunday, May 22, 2011

                Lemon Curd & Blueberry Friands

                I do love a good friand.  Blueberry is most often my choice if I have one, but friands are few and far between in my life...sadly.  I have never made them before because...well...almond meal is so damn expensive and goes rancid so quickly I just never bothered.  Enter...Thermomix and instant almond meal.


                I also have a love affair with lemon.  I love anything with lemon in it.  Lemon chicken, lemon syrup tea cake, lemon and sugar on pancakes, lemon water, lemon iced tea...I could go on, really.  In fact, when I was little, I would eat lemons like oranges.  Not so much anymore.  But if there's a lemon wedge on my plate, and I'm not eating at some fancy hatted restaurant (like that ever happens), I will often pick up that wedge and eat the flesh.  That does sound kinda creepy...

                Anyhoo...to the recipe of my day...and gosh this is really good, and quite easy.  The ingredients are based on a combination of a couple of recipes on Taste.com.au and the method is based on Tenina's.

                Ingredients

                75 grams plain flour
                185 grams almonds
                200 grams sugar
                5 egg whites
                200 grams unsalted butter, melted
                1 lemon, zested
                10 teaspoons lemon curd, plus extra to serve
                Handful of blueberries
                Whipped cream (optional), to serve

                Directions

                1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 10-hole friand pan or line with paper cases.  (I used a muffin tin with muffin cases and made 12).
                2. Place the sugar, almonds, flour and lemon zest into TM bowl and mill for 10 seconds on speed 10. Set aside.
                Place egg whites into TM bowl and mix for 30 seconds on speed 4.
                Return the almond mixture to the bowl. With dial set to closed lid position, add melted butter through the hole in the lid as you mix all ingredients together for 30 seconds on interval speed.
                Divide mixture between prepared pans and top each with a teaspoon of lemon curd. Swirl through the batter with a skewer. Scatter with blueberries.
                3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden. Leave in tin for 5 minutes before removing to cool, then dust with extra icing sugar. Serve with extra lemon curd, and whipped cream if desired. 
                 Happy lemony days!

                Saturday, May 21, 2011

                Saturday Round Up

                So, Thermie, what have you done for me lately?

                Sunday
                • Blueberry porridge, steamed rice, naan bread, Butter Chicken (Indian Cookbook)
                Monday
                Tuesday
                Wednesday
                Thursday
                • Blueberry porridge, chocolate cake, steamed veggies & gravy (using liquid from slow cooker pot roast)
                Friday
                • Blueberry porridge (a bit of a theme here...), tortillas
                Saturday
                I think there might be a couple of things missing from this week's Round Up, but we won't dwell on the failings of my short term memory here.

                I hope you've all had a great week, and stay tuned for a couple of recipe posts coming this week.

                Happy sunshiney Autumn days!

                  Saturday, May 14, 2011

                  A Round Up of sorts...and a quiche and a salsa

                  I have been meaning to do a couple of retrospective posts to update you on what Thermie has been up to the past few weeks.  Instead, I'll just do a bit of a summary here and then provide a quiche recipe from earlier this week.

                  Each week, I have been making a loaf of bread (we try not to eat too much bread here), baby food (although this is getting less and less as Sam is able to eat more and more family food), a couple of batches of fresh orange juice, and porridge most mornings.  I love being able to make great tasting flavoured porridge using normal (and very cheap) rolled oats and then adding some frozen blueberries or an apple or whatever fruit is at hand.  I normally drizzle on some raw honey for a little sweetness.  I've also made focaccia, cheesy breadsticks and Anzac biscuits.
                  As my Facebook followers would know, I've made a couple of batches of choux pastry for chocolate eclairs.  I've never made choux pastry before and so hadn't been aware of the difficulties faced when making it the conventional way.  I know now!  But Thermie makes it oh so easy, and chocolate eclairs or profiteroles will probably be my go to dessert when something a little special is required.  In fact, I'm inspired to attempt a croquembouche one day!
                  I've made mini lemon tarts, a pineapple and coconut cake, and some stewed fruit.
                  Main meals have included pumpkin soup, Sausage & Celery Casserole (I may post the recipe here soon as it's a really simple and delicious meal with an ordinary sounding name!), Spiced Chicken & Sweet Potato with rice, Moussaka, Savoury Toast, Chicken Stroganoff (EDC), Mushroom & Bacon creamy pasta sauce, KFC Chicken, coleslaw, potato salad (mayonnaise & steamed potatoes), and Spinach, Bacon & Parmesan Quiche.  Recipe (as requested by lovely Facebook follower, Julianne) is below.

                  Ingredients

                  1 qty sour cream pastry
                  2 teaspoons olive oil
                  1 onion, halved
                  100 grams rindless bacon, in short, thin strips
                  125 grams spinach (if frozen, then thawed and drained)
                  4 eggs
                  185 grams cream (or milk)
                  125 grams milk
                  50 grams cheddar cheese, grated
                  50 grams parmesan cheese, grated

                  Directions

                  1. Make the pastry as per directions and blind bake for 12-15 minutes or until the top starts to brown. Grate the cheeses (separately) and set aside.
                  2. Place onion (and bacon if preferred, I prefer to chop by hand) in TM bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 5. Add oil and spinach and cook for 5 minutes at 100ºC, speed 1. Remove from bowl and drain if necessary. Add eggs, milk & cream to TM bowl and mix for 8 seconds on speed 4.
                  3. When pastry has been blind baked, place the grated cheddar cheese in a layer over the bottom of the quiche, then spread over the bacon & spinach mixture. Pour in the egg mixture and use a fork to swirl through the spinach, lifting it up into the egg mixture. Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese and some smoked paprika if desired.
                  4. Place the quiche back into the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes or until just set.

                  Last night we had nachos using organic corn chips, tomato salsa, grated cheese and sour cream.  This is such a quick and easy meal, but normally full of additives and other nasties.  I chose a brand of plain corn chips to reduce the nasties that are generally in the flavoured versions and I made my own salsa rather than buying a jar.  This was so easy to make - never will The Opies buy another jar of salsa!  I used this recipe but made some modifications (next time I might add a red and/or green capsicum as well).

                  Ingredients

                  750 grams raw tomatoes
                  1 medium red onion
                  20 grams red wine vinegar
                  1 tablespoon homemade sweet chilli sauce
                  1 teaspoon mustard powder

                  Directions

                  1. Chop the onion for 5 seconds on speed five, then add the tomatoes and process for an additional 5 seconds on speed 5.
                  2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 30 mins, Varoma temp , reverse + speed 1. Leave the MC off but place the steaming basket on top to prevent splatter. 
                   
                  Hopefully next week I will get back on my horse and continue with "proper" weekly round ups.  Until then folks...happy days!!
                   
                    
                   

                  Tuesday, May 3, 2011

                  Lemon-Lime Yoghurt Poppyseed Cake

                  I've had a request from Sarah, a lovely follower on my Facebook page, for a recipe I made this morning for a Lemon-Lime Yoghurt Poppyseed Cake.  She was fortunate enough to have been given a whole pile of lemons and limes and was looking around for recipes.  This recipe will only use up one lemon and one lime, so for those of us not so fortunate, it is still extremely accessible.
                  I based the recipe on this one.

                  Lemon-lime Yoghurt Poppy Seed Cake 

                  Ingredients
                  210 grams plain flour
                  2 teaspoons baking powder
                  ½ teaspoon salt
                  1 tablespoon poppy seeds
                  200 grams raw sugar
                  1 lemon, juiced and zested
                  1 lime, juiced (if desired) and zested
                  120 grams thick plain yoghurt
                  3 eggs
                  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
                  100 grams grapeseed oil
                   
                  Method
                  1. Preheat oven to 160ºC. Grease and line a loaf pan.
                  2. Place sugar, lemon juice (and/or lime juice) and zests in TM bowl and grind on speed 10 for 5 seconds. Scrape down sides and repeat.
                  3. Add the yogurt, eggs, vanilla and oil and mix for 10 seconds on speed 6. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and poppy seeds to the TM bowl and mix using interval speed for 10 seconds.
                  4. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

                  Saturday, April 23, 2011

                  Saturday Round Up

                  Here's this week's Round Up.  Have a happy and safe Easter everyone :)

                  Sunday
                  • Porridge with stewed apple & pear (all cooked together), lamb, lentil & veggie baby food, apple & pear baby food, BBQ Sauce (MOTM), Moroccan Lamb
                  Monday
                  Tuesday
                  Wednesday
                  • Breakfast smoothie, Peppercorn Sauce (MOTM), Cheese Sauce (EDC)
                  Thursday
                  • Breakfast smoothie, grated cheese (for pizza)
                  Friday
                  • Breakfast smoothie, Choc Chip Biscuits (EDC), Anzac biscuits (EDC), Hot Cross Buns (EDC), Quince Paste 

                  Hot Cross Buns - glazed straight out of the oven
                  Thermomix Quince Paste - ready for the fridge!
                  Saturday
                  • Thermie is having the day off today!

                        Sunday, April 17, 2011

                        Saturday Round Up

                        Oh dear, late again this week.  My sincere apologies to those of you whose lives just aren't quite complete until you know how I used my Thermie for the past week...hmmm, I crack myself up.  Anywho...

                        Here's this week's Round Up:

                        Sunday
                        • Breakfast smoothie, zucchini, sundried tomato, asparagus & chicken cream sauce for pasta
                        Monday
                        • Breakfast smoothie, Beef Stroganoff (EDC), steamed rice
                        Tuesday
                        • Breakfast smoothie, vegetable baby food, Danube (filled bread), Lemon Risotto (with spinach & basil butter)
                        Wednesday
                        Thursday
                        • Breakfast smoothie, apple & oat baby food, Easy Oat Cookies, mini crustless quiches, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla icecream mixture, chocolate custard
                        Friday
                        • Breakfast smoothie, (ate leftovers for lunch and went out for dinner)
                        Saturday
                        • Porridge with stewed apple (cooked together), (leftovers for the rest of the day)

                              Happy Thermomixing ya'll
                              xxx

                                Thursday, April 14, 2011

                                Easy Oat Cookies

                                What does one make when one wants to bake Anzac Biscuits, but one doesn't have golden syrup on hand???  OR, when one just wants to bake some super easy, super tasty, super quick, buttery, oaty, biscuity goodness with ingredients almost guaranteed to be in your pantry???

                                Easy Oat Cookies

                                Ingredients

                                    •    200 grams butter
                                    •    320 grams plain flour
                                    •    250 grams raw sugar
                                    •    100 grams rolled oats
                                    •    1 teaspoon bicarb soda
                                    •    1 large egg

                                Directions

                                1. Chop the butter into pieces and place in the TM bowl. Melt for 4 minutes at 50ºC on speed 1.
                                2. Add the flour, sugar, oats, bicarb & egg and mix for 30 seconds on interval speed (using the spatula to help incorporate the ingredients).
                                3. Roll into balls about the size of a walnut, flatten slightly, and bake in a preheated oven set for 180ºC for 15 minutes.
                                4. Leave on oven tray until firm enough to move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

                                Notes 
                                Makes about 30 biscuits.
                                If the balls are not flattened, the biscuits retain quite a rounded shape and are more 'cakey' in texture. If a crisper biscuit is desired, flatten the balls quite a lot.
                                These would be delicious with added sultanas or choc chips.


                                  
                                Happy cookie days!

                                Tuesday, April 12, 2011

                                Danube (filled bread)

                                After my success with the Mediterranean Pull Apart, I was confident to make this recipe posted on the Cindystar blog.  It looks so impressive, and I think it would make a stunning starter to a dinner party, or, if one used mini easter eggs inside, a perfect Good Friday breakfast!

                                I used the following fillings in one or more of the little rolls:
                                • Red Onion Relish
                                • Sundried tomatoes
                                • Sundried tomatoes & grated parmesan
                                • Vintage cheddar cheese & quince paste
                                • Almond, cashew & peanut butter
                                • Fig & orange jam
                                • Lindt Intense Orange Chocolate
                                Other filling suggestions:
                                • Ham & cheese
                                • Mini easter eggs
                                • Shredded roast meat & gravy
                                • Finely diced vegetables & mince (a la pasty filling)
                                • Savoury mince
                                • Spinach & ricotta
                                • Salami, sundried tomato & cheese
                                • Finely diced/shredded apple, roasted & chopped hazelnuts with cinnamon
                                • Lemon curd
                                • Chocolate hazelnut spread
                                 

                                Danube (Filled Bread)

                                Ingredients

                                    •    550 grams bread flour
                                    •    250 grams milk
                                    •    50 grams extra virgin olive oil
                                    •    30 grams honey
                                    •    10 grams of salt
                                    •    2 teaspoons dry yeast
                                    •    1 egg
                                    •    1 egg lightly beaten, for brushing

                                Directions

                                1. Place the milk in the TM bowl and warm for 2 minutes at 37ºC on speed 1.  Add the oil, sugar, yeast and whole egg and mix for 10 seconds on speed 6. Add the flour and salt, mix for 2 minutes speed 7, then knead for 1 minute.
                                2. Let dough rise in a lightly oiled and covered bowl until it has doubled in size.
                                3. Divide the dough into pieces, flatten each leaving the centre thicker than the edges, fill with the filling and form a ball (slightly larger than a golf ball).  Place the balls in a pan covered with parchment paper (in a flower shape, or other shapes as your imagination allows) brush with beaten egg and allow to stand for half an hour in a warm, still place (cover if necessary).
                                4. Brush again with egg and bake at 180ºC for about 30 minutes, making sure to cover it with aluminium foil if it is browning too quickly after just 15-20 minutes.

                                Saturday, April 9, 2011

                                Saturday Round Up

                                Here's this week's Round Up:

                                Sunday
                                • Warm Chicken, Pumpkin & Couscous Salad, salad dressing
                                Monday
                                • Porridge, lamb veggie & couscous baby food, Dahl with Eggplant
                                Tuesday
                                • Breakfast smoothie, Isi's Very Normal Bread, pumpkin soup, rice (to go in Tuna Mornay which I had in the freezer and defrosted in the Varoma while the rice was cooking)
                                Wednesday
                                • Breakfast smoothie
                                Thursday
                                Friday
                                • Porridge, lamb and veggie baby food, apple and pear baby food
                                Saturday

                                  Thursday, April 7, 2011

                                  Mediterranean Pull Apart

                                  I needed bread.  I had sundried tomatoes, olives and basil in the fridge which required my attention.  I have wanted to make a pull apart for some time.  As my 2 year old son says..."ta da"!!

                                  Make Isi's Portuguese Rolls recipe and allow it to prove in a bowl.  Meantime, chop up a clove of garlic in the TM bowl for 5 seconds on speed 5, then place a handful of Kalamata olives, 7 or 8 sundried tomatoes and a couple of handfuls of fresh basil in the bowl and process until you have a bit of a chunky paste consistency (8-10 seconds on speed 5).
                                  Add 50g butter and melt all together for 5 minutes at 50ºC on speed 2.  Roll out the dough into a large rectangle (the more rectangular the better, unlike my example) and spread with the paste.
                                  Using a pastry cutter (or knife), cut into a series of rectangles whose width will fit inside the width of your bread tin.
                                  Pile the rectangles on top of each other, lie them on their side so the shortest side is vertical and place them in your bread tin.  I found it easiest to prop my tin up on it's end and lay the pieces in one by one.  Don't be concerned that the pieces kind of collapse, as they prove the second time, the bread will fill in the tin.

                                  Place in a preheated oven (220ºC) and immediately reduce the temp to 200ºC (don't be like me and forget that bit) and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and gently remove loaf from the tin.
                                  Delicious!

                                  Tip: don't get flour on your camera lens without realising it before you take the money shot (or ever).

                                  Saturday, April 2, 2011

                                  Saturday Round Up

                                  Here's this week's Round Up:

                                  Sunday
                                  • Breakfast smoothie, Varoma Demo (Sundried Tomato & Capsicum Dip, Pizza Bianca, Warm Chicken & Couscous Salad and Salad Dressing, Berry Fruity Dream, Chick Pea Soup, Lemon Coconut Steamed Pudding with Citrus Syrup)
                                  Monday
                                  • Breakfast smoothie, Rough Puff Pastry (EDC), Chicken Pesto Parcels, Sticky Date Pudding, Custard, Chantilly cream
                                  Tuesday
                                  Wednesday
                                  • Porridge, apple & pear puree baby food, sweet chilli sauce, chicken, rice & veggie puree baby food
                                  Thursday
                                  • Porridge, orange juice, mini crustless quiches, sundried tomato & capsicum dip
                                  Friday
                                  • Breakfast smoothie, baking powder, SR flour, nut butter
                                  Saturday
                                  • Tapioca Fruit Cereal

                                        Sunday, March 27, 2011

                                        Saturday Round Up

                                        Ok, so I'm a little late today.  My best friend arrived here from South Australia this morning so there hasn't been much computer time today.  There was plenty of Thermomixing though ;)

                                        Here's this week's Round Up:

                                        Sunday
                                        • Pancakes, raspberry instant "jam", pizza dough, pizza sauce, grated cheese
                                        Monday
                                        • Breakfast smoothie, apple & pear puree baby food, chocolate custard, raspberry coulis (EDC), Mixed Dahl, coconut milk (using shredded/dessicated coconut & water...easy peasy!)
                                        Tuesday
                                        Wednesday
                                        Thursday
                                        Friday
                                        • Porridge, raspberry coulis, raspberry frozen yoghurt mixture, pasta with roasted capsicum sauce
                                        Saturday
                                        Another busy week for my dear Thermie.  Looking forward to some more adventures next week.

                                        Happy TMXing days!

                                        Friday, March 25, 2011

                                        Yoghurt and Easy Raspberry Frozen Yoghurt

                                        Having a Thermomix makes it so easy to make a variety of different foods that you would normally shell out plenty of cash for at the supermarket, all the while playing russian roulette with the contents of said items.  In particular, icecream, yoghurt and frozen yoghurt.  Yoghurt in particular is an expensive thing to buy when it is so easy to make at home for around half the shelf price using quality, organic ingredients.

                                        Yesterday I made 2L of yoghurt, which cost me $5.30 (the cost of 2 x 1L cartons of organic, unhomogenised milk).  I think 1kg of organic natural yoghurt was at least $6 last time I looked.  With a Thermomix, all it requires is a little time (and if you do it overnight it feels like it takes no time at all!) and some of the yoghurt from the last batch.  If you're starting a new batch, then you will need a purchased starter.

                                        There are only three things you need to get right when making yoghurt:
                                        • the starter
                                        • the temperature
                                        • the time
                                        The starter can either be a freeze dried culture from somewhere such as Cheeselinks (kind of like using dried yeast when making bread), or some already made up yoghurt.  If you're starting from scratch you need to make sure you purchase the right kind of yoghurt to ensure success.  I use Jalna Pot Set Natural Biodynamic Organic Whole Milk Yoghurt (phew, that's a mouthful).
                                        I have used this brand on several occasions and it has not failed me yet.  Many yoghurts are rendered "inert" by the processing they undergo.  Yes, they contain the cultures, but they are treated in such a way that you cannot use them as a starter.

                                        Now that you've got your starter organised, here are my steps to making beautiful, natural yoghurt with the Thermomix.

                                        Place 2L of milk in the TM bowl.  Set the temperature to 90ºC, 15 minutes, speed 3.  Then allow the milk to cool to 37-45ºC (no hotter or the heat will kill your culture).  The Thermomix does register the temperature but remember that even if it says 37º, it could be anywhere up to 49ºC because the next reading is at 50ºC.  I don't have a kitchen/food thermometer, so I get the thermometer I use to see if my kids have a fever, slip it inside a ziploc bag and dip the end into the milk.  Works a treat and is more accurate than the Thermomix.

                                        Once the temperature is right, add 1/4 cup of starter yoghurt (or the appropriate amount of dried culture), mix at 37ºC for 2 minutes on speed 3 (to get the starter up to temperature and mixed through the milk).  Pour the milk into the Thermoserver, or some other insulated container (even a Thermos which has had hot water sitting in it to pre-warm it), and set it aside for at least 5 hours,  preferably 12 hours.

                                        I normally heat my milk after lunch time, pour it into another jug so I can keep using the Thermomix for other tasks, and add the culture just before dinner time (I normally check it every half hour after the first 3 hours or so just to make sure).  It takes several hours to get cool enough when making 2L (unless you put it in the fridge or employ other methods to cool it quicker).  Then I pour it into the Thermoserver and leave it alone until morning.  The longer you leave it, the thicker it will become (until a certain thickness is achieved anyway).  I have found that 5 hours doesn't make it thick enough for my liking.
                                        After 12 hours is up, lift the lid and behold the wonder!

                                        If you're wondering what the creamy coloured stuff is on the top in the picture above, it's cream.  I buy organic, unhomogenised milk which means the cream still rises to the top of the milk like it did in the "old days".  If you buy homogenised milk, you won't get that layer.
                                        Today, I turned 1L of my yoghurt into Raspberry Frozen Yoghurt.  I scraped the cream layer off the top to use in the frozen yoghurt and added a batch of cooled Raspberry Coulis (recipe in the EDC, but it's basically 200g raspberries, 100g sugar, juice of half a lemon cooked for 4 minutes, 90ºC, speed 4).  I then churned it in my icecream machine.
                                        Yummy, delicious, and healthy!

                                        Last week, I strained 1L overnight using a muslin cloth to make Yoghurt cheese.  I used that to make Roasted Capsicum Dip which I served with crackers and vegetables for snacks.