Monthly Archives: February 2013

Butter Cookies

These are the cookies that my kids and I made on Valentines Day.  They are super quick and easy, and you would be able to add choc chips etc if you wanted to.  We were happy with plain cookies, but then we iced them to make the kids happy.

Butter Cookies

Ingredients

120g softened butter
150g sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
250g plain flour
Optional – choc bits, sultanas, M&M’s etc

Method

Pre heat oven to 180°C

Place butter and sugar in thermomix and cream for 1 minute on speed 3

Add egg and vanilla essence and beat for 20 seconds on speed 3

Add flour (and choc bits etc if using) and knead for 30 seconds at interval speed

Tip onto a bench or silicone mat and roll out to desired thickness.  Use a cookie cutter to cut desired shape (we used hearts and then rectangles for the light sabres!)

(Or you can roll it into a sausage shape and wrap in glad wrap and place in the fridge for an hour to chill then cut into round discs)

 

Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden.  Allow to cool on a cooling rack before decorating and eating.

Serves: Depends on size of cookies

Approximate calories per total: 2400

 

By |February 20th, 2013|After School Snacks, Cakes and Cookies, Lunchbox|1 Comment

Rice Crackers

 I love experimenting with new recipes and trying to avoid too many additives and unnatural flavours etc.  When we are entertaining I will often get a pita or lavosh bread and spray it with oil and sprinkle on some garlic and herbs and place in the oven until crispy.  It just makes a change to the normal crackers.  Well the other day I came across a recipe for crunchy rice crackers and just had to try it.  I love the Sakata plain crackers so thought I would try and make my own.

Rice Crackers1

Ingredients

110g brown rice (to be cooked)
300 g brown rice (to be milled)
1 teaspoon salt flakes
50 g oil
60 – 80 g water

Method

Pre heat oven to 200°C

Place 110g rice in basket and rinse.  Add 900g water to TM bowl and cook for 35 minutes at Varoma temperature on speed 1.

Rinse under cold water to cool, then drain.

Rinse and dry TM bowl

Add 300g brown rice and mill for 1 minute on speed 10

Add cooked brown rice, salt, oil and 60g water for 20 seconds on speed 7

If dough hasn’t formed into a ball gradually add extra water through lid

Place dough on a mat covered with baking paper and lay another sheet of baking paper over the top and roll out with a rolling pin.  It is best to get the dough to about 1 – 2mm thick.  Use a cookie cutter to cut into shapes

Place onto to lined baking trays and sprinkle with extra sea salt

Bake for approximately 30 minutes until golden

Cool on a cooling rack

 

Serves: About 70 crackers

Approximate calories per serve: 25 calories per cracker

By |February 14th, 2013|Dips and Nibbles, Lunchbox|3 Comments

Creamy Tuna and Caper Dip

This dip is a real crowd pleaser, and even if you don’t like capers don’t disregard this recipe.  You can’t even taste them.  My 6 year old loves this dip, and I know he would never willingly eat a caper!!!  The great thing about this is that is makes heaps, and you can spread left overs on sandwiches.  Trust me – it is delicious!!

Creamy Tuna and Caper Dip

Ingredients

Parsley (small bunch)
250g light cream cheese
400g canned tuna (drained)
100g whole egg mayonnaise
35g capers
juice of half a lemon

Method

Place parsley in bowl and chop 5 seconds on speed 6

Add other ingredients and chop for 20 seconds on speed 4

Serve with crackers, vegetable sticks or try my home made crunchy rice crackers Creamy Tuna and Caper Dip 2

Serves: About 11 (2 Tablespoons per serve)

Approximate calories per serve: 138

 

By |February 14th, 2013|After School Snacks, Dips and Nibbles|1 Comment

Tropical Delight

 While I have been making this delicious refreshing drink, I can’t help but think back to my childhood when my older brother used to make what he called a ‘delight’.  Thankfully this drink is nothing like his after school delight – white bread chopped up with scissors placed into a glass with milk and sugar – yuk!!  This delight is much tastier – and healthier!  You can experiment with different fruit, but this combination is really nice.  Do you remember strange after school snacks that you used to have??

Tropical Delight 1

Ingredients

1 tray ice cubes
500g watermelon
350g pineapple
1 orange

Method

Place ice, watermelon, pineapple and orange in bowl.  Chop 15 seconds at speed 8.

Serve (it with love)

500g of watermelon is about half of a wedge that you would buy at the supermarket, and 350g of pineapple is about 1/3 of a pineapple.Tropical Delight

Serves: 2 large or 4 small

Approximate calories per serve: 200 or 100

 

By |February 10th, 2013|Drinks|1 Comment

Beetroot Salad

Not another salad…  I was going to hold off on posting this one, as I have lots of other recipes, but I had this for dinner last night and I have to say it was beautiful.  I had seen beetroot salad in the everyday cookbook before and usually just skipped over it as it didn’t really sound that interesting, but I had beetroot and carrot in the fridge, the kids were having left overs and I wanted something healthy so beetroot salad it was.  I am so glad I made it – it was delicious!  So much better than I expected.  I changed some of the ingredients from the original recipe, and think the addition of mint really made the dish.  You really need to try this one.

Ingredients

2 raw beetroot (not canned) peeled and quartered
1 medium carrot roughly chopped
1 apple (I used a pink lady) quartered and cored
1/2 red onion halved
handful of herbs (I used basil, mint and rosemary)
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch salt

Method

Place all ingredients into bowl and chop for 2 seconds on speed 5.  Scrape down sides of bowl and chop again for 2 seconds on speed 5.

Your salad is now ready.  How easy is that?  The original recipe also includes 2 tablespoons of olive oil, I forgot to add it but was happy not using it anyway.Beetroot Salad

Serves: 4 – 6

Approximate calories per serve: 70

By |February 7th, 2013|Salads and Sides|3 Comments

Removing dough from your thermomix

I love making my foccacia, but removing the dough can sometimes be tricky.  When you have something thick and sticky to remove, turn the bowl upside down and twist on the black knob that turns the blades.  This helps remove the dough.

Hints and Tips - Base of Thermo

Once you have done this, if there is anything remaining simply put the bowl back on the base, lock the lid and press turbo once or twice and all loose dough will be pushed to the outside of the bowl for easy removal.

 

By |February 6th, 2013|Hints and Tips|1 Comment

Quinoa Salad

I found this recipe on one of my favourite blogs: Quirky Cooking  http://quirkycooking.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/quinoa-salad-thermomix-style.html and have tweeked it a bit to suit what was in my pantry.  It is a delicious salad and makes heaps – it would be great to take for a bbq (maybe omit chicken?), but I am using it for my lunch for the next couple of days (after having it for dinner last night) as it is super healthy and filling and very easy in the thermomix!  You can basically add whatever ingredients you have on hand, but this is my version.

Don’t forget that quinoa is pronounced as KEEN-wa!Quinoa Salad

Ingredients
450g Chicken thigh, cubed (boneless and skinless)
250g pumpkin thinly sliced
4 eggs
350g quinoa rinsed and soaked (overnight if possible, otherwise for as long as you can)
200g silverbeet and rainbow chard (but you can use baby spinach)
15 oil free sun dried tomatoes sliced thinly
15 green olives seeded and finely chopped
1/2 red onion finely chopped
100g feta reduced fat
handful of basil
1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
1 Tablespoon Pepitas
1 Tablespoon Pine Nuts
1 Teaspoon kecap Manis
60 ml Balsamic Vinegar
60 ml Olive Oil

Method

Rinse quinoa and place in steamer basket and add 800g water to bowl.  Wash the eggs thoroughly and place them on top of the quinoa.

Place lid on bowl and place chopped chicken in varoma dish and sliced pumpkin in varoma tray.  Cook at Varoma Temperature at speed 4 for 15 minutes.

Give chicken a stir to ensure even cooking.  Add silverbeet to varoma tray with pumpkin.

Cook at Varoma Temperature at speed 4 for 5 minutes

While quinoa is cooking, prepare sun dried tomatoes, olives, red onion.  Place in a large bowl.

Once quinoa is cooked, remove eggs and place in a bowl of cold water to stop cooking process and to clean.

Place quinoa, chicken, pumpkin and silverbeet in large bowl with tomatoes, olives and onion and mix well.

Allow to cool.

When ready to serve add basil and feta and toss well.  Peel eggs and cut into quarters and place on top of bowl.

In a dry frying pan add nuts and seeds and gently heat until the pepitas start to pop.  Add kecap manis and cook for about 30 seconds.  Sprinkle over salad.

Place balsamic and oil into a jar and shake and then serve with salad.

Serves: 8

Approximate calories per serve: 450 

By |February 6th, 2013|Main Meals, Salads and Sides|2 Comments

Chilli Jam

OMG – this is the yummiest chilli jam ever!  You can make it as hot or as sweet as you like, but be warned – once you taste this you will be addicted!  I made this the first time on the stove in a saucepan, stirring… stirring… stirring, until I had a brilliant idea to try it in the thermomix.  So easy – and the best part was my fingers didn’t burn for a few days after from chopping  all of the chillis!

Chilli Jam - 1

Ingredients

2 Brown Onions, peeled and quartered
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 red chillis
5 Red Capsicums (quartered with seeds and white membrane removed)
100g Oil (Peanut, Vegetable or Olive)
180g Brown Sugar
35g Fish Sauce
1 Lime (juice only)
2 sterilised glass jars (see below)

Method

Place onions, garlic and chillis into bowl and chop speed 5 for 10 seconds

Add capsicum and chop speed 4 for 4 seconds – use spatula to incorporate

Add oil and cook at 100°C at soft speed for 60 minutes in reverse

Remove lid and add brown sugar, fish sauce and lime juice and cook 100°C at soft speed for 20 minutes in reverse

Taste and adjust sugar if desired

Chop at speed 5 for 4 seconds

I usually drain mine in a colander to make it a bit thicker.  You can do this or place it as is in a sterilised jar and keep in the fridge.Chilli Jam - 2

(I sterilise my jars with Milton Anti-bacterial Tablets – they are found in the baby aisle of the supermarket.  It is a quick and easy process of filling up a clean large bowl with cold water, adding one or two tablets and letting the clean jar(s) soak for at least 15 minutes.  Drain on a clean tea towel and use immediately)

Keep chilli jam in the fridge and dollop on everything!!

Serves: About 60

Approximate Calories per serve: 30

By |February 6th, 2013|Sauces and Spreads|3 Comments

Cherry Tomato Foccacia

This is my foccacia with cherry tomatoes that I am often asked to bring to bbq’s.  It is easy to make in the thermomix, and with the addition of my ‘secret’ ingredient (golden syrup – shhhhh) it is delicious.  Try stopping at only once slice – especially when it is still warm from the oven.

Ingredients
20g Parmesan Cheese
250g warm water
1 sachet dry yeast
40g Olive Oil
300g Bakers Flour
Pinch Salt
15g Golden Syrup
Handful fresh herbs (I usually use basil, but use whatever you like)
1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes

Method

Place cheese in bowl and grate 5 seconds at speed 5 (until grated).  Set cheese aside.

Place water, yeast and oil in bowl and mix for 5 seconds at speed 6.  Carefully remove lid and scape down.

Add flour, salt, cheese and golden syrup and mix for 20 seconds at  speed 6.  Scrape lid and set dial to closed lid position.  Knead for 2 minutes at interval speed.  Add herbs through lid in the last minute of kneading to combine.  Remember to stay close to your thermomix while using interval speed – as the dough is heavy the machine can move.

Remove dough from bowl (see my tip here if you need help removing all the dough from the bowl) and place it in an oiled bowl.  Spray some Glad Wrap with oil and place this over the top of the bowl.  Then cover the whole bowl with a tea towel and place in a warm area for about 1 hour, until dough has doubled in size.

Foccacia - 2

After dough has risen, punch dough and give a quick knead while still in the bowl.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and shape the dough onto the middle of the tray.

Using the same oiled Glad Wrap, cover again and keep warm with tea towel.

Foccacia - 4

Pre heat oven to 220 C (Dough will rise again while oven is pre heating)

Cut cherry tomatoes in half, and once oven has preheated and dough has risen, poke cherry tomatoes into dough.

Foccacia - 5

Spray with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt flakes

Place in oven for 25 – 30 minutes, until the foccacia is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.  Allow the foccacia to cool slightly before you serve it (with love…)Foccacia - 6

 Serves: 8

Approximate Calories per serve: 195

By |February 6th, 2013|Bread, Dough and Pastry|1 Comment