Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Bacon, Tomato & Mushroom Risotto in the Thermomix

One of the things that I love the most about the Thermomix is the ability to make a risotto in minutes while I'm off doing other things. This risotto is a family favourite - and one that Miss Five and Miss Two eat without a word of complaint and leave an empty bowl, which makes for one happy Mummy.

1 brown onion
One handful each of parsley and basil
1 clove garlic
50g olive oil
150g bacon, trimmed and cut into large pieces
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
150g mushrooms
1 bunch of english spinach
400g arborio rice
3 tablespoons vegetable stock concentrate
100g white wine
600g water
Freshly ground pepper & grated parmesan cheese to serve

1. Peel and cut onion in half. Place onion, garlic, parsley and basil in the Thermomix bowl and chop for 3 seconds, speed 6
2. Add bacon to the bowl and chop for 2 seconds, speed 6
3. Add oil and saute with MC lid off for 5 minutes, Varoma, speed 1
4. Add butterfly attachment, rice and wine. Cook 2 minutes, 100 degrees, reverse, speed soft
5. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, stock and water. Cook 18 minutes, 100 degrees, reverse, speed soft
6. Wash and tear up spinach, placing in the bottom of your Thermoserver. Check rice for tenderness, and pour into Thermoserver. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before stiring through spinach and serving with grated parmesan and freshly ground pepper.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Thermomix Apple & Almond Cake

This a great cake for a morning tea, or when you fancy something sweet, but not too sweet. This was a particular hit with The Chef and Miss Two.

190g self raising flour
110g almonds (I used blanched almonds)
60g brown sugar + 1 extra teaspoon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
70g butter, chilled and cubed + 10g extra, melted
1 egg
60g milk
2 red apples

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees (fan forced)
2. Quarter and core one apple, leaving skin on. Grate, 3 seconds speed 4. Set aside, rinse and dry thermomix bowl.
3. Add almonds to thermomix bowl and grind, 10 seconds, speed 7
4. Add flour, sugar and cinnamon to bowl and mix, 6 seconds, speed 4 or until combined
5. Add butter and mix, 5 seconds, speed 8. The mixture should resemble fine breadcrumbs
6. Add egg, milk and apple, mix 6 seconds, speed 5 or until mixture has just combined.
7. Spoon mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper and smooth with spatula.
8. Quarter and core remaining apple and slice thinly. Lightly press apple slices onto the top of mixture, and drizzle with melted butter and extra sugar.
9. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Thermomix Date and Walnut Loaf

This Date and Walnut Loaf is an all time favourite with the Chef. I converted it for the Thermomix for the first time today, and it has been a big success. Delicious, and perhaps one of the quickest things to make... it comes highly recommended. It's great buttered for breakfast or with a coffee during the day. I've chopped the dates and walnuts to create a smooth consistency for fussy children, but if you would like a more chunky texture, chop for less time. You might notice that by the time I managed to take a photo, it's almost gone... that has to be a good sign!

185g dates
30g walnuts
110g brown sugar
30g butter or margarine
pinch salt
pinch bicarb soda
250g water
230g self raising flour

1. Chop dates for 7 seconds on speed 7
2. Chop walnuts for 3 seconds on speed 7
3. Add sugar, butter, salt, bicarb soda and water and cook at 100 degrees, 3 minutes, reverse, speed 1 or until butter has melted and mixture has foamed.
4. Add flour and mix 5 seconds, reverse, speed 4. Scrape down sides of bowl if necessary, and mix for a few more seconds until flour has folded through.
5. Pour mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper and bake at 180 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Thermomix Wholemeal Cheese & Vegemite Scrolls - double the love

The before shot...
 Scrolls are just about one of the easiest things to do in the thermomix and are great for lunches. Miss 5 loves finding cheese and vegemite scrolls in her school lunchbox, so today I attempted doubling this basic scroll recipe (with a few tweaks) so that I could make extra scrolls and pop them in the freezer to defrost later for quick lunchbox fillers.

The number of scrolls you make will depend on what size you roll your dough out to - I rolled mine out to an approximate 45cm x 30cm rectangle which gave me 18 large sized scrolls.

200g whole wheat grain
500g bakers flour
360g warm water
3 teaspoons of dried yeast
2 good pinches of salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons oil (I use rice bran oil, but any would do)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese (or to taste)

Mill whole wheat grain for 1 minute on speed 9.
Add salt, bakers flour, yeast and sugar - in that order to prevent the salt deactivating the yeast.
Mix together for 15 seconds on speed 3.
Add water (make sure it's warm) and oil, mix together for 20 - 30 seconds on speed 8.
Turn dial to closed lid position and kneed (interval speed) for 2 1/2 minutes.
Remove dough and wrap in a silicon baking mat or place in an oiled glass bowl covered with glad wrap to prove for 30 minutes. I wrapped mine in a baking mat and popped it outside in the sun to help it along.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees and roll the dough into a rectangle. A 45cm x 30cm rectangle will give you approximately 18 large scrolls.
Spread vegemite over the dough to taste and evenly cover with grated cheese.
Starting at one end roll the dough up so that you have a log shape and cut into slices using a sharp knife.
Place the rolls flat and closely together on your baking mat or on trays lined with baking paper and allow to prove for a further 15 minutes. You might like to add a little extra cheese to the tops of the scrolls.
Cook for approximately 14 minutes.
To freeze, wrap each scroll individually with glad wrap, and then place in a snap lock freezer bag.
...and after

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ultimate Mars Bar Slice - Thermomix style

This slice really lives up to its name. It's quick to make, sweet, light and crunchy with a nice caramel chew... too good for words. We enjoyed this for Miss 2's birthday party lunch over the weekend. The Chef would marry me all over again for this. I suggest that you don't think about the calories and just enjoy!

8 x 53g Mars Bars
50g butter
85g (1/4 cup) golden syrup
140g (4 cups) rice bubbles
200g milk chocolate
1 teaspoon vegetable or rice bran oil 

1. Roughly chop 5 Mars Bars in 1cm slices and place in thermomix bowl with butter and golden syrup.
2. Melt for 10 minutes on 50 degrees, speed 1. If your butter and Mars Bars haven't melted at the end of cooking, continue to cook until melted and smooth.
3. Add rice bubbles to bowl and mix on reverse, speed soft for approximately 5 minutes, or until chocolate mixture is evenly spread through rice bubbles.
4. Press rice bubble mixture into a lamington tin (20cm x 30cm base) which has been lined with baking paper that hangs over the sides.
5. Give your thermomix bowl a quick clean and dry. Place chocolate in bowl and grate for 10 seconds on speed 8.
6. Add oil and melt for 2 minutes at 50 degrees, speed 3 or for as long as you need to until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
7. Smooth melted chocolate over the top of the rice bubble mixture and top with thinly sliced remaining Mars Bars.
8. Refridgerate for approximately 2 hours or until set, remove from tin and slice into squares.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm officially a Weight Watcher. For now.

Ugh. I bought my Thermomix a week or two after Very Little Miss was born so that I could make food for the family, fast. Well yes, it's been fast - a little too fast, because I've been cooking up carbohydrate laden food and treats with the speed of a bat out of hell and this baby weight I've accumulated is going nowhere, fast. Very Little Miss is now ten weeks old, so I've decided that today is the day I need to start paying better attention to what I'm putting into me. I've bought a lovely Leona Edmiston dress to wear while we are away and I'd kind of like to wear it, rather than squeeze myself into it. Here it is... isn't it pretty?

Today I signed up for a 14 day free trial with Weight Watchers online. My goal is to lose 9 kilos. The best thing that I've discovered so far is that I can punch in the ingredients of an entire recipe, tap in the number of servings and - voila - I have the number of points in each serving.

I'm also going to start a Couch to 5k running program. It is safe to say that so far I've mastered the Couch part of the program! I really can't run to save my life, so I'm a little skeptical that I'll be running 5k in 8 weeks.

So, for each recipe I post for the next few weeks, you'll find the weight watchers points per serve, and I'll update my progress as I go. Hopefully this will keep me honest!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mini savoury quiche

I had a dilemma this morning - the cupboard was bare. The fridge was looking pretty grim too. No bread, so no sandwiches for Miss 1 1/2's lunch. Today is a preschool day, so I couldn't face the prospect of dragging the kids in and out of the car anymore than I absolutely had to. I found some eggs, a bit of broccoli, half an onion, ham and some cream, so I decided (with thanks to the shortcrust pastry I have in the freezer) to make some mini quiche for lunch and hope for the best with Miss 1 1/2. Regular and Thermomix methods are below.

Serves: 24 mini quiche
Food Critic Rating: Miss 1 1/2 ate two for lunch with some rockmelon. Miss 5? Forget it! I won't even bother because pastry just isn't her thing. My hips wish that pastry wasn't my thing, but sadly it is... I've now had to hide them in the back of the fridge so that I'll stop eating them!

3 sheets shortcrust pastry, defrosted
2tsp olive oil
1/2 brown onion
handful of shaved or sliced ham
small floret of broccoli
handful of grated cheese (cheddar or parmesan)
4 eggs
1/4 cup cream

Regular method:
Preheat oven to 180 - 200 degrees.
Finely chop onion, broccoli  and ham.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, stirring until onion softens.
Add broccoli and ham to pan, cook for around 4 minutes until broccoli softens slightly. Allow to cool a little.
Lightly beat egg in a jug and whisk in cream. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut 24 circles from pastry using a glass and place in lightly greased patty pan trays.
Divide ham mix between pastry circles and sprinkle with a little cheese.
Carefully pour egg mixture into each pastry circle.
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes until quiches have set and are golden in colour.

Thermomix method:
Preheat oven to 180 - 200 degrees.
Place onion and oil in thermomix bowl and chop for 5 seconds on speed 6.
Saute at 100 degrees for 2 minutes on speed 1.
Add broccoli and ham and chop for 10 seconds on speed 6.
Cook at 100 degrees for a further 2 minutes on speed 1. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool a little.
Lightly beat egg in a jug and whisk in cream. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut 24 circles from pastry using a glass and place in lightly greased patty pan trays.
Divide ham mix between pastry circles and sprinkle with a little cheese.
Carefully pour egg mixture into each pastry circle.
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes until quiches have set and are golden in colour.

A work in progress...