Friday, September 23, 2011

Strawberry Icecream

We went strawberry picking with friends earlier in the week and, under cover of a gorgeous spring blue sky, we managed to gather ourselves a bowlful of some absolutely gorgeous fruit. 

I looked at the massive bowl on the bench when we got home and started thinking about what we'd make.  Strawberry jam, strawberry mousse, a sensational strawberry topped Choco Coco Pie from Tenina and a jar of strawberry coulis later, I thought we were approaching done.

There was about 600g of strawberries left so I thought I'd freeze a couple of bags to save for jam later on.  That's when I remembered I already had 3 bags of frozen strawberries in the freezer already ready to go.  So I decided to turn some of the already frozen strawberries into strawberry icecream for the boys.

I've now made it about 3 times since for everyone who's visited our house this week.  It's so simple and so delicious.  You can obviously swap the fruit out for any frozen fruit you've got, so when there's a glut of anything this summer throw some in the freezer and keep this recipe in mind!

Strawberry Fruit Dream

(makes about 2 cups)


20g raw sugar
300g frozen strawberries
1 egg white


1.  Mill raw sugar for 10 seconds on speed 9.
2.  Add fruit and chop for 10 seconds on speed 10.
3.  Insert Butterfly, add egg white and whip for 1 minute on speed 4.

Spoon out and devour straight away.  There won't be any leftover.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hooray for Choice (and thank goodness for my Thermomix)!

I try hard, particularly at Thermomix demonstrations, not to preach to everyone about how they should eat and what foods they should feed their families.  It's an area I'm very passionate about, so I don't always succeed.  I do know that everyone is fully entitled to make different choices and decisions.  I also know, all too well, that sometimes it's hard to eat the right thing even when you know what the right thing to eat is.

It's a completely different story though when the information people base their decisions on is incorrect.  Consumers often believe what they are told and trust in the health claims products make.  After all, surely the company can't write something on the label that isn't true.  Right???  Alas, it's often not about what is said on the label, but what is left unsaid.

In my opinion, the "nutrionism" movement has a lot to answer for.   Just because something is low-fat doesn't necessarily mean it is good for you.  Fortifying sugar laden breakfast cereals doesn't render them a healthy option.  You can't manufacture a "food" that has the same nutrient content as a whole food and tell me that it's a better option.  People like Marion Nestle and Michael Pollan have taught us that the whole food is the real deal and we may not nutritionally know why that is for decades of years to come.

In 10 years time, we might learn that the "healthy" products we are encouraged to buy today actually aren't so good for us (hmmmm, let's all just think about margarine for second).  Although I know it's a shameless Thermomix plug, it's this issue above all others that makes me believe every kitchen should include a Thermomix.  It means we can cook FOOD.  Just food.  Healthy food.  Quickly and easily.  I can see what ingredients go in and know, with confidence, what my kids are putting into their little bodies.  It means I can make a wholesome, nutritious dinner in fifteen minutes from basic ingredients without having to rely on navigating the myriad of "health" claims the supermarket shelves present.

So, well done to CHOICE who have announced their Shame the Claim campaign.  Our food labelling legislation is a joke and any step towards better educating consumers is to be applauded!   I'd encourage everyone to join in the Choice campaign and also to take it one step further.  Make an effort to reduce your use of packaged foods and  use that Thermomix to it's maximum potential. 

Happy Mixing,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The First Long Family Farm Eggs

Today was a big celebration in our house. 

Celebrations in our house usually involve food and today was no exception.  We took great delight this evening in sampling our chickens' first eggs. 

There was much debate about how best to cook them in order to truly appreciate their taste - scrambled was out (not my favourite egg dish), anything smoothie related was out because it would just overwhelm the egg flavour as would be the case with quiche or frittata.

In the end, we decided on poaching the eggs.  So, for a slightly off-beat Wednesday night dinner, we had toasted brioche, smoked salmon, spinach pesto, topped with Long Family Farm eggs and hollandaise sauce.  (No, I didn't slow cook the eggs in the TMX - I had two hungry kids to feed who weren't keen on waiting the 40 minutes that would require!)

The verdict - the best eggs we've ever possibly tasted (and the sauce was pretty good too)!

Everyday Cookbook - Hollandaise Sauce


*  4 egg yolks
*  130g cold unsalted butter
*  Juice 1/2 lemon
*  Salt and pepper to taste


Insert Butterfly, put all ingredients into TMX bowl.  Cook for 8 minutes at 90º on speed 3.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cook-A-Long with Brooke-A-Long: Edition 3

Quinoa, Pecan & Cinnamon Scones

This edition of Cook-a-Long is a nice easy introduction to using Quinoa in your baking.  It's not a solely Quinoa recipe, but a good place to start.  I know that sometimes people are reluctant to try a new ingredient, but trust me - buy some quinoa, you won't be sorry.

Quinoa is a grain-like seed which contains all essential amino acids, is high in protein and dietry fibre and is easy to digest.  You know a food must be pretty good when NASA include it in their Closed Ecological Life Support Systems!  So, go and get some quinoa and try these scones.

Quinoa, Pecan & Cinnamon Scones


*  210g plain flour (I use organic unbleached plain flour)
*  100g quinoa flour (approx. 90g quinoa)
*  40g rapadura sugar
*  2 tsp baking powder
*  1/2 tsp salt
*  1/2 tsp cinnamon
*  90g butter - chilled and diced
*  75g pecans
*  110g whole milk
*  1 egg
*  Milk for glazing


Preheat your oven to 200º.

The dough
1.  Firstly, mill your quinoa for 20 seconds on speed 9.  Set aside.

2.  Secondly, chop your pecans for 5 seconds on speed 5.

3.  Add the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon to the pecans.  Mix for 5 seconds on speed 5.
Ready to Bake

4.  Add the butter and cut in for 3 seconds on speed 6.  The mixture should resemble course breadcrumbs.

5.  Add the milk and egg and mix for 10 seconds on speed 6.

6.  Knead for 30 seconds on interval speed.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface.  It is quite sticky, so you need to sprinkle some flour over the top of the dough as well to be able to pat it out without getting goopy hands.

Pat the dough out into a square about 1 inch thick and then cut into even squares.  Spread slightly on the tray and brush with milk.

Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, until beautiful and golden.

Cool, then spread with lashings of butter and jam.


*  You can also take the opportunity to make your own jam to go with the scones.  Fabulous Jo Whitton has a great recipe for Naturally Sweetened Strawberry Jam.  I'm not a huge fan of jam in general, but the jam I made using Jo's recipe was sensational!

Once the scones are all demolished, there's then the question of what to do with the rest of the quinoa.  Here are some suggestions you might like to try (trust me, try the brownies!!!).

Be sure to come back and let me know how you go.  Happy Quinoa-ing!