Monday, January 30, 2012

Power Up Afternoon Tea

A recipe for Home-Made Milo was doing the Facebook rounds last week and, after rave reviews from everyone, I thought I'd give it a try.  When I looked at the ingredients I thought that if it worked, I'd do a wild and crazy happy dance in celebration. 

Let me just say - much dancing to be had!!!  It is sensational.  It looks like Milo and even has the stuff floating on the top (you know, the stuff you scoop off - the reason why you put 3 teaspoons in instead of 2!). 

While I was making the milo, I thought I'd quickly convert a recipe from Eat Live Do for almond, cacoa & oat biscuits. 

The cookies go really well with the milo - the sweetness of the milo picks the cookies up a bit.  Combining the two together, you have one really powerful pick me up snack!!!  I'd caution against eating too many, unless you'd like to still be wide awake at 11pm!

Crio Bru Oat Cookies

(Adapted from Eat Live Do)


*  55g almonds
*  2 ripe bananas
*  75g coconut oil
*  1/2 tsp vanilla extract
*  1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
*  1/2 tsp baking powder
*  90g rolled oats
*  100g desiccated coconut
*  100g Crio Bru Cavalla (or raw cacao nibs)


Preheat oven to 180C.

1.  Grind almonds on speed 7 for 10 seconds.  Set aside.

2.  Place bananas into TMX bowl and mix on speed 4 for 4 seconds.

3.  Add coconut oil and vanilla and mix on speed 4 for 4 seconds.

4.  Add almonds and remaining ingredients.  Combine on reverse, speed 4 for 4 seconds.

Scrape down sides and, with damp hands, roll tablespoon size balls onto baking trays.  Lightly indent with a fork and bake for 15-20 minutes, until starting to brown.  Rest on the tray for 5 minutes (the cookies, not you).


What's Cooking This Week

I'm a bit excited because this week it seems I finally have a bit more time to cook!  It's been a bit of a juggle the last couple of weeks while there has been so much on but evveryone seems to be taking a bit of a breath now, for which I'm grateful.

So, this week I've got a couple of new recipes that I've been wanting to try.  I also have a couple of favourites on the days when we get home late - I find that days when the boys are exhausted and ready for bed are usually not the ones to try them on something different...

Monday:  Salmon, roasted potatoes and greens, served with beurre blanc sauce. 

Tuesday:  Bill Granger's Lamb Tagine.  Ahhhh, Bill Granger (sigh).

Wednesday:  The always fabulous, Jimmy Servai's Butter Chicken with mango chutney and naan.

Thursday:  Minestrone, with garlic & olive oil sourdough bread.

Friday:  Garlic & Prawn Risotto.

Saturday:  Five Spice Pork Belly with mashed potato and asian greens, followed by Almond Lime Cake filled with chocolate, fig & ricotta. 

Baking:  Bread, Home Made Milo, Upside Down Coconut & Pineapple cake, Savoury Beef Puff Sandwiches and Crio Bru Oat Cookies.

So, hopefully I'll have lots of recipes coming this week!  I hope whatever you've got planned it's thoroughly delicious - be sure to check out what everyone else is doing on Quirky Cooking's Link Up.

Happy Mixing!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Corned Beef Fritters

I love corned beef, smothered with white sauce and served with mash, peas and carrots.  My Mum used to make it a lot when I was little and it is one of my favourite "childhood" meals.

Unfortunately for me, Mr MLT can't stand it.  It is one of his "guaranteed to make me throw up" meals.  He is, crazily, not a big fan of white sauce (which also, very annoyingly, rules out lasagne appearing on our dinner plates very often).  So, we don't have it a lot but every now and then he'll suffer through and the rest of us will chow down happily.

For me, one of the best parts about it is actually the corned beef fritters that follow the next day.  I throw some vegies in with them and they are then perfect for a summer day's dinner, served with salad and yoghurt dipping sauce.  Any extras go into the boys' lunchboxes and are a quick and easy lunch for them.

Corned Beef Fritters


*  110g cheddar cheese
*  2 spring onions
*  2 eggs
*  1 tsp vegetable stock concentrate
*  400g corn kernals
*  150g frozen peas
*  400g corned beef (or however much you have leftover)
*  200g milk
*  140g SR flour


1.  Please cheese and spring onion into TMX bowl.  Grate for 4 seconds on speed 8.

2.  Add eggs, vege stock, corn, peas, beef and milk.  Mix on reverse for 10 seconds on speed 4.

3.  Add SR flour and mix on reverse for 15 seconds on speed 3.

Fry in a pan over moderate heat (I throw a little bit of butter in between every 2-3 batches) until golden brown on each side. 


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Carrot Slice

Carrot Slice
So, school started in Queensland this week. 

My beautiful eldest son, Jack, turned 8 on Monday, his first day in Year 4 and also the first birthday he's ever had at school.  He moved into a formal school uniform and looked ridiculously grown up and handsome.  I was teary just to say goodbye to him. 

Add to that teariness, the fact that my gorgeous baby, Sam, started Prep and you can pretty much guess at just how many tissues I've been through in the last 3 days. 

Everyone keeps suggesting to me that I just "keep busy" to take my mind off it (ahem, people - I was already busy, I don't need to be more busy!).  I've decided to wallow in my self pity though, at least for a couple of days.  It is the end of an enormous chapter in their lives, and mine.  It deserves a bit of wallow I think.

I am, however, in danger of being squashed by the number of "to try" recipes I've printed out and have sitting on my desk.  So while I wallow, I will try and make my way through some of them!

Lots of people have been talking about back to school recipes, so I'm going to focus on a couple of those for the next few weeks.  This first one is a firm favourite with us all.  It's very cake like, light and moist and freezes brilliantly. 


Carrot Slice

(adapted from a very old delicious magazine recipe)


*  150g rapadura
*  Zest of 1 orange
*  170g coconut oil (original recipe uses Sunflower oil)
*  3 eggs
*  2 large carrots
*  100g sultanas or raisins
*  180g SR flour
*  1 tsp bi-carb soda
*  1 tsp cinnamon
*  1/2 tsp nutmeg


Grease a slice pan with butter (mine measures 28cm x 18cm) and pre-heat oven to 160C fan forced.

1.  Roughly chop carrot and place in TMX bowl.  Grate for 5 seconds on speed 5.  Set aside.

2.  Add sugar and orange zest to TMX bowl.  Mill for 10 seconds on speed 8.

3.  Add coconut oil and eggs.  Mix for 10 seconds on speed 5.

4.  Add carrot and sultanas.  Mix on reverse for 5 seconds on speed 3.

5.  Add SR flour, bi-carb, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Mix on reverse for 5 seconds on speed 5.

Pour mixture into pan and cook for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out cleanly.

Slice into squares and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What's Cooking This Week

My week is not quite going to plan.  I did my Menu Plan on Saturday, in time to go to the markets on Sunday.  Last week it was stinking hot and so I made menu planned accordingly.  That was folly really because, for the last 7 years of my life, Brisbane has had non-stop constant rain for the week preceeding 23rd January.  I should have known better than to plan for salads, but I'm an optomist and thought the hot weather was going to stick around.

I know about the January rainfall because on Monday my gorgeous eldest son will turn 8.  Since his first birthday party, we have had this continual "aaaaaagh, it's raining, what will we do with the party" issue, every year.  This year, he's having a pool party which, let's face it, would work a bit better if there was sunshine and not rain.  So, fingers crossed for me it stops!!!

The dining room table is covered in stationery (the endless book covering and labelling is almost at an end) and so we've been sitting out by the pool, enjoying the  freezing, grey and miserable (ahem) lovely weather.  Salad in the rain just doesn't have the same zing as salad on a hot summer day, but we're carrying on with the menu plan regardless - between back to school stuff and organising the birthday party, there's no space left in my brain and I just need to follow the plan!

Sunday:  Sunday night we were supposed to have brazil burgers on the BBQ, but I postponed this until later in the week (hopefully), given the BBQ is sitting outside in the rain!  Instead, I grabbed some prawns and we had my all-time favourite Creamy Garlic & Prawn Risotto

Monday:  We soldiered on with Tenina's Shredded Chicken & Vietnamese Salad, despite the bleak surroundings.  The salad is from Dinner Spinner and is super delicious!

Tuesday:  Tonight we are having Beef Rendang from the RoboGourmet app.  The beef was originally earmarked for fajitas, but the curry is much more appealing tonight!

Wednesday:  I'm planning Salmon with Bourbon BBQ glaze, roasted potatoes and steamed greens.  

Thursday:  Sticky pork ribs, potato salad (made with the leftover roast potatoes from Wednesday night) and salad.

Friday:  Apparently on Friday it's going to be sunny for a while, so we'll give the brazil burgers a go again.  This is a recipe from when I was pregnant with Jack and I used to eat them every week and had completely forgotten about them until last week when a friend mentioned how easy they'd be to make in the Thermomix.  I can't wait to give it a try and share the recipe with you - they are delicious (really, really delicious and super nutritious).

Saturday:  Saturday is party day, so we're finishing the party off with a BBQ.  I'm planning potato salad, beetroot salad and asian noodle salad, with fresh rolls (I thought we'd have Isi's Portugese Rolls for a bit of a treat), sausages and chicken kebabs (marinated in Thermomix satay sauce, of course!). 

On Sunday I'm planning a big back-to-school bake, but my brain can't quite think that far ahead right now, so stay tuned!

Happy Mixing,

Monday, January 9, 2012

What's Cooking This Week

Beef Fajitas
Well, Mr MLT was supposed to go back to work today, but managed to squirrel another 2 days holiday at home, so we're all STILL in holiday mode.  I'm finding it quite hard to emerge - I've got recipes ready to blog and others ready to try, but am just lacking a little in motivation.

The next two weeks are going to be super busy getting the boys ready to go back to school (my first year with two lots of school books to cover - ugh!), so I'm actually just giving myself a bit of a leave pass and taking it easy until school goes back.  After all, it is holidays!

Even in holiday mode though, we still need to eat and I still find it easier to menu plan than fly by the seat of my pants.  We're also trying, like many people, to pull our spending heads in a little after Christmas, so I'm using up the stores of meat in our freezer and also choosing some less expensive meal options.

So, here's what's on our menu this week:-

Monday:  Tenina's Five Spice Meatballs from Dinner Spinner, which are a big hit in our family and have been on our plates regularly since we first tried them.

Tuesday:  Corned Beef and vegies with the world famous Thermomix Mashed Potatoes.  If I have left over mash (which I usually do - quite deliberately!), then I make Boston Bun the following day as a treat. 

Apple Clafoutis
Wednesday:  We're trying Tenina's Fishermans Pie (again from Dinner Spinner) for the first time and serving it with a green salad.  It's Mr MLT's first day back at work, so we'll spoil him with Apple Clafoutis, one of his favourite desserts.

Thursday:  Corned Beef Hash Cakes, made from the leftover corned beef, served with salad.

Friday:  Quirky Cooking's Beef Fajitas.  I love this recipe and love the fact that making your own tortillas is so simple and delicious!

Saturday:  Mr MLT will be making Omlettes.  This is our usual Saturday night fare on the nights when I work an afternoon shift (and thanks to our lovely chooks, we usually have an endless stream of beautiful eggs to use).  This Saturday is my final day at work, so I think I'll be having a little champagne with my omlette!

I do have a plan to finish my Newsletter this week and get it sent out, before too much more of January elapses!  I'm also back to demo's this week, so the holiday is coming to an end.  However, it's stinking hot here today so I think I'll go and jump in the pool and make the most of the last few days of relaxtion while I can.....

Happy Mixing!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What's Cooking This Week

Isi's Portugese Rolls
We're back into the swing of things this week, after taking a bit of a holiday last week from any kind of planning or schedule.  Next week Mr MLT heads back to work and the boys have a couple of holiday activities, so we're making the most of these last few lazy days.

Santa very kindly brought me a new oven (a Miele Moisture Plus) which I've been trying and experimenting with over the past week.  It's amazing how quickly bread cooks in an oven that actually works (I am, quite literally, blown away by the heat every time I open the door!).  This morning I did Isi's Portugese Rolls, a 5 Seed loaf, some Bible Bread and 2 loaves of brioche, which will see us through to the end of the week.

Here's what else will be on our Menu, including a couple of new recipes that I'll post during the week:-

Monday:-  We're off to the Tennis and the boys will be at their Granny's, so it's a night off for Thermie. 

Tuesday:-  Beef Rendang from the EDC with coconut rice.

Wednesday:  Salmon quiche with a proscuitto, fig & blue cheese salad.

Thursday:  Tomato & Lental dahl from the Taste of Vegetarian cookbook and garlic Naan.

Friday:  Dinner with friends - Chicken with Succotash and David Lebovitz' chocolate tart.

Saturday:  Home made pizzas and Tenina's Crio Bru Gelato.

Sunday:  We're having a BBQ with no doubt more meat than is required, including Ribs with Nico's BBQ Bourbon glaze.  For dessert, I'm making the Pistachio & Strawberry Terrine featured in the Thermomix 2012 Food Lovers Calendar to serve with fresh berries.

That's it for us this week.  If you're back into the planning, I'd love to hear what you're having.

Happy Mixing!

Happy 2012!

I am a sucker for New Years.  I love it.  I love the fact that it's a day to make changes for the better (despite the obvious reality that you can choose any day to make a new start).  I love the hope that comes with it - the knowledge that we are in control of our own lives and actions and that we have the power to change and improve them. 

I'm also a sucker for New Years' resolutions (I make a gazillion of them in the hope that some stick).  This time last year, it was on my list to earn enough money from my newly acquired part time job so that I could buy a Thermomix.  Here I am 12 months later, with said Thermomix, about to finish up that job so that I can concentrate more on my Thermomix business.  So, that one gets a tick!

This year, I've steered clear of the gazillion resolutions.  I've made 1, which kind of encompasses a whole host of things for me.  My resolution for 2012 is simply to Live More Consciously.  From a food perspective, this means being more aware of what my family is eating, where it comes from and how it got to me.  I'm attempting to eat more like my children (which means no Lindt balls scoffed with a cup of tea when they're in rest time!) and cut back as much as possible on our processed foods.  We don't have a lot of processed foods left in our diet, but there's still some and I'm going to try and reduce those even further.

I'm a big believer in taking from multiple resources the concepts & ideas that I agree with and can adopt.  So, to help Live More Consciously from a food & exercise perspective, I'm doing a couple of things:-

1.  I'm currently making my way through Cyndi O'Meara's Healthy Living program;

2.  I'm re-reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food which, combined with Food Rules, completely changed the way I thought about food and "dieting".  I'm going to share the food rules with you as I make my way through them again, so you too can take on board some of the information, if you'd like to.

3.  I'm making my way through Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

I am also going to continue my ever present attempt to exercise more.  (Have I ever mentioned my complete and utter dislike of exercise....... needless to say, this will never be an exercise blog!).  My baby starts Prep this year, thus each week I will have the most kid-free time I've experienced in the past 8 years.  I am going to attempt to at least spend some of that newly acquired time exercising (in order to combat the reminder of the time which will no doubt be spent cooking!).

So, that's the plan for 2012, or at least the first part of it.  I'm so grateful to have made so many new friends through Thermomix - it's such a fabulous little community to be a part of and I'm grateful to be allowed into your kitchens.  Here's a to a fabulous year!

Happy 2012!!!