Wooo Hooo, I’ve got some Crio Bru!

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I have been wanting to try this stuff for ages but with no NSW stockists I had to order it online. Now I am an avid online shopper so I have no idea why I was put off from ordering this stuff, but a recent check of their website showed Crio Bru has its first NSW stockists – Onyx Natural Health.

Even better, I was going to be in Danks St Waterloo (where Onyx are located) the next day! I knew I was finally going to get my hands on some of this supposedly magic stuff! Can you sense how excited I was?

So I turn up at Onyx, only to find that they are a brand new store and not even open – there was paper covering the windows. So, disappointed me, called the number to find out when they would be opening – tomorrow! Can you say unlucky!

But the most loveliest man (whose name I didn’t get) opened up the store just for me to get my Crio Bru! I love customer service like that!

So if you are in Sydney and are looking to get some Crio, visit the lovely people at Onyx Natural Health.

Disclaimer – I have not been paid or gifted anything by Crio Bru for this post, I just really want to try it and I received no payment from Onyx Natural Health – I just think excellent customer service should be acknowledged.

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The Basics – vegetable stock

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One of the key staples in my fridge is Vegetable Stock. Whenever a recipe calls for beef stock, chicken stock or vegetable stock – I use my thermomix vegetable stock! I love it because it has no MSG, no artificial colours, no artificial flavours and no preservatives (well I guess salt is a preservative but you know what I mean).

Flavour without the nasties – this is one of the reasons I bought my thermomix in the first place. Even better, the stock easily lasts six months in the fridge which means you really only have to make a batch up 2 or 3 times a year – come on anybody can do that!

The Australian thermomix book Eveyday Cooking for Every Family has a stock recipe but I have found it a little bland so I like to Flavour it up a bit with my Secret ingredients.

I start off with those random vegetables in the fruit drawer – I know you have some floating in your fridge too so don’t look at me like that! In this batch that included carrots, tomatoes, green capsicum, an onion, some bay leaves and some cloves of garlic. The EDC only uses one clove and this is my first secret – increase this to two cloves.

Then I add my special ingredients which are here for flavour, taste and smell. Now promise you want go telling everybody. I include a couple of cm of fresh ginger, peeled; one sprig of rosemary and a red chilli and maybe 4-5 seeds. I find that these additions make the stock really tasty And give your dish the Flavour you need.

Enjoy!

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

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Ok, so I have a confession, I much prefer to bake than to cook. There has been more than one occasion where I have a beautiful dessert prepared but no main meal!

So here is another beautifully light cake I whipped up this morning. I had some butter milk that’s been in the freezer for a while that I wanted to use up but this can be easily substituted for yoghurt if you don’t have any.

It’s quite an incredible cake because the batter is so thick and creamy yet once cooked the cakes are impossibly light. You can use any type of frozen berries, my boys just love blueberries and that’s what I happened to have in the freezer.

Ingredients
370 grams plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
Pinch pink sea salt flakes
225 grams unsalted butter
350 grams sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
175 mls buttermilk (or yoghurt)
300 grams blueberries

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Add sugar to TMX bowl and grind speed 10 / 5 secs.

Add butter and mix speed 7 / 15 secs (I do this because I always use butter straight from the fridge and this softens it up a little).

Insert the butterfly and mix speed 4 / 2 mins.

Add the eggs and vanilla to the TMX and mix speed 4 / 10 secs.

Add the flour, baking powder, salt and buttermilk and mix until just combined speed 3 / 10 secs. Do not overmix.

Add the frozen blueberries and mix speed 3 / 10 secs. You want the blueberries to still be frozen otherwise they might get a little mushed!

Spoon into cake pan – this is a really thick creamy batter that you ave to spoon and spread, it does not pour.

Cook for 50 mins

As you can see I cooked mine in little squares as I had a new pan that I wanted to try out!

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Spiced Pear Cake

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I have been getting all sorts of pears in my weekly fruit and vegetable delivery – corella, buerre bosc and packhams. We have actually been getting more pears and apples than we can eat so I have been on the hunt for some recipes to use them up.

I considered ‘canning’ them because I am really enjoying making jams and chutneys at the moment but I currently have a full jam cupboard so I need to slow down on the preserving for a bit. So I took to the internet to find some inspiration and I came across the fabulous blog of sophistimom. She has an amazing recipe for spiced pear cake that was in turn inspired by Martha Stewart. I have converted this recipe for the thermomix – but beware, once you bake this cake people will be constantly requesting it.

It is the most perfect morning or afternoon tea cake, moist, flavoursome and not too sweet. And even better, it’s a snap to make in the thermomix!

Ingredients
2-3 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
110 gram unsalted butter
85 grams brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100 grams sour cream or yoghurt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
11/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp salt
250 grams plain flour

Method
Add pears, 1/4 cup white sugar and the lemon juice into TMX. Cook 100°C / 15 mins / speed 1. When finished cooking, mash the pears 5-7 secs / speed 5.

Measure out 11/2 cups of the pear sauce and set aside. Clean bowl.

Add remaining white sugar and grind speed 9 / 5 secs. Add butter and brown sugar and cream speed 4 / 2 mins.

Add in eggs, vanilla and sour cream and mix speed 5 / 2 mins.

Add spices, flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt and knead / 30 secs until it is just combined.

Add in pear sauce and mix speed 1-2 / 7 secs.

Bake in 2 lined loaf tins for 30-40 mins @ 160°C

Ice with a cream cheese frosting and sit back and enjoy.

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Apricot Crumble Bars

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I have just discovered all the cheap e-books on amazon that work on the Kindle App on my ipad. Yeah, I know, a little behind the times!

I purchased a great little ebook called the Good Neighbour Cookbook by Suzanne Schlosberg and Sara Quessenberry. They even have a website over here. The book is all about delicious things to cook for your neighbours, family or friends when they have a baby, are sick or various other occasions. So many of the recipes have caught my eye and I want to try them out in the thermomix and I’ve started today with their delicious Apricot Crumble Bars.

This can be made with any jam or preserve you have on hand – I have a lot because I am always making up jam with the excess fruit in my fruit and veg box – and luckily I had a nice jar of beautiful apricot jam just sitting there in the cupboard! I used walnuts rather than pecans because that is what I had in the pantry. Don’t you just love a recipe that can be adapted to whatever you have on hand?

And it tastes so good with an afternoon cup of tea!

So this is my thermomix adapted version of Sara and Suzanne’s delicious crumble bars.

Ingredients
225 grams plain flour
150 grams white sugar
Pinch of salt
225 grams cold unsalted butter
100 grams pecans/walnuts
80 grams rolled oats
3/4 cup apricot jam

Method
Line a 18 x 28cm pan and preheat oven to 180°C.

Add flour, sugar, salt and butter to the thermomix bowl and mix on speed 7 / 10 seconds.

Add the nuts and oats and knead / 15 secs until it is combined.

Put aside about 1/2 cup of the dough.

Press the remaining dough into your prepared pan. Spread the apricot jam over the dough in a thin, even layer leaving a 1/2cm border around the edges.

Crumble over the remaining dough.

Bake for 25-30 mins.

Allow to cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Now go and be a great neighbour and bake some of this slice today – and stay tuned for some more Good Neighbour conversions!

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