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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Mild Coconut Chicken Curry

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I’m going to share with you lovely readers one of our favourite dinner recipes that I have converted for the Thermomix. It’s a chicken curry, which is very mild and based on a coconut cream sauce – even my 2 and 5 year old eat this.

Ingredients
500g chicken breast, cubes
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 small green capsicum
Small can of tomato paste
1/2 can of coconut milk
Pinch of salt
2 tsp of mild curry powder
2 tsp of Garam Masala
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Method
Place the onion, garlic and green capsicum in the Thermomix bowl. Blend speed 8 / 10 secs.

Scrape down the sides of the Thermomix bowl and add the tomato paste, coconut milk, salt and spices and blend speed 7 / 10 secs.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and add the chicken cubes. Cook for 20 mins / 100C / Reverse + speed 1.

Serve with Basmati rice and coriander.

This is a delicious curry made from scratch in no time at all!

It’s not my recipe, I found it somewhere on the internet sometime ago but unfortunately I didn’t record the source. We’ve been using it for so long now, and it is so easy that I had to share it with you!

Ricotta Gnocchi

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After a hot Sunday we felt like a light dinner tonight. I had all (well all 3 – so not too big a coincidence) the ingredients on hand for the Ricotta Gnocchi from the Thermomix Vegetarian cookbook. I’ve been wanting to try this one out for a while so tonight it was on the menu!

You could easily accomplish this recipe in a food processor as well, or really even with a wooden spoon and bowl! But of course it is easier using the kneading function on the thermomix!

It all came together well, but with gnocchi you never know until you taste it whether or not it is going to be just perfect. And it was! The mister and the boys gobbled it all down, the only problem was that the recipe didn’t really make enough! I made the larger serving which I presume is meant to feed four but it was not really enough for our family of two adults and two boys under 6. So if you were feeding anymore than this I would be sure to increase the recipe.

Mud Crab steamed in the Varoma

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We were lucky enough to pick up a delicious Mud Crab at the fish market the other day. The lovely fishmonger did all the nasty work and killed, cleaned and quartered it for us.

We steamed it in the Varoma for 15 mins / Varoma temp / speed 3 and it was perfectly done!

I haven’t really done much in the Varoma yet but everything I have done has been perfect.

Golden Syrup Puddings

It’s a cold and rainy day here in Sydney – very unusual February weather! I normally love cold wet weather, it gives me an excuse for lying under a blanket on the couch all day, but since having the boys I dread the wet weather – it is not a lot of fun being locked inside a small house with 5 and 2 year old boys!

But on the hand it does give me an opportunity to try out one of my favorite winter desserts in the Thermomix – steamed Golden Syrup puddings.

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I mixed all the ingredients up in the Thermomix bowl, put a little bit of golden syrup in the bottom of the pudding molds (I just bought these gorgeous pudding molds at Ikea today – how lucky!) and then spooned the batter in on top.

Place in the Varoma and steam at Varoma temp / speed 3 / 25 mins

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The little puddings rose beautifully, almost like a souffle.

Served with some custard made from the Everyday Cooking book. Absolutely delicious and makes those rainy days worth it!

Almond and Carrot Cake

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I just love this cake, it’s from the UK Thermomix website and it is such a great recipe for the kids lunchboxes. I managed to get three carrots in mine and it contains no white flour, it’s all gourd almonds. There is also no butter or oil and yet it is such a moist delicious cake.

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Of course a bit of cream cheese icing also makes it even more delicious!

Thermomix Mini Sausage Rolls

I whipped up these delicious morsels for the kids dinner last night.   Of course they can easily be made with out a thermomix, just chop finely and combine in  a bowl!

Ingredients:

  • 500g pork mince (you can use beef, chicken, veal – whatever takes you fancy!)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • sprig or two of flat leaf parsley
  • 1 slice wholemeal bread (even better if it’s the crusty end piece!)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vegetable stock powder (I use Massel)
  • 2tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp worsteshire sauce
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 3 sheets of puff pastry, partially thawed
  • 4 tbs milk
  • sesame seeds (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 200C.

Put the carrot, garlic, parsley and bread into the Thermomix bowl and mix for 2 seconds / speed 7.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for a further 2 secs / speed 7.

Add the mince, egg, vegetable stock, tomato paste, worsteshire sauce and nutmeg and mix for 7 seconds / speed 5.

Cut each sheet of puff pastry in half lengthways.

Place some of the sausage mix along one of the long sides of the puff pastry and then roll up to form a sausage roll.  Press the sides down a little to secure the filling.

I normally score each roll into 4 at this point because my kids like the mini sausage rolls but you can score it into 2 or not at all if you like.  When I score, I only cut through the top layer of pastry.

Place each sausage roll onto a lined baking tray, leaving enough room between each for the pastry to puff out.  Brush with milk (or beaten egg) and sprinkle with sesame seeds if you want – I think they really make the sausage roll look homemade so I always include them.

You can see I bake mine on a rack over the oven tray – I find that this helps to make sure the base of the sausage roll comes up crispy.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve up to very hungry young (or old ones) with some tomato sauce.

This mixture makes about 22 mini sausage rolls for me.   The cooked sausage rolls also freeze well, so make up a double batch and you can always have some on hand!

And what to do with any left over puff pastry?  Why brush with milk and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar and bake for about 10 mins for some delicious little cinnamon biscuits that will be gone in a flash!

Monkey Bread

Cinnamon doughy goods are the ultimate comfort food for me – I just love them – cinnamon rolls, cinnamon donuts – ok, I’m drooling now.

On that note, I thought I would try to make Monkey Bread for Christmas morning breakfast.  Seeing as in Australia, we don’t have tinned biscuit dough that so many recipes call for I had to make it all from scratch.

I looked at many recipes on the internet and came up with this – my very first recipe for the thermomix! 

Ingredients:

  • 20g butter
  • 1 cup of warm milk (I microwaved mine for 45 secs)
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 55g raw caster sugar
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 460g plain flour
  • 2 tsp salt

Topping:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 100g melted butter

Method:

Place the butter, milk, water, sugar, yeast, flour and salt into the TMX bowl.  Knead on interval setting for 4 mins.

Set dough aside and let it rise until it has doubled in size (about 1-2 hours).  You can just leave it in your TMX to rise but I needed the thermomix for some other Christmas Cooking so I took the dough out and let it rise in another bowl.

Once dough has doubled start to prepare the topping by melting the butter.

And combine the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl (oh yeah – that’s the goods!)

Break off small tablespoon amounts of dough, dip into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar and then place into a bundt (or ring) pan.  Continue with this until all the dough is used up – you only want the dough to come about half way up your bundt pan at this stage. 

Pour any left over melted butter over the dough in the pan.  Cover with gladwrap or bread mat and allow to rise until it has doubled again.

Bake 30-35 mins in a pre-heated oven at 180C.

Now I saw an article on the kitchn which served the  monkey bread with a bourbon  creme anglais and I have to say I thought creme anglais would be a perfect accompaniment to this (sans bourbon of course – it’s not cool for the under 5’s!).  But on looking up the recipe I needed 6 (yes that is six) egg yolks and unfortunately I didn’t have that many eggs left.  Nevermind, it was still delicious – and still delicious again on Boxing Day for breakfast!

Enjoy!

Christmas Gifts

In December, Mr 5 graduated from preschool.  He had been at this same daycare since he was 14 months old – so it was a big milestone for us.

I decided to make his preschool teachers some edible gifts to say thanks and Merry Christmas.

We had some Cookies and Cream Fudge (from here: http://www.forumthermomix.com/index.php?topic=5062.0 ) which was sensational!  I was still eating little pieces of this right up until Christmas Day – it is definitely one of my favourite treats but I am a huge fudge fan so that was predictable.  This was my first attempt at fudge making and it was such an easy and fail proof recipe.

 

And some of Rara’s Cherry Bites (from here: http://www.forumthermomix.com/index.php?topic=5696.0 ).  I found that next time I would probably use another packet of glace cherries for our taste but otherwise they were delicious.  As you can see, I need some practice on making my chocolate coating a little neater!

Combined with a lovely bottle of Sparkling White I think it made a lovely gift.