Tick of Yum

Providing hints and tips on using your Thermy, suggestions and recipes - from a very happyily Thermomixed South Australian couple

Our Ticks of Yum

Testing recipes Thermomix cookbook (Australia) - "Everyday Cooking" - and converting and/or trying others - This is purely OUR PERSONAL opinion of the Thermomix and the recipes!

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John's Worcestershire Sauce

Posted by Bee & John on June 10, 2016 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (3)

My John Looooooooves his Worcestershire Sauce.  This black, intense, spicy, salty/sweet flavour enhancer... and I make it for him!


It doesn't take long and afterwards we have enough for the year! (Makes just over a litre).  I've converted it to thermy method, although as you can see on the (quite OLD) recipe, that it isn't hard to make without one either!


ingredients:

 

  • 900g of vinegar
  • 300g of good quality soy sauce
  • 30g of garlic cloves
  • 30g of salt
  • 20 whole cloves or 1 tablespoon of ground clove
  • 30g of white pepper seeds, or 1 tablespoon of ground pepper
  • 15g of whole all spice berries (also called pimento)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (recipe calls for 1 dessertspon of it, but surely that's a mistake - it's VERY spicy with 1/2 a teaspoon!)
  • 250g sugar (white or raw or whatever your favourite is)

  • (optional and for halfway through the recipe) 40g flour (2 tablespoons) mixed with a little vinegar)
Method:
  • place everything except the flour in the TM bowl (DON"T breathe in the cayenne :-) )
  • cook for 40 minutes on 100cC, speed 1, MC in
  • Mix the flour with a little vinegar and add to the hot liquid.
  • VERY carefully, increase the speed of your Thermy or blender to it's highest speed and blend everything for a minute
  • cook for a further 10 minutes at 90oC on speed 3.
  • you can strain the mixture before placing it in sterilised bottles and sealing - or just pour it in. (that's what I do - john shakes it up before using first tho - but it means a greater intensity of flavours)

I certainly hope you enjoy this as much as John does!!  Me?  well..... It's ok in recipes LOL



 

Autumn Tomato Sauce

Posted by Bee & John on May 18, 2016 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

This recipe is easy, and although it seems that there are quite a few ingredients, they're easily put together and the end result is absolutely delicious!


Of course, the best thing about making the sauce yourself, is that you know exactly what goes into it! (and it tastes delicious!)

 

Ingredients

 

 

  • 800g of Vine Ripened tomatoes (Roma are best) - chopped
  • One small apple, quartered - no need to peel or de-seed
  • Seeds from one large Pomegranate (or 2 small) - or 1/2 cup of pomegranage juice
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped fine
  • 200g of sugar
  • 100g of vinegar
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 all spice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of salt

 

Method

 

Add the pomegranate seeds to the TM bowl - blend on REVERSE, speed 5 for 5 seconds.


Tip seeds and juice into a strainer, held over a container to retain the juice.  Squeeze the pulp as well as you can to get all the seeds out. (do you need to do this?  Well.... the seeds are a little bitter and may affect the sauce.


Place tomatoes into the bowl and process on speed 6 for 10 seconds.  Add everything else, including the pomegranage juice/  Blend again for 10 seconds on speed 6.


Cook on Varoma, MC off (simmer basket in place) for 40 minutes.  


Check the flavour... ok for you?  Check the texture, thick enough for you?  If so, place the lid and the MC on, then CAREFULLY, blend on speed 6 for 1 minute.


Bottle immendiately into HOT sterilised jars or bottles.  


This will make 800ml of sauce and will last 3 weeks in the fridge unless you decide to use proper bottling techniques which will allow it to be placed in the pantry until opened.


Extra info

For the next couple of months, I will be helping with the Palmdale Meats Website - I'll be putting up some recipes there, hints and tips.  Some for meat, some - like this Tomato Sauce recipe - that can be an accompanyment for a meal.  You'll find the non-thermy recipe for this recipe here.


Cracked Pepper Pate (with Port - optional)

Posted by Bee & John on April 11, 2016 at 3:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Bee's Cracked pepper pate

 

No recipe, no matter WHAT people say, is completely made up.  SOMEBODY, somewhere made up the recipe of Pate and there have been variations of both the recipe and it's usage over time.

This one is a variations of one that I have used many times, and that is Gretchen's Pistachio pate from SuperKitchenMachine and a few others I found on the web.  I added what I had available and what I loved and ignored the bits I didn't :D Tweeked and bended and this is what I've come up with.

Pate is EASY and VERY cheap.  It can be made and frozen, or kept under a butter "cap" for several weeks in the fridge.  This recipe will 2.5 ramikins worth and it costs only $4 worth of chicken livers to make.  You have the added costs of the butter and the port I know, but.... Still, a VERY cheap specialiaty dish!!

Ingredients

  • 500g chicken livers (room temperature if possible)
  • salt to taste
  • 250g butter
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary. Dried or fresh (use another herb if you prefer, or miss out entirely)
  • 1 tablespoon of cracked pepper
  • 1 large or 2 small bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1-3 tablespoons of port or a liquor you like (optional)

 


Instructions

One important thing to be aware of, is that some chicken livers can be bitter. It is crucial that before you start, that you soak them for at least an hour in milk to take that bitterness away. Pat them dry with some paper towelling before cooking.  

  • peel and chop onion into halves, add to bowl
  • peel garlic and add to bowl

chop on speed 6 for 5 seconds

  • add salt (I use a teaspoon)
  • pepper, bay and rosemary leaves and ONE sprig of parsely
  • 50g of butter

sautee for 4 minutes on 100oC

  • Add chicken livers 

cook for 8 minutes on 100oC speed 2

  • add 80g of butter and the port. 

Blend it on speed 6 for 20 secodns. Taste for seasoning and add any extra you need (I err on the side of caution initaly with salt, and add a little more at this point if needed)

Scrape down!!

Blend on speed 9 until smooth (about 20-30 seconds)

Place into ramekins

Clean and dry bowl

 

But......

Where does the rest of the butter go???  On top!  Melt the rest of the butter on 50oC and drizzle carefully over pate in the pots.  If you like, decorate with the rest of the parsley and some extra cracked pepper


Meet Stock Concentrate for Nikalene's Book

Posted by Bee & John on May 8, 2015 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (1)

Nikalene, from the fabulous Skinnymixers has just released a wonderful new cookbook with some fabulous Indian recipes.   She is largely considered to have THE best Butter Chicken recipe on the planet and I can't wait to try all of her other recipes.


You can find the link to her cookbook HERE


In the book... at the very start of the book.... Nikalene has some notes, one of them (I was SO chuffed to see I couldn't tell you!!) was that the Beef Stock Concentrate she uses is from my website.  To make it easier to find, I have the link for you.....

BEEF STOCK PASTE CONCENTRATE


I also have a comparison between MY Beef Stock Concentrate and the one found in the new Basic Cookbook people get with their Thermomix. 

TAKING STOCK


However, my Beef Stock Concentrate is very similar to the meat stock concentrate that is in the last Everyday Cookbook.... but :-D if you check the dates, you'll see MINE came first - no chicken and egg comparison here!


Just a couple of PS notes

  1. - if you want to change the BEEF component to Chicken, lamb or even fish.... feel free to just change the ingredient FROM Beef to Chicken etc.  Everything else stays the same.  
  2. PLEASE make sure you do not use lean cuts (like breast meat or pork fillet) as they have no flavour.
  3. I also have an Asian Soup Concentrate which is one we use SO often and is absolutely fabulous, try that too

Love your work Nikalene, and thank you for the complement!!

To use the thermomix or not???

Posted by Bee & John on April 27, 2015 at 4:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I was asked recently, "don't you miss the caramelisation of the onions, the brown bits in the frypan?" - it's an interesting question…..

 

First of all…. Thermomix CAN caramelise PERFECTLY! GO LEARN!

But to answer the question…. Good caramelisation is a fine line between browning and burning! How many of us THINK we have perfect caramel tones in our meals but we have just got used to charcoal? :-D

Secondly…. it's a trade off - you do what you have time for, and what you enjoy doing as with ALL things. For example, your clothes will last longer and be cleaner if you wash them all by hand…. do you? Maybe for some.

Some points to consider when you make YOUR choice on what you use to cook your meal….

 

I think it comes down to time and oddly enough…. safety, considerations for the environment, $$ AND personal choice....

TIME

* stir and stir and stir to make sure you do not burn the onions,

* chop the onions in the first place and wash the knife/board

* keep an eye on the meal to make sure it bubbles away nicely and does not burn

SAFETY

* Are you going to be around while it's cooking so you can check nothing else is melting or catching on the flame and the kids aren't anywhere near

* will you remember to switch it off without being distracted?

ENVIRONMENT

* it is almost impossible to cook (with anything else) at the low temperatures that the Thermomix can - stands to reason that even if your other cooker is as low in power as the Thermy, that therefore it'll use more because you are cooking at a higher speed

* lets not just think of the greater environment, but also remember the micro-envronment. What happens to your kitchen walls when you cook on the stove or in the oven? The walls get slimy and/or the exhaust vents do…. that's because you are cooking your food at too high a temperature and the FOOD is evaporating and ending up on the walls. Cooking at that temperature not only means more cleaning (environmental issues - hot water, soap etc and time) but you're losing more nutrients too.

$$

* Lets go back to fundamentals, don't cook at high a temperature? Cheaper! Don't burn your food occasionally? Cheaper!! (than take away). Cooking at the right temperature? More nutrients and better health (ultimately) - Cheaper!! Don't burn your saucepan, don't need to clean as often, less dishwashing detergent - Cheaper!

 

So… what do I do? Sometimes I do one, sometimes I do the other. Take for instance the meal we had the other day - Sausages in Brown Onion Gravy.

Nomally I do it in Thermy - I have a converted recipe on my website and in each batch of "favourite recipes" I give new owners. The other day I did it in the frypan (the type that's deep and has a lid). I did enjoy doing the stirring and watching the onions brown while I stirred and I enjoyed the actual hands on. What I traded off was the fact that I did burn the sauce slightly as it simmered on the lowest I could get on my stove and I have a lovely black saucepan to scrub!

Flavour… is it different? I don't think so.. apart from those BCB's (burnt crunchy bits) which give it more of a BBQ feel.

I like it both ways - most of the time I don't have the time to do it in the pan AND I don't like scrubbing pans so the Thermomix wins out more often than most :-)

 

Please do not feel "guilty" in not using your thermomix! It's like when you handwash your gentles… do you feel guilty you aren't using your washing machine? Your Thermomix is going to be with you, probably, for the rest of your life… you'll get plenty of use from it! Use it to make your life easier, cheaper and use it to introduce dishes you wouldn't normally cook…. but don't let the fact you enjoy a good saucepan stir to make you feel like a traitor.


I made the rice in the Thermy and kept the meal hot in my server... that'll do for today!

Notice for TM5 users - Temperature reading

Posted by Bee & John on March 24, 2015 at 4:35 AM Comments comments (0)

TM31 owners..... no need to read further :-)

TM5 owners, listen up!


I did a delivery yesterday to another excited couple, luckily (as it turned out) they were SO lovely I'm sure they'll forgive me for doing what I THOUGHT was my job, but actually, I was wrong (DON'T tell John... he knows very well I am NEVER wrong!!  In fact, I'm having cold shivers just thinking about being... you know... that word.


The problem was,  I was doing my normal  heating of water & vinegar.  This is where I familiarise the new owners with the controls and checki that the Thermomix is heating like it is supposed to.


ANYWAY....  THIS time I checked the temperature it was registering at the end and it only heated up to 98. I could NOT get it to heat up higher... I could SEE that the water was BUBBLING higher if the temperature was set to 110oC, but the temperature it was actually reading from the bowl was only 98.  I apologised red-faced and had to pack the machine back up and took it home with me.


Um..... does anyone see the obvious flaw in my assumption that something was wrong?  Water only reaches 98-100oC when boiling.  It might BOIL faster, create more steam, but it actually only REACHES 98oC - 100oC   Yes, in some instances it can boil at 98oC!  WHAT?  Yup... For a start, if it isn't EXACTLY 100oC it will drop into the next lowest temperature... 98oC.  And.... scientifically boiling point is "The normal boiling point (also called the atmospheric boiling point or the atmospheric pressure boiling point) of a liquid is the special case in which the vapor pressure of the liquid equals the defined atmospheric pressure at sea level" (Wikipedia) - that all means that it depends on the altitude and the airpressure in the room.


But..... is that true?  Well, it sounded ok but I couldn't get my head around it..... so I got my machine out to test it.  Now I KNOW my TM5 is working right because not only have I used it extensively at all temperatures, but I have also used BOTH the TM31 and the TM5 together making the SAME thing - litres and litres of Plum Sauce - which I cooked at Varoma on both machines - they BOTH gave the same result in the same amount of time.  I never thought to see what temperature the TM5 was actually READING, just trusted it that it would do what I asked it to do when I set the temperature.


So, as I said, I tested MY machine to see if I can get a different reading with water and vinegar.  Nope, it actually only went to 98oC - although it was VERY clearly boiling.  Then I tried Varoma temp.... As you can see by the video on my facebook page (it won't load here) as soon as I take it off "Varoma", it goes back to 98oC.  Now... WHY is it reading 98oC?  Does that mean that your machine is not heating up properly?  


NO - it all comes down to the temperature setting is for the HEATING ELEMENT at the bottom of the Thermomix bowl and the temperature it is READING (that little temp at the top of the circle) is the TEMPERATURE OF THE INGREDIENTS.  So.... if the ingredient's boiling temperature can't get higher than 98oC, then it won't READ any higher.  But the higher setting is used to agitate the liquid faster, crate a browning effect or to create more steam (for steaming or to reduce the liquid - maybe even both).


So, if your temperature reading (at the top of the temperature dial) is less than the temperature you SET, don't panic - the heating element HAS reached the right temperature, but the ingredients can not actually GET to that temperature, that temperature just has an other effect (like the excess steam)


My punishment for my erroneous assumption something was wrong?  I'm driving 100ks tomorrow to take the Thermomix back to the waiting owners.... and 100ks back again.  Just as well it's a lovely drive and I have a great Audio Book to listen to :-(


Any more questions.... contact your consultant.  If your consultant is ME... ring me and I'll have a chat :-)


Camping/Travelling with Thermomix

Posted by Bee & John on February 15, 2015 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (5)



Going Camping??  


Perhaps you're a Grey nomad.... or want to be?  I'm hoping this will help you get the most out of your Thermomix!!  


I don't intend to make this into a complete resource.... just a beginning..  a start.... to make you aware of the possiblities.


First of all... what do I know?  Not much :-)  But I did nearly a year travelling around Australia - just me and my dog - a lovely black lab called Jordi.  For the first month or so I stuck to caravan parks, but it didn't take long before Jordi and I were bush-camping with the best of them!!   All of these photos are mine and I took them in my big camping adventure!


7 months of camping in dust and dirt....Then I hit Adelaide... (my destination all along).... and had the longest bath EVER!!  A year later I met John - and the rest, as they say, is History.  Hey, just realised that next week is our anniversary... Imet John almost EXACTLY 9 happy years ago!! Why do I remember it?  We also got engaged and married on that date, 9th of March.



Jordi (the bed and chair hog!  I ended up buying him his OWN chair) and I started with a tent -trailer combo and finished off with a motor home.  I must admit, it was more fun in the motor home - not as much setting up and packing up - we had somewhere to sit and cook and rest without getting it all out of the car and putting it together!




I hope you can take the information here and build on it!!  I'd love to hear from you so we can add more recipes and/or links - and more information.  


First of all - WHY take your Thermomix.

Well, one thing I learnt very early on in my trip... I had too much stuff!!!!  Most of what I HAD put together just didn't fit and some of what I did end up bringing... I just didn't need!


Your thermomix will be able to be able to tick many boxes all in one hit!!

 

  • It makes an amazing cappucino with only instant coffee - I can see you shaking your head... trust me!  
  • Even if you don't make cappucino's with it.... its a Kettle!!  Boil your water in it.
  • the Thermomix jug is a 2 litre jug!  Collect/carrywater etc with it.
  • The Varoma base is an amazing strainer!!  Also works well as a fruit basket IF you aren't using it at that moment.
  • The middle tray of the Varoma is a great cooling tray for bread, cakes etc.
  • The thermomix will be your....
    • Saucepan
    • Steamer
    • Rice Cooker
    • Grinder
    • Juicer
    • Mix Master
    • Blender

 




Handy things to pack/bring

 

  • powdered milk - including powdered coconut milk
  • dried fruit
  • whole spices
  • nuts and grains
  • seeds you can germinate for fresh greens - ie: alfalfa and mung beans
  • good, light containers which are totally air & liquid tight.  Square/rectangular ones will pack easier
  • plenty of zip-loc bags
  • Tongs, long and short
  • a new pump action weed sprayer - chop the "weed wand" down by 3/4s and you have a fantastic "shower" - you only need 1/4 of the water you'd need for a normal wash.
  • a labeller or good texta pen to label things
  • Plenty of rope.  Strong, thin rope.  VERY handy for tying things, washing lines etc
  • a Fly tent.  A large, light and easy to put up flyscreen tent will save your LIFE (not literally), reading in the outback is the most relaxing thing on the planet.... so quiet... so peaceful... "ah, feel the serenity" (for non-Australians, that's an iconic saying from an Australian movie... "the Castle") BUT NO!!  Those pesky flies and mosquitos have you waving your arms around like a human windmill!!  You need somewhere to eat without a horde of mini guests.  Besides... it'll be a fantastic COOL place to stay if you have stinker of a night.  The picture below is when I took JUST the fly tent for a few days to Innes National Park

 


How can the Thermoserver help?

 

  • it will keep any salads cold and the lid keeps the flies off your food
  • Prove your bread in it (the 2.6l one - the 2.2 is too small)
  • Keep water hot/warm from the fire so you can wash in warm water
  • Great for keeping BBQ meat warm
  • and of course it'll keep your meal warm too

 



How can you pack your Thermomix??

 

  • Get a bag for it!\\your precious thermy!  Remember the scales are in the feet of the machine.  Just put it on the bed, seat or in the boot will continually vibrate those feet and the electronics inside.  The bag has an anti-shock mat which will be just the thing you need.
  • still put the bag, with the Thermomix in it, somewhere soft like the bed, don't put in the boot - particularly when travelling on a dirt road

 



General hints and tips

 

  • Plan your meals!!!! Ever meal!!  Of course leave room for changes, but planning means you know what you need to pack and you won't buy/pack things you don't need!
  • Learn how to light a fire!  I was lucky to have been given a small steel drum that had a little mouse hole on the bottom to light a fire in, and then you can cook above it. (you can see it in the pic below) - it's roaring there.... but I was using it as a "heater" - if you have a smaller fire, or when the coals are clogwing, I put long tent pegs through holes about 3/4's of the way up and the cookpot rested on them.
  • Get a good camp oven for those days you don't have power but you're somewhere you can light a nice fire.
  • Make sure that if you buy a generator, you get one big enough to run the Thermomix.  Check your manual for specifics.  Your Thermomix will run very well on a generator as it can handle a fluctuating power source.  I believe that the power requriements are only 1500w.... but don't rely on that - double check it yourself!!
  • I loved my Dream Pot - It is like a thermoserver on steroids!  Even now I work the Thermomix and my Dream Pot in tandem.  While a server can keep your meal hot for an hour or two... a Dream Pot not only keeps it hot for 6-10 hours... but SO hot it continues to cook - it's like a no-power slow cooker!!!  I often either started cooking a meal in the morning - or filled it with boiling water - then I could have a hot meal or a wash "later".    "Later" was either the next morning, or when I finished travelling to the next location
  • Washing your clotes at a laudrymat costs a FORTUNE!!!  Get one of those washing tubs that are like a big bucket with an agitator on a stick that goes through the lid.... I know that sounds complicated but that's because of my lack of descriptive ability here.... it was a 10 litre bucket and there was a disc-agitator thingy that was on a stick.  I just put the water and the clothese in.  put the lid on. turned the handle on the top one way and the other... it was easy.  I got it at a caravan and camping show
  • Try getting an old fashioned wringer - washing in water is easy... squeezing out water from towels and/or sheets isn't!  Possible!!  But easier if you can get yourself a wringer.  The one I saw (I din't have one more's the pity) is in the very last picture in the lat group of photos on the bottom of this blog.

 

 


Number one piece of advice!!
 
SPEAK TO OTHER PEOPLE!

They....
  • have travelled where you are going....
  • have been travelling longer
  • have suggestions on road conditions and/or camping sites
  • and some darn good ideas!
  • They also have some skills you don't have... and are generally happy to help!  These wonderful people were  helping me try to fix my water pipes, not long after I bought the motor home, and Jordi (the dog) kept pinching the tools

 

 

Grow your greens?

My word yes!  It's amazing what you can sprout!  Alfalfa, lentils, mung beans....... Fresh, wholesome greens when you need/want them!!  I met a lovely lady (in her 80's mind you!!) who spent her life on the road in one HECK of a well laid out single cab ute!  She never went anywhere without them!  She had learned how to do it when she was caretaker on a lighthouse - a really facinating person!  We were the only people staying at a "billabong" (yes, a REAL one" on a station that had opened up for bush campers like us - not far from the Oonadatta Track.  We spent a fun few days together.  She started me off on a jar and I never looked back!


My sugestion is to have several jars going at once so you have them at different stages.  Also, remember they are going to take up about 900% of the room they take up as seeds/grains, so don't put many in at once.



Recipes


My first intention was to put together a collection of recipes - but that isn't going to work.  too many different people go camping... all with different tastes / needs / diets. / ages  I'm going to put a list of  links to websites that have lots of travelling recipes instead. 

None of them are Thermomix websites... but use their recipes as a guide of what you can make and look for a Thermomix version if applicable.  Besides... there are some great recipes here and not all of them are Thermomix-able - and I don't want you to miss out!!

 


Enough to get you going???


Am I going camping again?  Well, john and I used to do the weekend camping/fishing thing in Stansbury, but now we both work weekends and only have one day off a week so it's a bit hard.  BUT... We are planning 6-12 month camping trip in 4-5 years time!  And... Thermy is coming!!!!






 



Odour-Bee-Gone PRE-spray

Posted by Bee & John on February 7, 2015 at 1:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Ok... this is a food blog right... and you don't talk about ... um... (whispers.....) odours from the loo (normal voice) in the middle of talking about food right?


Well... I'm not going to talk about FOOD... but I will talk about the other.


First - some background.  While John actually watched the Superbowl recently (alone!!) couldn't wait to watch the rather entertaining ads that they put together for the main event.  I clicked onto a YouTube collection of them and I was enjoying the satire ad about a pre-poo spray on one particular ad... and it wasn't until it finished that I realised it was  an ACTUAL ads... BEFORE they show the clip.  


It was this lady on the loo... talking about.. um... odours.  It was funny actually, and you might have seen it as I have seen it before other clips too.  To cut a long story (and ad!) short, their premis is, that if you spray their fragrance INTO the loo, it has an oil that traps any odours at the base (no pun intended... but pretty good eh?) so no odours "escape" to make any smells.


I thought two thoughts simutaniously... "what a great idea"!  And.... "I can do that!!".  


I whipped it up and have been trialling it all week.  It works WELL.  Better than any "after odour" spray and actually helps keep the toilet bowl cleaner too!


2 or 3 sprays INTO the bowl BEFORE the big event actually DOES trap the odours!  (Learn from me - lift the lid before you spray or you'll get a wet seat :-/ )


The little bit of oil does keep the fragrance sitting on top of the water, and what's more... the tiny bit of oily spray that stays on the wall of the bowl seems to stop ...um... "anything" .... from sticking.


How can you mix oil and water?  Actually very easily, it emulsifies  (mixes) when there is alcohol added.  Now I don't intend for you to use your favourite vodka!!  You can buy rubbing/antiseptic alcohol at the supermarket or chemist - and a little known fact is... Metholayted spirits is an alcohol too!!  They are both "denatured" (basically... makes them nasty to drink) but they ARE redily available and cheapish, alcohol.


Odour-Bee-Gone pre-toilet spray

1 spray bottle (big or small... as long as it sprays)

  • 1 part alcohol
    • rbbing alcohol or Metho - yes use your vodka if you want to
    • you can add more of it if you like... helps with the whole disenfectant thing, but don't add only alcohol or it'll evaporate and you won't get the right effect
  • 1 parts oil 
    • what oils?  Olive, Rice bran, Grape Seed... something like that.  The last 2 have the advantage of being a little cheaper and have no fragrance of their own to try to overcome with the essential oils
  • 8 parts water
  • essential oil
Mix all together in the bottle with a gentle shaking motion.  Spray once or twice into the bowl before using the loo

An example of the 1/2/5 part thing is...
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of alcohol
  • 8 tablespoons of water
  • 10-15 drops of essential oil
As for the essential oil amounts... that depends on the strength of your essential oil.  My little spray bottle held the 10 tablespoon recipe above and I used 15 drops of essential oil.  I do not use my very good (strong) essential oils in the loo (are you kidding!) but might only need 8-10 drops.  Experiment.  

Remember not to use too girlie a fragrance or the boys won't use it :-D

Love to hear how you go!!

Picture?  Um... nope

Ridiculously Easy Fancy Bread

Posted by Bee & John on December 22, 2014 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Last year, I posted a picture of a Brioche Santa face that looks amazing in the pictures.... but ended up looking like.... at best Cartoon Santa - at worst Demented Santa... when most people actually tried to make it.


So... the hunt fwas on or something easier BUT just as fancy looking!


I saw these pics on Pinterest and I wanted to know just HOW easy these were and didn't look at the instructions, merely at the pictures, and then made them.  in a word..... WOW... these looks great.  Not just for this festive season, but how nice would it be if you take something like this at ANY time!!??


First... the finished pics (NOT that I want to boast.... well.... maybe a little - I was THRILLED with how they turned out)


So.... how to make them?  Actually it IS easy!


It all starts with a filling. I've used a cinnamon/butter/brown sugar mix along with some cocoa to make it dark and stand out. I've doubled the cinnamon filling from this recipe.  Some people use Nutella - of course the Thermomix version.  I think a lovely coffee and walnut version would be delicious too!!  Set it aside, scrape as much as you can out... but don't bother cleaning the bowl.

Then, you'll need to make a Brioche - make a good sized Brioche (the Brioche from the Everyday Cookbook, not the Basic Cookbook that comes with the TM5 - its too soft and too small.  I'll add a copy of the reicpe at the bottom of this page if you don't have it already.)


LET IT DOUBLE - let it rise the first time, then massage all the air out of it - don't "punch it"... it IS Christmas.... be nice!


Divide it into 3 roughly equal sized balls.


Roll one of the balls into the shape you want.  Obviously, triangular for the tree, circular for the star.  DON"T STRESS about getting it exact.  It is flexible and can be manipulated into shape!!  As for the Tree, I found it even better to trip to a sharp edge, then use the "bits" to make a star for the top.  If I had more room I'd have made a "trunk" too.


Cover the first shape (round or triangular) wth the filling, add another shape, cover with the rest of the filling and put the third shape on top.


As I said, don't worry about it being exact.  get it roughly right and then put it into the right shape like so.....



Then cut it.  With the star, leave a circular bit in the middle that you are NOT going to cut.  I just pressed a MC on it so I have the shape, then scored my cut lines.  I just went 1/2, then 1/2 then 1/2 that all round then 1/2 that all around - ending up with 16 cuts.  


Then it is just a matter of getting one of the cut triangles and twisting it RIGHT twice.  Then the next one along LEFT twice - so that they "face" each other and will make a "star" with the filling.  Push it all into the right shape afterwards if you've got it all wonky.



When you have finished brush the top of it with a mixture of beaten egg and milk.


Then, LET IT RISE AGAIN.... not all the way, but let it rise in a warm spot for at least 20 minutes.  Then put it into a cold oven, switch it on at 180oC Fan Forced (200 otherwise) for 20-25 mintues or until golden brown.


Now, the tree.....


Follow the basic premise of the star.  1 triangle, cover it with filling, another triangle, filling and then the top.


I cut the edges of the triangle to make it a little sharper.  Use the bits to make a star and/or the trunk.


Once again you need a little space in the middle where you are NOT going to cut... then just start cutting little strips like so



Then do the other side.  It is best if you get the cuts even



Because these are thinner it may seem like it'll be harder to twist, but not so.  LIFT the strips up and THEN twist.  It's ok to pull on them a bit if it makes it easier.  Twist THESE all the same way one side and back the other way the other side




Then do the same thing.  Brush with beathen egg/milk mixture and add the Cashous (those edible ball bearing thingy's).  Make sure you let rise a little bit (15-20 minutes.  Then cold oven - switch on the oven, bake at 108oC fan forced (200 otherwise) for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown


DeLISHous!!



Ketjap Manis

Posted by Bee & John on November 15, 2014 at 4:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Some of you might remember a picture I posted on my facebook page that looked like this.....


There was a bit of speculation on what it was and I was both heartily amused and VERY embarrassed... but I was still working with the recipe so I hadn't put it up.... until now.  


I've been tweeking it and tweeking it and finally got it about right I think... and NO... this won't happen to you now!


First of all - if all you want is the basic Ketjap Manis (ie: the sticky, sweet, thick soy sauce) then you might actually be dissapointed in this.   This is much more flavoursome and will work out to cost more than what you can buy the boring stuff for (slightly biased - sorry)


This recipe is for a sweet, sticky thickish (not really thick) savoury and rich sauce that is just fantastic over rice, as a marinade or part of a stirfry.  It goes PARTICULARLY well with fried rice - Steamed or not!


So - where did I get the idea?  Well... it started with a thought (don't they all?) Could I make it?  There wasn't any Thermomix ones, but I found plenty of other recipes.  Thing was... they were all just completely different!  So... I've taken the best of what I liked and make it Thermomix compatible.


It is such a flexible recipe!  Don't like something?  Prefer something else?  Change/swap/add - you're in charge!  Make it yours!


Ketjap Manis


Note: this makes nearly a litre - so make sure you have the jars/bottles for it.

Ingredients

 

  • Step one
    • 250g of raw sugar
    • 1/2 Star Anise
    • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns 
    • 2cm square of fresh ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon of Dried Chilli Flakes
  • Step two
    • 100g of Molasses
    • 750g of Soy Sauce or Tamari (OR: 500g of dark soy and 250g water - it's thicker)
    • 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala
  • Optional Extras
    • 1-4 cloves of garlic
    • 1/2 teaspooon of cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons of Sesame Oil
    • Swap the Garam Masala to Curry Powder

 


Method

 

  • Place all the ingredients from Step One into the TM Bowl 
  • (add any of the dry ingredients from the optional list)
  • Grind on speed 9 for 40 seconds
  • Scrape down
  • Add all the remaining Ingredients
  • PLEASE NOTE TEMPERATURES!  use a higher temperature and you WILL have the same mess to clean up as I did - it will boil right over the top
    • TM5 Cooking Instructions
      • Put the lid on, MC OFF - cook on 98oC for 40 mintues speed 2
    • TM31 Cooking Instructions
      • Put the lid on, MC OFF - cook on 90oC for 50 mintues
  • Pour into sterilised bottles, keep in the fridge for 3 months.
  • NOTE: My jars are vacuum sealed.  I store them in the pantry.  Once I DO open them, I keep them in the fridge.


Enjoy - in the mean time... I'm going to enroll in spelling school - or can I pretend that the label spelling below was deliberate??


 


Fragrant Chicken Broth (lemon/coconut)

Posted by Bee & John on November 11, 2014 at 4:05 AM Comments comments (0)

And last but not least for today - is the conversion of a Fasting Day / Low Calorie meal from the UK 5:2 website for use by a Thermomix -

Fragrant Chicken Broth, Thermomix version - as requested.


I've had a little twiddle with the ingredints (that sounds weird... but you know what I mean right?) and I have to say that it is VERY VERY delicious!!!!  John and I have had it twice and we've just devoured it both times - we both agree that it is a MUST for every week!  THAT has never happened before, that we want the same recipe every week!  Whether we are on the 5:2 diet or not - we're having this soup!!!


Right off the mark, I have to say that this is very similar to Quirky Jo's Lemon Coconut Chicken Soup - but lower in calories (the tin of coconut cream is nearly 1000calories).  But I would very much recommend Jo's recipe, I've had it before and it is delicious!  


However, I must admit I prefer this one.  I have made this recipe less coconutty (it may not SEEM like a word, but as I have just used it, it seems to prove that it is) than either recipe because I'm not a super fan of rich coconutty soup (there's that word... see... must be a real word) and have added some extra ingedients for yumminess factor and as a bit more "chew" when you are having very few calories that day.


 

  • 1-2 tablespoons chicken stock concentrate (20 cals)
  • 1.2 litres of water
  • 200g of Chicken Breast thinly sliced (200 calories)
  • 2 green chillies (or one small red chilli), deseeded and chopped into halves (2 cals)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (10 cals)
  • 6 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and chopped (55 cals)
  • 1 thumb of fresh root ginger, peeled  (9 cals)
  • 1 red or green capsicum, deseeded and cut into chunks (51 cals)
  • 1 small Carrot sliced thinly (25 calories)
  • 100g of celery sliced thinly (10 calories)
  • 2 limes or 1 large lemon (5 cals)
  • Salt and pepper as needed
  • 1 tsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce) (4 cals)
  • 2 teaspoons of dried coconut milk powder (100 cals)
  • 2-4 Bok Choy roughly chopped (26 - 52 calories)

That makes the whole soup is a touch over 500 calories (530 if you use the extra Bok Choy) - that means a substantial meal (1/2 each) for 250 calories per person, or 4 shares for only 125 calories!



How to make it....
  • Peel the zest THINLY from the limes or lemon (carefully using a potato peeler) and add to the TM Bowl - keep the fruit, you'll need the juice.
  • add the garlic, chilli and ginger into the TM bowl along with the lemon zest, chop the lot on speed 7 for 5 seconds - scrape down
  • add the spring onions and capsicum - chop on speed 4 for 4 seconds - scrape down.
  • Add the water, the stock paste, the fish sauce, the dried coconut milk powder and the juice of the 2 limes or 1 lemon, into the bowl.  
  • Insert the simmer basket
  • Into the simmer basket, add the chicken, carrot and celery.  NOT the Bok Choy!!!
  • Cook the soup for 25-30 minutes on 100oC, speed 2 REVERSE.  
  • After the cooking time, make sure that the chicken is well cooked - you may need to stir and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • IN THE MEANTIME - put the chopped and rinsed Bok Choy into the Thermoserver. - yes uncooked.  It will cook in seconds after the soup is added.
  • When the chicken is cooked to your satifaction, use your Thermomix spatula to take out the TM bowl and add to the Bok Choy in the Thermoserver.  Pour the hot soup over the lot, pop the lid on and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is seriously fabulous!  We couldn't eat it all the first day and for the next fasting day we just added more water, some of the Asian Stock Concentrate, some more water and veggies and had it again.  ABSOLUTELY delicious!!


TIP: If you are not counting calories - this would be fabulous with even more chicken and the addition of rice noodles to make it more Pho like! You will need to pop the chicken and the veggies into the Varoma and cook the whole lot on Varoma temperature - just leave the simmer basket out of it completely -  Same  time/speed cooking - but you can actually increase the amount of soup (add a little more stock concentrate of course) to the maximum level on your model of Thermomix and add extra veggies etc to the Varoma too to make a very large meal for 4 or a good meal for up to 8 people.


Dried Coconut Milk??  Just a word about the dried coconut milk powder that I used.  I rarely use a whole tin of coconut milk because i'm not THAT much of a fan... so I found that the dried powder works well for us.  If you have plenty of cocnut milk, use some of that - remember recipes are a guide, not an absolute.  The original recipe calls for a 400g tin of light coconut milk - at 3x the calories of the 2 teaspoons of powder I use.  


If you decide to use the tin of coconut milk and you are counting calories, make sure you add those calories AND remember to reduce the water needed or you'll overflow the bowl.  If you wanted it less coconutty (absolutely accepted vernacular by now!) I would put in 1/4 to 1/3 of a tin of light coconut milk - freeze the rest in soup friendly portions.


The pic shows the first time we had the meal where I cooked the bok choy with the soup... big mistake... yummy but mushy.  The recommendation above is better.  When we did it that way it was fabulous!!  




Taking Stock!

Posted by Bee & John on November 11, 2014 at 3:10 AM Comments comments (0)

I am really loving the new Basic Cookbook that comes with the new TM5 - but there are a few recipes I just HAD to think about.... then try the recipes just to make sure.  The first was the Brioche recipe and I have just posted about that.  


This post is about the new recipe for the Meat and Chicken Stock Concentrate Paste


First of all - Be aware that if you are using the chip it has slight discrepencies to what is in the cookbook - here is the information from Head Office...

"Meat stock paste (pg. 64):

The quantity of red wine to use is stated as 30 g on Recipe Chip. For the best results, we recommend increasing the quantity of red wine to 120 g red wine as per the Basic Cookbook. ‘The recipe will work with both quantities of wine, the paste will simply be drier in consistency when using 30 g red wine as per the Chip.’

Chicken stock paste (pg. 66):

The quantity of Mixed white roots and vegetables is listed as 200 g on the Recipe Chip. We recommend increasing the quantity of mixed white roots to 300 g as stated in the Basic Cookbook. The recipe will work with both quantities of vegetables, the paste will simply be drier in consistency when using 200 g vegetables as per the Chip."

 

 

 


What I noticed about the recipe straight away, was that for less base ingredients - the recipe calls for the same amount of salt as it did for the meat stock in the EDC - therefore the stock paste would be saltier.


What do I mean?  Well.... 

  • In the EDC - there was 300g of meat + 550g of veggies = 850g with 150g of salt
  • In the Basic Cookbook - there is 300g of meat + 300g of veggies = 600g with 150g of salt

So now I've made both of the new Meat Stock Concentrate recipes (beef and chicken) what do I think about this new recipe??  In short.....
  • I like the ratio of meat to veggies - it will lead to a meatier taste - although I used MY recipe for meat paste for the past 18 months and find it absolutely wonderful, I might start using this new recipe but with a touch less salt    (interestingly.... I developed my recipe about a month before the last EDC came out with almost exactly the same recipe - I MUST have been on the right track)
  • I love the wine and (weirdly) the clove that the recipe calls for - makes it really yummy.
  • I liked the call for white veggies for the chicken (I used a parsnip) and heartier veggies for the beef (tomato/carrot) along with the normal onion, garlic, celery for them both.  It certainly makes them easier to identify in the fridge.


FINAL VERDICT? I love it, but I think it is a touch too salty, I personally would cut the salt down to 120g (NOT any less!)

You might be asking yourself should YOU change the salt??  I can't answer that - the salt (as per the recipe) is STILL nearly half that of the same stock paste sold by Continental and therefore you ARE reducing your salt by making it as is!   I would perhaps recommend that you make it as per the recipe the very first time and then adjust the salt as needed the second time you make it.

Hints:
  1. The first is a question....... How come the stock paste recipes always calls for salt but never for pepper?  I think I am going to add 1/2 a teaspoon of pepper to my next lot of stock paste.
  2. This is VERY useful hint!!!  If your meat isn't half frozen, but it IS chopped into 1-2cm cubes - mince it with the salt!  You'll get an easier and better Mince


How long will it stay in the fridge?  Well... that DOES sort of depend on how you treat it to be honest.  
  • Did you put it into sterilised jars when you first made it?
  • Did you use sterilised spatulas/funnel/scoops to put it INTO the jars?
  • Are you putting a pristinely clean spoon in every time to scoop some out?  
  • Are you keeping it cold ALL the time and not leaving it out of the fridge periodically?  
  • Are you putting a cold spoon in and not introducing extra heat?  
  • Did you cut down the salt?  It won't keep half as long if you did.
  • Do you (worst thing you can do actually) put stock that you didn't use BACK in the jar?

In an absolutely perfect world with absolutely perfect procedures, you should get many months!  I put my stock into 250g jars - vaccum seal them and then put a "use by" date of 3-4 months on them once they are opened.  I am sure it'll go longer - especially with the extra salt in this recipe  - but just use your common sense.  BAsically though... if you are using the stock regularly, you will use it up well within the "use by" (I'd use a 250g jar in 6 weeks)  so that makes the question of how long it lasts moot!


The photos shows the larger 500g jar of beef stock to the left, with the 2x 250g jars of chicken stock to the right.  You'll notice that the paste is a lot drier than we're used to.  Better?  Don't think so, merely different.


That's a Brioche?

Posted by Bee & John on November 9, 2014 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I was delivering a lovely new TM5 (THAT's a silly statement.. I would hardly deliver an OLD one would I?) Anyway.... this lovely new owner decided to make a Brioche... and of course I said "lovely.... I love the Brioche recipe".... Up comes the recipe on the chip and I'm thinking... "WHAT on EARTH is happening with the Brioche recipe?!?! 


It was SO different I thought that it was an error on the chip... or maybe an error in the cookbook....


BUT I spoke to a friend / client recently who is French and she said that the Brioche recipe in the Basic Cookbook is the PROPER, traditional French recipe for light, buttery Brioche!  The one that was in the EDC was an Anglised version.

 

Today I wanted to make BOTH brioche's to check out the difference. 

 

The one I'm used to (The one in the EDC) has Lots of milk, lots of flour, one egg, some butter and some sugar with 3 minutes of kneading. (yes of course yeast too)  - for a very similar recipe here is the recipe for Chelsea Buns

 

The traditional French one has a TINY bit of milk, lots of butter and sugar, half the flour, FOUR eggs and 10 (yes, TEN) minutes of kneading!

 

So what is the difference in the bread between the 2 recipes???? Both are amazing, both have their benefits for different outcomes.


In short - the one I'm used to (the first one) is a lovely light, soft, sweetish bread that is perfect for shapping into scrolls, rolls and/or loaves. The second one, the French one, (apart from more expensive to make and taking more time) is an incredibly LIGHT bread that MUST be made into a loaf as the dough is silky/slimy/soft and would be impossible to shape, although ok to make into little balls like for Monkey Bread (little balls dipped in cinnamon sugar and piled in a tin, then baked). 

  

Do Do Do..... The problem I have with the new, traditional French version is.... the recipe calls for 20g of milk (yes ony 20g of milk) to be warmed for a few minutes with the yeast - well, no dissrespect to the Thermomix recipe people, but that isn't enough to soak up the yeast, the yeast gets stuck on the base of the bowl and might even be killed off a bit by being directly on athe warmed base. My suggestion is to add the BUTTER as well as the milk and yeast to the first step and then warm it. NOTE: if the butter is not at room temperature (ie: out of the fridge) cook for 3, not 2, minutes at 37oC


Another hint: if you don't want your French Brioche to be too rich, you can subsitute full cream milk for the butter, but reduce it to (a total of) 100g of milk rather than 20g of milk + 120g of butter.  The reduction is because milk is "wetter" than the butter is.


I just love the EDC Brioche and use it for cinnamon scrolls and/or fruit buns - it is also a great base for a fruit loaf.  The French Bioche is just too soft/gooey to do this.


As much as I doubted the French one, I was stunned by just how high a small amount of dough can rise!  And how light the bread ends up.  The bread is "lighter" in actual weight AND texture, and will be fantastic fresh and warm from the oven, or cooled then toasted and/or used as french toast.  Yumm!


So - basically -

 

  • if you want to use a light sweet bread for cinnamon or fruit scrolls/rolls - then use the EDC brioche.  
  • If you wanted to have an incredibly light sweet bread for rolls, toast or french bread - use the french recipe in the Basic Cookbook

 

EDC bread after first prove (yes, I let it prove in the bowl)


French style after first prove - see how smooth and silky?  And remember, only half the flour in there but it rose TWICE as high as the other one!


EDC style after baking as Cinnamon Scrolls


French style (in the new Basic Cookbook) after baking... it rose nearly FOUR times the amount of the original dough!


Loquat BBQ (??) Sauce

Posted by Bee & John on October 31, 2014 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I met a lovely lady this week (Hi Kit!!) who gave me a lovely bag of Lemons and Loquats!

 

 

 

Now... I didn't want to say so.... but I had NO idea what a loquat was!!! I tried one on the way home and it was sorta like a cross between a Nashi Pear and a Lemon - yum.. but it was going to be a whole lot of work to get a feed out of them!

 

 

 

I checked out the net when I got home and found this website. I was intrigued with the Loquat BBQ sauce and gave it a try... but really... BBQ Sauce?? Not really... great as a marinade or a salad dressing, but not really what I would call BBQ sauce. What is more, it was sorta blah! So I thought I'd trick it up a bit and make a bit more tasty and useful. It didn't take much - well worth the effort. John has marinated a chook with it today and is going to cook it on the BBQ ( so it sorta IS BBQ sauce LOL)

 

 

 

Interestngly, it doesn't have any onion or garlic in it!!!  I think a few garlic cloves would be lovely in it... but it is nice without too.

 

 

 

Loquat Sauce

 

 

 

Ingredients

 

  • 6-700g of loquats
  • 250g of brown sugar
  • 1000g of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes, OR, 3 small chillies, OR to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1-2 TEAspoons of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of seeded mustard

 

Method

  • wash the loquats and remove all the pips. Leave everything else and put into the thermomix
  • Chop on speed 6 for 6 seconds - scrape down
  • add the rest of the ingredients
  • cook on 100oC for 30-45 mintues (until desired thickness has been achieved) with the MC off and the Simmer basket in place
  • Blend (CAREFULLY) on speed 9 for 1 mintue
  • put into sterilised jars

 

As I said... I might not use this as a BBQ sauce.... but as a marinade, yes!! as a salad dressing? Oh yes!!! It would be great in a bit of a curry too!! I'd welcome some other suggestions!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hearty Bacon and Mushroom soup

Posted by Bee & John on October 31, 2014 at 2:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Well... the journey John and i are on (the 5/2 diet) seems to be working well (3 kilos off for me in 3 kilos - john "isn't counting" but things are looser)... and what's more John is even more into it than me which is great for my morale!


John is home this week after hernia surgery and he is disgustingly healthy... although moving slower than normal (not mentally you understand!!).  But... the good thing is, that he has had plenty of time for cooking and recipe hunting and he has been making the meals the last few days.


Yesterday was one of our "fasting" days and he whipped up this little beauty of a recipe!!!  He is particularly enamoured with this website (http://www.52recipes.co.uk) and got the recipe from there... but has tricked it up a bit, so here is his tricked up recipe.


It's only 180calories per 500g serve with the extra bacon and mushrooms.... only 100 calories without!


Bacon and Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 menium onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 carrot
  • 250g mushrooms (we used Swiss Brown)
  • 1 teaspoon of soy
  • 200ml of white wine
  • 1 litre of water
  • 1 tablespoon of concentrated stock paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • (Optional - To serve PER PERSON)
    • 1 slice of pacon
    • 100g (extra) of mushrooms - sliced


Metho:

  • Add the onion and garlic to the TM bowl and chop on speed 6 for 6 seconds
  • scrape down
  • Add oil
  • Sautee for 3 minutes on 100oC - speed 1
  • Roughly chop Potato, carrot and parsnip and add to the TM bowl.  Chop on speed 4 for 5 seconds
  • scrape down.
  • Sweat on speed 2 on 90oC for 2 minutes
  • add salt and pepper (don't be shy with the pepper!)
  • While that is "sweating", slice 250g of mushrooms (the old fashioned way with a knife and chopping board)
  • add to TM bowl with all the liquid ingredients (including stock)
  • Cook on speed 2, at 100oC for 30 minutes
    • While it is cooking... pan fry the bacon.  Remove bacon and place bacon on paper towelling.  Remove ALMOST all of the bacon fat - saute the extra sliced mushrooms
  • Blend on speed 9 for 1 minute (or less for a slighly chunkier soup)
  • Add extra mushrooms and the bacon

The picture shows the soup with the mushies first, then the bacon added.  There's only about 350g of soup in the bowls... so there was still another 150g to eat for the meagre calories it has!!





The Cook Book Recipe Shuffle

Posted by Bee & John on October 29, 2014 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Oh No!!!  Another Cookbook?  Well, yes!  It would make sense we get a new cookbook for the new Thermomix 5.


Why?  Of course us recipe junkies would say why not... but... i would say that there are going to be a WHOLE lot of people who have the TM31 and they are going to KEEP it!   So... what good is a cookbook that is virtually the SAME as the oen that they would already own?


After I heard about the new Thermomix, I realised I have been left holding 1/2 a dozen of the EDC for the TM31 and I was a little miffed.... for about 10 seconds!  I decided to use them as a "loaner" for new Thermomix 5 owners - to look at and review while they are waiting for their Thermomix and the new Basic Cook Book!


It worked SO well!!!!  Until I realised that there were about 40-50% of the recipes from one that is not in the other and vice versa.  Is that a problem?  Well NO!!  In two words I can say it all.... MORE RECIPES!!


But, you might like to know what is NOT making it into the new Basic Cookbook - and before you go "what????  No Scones / playdough / Tzatziki...." - remember these recipes are all avaialble in many places on the internet, not the least in the Recipe Community!


So... here is a list of the retired recipes from the EDC and will not be available in the Basic Cook Book.

Almond Pastry

Orange & Almond Cake

Apple Pie

Apple Sauce

Apricot Chicken Risotto

Arribbiata Sauce

Baby Porridge with fruit

Baked Cherry Crumble Cheesecake

Chunky Basil Pesto Dip

Bolognaise Sauce

Chilli Con Carne

Berry Cordial

Berry Frozen Yoghurt

(Luigi’s) 40 Second Biscuits

Buttermilk Scones

Gluten Free Bread

Brown Rice Salad

CADA

Caesar Salad Dressing

Café Latte

Cauliflower Soup

Coconut Buttercake

Festive Fruit Cake

Capsicum & Sundried Tomato Dip

Caribbean Carrot Cake

Carrot & Corriander Soup

Chicken and Cashew Nut

Chicken Nuggets

Herbed Chicken Hors D’oeuvres

Chinese style Cabbage and Coriander salad

Chinese stirfry veggies

Chocolate Frosting

Citrus Salt

Creamy Ice Coffee

Coppa Del Nonno

Cream cheese Frosting

French Dressing

Dukkah

Far Breton Aux Pudaux

Fresh Breadcrumbs

Quinoa with Fruit

Rice Puree with Fruit

Ginger Beer

Hash Browns

Pea & Ham Soup

Honey Soy & Mustard Dressing

Italian Style Breadcrumbs

Potato & Leek Soup

Mango Smothie

Marinara Sauce

Mint Sauce

Mojito-style Cocktail

Mulled Wine

Mushroom Sauce

Peach & Raspberry Crumble

Peach Bellini

Plum Cake Crumble

Steamed Ginger Puddings

Red Onion Relish

Rosemary & Eschalot Gravy

Quick Puff Pastry (different recipe)

Rum Balls

Sangria

Semolina with Milk and Apple

Slushy Style Juice

Spelt Bread Rolls

Steamed White Chocolate Cheesecake

Sweet and sour meatballs

Sweet Chilli Dipping Sauce

Tapenade

Tartare Sauce

Thai Salad

Traditional Lemonade

Tropical Splice

Tzatziki Dip

Thermomix PLAYDOUGH

Thermomix FINGER PAINT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


How to wow - bread shapes!

Posted by Bee & John on October 11, 2014 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (0)

A Facebook page that I follow... https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thelma-and-Souise/255867974437307" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Thelma and Souise... posted this fabulous video recently and it really caught my attention!!  (Gee.... what a surprise eh?  a Bread thing that interested me!)

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=866443860034223" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Video link here


I won't go into a lot of detail here, the video says it all - apart from some of the following things I've learnt....

a) it's hard to roll bread out thin and long.... you can do it, but it isn't as easy as it is shown to be in the video - keep going, it WILL work eventually but.....

b) It may be easier to roll out the ENTIRE dough long and thin and then cut into strips

c) It's actually easier than it seems... but hard to keep stopping the video, so I have put together some "cheat" sheets for you - I hope it helps!








Asian Soup Stock Concentrate

Posted by Bee & John on October 10, 2014 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Well... it's our first week into our 5:2 diet (info at the bottom of the page)... time will tell how long we continue it... but the first two fast days were fine for me!  I was very surprised that while I WAS'T eating.... I spent an inordinate amount of time talking about food and looking up recipes LOL


One recipe that caught my eye was an asian broth with poached chicken... looked amazing (and I was hungry so I was already imagining the taste.


So... with no food to occupy my mind and fingers, it occured to me that if I make the asian stock EVERY week it would be a pain to make.... MAYBE I could try to do a stock concentrate similar to the Vegetable or Meat ones in the cookbook that comes along with the Thermomix.... so off I went.


Basically... the vegetable or meat stock conenctrate consists of some herbs, 850g of stuff, 150g of salt and a tablespoon of oil.  With that in mind I tried a few variations of the stock, arriving - finally - at this VERY basic, but DELICIOUS one.  Feel free to increase or decrease any of the ingredients - but - it is fairly strong, without being OVERLY strong now.  Try it as it is first and you can always change it.

NOTE: the ration MUST stay 850g of total "stuff" to 150g of salt for it to a) work and b) keep in the fridge for a few months.


DON"T PANIC..... normally people look at the amount of salt and throw their arms up in the air.  the resulting concentrate will make about 30 litres of stock... and 150g of salt will mean that you only have 1 teaspoon of salt per LITRE of stock... um... if you look at your packets of cup-a-soup or the Campbell's tetra brick of stock, you'll find 3-5 times that!!


So - how to use it??

 

  • 1/2-1 teaspoon in a mug of hot water for a quick broth - your very own Cup-A-Soup!!!
  • 1/2-1 TABLEspoon in a litre to make up a soup for a base for an asian style soup
    • eg: put some chopped spring onions, cook come rice noodles  in it and then add some slivers of chicken and/or beef for a quick Vietnamese Pho
    • cook some wontons in it
  • add a teaspoon to your onions when you are sauteeing them, not only before a stir fry, but just if you are having sauteed onions with a BBQ or hamburgers
  • add as a flavour for stir-fry sauce
  • add a teaspoon to the water you are cooking your rice in for yummily flavoured rice
  • Poach your chicken breast in diluted stock (1 tablespoon per litre of water) - anything actually - even noodles would taste yummy.
  • Speaking of noodles, if you are soaking your asian noodles in hot water wating to put it into a stir fry, add a teaspoon or two of the concentrate to the water it is soaking in!
  • add a teaspoon to the coconut milk/water mix when you are making Quirky Jo's Steamed Fried Rice
I'd love to hear what you have found to cook it or how you have used it!!


"yeah, yeah... but what about the RECIPE" I hear you cry?  Here it is!


Asian Soup Stock Concentrate

Ingredients
  • 150g of Rock Salt
  • 2 whole Star Anise
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of Peppercorns (I used a mix, but any colour peppercorns you have are fine) 
  • 1-2 cinamon sticks (only 1 if you have cassia cinnamon, 2 if you have the dutch cinnamon.  You'll know the difference - dutch cinnamon sticks are crumbly, cassia is very hard)
  • 250g carrot & celery mix ( it's about 1 long celery stalk plus 1 med/large carrot) chopped into 2cm pieces
  • 30g of Ginger root - chopped into 1-2cm pieces
  • 30g of garlic cloves
  • 600g water

Method
  • Add the dry ingredients and grind on speed 9 for 30 seconds (I tried not grinding the spices but it just wasn't the same flavour)
  • add the garlic and ginger, chop on speed 7 for 7 seconds
  • add the celery and carrot, chop on speed 7 for 10 seconds
  • Scrape down the sides
  • Add the water
  • cook on varoma temperature (with no MC, put the Simmer Basket on top) for 20 minutes
  • CAREFULLY - with the MC in place (but your hands nowhere near it) bring the speed up to speed 10 and blend for 1 minute
  • Pour into sterilised jars and keep in the fridge for several months

Variations
  • add some fresh herbs like coriander, parsley and/or a bay leaf.  I wanted it to be as simple as possible - the basic recipe works for me, but see how you go.
  • Just as a matter of interest... I tried to make a concentrated Pumpkin Soup recipe... ugh!  disaster - don't try it!  

So... what's my interest in 5:2 all about? Well, you know how it happens that you hear about something and then again from someone else... then AGAIN... and you start to think about it a bit more seriously? That happened recently and one thing led to another - I watched the show (now 2 years old) which started it all - amazing! there's even a fair aritcle, but I would suggest you read it after watching the show. Show? Yup, it's an hour - but if you haven't heard about 5:2 before, it is going the be the best hour you spend this week! (year?)

 

Show is here

 

Article here


Mushroom Stroganoff

Posted by Bee & John on October 1, 2014 at 4:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Ever heard of the 5:2 diet?  I had.... the thing is... I'm old enough to have heard of MANY diets and have also seen them fall out of favour.  Carbs are bad for you.... oh, actually they aren't.  Fat is bad for you... oh, actually it isn't - and so on.


When an absolutely LOVELY lady, a friend and a client, gave me this recipe from her 5:2 regimine, it sounded lovely and I had made it - REALLY enjoying it for the recipe itself, I must admit I didn't think much about the calorie factor of it.


So... what's my interest in 5:2 all about?  Well, you know how it happens that you hear about something and then again from someone else... then AGAIN... and you start to think about it a bit more seriously?  That happened recently and one thing led to another - I watched the show (now 2 years old) which started it all - amazing!  there's even a fair aritcle, but I would suggest you read it after watching the show.  Show?  Yup, it's an hour - but if you haven't heard about 5:2 before, it is going the be the best hour you spend this week!  (year?)

Show is here

Article here


So... basically - if you eat very little for a couple of days a month it can make a difference not only to weight, but to our very physiology!  Besides, it's only 2 days a week where you have to be careful!   What has turned me around to to actually thinking of starting this regimine?  NOT that famous people are doing it.. so what!  But, I can't get over the very real statistics show that during the depression, the worst years of the depression... life expectancy actually went UP!  Add that to the scientific studies going on... it's made me think " I can do that"  In fact, John is joining me and we are going to start next week.


I am SO not going to be the poster girl for 5:2!  Don't worry, that's all that I am going to say about it!


What I have for you is Vivienne's fabulous recipe for Mushroom Strog!  If you divide it into 4 and have it with 90g of cooked rice - it is only 120 calories!  Viv has tested this recipe over and over again and has perfected it.  It certainly has worked for us the half a dozen times we've tried it so far... and remember... we haven't actually started this diet, it is just such a fabulous recipe we are eating it through choice!!  Not just the taste... but it's so quick to make!!!


Mushroom Strog

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 1-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of Smoked Paprika
  • 600g of Mushrooms - sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of TMX concentrated stock paste
  • 100g of sour cream
  • salt and pepper as required.
Method:
  • Chop onion and garlic on speed 6 for 6 seconds
  • scrape down
  • set reverse on
  • saute for 3 mintues, 100oC speed 1
  • add paprika and the mushrooms
  • cook 3 mintues on Varoma Temperature, speed 1
  • add the sour cream
  • cook 3 mintues on Varoma Temperature, speed 1

Eat with yoru favourite accompanyment (eg: rice, mashed potato) and enjoy!!!!

TIP: I used some of our freshly made yogurt instead of the sour cream and it was still delicious!

What's new Pussy Cat

Posted by Bee & John on September 7, 2014 at 5:10 AM Comments comments (6)

So... it's here!!  We are proud to announce the arrival of our new baby... the TM5!


First of all... the legal stuff.  You know this is just MY thoughts right?  Not official in any way!



Now... DON'T STOP.  If you think this blog is going to be all about how wonderful it is and you MUST upgrade right NOW... well I suppose in a way it is, but is is NOT suposed to be.  I just want to get past all the hype, all the excitement and tell you my impressions on my first day of owning my TM5.

(me waiting for my machine - NOT excited!.... much)



OPENING THE BOX

First thing I noticed when seeing the packaging, is that so much time and effort has gone into the design of the thermomix, that even the BOX has great innovations!  The carrying "holes" are spaced so well it is now ergonomic.  That might not mean much for you, but for us consultants, this means carrying new thermomixes from our car to new owners is going to save our backs.  It might sound easy to you, delivering a Thermomix, but sometimes we are walking for a while, up stairs, down narrow drive/pathways or around little kids - so to be able to do it easier with this slightly heavier box shows me the INFINITE details that Vorwerk has gone to, to make this machine brilliant!!


Secondly, the packaging is all biodegradeable, with eggshel carton packaging - and the varoma comes in a specially designed box.  Pretty cool!!


Then the cookbook!!



Let me tell you that this cookbook is BRILLIANT!  Hard cover, with only one recipe per page, well laid out and with brilliant step by step directions when required (eg: how to layer a lasagne or roll up the meatloaf) it has a really lovely photo for every single recipe!  As for the recipes... some GREAT recipes there!!  I would say that the book is worth the cost of the TM5 alone!


The chip



Unless you have not read ANYTHING about the new Thermomix TM5, you'd know that it comes with a chip option, to have cookbooks uploaded into it.  

Yes, of COURSE you get that too!!!!  What's the point otherwise!  It's pretty groovy!  quite heavy (for the size... not like it's made of lead)  It has this groovy magnet system to connect to the thermomix port - cleverly designed to be at the side of the machine, out of the way of any casual spils or splashes


I used it to make a sponge cake today.  I thought that would be a good test - for a start, my guest for lunch has just found out she's lactose intollerant, she happens to have won the Excellence Award for Patisserrie last year so she'd know how the sponge would compare AND I have only ever made one sponge cake before and am a bit scared of making them actually.




The step by step guide was SO easy to follow AND to manipulate.  In that... I didn't need to grind the sugar, I had it already ground AND I weighed the flours out in another bowl so I didn't have to wash the TM bowl - hterefore I just skipped through to the wipping the egg white step... easy. SO easy.  When it gets to a "step" you can either skip past it or let it set the time temperature (if needed) and speed and all you need to do it get it started.  I thought it would be confusing and complicated, but am relieved to see that it isn't - infact it was fun!

I was thinking of making hollandaise sauce first - see how it's telling me how warm the bowl is (on the top?) that's because I had just given Thermalina it's vinegar/water boiling wash.




The machine



I have to say that I think it looks VERY smart!  You know how clothes can "look better on"?  Well, your TM5 looks great ON your kitchen bench trust me!!


I was a bit worried about how complicated the controls would be... but foolish me!!  Of course Vorwerk and Thermomix Australia have not let us down!  It was surprisingly intuitive and I had it up and running in seconds.  I deliberately didn't look at any of the instructions before trying it out so I could get a real feel for just how difficult it is... and it is very easy.


Now, trust me, you will be getting a full run down when your TM5 is delivered to you so you won't have to "work it out" - I was just going in as blind as I could so I could simulate how difficult it would be for someone without any experience with TM's at all.  It's actually surprisingly easy!  I think if this model had been released 4 or 5 years ago it would have really stumped quite a few people, but now that touch screen technology is in so many of our day to day transactions (eg: self-checkout supermarket terminals) you won't have any problems what so ever.


I've only worked a little bit with it today.... I'll add more functions to the website as I perfect them... but let me answer some of your questions.


Slow cooking?

No... and yes.  As for will it slow cook your meal - no.  As in does it have a slow cook function to allow Yogurt to sit at 37 for 8 hours to set?  Yes!  Exciting!!!!  

Do I think the lack of slow cooking is an opportunity missed by Vorwerk - no I don't actually.  

a) it would introduce a difficulty in programming (the times in etc) that would make it difficult to use,

b) it does the same thing (ie: you get ingredients together and it does all the work) except you don't have food sitting cooking, using power, all day! I don't personaly like slow cooking... everything tastes the same.  and

c) I often change my mind on what I feel like eating during the day - I might have seen a new recipe, or had an unexpected meal out .... and I'd hate to be stuck with what is already cooking!


Will they bring out other automated cooking methods... no idea.  Unlikely I think as it is the machine that's programmed to do that, it doesn't come from the chip


Personal Safety... I think the TM5 is brilliantly safe (is that good English?)  Features from the "warning lights", no heating functions if the blades are moving faster than speed 6 - right up to being able to use a pin to lock your Thermomix to stop your kids (or flatmates??) using it while you aren't around.  Now the pin is a great idea, but it is overwriteable by the factory code (no, NOT 0000) but keep your manual safe and you'll be fine - For those of us who struggle to remember codes - that is actually good news.  There is also nothing for kids to grab to pull it onto themselves, even if they could unbalance it... which I would say they couldn't


Indicator lights change colour t indicate temputerature... cool!




Cooking Safety.... It's great to see that you have so much more control over  the temperature settings - they go up in 5oC increments now, and up to 120oC.  There are special "slow" speeds - no not that it MOVES slow, but that it HEATS slower if you select those speeds - that's very useful for things like cheese and yogurt etc.  There are still a copule of SET settings - 37oC (body temp) 98oC (so you can't boil milk etc) and Varoma temp.  As mentioned, the TM5 won't heat if you select too high a speed and it won't knead if the bowl is too hot (would kill the yeast!)


Butterfly - why mention the butterfly?  Well.... it looks different.  Everything else is pretty much familiar, but the butterfly is different.  Why?  Well the most amazing thing (maybe the most... so many amazing things) is that the person who engineered the Butterfly actually wrote his PHD on the design on it!  He studied aeration and the thermomix Butterfly so much he NOW HAS A DOCTORATE!!  I made a sponge today using it... wow!  2 minutes of aeration and the peaks of those eggs whites were STIFF AS!



Time, Temperature, Speed - yes of course you have this trifecta of actions before it will all work.  Good!  

Time: now goes up to 99 minutes!  Why no longer... Safety! if you were steaming you'd boil the poor thing dry!  

Temperature: I've talked about already.  

Speed: goes up in 0.5 increments, with a top revolution of 10700 rpm - wow!

Display: you can make it brighter or reverse the colours for people with some sight difficulties




Scales - weighs up to 3 kilos at a time to a maximum of 6 kilos AND (this bit is SO exciting!!) you can weigh while you are cooking!  So so SO very handy!!


Kneading

I have just kneaded my first bread dough (Already had so much made for Father's day!)  Of course it kneaded brilliantly.... but I was surprised to see very little movement while kneading.  We all know it is the dough bouncing side to side that gives the thermomix a rocking action, not the function in and of itself... but I noticed a movement... but very LITTLE movement during kneading.  Cool!



The TM Bowl & Varoma -Gotta mention the lid first of all - the seal is part of the whole lid so no more worrying about losing it or taking it out to wash.  I tried cooking a fragrant meal (soup with fresh ginger, fresh tumeric, garlic, chilli, coconut milk) and then left it in the bowl for a few hours and didn't wash it until the next day... it was fine.  The seal will not touch any food, sits on the bowl top that has an accompanying flat surface.

Lockingit on - putting the lid on has got easier.  Not just for people who have dexterity issues with their hands, but for us all!  Locking it on is easier and even firmer.  Very swish.

Size - with a 2.2litre bowl, it isn't too big for people on their own, but offers even more help for larger families.  Varoma has had a revamp too and thats larger too!  What I like is that while offering plenty of space... it isn't so large as to be unweildy.  No, good job there too... gee it's just like they knew what they were doing!


Sounds - While I think that the new TM is AMAZING.. it is worth mentioning that it hasn't been made by angels, using material from other planets with techniques brought to us from the future.  Please do not expect it to do the impossible.  you are going to get SOME noise.  If I had to choose between it making a sound BUT acutally working.... against having silence for silence sakes but it can't do a darn thing - I know which one I'd choose!! 


I just ground some Cassia Cinnamon.  It's something I do with ALL my new owners as I deliver a thermomix so I felt that that would give an indication of the sound.  Now, it was still loud!  BUT no where near as loud.  People who don't grind the same thing all the time would say... my, it is still noticeable!  But I can assure you it has definately cut down those very LOUD decibels.


It makes a trilling beep when it finishes... but making that quieter is like stopping the sound coming from your smoke alarm... safety first!  It isn't a harsh sound and would be hard to hear out of the room I think.  I'll keep testing that.


VERDICT - is it worth it?  I would say... yes.  


Now you might think I would OF COURSE say that... but people who know me know that I am honest.  I would not lie to you!!  I might have skipped answering the question (my business after all) but I will NOT lie to you.  It is worth it!  Besides... heck, at the introductory price they're offering and the good price the TM31's are still getting... why not!!??


But does it do anything radically new?   I relate the Thermomix TM5 to a car we bought recently.  I swapped my Suzuki Swift which I bought new 5 years ago, for a 3 year old Hyundai Ix35.  Now - the car... essentially... does the same thing - gets me from A to B in comfort.  It uses the same amount of petrol, holds the same number of people so - why bother getting it?  Well, it's actually more effecient than my smaller car, smoother and handles better - it has some really groovy features that, added together, make for a MUCH more fun/comfortable ride, it's actually a bit bigger and it looks HOT!  I was happy to buy a new CAR for those extra features that will make my life easier... I wouldn't even think twice about getting the TM5!



So... lets address the elephant in the room... you have the TM31 and there is the TM5 now!!  Grumpy?  Why?  the TM31 is a BRILLIANT machine!!  I, myself, still choose to have it as MY main cooking appliance while I take the new one out for demos!  As I mentioned in my facebook post yesterday... no matter HOW brilliant the TM5 is, there is something it can't do!  It can NOT make what was brilliant on Friday, obsolete and useless the very next day.


Vorwerk has released a Thermomix that is WELL designed, EASY to use and looks amazing - but the most useful, efficient and cost saving feature of the TM5 (and ALL their thermomixes - longetivity!! I know both my TM31 and this new TM5 will last me so long I could probably give it to my grandkids!  (although I'll still be in business and make them buy their own LOL)


 

Just think.... in the 10 years since the TM31 was released.... i've changed states (both physically from Victoria to SA and emotially from single to married), had 3 different cars, have had 3 different computers (or was that 4?) and have bought a new phone five times (all at considerably higher cost). That's what makes the Thermomix unique!  All other appliances are designed for a single year's use and functionality... yes they are DESIGNED to last only one year...  Lets not fall into the trap of allowing people to dictate our spending for us.... the consumerism trap of thinking that everything has to be new new new and it doesn't need to work properly because 5 mintues later it's junk.  I would urge you ALL to watch this YouTube video from a show I watched recently... it'll open your eyes!!!  



 



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