30 December 2014

Free Printable Household Organiser

The new year is almost here and I am planning on being more organised in 2015.  Searching pinterest there are heaps of printables but I couldn't seem to find any that suit my needs. So I decided to just make my own and once I started I realised 60 pages later that be nice to share them. A few pages I've shared previously but have given them a new fresh look.






















 The pack includes:
  • Cover Page
  • Weekly Menu Planner
  • Food Stock Inventory
  • Shopping List
  • Recipe to Remember
  • To Do List
  • Cleaning Schedule
  • Handy Tips
  • Bucket Lists for 2015
  • Weight Loss Motivation Chart (with example page)
  • Warranty Information
  • Website Tracker
  • Bill Payment Reminder (with example page)
  • Saving Schedule
  • Budget Worksheet (with example page)
  • Important Contacts (3 pages)
  • Birthdays & Anniversaries
  • Contacts A-Z (1 page per letter)
  • Calendar (1 page per month)
60 pages to print and use as you wish.  Some pages you could laminate so you don't have to keep printing them out, my laminator broke so until I find a new cheap one I'll just keep printing :-)

I hope they come in handy for you to help stay motivated, keep organised and save money in 2015.

Download pack here.

ENJOY!  :-)

13 December 2014

Chicken & Cashew with rice

I was craving chinese for dinner tonight, but hate paying for take away when I can make it for about a third of the cost. Plus I prefer my own cooking as I know whats in it and the conditions in which it was made.  I never used to think about food prep much but recently was listening to a conversation about the state of some commercial kitchens.  It was enough to turn me off eating out ever again!!!  So between that and the cost factor (and to be honest being too lazy to get dressed appropriately for going out to buy take away on a lazy Saturday drizzly evening), I dragged myself off the couch and made this chinese dish for dinner and I'm so glad I did as it was amazing!!!!  Luckily I also wrote down what I used so I could share the love here with you all too.






















Chicken & Cashew with rice
Serves 2 - could easily double recipe for more, or add extra veggies to fill it up

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chinese five spice
  • 2 Tbsp plain flour
  • Salt & Pepper to season the flour
  • 1 large chicken breast, cut into 3-4cm cubes
  • 2 Tbsp oil of choice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed (or heaped tsp of minced garlic)
  • 1 zucchini, large rounds then cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • Rice of choice
Method:
  1. Set rice to cook before you start as rice normally takes 25mins and this dish only takes 15-17mins so you want to make sure they are both ready at the same time.
  2. In a small bowl mix the first 4 ingredients together to make the 'sauce' and set it aside.
  3. In a ziplock bag place the flour, salt, pepper and chicken cubes and mix around to coat the chicken, set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a frypan on med-hot and add the garlic and chicken and cook for 8-10mins until nice and browned and chicken is mostly cooked.
  5. Reduce the temperature to medium and add the cashews, zucchini and vinegar and mix around with wooden spoon to coat all pieces and cook for another minute or two.
  6. Add the 'sauce', stir to coat and then add the 2 Tbsp of water to give some more wetness (if so desired).  
  7. Stir around mixture while cooking for a further 2-3 minutes and then remove from heat and serve immediately with rice.
I am definitely doubling this recipe next time as hubby went looking for more.  This is going on the menu roster again for next week!

ENJOY! :-)

10 December 2014

Nut and Date FREE bliss balls

I was lucky enough to be gifted a huge bucket of sulatanas this week and since I was out of dates I decided to put them to good use and make a nut and date free bliss ball.  Like I've always said, you can never have too many ideas for bliss balls, and these are perfect for school lunchboxes as they are nut free!!!!






















Nut & Date Free Bliss Balls

Ingredients:
  • 150g sunflower seeds
  • 150g shredded coconut
  • 150g sultanas
  • 100g frozen blackberries (or any type of berry)
  • 25g cocoa powder (or cacao)
Method:
  1. Blitz the seeds & coconut on speed 7 for 7 seconds in thermomix.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blitz on speed 7 for 25 seconds.
  3. Roll into balls (using damp but not too wet hands works best)
  4. Allow to set in fridge and store in an air tight container in the fridge or freezer.
A yummy and healthy snack, whats not to love!

ENJOY!  :-)

05 December 2014

Spinach & Feta Chicken Meatballs

Tonight was one of those "I have no idea what to cook for dinner" nights.  Poking my head into the fridge I see a few ingredients that I needed to use up and thought why not just try something out.  OMG so glad I did as it tasted amazing!






















Spinach & Feta Meatballs

Ingredients:
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 small brown onion
  • 300g chicken breast
  • Handful of baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 piece of feta
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and have a baking tray with silicone mat/or baking paper ready.
  2. Blitz garlic & onion on speed 7 for 3 seconds.
  3. Scrape down sides and add chicken breast, cut into 2-3 chunky sized pieces, blitz on speed 7 for 6 seconds.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and blitz together speed 6 for 3-4 seconds.
  5. Scoop out spoonfuls of mixture and roll into balls.
  6. I quickly browned my meatballs in a hot and lightly oiled frypan for 2-3 mins first then placed on the baking tray and cooked in the oven for 10-15mins, you could just place straight into oven and bake for 20-25mins.  
I served the meatballs on salad wrap with a side of homemade chips and they were delicious!

ENJOY!  :-)

27 November 2014

Santa's Magic Key free printable tag

Here in hot sunny Queensland, Australia we don't have chimneys, so how does santa get in.... with a magic key of course!  A friend told me about this idea and I loved it and I was all ready to buy one online then walking through spotlight I found a cute set of keys in the scrapbooking section and I thought 'why not make my own'.

I made 2 so I could give one to my other friend (who I know isn't super crafty to make her own) and of course I decided to share my tag so you too could make your own.






















I have also made a Christmas Eve box for Ella that has a new set of PJ's, a Christmas disc, some snacks and Santa's Magic Key, which she can hang on the tree so Santa can get in.  I saw this box idea on Pinterest and have been so excited to put something simple yet magical together for Ella.  Here is what the box looks like (before I wrapped it all up).






















It's really starting to feel like the silly season is here.  Am loving all these awesome traditions we are starting with Ella now that she is starting to uderstand a little better.

I hope your kids love their Magic Santa Key, you can download the tag file here.

ENJOY!  :-)

19 November 2014

Mega Nut Chocolate Bliss Ball

Hands up who loves bliss balls as much as I do???? Can you ever have too many variations???  I don't think so....  I received my new co-op order this week so I have a nice variety of nuts at the moment and I wanted to make some bliss balls, so I did!  These are sooooo yummy, too yummy not to share!  Perfect for a friend of mine who isn't a huge coconut fan and since most bliss balls have coconut in it, this will be a nice surprise for her (if there are any left).  A little container of these would make a really pretty gift (I use those clear plastic containers from strawberries for gifting bliss balls, they look lovely with a ribbon). 






















Mega Nut Chocolate Bliss Balls

Ingredients:
  • 35g shelled pistachio nuts
  • 50g brazil nuts
  • 50g almonds
  • 50g cashews
  • 50g sesame seeds
  • 50g pepita seeds
  • 200g medjool dates, seeds removed
  • 30g cocoa powder (or 20g cacao powder)
Method:
  1. Blitz pistachio nuts in thermo jug for 4-5 seconds on speed 6. Set aside for later.
  2. Add all nuts and seeds to the jug and blitz for 10 seconds on speed 6.
  3. Add dates and cocoa and mix for 1min on speed 6.
  4. Roll into balls and roll in the pistachio crumbs.
  5. Store in air tight container in the fridge and enjoy!!!!!
Note: by mixing the nuts longer it releases the natural oils and you don't need to add extra oils or nut butters or honey to help bind it together.  I love this about nuts!!!!

:-)

10 November 2014

Homemade Gift Hampers

It's that time of the year again where we start giving little tokens of our grattitude to teachers, work friends and of course friends and family.  Today I gave my first little hamper to Ella's special ed teachers as a thank-you for everything they have done to help Ella over the past 2 years.  I made a few things and even wrote a special poem to go with it.  I didn't manage to get a proper photo of it after I wrapped it in cello before I delivered it, so here is a dodgy looking picture of it on my kitchen bench LOL.














 The hamper included the following:
  • Granola:  I bake a mixture of oats, coconut, mixed seeds, nuts, apricots, honey and cinnamon.
  • Chocolate Fudgy Treats:  This was a fudge that failed, turned into fantail style chocolates! click here for recipe/page  It came out grainy so I recooked it with some water to dissolve the sugar but unfortunately it didn't set so hence they became chocolate coated treats!
  • Herb Saltclick here for recipe/page
  • Cinnamon Bath Saltsclick here for recipe/page
  • Peanut Butter: nothing beats straight, no nasties added peanut butter!
  • Vanilla Extract: pure vodka and thick juicy vanilla beans, left to infuse for a few weeks (or months!)
  • DIY Cookies: click here for recipe/page
I even made little labels for each jar.  I know you might use different size jars, but here is a copy of my page of labels I made if you want to use some of them yourself.  Download here.

Tomorrow we are off to the OT and I have another hamper to give for all her wonderful work.  This pacakge was fun to make. I'm sure her daughters will happily help her with this package!






















Ice Cream hamper includes:
  • Chocolate Sauce: click here for recipe/page
  • Fudge Sauce: I turned half of my failed fudge listed above into this sauce by recooking with some milk!
  • Cones: can't have an ice cream without waffle cones!!!!
  • Sugared Nuts: click here for recipe/page 
  • Chocolate Marshmallows: nothing fancy just from the shop
  • Jelly Beans: these are the nice jelly beans from the shop
Again you can use my simple labels if you like.  Download here.

I have a few more homemade gift ideas yet to finalise but will post more as I do them... 

Have you started your homemade gift giving yet?

28 October 2014

Apple Pie Slice

So during one of my many moments of browsing pinterest (man I love that site!) I came across a yummy looking recipe and thought to myself hubby would love that... Of course I also wanted to change some of the ingredients and make it a slightly bit healthier and convert to make in thermomix and wow did it come out amazing! The base is almost like a bliss ball, so yummy! You can find the original recipe here.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we did, just like an apple pie!






















Apple Pie Slice

Ingredients:
Base
  • 100g almonds
  • 50g shredded coconut
  • 150g fresh medjool dates, seeds removed

Centre
  • 320g apples, cored & quartered (I used pink ladies and left skin on)
  • 30g spelt flour
  • 30g rapadura
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Top
  • 40g spelt flour
  • 80g butter
  • 50g rapadura
  • 50g rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Method:
  1. Preheat oven 180 degrees and have a silicone slice form or lined baking tray ready.
  2. Place 'base' ingredients into thermo jug and blitz for 45 seconds on speed 10.
  3. Using wet hands, press into prepared slice form/tray.
  4. Don't bother washing jug, blitz apple pieces for 2 seconds on speed 5.
  5. Add remaining 'centre' ingredients and gently mix ingredients to combine for 2-3 seconds on speed 1, reverse.
  6. Layer this mixture on top of the base.
  7. Again don't worry about cleaning the jug, add 'base' ingredients and mix for 5-6 seconds on speed 5.
  8. Place mixture on top and spread out evenly.
  9. Bake for approx 20mins or until nicely browned.
  10. Allow to cool slightly before turning out onto a board and slice up.
Serve with a drizzle of caramel or ice cream or custard!

ENJOY! :-)

17 October 2014

Vanilla Bean Paste


Last time I made vanilla bean paste I used the Changing Habits recipe because it seemed to be the best option without massive amounts of sugar like other recipes I had seen, however I wasn't really happy with it.  Firstly the recipe called for 1 cup (170g) of maleo however 1 cup of the maleo was nearly 240g so straight up I was confused, which do I use, 170g or 1 cup....  anyway...  My other issues was it didn't really blend that well and still had big pieces of bean in it and I didn't want to strain it and lose heaps of those tiny little specks of pure gold, plus it was really runny and didn't seem to be very vanilla-ery.  So I was determined next time I was due to make vanilla bean paste I would make it my own way.

So here I am to share my version of vanilla bean paste.  Let me know if you try it out what you think.  This is another perfect Christmas gift idea for that friend or family member that is an avid cook!

If you are looking for great value vanilla beans, you can get them through a co-op or I've recently been told Vanilla & Co is a great option. Much cheaper and better quality than those shriveled up, dried, over priced beans you get from woolworths or coles!






















Vanilla Bean Paste

Ingredients:
  • 10 vanilla beans (thick juicy ones, not dried ones)
  • 100g maleo (I had some leftover from my last batch in fridge, use this recipe and you could probably do half batch)
Method:
  1. In a very dry thermo jug, mill the vanilla beans for 1min on speed 10.
  2. Scrape down the sides and add the maleo. 
  3. Mix for 30seconds on speed 5.
  4. Pour into a sterilised jar, keep in the fridge and use as required.
  5. Don't wash out that jug, make something that requires vanilla to use up every last bit of those tiny specks of total yummyness!!!!!  (I made creamy rice pudding with the leftover plain rice from dinner last night) 
ENJOY!  :-)

15 October 2014

Tomato Chutney

You've probably figured out by now that I hate wastage and so when I saw the tomatoes piling up in the fridge I knew soon enough I'd have to make something.  (We are not tomato fans in this house but they come in my fortnightly veggie box). So off I went on my mission to avoid wastage to make some chutney.  I figured someone will eat it once its made, just not me or hubby! LOL

It was interesting as I wouldn't taste test it to make sure the flavours were ok, just fingers crossed and hoped it worked.  Thankfully my wonderful neighbour is my back up taste tester and she said it was yummy but to make sure I mention it has a medium spicyness to it! These would make a perfect little gift to keep in mind for the upcoming silly season.






















Tomato Chutney (with a kick)

Ingredients:
  • 1kg tomatoes, quartered
  • 125g medjool dates, seeds removed
  • 175g onion (I used a mix of red and brown)
  • 270g apples, cored and quartered (I used pink ladies with skin on but any should work)
  • 80g ginger
  • 15g chilli
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 150g apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • salt & pepper to preferred taste
Method:
  1. Add everything to the thermo jug and blitz for 8 seconds on speed 6.
  2. Cook for 45mins, Varoma temp, Speed 1, reverse. Use the basket on top instead of the MC to prevent splatter.
  3. Pour mixture into sterilised jars and cool before storing in the fridge.
Then if you are like me and don't eat tomatoes or chutney, find someone to give them too! :-)

ENJOY!  :-)

10 October 2014

Choc Chip Cookie Cake Bars

I have been making these cookie cake bars as a treat for a few years now but haven't made one in ages. So when I saw it during a flick thru my old recipes I instantly knew what treat I was making for hubby to make up for the awful take out I made him eat.  I call them cookie cake bars as they aren't quite a normal cake, and not quite a cookie, its a bit of both cut into a bar/slice depending on the size portion you want!

I put up a picture of my dessert plate on Instagram and Facebook last night and seemed many wanted the recipe, so here it is for you to make for your family and friends!






















Choc Chip Cookie Cake Bars

Ingredients:
  • 100g butter
  • 100g rapadura
  • Splash vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 150g SR Flour
  • 55g chocolate chunks/chips
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and have a slice form ready (I use my Tupperware silicone slice form that is approx 32cm x 17cm as its so much easier to get things out of and no issues with sticking baking paper)
  2. In a microwave proof jug, melt butter and while still warm, mix in the rapadura so it melts a little. (I just use a normal metal spoon for this recipe as it only takes minutes)
  3. Add remaining ingredients except chocolate chunks/chips and mix until all combined and a nice smooth batter is formed.
  4. Spread evenly into the slice form and sprinkle chocolate chunks/chips across the top.
  5. Bake for approx 10-15mins depending on your oven.
  6. Turn out onto a board and slice into bars (size of your choice).
  7. Best served warm with preferred toppings, however leftovers can be stored once cool in an airtight container in fridge or freezer (use within a day or two if in the fridge).
ENJOY!  :-)

30 September 2014

Cheese & Garlic Biscuits

I was playing around with some leftover ingredients the other day and made these super yummy savoury biscuits. They are so good, and perfect timing as lately I've been craving savoury more than sweet.  These freeze really well, all they need is a 30second nuke in the microwave and they are ready to go!






















Cheese & Garlic Biscuits

Ingredients:
  • 400g of SR flour
  • 150g herb & garlic butter (homemade) - cold and roughly chopped
  • 200g cheese, grated
  • 320g sour cream
  • 200g milk 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Sweet paprika (optional for topping)
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and have a silicone baking mat ready (or a lined baking tray).
  2. Place flour and butter into thermo jug and blitz on speed 8 for 5 seconds.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix speed 6 for 10 seconds.
  4. Then knead for 1min (mixture will be quite sticky but kneading will bring it altogether)
  5. Spoon mixture into rustic looking dobs on a silicone baking mat and brush tops with some milk and if you want sprinkle some sweet paprika on the tops for a bit of extra flavour.
  6. Bake for approx 25-30mins (depending on how big you made them).
  7. Serve and enjoy them warm or allow to cool completely and store them in a container in the freezer.
Note: if you don't have herb & garlic butter just blitz up 3-4 garlic cloves and some herbs of choice before adding the flour and use plain butter.

ENJOY!  :-)

23 September 2014

Parmesan Chia Crackers and Beetroot & White Bean Hommus


I realised I had only put this cracker recipe up on my facebook page but not here on the blog for easy searching. Silly me! Well here it is, my go-to super easy Parmesan Chia Cracker recipe for all those like me with a major savoury cracker addiction.  I normally pair it with this vibrant Beetroot White Bean Hommus Dip. Yum Yum!!!!!  






















Parmesan Chia Crackers


Ingredients:
  • 30g parmesan
  • 30g butter, soft or melted (plus extra for brushing)
  • 155g flour of choice (1 cup) I have made these with white, wholemeal and spelt flours
  • 20g chia seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 80-120ml water (depending on your flour)
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees and get a silicone baking mat ready.
  2. Place parmesan in thermomix bowl and mill on speed 10 for approx 10 seconds.
  3. Add butter, flour, chia seeds and salt to jug and start mixing it on speed 5 while gradually adding the water (you don't want to use too much).  The dough needs to resemble a heap of tiny little balls.  You want it combined, but not wet and sticky, making it easy to roll out.
  4. Roll out dough on a silicone baking mat, score into desired shapes (I use a clean playdoh plastic roller cutter as you should never use metal cutting blades on silicone mats!).
  5. Brush the top with a little bit of melted butter and bake 20mins or until slightly browned (time will depend on the thickness of your crackers).
  6. Allow to cool completely before storing in air tight container in cupboard.

Beetroot & White Bean Hommus


Ingredients:
  • 800g beetroot (fresh or canned/drained)
  • 400g cannellini beans, drained
  • 200g sunflower seeds
  • Juice from a lemon
  • 2 tsp ground cummin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • Pinch of salt & pepper
Method:
  1. Blitz everything together until you achieve your desired consistency on speed 6.
  2. Add more spices to desired taste if need be.
We even use this dip as a spread on hamburgers too!
 
ENJOY!  :-)


21 September 2014

Individual Pavlovas

I was cleaning up the fridge a bit today and found 2 egg whites that were leftover from earlier in the week.  So I popped them on the counter to bring them to room temp and this afternoon I made us some yummy individual pavlovas.  I used a mixture of 2-3 different recipes so I thought I better note it down so I remember for next time, while I was at it, why not share it!!!  Oh my first TM5 recipe... super excited!  LOL

Oh and the best part of this recipe is you don't need to wait til you have 8 egg whites to have this yummy dessert, just make smaller ones...  yum yum!!!!






















Super glossy and silky meringues!






















Nice and crunchy outside and soft and chewy inside!






















Individual Pavlovas
Makes 3 small ones

Ingredients
  • 2 egg whites (room temp)
  • Super tiny pinch salt
  • Super tiny pinch cream of tarter
  • 100g icing sugar 
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Toppings of choice: whipped cream & fresh fruit

Method:
I have a container of pre-milled icing sugar ready, but if you don't have any, mill your sugar first, set aside and clean your bowl, blades and lid really well as you need it to be clean and dry.  Then ensure you have all ingredients ready as you need to add things during the process so be prepared.

  1.  Preheat oven to 150 degrees and get a silicone baking mat ready.
  2. Place butterfly attachment into the bowl and add egg whites, salt and cream of tarter and set timer for 8 minutes, 37 degrees and speed 4, don't walk away!
  3. Whip these first ingredients for 3 minutes and then start gradually adding the sugar thru the top then allow to whip for another 3 minutes.
  4. In the last minute add the cornflour, vinegar and vanilla.
  5. Using a flexible spatula, scoop out the super glossy mixture and create 3 small individual rounds on the prepared silicone mat.
  6. Reduce oven temp to 120 degrees and bake for approx 45mins.
  7. Remove and allow to cool then top with whipped cream and fresh fruit of your choice.

ENJOY!  :-)

16 September 2014

Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies

I made these cookies as a little treat. They are nice and soft and super tasty!  I'm not a huge fan of hard or crunchy cookies so these were perfect for me. Plus they are gluten free for those avoiding gluten and refined sugar free for those doing sugar free September (apparently rapadura in small doses is ok). 






















Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies

Ingredients:
  • 55g butter, soft
  • 60g rapadura
  • 115g cream cheese, soft
  • 1 egg
  • Splash of vanilla
  • 20g buckwheat flour (I always have some groats pre-milled and ready to use)
  • 40g coconut flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 60g frozen raspberries
Method:
I just used my trusty handheld egg beaters for this recipe. 
  1. Preheat oven to 180° and line a tray with a silicone mat or baking paper.
  2. Beat together butter, rapadura and cream cheese until well combined.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and beat again for a few seconds.
  4. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until everything is well combined.
  5. Gently fold thru the raspberries with a spoon so they are not over mixed.
  6. Place balls of mixture onto prepared tray and place in fridge for 5mins.
  7. Press down gently with a fork to slightly flatten the balls then bake for 15mins or until browned.
  8. As they are soft cookies, allow to cool before removing from the tray.
 ENJOY!  :-)

12 September 2014

Coconut Cacao Brownies

After a bit of tweaking I have a new and improved version of my brownie, a sugar free version!!!!  I have made this version a few times now and its really yummy, especially with the optional topping of my homemade mixed nut spread.  This slice (excluding the topping) is gluten free, sugar free and dairy free!  Triple bonus points LOL!!!!

Coconut Cacao Brownies 

Ingredients:  
  • 160g almonds or meal (I even use the almond pulp leftover from making almond milk)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 175g date paste (see my homemade recipe here)
  • 60g coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp bi-carb soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 40g cacao powder
  • Splash of vanilla
  • 20g coconut oil
  • 150ml water
  • OPTIONAL TOPPING: I use homemade mixed nut chocolate spread as the icing

Method: 
You can use handheld egg beaters if you don't have a thermo-cooker.
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease/line a slice tray (I use a silicone slice form, much easier to get slice out of!).
  2. If you are using whole almonds, mill them into meal and set aside.
  3. Using a bellini or themomix insert butterfly attachment and whip egg whites and date paste for 3mins on speed 4.
  4. Remove butterfly and add all remaining ingredients and mix together for 20 seconds on speed 5. Scrape down sides and repeat if need be. 
  5. Pour into slice tray and bake for 15-20mins (may still seem a bit soft to touch but will firm up upon cooling)
  6. Allow to cool down slightly before turning out onto a board.
  7. OPTIONAL: Once completely cool, top with homemade chocolate spread and coconut of choice (flakes or desiccated)


ENJOY! :-)

09 September 2014

Sweet & Salty Cream Cheese Banana Custard Slice

A few weeks ago I was craving something sweet (as always LOL) so I opened the fridge to see what I had, only to find a little bit of this and a little bit of that.... so I popped on my thinking cap and went to work inventing something...  As I'm typing this I'm still unsure what to call them, other than absolutely delicious!

Apologies in advance for my lack of quantities, I wasn't actually expecting to have such a great outcome and so I didn't write it down, but it worked and I really wanted to share it with you.  So here goes....

Sweet & Salty Cream Cheese Banana Custard Slice

Ingredients:
  • a handful of pretzels
  • a few plain sweet biscuits
  • couple Tbsp melted butter
  • approx 130ml thickened cream
  • approx 3 Tbsp cream cheese
  • approx 1/2 cup leftover vanilla bean custard
  • 2 small over ripe bananas
Method:
I just used my trusty cheapo egg beaters for this job as it was only small.
  1. Crush up the pretzels & biscuits then mix in the melted butter and press into muffin tin to form the bases.  I used my rectangular muffin tin for something different.
  2. Whip the cream until just starts forming soft peaks.  
  3. Add remaining ingredients and beat until well combined.
  4. Pour over the bases and freezer for about an hour.
  5. Eat as is or serve with a dollop of salted caramel (luckily I had a few tablespoons of it left in the fridge for just such an occasion!)
Just goes to show that a few leftover ingredients can make something new and amazing.  Hubby loved it so much I have to try and re-create them now.  When I do, I shall pop back and edit the quantities for future reference.

ENJOY! :-)

05 September 2014

2 flavours of Savoury Bliss Balls

In my attempt to have a few more savoury snacks this week I came up with these 2 versions of savoury bliss balls because I wanted to use up some ingredients I had on hand.  Hubby was a bit werided out at first but he really enjoyed the sweet pototo ones on a wrap with some shredded chicken for his lunch today.  I had the Pear ones wrapped in some baby cos with some tuna. Plus they are great on their own.  They would make a nice snack idea on a nibbles tray at a BBQ or party with some hummus or sweet chilli dip! Added bonus is they are nut free unlike most bliss balls so these would be great in the kids lunchboxes!!!

These are also a perfect way to use up leftovers from dinner.  Got to love no wastage!  I had a lot more pear to use up than sweet potato so I ended up with more balls from the pear mixture, you could increase the quantities easily enough depending on the amount you have on hand. 






















Sweet Potato & Feta Bliss Balls
Ingredients:
  • 50g seed mix (pepita & sunflower seeds)
  • 100g cook & cooled sweet potato (steamed best, boiled might make it super wet and mushy)
  • 85g feta
  • 120g cooked & cooled cous cous
  • 10g sweet chilli sauce (more if you want to spice it up!)
  • Salt & Pepper to desired taste preference
Method
  1. In bellini, thermomix or food processor, blitz the seeds so they are ground up a bit. I did speed 8 for 5 seconds, do a bit more if you prefer less texture.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix on speed 5 for 10-15 seconds.
  3. Roll into balls and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Pear & Feta Bliss Balls
Ingredients:
  • 75g seed mix (pepita & sunflower seeds)
  • 200g pear flesh with skin on (remove core)
  • 85g feta
  • 200g cooked & cooled cous cous (plus extra for rolling)
  • 10g sweet chilli sauce (more if you want to spice it up!)
  • Salt & Pepper to desired taste preference
Method
  1. In bellini, thermomix or food processor, blitz the seeds so they are ground up a bit. I did speed 8 for 5 seconds, do a bit more if you prefer less texture.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and mix on speed 5 for 10-15 seconds.
  3. This is a wet mixture so I popped it into the fridge for 20mins to set a bit first.
  4. Roll into balls and roughly roll in the extra cooked cous cous then store in an airtight container in the fridge.
I would imagine the shelf life in the fridge would only be a few days depending on your expiry date of the feta etc.  

ENJOY!  :-)

04 September 2014

Frozen Raspberry Bounty Slice

Last week I had a little bit of coconut cream that needed using up and then I remembered I still had all the leftover coconut pulp in the freezer that I hadn't done anything with.  In my aim to have 'no wastage' I came up with something to use up both of them!

Now that its starting to warm up a bit, this is a nice refreshing frozen treat to keep handy.


Frozen Raspberry Bounty Slice

Ingredients:
Layer1
  • 250g coconut pulp*
  • 160g homemade coconut cream
  • 30g raw honey
  • Splash of vanilla
Layer 2
  • 150g frozen raspberries
Layer 3
  • 130g coconut oil
  • 30g cacao powder
  • Splash of vanilla
  • 60g raw honey
Method:
  1. Layer 1 - Mix all ingredients together and lay out into a silicone form or slice tray lined with parchment paper. (my coconut pulp was frozen so I used my bellini, if not frozen just mix in a bowl)
  2. Layer 2 - Blitz frozen raspberries until semi smooth and spread across top of coconut layer (no need to wash bellini jug inbetween if you already used it for layer 1)
  3. Layer 3 - Melt coconut oil in microwave safe bowl, add remaining ingredients, stir and cook for 1min in microwave to ensure all mixed and melted together really well.  Allow to cool for a few minutes then pour over top of raspberry layer and freeze for a few hours to allow set.
Once set, remove from tray and slice up.  Keep in an airtight container in freezer and enjoy a cold refreshing treat whenever you want!

* If you don't have any coconut pulp leftover from making your own coconut milk/cream, you could use shredded coconut and blitz it up with rest of layer 1 ingredients to make the base.

ENJOY!  :-)

03 September 2014

5 Minute Sugar Free Chocolate Mug Cake

I don't know if this happens to you but it happened here tonight. Dinner is over, kitchen is cleaned and basically 'closed' for the night and then you feel like something sweet to eat. Sound familiar? Don't feel like making a huge mess? Me either! So enter the famous mug cake to the rescue!!!!

I've done a few of these over time but this one I made in honour of Sugar Free September for those that are doing a wonderful thing for their bodies and cutting out sugar.  I'm not actually participating but am trying to limit sugars where I can and wanted to share some 'sugar free' inspiration throughout the month.  So here goes...  My 5 Minute Sugar Free Chocolate Mug Cake.  Takes 2 mins to prep and 3 minutes to cook...  seconds to devour!!!!  (apologies for the really bad photo, night photos aren't anyone's friend)






















5 Minute Sugar Free Chocolate Mug Cake

Ingredients:
  • 3 Tbsp SR flour
  • 1 heaped Tbsp date paste (see here for my recipe how I make mine)
  • 1 Tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 Tbsp natural yoghurt, depending how runny your yoghurt is (love homemade no sugar natural yoghurt it rocks!)
  • Splash of vanilla (again I make my own vanilla essence)
Method:
This is really hard so pay attention.... just kidding!
  1. Add everything to a large mug and mix together really well ensuring no dry spots left around bottom of mug.
  2. Microwave for 3 minutes on high.
  3. Serve immediately.  Goes really well with a large dollop of coconut cream.

ENJOY!  :-)

01 September 2014

Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce

If you are on a calorie counting mission or not wanting to eat anything naughty, I advise you to look away now...  Otherwise read on at your own risk!  I did warn you!!!!

One of my favourite flavour combinations at the moment is peanut butter and caramel. Not so much by hubby, so if I wanted some I just mix a spoon of each into my homemade ice cream but when I ran out of caramel in the fridge I knew I was going to try something new when I made some more.

Enter my peanut butter caramel... just because I can!  Trust me its really good.  Its not totally smooth because I used my homemade peanut butter which has a slight texture to it, but it doesn't matter, it tastes so darn good a little bit of nut texture is not the end of the world. Hubby even likes it!!!!

So far Ive used the sauce to mix into ice cream with some crushed maltesers (again just because I can) and I heated it up and poured over some buttermilk pancakes on the weekend. Would also be good on individual steamed chocolate cakes or even a new sauce idea for my Apple Pie Fries too!!!  It is definitely one for the 'treats' list.  A little bit of naughty every now and then keeps life interesting.






















Peanut Butter Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:
  • 50g butter
  • 50g milk
  • 50g cream
  • 60g honey
  • Splash of vanilla
  • 100g rapadura
  • 60g peanut butter
Method:
  1. Place all ingredients into Bellini or Thermomix bowl and cook at speed 3, 80 degrees for 7mins.
  2. Pour into glass jar and store in fridge once cooled.
ENJOY! :-)

31 August 2014

Ham and Cheese Muffins

There always seems to be plenty of sweet things that come out of my kitchen so this week I decided to make a few more savoury things.  First up was these super easy ham and cheese muffins.  Done with good old fashioned hand whisking and still only took 10mins to put together, less if you have some ingredients ready.  You can add herbs or spices of your liking, I didn't this time as Ella was under my feet and wasn't until I finished I thought of it!  Next time I'm definitely adding some spices to give them an extra flavour kick, maybe some paprika... mmm I love paprika! But these work great especially for kids, and because they freeze well they make a perfect lunchbox treat without the sugar!






















Ham and Cheese Muffins
Makes approx 15 medium sized muffins

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 cups SR flour
  • 1/2-1 tsp salt (depending on your preferred taste)
  • 1/2-1 tsp pepper (depending on your preferred taste)
  • 100g diced bacon/ham
  • 80g grated cheese
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin tray with liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together yoghurt, eggs and milk so they are combined.
  3. Add flour, salt and pepper and whisk until well combined and smooth.
  4. Add ham and cheese and using a spoon mix together well (can do with a whisk but easier with chunky items to just use a spoon).
  5. Fill muffin liners with mixture to just under 3/4 full and bake for approx 20mins.
  6. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container. 
  7. These freeze really well for lunchboxes during the week.
ENJOY!  :-)

29 August 2014

Almond & Pistachio Flourless Biscuits

I made a double batch of homemade ice cream yesterday so today I had 4 egg whites to use up.  I thought of making macaroons again but didn't like the idea of that much white sugar as it sent Ella a bit hypo last time.  So I got to thinking maybe I could do it slightly differently so they aren't so sweet.  So off I went using the same recipe I've used previously from Super Kitchen Machine I just changed it up a bit, doubled the nuts & eggs but not the sugar.  Obviously they failed as traditional macaroons, but boy do they taste awesome especially with the left over frosting from the pear & pistaschio muffins I posted they other day.

Even without the frosting centres these are so yummy. Once cooled completely they become super crunchy biscuits that are slightly chewy in some spots, with a nice caramel type taste with much less sugar.  Yum yum, win win!!!  Ella didn't want to try them as they weren't white, but we still enjoyed them!

I don't count these as a total fail, maybe a failed macaroon, but they are still super delicious and completely edible as a flourless biscuit!


Almond & Pistachio Biscuits

Ingredients:
  • 75g pistachios, shelled
  • 75g almonds
  • 130g rapadura
  • 15g white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 140g egg whites (approx 4 egg whites)
Method:
I used both my Bellini jugs for this so I didn't have to stop and wash up inbetween.  If you don't have 2 jugs, just wash up & dry the jug and lid before whipping the eggs.
  1. Have some baking trays ready with silicone mats or good quality parchment paper.  This quanity of mixture required 3 baking trays.
  2. Place the nuts in the jug and blitz for 10-15 seconds on speed 9. 
  3. Add the rapadura and pulse 2-3 times to mix together. Set aside.
  4. In the clean jug, attach the butterfly and whip the egg whites, salt and white sugar on speed 4 for 5mins.
  5. Gently scoop out the egg whites into a bowl and slowly fold the nut/rapadura mixture into the egg whites with a silicone spatula.
  6. Once completely mixed (doing it gently so you don't loose all the egg white fluffyness), scoop mixture into a piping bag (I just use a large ziplock bag and snip the corner) and pipe onto silicone mats into 50c piece size rounds.
  7. Once all the mixture has been piped out like you would macaroons, tap the trays to release any air bubbles and place in cold oven and bake at 120 degrees for approx 20-25 mins.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  (the mixture will be really soft still but once cooled it hardens)
  9. Enjoy them as a plain biscuit or add a centre filling of your choice and enjoy them like a filled biscuit.
Next time I might even try mixing up the nut flavours!

ENJOY!  :-)

27 August 2014

Pear and Pistachio Muffins with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

I received 2 pears in my fruit & veg box last fortnight and I was really excited as I love pears.  Especially in a salad with feta and sweet chilli sauce but since I forgot to get feta on the shopping list I decided to do something different with them.  I found this awesome looking recipe via The Wonderlust Kitchen that I wanted to try but with a few 'my way' adjustments and of course made into individual muffins instead of one large loaf.  OMG they are so good.  I had to hide them in the back freezer so they weren't all gobbled up in one sitting.






















Pear and Pistachio Muffins with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
makes approx 15 medium sized muffins

Ingredients:
Muffin
  • 60g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 100g rapadura
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 300g SR flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 85g plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 270g pear flesh, roughly chopped
  • 50g pistachios, shelled
Frosting
  • 85g honey
  • 115g cream cheese, soft
  • 55g butter, soft
Method:
I used my Bellini to make these, but would work with egg beaters too.
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin tray with cases, or a loaf tin with parchment paper if you want to do one loaf instead of muffins.
  2. Beat butter, egg, rapadura and vanilla until well combined. In my Bellini I used speed 5 for 15 seconds.
  3. Add flour, spices, salt and yoghurt and mix again on speed 5 for 15-20seconds while gradually adding the milk thru the hole.
  4. Add pears and nuts and give it a quick pulse 2-3 times to give a quick mix without crushing the nuts too much (so you keep some texture).
  5. Bake for 20-25mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. To make frosting, simply beat all ingredients together (this I did use my egg beaters) until nice and smooth.
Just like they mention in the original recipe, you can eat these frosted when they are still warm as a nice treat or let them cool completely. We couldn't wait so we frosted a few when still quite warm for taste testing purposes of course.  The rest were mostly cooled first before frosted then put in the freezer.  Even frosted, these muffins freeze really well, so you can enjoy them another day and not have to eat them all at once... that is if they last long enough to freeze.

ENJOY!  :-)

25 August 2014

Herb Salt & Mint Sugar plus printable labels

I had an excess of herbs this past week, some which I was given that needed using up and some from my herb garden that I wanted to trim and tidy. Instead of just freezing them I decided to make something with them for myself and as gifts.

I saw Jamie Oliver make a mint sugar a few weeks ago and thought wow that looks awesome and so I gave it a go. Then I thought why not try a savoury version too, and here is the outcome.  The salt is an awesome seasoning, so much flavour! I haven't yet used the sugar, apart from taste testing it straight from the jar, which was yum on its own (I love mint so couldn't resist LOL) but would be nice in a cup of tea.






















Mint Sugar
Use equal parts sugar to mint (1 cup sugar, 1 cup of fresh mint).
Blitz up until all the mint is completely chopped up.
Store in jars and keep away from sunlight (so I read somewhere online)

Herb Salt
Do roughly the same for the herb salt.
1 cup of salt (it shouldn't matter what type, mine is made up of half sea salt and half coarse salt)
1 cup of mixed herbs (mine is thyme, rosemary, basil and sage).
Blitz until all the herbs are completely chopped up.
Spread out mixture over baking tray and bake at low heat approx 110° until dried out (approx 15-20mins). Leave in tray to cool then store in jars and keep away from sunlight.

I used speed 9 on my Bellini for both these.

Since I was making these as gifts I even made up some cute printable labels.  Each page has a few small ones, for tiny jars like herb jars and 2 larger labels incase you use a bigger jar.  I hope they come in handy for you if make these as gifts.






















Download labels here

24 August 2014

Cinnamon Sugar Nuts

It was a wet and miserable day here yesterday (actually still is today!).  Ella is sick and climbing the walls and I was tired from a few weeks of broken sleep but I wanted to make something sweet, warm and yummy as a treat snack for the week ahead.  I've seen these cinnamon sugar nuts all over pinterest lately but didn't like the amount of sugar it used. So I made some my way, with less sugar. They might not have been as thickly coated as some I've seen but trust me, they are still oh-so-good!!!! I also decided to use mixture of different nuts as I didn't want to use up all my almonds in the one hit. Warning you now, these are addictive... not sure they are going to last the whole week!























Cinnamon Sugar Nuts

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups of mixed nuts (I used almonds, cashews, pistachios, brazil nuts and peanuts)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
Method:
Have everything ready as once you start you cannot walk away!
  1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and have ready beside the stove for the end.
  2. In non-stick fry-pan on medium high mix together the sugar, water and cinnamon.
  3. Allow the sugar to dissolve (don't stir it once its all mixed together).
  4. Add the nuts and mix around the syrup so they are all well coated (I found best tool to use was my tupperware spatula as it was flexible to move around the nuts without being to rough on them)
  5. Keep stirring (DON'T STOP!) until the mixture turns back into a dry sugary coating.  This can take up to 10mins depending on the heat of pan etc. (if you stop stirring the mixture will melt again).
  6. Once nuts are well coated in the dry sugary coating remove immediately and pour over the lined baking tray.  
  7. These can be served warm straight away or allow to cool completely and stored in an air tight container.
A jar of these would make a great little gift idea or even a bowl of these would be great finger food at a party!

ENJOY!  :-)

23 August 2014

Homemade Mayonnaise

I was never a fan of mayo, that was until I made it myself.  My first ever attempt split but since then I have successfully made it with this recipe every couple of weeks for nearly 6months.  It is a mixture of a few different recipes I have come across and tweaked it until I got it the way I like. 

So I thought I'd share my version for those that may not have had success with homemade mayo yet. I use a spoonful of this to mix into my shredded chicken for lunches so the chicken doesn't fall all over the place!






















Homemade Mayonnaise

Ingredients:
  • 1 egg - MUST BE ROOM TEMP (I take my egg out of fridge the night before I make it)
  • 1 Tbsp mustard (sometimes I use more)
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 200g oil of choice (I use sunflower oil)
  • salt & pepper to taste
Method:
  1. Place your butterfly attachment into the bellini or thermomix jug.
  2. Make sure everything is ready and measured as I have found the best results come when the whipping doesn't stop.
  3. Separate the egg white and yolk, place the yolk in the bowl and the put the egg white aside til later in recipe.
  4. Along with the yolk, place the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in the bowl.
  5. Set the timer for 5mins on speed 4.
  6. Whip the yolk, mustard and vinegar for approx 1min then start drizzling the oil in over the top of the measuring cup so that it drizzles in VERY SLOWLY OVER APPROX 3 MINUTES.
  7. In the last minute add the egg white thru the top of the jug and replace the MC.
  8. Sometimes if I get to the end and find I need more flavour I add some more mustard and give it a quick whiz up.
  9. Store in a jar and keep in fridge.
Most people say to use up within 3-4 days but I've used mine up to 14days later and its still fine.  You choose whats right as only you know your conditions, egg used by date, fridge temp, if it smells etc.



ENJOY!  :-)


22 August 2014

Apple Bliss Balls

Last week I mentioned we finally got Ella to eat apples by using a slinky machine. Well after 3 days she was over them! Aargh! But we kept trying then I found I had all these apples that had been slinkyed but not touched. Since I hate wastage I popped each one she refused in a bag in the fridge as I knew I could make something with them later (they were just a little brown from being cut but perfectly fine otherwise).

On with my inventive hat and here was the outcome.... Apple Bliss Balls.... OMG so yummy, and a good healthy snack to have on hand. I keep mine in the freezer so they last longer. You could use any nuts I just used these as they were what I had on hand. If you want a nut free version, you could use seeds of your choice.






















Apple Bliss Balls

Ingredients:
  • 275g apple with skin on, cored and quartered
  • 40g brazil nuts
  • 80g almonds
  • 180g medjool dates (approx 12)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g coconut flour
  • 20g cacao powder
  • Dessicated coconut for rolling
Method:
  1. Using a Bellini, Thermomix or food processor, place apple pieces into bowl and pulse twice to roughly chop.
  2. Add nuts and chop at speed 8 for 5-7 seconds.
  3. Scrape down sides and add remaining ingredients and combine at speed 7 for 15-20 seconds.
  4. Using wet hands roll into balls and roll in coconut.
  5. Store in an airtight container in fridge or freezer.
ENJOY! :-)

PS: Ella ate half an apple yesterday at kindy so perhaps we are back on a winner... we can only keep trying.  Least now I have a way to use up those cut up and slightly browned apples!

19 August 2014

Snack Cones printables

In an attempt at making food more appealing, I made these snack cones up for Ella to try and entice her to eat something different.. anything really!  She seemed interested in the cones, not so much what was in them!  She happily ate her pretzels from the cone once I took out the stuff she didn't want! Oh well, I shall keep trying....

Since I went to all the effort to make them I though maybe someone else might have success in using them. Hope your kids like them.  I put 2 to a page so they are good mini size for kids and there are 3 different colours to choose from. Simply print, cut, fold and tape...  ENJOY!  :-)

























Download template here

18 August 2014

Almost Paleo Chocolate Fudge

I made peanut butter over the weekend and I prefer to make something back to back so to use up all traces of what I've made.  I wasn't in the mood for satay sauce cause I wanted something sweet instead.  Then I remembered seeing a paleo fudge recipe that I wanted to try, obviously it wasn't going to be true paleo, but if you substitute the peanut butter for an alternative nut butter, you could make it real paleo. Anyway, I'm not too fussed on the paleo part, as it was a healthier alternative to fudge thats normally made with condensed milk so I was happy. 

Not only did I get a chocolate fudge without a heap of sugar, I didn't need to use expensive cacao butter to have a homemade chocolate type treat. Yes its not normal chocolate, but its chocolatey so that counts in my books! See for yourself, how pretty they look and of course they taste even better.  Next time I might even sneak a raspberry inside for a special surprise centre.  These are really good, I had to hide them away as I ate 4 before I realised it!

These are going to make a great gift idea for the Christmas Season!

The original paleo recipe credit can be found over on Practical Paleo.























Almost Paleo Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients:
  • 200g homemade peanut butter (this was a guesstimate from what was left over from just making it)
  • 100g coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Splash vanilla
Method:
  1. Mix all ingredients together until well combined. I used speed 5 for 10-15 seconds.
  2. Pour into chocolate molds and set in freezer for 20-30mins.
  3. Remove from molds and keep in airtight container in the fridge.
  4. Don't eat them all at once! :-)
Then just to ensure no wastage at all I added a cup of milk to the jug and cooked it up for 5mins on speed 3 and had an awesome hot chocolate! (see those last bits you can never get out of the jug are handy after all)

ENJOY! :-)