Tag Archives: Bake

ThermoMix heaven….

Easy, healthy cooking.

About a year ago something happened that literally turned things around for me in the kitchen. I met Caroline, my Thermomix consultant. She’s also a mummy with two young children so we clicked straight away over shared experiences.

Together she showed me how this one piece of equipment could help me in so many ways – not just making it possible to make healthy and tasty options but to do so quickly and easily, which of course meant I didn’t resort to store-bought yuckies. And having more free time was a bonus I didn’t anticipate but certainly appreciate.

Now I’m not big on selling things but seriously, this ‘thing’ she showed me, was about to turn my kitchen experience around.

Even better, I could get those nutrients into my littlies, especially my fussy young man, without resorting to a battle. Of course, trying new tastes often results in the reflex spit-out but a bit like the sleeping patterns persistence can pay off and it took less time than I imagined.

Yes, a Thermomix is a considerable investment, but for me it’s also been a Godsend and possibly one of my best purchases as a parent. They also have many options to almost ‘lay buy’ or ‘pay off’ this piece of kitchen equipment. I use mine almost every day and for everything from a smoothie, making porridge, chopping vegetables, cooking a whole meal at once, including steaming vegetable in the varoma, whilst making a pasta sauce in the jug!

This 1 item has eliminated so many from my kitchen. It chops, blends, steams, boils, stirs, cooks, poaches, purées and all on a timer. So no boiling over, burning pans or constant stiring. Best of all it comes with a recipe chip, which is amazing! It has hundreds of easy to make recipes, that takes no time at all to prepare and cook. Well actually this machine pretty much does everything. The LCD screen works a bit like an iPad. It prompts you all the way so you basically cannot stuff up! Easy!

Not only is Caroline always just a phone call away to help with cooking and recipe tips, but as well as a Thermomix consultant I’ve also gained a friend.

Your interested to know more, please feel free to contact Caroline direct. I’ve popped her details at the bottom of this post.

Or jump onto the ThermoMix website and check it out for yourself!

Here’s one of our favourite sneaky veg recipes:

Carrot and Zucchini Choc Muffins

Ingredients:
1 medium zucchini
1 medium carrot
30g raw sugar
130g chickpea flour
30g raw cacao
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch salt
30g almonds
30g macadamia nuts
70g grapeseed oil
2 eggs

Method
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin tray
Grate zucchini and carrot speed 7 for 2 seconds, transfer to a bowl
Add all ingredients from raw sugar to macadamia nuts and mix speed 5 for 6 seconds
Add oil and eggs and mix speed 5 for 20 seconds
Add back zucchini and carrot and mix speed 2 for 5 seconds on reverse
Transfer mixture to prepared muffin tray and bake for 20-25 minutes
Transfer to wire tray to cool for 10 minutes

I like to serve these with vanilla coconut custard…( one of Caroline’s recipes).

These can even be frozen so you always have a supply on hand!

If you would like to contact Caroline to arrange a cooking demonstration or purchase you own Thermomix you can contact her on 0402 483 803 or carolinesomma@hotmail.com

Chorizo and spinach frittata.

Chorizo and baby spinach frittata

This is a simple yet yummy and relatively healthy dish that can be used as a side, snack or meal.

You can also use low fat milk and cheese.

I have cooked this before using capsicum and mushroom. I’ve also cooked it with cubes of sweet potato. It’s one of those easy dishes that can be altered to suit your individual taste.

Chorizo and baby spinach frittata.

Ingredients –

6 x chorizo sausages (I like the spicy one’s)
12 x large eggs (I use 700gm organic eggs)
1 1/2 x cup milk (I use full cream but you can use skim)
3 x cup baby spinach
1 x cup goats cheese (you can use any cheese)
1/2 x cup wholemeal self raising flour

Method –

In a pan brown the chorizo whole then once brown on outside, slice in half and brown the insides. Once brown set aside to cool then slice or cut into bite size pieces.

Whisk the egg, milk and flour until combined.

Add goats cheese and spinach and mix well.

In a large baking dish, pour the egg mixture then slowly place the cooked chorizo over the top evenly.

I add the chorizo lastly as its a ‘heavy’ sausage and it ‘sink’s’ a bit into the egg mixture as it cooks.

Bake on 180 degrees for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature back to 120 degrees and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the top is a golden brown.

Serve either warm or cold.

Tortilla layer cake

An easy mid week or weekend family meal.

Quick, easy and delicious!

Oh and mildly healthy

Tortilla layer cake?

An easy alternative to tacos/tortilla wraps.

Ingredients (serves 6)

1 x kilo mince – I use lean beef but you can also use chicken or turkey mince.
2 x packets taco seasoning
1 × 6 pack tortilla wraps
1 1/2 x cups water
1/2 x cup sour cream
1/2 x cup tomato salsa
2 x cups grated cheese
Method

Pre-heat oven to 180°c

Brown off mince on stove top then add taco seasoning and water.

Simmer for 15 mins.

In an oven proof bowl layer each tortilla wrap with mince, salsa, sour cream and cheese untill all wraps are used. It will resemble something like a cake!

Sprinkle cheese across the top.

Place in preheated oven untill cheese is melted / grilled to desired liking.

Low fat yummy banana muffins!

Banana Muffins!

Easy and low fat!

I can’t remember where I got this recipe from but it’s always been a crowd pleaser and I know they don’t last long!

As a treat I eat mine warm, or slightly heated in the microwave and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Delicious!

Ingredients;
1/3 x cup honey
1/2 x cup applesauce
2 x egg whites
1/4 x cup buttermilk or 1/4 cup skim milk with 1 tbsp lemon juice to sour it
1 x tsp baking soda
1 x tsp vanilla
1/2 x tsp salt
4 x medium ripe bananas pureed until smooth
2 x cups whole wheat flour

Directions;
Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth. Be sure to not over mix, a few lumps are ok.
Pour into muffin tins coated with cooking spray or lined with paper liners until 3/4 full.
Bake at 150 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Tacos / Tortillas!

An easy alternative to tacos/tortilla wraps.

Ingredients (serves 6)

1 kilo mince – beef or chicken
2 packets taco seasoning
1 × 6 pack tortilla wraps
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup tomato salsa
2 cups grated cheese
Method

Pre-heat oven to 180°c

Brown off mince, add taco seasoning and water. Simmer for 15 mins.

Layer tortilla wrap, mince, salsa, sour cream and cheese untill all wraps are used.

Sprinkle cheese across the top.

Place in preheated oven untill cheese is melted to desired liking.

Mexican chicken bowl.

Mexican chicken bowl.

I love easy recipes that the whole family will eat. It’s even better when it’s a 1 pot or 1 pan kinda meal. Less cleaning and less mess!

Here is one that a good friend of mine makes and I’ve changed a few ingredients to suit my taste buds.

Another good swap is by using browned mince instead of chicken and you can also add green capsicum and half salsa half BBQ sauce.

Be creative, think about the flavours that you like and adapt this recipe to suit your taste buds.

Ingredients

6 tortilla wraps – I use wholemeal the medium sized ones from the supermarket bread aisle.
3 cups cooked chopped chicken – I used a BBQ chicken and simply pull it apart.
1 x tablespoon olive oil
1 x cup red capsicum, chopped
1 x can red kidney beans, black beans or chilli beans
1 x can corn kernels
1 x teaspoon chilli powder – I use fresh chilli approx 1 small red chilli
3 x cups salsa – I use medium heat – store bought jars – approx 2 jars
1 1/2 x cups sour cream
1 1/2 x cups grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 x cups grated mozzarella cheese
Method

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Spray a casserole dish large enough to fit tortillas.

Heat olive oil in pan and cook capsicum for 5 minutes, or until softened.

Mix in chilli and remove from heat, stir in beans and corn.

In a medium bowl, mix salsa and sour cream.

Layer tortilla, salsa mixture, chicken, tortilla, vegetables, cheeses.

Repeat 4 times, or until you reach the top of the casserole dish. Top with cheese.

Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and browning.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Parmesan cookies!

Parmesan biscuits!

I made these many years ago and many many times, however have only just found the old hand written recipe. I can’t quite remember where I got the recipe but it has flour on the paper and in parts the paper has gone transparent from the melted butter. The perfect way to tell its a good recipe, it’s been used many times.

These Parmesan Cheese Biscuits are such a tasty (and yet so easy) treat to make for either a cheese platter with a bit of flair or simply to have in your pantry as snacks, or better still pop them in the school lunch box!

They are a golden and buttery, yummy cheesy parmesan biscuit that will be a hit with everyone in your family.

Ingredients

125g Soft Butter (Salted or Unsalted depending on your taste)
175g Plain Flour (White or Wholemeal depending on your preference)
100g Grated or Shaved Parmesan Cheese
Pinch Salt
Method

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and blitz until a soft golden dough ball starts to come together. If you don’t have a food processor, you could use a hand mixer, a stand mixer or good old elbow grease and a wooden spoon.
Turn the dough onto a gently floured surface (not too much flour or your biscuits will be very dry) and knead for 2 – 3 minutes until the dough is a beautifully smooth ball.

Divide the dough ball into two equal parts and set one aside.

Form one of the dough balls into a cylinder shape – aim for very flat ends and make the cylinder as even as possible all along.

Wrap the cylinder tightly in cling wrap and pop into the fridge for at least half an hour for the dough to become firmer (the butter will harden allowing the cylinder to hold its shape better).

Repeat Step 3 with the second half of the dough.

While the dough is chilling, pre-heat your oven to 180 – 185 degrees celcius (reduce by 10 degrees if you have a fan forced oven).

Once the dough is nice and firm, remove the cling wrap and using a large knife (run it under hot water and then dry on a tea towel between cuts) cut the dough log into 1.5cm rounds.

Place each round onto a biscuit tray on sheets of baking paper.

The biscuits should not spread too much during cooking but allow a little room between each just in case.
Cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until the edges are a beautiful golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack until cool.

Serve warm or cold – on their own or with a lovely soft, gooey cheese and a fruit paste.

Or serve them alongside soup (delicious dippers) or crumble over a salad like a crouton.

School Holiday Fun!

Fun for your little ones.

Which school holidays here, I often find parents, friends and children wondering what to do.

Weather they are looking for at home fun or fun away on holidays everyone seems to want to do something.

Not just school holiday periods either, I’m often asked for tips on ideas for occupying children of all ages. So here are my top few.

If you have some ideas you would like to share, please email me, I’d love to hear from you. Noordinarymummy@gmail.com

If you live in Sydney – as I do, are are happy to spend some cash.

Taronga Zoo
SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
Sydney Olympic Park
Powerhouse Museum
Luna Park Sydney
I fly down under

For those wanting to save cash or simply wanting to stay home but still have fun. Yes this can be done!

Go to the library – stay for story time

Bake something, anything a cake, cookies, whatever is in your pantry

Construct something with blocks or Lego’s

Read a book

Paint with water, get old brushes and paint on either the ground or on old newspapers

Draw/Color together

Host a play date with their favorite friend

Dress Up together

Build a go kart

Go swimming (indoor or outdoor, river, beach or pool)

Have a picnic (outside or on the living room floor!)

Listen to new music together

Do karaoke, you can ever use a hair brush as your microphone

Visit a museum

Visit a Zoo

Visit a pet store

Write and mail a letter to someone special

Play a card or board game

Take a walk

Get out baby photos and talk about them

Sing Songs

Take a class together at local art center

Go roller or ice skating together

Tell stories about when your child was a baby

Hug/hold your child

Build a blanket fort over yoir lounge or dining room

Tell your child what makes them special ( to you and others)

Teach/tell your child about your job – take them to work for a day if you can

Have a scavenger hunt (indoor or outdoor)

Go to a movie together

Visit your child at school

Dig out your year book and share about your experiences

Visit a nursing home or hospital

Finger Paint

Take pictures

Visit and learn about places in your neighborhood (fire station, police station, post office, dairy, etc.)

Clean out a room together (basement, attic, garage)

Work a puzzle together

Plan a vacation together – then GO!

Build a bird house

Play a sport together

Rake leaves and play/jump in them

Visit an apple orchard / pumpkin patch or any orchard and offer your help

Plant something

Have a water fight

Play hide and seek

Collect different leaves, rocks or sticks from around your home

Have a block party – invite your neighbours over for afternoon tea or a play or a BBQ

Take a hike, go for a walk, explore your community

Make puppets and put on a show for each other – these can be made from old socks with buttons for yes and simple wool thread as a mouth

Tell stories about your childhood

Attend a local athletic event

Learn about different cultures – get on the internet or read books

Take flowers to a friend

Go for a train ride

Go horseback riding

Climb a tree

Go camping

Have a family talent show

Draw a map and have a treasure hunt

Walk/play in the rain

Talk about feelings/emotions

Paint a picture by numbers together

Go to a theater performance

Complete a DIY project together

Wash the car

Play Frisbee

Pick up litter in your community

Fly a homemade kite

Jump rope

Exercise together

Have running races around your backyard or in a local park

Discuss your child’s favourite foods and then chat about nutrition and the 4 basic food groups

Start a savings account – talk about budgeting and saving money – very beneficial for their later years

Write a story (draw illustrations together too!)

Go fishing

Visit a relative

Visit the neighbors

Go bowling

Have an at home dance party!

Play Simon Says

Have letter or color of the week and look for them together – ie green grass

Play “I Spy”

Act out a favorite story together

Play charades

Listen to music and play homemade instruments together – this can be as wild as your imagination will allow. Use old cling wrap tubes for the base of a guitar, an old tissue box for the base of guitar then draw on the strings. Don’t forget to use cotton tips or cotton balls for the tuning 😉

Start a gratitude journal with your child – they can draw what they are thankful for

Let your child pick out the menu for a meal then get them involved in helping to prepare and cook the meal

Start a collection – stamps, rocks or buttons, what is of interest

Practice/teach something (reading, tying shoes, zipping zipper, sports, rhyming, sorting, telling time)

Draw with chalk on your driveway or footpath – it washes away with either a hose down it bucket of water

Go for a bike ride

Play pretend

Make a collage out of photos and/or clippings of their favorite things

Tell jokes

Spend time simply LISTENING to them.

Make a list of things you want to do together in the future!

Other fun craft ideas can be found at-
http://www.tinyme.com/blog/10-crafty-cardboard-ideas/?utm_campaign=blog-10-cardboard-crafts&utm_medium=social&utm_source=Facebook&utm_content=photo-wall&utm_term=2014-7-10
For more ideas on what to do in Sydney, click the link below.
http://www.sydney.com/things-to-do/family-holidays/top-attractions-for-kids

Butterfly cakes.

Butterfly Cakes

This recipe is such a favourite of mine. It brings back find memories if making them with my nan in her kitchen when I was about 7 years old.

Sadly nan passed away from cancer when I was 10, that is 24 years ago.

These cupcakes will always remind me of her and her beautiful ways.

Ingredients
280g butter
1 1/4 x cups caster sugar
1 1/2 x tsp vanilla extract
5 x eggs
3 3/4 x cups self raising flour
360ml milk

Filling
2 1/4 x cups thickened cream
3 x tsp icing sugar
1 x cup strawberry jam
Extra icing sugar for dusting

Method
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Line 2 x 12 cup muffin tins with patty pans and set aside.

Cream butter and sugar and vanilla until pale and fluffy.

Add eggs in one at a time.

Slowly add half the flour and then half the milk and then repeat.

Beat with the electric mixer for just enough time for ingredients to be combined.

Divide mixture into patty pans and bake for 13-15 mins.

When the cakes are cool, whip the cream with the icing sugar until it’s thick.

Using a sharp knife, slice out a round disc from the top of the cake.

Place approx 1 teaspoon of jam in each top off the cake and spread with the back of a spoon. Top with a big scoop of cream.

Slice the disc you cut out in half then sit them in the cream. These are the butterfly wings 🙂

Add 1/4 tsp of jam in the centre for decoration.

Mini frittatas!

Mini bacon and spinach frittatas!

Preparing your own toddler friendly food is simple and can be budget-friendly. Starting with purees and moving onto finger foods much like these mini bacon and spinach frittatas.

Perfect if your little one enjoys feeding themself.
Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 small brown onion, finely chopped
1 large rasher bacon
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup mashed sweet potato or other cooked veggies (perhaps pumpkin or white potato)
1/2 cup grated cheese
a few baby spinach leaves, chopped or torn finely – approx 15
cooking spray
Set the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Heat oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and cook the onion and bacon until onions are slightly brown.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and gradually add the mashed vegetables cheese and spinach. Stir well to combine.

Spray a mini cupcake tin and scoop in mixture. Fill a few millimetres from the top.

Pop in a pre-heated oven and cook for 8-10 minutes or until the frittatas are golden brown on top and have moved slightly away from the edge of the cupcake tin.

Leave to cool slightly and serve warm.

These will also keep in the fridge for a week or can be frozen, if they last. Guaranteed to be a winner with all ages as either a snack or toddler meal.