Category Archives: Kitchen Tales

Rocky Roadkill

A word of warning – this blog post comes under the heading “Kitchen Disasters” rather than “Recipes you’ll Love”. Not a great one to break the long drought of blog posts lately, but one that might possibly show you that I am far from domestic goddess today.

The festive season is upon us and saying it has been a busy week or two would be a huge understatement. It’s Friday afternoon, the kids have come home and are behaving quietly in their rooms,  and in an attempt to bring on the weekend I thought I would embark on a bit of festive cooking.

“Bring a plate of something sweet”, the invitation to Year Three Parents drinks said, so I thought Rocky Road would be a good one to make. Everyone loves a bit of Rocky Road right?

I followed the recipe but found myself getting deeper and deeper into a mess with each step!

First up was roughly chop marshmallows. No problem. Thermie can do that and it’ll be really quick and easy. Well, if you want a huge single lump of sticky marshmallow, it was great. Meanwhile I have the coconut and slivered almonds in the oven toasting. My next brain wave was to coat the marshmallow in the coconut to make it separate into bits now that I had rechopped it by hand. Good idea in theory, but I had it everywhere. All over my hands, stuck on the board, the knife and still pretty much sticking together in one big lump.

Press on Kylie, it’ll be ok! Next step, add the toasted nuts and chopped Turkish Delight and set aside until needed. In go the nuts, in goes the Turkish Delight. Now melt the chocolate. I set the Thermomix to work on the chocolate without a problem and turned back to my nutty, turkish, marshmallow mixture. Just when I thought I was getting somewhere, the hot nuts have now melted the marshmallow and the turkish delight and it is a bowl of sweet, gooey slop.

Chocolate melted. Pour that into the mixture and it further melts the mess and we have Rocky Road!

This is what it should look like…

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… and what it actually looks like.

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Here we have Rocky Roadkill.  NOT going to Year Three Drinks tomorrow night. Suddenly I’m not feeling so festive anymore. I’ve lost my Christmas mojo. I’m sure it will return…it MUST! I have too many gifts and offerings to make over the coming weeks. I will post again when I have success.

A note to you all, don’t let your hot nuts touch the marshmallow. That’s my tip for today!

Thermomix Broccoli Soup

I just love the ease of a quick lunch using the Thermomix.

Today I made Broccoli Soup which was adapted from a Donna Hay recipe. I had it in the pot in 2 minutes, cooking for 15 and then it was done! Lunch ready!

In fact, it was so quick I had time to upload it to the Recipe Community. Here is the link: Broccoli Soup

I was going to take a photo but I had eaten it all before I remembered!! Oops!

I hope you enjoy this super quick soup.

Date and Lime Cake

I’m busy doing some baking for Easter tonight. I think just knowing that I have four days ahead without any commitments has made me feel like I have all the time in the world for baking. So, after my second batch of Hot Cross Buns – much better than the first batch and very yummy – I have made the Date and Lime Cake from the Thermomix Budget Busters booklet.

In a word…interesting.

The recipe was easy and it baked nicely. But…you sensed there was a but coming… the lime was a bit of a problem.

I must admit I hesitated on reading the recipe, but decided to give it a go according to the method. You have to whizz up the whole lime with dates in the first step. As I predicted, the lime didn’t blitz finely enough. Despite scraping down the sides of the TM bowl and blitzing it further, that zest wasn’t really zest. It was still peel in my eyes.

The cake has a nice texture, but it’s bitter. Left a dreadful aftertaste.  It’s going to see the inside of the bin before the night’s out I’m afraid!

If you are going to try this recipe, I think it could be better if you zest a little lime peel first (maybe with a little raw sugar?) so it becomes really fine. I think the peel of the whole lime would be too much. Then I would mix only the juice of the lime with the dates in the first step of the recipe.

It might be worth a second try! Let me know if you have had more success with it. You win some, you lose some. It’s just about having a go!

Will a Thermomix feed a large family?

The Thermomix is a very versatile appliance. It’s compact size may have you wondering if it will cater for a large family.
Let me tell you, it’s compact size is a real plus in itself, and also deceptive. This little machine can really pump out a lot of food!

When we talk Varoma, we are talking about volume. As long as there is liquid in the bowl, be it water or sauce, you can pop the Varoma on top of the Thermomix bowl, fill it as you please with meat, fish, chicken, vegetables and immediately you have a meal fit for a crowd!

You can also add more vegetables, pasta, potatoes or rice to the basket inside the bowl, giving you a complete meal cooked at the same time in the one appliance. Set the timer and walk away! The stirring is done for you and you can be getting other jobs done around the house, helping your kids, or even taking a load off at ‘wine’ o’clock!

If you’d like some more input on this topic, have a look at this blog post by Quirky Cooking

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Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

The kids are on school holidays at the moment and I am enjoying a slightly more relaxed approach to daily meals, which makes a nice change. Normally I am a bit more time pressed and manic. It’s a good opportunity to try out some new recipes and in this case make one of my favourite dishes, which the kids hadn’t tried before.

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls are simple to make and are fresh, tasty and healthy. It’s a fantastic dish to make in summer and saves you slaving over a hot stove. Just arm yourself with the freshest ingredients and off you go. The kids can join in to help make them as well!

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The rice paper is cheap and can be bought at the supermarket or an Asian Grocer. You must soak each sheet in warm water to soften it and then they are ready to be filled with whatever filling you desire.

I used shredded BBQ chicken to save cooking and added capsicum, carrot, bean sprouts, coriander and mint from my garden.

You could also use cucumber, prawns, vermicelli noodles, wombok cabbage or snow peas.

They are fantastic with a chilli dipping sauce. Although the dipping sauce in the recipe is wonderful, I didn’t follow the recipe this time, but instead just used sweet chilli sauce with a dash of oyster sauce mixed in. It does the job when you are in a hurry. The only hurry I was in was a hurry to start eating them!

Here is the recipe I based mine on. Its from the Women’s Weekly ” New Finger Food” book, which I have had for a while so probably not so new anymore. The page is splattered with sauce…a good sign of a well used recipe!

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

Ingredients

1 tblsp peanut oil

2 chicken breast fillets

24 rice paper sheets

1 small red capsicum, sliced thinly

1 1/4 cups bean sprouts

1 cup firmly packed mint leaves

1 cup firmly packed coriander leaves

Dipping Sauce:

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tblps fish sauce

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup oyster sauce

1/4 cup finely grated palm sugar

2 thai red chillies, seeded and finely chopped

Method

Heat oil in small frying pan. Cook chicken until browned all over and cooked through. Stand 10 mins, slice thinly into 24 pieces.

Place one sheet of rice paper in medium bowl of warm water until just softened, carefully lift from water. Place on board and pat dry with absorbent paper. Place filling ingredients in the middle, fold in ends of rice paper and roll up to enclose filling. Serve cold with dipping sauce.

Sauce:

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Refrigerate until cold.

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Homemade Mayonnaise

There is nothing quite like the taste of homemade mayonnaise and I have just made some for the first time ever!

The recipe is from the Everyday Cookbook for the Thermomix and its reputation preceded it. Most makers of the mayo absolutely rave about it, but then I have read other forums and Facebook pages in which many attempt it but don’t succeed. It appeared the elements must be at the correct temperature and all the stars must be aligned for it to emulsify, so I set out yesterday for my first attempt.

Eggs out of fridge, everything at room temperature,check. Followed recipe precisely, check. Made mayonnaise…well, no. I did make a big runny oily mess though, which looked nothing like mayonnaise. I felt so disheartened.

Determined not to let the mayo beat me (excuse the pun!) I decided to try again today. Basically I did everything the same as yesterday but the egg and mustard were DEFINITELY at room temp (that’s the only thing I can think of that I did wrong the first time).

When I opened my Thermomix at the end, I was cheering to see gorgeous creamy mayonnaise that tastes amazing! No sore arms from whisking to save your life. That fab little machine did it’s thing for 5 minutes and voila! I can’t wait to add it to a sandwich, or dip a piece of crumbed fish in it!

Here is a link to the recipe – Mayonnaise from the EDC

This recipe says to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil but I think the taste is too strong. I used sunflower oil, or I believe grapeseed oil is fine too. I didn’t add garlic this time, or the egg white and it turned out perfectly. Don’t add to much salt. It doesn’t need it.

I am keen to try out various other variations now because I’m sure I will be making this regularly!

Do you have a favourite mayonnaise flavour?

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The Turkey Part 3

In response to my European Turkey post, mother-in-law called up and Mission Removal of Large Turkey from Freezer was set in motion. She even picked up the kids from school on the way. My kind of mission!

I was in the middle of a baking fest when she arrived. It’s the local Cub Cake Stall this morning. I’ve baked 5 cakes and cannot believe I am awake at 5am (why??) and am contemplating another two dozen cupcakes. The Thermomix kind of does that to you.

I’ve baked the Easy Chocolate Cake with Chocolate icing, Orange Cake with Orange icing, Apple and Cinnamon Teacakes and Carribbean Carrot Cakes with Cream Cheese icing. I love Cream Cheese icing. Isn’t it the best?

Anyway, we had a cuppa and got planning the menu for our Christmas Eve family celebration. Chat, chat, chat, natter,natter, natter. Very productive. I waved her off, hubby came home with takeaway for dinner. How nice!

Until the phone rang. Mother-in-law.
“I’ve only just realized that the turkey is still in your freezer”.

Whaaaat?! Noooooo! Wasn’t that the entire point of the visit? Pick up very large turkey. Create oodles of room in freezer again.

I’m stuck with it for another week! Too much chatting about the Thermomix and not enough Turkey Action.

Like I said, The Thermomix does that to you.

But my cakes look pretty…

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