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

  • 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
  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

  • 75g pistachios, shelled
  • 75g almonds
  • 130g rapadura
  • 15g white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 140g egg whites (approx 4 egg whites)
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

  • 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
  • 85g honey
  • 115g cream cheese, soft
  • 55g butter, soft
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

  • 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
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

  • 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
  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

  • 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
  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

  • 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
  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! :-)

17 August 2014

Grapefruit and Vanilla Bean Curd

I have a huge amount of delicious grapefruits and was feeling adventurous wanting to make a grapefruit curd.  I went on the lookout and could only find ones that needed eggs (which I didn't have many left in the house and wasn't keen to use them all up on an experiment).  So I came up with this egg-free version and I tell you its something.  A nice big punch of grapefruit flavour in a yummy curd. Definitely not one for the fainthearted, but if you are a grapefruit fan like me (I eat them whole!) you should love this too.

Now you are probably thinking what you would do with this powerfully yummy spread....  well here is what I do... top off my breakfast bowl of homemade granola and homemade yoghurt with my new homemade curd! So good!!! Of course you could also have it on scones or toast. 

Grapefruit & Vanilla Bean Curd
This quantity made 4 approx 200ml jars

  • 20g grapefruit peel (for zest)
  • 180g sugar
  • Heaped Tbsp of vanilla bean paste
  • 2 1/2 cups grapefruit juice
  • 90g butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp cornflour dissolved in 6 Tbsp water
  • 4 Tbsp almond milk (or any milk)
  1. Using sharp knife remove zest/peel from a grapefruit being sure to limit the white pith you get. Set peel aside.
  2. Completely remove peel from a few grapefruits and place in your bellini/thermomix bowl. (this makes the juice and will depend on size of your fruit as to how many you will need).
  3. Blitz on speed 10 for 30 seconds. Once you have enough juice, strain out pulp and set aside. Roughly clean and dry bowl (doesn't need to be perfect).
  4. Place peel and sugar in bowl and blitz on speed 10 for 10 seconds.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 10mins on speed 3, 80°
  6. Pour into sterilized jars and keep in fridge.
ENJOY! :-)

16 August 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup

I woke up sick this morning and made myself some yummy Chicken Noodle Soup and sent myself back to bed.  There were a few that wanted my recipe after I put it up on Instagram earlier, so here it is.  PS. my nap worked a treat, I feel so much better, but am thinking it was a mixture of the soup and the rest.

This soup is so yummy that I'm making it again for dinner.  Poor hubby who isn't a soup fan might not be too excited to hear that LOL.

Chicken Noodle Soup
This quantity made enough for 2 bowls and it was quite thick, add more stock if you want to go further or thin it out a bit.

  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Splash of oil
  • 25g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • 600g liquid vegetable stock*
  • 270g corn kernels (frozen or canned)
  • 1 chicken breast, roughly chopped into cubes (sorry didn't weigh but approx 350-400g)
  • Salt, Pepper and some parsley for seasoning
  • Generous handful of fried noodles (those ones you use to make chocolate spiders)
  • Few Tbsp of cream (optional)
Note: For my fellow bellini users, I used the blunt blade for the entire thing. Thermomix users, you would do it on reverse during the cooking stages.
  1. Blitz the onion and garlic, speed 8 for 5seconds.
  2. Scrape down sides and add oil then saute for 2mins on speed 1, 100 degrees.
  3. Add butter, flour, stock, corn and chicken and cook for 20 mins on speed 1, 100 degrees.
  4. Add the seasoning, noodles and cream and cook for further 5mins on speed 1, 100 degrees.
* I made stock last week so had some homemade liquid stock ready to use from rinsing out the jug of the last bit of stock concentrate. Just use that amount of water and add your stock concentrate to it.

ENJOY! :-)

15 August 2014

Strawberry Ripe Slice

I received 2 lovely large punnets of farm fresh strawberries this week so off I went to Pinterest for some inspiration. I found a Strawberry bliss balls recipes that looked good but I didn't have half the ingredients, so I made my own up using the same idea. Except I made it a slice because I just didn't have time today to stand there rolling out balls! OMG these were so yummy! The bonus for me is, hubby is not a strawberry fan so these are all mine!!!!!

Apart from the chocolate on top, the slice itself is gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, egg free and has no white sugar!  You could use some dairy free chocolate if you wish to or exclude it completely as its nice without the chocolate, or you could just sprinkle with more coconut.  A nice raw slice that is allergy friendly!

Strawberry Ripe Slice

  • 40g sunflower seeds
  • 60g cashews
  • 150g shredded coconut
  • 280g strawberries
  • 40g honey
  • 20g cacao powder
  • 40g coconut flour
  • 50g white chocolate (optional)
  1. Using a Bellini, Thermomix or food processor grind up the seeds and cashews. In my bellini I used speed 10 for 10 seconds.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except the white chocolate and mix until well combined. I used speed 7 for 10-15 seconds.
  3. Spread out mixture into a slice form, I prefer silicone as easier to get it out.
  4. Melt the chocolate and drizzle over the top.
  5. Refrigerate until set then remove from slice form and cut into pieces. 
  6. Keep in airtight container in fridge or freezer.
This is a soft mixture so it wont set firm like other balls/slices.

ENJOY! :-)