I don't claim to be an expert cook. Or a fancy cook. In fact, I never used to really enjoy cooking. So this is mostly about low fuss, filling and tasty meals, and really just anything I have a go at and decide to share along the way!! My top priority is avoiding additives and preservatives wherever possible closely followed by using whole/less processed/healthier ingredients. But for those who would like conventional options that are quick tasty and cost effective, I would like to share tips on all of these as well!!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Thermomix Homemade Lemonade

I absolutely love that when I entertain guests, it is so quick, easy and simple to provide them with all elements of a meal/afternoon tea that are homemade.

Even just for ourselves, if we want something not quite as healthy as a freshly made juice, but a "treat"that still uses whole fresh ingredients!

Make Icing Sugar, Grind Ice, add whole lemons
with ends chopped off and cut in quarters

 Homemade lemonade.  It is awesome.  If you have a tray of ice cubes, 1 litre of water (or sparkling water, which I like because it makes it more like a real "soft drink"!!!), 100grams of raw sugar and 2 lemons, then in a couple of mins, you have freshly homemade lemonade and have also cleaned up!

Add half the water, Press turbo button a few times

First, you make icing sugar from raw sugar - you see this at the home demonstration.  The great thing about being about to do this is: 
1. You only buy 1 type of sugar instead of caster, icing sugar and normal sugar - if you run out, you just make some!
2.  Lots of icing sugars actually have anti-caking agents in them - e.g. a problem for people with things like Coeliac
3.  You actually get at least a tiny bit of nutritional value from raw sugar as it has some molasses still in it and it has been less processed than white sugar.  (If you want to go better again, I use Rapadura in a lot of things which hasn't been high heat treated or refined at all - I wouldn't use it for lemonade though the molasses flavour is a little overpowering.)
4.  You can use an Organic Raw Sugar and not pay the price for Organic Caster Sugars or Icing Sugars!
Add remaining water and strain through your rice basket!!!
I love that you actually use fresh lemons and don't even peel them!  Once strained through the rice basket, just discard the peels in the bottom and rinse bowl.  It's as quick and easy as that!
Freshly served Homemade Lemonade!
The end result is sooooo refreshing and yummy!

1.  Unless you are serving straight away, remove the pips - I just poke them out with a knife.  This will stop the lemonade from turning very tart within a couple of hours.  I sometimes make some for dinner and if it isn't all used, I can save it for the next day and it's fine.  If the pips are left in, even though it is strained, they still seem to release the bitterness into it.
2.  Make a lemon/lime-ade by adding a lime as well!
3.  Make the most fresh Lemon Lime and Bitters your guests have ever had by adding your bitters into each glass!!

PS.  Sorry for iPhone pics!!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Quick hello and Anzac Biscuits

Alright a quick post today to say I'm still here!

We have been in Sydney, and moving house so all has been a bit crazy between demos and sending my parents off overseas and a whole lot of other "stuff"!!

When getting back into a "routine", we revert back to our quick and easy favourites.  Homemade pizzas (I will do a post on these one day!), curries, Chicken and Cashew Satay with rice and veggies (courtesy of www.quirkycooking.blogspot.com - seriously delicious and all in one meal with steaming while cooking rice), I tried a new prawn curry in Travelling with Thermomix which was yummy, our regular Chili Con Carne, with lots of breakfasts, desserts, snacks and drinks made in between in the Thermomix!

We have converted my husband's yummy easy chicken pie too, so I will post the recipe of that shortly.

But as for today, in view of Anzac Day, have you tried the Anzac biscuits in the Everyday cookbook?  They are delicious and very simple, and I even cut down on the sweetness quite a bit too and they are still yummy.  For those who are dairy free, try the Vegan Anzac Biscuits - Quirky Cooking version - I have tried them too and they are also lovely.

Happy baking!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Hot Cross Buns

As we pull fresh HOT Hot Cross Buns out of the oven on Good Friday, I am so grateful again that I can provide such lovely food so easily, preservative free and with the ingredients I choose to add.  They taste soooooo good and cost a fraction of the cost of buying them, especially preservative free (even using organic sultanas).  The recipe is found in the Everyday Cookbook.

I have made a few batches now - this batch was made using dairy free and spelt flour and rapadura sugar as the sweetener.  The dough had just been kneaded and ready to rise - it looks a little different to Bakers Flour version.

Today's batch I just used rice milk instead of milk and rapadura as the sugar component.  They rose to be quite a bit bigger than these pictured and were super light and fluffy.  Been a busy morning between packing to move, and making, all in the Thermomix: Eggs for Breakfast, Loaf of bread for lunch sandwiches, Fresh butter spread from cream, Rice Milk, a birthday cake for my son's birthday tomorrow, and a batch of Hot Cross Buns!  And no I haven't been in the kitchen all morning!So easy and so fresh!  Enjoy your Easter long weekend!!!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Corn Fritters

A quick and easy lunch idea.  Corn fritters with smoked salmon and salad.

These are great for kids also, and because you weigh in your ingredients, no making extra mess!

This is a basic recipe that I put together, so feel free to make it tastier by adding other grated veggies etc - these ones on their own are quite "boring" but I love them with smoked salmon and salad.

Although I have pictured them with not much salmon and just tomato and lettuce, usually I would serve them with more salmon and an avocado, red onion and tomato salad and maybe a little dressing if desired.  I am allergic to avocado but it's healthy and great for the kids!  Maybe leave out the red onion for them though!

And make them dairy free by using an alternative milk.  I made mine with spelt flour, so you may have to adjust the ratio of milk to flour slightly depending on how large your egg is and which flour you use.  You don't want them so runny that they don't hold together, but you don't want them too thick either!!!

To the bowl add:
1 egg - beat for 6 seconds on Speed 4

90g Spelt Flour
80g Milk
pinch salt
1/2 tsp Bicarb Soda

Mix for 4 seconds on Speed 4

230g corn kernels

Mix for 8 seconds (or until combined) on Reverse + Speed 2.

Then just fry in the frying pan until golden on each side.