Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thermomix Apple and Apricot Jam Brioche

Brioche is a staple food in our home. Today I added 120gm peeled cored apple to the standard mix, which meant a stickier than usual dough.

I followed the basic EDC recipe with a couple of tweaks:

Blitz 120gm apple at speed 7 for 10 seconds.
Add 330gm milk (mixed nut milk and cow milk) and blitz at speed 9 for 10 seconds.
Add 30gm raw sugar and 2tsp yeast. Heat for 2 minutes, 37 degrees, Speed 1.
Add 80gm butter, 650gm flour, 1 egg and mix in at speed 7, then knead for 4 minutes.
Leave in the sun wrapped in a silicone mat to rise.

Roll out using plenty of flour, top with a generous quantity of apricot jam, roll up and shape.

Slash around the edges.

Allow to rise for a few more minutes before brushing with milk and baking for 30 minutes at 200 degrees.

Not a particularly attractive looking result straight out of the oven but sliced up into one of the lightest fluffiest brioches yet! The apricot jam (made in the TMX with a hint of cardamon last summer) worked perfectly with the hint of apple in the dough!

Thermomix Bread with Rice

I'm on a quest to squeeze the budget and really use up all those leftovers, so today I tried using up leftover rice and yoghurt in bread. Success!

A crusty white loaf!

I blitzed 110gm leftover white rice at speed 7 for 20 seconds.

Added 110gm natural yoghurt, 90gm water, 1tsp sugar and 2tsp yeast and mixed at 37 degrees speed 1 for 3 minutes to get it up to temperature (the rice was straight from the fridge).

Added 400gm cheap white flour, 1tsp salt, 50gm light olive oil and mixed in for 10 seconds at speed 7 to combine.

I found kneading for 3 1/2 minutes gave me a nice looking manageable dough. It was a very compact ball of dough and not at all sticky. I was worried it may not have been moist enough.

I started later than usual (when I realised I needed sandwich bread for the next day) so couldn't rise the dough in the sun. Here it is tucked up in the Thermomat in the Varoma on top of the Thermoserver with an inch or so of boiling water.

A modest but not very spongy rise. I would normally leave it longer, but time was pressing...

Punched down into a well oiled bread tin. I've been having problems with my dough sticking to the tin and tried using grapeseed rather than olive oil to oil the tin.

The kitchen was pretty chilly, so I popped the tin on top of the Thermoserver, and added another inch of freshly boiled water.

The second rise was excellent! I popped it into the oven for 25 minutes at 200 degrees, let it sit in the tin for 5 minutes then removed from the tin and popped back in the oven for another 3 minutes to crust up.

There are three very thin slices left now...

Either the grapeseed oil or the less sticky dough worked wonders on ease of removal from the bread tin!

Thanks, again, to Peta from The Road to Loving My Thermomix for the excellent white bread recipe!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thermomix Carrot Bread

How do you hide a carrot in a loaf of bread? Easy!

I've been using the bread recipe on The Road To Loving My Thermomix partly because it's the perfect size to fit in my el cheapo eBay bread tin. She has some fantastic hints for making bread in her hints and tips section. You may need to scroll quite a way to find the bread tips, but it's worth the effort!

Here's a 110gm carrot waiting to be carefully concealed in bread...

Scrub the carrot, chop roughly and blitz at speed 7 until it stops hitting the sides.

Add 200gm water and blitz at speed 9 for 10 - 20 seconds. 

Add 1tsp sugar, 2tsp yeast and warm to 37 degrees, speed 1 for 2 minutes (or longer if your water was cold).

Add 400gm flour (I'm on a tight budget this week so using 75c/kg plain flour from Coles, but decent bread flour will give a better result and is easier to handle), 1tsp salt and 50gm oil.

Mix in by turning slowly to speed 3 for a couple of seconds, then speed 7 for 5 seconds.

At The Road To Loving My Thermomix, Peta likes to knead for 6 minutes, but I find there comes a stage where the sticker vegie-laden dough starts sticking to the bottom of the Thermomix, so I keep an eye on it and knead until the dough has come together nicely as a ball. Once I can see dough starting to stick to the bottom of the bowl, I stop and turn it out onto an oiled mat. This is usually 2 1/2 to 3 minutes for me.

Wrap in the Thermomat (or place in an oiled bowl) and pop in the sun or in a Varoma placed over warm water in the Thermoserver.

It should rise nicely, but I find I don't get as powerful a rise with the plain flour and carrot.

It's sticky so I oil my pan then handle it with oiled fingers. For a particularly sticky batch, I'll rise it in the baking tin and knock back down in the tin.

Knock it down then let it rise in the tin while the oven preheats to 200 degrees.

Cook for about 25 minutes, then leave to sit in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out. 

I usually pop it back into the oven out of the tin to form a solid crust right around the loaf.

Slice when cold. This makes great sandwich bread or toast.

The colour is a quite distinctive yellow, but there's little discernible carrot flavour and it works well with savoury or sweet toppings.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Leftover rice again!

Why is it so hard to make just the right amount of rice? It seems so miserly to run out of rice at the dinner table, but sometimes the leftover rice is just uninspiring.

I didn't feel like fried rice  ... but there were some serious rice leftovers to be used today, so I went hunting for new recipes and came up with these:

  • 250gm cooked rice ( nice and moist ) (8.8 ozs)
  • 250 gm caster sugar   (8.8 ozs)
  • 1 Tablespoon golden syrup
  • 6 eggs
  • vanilla
  • 200 gm almond meal (7 ozs)
  • 50 gm cocoa (1.75 ozs)
  • 1 tsp baking powder

This mix tasted delicious uncooked! I blitzed the caster sugar, added the rice, then mixed in the rest of the ingredients. Baked at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.

The cupcakes were a bit dense and I think I might blitz the rice for longer next time ... but there will be a next time because the cocoa flavour was so dark and rich.

Leftover rice quiche probably would've been more successful if I'd been in less of a hungry hurry and cooked the base just a little longer...

  • Enough cooked rice to thickly cover the base of the dish you want to use
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • A handful or two of grated cheese – whatever is available, a mixture is fine
  • A mixture of sliced onions, peppers and mushrooms (or other vegetables, see note)
  • A generous handful of chopped fresh herbs
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

I grated a good hunk of tasty cheese in the Thermomix, then left half of it in the bowl and mixed it up with about 2 cups of rice and one egg. I spread it over an oiled pie dish to make a base. A sprinkle of cheese then into the 180 degree oven to firm up. 

I did NOT firm it up for long enough.

While the base was in the oven I chopped a hefty handful of parsley with half a red onion then mixed them with the leftover cheese and two eggs. I poured them over then cooked it all for another 20 minutes (did I mention I was hungry?). 

It looked great, but the base was not particularly firm so I popped it back in the oven for another 15 minutes while I ate the first soggy slice. As with the cupcakes, I'll be making this again. 

PS The leftover quiche from lunch was a big hit for dinner! I'm thinking it will be a great picnic basket addition :) .

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sue's Penang curry

I've made this Penang beef curry a few times now since my friend Sue shared it on her blog, but this is the first time I've tried freezing it ready to go.

Here it is, ready for a stir...

And on the plate:

This recipe is such a winner! I was worried that the peanuts might not respond well to being frozen then defrosted, particularly since I used crushed peanuts not whole, but it worked well.

The only downside was that we ate a little late that night and it was slightly overdone ... but I'll be sticking another bag or two of this in the freezer!

Orange beef stew

This semester I'm working extra hours at the clinic and I've started a part-time study load so I'm experimenting with kitchen short cuts!

I've been a fan of the slow cooker freezer meal idea for years, and thought I'd start keeping track of some of our trials...

This Orange Beef Stew comes from the Mama Baby Love website.

I grabbed my pre-prepared bag from the freezer early in the morning and sat it on the bench to defrost enough for the bag to slide off.

The bag slid off nicely, and my frozen goods almost fitted entirely within the slow cooker. I added two cups of boiling water, put the lid on top, popped it on low, and when I came back an hour or so later it had settled enough to close the lid all by itself.

First stir - looks delicious, doesn't it?
The final result looks a little less appealing! I think there was too much liquid - if we make this again, I'll only add one cup of water. I added dumplings for the last 40 minutes or so which I won't worry about in future.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Finished crochet blanket!

Time to update the old blog! Here's the finished blanket that I started over a year ago! Draped over the 18yo, who is a bit over six feet, so I think it's long enough for a throw rug :).

If the ends look a little uneven, that's because they are! The pattern is in multiples of seven, but I didn't calculate that well at the start, so found myself constantly increasing and decreasing on the ends to keep things even ... with only limited success!

If I say so myself, it's excellently warm and drapes nicely over three people sitting on a couch with a nice solid pure wool weight to it.

I can't find the pattern, but it's basically seven trebles, three trebles in to the next stitch, seven trebles, (YOH draw stitch through then draw stitch through two loops) in the next three stitches, then draw stitch through all loops on hook before starting off on the next seven trebles. It's a great pattern for keeping your hands occupied while chatting or watching TV.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


We're visiting Eden for a few days and anticipate touring the local playgrounds. The first one is excellent with a sandy Bay Beach and some new to us play equipment.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Crochet blanket for a tall child

I thought I'd make a nice little lap rug for a small boy. Unfortunately I miscalculated my initial row, and now seem to be crocheting a rather large blanket for a king single bed. Both the teenage boys are in excess of six feet tall, so I suppose I can look on an extra long blanket as some sort of hope the smaller boys will also grow nice and tall some day.

I've been buying a ball of wool (Lincraft Cosy Wool) at a time, and have taken so long with this project that they're changing the colours so it won't match if I don't work faster!

I find the thought of having to sew up a project so unappealing that I am swayed to all-in-one patterns, but having to lug around this blanket may persuade me to consider reconsidering the value of a small piece of work!

We're away for a few nights this week, and I have high hopes of knuckling down and returning with a finished product.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


We haven't been using our Questacon membership nearly enough this year, but it just hasn't been the same without the side show alley.
 This may be the last time Lachie is able to fit in the baby seats for water play. He was tired after playing hard in the first gallery so really appreciated the chance to sit quietly and experiment. As always, he was pretty damp despite the smock.
 Jessie thinks she's getting too big to fit through the activity centre.
 Andy really enjoyed playing vet.
As always, the morning tea break in the members lounge was very popular!

Visiting Grandparents

We are often lucky enough to get a visit from Grandma E in school holidays. This time, the only possible visit time meant that Grandma E and Grandad D overlapped, so Grandma E stayed in Isabelle's room.

The children loved having her right there in the house when they woke up!

 The little boys are so snuggly still.
 Jessie learnt how to make plunger coffee. We even ground the beans fresh in the Thermomix.
It's not often the children have both of my parents visiting together!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Traveling in 2013

Another thing that's changing so fast in our family is the way we travel. Last year:

  • I had six children in the car, this year I have two teenagers who drive their own cars 
  • I had a full car, this year I have full driveways
  • the boot always had a stroller, this year I only walk as far as the baby can walk
  • I had a baby in a reverse facing Swedish carseat, a preschooler in a car seat and a school girl in a booster seat, this year that baby is in a carseat, the preschooler has graduated to a booster seat and the school girl sits in any seat but the front!

 Andy's first road trip in a booster seat - demonstrating the need to double check that it's properly positioned - he's not wearing the anti-submarine clip AND the belt isn't through the guide! We fixed that at the first stop! You can see the top of Jessie's head in the back seat, and Isabelle is riding shotgun.
Lachie's first trip forward facing last year. There's a full car but Jessie is too low to see over the back seats!

 Last year roadside stops filled a picnic table nicely.
This year, a whole table seems empty.

I did a return trip to the Central Coast this weekend to take Isabelle for a visit. There were five of us driving down and only four driving back - the car felt empty! Andy and Lachie spend most of their car time chatting and sometimes watching an iPad, mostly listening to children's music on the car stereo. Jessie spent her entire trip curled up in a nest in the very back of the car reading Harry Potter. Isabelle texted.