Monday, May 21, 2012

Cashew Macaroons


Cashew Macaroons

These are very quick, very easy and give a lovely sweet and chewy biscuit.  They are wheat-free but not for nut-free schools though.  I found this recipe in a book called 500 Cookies by Philippa Vanstone... and just swapped the ground almonds for cashews.  Too simple.

I thought Macaroons would be hard to make and might need some serious egg whipping,  but all I had to do was mix it together.  Oh. 

Ingredients:
  • 100-115g Raw Unsalted Cashews
  • 250g Sugar
  • 2 tabs White Rice (or 1 tab rice flour)
  • 2 Egg Whites
Method:
  • Pre-heat oven 175ºC and line a large oven tray
  • Put Rice in Thermomix and grind on Speed 9 until it is flour 
  • Add sugar and create caster sugar,  Speed 9 about 10 seconds
  • Add cashews and grind the lot, Speed 9 about 10 seconds
  • Scrape it all down (including under the lid) and add Egg Whites and mix on Speed 5 for 7-10 seconds until it's well combined in a thick paste
  • Pipe small rounds onto lined tray... or failing that... like I did...  spoon small rounds onto lined tray and allow to sit for a couple of minutes to settle
  • Put into oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden
  • Cool on baking tray
Verdict:
Nommy...  but don't do what I do:  "Oh, that was so yummy I think I'll have another....  hmmmm...  kids are still in the other room...  I'd better grab another while I can...  oh...  I feel sick."   Very sweet.

Tweeks:
If I made these with some sort of cream between two,  I'd make sure the biscuits were much smaller.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pizza Base Sauce

Pizza Base Sauce under some Potato and Leek
 
Pizza Base Sauce with some Philly Cheese (with parsley & garlic)


 Kudos must first of all go to Monique from the Failsafe Eating Support Facebook group who mentioned a type of bolognaise sauce she makes,  using butternut pumpkin.  That information sat at the back of my brain for a few days and then when I went to find the recipe, I couldn't find it!  Grrr.  So,  I just went for it!

Normally, I'm the type of person who follows a recipe to the letter before I branch out with variations.  But more recently my confidence in my ability to blend flavours is increasing.  Hey! I know I am no Nigella... but for the purposes of a home cook and with the limited ingredients we use,  I'm doing okay.

Ingredients:
  • 600g Butternut Pumpkin, roughly cubed
  • 2-4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tab Parsley, chopped
  • 100 mls water
  • 1 tsp Citric Acid
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Pizza Base Recipe
Method:
  • While your Pizza Base is rising...
  • Put all ingredients into the Thermomix and cook on 100ºC for about 20 mins on Speed 2-3
  • When all ingredients are cooked through, purée by slowly increasing to Speed 9 (be careful) for about 15 seconds, depending on how chunky or smooth you'd like your sauce.
  • Spread onto Pizza base to serve by itself or with other toppings,  eg Potato and Leek
  • Freeze remaining in small portions for future quick pizzas
Verdict:
Yum!  When I first tasted this, I pulled a sour face.  Then I realised that was the right flavour...  just as if I'd tried a spoon-full of a passata.  On the pizza,  it's just right.

Tweeks:
Nothing so far for the flavour.  Maybe more garlic? Add leek or spring onion?  Could also be used on a foccacia I suppose.  Fold into a savoury bread dough?  Ohhhh!  Stir through pasta?   Tell me where you put yours, please.

Now that I have made Sandra's No-Tomato Sauce,  I think adding some to this recipe would be great!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Breakfast Protein Smoothie

Smoothie Moustache


If I had said 'Hey, who wants yogurt, fruit and eggs for brekky?' they'd have said.. politely...  'no thank you.' (Yeah, sure.)    But, offer them a "Banana Protein Smoothie" (in an upbeat, hyped cheer-leader-y sort of way) and they're in like Flynn.  If they think they're having a 'milkshake' for breakfast...who am I to argue?  If they think Mummy has lost her mind... well....

Ingredients (per person):
  • About 80-100g Milk 
  • 1 big scoop of Natural Yogurt*
  • 1 (just ripe) Banana*
  • 1 Golden or Red Delicious Apple**, peeled and cut into quarters
  • A dessertspoon of oats (or Psyllium Husk)
  • 1 egg
  • 4 ice-cubes
Method:
  • Put it all into the Thermomix and mix on speed 9 for about 20 seconds
  • Serve immediately
  • Double, triple ingredients as needed,  except the ice-cubes,  maybe add about 2 p.p.
* Moderate amines
** Moderate Salicylates

Verdict:
3 kids sat there,  sticking their tongues into their cups,  trying to get every last drop.  Then they held out their cups asking for more, more.  The texture is velvet.  Mmmmmmm.

Tweeks:  
Maybe freeze the banana?  Experiment with other grains or non-grains that don't interfere too much with the flavour.  But,  please!  Do share your results.

ETA...  I have now added cashews....  put them in first and pulverise on 9 for about 10 seconds.  Then add the rest of the ingredients...  maybe add some maple syrup.  It's still velvet smooth.  Delumptions.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

2-Minute Noodles


2-Minute Noodles


What?  A recipe for 2-minute noodles?  This is getting ridiculous.  Nope,  I'm really not claiming to have invented the 2-minute noodles...  but this is something that kids eat and miss; and parents miss because it's a quick and easy tummy-filler.

First up,  you need noodles.  Chang's Long Life Noodles (with 4 dried noodle cakes inside) contain wheat flour, water and salt.  Or,  you could buy Woolworth's Homebrand 2-minute Noodles and throw out the flavour sachet.  No, don't even give it away!  It's evil,  chuck it!   If you are Gluten-Free,  then there are lots brands of Rice Noodles that contain nothing but rice and water. 

Ingredient options:
Method:
  •  In a medium saucepan,  add water according to packet instructions
  • Add about 1 tab Vege Stock Concentrate and combine well
  • When broth is boiling, add how ever many Noodle Cakes you'll need (I just used 3 for 4 kids)
  • If you'd like to, add a few vegetables to be cooked with the noodles or just leave it as is
  • Add a shake of Garlic Powder if you'd like
  • When noodles are cooked,  drain the broth into a jug of some sort
  • Serve noodles in a bowl and add as much broth as the kids would like.  
OR
  • Don't add any stock, cook the Noodles just in water and don't reserve the broth
  • Sprinkle noodles with a little oil and Garlic Powder
Verdict:
They sat there at the kitchen bench and slurped their noodles down.  Maybe next time I'll give the chop sticks to slow them down bit.  Ms D wanted a bit more broth to make it look "a bit more Asian-y".  Riiiiggght.  Whatever works.  Mr JA needed no broth because he couldn't handle both noodles and broth.

Tweeks:

here's another recipe that might benefit form a little of Sandra's No-Tomato Sauce.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Scones



Scones.  Has there ever been anything easier?  Well....  I distinctly remember my not-yet-but-later-ex-mother-in-law LAUGHING at me because after I declared I would make scones,  I then asked for a recipe.  A recipe?  For scones?  You're joking!!!

Well,  consider this not so much a recipe,  as a reminder that scones have always been there for us in all their low chemical, yummy glory.  I have a few scone recipes in my book,  but this one I made yesterday and today and it could not have been easier.  I have served them up to guests with Pear Jam and whipped cream and they've always been gobbled up.  (Pear Jam is an exotic delicacy? Who'd have thunk it??)

Ingredients:
  • 600g SR Flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (140g) cream
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
Method:
  • Pre-heat oven 200-220ºC and line a long tray
  • Put all ingredients into Thermomix
  • Mix on 'knead' for about 30 seconds or until well combined
  • On floured surface,  gently press until about 1.5 cms thick
  • Cut with a round cutter or else just cut with a knife into squares
  • Place onto lined tray so they're just touching each other and brush with a little bit of extra milk
  • Cook for 10-12 minutes, until browned on top
  • Cool of a cooling rack
  • Makes about 15 or so.
Verdict:
The kids love it when I have these to serve up.  Well,  we all do.  They're so quick to mix, cook and serve up...  and easy to top with just butter or butter and Pear Jam or (my fav) jam and cream.   I find them handy for when the kids have after-school activities and they're expected to bring a snack to share or they go into the lunch-box for morning tea as well.  But,  everyone knows,  scones are best enjoyed while they're still warm from the oven.

Tweeks:

You could add some sugar if you wanted to,  but it's not necessary with the sweet jam.