Words can not express how excited I was to get my advanced signed copy of this awesome cookbook!! I have been lucky enough to do a bit of recipe testing for this cookbook & was invited for a week of the photoshoot – along with a couple of other cooks I got to cook some of the dishes that were photographed for the shoot. We all had a Thermomix each to use. It was so amazing to watch the pros work their magic with the styling & photography, I learnt so much & had so much fun too. I am so grateful for the experience.
There are so many amazing chapters & delicious recipes to share with you, here are a few pictures of the recipes I have made already & I will continue to update them. By the way don’t forget to check out the official Entertaining with Dani Valent site & register your progressive dinner in Feb to win great prizes.
The day after I got the book in the post – so exciting!!
Kale, Chia, Pear & Orange Smoothie
Green Fig & Lime Marmalade
Rhubarb & Blackberry Breakfast Tart
Spiced Carrot Porridge
Bacon and Cinnamon Scrolls with Salted Maple Glaze
Smoked Salmon Muffins with Steamed Eggs & Herbed Relish
Tuna Empanadas made by my Mum
Chorizo & Prawn al la Sidra
Herb-Salted Chicken and Chickpea Casserole
Peas & Jamón
Steamed Orange Pudding with Almond Milk Ice Cream
Daikon Salad (recipe with Masterstock Chicken)
Steamed Fish Black Beans & Rice (I had to use trevally instead of snapper)
Char Siu Bao – Steamed Pork Buns
Sichuan Pepper and Chilli Salt Squid
Chinese greens with XO Sauce
Rhubarb & Vanilla Rhumba
Pear Mulled Wine
Spiced Nut Clusters
Mushroom Cappuccino (Mushroom Soup)
Sweet Potato Blini with Cumin & Sesame Crème Fraîche
It’s almost here – again! How on earth did that happen?
So obviously you are wanting to plan for food for the big day & any celebrations with family & friends leading up to Christmas 🙂 So I bring to you some inspiration & ideas to get you through this crazy busy time 😉
The Festive Flavours Cookbook & Chip is really great with some really good ideas for making your own gifts too like flavoured salts or spice rubs or flavoured sugars.
The Festive Flavours Cookbook is one of 4 books currently available to purchase in a book bundle saving you money. There are also lots of other great gifts available from the Thermomix online shop.
One of my favourite recipes from the Festive Flavour Book is the Pork & Chicken Terrine & I am definitely making that again – it was really delicious, it has cranberries & pistachios in it too.
Our family love my Thermie green avocado dip & this year I will be making the warm roasted cauliflower hummus from Dani Valent Cooking – speaking of which, wouldn’t a subscription to this site be a great gift for Christmas – there are already over 40 recipe videos available (index here) with a new one added each week, Dani Valent also has a Christmas ebook available to purchase for $15 or it’s free to her subscribers. See some of her recipes on my post called my addiction to Dani Valent Cooking 🙂 I am almost certain we will be having the Basque Cheesecake on Christmas day too!!
Also don’t forget about the recipe platform now called Cookidoo – what a great way to plan out your dishes for the festive season – if you haven’t signed up yet it is really easy to use with a great shopping list feature too. Here is the link to sign up to Cookidoo & you will get 1 free recipe collection when you sign up.
I am having a fun countdown on my social media pages sharing a different recipe idea each day – I hope you enjoy it & get some great ideas to use for your special day 🙂 Merry Christmas everyone!!
Day 1 recipe is my friend Kelly’s Dutch Spice Speculaas recipe here
Day 3 Thermie Green Avocado Dip This is one of the best dips ever – even if I do say so myself, put it on your Christmas & or entertaining menu this season or maybe just put it in your mouth!! Your taste buds will thank you 😉
The Best Avocado Dip
Day 4: I introduce to you the “Cheesecake” You can put as many or as little layers as you like of your favourite cheeses & I have included a layer of my favourite fruitcake to eat with cheddar cheese. You have to trust me on this it is seriously good – I also made some apple paste to go on my “cheese cake” because I’m all out of my homemade quince paste. I was also toying with the idea of making rounds of homemade crackers to put in between the cake layers so when you dismantle the “cheesecake” you could break the big cracker into a few pieces to serve with the cheese too.
Day 5 inspiration is Smolt’s Lemon Curd You can give it as gifts or serve it on or with your christmas desserts – Like pavlova with fresh berries!!
Day 7: Southern Stars White Christmas Custard – Coconut, White Chocolate, Frangelico & Vanilla Bean – our Thermomix team created this recipe for a custard challenge last Christmas & it is very delicious 🙂
Day 8: My Fruit Mince Surprise – it’s got rhubarb in it!! YUM! You can do so much with this delicious stuff – Add some fruit mince to some cream cheese and serve with fruit for Christmas sweet dip, stir through your ice cream mixture or serve with vanilla or brandy custard. Use fruit mince with thick custard or whipped cream as a profiterole filling, or use in fruit mince pies, pull apart bread or spread onto rectangles of puff pastry or brioche dough and make scrolls.
Use Fruit Mince in profiteroles mixed with cream or thick custard, fruit mince pies, pull apart bread or spread onto rectangles of puff pastry or brioche dough and make scrolls. Add some Fruit Mince to cream cheese and serve with fruit for Christmas sweet dip. Stir through your ice cream mixture or serve with vanilla or brandy custard.
1 orange zest
500 g apples peeled, cored and quartered
200g chopped rhubarb
100 g dates dried
80 g craisins
100 g currants
15 g fresh ginger piece chopped/ minced
60 g flaked almonds
Juice 2 oranges
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cardamon
2 fresh bay leaves
1 tablespoon Cointreau or Brandy (optional)
Place orange zest, dates and fresh ginger into mixing bowl and mince for 20
Add apples and chop 4-6 sec/speed 6.
Add remaining ingredients except brandy and cook for 35 min/Varoma/
/speed 1. Cool slightly,remove the bay leaves & stir in cointreau or brandy, set aside
until ready to use.
Christmas Profiterole – serving suggestion for my Special Fruit Mince
Day 9: Ellie’s Turducken. Yes it’s a chicken in a duck in a turkey!!
Day 10: Spiced Cherry Brioche from the Festive Flavours Cookbook – you can put any of your favourite fillings in 🙂
Day 11: Sarah’s Cheese Biscuits make up a few batches of this & store in the freezer in log ready to slice & bake when unexpected guests arrived or an attack of the munchies! Perfect with a glass of bubbles!
Sarah’s Cheese Biscuits
Day 12: Mum’s Chicken & Mango Salad – Such a versatile salad great to use up left over steamed chicken breast (after steaming a whole chook) or poaching chicken breasts in the Thermomix. You can use any nuts you like either cashews, macadamia or pistachios. Finely chopped celery for the crunch & fresh element, 1 mango sliced, sliced spring onions. Avocado is delicious in it too. I used cucumber because I had some in the fridge & added fresh parsley & mint leaves. Mum dressed it with 1/2 homemade mayo & half natural yoghurt 1 tsp of curry powder & 1 tabs of tomato relish. I used a honey & seeded mustard vinaigrette to dress it, my sister likes to use an Asian style dressing with soy sauce, fresh ginger & garlic.
Day 13: 60 Sec Fruitcake from the Devil of Cookbook – there are lots of other great Christmas recipes in this cookbook – Toblerone cheesecake, raspberry & white chocolate cheese cake just to name a few 🙂
Day 16: Flavoured butters can jazz anything up in a hurry & you can store them in the freezer. Dani Valent has some great butter flavour ideas & video of her making butter in the Thermomix. My friends at a girl, a guy furkids & food have a fabulous butter recipe then add any flavour you like – last year I made turkey skin butter as a variant to Dani Valent’s In the Mix cookbook Chicken Skin Butter recipe.
Day 21: Gingerbread or Gingerbread House – I use the recipe from the Festive Flavours Cookbook.
Gingerbread house made by my customer Natalie & her 3 year old daughter.
Day 22: Beetroot Cured Salmon – there is a recipe in the Festive Flavours cookbook but I used the Jamie Oliver one from his new Christmas Cookbook & made the curing mixture with the Thermomix. I have served it here on Blinis – however it is so versatile you could serve it on cucumber rounds or rounds of baguettes – serve on top of a green salad to make it into a dish.
Day 23: Double Chocolate Pretzel Cookies from In the Mix 2 & Dani Valent Cooking – Santa will love them too!
The Agrarian Experience is something I have wanted to do for years, so when a group of girls put in for our friend Charlie to go as a special gift for her special birthday I just knew I had to go along just to make sure she had a good time 😉
The Agrarian Kitchen is located about 45 mins drive from Hobart. It was a beautiful sunny day & the drive there was very nice – we were both so excited.
We were off to a good start to our day with cake & coffee on arrival 🙂 The dining room had 2 massive book shelves filled to the brim with cookbooks, so I felt right at home.
Next we had a tour & taste of the garden, starting with herbs.
We got to see the animals too 🙂
We had each been given a basket & clippers to pick the food as we toured through the garden.
Our classroom for the afternoon 🙂
Charlie & I choose the oyster blade dish to make – So Rodney showed us how to trim & cut the meat. Ours didn’t look quite as good as his, but it still tasted great!
Charred spring onions – only a few moments before had been picked from the garden.
We learnt how to roll out the pastry & each made our own pie for dessert – one of the couples had made the sweet shortcrust pastry by hand & the delicious rhubarb & elderflower filling. It may have got a bit competitive to see who was going to make the best looking pie 🙂
Then we all rolled out the pasta dough & made our own ravioli, filled with homemade ricotta.
After our big day – it was finally time to serve up our first course 🙂
And they have Ridgeline Pottery too!
And some Stefano Lubiana wine too!!
Time to cook our marinated oyster blade YUM!!
WOW!! What an amazing day, we absolutely loved it all. It was such a relaxing day & so much delicious fun, I would definitely recommend it to anyone. I look forward to trying another class again soon. Thanks so much to Rodney & Séverine for an awesome Agrarian Experience.
Cheese is one of my favourite ingredients & so I have wanted to make this recipe from current top chef in the world Massimo Bottura from his restaurant Osteria Francescana. I loved watching the Netflix series Chef’s Table & the episode with Massimo was great. (Watch it here) And another reason to get excited for me is that I will get to eat a dish prepared by Massimo himself when I am in New York in early October – the foodie stars have aligned & I am booked into a progressive dinner cooked by 6 top chef’s including Massimo Bottura!! Yes I am extremely excited I wonder which dish he will be making it may even be this one? This is a recipe from Dani Valent’s cookbook In the Mix 2 cookbook it has been adapted for the home cook. Normally featuring not only 5 textures of parmasean but 5 ages of parmesan. I decided to use 5 different types of parmesan instead, making the best I could with what I could get & I was very happy with the results 🙂 Apart from my domestic cream siphon not working very well that is!
I even made homemade ricotta for one of the elements to the dish – see my cheese making post here.
One of the elements even called for making a parmasean stock out of the rind of the parmasean 🙂
To celebrate the end of our Art History classes at TAFE we had a final trip to MONA, so of course there were a few of us that decided we needed to go in the Posh Pit on the MONA Ferry, why wouldn’t you want a glass of bubbles at 9.30am??
Nibbles for 2 in the Posh Pit
The exclusive front ferry deck for the Posh Pit people
Our MONA Ferry
Anyway I was thrilled my teacher organised for me to go into the kitchen & watch the Pastry Chef Lydia plate up 2 delicious desserts, 1 was inspired by one of the current exhibits by Cameron Robins. The dish was called The Black+X White – coconut, lemongrass & lime pudding, rum jelly, yuzu cream & black pearls. I really enjoyed the fresh flavours & different textures of the dish.
They do have a Thermomix in The Source Restaurant at Mona but I think it was used maybe once for one of the elements in this dish. Another popular dessert at the moment on their menu is a dish called The Garden (pictured below). In the pursuit of my education I also tried one of the other desserts at the Mona Wine Bar inspired by the exhibition, they named it after Cameron Robins himself & called it Mr Robins.
The Black+X White
The Garden – flavours of blackberry, pistachio, chocolate praline, puffed rice,honeycomb, beetroot soil.
Then of course I had to take a few photos – unfortunately we are not allowed to take photos inside the Museum to publish without permission, but we got some great ones of Tim’s Tattoos. And some of the Cameron Robins Exhibition too. But here are a few photos I took around outside with all the creative arty juices flowing – or maybe that was just the bubbles?! Because apparently your ferry ticket includes a free wine tasting!!
The famous Fink Jug – yes this is on my list of must haves (maybe after I have sold a few more Thermomix)
Our Ferry to take us back to Hobart waterfront.
And just like that our magical MONA day was over 🙂