Snacks & nibbles

Christmas Planning & Recipe Ideas Countdown

arwen

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.

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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.Terrine

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

speculaas

Day 2: Strawberry & Rosewater Sorbet for Cocktails or Mocktails

Strawberry & Rosewater Sorbet

Strawberry & Rosewater Sorbet

 

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

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.

cheesecake

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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!!

lemon-butter

Day 6: Black Forest Trifle is another family favourite YUM!!

Black Forrest Trifle

Black Forrest Trifle

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 🙂

Vanilla Custard

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.

fruit-mince

Fruit Mince Surprise
Author: 
Recipe type: Christmas
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
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.
Ingredients
  • 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)
Instructions
  1. Place orange zest, dates and fresh ginger into mixing bowl and mince for 20
  2. sec/speed 9.
  3. Add apples and chop 4-6 sec/speed 6.
  4. Add remaining ingredients except brandy and cook for 35 min/Varoma/
  5. /speed 1. Cool slightly,remove the bay leaves & stir in cointreau or brandy, set aside
  6. until ready to use.

 

Christmas Profiterole

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 🙂 spiced-cherry-brioche-3

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

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.

chicken-mango-salad-2

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 🙂

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Day 14: Nicole’s Festive Nougat – My friend Nicole makes these very year to give as gifts to friends.

nougat

Day 15 : Spinach & Cheese Grissini

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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.

turkey-skin-butter

Day 17: Festive Cauliflower Salad is so easy & delicious 🙂

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Day 18: Herb & Garlic Dip can be made into a great canape’ spread on sliced of french stick or sliced veggies with some smoked salmon YUM!!

Day 19: The good old Aussie Pav, you can make in all shapes & sizes with any choice of topping from fruits nuts & sauces, the possibilities are endless. Try the wreath recipe or pavlova stack.

Day 20: Shortbread Stars – recipe from my friend Erica.

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!

Day 24: Basque Cheesecake from Dani Valent Cooking

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY THERMOMIXING!!

Thermomix Balls or Squares

It’s super easy to throw together some bliss balls or protein balls with a Thermomix, myself I just can’t be bothered rolling the balls so I normally press the mixture into a tray or rectangular silicon moulds – I did roll balls for these photos with the help of my nephew. We made a nut free balls that my sister makes for their school lunches, apricot & coconut balls & the classic Choc Date Balls with almonds.

ALI’S NUT FREE CHOC BALLS

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Nut Free Balls
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
You can make balls or squares, if you don't have quite enough of one of the seeds sesame seeds are a good addition or you can add anything really like chia seeds or goji berries too.
Ingredients
  • 250 grams sunflower seeds
  • 50 grams Pepita Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50 grams water
  • 300 grams dates, pitted
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • Desiccated or Shredded Coconut
Instructions
  1. Process sunflower & pepita seeds for 5 secs on speed 10, place this mix to one side.
  2. Put dates & water into the TM bowl & cook 2 mins 100 degrees speed 2.
  3. Add vanilla, raw cacao powder & reserved seeds & process for 5 secs on speed 6.
  4. Roll into balls & roll each ball in coconut.

 

APRICOT & COCONUT BALLS

Apricot balls styled & rolled by my nephew

Another great apricot & coconut recipe are these Apricot Squares – you press the mixture into a tray & if you are in a rush into the freezer to set it quickly & then it is really easy to just slice into bar or square shapes, one of my customers also drizzles hers with white chocolate 🙂

CHOC DATE BALLS

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NOTE: Styling Balls can be a challenge here is a pic from our Prep Prop Style & Shoot Workshop & below links to some of JJ’s Ball recipes.

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Try JJ’s Lemon Macadamia & Coconut Raw Truffles or her Raw Choc Chip Cookie Dough Truffles. Even truffles is a fancier name than balls & makes it sound a bit more posh 🙂

 

 

 

My Addiction To Dani Valent Cooking

It’s no surprise to me or anyone else that I love this video site that Dani Valent has put together Dani Valent Cooking. It is a subscription site for amazing Thermomix recipe videos, you get 1 free video a month for the free subscription or for $89 a year you get 1 Thermomix video (with printable) recipe a week & you start with 25 recipes when you join. It’s great value & features home cooking recipes by Dani & also amazing Chef’s recipes too. Here is one of the free videos with Jo Whitton from Quirky Cooking making Coconut Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup.

What’s not to love? Being inspired to try & taste new recipes, learning new skills & ideas for your Thermomix cooking plus I love seeing how chefs use the Thermomix for their dishes. I have made a lot of the recipes already & some of them I have made a few times because they are so delicious 🙂

Matcha Smoothie Bowl

 

Breakfast Curd with Toasted Grains recipe by Chef Jesse Gerner – It was really yummy!

 

Chai Porridge

 

Steamed Corn with Spicy Allioli another drool worthy recipe by Chef Jesse Gerner. Watch the free video here.

 

Shane Delia’s Warm Roasted Cauliflower Dip with Spiced Beef – You have to try this!! It could be the best dip ever!! I loved watching the video for this recipe too, it was a lot of fun!

 

Everything Salsa & then the same salsa used to make a cashew dip & a cream cheese dip- just 2 of the ideas for the salsa – so tasty & versatile!

 

Chicken Tart – This recipe by Dani has the most amazing lemon & mustard flavoured pastry – plus shredded chicken & buttery leeks in the filling!

 

Tasty “Emergency Lentil Soup” watch the video here.

 

Pumpkin Soup with Virtual Bacon Dust – recipe from George Calombaris – this recipe is from the In the Mix cookbook – I have made it so many times & it’s my all time favourite pumpkin soup!

 

Victor Liong’s Corn Custard with Chicken Congee – it’s seriously good!!

 

Cauliflower Rice – it’s a delicious vegan recipe 🙂

 

Shane Delia’s BBQ Prawn Kofte Salad is seriously good!!

 

Lamb Shank Barley Casserole – Yes the shanks are steamed in the Varoma for some of the recipe!

 

duck bao

Delicious Duck Bao – inspired by the Momofuku recipe by David Chang

 

Hainanese Chicken & Egg, seriously amazing recipe by Trissalicious This is also from In the Mix & includes my favourite way to cook eggs – at 60 degrees!!

 

Quirky Cooking Gluten Free & Dairy Free Chicken Pot Pie is so Yummy – we even took some for lunches too!.

 

Steamed Fish with Eggplant Miso – so healthy & fresh – a great recipe using the Varoma.

 

Chilli & Lime Crumb – I’ve made this recipe from In the Mix Cookbook before – I love how tasty & versatile it is. watch the free video here.

 

Marmitako (Basque Seafood Stew) recipe by Chef Ruben Trincado – A delicious video filmed in Spain.

 

White Garlic Soup with Seafood – recipe by Chef Jaun Carlos Caro, in the video (filmed in Spain) you see him using the TM 21 to make this dish.

 

Lamb Ribs

Thai Ribs with Coconut Rice & Coleslaw – this is the version I made with lamb instead of the beef – I made the beef version too & that was amazing, I will be making it again soon – for sure!!

 

Beef stew with Polenta

Barolo Braised Beef with Polenta Cremoso, recipe by Chef Joseph Vargetto – The best polenta I’ve ever tasted!!

 

Egg Fu Yong

Egg Fu Yong, recipe by Ben Shewry – yes there is creamy scrambled eggs under that shredded chicken 🙂

 

Native Pepper Berry Salt recipe by Jesse McTavish

Lamb Cutlets, Salsa Verde & Lovage Oil recipe by Jesse McTavish

 

Chocolate Mousse Brownies – Dani calls them little squares of joy & they are so WOW!!

 

Basque Cheesecake is so easy & delicious!! Watch the free video here.

 

Elaine’s Chocolate Cake – this is a super duper keeper recipe for sure – here are my other photos.

 

 

Watermelon Smash & Watermelon Rind Pickles

Watermelon Smash & Watermelon Rind & Ginger Pickles

 

Cucumber, Lime & Mint Dry Ice Sorbet – recipe by Chef Pierre Roelofs

I’ll keep updating this page as I go with photos of the recipes I have made from the site – as you can see there is a good range of family meals & exciting fun things to give a try to.

Easy Peasy Cheesy – Making Fresh Cheeses with the Thermomix

It’s so hard for me to choose my favourite foods but cheese is certainly up there as a favourite food – it just tastes so good & makes everything else taste so good too, so imagine how delicious your own homemade cheeses taste! It’s kind of dangerous but good. Here are my favourites & maybe some day I will get a chance to make some hard cheeses or even a brie!!

For my step by step guide to making Halloumi Cheese see my guest blog post on Quirky Cooking.

Labne B

This is my homemade Labna cheese in one piece, I start from scratch & make homemade yoghurt in the Thermomix (I use the automated recipe rounding up the cream & the starter yoghurt) & then it is simply left to strain over night so it becomes firm. There is also a recipe for this in the In the Mix (first book).

Labna

Labna 2

You can roll it into balls & marinate with your favourite herbs & spices & then cover it with oil & keep in the fridge. This cheese is so versatile you can eat it on toast with crackers or veggies sticks served in salads or sandwiches. Or simply on it’s own as a cheeky snack – So good!!

Next is the ricotta or paneer cheese – they are pretty much the same thing but used for different dishes – heat up milk (some recipes have cream too) & then add some vinegar to it, let it sit & then strain the liquid away & you are left with the soft fresh cheese to cook with. Try a ricotta gnocchi recipe or a spinach & ricotta pie.

ricotta_1 ricotta

Paneer Curry

Click on this link for the recipe for Paneer Curry 🙂 Which includes the recipe for making the paneer.

 

The other cheese you can easily make in the Thermomix is Mascarpone, I will be making this again soon & will take some photos to share with you. I hope I have inspired you to give cheese making a go? It’s so fun & rewarding and best of all it’s delicious 🙂