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in and around the kitchen

in and around the kitchen

Corn & Basil Salad

November 18, 2016


Summer is all about quick and easy meals around here, especially as we tend to stay outside in the garden till it gets dark as often as possible. Meals usually consist of a salad and a protein (preferably cooked on the barbecue) and we think that this salad is the bomb! Quick, easy to prepare, you can always free-style it with what ever veggies you have in the garden or fridge. 

Corn and Basil is the best combo ever. Have you ever given it a go? 


one can of corn kernals, drained

one punnet of cherry tomatos cut in half

one lebanese cucumber sliced in half, seeds removed and sliced thinly

half a red onion, sliced thinly

half a capsicum, diced

handful of basil leaves, washed and torn into bits

handful of coriander leaves, washed and chopped finely

two tablespoons of white wine vinegar

an eighth cup good quality olive oil

heaps of cracked black pepper 

and pinch of salt


Make the dressing by combining the vinegar, oil and salt and pepper. (Don’t skimp on the pepper!)  Place in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients and give it a good mix until it’s all coated with the dressing. Serve with a protein, or use it in wraps with a bought bbq chicken like we did last night! 

This salad is best when it gets to ‘stand’ for at least an hour before serving. This allows the basil flavour to get through all those crunchy veg! 


Other salad recipes:

Bejewelled Brown Rice Salad

Quinoa Salad

Couscous Salad

Watermelon, Mint and Basil Salad

5 Minute Potato Salad





in and around the kitchen Thermomix

Melting Moments :: Thermomix Recipe

November 8, 2016


Delightful buttery melt in your mouth cookies that live up to their name! Easy to make and an easy recipe to remember! 


220gr butter

20gr icing sugar

20gr cornflour

220gr plain flour

one teaspoon vanilla essence


Preheat oven to 180°C and line two baking trays with baking paper. 

Mix butter and sugar on speed 4, 20 sec with butterfly attachment until combined. 

Add cornflour, plain flour and essence and mix with the butterfly in, speed 4, 10 seconds. Scrape down sides and mix again for 10 seconds.

Roll small teaspoon sized balls of dough, place on tray with a small amount of room to expand and press down with a fork. You can dip the fork in cornflour to make sure it doesn’t stick to the dough. 

Cook for 10 minutes on 180°C or until biscuits are lightly browned. 

You can sandwich with jam or flavoured frosting, or just eat plain. 


Erm, how glorious are my roses?! #callmecrazyroselady 


Thermomix Cherry Ripe Bliss Balls

October 26, 2016


Ok, the secret may be out. Cherry Ripe is one of my favourite chocolate bars. The cherry, the coconut, the chocolate mixed into one delicious morsel is well, just yum!

These could be classified as a healthier alternative. 


100gr cacoa nibs

good pinch of salt flakes

one teaspoon of vanilla essence

200gr coconut (I like to use shredded for the ball contents)

100gr almonds 

200gr glace cherries

15gr coconut oil

Extra desiccated coconut to coat finished bliss balls (This is optional)


Combine cacoa nibs, salt, essence and almonds in TMX bowl mix Speed 8 for 1 min. The bowl will heat up a bit. Stop halfway and scrape down sides. 

Add the coconut, cherries and coconut oil.  Using the closed lid function and the turbo button, pulse until the cherries are broken up and ingredients are well mixed. (If you like chunky bliss balls, mix for less time)

Roll mixture into balls (about one tablespoon per ball) and coat in desiccated coconut. 

Keep in the fridge and enjoy whenever a bliss ball is needed to brighten your day! 

As always, you can convert this recipe to use with a regular set of scales, and a standard food processor. 


This is well known around here as the ‘Bliss Ball Smuggle”

What is your favourite flavour Bliss Ball?

in and around the kitchen Thermomix

Easy Thermomix Strawberry Jam

October 12, 2016

Easy Thermomix Strawberry Jam

There is nothing better than a fresh batch of home-made strawberry jam and please, don’t be put off by thinking that it’s hard work, it isn’t! This is my recipe for Easy Thermomix Strawberry Jam. Right now in Perth, we have strawberries coming out of our ears, and you can often by them direct from the growers, making this a cheaper exercise than buying them from the supermarket or grocer. 

If you don’t have a thermomix, just cook the jam in a heavy bottomed pan on the stove. Get it to a rolling boil for about ten minutes. Check the jam using the ‘cold plate test’ technique I mention below. 

Easy Thermomix Strawberry Jam


500gr strawberries

400gr sugar 

30gr lemon juice


Wash and hull your strawberries.

Place strawberries, sugar and lemon juice into Thermomix bowl and blitz on Turbo (closed lid position) for two blasts. As a result, this should chop the strawberries up just a bit, but not puree them. 

Cook for 40min/Varoma/speed1 with the MC off. 

Keep an eye on the mixture as it cooks. Remember that it will be molten hot! 

Check the consistency of your jam by doing the ‘cold plate test’. Put a plate in the freezer and when it’s cold, place a spoonful of your hot jam onto it. Run your finger through the jam – it shouldn’t be runny. Don’t forget that jam will continue to set over the first 24 hours. 

*Using super ripe strawberries will make a firmer setting jam as the sugar content will be higher.

Keep cooking for a further ten minutes if it’s just not thick enough. 

When you have the consistency you’d like, pour into sterile jars or store in the fridge. 

Perfect on toast or with scones.

For a Vanilla Thermomix Strawberry Jam that uses apple instead of lemon to thicken, go here.

What is your favourite jam flavour?

Pin this image onto your Pinterest boards to find it later! 


Easy Thermomix Strawberry Jam


in and around the kitchen

Pear & Raspberry Loaf {Plus Basic Loaf Recipe and Flavour Combos}

August 2, 2016

Pear & Raspberry-3

When you are on to a good thing you stick to it. Right? 

This is my ‘good thing’ loaf recipe which I use all the time as it is so easy to make and adapt to whatever you have on hand. It was originally the base for my Banana Bread which is a regular lunch box filler and after school snack.  

Basic Loaf Recipe


half cup butter

half a cup of sugar

two free range eggs

one and a half cups of self-raising flour 

pinch of salt 


Preheat oven 180ºC and line one loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

Beat butter and sugar until well creamed.

Add eggs and beat again.

Stir in flour and salt.

Add any other dry ingredients at this stage. 

Bake in a loaf tin for approximately 35 minutes. Allow to cool before turning out. 


Pear and Raspberry Loaf

In addition to the recipe above, add one cup of frozen raspberries, a teaspoon of vanilla essence as well as a thinly sliced pear after the flour has been stirred through. 


Flavour Combos

Apple & Date (Add two cups of sliced apple and chopped dates)

Sultana & Apple (Add two cups of sliced apple and sultanas)

Rhubarb & Strawberry (Add two cups of stewed rhubarb and chopped fresh strawberries)

Banana & Chocolate (Add two mashed bananas and half a cup of choc chips) 

Cranberry & White Chocolate (Add half a cup of dried cranberries and half cup white chocolate)

Coffee & Walnut (Add one tablespoon of instant coffee)

Blueberry & Lemon (Add a cup of frozen blueberries and zest of one lemon)

Apricot & Orange (Add one cup of chopped dried apricots and zest of one orange)

Mango & Macadamia (Add one cup of chopped dried mango and half cup chopped macadamias)


* Remember that your loaves will differ in texture, denseness and moisture, depending on what ingredients you add to your mixture. Do not add any fruit that is substantially wet as it will affect the stability of the bake.  


Do you have a favourite flavour combo I should add to my list? Let me know in the comments!


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