Friday, February 27, 2015


I've been working my way around the Brisbane CBD sampling the various breakfast options and always find myself ordering a variation on Smashed Avo..I think I may be obsessed!

The Spring Smashed Avo offering is a simple affair on sourdough toast and lemon. The avo was well seasoned and deliciously creamy. As a takeaway option it is perfect if you only have time to duck out for a quick coffee as you can enjoy this when you get back to your desk.

Smashed Avo on homemade sourdough toast with lemon

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chicken, Mushroom, Pepperoni & Spinach Risotto

I kept hearing that risotto is a dream in the Thermomix so I was very keen to test it out as I love risotto but hate all the ladling and stirring. After making this Chicken, Mushroom, Pepperoni & Spinach Risotto I'm definitely a convert, it was delicious and so easy.

60 g parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra for serving
1 brown onion quartered
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 sprigs parsley
60 grams Butter
40 grams extra virgin olive oil or rice bran oil
100g sliced pepperoni, roughly chopped (or 3 slices Shortcut Bacon)
2 chicken thighs, cubed
300 grams Arborio Rice
60 grams dry white wine
1-2 tbsp vegetable stock paste
750 grams water
200 grams mushrooms, sliced
100 grams semi dried tomatos
100 grams baby spinach
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Grate parmesan 10 secs/speed 9. Set aside.
Place onion, parsley and garlic in TM bowl and chop at 3 secs/speed 5. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Add butter and oil. Sauté 3 mins/Varoma/speed 1
Add pepperoni and chicken. Sauté 2 mins/reverse/Varoma/speed 1
Add rice. Sauté 1 min/reverse/Varoma/speed 1
Add white wine. Sauté 2 mins/reverse/Varoma/speed 1
Add stock paste, semi dried tomatoes, water & mushrooms. Cook 15 Mins/100C/reverse/speed 1.5, place simmering basket on top of lid instead of measuring cup.
Place spinach in the Thermoserver, pour risotto on top of spinach and let sit for 5 mins. Stir in most of the grated parmesan, season with cracked pepper and serve with extra parmesan on top.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Penne with Rocket and Basil Pesto, Avocado, and Tomatoes

I always seem to have tomatoes and avocado in the fridge and this is my go to dinner when I want something light and fresh. I don't cook the tomatoes or avocado, just throw everything together at the end grate on plenty of parmesan cheese.

I had a huge bag of rocket left over from Christmas and a small basil plant in the garden so that's what I used but you could switch up the herbs to suit your taste. Save yourself some time and blitz up a batch of pesto, use one portion, and freeze the rest for another night.

Rocket and Basil Pesto
140 grams rocket
15 grams basil
90 grams Pinenuts, lightly toasted
60 grams parmesan cheese
30 grams lemon juice, from 1/2 lemon
35 grams olive oil
10 grams olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste

Penne or dried pasta of your choice, cooked according to packet directions
Tomatoes, roughly chopped
Avocado, halved, deseeded and roughly chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated

Put all pesto ingredients into Thermomix bowl and blend for 5 seconds / speed 6.
Scrape down sides of bowl and blend further 15 seconds / speed 6
Add more lemon juice, olive oil or pepper to adjust consistency and flavour according to taste. 

For variations, combine rocket with other herbs, e.g. parsley, coriander or basil.
If you have leftovers pour some oil over the top and freeze it or use within a few days on salmon, chicken or scrambled eggs.

Rocket and Basil Pesto Recipe on Recipe Community website

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gramercy Coffee

Tucked away in a laneway at Wintergarden, Grammercy reminds me of all the wonderful cafes I left behind in Melbourne. Take a seat, peruse the menu and your order will be taken within minutes. 
I can't go past the Smashed Avo with Labne on super thick and crunchy sourdough and their coffee is smooth and creamy.

Smashed Avo and Labne on Sourdough with an egg added

Sunday, February 15, 2015


I love ANZAC biscuits but they can be a bit fiddly spooning balls of mix onto trays. So when I saw an ANZAC Slice recipe on the Thermomix recipe community website I had to give it a try. I made a few changes as I didn't think it needed as much sugar as the original recipe, and was a bit heavy handed with the golden syrup to boost the flavour.

This was supposed to be for a work morning tea but I just had to sneak a piece just to make sure it was as delicious as it smelled.

125 g Butter
90g g Desiccated Coconut
100 g rolled oats
130 g raw sugar
180 g self-raising flour
25 g golden syrup
1 egg

Preheat oven to 180C
Line a slice tray with baking paper and set aside.
Place butter in Thermomix bowl and melt 30 seconds / 60 degrees / speed 3 (or until melted)
Add in all other ingredients and mix for 10 seconds / reverse speed 3. Scrape down sides of bowl and repeat if needed or until mixture is combined.
Press into lined slice tray, using measuring cup to flatten and smooth.
Bake in oven 180C for approx. 30min or until golden on top. 
Leave to cool in tray before slicing.
Can be frozen. I wrapped individual pieces in foil and took them out to defrost as needed.

Try adding 100g sultanas, choc chips, dried fruit or crushed nuts for some variety.

CADA - Coconut, Apple, Date, and Almond

I've tried a few different CADA recipes and initially found them too sweet without the yoghurt. I reduced the coconut and dates and found that this mix was just right for me. Feel free to play around with what you have on hand. Add some cinnamon, chia, goji berries, blueberries, oats or sultanas, the possibilities are endless.....

10g coconut, desiccated or flakes
1 granny smith apple, quartered, core removed
40g almonds, natural
2-3 dates, pitted
banana, sliced to serve

Add coconut, apple, almonds and dates to Thermomix bowl. With lid on and measuring cup in place press Turbo button 2 or 3 times for 1 second each.

Serve with yoghurt and additional sliced fruit as desired.

Chicken, Chorizo & Prawn Paella

We prefer not to go out for dinner on Valentines Day to avoid all of the hype, over crowding, stretched service and those persistent rose sellers that make sales by putting guys on the spot in front of their date. So we went for a delicious breakfast instead and I decided to make a Chicken, Chorizo & Prawn Paella for a special dinner.

This was my first attempt and apart from thinking that I had ruined my relatively new induction cooktop it was a huge success. Thankfully the red marks that looked like I had somehow managed to burn the glass turned out to be burnt red paint from my Aldi paella pan and a bit of elbow grease fixed the problem.

I used my Thermomix to chop the garlic and red onion but you could also just crush the garlic and finely dice the onion. I had a couple of cups of homemade chicken stock in the freezer so I used that but you could also just use packaged stock or cubes/powder and water depending on what you have on hand.

1 litre chicken stock
pinch saffron
1 chorizo, thinly sliced
3 skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2 cm cubes
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 red capsicum, deseeded and diced
1 ripe tomato, diced
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
300 g paella rice
100 g frozen peas
200 g frozen peeled green prawns
Salt and pepper to taste
15 g fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon or lime

Place the chicken stock and saffron into a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat a large frying pan or paella pan over high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, turning occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a plate. 
Add the chicken to the pan and cook, turning occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until brown and heated through. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onion, garlic and capsicum to the pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Add the tomato and paprika and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Return the chorizo and chicken to the pan and stir to combine. 

Sprinkle over the rice and and stir for a couple of minutes so it starts to absorb those lovely flavours. Pour over the chicken stock mixture. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is almost absorbed. Test the rice and add a bit more water if needed.

Scatter the peas and prawns over the rice and cook for 5-10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and prawns are cooked. Season and remove from heat. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately with wedges of lemon or lime.

Corned Beef with Mustard and Parsley Sauce

After having success with soup I was ready to really put the TM5 through its paces. One of my favourite comfort foods would have to be corned beef and mashed potato so what better meal to test out the Varoma.

I adapted this from a delicious recipe by Ros Hanson I found on the Thermofun blog. It's simple, yet so delicious.

Mustard and Parsley Sauce
10 g flat leaf Italian parsley (handful)
50 g butter, cubed
25 g plain flour
420 g full cream milk
2 tablespoon wholegrain mustard, I prefer Maille
salt and pepper, to taste

Corned Beef
1.2 kg corned beef
1.5 litres boiling water
5 cloves, whole
3 dried bay leaves
90 g apple cider vinegar
pepper, to taste

potatoes/sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
carrots, peeled and chopped
corn on the cob

Mustard and Parsley Sauce
Place parsley into TM bowl and chop 5 sec / speed 7. Remove from bowl and set aside. No need to wash bowl.
Put butter and flour into TM bowl and chop 4 sec / speed 5.
Cook 5 mins / Varoma / speed 2.
Add milk, mustard, salt and pepper (to taste) to TM bowl and cook for 8 mins / 100C / speed 3.
Pour into a microwave-safe jug and cover with glad wrap making sure the glad wrap is touching the surface of the sauce. This will stop a skin forming as the sauce cools. Set jug aside.

Corned Beef
Spray the Varoma dish with a little oil to stop the corned beef sticking.
Remove the corned beef from the packaging and rinse well under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and place it into the Varoma dish.
Add the boiling water, cloves, bay leaves, apple cider vinegar and pepper to the TM bowl, secure the lid and place the Varoma on top.
Cook for 2hrs (select 2 x 60min) / Varoma / speed 2.

After 2 hours add your vegetables to the Varoma around the corned beef and in the basket if you are cooking for a crowd.
Check the water level in the TM bowl and refill with boiling water to the 1 litre mark. if required.
Place the basket in the bowl and the Varoma back on top and cook for a further 30 mins / Varoma / speed 2.
Add the corn and broccoli with 15 mins to go.
Check the vegetables, if they are still firm cook for a further 5-10 minutes, taking care not to overcook the broccoli.

Reheat Parsley Sauce and serve with corned beef and vegetables. I like mashed potatoes with corned beef but you could also serve them steamed as is.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Thai style pumpkin and sweet corn soup

With a few corn cobs left over from making my Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup I thought I'd try a blended soup. Using the Thermomix was an absolute dream compared to ladling hot soup from the pot into a blender and making a huge mess (I'm very clumsy..)

I didn't have any onions so I just improvised and used dried onion flakes.

700 grams pumpkin , peeled, deseeded and cut into 2-3cm cubes
3 sweetcorn cobs, kernels removed (300g)
2 level teaspoons TM Vegetable stock paste
550 grams water, to make up vegetable stock
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes, mixed into stock
250 grams sour cream
1 heaped teaspoon curry paste (your choice, I used red curry)
salt and pepper to taste
coriander to serve

Add pumpkin and corn to Thermomix bowl and sweat for 10 minutes / 100 degrees / reverse, speed soft, with measuring cup (MC) in place.
Add water mixed with stock paste and onion flakes and cook for 15 minutes / 100 degrees / speed 2 - 3, with MC in place
Puree for 30-40 seconds, going slowly from speed 1 to speed 9, with MC in place.
Add curry paste and sour cream and mix for 2 minutes /speed 5.
Season with salt and pepper to taste
Serve with fresh coriander

Friday, February 13, 2015

Bing Boy

Oh Boy! If you are looking for something fresh and satisfying for lunch in the city. Bing Boy pumps out freshly made super thin wheat omelette wraps with various fillings. The Pretty n' Peking with super juicy Duck, Cucumber, Sweet & Sour Carrot, mixed salad & crispy Wonton Skin is delicious and definitely worth the wait.

Pretty n' Peking
Tip: If you are in a hurry make sure you look around to see if there are a lot of people waiting to collect their orders as you will be given a number & they make every order fresh in front of the store.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Chinese Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup

No trip to a Chinese restaurant is complete in my book without Chicken and Sweet Corn Soup. I've tried many recipes over the years, poaching the chicken in water, poaching in stock, all creamed corn, a mix of corn, a whole egg or just egg white. The first time I tried converting my recipe for the TM5 it was a hit. No more poaching and shredding chicken while trying not to burn my fingers..that's ok with me. 

3 chicken thigh fillets, cut into strips
1/2 level teaspoon ground ginger
1 onion, peeled and quartered
20 grams olive oil
420g can creamed corn
315g corn kernels, fresh (from 2 cobs) or tinned
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 heaped tablespoon vegetable stock concentrate
600g water
2 level tablespoons cornflour
2 level tablespoons water
2 egg whites
1 spring onion, green part only, sliced, to serve

Add onion to Thermomix bowl, chop 3 seconds / speed 7.
Add ginger and oil, sauté 2 minutes / 100 deg / speed 1.
Add corn, water, sesame oil, stock paste and sliced chicken. Cook 15 minutes / 100 deg / reverse, speed 1.
In the last 2 minutes of cooking add mixed cornflour and water through the lid. Then add the egg whites.
Serve topped with spring onion.

You can pour the egg whites on to the lid with the MC on and let it slowly drip through.
Serve in small bowls with Chinese spoons for an authentic experience.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sunshine Kebabs

We were on the other side of town and after a light breakfast. I wouldn't normally try a kebab shop for breakfast but Sunshine Kebabs was large and inviting and we noticed a photo of a delicious looking plate filled with meat, cheeses, olives, eggs, spreads, tomato and cucumber slices. With a generous serve of warm fresh turkish bread on the side it was plenty for two people to share.

Big Turkish Breakfast $15.50

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Putia Pure Food

I had high hopes for Putia and on first glance it's a lovely cafe with a great menu and gorgeous courtyard, but it was let down by hard poached eggs...those words should never be uttered in the same sentence.

Our orders were taken and the coffees arrived promptly but we had to ask for sugar as there was none on the table and none offered. It was the same story with salt and pepper, they would benefit from setting the tables first up to save repeated requests for the basics.

Gympie bacon with poached eggs, relish and wilted greens

We ordered the Gympie bacon with poached eggs, relish and wilted greens and asked for soft poached eggs. Unfortunately we were served hard poached eggs, and I mean hard dry pale yolks like a hard boiled egg. Very disappointed... When we mentioned this to our waitress there was no offer to cook the eggs again but they did offer to bring free drinks. The juice they brought was nice but it couldn't satisfy my craving for runny yolks..

This is not a runny poached egg

Overall the rest of the food was really nice. If they could cook eggs I would happily rate them higher but there is no excuse for hard poached eggs coming out of a professional kitchen. With no offer to cook them again I can only comment on what I received and will be steering clear of Putia from now on.

Update: I reviewed this business on Yelp and Urbanspoon and the manager replied on Urbanspoon which I respect as it shows that they are serious about connecting with diners and addressing any issues. Unfortunately it appears that his staff lied to him and advised him that they had offered to replace the eggs but as I'd almost finished them it was too late. But I hadn't even taken a bite out of my breakfast when I spoke to the waitress and there was no offer of replacing my eggs. Only an offer of a drink. It's such a shame that the staff are lying to their manager as this doesn't help solve minor kitchen and service issues which are easily fixable.