Monthly Archives: November 2012

Cinnamon Honey Butter in the BIKM

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Cinnamon Honey Butter in the BIKM

In my search to find suitable recipes for my gifts in jars theme this Christmas, I came across one for Cinnamon Honey Butter.

It appealed to my sweet tooth, so I thought it would be an easy one to try out and gave it a go.

Turned out well and was as easy as I expected! I used my Bellini Intelli, but you could use any processor or hand mixer too.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder

Method

  1. Pour all ingredients into Bellini Intelli jug.
  2. Mix for 30 seconds, speed 3 to combine.
  3. Scrape down sides with rubber spatula.
  4. mix for 1 minute, speed 5 till light and fluffy.
  5. Pour into clean jars, top with lids or plastic wrappers.

Spray your cup with cooking spray before adding honey (it will help it pour out easily)

Piping bag from folded, greaseproof paper.
Fold into square and over itself to form a funnel
Snip the end to pipe it in jars.

Stand your piping bag in a glass to fill.
I actually found it easier to get into jars using a butter knife.

Decorate with a fabric square… easy and no sewing required !

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Smoked Salmon Fillet Salad with Bacon, Avocado and Balsamic Roasted Pumpkin

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Smoked Salmon Fillet Salad with Bacon, Avocado and Balsamic Roasted Pumpkin

With a busy weekend behind us, filled with plenty of good food and eating, Sunday night’s dinner was meant to be a light one.

So salad was the winner. Salad is often something that people hear, and you automatically think, oh well that’s got to be healthy! But have you ever been eating really healthily, with lots of salads, and not lost weight? Perhaps it is because you were eating salads like this rip-snorter!!

At the end of the day, a salad is only going to help with weight loss if it is also low calorie, and if that is your aim, then this is not the salad for you… It can still be healthy with lots of great food… but totally caloriffic! 😀

I also don’t know that you can really have a recipe for a salad as such… Really it is just ingredients put together on a plate… Or maybe there is a salad secret I don’t know.

So here goes, my healthy sunday salad that turned into a delicious feast of all types of food goodness that probably don’t belong on a plate together, but were thoroughly enjoyed.

Ingredients

  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Cucumber
  • Capsicum
  • Avocado
  • Pumpkin
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Shortcut Bacon
  • Smoked Salmon Fillet
  • Boiled Egg (shelled), quartered

Method

  1. Cut and peel pumpkin into cubes. Coat in oil and balsamic vinegar, roast in oven at 180 degrees for 30 minutes until soft and golden.
  2. Cook bacon til at your desired crispiness.
  3. Layer salad onto plate, lettuce topped with other ingredients.

If you like, top with croutons and dressing (we used ceaser, but next time I will make my own)

My First Bellini Fail… Liquid Before Flour

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Quick update here. The festive season is taking off, and as such we have been busy at different social gatherings.

You know the time of year… 6 weeks or so leading up to Christmas.

A few nights ago I thought I’d do a pasta bake with tuna…. easy enough, you say? Well yes it was.

But I had my first fail in the BIKM… I’d read about it in other reviews but was in a rush and totally forgot.

When making the white sauce in went the flour before the milk…  ERROR.

It should come with a warning to add liquid first. After a few minutes there was a burning smell, which I hadn’t encountered before.

I emptied the jug out, and a patch of flour had stuck on the bottom, not incorporated and burnt.

Easily fixed, gave it a clean and returned the rest of the mix to the jug and soldiered on, it was fine.

But my jug now has a black stain… not affecting the use but not so pretty anymore either!

You can bet the same mistake won’t be happening again though… until I get distracted next time 😀

Homemade Pizza Dough

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Are you looking for an easy go-to meal idea, but want to keep it simple? This one is for you my friends!

Homemade pizza dough

Just a quick one from me tonight, before I head off to bed. I won’t say head off for a good night’s sleep… that doesn’t happen with 2 little boys in this house! I know lots of you can relate to that.

We had a hot, pre-summer day of 38 degrees here today. I seem to be making an early start on those easier, lighter meals for tea already and summer isn’t quite upon us yet. I’m all for less time slaving in a hot kitchen with the oven roasting away though, regardless of the temperature outside.

I really don’t know why I haven’t made homemade pizza dough sooner! Maybe having the BIKM made it seem easier, but I’m sure it is pretty simple anyway. It was so nice though… not too doughy like the pizza chain ones. Not too frozen and cardboard-esque like the supermarket ones. (Mind to be careful getting dough out once made, sharp blades… I used a spatula and removed the blade from jug to get it out properly)

The end result was crispy on the edges, I pressed mine about 5mm thick, but if you like it thinner or thicker just shape to your desired thickness.

We also have a pizza stone that lives in our oven… it is great for all sorts of things.

Ingredients

  • 200 gms water
  • 400 gms flour
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 50 gms olive oil
  • tsp salt

Method

  1. In BIKM, add water, oil, and salt
  2. Mix speed 2, 1 minute, temp 37 deg
  3. Add flour and yeast, knead. Speed 1, 1 min
  4. Place dough onto tray (sprayed with cooking spray and dusted with flour)
  5. Cover with glad wrap and tea towel, stand in warm spot for 30 minutes.
  6. Divide dough and shape into required portions,
  7. We topped with tomato paste, mushroom, capsicum, pineapple, ham, chicken, and cheese of course. We cooked in oven on its highest setting on the pizza stone.

How did yours turn out? Any superstar topping combinations?

Rested Dough (this is a double batch)

Topping of your choice

Ready for Eating

Chewy Chocolate Chip Biscuits in the Bellini (BIKM)

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Chewy Chocolate Chip Biscuits in the Bellini (BIKM)

A friend called in for a cuppa yesterday, and I searched and searched for a recipe to make some biscuits to nibble on.

Boy O boy are there some delicious looking biscuit and cookie recipes out there on the internet…

It took me all day to decide. 

After browsing this site all day, I settled on this one, and adapted it for the Bellini Intelli.

Mine look a little different… but they tasted soooo good. Luckily I sent a few home with my friend.. or I am pretty sure I would have scoffed the lot!

Ingredients

  • 160 gm butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar (I used raw)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees (fan forced), 180 degrees if not fan forced. Line baking tray.
  2. Using blunt stirring attachment, combine butter and sugar in BIKM, speed 3, 1 min.
  3. Increase speed 4, 2 min, til light and creamy and a light brown colour.
  4. Scrape down sides as needed. Add egg and vanilla. Speed 4, 15 sec.
  5. Add all other ingredients (except choc chips). Mix speed 1, 35 sec. Increase to speed 2, 45 sec.
  6. Add chocolate chips, mix speed 1-2, 20 seconds.
  7. At this point I tipped mix into a bowl, gave the choc chips a good stir to combine thoroughly.
  8. Spoon round mixture onto lined baking tray.
  9. Cook for 8-10 minutes (no longer or they won’t stay soft).
  10. Cool on tray then remove to wire rack. Store in airtight container (if they last that long)

In the original recipe, the pictures show a flat biscuit. These ones stayed round and soft in the middle, which I liked.

I left my recipe as I made it, in which I used baking powder. I believe the original recipe uses bi-carb soda, but I liked my results so left it as is.

Lemon Butter in the Bellini (BIKM)

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I stayed at my cousin’s house in the country a few months ago, and her daughter did a lemonade stand. She sold fresh lemons, some walnuts, and her Mum (my cousin) made Lemon Butter.

I’d never tasted nor heard of it before, but O.M.G…. such glorious tasty stuff it was! She did it in the microwave and with a Bamix, and I thought what better to try out than Lemon Butter in my BIKM.

Very spoilt and my cousin sent me home with a carton of their eggs from their backyard chooks. Chickens in my backyard are high on my wishlist along, with upgrading my very sad looking veggie patch.

Armed with fresh lemons from my mum’s tree, fresh eggs from my cousin’s house, I set to work when I was home. In the original batch I made, I also used home churned butter in the BIKM, but obviously that is optional.

I’m due to do a new batch so when I do I will upload pictures.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 100 gms Butter
  • 200 gms Sugar
  • 2 Lemons, Juiced (and zest, optional)

Method

  1. If you would like to use the zest (you will have some bits in your end product if you do), place zest and sugar in jug. Process speed 5-7-9 for 30 seconds. Check, and if there are still large lumps of zest repeat for 10-30 seconds.
  2. Add lemon juice, butter and whole eggs to jug.
  3. Cook for 4 minutes, temp 80 degrees, speed 3.
  4. Check, and if it seems runny continue to cook in 1 minute increments until you are happy with the consistency.
  5. Pour into hot sterilised jars and cover.
  6. Don’t eat it all at once 😀

Sundried Tomato Risotto with Chicken, Mushroom and Maple Roasted Pumpkin

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Sundried Tomato Risotto with Chicken, Mushroom and Maple Roasted Pumpkin

One of the meals I cooked this week and mentioned earlier was this risotto.

For me, risotto is always a winner. You can put anything in it, smother it in sour cream, and usually the little people will eat it, even if the big people (hubby) sook.

So I took a bit of inspiration from this recipe here, but adjusted it with what I had in the fridge and what I felt like eating.

Ingredients (as always with me the quantities are just a rough guide)

  • 400gms arborio rice
  • 500mls chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp vegetable stock concentrate in 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin
  • meat from a BBQ chicken
  • maple syrup (I used genuine, not the flavoured syrup)
  • 100 gm sundried tomato
  • 2 cups chopped mushroom
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • romano or parmesan cheese (1/2 cup grated)
  • 100 gm feta cheese
  • big handful baby spinach leaves

Method

  1. Peel and chop pumpkin. Lightly coat in olive oil and maple syrup.
  2. Cook in oven for 20-30 minutes til soft and golden, turn once.
  3. In BIKM, chop peeled onion and garlic. Speed 6, 4 seconds.
  4. Place stirring blade into machine.
  5. Add olive oil, saute garlic and onion 4 minutes, speed 1, temp ST.
  6. Add sundried tomatoes, cook 1 minute, speed 1, temp ST.
  7. Add arborio rice. Cook 2 minutes, speed 1, temp ST. Add wine and cook for another 2 minutes.
  8. Add chicken and vegetable stock. Cook 20 minutes, speed 1, temp 100.
  9. While rice is cooking, add mushroom.
  10. Cook until rice is soft and desired consistency is reached. You may need to add a little more water if it is getting too dry. Stop and give it a good stir and scrape if you need to.
  11. Add frozen peas with 3 minutes to go.
  12. In a large bowl you can cover, place spinach leaves. When rice is cooked, pour into container onto spinach. The heat will cook it.
  13. Place chicken, feta cheese, and romano cheese in with rice. Cover and stand for 3-5 minutes.
  14. Stir to combine, and serve, topped with roasted pumpkin and sour cream if you like it.

I hope you enjoy this, it looks like a lot of steps but it is very simple, just a matter of adding things as it cooks. You could stir the pumpkin through before serving, but I have to leave it separate as husband doesn’t eat it.

I have a Tupperware container I use for putting hot meals like this one into. It is actually two bowls that nest together, so serves as an insulated container for hot and cold foods, or you can pull it apart to have 2 separate dishes if needed, with fitted lids.

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Apricot Jam in the BIKM

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Apricot Jam in the BIKM

So one of the projects on my to-do list for cooking this week was Apricot Jam in my Bellini Intelli. 

There is a lot of jam testing in some houses that I know of, of late. I think because it is such an easy thing to make. The ingredients are easy to come by, it tastes good, and at the end you feel as though you have accomplished a great cooking feat.

Apricot jam is a favourite of mine, closely followed by plum. Given neither are in season I gave dried apricots a try.

The following recipe I did resulted in a chunkier jam, it definitely had ‘bits’. If you don’t like bits, my friend at LiveLoveTaste recently did a smooth version, check it out.

If you are happy with bits, then give this a try. It could also be smoothed out by a bit more processing too, although I use the bits to convince myself that there is some fruity goodness in the jam and it’s not just mostly sugar I am eating :D!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 packets of dried apricots (approx 650 gms)
  • sugar (equal quantity of your fruit weight)
  • water
  • 1 fresh lemon, flesh and zest

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees, place clean jam jars on a flat tray and place in oven.
  2. Soak apricots in water. I covered them with warm (not boiling) water out of the kettle, and left for an hour while I was doing other things.
  3. Drain apricots and weigh. Pour apricots into BIKM jug.
  4. Measure out an equal quantity of sugar, add to jug.
  5. Add lemon zest and flesh.
  6. I also added in about 100mls of water at this point.
  7. Cook for 20 minutes, speed 1, 100 degrees.
  8. If too thick add a little more water. Cook for another 10-15 minutes, speed 1, temp 90 degrees.
  9. If jam is too chunky here, you can gradually increase speed 1-2-3, until you have your desired consistency.
  10. I poured into hot glass jars fresh from the oven and covered with plastic lids (be careful, it is very hot and can bubble everywhere).


I searched the internet and the easiest way to test if your jam is set, is to place a bread plate in the freezer to chill it. Put a teaspoon of hot jam on it, and if it sets you’re done. If not, cook a little longer.

Apricot Jam Homemade in the BIKM

Menu Planning and List Making… Favourite Meals in our House

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I love menu planning… or should I say the idea of menu planning. I do it for a week or two, but then get too busy with everything else to stick with it. I love to make lists too, to plan and be organised.

The trouble is I am also a big day dreamer… So I daydream about being organised, but the reality is I am so distracted that I am actually not very good at following through with my lists.

I make lists about what to pack camping, what christmas presents I need to buy, what loads of washing I should sort, what needs doing around the house, what veggies I would like to plant in my veggie garden.

Perhaps it is the Pisces in me?

In the spirit of list making and menu planning, I thought I would compile a list of favourite meals in our house. As a general rule they aren’t too fancy. Usually not needing a recipe as such, more so a meat and veg variety of some kind, with something different every now and then as meat and veg gets too boring for me.

But I find if I have a list to refer to, I can plan easier. Either because I have an easy meal I know will get eaten, the ingredients are usually on hand in the pantry, or if we are bored of the same ol’ can try something different. I also find, the weeks I menu plan, I will do an online grocery shop. Reading the junk mail catalogues and planning around which meat or particular ingredient is on special also helps.

A lot of these meals, I plan on adjusting or using my Bellini Intelli more often.

  • Meat and Veg (any combination of red meat, white meat or seafood, usually mashed potato, steamed carrot, pumpkin, broccoli, corn, peas, beans, zucchini, asparagus… what ever is in season)
  • Atlantic Salmon, pan fried and crispy with veggies
  • Yellow Prawn Curry
  • Beef Stroganoff with rice or risoni
  • Burritos with chicken strips or mince, salad and sour cream
  • Slow cooked Butter Chicken
  • Chicken Satay
  • Beef Stir Fry
  • Chicken/Beef/Pork Schnitzel
  • Steak Sandwiches
  • Risotto in any form, bacon, vegetarian, mushroom, chicken
  • Pumpkin Soup
  • Cauliflower soup with bacon
  • Pea and Ham Soup slow cooked
  • Fritatta
  • Spaghetti Bolognese
  • Pasta Bake
  • Lasagne
  • Homemade Pizzas
  • Roast and Veg
  • Minestrone Soup
  • Thai Curry
  • Beef and Guinness Pie
  • Chicken Leek and Mushroom Pie
  • Meatballs in the slow cooker
  • Tuna Mornay
  • Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup
  • Stew/Casserole in Slow cooker

The season tends to dictate if we have salad or veg, lighter meals or heavier ones.

Hopefully there are some ideas here for you if you are bored of making the same thing every day. I will update this list too.

Be sure to request any recipes if you see something that tickles your fancy.

Summer Mango Smoothie (for the young and old)

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Summer Mango Smoothie

So the kids want to watch a movie, it’s a nice sunny day outside of course.

As a pre-movie treat and to get some fruit into them I whipped this up.

It was really quick, super easy, and tasted so light and refreshing I wish I made enough for me too.

Ingredients (this was enough for 2 children’s sized drinks)

  • Flesh of 1 mango
  • 1 tub childrens yoghurt (happened to have banana)
  • 200mls milk
  • 8-10 ice cubes

1. Place mango, milk, and yoghurt into BIKM

2. Speed 4, 10 seconds.

3. Add ice. Pulse 3-4 times.

4. Speed 5, 20 seconds.

5. Pour and serve …. It was that easy!

I think the longer you spin it for in step 4 the lighter it would probably be, so adjust to your chosen consistency.

For a variation, throw in a banana or some fresh or frozen berries too.

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