Lemon Butter in the Bellini (BIKM)


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.


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


  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

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


  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.


Apricot Jam in the BIKM

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!!


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


  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


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)


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.


Recipes to follow for these dishes soon (BIKM)


This last week has been so busy here.
My sister and lovely niece were visiting from interstate.
Family from the ‘country’ staying for a few days. Family gatherings all weekend, so busy but in that nice way. But I have done some serious eating.
A quick rundown of the yummy food hitting my tummy goes like this ( and now you know, no time to update the blog… I have been too busy eating 😉 )

Friday night: steak and salad on soft rolls… Pretty self explanatory there. But quick am easy and easy to slip some salad into everyone.

Saturday… My sister and brother in law put on a delicious BBQ. Lots of meat of course. Some salads by a talented cook in the family, brown rice and lentil with dressing, and a face of mine… Roasted pumpkin on baby spinach with feta cheese and a dressing ( it was sweet and tangy)
My contribution was a crunchy Asian noodle salad. My BIKM got a look in here with some almond action. Next time I think I’ll do the dressing in Bellini first, then chop nuts, then shred cabbage ( for another blog).

Sunday… Well a traditional roast but waaaay better! My country cousin brought a pork roast from one of their home grown pigs. So we had a charcoal spit roast, potatoes in foil, roast pumpkin, carrots beans corn. Oh an don’t forget the roast chook too.
It tasted all the better for the fact hubby cooked it. Not only can he fabricate a perfect spit… He can cook with it too! Lucky me 🙂

I’m sure you’re thinking the festivities must be over, back to boring Monday meat and veg. But not so.

Today we had a treat of chocolate brownies, in the BIKM.
And also risotto in the BIKM for tea. It was chicken, Sundried tomato, maple roasted pumpkin, baby spinach, feta and Romano cheese, and mushroom.

This week I have plans for apricot jam and home made pizza thanks to my friend at livelovetaste who is making me jealous with her yummy cooking.
I also have to upload a few experiments I have tried in the last week or 2 in the BIKM, satay chicken and beef stroganoff.

The wonderful thing about feeding others is I have guinea pigs. They have to be testers of my recipes! I think it was successful and it’s nice to have people eat you food who enjoy it 🙂



Today: Cupcakes and Peanut Butter


Just a quickie before I nod off, hubby snoring is keeping me awake. Oh and the kids too.

Today I made cupcakes with my eldest. So pulled out the BIKM. I cheated and used a packet mix. Followed instructions as per box but mixed for 2 minutes speed 4. They were perfect! Have to say I was pretty impressed… Although only just managed to save the 2nd batch from the brink of burning when we got distracted watching the storms outside.

I also made peanut butter.
I’m not game to use the tub in the pantry anymore after I found said 3 year old eating it out the tub with his fingers. The same 3 year old whose hands touch all sorts of unclean an unsavoury things.

It was easy… Just blended until smooth and added a little oil and a small sprinkle of sugar. We are crunchy peanut butter fans here so once it was smooth ( it wasn’t totally smooth, it still had little lumps, not like the smooth stuff in the shops) I added another handful of nuts and blitzed quickly so they were still more chunky.

Had a piece on toast this evening… Definitely different to the bought stuff but still yummy and I will be keeping it in the fridge away from dirty fingers!
Though not sure on it’s shelf life, will look into that and let you know.




Hubby said it looked just like the baby’s dirty nappy…

Crunchy Polenta Tuna Patties in the BIKM

Crunchy Polenta Tuna Patties in the BIKM

So our weather peaked out at 35 degrees yesterday. Welcome November!!

Considering this, light meal for tea was needed… and I didn’t organise any meat from the freezer.. so tuna it was.

Decided to make tuna patties in the BIKM, this is the recipe for what I did, although I am sure there was probably an easier way.

All in, I reckon they were really yummy! Easy for the 3 year old to eat too.

1. Peel and cube 6 medium potatoes.

2. Cook in basket insert, 20 min, speed 1, temp ST.

3. Chop half onion, 1 carrot. 3 seconds, speed 6.

4. Add mushroom. Chop, 2 seconds, speed 5.

5. Add oil, saute 3 minutes, speed 1, temp 100.

6. Place carrot onion mushroom in a large bowl with drained tuna. I also added some frozen peas and corn here.

7. Place potato in bikm jug with mixing blade. Blend for 15 seconds speed 4 and check. Blend again if required.

8. Add potato to tuna mix. Also add tbsp whole grain mustard and 2 eggs. Combine well.

At this point I placed the mix in the fridge but it was still quite wet. I think moisture probably came out of the frozen peas and corn. I added some finely torn white bread to dry it of which helped. Next time I think I’ll start with 1 egg too.

9. Place dried breadcrumbs and polenta into a bowl. I did about half half. Shape tuna mix into balls and coat in crumbs. I placed on a lined baking tray and popped back into the fridge but you could skip this.

10. Shallow fry in oil til golden brown each side.

So this recipe isn’t perfect but was more of an experiment. The end result though was very tasty and like I mentioned, I’m sure I made it harder than it needed to be.











My BIKM (Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master)… a quick review


Surf & Turf with Hollandaise Sauce

So I have had my BIKM for a few months now.

I thought I would give a rundown of the things I have successfully made in it so far. This isn’t a comparison to other machines out there, or or anything like that. This is the one I have so it is what I use.

Firstly, my machine died a month or two after getting it. It was grating some cheese…. middle of the time and it just went. DEAD. NOTHING! NADA! ZIP!

Back to the shop, under warranty and new one in hand, we started again.

Off the top of my head these are things I have used my BIKM for, and have been pleased with the results (in no particular order).

  • hollandaise sauce
  • buttercream icing
  • white sauce/cheese sauce
  • tuna mornay
  • risotto
  • grating various cheeses
  • jam
  • lemon butter
  • pancake batter
  • hommus
  • sundried tomato and cashew dip
  • beef stroganoff
  • butter
  • vegetable stock concentrate
  • porridge with apple
  • mashed potato
  • rice
  • steamed veggies

I’m sure there are more that I have forgotten.

The thing I have had least success with so far is steaming vegetables. Whether or not that is because I have it mastered on the stove top and this doesn’t seem to work as well. Definitely needs some more experimenting to work it out I think.

The hollandaise sauce was devine… if not totally fattening! We had it on a meal of surf and turf… WAY better than any restaurant meal! It was THAT good!

I’m looking forward to the warmer weather and trying it out with summer fruits and desserts, as well as salads. My husband isn’t big on one pot type dishes (boohoo to him) and my 3 year old is only just developing a taste for salads, so we’ll see how much I get to use it for those type of things.

If not, I think a summer of mango smoothies will do me just fine regardless!

If anyone would like recipes for anything mentioned above please comment below and I will add them in.


5 Top Tips to Reduce Salt in Your Diet


Husband cooked a roast for dinner Friday night. Was very nice, and good of him to cook, but there was a problem.

I could not eat the potatoes! And who doesn’t love roast potatoes? They are the highlight of any roast meal if you ask me.

Husband had ‘seasoned’ them… with about half a tub of salt, I think. They were so salty I couldn’t eat them.

It leads me to something I am quite passionate about, and that is making healthier choices in our diet. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no exercise fiend and I have a sweet tooth…. BUT there are also some simple guidelines I follow day to day, so that I aim to have a balanced dietary intake.

So why is salt (or sodium) content such a problem? Well salt is a water attractor, so the more salt in our body, the more fluid we retain. This can be a problem for many heart and other health conditions, but for a lot of people it is blood pressure that is a problem. And there are a few simple measures that can help to reduce your BP reading.

Sodium is a necessary part of our diet, it helps our body function. However, most of us get the recommended sodium intake through unprocessed foods, that is, fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish etc. Anything else added is just extra.

Here are the strategies I follow to minimise the added sodium in my diet.

  • DO read labels, get familiar with what they mean.
  • DON’T add salt to your boiling water for rice/pasta/veggies
  • DO use other seasonings and flavours (lemon juice, pepper, garlic, spices, herbs etc)
  • DON’T sprinkle salt on at the table or when serving food
  • DO limit packaged and processed foods

So the ongoing debate between me and hubby, is I refuse to add salt. He continues to add it to his meal, a LOT. It worries me to be honest. I want my husband to live long and healthy.

The trouble is, salt is a flavour your tastebuds get accustomed to. So when you eat something with no/less salt, it tastes bland in comparison. Good news though, your taste buds will also get used to a less salty flavour, and the benefit is you get to really taste your food.

There is a lot of information on this topic and I could harp on all day. As usual, the key is moderation. There are a couple of things I do add salt to, usually roast potatoes, and I use some in my vegetable stock concentrate I have been making. But that is about it.

If you’re interested in more ideas or want more information, feel free to post a comment or check out The National Heart Foundation website, which is a great resource.