Cheesy mushroom dip

My best friend gave me this recipe years back and oh.my.god. The healthiest thing in there is the fresh garlic (even the mushrooms are canned) but holy crap it’s the most addictive dip in the history of mankind. Trust me. Anyway this was the first year I used the Thermomix to make it, and hollowed out a cob loaf to serve it in. You can just pop it into a dish and serve it with crackers too if you can’t be bothered with the bread.

Ingredients
1 cob loaf, hollowed out, optional
Olive oil for drizzling
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 can of champignon mushrooms (I’ve tried using fresh mushrooms but it’s not as good)
1 regular sized jar of mayonnaise, mine was 235g (none of that low-fat crap. If you’re making this dip your diet is screwed anyway, so go for the real stuff)
Parmesan cheese, the same amount as your mayonnaise
Paprika for sprinkling (optional)

Method
– Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius
– Tear the bread from the middle of your cob loaf into chunks, throw in a bowl, and drizzle with some olive oil. I had some spare rosemary so I threw that in too. Set aside.
– Throw your garlic into the TMX bowl and chop for 3 secs/speed 5.
– Add mushrooms and press Turbo a couple of times to chop them up into bite-sized pieces.

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– Add the mayo and parmesan cheese, and hit Turbo another few times until well-mixed.

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– Scoop the mushroom mix into the cob loaf, sprinkle with paprika if you want, and whack into the oven for 45 minutes. When you have 15 minutes left, throw the bread chunks into the oven (spread evenly on a tray) to toast.
– Et voila. Try not to finish it all by yourself.

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Apple cider sauce

This year I decided to make a roast pork with crackling for the first time. I saw a stovetop recipe for apple cider sauce somewhere and decided to give it a crack in the TMX. Boy am I glad I did, it was so yummy and is definitely one of my staple sauces going forward! This recipe yields enough gravy for 4-6 people, just double the quantity if you’ve got a big group to feed.

Ingredients
1/2 an onion
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
30g butter or dripping from your roast pork
125ml apple cider
125ml chicken/veggie stock
1 heaped teaspoon honey mustard or Dijon mustard (I used the latter)
1 heaped teaspoon flour (I used wholemeal flour)
90ml thickened cream

Method
– Pop your onion and apple into the TMX bowl and hit Turbo once or twice until you achieve your desired chunkiness (twice was enough for me)
– Add butter/dripping and sauté for 4 mins/100 degrees/speed 1.
– Pour in the apple cider, and boil for 8 mins/100 degrees/speed 1.
– Add stock, mustard, flour and cream, and cook for another 6 mins/100 degrees/speed 1.
– Done!

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Sea salt pecan praline clusters

What a nice feeling it is to not just be making puree! I normally make something small for my neighbours for Christmas, and this recipe is super easy to make. I didn’t bother with the vanilla in the original recipe and upped the salt content as I prefer a more savoury flavour. The original recipe calls for 150 pecan halves which screwed around with my brain a bit (it’s not like they TELL you on the packaging how many pieces there are, nor can you ask someone to count out 150 halves for you if you’re buying per weight!) So I did the job for y’all. 50 halves is approximately 100g. Bingo.

Ingredients
60g brown sugar
90g raw sugar
100g thickened cream
40g butter
300g/approx 150 pecan halves
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt (plus additional for sprinkling if you wish)

Method
– Throw all your ingredients into your Thermomix bowl.
– Cook for 25 mins/Varoma/Reverse/Speed 1.
– Place spoonfuls of the mixture on baking paper to set. I had roughly 3 pecan halves per spoonful.
– Devour, or give to people. But only people you like. 🙂

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Mango and peach puree

Summer is hereeeee, bringing with it the best fruits ever! I whizzed this up for bubba but this can also be used for a whole bunch of Christmas dishes. You can serve it warm alongside roast pork, or drizzled cold over your pavlova/Chrissy trifle!

Ingredients
Flesh of 1 mango
Flesh of 1 peach (I used white, you can use yellow too. Or even nectarines)

Method
– Pop fruit in your Thermomix bowl.
– Whizz for 3 secs/speed 7.
– Dunzo!

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Blueberry and pear puree

I’ve now done two versions of this, a raw puree and cooked puree. Bub demolishes both, but I do like the cooked version a bit more as the flavour is more intense, This is great for the whole family too, just chuck some into a serve of Greek yoghurt for a healthy flavoured treat!

Ingredients
1 pear, peeled, cored and cut into chunks (any variety should work, I used beurre bosc for mine)
1 punnet blueberries

Method
– Pop your fruit in the TMX bowl and chop for 5 secs/speed 8.

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– Cook for 12 mins/100 degrees/speed 1
– Blend for 3 secs/speed 8.

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Dusting it off

Whoa, long time since I’ve posted. Sorry! We’ve been away in Malaysia and I got a bit lazy with my cooking in the lead-up to the trip. But I’ve set aside today to restock the freezer, will get some new posts up ASAP! In the meantime, a quick prep shot…

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Baby food – zucchini

Pureed zucchini is another favourite in this household. I used to blend it up really smoothly but now I make it a little more lumpy so bub can get used to the texture. Three zucchinis normally make at least 10-12 servings.

Ingredients
3 zucchinis, peeled and cut into chunks

Method
– Throw your zucchini into the TMX bowl and chop for 5 secs/speed 5.
– Cook for 9 mins/100 degrees/speed 1.
– The zucchini should already be a nice, slightly coarse mix and ready to go for slightly older bubs. If a super-smooth texture is needed like the image below, puree for 5 secs/speed 8.

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Baby food – minted peas

I watched an episode of Man Finds Food recently and he featured an Aussie pie in the heart of Boston which was served with a side of mushy peas (yeah, not so Aussie). I then remembered I had some leftover frozen peas in the freezer, so I thought I’d introduce that to bub!

Ingredients

200g frozen peas
A handful of fresh mint leaves or a teaspoon of dried mint leaves (optional)
30g water/stock
Extra boiled water/stock

Method

– Pop peas, mint and 30g liquid in your TMX.
– Cook for 12mins/100 degrees/speed 1.
– Puree for 8 seconds/speed 8
– Check consistency, add more liquid and puree if desired.

You can also serve this to adults as a side dish, although I must admit it would be totally more appealing for our palates with a dash of cream and/or butter 🙂

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Dhal

There are quite a few spelling variations for this dish – dal, dahl, dhal – around. Even trusty Wikipedia couldn’t point me in the right direction this time!

Anyway.

I want to start getting my daughter used to stronger flavours. Lentil is a good food for under-ones so I thought that I might try my grandmother’s dhal recipe in the TMX. I recommend keeping it overnight or longer before serving to let the flavours develop and it’s a great one to freeze. You can add a range of veggies – carrot, cauliflower, potato – when you’re heating the dhal up if you need a more substantial meal. You can also add some fresh chilli with the onion, garlic and ginger if you want a spicier dish, but I think I might hold off a bit longer before introducing chilli to the little one!

Ingredients

3-4 cloves garlic, peeled

1 onion

1.5-2cm knob of ginger (you can increase/decrease the quantity according to your taste, this amount adds a fairly subtle flavour)

20g olive oil

1 tbsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp mustard seeds (I like the texture the seeds lend to the dhal so I put 1.5 tbsps in)

200g red lentils, washed

800g water

1-1.5 tsp salt (to taste)

Method

– Throw garlic, onion and ginger into the TMX bowl, and chop for 4 secs/speed 6.

– Add oil and turmeric powder, cook for 5 mins/100 degrees/speed 1.

– Add mustard seeds, lentils and water, give the mix a good stir then cook for 20 mins/100 degrees/reverse/speed 1. I like to pause and stir the dhal a bit halfway through to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom (I was scarred after the Thermomix consultant blackened my bowl when cooking risotto at my demonstration. Perhaps a bit more practice for her, methinks.) but you don’t have to do this.

– Remove portions for bub (if applicable), then add salt to taste. Dunzo! A healthy meal for the family.

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Watermelon and strawberry puree

I fell prey to the fancy Le Petit Miam baby yoghurt packaging and bought 6 pouches before I realised how much sugar was packed into those babies. So I decided from that point that any yoghurt flavouring bubba consumes in the early stages of her life would be homemade. I now buy Greek yoghurt and pop some fruit puree into the mix. I haven’t titled this post ‘Baby Food’ because it’s actually a fab healthy option for the rest of the family too!

Strawberries are super cheap at the moment, but the problem is that most of them really aren’t that sweet. So I chucked in an eighth of a watermelon too so it wouldn’t be as sour. The resulting mixture is quite runny, but works well with a good thick Greek yoghurt.

Ingredients

1 punnet strawberries, washed, leaves removed
An eighth of a watermelon, skin removed, cut into chunks (any more than this and the mixture gets a bit too runny.

Method
– Throw fruit into your TMX bowl.
– Whizz for 3 seconds/speed 6.
– Pop into individual serve containers and freeze until use (I use $2 ice cube trays from K-Mart!)

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