Tag: recipe

Amazeballs and Rosa Brook

Amazeballs and Rosa Brook

Here is a recipe that you can alter entirely without screwing it up. I call it Amazeballs because thats how you feel when you’re eating them. And they’re balls.

date nut chocolate energy balls


300g approx of:

nuts/seeds. I used 50g each of walnuts, almonds, pepitas, brazil nuts, pistachios and cashews

30g (1 tablespoon) coconut sugar, optional

10 medjool dates

50g melted raw cacao butter (substitute with coconut oil if it’s handier)

20g (1 huge tablespoon) cacao powder or cocoa


Blend the bejeeziz out of it all in your thermomix/food processor. Roll into balls and store in fridge. I sometimes add a bit of protein powder or some maca powder (libido booster anyone?). This batch I couldn’t be bothered with any of that. Also there will be teenagers eating them, don’t want to boost anything but brains and good manners thank you. I only used these nuts because they were in the pantry – you can just use almonds if you like and they are just as nice.

I drove through Australia’s most adorable town on Sunday and thought ‘I have to get a photo of this on my blog’, as you do. Rosa Brook is not far from famous wine and surf town, Margaret River. There’s Darnell’s General Store and about half a dozen houses you can barely see. I always stop there just because I can’t not stop there, it’s too cute:

rosa brook darnells general store

Here is the view up the road:

rosa brook view 2

….and here is the view down the road:

rosa brook

This is who I parked next to. His mileage is nearly as efficient as mine:

rosa brook car

Rosa Brook is quite close to a great olive oil grower called 34 Degrees South which is my favourite olive oil at the moment. You empty some wine bottles (easy!) and take them in and fill them under the vat tap of your choice. It’s worth a visit and exactly like walking into the M.A.S.H 4077 tent that contains olive oil rather than Hawkeye and Radar. There are some slightly scary geese to negotiate on the way in.

34 degrees south



Incredibly Easy Cake Everyone Will LOVE

Incredibly Easy Cake Everyone Will LOVE

When  a recipe starts with “put all ingredients in bowl” there is a very good chance it is going to get tried out in my kitchen. Today’s little winner is the Bimby Chocolate Cake. I only have one picture of it as it is so easy to make, it was prepped, baked and half-eaten before I had a chance to whip out my camera.

The other great thing about this recipe is the fact that the it makes either one big cake, two loaf-sized or loads of cupcakes. Today I made two. It is a thermomix recipe but any half decent food processor or a Kitchen Aid will cope with this. I have converted the amounts of everything to suit either. Just make sure your butter is very soft if you’re not using a thermomix. And use nice proper butter.

You can leave out the cacao and make a plain vanilla cake if you like, or throw in some finely grated orange peel for a Jaffa effect (I’ve done this and it is very good). Too easy.

chocolate cake

Bimby Chocolate Cake

170g (3/4 cup) soft, good butter
4 eggs
250g (1 cup) milk
300g (1 1/4 cups) self raising flour
370g (1 1/2 cups) raw sugar
40g (3 tbs) cocoa/cacao powder
1 good splosh vanilla

Put all ingredients in bowl. Mix at a good speed for a minute (TMX sp6 1min). Bake for 45 mins at 180 degrees celsius in two tins or about an hour in one big tin.

Thanks to the wonderful Forum Thermomix for this one and especially to forum her “I Love Bimby” who kindly let me republish this here.

I did make a version of this recipe and simply left out the cocoa/cacao and it was just as good. I never got around to icing it before it was gobbled up:

chocolate cake without chocolate

Just for fun – here’s a photo of Tendercrisp doing what she does when out free ranging:

chicken tendercrisp

Attention to Detail

Attention to Detail

Lunch at the  newly renovated Cott Hotel with two sensible friends last week and the conversation turned to the movies. One of them gets free tickets to Luna Palace films and often asks me along. This is because I am a very agreeable movie date:

I scoff my choc bomb before the main feature comes on, or I eat nothing, so there’s no crunching of the end of the cone during awkward quiet bits. I don’t talk at all during the film, not even an ironic glance. Unlike one of the clever men I know I also don’t drink from a water bottle which then creates a little vacuum, making a popping noise as air is returned to the bottle once the drinking has finished (there was no easy way to write that bit).

Sensibly, we decided there were some people with acute attention to detail and others without and how one behaves in the movies is a pretty good yardstick.

The chatter moved seamlessly from movies to parking (aren’t we the fun girls?) and again bewilderment at some people’s lack of attention to detail.

When you’re headed to your car and you can see someone is waiting to pull into your spot, you skedaddle into your seat, put your seatbelt on as you’re pulling out and hot-foot it out of there ASAP so the person behind you doesn’t have to wait for too long, holding up traffic and getting annoyed. Although you will never see them again in your entire life, you don’t want them thinking ill of you.

So why when the situation is reversed, do you find yourself sitting there with your indicator on while the person in the car leaving ambles over, hops in their car does God knows what for two or three minutes then reverses out slowly, visibly surprised to see you waiting there for their spot. Then while they are half out of the spot, slowly put on seatbelt, make another call, chat to child in back seat for a while….This isn’t reserved to beach parking – there’s the shopping centre, the theatre parking, Napoleon Street…

Lets not even go there with the pick up lane at the kids’ schools and the mothers in front chatting from car window to car window when their little one has been belted in already for a full three minutes.

Holier than thou Toyota Prius
Holier than thou Toyota Prius

At least I can sit smugly in those queues knowing I am helping save the world in my Prius (let’s just forget the fact I am driving when I live less than one kilometre from the school gate).

Many of my sensible friends are celebrating this week: kids back to school, house staying cleaner, no longer haemorrhaging money on a daily basis. In my family we have two landmark years with one daughter in Year 1 and the other daughter in Year 12. In the middle a son in Year 10. We’re at the pointy end of the education system, but hysterically it’s both pointy ends. What fun.

Have you, like me, been wondering what to feed the kids for brekky? Sensible friend Jane suggested an easy breakfast that avoids the cereal trap (cereal is easy but as you know, nutritionally so poor there is no point in it at all): Good quality yoghurt – we use Mundella (because it’s good quality and locally grown and owned by dear friends), some nuts roughly chopped, and some fresh fruit. It’s SO simple and so healthy. Maybe some nice homemade or Gaby’s Muesli and maple syrup spooned on top.

Yoghurt with fruit and nuts
Yoghurt with fruit and nuts

Below is a recipe I have adapted for the Thermomix and altered so it is almost completely Superfoods (superfoods I tell you!). It was originally a Curtis Stone recipe from a friend who dropped a slice of it in yesterday.

Don’t be alarmed by the number of ingredients, you just throw in what you have in your pantry. If you’re not a thermomixer, it’s basically a cup of flour and a couple of cups of ‘bits’.

IMG_0991 IMG_0993 IMG_0994 IMG_0995 IMG_0996

Superfood Slice

  • 130g coconut flour/other flour
  • 100g muesli
  • 30g each of sunflower seeds, goji berries, shredded coconut, chia seeds, coconut sugar, dates.
  • 50g coconut oil
  • 50g sun warrior protein powder (or whichever brand you like)
  • 20g maca powder
  • 40g honey (I used the McCall’s honey from the Margaret River Farmers Market!)
  • 20g molasses
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 or 2 eggs depending on how dry your mix is.

Throw it all in the bowl, mix it up speed 5, and press it into a brownie tin. Bake 180 for 20 minutes. For non-TMX’s just throw it all in a big bowl and mix it up.

This version happens to be gluten-free but I have also made a batch with normal wholemeal flour and it was fine. Don’t expect it to be more than luke-warmly received by the younger kids, its ‘healthy’ tasting: No it doesn’t taste nearly as good as a Tim Tam okay? You could try melting some chocolate and butter and spreading it on top to dress it up, or add 30g cacao powder to recipe to turn it into a chocolate slice.

silver linings playbook weinstein company 900-thumb-615x372-105628
Silver Linings Playbook

Back to movies – you know who to ask if you want a movie date! It’s probably my most favourite thing to do. If you haven’t seen Silver Linings Playbook or Argo, do. Especially Argo.

“Argo fuck yourself!”




Christmas and Pomegranate Salad

Christmas and Pomegranate Salad

It is Christmas Night here. We have had three family things on and picked up oldest daughter from the international airport (she is no longer starving in Paris whilst on exclusive girls school French tour; a whole other story) and I now find myself sitting serenely on the veranda with a glass of the Pepperilly, iPad and dog.

Rob is heroically putting overtired six year old to bed and the big kids have put on Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation. We’re loving him as Pierce in Community.

Pierce-chase MSF

The Sensible Friends have been busy feeding and wining families during what was apparently the hottest Christmas Day in the world here in Perth – it cant possibly be true but it was in the paper so it must be – and this salad Sara threw together today was just crying out to be shared, after I begged her to send me something.

Here’s a recipe I made up today by just throwing a few handfuls of what I had in the fridge together – it was all based around trying to find something to go with the 2 beautiful pomegranates I bought at the markets.

Sara’s Quinoa & Pomegranate Salad

2 cups of tricolour quinoa
A couples of handfuls of chopped fresh mint, parsley and coriander
1 cup toasted pine nuts or flaked almonds
1 cup pistachios
1 cup of chopped dates
Seeds and juice from one or two pomegranates
Salt & Pepper
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbs olive oil

Boil quinoa as per packet instructions. Cool and mix in nuts, dates and fresh herbs – mix through beautiful pomegranate seeds. Season with salt and pepper and mix through lime juice and olive oil.
I also put a little bit of cumin in with it just to add some spice

Here’s how Christmas looked here at 8am.

Beach Xmas 2012 MSF

Seriously Good Mayonnaise Recipe

Seriously Good Mayonnaise Recipe

Many of you already know of the wonderful food of Yotam Ottolenghi.  I can’t wait to get his latest book, Jerusalem. Hoping someone reading this will give it to me for Christmas in a few days time and considering that the only person who is aware of My Sensible Friend at the moment is my husband (I haven’t got it looking quite the way I want it yet), well….this could be my way of finding out whether he is actually reading the blog or not.

“Ottolenghi draws on a wealth of culinary traditions – with a focus on the Mediterranean basin – providing inventive yet honest food, anything from a lemon and mascarpone tart to a grilled mackerel with olive and raisin salsa, made only from the best basic raw ingredients.”

How perfect is that? I have had the first, self titled book of Ottolenghi’s for a while now, and want to share with my thermomixing friends a version of his marvellous mayonnaise, called Ruth’s Mayonnaise. You don’t need a thermomix to make this, a food processor or a bowl and whisk (if you’re superwoman) will do.

There is another recipe of his involving feta and fennel that I am hoping to get out there tomorrow if I can bear the Christmas crowds at the shop today. The thermomix book calls for room temp eggs in their mayo, but if you live in Australia in summer the chances of having eggs lying around at room temperature are pretty much nil and I have found using cold eggs makes no difference at all.

Ruth’s Mayonnaise

  • 1 good big egg
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp raw sugar
  • half tsp good salt
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbs cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • few sprigs fresh coriander (optional as I never seem to have any in the fridge)
  • approx 500ml cold-pressed oil like macadamia (I find olive too strong-tasting)

Turn Thermomix on to speed 8 and drop garlic onto running blades.

Insert butterfly and add everything but oil.

Turn on to speed 4, let egg mix up for about 20 seconds, then pour oil in slowly with MC on. Takes about two to three minutes. All done.

If you’re doing this without a Thermomix halve your ingredients so you’re not whisking for three days; just combine everything but the oil, then slowly pour the oil into the bowl of the other ingredients while you whisk. Friends or kids make great bowl-holders and whiskerers.

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