Weetbix Slice (includes egg free option)

Weetbix slice

This slice has fast become my family’s favourite!  My kids absolutely love it & often get involved in making & icing it.  I tried a few recipes, some too dry, but my favourite was from a blog called Make it Perfect.  I’ve tweaked the recipe a little & adjusted everything to grams, so it’s so easy to weigh the ingredients into your bowl.

For an egg free version of this slice, replace the egg with 40-50g chickpea water.  This is the water drained from a can of chickpeas.  You won’t be able to tell the difference, in fact, I prefer it with the chickpea water.

Ingredients:
10 weetbix  (160g)
180g butter, cut into pieces
25g cocoa
150g brown sugar
40g desicated coconut
1 egg

Icing Ingredients:

180g icing sugar
20g cocoa
20g soft butter
boiling water

Method:

1) Pre heat oven to 170 degrees (fan forced). Grease & line a slice tin with baking paper.
2) Place weetbix in TM bowl, crush 5 seconds/speed 10.  Set aside.
3) Without washing TM bowl, add butter, melt 3 minutes/60 degrees/speed 1.
4) Add cocoa, sugar, coconut, egg & reserved weetbix, mix 20 seconds/speed 4.
5) Scrape down the sides of the bowl, mix a further 10 seconds/speed 4.
6) Pour mixture into slice tin & press evenly into tin (see notes).
7) Bake for 20 minutes.  Allow to thoroughly cool before icing.

Icing Method:
1) Place icing sugar in TM bowl.  Mill 5 seconds/speed 10. (No need to sift – it’s now done)!
2) Add cocoa & butter.  Add 5-10g boiling water, then mix 10 seconds/speed 5.
3) Add 5-10g more boiling water & mix again 10 seconds/speed 5, until you achieve a smooth consistency.  Don’t add more than 10g boiling water at a time, as too much & the icing will be too runny.
4) Pour icing on cooled slice & sprinkle with 100’s & 1000’s.

 Notes:
 In my kitchen, food handling gloves are a must have!  For this slice, I put some on & press the slice down evenly with my hands before it goes in the oven.
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I cut up the whole slice into small pieces, then store half in the fridge for the kids to enjoy.  The other half of the slice goes in the freezer, so I can always pop a few pieces in their lunch boxes.

Cranzac’s (Cranberry ANZAC biscuits)

Cranzacs

I made these biscuits recently & my kids devoured them. These are Anzac biscuits, with cranberries, pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds added to them.  You could really add any dried fruit or seeds, but this combination is really lovely.    Lunchbox friendly & I’m sure the whole family will love them!

Ingredients:
125g butter
90g golden syrup
35g water
1 tsp bi carb soda
140g plain flour
120g rolled oats
80g desiccated coconut
140g brown sugar
90g pumpkin seeds (pepita’s)
40g sunflower seeds
80g cranberries

Method:
1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
2) Place butter, syrup & water in TM bowl, melt 3 minutes/70 degrees/speed 2.
3) Add bi carb soda, mix 5 seconds/speed 3.
4) Add remaining ingredients, mix 10 seconds speed 3.
5) Scrape down the sides of the bowl, knead mixture on dough setting/45 seconds.
6) Place small balls of mixture on tray lined with baking paper & lightly press down each ball with a fork or spoon.
7) Bake for 12 minutes, until golden.

Makes about 50 biscuits

Apple Muffin Balls

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These muffin balls are fantastic for lunchboxes!  They’re also so easy to make, literally just place all ingredients into your Thermomix & mix!  I love that they don’t even need to be rolled into balls with your hands.  If you use an old fashioned ice cream scoop, you can scoop them straight onto the tray.  They also freeze well, so you can add them to a lunchbox straight from the freezer & they’ll be ready to enjoy by recess.     My 5yo loves them, which means they passed the fussy eater test!

Ingredients:
290g SR flour
280g apple puree
60g brown sugar
30g rice bran oil
10g chia seeds
10g cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder

Method:
1) Pre heat oven to 170 degrees
2) Place all ingredients into TM bowl, mix 20 seconds/speed 3.5
3) Scrape down the sides of the bowl, mix 10 seconds/speed 3.5
4) Using a small old fashioned ice cream scoop, scoop balls of mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper.
5) Bake 12-15 minutes, or until the balls just start turning brown.

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Notes:
 Take care using the ice cream scoop or any steel spoon in your TM bowl, as they could scratch the inside of the bowl.  When it’s getting towards the end of the muffin mixture, I scrape the mixture into another bowl, just to prevent scratching.  You can also place your TM bowl back & turbo a few times, to release mixture around the blades, so there’s less wastage.
 

 Substitute apple puree for apple/raspberry or apple/strawberry puree for different varieties.

For a healthier option, substitute…..

Brown sugar for Rapadura

Cocoa for Cocao

SR Flour for wholemeal, or gluten free flour
 

Source:  cutoutthecrap.com.au (I modified the recipe for a lighter texture & using ingredients I had in my pantry)

Pizza Night (with lots of veggies)!

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It might not sound like a stretch to get your kids to like pizza, but my 5yo daughter is a very fussy, plain eater. Even to the point where she would turn up her nose at a slice of pizza, just because it was something different. Although she’s getting better, she’s still very fussy, although now she’ll try something, before telling me she doesn’t like it….. sometimes!

Anyway, she now loves pizza, so that is one new thing she likes, although she can still spot the smallest vegetable in her dinner, so I’m getting very creative at hiding them. This pizza I made for dinner this week was very easy (almost everything I grabbed from the freezer), very tasty & most importantly, FULL OF VEGGIES!

The sauce on this pizza is a few cubes of mashed vegetables, which I have in the freezer.  Then I mix in a few teaspoons of tomato paste, to give it a pizza sauce colour.   Follow this link to the veggie mash recipe.  I made the beef meatballs in my Thermomix too, although I haven’t posted the recipe yet.  They too are full of veggies, that are pureed so fine that my 5yo can’t spot them & then steamed in my Varoma tray.  I’ve then sprinkled on some cheese & cooked.

Freezing Pizza Dough:

The pizza dough recipe in your basic or everyday cookbook makes 4 pizza bases.  After the dough has been proved, it’s fine to freeze the dough if you’re not using the whole amount.  I freeze my dough in portions, wrapped in glad wrap.

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If you want to make frozen dough into a pizza, allow a few hours for it to defrost & come to room temperature.  I’ll usually put mine out in the morning or at lunchtime.  Unwrap the frozen dough & put on a plate.  Place fresh glad wrap over the frozen dough, making sure that it’s airtight.

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Now just allow your dough to slowly defrost.  As it comes to room temperature, it will prove again, doubling in size, which is why you place fresh glad wrap over it.  The dough will be quite sticky, so it’s good to roll out on your ThermoMat, with some plain flour on both sides of the dough.

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More Pizza Tips:

Another way to make sure you can always whip up a quick pizza for dinner (without having to go to the shops) is to have some toppings in the freezer.  I recently bought a boned leg of ham at the supermarket that was on sale, shredded it in my Thermomix & then frozen in 90g portions.  Not only is this convenient, it can save you a lot of money.

Pizza night

This is enough ham for one pizza & here’s what I made for the kids – they demolished it:

Pizza night 2

Honey Joys

Honey Joys

It was my daughter’s 5th birthday yesterday, so I’ve been busy making lots of party food.  My kids love honey joys, but I think my Dad loves them even more!  As I was making them yesterday, I converted the 1/3 cup & tablespoon measurements from my recipe into grams, so next time I can just weigh the ingredients into my Thermomix bowl.  It’s great to have the butter mixture melting at a controlled temperature & not have to keep stirring it.  While it’s melting, you can get all the patty pans ready for the next step.

Ingredients:
90g butter
80g sugar
20g honey
150g cornflakes

Method:
1) Pre heat oven to 150 degrees & line muffin tray with patty pan cases.
2) Place butter, sugar & honey in TM bowl, cook 5 minutes/100 degrees/speed 2.
3) While the butter mixture is cooking, place a mixing bowl on top of the TM lid, zero the scales & weigh cornflakes into bowl.
4) Pour butter mixture over the cornflakes & mix well.
5) Working quickly, spoon mixture into patty cases. Bake for 10 minutes.

 Notes:

 If you prefer, you can add the cornflakes to the TM bowl in steps 3 & 4.  Mix the cornflakes for 15 seconds/reverse/speed 2 or until the cornflakes are all coated.

 I prefer to mix the cornflakes & butter mixture in a mixing bowl, as you need to use a tablespoon to spoon the mixture into the patty cases & I’d rather not use a tablespoon in my TM bowl, so I don’t scratch it.  If you’d rather do everything in the Thermomix & avoid washing another mixing bowl, just take care when spooning out the last of the mixture & be careful not to scratch the base of your TM bowl.

Bolognaise Sauce

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I love a good Spaghetti Bolognaise & it’s one of my kid’s favourite meals!  I find it such a great sauce to have on hand in my freezer, as a go to meal when I don’t have time to cook.   I’d never thought of adding this to my blog, until I realised that I’m often asked by my customers what bolognaise recipe I follow.  The best thing is, this sauce is made from scratch – no additives or preservatives.  You can also add any vegetables you like in step 1 & if your kids are expert veggie spotters, puree the veggies by increasing the blade speed to speed 7 (in step 1).

This was a Thermomix recipe that I’ve tweaked along the way, adding a few things here & there.  I’m now really happy with the recipe & it’s just how I like it.  It’s not a really thick sauce, as I prefer the sauce to coat all the pasta.  However, if you wanted to make this thicker for a lasagne, I’d just add some more beef mince or add less tomato puree.  If you like, you can substitute some of the beef mince for pork or veal for more flavour.  Of course, you can also make this sauce by mincing your own meat in your Thermomix, so the consistency is more like a ragu.

Ingredients:
1 onion, quartered
1 clove garlic
1-2 carrots
2 sticks celery
80g bacon or pancetta, diced
20g olive oil
500g premium beef mince
50g red wine
1 tbsp vegetable stock paste
410g can tomato puree
60g tomato paste
400g can diced tomatoes
1 tsp mixed dried herbs

Method:
1) Place onion, garlic, carrot, celery & bacon in TM bowl. Chop 5 seconds/speed 5. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
2) Add oil, cook 5 mins/120 degrees/speed 1 (MC lid off).
3) Add mince & wine, cook 10 minutes/Varoma temp/reverse/soft speed. You may need to to give the mince a gentle stir with the TM spatula, if there are some pieces of mince stuck together.
4) Add stock, tomato puree, paste, dried herbs & diced tomatoes. Cook 15 minutes/Varoma temp/reverse/soft speed. With MC off, place rice basket on top of lid to prevent splatter.  Season with pepper to taste.

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Notes:

I freeze my sauce in 2 serve portions for the kids.  This recipe made 8 dinners for my girls – one for that night & 7 for the freezer!

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Macaroni Cheese with a Twist

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I found this recipe on Facebook recently & noticed the amount of positive comments from Mum’s with fussy eaters.  As my 4yo is very fussy, I thought I’d have to give it a go.  Well……This is really yummy & Sophie devoured it!  In my household, that proves that it’s a big hit for any kids!  The best thing too, as that the sauce is full of pureed vegetables & the kids would never even know it.  I took some advice from the comments on the recipe & peeled the zucchini, which was recommended if you had a veggie spotter on your hands.  Sound familiar?

This recipe made a massive amount of macaroni cheese, but it didn’t go to waste.  I froze it in portions & the kids have already had it a few times defrosted.  I’ve posted this recipe twice – once as a full recipe & again as a half recipe.  I’ll make a half recipe next time & will still have enough to freeze for a few more meals.  I can imagine making the full recipe if we had friends over & wanted to feed a lot of kids.  There’s not a lot of difference to the method making half – it’s mainly making the béchamel at the end.  Source: Nikalene Riddle (Skinny Mixer)

FULL RECIPE Ingredients:
100g cheddar cheese, cut in 2cm cubes
60g parmesan cheese, cut in 2cm cubes
1.2L boiling water
100g sweet potato
100g carrot
150g pumpkin
1 zucchini
300g macaroni
500g milk
50g plain flour
40g butter, cubed
200g ham, diced or chopped
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp vegetable stock concentrate
pinch of pepper

FULL RECIPE Method:
1) Add cheeses to TM bowl, chop for 10 seconds/speed 9. Set aside.
2) Peel & dice vegetables into 1-2cm cubes & put onto Varoma tray. Peel the zucchini if you have kids who can spot the ‘green bits’!

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3) Place boiling water into TM bowl, add macaroni & put Varoma into place.
4) Cook 10 minutes/ Varoma temperature/Reverse/speed 1.
5) Drain macaroni & place in a Thermoserver to stay hot.
6) Add steamed vegetables to TM bowl, chop 10 seconds/speed 8. Stir veggie puree through macaroni.
7) Without cleaning TM bowl, add flour, milk & butter. Cook 6 minutes/90 degrees/speed 2.
8) Add ham, cheeses, mustard, paprika, stock concentrate & pepper. Cook 2 minutes/90 degrees/Reverse/speed 2.
9) Pour over macaroni, stir through & serve.

HALF RECIPE Ingredients:
50g cheddar cheese, cut in 2cm cubes
30g parmesan cheese, cut in 2cm cubes
700ml boiling water
50g sweet potato
50g carrot
80g pumpkin
1 small zucchini
150g macaroni
250g milk
25g plain flour
20g butter, cubed
100g ham, diced or chopped
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
1.5 tsp vegetable stock concentrate
pinch of pepper

HALF RECIPE Method:
1) Add cheeses to TM bowl, chop for 10 seconds/speed 9. Set aside.
2) Peel & dice vegetables into 1-2cm cubes & put onto Varoma tray. Peel the zucchini if you have kids who can spot the ‘green bits’!

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3) Place boiling water into TM bowl, add macaroni & put Varoma into place.
4) Cook 10 minutes/ Varoma temperature/Reverse/speed 1.
5) Drain macaroni & place in a Thermoserver to stay hot.
6) Add steamed vegetables to TM bowl, chop 10 seconds/speed 8. Stir veggie puree through macaroni.
7) Without cleaning TM bowl, add flour, milk & butter. Cook 5 minutes/90 degrees/speed 2.
8) Add ham, cheeses, mustard, paprika, stock concentrate & pepper. Cook 1.5 minutes/90 degrees/Reverse/speed 2.
9) Pour over macaroni, stir through & serve.

Notes:  You can use spelt, gluten free or any flour in the recipe.  Also, use any kind of milk too.

 

Banana & Choc Chip Muffins

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One of the many things I love about my Thermomix is that I can make muffin, biscuit & cake batters in a matter of minutes.  This particular recipe takes less than 1 minute.  The other bonus is that I’m only cleaning 1 bowl too!  I made these muffins one morning last week in a variety of sizes – some to take to a morning play date, some sizes to freeze for Sophie’s kinder snack box & some little ones for Lucy.  My 4yo is such a fussy eater & she’s not that interested in food at all.  Even if there’s cake, she’ll usually lick off the icing & leave the rest.  You can imagine my delight when she actually ate these muffins!  They freeze really well, so are great to place frozen into lunch boxes, as they’ll defrost by recess or lunch time.  I took a few in a zip lock bag to the shops last week & the girls enjoyed their special snack.

Ingredients:
3 bananas
300g plain flour
10g baking powder
220g caster sugar
2 eggs
60g vegetable oil
250ml buttermilk
10g vanilla extract
140g dark chic bits
Icing sugar for dusting

Method:
1) Pre heat oven to 180 degrees.
2) Add bananas to TM bowl, mash 5 seconds/speed 7.
3) Add remaining ingredients (except for chic bits) & mix 10 seconds/speed 5. Scrape down the sides of the TM bowl & mix again 10 seconds/speed 5.
4) Add choc bits & mix 10 seconds/reverse/speed 4.
5) Divide the mixture into patty cases or muffin moulds.
6) Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden.
Place on a wire rack to cool & dust with icing sugar.

Vegetable Mash

Mashed veg

The kids dinner time in our house, sees two very different eaters at the table.  My 4yo has very plain tastes & turns her nose up at anything too fancy or that in any way resembles a vegetable.  On the other hand, my 18 month old will eat absolutely anything & devours whatever I feed her.  I started to make this vegetable mash when my eldest was about one year old & my kids still eat it!   You can use any vegetables to make this.  I’ve just adapted the Mashed Potato recipe from the EDC.   I usually do equal quantities of pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot & broccoli.  If I have some, I might throw in a potato as well.  This mash is delicious & rich, thanks to the milk, butter & cheese.  I’m sure that’s why my kids love it!   Of course you can control how much butter & cheese you add for your kids.  I don’t mind adding as per this recipe – at least they’re eating vegetables!

Amazingly, my 4yo asks for mashed ‘bedgies’ to be served with dinner almost every night!  It’s fantastic if I just have sausages, or hamburgers or a chicken schnitzel.  At least if I can defrost a few cubes of veggie mash, it makes it a healthier, more balanced meal.  I’m confident that even the most discerning vegetable spotters will eat this.

Ingredients:

50g parmesan cheese
250g milk
1kg vegetables, chopped in to large chunks
30g butter

Method:
1) Place parmesan in TM bowl, grate 10 seconds/speed 9. Set aside.
2) Place vegetables & milk in to TM bowl. Cook 25 minutes/100 degrees/speed 1.

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3) Insert Butterfly, by pushing in in the bowl, through the food. Add butter & cheese. Mash for 30 seconds/speed 4.

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IMG_4374Look at the difference in texture after the butter & cheese is added.  Most of the credit has to go to the Butterfly though.  It really makes the most creamiest mash ever!

4)Serve as a side dish & freeze in an ice tray or containers for future use.  Once frozen, I store my veggie cubes in a zip lock bag in the freezer.

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Choc Chip Zucchini Cupcakes

Chocolate Chip & Zucchini Cupcakes

These cupcakes are yummy & your kids will never know there are vegetables in them!  This recipe makes 30-40 mini cupcakes.  These can also be made in regular size cupcake pans – just increase the cooking time for a few minutes.  Great for treats & snacks & nut free for lunch boxes.  They also freeze well, so they can go straight from the freezer to the lunch box. You can also reduce the amount of choc bits if you prefer.  Even with 150g choc bits, these will still be a yummy treat the kids will love.

Ingredients:
250g zucchini, roughly chopped
1 egg
110g vegetable oil
150g raw sugar
5g vanilla extract
210g plain flour (wholemeal if you prefer)
15g cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
150-200g choc bits

Method:
1)Preheat oven to 170 degrees
2) Place zucchini in TM bowl, chop 10 seconds/speed 6.
3) Add remaining ingredients (except choc bits) mix 15 seconds/speed 5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl & mix again 10 seconds/speed 5.
5) Add choc bits & mix 5 seconds/reverse/speed 4.

6) Divide mixture evenly in to patty pans & bake for 12-15 minutes.

Tips:

I use these old fashioned ice cream scoops to make sure each cupcake is the same size, which results in even cooking.   They also make much less mess!

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