Christmas Gifts For Foodies

We’ve all seen the jokes and heard the warnings about buying kitchen goodies for Christmas presents and yet here I am, suggesting kitchen gadgets for Christmas presents! These aren’t irons and toasters though – we’re talking technology that makes life a little bit easier, while also making cooking fun!

Herb shredder bowl  – £25

First on my list is the beautiful stone herb shredder bowl. Not only does it feel beautifully earthen but the multi-purpose herb stripper also has a built-in garlic and ginger grater. You simply thread the herb stems through the holes in the bowl and it pulls off the leaves, ready for cooking and serving.  So much easier to clean than herb scissors!

Folio™ Plus 8-Piece Knife & Chopping Board Set – £99

We all have knives in the cupboard, but when’s the last time you sharpened your kitchen knives? Or replaced your chopping boards? Don’t underestimate the difference the right tools can make to a job – and chopping onions or soft fruit or bread with the right knife can make the job that much easier!  Never mind slicing that Christmas turkey. The knives in this Joseph Joseph set are spectacular – cut a tomato without squishing out any of the juice! That makes my day! That with the matching chopping boards also makes it really easy to keep your meats and veg dishes separate – really important when you have a life-long veggie in the house!

Stirr – an automatic stirrer – £24.99 

I won’t lie – the Stirr is a totally gratuitous gadget, but one that totally tickles my fancy – and will that of anyone who has stood over a pot for ages getting a soup, a sauce or a custard going without burning to the bottom of the pot – which means the dishwasher will thank you too! The three-legged stirrer is an automatic stirrer which can be used for puddings, soups, hollandaise, porridge and gravy.
Collapsible foraging bag – £12.50

This final suggestion is more on the collecting side of kitchen goods than the preparation side, but it’s still a great stocking-filler. While traditional foragers are always depicted with beautiful baskets, the reality of the foraging way of life is that you don’t always have a basket with you when you come across a glut of apples or a spray of wild garlic! I’ve arrived home from dog walks with pockets overflowing with elderflowers, figs or three-cornered leeks. Having a collapsible foraging bag to keep in your pocket never goes amiss!

When buying kitchen gadgets for Christmas presents its certainly a good idea to know that your recipient will actually value it, but any of these gifts should make the job – whether it’s cooking up a feast or a quick midweek meal – a little more pleasant!


Thermomix® Christmas Nougat

Nougat is one of my Christmas favourites. I’ll always add it to a gift hamper if I can, and I certainly enjoy having it in the snack box for the festive season. The Thermomix® nougat is different to a shop bought one – it is a bit softer than a commercially made one (because this recipe goes to 100c. If you were using sugar on the stove top you could go as high as 155c and you’d have a firmer nougat.

Continue reading “Thermomix®® Christmas Nougat”

Candy Cane Vodka Recipe

A few days ago, on one of my myriad of Facebook groups for Thermomix® users, someone asked for a recipe for Candy Cane Vodka, and I thought “What a great idea!” I’ve already made strawberry vodka and Christmas Spiced Vodka for this Christmas, but I love the idea of a candy cane vodka too, so had to give it a go.

There are loads of recipes online for how to make Candy Cane Vodka, and one of the things to keep in mind is that no two candy cane brands are created equal, so the candy cane you use could affect the outcome and whether you need more or less. Also, if you use a more ‘organic’ or ‘healthy’ candy cane, the pink colour won’t show as well, and you’ll need to add some red food colouring.

You don’t need the same infusing time as you might with a fruit based vodka, and recipes online suggest anything from a couple of hours to four days and beyond. I can’t see this going bad for months (if ever!) so make it in advance if you can and let it infuse as best you can – but try it after a few hours or days to see how it’s doing.

If you use a Thermomix® or a food processor you can pulverise the candy canes into a powder (10 seconds/speed 10), but if you’re not in a hurry to drink it, you can also just break the candy canes to size so that they will fit in a jar, and they will melt within a few hours anyway.Candy cane

I used a jam funnel (just pull the middle bit out) to pour the powder into a different bottle – this is a small 350ml sized vodka, and I used a 500ml bottle so that there’s room for shaking and mixing.

As for ratio, I decided on roughly 15g candy cane per 100ml Vodka, so 40 – 50g candy cane in a 350ml bottle of Vodka, or 85 – 105g in a 750ml bottle. It’s not an exact science though. If you have any undissolved you can filter it out through a coffee filter.

TIP: Pour the candy canes into a dry funnel, then pour the vodka through, otherwise it gets wet and clumps and blocks the funnel.candy crush

Place the bottle of Candy Cane Vodka somewhere you pass by frequently so you can give it a shake as often as you can.

You can serve within about 4 hours, but it’s best left for a few days or even weeks.

Make a cocktail with chocolate liquor, or spike your hot chocolate, or simply drink over ice. It’s been a long time since I was a neat Vodka drinker (Oh how that reminds me of my friend Luis, who’d know my mood by sniffing the contents of my glass whenever he found me sitting at the bar. He was the first to know my (then) boyfriend and I had split up because I was drinking neat Vodka. P.S. Don’t ever tell my children this story!), so I like adding lemonade or something else sweet. But that’s my preference.

Candy Cane Vodka Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe makes enough for a 350ml bottle of Vodka, with a couple of 'tester' shots extra. You can easily multiply this recipe
Serves: 400ml
  • 40 - 50g Candy Canes (4 - 6 medium sized)
  • 350ml Vodka (good quality)
  1. Crush the Candy Canes in a plastic bag. Use a mallet or rolling pin.
  2. (If using a Thermomix®: Add the Candy Canes to the Thermomix® and blitz 10 seconds/speed 10)
  3. Pour Candy Cane powder into a jar or bottle and top with the vodka
  4. Close and shake frequently, allowing flavours to combine for at least three days.
  5. Serve (or store in a sealed jar till ready for gifting)

A Very Thermie ChristmasA Very Thermie Christmas has a Christmas Spice Vodka and 50 other recipes for all your Thermomix® Christmas needs. With everything from snacks to meals, finger foods to festive drinks and DIY gifts A Very Thermie Christmas has your Christmas covered.  Just £8.99 (excl VAT in EU) this printable PDF can be yours in minutes.

Christmas Hamper Gift Ideas For The Thermomix®

Christmas Hampers

It’s the gifting time of year and one of the bonuses of owning a Thermomix® is the ability to make things from scratch, often for less. Below is a list of over 100 recipes from plenty of bloggers around the world filled with ideas that can be turned into gifts for Christmas.

Don’t forget, if you want all your Christmas ideas in one place, A Very Thermie Christmas offers over 50 recipes for gifts, drinks, sweets, and foods to see you through the festive season.

Happy gifting!

Christmas Hampers

Thermomix® Baked Goods:

The Thermomix® Diaries has a beautiful Hazelnut Shortbread Tree that would make a stunning host gift

There’s a Orange and Almond Shortbread recipe that I really love too.  And TRTLMT has a lovely Spiced Shortbread

Pinterest loves Tenina’s Snowy Peppermint Oreos and for good reason!

And another recipe from Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard that looks fantastic is the Chocolate Chip Short Bread. Doesn’t it look great? IMG_1574

Iron Chef Shellie has a Stollen recipe that looks superb. I’ve only tried stollen once and it didn’t turn out well, so I’m excited to try this recipe this year! Or go Italian with a Panettone recipe from Bec’s Table.

A Canadian Foodie has a recipe for Italian Biscotti with Almonds and Orange Zest

Mrs D Plus 3 has a Thermomix® Christmas Cake recipe based on Nigella Lawson’s cake

ThermOMG’s DIY Oreo’s look pretty delicious too! 

Thermomix® Preserved Gifts – Jams, Relishes, Chutneys

Journal of a French Foodie’s offering of Cranberry and Red Onion Relish is a rich red colour and looks beautiful.

For the adventurous – and the bacon lovers – head over to Thermofun for Bacon Jam. Try it if you dare!ThermoFunBaconJam

ThermOMG’s Mango chutney looks like a tasty fruit chutney variant, or use Cookipedia’s Mango and Pear option.

Cinnamon flavored Red-wine poached pears served with Nasturtium flowers look amazing – though possibly the wrong season for a winter Christmas as compared to a summer Christmas, but oh well. And you can try strawberries in cardamom syrup too.

Becs Table has an unusual looking, but delicious sounding Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate that I’m keen to try myself!

Clementine Vinegar sounds seasonally perfect for this time of year, and could it be any easier?!

Mrs D Plus 3 has a great fruit mince recipe that doesn’t contain lard, but does have dried cranberries and apple cider vinegar – it’s unusual but sounds delicious.

Thermomix® Seasonings & Sauces

Garlic Seasoning and Tuscan Seasoning from Peta at TRTLMT are both thoughtful gifts that will last long past Christmas. And here’s a good Garam Masala seasoning too.

Tenina has a Spiced Orange and Cranberry Sauce recipe for your festive ham or turkey, and Mouthwatering has a lovely cranberry and white wine sauce too. Thermomix®in’ it up has a mint sauce recipe that will go well with lamb.  And Quirky’s BBQ sauce is always popular.

More than a sauce – a BBQ Sauce! – will be a great host gift, especially for those lucky enough to be having BBQ weather.

Thermomix® Sweets

Super Kitchen Machine has a very interesting looking Salt Chocolate Bacon Bark

A Canadian Foodie has an amazing almond paste and pistachio paste recipe for making Lady Baltimore Cake – or whatever else you could want to do with these lovely pastes

Easy Caramel Fudge from Little Bit of Thyme is a good basic all rounder. Or if you’re looking for something amazing, there’s Super Kitchen Machine’s White Chocolate & Baileys Festive Fudge Recipe which looks very festive. Pistachio Fudge Recipe for Thermomix®

Jane from Why is there Air? has an amazing chocolate and strawberry rocky road recipe that we made last year. It’s a fantastic recipe!

The Creative Mummy has a Thermomix® Nougat Recipe that can only make for delicious gifts

Thermomix® Honeycomb  couldn’t be simpler than this recipe from One Girl And Her Thermie.

The Bailey’s Surprise Recipe from One Crafty Mum make a great treat.


Helene from Super Kitchen Machine has this wonderful Chocolate Salami that is famous on the Facebook groups every year too.

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard has a recipe for Rum Balls – a definite winner to have around for Christmas.

Quirky Cooking’s dairy free Salted Caramel Chocolates are good for making sure our dairy free friends don’t miss out.dairy free salted caramel chocolates quirky cooking

Sea Salted Praline Pecan Clusters make a lovely snack for a cold evening, and Thermofun has just the recipe for you.

Apricot Bites from The Road To Loving My Thermo Mixer in a pretty jar are a healthier treat that still feels like the festive season.

Thermomix® Drinks

Journal of a French Foodie has a recipe for Limoncello that’s definitely on my Christmas list

Easy Advocaat is an accustomed taste – Egg Liqueur – but it’s a great talking point for a gift too!

DIY Chai Tea makes a nice gift, but also a warming winter evening drink

Beauty Products

Everyone loves pampering and a hamper of winter spice sugar scrub, peppermint salt scrub or a lavender and rose scrub are a good place to start.

Add Quirky’s moisturiser and you’re half way there.

Peta Lee from The Road to Loving My Thermo Mixer has a Chocolate Coconut Body Scrub that sounds amazing, and a lemon hand scrub that would be ideal for winter skin.
Tebasiles Kitchen also has a Calendula Salve that looks simple and easy to make

Recipes for children’s gifts

Coconut Ice is a winner for hampers as it lasts a long time, and this is a no cook version that’s great for kids to make.

TRTLMT has a lovely vanilla hot chocolate mix you can make up for gift jars

Thermomix® Playdough from ThermoFun will make for hands on, simple fun

Nut Seed and Chocolate Bars are fun and at least hint at healthy and Candy Cane Bark couldn’t be more Christmassy if it tried.  And the Thermomade Freckles are perfect for kids too.


Fruity Chocolate Chunks Recipe

Fruit Chocolate ChunksI’m not really sure why I feel like I should apologise for loving the Disney Cakes and Sweets series? Is it because it’s Disney? Or because it’s sugary cakes and sweets? Who knows, but what I do know is that I’m not even sorry. I’ve been slotting our new arrivals into the accompanied binder today, and I am excited, not only to bake and make with my four year old, the way we used to before her sister was born, but also to develop and grow my own baking – and more specifically decorating – skills.

The first recipe we made from Cakes and Sweets were Minnie’s fruity chocolate chunks. We pretty much changed everything in the recipe, but hear me out. It was so good, we made it again and again.

The original recipe calls for white chocolate (yuk! sorry, but no). It also called for freeze-dried raspberries which we didn’t have on hand, so we used mixed peel instead, and it called for pistachio nuts, which again, I didn’t have, so we used hazelnuts instead. I’m sure their version would be fine, but ours was awesome!

We’ll be putting some of these in jars with a ribbon or two for Christmas gifts. I reckon it beats a box of bought chocolates hands down. This is also a brilliant recipe for children to help with too.

Fruity Chocolate Chunks
Prep time
Total time
Originally from Disney Cakes and Sweets, this recipe has been adapted to our personal tastes.
Recipe type: Disney Cakes and Sweets
Cuisine: Confectionary
Serves: 300g
  • 225g (8oz) good quality dark chocolate
  • 40g orange peel
  • 40g hazelnuts
For the Thermomix®:
  1. Lightly crush hazelnuts at speed 5/10 seconds
  2. Temper the chocolate to a perfect 37 degrees Celsius
  3. Sprinkle orange peel and hazelnut over a silicone pan. Pour the chocolate over it.
  4. Set aside for an hour to cool, then roughly crack into chunks. (Or if you have a chocolate bar mould you can use that instead.
Without a Thermomix®
  1. Temper the chocolate in a double boiler, or in a glass bowl over boiling water.
  2. While it is melting, crush the hazelnuts lightly.
  3. Sprinkle orange peel over the hazelnuts and mixed them together in a silicone tray before pouring the perfectly tempered chocolate over it.
  4. Set aside to cool, then crack and enjoy.

Issue 1 also contains Giant Mickey Mouse cookies with a cutter, Honey cupcakes, marshmallow pillows, 101 Dalmations cake, passionfruit tarts, and part one of how to build a fairytale castle. 

I’m all about the healthy. We experiment with raw food, drink water kefir, and cook from scratch. I even make my own butter. But to be great 80% of the time, we allow ourselves a break 20% of the time. For the next while, we’ll share recipes from the Disney Cakes and Sweets magazine series. They are not  healthy. The name kind of gives it away. But that’s okay. Sometimes we adjust the recipes a little to fit in better with our style, and sometimes I use a Thermomix® instead of following the directions.  As part of a balanced diet, we hope you ‘ll join us. We’ll have fun!
(If you prefer completely raw, healthy, but still delicious snacks, have a look at Bliss Balls For Beginners)