Amazing Pumpkin Parmesan Dip

Pumpkin Parmesan Dip

Another fantastic centrepiece for a party, a pumpkin filled with Pumpkin Parmesan Dip looks great and is versatile for crackers and veggies alike. You can adjust the amount of parmesan, or even substitute for a cheese you prefer – I can’t imagine there’ll be too much difference to the end result.

Pumpkin Parmesan Dip

My kids are particularly antsy about raw garlic – they can pick it out of anything – so if you prefer, you can saute the garlic for three minutes at 100C. I only do that if I’m making it, especially for my children.

Pumpkin Parmesan DipI decided to put the dip into a bowl and hover the bowl inside the mouth of the pumpkin. I don’t know if that’s necessary or if you can just put it in the pumpkin, but I decided it would be easier in this instance to keep cool, and that the pumpkin itself was reusable for a number of days and other recipes if not. Also, if you’re particularly skilled at carving (I’m not!) a fake candle inside, under the dip could look very pretty too.

Pumpkin Parmesan Dip Recipe:

Amazing Pumpkin Parmesan Dip
Prep time
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Total time
To cook the pumpkin, add 400 - 500 g chopped raw pumpkin to the internal steamer. Fill water to the 1-litre mark. Thermomix® 15 minutes/Varoma/speed 4. Once finished, leave to drain and cool for a while before making the dip
Serves: 600g
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g parmesan
  • 100g cream cheese (I use full fat)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 400 - 500g cooked pumpkin
Thermomix® Instructions
  1. Add 1 clove garlic 5 seconds/ speed 5
  2. Add parmesan 10 seconds/speed 10
  3. Add cream cheese, paprika, salt and cooked pumpkin 30 seconds/ speed 4
  4. Scrape down sides 1 minute/ speed 10
  5. Set aside to firm up again, and serve
Regular Instructions
  1. Finely chop the garlic, or crush it and add to a food processor
  2. Grate parmesan and add to the garlic.
  3. Add cream cheese, paprika,salt and cooked pumpkin
  4. Mix following your food processors instructions till it's all well blended and smooth.
  5. Set aside to firm up again, and serve.

Try these Halloween recipes too!

The cheese biscuits in the images are round versions of these cheese straws.


Quick Pancake Mix Recipe

Pancake Mix

Through all the milestones of life – birth, breastfeeding, parenting choices, weight management, relationship rise and decline – I try to remain non-judgemental and realise that everyone has their own path to walk, but every year, around this time (early February) my inner judge and jury come out in full force when I walk through the supermarkets and see ‘pancake mix’ sold in single use plastic bottles.

I’m sorry. I really am. I can’t put my judgemental face away right now.

Our local supermarket has a huge display of pancake mix today. It’s £1 for a bottle that makes 6 pancakes. SIX.

The ingredients are: Wheat Flour, Sugar, Palm Oil, Whey Powder (Milk), Dextrose, Dried Egg Yolk, Salt, and you’ll need to add oil for cooking.

Yay for the unnecessary deforestation. Not to mention the plastic that ends up in landfill.

(See, I told you this makes me all judgey! )

If you were to, oh, I don’t know, make your own pancake mix your ingredients would be flour, eggs, milk, salt and a bit of oil. Then you mix it together. My three year old can do it!

And to make six pancakes? Your ingredients – assuming you don’t go for caged hen eggs or the cheapest possible flour – will cost you the grand sum total of 27p. A little over 1/4 the cost of those ‘convenient’ little bottles. If you’re going all out luxury and putting two eggs in the batter, you’re still looking at 35p for six pancakes. pancakes

The only time I can imagine justifying buying pancake mix is if you’re hiking, carrying your week’s food with you and you wanted to make pancakes one morning, on an open fire, high up in the mountains. And even then I’m not convinced.

Okay. I’m going to step off my pedestal and give you the pancake recipe I’ve been making since I was a child, since my mom took us high up into the mountains (by car) to make pancakes on a camping stove in the snow.

Some pancake recipes call for one egg, some for two. I like doing two with savoury pancakes as it makes them a bit thicker, and sturdier, and better for holding something like ham and cheese or chicken mayo. One egg is fine for holding sugar and cinnamon or chocolate spread or similar light fillings. Or, hmmm… bananas, cream and caramel.

The recipe below is for 6 pancakes which is generally enough for the three of us. You can double or triple or x100 it without much effort – just increase the mixing time.

If you’re not sure how to cook a pancake, the best way of learning is seeing, so have a look at these youtube videos!pancake mix

Quick Pancake Recipe
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Serves: 6
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 or 2 eggs
  • 300 or 280g milk (depending on how many eggs you use)
  • 10g (1tbs) vegetable oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • Cinnamon, sugar and lemon juice to taste
  1. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk. It's easier if you use a whisk or an electric beater, but even a fork will do it eventually. Mix till it's all combined and you have a runny, smooth, lump free batter.
  2. If you're using a Thermomix®, mix for 10 seconds/speed 5
  3. Turn the stove up to a medium high heat, and pour into a frying pan enough batter to cover the base. I use a standard sized soup ladle, about half full for each pancake.
  4. Let it fry for a minute or so, till the edges start to brown, then use a spatula or flip over and cook the other side for about 30 seconds
  5. Tip the pancake onto a plate and sprinkle cinnamon, sugar and lemon juice over
  6. Repeat till you've used up all the batter
  1. Having added oil to the batter, you shouldn't have to add any to the pan, but pans differ, so if the batter sticks add a dash of oil.
  2. I use brown sugar because I prefer it, but it's also really nice with castor sugar
  3. If you really don't know how to cook pancakes, there are hundreds of videos on youtube that can help you.


South African Lamb Bunny Chow

Well, that’s a mouth full, isn’t it? And for those who don’t know, don’t worry – no bunnies are harmed in the making of this South African Lamb Bunny Chow curry. Why it’s called a bunnychow I couldn’t tell you, but since it’s #NationaCurryWeek, I wanted to share a delicious curry recipe with you, made with succulent, tender Welsh lamb.

When I decided I was going to make a bunny chow for my #NationalCurryWeek contribution, I Googled Bunny chow recipes, and one of the first that came to my attention was this one, from my countryman Jeanne from Cooksister, on whose blog you can also read all about the origins and intricacies of this street food dish, while Lavender & Lovage has a different origin story with her chicken bunny recipe here.

Lamb Bunny Chow

One thing I know for sure about curries is that everyone’s tastes differ, even within our own family, so I’ve made a few adaptations, and Thermified the recipe too.

I would definitely recommend that you start this dish off by making your own Garam Masala. I think a fresh batch makes all the difference.  Adjust the curry depending on how hot you like it – I feed two small children, so we don’t make it hot at all. You can even add chillies.

Traditionally you would use a square unsliced bread for the ‘bowl’, but we use whatever bread we have. In the photos we’ve used French bread sticks for smaller meals, and individual giant rolls for bigger meals. I don’t think the bread matters too much, in reality.

If memory serves, you can make a bunny with chicken, lamb, pork or rabbit, as well as beans or root vegetables.

South African (Welsh) Lamb Bunny Chow
Prep time
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Total time
The amount of curry you use in this will depend on how hot you like it. I feed two small children so we only add just about a teaspoon, but you can add more or less. My dad also adds chillies from his garden.
Recipe type: Curry
Cuisine: South African, Street Food
Serves: 4 servings
  • 10g ginger
  • 10g garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 15g vegetable oil
  • 5 - 20g curry powder, depending on how hot you like it
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 4 green cardamom pods, seeded
  • 5g ground turmeric
  • 200g water
  • 1x400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 3-4 potatoes (1 per person, basically)
  • 1kg lamb, cubed
  • 15g Garam Masala
  • Salt
  • a small loaf of bread per 2 people
  • Fresh coriander
  1. Lightly brown lamb on the hob if you like
  2. Dice the lamb and the potatoes
  3. Add garlic and ginger to the Thermomix® bowl 10 seconds/ speed 5
  4. Add onion 5 seconds/speed 4
  5. Add 15g vegetable oil and sauté 3 mins/90C/speed 2
  6. Add the curry powder, cinnamon, cardamom pods, and turmeric and saute for a further 1 min/90C/speed 2
  7. Add tomato, water and potatoes and cook for 20 mins/Varoma/REVERSE speed 2
  8. Add lamb and garam masala and cook for a further 10 mins/100C/ REVERSE speed 2
  9. While the curry is cooking, cut the bread in half, and scoop out the soft centre
  10. Butter it if you want to - this is contestable, some of our family swear by it, some say it's sacrilege
  11. When the curry is cooked, taste and season if required
  12. Scoop the curry into the hollowed out bread, scatter fresh coriander, and replace the bread on top
  13. Serve while still warm

The Welsh Lamb in this Lamb Bunny Chow was provided to me as part of a promotion to promote Welsh Lamb

Self-Saucing Steamed Pear Pudding With Orange Butter Sauce

Self-Saucing Steamed Pear Pudding With Orange Butter Sauce

I bought pears a few weeks ago thinking my girls would eat them, but they were hard, and stayed hard, till they started looking beyond their best, so I decided to make a baked pudding with them. I have been trying to use my Varoma more, so thought a steamed pudding would be nice too, specially since this ‘summer’ is hiding behind thick rain clouds today.

Self-Saucing Steamed Pear Pudding With Orange Butter Sauce 2

I have no idea how you would steam a pudding on the stove top, but if you do, I’m sure this will be easy to make even without a Thermomix®.Self-Saucing Steamed Pear Pudding With Orange Butter Sauce

I also think the flavours in this can easily be adapted – adding cloves, raisins, cardamom as you like. And I like to serve this with home made clotted cream or ice cream.

Steamed Pear Pudding With Orange Butter Sauce
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Serve with home made clotted cream or ice cream, or just on it's own
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Steamed
Serves: 4 puddings
For the fruit
  • 2 pears, cored and chopped in rough cubes
  • 25g butter
  • 20g sugar
  • teaspoon cinnamon or all-spice
  • juice of one orange
For the pudding
  • 125g butter
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 130g self-raising flour
  • zest from 1 orange
  1. Chop pears into cubes and place in the Thermomix® bowl.
  2. Add butter, sugar and spices and orange juice and cook 5 mins/ Varoma Temp/Speed 1
  3. Spoon into rammekins or heat-proof dishes
  4. In the Thermomix®, whisk the butter and sugar together for 50 seconds/speed 4
  5. Add the eggs, self raising flour and zest and beat together for 30 seconds/speed 4
  6. Spoon into rammekins, above the fruit
  7. Place the rammekins into bottom 'shelf' of the Varoma and put the lid on
  8. Add water up to the 1l mark in the bowl, place the Varoma on top and steam for 25 mins/Varoma Temp/Speed 3
  9. Turn upside down onto a serving dish and serve with clotted cream or icecream


French Onion Soup – Kids In The Kitchen

French Onion Soup For Kids

This week my home schooled kids are learning about France, because we’re heading off to Disneyland Paris in a few weeks. They don’t know this though – they think we’re going to Paris to learn about ‘old stuff’. We will spend a day in Paris too though, just to make sure their learning wasn’t for nothing.

One of the things you learn when learning about France, beyond capital city and population size, is food, and since we have very little by way of groceries at the moment (someone left the car door open, leaving the light on over night and us with a flat battery today. RAC finally reached us well after bed time tonight, so grocery shopping tomorrow!) I was quite literally faced with four onions, two day old bread and some cheese to come up with a dinner idea… you can see where I’m going with this, I’m sure.French Onion Soup For Kids

One of the books we’re using for our studies at the moment is called France: Food and Celebrations* by Sylvia Goulding, with a bunch of recipes for kids to make, so while I could do this with so much more ease in the Thermomix® in 15 minutes, I still feel it’s really important for my kids to learn to cook traditionally first, so that they can understand the basics of cooking – and from there the sky is the limit.

For this French Onion Soup, I didn’t add the traditional Gruyere, so the kids’ just had a strong cheddar on theirs. I added some Chaource to mine. Chaource is a French cheese, originally manufactured in the village of Chaource in the Champagne-Ardenne region. Chaource is a cow’s milk cheese, cylindrical in shape at around 10 cm in diameter and 6 cm in height. It has a soft inside, like an already baked Camembert, and has a beautiful very mild blue cheesy tang to it. It’s really lush, a very unknown cheese in the UK and easily available from Tesco and just works in this soup. (Sorry French traditionalists!)French Onion Soup For Kids

I had my 5 year old slice the onions (we use this ‘safe’ Pampered Chef slicer) and then stir them on the stove till they were translucent. Meanwhile my 3 year old layered bread and grated cheese in soup dishes. I poured the water in to make the soup, transferred everything to the grill and removed it from there again.

I should add here that this is probably a meal for two, but for one adult and two children it’s ample. Considering you’re eating a slice of bread and an onion with some cheese, it’s incredibly filling, and very rich.

French Onion Soup - Kids In The Kitchen
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The original recipe calls for duck or goose fat. I used regular salted butter.
Serves: 3 soups
  • 2 large or 4 small brown onions
  • large dollop butter (20g)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1.5 litres beef stock (reduce to1000g if using TM31 Thermomix® and cook without MC)
  • 4 - 8 slices day old bread
  • 100g shredded cheddar cheese
  • 100g other cheese (for kids I leave this one out and use just cheddar as that's rich enough for them) Gruyere or Chaource
  • salt and pepper to taste
Regular Recipe
  1. Peel and thinly slice onions.
  2. Add butter and onion to a pan and sauté till they are translucent and beginning to brown, about 5 - 8 minutes.
  3. Add stock and simmer for 25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, grate the cheese, and layer cheese and bread in an oven proof soup bowl (Individual bowls are better than one serving dish) Start with a thin layer of cheese, top with bread, another layer of cheese, and end with a layer of bread, reserving some cheese for later.
  5. When the soup is cooked, spoon onion and soup into soup bowls and top with remaining cheese.
  6. Place under grill for 5 - 10 minutes, keeping an eye on it till the cheese is browned. The dishes will be hot, so transfer carefully to a counter.
For the Thermomix®
  1. Add one or both cheeses to the Thermomix® (drop over running blades) speed 5, 10 - 15 seconds.
  2. Clean the bowl and set the cheese aside.
  3. Add the onions and butter to the Thermomix® and blend 10 seconds speed 4.
  4. Sauté for 8 mins/100C/spoon speed. (If you can, do this on the stove, I do prefer the flavour)
  5. Add the stock (remember to keep to the limits in the Thermomix®, so 2000g for TM31)
  6. Cook reverse speed, Varoma/15 mins, without the MC
  7. Meanwhile in the soup dishes, start with a thin layer of cheese, top with bread, another layer of cheese, and end with a layer of bread, reserving some cheese for later.
  8. When the soup is cooked, spoon onion and soup into soup bowls and top with remaining cheese.
  9. Place under grill for 5 - 10 minutes, keeping an eye on it till the cheese is browned. The dishes will be hot, so transfer carefully to a counter.
  10. Enjoy


Sri Lankan Devilled Pork Recipe

I’m not a fan of spicy food, and put a stack of take away fliers down in front of me and I’ll never go for the Indian or similarly spiced option. That said, whenever I’ve made anything vaguely curry-ish in nature, I’ve really enjoyed it. Strange, isn’t it.

This recipe is fantastic. Honestly, the richness of flavours is out of this world. Specially since it’s not a spice combination I’m accustomed to. And I don’t even like strong tomato flavours. But this, I enjoy! Sri Lankan Mild Devilled Pork“Devilled” is the generally given adjective for when something is highly spiced – which I’ve come to realise doesn’t have to mean hot. Traditionally this recipe would have some chilies added to it. If you like chilies, go wild. I don’t like hot food, and I’m feeding a five and a three year old too, so we don’t add chilies.

I find food like this so hard to photograph. I look at this picture and see a symphony of flavour, but without having eaten it, it probably looks a bit weird. Sorry about that. It’s fantastically flavorsome though. Take my word for it!


Sri Lankan Mild Devilled Pork Serve this with Baharat Spiced Meatballs with yoghurt and garlic butter to cut the spices a little. It makes a nice shared meal.


Sri Lankan Devilled Pork
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A forgiving recipe that lets you adjust the seasoning and flavours to your preference. Sri Lankan curry is a blend of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cassia bark, fenugreek seeds, cloves, cardamon, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, kashmiri chilli & turmeric - buy one ready made or mix your own before starting this recipe.
Recipe type: Meat
Cuisine: Sri Lankan
Serves: 4
  • 1 tbs cider vinegar
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 500g pork
  • 1 large onion
  • 320g (can) tomatoes
  • 4 - 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 tsp Sri Lankan Curry Powder
  • Lemon rind
Thermomix® Instructions
  1. Cut Pork into 1' chunks
  2. Place marinade ingredients in the Thermomix® bowl, and mix, speed 5/10 seconds. Add chopped meat and mix speed 1/15 seconds
  3. Set aside to marinate for at least 45 minutes
  4. (Don't worry about cleaning the bowl)
  5. In the Thermomix®, drop the onion over running blades (speed 4).
  6. Heat a pan to medium heat. and add the marinated pork with the marinade. Cook until the juices have reduced to a thick gravy. Add the tomatoes, onion and garlic. Also add salt & Sri Lankan Curry Powder to taste.
  7. Stir to prevent burning, till all the liquid is gone.
  8. In the meantime, fill the Thermomix® with water, and cook rice per the usual method. You can add your choice of Asian vegetables to the Varoma at this point too.
  9. Sprinkle with grated lemon rind
  10. Serve the rice with soy sauce and Sri Lankan Devilled Pork.
Regular Instructions
  1. Cut Pork into 1' chunks
  2. Place marinade ingredients in a bowl, and mix together.. Add chopped meat and stir till it's all covered.
  3. Set aside to marinate for at least 45 minutes
  4. Slice the onion finely.
  5. Heat a pan to medium heat, and add the marinated pork with the marinade. Cook until the juices have reduced to a thick gravy. Add the tomatoes, onion and garlic. Also add salt & Sri Lankan Curry Powder to taste.
  6. Stir to prevent burning, till all the liquid is gone.
  7. In the meantime cook rice per your usual method.
  8. Sprinkle with grated lemon rind
  9. Serve the rice with soy sauce and Sri Lankan Devilled Pork.

Baharat Spiced Meatballs With Yoghurt And Garlic Butter Sauce

I was given a selection of mixed pices recently, and I’ll be honest and confess that I’d never heard of most of them. The first one I wanted to try and cook with was Baharat. If you Google Baharat you’ll find a number of versions based on area, but this one was from a company called Spice Kitchen and according to their website it’s a blend of  cloves, black pepper, cumin seeds, nutmeg, paprika, cardamon & cinnamon.

Garlic Butter3

I spent a whole afternoon perusing Pinterest and the rest of the web trying to learn the best use of this spice, and when I finally sat down to meatballs in a yoghurt and garlic butter sauce at dinner time, I was thrilled with the result. I didn’t find this a spicy dish at all, and the dressing was perfect with plain, fluffy white rice. We also had another dish at the table which was a lot more spicy, and this sauce provided beautiful relief for the tongue.

As someone who didn’t grow up with a lot of spices, and who can’t really handle much more heat that black pepper – or a light wasabi – and who’d never choose to eat at an Indian restaurant, for example, I’d never have considered experimenting with these spice until a few years ago, and sitting eating this meal, I savoured every mouthful Baharat Meatballs2

I think my favourite thing about this dish is that it’s not just one flavour all the way through. Each mouthful is different, with hints of mint, crunchy pine nuts yoghurt and the Baharat meatballs coming through in different bites. Hmm… sitting here writing this, I’m salivating – I’m going to have to buy some more lamb mince!Baharat Spiced Meatballs With Yoghurt and Garlic Butter

Baharat Meatballs With Yoghurt & Garlic Butter Sauce
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This is a delicious recipe that can be used as a single main, or one of many sharing dishes. The yoghurty dish also offsets other spicy dishes on the table, while this isn't spicy of itself.
Recipe type: Varoma, Main, Sharing
Cuisine: Arabian
Serves: 4
For the meatballs
  • 400g ground lamb
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1 small onion, halved
  • 15g Baharat Spice (adjust seasoning to taste)
For the dressing
  • 100g (100ml) plain yoghurt (try this recipe)
  • 25g butter
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
For the topping
  • 1 tsp Mint (fresh or dried)
  • 50g pine nuts
  • Oil for frying
  • Rice to Serve
In the Thermomix®
  1. Switch the Thermomix® on Speed 4 and drop the onion halves on athe blades for a few seconds.
  2. Open the lid and add the minced lamb, salt and pepper and Baharat Spices. Mix Speed 4/10 seconds.
  3. Oil the Varoma
  4. Form small egg-yolk sized meatballs and place them in the Varoma. (You can also do these the 'normal' way on the stove if you prefer them being browned)
  5. Fill the bowl to the 1 litre mark and put the Varoma in place. Cook on Varoma temp, speed 4 for 20 - 25 minutes.
  6. (If you're having rice with this dish, add it after about 10 minutes. Add the rice in the internal steamer for the remaining 15 minutes.)
  7. Meanwhile, on the stove, heat the pine nuts till they start releasing their aroma. Toast them lightly but watch that they don't burn - mine in the pictures are a little burned!
  8. Next melt the butter and add the garlic, and finally warm the yoghurt. DO NOT let it boil or split, just warm it.
  9. Move the meatballs into a serving dish.
  10. Pour the yoghurt over them, then drizzle the garlic butter, top with pine nuts and mint.
  11. Serve with rice.
Traditional Cooking
  1. Chop the onions finely, and add the spices, salt and pepper and mince with the onions in a bowl. Mix well till all combined.
  2. Form small egg-yolk sized meatballs and place them in a hot pan. Cook for about 15 minutes, turning ocassionally to get it browned on all sides and cooked through.
  3. In the meantime, cook your rice according to manufacturer instructions.
  4. On a baking tray, or on another plate on the stove, toast the pine nuts but watch that they don't burn.
  5. Next melt the butter and add the garlic, and finally warm the yoghurt. DO NOT let it boil or split, just warm it.
  6. Move the meatballs into a serving dish.
  7. Pour the yoghurt over them, then drizzle the garlic butter, top with pine nuts and mint.
  8. Serve with rice.

The inspiration for this recipe came from this original

Thermomix® Bobotie

In a home with children there are so many fun and celebratory dates in March, (St David’s Day, 1st, Dr Seuss birthday, 2nd, World Book Day, 5th, St Patrick’s Day, 17th) and I think it’s a great thing, because as Mothering Sunday (15th, this year) etches nearer, my heart grows heavier, and as the 1st of April approaches, I feel downright sad, thinking of my mother’s birthday.South African Bobotie Recipe

One of the things that I think about when I think about my mom is life as I knew it, growing up as a child in South Africa, so this month I’m paying homage to my mom, and to my history, and taking the time to convert some of the nation’s favourite recipes from her old and tattered recipe book to Thermomix® recipes too.

There are a lot of Bobotie recipes online, and despite BBC Good Food’s instructions, it’s NOT pronounced bo-boor-tie, but bo-boo-tie. No R, please. The double ‘o’ is like the o’s in moor.

But yes, there are a hundred adaptations available online. This one is what I consider the original though. It’s from Magdaleen van Wyk’s The Complete South African Cookbook  published in 1980. It’s a very mild bobotie, and while it’s absolutely delicious as is – and even better reheated the next day – we double the spices (flavour, not heat).

South African Bobotie Recipe

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Bobotie freezes really well. Make it up to the end of step 5, then freeze. To prepare, thaw, and add the eggs, milk and bay leaves before baking.
Recipe type: TM31, Main Meal
Cuisine: South African
Serves: 8
  • 1 slice white bread
  • 1 onion
  • 90g blanched almonds
  • 65g seedless raisins
  • 1 tbs apricot jam (we adjust to 2)
  • 1 tbs fruit chutney (we adjust to 2)
  • 1kg minced beef
  • 25g lemon juice
  • 2 tsp curry powder (we adjust to 3)
  • 1 tsp turmeric (we adjust to 2)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 125g milk (plus about 60g)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Soak the bread in half (125ml) the milk. Add the onion to the Thermomix® bowl and chop speed 5/10 seconds
  3. Add whole almonds and chop speed 5/ 10 seconds (adjust if using crushed or sliced almonds)
  4. Add raisins, half the mince, jam, chutney, lemon juice, curry powder, turmeric and salt.
  5. Squeeze the milk out the bread and add bread to bowl
  6. Mix REVERSE BLADES/speed 3/ 45 seconds.
  7. In a large frying pan, I use a wok, melt the butter and add the meat mixture AND THE REST OF THE MEAT to it, and brown lightly, (don't overcook) before turning it out into a casserole dish.
  8. Break the eggs into the Thermomix® and pour the bread milk in, and top up to 125g. Mix speed 5/10 seconds, then pour over the meat. Garnish with the bay leaves.
  9. Bake for about 50 minutes or until golden brown.


Onion Soup Thermomix® Recipe

This onion soup my mother used as a base for her Vranameer Chicken for many years. She, of course, didn’t use a Thermomix®, so I’ve just adapted it for a simple, tasty, filling soup, perfect to eat as a soup, or as the basis for a casserole.

Onion Soup

French Onion Soup Thermomix® Recipe
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My mother used this as a base for casserole dishes for many years. I've just adapted her recipe for the Thermomix®. My husband and I have an ongoing argument about this soup. I think sweating the onion in the Thermomix® is fine, but he thinks the first steps should be done on a frying pan. It's a personal flavour preference.
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
  • 25g butter
  • 500g onion (about 3)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 125ml white wine
  • 500g vegetable, chicken or beef stock & water mixed depending on the stock you use.
  • salt & pepper to season
  1. Place the butter in the Thermomix® bowl and add 500g onions, halved.
  2. Mix at speed 5 for 5 seconds till they're chopped, and put on speed 2/100C to sweat the onions for 4 minutes. (If you're doing this step on the stove, fry until the onions are translucent but watch that they don't burn. Add the sugar and leave to caramalise, about 5 minutes, but keep an eye on it.)
  3. Add the sugar, and cook for 10 minutes, speed 2, 100C
  4. Add the garlic, wine and stock and cook for 15 minutes, speed 2, Varoma.
  5. Taste and season, and serve with fresh bread (although again here, my husband prefers it kept in the fridge for 24 hours, and then heated and served. I like it as is.)
(calories based on a fatty beef stock, chicken or veg stock will be less calories)
Nutrition Information
Calories: 136,3 Fat: 5.4g Saturated fat: 3.3g Unsaturated fat: 1.4g Carbohydrates: 14.9 Sugar: 7.6h Sodium: 288.9mg Fiber: 1.5g Cholesterol: 13.6g


DIY Homemade Chai Rooibos / Redbush Tea

A few weeks ago I made a spur of the moment decision to enter a competition in my local blogging network. The competition requires us to come up with a recipe in one of five categories, featuring Schwartz spices and blog them.

Redbush Chai TeaWell, I didn’t read the fine print, and as it turns out, not one of the five categories falls into a strong area for me: I don’t like beans, so don’t eat a lot of Mexican or Brazilian food, I don’t really drink tea, am not a big curry eater and for compact spaces problem of modern living? Well, I use a Thermomix®!

As a result I’ve had to dig deep and learn about a few spices and flavours that are completely new to me. So over the next few weeks, you’ll see a little something different from me.

I’m a huge coffee drinker, and not much into tea at all, but I do have a fair supply of Redbush tea – Rooibos, as we call it – in the cupboard, because it’s good for a number of things, including colic in babies, so the children have it too.

I have had chai in the past, but always bought, so when I looked at some of the spices I was sent, I thought I’d try a spiced tea, using some flavours I do love – cardamom, cinnamon and ginger. I added nutmeg and cloves, two more beautiful spices when used correctly, and hey presto! Beautiful aromatic, sweet chai that even my children enjoyed.

I hope you enjoy our foray into incorporating more spices into our cooking!

*This is not my official entry… that’s coming!

Spiced Redbush Chai Tea
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
You can use any teabags, but I use Redbush for it's healing properties, and the lack of caffeine or tannins, which I don't enjoy. You can use whole spices or ground. You can also make up a larger amount, and keep them for making a cup or two of Chai Tea at a time. Keep them in an airtight container so they don't lose flavour though!
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: Asian, South African
Serves: 4 cups
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • Up to 170g honey (1/2 cup)
  • 500g boiling water (2 cups)
  • 500g cups milk (2 cups)
  • 2 Redbush tea bags (or your favourite)
  1. Place the cardamom in the Thermomix® bowl reverse speed 8/3 seconds. Remove the shells.
  2. Add the rest of the spices in the Thermomix® bowl and whizz on speed 10/4 seconds
  3. Add honey, water and milk, and boil on reverse speed 2/2mins/Varoma
  4. Add tea bags boil for 5 minutes 100C/reverse speed 2.
  5. Pour through a sieve or into a caffetier and serve.
Without a Thermomix®
  1. Place the spices in a pot, add the honey, water and milk. Bring to the boil, add the teabags and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain and serve.