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Tag: homemade

The Happy Cookbook Challenge – Week 1

So, by now you might have read about my new cookbook challenge with Lola Berry’s The Happy Cookbook. I’m one week down already! How fast did that go!?

Last week I worked out that if I make 6 recipes a week I can have the challenge done by April 25th, six months away. So with that deadline in mind, I got to cooking.

This week I’ve made:

  • Avocado Bowls
  • Chicken and Quinoa Super Bowl with Chimmichurri Dressing (Yum!!)
  • Coconut Toasted Almonds
  • Epic Pumpkin Pie Pancakes for Halloween
  • Chai-Spiced Carob Balls
  • Nutella Balls. (dangerous!)
  • Poached Chicken with Maple Roasted Pumpkin, Feta and Pepitas.

The Poached Chicken dinner is hands down my favourite so far, and Hubby’s too! He actually went so far as to say it’s the best thing I’ve ever made! I don’t know about best, but I’ll take the compliment where it’s given! The Avo Bowls were so quick and easy and such a lovely light side dish for summer, they’ll be made a lot.

And Nutella Balls. Seriously. They didn’t even last a day….

Week 1

I made some of these recipes using my Thermomix for ease, the balls for example is just a matter of throwing all the ingredients in and Turbo-ing a few times, or letting them blitz till they’re the right consistency. Poaching the chicken and quinoa in the machines and I made the mix for the pancakes in about 30 seconds, so nice and easy cooking.

I just tried to see if any of these recipes are available on her website but couldn’t see them (or a search function) so if you want them you’ll have to head out and buy the book!*

I haven’t done my menu planning this week yet but will be getting stuck into a few more. I have managed to pick up the ingredients for some over the weekend so they’ll be getting whipped up soon! If you’d like to follow my progress I’m posting the recipes on my Instagram account – @TheStrandsOfMe

So that’s The Happy Cookbook Challenge – Week 1 down! 138 Recipes to go!

*not sponsored. I just like good food!

Thermomix Chocolate Fondants

I can’t take any credit for this recipe, I’ll be up front and say it’s not mine at all. It’s Garys.

You know, from Masterchef?

I have a few stock staple recipes that I loved to make pre-Thermomix and have gone about converting almost all of them now, including this Chocolate Fondant recipe. I make it every Anniversary/Valentines Day/Birthday/reason for a celebration/Thursday night and it always works, so I was a little hesitant to change it up. But I get sick of all the washing up that comes with it, so what better excuse to convert it into a Thermomix friendly dish could I have?

A few notes to start with:

  • I use my homemade gluten free flour. I follow the mix recipe in the Thermomix ‘Gluten Free, Wheat Free’ cookbook for it, essentially it’s a lot of starches. Because of this I find it easier to make the fondant recipe as when you make it with wheat based flour its easy to over mix and activate the gluten too much, which can be undesirable.
  • Try to use the best chocolate you can afford, I try to stick with 70% Chocolate, Green and Blacks Organic or Lindt if you can get it. Little to no diary and great cocoa quality.
  • I substitute the raw sugar for rapadura sugar and skip the milling stage.
  • Last time I used Ghee instead of butter, worked perfectly.
  • Be sure to flour your ramekins!! You don’t want any cake sticking to them and being ruined!




Thermomix Chocolate Fondants

You’ll need:

  • 100 g 70% Chocolate
  • 100 g Butter
  • 50 g raw sugar
  • eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 75 g plain flour


  1. Preheat Oven to 180C.
  2. Lightly coat ramekins with butter then cocoa powder and set aside.
  3. Melt the Chocolate and Butter in the Thermomix for 4 Min/40C/Speed 2. Set aside and clean and dry mixing bowl.
  4. Add the raw sugar and mill for 10 sec/Speed 9. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
  5. Insert the Butterfly.
  6. Add the eggs and egg yolks and beat for 3 Min/37C/Speed 4. 
  7. After beating the eggs and sugar, keeping the Butterlfy in, turn the Speed to 2 and slowly add the melted chocolate back into the mixing bowl throught the lid.
  8. Once the chocolate is incorporated, keep beating and slowly weigh in the plain flour. (Pre-weigh if using a TM31 or TM21).
  9. Mix until just incorporated.
  10. Pour into prepared dishes and bake in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes.
  11. Serve straight away!

Serve with cream/coconut cream and fresh blueberries, I find it needs that to cut through the richness of the chocolate. Enjoy!


Lactation (Boobie!!) Biscuits



I was one of the lucky ones and was able to breastfeed my children for 18 months each. I enjoyed every moment of the closeness and bond we shared while feeding and I know that’s one of the things I miss most about having a little one around. The smelly nappies, notsomuch, but I loved the shared moments that no one else could have with my two.

Whenever I would have supply issues I’d make these biscuits and they would work a treat (alongside a healthy diet and some fenugreek tea) in boosting my supply. They’re my go-to for new mothers and I’m happy to make them myself now leaving out the yeast. I make them with Gluten Free flour and a butter substitute and have no problems with it, but if you’re coeliac I’d swap the oats for rinsed quinoa flakes. You really do need the brewers yeast as that’s the active ingredient in boosting milk supply – I used to buy mine at BigW (in the beer brewing section) or at local brewer stores.

Lactation Biscuits

You’ll need:

  • 1 Cup Butter (or substitute – Coconut/Macadamia Nut Oil)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • 4 Tbs Water
  • 2 Tbs Flaxseed Meal (if you have a Thermomix you can mill flaxseed for 30 sec till a flour consistency)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Plain Flour (I use my homemade Gluten Free Flour)
  • 1 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 3 Cups Oats
  • 1 Cup or more of Chocolate Chips/Sultanas/Almonds/Macadamia Nuts (whatever takes your fancy)
  • 2 to 4 Tbs of Brewers Yeast (be generous!)


  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Mix together the flaxseed meal and water and set aside for 3 – 5 minutes
  3. Cream butter and sugar before adding eggs one at a time, mixing throughly
  4. Stir flaxseed mixture and add into the creamed butter with vanilla. Beat until blended.
  5. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix throughly. Stir in oats then extra flavours.
  6. Scoop or drop onto a baking sheet. The dough is a little crumbly so it might be easier to use a scoop.
  7. Bake for 8 – 12 minutes, depending on the size of the biscuits.

This recipe makes A LOT so you might consider halving it, though you can freeze the biscuits after baking and just take them out as needed. They are very moorish so self discipline is a must.

Thermomix Peanut Butter

Thermomix owners – have you made your own Peanut Butter yet? Isn’t it just INCREDIBLE?!?!?! It tastes 10,000 times better than any store bought peanut butter, and I’ve tried a lot!

The big test came with the kids, they’re big peanut butter addicts. Like, eat it from the jar with a spoon addicts. And…they love it! So it’s a goer.

First thing I do is roast about 250g of peanuts in the oven until they smell all nice and warm – about 20 minutes. Then, when cooled I spent 20 minutes zoning out rubbing the skins off them. It’s one of my favourite things to do in the kitchen and complete Zen time. I totally want you to make peanut butter just so you can do that!



Once peeled, I put them into my Thermomix mixing bowl with about 2 Tbs of Honey, for a little sweetness, and blended slowly increasing the speed from Speed 1 to Speed 7 over 1 Minute. I find that if I just whack it up to Speed 7 straight away a lot gets flanged out to the sides of the bowl and doesn’t get processed. Increasing the speed slowly has a smoother end result.

I allow it to process for 1 Minute intervals, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. I’ll do that a couple of times until it’s a consistency I’m happy with. If you think it’s a little dry add a few drops of Macadamia Nut Oil, but remember Less is More. Only add in 1 Tsp at a time.

When done, transfer to a clean jar and keep in your cupboard.



We’ve just finished our second or third jar of homemade Thermomix Peanut Butter and I’m thinking I’ll add some cinnamon and honey to my next bath. I love that I can flavour it however I like! The benefit of homemade food!