Lunchbox treat idea #1 – Tiny vanilla cakes

Bikkie baker 2

My daughter took these to Kindy today. Every week a child has a turn to bake for the whole class. They wear a little ‘chef’ hat and ‘chef’ apron and serve the other children with ‘chef’ tongs. The whole thing is just very sweet and adorable. (And I have it on good authority – most children came back for seconds! No IDEA these little beauties are healthy ūüėČ )

This is an easy little lunchbox snack that can be whipped up really quickly (in around 30 seconds if you have a thermomix) and kept in the freezer to be added to lunchboxes as an extra treat.

I used Quirky Jo’s recipe for GF Buttercake with a few adjustments along the way. The original recipe can be found here…..¬†Just look further down the page at the Butter Cake variation.


  • 300g spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder (aluminium free)
  • 100g rapadura
  • 140g coconut oil
  • 260g milk (of choice – I use organic, non-homogenised, full cream, you could use almond milk etc if you are dairy free)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs

Mix together on Sp 5 for 20sec. Scrape down and mix for a further 5 sec, Sp 5.

Spoon into mini-muffin tray and bake for approx 12 minutes in 160 degree oven. Test cakes are ready by touching the centre. If it bounces back, they are cooked.

Cool slightly and remove from pan.

Makes approximately 48 little cakes.


Bikkie baker 1


When cooled completely, top with either freshly whipped cream and fruit of choice or coconut cream ganache and additive free sprinkles (like Hoppers).



100g raw, organic dark chocolate

1/2 cup organic, pure coconut cream


Cook, 50 degrees, Sp 1, 5 minutes.



More lunchbox ideas coming soon! Enjoy!

Ultimate Comfort Food! Slow Cooked Beef Cheek Casserole…

Beef cheeks 2

Rich, tender and luscious! The ultimate comfort meal on a cold winter night!

I was first introduced to beef cheeks by my gorgeous neighbours. They are the most wonderful and amazing people. They are now retirees and they have led the most inspiring life (and still do). They have owned butcher shops locally (amongst a hundred other amazing business ventures!) and they KNOW their meat!  They have become surrogate parents to us and stand-in grandparents to our children. They will remain an integral part of our lives always.

 Marlene first introduced me to beef cheeks some time ago when she asked us over for dinner. Now, I am pretty brave when it comes to food and I will have a go at pretty much anything. So imagine my excitement when she announced this little beauty was on the menu!

This is a variation of Marlene’s recipe. She throws hers into the oven in an earthen or cast iron pot – with onions garlic and tomato. That’s it! Even though my version has a few more ingredients, both dishes are succulent and absolutely satisfying and rich.

I hope you enjoy as much as we do!


  • 1 kg beef cheeks (organic if you can get them)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 organic garlic cloves
  • 1 tbspn apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup tomato passata
  • 3 tbspn red wine
  • 1/4 cup rapadura
  • 1/4 cup organic tomato paste
  • 3 large, ripe tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tbspn coconut aminos (or soy / tamari sauce)
  • 2 tbspn vege stock paste (recipe from Thermomix EDC)

Beef cheeks

Ready to cook!!


  1. Slice beef cheeks with a very sharp knife. The meat is incredibly tough when raw, but it softens to a meltingly tender texture after the long, slow cooking process. Add to slow cooker.
  2. Chop onion and garlic and throw on top of the meat.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
  4. Cook on low heat for up to 10 hours. (The longer the better!)
  5. Serve with desired accompaniments – eg sweet potato fries cooked in coconut oil and blanched snow peas / whipped potato mash / sweet potato mash / polenta.


Beef cheeks 3

Winter Warming Breakfast – Choc Cinnamon Rice with Pear

Choc rice 2

Comfort food PLUS! What could be more cosy on a bleak, grey morning than warm rice, chocolate, cinnamon…..softly cooked pear….. (hold on, I just gotta go check my fridge – I’m sure there are leftovers in there……)

Pears are so sweet and yummy right now! Juicy and firm. The window of ¬†‘pear ripeness’ is regretfully narrow. Back in the day I worked at a Fruit, Veg and Health Food shop (see, it’s always been in me to love all things wholesome and healthy!)

I remember my boss telling me to get in and buy up the pears as they are at their peak for approx a week, maybe two during the season. Then they becoming ‘trickier’ to ripen.

The pears in this recipe provide a soft, warm, sweet burst of flavour and texture while you eat. Delicious!


  • 150g arborio rice (I used arborio because I needed it to cook quickly this morning. ¬†Brown would be fine. I’d like to try it with quinoa)
  • enough milk to fill up to the 1 litre mark in the TM bowl (you could use coconut milk, almond milk etc)
  • 2 tbspn pure, organic maple syrup (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tspn cinnamon
  • 2 tbsnp raw, organic cacao
  • 2 (just) ripe pears, cored and chopped into quarters, then quarters again



  1. Place all ingredients into Thermomix.
  2. Cook on Sp 2, 20 minutes, 90 deg

It will thicken on standing – great to pour straight into your Thermoserver.

That’s it! Enjoy!

(If you don’t have a Thermie, you can use a saucepan. Just continue to stir gently to ensure it doesn’t stick.)

Choc rice

Thick, Dark and Luscious *****Strawberry Jam! ******

This recipe is totally and utterly the result of my fan-like devotion to all things ‘Tenina’!


Here is the link to the original recipe for Strawberry Vanilla Jam.


Every year I wait, (IM)patiently, for strawberry season to begin. THIS is why!


Jam ingredients

This recipe has been slightly tweaked to reduce the sugar content (I use less each time) and I add less apple as I find it is such a firm jam without the whole apple.


2 punnets strawberries (washed, then hulled)

rapadura (half the weight of the strawberries after hulling)

half an apple, sliced, skin on

large piece of lemon zest (no pith) and approx 1 tbspn lemon juice

half vanilla bean

Jam cooking


  1. Place all ingredients in Thermie bowl. (I have reduced the amount of sweetener. Eg, the last time, I had 420g fruit and 170g rapadura)
  2. Cook on Varoma temp, Sp 1 for 30 minutes, placing basket on top in place of the MC
  3. Many jam recipes will call for testing on chilled plates to see if your jam ‘wrinkles’. I find this jam is really thick every time, but if you want to, drip some of the hot jam onto a cold plate and ‘push’ it to see if it looks thick.
  4. Allow to cool slightly and pour into sterilised jars.
  5. Hurry up and make some scones, cos you are gonna NEED them soon – knowwhatimsayin’?

Finished jam