Blueberry Lemon Jam (Thermomix)

If you’ve seen my posts, you’ll know I absolutely love blueberries! Blueberry and lemon is a match made in tastebud heaven! (About the pretty figs in the photo, the short season of figs is all but done in Southern California so I was hoarding some! Aren’t they so pretty?)

Today, to hold on to summer’s fleeting flavors, I’m making some Blueberry Lemon jam using the Thermomix. Yes I got the blueberries on sale from Sprouts recently at $2.99 for 18 oz. We mostly ate it fresh but we still have some and short of drying it, I thought of making jam.

I really find the Thermomix useful specially in a recipe that calls for constant stirring (risotto, jam, sauces, etc) as my over exerted arms can rest while the Thermomix does all the work. This is a nearly dump-in-and-that’s-it recipe but tastes really good with toast in the morning.

Ingredients:

16 oz blueberries

10 oz granulated sugar

Juice and zest of 1 big lemon

2 tablespoons pectin powder

Procedure:

Sterilize 2 pint jars and set aside.

  1. Place blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest into mixing bowl, place Varoma dish (dish only, no lid) instead of measuring cup onto mixing bowl lid and cook 30 min/212°F/speed 1.
  2. Place a small saucer in the freezer after the first 30 minutes of cooking the jam.
  3. Add pectin, place Varoma dish (dish only, no lid) instead of measuring cup onto mixing bowl lid and mix 20 sec/speed 3.5, then cook 8 min/212°F/speed 1.
  4. Setting point test: Place 1 tsp jam onto the saucer. When cool, push jam with your finger. If it wrinkles, it is ready. If not, cook jam a further 2 min/212°F/speed 3, then test again.
  5. Transfer jam into sterilized jam jars. Allow to cool before placing lids on jars. Store in the refrigerator.

Blueberry Lemon Jam

  • Servings: Makes 2 pints
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Thermomix Blueberry Jam is easy and really delicious. Plus it takes almost no effort on your part to make.

Ingredients

16 oz blueberries

10 oz granulated sugar

Juice and zest of 1 big lemon

2 tablespoons pectin powder

Directions

Sterilize 2 pint jars and set aside.

  1. Place blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest into mixing bowl, place Varoma dish (dish only, no lid) instead of measuring cup onto mixing bowl lid and cook 30 min/212°F/speed 1.
  2. Place a small saucer in the freezer after the first 30 minutes of cooking the jam.
  3. Add pectin, place Varoma dish (dish only, no lid) instead of measuring cup onto mixing bowl lid and mix 20 sec/speed 3.5, then cook 8 min/212°F/speed 1.
  4. Setting point test: Place 1 tsp jam onto the saucer. When cool, push jam with your finger. If it wrinkles, it is ready. If not, cook jam a further 2 min/212°F/speed 3, then test again.
  5. Transfer jam into sterilized jam jars. Allow to cool before placing lids on jars. Store in the refrigerator.

Quick Dinner Rolls

I’m still stuck with Happy New Year!

Time just flies by so quickly toward the end of the year that it’s already New Year before I even realized it!

When I was a kid, we would always have a huge honeyed ham, creamy mashed potatoes, buttered corn, peas, and carrots, bread, and some sweets for our New Year’s Eve Dinner. We would eat all these around midnight. We were, however, constantly sneaking bites here and there as we pass by the kitchen.

Since New Year was here before I was ready, I want to share this recipe for homemade rolls that I make when I am short on time (seriously, when do we have enough time?). I mean, what do you do when you want to serve warm bread rolls for dinner and it’s already past 3pm? Try this recipe! It’s easy, fast, super soft, and has a really good flavor.

The addition of extra yeast speeds up rise times significantly but doesn’t sacrifice flavor. I promise it tastes really wonderful, and its ready in about 2 hours, more or less.

I made the dough in the Thermomix and then asked my son to shape them into buns. They are not all the same size but I couldn’t have made this bread without him at this time. Plus, that is what truly makes homemade feel special, they’re not all the same as it was hand made individually.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. My right arm has been in a splint for 3 weeks so I could not really do much, but smelling this bread baking is enough for now. And I know it’s really delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast (yes, tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  1. Combine the water, milk, and yeast in the Thermomix bowl. Set to 2 minutes/37 degrees/speed 2.
  2. Add the butter, sugar, 5 cups the flour, and salt. Set to Knead/3 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Add more flour if needed to form a soft, manageable dough. Knead for 2 more minutes if needed. The dough should feel elastic and slightly tacky to the touch.
  3. Let rise for 20 minutes at room temperature or until the dough is full and puffy.
  4. Gently remove the dough and pat it out to a rectangle about 8 inches by 12 inches. Cut the dough into 4 long strips, then cut each strip into 6 portions for a total of 24 dough balls. Shape into balls, pulling ends to the center to create tension. Roll on the counter to seal the seam.
  5. You can place the rolls into any of the following pans, well greased or lined with parchment paper: One half-sheet baking pan or 2 quarter-sheet pans. Two 13″ x 9″ x 2″ pans. Four 8″ or 9″ round baking pans OR a combination of any of these pans.
  6. Cover rolls with plastic wrap or towel and let rise at room temperature for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until well rounded and full looking.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  8. Bake the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and an internal thermometer reads 190°F. While hot, brush with melted butter. Serve warm.
  9. Left overs can be stored in a plastic bag for up to 3 days.

Note: To make without the Thermomix:

1. Combine the water, milk, and yeast in the a large bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes until bubbly.

2. Add butter, sugar, 5 cups flour, and salt. Mix well until a dough forms. Turn out onto a board and, adding flour as needed, knead until smooth and elastic, 5-10 minutes. Continue with #3 onwards.

*If you want to freeze the unbaked buns, place in the pans as described in step 6 and allow to rise for 10 minutes. Wrap airtight and freeze for up to 4 weeks. To bake, thaw overnight in the fridge, then unwrap and bake as directed.*

Just out of the oven!
After brushing with melted butter.
Look at that! 😊

Kale Sausage soup

Happy New Year! Cheers to a happy, healthy, good food filled new year everyone!

After all the feasting that started in November, I must say, I am ready to eat healthier! 😉

Isn’t it that we all have “eat healthier” resolutions at the beginning of the year? I’m not sure about you, but I usually stick to it up until maybe February, when chocolates call my name from every store I go to.

I like to believe that healthy is being able to eat anything in moderation, exercising in as much as is sanely possible, laughing a lot, and being with your loved ones. Singing, relaxing, having pets, and helping others (specially those who cannot pay/help you back) are good for you too!

I try to move as much as I can, walking all over, taking the stairs when possible. Since I love to cook and bake, I really have to up my exercise though. I used to trail run 2-4 times a week for 4-5 miles each time but my knee is having issues lately. However, finding knee friendly exercises are what I will be working on this year.

On the food side, let’s start with a Kale Soup…okay Kale and Sausage Soup! I promise you this is delicious, satisfying, and healthy. You won’t feel deprived at all! Okay, well maybe if necessary, leave the thick sliced, sourdough bread slathered with butter out. 🤔

Pinto beans, garlic, and bouillon powder was MIA!
  • 1 pound linguiça sausage, cut across into 1/4-1/8-inch thick slices
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 10oz bag of chopped kale
  • 6 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

PREPARATION

  1. Place the sausage in a large pot over medium-low heat and cook until it begins to render its fat, about 6-10 minutes. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, potatoes, and carrots and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the kale and beans. Cook, stirring until mixed, about 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the chicken broth, vinegar, and bouillon powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 40-45 minutes. Season with pepper. Divide among 6 bowls and serve.

Kale Sausage Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A light and healthy but filling dinner, specially when served with crusty bread.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound linguiça or uncured Spanish chorizo, cut across into 1/8-inch-thick slices
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 10oz bag of chopped kale
  • 6 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place the sausage in a large pot over medium-low heat and cook until it begins to render its fat, about 6-10 minutes. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, potatoes, and carrots and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add the kale and beans. Cook, stirring until mixed, about 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the chicken broth, vinegar, and bouillon powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 40-45 minutes. Season with pepper. Divide among 6 bowls and serve.

Conchas (Mexican sweet bread)

Merry Christmas!

Have you ever seen these colorful, sweet looking bread buns at Latin/Mexican bakeries? They look like the Japanese Melon Pan I am used to, but they come in lots of beautiful colors and the topping is cut in many different, pretty patterns too.

There are a couple of grocery stores not too far from my home that sell these cookie crusted buns called conchas or pan dulce (sweet bread). I tried them a few times because they’re calling my name, sitting there looking pretty with vivid colors on the display case, but they were a bit too dry for my taste.

However, being that they are super popular, I figured the real fresh ones must be good. What better way to find out than by making it yourself?

I knew how it looks like but I do not have concha cutters available to make them all look the same. Using a knife solved this problem even though it didn’t look as nice as the ones at the bakeries. If I make these regularly, I might just get some cutters to make my breads prettier. 😊

I serve these for breakfast with hot coffee for me and my husband, and hot strawberry milk for my son. I’m sure hot chocolate would be perfect too as I was told some people dip these in hot chocolate! Have to try that next time!

This is perfect for Christmas breakfast or brunch with a hot cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or even eggnog!

Make this sometime and let me know how you like it!

Dough:

  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Gel Food Colors

To Make the Dough:

  • To the bowl of the Thermomix, add the water evaporated milk, and the active dry yeast. Set to 2 minutes, 37F, speed 2.
  • Add in the melted butter, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, vanilla, ground cinnamon and eggs. Set to 30 seconds/speed 4.
  • Add the flour and salt, set to KNEAD/3 minutes.
  • Transfer to a lightly greased bowl , cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise in the covered bowl for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.

To Make the Streusel-Topping:

  • In the same Thermomix bowl, add the topping ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, sugar, flour and vanilla extract. Set to 20 seconds, speed 4. Scrape down the sides and set to 10 seconds, speed 4.
  • Divide the dough in two, about 195 grams each. To one part of the topping, add a few drops of food coloring gel until desired shade is achieved . To the other half, add 1 tablespoon butter and the cocoa powder. Knead both toppings one at a time until blended. *You will have 2 kinds of toppings.*

To Assemble the Conchas:

  • Once the dough has risen, divide the dough into 12 equal parts, each about 100 grams. Form the balls of dough into rounds. Repeat until you’ve worked through all of the dough.
  • Take about 2 tablespoons of the topping, roll into balls and flatten into a thin round. Placee it over the round of dough, patting down lightly. Using a small knife, score designs in the topping like a clam shell. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool. Serve with hot chocolate or coffee.

Conchas (Mexican Sweet Bread)

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Colorful and sweet, this Mexican Sweet Bread will be perfect with coffee, hot chocolate, or tea for breakfast or as an indulgent snack.

 

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Gel Food Colors

Directions

To Make the Dough:

  • To the bowl of the Thermomix, add the water and the active dry yeast. Set to 2 minutes, 37F, speed 2. 
  • Add in the vegetable oil, melted butter, granulated sugar, evaporated milk, salt, vanilla, ground cinnamon and eggs. Set to 30 seconds/speed 3.
  • Add the flour and set to KNEAD/3 minutes.
  • Transfer to a lightly greased bowl , cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise in the covered bowl for about 1 hour, until doubled in size. 

To Make the Streusel-Topping:

  • In the same Thermomix bowl, add the topping ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, sugar, flour and vanilla extract. Set to 1 minute, speed 4.
  • Divide the dough in two. To one part of the topping, add a few drops of desired food coloring gel. To the other topping, add 1 tablespoon butter and the cocoa powder. Knead both toppings one at a time until blended. You will have 2 kinds of toppings.

To Assemble the Conchas:

  • Once the dough has risen, divide the dough into 12 equal parts, each about 100 grams. Form the balls of dough into rounds. Repeat until you’ve worked through all of the dough.
  • Take about 2 tablespoons of the topping, roll into balls and flatten into a thin round. Placee it over the round of dough, patting down lightly. Using a small knife, score designs in the topping like a clam shell. Place dough onto a large cookie sheet, leaving space for it to expand. Repeat with remaining dough and toppings. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool. Serve with hot chocolate or coffee.

Ice Tray Meatballs

My coworker’s husband posted a video of him making meatballs using an ice cube tray a little while back. Interesting right? I knew I had to make it when he said he lined the trays with BACON before adding the meat mixture. My son loves bacon but I rarely make it as it’s highly processed.

In this recipe though it is not all bacon but every single meatball is covered with bacon. The whole thing is baked, so the bacon gets crispy and the grease drains off too – a win-win if you ask me!

Serve with dipping sauce of your choice as an appetizer or snack, or add rice pilaf with some salad and you’ve got an easy lunch or dinner done!

This will be perfect to serve as an appetizer for your holiday spread too!

Makes 28 meatballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef, chicken, or turkey
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 8 – 10 slices bacon
  • Barbecue sauce, Ranch, sweet chili sauce, etc. for dipping
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the ground meat, onion, garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, milk, egg, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper until combined. Set aside.
  3. Line two empty ice trays with bacon, (my trays took 2 strips per row, total of 4 per tray) overlapping each piece to cover the tray completely. Fill with ground meat mixture, pressing down to fill each cube completely.
  4. Flip the ice tray over onto a baking sheet, gently squeeze cubes to release meatballs, and carefully lift the ice cube tray off.
  5. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, or until bacon is crisp and browned, and meatball is cooked through.
  6. Transfer the meatball sheets to a cutting board and cut the bacon to create individual meatballs.
  7. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce. Enjoy!
Meat mixture
Lining the ice cube trays with bacon and filling with meat mixture.
Ready for the oven.
Yummy!

Ice Tray Meatballs

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Bacon wrapped meatball made in ice cube trays, need I say more?

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef, chicken, or turkey
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 8 – 10 slices bacon
  • Barbecue sauce, Ranch, sweet chili sauce, etc. for dipping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the ground meat, onion, garlic, parsley, bread crumbs, milk, egg, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper until combined. Set aside.
  3. Line two empty ice trays with bacon, (my trays took 2 strips per row, total of 4 per tray) overlapping each piece to cover the tray completely. Fill with ground meat mixture, pressing down to fill each cube completely.
  4. Flip the ice tray over onto a baking sheet, gently squeeze cubes to release meatballs, and carefully lift the ice cube tray off.
  5. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, or until bacon is crisp and browned, and meatball is cooked through.
  6. Transfer the meatball sheets to a cutting board and cut the bacon to create individual meatballs.
  7. Enjoy!

O’Neill Park Interpretive Center, Trabuco Canyon, California

September 22, 2019

Today was a perfect day to be outdoors so my son and I filled our water bottles and went to ride our bikes. O’Neill park is nearby and provides easy, paved roads if we want an easy ride, or difficult, unpaved inclining trails if we’d rather suffer. 😊

We chose a mix of easy and some challenging road for our 1 hour plus ride.

We stopped by the play ground and noticed that the Nature/Interpretive Center was open. We frequent this place but never saw the exhibit open.

It’s small but it provided lots of things kids and adults can learn from and some activities for kids too.

If you’re around the area, come by for a quick visit. http://www.ocparks.com/parks/oneill/

http://www.ocparks.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=15695

Paw prints
Mountain lion display
Coyotes
Little mammals
Deer family and a fox
Badger and foxes

Thermomix Sourdough Pizza Crust

10.11.19

I have been using my sourdough starter more than usual lately but often for tried and true recipes, like bread or waffles.
Today before dropping my son off at soccer, I realized I forgot to prepare dinner. I was thinking of what I have in the pantry and refrigerator when I remembered that I have not made pizza in a while.

So a few minutes before leaving, I mixed this dough in the Thermomix, drove the to practice, stayed a little to walk our dog around the park, then drove back home to prep our pizza dinner. The dough has risen perfectly by then so all I did was roll and stretch it to fit the pizza pans and then top with sauce, cheese, sausages, and pepperoni and baked. My husband and son came home right as I was topping the dough with cheese. Perfect Friday dinner with a salad!

*I did not let the dough rest after shaping, adding the toppings right away and I had a thin, crisp, cracker like crust. If you prefer it more bread like, let rest for 30 minutes after shaping, but before topping.*

  • 1 cup sourdough discard starter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups “00” flour or unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast, optional

Place all ingredients in the thermomix bowl and set to 3 minutes/Knead.

*to make without the Thermomix: place starter and water in a large bowl. Mix well. Add oil, flour, salt, and yeast if using. Mix well until a ball forms then knead in the bowl for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Continue with the recipe.*

Let rise until double, 2 to 5 hours, depending on how strong your starter is, and if you used the additional yeast.

Remove dough from bowl onto a floured surface. Pour some olive oil in your palm and divide dough in half to make 2 14-inch pizzas. Pat the oil all around the dough as you shape it into balls. Cover and rest for 10 minutes.

Grease pans with olive oil. Roll or stretch dough balls to the size of the pizza pans. Transfer to pans and stretch to fit.

Brush edges of the dough with olive oil, top with whatever sauce, cheese, and toppings you like and bake at 550F for 8-15 minutes until bubbly, browned, and toppings are cooked through.

Enjoy it hot!

Thermomix Pizza Crust

  • Servings: 3-5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An easy to make pizza crust using the Thermomix.

Ingredients

1 cup sourdough discard starter

1/2 cup water

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 1/2 cups “00” flour or unbleached all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast, optional

Directions


Place all ingredients in the thermomix bowl and set to 3 minutes/Knead.

Let rise until double, 2 to 5 hours, depending on how strong your starter is, and if you used the additional yeast.

Remove dough from bowl onto a floured surface. Pour some olive oil in your palm and divide dough in half to make 2 14-inch pizzas. Pat the oil all around the dough as you shape it into balls. Cover and rest for 10 minutes.

Grease pans with olive oil. Roll or stretch dough balls to the size of the pizza pans. Transfer to pans and stretch to fit.

Brush edges of the dough with olive oil, top with whatever sauce, cheese, and toppings you like and bake at 550F for 8-15 minutes until bubbly, browned, and toppings are cooked through.

Enjoy it hot!

Here are the links to the 14 inch pizza pans that I use in the home oven.

Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Bakeware 14 inch Pizza Pan:

Wilton Perfect Results Nonstick Pizza Crisper Pan 14 inch Pizza Pan: