Saturday, 23 August 2014

#mugappreciationsociety: the how, the who and the why

#mugappreciationsociety: the how, the who and the why
Lucy's culprit mug! Pretty, isn't it?
As many of you already know I am a huge Instagram fan, what's not to like? Thermomix hashtag: check! Crafts: check! Cross-stitch: check! Sewing: check! Cake: check! Mugs: check! And it's the mugs that got the #mugappreciationsociety started. Let me tell you the how, the who and the why:

Three days ago, Wednesday 20th August 2014 I was at the Method Creative offices in Cambridge with fellow freelancer and blogger Lucy from The Smallest Smallholding. Lucy and I have been working together on a Method project for a year and a half and, with our common love for blogging and social media (and a passion for proper grammar), it doesn't even matter that she is a vegan and I am, well, a chorizo fanatic! I pass her Busy B weekly planners to keep her organised in a pretty manner and she gives me all manner of gardening and homegrowing tips before I beg her to just come round and show me properly soon as I am not exactly green fingered.

I have been going on to Lucy to use Instagram more for a while now. Always full of helpful hints and tips me, on Wednesday I "made" her instagram the gorgeous flowery mug that she had on her desk. She took a photo, instagrammed it and, as I was giving her my usual mug hashtags, we decided we needed a hashtag of our own (well, just look at my feed, it's full of mugs!). So, after a few seconds of hashtag brainstorming and checking whether they were available, we settled on #mugappreciationsociety. I am pretty sure it was Lucy who mentioned that one and I am also pretty sure I said it's too long at first but then checked availability and said, yes that might just be the one! The whole process took two minutes flat.

Lucy did indeed share her mug, I tagged it for her. The next morning I posted my usual morning mug photo, added #mugappreciationsociety and tagged a few people including Lucy to show us their mugs! I don't think either of us were ready for what happened next. So many people joined the #mugappreciationsociety straight away.

So, from now on: Tag your mugs!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Thermomix Seafood Lasagna with Beetroot Béchamel

When I say Thermomix Seafood Lasagna with Beetroot Béchamel the truth is that you can totally do this without it, you just need a powerful blender to make the beetroot milk and then
do everything else the conventional way. I just like making it in the Thermomix as it is so much more convenient, fast, clean and well, easy!

Yes, you are right in thinking that this recipe builds on my current Beetroot Béchamel obsession but seriously, it's just so good that you have to try it!

You will need a nut milk bag, a cheesecloth or a very fine sieve to make the beetroot béchamel, I use the Living Synergy Nut Milk Bag that Lesley sells in the UK (£11.50 including delivery). If you are in the Thermomix Owners UK group you can find Lesley there or email her through her website.

If you're still wondering what a Thermomix is and why I'm such a thermogeek? You can read all about it here.

Right, ready? Here we go...

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Thermomix Beetroot Béchamel

Thermomix Beetroot BéchamelFancy a pink béchamel? Well, of course you do! This Beetroot Béchamel is amazing, in fact I may be a tad hooked. I know it may sound like a strange combination but it really works, think of the possibilities!

I had a recipe tester for this one who adapted it and will post her version: meet Jane from Why is there Air. Hers comes in a lighter shade of pink as she uses cooked beetroot. I'm sticking to my guns and using raw as I love the bright colour of mine: coral pink, what's not to like (and this is a big fan of the colour red talking).

I used a Living Synergy Nut Milk Bag for this. In the UK you can buy them from Lesley from Me and my Thermie (£11.50 including P&P). It rinses and washes really well, to be perfectly honest I wouldn't use it otherwise. I hate fiddly things. If you don't have a nut milk bag don't panic, either use a fine sieve or don't strain it at all!

Now, you don't need a Thermomix for this, you can use a powerful blender to make the beetroot milk and just make the béchamel the way you would make your béchamel usually. But then again the Thermomix makes it smooth as velvet with no lumps, something I never managed pre-Thermie, so basically I am giving you the perfect excuse to buy one (for more excuses just see here).

The next recipe I will post will be a Seafood Lasagna using this Beetroot Béchamel so make sure you come back to check it out. It is amazing!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Thermomix Chicken Liver Rice

Here is a recipe that will have most of you clicking away but I am feeling brave and posting it anyway because, when my brother and I were little, we used to beg my mother to make Chicken Liver Rice for us and now my daughter loves it and eats it so well. I used to prepare it on the stove but nowadays it is just so easy with the Thermomix (well, now that I have mastered it, the first few attempts were rather mushily interesting!).

If you still are puzzled by the word Thermomix (despite me going endlessly about it), here is more information and, if you are considering buying one or already own one and are based in the UK, don't forget to join my Thermomix Owners UK group on Facebook.

Thermomix Chicken Liver Rice


Thursday, 31 July 2014

Birthdays: pay it forward with a random act of kindness

Feisty Tapas' Birthday Pay it Forward with an Act of Kindness

Last year my birthday took a whole new meaning for me. This time last year I was about to turn 40, for months I had been dreaming of a big party with a forties theme but then I realised that that wasn't really what I wanted anymore. What I wanted was to make it a day that put a smile on people's faces so I came up with the idea of making August 9th a pay it forward day, a day full of random acts of kindness and so I wrote a post, here you have a screenshot:


Monday, 28 July 2014

Thermomix Savoury Quinoa Muffins

Thermomix Savoury Quinoa MuffinsAccording to the photos of these Thermomix Savoury Quinoa Muffins I first made them on July 2nd 2013 so I am "only" a year late sharing this recipe. Nuts, isn't it? Or it isn't if you look at just how much a working mum has to get done each week. I was really hoping to make them again but then time kept running away with me (I'll never understand that expression, it feels like it's running away from me, all the time, fast!).

Now I have realised that I have a fantastic bunch of testers in my Thermomix Owners UK group so I am hoping to try to get a whole lot of recipes-in-waiting published in the next few weeks. Thank you Denise for testing these for me!

If you don't have a Thermomix you can still make these, you just need to chop and mix things by hand or in your food processor.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Thermomix Spanish potato omelette (tortilla de patatas)

Thermomix Spanish potato omelette (tortilla de patatas)It took me ages but I finally have the perfect recipe for Tortilla de patatas, Potato omelette, Spanish omelette... whatever you may call it, it's delicious! And, because you can prepare most of it in your Thermomix... it's easy peasy.

Now, you don't have to make this with onion, you really don't so leave it out if you don't like it. Both the smaller omelette and the larger one use the same amount of water and oil. Traditionally the potatoes are fried in a lot of olive oil but the good thing of the Thermomix is that you can safely fry them in a combination of water and olive oil, making it a lighter omelette.

I give you size options: for 2-4 people (depending on appetites) or for 4-6 people. For the larger omelette I would personally increase the amount of salt a bit for flavour, this is a treat! But try it as it is and perhaps add more next time! I got the recipe from the La Juani de Ana Sevilla Spanish blog, it's her Tortilla de patatas casi sin aceite and have adapted a few things such as the potato times and the mixing of the potatoes and egg as you have to be careful with those.

Before you go check whether you have all the ingredients in the house to make this right now, let me tell you that you can find more tapas ideas here. And, if you're based in the UK with your Thermomix or thinking about buying one, come joing my Thermomix Owners UK Facebook group, lots of friendly chat, tips and advice there.

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