Beef Casserole

Yes, I know.  This isn’t a cake, I haven’t baked. But, admit it, this is the weather for comfort food. It’s cold, it’s drizzly and miserable outside (drizzleable…..!!) and, to be honest I get tired of coming home after work and making supper each night.  Which means on the occasional Sunday I need to prepare the week’s meals so that all I have to do each evening is minor preparation and heating up the food.  Of course I don’t always do this (preparing ahead) because I am disorganised, or, come Sunday I can’t bear the thought of standing in the kitchen for a few hours preparing the food.

However, comfort food calls and a good hearty stew, or casserole – it sounds so much more sophisticated, doesn’t it 😉 is called for. Whilst I searched plenty of recipes on the internet I must confess in the end I just bought bits and pieces and flung them together.

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I chopped and braised the vegetables in small batches – I cannot believe I had the patience to do this, and then did the same with the meat.  I put it all in the casserole dish with herbs, chopped tomatoes, concentrated tomato puree, and stock.

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I covered the casserole dish and whacked the whole lot in the oven. Two hours later, and a house filled with the tomatoey, stewy, winter comfort food smell, it is cooked.

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I had wanted to serve it with mashed potatoes, but in the end decided on steamed new potatoes.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, stay warm and safe. Have a lovely weekend.

 

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A hole in my soul

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I can’t seem to shake off this sadness, and this makes me feel like a failure. I try to appear positive and somehow this makes me feel even worse. I wonder how long hearts take to heal.

Twitter tells me it is #WorldKindnessDay and what a shame it has to have just a day dedicated to it, because kindness matters. All the time. It can make the difference, all the difference.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you peace and happiness. May your days be filled with kindness.

Sticky Toffee Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

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This is a short post, due to chronic pain and lack of sleep, but I wanted to achieve something. So I baked.

There are three cupcake recipes I go back to time and again. I recently made the lime and coconut cupcakes, which is one of them, and sticky toffee cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream is another.  I haven’t made these for ages, I really don’t know why, since I absolutely love them.  I love cupcakes. I love salted caramel (salt+sweet= a marriage made in heaven). What more can I say!

The “sticky toffee” part comes, as the pudding with the same name, from using dates in the cake batter. And in spite of the name, these cupcakes are beautifully light, but also keep well, without drying out.

And I, in case you hadn’t noticed, LOVE icing.  I am a “would you like a bit of cupcake with your icing?” kind of girl. At least I admit it ; )

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.