Winter has been so mild here in Houston, so any time the weather turns even slightly cold I like to grab the opportunity to make something warm and comforting and pretend it's actually winter out there. I pretty much followed the pioneer woman's recipe for this soup but halved it, I added courgette to it and Randal said next time he would like to have corn included, but this was a really delicious warming soup on our semi cold day in Texas!
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 red potatoes, chopped
1 courgette, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
3 cups beef broth
1 tsp worcester sauce
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
In a large pot brown the ground beef, drain, add in the onion and cook for a minute or two before adding in the garlic.
Add in all the vegetables and cook for a few minutes, add in the tomato paste followed by the rest of the ingredients.
Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
One of my Christmas presents from Randal last year was an ice cream maker. It has been sitting on my counter just waiting for me to use it for a while now, so as Randal was in charge of valentines day dinner, I decided to test out my new kitchen toy and make some raspberry sorbet.
This recipe is incredibly easy to make, and as long as you keep the equipment and the ingredients cold it will freeze in a matter of minutes, and for a first attempt at sorbet making it turned out very well!
4 cups raspberries
2 tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
Place the raspberries and lime juice in a medium pan, and heat until the raspberries melt into a sauce. Strain the raspberry mixture to remove the seeds and set aside.
In a medium pan heat the water and sugar until it boils. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes without stirring.
Combine the syrup and raspberry sauce together and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Once the raspberry mixture is cold, place in the bowl of an ice cream maker that has been in the freezer for at least 12 hours. Churn for 20 minutes. At this point it is ready to eat, but if a firmer consistency is required place in a freezer safe container and freeze until ready to use.
For quite a few years now our valentines day tradition was having a variety of appetizers and mini desserts for dinner. We stopped going out for valentines day a long time ago, restaurants here are just too crowded and crazy and to be honest I would rather just be home with my honey. However, that basically meant I would spend all day in the kitchen making lots of little dishes, all while juggling the daycare kids.
So, when Randal realised that valentines day was on a Saturday this year he immediately declared he wanted to make a really nice dinner for me, and I know my husband well enough to know that would involve steak of some sort. He finally decided on chateaubriand, and yes it can be a spendy cut of meat, but I knew we would have spent more going out to a nice restaurant so I was fine with it. The most amazing part of this was that I got to spend the afternoon sipping buck's fizz (my favourite!) while my honey worked away in the kitchen, and yes I did help just a little, but he did most of the work creating a delicious chateaubriand, peppercorn sauce, roasted boursin potatoes, green bean bundles, mushrooms and peppers and garlic herb biscuits. I feel very lucky to not only have a husband who can cook but one that actually enjoys it!
3lb tenderloin filet
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp rosemary
salt and pepper
Season the filet with salt and pepper. In a large pan heat the olive oil. Sear the meat on all sides, remove from pan and leave to rest for 10 minutes while the oven heats to 350.
Place the filet in a roasting pan, sprinkle with the rosemary and roast for 10 minutes, then flip the roast over, and continue cooking for a further 20 minutes. Rest for 10m minutes before slicing.
I made these corn muffins for Randal on a whim. One of my daycare kids just loves to help me in the kitchen, she loves to mix things and as I was making Randal barbecued chicken for dinner I thought Sophie would love to help me make some corn muffins. I ended up throwing in a diced jalapeno and some cream cheese as Randal loves jalapeno poppers so why not stuff his cornbread with those flavours!
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 cup milk
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 jalapeno, diced
Preheat oven to 400. Place cupcake liners in a muffin pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add in the egg, milk, oil and diced jalapeno and stir to combine.
Fill the muffin liners just under half way with the batter, place a tablespoon of cream cheese on top then cover with the remaining batter and top with a jalapeno slice.
I'm an English girl from Kent who has been living in the States since 2002 and became an American citizen in September 2010.
I am very happily married to my wonderful husband Randal, and have been for 12 years now. We live in Texas with our adorable Pomeranians, Abbey and Ella.