Monday, 14 February 2011

Valentine Sigh!

Well Friday had me seeing red; red bows, red marzipan, red piped icing.....oh my poor aching eyes! But we made it; phew what a relief to be on the other side.

I must have tied close to two hundred bows on Friday alone.....Just as I was reaching bow 191 Daniel approached; Trepidation in eyes...just 58 more...if you could...if you don't....Of course we couldn't....of course we did....But we made it happen the family cakes way.

So I came in today expecting feet on desks, chefs stuffing faces with left over Marzipan hearts but alas a few of you had other ideas as you called with panic in your voices, can I get some cupcakes sent to my boyfriend today; it was you ladies that had us on our toes with your last minute orders tut tut.

So for all those whom have forgotten to plan something for tonight here is a romantic menu you can steal perfect for lovers to share. Happy Valentine All!!

Rocket and Parmesan Salad.

Go rustic on this one and pile a load of rocket leaves in a large pasta dish just a small drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of a large lemon wedge plus as much Parmesan slices as you can be bothered to grate. Tip: I use a potato peeler for my Parmesan I find it works better then the slice option on a grater

Home Baked Lasagna

Make life easy on yourself and buy the pasta sheets and pre-made sauces.

1. Sliced red onion into a pan with a little brown sugar and sizzle on a low heat
2. Crush some garlic (just one clove does me) pop that in with the onion
3. Add your mince and keep it moving until browned all over, drain juices as you go
4. Add a beef stock cube to your mince and stir until well mixed in then add your red sauce
5. Start layering: Mince-pasta sheets-mince-pasta sheets-mince-pasta sheets-white sauce Lots of grated cheese
6. Pop in a pre-heated (200 c) oven for a minimum of 40minutes or as long as you can stave off hunger until the top is golden brown and bubbling away

Serve with simple garlic bread by rubbing a peeled garlic clove over any type of toasted bread and spread a little butter if desired

Scrumptious melted chili chocolate pot with a shortcrust biscuit heart

Make your biscuits first

1. Cream together 200g of caster sugar and 500g of butter
2. add vanilla extract if you have it (lets keep it simple don't buy it you don't) 2tsp should do it
3. Fold in 500g of plain flour to form a doughy ball
4. roll this out until about an inch thickness and then cut out hearts with heart cutters if you have them or carefully slice around a heart shape from home could be anything or just a slip of paper you cut into a heart shape; i think the less perfect the better.
5. Bake at 180 for 10-12 mins (should be a golden color) set aside to cool.

Hot Chili chocolate pots

1. In a big bowl set over boiled simmering water (the trick is to never let your top bowl touch the water beneath thats what burns the chocolate) break in a whole bar of dark chocolate
2. Chop up 2 birds eye whole chili add these seeds and all
3. once chocolate is completely smooth mix in half a tub of dbl cream and watch in delight at the color changes
4. sieve before serving to remove chili and leave behind the flavor
4. Pour into 2 little pots or champagnes flutes for fun or if you want to be really romantic just take the saucepan to the bedroom oi oi!

Shopping List (copy and paste this into word and print your shopping list for this menu)

Bag of Rocket leaves
Red onion
500g Mince Beef
Birds Eye Chili's
Wedge of Parmesan
Block of strong chedder
Beef stock cubes
Red (tomato) lasagna sauce
White (bechamel) lasagna sauce
500g Butter
200g caster sugar
500g Plain flour
140g bar of plain chocolate (any variety will do doesn't have to be cooking chocolate)

wishing you all a lotta love tonight

Nicola Quigley

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