I think it has been lovely to actually see some proper snow this year but hopefully it will disappear again for the working week.
The one thing that cold weather does though is make you want comfort food so why not get into the habit of making some nice stews and casseroles that are great for these cold nights and also freeze well if you make enough for another meal.
You can throw in all sorts of veg and only a little meat so it will be cheap, healthy and nutritious. With the added bonus of keeping you warm. Here is great recipe which you also add dumplings to.
BEEF STEW AND DUMPLINGS
Serves 4 395 calories per serving
15 minutes to prepare 2 hours 20 minutes to cook
420g lean stewing beef 420mls stock
2 tsp cornflour 2 sticks celery
120g leeks 240g parsnips
420g mixture of (kohlrabi, swede, carrot, turnip and artichoke)
2 tsps vinegar 1 bay leaf
Salt and black pepper 105g self-raising flour
¼ tsp baking powder ½ tsp mixed herbs
2 tbsp Olive Oil spread.
Season and coat the beef cubes with cornflour and quickly brown to seal in a saucepan or flameproof casserole.
Add the stock and stir well then add the sliced leeks, celery, Cube all the other vegetables and add along with the vinegar, bay leaf and salt and pepper.
Cook at 160º 140ºFan Gas Mark 3 for 2 hours or cook in slow cooker according to the cookers instructions. If you are cooking the stew in a saucepan, stir occasionally.
Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl, add the herbs and rub in the olive oil spread. Mix cold water into the flour to form soft dough. Divide into 8 pieces and shape into balls. Add the dumplings to the stew when cooked and cook for a further 20 minutes. Serve with green vegetables if you wish.
Snowy garden !