Tag Archives: Valentines Day

Super Quick Valentines Menu

Fuss Free Valentine's Menu

Valentine’s Day is on a weekday, so here’s a super quick menu…

With this simple menu, you can prepare a delicious three-course meal with ease.

Make the Lemon Posset the night before and pop into the fridge.

 

Griddled Halloumi with Wild RocketGriddled Halloumi with Wild Rocket

Time 20 minutes
Per portion: 528 Kcal 45g fat (26g saturated)
Serves 2 as a starter
Suitable for vegetarians

Halloumi 125g (4½oz), drained
Olive oil 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp
Lime 1½, juice only
Garlic 1 clove, peeled and finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Wild rocket and salad leaves 25g (1oz), to serve

Cut the Halloumi into thick slices and place in a non-metallic dish.

Mix together the oil, lime juice and garlic, season with plenty of pepper and pour over the Halloumi. Turn the cheese so it is coated in the marinade. Cover and chill for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

Oil, then heat a griddle pan over a medium heat. Remove the Halloumi from the marinade, reserving the garlic oil mix, and cook on the hot griddle until golden on both sides. The Halloumi will brown quickly and only needs 1–2 minutes on each side.

Arrange the wild rocket and salad leaves in two bowls and top with Halloumi, drizzle with the reserved garlic oil and serve.

Tip. There is no need to add salt to the dish as Halloumi is already quite salty.

 

Antipasti Pitta PizzasAntipasti Pitta Pizzas

Serves 2
Time 15 minutes
Per portion: 484 Kcal
22g fat (8g saturated)

Pitta bread 2
Pesto sauce 2 tbsp
Grated Mozzarella cheese 110g (4oz)
Parma ham 2-4 slices
Chargrilled artichokes in olive oil 8 pieces
Cherry tomatoes 10-12, halved
Freshly ground black pepper
Basil leaves to garnish (optional)

Preheat the grill to hot with the rack about 10cm (4in) away from the heat. Put the pitta breads on a baking sheet and grill on one side, to warm through.

Turn them over and spread with the pesto and about two-thirds of the cheese. Tear the ham into a few strips straight over the top. Nestle in the artichoke pieces and tomato halves and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Drizzle a little oil from the jar of artichokes over the pizza.

Grill for about 5 minutes until the cheese has melted and browned.

Season with pepper and sprinkle with basil leaves, if using.

 

Lemon PossetLemon Posset

Serves 2
Time 15 minutes plus chilling
Per portion: 943 Kcal
81g fat (50g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians

Double cream 300ml pot
Caster sugar 100g (3½oz)
Lemon 1 large, 2–3 tbsp juice
Fresh berries to serve (optional)

Pour the cream into a saucepan and bring gently to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

Add the lemon juice and bring to the boil, tasting to check the sweetness – you may wish to add a little more lemon juice or sugar as necessary. Simmer for 2 minutes before removing from the heat.

Whisk well and then pour the posset into two heatproof glasses.

Leave to cool then chill in the fridge for about 3 hours until set before serving. Top with a few berries if you like.

 

#valentineRecipes

3 Easy Recipes for Two

3 easy recipes for two on Valentines Day

Enjoy a romantic dinner at home with these delicious recipes.

The starter and main can be prepared in advance (cook the main while eating your starter) and the pud only takes 10 minutes to create.

Giving you more time to spend gazing into each other’s eyes!!

 Potted Shrimp

Potted Shrimps

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 281 per portion
Fat 21g (14g sat) per portion

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter 50g (2oz)
  • Shrimps 150g (5oz), shelled weight
  • Ground nutmeg a pinch
  • Ground mace a pinch
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Brown bread or hot toast to serve

Instructions

  1. Gently melt the butter in a small saucepan over a very low heat. Simmer gently until a foam rises to the top then remove the foam with a spoon.
  2. Carefully pour the clarified butter from the top into a jug and discard the milky residue underneath.
  3. Melt half of the clarified butter and stir in the shrimps, nutmeg, mace and seasoning to taste. Spoon the mixture into two ramekin dishes and chill until the mixture has set.
  4. Melt the remaining clarified butter and spoon over the top of the shrimps. Chill once again until the mixture has set.
  5. Serve with toast or crusty brown bread, using the butter layer on top of the ramekins to spread on the toast first.

Cook’s tips
If you can’t find shrimps buy small prawns instead.
For special occasions, multiply the quantities by the number of people you are feeding and make the ramekins look pretty with sprigs of dill and a little caviar.

Baked Salmon

Baked Salmon Tricolore

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 726 per portion
Fat 61g (11g sat) per portion

Ingredients

  • Firm avocado 1 large
  • Lemon juice 1 tbsp
  • Tomatoes 2 large, thickly sliced
  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Garlic mayonnaise 2 tbsp
  • Grated Parmesan cheese 3 tbsp
  • Chopped basil 2 tbsp
  • Salmon fillets 2 x 150g (5oz)
  • Rocket leaves to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Line a baking dish with baking parchment.
  2. Cut the avocado in half and prise out the stone. Peel off the skin and then slice thickly. Arrange in a single layer in the baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Put the tomatoes in the dish and drizzle with half the oil. Season well.
  3. Mix the mayonnaise with the Parmesan cheese and chopped basil. Lay the fish on top of the avocado and tomatoes and spread the mayonnaise mixture on top of the fish. Then drizzle with the remaining oil.
  4. Bake the salmon in the oven for about 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until cooked through and tender. Drain and serve immediately with fresh rocket leaves.

Cook’s tips
Choose a slightly under-ripe avocado for this recipe – it will be easier to peel and slice; the flesh will soften slightly on baking.
If you don’t have garlic mayonnaise, mix ordinary mayo with 1 crushed garlic clove.

 Fruits with Chocolate Dip

Fresh Fruit with Chocolate Dip

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 255 per portion
Fat 11g (6g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians

Ingredients

  • Dark chocolate 75g (3oz), broken into pieces
  • Milk 2 tbsp
  • Mixed fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries 350g (12oz)

Instructions

  1. Put the chocolate and milk in a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir until it has melted, making sure it doesn’t overheat.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir to make a smooth thick glossy sauce.
  3. Carefully remove the bowl from the pan and pour the chocolate into a small pot. Serve immediately with the berries to dip into the chocolate sauce.

 


 

Just For One Or Two cookbookThese delicious recipes are taken from our sell-out cookbook (now on its second print run) Just for One or Two.

Find out more about this popular book here.

 

And happy Valentine’s Day for tomorrow!

 

#recipesfortwo

#valentinesrecipes

#valentinesday

#chocolatedip

 

 

Just For One Or Two cookbook back in stock plus a special Valentine’s Day menu

Hot off the press!
Our sell-out cookbook is now back in stock!

Just For One Or Two cookbookJust for One or Two is one of the fastest selling cookbooks we have ever published. Selling out well before Christmas, it proved to be a real favourite with our customers.

After many requests we have reprinted, and it’s now back in stock and available to order online here <link> or by calling 01425 463390.

Not only is it perfect for single and couples,
it’s also a great ‘date night’ cookbook for families
who have young children and find it difficult to
escape for a meal out.

So why not make every day delicious with Just for One or Two?

READ MORE

 

A very special (but super-easy) Valentine’s Day menu.

For romantics out there here’s a gorgeous menu of recipes from the book to cook for (or with) your other half on Valentine’s Day.

Mushrooms with Goat’s Cheese

Beef Steak with Peppercorn Sauce & Potato Wedges

Crêpes with Brandy Marmalade Sauce

Have fun!

And don’t forget to look out for our competition to win a fabulous Breville Crêpe Maker. Coming very soon.


 

Mushrooms with Goat's Cheese

Mushrooms with Goat’s Cheese

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 185 per portion
Fat 12g (7g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians

Ingredients

  • Large flat mushroom 2, wiped
  • Shallot 2, peeled and finely chopped
  • Fresh white breadcrumbs 30g (½oz)
  • Butter 30g (½oz), melted
  • Chopped thyme 2 tsp, plus leaves to garnish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Goat’s cheese 50g round slice
  • Salad leaves to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Remove the stalks from the mushrooms. Chop the stalks finely and then mix with the shallots, breadcrumbs, melted butter, thyme and seasoning.
  2. Pack the mixture into the mushrooms. Place on a baking sheet and cook in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes.
  3. Place the cheese on the mushrooms and sprinkle with a few extra thyme leaves. Return to the oven for a further 10–15 minutes, or until the cheese starts to melt and turn golden. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with black pepper and serve immediately with a few salad leaves if liked.

Cook’s tips

Mushrooms don’t need peeling; just wipe with a clean, damp cloth or small mushroom brush to remove any dirt.

This recipe is ideal fo using up any leftover cheese; instead of goat’s cheese use any sliced soft cheese or grated hard cheese of your choice.

You could use a pinch of dried thyme instead of fresh.

You could also add a little lemon zest to the stuffing mixture if you like.

 


 

Beef Steak with Peppercorn Sauce & Potato Wedges

Beef Steak with Peppercorn Sauce & Potato Wedges

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 747 per portion
Fat 62g (30g sat) per portion

Ingredients

  • Olive oil 2 tbsp plus 3 tsp
  • Potatoes 2, peeled and cut into wedges
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Onion 1 small, peeled and finely chopped
  • Garlic 1 clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • Whole black peppercorns 2 tsp, lightly crushed
  • Beef stock 150ml (¼ pint)
  • Double cream 150ml pot
  • Beef rump steaks 2
  • Mixed salad 50g packet, to serve

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Pour 2 tablespoons oil into a roasting tin and place in the oven to heat up.
  2. Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Drain well and rough up the edges by shaking in the pan.
  3. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and carefully add the wedges. Season with salt and pepper. Using a long handled spoon, coat the potato wedges in the oil and spread out in the tin.
  4. Return the tin to the oven and cook for 45–50 minutes until crisp, turning after 20 minutes.
  5. To make the sauce, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a small heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until softened, stirring frequently.
  6. Add the peppercorns and 4 tablespoons of the beef stock. Simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated, then add the leftover stock with the cream and bring to the boil. Simmer until reduced and thickened, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.
  7. For the steaks, preheat a griddle until hot. Brush 1 teaspoon oil onto both sides of the steaks, then cook according to taste. Usually, for rare cook for 2 minutes on each side, for medium cook for 3–4 minutes on each side, and for well done cook for 4–6 minutes on each side. Leave to rest for a few minutes.
  8. Serve the steaks with the potato wedges, salad and the peppercorn sauce.

 


 

Crêpes with Brandy Marmalade Sauce

Crêpes with Brandy Marmalade Sauce

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 514 per portion
Fat 20g (3g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians

Ingredients

  • Plain flour 50g (2oz)
  • Caster sugar 25g (1oz)
  • Egg 1
  • Semi-skimmed milk 60ml (2fl oz)
  • Sunflower oil 3–4 tbsp
  • Marmalade 3 tbsp
  • Brandy 2 tbsp

Instructions

  1. Put the flour, sugar and egg into a bowl and mix. Then mix the milk with 60ml (2fl oz) of water in a jug and gradually whisk it into the sweetened flour and egg, together with 2 tablespoons oil, to make a smooth batter.
  2. Put the marmalade in a small saucepan with the brandy. Bring to the boil, stirring, until the marmalade melts, then boil for a few minutes to make a syrup. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand.
  3. Pour a little oil into the base of a small non-stick frying pan. When hot, pour away the excess oil. Add 2 tablespoons of the crêpe mixture to the pan and tilt the pan until the base is covered. Cook for 1–2 minutes until the base is lightly browned.
  4. Turn the crêpe over with a knife and cook the other side. Slide it from the pan and keep warm. Repeat until all the batter has been used.
  5. Arrange the crêpes on warmed plates and spoon the marmalade sauce over them. Serve immediately.

Cook’s tips
If you don’t have brandy, simply add 2 tbsp water instead.
You could serve the crêpes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you like.


 

#justforoneortwo

#recipesfortwo

#tripletested

#valentinesday

Eat Out, In Valentine’s Day

Eat Out, In this Valentine's Day

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Eat Out, In: The easiest and tastiest Valentine’s Day menu ever

The whole point of Valentine’s Day is to enjoy time with your other half. So if you choose to eat at home rather than visit a restaurant (who may well inflate their prices for the privilege of dining with them on February 14th!), you will want a menu that gives you maximum time together rather than hours slaving in the kitchen.

These delicious recipes deliver maximum
flavour but allow you to prepare ahead, so
that you can enjoy each other’s company.

 

This speedy salad takes only 5 minutes to prepare yet tastes divine. The mix of textures and the contrast between the sweet pears and the salty Stilton works beautifully.

Pear & Stilton Salad

Starter: Pear & Stilton Salad

Time required 5 mins.
Per portion: 493 Kcal, 39g fat (11.4g saturated)
Suitable for vegetarians
Serves 2

Mixed leaf salad 50g (2oz)
Chicory 1 head, halved, leaves separated and torn into large pieces
Conference pears 2, cored and sliced
Stilton cheese 75g (3oz), crumbled
Walnut pieces 25g (1oz)
Walnut oil 1 tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp
Lime 1, juice only
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Par-baked rolls 2, warmed, to serve, optional

1 Put the prepared salad and chicory leaves in a bowl. Add the pears to the bowl with the Stilton followed by the walnut pieces. Drizzle with the oil and lime juice, mix gently and season with salt and pepper.

2 Arrange the salad neatly in the centre of two large plates and serve at once with a warmed par-baked roll per person.

Recipe taken from Clever One Pot cookbook.

 

Cod loin is a really meaty fish, which works brilliantly with Pancetta. The veg is cooked in the oven with it, so all you need to do is heat a pre-prepared packet of rice or mixed grains and your whole meal is done.

Cod in pancetta

Main: Roasted Cod Loin wrapped in Pancetta

Time required 30 mins.
Per portion: 358 Kcal, 23g fat (4.8g saturated)
Serves 2

Cod loin 2 pieces, 150–175g (5–6oz) each
Smoked sliced pancetta 8–10 slices, weighing about 50g (2oz)
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Asparagus tips 125g (4½oz), trimmed
Ready-to-eat mixed grains 250g packet (found in the couscous/rice aisle of the supermarket) to serve, optional
Light mayonnaise 2–3 tbsp
Lime ½–1, juice only

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Generously wrap the cod loins in pancetta. Drizzle a little oil in a roasting tin and pop the cod loins on top of the oil. Drizzle the loins with a little more oil, season with pepper and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.

2 Meanwhile, tip the remaining oil into a plastic food bag. Add the asparagus tips and season with salt and pepper. Shake gently so the asparagus is lightly coated in oil.

3 Remove the cod loins from the oven, baste the pancetta with the juices in the pan and add the asparagus spears, making sure they are in a single layer. Roast for a further 8–10 minutes until the cod loins are cooked through and the asparagus is tender.

4 Heat the mixed grains (if using) in the microwave according to the packet’s instructions. Flavour the mayonnaise with lime juice, adding it gradually so it doesn’t split the mayonnaise, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

5 To serve, set a spoonful of mixed grains on each plate, pop the cod loin on top and arrange the asparagus spears neatly to the side. Serve at once with the lime mayonnaise.

Recipe taken from Clever One Pot cookbook

 

Make ahead and chill until you’re ready to pop it into the oven and then take time to saviour this decadent treat, served warm with a good drizzle of ready-made custard.

Marmalade Bread & Butter Pudding

Dessert: Marmalade Bread & Butter Pudding

Time 45 minutes.
Per portion: 574 Kcal, 25g fat (13g saturated)
Suitable for freezing
Suitable for vegetarians
Serves 2

White bread 6 slices, crusts removed
Butter 40g (1½oz), softened
Marmalade 2 tbsp
Caster sugar 2 tbsp
Sultanas 2 tbsp
Eggs 2
Milk 200ml (7fl oz)

1 Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 and lightly butter a 600ml (1 pint) pie dish.

2 Spread the bread with butter and then with the marmalade and then cut each slice of bread into four triangles. Arrange the triangles in the prepared dish, sprinkling the layers with sugar and sultanas.

3 Beat the eggs and milk together in a jug, then pour into the dish. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown and set. Serve warm.

Recipe taken from Fantastic Food For Less cookbook.

 

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Read blog on the Dairy Diary website.

 

Valentine’s Day Recipes & Tips

Tips for a romantic Valentine's Day.

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Valentine’s Day Recipes & Tips

I LOVE Valentine’s Day, I know I know, what a hopeless romantic. Many people dismiss it as commercial and an excuse for the card companies and other retailers to make money. I have to say I’m a little less sceptical (although I am sure it is a lucrative industry none the less).

I think it’s fantastic that we have
a day to remind us to cherish our
other halves and take time out to
make them feel special.

We get so swept along with the mundanity and busyness of everyday life that most of us (I am sure that there are those who are romantic every day….not me!) forget or simply don’t have time to spoil our loved-ones.

It doesn’t need to be an expensive affair – you don’t even need to go out. Just have a think about a few special things that you can do to make your special person feel loved:

  • Leave secret notes – choose places where they will be discovered throughout the day; in pockets, the car, cupboards, under the duvet etc.
  • Make a special breakfast tray – croissants, preserves, a pot of tea or coffee.
  • Send a few kisses by text several times during the day.
  • Create your own card with photographs of you both together during happy times. Print them out and make yourself or order online from Snapfish or similar.
  • Lay a very special table for dinner (and if you have children, eat after they have gone to bed). Go to town, with a tablecloth, your best crockery and glasses, candles and flowers.
  • Cook a delicious dinner, see below for some recipe ideas.

Special Lamb Shanks and Valentine’s Almond Creams.

Lamb Shanks and Almond Creams recipe

Have a lovely time and don’t forget to tell us about your special day! Have you been treated too?

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Winter seems to be dragging on for too long – for those of us who love the sun!

Valentine's Day FlowersSo it was fantastic to see clumps of snowdrops and crocuses coming up together in a corner of the local park today.

Flowers may be at the forefront of many people’s minds just now, since good old Valentine left a note for his jailer’s daughter signed ‘Your Valentine’ and started the whole thing off.

That was in Roman times. Apparently, Valentine was a priest who fell foul of the Emperor Claudius for conducting marriage ceremonies between young soldiers and their beloveds. The Emperor preferred his legionnaires to remain single and focused on their fighting skills, undistracted by any notion of wedded bliss.

Well, that’s one theory anyway. Another is that it’s all based on a fertility festival in honour of the god Lupercus.

However it started, the Victorians really took hold of it, pretty cards came on to the market and now around a billion are sent out every year.

A special card, flowers and chocolates are all lovely to receive, of course. I wonder how many are really anonymous – not sure how that tradition came about.

Dinner in a restaurant is great, too, but usually an expensive treat on the day itself. A romantic dinner at home can be fun, too. Plenty of foods are thought of as aphrodisiacs – chocolate (naturally!), avocado, asparagus, salmon, chillies, figs, bananas and watermelon among them.

The Egyptians swore by radishes. And the smell of almond and vanilla does it for some people, allegedly. Well, they are gorgeous!

Best wishes

Marion
Dairy Diary Team

 

How about an irresistible Valentine’s Day dessert?

Try this wicked Tropical Ginger Creams recipe from Good Food, Fast – you can whip up in just 15 minutes? And we still have a few copies for sale at just £9.99. Click here to view pages.

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