Cosy and Heart-Warming Recipes to Try in Your Dandara Kitchen

As the winter chill grips the UK, there's nothing like a hearty, heart-warming meal to lift your spirits and invigorate your senses! At Dandara, we know the importance of feeling warm and cosy at home, and what could be more inviting than the aroma of delicious British recipes wafting through your kitchen? Here are our favourite winter recipes.
Hearty Beef and Stout Stew

On those frosty evenings, when you're wrapped in a blanket and gazing out at the frost-laden streets, this robust stew is a quintessential British delight that promises to warm you from the inside out.

Ingredients list:
·      Beef chunks - 1kg
·      Cooking oil - 2 tbsp
·      Onions - 2 medium
·      Garlic - 2 cloves
·      Flour - 2 tbsp
·      Stout - 500ml
·      Root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, potatoes) - about 2 each, medium-sized, cubed
·      Beef stock - 1.5 litres
·      Bay leaf – 1
·      Fresh crusty bread - 1 loaf to serve on the side. 

1. Begin by browning your beef chunks in a hot, oiled pan. Once they're seared, set them aside and sauté some onions and garlic in the same pot.
2. Return the beef to the pan and stir in some flour, coating the meat. Now comes the secret – pour in your stout. Let it simmer to reduce slightly.
3. Add in your root veggies – we love a mix of carrots, parsnips and potatoes, but feel free to experiment! 
4. Pour in beef stock, add a bay leaf, and let it bubble away for 2-3 hours.
5. Serve up steaming bowls of stew with fresh, crusty bread for a hearty dinner that would chase any chill away.
Creamy Parsnip and Apple Soup

This velvety soup blends the sweet notes of apple with the earthy parsnips, resulting in a seasonal hug in a bowl. Perfect for crisp winter afternoons or as a starter for a cosy family dinner.
·      Chopped onions - 1 large onion
·      Parsnip - 2 medium parsnips, cubed
·      Apples - 2 medium apples, peeled and cubed
·      Vegetable stock - 1 litre
·      Almonds - 50g, toasted
·      Cream - 100ml
·      Buttered roll - 4 rolls to serve on the side

1. Sauté chopped onions in a large pot, then add chunks of parsnip and apple to the mix.
2. Pour over vegetable stock and simmer until everything is tender.
3. Use an immersion blender to achieve the creamy dreaminess.
4. Serve generously with a sprinkle of toasted almonds and a dash of cream. Enjoy it hot, with a buttered roll on the side and savour each delicious spoonful.

Spiced Plums and Custard

To top off your delightful meal, our spiced plums and custard bring a festive cheer and elevate a humble dessert to new heights.

·      Plums - 8 medium-sized plums, halved
·      Sugar - 8 tbsp
·      Cinnamon stick – 1
·      Vanilla - 2 tsp
·      Cream - 500ml
·      Egg yolks - 4

1. Simmer halved plums with a touch of sugar, a cinnamon stick, and a dash of vanilla.
2. For the custard, heat cream and vanilla in a pot. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar.
3. Slowly add the warm cream to the eggs, whilst continuously whisking. Then pour the mixture back into the pot and cook on a low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens.
4. Serve up warm bowls of the custard with those sweet and tart plums nestled on top.

Festive Mulled Wine Recipe

No winter feast would be complete without a glass of mulled wine, exuding warmth and the spirit of the season. As an ode to this winter tradition, we're sharing our favourite Mulled Wine recipe. Absolutely perfect for those winter evenings at your Dandara home
·      Wine - 1 bottle (750ml), preferably a full-bodied red 
·      Orange - 1 orange, sliced 
·      Star Anise - 2 whole stars 
·      Cloves - 4 cloves 
·      Cardamom pods - 4 pods 
·      Cinnamon sticks - 2 medium sticks 
·      Sugar - to taste, start with 2-4 tablespoons and adjust as needed 

1. Pour the wine into a large pot and begin to gently heat it on your stove.
2. Add the orange slices to the pot.
3. Put the star anise, cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks into the pot. We recommend a spice infuser, to save fishing them out later!
4. Add sugar according to your personal preference. Stir until it's completely dissolved into the wine.
5. Allow the wine to simmer for about 20-25 minutes to allow all those wonderful spices to infuse.
6. Ladle the mulled wine into mugs or heatproof glasses, ensuring that the drink is warm but not too hot.

Grab your favourite apron and awaken the culinary maestro within. Allow each recipe's delicious magic to envelop your Dandara home, creating an inviting and friendly ambience. The winter chill is far from the only characteristic of the season. The true essence lies within the comforting atmosphere we cultivate and share within our homes. Here's to a season steeped in decadence, teeming with delicious flavours, and an unmatched joy for cooking! 

For more home inspiration, join our community on Instagram @dandarahomes. There, you'll find a plethora of lifestyle tips, decor ideas and scores of real-life homeowner journeys that truly bring the Dandara experience to life. Whether it's a snap of a well-laid dinner table or a heart-warming tale of a family setting up their Christmas tree, you’ll find endless inspiration on how to create a home that’s uniquely you. Here’s to warm memories and rich experiences - from our kitchen, to yours. As we say around here - Happy cooking!