Frosty cold days and nights call for hearty stews. Saffron, cumin, ginger, and orange zest are among the ingredients that add a wonderful depth of flavor to this lamb stew. The list of ingredients may seem long, but your taste buds will be greatly rewarded as you eat this aromatic dish.
Moroccan Lamb Stew
Williams-Sonoma Soup & Stew
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 lb cubed lamb for stewing
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2½ cups beef stock or prepared broth
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup chopped dried dates
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. Pat the lamb dry with paper towels. Place the flour in a large bowl or lock-top plastic bag and season with salt and pepper. Add the lamb in batches and stir or shake to coat thoroughly with the seasoned flour.
4. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the pot and heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the lamb and brown on all sides, 4-5 minutes for each batch. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
5. Return the onion mixture and browned lamb along with any accumulated juices to the pot. Add the garlic, cumin, saffron, and ginger and stir to coat the meat and vegetables. Add the stock and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a spoon. Add the tomatoes, dates, and orange zest and juice and bring to a boil over high heat.
6. Cover and bake in the oven until the meat is tender, 1½ – 2 hours. (If the sauce seems too thin, transfer the meat and vegetables to a bowl with a slotted spoon and boil the sauce on the stove top until thickened. Return the meat and vegetables to the pot.) Taste and adjust the seasoning.
7. Transfer the stew to a serving bowl and garnish with the parsley. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.
1. A lamb shoulder or leg of lamb could be cut up for this stew.
2. I needed to use more oil than called for to brown all of the meat.
3. The sauce turned out perfectly. There was no need to reduce it on the stove top.
Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged blog, cold-weather recipes, food, hearty stew recipe, hearty stews, lamb, lamb recipes, lamb stew, lamb stew recipes, Moroccan recipes, Recipes, stew, stew recipes, stews, Williams-Sonoma, Williams-Sonoma recipes, Williams-Sonoma stew, winter recipe | Leave a Comment »
His eyes close as the sun shines on his face and the wind blows through his hair. My dog’s face reflects sheer bliss during a recent car ride. Dogs live in the present moment and savor all of life’s little blessings. Simple things bring them joy: pats on the head, kind and encouraging words, treats to treasure, naps in the sun, running free, being loved. How is it that animals with brains the size of a human two-year-old can figure out the essence of happiness? Perhaps, we should let the world go to the dogs?
#1 – Dogs And Cats
What do dogs and cats think about the holidays? If you’re a dog or a cat owner you’ll get a chuckle out of this BuzzFeed photo series called 11 Differences Between Cats and Dogs During The Holidays.
#2 – More Gift Ideas!
From week to week the number of homemade gift ideas on the Internet keeps increasing. This week I found 65 Homemade Christmas Gifts, which provides a wide-ranging collection of ideas and links. My favorite idea? There’s too many to choose from!
#3 – The Right Box
An obscure cabinet in my house contains boxes of all sizes. Because so many of them are crammed into a small space, I don’t dare remove one box, lest I create a box avalanche. I was elated to find the site Free Template Maker. Using the template maker, I can make small boxes to my exact specifications any time I want. All I have to do is plug in the dimensions and a template is made. Plus, I can re-purpose the cardboard from boxes in my cabinet that are missing lids or bottoms to make new custom boxes. The only limitation to this template maker is that your box template must fit on your printer paper. If you need a larger size, you can probably take a copy of the file on a flash drive to a copy service and have a larger template printed.
#4 – Go With The Flow
“There’s so much to do and so little time.” “Arghh, that person just stole my parking space!” “Look at how long the line is!” “What do you mean you’re all sold out?” Do any of these statements sound familiar to you? If they do, you might want to take a brief refresher course on how to go with the flow. 12 Practical Steps for Learning to Go With the Flow by Zenhabits provides the tips you need.
#5 – Is It A Waste?
“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”
Now Go and Spread Joy!
Posted in About me, Art and Crafts, Creativity, Gift Ideas, Health, Holidays, inspiration, Pets, Recycling, Uncategorized | Tagged 11 Differences Between Dogs and Cats During the Holidays, blog, box template, box templates, boxes, cats, Christmas gift ideas, differences between dogs and cats, DIY boxes, DIY Christmas gifts, dog's life, dogs, dogs and cats, dogs and cats during the holidays, essence of happiness, gift boxes, Gift Ideas, gifts, go with the flow, going with the flow, Holidays, homemade Christmas gifts, homemade gift ideas, homemade gifts, how to go with the flow, inspiration, inspirational quotes, learning to go with the flow, lessons from dogs, letting go of things you cannot control, life, life lessons from dogs, make boxes, making boxes, Marthe Troly-Curtin quote, Pets, quotes, random thoughts, relieving holiday stress, Repurposing, template maker, wasting time quote, zenhabits | Leave a Comment »
Do more ingredients and more steps make a recipe better? Not necessarily. Last week my daughter and I attempted to make an elaborate pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. The recipe involved more steps and more ingredients than a usual pumpkin pie recipe contains. In the end, the pie was good, but not incredibly better than other pumpkin pies of the past. However, one of the steps in the recipe required making sugar-coated pecans. Unlike other sugar-coated pecan recipes that incorporate one spice, this recipe’s winning combination of spice made these pecans stand out as the best part of the pie. Their ease of preparation make them a great snack for holiday parties or a crunchy salad topping. Put these crunchy bites of spicy-sweetness into cute jars, complete with a ribbon and tag, and you have a delectable gift to give to family, friends, and holiday party hostesses.
Sugar and Spice Pecans
Adapted from a recipe by BRIT & CO
1 pound pecan halves
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
2. Place egg white and water in a large bowl. Whisk mixture until egg whites are frothy. Add pecans and stir to coat.
3. In a separate bowl mix together sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Add to pecan mixture and stir until well-coated.
4. Spread pecans onto a baking sheet and bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
5. Let pecans cool completely.
6. Store in an airtight container.
1. Toasting the pecans first brings out their flavor. Make sure they are completely cooled before using them in this recipe.
2. I love the recipe as it is, but just for fun, I’m going to try experimenting with other spices to see what variations I can come up with. Cayenne pepper, ancho chili powder, and espresso powder come immediately to mind.
Posted in About me, Gift Ideas, Holidays, Recipes, Uncategorized | Tagged blog, candied pecans, Christmas snacks, DIY, food, food blog, food gift ideas, food gifts, Gift Ideas, holiday gift ideas, holiday snacks, Holidays, homemade gift ideas, munchies, nuts, pecan recipes, pecan salad topping, pecans, pumpkin pie, pumpkin pie recipe, Recipes, salad topping, snack ideas, snacks, spicy pecans, sugar pecans, sugar-coated pecans, sugared pecans, thanksgiving snacks | Leave a Comment »
Rainbow lint covers every imaginable surface in my home. T-shirt scarves tagged and waiting to be bagged lie in yard-high heaps on my dining room table. 344 scarves to be exact, an amount that far exceeds my original goal of 100. These scarves and the two dozen t-shirt tote bags will go far to warm the bodies and hearts of the homeless. My right hand and wrist ache from all the repetitive cutting and pulling, but as I view the piled scarves, I am overwhelmed. Many thanks to all those who contributed t-shirts to my project and to my wonderful friends who shared part of their day to help me create some of the scarves. Start saving your clean and gently-worn t-shirts for me, because next year my project will be bigger and better!
#1 – Live Longer
Knowing the incredible feeling I get from helping others, I’m not surprised that number 13 of Secrets of a Long Life: 25 Simple and Surprising Tips to Help You Live to 100 is “Be helpful and lend a hand to others.” The article goes on to state that “A long-term US study found that people who volunteered regularly over a lifetime lived significantly longer than those who didn’t. Volunteers also experienced less depression, fewer pains and better general health.” Find a way to expand your heart and, perhaps, you’ll live longer.
#2 – One Second of Every Day
Time flies by. Hours become days, days become months, and months become years. How can we remember the many significant moments of our entire lives? Cesar Kuriyama talks in this TED video about his ongoing project of recording one second of his life everyday and why he does it.
#3 – Fall Fantasy
Fall Fantasy is a photo collection that captures glorious fall images from around the world and pairs them with inspirational sayings. Autumn’s beauty is displayed at its height of splendor!
#4 – Christmas, Already?
It’s only fall, so this entry may be jumping the gun. However, if you’re a DIY-type-of-person, the time to start holiday crafting is right now! There are so many cute and clever re-purposing ideas in 25 DIY Christmas Ornament Ideas, you’ll want to start a few projects today!
#5 – Relativity of Life
Strange is our situation here upon earth.
Each of us comes for a short visit,
not knowing why,
yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose.
From the standpoint of daily life, however,
there is one thing we do know:
That we are here for the sake of others,
for the countless unknown souls
to whose fate we are connected
by a bond of compassion. Many times a day, I realize
how much my outer and inner life
is built upon the labors of others,
both living and dead,
and how earnestly I must exert myself
in order to give in return as much as I have received.
- Albert Einstein
Now Go and Spread Joy!
Posted in About me, Art and Crafts, Creativity, Gift Ideas, Health, Helping Others, Holidays, inspiration, Photography, Recycling, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged Albert Einstein quote, autumn around the world, autumn colors, blog, capturing moments in life, capturing one second everyday, Cesar Kuriyama, Christmas ornament ideas, christmas ornaments, Christmas repurposing ideas, DIY, DIY Christmas ornaments, documenting life, Einstein quote, fall colors, fall fantasy, Helping Others, helping the homeless, holiday crafts, holiday DIY projects, homeless, homemade Christmas ornaments, images of autumn, inspiration, inspirational quotes, life, live longer, making t-shirt scarves, making t-shirt scarves for the homeless, one second everyday, Photography, quotes, random thoughts, re-purposing ideas, scarves, secrets to a long life, Strange is our situation quote, t-shirt scarves, TED video, tips to help you live longer, travel, ways to live longer | Leave a Comment »