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Greek Salad with Orzo and Black-Eyed Peas Better together? Sometimes marriages work and sometimes they don’t. But magic occurs when two entities come together and bring out the best in each other. That is exactly what happens in the case of this Greek Salad. In actuality it is composed of two distinct salads, each possessing the substance and flavors to stand alone. The orzo component is light and refreshing with hints of lemon and oregano. By comparison, the black-eyed peas component brings in a certain earthiness with its flavors of tomatoes and parsley. Combining all components together creates a more interesting flavor-complex. This marriage definitely works.

Greek salad with Orzo and Black-Eyed Peas
Paul Grimes and Shelley Wiseman, Gourmet (August 2008)

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup orzo
1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 large tomato, diced (1 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
1/2 seedless cucumber, halved lengthwise, cored, and diced (1 cup)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, slivered
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano
2 to 3 cups coarsely chopped romaine
1/2 pound feta, crumbled (1 cup)
4-8 peperoncini
Salt and freshly ground pepper

EQUIPMENT: 4 (16-ounce) wide jars or container with lids
ACCOMPANIMENT: pita chips

DIRECTIONS
1. Cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain in a sieve and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain well.

2. Toss black-eyed peas, tomato, and parsley with vinegar, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Marinate, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, toss together orzo, remaining tablespoon oil, cucumber, olives, onion, lemon zest and juice, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

4. Divide black-eyed pea mixture (with juices) among jars and layer orzo salad, romaine, and feta on top. Add 1 or 2 peperoncini to each jar.

Cooks’ note: Assembled jars can be chilled up to 6 hours. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I only had Meyer lemons on hand and the results were wonderful.
2. I chopped a few small springs of basil from my garden and added it to the orzo mixture. I loved the added flavor it brought to the salad.
3. If you don’t want to serve the salad in jars, try layering the components in a clear glass salad bowl.
4. For a vegan version, leave off the feta cheese.

Enjoy!

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Pistachio Shortbread Cookies A package of pistachio shortbread cookies sits in a basket near a cash register in a New Mexico restaurant. I debate whether or not to buy them. On the con side of the debate, eating cookies goes against my desire to lose weight and they seem a bit pricey at three small cookies for $3.99. However, on the pro side, I am on vacation and only a crazy person attempts to diet while traveling. Plus, my hubby and I need something to munch on during a long drive back to our hotel. Dilemma solved. I buy the cookies and eat them in the car, but that only creates a new dilemma. Because the cookies possess an exquisitely buttery taste and a wonderfully crunchy texture, I crave for more.

Back at home, I search for an easy pistachio shortbread cookie recipe that will satisfy my cravings. Found it. Another dilemma solved. That is, until my next trip and my next craving!

Pistachio Shortbread
Adapted from Epicurious

INGREDIENTS
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1½ sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup natural unsalted pistachios, lightly toasted, chopped
1 large egg yolk
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
1. Mix flour, powdered sugar, and salt together in a food processor.
2. Add butter, pistachios, egg yolk, and vanilla.
3. Pulse the mixture until a moist ball forms. Transfer dough to work surface. Divide dough in half.
4. Form each dough half into 8 x 1¼-inch log (if dough is too soft, chill until firm, about 30 minutes).
5. Wrap logs in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 5 days ahead; keep chilled.
6. Preheat oven to 325°F.
7. Slice logs into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, rolling log after every few slices to retain round shape.
8. Place rounds on ungreased baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Bake shortbread until barely golden, about 18 minutes.
9. Cool shortbread on baking sheets.
10. DO AHEAD: Shortbread can be made up to 4 days ahead. Store shortbread in airtight container at room temperature.

Makes about 60 cookies

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I rough chopped the nuts before adding them to the food processor. If you desire larger chunks of nuts in these cookies, you could add whole nuts to the processor. However, keep in mind that chunkier nuts might make it more difficult to slice the dough.

2. I lined the cookie sheets with parchment paper.

3. I chilled the dough logs for 2 hours and they were firm, but easy to slice.

4. These cookies tasted better and had more crunch when they were baked to a light golden brown versus until “barely golden.”

5. Before serving I decided to dust them with Baker’s sugar (ultrafine granular) for a sweet and pretty finish.

6. I only got 44 cookies from this recipe.

Enjoy!

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Thai Barbecue Chicken Think Thai. Think of some of the most aromatic and flavor-packed ingredients that go into Thai cooking – lemon grass, ginger, coriander, and fish sauce. Think about expanding your barbecue repertoire. Think about the option of grilling outdoors or baking indoors. Think about a perfect dish to serve at a summer party. Think about eating juicy pieces of delicious chicken. Need more encouragement? Click on the photo to enlarge it. Okay, stop thinking now. Go out and buy the ingredients to make your own exotic Thai barbecue chicken for dinner tonight!

Barbecue Chicken
The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Thai Cooking

INGREDIENTS
1 chicken, about 3 to 3½ lb, cut into 8 to 10 pieces
Lime wedges and fresh red chillies, for garnish

For the Marinade:
2 lemon grass stalks, roots trimmed
1 inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 shallots, coarsely chopped
1/2 bunch coriander (cilantro) roots, chopped*
1 tbsp palm sugar or light brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce

DIRECTIONS
1. Here’s how to make the marinade: Cut off the lower 2 inches of the lemon grass stalks and chop them coarsely. Put into a food processor with the ginger, garlic, shallots, coriander, sugar, coconut milk, and sauces. Process until smooth.

2. Place the chicken pieces in a dish, pour over the marinade and stir to mix well. Cover the dish and leave in a cool place to marinate for at least 4 hours, or leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

3. Prepare the barbecue or preheat the oven to 400°F. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade. If you are cooking in the oven, arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer on a rack set over a roasting pan.

4. Cook the chicken on the barbecue over moderately hot coals or on medium heat for a gas barbecue, or bake in the oven for 20–30 minutes. Turn the pieces and brush with the reserved marinade once or twice during cooking.

5. As soon as the chicken pieces are golden brown and cooked through, transfer them to a platter, garnish with the lime wedges and red chillies and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Instead of cutting up a chicken into parts, I opted to use chicken wing parts.

2. *The cookbook author notes that “Coriander roots are more intensely flavoured than the leaves, but the herb is not always available with the roots intact.” According to Fine Cooking, “If you can’t find any cilantro root, substitute chopped cilantro stems with a few leaves mixed in.” I read in several places that an appropriate substitution is two cilantro stems for each root, since coriander stems are not as potent as the roots.

3. My marinade looked greener than the photo in the cookbook – I added too much cilantro.

4. Palm sugar is sold in hard-packed cakes at Asian markets. Grate the cakes to measure and use.

5. I let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator overnight and for an additional half-day.

Enjoy!

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Citrus Gazpacho A trip to the American Southwest and blistering hot days prompt me to explore the world of chilled soups. After eating at Cafe Pasqual’s, a James Beard America’s Regional Cooking Classics award winner, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I left a few pounds heavier. Not only did I eat every bit of food that was placed before me, I also toted home two of Cafe Pasqual’s cookbooks in my suitcase. In one of the books, Chef Katharine Kagel shares a much-requested recipe for a refreshing citrus-flavored gazpacho.

Citrus Gazpacho
Recipe from Cooking with Cafe Pasqual’s

INGREDIENTS
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice
Zest and fruit of 1 orange
Zest of 1/2 and fruit of 1 pink grapefruit
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1/4 medium red onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS
1. Fill a large saucepan with enough water to cover the tomatoes. Place over high heat and bring to a full boil. While the water is heating, use the tip of a sharp paring knife to score a small X on the bottom of each tomato, just piercing the skin.

2. Put the tomatoes into the boiling water for 20 seconds. Use tongs to transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl filled with ice and water. (This will stop further cooking.) Allow the tomatoes to cool for a few minutes, remove them from the water, and peel their skins with either a paring knife or your fingers, starting at the scored end. Discard the peel.

3. Core and dice one tomato and reserve it. Slice the other tomatoes in half crosswise, and squeeze out the seeds. Remove the cores. Put the tomatoes into the container of a blender.

4. Place the garlic, vinegar, orange juice, and orange and grapefruit zests into the blender with the tomatoes and whirl. Transfer the puree to a serving pitcher or a serving bowl and add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, and olive oil.

5. To prepare the fruit, use a paring knife on a cutting board to cut off both ends of the grapefruit and orange so that the fruit can securely stand on end for cutting. Starting from the top of the citrus, slice off all the peel and pith, following the contour. All the fruit will now be exposed. Cradle the fruit in the palm of your hand you aren’t using for slicing, and use the paring knife to cut loose each fruit segment from the inner side of the membrane. Angle the long side of the blade between the fruit and the membrane toward the center of each segment, cutting in a V configuration. No membrane should be attached to the fruit segments.

6. Add the fruit segments to the gazpacho mixture and stir.

7. Add the salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

8. Chill well before serving.

Makes 6 cups

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I couldn’t find pink grapefruit at my local market, so I used a red grapefruit instead.
2. The recipe didn’t indicate when to add the reserved diced tomatoes, so I added them in with the cucumbers, bell pepper, and red onions.
3. I added 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
4. Chef Kagel notes in her recipe, “The trick to this recipe is to cut all the diced ingredients into uniform dimensions.”

Enjoy!

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20140508-222235.jpg Rolls of canvas fabric provide points of interest on an overcast day. Narrow, wide, bold and subdued bands of colors mingle with one another in joyful harmony. The fabric of our lives should be similarly constructed where every color or aspect of it complements and creates harmony. When each aspect of your life – like your career – can stand alone, that’s great; but when all are woven together and balanced, they create something strong, interesting and unique. What does the fabric of your life look like?

I’m on the go right now, but I am still finding bits of joy to share with you. And yes, a post written on the go needs to be tout suit, plus short and sweet!

Go now and spread joy!

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The Best Chocolate Cupcakes Make mine dark, sinful, rich and gooey. Make me want to lick my fingers. Make me the best chocolate cupcakes ever. But wait! Don’t use any sissy milk chocolate or not-really-chocolate white chocolate in my cupcakes. Make my cupcakes with dark, bold and slightly bitter chocolate. Please. Pretty please. And while you’re at it, add some aromatic full-flavored coffee to the batter. Yes, they will be perfect, down to the very last delicious crumb. Click on the photo to go to chocolate heaven. Mmmmmmm . . .

The Best Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe based on Hershey’s Black Magic Cake

INGREDIENTS
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup Hershey’s Cocoa (100% Cacao Special Dark Cocoa)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong brewed black coffee
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350° degrees F (175° degrees C).

2. Grease and flour a cupcake tin or use paper liners.

3. Combine dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk together and make a well in the center.

4. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients: eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.

5. Beat at medium-speed for two minutes. Batter will be thin.

6. Pour batter into prepared cupcake tin.

7. Bake at 350° degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

8. Cool on wire rack.

9. Combine frosting ingredients and mix. Spread on cooled cupcakes.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. The moist and rich cupcake batter will saturate light-colored paper liners. See photo above. Not a bad thing, but the next time I make these I will use grease-proof liners.

2. If you prefer to grease and flour your cupcake tin, instead of rubbing butter and shaking flour in each section, make your life easier by using a cooking spray that contains flour.

3. In lieu of fresh brewed coffee, you can use 2 teaspoons instant coffee dissolved in 1 cup of boiling water.

4. If you don’t have buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to enough milk to make 1 cup (250 ml). Stir and let it sit for 5 minutes.

5. This recipe yields about two dozen cupcakes.

Perfect Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Robyn Stone of Add a Pinch

INGREDIENTS*
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
2½ cups confectioner’s sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
Pinch salt**

DIRECTIONS
1. Add cocoa to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer. Whisk through to remove any lumps.

2. Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.

3. Add sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 cup of sugar followed by about a tablespoon of milk. After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto high speed for about a minute. Repeat until all sugar and milk have been added.

4. Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and combine well.

5. If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears too wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. *The ingredients as posted make half of the original frosting recipe. I cut it in half because I was making cupcakes and not a three-layer cake. I had enough frosting to decorate 25 cupcakes, with some to spare.

2.** I added a pinch of salt with the vanilla and the espresso powder, because I use unsalted butter.

Enjoy!

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Sunflowers What is it about sunflowers that make people feel happy? Is it their bright sunny color or their large happy faces? Is it their petals that resemble rays of sunshine? Or is it their unassuming and friendly demeanor? Some things in life like sunflowers, puppies, and babies just automatically push our happy buttons. What else makes you happy?

#1 – What is Happiness
Best Friends What would your answer be, if someone asked you, “What’s the one thing that’s shown you what happiness is?” Read the answers from 18 people of all ages on Thought Catalog.

#2 – Harmonious Packaging
Creative Packaging When content and packaging come together, as in 25 AWESOME Packaging Designs Guaranteed to Delight You, the world is a happier place. Creative packaging can show off the fun side of almost any product.

# 3 – Armchair Bucket List

The Armchair Bucket List

Shampoo Your Hair in the Rain

“How many of these simple life experiences have you been lucky enough to enjoy?” reads the introduction to the Armchair Bucket List from List Challenges. How many activities can you check off?

#4 – Incredible Wood Carving
12-Foot-Long Wood Carving Chinese Artist Zheng Chunhui spent the last four years copying a famous Chinese painting. The difference between his piece of art and the original one is his choice of medium. Using a twelve-foot tree trunk as his canvas and carving tools, he painstaking carved an intricate replica of the painting, complete with buildings, boats, bridges, landscaping, and “more than 550 people.” Click here to see photos of this work and note the video link at bottom of the article.

#5 – This Is Harmony
“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” Mitsugi Saotome

Now go and spread joy!

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Homemade Potpourri When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And if life gives you six dozen red roses, make potpourri. When the heads of my birthday roses started drooping, it was time to say goodbye to the lovely bouquet. It seemed a shame to toss them in with the green garbage when only the outer petals were dried up, so I decided to use the rose petals to make potpourri. The Queen of Hearts often said in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, “Off with their heads,” and that’s exactly what I did. I cut off the heads of the roses, removed their petals, and dried them in a microwave oven. After mixing in some aromatics, spices, and a fixative, I now have potpourri that preserves my lovely gift of roses and makes my home smell heavenly.

Drying Roses
1. Cut the rosebuds off of their stems, leaving about an inch of stem on each bud. Toss the long stems into the garbage. Gently peel off any unsightly outer petals and discard them. Decide which heads will remain intact for dried rosebuds and set them aside. IMG_4500 Rose Stem Text

2. Hold onto the bud and grasp the short end of the stem, twist it and pull out the center. Discard the center. IMG_4499 Twist Stem Text

3. Gently unfurl the blossom, separating the petals. Place petals in a microwave safe container lined with paper towels. I used a 9-inch by 13-inch glass casserole dish. IMG_4512 Unfold

4. When the dish is sparsely covered with petals, put it in the microwave for about 1 minute. Check the petals and if they still feel moist, put them back in the microwave for 30 seconds more. Continue microwaving them at 30-second intervals until petals feel dry. Transfer to a paper towel-covered wire cooling rack to cool. IMG_4546 Dried Petals Text

5. Set aside the dried petals if making potpourri or store in an airtight container for future use.
Homemade Potpourri

6. The same process is used to dry the rosebuds. Peel off unwanted outer layers of petals. Lean the rosebuds against the sides of a paper towel-lined microwavable dish. Microwave them for one minute. Check for pliability and moistness. Microwave again for one minute. Check them again. Microwave them for 30-second increments until they are sufficiently dried.

Rose and Lavender Potpourri
Recipe from The Book of the Rose by David Squire

INGREDIENTS
4 cups of dried rose petals, preferably red or deep pink as these usually have the strongest scent
1 cup whole pink or red dried rosebuds
1 cup dried lavender flowers
1/2 cup powdered orris root
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
Several drops of essential rose oil

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, sifting and mixing them well with your fingers.

2. Add drops of essential oils judiciously until the scent is strong enough.

3. Transfer into a paper bag and seal.

4. Leave in a cool dark place for six weeks to cure, shaking it occasionally.

5. Display it in shallow baskets or bowls and decorate the top with large dried rose blooms or little bundles of whole cinnamon sticks.

6. If the fragrance fades after a while, simply refresh it with a few more drops of rose essential oil.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I decided to keep some of the lavender flowers on their stalks for appearance. Otherwise most of the small lavender flowers will sink to the bottom of the potpourri.

2. Orris root is a common fixative in potpourri recipes. According to Save On Crafts, “The fixative absorbs and retains the volatile scented essences. Essential oils or fragrance oils are used to reinforce the natural perfumes and to boost the scent. Without adequate fixative the life goes out of potpourri very quickly.” Powdered orris root can be purchased at health or craft stores.

3. I recommend mixing the powdered components together first and then gently folding in the flowers. The essential oil is added last.

4. I used a few drops of both essential lavender oil and essential rose oil for a refreshing blend of scents.

5. I sealed the paper bag with clothespins, so that it would be easy to check the potpourri’s progress.

Enjoy!

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Pink Peonies Consider the proverb, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime,” and then consider how it might relate to someone who appreciates beauty and tries to capture it. Thus, in my case, give me a flower and I enjoy it for days; show me how to capture its beauty, and I will enjoy it forever. Many thanks to my sweet sister-in-law for the lovely bouquet of peonies and for the beautiful memories it created.

#1 – Edible Flowers
Edible Flowers on Chilled Pea Soup Small flowers and flower petals rested on top of a chilled pea soup. The waiter said, “Eat the purple one separately. It has a wonderful oyster flavor.” Indeed it did. After tasting the unique flavors of these edible flowers, I decided to do a little research into which flowers growing in my garden were edible. If you would like to learn more about edible flowers, check out this article in What’s Cooking America. Please pay particular attention to the “Do’s” and the “Don’ts” sections. I was pleased to discover that peony petals are on the edible list. Not that I would eat my lovely bouquet!

#2 – DIY Gifts For Moms
Perfect DIY Gifts For Moms Picture your mom relaxing on Mother’s Day with a gift you made for her. From fragrant flaxseed and lavender eye pillows to soothing lotion bars, you’ll find something nice to make for your mom on Buzzfeed’s 22 Perfect DIY Gifts for Stressed-Out Moms.

#3 – Re-Inventions
10 Everyday Inventions Made Better I want this table! I love the fact that creative geniuses not only invent items that change our lives, but they also re-invent things. They take an existing idea and improve upon it. Check out 10 Everyday Inventions Made Better.

#4 – Aerial Photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Aerial Photography of Yann Arthus-Bertrand To earn a living in Africa, French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand decided to become a hot-air balloon pilot. This decision changed his life. As he viewed earth from above, he appreciated both its beauty and its destruction. 27 Amazing Aerial Photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand provides a glimpse of some of his aerial work around the world. On the flip side, his documentary Home views the impact that man has had on Earth.

#5 – Picture Perfect Quotes
“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
― Ansel Adams

“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.”
― Marc Ribou

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”
― Eudora Welty

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”
― Dorothea Lange

“The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness.”
― Yann Arthus-Bertrand

“Always seeing something, never seeing nothing, being photographer.”
― Walter De Mulder

“You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.”
― Joan Miró

Enjoy your weekend. Now go and spread joy!

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Javanese Marinade for Lamb Shish Kebabs To share or not to share? That was my dilemma. Should I reveal a family favorite recipe or should I keep it a family secret? Recognizing that life is infinitely better when shared and acknowledging that my mother-in-law graciously gave this recipe to me, I gladly present this tried-and-true Javanese Marinade for Lamb Shish Kebabs for you to enjoy. The remarkable flavor combination and the ease of preparation make it a winning entrée. It’s so good, you, too, may find yourself questioning whether or not to share the recipe!

Javanese Marinade for Lamb Shish Kebabs
From the recipe collection of Mrs. Y. Chang

INGREDIENTS
1 cup oil
3/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup chopped onions
3 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon coriander seed
3 tablespoons vinegar
3 heaping tablespoons of brown sugar
Curry powder, to taste
Chili powder, to taste
Ground cumin, to taste
Leg of lamb, cut into chunks

DIRECTIONS
1. If using bamboo skewers, immerse them completely in a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan filled with water for about 30 minutes.

2. Debone the leg of lamb or purchase a boneless leg roast, trim fat, and, cut meat into 1-inch chunks.

3. In a large bowl combine oil, soy sauce, chopped onions, ground ginger, coriander seeds, vinegar, brown sugar, curry powder, chili powder, and cumin. Stir to mix ingredients.

4. Add lamb chunks to the bowl of marinade; stir to coat all pieces of meat. Cover bowl and let marinade overnight in the refrigerator (or a minimum of 4 to 6 hours), stirring periodically.

5. Before grilling, let meat come to room temperature. Thread chunks of meat onto skewers.

6. Grill the kebabs.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I use canola oil and light soy sauce in the marinade.

2. My husband, who usually makes this recipe for family events, told me that he always adds way more spice and brown sugar than the recipe calls for. Since the last three spices are added to taste, here are the amounts that I generally use with good results: about 3 teaspoons of curry, 1½ teaspoons of chili powder and around 3/4 of a teaspoon of cumin. Start with those quantities and then add more seasonings and brown sugar as you see fit.

3. I also add a couple of twists of my black pepper mill to the marinade.

4. There is no added salt, because of the amount of sodium in the soy sauce.

5. If my husband and I make lamb shish kebabs for a crowd, we divide the meat into large zip-type plastic bags and pour some of the marinade into each bag. While marinating, we periodically flip the bags over and massage the bags to distribute the marinade.

6. I like to intersperse fresh mushrooms, chunks of onion, and green peppers in between the pieces of meat to add color and interest.

7. Don’t overcook the lamb; in my family, medium-rare is preferred.

Enjoy!

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