A Bit Of Rosemary

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It was great to be part of the last Red Stick Farmers Market of the year and make a warming dish for the cool morning. It was even better to see people young and aging, try something new and for most, find something they enjoyed and would like to try making at home. Let me just say, the quality of lamb from Our Family Farm, the Fekete Farm and Morrow Farm vegetables and the spices from Red Stick Spice Company made all the difference. Since this will be my last post until the New Year, I wish you all a happy holiday season and inspiration for memorable meals. Enjoy!

Rosemary lamb and vegetable stew

1 lb. of ground lamb
1 cup of chopped carrots
1/4 cup minced shallot or 1/2 cup of yellow onion
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1 cup chopped green onion
1 1/2 cups of shredded or chopped kale
1 1/2 cups of shredded or chopped Swiss chard
1/2 cup sliced sweet peppers
1 cup fresh corn
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. onion powder
1/2 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1 tbsp. whole peppercorn
1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. of rosemary finishing sea salt (sprinkle on each serving)
1/2 can of 14 oz diced tomato (no salt added)
4 tbsp. of tomato paste
4 cups of water

Optional garnish ingredients
1 cup of thinlyshaved turnips
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp. or raw sugar
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of pepper

Directions:
1. Peel and slice shallot or onion and garlic. Add, with the lamb, to a medium-sized pot over medium heat.
2. Break meat apart with a large spoon and brown evenly. Add 1 cup of the water to prevent sticking.
3. Peel and chop carrots and add to pot. Let simmer for 5 minutes and open the cans.
4. Add the diced tomato, paste and two cups of water to the pot.
5. Mince fresh rosemary and add to pot and add all seasonings except finishing salt. Stir and let simmer for 15 minutes.
6. While simmering, add sugar and rice wine vinegar to a bowl and stir until sugar dissolves. Peel two medium large turnips leaving green stems attached for stability. Score the turnip into fourths without removing the stems and then slice over the bowl using a mandolin on the thinnest setting. (If you do not have a mandolin, you can use a box grater or a potato peeler to make ribbons of turnips.) Season with salt and pepper, stir and set aside to steep.
7. Shuck and rinse corn. Cut off cob into a bowl or on the cutting board. Add to the pot.
8. Rinse a few leaves of kale and Swiss chard and rip or cut leaves from the stems. Slice into thin strips and wilt in greens one cup at a time. Add remaining water if needed. Let simmer for 5-7 minutes then plate.
9. Sprinkle a pinch of rosemary finishing salt to each plate and top with a fork full of pickled turnips.
10. Enjoy.

A Bit Of Essentials

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It’s the time of year where we enjoy time with and celebrate our families the most. I’ve taken this holiday season to do just that and also wanted to do something a little different with holiday posts. Given that this time is also the season of change, I thought it could be good to share a few essentials I’ve learned to staying well this holiday season. In addition to eating more citrus and taking multi vitamins, I have found it incredibly helpful to purchase a few essential oils and a diffuser. Certain oils like lemongrass, peppermint and eucalyptus oil can be used for things such as common cold, flu, body aches, headaches runny nose, etc. and the prevention of them. Below are three ways I’ve successfully used different essential oils and tapped into their healing benefits.

Shower:
1. I’ve used eucalyptus and peppermint oil by shaking a few drops in the shower before getting in to get rid of headaches, soothe an itchy throat and to open up a stopped up nose.

Diffuser:
1. Lavender I’ve used to soothe into sleep.
2. Lemongrass has done wonders to dry up a running nose.
3. Eucalyptus and peppermint oils work as a natural Vicks or similar product.

Lotion:
1. I like to incorporate lemongrass or a citrus blend into my regular body butter as an extra shield when traveling or in a large public place since often there will be at least one person coughing or sneezing nearby. These oils serve as an extra boost of vitamin C and protection from a variety of things.

The best part is most essential oils have a variety of uses from wellness, hair growth, natural cleansers and insecticides and so much more. If you are curious about where to find the oils and/or diffusers, most drugstores like Walgreens or superstores like Walmart or Whole Foods carry them. You can also order oils online. I challenge you to do your own research on essential oils and give them a try!