In a Stew

I am a meat-eating hippie. But sometimes, it kind of grosses me out. And sometimes, I really hate the taste of meat. So I have to hide it. What better way to do that than in a simple stew?

Recently, I made lamb stew, one of my standby creations. Lamb can be a little gamey, but tossed together with tomatoes and veggies, this stew practically melts in your mouth. Besides, did you know lamb is loaded with vitamin B12, protein, and zinc? What better reason to eat this fantastic stew?

Before I give you a recipe, I am giving my disclaimer. I don’t measure. I dump. Which works out great for cooking a main dish, but not so great when baking. Apparently there’s science involved in that. Ask me how I know.

My recipe is based upon about twenty other recipes, completely altered to make it my own, mostly because I had to use the ingredients I already had. That’s part of simplicity – learning to let go, breathe, and know that everything works out (unless it’s science).

Sorry I don’t have a picture. I forgot in the process of inhaling the tomatoey goodness. Just imagine a big pot of red juicy tomatoes, lamb, and veggies. It was pretty.


Here you go:

Lamb and Tomato Stew

In a large stock pot, place approximately 2 T. olive oil.


1 large onion, peeled and chopped

4 celery stalks, chopped *Celery lowers blood pressure. And it is low in calories. Nice.

4 carrots, peeled and sliced *Carrots slow down aging. Hmmm, I wonder how many I need to eat to stay at the age I am.

One super large sweet potato, peeled and chopped – Yum, Yum, Yum

Sautee. Temporarily move veggies into a separate bowl.


Add about 1 tsp of each: (though I add a tad more, because I like lots and lots of spice)

Garlic powder, thyme, sage, marjoram

Set two lamb shanks in pot, adding more oil if necessary. Brown for about 4-7 minutes per side. (Just a light browning).


Add 1 box of Pomi chopped tomatoes (or any other canned tomato you wish to substitute. Just remember Pomi tomatoes are 26 ounce, a regular can is 14.5 ounces. But fresh would be best, it always is.)

Add 1 cup of water (or broth). You may need extra water if you’ve used fresh tomatoes. Dump sautéed vegetables back in. Cook on low for 2 – 2 ½ hours, checking every 30 minutes or so to make sure it doesn’t get dry. I keep my pot mostly covered, with just enough room for a hint of steam to escape.

Sprinkle in a little Himalayan Sea Salt, to desired taste. *Did you know Himalayan Sea salt increases hydration in the body? Cool, huh?

Black Pepper, to taste. Black pepper has its own benefits, like manganese and iron. Sprinkle on that pepper, baby!

Remove the shanks, shred them, and stir lamb pieces back into stew.

Voila! You have super simple, easy Lamb and Tomato Stew. This would be fantastic served with a crusty bread, or even over quinoa.* Also serve with a big green salad.


*I’m not a huge fan of grains (I don’t eat any) – they’ve been shown to produce a whole host of problems in some people (I’m one of them), things like intestinal issues and joint problems. That being said, I do believe we were all created to be unique, and what causes insane discomfort in one person may be the very thing that makes another thrive.

Listen to your body.

Enjoy your stew!

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Insignificant Moments

It was Sunday night. I was tired, cranky (just ask my husband), and bummed. The weekend hadn’t gone as planned. In the midst of running errands, doing chores, attending activities and church, the one thing my husband and I hadn’t done was spend quality time together.

But sometimes, I think life happens a certain way for a reason. I think I needed a reminder of what life is really about. Because life doesn’t always happen in large chunks of time (though that is nice, too).

Life is created in tiny slices, moments that often slip through our fingers. Click To Tweet

Moments like this:
-A husband holding your hand as you drive to the store.
-A child’s face when they win a derby race.
-A grandchild’s smile.
-A spouse’s hug, when you are disheveled, worn, exhausted.
-Cuddling together on a Saturday night, watching a favorite television show.
-Creating a smile on a stranger’s face.

It is in the insignificant moments where life is created, ones we often forget. Click To Tweet
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Cinderella and the Power of One

I was once Cinderella. Okay, not quite. I didn’t have an evil step-mother, or sisters, or mice. Or even a fireplace to clean. But I did do a lot of cleaning.

My mom loved collections. She wasn’t a hoarder, in fact, our home was very tidy. But hanging throughout our home were shelves, and on the shelves were little cups and saucers, vases, thimbles, and spoons. They all needed to be dusted, every single week. Can you guess who got that job? Yup – me – Cinderella.

I pulled each item down, rubbed a soft cloth across its shiny body (unless my mom wasn’t watching, in which case I skipped this step), placed it on a table, wiped the shelf down, and put everything back. It was a long, tedious process that I swore, when I became an adult, would never be repeated. And it hasn’t.

Needless to say, today, I hate dusting. My home contains little that needs wiping down. I have one coffee table, a large candle and holder placed in the center; a side table in the dining room holding one vase; a chalkboard placed in the center of the kitchen island. It’s simple, all I have, and all I want. Because I have made a discovery.

I have discovered the Power of One.

One is a statement. Bold. Strong. Powerful. (Just look at those one-word sentences). One often speaks louder than many placed together. A piece of art in the middle of a wall, a bright vase in the middle of a table, a single trinket on a window sill.

One is important. Significant.

This year, as I reduce my belongings, I am embracing the Power of One. In the bathroom, I have eliminated my extra nail polish, have reduced my shampoo to one I love, and my face cream (which used to be three), is one single jar.

One is easy, no choices to make, no extra things to buy.

I am not stopping on my quest for one.  I will reduce my gift wrap to one simple brown paper, wrapped with simple ribbon. I will own only one set of measuring cups, and only one cookie sheet will sit upon my shelf.

We own so many unnecessary things, so many multiples of the same item. Too many ladles, spoons, and spatulas. Too many of everything. I am as guilty as anyone. But I never want to clean as much as I used to. I never want to be Cinderella again.  

Will you join me in my quest for one?

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The Start

In the beginning, well, you know the rest.

This isn’t about the very beginning, but it is about the world a long time ago (but not that long ago, really). There was a time when our world was different, when we cared for animals and our planet. There was a time of organic farming and humane treatment. There was a time when the earth was more than a place to pillage and plunder.

Along the way, we have forgotten what we once were. We have forgotten to care for animals and people. We have let money, greed, and overall selfishness take over. We lost our pride, our humanity, our ability to care for more than just ourselves.

This isn’t a guilt-thing, or a pointing-of-fingers, but a quiet reminder of what we need to do.

The attached video has circled the net for the last few years, been seen by millions of people, but its message is still the same. Enjoy.

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High Expectations

Hints of a hectic life sit by my desk. Two long lists, the first a detailed one of everything I need (or is it want?) to do to help me achieve my work goals. The second, though shorter, contains household chores I am certain will never be completed.

Without these lists, I know I wouldn’t remember everything. Yet with them, I am reminded daily of what I haven’t done, of all I am not capable of. I am frustrated, often filled with shame. Such guilt, such horrifyingly high expectations of myself.

Much of my guilt is placed there by me, I know this is true. We are victims of ourselves. But the rest of my shame is placed by society, by the harried, frenzied demands of an overworked world, a world that tells me I am not enough. A society that encourages me to do more.

But I can’t.

I am tired, of guilt. I am tired, of shame. I am tired of feeling like I am not enough. And I’ve decided to do something about it.

I’ve created a third list. But this isn’t a list of things to do. It is a list of all I have done.

Here is my list from last week:
Made the bed, cooked dinners, made breakfast, shopped for groceries, completed errands, washed dishes, cleaned bathrooms, dusted, cleaned the kitchen, scrubbed floors, vacuumed, washed clothes, exercised daily, walked, organized drawers, paid bills, made phone calls, wrote and posted three blogs, wrote and posted on author page, worked on memoir, finished reading one book and began another, social media, worked on class, watched a soccer game, went to the farmers market, spent time with husband. I know there’s more – little chores tossed between the big ones, insignificant, tiny things we often think don’t matter.

We do a lot in a week, more than we remember. I encourage you to make your own list. Write down all you have done in a week, a day, or even an hour.

You are enough.

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