The Advance Reader Team has their copies, the paperback has been published, and several promos are scheduled for the week.
And of course . . .
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This debut young adult fantasy takes the reader on an epic journey. Imagine if giant moa still walked the earth and Aotearoa was ruled by a succession of high priestesses…
What if the magic book that held that whole world in balance was ripped in two and a coven of dark witches plotted to destroy the light forever? This is the world where Flynn Hawthorn lives. She is the ninth daughter of the ninth daughter, living under a curse. Her birth fulfills an ancient prophecy. She is destined to inherit the wand of the High Priestess and save her people by reuniting the separated halves of The Book of Shadow and Light.
But in a land filled with magick, Flynn is forced to live her life as a Watcher—born into magick, but unable to wield it. As the threat from the Shadow Coven of Southeil grows, Flynn must pretend—with the help of her best friend, Hazel—that she actually has magick. Hazel would do anything for Flynn, but the game they are playing may cost them their lives…
Join Flynn and Hazel on their adventure. Get your copy of An Average Curse (The Chronicles of Hawthorn, Book 1) BELOW:
Take a deep breath, YOU can make this stew. It is quite simple, it just takes time — about two and a half hours prep and about 90 minutes of cooking time (See my TIPS for time-saving secrets!). This is a great opportunity to enlist a kitchen helper. You can prep all the veg while your helper cubes and browns the lamb. Even if you’re not a fan of lamb, this flavor is amazing and worth the effort. I serve this with crusty bread and a BIG spoon. If you’d rather watch the video – CLICK HERE.
Here’s the RECIPE:
2 lbs Boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
(I use leg of lamb and throw the bone into the stew for extra flavor)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Ground black pepper
1/2 cup Flour
1/4 cup Butter (I use a combo of butter and grapeseed oil)
2 cups Water (I use a combo of water and chicken stock)
8 oz. can Tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, chopped (I use at least 4 Tbsp.)
2 Teaspoons Fresh Thyme, stripped from the stem (I use at least 3 tsp.; use less if using dried)
(I’m crazy for spices!)
6 Carrots peeled and cut into 2-inch lengths (I use a bag of peeled/washed baby carrots)
1/2 lb Pearl Onions, peeled (you can buy these frozen and pre-peeled – or see the SECRET below)
3 cups Turnips, peeled and cubed (approx. 2 large)
12 New potatoes, small – with a strip peeled around the middle (12 – HAH! I add way more potatoes)
1 package (10 oz.) frozen Peas (I leave these on the counter while prepping, so they thaw)
OPTIONAL – 2 teaspoons fresh mint, finely chopped
ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS FOR THICKENING GRAVY
1/4 to 1 cup water (or stock)
3 Tablespoons Flour
- Once your kitchen helper finishes cubing the meat, it’s time to coat and brown. Take a large plastic bag (ziploc) and mix the salt, pepper and flour. Toss in the lamb chunks about 10 at a time and shake to coat. Meanwhile heat the butter and/or oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. When the pot is hot, brown the lamb about 10 pieces at a time. When each batch of meat is browned remove to a plate. Repeat until all meat is browned; set plate aside.
- When all lamb is browned I take a minute to deglaze the pan with a little red wine. Which simply means – pour a 1/2 cup (or so) of red wine into the hot pan and use a wooden spoon to scrape the delicious browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Then you can return all of lamb to the pan and add 2 cups of water (or stock), tomato sauce, parsley, thyme – salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, slowly simmer in a covered pot until lamb is tender — about 45 minutes.
- Add carrots and turnips and simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Add pearl onions, and potatoes and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender when pricked with a fork.
- To add or thicken the gravy, take a small bowl and add cold water and flour; mix until smooth. Stir into stew and bring stew to a boil, again.
- Add the frozen peas (reduce heat) and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Makes approx. 6 servings
- Serve with some crusty bread or a biscuit
SECRET TO PEELING PEARL ONIONS:
- Prepare and ice bath (bowl of water and ice)
- Boil a small pan of water.
- Drop the pearl onions into the boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute (max).
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to an ice bath.
- With a paring knife, cut off the root end and pinch the skin at the opposite end.
- The perfect little pearl onion should pop right out.
- Here’s a link if you prefer a video: Peeling Pearl Onions
- You can prep all the veg while the lamb simmers (this will save about 45 min).
- Use fresh herbs, if you can.
- Add 2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh mint when you add the frozen peas. It’s a nice twist on the flavor.
- Don’t rush :-) the process and the smells are part of the fun!
Email me pics of your St. Patty’s or Ostara celebrations!!