Category Archives: Lamb

Lamb Solyanka (Солянка из баранины)

A few months ago, I blogged a recipe for Beef Borscht and I spoke about the controversies of writing down traditional Russian recipes. The reality is that tradition varies from region to region and also family to family. I often get emails and comments on my most popular blogged dishes (Lamb Plov, Lemon Ricotta Syrniki and Pelmeni) indicating that while my recipe was yummy, this is *not* how their mother/grandmother/aunt made the dish. I have a feeling that I’m going to receive similar reaction to this soup recipe.

Lamb Solyanka

Lamb Solyanka

When my mama made Solyanka, it kind of felt like she was taking all of these random orphan ingredients and pulling them together into a salty, soupy goodness.  So while I write specific ingredients for this recipe, know that it’s very flexible. If you don’t like lamb and prefer beff, swap it out. If you have leftover cold cuts or sausage, throw them in! Everything will stand to boost the flavor of this forgiving soup.

Enjoy!

Solyanka Ingredients

Solyanka Ingredients

Everyone into the pot!

Everyone into the pot!

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Solyanka is often enjoyed with vodka 🙂

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Lightly garnished with dill, this Solyanka is delicious!

 

Lamb Solyanka (Солянка из баранины)

Makes 12-16 bowls of soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 boneless leg of lamb (about 3.5 pounds) cut into bite size pieces
2 Spanish onions, diced
3 large carrots, shredded
3 celery stalks, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 28oz can of pureed tomatoes
1 package all beef uncured hot dogs, cut into coins
6 ounces pitted black olives, halved
1 24oz jar Trader Joe’s Dill Pickles (or any other variety) dice pickles, reserve pickle juice
4 “cans” of water (I’ll explain later)
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Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
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For serving:
Dill Sprigs

Directions

1. In a large heavy bottomed pot (7.25 quart), on medium-high heat, add olive oil. Working in batches, sear lamb pieces adding a bit of salt and pepper to each batch. Don’t cook through. Remove lamb pieces and any juices. Set aside and repeat with remaining lamb.
2. After all of the lamb has been cooked and set aside (along with all of the rendered lamb juice), wipe the pot “clean” with a paper towel and add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
3. Heat for a few minutes and add the diced onion, shredded carrots and finely diced celery. Saute for 7-10 minutes, on medium heat, until onions are translucent.
4. Add the meat and rendered juices back to the pot. Stir to combine.
5. Everyone else into the pot! Diced pickles, half of the pickle juice, hot dog coins, halved olives, and tomato puree.
6. Using the can from the tomato puree, add 4 cans of water to the pot. This will be about 14 cups of water.
7. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a low simmer. Let simmer for at least an hour.
8. Taste. It should be a little briny without being overpowering. If necessary, add remaining pickle juice, some kosher salt or freshly ground pepper.
9. Enjoy!!
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Cooks note: The soup tastes best after it’s been cooled and reheated… so go ahead and enjoy it tomorrow for dinner!
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Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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School And Daycare Lunches, Take 5 (10 MORE lunch photos)

Round five of photos of our school and daycare lunches!! These are photos of lunches that we made during the 2012-2013 school year for our three kids. They were in 4th grade, 2nd grade and daycare. Sometimes leftovers, sometimes sandwiches, sometimes thrown together, sometimes thoughtfully put together… always with an effort to keep them healthful.

Check here for more school lunch photos and ideas.

1. Whole wheat with cream cheese and salami, sugar snap peas, clementine, vanilla meringue… and a bag lunch for a friend.

school lunch

Made a bag lunch for a friend, as per my sons request.

2. Whole wheat with brie, honey roasted turkey and thinly sliced granny smith apples, cucumbers and banana chips

school lunch

school lunch

3. Chicken Salad (with red grapes, celery and almonds), cracker assortment and apple sauce pouch.

school lunch

The crackers were leftover from a cheese plate a few days earlier.

34. Chicken soup with orzo, chicken & carrot pieces. Whole wheat with mortadella & mayo & banana.

school lunch

Soup and a sandwich. Perfect for winter days!

35. Wraps with goat cheese, salami & cucumbers, edamame, peeled pomello pieces & fruit leather.

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Pomello is a fantastic citrus fruit. We often see it in Chinatown.

6. School lunch: Salad with greens, tomatoes, cucumbers and grilled chicken.  Daycare: wrap with ham, cheese and asparagus. Everyone: fruitbowl with orange segments, dragon fruit and pear, goldfish & yogurt

school lunch

I try to give everyone the same lunch each day, but the littlest one just “isn’t into salads”.

7. BLT wraps/sandwich, carrots, apple & banana skewers and tapioca pudding

school lunch

8. Whole wheat with turkey and laughing cow French Onion, cucumbers and mango

school lunch

Sometimes, simple is all I have time for.

9. School lunch: Crusty bread with Turkish chocolate spread. Daycare lunch: truffled mac & cheese. Everyone: “bugs bunny carrots”, pear or banana.

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Chocolate spread was our souvenir of choice from Istanbul.

10. An example of dinner leftovers going straight into the LO’s lunch container. Leftover Orzo with Pesto and steamed asparagus.

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Orzo with pesto and steamed asparagus

Enjoy!

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Kids should also Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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School And Daycare Lunches, Take 4 (10 lunches)

Round four (yes FOUR!!!!) of school and daycare lunches!! These are photos of lunches that we made during the 2012-2013 school year for our three kids. They were in 4th grade, 2nd grade and daycare. Sometimes leftovers, sometimes sandwiches, sometimes thrown together, sometimes thoughtfully put together… always with an effort to keep them healthful.

Check here for more school lunch photos and ideas.

1. Tricolor tortellini with vodka sauce, hard boiled egg (salt on the side) and Trader Joe’s crispy rice snack.

school lunch

Leftovers for lunch can be lifesavers!

2. Bagels with goat cheese and salami with snap pea crisps and pear slices.

school lunch

Extra bagels from your weekend brunch? Make great school lunch sandwiches!

3. Whole wheat with roasted turkey, cucumber slices and mayo (or mustard) with, grape tomatoes, candied pecans & dried mango.

school lunch

I try to have a combination of pantry and fresh items.

4. Hard Boiled egg (with truffle salt on the side), carrots, yogurt, mozzarella stick and rice cake.

school lunch

Clearly, whoever packed this lunch was short on sleep and short on time. Just the basics…

5. Whole wheat with thinly sliced cucumbers, hummus and turkey with pear, tomatoes or carrots and cheez-its.

school lunch

mmmmm… a little bit of cheez-its go a long way

6. Country white with canadian bacon, lettuce and mayo. Cucumber slices and trail mix (just dried fruit for the LO).

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Making my own trail mix is often the result of having random dried fruit and nuts that haven’t been destined for greater glory.

7. Hand cut veal bologna, mini pita (aioli on the side), grapes and TJ’s rice krispies treat

school lunch

They love putting together their own sandwiches… or eating them “deconstructed”.

8. Bologna and brie on country white with yellow and red grape tomatoes, kiwi & strawberry pieces.

school lunch

9. Tuna salad with sweet peppers (for scooping), crackers and strawberries.

school lunch

No utensils required… the kids scoop up the tuna with sweet peppers or crackers.

 

10. Hearty multigrain bread with honey roasted turkey and romaine, hard boiled egg, oatmeal craisin cookies & carrots.

school lunch

This was for a longer school day… 

Enjoy!

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Kids should also Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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School And Daycare Lunches, Take 3 (10 lunches)

Round three of school and daycare lunches!! These are photos of lunches that we made during the 2012-2013 school year for our three kids. They were in 4th grade, 2nd grade and daycare. Sometimes leftovers, sometimes sandwiches, sometimes thrown together, sometimes thoughtfully put together… always with an effort to keep them healthful.

Check here for more school lunch photos and ideas.

1. First day of school lunch. Romaine with cucumbers, tomatoes, egg whites, shredded mozzarella, chick peas and cubed grilled chicken. Dressing of choice. Yogurt covered raisins on the side.

school lunch

2. Tomato soup, grilled cheese & cucumbers

school lunch

The grilled cheese comes closer to room temperature by the time the kids eat it, but the heat from the soup container helps to keep it warm.

3. Whole wheat with turkey and pesto with grapes/kiwi and rice crackers

school lunch

Sometimes… there just isn’t enough time for fanciness or creativity…

4. Multigrain (crusts removed) with honey roasted turkey and and herbed goat cheese, edamame, kiwi and gogurt.

school lunch

The frozen Simply gogurt defrosts by lunch time.

5. Quickie lunch: Multigrain with turkey and hummus, grapes and carrots (shredded and baby)

school lunch

I try to keep easy supplies on hand for days that we’re rushing out the door. For some reason, it always feels like we’re rushing out the door!

6. Multigrain bread with thinly sliced grilled chicken breast, salad greens and mayo. Blueberries and grape tomatoes.

school lunch

The side compartments make portioning so much easier!

7. Vegetable soup with “mandel” croutons, rice cake crackers and other crackers.

school lunch

Guess we were running short on sweet items on this day!

8. PB&J on Rice Crackers with apple sauce and corn

school lunch

Leftover corn never goes to waste in our house!

9. Roll ups with salami and cream cheese with Kefir and string cheese.

school lunch

This was definitely a quickie lunch!

10. Antipasto Salad (Romaine, pea shoots, tomatoes, red peppers, cucumbers, shredded carrots and salami.

school lunch

Antipasto salad is another great way to use up small bits of random ingredients hanging out in your refrigerator!

Enjoy!

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Kids should also Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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School And Daycare Lunches, Take 2 (10 lunches)

Round two of school and daycare lunches. These are photos of lunches that we made during the 2012-2013 school year for our three kids. They were in 4th grade, 2nd grade and daycare. Sometimes leftovers, sometimes sandwiches, sometimes thrown together, sometimes thoughtfully put together… always with an effort to keep them healthful.

Check here for more school lunch photos and ideas.

 1. School & daycare lunch: Turkey, asiago and mixed greens on TJ’s Canadian White with dijon aioli. Quinoa salad with asparagus, olives and goat cheese. Apple slices.

school lunch

Quinoa is a big seller in our family. Seasoned properly, it’s delicious! 

2. School lunch: mixed greens with shredded carrots, kidney beans, tomatoes, grilled chicken and cucumbers; dressing on the side. Cereal bars. Daycare lunch: LO got grandma’s chicken soup with mini shells and shredded carrots.

school lunch

Loved that daycare was able to heat up soups and other items in glass containers!

3. School and daycare lunch: whole wheat pita with hummus, Canadian bacon, yogurt cheese and cucumbers. Edamame and strawberries. (And yes, if you look close enough, I’ve taken a “bite” out of each sandwich and called it “taxes”. Sarcasm through food love!

school lunch

Love that they have a great sense of humor!

4. School & daycare lunch. Homemade “lunchables”: Cleared out our cheese drawer (truffle cheese, manchego, goat cheese, feta, laughing cow & halumi) with rolled up ham, grape tomatoes and TJ’s rice crackers. LO got a bonus of veggie sticks.

school lunch

I love that they love a cheese plate as lunch!

5. School & daycare lunch: plov (courtesy of a late night drop off by my stellar sister, Anna) with a side of cornichons and grape tomatoes. Plov is a rice pilaf with lamb.

school lunch

Rice products retain their heat very well in thermos containers.

6.  Chicken Caesar salad wraps with carrots (not pictured). I saw something else went into their lunchbox, but I was too groggy to remember The wraps were on mayo, lettuce, grilled chicken and parmesan cheese. The older kids also got a side of trail mix along with the side of carrots. The little one got a yogurt since no nuts allowed at her school.

school lunch

Putting sandwiches into a tortilla wrap magically transforms them into a much fancier meal!

7. School & daycare lunch: virginia ham on whole wheat with goat cheese. Side of cucumber and plums/apricots.

school lunch

Sometimes the kids request a particular fruit…

8. Egg salad (with mayo and scallions) on mulitigrain with tomatoes and nectarines.

school lunch

The egg salad was leftover from Sunday brunch.

9. Lunch for four kids today! Grandma joined our littlest one on a field trip to the Prospect Park Zoo! Whole wheat with Canadian bacon, aioli & romaine, baby carrots, apricots & pear.

school lunch

Packing lunch for an extra person wasn’t difficult at all. 

10. Homemade lunchables: roast beef, bologna, salami, cheddar, feta, laughing cow, mozzarella stick, mini pita, cucumbers and tomatoes.

school lunch

Homemade “lunchables” are also a great way to clear our your cheese and cold cut drawer!

Enjoy!

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Kids should also Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!
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Beef & Lamb Kofta Kabobs

I love ground meat. All kinds of ground meat. Turkey, beef, lamb, chicken, I love them all. Shepherd’s Pie, meatballs, hamburgers, chili, sloppy joe’s, meatloaf, tacos, lasagna; really, I can go on and on! I love the different ways to spice the meat and that it’s an incredibly versatile ingredient.

Beef & Lamb Kofta Kabobs
 
During a recent trip to Istanbul, we tried many different Kofta Kabobs. Twice a day for 5 days and one day I tried three different kinds. It was research people, RESEARCH! I’m willing to eat for my craft. Kofta mixtures are as different as the people who make them. Some are more mild, while others have a heavy coriander flavor and yet others are incredibly spicy. I think that I’ve measured out a flavorful blend of spices that doesn’t overpower the palate with any particular flavor and isn’t too hot. Feel free to modify it to your personal taste!
 
Enjoy!
 
All ingredients mixed together in one bowl

 

Form flatish logs, about 4″ long, around two pre-soaked wooden skewers
(so that the skewers don’t burn on the grill)

 

Ready for the grill!

 

Preheated your grill
(I used an indoor cast iron grill that goes over two burners)



Serve with a tangy Greek yogurt dipping sauce!

 

Beef & Lamb Kofta Kabobs
My favorite picture of the bunch 😉

 

Beef & Lamb Kofta Kabobs

Makes approximately 20 kabobs

Ingredients

2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground lamb
1 small white onion, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley (tightly packed), finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger (or 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger)
freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt


40 wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for 20-30 minutes

Directions

1. In a large bowl mix all ingredients together.
2. Make small flat-ish logs, about 4″ long, out of the mince meat mixture and wrap them tightly around two wooden skewers.
3. Preheat grill on medium/high. (Outdoor charcoal grills work best, but these kabobs were made on an indoor stovetop grill and were fabulous!) and cook kebabs, about 4 minutes on each side.


Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!