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Saturday, February 9, 2019


Delayed snow arrived in our area last night – it did not arrive for Thanksgiving or Christmas … or my birthday, which follows Christmas … but it started falling yesterday afternoon and continued into the night:

Earlier in the day; 3:38 p.m.
An hour later
Kitchen skylight

Right now nothing is happening though I did wake up earlier to raindrops tap-dancing on the roof …

And this morning I am still feeling pretty punk; so I am going to lay around in bed all day and veg out:


Still raining, so … I got the crockpot out to liven things up and add a bit of warmth to the day with this spicy Moroccan recipe ;-)

This tongue-tingling and tummy warming recipe comes from my ‘Gourmet, February 1985’ cooking magazine. And again, I am posting the original recipe in its entirety to be broken down as you, the reader, chooses. I just put everything into a crockpot and cook it 6 hours – or until the chickpeas are tender (directions at end of post), and I cook the couscous separately as I make a 1 serving portion with every broken down portion of the stew I freeze; saves me time in the kitchen. I don’t feel the need to be a slave to my kitchen to enjoy the savory delights that come out of it ;-)

But for those who are recipe purists and like to be in the kitchen for hours on end, the meal also cooks up very nicely/and the flavors meld together into a savory meal the way the recipe directs.


2 Acorn Squash, halved and seeded * 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil * 1 cup chopped Celery, including some of the leaves * 2 Onions, chopped * 2 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces * 1 stick (1/2 cup) Butter * 3 Parsley sprigs * 3 Coriander sprigs * a 3-inch Cinnamon stick * 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne * a pinch of Saffron threads, crumbled * a 35-ounce can of plum Tomatoes, including the juice * 6 Carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces, 4 small Turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces * ¾ cup Raisins * 2 Red Bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces * 19-ounce can Chick-peas, drained and rinsed * 4 small Zucchini, cut cross-wise into ¾-inch pieces * 3 tablespoons minced fresh Parsley leaves * 3 tablespoons minced fresh Coriander leaves * 2-1/2 cups Couscous * Moroccan-style hot spiced oil (recipe follows) as an accompaniment if desired

In a shallow roasting pan arrange the acorn squash cut side up, drizzle it with the vegetable oil, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Bake the squash in a preheated 400-degree oven for 40 minutes; or until it is just tender, and let it cool. Quarter the squash, discarding the skin, and reserve the squash, covered and chilled.

In a kettle cook the celery, the onions, and the chuck in the butter with salt and pepper to taste over a moderately low heat, stirring occasionally – for 5 minutes. Tie together the parsley sprigs, the coriander sprigs, and the cinnamon stick; add the spice bundle to the kettle with the cayenne and saffron, and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice and 4 cups water – bring the liquid to a boil, and simmer the mixture, covered, skimming the froth, for 1 hour. Add the carrots and the turnips and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes: or until the chuck is very tender. The stew mixture can be prepared up to this point and kept covered and chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Bring the mixture to a boil and skim off 1-3/4 cups of the cooking liquid, reserving it for cooking the couscous. Stir in the raisins and the bell peppers and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Stir in the chick-peas and the zucchini and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes. Stir in the minced parsley, the minced coriander, and the acorn squash; simmer the stew until the squash is heated through, and discard the spice bundle.

In a large saucepan bring the reserved cooking liquid to a boil, stir in the couscous, and remove the pan from the heat. Let the couscous stand for 4 minutes and fluff it with a fork. Serve the couscous with the stew and drizzle the spiced oil over each serving if desired.


1 teaspoon Caraway seed * 2 tablespoons Cayenne, or to taste * 1 tablespoon ground Cumin * 1 garlic clove * ½ teaspoon Salt * ½ teaspoon Olive Oil

In a blender, blend the caraway seeds, the cayenne, the cumin, the garlic, and the salt until the caraway seeds are ground fine; with the motor running add the oil in a stream, and blend the mixture for 30 seconds. Transfer the oil to a jar. The spiced oil keeps, covered and chilled, for up to 1 week. Stir the oil before serving.

**If you prefer using a crockpot, just put all the ingredients – except the couscous – into the crockpot and cook on low for about 6 hours. Make the couscous separately and enjoy!

I didn’t have fresh zucchini to slice, so I used frozen shredded zucchini

COUCOUS ~Serves 6 to 8

In a medium saucepan, bring1-3/4 cups of beef stock (can be water if preferred) to a boil. Mix in the couscous, stir to blend. Cover and remove from the heat. Let stand 5 minutes; fluff with a fork and serve with stew; drizzle with the spiced oil if desired.