GW2 Red Lentil Stew a.k.a. Harira

Harira-4Alright folks, I think it’s time I made good on the promise I made in my loosely Crystal Dessert-related  Spicy Chicken Wrap & Tomato Hummus post and get down to business with the whole Crystal Desert Cuisine shabang. After being reminded of the existence of Red Lentils by the vendors and food stalls keeping us well fed and happy on our adventures through the Crystal Desert, I rolled up my sleeves and tackled the topic of “Red Lentils” on this side of the screen~!

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Saffron-Lemon Chicken with Apricot-Rosemary & Barberry Chutney

Lemon-Saffron-Chicken-Apricot-Rosemarry-Barberry-Chutney-3All right, so the “real” winter has nosed its way in – the one without the sparkly decorations, festive mood-inducing drinks, foods, gatherings and all that jazz. Not that I’m particularly downed by the holidays being over, but I have to say, the great outdoors in all its grey-on-grey splendor is looking a lot more gloomy than it did just a couple of weeks ago. Oh well… as I’ve mentioned before, there’s one surefire way – at least for me – not to succumb to the general greyness of days like these:

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Honeyed Duck, Lemon-Thyme Polenta Tiles & Blackberry-Port Sauce

Maple-Glaced-Duck-Blackberry-Sauce-Lemon-Thyme-Polenta-5A quick glance outside is revealing a Wonderful Winter-Wonderland these days. Finally, I might add – the last couple of Decembers have been depressingly warm, way too warm to really appreciate the festive groove town decorations and christmas markets were struggling to spread. Yultide season around 15-17°C? Excuse me, when did I move so far south? I know it’s a clichée, but winters have to be cold to count around these parts of the world!

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Venison Steaks with Chestnut, Black Cherry & Chanterelle Ragout

Venison-Steaks-Chestnut-Cherry-Chanterelle-Ragout-1By now, you guys probably know my love for all things venison. Lean, healthy, extremely versatile and despite – or because of – the gamey aromas, absolutely yumtastic in combination with a large variety of fruit and nuts… what’s not to love about it~? I realize that, if you’re not living in a foresty region, any kind of wild game might be a rare and therefore expensive sight in your butcher’s display.

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GW2 Guinness Stew & Guinness-Buttermilk Soda Bread

Guiness-Stew-Soda-Bread-3As you might have noticed, I’m a bit early on hitting the “Publish” button today. The reason for that is as simple as it is delightful~ Right now, I’m on my way out of the house, headed towards Frankfurt Airport where a plane is waiting to take me on a long-weekend trip to Dublin, Ireland. I thought I’d grab this opportunity to share one of our all-time-favorite stews with you guys.

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Braised Lamb Shanks & Quince Stew

Braised-Lamb-Shank-Quince-Stew-2I love summer. I miss summer. Then again, Autumn, especially a particularly beautiful one like this year’s, has its perks~! Great seasonal ingredients calling for extended hikes/foraging trips and, once you get home from enjoying the blast of color that is the great outdoors these days, first whiffs of wintery comfort food and comfy clothes, inviting you to wrap yourself in a blanket with a good book in one and a glass of red in the other hand and, most importantly… quinces!

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GW2 Spicy Chicken Wraps, Tomato Hummus & Grilled Vegetables

Spicy-Chicken-Wrap-Tomato-Hummus-Grilled-Vegetables-4Unlike last year, we had a couple of good things waiting for us when we got home from Madeira this time. Really good things. Like the newly released GW2 Path of Fire expansion and – let’s hear it for careful planning – another week off from work~! Of course, hubby and I parked ourselves in front of our screens and went on a gaming binge until we both developed that tell-tale sitting-in-the-same-position-for-days headache, square and bloodshot eyes included. And this is where the other really good thing comes into play~!

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Rosemary Lamb Chops, Griddled Nectarines & Chanterelles

Rosemary-Lamb-Chops-Nectarines-Chanterelles-7One of August’s delicious perks is the overwhelming abundance of perfectly ripe stone fruit flooding the displays of any market stall, store or supermarket you can find around these parts. From ridiculously large peaches down to the smallest Mirabelle Plums and Reine-Claudes (Greengages), anything goes! Fruity heaven~

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GW2 Path of Fire – Chipotle Chilli Burger

Chipotle-Chilli-Burger-4Get out your Welcome mats, folks~! Our world is about to grow a new continent! Tyria, that is~ Come September, the new expansion “Path of Fire” will open the gates to the Crystal Desert to us Tyrians and, if I know my heroes behind the Chef’s Guild at ArenaNet’s HQ right, they’ll provide me with new toys off the screen as well… Can’t. Wait~! But, it looks like I’ll be sitting on hot coals for another month until it’s released… hang on. Coals? Path of Fire? A~ha!

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Spicy Beef & Mushroom Stirfry with String Bean & Plum Salad

Spicy-Beef-Mushroom-Stirfry-String-Bean-Plum-Salad-3Finally the relentless heat of the last several weeks is easing up a little and thinking about some serious grub doesn’t make me raise an eyebrow at my own sanity anymore~! Of course, it’s still summery warm outside, so going wild with pots, pans and my stove for any extended period of time is still out of the question and anything ending up on our plates absolutely needs a zingy, refreshing component to count as “edible”.

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