November: A Month Made For Turkeys, Pies, & a Writing Marathon

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Written while watching Notting Hill and loving Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts like I always do.

Whoopsie Daisy. Or not so Whoopsie Daisy.


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murder monday

I know I've told you guys before that I'm a huge Mumford & Sons fan. It was recently the anniversary of their first album (and I saw said post on Instagram), so I've had Sigh No More playing a lot.

I've also been listening to a little of Queen B this month. Lemonade, and specifically "Freedom" give me a little life when I need it, and I've needed a little life lately. 


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tasty tuesday

I found this recipe because of The Cut (that was the podcast I wouldn't shut up about last month). ANYWAYS, there was an episode with Alison Roman who is a cookbook author and she talked about a chickpea stew recipe that apparently caused this GREAT debate on the internet. 

I of course had to look it up and promptly made it...and made it again this weekend. It's spicy (the yogurt helps cool it a little), and warm, and hearty and IMHO perfect for fall.

So I thought I'd share with you guys!

Some substitutes that I use? I found dried mint in the herb aisle of my grocery store and I sprinkle that on top (mainly because I never use fresh herbs before they go bad). I also put pepitas on top of it for a little crunchy texture.

The following is from The New York Times Cooking (link in the button below):

Spiced Chickpea Stew With Coconut and Turmeric

Spiced chickpeas are crisped in olive oil, then simmered in a garlicky coconut milk for an insanely creamy, basically-good-for-you stew that evokes South Indian chana and some stews found in parts of the Caribbean. While the chickpeas would be good as a side dish, they are further simmered with stock, bolstered with dark, leafy greens of your choosing and finished with a handful of fresh mint. When shopping, be sure to avoid low-fat coconut milk, coconut milk meant for drinking or cream of coconut: All are very different and would not be suitable here.

Featured in: Creamy, Hearty And (Sort Of) Virtuous

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, finely chopped

  • Kosher salt and black pepper

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric, plus more for serving

  • 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk

  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, kale or collard greens, stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces

  • 1 cup mint leaves, for serving

  • Yogurt, for serving (optional)

  • Toasted pita, lavash or other flatbread, for serving (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent and starts to brown a little around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes.

  2. Add turmeric, red-pepper flakes and chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, so the chickpeas sizzle and fry a bit in the spices and oil, until they’ve started to break down and get a little browned and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove about a cup of chickpeas and set aside for garnish.

  3. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, further crush the remaining chickpeas slightly to release their starchy insides (this will help thicken the stew). Add coconut milk and stock to the pot, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits that have formed on the bottom of the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until stew has thickened and flavors have started to come together, 30 to 35 minutes. (Taste a chickpea or two, not just the liquid, to make sure they have simmered long enough to taste as delicious as possible.) If after 30 to 35 minutes you want the stew a bit thicker, keep simmering until you've reached your desired consistency. Determining perfect stew thickness is a personal journey!

  4. Add greens and stir, making sure they’re submerged in the liquid. Cook a few minutes so they wilt and soften, 3 to 7 minutes, depending on what you’re using. (Swiss chard and spinach will wilt and soften much faster than kale or collard greens.) Season again with salt and pepper.

  5. Divide among bowls and top with mint, reserved chickpeas, a sprinkle of red-pepper flakes and a good drizzle of olive oil. Serve alongside yogurt and toasted pita if using; dust the yogurt with turmeric if you'd like.


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whatcha’ reading wednesday

No seriously, what ARE you reading? I've gone through another book slump the last month and I'd love to hear what you guys are loving! 

I'd also love to hear about your favorite Christmas books. I need to start my lineup for December. Just respond to this email and give me the goods!


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thankful thursday

I have a request.

I know Christmas is a month out, but I'm already working on some holiday promo for An Unexpected Christmas...

When it comes to promo, the more reviews the better. So if you have a quick second, and you've read it, would you be so kind to leave a review on Amazon? I'd be forever grateful! And so would Jace and Adele.


follow up friday

So after a few months of no success trying to write a certain manuscript, I've decided to hit pause and work on something fun that I KNOW you guys have been waiting on. That's right, Felicity and Sean have been moved from the back burner and are now my top priority. 

I'm going to take advantage of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and use it as motivation to get this book written and into your hands!

I appreciate all of your support when it comes to my writing and I've gotten more than a couple messages from you guys asking when this story is going to be written. And the answer is NOW.

Thanks for your excitement, I adore ALL of you.


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silverscreen saturday

I did finally see Hustlers and it lived up to ALL of my exceptions. J.Lo is incredible, that's all I've got to say about that.

The next part of this section is going to feature movies I will be watching this month. First up, Last Christmas. Emma Thompson wrote it (and is in it) while Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding star in it. I feel it in my bones that this movie will make me cry. But as we've LONG established, I am a masochist. 

The other movie that I'm excited about is Holiday In The Wild which is on Netflix and stars Kristin Davis and Rob Lowe. What really sold me on the movie is that it revolves around saving baby elephants. After dogs, there isn't an animal that can hook me in faster. JUST SAYIN'.


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small screen sunday

So the second season of Jack Ryan just dropped and I've of course already marathon watched it. And loved it, because, well, John Krasinski. But for serious, it's just a good series that I genuinely have enjoyed from start to finish.

My next binge? The newest season of The Great British Bakeoff. I will be the first to admit I was hesitant when they switched hosts and Mary Berry left, but truth be told, I love it just as much. So I'm excited to dive in this month.


As always, I'd love to hear from you on Social Media. So stop by and let me know what you're up to or just say hello!

-Shannon

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