Naples

Mompreneurs – do you like the title or find it dismissive?

close conceptsMompreneurs…Mommy bloggers… Are women defined by our status as parents while men never are? Is there a ever a Dadpreneur? No, but should we care? Are we fine with it because we don’t mind the extra qualifier?

Let me know what you think. Are you either, neither or both? Hate the terminology or love it? Weigh in here. Pragmatic Mom, you are a self-described Mompreneur – let’s hear from you, too.

Anyway, I have more than a few working friends (and three working sisters) who are flat out amazing.  Here are a few that I want to share with you.

A friend and mompreneur, Judy Close,  (no, I haven’t asked her if she is okay with the term) who is described by a former colleague as “a brilliant industrial designer” (they worked together at Reebok) has a business putting together everything you could possibly need for any party and here is her site  Close Concepts.  close concepts

The company’s tag line is Creative solutions to specific party needs and here are just some of the things she has done – invitations, table numbers, desserts…yum. I think I would be hanging around that cookie table for a bit.  Really cool invitations, party favors, centerpieces and more.  Judy is amazingly creative and so easy to work with – you immediately feel comfortable with her and she asks all the right questions (in case you don’t exactly know what you want…like me).

close concepts
close concepts

She will think of things A) that you will not and B) so you don’t have to.  As a family we have gone to our share of Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Confirmation and Coming of Age parties in the past two years and it is truly lovely to see the personality of the person or family in the details of the event.

Another friend (and new-ish mom) Shannon McGill works for Stella and Dot. It is a wonderful company that sells really sweet jewelry at house parties. The prices are reasonable and the stuff is super cute – bold necklaces or charming charms and a bead and pin combination (that I loved in all colors) and the setting is more cocktail party than anything – no hard sell here …they are fun to go to and from what I hear fun to host, too. Come on, your friends will tell you if something is right for you, so no worries there and if you host you get free stuff. Sign me up!

stella and dot shannon mcgillI found it hard to choose, there were so many things I liked…hmm…I do have a birthday coming up…

I have some other friends who are artists who work in glass or jewelry and I will feature them soon (I need more pictures of their wonderful stuff).

stell and dot shannon mcgill

Persian lamb shanks with garlic and eggplant, Chef Michael Mir of bha! bha! bistro, Naples Florida

This is the amazing lamb shank recipe that I coerced from the Owner/Chef Michael Mir of bha! bha! and finally have in my hot little hands.  I know it has been a while since I made this (and only the one time) so I am not clear on how long it took me but I have exaggerated it to two days.  By next year it would have been up to three days.  I know I never got the sour grapes and just did without but this time I am going to find some and no, this is not the Easter Sunday menu.  I am either making a roasted turkey roulade or ordering something already made…grin.

Persian lamb shank with garlic and eggplant

from Chef Micheal Mir 

 bha! bha! bistro  Naples ,Florida

Dinner for six

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium lamb shanks, trimmed
  • 2-3 large eggplants
  • 3 large ripe (not too soft) tomatoes (cut into wedges)
  • 12-16 cloves of garlic
  • 3 large Spanish onions (thinly sliced)
  • salt, pepper, turmeric and curry powder
  • 1 cup of tomato paste
  • sour grapes in brine(can be purchased in Persian stores – called GHOUREH)
  • olive oil
  • vegetable oil.
  • Place the trimmed and washed shanks in a large stock pot filled with water until all are comfortably submerged.  Place two thinly sliced onions together with 1 tbsp. turmeric, 1 tb black pepper, 1 tbsp. salt. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes and then continue cooking on medium heat for 1 hour or until the shanks are fork tender.  Although the liquid has been reduced, there should still be plenty for the shanks not to be exposed to the air. Set aside and keep the lid on.

Peel the eggplants and slice lengthwise into 6 slices each and lightly salt the eggplant. In a deep dish ( a wok is good) bring 2 cups of vegetable oil to smoky hot.  Pat the eggplant dry, and carefully submerge in the hot oil.  Turn them over once.  Keep the heat high (eggplants will not be greasy this way). When the eggplant is a dark golden brown, take them out one by one and set on a rack (or a colander) to drip their oil.

In a separate deep dish, sauté pan, start sauteing 1  thinly sliced onion in 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the desired amount of garlic cloves.  When translucent, place the lamb shanks one by on into the oil with onions and garlic. Add the tomato wedges and the 1/3 cup of tomato paste. Try to turn everything over at least once. Add 1/2 tbs. curry powder. Add remaining 2/3 cup of tomato paste. Try to saute the paste as well.  Add 1 cup of lamb stock (that you have from the original pot – first skim any fat).  To this you can add 1/2 cup of chicken stock or plain water. Do not allow the tomatoes become too soft or mushy. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of sour grapes along with the juice.  Bring to a quick boil and reduce the temperature, Simmer for 15 minutes.

To serve:

It looks glorious in individual rustic clay pots or tagines. Place one lamb shank, 2 or 3 slices of eggplant, and add sauce with tomato wedges and garlic cloves and make sure that some sour grapes also find their way in. Place in a warm oven until served. Serve with a nice plate of saffron basmati rice or warm bread.

You can also serve it on a large (semi-deep) clay or ceramic tray or pot. Place all shanks with eggplant slices between them and pour the sauce and remaining ingredients in top, making sure that the tomato sauce is not over-served. Serve with a large tray of steaming saffron basmati rice.

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