Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Really Random Tuesday #87: Veterans Day, a Book Winner, and Shakshuka

Thank you for your service.  November 11 is Veterans Day in America.  Today we honor the service of all U.S. military veterans.  Pictured above is World War I veteran Joseph Ambrose, at the dedication day parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982, who lost his son in the Korean War.  (Photo from Wikipedia.)


Eriko is the randomly chosen winner of Me Before You by bestselling author Jojo Moyes. Congratulations, Eriko!  I'm pretty certain you'll become a fan of this bestselling author.

If you didn't win this book, why not take a look at the other tempting giveaways listed on the right side of my blog?


I'm feeling like a bit of a recipe thief today!  My son, Oliver, and his sous-chef, my daughter, Angela, made us Shakshuka for breakfast a couple of months ago.  I had run in a 5k earlier that morning, and was famished.  I'd never heard of Shashuka before, but now I've made it several times, for dinner.  Oliver's girlfriend, Becca, taught him how to make this traditional, tomato-based dish, which is usually made with eggs, and often served for breakfast in Israel.  However, since I'm not a fan of eggs, they made mine without eggs, and instead added some ground turkey.  You can easily make it vegetarian (like I will for my daughter, Jasmine), or if you don't add meat or eggs, vegan.  I use as many organic ingredients as possible.  You can easily add additional ingredients to make more servings. 

Suko's Shakshuka

4 or 5 tomatoes, chopped
3 or 4 bell peppers, chopped
1 to 3 chopped jalapeños*, according to taste
1 small or medium onion, chopped
2 or 3 cloves of freshly minced garlic
6 white mushrooms, sliced

Olive oil
16 ounce can (or larger) fire roasted diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
Spices: oregano, cumin, paprika, black and/or cayenne and/or crushed red pepper, all to taste

Optional: 8 to 10 ounces of ground turkey, or vegetarian ground crumbles, and salt to taste

Pour about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and spread around pan with a paper towel.  Add peppers, onion, garlic, and spices to taste to the pan, and cook for about 7 minutes, on low to medium heat. 

Add the chopped up tomatoes, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, more spices to taste, and a bit more olive oil.  Stir together, and continue to cook the mixture.  If you want to add ground turkey or vegetarian ground crumbles, cook it in a separate skillet for about 7 minutes on low to medium heat (I add some salt and other spices to the turkey), before adding it to the veggie mixture.  

Continue to cook the Shakshuka on low heat, stirring every so often, for about 10 minutes, or until everything looks thoroughly cooked, and you're ready to eat.  This is a hot, savory, and healthy stovetop meal that's delicious for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!


Serve in bowls, along with bread (pita is perfect), and a fresh green salad.  Makes about 4 servings.

*Important note: Please be careful when you handle or slice jalapeños!  I learned the hard way.  One evening I was not careful enough, and I paid the price--my hands were burning for several hours afterward.  I was in agony.  I had to search online for home remedies to control the pain.  (I ended up slathering yogurt on my hands so that I could sleep that night.)  Now I handle jalapeños gingerly, with paper towels, and am extra careful not to touch their seeds with my bare hands when I chop up these peppers.


Appearing on random Tuesdays, Really Random Tuesday is a way to post odds and ends--announcements, musings, quotes, photos--any blogging and book-related things you can think of.  I often announce my book giveaway winners in these posts, and sometimes, like today, I share a recipe. If you have miscellaneous book news to gather up and are inspired by this idea, "grab" the button for use on your own blog, and add your link to the "master" Mister Linky on the Really Random Tuesday page.

Thanks for reading!  Your comments are welcomed.


  1. I thought I left a comment here earlier but obviously I didn't. My dad was a veteran of 3 wars at a time when being in the military wasn't always a popular choice. I'm glad to see people recognize the sacrifice and service of our military and their family members these days.

    I've never heard of Shaksuka but it sure looks delicious. We'd probably use eggs instead of turkey.

  2. Kathy, you can make this dish any way that you like to, by varying the ingredients. Thanks for stopping by again--I appreciate your comment!

  3. I don't think I ever had Shaksuka but it looks good.

  4. MMM... thanks for the recipe!
    Congrats Eriko too!

  5. That Shakshuka looks really good.

    I tend to cook with hot peppers fairly often. I never thought to protect my hands. I have on one occasion touched my eyes after handling a hot pepper and the results really were painful . One really does have to be careful with them.

  6. This looks very good and not terribly hard to do. Thanks for sharing and congrats on the Run!

  7. Thanks for sharing your recipe and the tip about jalapeños. I don't usually eat them, but never know when I might have to handle them. Thanks for all of your great giveaway notices and congrats to Eriko. Moyes is a great writer. I hope you enjoyed Veteran's Day.

  8. This sounds so good although I love eggs so I'd use them. I'd skip the jalapeños though. I'm not fond of them. You know what works really well Susan for jalepenos. I buy the thin surgical gloves at the pharmacy and use them for things like that in the kitchen. That way you have free use of your hands as it can get hard balancing things holding in a paper towel. At least it is for me. It ends up on the floor. Lol.

    1. Darlene, wearing surgical gloves for the task of slicing peppers is a good idea! I will look for them at the drugstore. Thanks for the suggestion.

  9. Vicki, I hope you will try to make Shakshuka! It's a new favorite in our house. You're right to mention the need to be careful about your eyes as well. Now I wash my hands after I am anywhere near these peppers!

    Thanks for stopping by, Vicki!

  10. Beautiful Veteran's Day Tribute!

    Your recipe for Shakshuka sounds wonderful (not for breakfast though) LOL
    Someone just told me a similar story about a skin condition after handling jalapenos - scary

  11. My youngest son loves tomatoes....I can barely keep up with how fast he eats them. If I left out the peppers he would be in love :) It looks super yummy- thanks for sharing!

  12. Thank you Suko for my win! "Me Before You" arrived within days of finding out I was the winner! I started reading it last night and find it intriguing and inviting! I look forward to discussing my thoughts after I finish reading this novel! Thank you again!!!

  13. Looks like a delicious recipe, Susan. Thanks for the pepper reminder. Your experience sounded awful!

    1. You're welcome, Mary. I didn't expect to suffer from handling the peppers, but I did (they must have been a hot batch). It was awful! Thanks for stopping by.

  14. The recipe sounds yummy. I would probably use eggs because I love eggs. Congrats to the winner of the book. I bought it after I read your review and I really enjoyed it.

    1. Gigi Ann, I'm glad you enjoyed Me Before You. Thanks for visiting!


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