“The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get” ~ Tim Russert
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What are you up to this weekend? We're looking forward to hosting June's Spaghetti Saturday. On the menu? Sloppy Joes .. potato salad, baked beans, and homemade ice cream.
Also, we'll be celebrating Father's Day
It's been on my mind this week, how fortunate I am to live a life filled men who are really cool dads. I think of my own father, grandfathers, and my husband.
There isn't anyone who has shaped me more than my father. The kindest, most decent soul alive. Over the years, he's instilled in me a great love of pancakes, collected me from cornfields after car accidents, taught me how to build houses, be a person of character, and live a creative life.
I remember my grandfather, who took me to the A&W for root beer floats in his old-time cars. My great-grandfather who (well into his nineties) chauffeured me to the pool on summer afternoons. I always think of him when I see candy corn, a Buick, cribbage boards, and rose bushes
My husband tells the best stories of road trips he's taken with his son over the years. It's pretty incredible all miles they logged, and places they visited. I love to see them together. They read the same kinds of books, and watch the same kinds of movies
“The surprising thing about fatherhood was finding my inner mush. Now I want to share it with the world.” ~ Christopher Meloni
The older I've gotten, I've come to realize (and appreciate) that dads are really the unsung heroes.
These wonderful men who quietly get up at dawn, roll out of bed, let the puppies out, shower, and do their best to tippy-toe out of the house so as not to wake anyone.
On their way out the door, they'll grab a yogurt or granola bar, because the last time a hot breakfast was attempted, the clanking of dishes was a little too loud, and their wife gave them the “Shush, please don't wake the house” look.
Then they hop in the car for the commute to places like the office, classroom, fire station, or hospital. Pleasantries are attempted while brewing mediocre coffee. After which, email is checked, which is overflowing with people who need them for something. Everything is urgent (of course)
(Or, if you grew up on a farm as I did, they'd put on their bib overalls and head out to tackle the morning's chore, feeding livestock, getting ready to go to the field. The morning's coffee poured by the cupful from their thermos. Let's see, what needs to be attended to first thing this morning?)
“I killed the monsters. That's what fathers do.” ~F.K. Wallace, Stormfront, 2011
From there, the day will be spent calling, emailing, scheduling meetings, and then attending said meetings, where they'll realize they have to schedule another meeting to talk about scheduling more meetings. Pretty soon, poof(!) It's time for lunch.
In the meantime, their wife has texted:
“Sweetie, can you stop by the grocery on the way home? The list is short” (umm .. define short)
“Loves, don't forget, the neighbors are coming for dinner tonight, so can you pick the puppies up a little early from daycare? That way, there will be enough time to feed them and take them out for their walk.”
A quick regrouping at their desk, between quick bites of an apple and a little something from the cafeteria
The hope is to get a head start on the afternoon's tasks so they can jet home to their harried wife, who will undoubtedly pass the kids, pets, or list of tasks off to them the moment they walk in the door because she's exhausted, and has to prep
dinner for the neighbors
“Being a great father is like shaving. No matter how well you shaved today, you have to do it again tomorrow” ~ Reed Markham, American Educator
The afternoon's crisis is handled.
A stop at the grocery, forgetting the milk, then remembering the milk, and a rush across town to collect the puppies. A time when everyone else is also collecting their puppies, and oh my, where did all of this traffic come from?
A text from their wife
“Honey, are you almost home? The garbage disposal, there's something stuck in it. It's making a horrible noise, help(!)”
They speed home, just in time to see the neighbors walking down the street, salad in hand.
After dinner, they're the clean-up crew reporting for duty. Then they read a few bedtime stories, kiss foreheads, and head out to the garage to find tools to fix the garbage disposal. Quietly, of course,
so as not to wake the house
“I love my father as the stars — he’s a bright shining example and a happy twinkling in my heart” ~Terri Guillemets
Motherhood is difficult, that's for certain, and really where would we be without our moms? But the more I think about it; it's these wonderful men in our lives that are pulling out all the stops.
Gone are the days that dads came home, poured themselves a stiff drink, and read the afternoon's paper. Instead, they're making a living, cutting the grass, walking the dogs, chasing the kids, and doing their darndest to keep their wives happy.
Not to mention grilling dinner, fixing the squeak in the washing machine, coaching the baseball team, and emailing their boss from the produce section
Amazing. Truly amazing
And so I wish the happiest of Father's Day weekends to all of the incredible dads out there. May you enjoy a weekend of sleeping in, a cold beer (or two!), a round of golf, puttering in the garden, and quiet afternoons in your workshop
Thank you for who you are, and all that you do(!)
“A father carries pictures where his money used to be” ~Author Unknown
A delicious, filling, and exciting meal that goes from stovetop to table in under an hour. It's easy, wonderfully fragrant, and looks elegant on a platter.
The kind of meal that's inexpensive and feeds a crowd. At the same time, offering elements of decadence, a richness that makes it feel ever so above the ordinary.
Cook up a pot of saucy, fragrant lamb, a quick boil of pasta, and it's finished.
I've made it with both beef and lamb and enjoyed it either way. It's a great recipe to make in advance and keep for lunches during the week
~ Adapted from Food52
Greek Lamb with Lemony Herbed Orzo
- Fragrant and Saucy Lamb
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your tolerance for heat)
- 1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, drained and squished with your hands
- 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 5 oz fresh spinach, chopped (or any leafy green you happen to have on hand)
- Lemony Herbed Orzo
- 1 lb orzo
- 2 cups fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed is best
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- To Finish
- ¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
- ½ cup crumbled feta
- Fragrant and Saucy Lamb
- In a Dutch oven (or other heavy-bottomed pan), heat a Tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat until it's shimmering.
- Add the ground lamb and sprinkle with ½ tsp sea salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Cook, stirring to break it apart until it has browned.
- Remove the lamb with a slotted spoon and drain all but a couple of Tbsp of the remaining fat
- Return the pot to the stove-top and add the onion and garlic (still over medium-high)
- Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions have softened and are golden (~ 5 minutes)
- Stir in the spices (cinnamon, oregano, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes) and cook until they smell fragrant (~ 1-2 minutes).
- Add the squished tomatoes
- Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
- Add the can of diced tomatoes, along with the water.
- Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes
- Add the browned lamb back to the pot, stir, cover the pot and allow it to cook for 20 minutes (stirring from time to time)
- Add the fresh spinach and cook a couple of minutes more, until the spinach has wilted
- Add additional sea salt + pepper, to taste (keep in the back of your mind that you'll be topping with feta and olives, which will also add saltiness)
- Lemony Herbed Orzo
- While the lamb and tomatoes are simmering, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
- Add the orzo and cook according to the package directions, until al dente.
- Reserve ½ cup of pasta water.
- Drain the orzo.
- Toss with the 2 Tbsp olive oil, the lemon juice, and chopped parsley (if you feel it needs a little more liquid, add a bit of the reserved pasta water)
- Finish and Serve
- Spread the orzo onto a serving platter
- Spoon the lamb and sauce all over the top, then sprinkle with the feta and chopped olives.
Thanks for all the lovely stories!
And great dish, too.
I’m looking forward to celebrating all the cool dads in my life this weekend – my dad, my husband, my son-in-law. Even though my dad lives in another state, we talk on the phone every single day. I’m still a daddy’s girl after all these years.
Your Greek Lamb and Orzo is so bright and colorful and I know it would be a welcome addition to my table this weekend.
I have so many loving memories of time spent with my dad as a kid. He took me everywhere, parks, the movies, and restaurants. A&W was a great place for us as well. Such a fun place to get a burger and enjoy a summer evening outside. Ours had classic car shows often, and my dad and I would walk there for dinner. Good times for sure.
With Father’s Day on Sunday, this is such a lovely reminder to really take a moment to appreciate the wonderful men in my life. You described my husband! He has this hectic day, 100’s of emails he simply can’t get to in a day, and yet he pulls his weight at home and always, always makes time for me when I call. Wow, feeling blessed! Thanks for this Alison.
The kids and I plan to shower Babe with love this weekend. We won’t ask him to do the list of things you mentioned above.
I’m always on the hunt for good summer dishes. This looks like a good one. The kids pack lunch for camp and I can totally put this in a thermos.
Aw, that’s such a nice post. We’re celebrating Father’s Day over here too, can’t wait to go out for a meal but I kinda wish I was staying in to cook – we all love a lamb dish.
My husband has always been a great father. Sadly, he is working out of state for the time being so we won’t be together to celebrate Father’s Day. I’m not a big fan of lamb, but the hubby is. I’ll have to remember this when he is back.
We are taking my Dad out tomorrow for a meal for Father’s Day – it’s always so busy on the day we either do the day before or after, I hope you have a lovely day with all you do.
This is the second year we will be celebrating Father’s Day for my hubby, and he’s certainly taken on the dad responsibilities like a pro. It’s so sweet that our little girl has learned how to say “daddy” within the past week, too. 🙂 Can’t wait to see what the weekend has in store for all of us.
I hope you have a lovely weekend and enjoy celebrating Fathers Day. We’re (hopefully) having a quiet Saturday and going to a Scarecrow hunt on Sunday.
This dish sounds delicious. Lamb is my favourite meat so I would love this.
Loved reading your story and it brought back fond memories of days spent with my Grandads when I was young when we would go out during the summer holidays and do the ‘chores’ to come back and find my gran busy making an apple pie (or variation thereof)! All the little things add up to make wonderful memories that we cherish forever!
I love that this has spinach and olives in it. With those flavors it would taste amazing .
It sounds like it would taste absolutely amazing doesn’t it, there’s something about herbs and lamb that just go so well together.
Dads are wonderful, that’s for sure. My Dad stayed at home with me while my mom worked, and I loved it.
This dish sounds fantastic!
I recently discovered Orzo and love it. 🙂 Puppies are adorable. We love dogs full stop! I loved your post too. Enjoy celebrating Father’s Day!
Oh what a beautiful post and stories. Lol yes aren’t dad’s the ones you call after that breakdown ? me too. They know how to deal with things more than we know. I’m taking my stepdad out Sunday afternoon. Should be a nice one and I hope you have a good one. I haven’t tried orzo before but lemon is always a plus for me x
Oh lovely recipe for the weekend! I don’t have many memories with my Dad to be honest as I’m the sibiling who would rather spend his time with the mom rather than the dad.. lol. My brother on the other side…
What a great sounding dish perfect for fathers day. I do love lamb and will have to give this recipe ago I like the sound of the lemony herbed orzo I bet its a lovely flavour.
Well when i first saw your post’s title i was a bit shocked! I mean come on, i’m from Greece,and i eat this food for about 2-3 times per month? So i was really curious to see the ingredients you use and how you actually cook it! Well, i’m amazed! It’s almost exactly like we do it here! So traditional! I’m really glad you are trying out Greek recipes 😀
Aww this is lovely. I’m so glad you have such fantastic men in your life. Love all the quotes too. The recipe looks amazing, but sadly I don’t eat lamb xx
This looks so delicious! I absolutely love greek flavours but rarely cook with them myself!
For some reason, I never make lamb at home but I have enjoyed it countless times at the restaurant. I would love to try your recipe one day. Lemony orzo sounds so tasty.
My family might like this recipe. I would have to give my daughter the tomatoes though because I have an issue with warm tomato chunks.
IT sure sounds like you have a lot of great men in your life. It is nice to remember them and the memories you shared at places like A&W in classic cars (so cool) right around Father’s Day!
Wonder why we never cook lamb at home, leaving it for a treat when eating out. This recipe looks nice so we might just give it a try … and happy father’s day.
We have a full weekend of celebrating Fathers day! We are going to pick fruit tomorrow and the going for brunch with everyone Sunday.
Lamb meat is my favorite meat . Thanks for sharing your amazing experience as well as the recipe .
I’ve actually never had lamb before but this recipe makes me want to change that. It sound so refreshing with the lemon . . . sounds like a perfect way to celebrate Father’s Day!
The conversation between the Penguins was great. This recipe seems like it will be delicious.
I was just thinking about the same thing when it comes to Father’s Day. It sounds like your are just as blessed as I am with the men in your life.
Both my husband and father love lamb. Thank God, I saw this recipe jus when I was thinking of what to prepare for them this Father’s Day
Such a great refresher for upcoming Father’s Day and really amazing stories. My husband is more into desserts so I am planning to make an entire spread for him
This recipe seems like one of your best. I love to eat dishes made of lamb and this is one among them. I will definitely try this at my home 🙂
We will probably be having our traditional Sunday Lunch. My kids will love this for Daddy too as this is his favourite dinner of all time. He is also a fussy eater!! Great post!!
Your story about going to A&W with your grandfather is absolutely adorable! And in an old-time car with root beer floats, no less. This Greek lamb orzo looks delicious and has all the flavorings I like (cumin, coriander, etc.)
It’s great that Dads are getting more involved with house chores and family time! By the way, your photos look amazing. I’ve never had Greek Lamb before.
I agree, I complain about the daily struggles of being a mom, but without my husband I probably would’ve checked into a mental instiution by now. LOL
I would love to try this recipe for Father’s Day, but my husband doesn’t believe in eat lamb. He did a tour on his Navy ship and they stopped in Greece at one point. He would eat lamb not knowing what it was, but now he feels horrible. LOL (I do and I think its delicious!)
Sadly, my husband has to work for Father’s Day, but my goal is to make it a simple easy day for him with his favorite meal, snacks, and video games. lol
Although I’m not really a fan of lamb this recipe seems to be so fresh for those summer days, that I must give it a try. Do you think that is possible to do use this recipe with a different type of meat? xx
Lovely to hear that you are surrounded by great fathers! I love the story about your grandfather. 🙂
Sounds like a great Father’s Day weekend and you are very lucky to have had such wonderful relationships with the men in your life while growing up.
This looks so delicious. I love a great lamb recipe and the personal stories involved in the post are beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. I am going to have to try this recipe asap!
I’m normally not a lamb person but my dad surely is. I would love to cook this for him during the father’s day celebration this weekend.
Dads really are the best. My dad is more quiet but one of those people who will always be there for you. He always helps me when I have car trouble and is there to give me good advice. And his sense of humor is awesome.
It’s 4 and I haven’t eaten my lunch, this makes me hungry so much. I might cook my husband’s favorite dishes tomorrow.
I hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day. I am celebrating with my wonderful dad, who is the only man who has never let me down! Kaz
My Dad, and my husband, are both big fans of lamb so this is the perfect dish for them both! I’m cooking for them tomorrow, I might even see if I can get the ingredients tomorrow to try this – not sure how that would go but worth a shot!
Fathers really are the unsung heroes. I am looking forward to celebrating this weekend! My husband would love this lamb dish!
We have a very busy weekend. Of course celebrating Father’s day tomorrow but also preparing our house for some visitors (Grandparents) for my son’s 7th birthday party next weekend! Cleaning house and cleaning up our backyard. Lots of work but one of our favorite weekends of the year! Pool party in the back yard. I hope you have a great weekend!
Ooh, this looks absolutely spectacular! I’ve pinned the recipe so I can have a go at cooking it at home myself. I don’t think it will look half as appetizing as this if I do, though!
I just love about how you speak about the relationship with your dad. I never knew my dad; my grandfather was the dad in my life and he’s gone so I will be remembering him tomorrow.
Well, I will have to get what I need at the store to make this for dinner tomorrow! It looks superb and easy enough to make! I’m always a fan of your recipes 🙂
The herbs you use !! are my favourite !! Its my tomorrow Dinner Menu !!! Easy to made
This was a beautiful anecdote for fathers day! I really appreciate those stories– it warmed my heart. Dads can be pretty amazing people!
It definitely looks amazing. I could use a dish like this. But I really also appreciate you honoring the dads out there for all they do. Far too often dads are beaten up and neglected. Their contributions to society are belittled and looked down upon. It’s so nice to hear someone in defense of dads. Not because we are weak, but because knowing we are cared about makes us stronger. And I think that’s true for all people.
You’re very fortunate to have good men in your life, especially your dad. Honestly, I can’t even imagine what that kind of relationship is like. I was wanting to cook something special for my husband tomorrow, maybe this will be it
I agree with you. Sometimes we forget that fathers sacrifice a lot (and in silence) to keep the family happy, healthy and well fed. My dad was my hero. He taught me everything I know. I just wished he stayed with us a little longer. If he were still alive and well, I would make this greek lamb dish for him.
This is a great tribute to your father and grandfather. Fathers are the ones a lot of us look up to for being the providers for the family. They work hard and show us how to provide. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the recipe..
I, unfortunately, did not grow up with a father. I did, however, grow up with an amazingly strong mother and a few great male role models. My kids are lucky enough to have a wonderful father and I am blessed with the BEST husband!
While my own personal experience with fathers is not as good as yours I do agree that in a lot of cases they are the unsung heroes and I think it is lovely that your father shaped you into becoming the amazing person that you are now x
Yum, and what a great idea is Spaghetti Saturday! I think dads are always getting less attention and are also criticized for what they do! They deserve this day just like moms and they definitely deserve some recognition for their hard work. Thanks for this lovely Greek recipe x
I love the Father’s Day story.
This dish looks amazing. I have not ever had Greek lamb. I would love to try it. But I doubt my family would try it.
Looks like a great dish. I would love to try it. You recipe is easy to follow and it makes it so much easier for me to make it !!
Looks so irresistible. Though I have only eaten lamb meat twice, I love the taste and texture. Lamb meat is so expensive in our place of the world, and I wonder what can be substituted?
The spotlight is often taken away from the fathers especially since moms are usually seen as the ones who do all the work in the house. It’s good to make sure that we recognize them for their hard work from time to time! It would be nice to make this day special for all the fathers out there. This post made me miss my dad!
Another Father’s day without my dad. It makes me sad to celebrate that day without him. Although I am glad that I was blessed with a good husband, the perfect father to our kids. Through him, I see my dad. How he nurtured and cared for me and my siblings. May you all have a great celebration of that one important man in your life. Your first hero. Your dad.
Wow! This Greek Lamb with Lemony Herbed Orzo looks delicious! The perfect summer recipe too! I can’t wait to give it a try. I love lamb so for me I know this will be a hit!
Its so important to acknowledge the amazing men/fathers in our lives! Dad needs more than just the big piece of chicken. Appreciation can go a long way! Thank you for sharing and Im totally making that lamb recipe, it looks amazing! Xx-Doran
We had a pretty chill father’s day weekend, poor dad had to work on father’s day. Thanks for sharing and I think I might have to try out that recipe!
This looks yummy. I’ve never heard about this one before. I’m not a confident cook when it comes to cooking with meat. That is, outside of chicken. Maybe it’s time to change all of that!
There is no one that I would rather share this dish with than my father. For me my dad is not just my dad, but my best friend and he is the person that makes me laugh the most.
This is so yummy and incredible dish to try to with my father. Growing up, he was alway the cook in our family and made the most incredible meals. I know is is one he’d love. Thanks (as always) for another great recipe!
I have to confess that I’ve never tried lamb, but this looks delicious. I love that you shared some background on special fathers in your life rather than jumping right into the recipe for this Greek lamb and orzo. The quotes, especially the one about how a father has pictures were his money used to be, were a nice touch to this heartfelt article.
Oh man this looks soooo good! I have thought of lamb with a lemony orzo salad and usually go for chicken or fish. I will try it with lamb too!
This story was great. I’m glad you brought it back for new readers to enjoy. Dads are the most amazing humans to exist and unfortunately mine passed. He was a gift and my daughter who never got to meet him seems to be sent by him to me. She is his twin and they never got to meet. Great recipe aswell.