I earned my nickname from my ecstatic reaction to the jewels my ex husband would shower me with on special occasions. Sadly (insurance is so expensive these day) they were banished to the bank vault twenty years ago. I have periodic visitation days with the imprisoned gems, but it is not the same as wearing pieces that make you feel beautiful.

Happy in South Sea Pearls and Rupert Everett wrapped around my neck
Fast forward to present day: I became Twitter friends with Marisol Douglas, a fellow former model turned entrepreneur whose company, Caradiaz, carries an exquisite line of affordable jewelry. In December she asked me to do an interview on Marisol’s Blog, then afterwards asked for my address to send me a “a little something” as a thank you/Christmas gift. Of course I told her that was not necessary, but you won’t believe how happy I am she ignored me.
A veritable treasure trove arrived!
I wish you could have seen my face when I opened the box to find not one, but THREE stunningly wrapped packages!
Caught on film: Tatjana’s reaction to her first diamonds
It was not too dissimilar to Tatjana’s face in the photo above when she received her first diamonds from my parents on her 16th birthday (love of jewelry runs in my family). I’d almost forgotten that charge of anticipation as I slowly unwrapped each box, prolonging the joy as long as my curiosity would allow – one beautiful layer after another.
Sheer ecstasy!
The awe of a child on Christmas morning, plus the excitement of one being turned loose in a candy store could not equal the euphoric state I was in. I was absolutely floored by Marisol’s overwhelmingly kind generosity!
With Nashra and Gina at Cecconis in Caradiaz earrings
BTW, Marisol made it clear this was not a gift for PR – “Jewels” just loves jewels so much that I had to share the experience with you. Thank you so much for reminding me how my feet glide above the ground when I get to wear gorgeous new pieces of jewelry again, Marisol. Take my word for it guys – you could make serious brownie points this Valentines Day with a striking piece of jewelry from Caradiaz, and here is a bejeweled recipe to help make the romantic evening a flawless one.
Rack of Lamb in Pomegranate – Mint Sauce
Servings: 6
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon peanut oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 cups Pom pomegranate juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup cherry preserves
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon five spice powder
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped (reserving a little for garnish)
1/4 cup pomegranate arils to garnish (optional)

For the lamb:

1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 racks of lamb

1). Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
2). Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium –low heat. Add garlic and ginger, and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add Pom juice and cinnamon stick, increase heat to medium, and bring to boil. Continue to boil for 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by half.

3). While sauce is reducing, mix salt, cinnamon, and pepper together in a small bowl. Smear racks of lamb with olive oil, then season with cinnamon salt mixture on all sides. Place racks of lamb meat side down (fat side up) in a roasting pan, and roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 125 degrees (for medium rare) when placed in the thickest part of the meat. Let meat rest for 5 minutes before cutting.

3). Once sauce is reduced, discard the cinnamon stick. Lower heat to medium-low heat; add preserves, brown sugar, and five spice powder, stirring until preserves are dissolved.

4). Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl until all lumps are gone. Add to the sauce, stirring constantly until thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in most of the chopped mint.

5). Slice the lamb and serve with sauce poured over, sprinkle with remaining mint and pomegranate arils to garnish.

Serving Suggestions: I love this with my new Cinnamon Scented Brown Rice Medley Pilaf (promise to share that recipe with you next time), and any green vegetable of your choice.

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