I love paella. I’ve had several different versions, and each was as tasty as the last. However, I’ve always been too intimidated to try making it. It’s a controversial dish, for sure, with everyone seeming to have his or her own “authentic” recipe. But more than that, I’m not the greatest cook, and there is a lot that goes into any paella recipe. For me, that reads as “there are a lot of opportunities to screw up.” I don’t know if I suddenly had a burst of self-confidence or just too much coffee, but I decided to make paella for our NHN family dinner this month. I’m happy — nay, ecstatic — to say that it was not only edible but pretty darn good. We had rice pudding for dessert — yum. And a dance party topped off the fabulous evening.
Summer is on it’s way! It seems like much too early to say that, but this past weekend boasted temperatures of 60 degrees and that trend is holding strong for the upcoming week. I’ve tried not to get too excited. There is certainly plenty of time for another cold spell or two, but I just can’t help it. The clouds have let the sun through, and it feels amazing! I want to plant the garden, shop for summer clothes, and spend all waking hours outside. I also want fresh summer meals full of flavor. (more…)
As I mentioned earlier this week, Valentine’s Day is a wonderful holiday. What better time than this holiday to let those you care about know that you do. And what better way to let those close to you know you care than to bring them a chocolate treat. Okay, I may be specifically targeting the exact way I would want to be shown affection, but still, who is going to turn away chocolate? Chocolate hearts, chocolate balls, solid chocolate, salted chocolate, there are just so many different ways to make a girl feel valued. (more…)
There is one place on Earth that rivals Disney World for me. It can’t match the magic of the Magic Kingdom, but it brings joy to a grown-up’s heart, is filled with the scent of delectable Swedish cooking, and when you are able to show restraint, it’s less expensive than Disney. Have you guessed it yet? Yes, I can only be talking about one place: Ikea. The mecca of affordable furnishings and masters of maximizing small spaces. Who doesn’t enjoy perusing Pinterest-worthy room setups while wiping the remnants of a sticky cinnamon bun from your hand? It’s pure joy. (more…)
Because the girls aren’t big fans of traditional dinners, I decided to have a finger-food Christmas dinner this past year. For the first time, I think all five of us were full after. There were enough items to choose from that each of us found a favorite or two and was satisfied. I consider that a huge success! In the line-up, we had: bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, deviled eggs, spinach artichoke bites, cranberry and brie crostini, cocktail wieners, and apple pie. Oh yeah, I won that one! (more…)