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Showing posts from July, 2017

Arròs Negre {Black Paella} with Allioli a la Catalana

After my paella dinner this weekend -  Juan's Paella + Carigane Rosé -  I still had leftover ingredients. I had initially planned to make two pans of paella, but both pans did not fit on the stovetop at the same time. So, I decided to do an encore dinner with a slight change: I used cuttlefish ink for a black version. Please note that this is not wholly traditional; I didn't use any squid, for example. But it was so delicious that I wanted to share what I made! Allioli a la Catalana Allioli, akin to the French Aioli, is an incredibly versatile sauce or emulsion that's ubiquitous across Spain. It's eaten with fish, meat, and vegetables and is traditionally made with a mortar and pestle. My version is made in the food processor, but it's still as rich and creamy. Ingredients for Allioli a la Catalana 3 or 4 whole cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed generous pinch of salt 1 egg yolk, at room temperature 1/2 organic lemon, juiced 1 C olive oil

Juan's Paella + Carigane Rosé

Earlier this year I had a friend from Spain teach me how to make paella. Real paella. And, since then, I've made peace with my paella pan - it was previously collecting dust in the garage - and whipped up some really tasty dinners. Tonight, I had some friends over. I made paella, they took care of the salad, wine, kids' drinks, and dessert. Quite a deal for me!  Ingredients serves 8 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 1/2 pound fresh shrimp, peeled (peels and heads reserved) 8 T olive oil (Juan told me 1 T per serving) 1 organic onion 3 to 4  whole cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed 1 bell pepper (I used a yellow bell pepper) 3 ripe, organic tomatoes, chopped 2 C Spanish paella rice 1 generous pinch saffon 1 Carmencita Paella Spice Mix sachet+  5 to 6 C fish stock, warmed +Juan used this and they brought some back from Spain for me, so I use it. But, in a pinch, you can add a blend of paprika, pepper, and clove to the pot. These packets also include

Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Balsamic Blueberries #NationalBlueberryMonth

Today we're celebrating National Blueberry Month. Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm  asked us to join her in posting a new blueberry recipe and celebrating these lovelies. Done. A few years ago, the boys and I went to High Ground Organics ' Harkins Slough Farm to pick blueberries. We didn't make it back there this year, but we still talk about that experience. Bushels of Blueberry Goodness Blueberry Baked French Toast by Palatable Pastime Blueberry Sour Cream Crumb Cake by A Day in the Life on the Farm Frozen Blueberry Pops by The Redhead Baker Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Balsamic Blueberries by Culinary Adventures with Camilla Kentucky Cobbler Cocktail by Bear & Bug Eats Lemon Berry Dump Cake by Jolene's Recipe Journal Roasted Blueberry Gin & Tonic by Amy's Cooking Adventures Goat Cheese Panna Cotta  with Balsamic Blueberries I find myself making panna cotta frequently. Probably because it's flexible. I

Tasting Notes: Le Mistral

There are several things I consider musts on camping trips: my stovetop espresso maker, my little butane burner, a corkscrew, good wine, and a hammock. What I don't bring: wineglasses. Sorry. You'll just have to deal with my stainless vessels. Well, this was our first year with a hammock and I cannot imagine why I've never brought one before! I'll never leave home without one now. I brought along a bottle of Joseph's Blend Le Mistral. I uncorked it with a plate of polenta and fresh corn topped with an egg simmered in tomato sauce. Delicious camping dinner! The name, Le Mistral, comes from the name for the winds of the Rhône Valley in France. Similar winds here cool the vineyards, producing grapes similar to the Syrahs and Grenaches of the Rhône. This wine was beautifully complex. With a lively palate, I got bright evergreen notes softened with smoky, sensuous vanilla. It finishes with smooth cocoa notes. I can imagine this with a grilled stea

The Trinity, a S'mores Variation

There are certain thing we always have when we're camping. S'mores are one of those. A few years ago, I even served S'mores for Breakfast .  This year, on the last day of the trip, we had to use all the firewood...and eat all the s'mores ingredients. "Mom, we have to make all the s'mores. You never let us have s'mores at home." True. The boys decided to try a variation that their friend Trinity had made during one of our Halloween camping trips: marshmallows (roasted or not), dipped in melted chocolate, and rolled in crushed graham crackers. So, they called it 'The Trinity' - named for their friend...and because it's the holy trinity of camping foods. Here's the original! Her dad sent this to me! photo courtesy Paxton M. My boys fashioned a double boiler and melted the chocolate! This isn't so much a precise recipe as a process. Ingredients marshmallows chocolate, broken into chunks g

Tasting Notes: Kobza Rosé

When I was looking for a good Rosé to take camping, I stumbled across Mourtaou Cienega Valley Rosé Blend 2015 by Kobza Wines , at Whole Foods, and picked up a few bottles for the trip. Yum! No wine pairing, just the wine, a book, and a great view of Lake Tahoe. Cheers. I spoke to Ryan Kobza years ago. Then, he wasn't making his own wines. So, I was doubly excited to give these a try. Ryan has a thing for ancient vines, as in more than a century old. Additionally, this wine is made from an obscure French grape called "Mourtaou." Old and obscure...that's my kinda wine. My first rule for a Rosé is that it must be charming, but charming in the je ne sais quoi  way - the sly, sideways glance kinda charming - not the Disney Prince kinda charming. This one hits charming out the park. It has an impressive earthiness with a subtle acidity. The notes of tart grapefruit and honeyed peach shockingly do not compete; instead they meld seamlessly for a comple

Chimichurri Pinto Beans & Roots Soft Tacos #MyBestwithBushBeans #sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bush's Best Beans in conjunction with  The Women Bloggers, LLC .  Compensation for this post was provided and this page may contain affiliate links. When I was in college, beans and rice were a pantry staple. Together they were a complete protein. But, most importantly for a student budget, they were affordable, filling, and tasty. When my eldest son was a toddler, he would often turn his little nose away from something he had devoured the day before; but I could always count on him to eat rice and beans. To this day, when he sees a dish with beans in them, he does a happy dance and always asks for seconds...and sometimes thirds. So, when the opportunity arose for me to create a recipe using Bush's Best Beans , I was excited. Not only are beans a family favorite, I love that they are high in fiber and protein. And with all the varieties of beans, they are incredibly versatile.  While I often cook dry be