Monday, March 31, 2008

Recipe: Paella de Marisco

For me, cooking is a inexpensive way to take a culinary excursion to an exotic land and savor their delectable cuisine in the comfort of my own home and without the hassle and expense of travel. Yeah, I’m a cheap date. If you are game for an adventure, I dare you to try this famous dish from Spain, Paella.

According to Damian Corrigan, Spain travel advisor for http://www.about.com/, “Paella comes from the Latin 'patella' The Latin word 'patella' means 'pan' and it is from this word that the Valencian word 'paella', which also means 'pan', is derived.” Paella is traditionally a rice dish cooked by laborers in a low flat pan, much like a frying pan, over an open fire. From here, there are several variations and everyone has their favorite version. Every recipe calls for a different list of ingredients- like lobster, clams, chicken, pork, rabbit and even squid and snails. But every paella dish has saffron, the spice that gives it a distinct flavor and its yellow color.

¡No lo imagine, disfrĂștelo! (Don’t imagine it, enjoy it!)
The paella we are going to explore is Paella de Marisco, or seafood paella. The shrimp are cooked in this dish with the shell on, this seals in the flavor. Your guests will peel their shrimp as they get to them when they are enjoying your masterpiece, so have a few empty bowls on the table for the shrimp and mussel shells. If you really want to set the mood, eat our doors with a couple of tiki torches, a red table cloth and have Spanish guitars playing flamenco music in the background. Just get an mp3- don’t actually hire a band.


Paella de Marisco (Inspired by Emeril Lagasse’s Paella)
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
Serves: 6-8 people
Taste: Incredible

Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 lbs. chicken breasts, cut into small pieces salt & black pepper ½ lb. country ham chunks
1 medium/large chopped yellow onion1 chopped green bell pepper3/4 cup chopped celery (2-3 stalks)4-6 tablespoons minced garlic (your choice)3 cups uncooked white rice 1 1/2 cups chopped peeled tomatoes or 1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon hot sauce 9 bay leaves 3 tablespoons Creole seasoning 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads (very expensive seasoning, but worth it)6 cups chicken stock (OK to make with chicken bullion)1 lb raw shrimp in their shells
36 mussels (Wal-Mart frozen seafood section- they are already scrubbed and debearded)

Directions:
1-Cut up the chicken and chop onion, bell pepper, celery, tomato and garlic. These items get added 1 after another, so save time by having them all ready before you start.

2-Heat olive oil over high heat in a large deep saucepan. Olive oil smokes at high temperature, so make sure the chicken is ready when the oil gets hot. Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt & pepper, then add to hot oil carefully (cook 8-10 minutes). Cook chicken until brown on all sides, then add ham chunks (cook 3-4 minutes).

3-Add onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic and rice (cook 2-4 minutes).

4-Add tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, bay leaves, Creole seasoning and saffron. Cook 2 minutes.

5-Add chicken stock and stir. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 12 minutes.

6-Add shrimp and mussels on top of rice mixture. If rice mixture starts to look dry, it is OK to add another ½ cup water and stir. Cover and cook 4-6 minutes. Shrimp shells will turn pink when cooked and the shrimp meat will be white. The mussel shells will open when cooked. Throw away any mussels that do not open.

Scoop your paella into a big bowl and arrange the mussels on top in a circular pattern. Hey, it’s your paella, make any shape you want. I don’t actually eat mussels, but in my house, it’s not paella without them. Place the bowl in the center of the table and let your guest help themselves- ¡OlĂ©!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tortured Artist- Savannah Cudd

I don't know what happenned, but it must have been bad for Savannah's art to be so good.






This is a freaky self portrait by Savannah Cudd. Very trippy.

If you love this red flower like I do, check out my quickie store and get it on a tote!




Guess who's on the cover of College Mom Magazine? Me Me Me!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Vegas & Me



These are just a few pics of me in Vegas.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Egg Eyes



Happy Easter! JIC you didn't notice, I have eggs for eyes. By now- I think people are tired of hearings me say egg-cellent in by best Mr. Burns impression.
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Friday, March 21, 2008

Kodak is sooo easy







Kodak camera's are so easy-my 2 yr old can point and click. Granted- he began by holding the camera to his forehead before he realized there was an LCD screen to look at-but what can I say? He was barely 2 then.
Granted- he cuts my head off half the time- but if it wasn't for him- I'd never get to be IN the pic- since I am always the one taking the pics.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Mooned in Vegas

This was midnight in the garden of good & evil- strike that- it was Vegas- so the garden of evil. We were feasting on filet mignon in 40degree weather on the Vegas strip enjoying merlot and the Bellagio water display. Unless you have lived like a high roller- it is hard to explain. NEWays- a car zooms past honking full blast- the all the restausrant guest look up from their meal- and we are all simultaneuously mooned by some young punk with a hairy butt. This pic was taken minutes before.