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3021  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: A Versatile Paella on: February 21, 2012 05:41:53 PM
You guys are good for my soul, thank you!
3022  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: 50 Projects 2012--Join here and post your lists ! on: February 21, 2012 03:23:03 PM
Here's something I made for a swap that also meets my #17. Hand build a piece

It's a trinket box for Samsara

3023  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Pottery, Ceramics, etc: Completed Projects / Trinket Box on: February 21, 2012 03:16:57 PM
I made a trinket box for Samsara in the most recent Winter Hippy swap.  One of the themes she mentioned she likes are lotus blossoms, so I went with that.  The reddish brown is done with iron oxide with no overglaze.  The blue glaze is called Floating Blue.  I like the contrast.

3024  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Winter Hippy Swap Gallery on: February 21, 2012 02:53:18 PM
You're welcome, Samsara!  It's fun to outfit a tribal dancer!   Grin
3025  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: A Versatile Paella on: February 21, 2012 11:27:28 AM
I don't have a paella pan either.  This really is a low stress version.   Smiley
3026  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Re: 50 Projects 2012--Join here and post your lists ! on: February 21, 2012 10:15:51 AM
Mio that's really awesome!  I love how that came out. 

I just posted a cooking tutorial for paella - http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=404332.0

3027  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / A Versatile Paella on: February 21, 2012 10:09:26 AM
Paella is one dish my entire family loves and it's awesome enough to serve on a special occasion.  Unlike traditional paella, this version is assembled at the end rather than cooked all together.  That means you can, for instance, set aside a portion without shrimp if someone is allergic, or without sausage if someone doesn't eat pork.  I also love it because I can cook the ingredients ahead then just make the rice and assemble it right before dinner.  I love an impressive, low stress meal!

The first thing I make is lemon garlic mixture that will flavor the rice when it's done.  In my mini chopper, I whirl together:
The zest of a lemon
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
12 garlic cloves
salt & pepper
This goes into tupperware and waits in the fridge for assembly.

This is a fresh chorizo and a fresh andouille sausage removed from their casings, crumbled and browned.  

Smoked andouille sausage links sliced and browned.

Red and yellow peppers sliced, seeded, splashed with red wine vinegar and olive oil then roasted for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Once they're cool enough to handle, I peel the skin off.

Sea scallops patted dry and sauteed in a little olive oil just 2 minutes per side.  They were really expensive this week so I cut them in half.

Shrimp peeled, deveined and sauteed in a little olive oil.  I'm always careful not to overcook shrimp.  They just take a minute or two per side.

So... everything above this point can be done ahead of time.  I just gently reheat each component in the microwave right before I stir everything into the rice and lay the chicken thighs on top for serving.  To do the chicken thighs, brown both sides in a little olive oil and butter.  Put them skin side up on a baking pan, season with salt and pepper then put them in the oven at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on how big they are.  They come out crispy and delicious.  

Here's what goes into the rice:
3 cups of long grain rice sauteed in a little butter
6 cups of chicken stock
A pinch of saffron
salt and pepper to taste
Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes, toss 1 cup of frozen peas in during the last 3 minutes of cooking

You can also add steamed clams, mussels, lobster, whatever your heart desires and your pocketbook can handle.  Wink  Enjoy!

3028  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: 100 Facts About Me Swap Rd 3 (Sign-ups CLOSED, Send-outs 3/2/12) on: February 21, 2012 09:07:52 AM
Ooh, feel better, Miss Barbara!
3029  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Butter Making on: February 21, 2012 09:06:26 AM
I make butter for special occasions.  I've never had enough extra to feeze but can't imagine it would be an issue.  I freeze store bought butter all the time.  It's a wonderful consistency for adding extras.  Good luck!
3030  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Discussion and Questions / Re: Garden 2012 on: February 21, 2012 04:57:34 AM
I've been starting seeds every two weeks already.  I'll need to pot up tomatoes this week, then need to find a place to put them.  All of the seeds we ordered are here.  We're going to try a few new kinds of pumpkins this year.  With this crazy weather, I want to go plant stuff already!
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