I feel a bit like I went out for milk and never came back, and now I’m back and everyone’s like “You didn’t even get milk!” I’ll be real–I just took off. I let 7 days become 10 days become 3 weeks and if anyone has stuck around long enough to still be here reading these words, Hi. I’m back. Thanks reading the same posts over and over. And yeah, I forgot the milk. So typical, I know. Sorry again.
I always forget how crazy summer is. It’s full of early mornings, exhausted nights, and dinners that consist of, like, a single tomato. There’s grad school, and teaching, and trying my very hardest not to completely lose it when yet another kid says, “I don’t want to be here,” because they always, always, miss you after it’s done. And isn’t that what matters? I say, yes. But what am I telling you this for? I’m sure you’re just as busy as me.
So I come to you not with excuses, except the ones above, but with some…thoughts, if you will. I won’t call them changes just yet, because I’d love your input. I’m thinking of shaking this little blog up a bit, making it more conducive to my new lifestyle, which started today when I turned in my office keys and talked myself out of crying like a baby at the office door I had just purposely locked myself out of. I’m thinking of making it more about all the things I love, including but not limited to cooking.
Would you be into that? Would you be interested in seeing more about where I go, what I do, and what I eat when I’m there? Did you like that short-lived column about my Internet inspiration? Would you like to see more about where I live and my slightly bigger, but still tiny, new apartment? About how I live in general? Or do you just want recipes? It’s cool if you do, because I like giving them to you. But if you’re interested in more, let me know! I’m game if you are.
I really like you guys, and I’m constantly surprised that this isn’t just some elaborate way for me to talk to my mom every now and then. (Hi, mom!) I appreciate that you don’t have to read my words, and that you do anyway, and for that I think you’re the greatest.
Also, do you know about paella? It’s a revelation. It’s ridiculously delicious, easy, colorful, easy, and reminds me of risotto but, you know, easier.
If you’re looking for a super flavorful, super easy, super delicious meal, here it is. And talk about color! Turmeric is not kidding around with that color. Ask my counter tops.
This one-pot meal is all hearty and no guilt. Call it dinner, heat it up for lunch the next day, take it to a friends house for some unexpected comfort. It makes a ton, so you’ll have plenty to share.
And should you get some of those little burnt bits on the bottom… oh yum. If you’re not into it, save it for me. I’ll take it!
Make this paella. It’s easy, colorful, and really good for you. And let me know what you think about this here site. Do you want to know more? Or would you just like me to stick to regular programming on a more regular basis? You can comment, email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (@hatstworecipes), or Pinterest me. Pinterest me? I’m not even sure how that would work. Also, I’m clearly way too connected. Maybe that’s why I get distracted so easily…
Right. Make paella! And I’ll be talking to you very soon, I promise. Thanks for sticking around!
Here’s the recipe:
Vegetable Paella (Loosely adapted from ACoupleCooks.com)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- About 2 cups sliced mushrooms (I used baby bella, but you can use whatever you like)
- 1 eggplant, cubed or sliced and cut into quarters
- 1 16-ounce can white cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup Arborio rice, or other short grain rice
- 1 tablespoon paprika (smoked, preferably!)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes and their juices
- 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- Chopped parsley for serving
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy, cast iron skillet or other large skillet over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes more. Add eggplant and cook for 2 minutes more. Add drained cannelloni beans and stir.
- Add paprika, turmeric, salt, pepper, and rice and stir to combine. Toast rice until just translucent, then add diced tomatoes and stock. Make sure the liquid completely covers the rice without overflowing. Reduce heat to a simmer and walk away for at least 40 minutes, possibly more. You want all the liquid to be absorbed into the rice and vegetables.
- Remove from the heat and let sit for a couple of minutes more, ensuring all the liquid is absorbed. Chop some parsley and serve in bowls with parsley on top. You made paella. You totally made paella.
*You could sub really any vegetables you want. The recipe I saw used artichoke hearts artfully arranged on top, or you could do summer squash, peppers, greens–really the possibilities are endless. Just stick to the rice-to-liquid ratio and you should be good!