Kat’s Kentucky Paella {Recipe Revealed!!}

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Edit: Recipe loosley inspired by this one.
Paella=pah-EH-yah.
The double L is pronounced like the Y in ‘yet’.
Paella is a Spanish dish with the main players being rice, saffron and different types of meats. Typically a mix of seafoods, chorizo, or chicken.
To me, it is a Spanish version of jambalaya. Don’t tell either ethnic group I said that, it was not meant to be a slight on anyone’s cooking.

I wanted to make something special for our 2nd wedding anniversary. For my version of paella, I cut some corners that helped me save time in cooking, but definitely did not show in the final product.

I used pre-spiced box rice mixes rather than plain white rice. And I used paprika in place of saffron. Initially, I wanted get fancy and use real saffron, but there were no grocery store options under $18. Maybe next time, Mom mentioned she had some saffron in the back of her spice cabinet somewhere.

Kat’s Kentucky Paella

• Two 12 oz. boxes of jambalaya rice mix (Tony’s or Zatatan’s)
• Water and oil/butter as called for on box

• 2 large chicken breasts
• 8 oz Smoked sausage, kielbasa or chorizo. (I used half a link of smoked sausage)
• Salt, paprika, and poultry seasoning to taste

•Olive oil for pan
• 1 Sweet onion, chopped
• 4 large garlic cloves, minced
• Paprika, salt and pepper to taste
• One 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

• 12 oz fully cooked/cleaned small salad shrimp
• Olive oil
• Paprika
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Step One
-Follow directions on jambalaya rice boxes.
-At the end of the cook time, do not worry about complete tenderness or all water being cooked away.
-Allow rice to rest.

Step Two
-Sprinkle chicken breasts with poultry seasoning, salt and paprika.
-Grill chicken and smoked sausage. Note: You could also bake or pan fry these meats, whatever you prefer. Basically, get it cooked up!
-Once fully cooked, chop up meat into preferred (bite sized) pieces and mix into cooked rice pot.

Step Three
-Toss spices, minced garlic and chopped onions into a large wok or skillet with olive oil and cook until transluscent.
-Add undrained can of diced tomatoes and cook for about five minutes.
-Dump skillet contents into pot with cooked rice and combine well.

Step Four
-Dump shrimp into skillet.
-Cook for about five minutes.
-Mix shrimp into rice pot reserving 1/3 or 1/4 of the shrimp for a topping.

Step Five
-Dump rice, veggies and meat into casserole dish.
-Top with reserved shrimp
-Cover and bake at 400°F for 30 minutes.

Happy Cooking!
~Kat
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State Fair 2013 Part One

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We went to the state fair for Kit’s 45th birthday. The young man who tallied up our prices assumed we owed one adult, one senior and one parking fee.

Kit was tickled at first because we saved $9 on his ticket. Then the rest of the day he was worried that he looked over 55 (how old you had to be to get the discount).
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Check out this impressive ceramic piece we saw in the 4-H section of the fair! I love the design, colors and all. It was the only puffer fish we saw in the whole 4-H area.
I took some other photos of the embroidered crafts, but somehow the camera didn’t save them.
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Check our this fancy little show piece tractor. It doesn’t run, as I first hoped, but it is still super cute.
Notice Kit’s backpack, we filled it full of two kinds of cheese snacks, sandwiches, water and granola bars. This way we saved about $20 on fair foods that would leave us lethargic. We saved our coma inducing foods for after the fair.
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We hung around the ring in the wing alongside the cows to see Miller’s dogs working. We got to see six ducks herded under and over wire bridges by six excited border collies. Watching working dogs is fascinating and strange to me. Their owner also showed how they worked following word commands and whistles. They followed both styles of work commands seamlessly. I can’t wait for the next cattle dog on our farm. Geena was Kit’s favorite working dog and sadly, I never got to meet her.
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A few adorable Boer goats, snuggling the afternoon away. Most of them were gone, judging began at 9am eastern and by afternoon there were only a few stragglers.
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There were mountains of veggies in the produce room in addition to this lovely tomato collection I already shared.
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Check out these cucumbers! Despite what the sign says I believe these are pickling cucumbers not pickled. Can you believe how tiny they got those Mexican gerkins? Wild stuff.
Speaking of wild and weird. I don’t remember a “critters” division from last year:
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Top left clockwise:Wally the Walrus potato, this was easily my favorite and I just kept giggling at his little face. The next guy up didn’t have a cunning name that I recall, but it made a very cute whale. The baby tater tot was watching over the blue potato buffalo and the carrot bird at the state fair—they had an entire story to go along with it!
Lastly, the Duck Taters, I was thankful not to see another lame reference to the TV show that shall not be named. The duck bill had be giggling like a kid as well.
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The final impressive thing in the veggies room were the entries for the largest pumpkin contest. Please note, first and second place are both in this photo. First place is the large orange pumpkin weighing in at 1,034 lbs and 2nd place is the white/ghost pumpkin weighing in at 94 lbs. Holy smokes people!!
The thing to keep in mind about this behemoth is that the tiny looking pumpkin sitting at the feet of the blue ribbon winner would make pumpkin pies 1,000 times better than its competitor.
Alas, we weren’t judging flavor.

After looking at all this food we had to bust open the backpack for lunch. Then my phone died and I was forced to take photos on my actual camera.

Toastada con Tomate

While in Spain I ate a type of breakfast I never would have tried without a recommendation. So, let me begin by saying
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To my friend Yan that I met on trail.
Since having this breakfast I wanted to know everything there was to it and was pleased to find it was quite simple.
Toastada con tomate or tomatoes on toast is:

• Toasted bread
• Grated tomato
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste

That truly is it. Now, it may not sound like much but it is wonderful.
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I drizzled maybe a teaspoon of olive oil per piece of toast. Because it is oil you won’t need much. 

If you want a proper recipe check out A Painter of Modern Life’s blog recipe.
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Day 320: Sprouts!

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After only three days the little kale and cabbage have sprouted.
Look at the life erupting from the earth here!! It is an amazing amount of effort that goes into emerging from the dirt…at least in my opinion.

They have started stretching to one side. Yearning for as much sunlight as possible. Of course I want to move the seed tray every time I see them leaning, but I must hold back.

No word from the tomatoes yet, but I will be patient. They are fairly fast to sprout.
This part of gardening always makes me want to grab an old battered umbrella and make the plants grow higher. I want my plants to grow just like they do for Totoro (forest spirit) and the little girls in the cartoon. Wonderment

Good green post for St. Patrick’s Day!
I hope you are wearing or growing your green today.
Take care—Kat

Day 245: Baked Awesome

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This is the lovely before picture of my taters, onions, corn and maters bake. In the center was a small pork roast that (surprisingly) came with a pop up timer. I was totally prepared with my meat thermometer but instead I put my faith in the little green button.

This bake was pretty difficult to gauge because potatoes suck up any amount of seasoning you throw on them and the tomatoes and corn were canned which means they were pretty darn bland too.

Maybe not my best experiment ever but I was ultimately pleased with the result. It tickled me how very similar my before and after pictures were. Please note the steam.

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