I have always enjoyed coordinating food or even entire meals around a theme. If you read some of the past posts you will see that. I’ve done holiday themes, themes based on colors, and mathematical themes like Pi Day. Theme foods tend to work best when planned out, however sometimes they work out spur of the moment. That is what happened when I made this easy Paella for Paella Day.
I knew that it was Paella Day, but had made plans that took up the majority of the day. In fact it was an adventure upon adventure kind of day.
My mother has been on a search for shoes because her oldest grandson is getting married next month. The issue with my mother’s search for shoes is two-fold. Issue number one is an issue that has been with her a lifetime; tiny feet. My mother wears a shoe size that is smaller than the smallest average shoe easily found in stores. We have tried ordering, but still have issues with fit. The second issue is that although she wants a high-heeled shoe she doesn’t want an overly high heel. Those are the primary issues without going into styles of shoes in today’s world.
Our search has taken as all over most of Northeast Kansas to no avail. Parts of 3 days had already been spent looking for shoes. I am not at all opposed to spending days looking at shoes, so this is not a complaint on my part. It is merely observation and background. Late last week I had asked mother if she had thought about looking in Manhattan, Kansas.
A bit more quick background: yes, I live in Kansas. In fact I live in a small, rural community of about 1100 people about 20 miles west of the capital city of Kansas, Topeka. My town is about 45 minutes from the University of Kansas in Lawrence and K-State in Manhattan. It’s a great location because I don’t have to deal with big city issues but am only a few short minutes to decent shopping.
Now back to the shoe adventure. My mother agreed that it was worth a shot and knew that I had a secondary (my primary) reason for wanting to go. I had recently heard of a restaurant and bakery in Manhattan and really wanted to give it a try. So we set off for a bit of shopping and adventure.
After looking in five different stores we did have shoe success for my mother. The shoes were a good fit, great heel height, and stylistically good for a wedding or any other event she will need a heel for.
On our drive back from shoe shopping and our wonderful food adventure I stopped at a grocery store that sometimes has some food finds that are a step above most of the area grocers. Knowing it was Paella Day I was looking for shrimp. It is really hard to find good seafood in the area and mussels would be out of the question.
Not only did I find shrimp, but I also found a package of Saffron rice. It was a big win.
When I got home I put together my easy Paella. This was again one of those dishes that I was unsure if the family would like enjoy or even try. I was wrong. The Hubs loved it. Daughter Number Four really liked it. Daughter 3 was okay with it. The Hubs and I each had seconds or thirds.
What a great day for adventure. From finding the right shoes to finding the right ingredients for my easy Paella it was a success.
I will also be sharing the success of our adventure within the adventure, so check back soon to read about that!
- 1 bag Vigo Saffron Yellow Rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 pound Shrimp; thawed (deveined, peeled)
- 1 small bag frozen peas
- I can petite diced tomatoes
- Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside.
- When rice is done, in a large skillet over medium heat add olive oil and garlic. Cook garlic 1-2 minutes.
- Add shrimp to skillet and toss gently. Add frozen peas and stir.
- Spoon cooked rice into skillet with peas and shrimp. Do not stir for 1 minute, allowing hot rice to cook shrimp and peas.
- Add in tomatoes, with juice. Lightly toss altogether. Heat through, ensuring that shrimp are fully cooked. Do not overcook, as shrimp will be tough.
Serve immediately with crusty bread.