Category Archives: Well Stocked Pantry

saffron

The ingredients of Spain: Paprika and Saffron

saffron

Photo from Sandy Cadiz-Smith; post

Half my family is from Spain, so I grew up with many wonderful Spanish dishes, my favorite being Paella. One of the key ingredients of Paella is saffron, so when I read this article, I knew I had to share it with you.

All paellas have as a base saffron rice, usually cooked with a sofrito made from tomatoes. Traditionally, paellas have seafood, but which kinds of meat — sausage, poultry, beef, seafood — depends on the region. I like making mine with Spanish chorizo, chicken and shrimp, with artichoke hearts. The next time I make one, I’ll share it on this blog!


I love Spain! It could be partly because it’s in my blood with my ancestors originating from the fishing port of Cadiz. And also because I love their attitude to life, family values, beaches, scenery and ever-blue and sunny weather. Then there’s…

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noodles

Celebrate the Noodle

noodles

Photo by qoo monster (Flickr)
[CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that March is National Noodle Month? If not, don’t worry — neither do many other people when asked. Why does the noodle have its own honored month? Well, pasta is one of the top foods in the United States. Heck, Mac ‘n’ Cheese is practically a national dish!

Pasta History

The very first commercial pasta plant within the U.S. was founded in 1948 in Brooklyn, New York. Many more plants were build over the next few years that the manufacturers and retailers decided create the National Pasta Association. This way they could pool their resources and help each other with issues in marketing and manufacturing. The NPA was founded in 1981.

But noodles got their start much, much earlier than that. In the 4th century B.C., pasta was eaten by the Chinese and was even mentioned in Greek Mythology. There are two notable figures who have been credited with the introduction of pasta. Marco Polo, who brought noodles from Asia to the Western world, and Thomas Jefferson, who brought the first “maccaroni” maker to America n 1789 and later invented a pasta machine of his own.
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ginger

Healthy Cooking With Ginger

ginger

P.R. via freeimages.com

I love ginger, both fresh and dried. It add a robust, but sometimes subtle flavor to a wide variety of recipes, from cookies to sauces. While ginger delivers a satisfying spice to cooking, it is also often used in traditional means of medicine.

When purchasing young ginger at the local grocery store, you will encounter a fragrant, fleshy, juicy, pungent root that supplies a mild taste packed with spice. Mature ginger possesses a great deal of fiber and is dry, which creates a spicier taste than younger samples. Today, an increasing amount of cooks are using ginger to enhance the nutritional value of their dishes.
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