Vintners Resort, a Tranquil Escape in Sonoma

Recently, my husband and I took a vacation to wine country and stayed at the Vintners Resort, nestled in the heart of Sonoma wine country. It provides a full-service resort that includes fine dining and wellness experiences. The room was spacious and offered the finest accommodations, with a stunning view of the vineyards.

Vintners Resort

Vintners Resort


For breakfast, we ate at the rustic River Vine restaurant inside the resort, which is currently serving breakfast to hotel guests only. Every dish was fresh, delicious, and beautifully presented.

Breakfast at the River Vine restaurant

Breakfast at the River Vine restaurant


River Vine restaurant

River Vine restaurant


John Ash & Co. is an upscale restaurant located on the premises and offers 5-star service and emphasizes seasonal cooking. It is the first restaurant in Sonoma County to follow the farm-to-table philosophy of cooking with seasonal, local ingredients.

My husband and I enjoyed some fresh oysters paired with a local sparkling wine as an aperitif. The ambiance was serene and romantic, and Christopher, the manager, was gracious and hospitable. The waitstaff was very attentive and courteous. For dinner, we relished on some gourmet-style short ribs over polenta, and pan seared scallops and prawns. This delectable meal would not be complete without a scrumptiously decadent trio of ice cream.

Fresh oysters paired with a 2015 Russian River Valley Brut Rose Fresh Hog Island oysters and 2015 Russian River Valley Brut Rose Vintners Resort


Pan Seared Diver Scallops & Gulf Prawns, paired with a local Brut 2015 Sparkling Rose

Pan Seared Diver Scallops & Gulf Prawns, paired with a local Brut 2015 Sparkling Rose



Braised boneless prime rib short ribs braciole over Front Porch Farms red floriani polenta Braised boneless prime rib short ribs braciole over Front Porch Farms red floriani polenta


Ice Cream trio: Mexican hot cocoa, lemon bar, and peach with orange hazelnut biscotti Ice Cream trio: Mexican hot cocoa, lemon bar, and peach with orange hazelnut biscotti


The bar area is quaint with a cozy feel.

Relaxing at the quaint bar

Relaxing at the quaint bar


Mr. is enjoying the outdoor pool Mr. is enjoying the outdoor pool


Beautiful landscape Beautiful landscape


Posing with the grapes Posing with the grapes


Enjoying one of the stunning fountains Enjoying one of the stunning fountains


Pool area near the spa

Pool area near the spa


Vintners Resort's lobby

Vintners Resort’s lobby


A glorious day at Vintners Resort

A glorious day at Vintners Resort


Beautiful flowers

Beautiful flowers


The landscape is lush and meticulously maintained, and the property is surrounded by verdant vineyards offering a spectacular backdrop for wedding photography. We had fun walking through the vineyards and captured some outstanding photos. The resort has an outdoor pool and a new spa. “Vi La Vita spa” is a state-of-the-art facility designed for relaxation and pure joie de vivre! It was a fantastic way to decompress and enjoy La Dolce Far Niente (the sweetness of doing nothing).

The check-in process was contactless, and travelers should feel safe staying at this resort. The management took the highest level of precautions to ensure our safety.

The weather was glorious, and we enjoyed strolling through the property while admiring the beauty of nature. We would stay there again!

Vintners Resort

Vintners Resort


Visit Sonoma and stay at the charming Vintners Resort! You will thank me for this recommendation.

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures
Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
Level-2 Certified Sommelier
Winner of 2019 Italian Wines “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award, held in Puglia, Italy
Brand Strategist

Penne alla Vodka with Crabmeat & Rosé Champagne

Penne alla Vodka with Crabmeat

Penne alla Vodka with Crabmeat

On New Year’s Day, I made Penne alla Vodka and added lump crab meat  to the sauce to give it a touch of elegance. This recipe is delicious but, because of its richness, it’s not part of my recipe rotation. Please click on the link below to follow the recipe. Simply add 1/2 – 3/4 lump crabmeat to the sauce, toward the last 10 minutes of cooking time.

Gina’s Penne Alla Vodka | Foodie and Wine Lover (

I paired this fancy dish with Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Réserve Exclusive Rosé. It comprises of 45% Pinot Noir, 45% Pinot Meunier, and 10% Chardonnay. This pairing soothes my soul and sings the song to my heart.  Every sip I take, my heart twerks a little faster.

This Rosé Champagne is lively and refreshing, and will delight your taste buds. The color is deep orange with aromas of cherries and nuances of mixed red berries and grapefruit. The palate follows the nose with hints of almonds and effervescent ginger ale. This rich-style Champagne is full-bodied and has a creamy texture, with lots of tiny bubbles. The finish is irresistibly enjoyable, and marries harmoniously with the creaminess of the dish .

May your glass always be full of tiny bubbles!

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures
Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
Level-2 Certified Sommelier
Winner of 2019 “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award
Brand Strategist


Fancy Shrimp & Grits paired with Champagne

Shrimp & Grits paired with Champagne

Fancy Shrimp & Grits paired with Champagne


On New Year’s Eve, I made my version of Shrimp & Grits. I am not claiming it to be an authentic Creole recipe, but it’s my version. This dish is simple without all the fuss and can be done in 15 minutes. I paired it with Egly-Ouriet Brut Grand Cru Champagne, and it was a winning combination. With all the excitement that evening, I did not measure all the ingredients. Please use your judgement as these are approximate measurements. I used Prosciutto instead of bacon to elevate the flavors and give the dish a festive touch. The recipe that I am sharing today is for about 6-8 people, and I baked the shrimp in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. You can divide the recipe in 2 to feed fewer people, and pan fry them on the stovetop in a single layer.

Serves: 6-8  Level of difficulty: Easy


1.1/2 cups grits
butter to taste, optional
2 lbs. large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
paprika to taste
1 cup of dry white wine
extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 lb. chopped Prosciutto, pan fried
scallions, chopped for garnish


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degree F.

2. In a medium-sized stainless-steel tray, season the shrimp with salt, pepper and paprika until they are all coated. Arrange in a single layer. Add the wine. Drizzle liberally with olive oil. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the shrimp are no longer translucent.

3. In the meantime, cook grits as per package directions. Add butter for richness.

4. Place the grits in individual bowls, add the shrimp, drizzle some sauce on top, garnish with Prosciutto bits and scallions.

Wine pairing suggestions: Sparkling wines or Champagne

Egly-Ouriet Brut Grand Cru Champagne


It was my first time tasting the Egly-Ouriet Brut Grand Cru and I was extremely pleased with it. The Champagne and the shrimp paired dazzlingly together. Had I used some spicy ingredients like Cayenne or chili peppers, I would have recommended a Demi-Sec (with some sweetness) Champagne to offset the heat in the dish.

Egly-Ouriet is one of the most remarkable Grower Champagne at Ambonnay in the Montagne (mountains) de Reims. Their Brut Grand Cru Champagne consists of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay and is very expressive of the terroir. The color is golden straw, showcasing aromas and flavors of freshly baked bread, toasted almond, pears, ginger, savory spices, that are woven throughout, giving the Champagne a touch of elegance with lively acidity. It was a delicious gastronomic experience!

Happy New Year 2021!

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures
Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
Level-2 Certified Sommelier
Winner of 2019 “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award
Brand Strategist

Exclusive photos by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas
All rights reserved.

Curry Shrimp with Rice, Don’t Forget the Riesling!

A couple of times a week, I cook for a small crowd, and I generally use a one-pot meal because it makes life so much easier. Today, I am making Curry Shrimp with Rice. Grab your apron and follow me in Gina’s Kitchen. This recipe is a Covid-19 edition, using some frozen ingredients and what’s available at the time. I think, all in all, it’s healthy and somewhat affordable. 

Curry Shrimp with Rice

Curry Shrimp with Rice

erves: 6-8   –  Level of difficulty: Easy to intermediate


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 pinches of garlic powder
  • 2 cups Jasmine rice
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup mixed frozen veggies: carrots, green beans,
    corn, peas and lima beans, thawed
  • 3. 3/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds small frozen shrimp, already peeled and deveined,
    remove the tails, thawed.


    1. In a large heavy-bottom pan (with a tight lid) over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Sauté onions for 1-2 minutes, add curry powder, garlic powder, stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add the rice. Stir a couple of times.
    2. Add the veggies, water, salt, pepper. Stir well. Arrange the shrimp on top. Bring to a boil. Lower the flame to the lowest setting. Cover tightly and simmer for about 20-25 minutes.

    There may be some rice stuck on the bottom of the pan. It’s perfectly fine and adds crunchiness to the dish. Serve it in the pot. The idea is to make cleaning easier.

    Curry Shrimp with Rice paired with Riesling

    Curry Shrimp with Rice Paired with Riesling

    Wine pairing suggestion
    :  An off-dry Riesling or any dry white wine of your choice.

    This curried shrimp dish is begging for a refreshing wine to pair with it. I choose an aromatic and delicious German Riesling from the Mosel region. Rieslings are food-friendly and pair very well with curry, seafood, spicy, and Thai dishes.

    The mineral character in this wine exhibits a great depth of flavor and is a perfect complement to this meal. This Riesling is off-dry and showing a touch of sweetness with crisp acidity; it intertwines perfectly with the intoxicating flavors of the curry.

    I hope you will try this delectable and easy dish and share your experience with me.

    Happy cooking and happy sipping!

    Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
    Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
    Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures
    Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
    Level-2 Certified Sommelier
    Winner of 2019 “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award
    Exclusive photos by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas
    All rights reserved.

Gina’s Succulent Crab Cakes

It’s the holiday season and I want to jazz things up with some festive crab cakes and Champagne. Every once in a while I make crab cakes, and I always strive to come up with the best possible recipe. I think, I finally succeeded tonight. Generally, Blue Crabs from Maryland are used and they are famous for their crab cakes. My family gave my Maryland-style crab cakes rave reviews, and I am happy to share my version with all of you. It makes a dazzling meal but it will break the bank! I’m not gonna lie, just make up for it in January!

Servings: 6 – 8 Degree of difficulty: Medium. Yield about 12 regular-sized crab cakes or 14 smaller ones. This recipe can be divided in half to serve about 3-4 people.

1/2 red bell peppers, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 celery stalks, chopped
Salt to taste (go easy)
1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter for frying veggies, plus more olive oil to pan fry crab cakes
2 lbs. ( 2) 16-ounce containers jumbo lump crabmeat
2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. stoneground mustard
2 tsp. Creole seasoning
Sprinkle of garlic powder
4 eggs
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Freshly ground pepper

Crab Cakes and Champagne

Crab Cakes and Champagne


Crab Cakes and Champagne

Crab Cakes and Champagne

Bread and goat cheese

Bread and goat cheese

Beets and goat salad

Beets and goat salad



1) Over med-high heat, in a medium-sized pan, heat up olive oil and butter, add celery, onion and bell pepper, salt to taste. Sweat for about 3-4 minutes al dente to give it a crunch. Let it cool.

2) In a large bowl, combine crab meat and all the remaining ingredients. Add the veggies, and mix well with your hands (using gloves). Form crab cake patties, just like you would make a hamburger, place on a tray and chill in the fridge for at least 20-30 minutes.

3) Heat up enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large pan, on medium-high heat, (make sure the oil is hot) place at the most, 4 patties, AND LOWER HEAT TO MEDIUM, otherwise, crab cakes will come out too dark. Cook on one side for 4 minutes, then flip gently with a spatula, cook the other side for about 2 minutes. Remove promptly and place on a dish lined with a paper towel. Repeat the same process. Add more oil if necessary. You can broil them for a healthier version.

I served them with a rémoulade sauce comprising of 2 tbsp. ketchup, 1 tbsp. mayo, 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard, creole seasoning to taste. Mix well.

It would not be complete without a dazzling beet salad with goat cheese, drizzled with balsamic vinegar from Modena, along with crusty French bread. My family had fun smearing the cheese all over the bread for a fun experience. I hope, you will give this recipe a try, and I am certain your family will love you for it.

Wine suggestion: I paired it with a citrusy and toasty Champagne.

Pommery is a great Champagne House. The Brut Royal is made with the 3 main grapes, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, with refreshing notes of lemons and toasted bread. This Champagne is not dry nor complex and is very enjoyable. It’s lively with a touch of finesse. For $34.00 dollars, it has a great QPR (quality price ratio) and is perfect to add holiday cheers.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, &
Bon Appetit from Gina’s Kitchen!

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
Culinary Personality, Food & Wine Blogger
Author of the cookbook: Cuisines, Corkscrews & Cultures
Level-2 Certified world-renowned – “WSET: Wine, Spirit, Education, Trust”
Level-2 Certified Sommelier & Italian Wine Scholar Student
Winner of 2019 “Salice Salentino USA Bloggers” Award
Exclusive photos by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas
All rights reserved.

Gina’s Spaghetti alla Puttanesca



There are many explanations that describe the origin of this dish. Puttanesca (literally means whore’s style spaghetti) is believed to have originated in the Campania region of Italy. In 2007, when we visited the ruins of Pompeii in Naples, our tour guide Marco from Perillo Tours explained to us the story behind the name of this dish. According to him, the ladies of the evening made it to lure the men into their house by attracting them with the aroma of the sauce.  Other sources claim the ladies made it  because it was easy and quick as they were always busy and had little time for cooking.  Whatever the story, Puttanesca is a delicious and lively sauce that you can whip in no time. It’s best served over spaghetti. It is tasty but on the salty side.


Get the recipe in my cookbook:


Warning: This dish has a high sodium content
Photos by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for Foodiewinelover

Happy Cooking from my Kitchen to yours,
Gina Martino Zarcadoolas, aka Foodiewinelover
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
WSET-Level 2 Wine Connoisseur
Culinary and Global Cuisines Aficionado

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca

Scrumptious Seafood Pasta Dish #2 With a Twist

There’s nothing like having a no-fail recipe in your repertoire, because you know you can always count on the result being the same.  However, having been in the kitchen for so long, I like to challenge myself,  play around, and experiment to change things up a little. This is a spin-off to a dish that I made called Scrumptious Seafood Pasta Dish. The method is very similar, but I added some roasted red bell peppers. The result was equally as delicious. Follow me in My Kitchen!

Roasted bell peppers

Serves: 4-6
Degree of difficulty: Easy – Medium

You will need a brown paper bag


  • 1.5 lb. sea scallops
  • 1/2 jug of clam juice – About 5-6 ounces
  • 1/2 cup of Chardonnay wine
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted/charred (the twist) rough chopped *
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup pasta water, if needed *
  • 2-3 Tbsp. butter
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, (Parmesan cheese)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  • Few leaves of basil, chopped in a chiffonade style
  • 1 lb. Linguine


1) Wash peppers, and broil them whole,  on high for about 10-15 minutes depending how close they are to the burner. Turn them occasionally, using a mitten. Once they are charred all around, remove them from the oven. Place them in a brown paper bag and close it. Let it sit in there for about 15 minutes. This step will make it easier to remove the skin. It should peel off easily. If not, use a knife to remove the skin. Set aside.

2) On Medium-high heat, drizzle the olive oil on the bottom of a 6-quart pan.  Sautee the garlic, as soon as it releases its aroma, drop the scallops and deglaze with the wine. This should take a couple of minutes.

3)   Add the tomatoes, bell peppers, clam juice and season with salt, pepper, oregano. Slowly add the heavy cream and stir.  Lower the heat and bring to a quick simmer. This does not take long as you do NOT want to overcook the scallops. They will become chewy. Remove from burner. 

4) Simultaneously,  bring water to a boil for the pasta and cook according to package directions. I like to cook it al dente, (to the bite).  Once pasta is cooked, drain it, and reserve 1/4 cup of the water. Drop pasta  into the scallop sauce, and add pasta water if necessary.  Put the pan back on the burner, swirl in the butter for some added richness, and give it a good stir. This is all done at very low heat to warm it up. Garnish with the basil at the end so they don’t wilt.  Now, it’s time to plate. Sprinkle with cheese and voilà, the result is a lip smacking delicious pasta dish.

I hope you will try this delectable recipe that will have your loved ones begging for seconds.  Have a fantastic new week!

Wine pairing suggestions: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc. For a special occasion, pair this dish with a nice Viognier, and you will wow your guests.

Scrumptious Seafood Pasta Dish #2

Scrumptious Seafood Pasta Dish #2

Scrumptious Seafood Pasta Dish

Scrumptious Seafood Pasta Dish

*Cook’s tips:

1) You can grill, roast or broil the peppers. The broiler was the most convenient for me.

2) You probably won’t need the pasta water in this version. There should be plenty of sauce to coat the linguine. Use your judgment.

3) As you can see, I didn’t use all the seafood that I used in the original dish. You are more than welcome to use them, if you want.

Happy Cooking and Cheers from Gina’s Kitchen! 


Healthy Tuna-Stuffed Avocado Halves

Lately, I’ve been trying to stay in shape, by incorporating more fruits and veggies in my diet. I’m discovering  many ways to eat well, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Today, I made  a quick-lunch, using a canned tuna, and an avocado. It’s super easy, healthy, and delicious. Avocados are so tasty, and packed with good fat, the one that does not clog your arteries.

Serves: 1 as a meal – 2 as a snack   Level of difficulty: Super easy


  • 1 – 5 oz.  canned white Albacore tuna, drained *
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to taste + more to drizzle
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 rib of celery, diced
  •  Freshly ground pepper, optional
  • 1 Hass Avocado, split in half, remove pit
  •  Herbes de Provence, to taste


    In a medium-sized bowl, mix first 5 ingredients well. Stuff the avocado halves with the tuna mixture. Garnish with Herbes de Provence. Drizzle more olive oil.

    *You may end up with some leftover tuna, depending on how much you fill the avocados.

    Voila! Bon Appetit!

    Happy Eatin’! With lots of passion from

    Gina’s Kitchen

    Tuna-filled Avocados



Shrimp Lo Mein

Mise en place for Shrimp Lo Mein
This post is dedicated to a wonderful social media friend, Adrienne. She creates delicious recipes, and takes beautiful photographs of food. All her dishes are vibrant and enticing, but her Shrimp Lo Mein caught my attention on Instagram.  I immediately asked her for the recipe, and she graciously provided it to me. It didn’t take me long to try it in my kitchen, and my family  loved it. I’m excited to share this delectable Chinese dish with all of you.

Serves: 4-6 Level of difficulty: Easy


  • 1 package, Lo Mein Noodles, 13.5 oz.
  • 1.5 lb. of shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail-off
  • 2 tbsp. of vegetable oil, + more to drizzle on noodles
  • 1 tsp. of sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp. ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp. water + more, if necessary
  • 2 tbsp. low-sodium Soy sauce, + more to drizzle
  • 1/4 cup Oyster Sauce
  •  1 small onion, chopped
  • Chinese chives, or 3 scallions * 


    1) Cook the noodles according to package directions. (This one took exactly 3 minutes.) Drain and set aside. Drizzle noodles with vegetable oil to avoid them from sticking together.

    2) In a wok, or frying pan, over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil and sesame oil. Add garlic, ginger, onions, shrimp, scallions,  Soy sauce and Oyster sauce, water.  Cook until the shrimp turns pink.

    3) Add Lo Mein noodles to the shrimp and mix well.  Drizzle with more Soy sauce, to taste.  Garnish with fresh scallions.

    The recipe calls for Chinese chives, but since they were not readily available, I used scallions. Celery can also be used as a substitute.

    This recipe hits all the high notes, and will become a part of my repertoire. Thank you Adrienne for inspiring me with your culinary creations.

    Warning: Do not use any salt, as some of the ingredients are already salty. If you are on a sodium-restricted diet, this dish may not be suitable for you.

Happy Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours,



Gina’s Ultimate Paella


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I have been in the quest for making a perfectly delicious Paella for a long time. I have tried different recipes, using various ingredients, but this time, everyone in my family raved about the taste. Here is my latest version of Paella. Paella originated in Spain, and the most famous one is Paella Valenciana.

Serves 8 as a main dish – Degree of difficulty – Easy to Medium
Prepping and cooking time from start to finish: 1 hour and 30 minutes.


  • 2 cups rice ( 16 oz.) Valencia
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 – 12 oz. can of beer (I used Corona) *
  • Saffron thread, 2 pinches *
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lb. mussels
  • 18 clams
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, + more to drizzle
  • Chorizo sausage, 2 links, cut up in pieces
  •  red bell pepper, 1/2 cut in julienne
  •  4-6 oz. frozen peas, rinsed and drained well
  •  Hot sauce to drizzle
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Flat leave parsley, for garnish


For this traditional dish, I recommend a Paella pan, 15 inch in diameter.

1) Peel and deveined shrimp, wash and scrub mussels and clams well. Chop onions, garlic, chorizo, bell pepper, get all your spices and ingredients ready.

2) On medium high heat, in Paella pan, heat up olive oil, and brown the chorizo, 2-3 minutes. Add onions, 1-2 minutes, then add garlic, 1 minute. Add the rice and stir well, 1-2 minutes. Add the beer, water, paprika, salt, pepper, saffron, and let it come to a boil. Lower the heat, add all the seafood one by one. Sprinkle the peas around the pan, and decorate with the bell pepper like you see in the picture. Let it simmer and reduce a little, for about 5 minutes or so. Cover with aluminum foil and turn the burner off.

3) In the meanwhile, pre-heat the oven at 350 degrees, and place the paella on the second shelf from the bottom. Bake for at least 30 minutes. Check for doneness, once the rice is cooked, everything else should be done, because the seafood takes the least amount of cooking. If rice is not done, you may put it back in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Remove from the oven, take off foil, drizzle liberally with olive oil, garnish with the parsley, and place on the table. Serve with hot sauce, as a condiment.

This may take some practice, don’t expect to hit a home run the first time, however if you did, it’s because, you followed my directions, step by step.

*If you don’t want, or cannot have alcohol, substitute with chicken broth, or water. Make sure, you use the same amount of liquid.

* If you don’t have saffron, use a product called Sazon, by Goya, con cilantro y tomate, (with cilantro and tomato) it comes in a package that can be found in the Spanish aisles of your grocery stores. Beware, they tend to be salty, and contain MSG, however, they give wonderful flavors. Use two packets, for this recipe. I have used them before, but WITHOUT THE beer and paprika. (Use chicken broth or water, or a combination of both. This way is equally delicious.

There so many variations to this dish, you can also add bay scallops, and or chicken. We eat chicken often, I just didn’t want to part with it this time. There are some authentic recipes that call for rabbit. If you want to fancy it up, for a dinner party, place a lobster in the middle. Your guests will be very impressed with the presentation.

I served a nice chilled Rose’ with the Paella. It was a heavenly pairing. The rose’ is light and refreshing, and beautifully complements the rich flavors of the beer and paprika.

I had the pleasure of having Paella in Barcelona, and it was an amazing dining experience that I will always cherish.

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Always cook with a smile, and your food will smile back at you!



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