Paella Problems

June 23, 2017 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

So last weekend I woke up with a wild hair to make Paella. I’ve never done it and was feeling a craving for some seafood.  I knew enough that I needed a paella pan. So off to T.J. Maxx Home I went. And as luck would have it, they had a paella pan for $20.

Next stop, Kroger to get the seafood and other yummy ingredients.  My family isn’t huge on mussels, but I needed some for the broth and visual. They were sold by the pound and the seafood counter had a big bag of them.  When I asked the clerk for six mussels, he told me he couldn’t break the bag.  10 minutes later the store manager arrived and really couldn’t provide a good reason for not breaking the bag to sell me six mussels. Unfortunately I had to pull my “corporate office” card to get him to do it.  It was a coaching moment. I explained to him how our customers are expecting great service when they come to our stores and our associates need to feel empowered to satisfy them using Principle Based judgement.  His role as store management is to set the tone that within reason, they can take care of the customer and the store leadership will provide feedback on whether or not the decision made was a good one.  Hopefully the next customer wanting a handful of mussels will walk away smiling.

Everything was going as planned in the kitchen. The smells and sights were everything I expected. I watched a tutorial online at and learned about soccarat which they describe as “the bottom layer of rice yields a golden caramelized crust, called socarrat, you know you’ve reached the pinnacle of paella greatness.” My mission was to get a good layer of socarrat. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful and ended up burning the bottom of the rice and the dish.  Luckily, there was enough salvageable rice to enjoy the meal anyway …. just no socarrat.

Paella pans are thin by design so I’m not surprised I burned the rice.  The bottom of the pan was scorched.  So, I soaked it in ammonia for a few days to loosen the charred layer.  To my surprise, when I started scrubbing, a layer of pan disintegrated exposing metal. Pan ruined.  What’s a woman to do? Go online and purchase a REAL paella pan.  And that I did.  Stay tuned to find out how my next attempt goes. Hopefully I will be able to achieve this masterpiece.



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I'm Natalie and so glad you stopped in.

January 29, 2008 changed my life forever. Before that day I weighed a whopping 292 lbs. Today I'm at a very slender 145 lbs. (in a size 6 jean!). The gastric bypass I received that day gave me a new lease on life. With that new lease came a commitment to a new eating lifestyle; moderation and plenty of protein. One of the neat side effects is my very low tolerance for sugar.

I've always loved food and knew I would be challenged to find satisfaction without the sugar. Over the past three years I've created some masterpieces of both savory and sugar free foods. Guests to our home are always asking for my recipes.

On this blog I plan to share many recipes I've found and in many cases modified. Some are high-jacked others are creations or family recipes. I will do my level best to give credit to the originators of any high-jacked recipes.

All recipes are sugar free. None are fat free! I have a saying, "If you can't have sugar, bring on the butter!"

I will also share awesome restaurant discoveries as I find them. Many times I attempt to recreate them at home.

So feel free to high-jack recipes from my blog. Recreate the magic in your home, and enjoy the food with family and friends. Cherish the moments with them because tomorrow is not promised.


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