Under my paella ella eh eh eh.

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Let’s get this out of the way: we’re price conscious.

The main reason we made this seafood paella for dinner was because I bought a paella pan for $10 at Home Sense last year. $10! How could I not? I admit, I have a shopping problem specifically for kitchenware.

One of the dilemmas for this meal was whether to buy Spanish saffron or American saffron. We opted for American saffron since this was our first time cooking paella and who knows what might happen? The price was too steep and not worth the investment unless we were confident that we can make an awesome paella that’s going to leave us wanting more. We love a good bargain, so when we were shopping at Farm Boy and came across deals on fish fillets and scallops - we jumped on deals. Yes, yes - you’re thinking, oh that’s gross - what if they’re stale? Well, they turned out surprisingly great and not at all fishy. Instead of fresh seafood, we went for fresh, seasonal peas. It added a bit of sweetness to the dish.

The dish turned out pretty well considering the amount of shortcuts we made. We know, it’s not the most traditional paella, but it made our lunches and dinners taste quite good that week.

Note to self: the pan we used was a little small for the portion we were making, so we have to half the portion next time.

- Ken

Onigiri: Great Balls of Rice

This summer in Toronto has been rainy and we took advantage of the sun as soon as it came out.  The plan was to find a vigorous hike and bring along homemade onigiri, Japanese rice balls filled with different seasonings and toppings.  With the help of Maori Murota's Tokyo Cult Recipes, our plan went into action. We were pounding the rice balls with the rice ball mould I purchased from Japan and store-bought seasoning from our local Asian grocery store.  Honestly, making onigiri is the easiest food we've made on the blog so far.   

If I was cooped up at home and didn't want to buy groceries weekly, grilled rice balls is the way to go.  All you need is rice and soy sauce.  Pack the rice, grill the rice and add some soy sauce for flavour and colour.  And the other onigiri with seasoning?  Mix it with the rice and start moulding the rice.  We were on a roll and sneaked some before our hike the next day.   

Our ideal day was to hike to Tiffany Falls in Hamilton and enjoy the view with the balls at the falls.  Unfortunately, our day did not measure up to our plans.  Due to our lack of research, getting to Tiffany Falls from the lot was merely a 326 m stroll. We looked ridiculous geared up with our backpacks and hiking shoes.  The destination was beautiful, but there was certainly a feeling of a lack of accomplishment with such an effortless hike.  To lift our spirits, we drove to a nearby beach to attempt at a suntan, along with indulgence of Japanese snacks and onigiri.  I know, I know - there are no photos of the beach, but we were there, I swear!

Overall, it was a beautiful day to be immersed with nature.  Happy Summer! 

- Robyn