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Paella with Friends

We are so lucky to have really wonderful friends. Many times we have been invited for dinners with friends and often our hosts have provided such wonderful meals that I decided it was time to start sharing how great these people are at entertaining. With their permission of course.

Most recently we were invited to the Corey's house for a gorgeous Spanish paella feast and I wanted to share it with you because it was delicious and absolutely beautiful! Melanie Corey truly deserves a hand for this meal and also her husband Mark, of course, because he is such a warm and entertaining host. Both of them share an extensive knowledge of exceptional food!


The Paella

Is this not beautiful? Underneath all of the shellfish there are gorgeous grains of saffron rice that were like fluffy yellow pearls of goodness. She used a special short grain paella rice they discovered in Spain on a recent vacation. The grains are nearly round and perfect for this dish.


I brought some tapas that I had made earlier for us to nosh on while Mel cooked us up a fabulous paella dinner.

On the left is a dish of garlic scape pesto, in the center, some of my home made cows milk Manchego cheese and on the right is a dish of smoked salmon spread. Looks like we've already eaten most of the sourdough baguette.

I also brought some of my favorite Spanish Castlevetrano Olives for the occasion. They are incredibly mild and buttery giant green olives.


Dinner is Served!

I have to say the glorious bowl of lemon wedges was so pretty and really added something special to the table. Sometimes little things like these lemons can really set off a meal and this did it for me.

As if those gorgeous pink shrimp weren't enough!

Some cookbooks for inspiration.

These are some of Mel's tried and true favorite cookbooks. I'm sure she used the canning and preserving books for the wonderful apricot preserves and rumtopf in our dessert and Melanie loves this Cast Iron cookbook "Cook it in Cast Iron". This is where the Paella recipe comes from. I may have to find myself a copy of this too!

And now for dessert!


Apricot Thumbprint Cookies with Lavender and French Vanilla Ice Cream with Apricot Rumtopf and a sprinkle of fine coffee grounds.

This was amazing! The Rumtopf is an old boozy German way to preserve fresh fruit. Also known as Bachelor's Jam or Officer's Jam. Although it's not really a jam, it is more of an alcoholic fruit compote.

I will definitely be trying this at home. Rumtopf looks like a real winner for the holidays!

Thank you so much Mark and Melanie Corey for your hospitality and friendship!