Irish Soda Bread with Dried Apricots

March 11, 2018

Fiona’s first year of preschool is speeding by! I swear, each day at pickup I see her patiently waiting in front of her cubby, lunchbox in hand, she looks a whole year older. The school is a co-op, so each family has a job. Naturally, ours is to coordinate the kids’ cooking activities. Once a week, the children get to participate in a cooking activity. Usually things are pretty hands-on (mixing, measuring, chopping, etc.), and afterwards of course, they enjoy the fruits of their labor at snack time!

Irish Soda Bread with Dried Apricots | HonestlyYUM (

This past week we made Irish soda bread. It was a huge hit, so I knew I had to whip up a version for the blog. And when I say that this recipe is simple, know that a dozen or so 3 and 4 year olds were able to bake a few perfect loaves . . .

Irish Soda Bread with Dried Apricots | HonestlyYUM (


How to Make Paella at Home

March 6, 2018

Paella has always intimidated me. Between the ingredients and the way it’s prepared, I don’t think there is a dish more misunderstood and contentious than paella. But guys, it turns out, paella is incredibly easy to make. Surprise! Remember that paella workshop I attended a few months ago? That was where all of my presumptions about paella were wiped clean and I have Chef Paul Canales, of one of the Bay Area’s best Spanish restaurants Duende, to thank.

How to Make Paella at Home | HonestlyYUM (

The key to Chef Canales’ Basque inspired paella is good quality rice and a well seasoned sofrito. He recommends Bomba rice, which absorbs three times its volume in broth (versus the normal two) and still remains firm yet chewy and plump. Any other Valencia rice could be substituted. And then there’s the sofrito – a base of garlic, onion, tomatoes, saffron and paprika, that serves as the foundation for any authentic paella. This was the game changer for me.

How to Make Paella at Home | HonestlyYUM (

How to Make Paella at Home | HonestlyYUM (

How to Make Paella at Home | HonestlyYUM (

How to Make Paella at Home | HonestlyYUM (

As far as the rest of the ingredients, we learned that traditional paella consists of beans, rabbit, and snails. After all, it was the peasants in the rice growing region of Valencia that used ingredients that were native to the wetlands. Seafood was, in fact, a much later addition. But the beautiful thing about paella is that you can truly put anything you want in it. It’s just then all about timing. Meats should always go in first and seafood at the very end. And always, fish before shellfish!

How to Make Paella at Home | HonestlyYUM (

Paella has quickly become my favorite thing to make when entertaining. It’s easy, quick and always a crowd pleaser. Serve it with some pintxos, some jamón, Chef Canales’ delectable Ensalada de Col, plenty of Spanish wine, and you’ve got yourself a fiesta!

How to Make Paella at Home | HonestlyYUM (

How to Make Paella at Home | HonestlyYUM (

Paella de Carne

Servings: 2 servings in a 30cm pan



  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If using a convection over, preheat to 400.
  2. In a 30cm paella pan (recipe can be doubled in a larger pan), make a sofrito by heating the the olive oil over medium heat and adding onion and garlic.
  3. Season the onion and garlic with a generous pinch of salt and cook until translucent.
  4. Add tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes begin to dry out and form a residue.
  5. Add the saffron and pimeton, lower the heat and briefly stir to incorporate.
  6. Add the diced chicken meat and stir well over medium heat.
  7. Add the bomba rice and stir to coat thoroughly with the sofrito.
  8. Raise the heat to high and add the warm stock. Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding salt. As rice is not stirred during cooking, it's important that the seasoning be correct at the point. It should taste well seasoned but overly salty.
  9. When the paella reaches a boil, add the sprig of rosemary and butter beans and cook on the stove for 5 minutes.
  10. Place paella in preheated oven.
  11. After 5 minutes, add the shrimp.
  12. After 3 minutes, add the clams hinge side down. Do not overcrowd the clams so that you can give them room to open.
  13. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  14. If there is any additional liquid, place the plan over high heat on the stove to remove any additional liquid.
  15. Allow the paella to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.


Specialty tools and ingredients used:

(images by HonestlyYUM)

One Pot Thai Green Curry Chicken

February 22, 2018

This dish is a Thai twist on one of my favorite recipes: milk chicken. Instead of roasting a chicken in milk and aromatics, like cinnamon, lemon and sage, I’ve used a basting sauce that is composed of traditional Thai curry ingredients– coconut milk, fish sauce, green curry paste, chiles and kaffir lime leaves. If you can’t find kaffir lime leaves, you can still make the curry without it. You can also switch up the curry paste, it doesn’t have to be green. This recipe makes insanely flavorful chicken and the best part for me is a bowl of jasmine rice covered in that delicious curry sauce in the bottom of the pot!

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Old Fashioned Conversational Truffles

February 5, 2018

I like re-visiting old recipes, but we’ve rarely done it on HonestlyYUM. Today, we’re bringing back our conversation cardamom truffles. They’re so smooth and decadent and easy to make that we felt we had to bring them back! This time instead of flavoring them with cardamom we decided to make them boozy. Because what’s more important on Valentine’s Day than cocktails and chocolates?! These truffles have Old Fashioned ingredients in them– bourbon, bitters and orange zest, all creating a subtle boozy tasting truffle!

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Spicy Mouth-Numbing Szechuan Peppercorn Chex Mix

January 30, 2018

I’ve been waiting for the day I can post a recipe on this site about Szechuan peppercorns. If you’ve never tried Szechuan peppercorns before, it can be a strange sensation– they have the effect of numbing your mouth! Yes, that’s right, in certain doses, your mouth actually starts to go numb. Combined with spicy foods, like chiles, the combo of that numbing tingle and burning sear of heat is absolutely addicting. I realize that this all sounds a bit miserable but if you’re a addict of spicy foods, this is a whole new way to experience them! I grew up eating these peppercorns in their classic Chinese applications: in a spicy hot pot or steeped in a hot chili oil-laden noodle bowl. Those recipes are usually pretty intensive with lots of preparation and steps and I really wanted to use an easy recipe for a first-time Szechuan peppercorn-er.

Mouth Numbing Szechuan Chex Mix | HonestlyYUM (

Annnd, it just so happens Super Bowl is right around the corner, which makes something as addictive as a spicy, mouth-numbing, salty crunchy snack like Chex Mix the perfect reason to use this ingredient. A note about sourcing: I’ve never been able to find them in an American supermarket so I suggest ordering them on Amazon. I also get the Szechuan red chili flakes on Amazon. If you’ve never tried cooking with Szechuan peppercorns I hope you give these a go!

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HonestlyYUM 2018 Survey

January 25, 2018

We want to hear from you!! We strive to bring you the best content possible here on HonestlyYUM, and that wouldn’t be feasible without hearing your feedback. Please take a moment to fill out this brief survey so that we can continue to create content you love. It’s an anonymous Google Form, and honestly it will take ~3 minutes. Thank you so much as always for all your support! Once again, here is a link to survey. Thank you!!

(Image by HonestlyYUM. Link to HonestlyYUM 2018 Survey)

Ensalada de Col

January 23, 2018

Last fall, I attended a paella workshop with Chef Paul Canales of Oakland’s beloved Spanish restaurant Duende. And it was a blast. Paella was made from scratch (stay tuned for more on that later this week), while Paul schooled us on the history of Spanish cuisine and the various regions which make up the brilliantly unique flavors of the country. Afterwards, we feasted on a delectable spread of pintxos, cured meats, paella and one particular dish that absolutely blew my mind. It was . . . drumroll . . .  a salad. Essentially, Ensalada de Col translates into “coleslaw” (say what??) but don’t let the unassuming name fool you – this salad is full of bright and bold flavors that will make you want to devour it in its entirety. Humble savoy cabbage is sliced paper thin and tossed with toasted pistachios, green olives and a garlic vinaigrette. The pièce de résistance is a delightfully generous shaving of Mahón cheese. Boom. I hope that you’ll give this salad a try. It’s so, so good.

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January 19, 2018

Since we’ve been talking about travel bucket lists, I can’t help but reminisce about Spain, one of my favorite countries in the world. A few years ago, I returned with my entire family (with 17 month old Quincy in tow!) and traveled from north to south, enjoying pintxos, tapas, jamón, paella, and Spanish wine along the way. What are pintxos, you might ask? A pinxto, pronounced peen-cho and derived from the Spanish verb pinchar, is exactly how is sounds: a pinch of food that is pierced together by a toothpick. Hailing from the Basque region of Spain, the pintxo is essentially a smaller version of a tapa, however, they vary drastically depending on the town, restaurant or bar.