Lately I felt that I don't share enough of me here on my blog. I am rather shy and a people pleaser in real life, and I guess that is the way I wrote here, too. I am always reluctant to be open and to share my feelings and let people into my life because it makes me vulnerable.
This is life, I know it. Being vulnerable is a good thing. Only when we are open to hurt can we really feel joy, experience deep connections with the important people in our life, and express ourselves freely.
Today I want to share 10 things about me that you (probably) did not know about me.
1. I have said it above: I am a people pleaser, and I don't really like that about myself. Writing it out makes me cringe, I don't want this to be my truth. But I am, and I guess to some degree I'll always be, but I want to not care so much about what other people think of me.
2. I started this blog almost 1 1/2 years ago, but for the first year I only told my boyfriend about it. I told my parents this winter/spring, and shared it on facebook. But the girl I lived with, and shared a kitchen with, never got to know about it. I just did not tell her. I guess that relates to Nr. 1 above.
3. In my free time I enjoy learning about neuropsychology. This stuff is so fascinating, I get books from our university library and read them in the train, I listen to Berkeley podcasts while I work. I read a lot when I was a kid, but at the moment I prefer reading science books to novels.
4. I lived abroad, in Barcelona, for 5 months when I was 16 years old. Then after school I lived in Galway, Ireland for 3 months, improving my English and just generally having fun. But never in my life have I left Europe. I love to travel, but somehow I always end up in Europe. This summer we are going to Turkey, which is technically between Europe and Asia, so this is going to change soon.
5. Sometimes I am too lazy to shave my legs. I just am. Until I want to go swimming or wear a dress.
6. During school, we were supposed to run lapses every year. I actually don't know how many because I managed to skip every single year. I was the master of skipping sport exams.
7. During all my teenage years I only wore long shorts. And not bikini or bathing suit. I just did not go swimming. I was hot all summer long. But I did not care as long as I could cover up my body.
8. I cut my hair myself. I have curly hair, and I always had troubles getting the cut I wanted. Why do hairdressers always think they need to give me 6oies hair?
9. When I listen to music I mostly just listen to one song on repeat, or the whole album on repeat. It drives my boyfriend half-crazy I think. But I usually just want to listen to something in particular, and if it suits my mood, over and over again.
10. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a boy. Girls were so complicated, with all that discussion about who can be who's friend - I never understood it. I was always a boyish girl, and still today I am not really a girly woman.
And now I want to share a recipe for paella with you. I mentioned above that I lived in Barcelona, Spain for half a year. But while I lived there I did not once have paella. My guest mother did not know how to cook, the only thing she did was fry up some meat and open a bag of pre-washed salad. We cooked paella at school with our Spanish teacher, though, and later when I returned to Spain I did go out to eat paella.
this paella was inspired by Erin, from Naturally Ella. I saw her post a recipe for paella and decided that I needed to make one as soon as possible.
You can substitute whatever vegetables you have on hand, but I really like peppers in a paella and the mushrooms add a meaty flavor, so I can really recommend those two. Peas would also be great in place of the beans.
1 shallot, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 red peppers, cut into strips
1/2 pound green beans, halved
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms
2 cups of rice
4 cups of water
11/2-2 teaspoons tumeric
1 teaspoon pimenton
one sachet of saffron, or a few threads
a few lemon slices
Heat a large cast-iron skillet on medium heat. Sauté the onion in a little olive oil for a minute or two. Add the pepper strips, green beans, mushrooms and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Add the rice and the water and mix well. Add the spices (reserve the saffron until the end) and some salt, about a teaspoon to start. (Add more salt according to taste). Let cook on low heat until most of the water is absorbed. Turn the heat off, sprinkle the saffron on top of the paella, cover the skillet with a lid and let sit for 5 minutes.
Serve with the lemon slices.
Suggestion: We did not do this, but I think I am going to add some coarsly chopped almonds the next time I make this. As it is this paella lacks a bit of texture, and I think lightly toasted almonds would go really well with the other flavors of the dish. I'd sprinkle them on top just before serving.