...FireNips, meet readers. Readers, meet FireNips...

FireNips is one of my favorite people of all time, except he is a redhead, and according to my favorite writer, "Red hair is caused by sugar and lust." Since the average life span of a redhead is something like 476 years, I'd imagine that one might have their fill of sugar and lust; and no doubt he's spent the later 200 years of his life perfecting his sweet, loving, I'm-the-greatest-friend-in-the-world facade. He sucks you in with this facade, wins you over, and then eats your soul. That's what redheads do. It has to be true, I read it on the internet.

Naturally I'm a little careful to upset FireNips (I like my soul); so when he asked me for dinner, by all things ginger, I said "yes!" with a song in my heart and a smile on my face (because even though we were texting, a redhead knows when you're faking it. Let that be a lesson to all y'all.)

Dinner was scrumptious-bumptious. FireNips brought a delectable hummus appetizer, and I made this vegan paella, that had been requested by BandMan a month or two ago.

I also made this baklava,

and this Mediterranean salad.

1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, sliced in strips
1 green bell pepper, sliced in strips
4 roma tomatoes, diced
2 1/2 c veggie broth, divided
2 c uncooked brown rice
2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 1/2 c frozen peas, thawed
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
pepper, to taste
1 c water
  1. In a bowl, combine the diced roma tomatoes with 1/2 cup of veggie broth and set aside. Cook up the onion and garlic until softened. 
  2. Add the pepper strips to onion mixture and cook for about 5 minutes. Make sure to stir a lot; we don't want to burn the food. Stir in tomatoes (with liquid), broth, rice, turmeric, thyme and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in artichoke hearts, peas, half the parsley and salt. Season with freshly ground pepper. Cover and let cook until the rice is tender. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve hot.


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