Eat Well. Be Well. Travel Often.

Al Fresco Dinner Anyone?

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Char‑Broil All opinions are 100% mine.

This girl loves to cook outdoors, so when I found out about the Char-Broil 4-Burner Gas Griddle I knew it was the perfect grill to add to my backyard. Unlike the other grills I’ve had, this one has a smooth flat surface that is perfect for cooking anything from burgers to shrimp and even breakfast — all outside! Bonus: the griddles surface is pretty big so even large format dinners can be done all at once.​ ​ For my first cookout using the griddle, I decided to have a few friends over for an al fresco Spanish-themed dinner party. I made seafood paella and grilled veggies. It was so nice to be outdoors and have a few friends over. It has almost been a year since I hosted a backyard dinner party, so this was a much needed and welcome occasion. The griddle was a hit too, all my mom friends hung out around the grill and sipped some wine while I made the paella. Much like the center island of a well-designed kitchen, the Char-Broil griddle acted like the heart and center of the evening. My friends and I used it for warmth and conversation, sipping on a glass or two of Vino Verde and taking in the smells emanating from the Paella pan.​ ​ Paella is one of my go-to recipes because it’s easy to serve as a large format meal for a group of friends and family. Not only that, it is colorful, flavorful, it can be fairly healthy, and it’s a full meal in one pot, so clean up is a no brainier. Talk about easy peasy. Typically Paella consists of a couple core ingredients, but the skies the limit on the variations you can make.​ ​ In Spanish, Paella literally means “frying pan” and is a very traditional dish originating from the Valencia region of Spain. It is typically made with short grain rice as a base, saffron, peas and topped with a variety of proteins. You can kinda make Paella your one, mixing up the veggies and proteins but the one singular ingredient that you cannot have Paella without is: Saffron. Saffron happens to be the most expensive spice in the world, the golden red threads are delicate in nature but lend themselves to a uniquely aromatic and earthly flavor. To get the rice going, I like to infuse chicken stock with a few saffron threads for about 20 minutes on a gentle simmer. This liquid is what I use to slowly add to my rice. For the proteins on this one, I stuck with a more traditional version that included, shrimp, lobster and New Zealand mussels but added some chicken thighs for extra protein and flavor.​ ​ Overall, cooking on the Char-Broil griddle was really fun, the flat surface was big enough for my Paella pan and even searing components of the dish on the side like the onions, bell peppers and shrimp. My friends loved the meal and watching me cook it. Cheers to outdoor cooking, dining and Paella with friends!!!​

chef Nikki Martin loves Miraval rose' wine

Hello Gorgeous! Thanks for checking out my site. A few of my fav things are avocados, rose' , hip hop yoga and throwing dinner parties. I hope to inspire each one of you with my food and lifestyle philosophy. xo

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