The Dish

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Paella -- hot off the grill

Never mind the burgers or steak. Next time you're looking for a dish you can make on the grill, try paella.

Although we usually make paella on the stove top, this Spanish dish got its start in Valencia, Spain, as a communal meal for fieldworkers who couldn't go home for lunch, according to the USA Rice Federation.

The workers cooked their paella on an open fire, adding whatever meat and vegetables were available. Originally it did not contain sausage or seafood, but as the dish migrated to other regions, those ingredients were added.

The only requirements for authentic paella are short- or medium-grained rice, saffron, Spanish paprika, good broth and olive oil. Add chicken, sausage, seafood or vegetables to suit your taste. For recipes, visit www.ricecafe.com.

Livelier lunches

Summer's almost over for area school kids and their parents. That means it's time to think about easy ways to jazz up those packed lunches.

The Glad Products Co. has some suggestions:

* Instead of boring tuna sandwiches, give your kids tuna salad "sushi" by rolling tuna salad in flour tortillas.

* Take a break from peanut butter and try cashew, almond or roasted soy butter. Serve the nut butter and jelly on a tortilla to create sweet quesadillas.

* Make "pizza" cookies. Roll out one 18-ounce package of refrigerated sugar-cookie dough into two circles. Cut each circle into 6 wedges and bake 8 to 10 minutes. When cookies have cooled, spread each wedge with cream cheese and top with dried fruit and shredded coconut.

Nourishing smoothie

Busy women often don't get the nutrition they need. But for women who have time to twist the top off a bottle, there's Yoplait Nouriche, a yogurt smoothie with 20 vitamins, minerals and protein.

The smoothies are available in strawberry, peach, raspberry, tropical, strawberry-banana and mixed-berry flavor in grocery dairy aisles. An 11-ounce bottle sells for about $1.59.

Wine lover's picnic pack

Enjoy a picnic in the park or romance under the stars with Concerto wine tote from Bonjour.

The insulated backpack has space for two bottles of wine and comes with two unbreakable wineglasses, two napkins, a wooden cheese board, a cheese knife and wine opener. It is available in blue, black and yellow for a suggested retail price of $50. Call 800-226-6568.

Events

* Sample foods made in Maryland 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow at Eddie's of Roland Park, 5113 Roland Ave. and 6213 N. Charles St.

* Learn to make quick meals 7 p.m. Monday at A Cook's Table, 717 Light St. $45. At 7 p.m. Aug. 28, learn to make southern Italian dishes. $45. For these and other classes, call 410-539-8600.

* Learn to make Tuscan pasta 6:30 p.m. today at Donna's in Snowden River Park, Waterloo Road and Route 100, Columbia. $25. Call 410-659-5248, Ext. 112.

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