Quarter-Life Coaching: Author-Editor Paella Night!

EVENT: Editor-Author Paella Night
VENUE: Cara’s Apartment, Prospect Heights
TYPE: Teaching by the Cookbook
MENU: Chipotle Hummus with Multigrain Chips; Scallop, Chorizo, and Artichoke Paella; Arugula Salad with Radishes and Mango; Thin and Snappy Ginger Cookie Sundaes with Caramel-Espresso Sauce

Introducing…Katie Salisbury, our editor at William Morrow/Harper Collins. Recently, we invited Katie and two friends (including Matt, the evening’s resident photographer, responsible for all the images you’ll see in this post) over for dinner. Our mission, in addition to feeding her, was to take Katie out of her world (editing) into ours (cooking up a storm). Though she thoughtfully turned our manuscript draft into a real live book, Katie doesn’t cook much. She lives in Chinatown, where it’s easy for her to grab inexpensive take-out, and she works pretty long hours in midtown. Still, BGSK takes no excuses, and we committed to giving Katie, a fellow quarter-lifer, a lesson in cooking.

We created the Friday night menu out of favorites from the book. Our Chipotle Hummus is always a winner, and it’s filling enough to tide over guests while the main course cooks. We chose to make Paella, since it’s not too involved for a novice but oh-so-impressive to serve just the same. We let Katie choose her favorite salad from the side salad add-in chart in our book, and she brought over those ingredients. For dessert, we made Thin and Snappy Ginger Cookies a day ahead of time–those are in the book too–and served them with vanilla ice cream and a delectable caramel sauce.

Our other guests came with plenty of wine. As we hung out in Cara’s kitchen and living room, the night transformed from lesson to party. Here’s our photo recap:

We consult the book–at this point merely a pdf viewed on Cara’s iPad.

A chopping lesson–the onion and garlic get going

Mere minutes later, Katie masters chopping! Mango and scallion for the salad

Not content to keep her hands to herself, Cara takes on the task of adding radishes to the salad

Happily she’s stirring that risotto and not sitting at a desk, putting red pencil to our book pages

Phoebe, showing how garnish is done

Serving from the stove

Paella around the coffee table!

For these recipes, you’ll have to pick up your own copy of In the Small Kitchen!

From our kitchen, big enough for three!, to yours,



  1. Since I brought my advance copy of the book home, I’ve been cooking up a storm: spinach pie quesadilla, pasta salad, roasted cauliflower and quinoa. I’d say this take-out fiend has been reformed.

    • Becoming a reformed take-out fiend in the culinary land of plenty (New York City) is really saying something!

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