About Diana

As a first generation American, Diana shares her family’s traditional Spanish and Mexican recipes at her blog, A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa. As a mami and urban homesteader she also writes about her faith, family, organic gardening, raising backyard chickens and preserving the harvest.

Let’s Bake an Apple Pie

Written by Diana of Spain in Iowa.

The temperatures are dropping and school has officially started.  This is my first time as a parent with a child at school and I have to admit, the first couple of weeks I was heartbroken.  I missed my little guy during the days and what made it worse, he was having a rough time being away as well.

Now that he’s adjusted and quite happy to be in kindergarten, I’ve been on the upswing. I have found myself with more time on my hands and, in this season, there is nothing more relaxing than baking an apple pie.


All photos by Diana Bauman

With my 3 year old at home, we’ve been able to turn up the music, dance and bake. There’s so much freedom and peace in listening to good music and playing in the kitchen.

What’s even more rewarding is that the older boys are happy to see what you’ve created after a long day of school and work. I’m starting to enjoy these school days and the season in which I have found myself.

So, with fresh local apples at every farmers’ market (or your neighbor’s tree) let’s have some fun. Let’s bake an apple pie!

[Read more…]

Paella, Simple Summer Fare

Rising temperatures and backyard parties means – it’s paella time!

So often in the States we think of paella as a gourmet dish meant to be eaten on special occasions or when fine dining. In reality, a paella in Spain is a casual meal eaten outdoors, served at summer festivals and enjoyed as simple midweek meals.

The paella originated in the countryside of Valencia, España, where rice fields were (and are) in abundance. Local farmers and peasants raised chickens, rabbits and collected snails.

After making a rich and nourishing broth, the rice and local meat were combined creating the first paella cooked over an open fire.

This simple peasant’s dish has since influenced the entire world and is now made in many different variations.


All photos by Diana Bauman

A real and traditional paella is made using only a few seasonal ingredients and meant to highlight the rice. The rice is really what makes a paella.

As long as you have a good quality rice and a few other ingredients, you’ll be on your way to an amazing rice dish.

[Read more…]

How to Plan Ahead for Your Fall Garden

Written by Diana of My Humble Kitchen.

It’s definitely the season for radishes, however, the ones in the picture above were harvested in the Fall of last year.

I was really excited to write this post because anyone that follows my blog knows that my heart and passion is in my garden.  It’s my source of therapy and meditation as I sow, tend to and, yes… even pull weeds.

I’m not claiming to always have a green thumb, however, year after year I learn a bit more and for me it was a revelation when I learned about fall gardening.

Many of us are into preserving our own food. This revolution has sparked backyard gardens throughout the nation.  In order to preserve the most amount of food from your garden to carry into the winter months, you need to start planning a Fall garden now.

[Read more…]

The Beauty of Farm-Fresh Eggs and How to Source Them

Written by Diana Bauman.

The word ‘egg’, all alone, makes me happy. When I hear it, thoughts run through my head of fried eggs with potatoes, mayonnaise, a rich custard or a Spanish tortilla omelet…. If there was a food that I simply couldn’t live without, it would have to be eggs.

Although I love eggs for the diverse range of foods that they help make, my favorite thing about eggs is that they are a traditional source of complete protein and nutrition. This couldn’t be more true than in the Spring.  Spring is the season for pastured, farm fresh eggs.

Yes, eggs are available year round from the farm or grocery store, however, as the buds start to bloom, grasses start to grow and microbial bugs and earthworms start to proliferate, pastured chickens enjoy their buffet.  With this buffet comes more vitamins and nutrients.  In the Springtime, eggs are at their nutritional peak.

[Read more…]

Nourishing Nuggets: How to Make Spanish Croquetas

Croquetas or Croquettes are what I call “Spanish style chicken nuggets”. However, they are versatile as they can be made with different kinds of meat including fish. Adults and children love them alike which makes them a popular tapa (appetizer) throughout Spain.

Croquetas make a great lunch especially for children as they not only taste great but they’re nourishing. They’re made using flour, butter and whole milk creating a thick béchamel sauce. A meat is added and after a period of rest, they are deep fried in extra virgin olive oil.

Feel free to fry them up in coconut oil or farm fresh pork lard as these are also great sources of healthy saturated fats filled with vitamins and nutrients.

Being a busy mama, I always make a double batch of croquetas as they can be frozen and fried in smaller quantities as you need them.

Crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside, croquetas are typically made after a large batch of puchero andaluz or when having made homemade beef or chicken broth.  The tender extra meat is shredded and used in the filling.

Next time you make homemade beef or chicken broth, save some of the meat for homemade Spanish croquetas. Your family will not be disappointed.

[Read more…]