Shrimp & Grits...

2:55 PM

Here in the South, shrimp and grits has always been something on the menu at a higher end restaurant. It is not an everyday dish that families just make for dinner. It is a soothing comfort food but usually only eaten when spending a night out on the town. Don't expect to visit your down south relatives and find this waiting on the table when you arrive, but boy oh boy is it easy to make and simple and quick and oh delicious. (Did I say enough 'ands'?)

Even though this is not an everyday dish, it sure is good. Grits are common enough here in Mississippi. It is a common breakfast meal that is similar to polenta. I would say it is like cream of wheat or something but it is coarser and grittier. I like mine with just a wee bit of pepper and salt with a pat of butter. It makes for some simple good eats. Really.

The good thing about grits is that it can be changed. You can add cheese, bacon, ham, gravy and it is the Add some fresh biscuits to the mix and oooooo-weeeeee, slap yo' mama gosh dang.

Seriously, easy to make and impress your friends and folks with this.

You will need:
4 cups of  water
1 cup of uncooked grits
1 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of butter
2 cups of medium shrimp (peeled and no tail)
4 slices of bacon
2 slices of smoked porkchops/ham (diced)
1 tbsp of creole seasoning
1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce
1 tsp of dried italian seasoning or chopped fresh parsley

In pot, bring water to a boil, add in salt and slowly begin stirring in the grits. Lower the heat to low-medium. The grits should start to bubble (be careful, these badboys are hot if they hit you). Stir regularly so they do not stick to the pot. Cook for ten minutes then lower the heat to low and cook for about 20 more minutes stirring regularly. Stirring will prevent the grits from lumping up and sticking to bottom of the pot. If your grits look too thick, slowly add in water, stirring until you get the consistency of a coarse pudding. Turn off the heat and cover.

In medium sauce pan on medium heat, add in butter and shrimp. Sprinkle with seasoning, worcestershire sauce, and add in bacon and porkchop pieces. Cook until bacon is done. Reduce heat. The shrimp mix should have made it's own gravy. If not enough, add in another dash of worcestershire and 2 tbsp of water.

You may need to add more creole seasoning. Don't be afraid to taste it to see if there is enough to your liking. I like well seasoned foods, so add more if you need to.

Spoon the grits into a bowl and top with a large spoonful of shrimp, bacon and ham and make sure you put some of that good ol' potlicker on it. (Once again, if your grits have gotten too thick--as they will thicken the longer they sit--add a little more water and stir to bring it back to a creamy nature) Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and garnish with a twig of rosemary. Serve with fresh biscuits and you have a winner.

Serves 4.


Peanut Butter Pancakes...

1:26 PM

It's National Pancake Day, so let's pancake!

We are huge breakfast fans at my house and equally as huge fans of pancakes. While our typical pancake breakfast hardly ever deviates from traditional, sometimes we do like to try out new variations. I have always wanted to try peanut butter pancakes and finally did today. Wow oh wow is all I can say. You can taste the peanut butter in the pancakes without it being too sweet or over powering. Perfect combination when you add in a dollop of whipped cream and some cereal for crunch. My kids loved, loved, loved these. I cannot wait to try other combinations...and how cool would this have been with a drizzle of chocolate!

You will need:

2 cups of pancake mix
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup of evaporated milk
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter

In mixing bowl, add all of your ingredients.

Mix until it is the consistency of cake batter. You do not want it runny and not thick like cookie dough. If it is too runny or drippy, add in more pancake mix a tablespoon at a time.  If too dry, add in more water a tablespoon at a time.

Mix well.

I pour my batter into a measuring cup so that it pours evenly and without mess. Using a griddle on meduim heat or nonstick skillet, pour your batter steadily on the skillet/griddle slowly and as you pour, it will expand into a nice circle.

Since there is added peanut butter in this batter, it can burn easily. Cook on meduim heat for about a minute and using your spatula carefuly go around the edge. If the pancake bottom edge does not stick to your spatula , you can slide the whole thing under the pancake and flip. ( you can also flip when bubbles begin to form on top of the pancake)  If any part of the bottom sticks to the spatula, give it a minute, then flip.

It should be golden brown underneath. Cook until both sides are golden brown.

Serve with a nice drizzle of peanut butter, dollop of peanut butter and a dollop of whipped cream (I like mine to be slightly frozen so it does not melt as fast) and sprinkly a little bit of Reese's Peanut Butter cereal on top for crunch. 


Rodeo Burger

6:46 PM

Who doesn't love a good burger? I know I do. Today I was originally wanted something with marinara sauce. It went from pizza to calzone to stromboli. I just needed some sauce in my life. I was all over the internet, typing in my search and drooling over the deliciousness that was on my screen.

Then my daughter walked in. She didn't want a calzone, she wanted a burger. Being hungry, I was easily persuaded to ditch said calzone and move on to burger lusting. Still wanting some sauce, I traded the marinara for bbq sauce.  Oh my word. My kids loved these bad boys. They were just so good. I doubled our patties because I made them quite thin but like, oh my oh darn good.

Rodeo Burger

Texas Toast

Ground Beef (one fistful per person)
Worcestershire Sauce (2 tbsp per person)
Teriyaki Sauce (2 tbsp per person)
Salt and Pepper

Frozen Onion Rings
1/2 Bell Pepper (chopped)
1/4 Onion Chopped
5 Slices of Bacon Chopped

Sharp Cheddar Cheese Slices

BBQ Sauce

(if cooking for less than four people, use 2 tbsp chopped veggies and 2 slices of chopped bacon per person)

In mixing bowl mix ground beef, Worcestershire and teriyaki. Add in salt and pepper to taste. Mix beef and grab by the fist full and form a ball. Flatten the ball of beef into a patty shape. 

Heat skillet on medium high. Add in patties. Cook and turn over until desired wellness. Place a slice of cheddar cheese on the patties while still in skillet until melted.

In small skillet, add in chopped veggies, bacon and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until bacon is completely done.

In oven at 350 degrees, bake onion rings for 30 minutes until crispy. 

Toast your bread!

Now assemble your burger.

Finish with a nice drizzle of your favorite bbq sauce.


Easy Chicken Gyros

1:57 PM

When it comes to dinner for my kids, most times we keep things very simple and light. I am always thinking of foods that I see on television or online and it is so refreshing to take a break from traditional heavy Southern meals and try something from the Mediterranean area.

One of our favorites are chicken gyros. I must admit, I am an absolute sucker for tzatziki sauce. I can eat it by the spoonfuls. 

I use this recipe here for the sauce but I add in a tablespoon of pickle juice to it as well. I really like dill. Like, dude....seriously.

Chicken Gyros

1 chicken breast per person, cut into cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive Oil
Thinly sliced cucumbers
Tomato slices
Soft Greek Style Pita bread

Preheat oven to 350.

Place cubed chicken on skewer. Place on baking sheet. Drizzle chicken with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over skewers.

Put in oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Remove chicken from skewers and place on top of soft pita. Add lettuce, tomato and tzatziki sauce. serve with extra sauce.

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