Monday, May 21, 2012

Grilled BBQ Shrimp & Creamy Pepper Jack Grits

I am a fan of anything shrimp and anything grits... and served together, life is you can also see here. This past Sunday Funday the Hubs wanted to use his grill so I conjured up a new recipe for us try out (with a little inspiration from Southern Living). Verdict = delicious success!

Ingredients for BBQ Shrimp
1 lb large shrimp
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup ketchup
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
½ teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon thyme
4-5 wooden skewers
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
Dash of red pepper flakes (not pictured above)
1 cup Stone ground grits, cooked according to package directions
2 tablespoons butter
3 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
salt & pepper to taste

Peel and devein shrimp; rinse and drain off water.
Place about 5 shrimp on each skewer (Tip: if using wooden skewers as pictured above, soak in water for about 20-30; this will keep them from burning and falling off on the grill).

Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and sugar on both sides. Set shrimp in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

Now, go tell your Hubs to turn on the grill... and then get your grits a cookin' since they take about 20 minutes! If possible use the GOOD stuff not the instant (the flavor is SO much better, trust me). See below example that I purchased from my favorite  spot - Southern Season  - in Chapel Hill, NC, while there on a recent visit.
Following the directions I got 4 cups of water boiling then slowly stirred in 1 cup of grits. Lowered to medium-low heat and stirred pretty frequently until they become thick and creamy (about 15-20 minutes). 

While cooking grits, assemble your BBQ sauce.
Melt butter; stir in the next 6 ingredients, including a dash of red pepper flakes (if desired). 

Pass off to the Hubs, along with the shrimp, and let him do his thang on the grill! Scott basted both sides of the shrimp before putting them on, and again while cooking; which ended up taking about 2 minutes per side. 

Finish up your grits by adding in the butta', cheese, salt & pepper. Plate it up really purdy and enjoy! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Summer Pasta Caprese

I am so excited it's grilling season! One of my favorites times of the year. With every good burger, grilled chicken breast or shrimp kabob you always need a tasty partner. This side dish is a winner!

Recipe adapted from the Food Network, courtesy of The Bidens. Although I may not agree with their political views, I will politely adapt their recipe and share with y'all (because it's pretty dang good).


⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅓ fresh lemon juice
¼ cup finely minced sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 carton cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 pound penne pasta (I used whole grain)
12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes 
½ cup fresh basil, chopped

Whisk olive oil, lemon juice, onion, garlic and sugar in a bowl. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

Add the tomatoes and gently toss. Let sit for 20 minutes. 

While tomatoes are marinating, cook past to package directions. Pour into colander and run under cold water; drain.

Add pasta and mozzarella to bowl and mix with tomatoes. Stir in basil and season with more salt & pepper, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Enjoy! Make sure and save some for lunch tomorrow; I find it to be even tastier the next day! Thanks Joe for the inspiration...of a good side dish that is :)


Jammin' Thumbprints

Happy Mother's Day, y'all! I continue to be thankful for our little bundle of joy on the way...but am trying to fully indulge in the lazy, peaceful Sundays I have left :) 

Sometimes during those lazy days you have a hankering for a slightly crunchy, sweet bite. These super cute, super easy and super tasty treats were my bribery to get off the couch! Wish my Mom was here in OH to indulge in one, two or three of these with me! 

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1½ sticks butter (unsalted), softened
⅔ cup sugar
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
blackberry & strawberry jam (or any jam of your choosing)

Preheat oven to 350°

Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. With a mixer, beat the butter, sugars and vanilla in a separate bowl until fluffy. Pour dry ingredients into the bowl and mix until combined; knead hand by dough for a minute or two to make sure it comes together. 

Roll dough mixture into small balls and place on baking sheet (about ½ inch apart). With your thumb, make a small indention into each ball and fill with a little jam.

Bake about 15-20 minutes, or until edges are a golden brown. Let cool 2-3 minutes on baking sheets then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Recipe adapted from the Food Network magazine.