When you live just moments from the ocean you get used to eating the bounty of the sea. Not everyone enjoys all of the variety that the sea offers and some people take longer to come around. Point in case my monkeys, yet it will happen one day. They will get with the program, once they get over their picky taste buds.

Eating these little guys just so happens to be a naturally delicious part of life.

Especially when they end up looking like this. What can I say? Shrimp N Grits Ya’ll…there is nothing else like them. Who couldn’t resist a plate or glass of one of the south’s most loved combo’s?

Well my darlin’ surfer for one but I’ll cut him some slack since he’s a California boy and grits are mind-boggling to him. Even though he has lived in the south nearly half of his life he still hasn’t developed an affinity for some of our fare. He tried some shrimp and grits once at a wedding, you can’t say no to the bride that’s just plain rude and improper. Low and behold (surprisingly) he enjoyed them. Yet not enough to request them on a regular basis. Don’t you worry guys I will bring him over to the dark side eventually :)

In the meantime I made myself some for supper tonight since he won’t be home until late. His loss! Now I will be honest, there are probably hundreds of recipes out there for shrimp -n- grits and most of them similar. That is to be expected since it is a basic, inexpensive, two pot dish developed by coastal families. Here is what you will need to make some amazing shrimp and cheese grits for yourself or your family.

3 1/2 cups of water

3/4 cups Quaker Old Fashioned Grits ( don’t you dare use instant or quick)

1 pound fresh shrimp

1/2 teaspoon Texas Pete (approx. 10-12 drops)

6 ounces Kraft Sharp Cheddar cheese, finely shredded

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 1/2 ounces cracked pepper bacon (diced) (approx. 1/2 cup)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup finely chopped new onions or scallions

1 1/2 cups porcini mushrooms

1 1/2 cups oyster mushrooms

1 garlic clove minced

Juice from one lemon

Parsley to garnish

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Prep Work: Dice the bacon and onion, set aside in separate bowls. Mince the garlic and set aside. Slice the mushrooms into slender lengths, set aside.

First: On medium high heat bring the water to a boil and gradually add the grits while constantly stirring, approx. 12-15 minutes. Turn the heat down to simmer or very low and cover (tip the lid so some steam can escape) to cook for approx. 20 minutes.

While the grits are cooking clean and devein the shrimp, set aside.

The grits should be fully cooked and creamy by now. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter, sharp cheddar cheese and half of the Texas Pete until you have yummy cheesy grits. Set back on the oven at the lowest heat possible.

Second:

Bacon-In one skillet on medium high heat add the bacon. Cook and stir until it starts to brown. Turn the heat down to medium.

Mushrooms-In another skillet on medium heat add the olive oil. Once hot add the mushrooms and saute until they just start to soften.

Bacon-Once the bacon is browned add the shrimp and saute together until the shrimp is pink, approx. 3-4 minutes. Then add the onions and continue to cook for a couple more minutes.

Mushrooms-Now that your mushrooms are soft, add the garlic (do not brown) and saute for approx. 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice. Combine the mushroom mixture into the shrimp skillet.

Cook the shrimp, bacon and mushrooms for approx. 4 minutes until a little of the lemon juice has evaporated.

Guess what? You’re all done. All you have to do now is plate it, garnish with some fresh parsley and thoroughly enjoy your beautiful dish.

If you happen to be entertaining, or like me trying to woo your man over to the dark side, serve it in a lovely wine glass or a martini glass. Every little bit helps you know.

No matter how you serve it Shrimp N Cheesy Grits will TICKLE you to no end and back. The lemon juice, porcini/oyster mushrooms and cracked pepper bacon add that little something extra to this simple dish. Ya’ll have to try this recipe some time!

I hope that you enjoy making it as much as I am enjoying seconds while I write this post. Oh! Another important tip, if you happen to have leftovers don’t worry. Shrimp N Grits are even better the next day, like pasta dishes the flavors will marry beautifully overnight. The grits will no longer be creamy but all you will need to do is warm them up on the stove with a splash of milk or cream until you get the consistency back to the desired creaminess.

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News:

Okay, so I hinted this morning as to some interesting things developing this past week. As you all know I have been laid off since December and I won’t lie to you, it hasn’t been easy. Don’t worry though, we always find a way and are a positive forward thinking family. On that note my step mom and I have been discussing a collaboration and starting a catering business together. The idea was to start slow maybe some small in home parties, intimate weddings…you get the idea. Well this week we were offered the chance to carter a very influential 500 person event. : O………

Yeah me too! My mouth is still on the floor! I would love to jump at this and say yes but we are only in the beginning stages of putting this “little” business together. We haven’t even gotten our license yet.  Now you all know part of what I was doing this week. Reading and reading and researching everything I need to have accomplished in order to do this job. Permits, license, commercial kitchen…you name it. Whew! It will make your head spin with excitement and trepidation all at once.

Whether or not we are able to pull off this amazing opportunity, it is good to see a direction for the future now. All be it a hazy, intimidating, gleeful vision full of gambles. Most of all there is a feeling of joy and hope. Wish us luck!

I hope that you all have a great evening! Love,

Tickled Red

PS: Due to my increasingly busy schedule the giveaway portion of Monday is Giving will not be held every single Monday. It will now be a spontaneous event and a surprise. Sort of a reflection of my life right now :) I love a good random surprise during the month don’t you?

Always remember that Monday is Giving is our gentle reminder to take time and give back to others. To pass on a compliment, hug, shoulder, smile or simply opening the door for someone. It is a way for us all to connect.

Red

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