Friday, March 16, 2018

Old Photo Friday: Stop and smell the flowers

WHO: Brian Keith Lee
WHERE: Delaware
WHEN: He looks to be about 4 or 5, so I'll say 1964-65

Spring is in the air.  We hit 70 this week and the tulips are blooming.  It's time to stop and smell the flowers.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Recipe of the Week: Regional American Food Week 3/ SE Region - Shrimp and Grits

The cuisine of the Southern United States was developed and defined by African, English, French and Spanish cuisines. Tidewater, Appalachian and Low-country are all examples of types of Southern cuisine.

Many elements were borrowings from the Southeastern Indian tribes, but the Southern love for fried foods is of Scottish decent.  In Virginia, the use of ragouts comes from the West County of England.  Black-eyed peas, okra, rice and melons as well as most of the spices in Southern cooking are originally from Africa.

Grits are a staple of the south and are made from corm that is ground into a course meal and then boiled.  Some grits are made from hominy.  Grits should not be confused with polenta which is made from a more finely ground corm meal.

Three-quarters of the grits sold in the U.S. are in the south, an area from Texas to Virginia that is sometimes called the "grit-belt".


Shrimp and Grits


3/4 cup quick cooking grits
4 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound uncooked, cleaned and de-veined medium shrimp
4 green onions, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese


Cook grits according to package directions.  Add cheese to grits once they have finished cooking; mix well.

Next, cook bacon in a medium frying pan until crisp.  Remove from skillet with slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.  Keep bacon grease in the pan and add the shrimp, green onions and garlic; cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until the shrimp turns pink.  De-glaze pan with white wine.

Add the bacon, lemon juice and parsley to the shrimp; mix well and remove from heat.

To serve: Plate 2-3 heaping spoonfuls of grits in a shallow bowl and top with shrimp mix. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

9 & 10/52: Our Second Chance

It's unlikely that I'll totally forget March 2nd any time soon.  It's a day I want to remember for a long long time.  It's the day that Brian and I got a second chance.

I could weave you a tale of fear, greater than anything I could ever imagine.  I could scare you with statistics that take your mind to places that you never imagined going.  I could share with you a loneliness so dark that it left my bones cold.

But instead, I found a love inside me that was so strong that it took my breath away.  I discovered gratitude in everyday things that I will no longer take for granted.  I re-discovered the kindness of strangers and their healing touch.  I found courage I didn't know I had.  I learned that friendship is strong and deep and always there for you under any circumstance.

We will forget the details of March 2nd, the bad parts...for sure, but we will always remember the love, strength and courage that surrounds our hearts, today and everyday.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Menu Plan Monday: Bring on the March Madness


I always look forward to March Madness Week, it's a week that is filled with basketball, friends, family and food!

Don't forget to check out Laura's website for more planning and organizing ideas.


MONDAY:  Hello Fresh Box inspired Balsamic Onion Burgers
TUESDAY: Pan-Seared Salmon over Curry Vegetables and Zoodles
WEDNESDAY: Murgh Makani (Indian Butter Chicken) over Basmati Rice with Warm Naan Bread
THURSDAY: Country Pork Ribs, Creamy Cole Slaw and Corn on the Cob
FRIDAY: Rack of Lamb or Filet Mignon Steaks, Baked Potato and Asparagus
SATURDAY: Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas with Pinto Beans and Lime Cilantro Rice
SUNDAY: Kitchen Closed!  Bloody Mary Bar and Pizza

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Recipe of the Week: Regional American Food Month (Week 2 - NE Region) - Stromboli

A stromboli is a type of turnover filled with various cheese and cold cuts invented by Italian immigrants in the north eastern region of the U.S.

There are several claims regarding the original use of the name, but a pizzeria in Essington, Pennsylvania claims to have used the name since 1950.

A stromboli is somewhat similar to a calzone, but a stromboli is usually made by rolling up dough that has been topped with pizza ingredients and then baked.

I found a pretty easy recipe, although not healthy...with a salad a small slice would make a great weekend dinner.


Easy Stromboli


1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/3 pound thin sliced salami
1 can Pillsbury classic pizza crust
1/4 cup pizza sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup chopped bell peppers
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning


Heat oven to 400F.

Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Brown ground beef in medium skillet over medium-heat until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently.  Drain. Set aside.

Unroll dough; place on cookie sheet.  starting at center, press dough out with hands to form a 12 x 8-inch rectangle.

Spread sauce over dough to within 2 inches of long sides and 1/2 inch of short sides.  Place cooked ground beef lengthwise down the center, forming 3 inch wide strip and to within 1/2 inch of short sides.

Top ground beef with salami, cheese, bell peppers and seasoning.  Fold long sides of dough over filling; press edges to seal.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Serve with extra warmed sauce on the side to dip slices in!