Posts made in October 24th, 2011

shrimp and grits for one

11

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 in Food

Growing up in the Southern Midwest left me in a bit of a weird place when it comes to culture. I grew up 30 minutes away from the Kentucky border. Kentucky is decidedly the gateway to “the South” but no one would ever consider Indiana southern. So I grew up living in a Yankee state butted right up to the South.

When I moved 90 minutes north to go to college, people thought I was so backcountry. In high school, people made fun of me because I didn’t have an accent, but when I moved to college, I got made fun of for my Southern accent. Coincidentally, it has all balanced out now and I have a pretty neutral accent.

This weird gray area is where a lot of my food influences come from. I grew up eating grits, fried chicken and hominy. And it wasn’t until I got to college that I began to realize that not everyone knew of these kinds of foods. Some of my friends didn’t even know what grits were! The horror! And go figure, I go and marry the ultimate northerner. Babyface definitely had never had grits before I came ’round.

Anyway, that’s a long way of saying that I love, love southern food, even though I’m technically a Yankee. And Babyface does, too! This dish is one of the more perfect of the southern classics. Cheesy, stoneground grits are topped with some plump shrimp sautéed in a garlic pan sauce. My favorite part of this dish is that it is perfect for the nights when Babyface is working late and I’m on my own. It comes together in 15 minutes and makes a perfect single serving. Of course, just double, triple or quadruple the ingredients for two or more servings.

Try to grab stoneground grits if you can find them. If you are way up north, you might not be able to find anything labeled grits anywhere. If so, look for coarsely ground cornmeal or polenta. They are pretty much the same thing just under different names. If you are in a real pinch, you can use finely ground cornmeal, but it will render a much smoother and pudding-like grits. Which I think is a bummer.

Print this recipe

Shrimp and Grits for One

Adapted from Eat, Live Run

This dish is one of the best comfort foods I know. If you like the result, try the cheesy grits as a base for lots of other dishes. Use it in place of pasta for a red sauce or a mushroom saute.

Makes one serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup stoneground grits
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 slice thick-cut bacon
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 scallion, white and green parts chopped thin

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, simmer and stir in grits. Cook grits for 7-10 minutes or until tender and water is absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat, add in butter, cheese, salt and pepper and stir until melted. Set aside.
  4. While grits are cooking, cook bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until crisp. Remove from pan, crumble and set aside.
  5. To the bacon grease in the skillet, add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook for 1-3 minutes or until garlic is just soft.
  6. Add shrimp and cook until opaque and pink, about 3 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice.
  8. Plate by pouring shrimp and sauce over grits and topping with crumbled bacon and scallions.

Do you like southern food?

monday motivation + weekly goals

8

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 in Motivation

My gosh, did this quote ever resonate with me! I feel like I’m the #1, Grade A abuser of tempting parking spots. I live in a world of “that’s good enough” when in all actuality, I want to be better. It is a common thread throughout everything in my life. Weight loss, running, eating, my career, my relationships. I find myself some safe spot and hang out there for months (years even) because I’m afraid or too lazy to get back on the road to success. Often I’ll try to convince myself that I’m really “okay” with the spot I’m in, because after all, it’s a vast improvement from where I started. But frequently, that is just my way of pushing down the feelings of needing to do more or be more. I’m settling for “sorta successful” because I’m too afraid I’ll fail if I go any farther down the path to success.

This one definitely has me thinking…

Want to take this little piece of motivation home with you? As always, you can purchase this print over at my Etsy store to hang on your wall. Want to check out all my motivational quotes for sale? Head on over to check out this print and loads of others. All are available with custom colors and sizing.

Weekly Goals

Run once. Every time I’ve run in the past few months, I’ve ended the run short thanks to some bad pain in my right foot. I’ve taken the past few weeks off of running to try to heal the little bugger, but I’m ready to have a go at it again. Soon, I’ll need to make a decision about if I want to train for/sign up for spring races (read: another half).
Stay on top of BTHR. Last week, I had a two-day “outage” on the ole blog because of a busy schedule and poor planning. The shorter days are really messing with my food photography game, but this week, I need to stay on top of it.
45 minutes of relaxing after work daily. I tend to come home after work and get right to…well…work. I need to give myself a little time to decompress and relax in the day. 45 minutes is enough time to get into a good book or watch a TV show, just something that isn’t work related.
Two morning workouts. I love morning workouts, but the promise of a warm bed has been too much to pass up for the past few weeks. This week, I want to push myself out of bed and get to the gym before work twice. That still gives me five days of warm, cozy bed in the morning.

What are your goals for this week?