Thursday, October 30

New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp

A total misnomer. The uninitiated, likely mislead. These shrimp are neither cooked on a BBQ grill nor with BBQ sauce. 

N.O.B.B.Q for short is probably my favorite style of shrimp. It's good and messy! Although this recipe says it feeds four, my husband and I can put down three whole pounds between the two of us. I usually just pair these tangy shrimps with crusty bread - wonderful for dipping in the sauce!

1 cup unsalted butter
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Dash of hot pepper sauce
1 lemon, thinly sliced
3 pounds large shrimp* (21-25 count or larger)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a dutch oven over low heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt, black and cayenne peppers, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, oregano, hot sauce, and lemon slices. Add the shrimp and stir to coat well with the sauce. 

Place in the oven to bake for 20-minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and the tails just slightly curved.  Baste with the sauce occasionally. Remove the bay leaf from the sauce, then spoon the shrimp and sauce into bowls, and serve. Leftovers are perfect for po'boy sandwiches.

*Peeled and deveined shrimp may be used, but flavor and ritual will be sacrificed.

Adapted from the cookbook: Screen Doors and Sweet Tea

Tuesday, October 28

{Link Love} The Summer of Okra


This summer was the summer I found okra. I mean realllly found okra. Although I have fried okra several million times, I mostly did so because that was all I knew. Having only recently branched out to try new recipes, I have been surprised to discover how well okra accompanies foods I make all the time like rice and shrimp. 

Here are a few recipes I have saved and though I'd share! I'd love to hear your thoughts on okra. Do you have a favorite dish?
Shrimp and Okra Hush puppies
Pan Fried Okra, Shallots, and Tomatoes over Grits

Black-Eyed Peas & Okra
Black-Eyed Peas & Okra

Smashed Cayenne + Cornmeal Crusted Fried Okra | for the love of the south
Smashed Fried Okra
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo photo
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Skillet Roasted Okra and Shrimp
Lamb Chops with Roasted Okra, Zucchini, Lady Peas and Soffrito
Lamp Chops with Roasted Okra
Stir-Fried Okra with Shallots, Chile, and Ginger photo
Stir-Fried Okra with Shallots, Chile, and Ginger

Click photo caption for a link to each recipe!

Sunday, October 19

Pumpkin {Doughnut} Muffins


It wouldn't be October without a pumpkin recipe. We have a had gorgeous weather this past week! The temps are starting to drop at night and you definitely need a light sweater in the mornings. I am finally in the mood to celebrate fall and share my very favorite pumpkin recipe.

Muffins are perfect for my busy mornings trying to get out the door to work. I will whip them up over the weekend in order to have a little treat I can quickly grab and even munch on the in car. Although I would love to be one of those people who makes time for a sit down breakfast each morning, I find myself multitasking with breakfast either at my desk or in the car quite often.

What makes these muffins the perfect breakfast is certainly not that they are healthy. These babies are brushed with butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar! The plus side - I guess we can call it that - being they are so dense and filling you only need to eat one. 

Maybe you are already familiar with doughnut muffins, but just in case you are not it is essentially a cake doughnut recipe presented to you in muffin form. Martha Stewart either started this whole doughnut muffin thing or was just the one to make them popular - I am not sure. Here I have adapted her recipe, changing up the spices by adding ginger and allspice, to make them even more savory and I think a little more balanced. I know you are going to love this sticky, lick-your-fingers messy, pumpkin goodness! 

For the batter

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 + 1/4 cups pure pumpkin puree
1 + 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
For the sugar coating
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour one 12 standard muffin pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. In a separate small bowl whisk together buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla. In another large bowl beat butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Beat in eggs one at a time. Scrap down the sides of the bowl. 


To the butter, brown sugar, and eggs, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with two additions pumpkin mixture beating on low speed just until combined.

Spoon 1/3 cup batter into each muffin cup and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean 24-26 minutes.

Meanwhile in a medium bowl whisk together sugar and cinnamon for coating. Remove muffins from oven and cool in pans on wire racks 10-20 minutes.  Brush one muffin at a time with butter then toss/roll coat in the sugar mixture until completely coated. Place on wire racks and cool completely. Best eaten within 24 hours. 


Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Monday, October 13

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

It feels like I have been on the verge of a cold for two weeks. My symptoms have gone back and forth, worse then better. Well somewhere between working 7 days a week, not getting any sleep, and eating like shit I have become sick. Inevitable, really. I'll be the first one to say it: I really should be taking better care of myself. 

After calling in to work I slept until 1:30pm. It was awesome. Then, I ran to the store to get a roasted chicken and made up a giant pot of chicken noodle soup. After tossing some things into my pot, I indulged myself with a LUSH bath bomb. I must say... A hot bath and bowl of soup can be pretty magical. 

My favorite chicken soup recipe is from Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food. It was over a year ago, I featured her Chicken Stock on the blog. I do like to keep chicken stock in my freezer all the time. It's perfect for days like today. Although I usually add parsnips and celery to my soup, today I wasn't in the mood for any extra chopping so I just stuck with basic carrots. Not only is this soup light and full of flavor, making it only dirties up one pot, cutting board, knife, and spoon. You certainly can't beat that when feeling under the weather. 


3 quarts of chicken stock
2 cup of chicken, shredded
2 cups of egg noodles
1 large onion, diced
5-6 small carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2-3 small parsnips, diced
fresh dill

In a heavy-bottomed pot, place your onions, vegetables, and salt. Cover with half the chicken broth and cook at a simmer until the vegetables are tender. 

While your vegetables simmer, shred your chicken from the bones. Picking out any skin or fat with your fingers.   

Once the vegetables are soft, add the rest of your broth, noodles, and chicken. Cook until the noodles are done. Taste and adjust flavor with salt as needed. 

Just before serving, stir in chopped dill.

This recipe was adapted from Alice Water's The Art of Simple Food.

Monday, October 6

Brie and Pear Salad with Cranberries and Cashews

Let me start off by saying, I love to be busy. One thing I worried about most when I found out we were moving to a new city was being bored or lonely. Since starting my new job, neither of those things have happened. Not even close! Each day I go to work excited to be with the people who are there and leave busy with ideas and plans for the next day.

Like with any new job I am adjusting to a new breakfast and lunch routine. Although I get to work hours earlier than I used to I try to force myself to eat something healthy for breakfast - usually toast (duh), Greek yogurt, or oatmeal. For lunch I used to take leftovers, but with Sam working nights I'll admit my dinner menu has gone by the way-side. Knowing I would just eat junk all-day if I didn't plan ahead, I started making jar salads again. 

Each Sunday night, I make up three or so jars of salads to get my week started off right. This little habit has become such a blessing. Not only is each jar a ready-to-go meal, it's much healthier than the snacks I have in my desk :)

I typically don't love pears, but they give this dish a great kick. Plus, the Dijon vinaigrette will be a recipe you keep around house. We just about always have some in the fridge!

If you have never made a salad in a jar, you will want to give the assembly some thought:
  1. Start with your dressing on the bottom of the jar
  2. Add hearty ingredients like raw veggies, nuts, or dried fruits
  3. Pile on softer ingredients like fresh fruit and cheeses
  4. Then pack in your greens
This method should help keep your greens fresh and tasty for several days. I have kept my jars for up to five days, but have found this particular salad is best within three.

For the dressing:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp mild agave nectar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper

For the salad:
4 cups 50/50 mix
1 ripe pear, thinly sliced
2-3 oz ripe brie cheese, sliced
Roasted, unsalted cashews
Dried cranberries

To make the dressing, add all ingredients in a small jar. Shake vigorously until emulsified. 

To assemble your salad, pour 2-3 tbs of dressing into the bottom of your jars. Add the cashews, cranberries, pears, and brie followed by your greens packed in tightly.