Cajun Shrimp with Cheese Grits


Recipe adapted from Shrimp and Grits by Martha Nesbit, Bobby Flay and The Food Network

For our 25th wedding anniversary, Mark and I went to Tampa Bay, Florida for one week. We timed our trip to coincide with the Boston Red Sox coming to town to play the Tampa Bay Rays.  Our seats at Tropicana Field were in the Whitney Bank Club, Tampa Bay’s luxury seats.  It was our first experience with such splendor at a ballpark, and we loved it!  You had the option of watching the game from the stands (sitting on a black leather seat cushion) or sitting in a huge leather club chair in the lounge, surrounded by flat screen t. v. s that broadcasted the game.

All-you-could-eat-or-drink was included with the price of the ticket.  The food was served by chefs, varied, and delicious; everything from nachos, hot dogs and sloppy Joes to prime rib and pork loin.  There was a coffee and dessert bar, and salads galore.  One of the appetizers they served was Cajun Shrimp with Cheese Grits.  Mark had never had grits before, but he wolfed them down like he had been eating them his whole life. I wanted to make this dish for Mark when we returned home, so I went in search of a similar recipe.  Bobby Flay’s version really pumps up the flavor.  Enjoy!



4 cups water

salt and pepper

1 cup grits ( I used instant grits, but either kind will work)

3 Tablespoons butter

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese

1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined

6 slices bacon, chopped

4 teaspoons lemon juice

2 Tablespoons chopped parsley

1 cup sliced green onions

2 cloves garlic, minced

Zatarain’s Creole seasoning, to taste



1. Bring water to boil, add salt and pepper.  Stir in grits, cook 5 minutes for instant grits and 20-25 minutes for regular grits.

2.  Remove from heat, stir in butter and cheese.  Mix well and cover to keep hot until shrimp is done.

3.Rinse shrimp and pat dry.  Fry the bacon in a large skillet until browned; remove bacon and place on paper towels to drain.


4. Add shrimp to grease, cook on low until the shrimp turns pink.

5. Add lemon juice, chopped bacon, parsley, green onions, garlic and Creole Seasoning.  Saute for 3 minutes.

6. Spoon grits into serving bowl, add shrimp mixture and serve immediately.


Honor Guard




Before the Ballgame



My favorite player on the Red Sox was their catcher, #33 Jason Varitek.


Roasted Shrimp Scampi


Recipe adapted from Roasted Shrimp Scampi

courtesy of Woman’s Day Magazine, October 2012

Hearst Communications, Inc.

Mark likes shrimp, and he’ll eat it cooked just about any way possible.  I usually make shrimp scampi in a big skillet on top of the stove, that is until I found this recipe.  This shrimp scampi dish is so easy to make, and Mark likes it better than the way I used to make it, so it’s a win-win.

The actual recipe uses sweet cherry peppers, but I never seem to have any on hand when I want to make this dish.  As a matter of fact, every time I have made it has been different because I just use whatever we have that I think will work with shrimp.  Tonight’s version had halved grape tomatoes and chopped green bell peppers.  Last time I used chopped orange bell peppers and zucchini.  As long as there is shrimp in the dish, I don’t really think that Mark could care less about the rest of it.  So I just go in the kitchen and experiment.  If you do not have wine, you can substitute chicken broth (I like the wine better), but whatever you do, don’t skimp on the garlic.  Six cloves of garlic may sound like a lot,  but the garlic is really what makes the dish taste so delicious.  Enjoy!


8 ounces linguine
1 1/2 pounds large peeled and deveined shrimp
2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parley, roughly chopped
1/2 cup small sweet red cherry peppers, quartered (I used red bell peppers and cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper



1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.



2. In a large baking dish, combine shrimp, oil, garlic, parsley, peppers, salt, and pepper.



3. Roast until the shrimp are opaque, about 12-15 minutes.



4. To serve, place pasta on the plate or serving dish and pour the roasted shrimp scampi on top.