Monday, October 31, 2011

Shrimp and Jalapeno Cheese Grits

One thing I don't really discuss on the blog is my love of food.  I love to try new restaurants, and I love to try new recipes, too.  When I saw this image along with the recipe on Amy's Sincerely Yours Blog, I knew I had to try it.  And, isn't she a great photographer~

It was so, so good!  Here is Amy's recipe.  I've tweaked the instructions a bit based on what worked best for me.  All ingredients are the same, though.

Step One: Bacon

6-8 strips of thick cut hickory smoked bacon
1/4 c. brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat over to 400 degrees.  Lay bacon flat on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and pepper.  Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and turn oven off.  Pour the grease drippings off; you will need them for the grits.  Set bacon aside.  You will crumble it later and sprinkle on top of the dish.  While the bacon is cooking, start chopping your vegetables for Step 3: Shrimp.

Step 2: Grits

1 cup instant grits, uncooked (you can find it next to the oatmeal at the grocery store)
4 cups water
1/4 cup unsalted butter (that's 1/2 stick)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. garlic powder
12 oz. mild Mexican Velveeta, cut into small cubes
3 jarred jalapeno rings, minced

Turn the oven back on to 350 degrees.  Bring water to boil.  Add salt and butter.  Once butter is melted, add grits.  Stir constantly for about 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to low and stir in the cheese until completely melted.  Add garlic powder and jalapenos.  Bake in a greased dish at 350 for approximately 30 minutes.  You can use individual dishes or a 9x13 glass baking pan.

Step 3: Shrimp

2 tbsp. bacon drippings
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp. Creole (Cajun) seasoning
1/2 cup - 1 cup dry white wine (sauvignon blanc)
1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and de-veined (you can buy them this way at the grocery; I suggest small to medium shrimp)
1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. fresh minced chives

Chop veggies (peppers and chives) and take tails off of shrimp while bacon is cooking.  Heat bacon drippings, butter and oil in a metal skillet over medium heat.  Add Creole seasoning, garlic and red and yellow bell pepper until peppers start to soften.  Add wine and increase to medium-high heat.  Once it starts to simmer, stir in the shrimp.  Cook until the shrimp are firm, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and add lemon juice and chives. 

Step 4: Serving:

Spoon shrimp mixture over bowls of grits.  Top with bacon crumbles and enjoy.  It is delicious!!!

Check out the Sincerely Yours blog for more pictures and other recipes!

And, just for fun...I always try to make sure my house is "tidy" before posting pictures, but just so you know, this is what my kitchen looks like when I'm in the middle of cooking~

Just keeping it real, people!  Happy November!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ooh La La

I am proud to be an Arkansan.  I may live in Texas, but I'm not a Texan.  I'm an Arkansan.  I love to feature fabulous talent from my home state.  At the top of the list is Bear-Hill Interiors, a Little Rock-based boutique and interior design firm.  Here is one of their projects.  Don't you agree that it's completely divine?  And, the fact that I'm in love with purple right now makes my crush that much stronger.  Check it out~

{all images via Bear-Hill Interiors}


The Big D is finally getting away from the inferno of a summer that we had this year.  For the first time, I woke up to 50 degree weather today.  I am a beach and warm weather loving girl, but it's refreshing to take in the brisk air.  Wish I was going home to this tonight~

{image via}

Monday, October 24, 2011

Featured - Just a Touch of Gray

My board and batten master bedroom is featured along with some other fabulous master bedrooms today on the Just a Touch of Gray blog today.  Please stop by and check out Rachel's fabulous blog!  I've also added her to the sidebar so you can keep up with her on a daily basis!  Thanks for including me, Rachel!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saving Face

I'm always curious about what products other people use, so I thought I'd share what I'm into right now~

1. Smashbox Photo Finish Face Primer
3. Nars Blush/Bronzer Combo in Orgasm/Laguna
4. Lancome Mineral Powder
5. Too Faced Shadow Insurance
6. Bare Escentuals Eye Shadows including Soul, Celestine, Moss and Legit
7. Bare Escentuals Eye Shadow in Twilight as eyeliner
8. Chanel Inimitable Intense Mascara in Noir
10. Smashbox Nude Lip Pencil in Light
11. Laura Mercier Lip Gloss in Brownberry 

Hands down, the best product on the list is the Chanel mascara.  I got a sample of it in the mail about a month ago.  After using it for the first time, I ran to the mall to pick up a full sized tube.  It's the first time I've ever gotten a compliment on my lashes in my life. Seriously.  Ever.  And, it stays on really well.  I may or may not still be wearing yesterdays.

Close runners up, though, are the Laura Mercier lip gloss and the Urban Decay makeup setting spray.  I've made several friends with various skin and hair tones try the lip gloss.  It universally looked great on all of them.  It's not gummy, and it also stays on really well.  The makeup setting spray is great for special events and long days at the office.  It really helps keep your makeup in tact, so you don't start to look tired by the end of the day. 

So, what's your favorite product?  I might like to give it a whirl!

And, am I the only who always seems to find golf tees on the bathroom counter???

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Form or Function?

Which would you rather have?  Function or form?

These bathroom vanities areundeniably beautiful, but where is her hair dryer?  And her eye cream?  And her contact solution?  I think I'll take my vanity with a little more function.  What would you choose for your bathroom?  Beautiful or useful?  Or preferably both?  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Frameless Mirrors

If you live in a house that you didn't get to completely customize yourself, I'm willing to bet that you have a frameless mirror in at least one of your bathrooms.  We have them in all of ours.  They're definitely a point of debate.  My husband hates them.  While I think ours are ugly, it is nice to have a large mirror for hair and make-up purposes.  As I scrolled through pictures looking for something worth your time today, I noticed something in a is possible to have a perfectly lovely frameless mirror.  Check out what I found.  It looks like sconces over the mirror might be the key to pulling it off, but these homes certainly make it work~

{all images via}

Monday, October 17, 2011

Home of Tomorrow

We took the day off work on Monday to head out to the State Fair of Texas.  One of my favorite exhibits was the "Home of Tomorrow," which was actually made up a three proto-type homes.  This is one of the kitchens~

The backsplach is a Schumacher fabric protected by raised acrylic.  It was really cool and designed to be changed out as the homeowner wishes.  I thought it was such a neat idea.  The oven is painted Ferrari yellow--paint from the factory in Italy.  Interior design by Denise McGaha.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Little Friday Happy

I love this room.  Are you surprised?  I didn't think so~

As this room would suggest, I hope you all have a calming weekend with touches of perfection!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Favorite Color

I love the movie Father of the Bride for many reasons but especially because of the exchanges between Franck (Martin Short's character and the wedding planner) and George (Steve Martin's character and the father of the bride).  George goes off plan and tries to wear a vintage tux.  Franck, in his thick European accent, says, "That is not black, George.  Thot is novy (sic) blue."  I might have been ok with my dad wearing navy blue...

I've always loved the color navy.  I might even go so far as to say it's my favorite color.  I would love to have a home with enough character to pull of a strong navy blue room like these.  Love them~

{All images via Pintrest}

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dining Room Re-Do

I told you here about my dining room.  It's the first thing you see when you walk into my house, so even though it's not the most used room, it has an important sets the tone.  And, right now, I'm not feeling like it sets the right tone.  I thought about changing chairs our, but a few seconds on the calculator ruled that out. 

I'm going to go with a few other quick fixes.  First fix is paint color.  I've been really drawn to airy neutrals lately.  This past weekend I got picked up a gallon of paint and got to work.  I also plan to add drapery panels (sample fabrics are on their way) and hopefully, a new light fixture.  My budget for that will depend on whether I make the drapery panels myself of not.  I'm feeling brave lately, though!

Here are a few dining roms that are the inspiration for my dining room re-do~

{above images via Ashley Goforth Design}

Want to guess what color I painted the dining room???

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Island Time

If I ever get to truly have a kitchen (or house) my way, I want to keep a formal dining room but lose the breakfast table.  I love the look of a wide open kitchen with plenty of island seating.  Aren't these just dreamy!

{all images via my pintrest}

And does anyone know how to enlarge Pintrest images without them getting grainy??

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Fiddle Leaf Fig

There are some things in life that only a design junkie would get so excited over.  One of those is the Fiddle Leaf Fig.  It's been featured on many blogs including some of my favorites, Abode Love and Cove & Grey.  I've loved the Fiddle Leaf Fig for sometime. 

Some house plants are plants are cheesy and some are perfection...adding the perfect touch of design and life to a space.  The Fiddle Leaf Fig does that for me.  Last week another of my favorite blogs, Knight Moves, featured her new Fiddle Leaf Figs, which were found at a Dallas-area Home Depot.  Fortunately, it only took two Home Depots to find mine!

I recently located a fig at one of our local nursuries; they wanted $100 for it, though.  Thankfully, Home Depot was much more reasonable at only $35/plant.  Now to find the perfect planters for them...I'm thinking I'd like a large woven basket like one of these~
{via Wisteria}

Except that all of these are too expensive.  A trip to Garden Ridge may be on my agenda for the weekend!