Thursday, May 17, 2012

Family Dinners

Oh man I am so glad to be back, well partially back, I have had P-monia since May 6th! I missed my Grandaughter Kingsley's 15 Birthday (5/9) and just living in general. So I was excited to have the family over last night for a post Birthday dinner for Kingsley and a Pre Birthday dinner for my Son in Law Scott.There is a rule that whenever I have the kids (and grandkids (teens) over for dinner, I have to prepare a meal that I have never cooked before. This really makes it a fun challenge, and I look forward to all of us being guinea pigs! So far all my meals have turned out excellent, and the raves have been so appreciated. I have cooked everything from New England Clam Chowder, Crab Newburg, French Peas, and this past week I made Cheese Grits (made up my own recipe) Shrimp Scampi  (made up my own recipe) and Herbed Greenbean Casserole (from the Criso recipe site).  The family really looks forward to these nights.

Rena'z Gritz (my recipe)

4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups 1/2 & 1/2
salt to taste
1 1/2 cup quick grits (not instant)
2 bags of Cheddar/Jack (the 2 cup bags)

Bring water and 1/2 & 1/2 to a boil, add salt
and grits, stir, let return to a boil (watch out for the splats)
reduce heat to med, cover and cook about 10 min (stirring)
add 2 bags of cheese and stir till melted.
So creamy and deelish.

Rena's "Shrimp Scampi" (My Recipe)

1 1/2 lbs shrimp peeled with the tails on. (this gives 6 people about 8 shrimp)
( had the girl count out 50 shrimp and they came to the 1 1/2 lbs)

Mix together in a large bowl:
1 cup of canola oil
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
2 heaping teaspoons of minced garlic (out of the jar)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
4 shakes of hot sauce
(even if you stopped right here, this makes a bang'n salad dressing)
toss in shrimp and mix all up and let shrimp sit in this mixture for about 20 min
Melt not one, but "TWO" sticks of salted butter and after cooled a little, pour in with the
you will notice there is no salt in this recipe as it will toughen the shrimp, the salt comes
from the butter.
Now arrange the shrimp in a baking dish that can hold all the shrimp and juice, I try to get
the shrimp into a single layer.

Put the baking dish into a 450 degree oven and cook for 10 minutes.
Put into a fish shaped platter Juice and all ("Presentation is Everything", my motto)
Cook the large Coles garlic bread (this cooks at 450 for ten min, so I put in with my shrimp! smart huh?)
slice into 1" strips as this is wonderful for sopping up the buttery juice from the Scampi
Everyone loved this, hope you will too!

 Herbed Greenbean Casserole (from the Crisco recipe site)

3 cans greenbeans drained
In a large bowl mix 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
2 tsp of dried basil
1 tsp of oregano
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup of the (shredded) parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
reserve about 1/2 cup for the topping
Put beans in the bowl and add 1/2 cup canola oil
and mix all together
put in a baking dish and top with rest of dry mix.
bake at 350 degrees for 30 min or until light brown and bubbly.


  1. Thanks so much for your kind comment. I have enjoyed reading your blog and was thrilled to see the paper log idea. We are entering into winter here in South Africa so I will definitely give that one a try! x Sharon

  2. Always looking for great new seafood recipies! LOOOOOVE seafood!!!! Thanks Rena for sharing.


    Tried your fried corn recipie a while back Awesome!!