Barbecued Spiced Shrimp with Tomato Salad

Whether you try this recipe from http://www.foodandwine.com or opt to fry your shrimp instead, Southandbone is always appreciative of an invite that involves the consumption of seafood. That’s just FYI!

WARNING: You will need more than salt, pepper, Zatarain’s, or your granny’s “rub.”

Cook Time 25 min.              Serves 8

 

INGREDIENTS:
* 1/3 cup packed basil leaves, plus extra leaves for garnish
* 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 2 1/4 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
* 1 1/2 teaspoons pure ancho chile powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 24 jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 3 large yellow heirloom tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds), sliced 1/4 inch thick
* 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS:
* In a blender, puree the 1/3 cup of basil leaves with the olive oil until smooth. Season the oil with salt and black pepper

* Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a small bowl, mix the sweet smoked paprika with the pure ancho chile powder, light brown sugar, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Brush the shrimp with the canola oil and season all over with the spice mixture. Grill the shrimp over moderately high heat, turning once, until they are lightly charred and cooked through, about 4 minutes total.
* Arrange the tomato and onion slices on a platter and drizzle with the basil oil. Top with the shrimp, garnish with the remaining basil leaves and serve.
MAKE AHEAD
The basil oil can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Photo and recipe courtesy of http://www.foodandwine.com

Captured

I’m all for sharing photos on social media, but how many of us forget the next step? We snap a shot that we feel is perfect to be presented to the world. We post it. Some of our friends like it, comment. Then if we lose a phone or don’t develop a photo, that memory lingers in cyberspace forever.

Physically, the perfect shot is lost, which is 98.99% of the time in some cases. Yes, there’s the soon obsolete cloud. Yes, there’s the ability to check the archives for old photos, but with ever-changing technology, for how long?

The other day, my cousin texted a family picture and challenged me to guess which one was my husband. It was heart-warming to see him, around the age of six, in bell bottoms and a fly collar. You know. It was the early seventies. Anyway, the point is that the photo is a physical representation of the past. It may be touched, framed, screen shot for sharing…whatever.

By the time my future grands are here, who knows what the case will be with technological advances. I’m sure we won’t be passing around phones as I recollect moments to share. However, I’m confident that an album of photos-with side notes like my mom has-will do the trick.

I want my future grand babies to see what their dads looked like as they grew up, to mentally take part in the events of their lives. Later, I want them to note similar features and make fun of their dads’ haircuts and today’s fashions.

Sure, like anyone else, I’m going to continue to use the camera on my phone and post my favorite pics. However, I’m also going to print my favorites because I want the future of our clan to see and to understand the importance of physical preservation of cherished moments.

Having those 300 photos in your iPhone printed at Walmart $30. Having memories on hand for those after you to see…priceless.

Tankini or Bikini?

Tankinis aren’t considered as pretty or cool as a two piece bikini to some folks. However, if your mind is telling you yes, but your body is telling you no, please listen. As nature (and maybe lack of exercise and proper nutrition) would have it, we all don’t have the bodies that we used to have. Some tankinis are really flattering and pretty. Listen. A cute tankini or a nice cover-up won’t kill your beach vibe. If you put one on, it’ll probably save the rest of us, especially if you need it.

To body shame is not the intent of this post. It’s more of an awareness thing. I’m a tankini/cute cover-up girl myself. It’s all good. Mother Nature left the beaches for all to enjoy. Just be mindful of everyone’s fun when you choose swimwear from the wrong category. If you’re confused as to whether you should choose a tankini or a bikini, I’m here to help.

1. If you take care of yourself, go on girl! Get that bikini!
2. If a footlong with the works sounds good for breakfast… tankini
3. If you don’t quite have the tight abs you had in high school, but you’re aiiight, go ahead and get a bikini. Girl power!
4. If your stomach has devoured any hint of your bikini bottoms, and you look like a stunt double for the Michelin Man…tankini.
5. If your back is free of the flappy meat that looks like a pair of sad faces…bikini.
6. If you’re bringing a 6 pack of rolls to the beach and they’re not for eating…tankini.
7. If you can HONESTLY look in the mirror without giving yourself the “I don’t care what people think” speech…bikini.
8. If you thought someone else was in front of, beside, or behind you when you walked past that mirror…tankini.
9. If you can see at least a ray of light through your thighs…bikini.
10. If, despite the recall, you have to powder your thighs just to make it to the shore line without starting a fire…tankini.

Now, go catch a wave!

BBQ

  • July 4th is just around the corner, and many of us will be firing up the grill. If you’re in the business of eating light these days, here are a few low calorie recipes compiled by the bloggers at MyFitnessPal. I’m going to try number one. Choose one of the recipes and let us know how it was.

Don’t worry…your granny may still bring her macaroni and cheese. Practice portion control, or the fat back will be on you…not in the collard greens.

https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/10-sunny-summer-grilling-recipes-under-350-calories/

Cowardly Lion

Days ago, I met a little girl who seemed to be around age six. I sat next to her and her dad (maybe) as we all awaited our food orders from a local restaurant. As children do, she asked my name and other questions about trite matters. I answered three before her dad roared her down. He told her to stop asking so many questions. He said he had told her about that before and that she always talked too much. After a few more “life’s lessons,” he said, “See. Look! There’s a nickel on the floor, and you didn’t even see it. I told you to keep your head down and look around sometimes. Stop all that talking.” (Of course, it wasn’t as clear, but I don’t feel like trying to type in cave man.) Anyway, she followed directions and leaned on his knee, muted.

After dismissing my assurance that the little girl was no bother, he went on to explain to me how children don’t listen, how it’s bad out here, how hard it is to make ends meet, and some other bullshit that I don’t care to remember. His musings were on point if his plan for his daughter included her being a subservient creature with no substance, let alone any self-esteem.

Long ago, my mom taught me to speak my mind. She said my ideas were important, no matter what other people thought about them. She said that if I had something to say, I should say it. If I wanted to know, I should inquire. Needless to say, I don’t ever remember a time when she instructed me to keep my head down and be passive. However, that’s just what I did the day I happened upon this little girl and her dad.

I sat cowardly and allowed a man to tell a little girl the exact opposite of what he should’ve told her. I don’t know what held me as mute as she as he went on with his gospel about life. Although I was disgusted by his initial comments to her, I didn’t say anything. I simply stared off into space, ignoring his repeated “Do you understand what I’m saying?” hoping that the employee would call my number, or his.

I should’ve asked him why he thought that what he was teaching her was right. I should’ve said something more than, “She’s fine. Her questions aren’t bothering me.” I should’ve told the little girl that her dad was an idiot and that she shouldn’t listen to him because he was sending her into an abyss of ignorance, insecurity, and susceptibility…then to a domineering man who will treat her like crap. I didn’t, though.

Quiche

What the hell is a quiche? Quiche is a savoury open faced pastry crust with a filling of custard, cheese, meat, seafood, vegetables, etc. Quiche can be served hot or cold-  for breakfast, brunch, or whenever. My mother and my cousin Tyra are quiche queens. Here is a recipe that Tyra gave me for a vegetable quiche. If you just have to add meat, add bacon, ham, or whatever wets your whistle.

Ingredients:

5 large eggs

1 1/2 cups of heavy cream

Salt/pepper

2 cups of chopped fresh baby spinach packed

1 1/2 cups of shredded Swiss cheese

Onions (to taste)

Orange & red bell pepper

1 nine inch refrigerated pie crust fitted to a 9 inch glass pie plate

Prep

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

Combine eggs, cream, salt/pepper in a blender

Layer spinach, vegetables, cheese, in the bottom of the crust

Pour the egg mixture on top

Bake 35-45 minutes until the egg mixture is set

Cut into 8 wedges

Enjoy!

 

Exhausting

I’ll be the first to admit I am a flawed person. For example, I keep you on file if you’ve crossed me. You could have messed me over years ago and I won’t forget it. Yes, I’ll move on but there is always a part of me that will not let it go. I think I keep it there as a reminder. So, do I trust people? Not generally. Am I proud of this? No, but like I stated, that’s one of my many flaws. Yes, we all have flaws, but there is one type of flaw that people possess that drives me freakin’ nuts. Do you recognize these characteristics?

  • They are always right.
  • No one else’s opinions matter.
  • They always complain about what someone else is NOT doing.
  • They think they can tell other adults what to do (and they bug the shit out of you about the most mundane and minute shit).
  • They hold on to their position, even when they’re wrong.
  • When they are called out, they always claim to be the opposite of whatever obvious disposition they may have.
  • They accidently on purpose make themselves the ‘leader.’

Name this person. Take a wild guess. I think we’ve all been around this type. THEY TAKE CHARGE. There’s nothing wrong with taking charge, but when the charge you take makes you think you’re solely responsible for every aspect of a project; then that turns into a problem.  See, what happens is that this personality type starts to alienate the person or the team with their pushy behavior; as a result, the morale of their cohorts plummets; and said cohorts become not as enthusiastic as they were about the project. Well, there’s a name for this type of person and it’s called MICROMANAGER.

A micromanager will push their opinions (wanted or not) about everything. They even go as far as try to micromanage the lives of other adults who are in their lives. Micromanagers will literally suck the fun and the life out of project with their aggression and their need to ALWAYS be right. The sad thing about it is that they aren’t. They don’t realize that everyone has a different approach to whatever they do, and just because it’s not their approach they don’t think it’ll get done. I often want to tell people who try to micromanage me, “Damn, I did make it to be 45 and be successful without your help; what makes you think that I need it now?”

Micromanagers are annoying! They lay blame on everybody and love to knit pit the shit out of everything, and they constantly complain as if everybody is ‘letting them down.’ They honestly think they are the smartest, most reasonable person in the room.

If you are one of these people I have a few nuggets of wisdom for you.

  1. You may be smart, but you are definitely not the smartest person in the room. (At least when I’m in there, and I don’t often claim that).
  2. Your micromanagement skills make the people you work with NOT want to work with your ass because you’re too busy worrying about what they are doing.
  3. Focus on yourself and your task: You may think you’re doing a hell of job when actually you’re not. (It’s funny how people who micromanage have some of the stalest and lamest ideas).
  4. Your cohorts will and can get their job done without your nagging… especially on projects that are not necessarily time sensitive.
  5. Don’t be puzzled as to why your cohorts aren’t producing much. It’s not because they can’t, it’s because they don’t want to because you’ve gotten on their damn nerves.

In short, if you’re a micromanager just know you are, in a word, EXHAUSTING!

Nothing Exceeds Like Excess

Especially during Mobile’s Mardi Gras. Yes, the barricades are down and its been about three weeks since the last parade. Now that the dust (and me) have settled. Let’s talk.

I can’t speak on Louisiana’s Carnival; of course they get the credit because it is New Orleans. Not many people know about our little city on the Gulf. If you’re from here, or if you’ve done your research; then you know, Mardi Gras started in Mobile… not New Orleans. But I digress because this is not what this piece is about. In Mobile, Mardi Gras trumps Christmas. Hell, Fat Tuesday is a holiday; and the rest of the week? Fuck outta here— we take off. You know who had a little too much fun this year? Me. When I say FUN that is an understatement. I don’t know if it was because my children are bigger now and they can enjoy the parades; or the fact that they are bigger so that when I want to go without them, I don’t worry about them really worrying the Grands because hell they are 7 and 11. If you read our blog you know we try to keep it real. We talk shit about everything and everyone but I’m here to call myself out on my own bullshit. This year, I clowned. I fell, almost had a fight, and cussed out a loved one. I’m not going to go into too many details but like the saying goes, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” well during Mardi Gras excess seems to be everyone’s middle name; I know it was mine. So if you were around me and I offended you, I apologize.

I’ve been on the phone with friends who told me how they tripped or embarrassed themselves this year; I hope no one embarrassed themselves half has much as I did. We do things excessively during Mardi Gras and the moral of this story is: I’m not too old for Mardi Gras, but I’m too old for all the shit I pulled.

But if you kicked it with me, you have to admit; I was a BLAST!

Equivocally Speaking

It’s two poems in one.  1.) Read the entire  poem for the first one. 2.) Read the bulleted lines only for a hidden message, a plea.

Equivocally Speaking
-Remember those dark nights of peaceful sleep
Dreams of bright green fields dotted with flowers not
-Interrupted by the lurking demon, with all
The sky free of clouds, spawning new
-Intentions on lengthening the night
People ask why I sleep so much but
-Confessing is just wishful thinking
I’d attempt to do otherwise but
-It was never known to be easy
Outside of my bed I’m given a dizzy
-Pain with longevity and confusion mixed with
Imperfect rest gives life to a new
-Emotional imbalance meaning I won’t
Escape. I’ll faint where I stand if it means I’ll
-Be escaping reality alone. Help me
Reach an undisturbed slumber
-Please

Z. Lamar

Mixed Reviews

The hubby and I went to Michael Patrick’s Sports Cafe and Grille in the Golden Nugget Casino this past weekend.

The ambience proved nice enough. There’s the standard big screen TV and lounge area, decked out with comfortable seating arranged for tournament watching and group interaction. Beyond this, customers are privy to a dining area with a tree-lined ocean view. Although the waitress in this sports cafe scored lackluster marks in all levels of performance, the picture of the palms in twilight and the “Coca Colas” were cause to overlook her. So, we ordered.

The food received mixed reviews. We chose the artichoke and spinach dip as an appetizer. It was served with tortilla chips and salsa. The chips and spinach were warmed to perfection, delicious. However, the salsa looked like puréed shit; and to my dismay, it tasted what I imagine would be the same.

My guy had the MP’s Signature Burger with fries. It was a big burger and gave him about as much trouble as I do. He said it was one of the best burgers that he has ever had. He even asked the muscular, galloping waitress to tell the chef that he’d one day be back for another. I, on the other hand, should have taken my luck at the slots as foreshadowing and lowered my expectations of succulence when I ordered the Bang Bang Burrito.

The description of the BBB announced fried shrimp tossed in homemade zesty Bang Bang sauce, served on a garlic-herb tortilla with lettuce, tomatoes, and pepper jack cheese. I figured it would be tasty and a little spicy just like I like it! Well, the only thing banging was my head on the corner of the table-punishment for choosing the wrong menu item. The sauce was sweet, not spicy. The cheese was shredded mozzarella, not pepper jack. I’d give it an 7.5 on a scale of 1-10.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t simply send it back, it’s because I was hungry. If I had returned it, I would’ve ordered something else to eat. (I will send food back with a reorder in fancy restaurants. I figure getting right is important to them to protect the brand.)However, when the service is mediocre from the start, and the waitress tells you she doesn’t know what the food is like because she’s never tasted it, I’m a little frightened as to what bodily fluids may be served up next  if I dare to complain. That’s just me.

Anyway, the verdict is still out on this one. When bae goes to get his burger, maybe I’ll order one, too.