Delicious Dishes: Shrimp and Cheese Grits

This classic southern dish is one of my favorite comfort foods.  Cheesy, creamy grits, and spicy, crispy shrimp are a match made in culinary heaven.  This dish can be served for breakfast or dinner so no matter what time of day you're reading this, let's get this mouth party started!

First, the spice mix for the shrimp.  In a bowl, combine garlic powder, paprika (smoked is best), cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.  Put your clean, deveined shrimp in a bowl and sprinkle the spice mixture over the shrimp. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over the shrimp and seasoning and then give that shrimp a tasty little massage.  Let the mixture sit for 15-20 minutes.
Saute shrimp in a little more olive oil (1-2 tablespoons) until they are opaque and have a browned and crispy coating.  Set aside.
Prepare grits according to package directions to make a cup of cooked grits.  For extra flavor, replace water with chicken broth or stock. 
 Once your grits are done, remove them from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheddar or havarti cheese (or both), a teaspoon of garlic powder, and a tablespoon of hot sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place your grits in a bowl and top with the shrimp.  Rough chop the green onions and sprinkle over the shrimp and grits.  ENJOY!

Spice Mix  (Makes about 2 tablespoons)
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Shrimp and Cheese Grits
1 pound shrimp, cleaned and deveined
2 tbsp spice mix
1 cup grits (cooked according to package directions)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar and/or havarti cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 green onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Combine spice mix, shrimp and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a bowl, mix well and let sit for 15-20 minutes.  Saute shrimp in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until browned.  Set aside. 
Prepare grits according to package directions and remove from heat.  Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese, garlic powder, and hot sauce.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Chop green onions.  Place grits in bottom of bowl top with cooked shrimp and sprinkle with green onions.  Makes 2 servings.


My Fave 5: Healthy Snacks

These are my favorite healthy snacks because they're quick and easy to prepare, and have a good balance of proteins and carbohydrates, which keeps you feeling full longer!

1. Apple & peanut butter
2. Salsa & tuna
3. Greek yogurt & pomegranate
4. Pear & sharp cheddar cheese
5. Romaine lettuce & turkey breast


Soul Inspired: Savor This Holiday Season, Part Two


Significantly more meaningful than the allure of the festive meals and the giving and receiving of gifts is the true reason for the Christmas holiday season: the birth of Jesus Christ.

 This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiancĂ©, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. "Joseph, son of David," the angel said, "do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." (Matthew 1:18-21)

 In the midst of the whirlwind of holiday activity, take time to reflect on the fact that Jesus Christ is the reason for the season.

 Savor this holiday season . . . And to God be the glory!


Clothes Call: Shopping While Chic

A day of running errands and doing holiday shopping doesn't have to mean leaving your style at home. Elevate your typical jeans, tee, and sneakers with an outfit that's chic, but still comfortable.

Mango long sleeve shirt
$56 - johnlewis.com


Hair Story: Brenda

What's your hair story?
I was fed up with relaxing, and was looking for an alternative. I found the Nappturality message board and it opened up the world of natural hair for me. I originally intended to transition for a year, but after only 4 months, my curiosity to see my "curlz" in all their glory won out; so on November 6, 2001, I decided to do the big chop! The best thing for me about being natural, is ironically, not having to worry so much about my hair. I just go about my day and let it do its thing. I pretty much forget that it's not the norm, until I get compliments or questions from total strangers.

What's your hair care routine?
I mainly wear my hair in twist outs.  I also love updos and twists but my schedule prevents much experimentation at the moment.  I wash and deep condition weekly or bi-weekly and trim whenever my hair starts to tangle excessively at the ends.

What are your 5 favorite products?
Shea Butter 
Flax Seed Gel
A mixture of coconut, olive, castor, and essential oils
Terressentials Pure Earth Hair Wash
Aloe vera juice

What is your advice to someone who wants to go natural?
I would encourage them to take the plunge.  The majority of us have been relaxing for so long that we don't even know what our own texture looks like or how to care for it.  Give it a try, once you give it a chance to reveal its true beauty, you may just fall in love with your natural hair.


Soul Inspired: Savor This Holiday Season

Deborah, who will be contributing our Soul Inspired posts has some thoughtful words on celebrating the season's true meaning. 
 In the midst of the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and festivities, it can be so easy to lose sight of the reason for the season: it is in celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  Savor the season in whatever way you choose; attend a Christmas service, reflect on the story of Christ’s birth (Luke 2:1-21), mediate on the wonders of Almighty God becoming man for our sake.

 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)  Enjoy the holidays . . . and to God be the glory!


Shoe Spot: Studded Loafers

I've never really stopped to analyze why I love studs so much.  Maybe it's as simple as liking shiny things that catch the light.  Even though my love affair with studs is well documented, I must say that these studly yet comfy loafers are by far my favorite right now.  If you want to try a pair for yourself there are many styles available right now, and they go great with ankle pants, skinny jeans, shorts or short skirts.  I found great looking ones here, here, and here.


Nail Envy: The Black French Manicure

The height of nail fashion right now seems to be the talon shape.  It's quite striking but not feasible if your job, lifestyle, or personal style prohibits rocking this look.  I for one am a fan of the square nail.  It looks very clean and polished yet with the right manicure it can still be quite edgy.  Case in point the black french manicure.  Start by painting your nail all over with the matte black polish.  When dried, tape off the nail bed leaving the tips exposed.  Add a shiny black polish on the tips then remove the tape.  Voila!  You're welcome.

OPI Nail Polish, Black Onyx
Scotch Masking Tape
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear, Black Out


Shoe Spot: Pose for the Camera

You know when you spot someone on the street in some of the hottest shoes you've ever seen? Yeah, we've been there...well we plan to do something about it! Send us snaps of stylish shoes you spot to fashionfrowardblog@gmail.com,  and don't be surprised if you're accosted by one of us on the street, and "nicely" asked to strike a pose, if your shoe game is on point. Include your name and city; photos must be of good quality to be featured.