Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What If Wednesday's…" What If Today's Post Is Just A Recipe?"

I sure do hope that's ok with you because I for one am one tired 'cookie'! Life isn't always just a piece of cake or a plate of cookies for that matter! But it is what it is and we always embrace it!
And I for one am very excited about this post because it means  that I CAN still cook! I CAN still read a recipe in Bon Appetit and it actually turn out MUCH better than I expected it to!
( I sure hope Sedesh Boodram is reading this!)
For a long while I've been so busy and "tired" that truthfully I haven't  felt that longing to always cook and always create! So this was a God Send! I promise! And, I am fully aware that my photography is lacking…but hey, this is just a fun post for today!
give it a try…I promise you that you will be amazed at the flavors! Give your mind a break and think about nothing else except cooking or eating! Whatever your choose~

 ( imagine my disappointment when I made an extra trip to Whole Foods just for this luscious ingredient…only to find out it called for Parsley! Trust me…I used this divine Cilantro and I cannot imagine this dish without it!)
 Luckily, I even ran into Sedesh there…so that made it worth it!

 Look at how easy this recipe is! And it's from Bon Appetit!
( ok, maybe Sedesh doesn't need to know about everything!)

Finding these peppers did prove to be a challenge…but we started in all of the wrong places!
( A great country song title for sure!)

Chop up those tomatoes….

And when that recipe tells you to break them up with the back of your wooden no attention to it!! Get out that potato masher and mash away! Being careful not to mash the peppers and the bay leaf! 

I made myself think about how good these Cannellini Beans are for me! This truly was one of the best dishes I've eaten since our last visit to New Orleans!

Which is why you are seeing so many pictures!

Personally, I hate the pictures of the shrimp….but don't let it stop you! Just know that fresh, hand peeled shrimp make this dish all that is and then some!
(and when you read the recipe down at the bottom of the page, this will all make perfect sense!)

Oh, and when I ran into Whole Foods for that dad blasted Cilantro….I veered over to the wine, cheese and bread isle…imagine that! That's how they get you! And it works every time! I'm a sucker for that store! And the flowers! WOW!!! And now we even have fruit galore for breakfast in the morning! Oh boy!

At least I remembered to get some of their homemade Focaccia Bread to go with our dinner! It was divine!

But just let me tell you, this dish was worth every extra trip to every grocery store….worth the 45 minutes it took me to peel the shrimp this morning as Jim flew to New Orleans for a lunch with our Domino Sugar customer and then back to Birmingham…( he's usually my shrimp peeler!) And….he got to see Holly! That's worth a flight to Dallas then New Orleans and back to Birmingham all in a day in my book! 
(Holly picked him up at the airport and took him back…that's all it was ! Bless their hearts!)
Trust me, the least I could do was wash and chop some measly shrimp and Cilantro… And….it was worth blogging about!

It is truly THAT good!

Now, I'm not quite sure it was worth burning…I mean scalding my hand! You would think that I would've learned after the first time! Oh, that was bad…but I did it two more times after that! Yep, I really did! From now on…anything that goes under the broiler in my house will NOT have a handle! It's just not natural for me! I see it and I grab it! Three times too many this time! So please, please be careful!

But when all is said and done…please know that this dish is going in my next cookbook! It's truly the first dish that I've felt that way about! It's heavenly! And very healthy!!! 
( by the way, I did not use that last 2 T of olive oil. I just didn't feel like it was needed!)

I hope you will try this…it was a great dish for two Empty Nesters…that's for sure! And yet, I said to Jim that I would make this in a heart beat for any of our family that I usually have over for dinner! I know Miller, Holly, Mitch, Britney, Brad and probably Sarah would love this! And I feel sure our parents would love it as well! Isn't that what this is all about? Creating memories around the table? There is truly nothing better to me! I hate that life has been so hectic and that I've been very lax when it comes to this lately….I'm vowing now to do better! 
Mitch and Layton came over Sunday just to hang out on a rainy Sunday and get out of the house and give Mommy a break…It was my 'best day' in a long time! Especially after a daughter moved off for good and my youngest son, Miller always leaves on Sunday afternoons to go back to Auburn…
I guess things could be a lot worse! I know they could and so I am beyond grateful for each and every moment I have with my "babies"! Layton has sweetly agreed to be my angel baby from now on!
I can definitely get used to that!
Please try this shrimp recipe! You won't be sorry! And I must tell you that my dear friend Sedesh is the right hand man to Chris Hastings of Hot and Hot Fish Club…and they are truly amazing!
Have a wonderful week and thank you for reading "What If Wednesday" posts….
I treasure your comments and your friendships…
Have a wonderful week…I for one will be sharing our third artist with you on Friday…I'm truly humbled and grateful that we've had these phenomenal artists agree to show their work at Mulberry Heights Antiques! I'm very blessed…and extremely thankful!


Garlic Shrimp and White Beans

Garlic Shrimp and White Beans


  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 2 dried chiles de árbol
  • 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped tomato (about 8 ounces)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 15-ounce cans white beans (such as cannellini), rinsed, drained
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Grilled bread (optional)


  • Preheat broiler. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large, heavy, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add 1 garlic clove, chiles, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, just until fragrant, 1–2 minutes (do not allow garlic to burn). Add tomato; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and smashing tomato with the back of a wooden spoon, until tomato is completely broken down, about 5 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until paste is deep red and caramelized, 3–4 minutes. Stir in beans and broth. Bring to a brisk simmer and cook until juices are slightly reduced and thickened, 3–4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Combine remaining 2 garlic cloves, 2 Tbsp. oil, shrimp, and paprika in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat shrimp. Scatter shrimp over beans in an even layer.
  • Broil until shrimp are golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Drizzle remaining 2 Tbsp. oil over shrimp and beans; garnish with parsley. Serve with bread, if desired


  1. Hi Carolyn!

    This looks delicious and WILL try it! Don't you just love all the fresh produce and beautiful flower selection at whole foods?!!

    ...and I agree, it is what it is and it's all about finding joy in the little things :)

  2. YUM!!!!!!!! I am sooo hungry now. And suddenly my planned chicken dinner is not looking nearly as appetizing as it did before I came here:) This is one I will have to try, thanks!

  3. that looks so good.
    i think i could do that.
    i like all the ingredients.....yummy.
    ...and so healthy.

    thanks xox

  4. Awe...nothing like an angel baby...You must be so thrilled! This looks so good. I'm gonna have to try it. Looking for a day off so I can have some time to prepare a home cooked meal!! xo

  5. Thank you SO much for sharing this. I already KNOW when i am making it - Christmas Eve at a fish thing my friend does. I NEVER have a good recipe - I'm going to shock her this year!!

  6. Looks fabulous. I can see you now gathering your goods, lol. And Whole die for! Take your wallet.
    I am trying this, Carolyn!
    Happy Thursday.

  7. This looks reallly good! Maybe I will get a break soon so I can have time to try it! Thanks, Carolyn.

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