Category: Seafood


2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 packages spicy chicken sausage

4 c. sliced fresh okra

1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

1 sweet onion, chopped

1 package broccoli slaw

4 Tbsp. flour

4 c. chicken broth

2 cans Rotel diced tomatoes with onions, peppers, and celery

2 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1 tsp. chopped jalapeno peppers

2 lb. peeled, deveined shrimp

Steamed white rice for serving

The night before:

Slice and brown sausage in olive oil.  Scoop out of oil and place in crock pot.

Top with veggies.

Add flour to oil in pan and cook for a few minutes until golden brown, about 4 minutes.  Add tomatoes and 3 c. of the broth.  When it comes to a boil, remove it from the heat and add in Cajun seasoning and jalapeno peppers.

Mix well.  Liquid should be visible, but not completely cover what’s on top.  Add a little more broth, if needed.  Reserve what broth you don’t use in the gumbo for cooking more flavorful rice.

Place in the fridge overnight.  Put on low for 8-9 hours.  Stir in raw shrimp 20 minutes before serving.  It’s ready when the shrimp is pink.

FUNNY STORY.  I was having friends over for a birthday celebration.  I had made the gumbo ahead and a carrot cake.  The day of the celebration, I wasn’t feeling well and nearly cancelled.  The only thing that kept me going, was the thought that the food was cooking itself while I was at work.  However, and this is the “funny” part, my daughter forgot to put the crock pot on and never received my reminder text message.  I came home to uncooked gumbo in the crock pot!    I’m not proud to say, I had a bit of a meltdown at her for forgetting.  Luckily, because I was not feeling tip top (understatement) I had come home early.  So, at 5:00, I was pouring the contents of my ready to go crock pot into a stock pot, to cook my gumbo on the stove top.  I brought it to a boil, and then lowered the heat and simmered I covered until the okra tasted done.  It took about 90 minutes all told.   I then added the shrimp in on the stovetop and simmered it for about a minute.  It all went back into the crock pot to keep warm for serving.  Meanwhile, I cooked jasmine rice in my rice cooker.

It was a huge hit!  I can’t honestly say how it would have turned out in the crock pot, but since the recipe of origin was from Williams-Sonoma, I’m guessing it would have also been good, and a lot less stressful!

Carrot Cake recipe to follow!



I was invited to dinner at the house of some friends.  I knew I was in for some good company, but I had no idea what a great grillmaster would be preparing some amazing fish!  I’ll confess that I didn’t get his recipe, but I looked around on the internet and had a yummy sounding recipe.  Not only was the grouper grilled, but so was the mangrove snapper (with a greek seasoning rub) and the asparagus (with olive oil, salt and pepper and a little garlic powder).   Our grillmaster also cooked over charcoal, so the flavors were amped up!

My Cookocracy’s recipe:

Grilled Blackened Grouper
photo from

Author: My Cookocracy
Recipe type: Grilling
Cuisine: Cajun
  • 3 pounds grouper filets (or any white fish)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Blackening seasoning
  • Lemon wedges
  1. Combine the olive oil and butter in a small bowl or measuring cup.
  2. Pat dry the grouper filets.
  3. Brush the filets liberally with the olive oil and butter on both sides.
  4. Liberally rub seasoning into both sides of filets.
  5. Generously oil the grates of your grill and preheat.
  6. Grill the filets over medium heat, 5 minutes a side.
  7. Serve with lemon wedges.

Crispy Baked Cod


Fresh Market had wild fresh Alaskan cod on sale today.  A perfect choice for Good Friday!

2 large cod fillets cut into serving size pieces

2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise

2 heaping tablespoons spicy mustard

2 tablespoons raspberry habanero marinade (or other fruity spicy salsa type thing)

4 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs, seasoned to taste

Pinch salt for each piece of fish

Preheat oven to 350F

Pat fish dry and place in baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.  Sprinkle each with a pinch of salt.

Mix mayo, mustard, and marinade.

Spread over top of the fish pieces.

Melt butter is skillet and add garlic.  Cook about 1-2 minutes.

Add in breadcrumbs and toss until well coated.

Top each piece of fish with the buttery breadcrumbs.

Bake for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.



These directions are for one 13 x 9 dish.

2 lb. cooked deveined shrimp, tails removed, cut into small pieces

1 jar alfredo sauce

1 c. shredded cheddar

1 c. shredded pepper jack

1 lb. cooked macaroni

Combine shrimp, macaroni and sauce.  Pour into prepared 13 x 9 pan.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

I bought cooked shrimp and had it in the freezer when it was on sale for $5.00 per lb.  I bought the macaroni, cheese, and sauce all on bogo sales, so they were $.80, $2.50, and $.99 respectively.  This whole meal was $9.29!!  The second dish was made with chicken and jalapeno sausage in place of the shrimp, for the non seafood eaters in the household.

Mac and cheese is one of those meals you can go to when you feel uninspired and need to throw something together that is made with things on hand.

You can, of course, make it more special by adding in peas, mushrooms, spinach, squash, etc. or do a vegetarian version using veggies and Boca crumbles or tofu.

Also, some people like to sprinkle panko on top and dot it with butter for a nice crusty top.

Balsamic Glazed Salmon


1/2 cup balsamic glaze (super easy to make and cheaper than store bought – recipe below)

4 portions salmon

Baste salmon with glaze.  Season with salt and pepper.

Bake at 425 for 15 to 18 minutes on baking sheet covered with foil, sprayed with coconut oil spray.

Balsamic glaze:

Combine 1/3 c. balsamic vinegar (I used raspberry infused), 1 heaping Tbsp. Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp. honey, 1 Tbsp. white wine, scant salt and pepper in s small saucepan.  Bring to a boil and let it cook for a minute or two.  Lower heat to simmering and cook another 5 minutes or so until thickened.

Dolphinfish Vera Cruz (adapted from Guy Fieri's recipe via Kyle Hoy of Lito's Surf and Turf)


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups diced tomato (I used canned tomatoes)
1 medium jalapeno, diced (I used from a jar)
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter
4 (8-ounce) fish fillets (I used mahi)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup Spanish olives, cut into thin rounds, plus 2 tablespoons olive juice from bottle
2 medium avocados, peeled and sliced, optional (skipped these)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Lemon slices for garnish
2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook until lightly colored, about 3 minutes. Add tomato, jalapeno and white wine. Cook until wine is reduced by 2/3, about 5 to 7 minutes.

In a separate skillet, while sauce is reducing, heat butter over medium heat. Season fish with kosher salt. When butter is melted, add halibut to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, flip over and then transfer pan to preheated oven and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove sauce from heat when reduced and stir in olives and olive juice.

To serve,place halibut (first caramelized side up) in the center of each plate and top with sauce. Sprinkle with lemon juice, lemon slices and cilantro, as garnish

Besides my perfectionist future pastry chef daughter Molly, I have another chef in the family. My son in law Kyle is a chef at a local family owned restaurant (his family, the Hoys) called Lito’s Surf and Turf in Lighthouse Point, Florida. This is Kyle with my daughter Olivia.

Kyle and Livy - Litos Surf and Turf

His recipe for Dolphin Vera Cruz (which he adapted from Guy Fieri’s) was a big hit.

I think I’ll have to remember how much we all love fish and serve it more often. Yummm.

Pasta Salad with Feta Crumbles

3 c. cottage cheese
1 package frozen peas, defrosted

10 grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered

Mix gently.

Add in:
2 lb. cooked bowtie pasta, drained
4 oz crumbled feta cheese

Blend and serve.


I made a second bowl that had no peas and added in sausage for the kids who are not into seafood. That’s because the other batch (the really huge one!) was served up with shrimp cocktail. I defrosted 2 lbs. of frozen medium cooked tail on shrimp


and served it with a sauce consisting of ketchup and creamy horseradish sauce to taste. Yummy.



Both the “veggie” and the sausage versions of the pasta dish were a big hit!

Not Your Mother's Noodle Casserole (using leftover seared Ahi)

1 lb. sesame seared ahi tuna
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 8 oz. container ricotta cheese
1 lb. wide egg noodles
2 c. shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

Put water on to cook pasta.

Mix ricotta and soup in large mixing bowl.


Chop and cook tuna on medium high in a little olive oil and butter.


Once cooked, add ahi to cheese soup mixture.


Drain cooked noodles and add.

Spread into a pan sprayed with cooking spray.


Sprinkle 1/2 the cheese over top and bake 20 minutes.

Sprinkle remaining cheese and broil until golden.


Molly ended up asking for ahi sliders for her birthday dinner, and I way overbought.

Rather than let it go to waste, I made a tuna casserole from it! The taste was amazing. I had ricotta on hand from the night I made meatballs.

You could easily substitute most leftover meats with success. Leftover steak, ground meat, sausage, or chicken would all be good.

Add ins of any veggies will give it some more color!


Last night, Kerry, Griffin, Donovan, and I went to the ‘Tween Waters Inn on Captiva Island for the Crab Races!  What a fun night.  I ordered shrimp and cheese grits and can’t wait to get home to try it.

The grits were creamy, more the consistency of mashed potatoes, and the shrimp was grilled and there was a chorizo sausage tomato sauce and sliced green onions over the top.

When I have something this yummy, I always try to find the actual recipe.  However, after hours of research to no avail, I’m posting what I intend to try to duplicate this wonderful meal.

I found a recipe for many recipes for creamy cheese grits, and will try them in the crock pot since the consensus is that the creamiest grits cook the longest:

1 c. grits

5 c. liquid (half chicken stock half water)

1/4 c. butter

1/2 tsp. salt

4 oz. cream cheese

2 c. shredded cheese

Combine all ingredients except cheese in crock pot and cook on low 6-8 hours.  A half hour before serving, melt cheeses in.

I found various recipesfor grilled shrimp and chose my favorite ingredients for the marinade:

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 Tbsp. lime juice

3 Tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. tequila

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. steak seasoning

Combine marinade ingredients and combine with one pound shelled, deveined shrimp.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Grill or cook on stove top in grilling pan.

I found a few recipes for chorizo tomato sauce, and again chose my favorite ingredients:

1/2 lb. chorizo sausage, casing removed, cooked into crumbles

1 shallot finely diced

1/4 c. mixed green, red, yellow, orange peppers finely minced

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

Cooked shallot and peppers in olive oil.  Add chorizo and tomatoes and seasonings.  This can be cooked all day as well in the mini crock pot if you have it.  You may need to thicken with a little corn starch/water mixture.

I promise to report on my level of success as soon as I try it!



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