Birthday Month

happy
August is birthday month for me and as a teen I never could have imagined I would ever be turning 48. Every year I look at my life and it is amazing as I age the things that become important, none of them being material possessions. I read this morning that Sandra Lee (one of my favorite food network stars and author of semi homemade cooking) was diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago and is in the hospital with some complications from surgery. This really puts into perspective that you have to live your life to its fullest as you never know when you might not be able to. We all work so hard to make a living that I think we miss making a life. So here it is, I have several things (these are not resolutions) but rather actions that I will take to enjoy life just a little more:
• Sock every extra penny I get to paying off the few items of remaining debt
o If you have no debt you can choose to work hard not be forced to work hard to survive (thanks Dave Ramsey)
• Travel more with my husband
o We have never taken a real vacation
o We go visit family and have made lots of road trips with our kids when they were growing up but nothing for us just to relax and enjoy doing NOTHING together
• Realize my children are grown and that as there momma I have to let them become men all by themselves
o I cannot fix everything (this is the most difficult one for me)
• Spend more time with the few girlfriends I have
o Plan road trips with my friends atleast once every couple of months since we are only a few hours apart
o Even if it is meeting for dinner and drinks, make it happen
• Purchase some Oprah and Deepak cd’s for meditation, I love love love his teachings and need to take some time out each day just for me and my peace of mind
• Dress up for no reason
o I have a million cute maxi dresses and heels that I need to put on and be cute in just for fun
o This may include me letting my hair grow out some (but no guarantees on this one, ha)
In closing I am posting a few recipes from Sandra Lee I hope you enjoy
BARBECUE SHRIMP and GRITS:• 4 bacon slices
• 1 pound large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails on)*
• 1⁄2 cup butter, melted
• 4 whole cloves garlic
• 3 tablespoons Creole seasoning, Tony Cachere’s®
• 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper Creamy Cheese Grits (recipe follows)
• Chopped green onion, for garnish
FOR GRITS:
• 1⁄4 cup butter
• 3 cups whole milk
• 2 1⁄3 cups chicken broth
• 1⁄2 teaspoon hot sauce, Tabasco®
• 1 1⁄3 cups instant grits*
• 1 (8-ounce) bag shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400°. In a large nonstick skillet, cook bacon until crisp, about 12 minutes. Remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. Crumble bacon.
2. In a jelly-roll pan, place shrimp in a single layer. Drizzle with reserved 2 tablespoons drippings and butter. Add garlic, Creole seasoning, and pepper, tossing to coat. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and firm.
3. Serve over Creamy Cheese Grits, and sprinkle with crumbled bacon and green onion, if desired.

Avocado Caviar
Ingredients
Makes: 6 cups
• 2 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
• 2 (11-ounce) cans shoepeg corn, rinsed and drained
• 2 (10-ounce) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
• 2 Avocados from Mexico, peeled, pitted, and diced
• 1/2 cup diced red onion
• 3/4 cup zesty Italian salad dressing
• 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Tortilla chips
Directions
1. 1. In a large bowl, gently stir together black-eyed peas, corn, tomatoes and green chiles, avocado, red onion, salad dressing, lime juice, and salt. Cover and chill, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips

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