Friday night, everything’s alright.

I’m obsessed with the video on Ashley Rodriguez’s website, notwithoutsalt, affectionately named ‘Dating My Husband’. For me it evokes any number of emotions, but the primary words that come to mind are tender, sensual, and adorable.

The first time I saw it (and every time since), I was captivated by the story, the sounds, and of course the simple yet fabulous food. Even though the video is only about 2.5 minutes long, it paints a beautiful picture of a family and the process, thought, and love that goes into creating a meal. In fact, it inspired my husband and I to have our own impromptu date night.

Weekend breakfast is usually designated as our ‘special meal together’, however, on this particular evening, we were happy to make an exception. Taking advantage of the late setting sun, we traded in our usual routine of dinner on the couch catching up on whatever TV show we’re currently fixated with for an enchanting evening of mellow music, conversation, and a romantic meal at the dinner table (a thing we should probably use more than we do).

I’ve made the following recipe for a variety of occasions and a variety of ways. Omitting the sausage, using sweet onions in place of shallots and leeks, leftover mashed potatoes instead of grits; whatever the changes the base of the recipe provides similar results – a sweet flavor, a gentle heat, and a creamy texture. (It also made me realize, the very first time I made this, exactly why shrimp and grits belong with one another).




Spicy bath.

Shrimp and sauce.

Mashed potatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper.

Oven Roasted Asparagus.

Ready for date night.

We use paper towel shards for napkins and aluminum foil for candle holders because we’re classy.


West Coast Shrimp and Grits, Andouille Sausage, and Hot Sauce Butter
(recipe from The General’s Daughter restaurant, via


2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 small leek, thinly sliced (white part only)
4 ounces andouille sausage, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup white wine
3 tablespoons tomato puree
1 pound fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons butter, cubed and chilled
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups water
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter, cubed and chilled
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup stone-ground coarse grits
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan

Over a medium heat sauté shallots, leeks and andouille sausage in oil. When leeks and shallots turn translucent add the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice. Reduce by half. Add the 1/2 cup white wine and tomato puree and reduce. Add the shrimp and sauté until cooked. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring 2 cups water, 2 cups milk, 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Slowly whisk in grits, when incorporated reduce heat to low. Cook 30 to 45 minutes stirring frequently. (Depending on the grits you use, feel free to follow the instructions on the package) When grits reach desired consistency remove from heat fold in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

To serve:
Serve the shrimp and sauce over a bed of grits and enjoy! Serves 2.


2 thoughts on “Friday night, everything’s alright.

  1. I love this! Such a great thing to keep in mind in a relationship. I’ve pinned the shrimp and grits recipe to make myself soon.

    And i hadn’t seen “not without salt” before, and damn those are some gorgeous photos!

  2. Right? Her site is great. I LOVE food photography, not a great strength of mine at the moment, but maybe one day. Smitten Kitchen ( also takes her own gorgeous photos – so many talented foodie ladies!

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