Hi there! I am writing to you from the land of full-on summer bliss…which is something I don’t always have going on at summer’s midpoint. This year the weather has just been heaven. Really hot days are not unlike winter days for mothers – full of kids who want to stay inside and watch TV. But not this year – swimming, baseball, basketball, bike riding and lots and lots of popsicles are all day every day and we couldn’t be happier.
But really, I think my bliss is coming from the beach. It is like a capsule of well-being, and when we spend time there we are filled up and find our zen. Luckily, living on the seacoast means a short car drive is the only thing keeping us from the beach (ok, maybe a 14 month old too, but lately he has been really really good, as long as there is a ball or lacrosse sticks):
Our friends have been meeting up a the beach for dinner, with pizza and Oreos for the kids, and we hang out until bedtime when we roll home and shower sandy feet, and the kids fall asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow. I grew up in Chicago, so when I look around at my kids running around with their friends next to the ocean I think I hope they don’t take this for granted. Of course, the beauty of childhood is that they will.
My book club also meets at the beach every year in July for our annual beach meeting:
We sit around a fire and talk about the book, and my friend Laura (hi Laura!) always does these amazing roasted desserts – last year she wrapped ice cream cones with mini marshmallows and mini chocolate candy, wrapped it in tin foil, and it all melted. Yum…This year she wrapped hollowed out apples with brown sugar/butter/carmel concoctions and bananas with chocolate and peanut butter.
I love the chocolate and wine combo I usually have at book club, but for some reason I was craving buffalo something, and I thought shrimp was appropriate for our seaside meeting, but you could easily do this with chicken cubes or chicken strips. It is super easy to make – it took me all of 10-15 min. Shrimp cooks so fast and hello, 4 ingredients in the shrimp and sauce each. First, peel and de-vein shrimp 1 lb. shrimp, sprinkle with salt and pepper:
Then dredge in some flour:
Then place in a pan with 2 T. melted butter and fry for 2-3 min. per side (until they turn pink):
In a separate pan, warm up 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot and 2 T. melted butter. When shrimp are cooked, use slotted spoon to scoop up and place in buffalo sauce:
Toss or stir in pan to fully coat shrimp in buffalo sauce mixture, then again using slotted spoon, place onto a platter and serve. There may be sauce left in the pan and that is fine, I think it is better to leave it in there but to each their own.
I made a sauce to go with these – I used greek yogurt as that was what I had, but I think sour cream is the best – good blue cheese crumbled, lemon, chives and parsley. Stir together and serve on the side, with tooth picks.
Hope you are finding your summer bliss too, and if you’re not, I hope you can at least curl up with a good book in your AC with some Buffalo Shrimp next to you.
Buffalo Shrimp with Blue Cheese Sauce (for printer version, click here):
1 lb. peeled, deveined shrimp, jumbo works well
1 cup flour
salt & pepper
4 T. butter, divided
1 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
For Dip, combine the following:
1 cup sour cream
¼ c. crumbled blue cheese
juice from ½ lemon (more to taste if you like)
2 T. chopped parsley
1 T. chopped chives
salt & pepper
(add milk to thin, if desired)
In a large frying pan, heat 2 T. butter on medium-high heat. Salt and Pepper shrimp. Dredge in flour. Place in hot pan and cook on each side for 2-3 min, or until pink. Turn over.
In seperate pan, heat 2 T. butter and 1 cup Frank’s Red Hot. Place cooked shrimp in this sauce, and toss to coat. Remove with slotted spoon. Serve with blue cheese sauce.