Oh my gosh you guys, what a beautiful day this has turned out to be! We were supposed to have terrible thunderstorms all day long but, around 11:00 this morning, the clouds parted and the sun came out. Wheee!

To honor the weather, I went for a 2.5 mile walk/stroll during lunch that was just as perfect as could be. I even gave a lost man some directions. I used to be horrible at directions, so it’s now a secret thrill of mine to be able to help lost people in need. :D Are you directionally challenged?

Dinner tonight is equally as thrilling and I’ve been thinking about it for oh, a week or so, ever since we got back from New OrleansCajun Shrimp & Corn Maque Choux!!!


You may remember the epic Barbeque Salmon & Corn Maque Choux lunch that Ben and I had at Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant, NOLA, in the French Quarter. The salmon was sent from Heaven, but that maque choux… I haven’t been able to get it out of my head!

As soon as we got home I googled it and, what do you know, a recipe for Emeril’s Kicked Up Maque Choux was the first search result listed. Score! His recipe was super easy, and I followed it with these modifications:

  • Used frozen corn instead of fresh
  • Added 1 Tablespoon sugar at the end to compensate for not having fresh corn
  • Used 1/2 cup onion & 2 sliced green onions instead of 1 cup of onions
  • Left out the jalapeno
  • Used 1/4 teaspoon salt instead of 1 teaspoon
  • Used half & half instead of whipped cream


Instead of sautéing for 10 minutes, as Emeril instructs, I popped a lid on the skillet and let it steam for the same amount of time so the vegetables would get nice and soft. Mmmmm!!!! Sweet and so full of flavor – I LOVE THIS STUFF!


Ok, now let’s talk about these shrimp. :)

Recently, zee fabulous Stephanie Manley of CopyKat Recipes gave me a chance to review her newly published cookbook: Dining Out at Home Cookbook: Recipes for the Most Delicious Dishes from America’s Most Popular Restaurants!


This cookbook contains recipes, developed by Stephanie, that truly taste like ones you’ll find at the most popular restaurants across the country. Red Lobster’s Cheddar Biscuits? Check. Olive Garden’s Cappellini Primavera? Yep! Cheesecake Factory’s Chicken Madeira? You bet!

While skimming the endless (and totally delish) possibilities in the cookbook, my eyes stopped when I spied her recipe for Red Lobster’s Cajun Shrimp. What better dish to pair with my Creole-style maque choux than Cajun shrimp?!

First I melted some butter to which I added some thawed, frozen shrimp.


I sprinkled a smoky, spicy Cajun spice-blend on top,


and mixed. Popped into a hot oven for 15 minutes…


And it was feasting time!!!


Look at those babies! Golden brown from spices like cayenne pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Gorgeous!


I popped the shrimp onto a bed of the luscious corn maque choux and we chowed. Ben could NOT stop raving. He was eating at a turtle’s pace because he couldn’t believe how unbelievable the shrimp were! I 100% concur, and am happy to report that the maque choux was everything I thought it would be too. Sweet, melty and jam packed with flavor. Unreal!


Oh, we may or may not have spread some leftover Cajun-spiced shrimp butter on some rolls, then popped them under the broiler until golden brown. May or may not.


Guys – the recipe for this dish alone is a great reason for picking up Stephanie’s Dining Out at Home cookbook. The only modification I would make would be to cut back on the salt a little bit. It’s pretty spicy and the salt seemed to intensify the heat. I was sweatin’!


The rest of the recipes in her book are super easy to follow, call for really accessible ingredients, and look like they’re just plain fun to make. Can’t wait to try some more!!!

Ok, I’m off to Jillianize myself. I was going to run but, sadly, the thunderstorms that stayed away all day look like they’re moving in now. :( Tomorrow FOR SURE. Help hold me accountable.

OH! What was wrong with the picture this morning? The watering can is STILL out on the back porch…see it?! Probably not as exciting as you may have hoped, but I bet it preoccupied you for a minute! Right? ;)

LOST is on tonight! They say this last season is the one for answers, but I’m as confused as ever. Oh dear.



What’s your favorite seafood?

I’m dying for some salmon nigiri sushi right now…