Rice Cooker Cajun Shrimp and Grits AND a Hamilton Beach Giveaway!

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I know what you’re thinking.  Shrimp and Grits in a rice cooker?  I thought exactly the same thing.  But, when my friends at Hamilton Beach offered me their spectacular, multi-functioning 4-20 Cup Rice and Hot Cereal Cooker to try, and then suggested this recipe for Rice Cooker Cajun Shrimp and Grits, I thought, why not!  After all, this rice cooker isn’t your average rice cooker.  Sure, it cooks rice. Every size and variety. But it also cooks oatmeal, quinoa, cream of wheat, Farro, and other whole grains and dried beans. It has a simmer function for pastas and soups! And it has a steamer basket that loads in the top, so you can cook veggies, meats and fish right along with your rice and grains. It’s a one stop meal maker!

Greek Roasted Shrimp with Tomatoes & Feta: The Market District Carmel Experience

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.  #WelcomeToIndiana #CollectiveBias

Greek Roasted Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta - Chew Nibble Nosh

I am in love with the new store in town.

 If you live in the Indianapolis area, you’ve probably heard the buzz about the new Market District store that has opened up in Carmel at 11505 N. Illinois Street.  It’s really spectacular and, if I’m being completely honest, I’m a bit of an addict.  It’s only a few minutes from our house and I find myself there a lot lately.  (In fact, I’ve been there twice since Sunday.)  I was lucky enough be able to attend media events and tours on opening day, and with the behind-the-scenes knowledge I gained, I assure you that it really is a special place, full of amazing people who honestly, truly love their jobs.

Shrimp Arrabbiata Pasta

Shrimp Arrabbiata - Chew Nibble Nosh

Gosh, I love shrimp.  You know that scene in Forrest Gump, where Bubba goes on and on, and on, about everything you can do with shrimp?

I never saw anything wrong with Bubba’s passion.  If anything, it made me hungry.

Having lived in the South for a good number of years, I was used to being able to get fresh, wonderful, reasonably priced shrimp at every restaurant, and every market.  Heck, sometimes the shrimp even came to me.  When we lived in New Orleans, the wonderfully sweet man who was the custodian at the school I taught in would go out on his shrimp boat on the weekends and bring his delicious haul back in for me on Monday!  Talk about spoiled!  Being back in the landlocked Midwest has stifled our constant shrimpiness a bit, but I still try to cook it up often.

Skinny Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles

Skinny Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles - Chew Nibble Nosh

It’s so nice when the stars align, isn’t it?

 I was feeling kind of gross.  That gross kind of feeling you get when you’ve eaten your way through a weekend (er…summer), and know that you need to kick good habits back into gear.  Not that I didn’t have fun doing it, I had a great time, but it’s time to get serious again.  So, when it was time for me to make up my weekly grocery list and plan out my meals for the week  I started to look for some meals to get me back on track this week.

Greek Pasta Salad with Shrimp, Tomatoes, Zucchini, Peppers and Feta

Green Pasta Salad with Shrimp Tomatoes Zucchini Peppers and Feta - Chew Nibble Nosh

It’s hard to believe that summer is already winding down.  My girls start school a week from now, but I know a lot of kids that have already started…and a few that don’t start until after Labor Day, so those of you in that category can just ignore my end of summer talk for a while.  What a summer we’ve had.  I fully intended on this summer being a little less busy than last summer, when I felt like I was constantly going, going, going.  Well…it didn’t happen.  We had a busy, but wonderful, summer and it’s flown by in the blink of an eye.

Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Summer Rolls - Chew Nibble NoshSummer rolls are one of my favorite things to order whenever we head out for Vietnamese food.  They are crisp, and light, and unlike a deep-fried egg roll, don’t leave me feeling guilty after dinner.  They’re kind of fun, too…crisp salad, sometimes shrimp, sometimes pork, sometimes both, all wrapped up in chewy rice paper and then dipped in peanut sauce?  Good stuff.

Bacon-Corn Chowder with Shrimp

Bacon-Corn Chowder with Shrimp - Chew Nibble NoshThe weather may be warming up, but I’m still a sucker for a good bowl of soup, even when the temperature rises.  The key is bringing some of that fresh spring/summer flavor into the soup to brighten it up.  This recipe does that perfectly, and the fact that you can throw it together in no time flat, and go from stove top to table in less than 20 minutes is pretty fantastic, regardless of the time of year.

Summertime Grilled Jambalaya

Father’s Day is coming up this weekend, so I thought I’d share one of our favorite new dinners that the dad in our house is especially fond of.  When we lived in New Orleans, one of my favorite local dishes to order was jambalaya.  I’ve had some good jambalayas, some pretty bad jambalayas and some rock star jambalayas.  It’s not that it’s a difficult thing to make, it just seems that every place has its own little version of it, some better than others.  I guess that since I’d only had a few versions of it that truly knocked my socks off, I’ve been hesitant to make it myself.  This all changed when I ran across this recipe in an old, back issue of Cuisine at Home magazine.

Shrimp Creole

It’s Mardi Gras time in The Big Easy! This may not mean much to you, but it’s a sweetly sentimental time for us. The day after Aaron and I got married, almost 15 years ago, we didn’t head off on some amazing, romantic, tropical honeymoon. Instead, we moved from our safe haven in the Midwest to an unknown world called “New Orleans”. Aaron had already been in school down there for a year, but I’d never lived south of Indianapolis. This was a whole new world for me in so many ways. Not only was I jumping into the adventure of marriage, I was moving someplace that was so incredibly different from anywhere I’d ever lived before. It was scary, I’m not going to lie. I was terrified. I was fresh out of college, had a new husband on my arm, a new apartment, no friends, and no job. The first time I opened a cabinet in my new kitchen, a giant cockroach (or, Palmetto Bug as they prefer to be called down there) skittered across the floor, right in front of me. I screamed. A roach was my new Welcome Wagon lady.

Spicy Coconut Shrimp Stew

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Tuesday night has come and gone again in a blur of activity.  To add to the usual excitement, a good friend of ours, who is in town this week, came over for dinner and introduced us to her beautiful baby boy, Anthony.  We were so excited to see them and I think both of my girls are now a bit smitten with the new little guy.