Thursday, June 6, 2013

Breakfast with friends – part of the Annual Blogger Get-Together + We’re Moving Again

As you know from my last post about the 4th annual blogger get-together at the home of Larry of Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings and his wife Bev, we spent the weekend partying with fellow bloggers and friends at the lake. You might recall that Penny of Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen’s husband David told Bev & myself about the special treat that he and Penny had in store for us for breakfast the next morning following the luau – and it was going to be shrimp and grits. If you have been reading My Carolina Kitchen for a while, then you know how much I love shrimp and grits.

I can’t wait to taste David & Penny’s version of shrimp and grits with andouille sausage. Andouille, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it, is a coarse-grained, smoked sausage most often associated with Cajun cooking in the US. It originated in France and was taken to the US by French immigrants to Louisiana. Pronounced ænˈduːi/ an-doo-ee in US English and in French ​[ɑ̃nduj]. To me it is a spicy, smoky sausage that brings a lot of flavor to the dish.

While David browns the andouille and bacon and sautés the chopped onion that will go with the shrimp,

Penny grates the cheese for the grits.

David & his helper Meakin put the final touches on the stone ground grits

While the shrimp simmers on the stove.

Here’s a bowl of the finished shrimp and grits, Penny's recipe here, along with her post about it with lots of great pictures. Notice the beautiful 10 to 15 count shrimp they found at their market.

Larry offered to fry an egg for anyone who wanted one on their shrimp & grits – several did.

Penny brought beautiful cranberry orange scones (Penny's recipe here) that she had prepared earlier,

And delicious chocolate biscotti (Penny's recipe here) for dipping in your coffee.

While David was cooking the bacon & andouille, I put together a big bowl of orange slices, red grapes, lightly sugared blackberries, and slices of fresh local mountain strawberries.

Everyone is seated around the table and ready to dig in to their bowl of shrimp and grits. Thank you Penny and David for this awesome gourmet breakfast. What a wonderful ending to a great get-together with friends and family. And a big thanks to Larry and Beverly for hosting the event. You guys are the best.

As a side note, we’re on the move again. We sold our condo this past January to the first people that looked at it and we’re currently remodeling and refreshing our new house where we’ll spend our winters. During our forty three years of marriage we’ve remodeled more than a dozen houses and really enjoy it. As we get older, we’ve come to realize that we can’t do everything ourselves anymore and have hired people to help us on this project.

If you follow me on Pinterest, then you know that I have as many or more decorating boards as I do food, France, and fashion (my first career). My favorite part of redecorating is choosing the colors and feathering the nest, but I also love to change the layout and re-arrange some of the walls in rooms when it’s called for. See the master bath below.

Our new house is an older home in an established neighborhood with lots of character, older trees, and established landscaping. Like any other older home, it needs plenty of updating. Here’s a preview of what’s going on right now with the crew in the master bedroom and bath.

This is our dining room waiting for the trim carpenter to put down new baseboard down and install cove molding as will be done in all of the rooms. Trim makes all the difference in how a room looks. The sheetrock crew has already been in and removed the popcorn off of the ceiling. Popcorn is a bumpy ceiling finish that was once popular, but now makes a room seem dated.  It is one of the first thing people notice about your house and can affect its value. The reason the popcorn finish was used in the first place was that it was easy for builders to apply and also helped to hide a multitude of sins. It is also a gigantic mess to remove as you can see from this article and best done before you move in while there’s no furniture in the rooms. After the popcorn was gone, the ceilings were lightly skip-toweled in preparation of the painter’s arrival in a couple of weeks.

As much as we would like to re-do the kitchen, it will have to wait until next year. We will really miss our remodeled kitchen in the condo with all of its built-ins and drawers and new appliances. Below is what the kitchen looked like when we first saw the house. It doesn’t look too bad, but with a fresh coat of white paint and the removal of the previous owner’s blue bric brac and valances, it will do for now. We have plenty of time to plan for new appliances and we want a wall oven and hopefully a gas cook top and of course new cabinets with lots of drawers and storage. Fortunately the kitchen offers a great view of the lanai and the pool. We’re also excited that the house faces south, so the lighting should be good all day long in the kitchen (and for taking food pictures).

Kitchen when we first saw the house
As you can see, I will be very busy for the next month or so. I have a couple of posts prepared, but we will be without internet service part of the time. I hope to visit your blogs and continue to post as much as possible, but if you notice my absence, you will know that I’m temporarily up to my ears in projects. Once the remodeling is complete, we’ll pack, move, unpack, and get the house set up for next season. Once we get things back to normal here we’ll return to the mountains to enjoy some cool weather and take at easy during the summer.

This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.

Have a great weekend everyone.


  1. Thanks Sam and Meakin for the great write up and photos. We took no pictures so it is great to have yours to remember a great morning with friends. Larry and Bev were great hosts and we loved spending extra time with everyone. Special cudos to Meakin for peeling the shrimp and acting as sous chef. Loved your fruit salad.

  2. A new house is always exciting Sam! Have fun getting it all set up:@)

  3. What gorgeous food! Everything looks mouthwatering.

    Lovely condo. I wish I had a swimming pool like yours... ;-)



  4. I'm so sorry that I missed that get together AGAIN! I hate, hate, hate my popcorn ceiling, you are so lucky to get yours out before you move in. Congrats on the new house - Love the view from the kitchen!

  5. Nice write up Sam - sorry we used the same shots. The new place is looking good and I really like the views from the kitchen. It's amazing how people enjoy such different things, as remodeling a house is just a few up from the bottom of my list of likes, maybe because I spent my entire work life remodeling machinery, systems, and organizations - I think my remodeler is worn out.

  6. Lucky you. There is nothing I like better than a remodel and a move. I embrace change as I know you do too. Enjoy and I hope all goes smoothly.

  7. FUn breakfast:)

    Moving again?

    Ok I am thsi Florida or your winter home?
    Cause this one looks like Fl to me w/ the pool:)in the lanai..

    Good's fun to have adventures..:)I am sure it will be gorgeous.

    1. Hi Monique,
      It's both - Florida and where we will spend the winter. We just ripped up the floor in den yesterday. I'm so excited because that floor tile was different that the other tile in the rest of the house and looked awful. Why people think different flooring in ajoining rooms looks good is beyond me. Now we can re-tile the den to match the rest of the tile in the house. Progress!

  8. Getting together with friends for delicious food is the best possible outcome. I know you will love your new winter home. Congratulations Sam.

  9. Thank God I had lunch before I came to visit here! :-)
    North Carolina shrimp with grits, there's hardly anything better in the whole wide world!
    I need to plan my next visit around that dish. Earnestly!

    Do I spy some rugelach next to the scones? I'm game for both, both have just the right amount of sweetness, and with strawberries they are tops.
    I am trying not get too envious here.

    I wish you all the best for your move. I hope you and your husband manage to put in the one or other quiet moment to relax and regain strength, so you can fully enjoy the moving-in stage.


  10. What wonderful looking food! It looks like good times were had by all.

    Enjoy your new home and and all the remodeling too.


  11. I know the weekend was fantastic and I have really enjoyed all the blogs that detailed the gettogether. The new house sounds wonderful. Have a smooth move, Sam. Blessings...Mary

  12. Would you believe I've never even tasted grits? These with shrimp & sausage sure look good!

    The entire weekend looks like it was a blast. Good food & good friends ...what else do you need?

    Good luck with your move...what a chore. I don't envy you but I guess when you've done it so many times, you get used to it & probably have a good system.

  13. I am salivating, Sam. I love that shrimp and grits...really really delicious.
    Have a smooth and fun move, Sam!

  14. Friends and great food like shrimp and grits are the best. Good luck with your move, Sam!

  15. I would have taken an egg! although I am not a breakfast eater unless it is served noonish. No matter, what a treat. A move, ugh. I have had more than my share of them and hate every minute of it; although redecorating is always a welcomed adventure. Good luck!

  16. Looks like a wonderful breakfast and a wonderful time with friends. Yes, you are indeed busy with your house re-model but I know it will be so worth it!

  17. What a fantastic breakfast and what a "project" you have gotten yourself into! Good luck with the renovation - cant wait to see the results!

  18. Forty three years of enjoying remodeling together is a very good thing for couples. There could be times when one is obsessed with doing renovations and the other is the exact opposite. I bet you've got great choices for your houses and condos for the past years and I hope you can enjoy the coming days together with your new house. :)

  19. That breakfast looks amazing. Wish I could have been there for that one. Love shrimp and grits and of course Larry's version with that egg. :) I really look forward to reading about the progress of your remodel Sam. How fun.

  20. I love all your photos, Sam. Great friends and great food equal one wonderful party. I'm looking forward to following your new house remodel. I enjoy projects like that too and can't wait to see the result.

  21. Your blogger breakfast post was such fun, Sam. Love to read those posts!
    Know exactly what you mean about the remodeling. Seems it's all I do and for some reason, it's never finished! :) I do love being in a house again after many years in a condo, so know you are happy about that. Lucky you with your own pool...I have a community share pool.

  22. That shrimp and grits flung a cravin' on me :-)

    You know they say that home is where the heart is... it sounds like you have figured out how to make that work!

  23. Sam, how I wish I was sitting at the table along with you and the other bloggers. My heart sang when I saw you making the meal together. What delightful fun. Great cooks like you need to keep up the tradition of cooking together. It is such a way to bond community! Wonderful post. I look forward posts of your new home as you make it into your special haven! xo

  24. I have to redo our ceiling on the main floor and I am NOT looking forward to all of the dust. The affected area is only 4 x 3 but to do it right, we really need to just redo the entire surface. It was great seeing you all again at the party this year!

  25. Well between entertaining and remodeling you have your hands ful... sounds like a wonderful time enjoy yourself. Thank you for sharing your breakfast with us on foodie friday.

  26. Hi Sam,
    What an awesome weekend and what fun you are about to have with the remodel. Thank you so much for sharing your great post with Full Plate Thursday and have a wonderful week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  27. Friends, fun & food, what could be better? It looks as if you kids had a great time! Love Penny and Larry's respective blogs! The shrimp & grits look divine!

    You are a busy gal, can't wait to see your remodeling project!

  28. What a great group of friends and such wonderful food. The shrimp, grits and sausage look delicious, as has everything for Larry's party.

    Good luck with your move! Your new home looks bright and wonderful. I'm sure you will get some great food shots in that new kitchen :)

  29. Great weekend get together! Thansk for sharing it.

    Good luck with the re-model and the move. We will be here when you get back.


  30. I love this version of shrimp and grits. I have done i don;t know how many shrimp and grit dishes but never used sausage in mine. I think it is a great idea and can't wait to try that next time

  31. Thanks for introducing me to Penny - her food looks marvelous - especially the shrimp and grits and the scones! And good luck on the move and the renovations. You know I know what you are going through but the results are always so wonderful!

  32. How wonderful that you sold your condo so fast! Our condo in Coco, FL has been on the market for 2 years with just a bunch of lookers! Oh well. I can't wait to see what you'll do with your next home projects Sam! I love to decorate and would change up decor more often if our budget would cooperate!!! So enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!


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