Ahhh, finally! The catalyst I've needed to get back to blogging. One of the curses of having some slightly perfectionistic tendencies is wanting to do something SO right that instead you procrastinate and put it off because you feel it just can't be done the right way... and then it doesn't get done at all. Therein lies the sad state of my blog.
Quick summary of the last month: Eileigh and I got sick, Selah and Mike got sick, Selah got admitted to the hospital for bronchiolitis and I stayed with her for the three days she was there while Mike's mom came down to stay with us and help out; finally everyone was better. Then we were informed of the possibility of Selah having craniosynostosis (early fusion of skull sutures) and rode the emotional rollercoaster until we landed somewhere around the breathable wait-and-see zone. I think we had about a week off for emotional rebooting until Mike was informed of his need for surgery to fix a complication from a surgery he had a year and a half ago. So that's the next thing on the horizon... that we anticipate! Who knows what else is in store- but I know God is faithful! He has carried us through so much and I am so thankful for His sweet presence and peace.
Now to the good stuff! Our family l-o-v-e-s shrimp. Eileigh most definitely included- she can keep pace with the best of us. One of our all-time faves is Mexican Shrimp Bisque, which is so simple yet rich and I am always on the lookout for other great shrimp recipes. I was thrilled how easy and delicious (or "licious" as Eileigh calls it) this recipe is! It's been adapted for the crockpot and only takes about two hours. The "BBQ" part doesn't seem as much BBQ-y to me but more of a spicy, yummy, sop-it-up-with-thick-bread sauce. Mike (who is not much of a thick-bread/sop-up-sauce man) tore off an extra hunk of bread just to dip in the sauce- oh yeah, it's that good! I love homemade French bread- it's easy and this recipe makes four loaves for under $0.50. However you can also use slices of fresh-baked Ezekiel Bread if your sweetheart misunderstands you about throwing the frozen French bread in the oven and warms up the Ezekiel bread instead. Delicious that way too! :)
BBQ Shrimp (crockpot)
2 lbs. raw shell-on shrimp (I used 51-60's and took some shells off for Eileigh prior to cooking)
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter (I used 4 Tbsp. and it was definitely fine!!)
1/4 c. olive oil (I'll probably decrease this next time... maybe 1/8 c.?)
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
1-2 Tbsp. Tabasco sauce (I used 1-1/2 and liked the results; a bit warm, especially the sauce)
1 tsp. kosher salt (I used sea salt)
1 tsp. ground black pepper
juice of 3 lemons
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil (I think this really enhanced the flavors)
Rinse shrimp (thaw if needed) but don't soak too much. Put shrimp into crockpot with butter, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce. Add the Tabasco, salt, and pepper, then add the lemon juice and basil. Toss just a bit with a big spoon to mingle the flavors- it's okay that the butter is in a big stick. Cover and cook on high for about 2 hours, checking every 30 minutes. You'll know the shrimp is done when it has turned pink and can be peeled easily. I turned ours off at 2 hours and it was perfect. Serve with French bread to sop up the juice. Serves 6-8
3 c. warm water
1 pkg. (2-1/4 tsp.) dry yeast
3 Tbsp. sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp. salt
7-1/2 to 8 c. flour
In a large bowl dissolve yeast in 1 c. warm water. Add sugar and salt; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 2 c. water and 3 c. flour, beating with the paddle on a heavy-duty mixer or by hand with a wooden spoon. Add remaining flour a cup at a time. Knead with a dough hook 4-6 min. or 8-10 min. by hand until the dough feels smooth and elastic. Cover with a towel; let dough rise until almost tripled. Or make dough early in the morning, and let rise all day. Shape dough into 4 baguettes (long, slender loaves). Let loaves rise about 45 minutes until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees; bake for 30 more minutes until golden brown. *Freeze each baked loaf in foil. To reheat, loosen one end of foil and heat loaf at 375 degrees about 20 minutes until hot and crisp.