Tag Archives: Harvest Moon

Tangy Shrimp Salad

Happy Wednesday!

I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday.  I do believe I made this tangy shrimp salad last Wednesday, but I can’t even remember.  All that I remember is that it was really, really good.  Actually, all I’m craving are huge salads full of variety and colors and vegetables, as I am fighting off a cold.  Probably due to lack of sleep and lots of imbibing of adult bevs over the long weekend in South Carolina… So I may be making this yet again this week.

Tangy Shrimp Salad | Oysters & Pearls

This salad was the result of what we had in the house (as most of our meals are).  We had shrimp in the freezer, we grew the lettuce and the bell pepper, the Florida avocado, the tomato, the green beans, and the red onion came in our box last week from Harvest Moon.  I had a bag full of lemons on hand, too.

Tangy Shrimp Salad
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Shrimp Salad
Serves 2, as a main course.


– 1 pound fresh or frozen shrimp (I used frozen)
– 3 lemons, thinly sliced
– 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
– 1 cup mayonaise
– the juice and zest of one lemon
– 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
– 2 tablespoons capers, with a little juice too
– 1 tablespoon dried cilantro (use more if you have fresh cilantro on hand)
– one quarter of a red onion, diced


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Layer shrimp over sliced lemons (and add salt & pepper) in a foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on whether you’re using fresh or frozen shrimp (it took 9 or 10 minutes for my just out of the freezer shrimp).  Cool for a couple minutes until you can handle them.  If you used shrimp that were not pre-peeled (as I did), peel them once they are cool.

In a bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients.  Toss shrimp with the dressing, and use to top a salad of fresh greens, tomatoes, bell pepper, avocado, and lemon sautéed green beans (my recipe below).  Or ya know, whatever you personally like on your salads.  Use the baked lemon slices for garnish.

Baked Shrimp for Shrimp Salad  | Oysters & Pearls

Baked Shrimp for Shrimp Salad | Oysters & Pearls

Lemon Sautéed Green Beans


– half a pound of fresh green beans, washed and chopped into bite size-ish pieces
– the juice and zest of one lemon
– 1 tablespoon salted butter
– 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Add butter and EVOO to a skillet and melt the butter into the EVOO over medium heat.  Add the green beans, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Continue to sauté until beans are barely cooked through and still green and crispy.  Add a wee bit of salt and pepper to taste.

These are delicious served warm on top of salad, as a side dish, or on their own.  They would be a great addition to a pasta salad, or any salad really.  I think they would be a great accompaniment to a rich dish, too, like a steak with a mushroom or wine sauce.  This is a super simple recipe, but with two fresh, high quality ingredients, this really makes a standout addition to any meal.

Sauteed Green Beans with Lemon | Oysters & Pearls

This doesn’t seem like a truly extraordinary meal, but gosh it was so good!  So fresh and healthy (ya know, except for the mayo), with so many different flavors and textures.  It was a refreshing break from rich Fall dishes filled with pumpkins and cream and warm seasonal spices.  Wheat said it reminded him of the flavors of ceviche, which is completely accurate.  If you like shrimp and/or green beans, make either or both of these.  You won’t regret it.

Shrimp Salad | Oysters & Pearls

And speaking of growing our own lettuce and bell peppers, I am WAY belated on a garden update.  I’ll try to get one of those up this week!  But it’s pretty awesome to be eating things out of the backyard, and I especially love having winter lettuces for salads.  It makes up for the end of tomato season (although we have a few green tomatoes on the vine that need to get ripe ASAP).

Happy Hump Day!

Until Next Time

Weekend Recap, Maggie’s Tomato Soup, & Goats

So, it’s like, already Tuesday.


I just couldn’t get my act together to get a post ready for Monday, for no other reason except that I was just too busy.  In a good way.

Just a warning, this post is all. over. the. place.

Friday we did our usual.  Went to happy hour at the country club, and then ate supper at our friend Lance’s restaurant (Bonnie Blue’s) with Wheat’s parents.


Yep, that’s my father-in-law, just clowning around with some of the kids at happy hour.  I challenge any of you to beat him in a headstand contest.  To my knowledge, it’s never been done.

Saturday we did the opposite of sleeping in.  Wheat had me up and out of the house by 8:00 a.m. (he’s not human).  We rode out to the farm with quite the agenda.

Check Wheat’s birthday present (aka his new game camera).


I took that picture in the bottom near Wheat’s camera.  It’s so pretty down there.

And my personal favorite picture from his camera:

Deer Peekaboo | Oysters & Pearls


Then we checked my pumpkin patch and picked 9 more pumpkins!  Stopped at Harvest Moon and purchased another pumpkin and gave Marla one of mine.  Developed my dream of being a pumpkin farmer.

Pulled some peanuts, then boiled some peanuts.


Then had an awesome BBQ at Maggie and Greg’s house.  I didn’t take any pictures because I was too busy stuffing my face, but suffice it to say that I’ll be anxiously awaiting her recipe posts.  She made a shaved brussel sprout slaw that made a self-proclaimed brussel sprout hater clean his plate (cough, Wheat, cough).  You should check out her new blog and anxiously await them with me.

And speaking of Maggie, I spent my post-Church Sunday afternoon baking (recipes coming soon!) and making the Cream of Tomato Soup recipe she posted last week, which she adapted from Deb at the Smitten Kitchen, who nabbed it from America’s Test Kitchen cookbook.  We didn’t eat it Sunday night, but we did eat it for lunch yesterday.  And will again today.  And tomorrow.

Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic for Tomato Soup | Oysters & Pearls

Here it is, reposted verbatim, for convenience (but check out her post for step-by-step pictures), and a couple of things I learned in the process:

Maggie’s Cream of Tomato Soup Recipe

Cream of Tomato Soup, from thesmintzes.wordpress.com
(Adapted from Smittenkitchen.com)

2 cans San Marzano whole tomatoes
1.5 Tablespoons dark brown sugar
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
Pinch allspice
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Pour the cans of tomatoes out over a colander set on top of a bowl, so that the juices catch in the bowl. Crush the whole tomatoes with your hands, then spread them in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the brown sugar atop the tomatoes on the baking sheet. Slice the whole clove of garlic horizontally and place both halves cut side up on the baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes and garlic for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the butter over medium heat until foamy. Stir in the tomato paste and allspice and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, then add the roasted tomatoes and reserved tomato juices. Cover, increase heat to medium, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes.

Transfer the tomatoes and other solids, along with the roasted garlic cloves, into a blender and purée until smooth. Return to the saucepan, then add the heavy cream and stir well to incorporate. Heat over low until hot, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste (I never need any).

Smitten Kitchen Tomato Soup & Frico'ed Grilled Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

SO GOOD!  Some things I learned whilst making this soup: 1) When you go to squeezing those tomatoes, WATCH OUT.  They have a tendency to explode in your hands and make a tomato-mess all over you and your counter; and 2) an immersion blender makes the blending process a lot easier.  I want to hug mine every time I use it.  Just stick it in the pot when you’re done cooking and blend away.

And because Deb at the Smitten Kitchen is amazing, I also made her frico grilled cheese sandwiches to go along with this delicious soup yesterday for lunch.  Because what is tomato soup without grilled cheese?

Nothing. It’s nothing.

All this really means is that I throw some freshly grated cheddar cheese down on a cast iron skillet, then build a grilled cheese on top, then pick it all up when the cheese is nice and crispy and frico’ed, and put some more cheese under there, then flip the whole thing over.  Butter on the outside, cheese (and a little sriracha for me) on the inside.  Simple and classic grilled cheese & tomato soup.  With a twist.

Smitten Kitchen Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese | Oysters & Pearls

And finally, in honor of my hometown’s Goat Day on October 19, which I will be missing this year due to my dear friend Sara’s wedding (yayitsalmosthere!!), I’m celebrating from afar this week by using my phenomenal goat napkins from Anthropologie.

Goat Napkin from Anthropologie | Oysters & Pearls

I’ll try to work them into posts all week.  Because I’m a huge nerd, and also because I’m a former brochure covergirl for Goat Day.

It was my dream to share the brochure I was on the cover of with you all today.  But alas, my mom couldn’t find it.  However, she did find two excellent pictures of me with goats.

Natalie & Goat | Oysters & Pearls

Natalie & Billy Goat | Oysters & Pearls copy

Yes, goats and I go way back.  All things Goat will be taking place at Sam Atkins Park in Blountstown, Florida, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Central) on Saturday, October 19th.  There’s even a Pioneer Settlement, with a real blacksmith and shop, tons of food, reenactments, and lots more.  For further details, here’s {an article} by my very own cousin, Kristy!

Promote the Goat, y’all.

Until Next Time


Baked Buffalo Shrimp

Happy Monday!  Hope everyone had an awesome weekend.  Today I’m exactly a week behind myself in blog world.  I don’t think I’ll ever get close to catching up.  So today, I bring you last Monday’s awesome, delicious, very, very good meal.

It all started when last weekend at the beach we purchased some fresh shrimp, fully intending to make Baked Shrimp and Grits while we were there.  Alas, we ran out of time, and came home with a pound of shrimp.  I was feeling fairly lazy Monday night, and wasn’t up to the task of throwing together shrimp and grits.  I remembered seeing this pin on Pinterest (where all great ideas start) but really just wasn’t feeling Italian seasoning on shrimp.  Is it just me, or does that sound kind of odd? Anyway, I modified it and it resulted in some of the most delicious shrimp I’ve EVER had.  You’re welcome, world.

Baked Buffalo Shrimp | Oysters & Pearls

Baked Buffalo Shrimp


– 1 pound whole fresh shrimp
– 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
– 2 large lemons
Cavender’s Greek Seasoning
– Crystal hot sauce (or your preferred brand)
– salt & pepper
– half a loaf of fresh Italian bread (optional, but highly recommended)


Cover a baking sheet in foil and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Slice the lemons up into fairly thick slices and line the baking sheet with them.  Spread the shrimp out on top of the lemons, sprinkle liberally with Cavender’s, salt and pepper, drizzle with the melted butter, and then douse fairly liberally with hot sauce.  Bake the shrimp for 10 minutes, then stick half of a loaf of fresh Italian bread in the oven next to the pan and bake for 5 more minutes.  The bread will come out perfectly crusty, and is an encouraged method of mopping up delicious sauce.

Pinterest Shrimp | Oysters & Pearls

Shrimp, pre-baking, to give you an idea of the amount of hot sauce I added.

Baked Buffalo Shrimp with Lemon | Oysters & Pearls

The best part of these shrimp was how deliciously hot and soft the baked lemons became.  I did a lot of dipping directly into the centers of the lemon slices.  My mouth is now watering as I type this.

Southern Summer Supper | Oysters & Pearls

We had the perfectly southern summer meal to go along with the shrimp.  Fresh stewed okra from Harvest Moon, fresh squash and onions, and bell peppers and tomatoes marinated overnight in Italian seasoning, oil, and vinegar.

Side note: we grew two of those squash!  In other garden news, did you catch my garden update on Saturday?

I kept exclaiming during this meal that I was so sad we didn’t invite somebody over to share all this amazing food… but then I ate all the shrimp.  Oopsies.  But this would be awesome to double/triple/quadruple (or more) to serve a large group.  You could serve it low country boil style and just have pans of shrimp and cutting boards full of crusty bread out on a newspaper-lined picnic table.  I think that’d be pretty great.

Baked Buffalo Shrimp Supper | Oysters & Pearls

Seriously, go buy shrimp right now (or as quickly as you possibly can) and make these shrimp: the easiest and tastiest shrimp in all the land (or sea).