Shrimp & Grits, Stuffed Peppers, Chicken Divan #SundaySupper

Humor has a way of bringing people together. ~Ron Dentinger
It is said that Families that share dinner together share more laughter.  It is so true at our  home.  We share more laughs Around the Family Table than anywhere else. #SundaySupper  is always a time for jokes and  laughter.
Three of the funniest people I know are Sandi McKenna, Vicky Akins and Rick Griffin.  I love seeing the world through Midlife Road Trip.  Whether they are laughing at themselves or their adventures, they are absolutely hysterical.
I am thrilled to be breaking bread with them  this #SundaySupper and honored  they would share some of their amazing recipes with me.
~A Day in the ~Mid~ Life
Some Family Tables are shared with folks who share a bloodline. Others are folks who have been brought together by circumstance, common interests and shared passions. Such is the case with the MidLife Road Trip ‘Family’ … A food, travel and adventure show, the MidLife Road Trip has evolved into a community of friends, who like family, gather around the table, albeit sometimes virtual, sharing recipes, meals and dinner conversation.
Wherever you are, who ever you are you are with, if your “Sunday Supper” is brunch, lunch or dinner, make it a celebration!
Sometimes it’s fun to have breakfast for #SundaySupper.  Especially with this recipe:

Shrimp-n-Grits Alfredo with a kick


  • 10-14 large uncooked shrimp
  • red bell pepper sliced
  • green bell pepper sliced
  • ¼ onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno diced
  • 3 sun dried tomatoes diced or grape tomatoes halved
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Bacon can be added at finish if desired
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅔ cup polenta (or grits)
  • ¼ pkg cream cheese
  • ¼ stick butter
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 6 sprigs fresh cilantro (chopped)
  1. Saute shrimp, red & green bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, over medium heat about 2 minutes.
  2. Add salt, pepper and heavy whipping cream.
  3. Continue cooking until juices are reduced to about ½
  4. Combine water, heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, and butter to a boil.
  5. Slowly stir in grits
  6. Reduce to low heat, continue to occasionally stir until grits are thick & creamy
  7. Stir in Parmesan cheese and chopped cilantro
  8. Plate Shrimp on top of alfredo grits
Rick’s Backstory:

No matter where the MidLife Road Trip travels to, Rick is bound and determined to try Shrimp and Grits. Born and raised in the south, he truly is a shrimp and grits devotee and has developed his recipe. Watch your waistline and grab the defibrillator this recipe isn’t for the diet conscious.

I loved hearing about Sandi’s stay at Rancho La Puerta.  I can only imagine how peaceful, beautiful and inspirational it must be to have stayed there. I could literally sit Around the Family Table listening to Sandi’s stories about her stay.  I am thrilled that she is sharing one of her favorite recipes from her visit.

Colorful Stuffed Peppers 
  • 2 Sweet Yellow Peppers
  • 10 Grape or Cherry Tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup of cooked black beans (if you’re in a hurry canned work well, just drain & rinse)
  • 1 cup of cooked brown rice
  • 1/4 cup minced sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • sea salt
  • dash hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cut yellow peppers in half lengthwise.
  2. Remove seeds
  3. Rinse and dry completely.
  4. Sprinkle with olive oil.
  5. Dust with sea salt to taste.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes in pre-heated 375 degree oven
  7. In a large bowl combine black beans, rice, minced onion.
  8. Season with hot sauce. I use Intensity Academy Garlic Goodness.
  9. Toss in spinach and tomatoes.
  10. Stuff peppers evenly with mixture.
Sandi’s Backstory:
Rancho la Puerta in Tecate, Mexico was the inspiration behind this dish. The ‘Ranch’ has been there for 75 years on 3,000-acres and it offers world-class landscaped gardens, an organic farm and internationally known cooking school. Rancho La Puerta is more than a destination spa, it is a life changing experience. It inspired me to look at food differently like these peppers, I incorporated a rainbow of color … like the Ranch encouraged us to do at every meal!
Vicky their  partner in crime loves to cook and bake.  She will warm your heart with her amazing recipes.  I am thrilled she is sharing a family favorite with us:
Chicken Divan
  • 2 bunches fresh, stems trimmed & separated or 2 (10 oz.) pkgs. frozen broccoli
  • ½ c. butter
  • ½ c. flour
  • 4 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 c. whipping cream or Half and Half
  • 3 tbsp. white wine
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • White pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 c. grated/shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked or approx. 3-4 c. any leftover chicken, de-boned, skin removed. (Chicken may be cooked by whichever method you choose. I prefer grilled or roasted.)
  • 2 c. seasoned bread crumbs
  • ¼ c. butter, melted
  • ¼ c. grated or shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Combine topping ingredients & set aside.
  1. Slice or cube chicken & set aside.
  2. Steam broccoli until nearly done. Drain and set aside. (You can also use leftover broccoli if it’s still firm)
  3. Melt butter and gradually add flour.
  4. Stir constantly with a whisk. Do not brown flour but cook on medium-low for 1-3 minutes. Gradually add chicken broth and stir until thick.
  5. Gently whisk in cream or Half and Half, salt, pepper garlic powder, nutmeg and add cheese.
  6. Place chicken pieces and broccoli in baking dish. A 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish works best.
  7. Pour sauce over top, lightly mix, then sprinkle with crumb mixture and bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.
Vicky’s Backstory:

Vicky Akins is the MidLife Road Trip’s Production Assistant. Her talents don’t stop there. She is an accomplished cook and baker. How lucky can one Road Trip Show be? As passionate as she is about the show, she is equally as passionate about what goes on the dinner table. From time to time she shares some of her delicious ‘productions’ and this is one of those…

~It is such pleasure to share a Fabulous #SundaySupper with great friends!

If you want to see how funny these #Nuts really are,  join their Therapy Session on Twitter every Tuesday at 3:30 pm EST.  I promise it will be a good time!


This is why I Love Paula Deen

When most Celebrity Chefs are asked what they would cook for the White House, it goes something like this:

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, escargot. Blah, blah, blah, blah, truffle oil. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah foie gras….Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah Blanquette de Veau….blah, blah, blah, blah!

When I saw your response in Parade Magazine, all I could think is…. This is why I love her so!   No blah, blah, blah,….just straight up Good Home Cooking!

Who else has the courage to lick their fingers as they are cooking on Food Network?  Your love and passion for what you do comes through with every recipe!  Every home cook knows that it’s impossible to cook a meal without a little taste.  How else are we supposed to know if  it’s good?

“I know the president loves hot wings,” Paula said, “so I would do some with pepper-jelly glaze, watermelon salad to cut the heat, and buttered french toast.”  And for dessert? “Lemon meringue pie!”

Not only are you living proof that the American Dream does exist, you’re living proof that with love for our families and lots of hard work, we will all achieve our dreams!

One of the best days for this foodie was the day that out of 1000’s of followers on Twitter, you decided to follow ME!

Thank you for the inspiration to follow my Dreams!

I love your watermelon salad recipe…. it’s so refreshing and so easy:

Watermelon Salad with Mint Leaves

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

6 servings


  • 1 (5-pound) watermelon
  • 1 Vidalia or other sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6 whole mint sprigs


Cut the flesh from the melon and cut into bite size pieces, removing and discarding the seeds, and set aside. Peel and slice the onion into rings.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, and whisk until salt is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, a few drops at a time. Add in the chopped mint, taste, and adjust seasonings.

In a large bowl, combine the melon, onion, and feta. Pour the dressing over the melon mixture and toss gently until everything is coated and evenly mixed. Garnish with mint sprigs.

To serve, divide salad among individual plates and garnish with mint leaves.

Paula, I have searched High and Low for your Pepper-Jelly Glaze Wings.  Would you mind sharing?

No, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!

There’s always room for one more Around Our Family Table

My Baby has left for college.  I have agonized and dreaded this day for so long. You see, my baby is the oldest of four.  Somehow at 18, I can’t help but still think of her as my Baby!

I am a believer that our character determines our destiny.  If I am to be completely honest, this is truly what I am agonizing over…

We can encourage our children to make the right choices but ultimately they choose!

As her Mom, I see how talented and beautiful she is.  Yet, talent and beauty have little to do with it. In the end, her character will be the deciding factor in determining her future.

Before she left, I asked her “How did I get so lucky to get such a great kid? I just hope I can get this lucky 3 more times.”   She said the words that every mother could only hope to hear… Mom, you don’t have to worry!  Our family is so close because of all the time spent Around our Family Table… All our talks, great meals, card games and even lectures have all taken place in our kitchen!

And that’s where it all begins… The Family Table is the heart of the home and the time spent together will ultimately shape our character.

We have a tradition, we celebrate special occasions by making Pancakes for Breakfast.

The morning Alexandra is leaving for college, pancakes are in order.  I realize this is a celebration.  We have been preparing for this day for 18 years.  My confident, beautiful, kind, and smart daughter is ready to leave for college….

And so we dropped her off at school with a full belly and her bag of pancakes.  This bag filled with comfort and love is there as a reminder of times Around Our Family Table.

And so, we open our grip and let her go create the life she is destined to lead.

Family Foodie  Pancakes

  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 Cup melted butter

Mix until smooth and bubbles form at the top.

Laddle batter onto skillet. I love to use a large electric skillet.  Flip when the top is filled with bubbles.

Tip: Warm your syrup before serving

I promise, once you try making these homemade pancakes, you will never, ever pick up the boxed kind again…

Alex's Baggie filled with Love