Daufuskie Delights: A Culinary Journey Through Gullah Flavors by Josie Riviera

Welcome to Daufuskie Island, where time slows down and the rhythms of Gullah culture come to life. This inviting getaway off the South Carolina coast is more than an island; it’s a testament to the resilience and creativity of the Gullah people, descendants of West African slaves. These people were brought to work on the plantations of the American South and founded communities in the Sea Islands, particularly Daufuskie.

I live in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area, which is about four hours away from Hilton Head Island.

When my family and I visit the island…

We board a ferry from Hilton Head Island to Daufuskie, which takes about an hour. The ferry runs four times a day. Once we arrive, wandering the sandy path beneath moss-draped oaks is one of my favorite ways to explore the island. Or, you can rent a golf cart.

Today, I have a simple recipe for you to recreate a taste of Daufuskie at home:

Daufuskie

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Green onions for garnish
Instructions:
  1. Cook grits according to package instructions, using a mixture of chicken broth and heavy cream for added flavor.
  2. In a skillet, cook chopped bacon until crispy. Remove the bacon and set it aside.
  3. Sauté onions in the bacon fat until softened, then add minced garlic.
  4. Add shrimp to the skillet, cooking until pink and opaque.
  5. Stir in cooked grits, shredded cheese, and half of the crispy bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve the shrimp and grits, topped with the remaining bacon, and garnish with chopped green onions.

Stay tuned for the next blog post, where I’ll share another delicious Daufuskie Island recipe.

Kindle Vella

I’m thrilled that my sweet beach romance novel, Pink Coral Island, is available on Kindle Vella. I was thrilled to explore this episodic format, and I hope you’ll enjoy it, too.

I spent many months researching this book and the Gullah culture, which takes place on a fictional island off the South Carolina coast. The culture is an important part of the book, and becomes almost like another character.

Kindle Vella is available here, and the first three episodes are free! Start reading today.

 

Irish Tea Traditions: From a Cozy Morning Brew to Afternoon Chats

Whether you’re starting the day or winding it down, the art of crafting the perfect cup of Irish tea is simple.

Here’s your cheat sheet:
  1. Boil fresh water and warm the teapot. Fresh water is the foundation.
  2. Measure the tea leaves (or tea bags): A teaspoon of loose tea leaves per person, plus a little extra for the pot.
  3. Pour and Steep: Hot water takes center stage, dancing with tea leaves for 3-5 minutes. Go bold or go home—your call.
  4. Warm Your Cup: Splash some hot water into your cup; think of it like prepping a cozy nest for your tea.
  5. Customize with Milk and Sugar: Choices, choices. Black, strong, with milk and a bit of sugar—make it your own. I prefer my tea black.

Irish Tea

 

Now let’s set the scene: Picture your friend’s kitchen, perhaps with the delicious aroma of warm scones.

Tea Selection: Irish breakfast tea is no-nonsense and reliable. A bit strong, but perfect.

Delightful Treats: Serve scones and sandwiches that fill you up, and maybe a bit of cake.

The Art of Conversation: Tea is poured, treats are passed around, and stories flow. No fancy formalities; it’s all about catching up, laughing, and sharing tales from the local pub.

Enjoying the Ritual: There is no rush during an Irish Afternoon Tea. Take your time and enjoy the simple pleasures of good company.

Sláinte!

It’s a 99 cent Amazon Kindle Countdown for my sweet “Irish” romance, 1-800-IRELAND (US only).

A strong-minded Irishwoman is pursuing her dream. A disillusioned businessman is ready to retire.
Can two determined people find true love at the end of an Irish rainbow?

Irishwoman Kathleen Kelly wants to renovate her new teahouse in America to a sparkling shine, enticing droves of customers to Roses, NC. But the project quickly takes a turn for the worse when her hard work falls flat.

Rob Taylor knows a thing or two about running a business. He’s built Rob’s Marvelous Muffins into a thriving business. With Rob in Miami and Kathleen in Roses, a May-December romance isn’t part of Kathleen’s carefully laid-out plans. Besides, they’ve both admitted to each other how unlucky they are in love. It’s better to leave romance out of the picture and stick to friendship and hard work. However, Kathleen has no choice but to face what she is most afraid of … commitment.

And it will take more than hot tea and marvelous muffins to bridge the gap between them.

Grab your copy of 1-800-IRELAND today before the price goes up.

 

Available in ebook, paperback, large print paperback, hardcover, and audiobook.

The Secret of Mookies

Have you heard about Mookies?

A few years back, I decided to go gluten-free. One of the happy accidents that resulted from my recipe experiments was a sort of cookie. They baked best in a muffin tin, so I called them Mookies. I have since discovered others use the same name for similar bakery goods.
I treat myself to a fresh batch of six almost every morning. They taste better than a bowl of cereal. I can also spread out my breakfast bowl of oatmeal to include a couple Mookies for a late-morning snack. This recipe makes six Mookies and has about the same ingredients as a hearty bowl of hot oatmeal.

Basic recipe:
1 egg
1 pinch of baking soda
1 small mashed banana (or about a five-inch piece of a larger one)
1/4 cup Australian Instant Coconut Oatmeal (or the equivalent of quick-cooking oatmeal)
1/4 cup Old Fashioned oats
1 Tbsp Grape Nuts cereal (I want the extra fiber to knock down cholesterol)
1-2 Tbsp chopped pecans
(1-2 Tbsp raisins, craisins, or chopped dried fruit optional)

Mash the banana in a bowl. Add the egg and a pinch of baking soda. Blend. Add the other ingredients and mix.
Grease or spray oil into each of the six muffin tins. Portion the lumpy batter into these. Put the tray into a preheated toaster oven/air fryer at 355 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes. Take the pan out and let cool for at least five minutes. Run a plastic knife or spatula around the cooled ‘mookies’ to loosen them. Dump or pry out with the spatula.
(INFO: The Red Farm Australian oatmeal I use has a small amount of sugar and coconut. In a pinch, you can use a packet of instant, flavored oatmeal. If your batter is soupy and not semi-firm, add more old-fashioned oats.)

Note: I got a cute little tool with another appliance that is perfect for this. It looks like a plastic knife with the tip ground off to make it flat, not rounded. It works great for running around the edges before prying them out of the pan.

This recipe can be totally sugar-free if you use plain instant or quick-cooking oatmeal/ It’s also gluten-free, and very heart-healthy!

If you double the recipe and bake in a twelve-cup tin, you can make your own snacks for you, the family, and last-minute ‘bring something to share’ events.

As far as the latest from me, I finished ‘editing’ the audiobook version of the first book I ever wrote. NAKED IN THE WINTER WIND is the tale of a perky woman who falls through time and gets her sixty-year-old plump body converted into that of a foxy eighteen-year-old with amnesia. She does recognize some of her new acquaintances: they’re supposed to be fictional characters from the popular time-travel romance series ‘LOST.

The audiobook is free with your Audible Plus (USA version) subscription. It’s a long listen: 23 hours and 40 minutes. You can speed along if you want to read for free with Kindle Unlimited when listening isn’t convenient.

Tamarind Chicken #Recipe

Have you cooked with Tamarind? It’s a tropical fruit that has a nutrient-rich, fiber-filled pulp. It has a multitude of health benefits. Tamarind improves digestion, strengthens the heart, and treats cough, cold, and asthma, to name just a few. However, I am more interested in using it as a food. The flavor has a unique sour note that balances out the sweet chili sauce in this recipe for Tamarind Chicken. I hope you’ll try it. Tamarind paste is often shelved in the international food section of grocery stores, or you can find it on Amazon.

Tamarind

Tamarind Chicken

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 inch ginger, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Instructions:
  1. Prepare marinade by adding onion, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, tamarind paste, chili sauce, pepper, and water to a bowl. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  2. Cut chicken thighs into pieces and add to the marinade. Let sit for 1 hour.
  3. Add vegetable oil to a hot skillet. Shake off excess marinade from the chicken pieces and add to the pan. Reserve the marinade.
  4. Cook chicken until golden on all sides and remove from the pan. Set aside.
  5. Add the marinade to the pan and cook on high heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens.
  6. Turn down the heat to medium. Add the chicken to the sauce and simmer until chicken is heated through. Serve over rice.

Tamarind Chicken

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