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.

Crafting Your Unique Love Story This Valentine’s Day by Josie Riviera

With Valentine’s Day behind us, let’s turn the spotlight inward and get on board a journey of self-discovery and self-love. Let’s break free from the traditional notions of romantic love and focus on crafting a unique love story that celebrates individuality, personal growth, and the beauty of embracing the present moment.

Valentine's Day

  1. Love as a Personal Journey: View Valentine’s Day as an opportunity for personal exploration. Acknowledge the highs and lows that have shaped you. Embrace self-love as an ongoing adventure rather than a destination.
  2. Mindful Self-Care Rituals: Engage in mindful self-care rituals that nurture your body and soul. Whether it’s a rejuvenating skincare routine, a peaceful meditation session, or a long walk in nature, prioritize activities that promote self-love and well-being.
  3. Gratitude for Self: Create a gratitude list focusing on the aspects of yourself that you appreciate. Celebrate your strengths, resilience, and unique qualities. This exercise fosters a positive self-image and a deeper connection with the essence of who you are.
  4. Artistic Expression of Emotions: Channel your emotions into artistic expression. Whether through writing, painting, music, or any other creative outlet, allow your emotions to flow freely. This process not only serves as a cathartic release but also deepens your understanding of self-love.
  5. Solo Date Night: Treat yourself to a solo date night tailored to your interests. Whether trying a new recipe, watching a favorite movie, or exploring a hobby, revel in the joy of your own company. This solo date becomes a celebration of your individuality.
  6. Setting Personal Intentions: Set intentions for personal growth and self-love. Identify areas in your life where you can nurture yourself more and commit to fostering a positive relationship with yourself. These intentions become the building blocks of your evolving love story.
  7. Acts of Kindness to Self: Practice acts of kindness toward yourself. It could be as simple as affirming mantras, treating yourself to a favorite treat, or taking a break to relax. These acts create a compassionate and supportive internal dialogue.
  8. Cultivating Self-Compassion: Embrace self-compassion by acknowledging that imperfections are part of the human experience. Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you would offer to a dear friend.
  9. Embracing Present Moments: Shift your focus to the present moment. Allow yourself to fully experience and savor the joys, challenges, and beauty of now. In doing so, you cultivate a deeper connection with your own narrative.

Appreciate the growth you’ve achieved, and reflect on the chapters of your own extraordinary love story.

It’s a 99 cent Kindle Countdown (US only), for my sweet Valentine’s romance, 1-800-CUPID.

1 800 Cupid

A house flipper looking for quick profit. A survivor with a dream. Can two broken hearts find a place to call home?

Grab your copy today before the price goes up. Available in ebook, paperback, large print paperback, hardcover, and audiobook.

More Puppy Adoption Tips by Josie Riviera

Continuing from last month’s puppy adoption tips blog, prioritize your furry friend with essential tips for the winter season.

Puppy Adoption

Invest in winter-ready essentials:

Create a cozy haven for your pup by investing in snug outerwear for outdoor walks.

Indoor playtime:

Engage your pup with indoor playtime and training sessions.

Health and Wellness Check:

Prioritize your puppy’s health by consulting your vet about their winter diet and hydration needs.

Winter Safety Outdoors:

Keep your pup safe during outdoor walks, avoiding harsh winter elements and harmful elements.

Create a Cozy Haven:

Designate a warm and inviting indoor space with warm blankets, plush beds, and soft lighting.

Adventure-Proof Paw Protection:

Invest in protective booties to shield your pup’s paws from icy surfaces and harmful substances often found on winter walks.

 

Now that your puppy is winter-ready, don’t forget to grab my newest three book boxed set:

Pawfect Christmas Hearts, a special introductory price.

Pawfect Christmas Hearts

Each book in this boxed set is a delightful gift wrapped in the spirit of the season, tied with a bow of adorable puppies. These stories are more than holiday romances; they highlight the power of love, second chances, and the enduring warmth of small-town communities.

In A Christmas Puppy To Cherish, discover that love knows no boundaries, not even those of communication, as an open heart leads to a heartwarming connection.

Christmas In The Air  takes you on a journey where secrets shared on an airplane come to light under the twinkling holiday stars.

And in Cocoa’s Christmas Love, the magic of the season is reignited through the gentle touch of a florist’s Wishing Blooms, a rescued pup’s unconditional love, and the transformative power of Christmas itself.

Download today! Available in ebook, paperback, and large print paperback. Audiobooks for each book sold separately.