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Jeff Houck

The Tampa Tribune’s food writer since 2005, Jeff Houck covers the way people live through their food. He also hosts the Table Conversations food podcast and believes that everything crunchy is good.

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BLT Gnocchi, Cabbage Pierogies, Asparagus and Mushroom Bread Pudding [This Week’s Weekend Eats]

Posted Sep 4, 2012 by Jeff Houck

Updated Sep 4, 2012 at 01:26 PM

@DrJtotheMastro - Homemade shrimp with grits; white grits brought from Charleston as a gift

As comfort foods go, shrimp and grits have to be considered the Snuggie for the mouth of the Deep South.

You have the warm, heavy goodness of well-made grits married to the salty, hearty flavors of the ocean.

It’s like eating a patchwork quilt. With a halo of butter. Three bites and all you want to do is power-nap for the winter.

My Twitter friend Jeanna Mastrodicasa, also known by the very professional-yet-street-and-basketbally handle @DrJtotheMastro, enjoyed that particularly delicious plate of food featured above.

Apparently the grits were included as part of a gift from someone in Charleston. BECAUSE THAT’S HOW WE ROLL IN THE SOUTH.


What does all this gain her, other than a deep satisfaction of a meal well-enjoyed?

Well, she wins this week’s Weekend Eats contest, for one.

And we all know the booty that brings:


Two glamorous books! TWO!

Take that, lucrative-but-frustrating Florida Lottery.

This week, she wins a copy of “I Love Cinnamon Rolls!” by Judith Fertig and “Mac & Cheese” by Ellen Brown.

My favorite part of that last book is the title of Chapter 7, the wonderfully named “Porky Macs.” Which would be my rap name if I could do such a thing at my age.

Which reminds me, I miss Bernie Mac.

But I digress.

She also gets immediate entry into the Weekend Eats Hall of Fame on Pinterest.

Other contributions included:

@RobinDorian - Homemade gazpacho followed by a walk to the ice cream store. Perfect end of the summer night.

A good gazpacho really is a joy forever. My man John Keats said that.

Another thought, this one from the REAL Tim Wilkens:

@RealTimWilkins - Weekend Eats

No word yet from the fake Tim Wilkins

That’s very wise, Tim. And very true. I couldn’t agree more wholeheartedly.

Me? I’d aim for two. Maybe three. Four, even. But one will do. One with e-mailable photography.

What was the rest of the field like this week? Let’s just say making this decision actually drew blood, it hurt so severely to make this choice. That’s how much great food there was to peruse and sift

Check it all out in this week’s Gallery of Noms. (Click on each image to read a description.):

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