Smokey Hot Beer Shrimp

Smokey Hot Beer Shrimp

None of us really know what we’re getting into when we launch that very first blog post, that Hello World! salute that enters us into the abyss of Blogland. We start these little cubbyholes in the internet Universe out of curiosity, desperation, boredom or just the hope that maybe our lives will take a dramatic tilt. We see the Holy Trinity of blog talent, the online mistress Trifecta we have to master when it comes to blog success: Food, Photos & Writing.

This by itself is a huge undertaking, the hope to be really fantastically,mind-blowingly amazing at three really specific careers, wrapped up in one title, delivered to you at our chosen URL. But that, unfortunately is just the perfectly placed cherry on top of the seasonally appropriate Sundae. Beneath that homemade cardamom whipped cream and strategically placed sprinkles melts an amalgamation of skills that we don’t just need to attempt, we need to master.

Smokey Hot Beer Shrimp

Of course we need to be a skillful recipe developer, photographer, food stylist, culinary-guru and engaging author. But that’s not all, your plate isn’t nearly full enough, pull yourself up to the buffet of online careers and load your platter. You will also need to add to the aforementioned list: SEO expert, web designer, social media darling, PR pro, marketing expert, branding aficionado, and business manager. After all, if you hired someone for each of those positions you’d be in the hole for over 200K.

But who else is going to register the LLC, build the website, apply for a trademark, get a PO box, take those gorgeous photos, not to mention edit them, write the posts, send DMCA take down notice, answer the emails, write the recipes, cook the food, do the interviews, fix that broken code, install the right plugin, promote the content, network with the right people and ohmygodican’tdoitall!

Smokey Hot Beer Shrimp

We need to give ourselves a break. These are ten really difficult jobs, ten careers for which colleges all over the land offer 4 year degrees. We can’t be good at them all and we can’t really afford to hire them all out.

We need to learn to make peace with it the things that aren’t were we want them to be. It’s a triage in a way, the biggest blood loss goes to the front, the rest can wait. In the midst of these panics, we need to remember the list of thing we are really good at is longer than the list of things we shame ourselves for. Because, odds are, there is someone out there wishing to be as good as you are at something.

Don’t forget that when you start to panic about creating a newsletter or figuring out copyright laws. You are really good at more that you are really bad at, the ship will float, it just takes time.

Smokey Hot Beer Shrimp


  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 5 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane (or minced)
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp red chili flake
  • 3 tbs tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup wheat beer
  • 4 tbs butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbs honey
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • pinch salt
  • 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbs olive oil


  1. In a saucepan over medium high heat stir together the smoked paprika, garlic, cayenne, chili powder, red chili flake, tomato paste, beer, honey, pepper and salt. Add the butter and bring to a strong simmer, stirring frequently until reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a separate pan heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the shrimp and cook until ust starting to turn pink, about 2 minutes. Pour the sauce into the shrimp pan, cook until the sauce thickens and shrimp are cooked through.

Spicy Beer Shrimp5

24 thoughts on “Smokey Hot Beer Shrimp

  1. Siiiiiiiigh! I know exactly what you mean. I’m going to go back to trying not to constantly freak out about all of this. But it’s a little easier now.

  2. I couldn’t have said it better myself! We’re all doing 100 things at once, and frankly, it’s exhausting! Then you have to deal with the crazy commenters – that’s just so much fun, right?

    Anyway, this shrimp. Yeah, totally happening. Like tonight.

  3. Wow, I really needed to see the work that I do spelled out like that. I’m always so appreciative when my husband calls my blog a business, because most days it feels like little more than a time-consuming hobby, and it feels good to have my work legitimized with a word like “business.” After seeing all the myriad things I do listed out like that though, I can start to believe my work is a business too. Thanks for this!

  4. You know what’s cool though..I am the CEO of my blog and the President of Toot Sweet, both run by just myself but hey, I dish out the titles so am’s a takin them 😉

  5. I did chuckle a bit; I won’t deny I see this from a perspective that is absolutely affected by my ‘main’ profession which is web development. I’ve been doing it for 18 years and only in this arena have I see so many people want to start a business, yearn for huge popularity, get noticed and yes, some yearn to get rich and yet a vast majority do not want to spend a dime in the process.

    If someone decides this is going to be a business; then perhaps, like any other business, some plans need to be developed for what it will take to get it up and running. What does that mean? Typically some upfront money; either their own savings or in terms of a loan.

    I think some of the more successful bloggers know that they simply can not do it all alone; that paying for some outside services is rudimentary to getting it done right. I counsel those that are serious to get serious; develop a business plan, talk to a banker and get some startup funds…that’s what millions of other small businesses do. I think we need to stop sending the message that food blogging is somehow outside this realm of thinking and that to be successful someone has to do it all; it’s unrealistic and just downright exhausting!

    1. I agree, there are some things that do inevitable need be to hired out. I do have a bit of help from time to time. But people (including myself) need to realize how difficult it all is to do well and stop being so hard on themselves for not being perfect at a million different jobs, all of which are difficult. Hire what you can, do what you can, let the rest sit on the back burner until it can be gotten to.

  6. Jackie,

    Do you add the garlic and chili flakes to the saucepan in step 1?

    Sounds like another recipe being added to the “gotta try this!” list.

    Thank you.

  7. Well said! It’s exhausting sometimes, but such a rush when it all comes together in a great post. Good feedback is icing on the cake. Looks like you’re doing a great job in all these areas. Love this post and the shrimp look delicious!

  8. The shrimp looks devine and this is a nice reminder too–especially when blogging is just a hobby for most!

  9. Excellent post! So true. Blogging is a lot of work, especially for just one person. The rewards often do make all the effort worthwhile though. The shrimp look phenomenal by the way. 🙂

  10. I really needed to read that, Jackie! I’ve gotten to the point where I just feel so busy all the time and it’s impeding on me enjoying everything. Balance is huge and I’m really looking for that.

    Thanks for sharing! And that shrimp looks amazing, of course! 😉

  11. Jackie,
    I have enjoyed about a dozen of your recipes to date, but this one is, by far, the most spectacular of them all! The smoky spicyness goes perfectly with the beer, honey, and shrimp.
    I served it over spanish rice and grilled corn for lunch and will enjoy the leftovers tonight when I get home. Total winner!!
    Thanks for sharing!

  12. Hi Jackie,

    Love the blog, can there be another beer in sub of the wheat beer? Wasn’t sure if changing the wheat beer would radically change this dish.

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