Lolita Ariza, raised an NBA player in Trevor Ariza, and now she is raising the expectations on grits.
Yes, that right…grits!
Ariza who hails from the island of Turks and Caicos, has evolved from single parent, to real estate agent and now to something she loves more than anything, cooking food that tastes and good as it looks.
“I grew up in a large blended family, my mother had nine children, my father 10. Which is a lot of mouths to feed! My mother ran a restaurant, so I was always around cooking and really took a liking to it, even at a young age it seemed to come naturally. I think I was around 8-year-old when I found cooking to be something I looked forward to. I was so young that people would say it must be in my genes how easy it came to me. I have come to find cooking therapeutic, it’s never a chore. Even after a long day or if I’m tired, once I’m in the kitchen all that goes away. The days I get to serve delicious meals to my family and friends, to experience the joy that it brings to them. Well, it just doesn’t get any better than that,” said Lolita.
However, what she has done with her exploration of grits may prove to be the ultimate game changer. Lolita’s new cookbook reveals more than 60 recipes for a myriad of ways to cook grits from traditional breakfast to lunch, dinned rand yes even desert.
Her ingredients begin with using stone-ground corn or hominy, she says “true grits were boiled and mixed with butter and milk.”
“Grits have always been a southern US staple but it is time that they are seen and enjoyed in a whole new way and I plan to be a big part of that. My first infusion if you will, was grits ice cream. Not grits with ice cream but actual grits in the ice cream. From there, well there was just no turning back the sky was the limit! Grits mac and cheese, Grits quiche, Grits topped with salmon, the recipes and ideas were endless I just had to write a cookbook. This is what I’m meant to do not just basic everyday grits dishes but dishes that take this cuisine to a new level.”
Indeed, this innovative way to eat grits brings a rare level of sophistication to cuisines, but also is something simple enough that anyone can recreate at home.
Grits isn’t just for breakfast anymore, this delicious grain can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts. enjoy!
All of Lolita Ariza’s new wonderful cooking ideas can be found on gritsandtoppings.com