Shrimp Spread for International Women's Day on

International Women’s Day (Plus a Recipe for Shrimp Spread)

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Shrimp Spread for International Women's Day on

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. I consider it an opportunity to honor the many incredible women I have learned from in my life.

Anne Willan, founder of Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne is one of my culinary mentors. (Along with Nathalie Dupree, Martha Stewart, and Nora Pouillon, my other former Lady Bosses.) To celebrate Anne’s work and accomplishments in honor of  International Women’s Day I am sharing my version of her recipe for Shrimp Rilletes — aka Shrimp Spread. You’re going to love it. My recipe is rich and bright with the taste of lemon. (Psst. It’s also a great way to serve seafood without breaking the bank.)

Read on for this great go-to simple, easy, and quick recipe, how writing a letter can change your life, and tips on how to be a GRRL Boss. You can do it!

Best Life Living Tip

Women are taught not to be a fuss, but to fuss over. Women are taught to put their needs behind others.

TWICE this week I counseled two different colleagues to “think like a man.” My friends, both women, were explaining too much, rationalizing the method, and ultimately undermining their price. This is not being communicative — this is a lack of confidence.

Female leadership tends to be more collaborative and relationship-oriented, while male leadership is more task-oriented and focused on making quick decisions. According to the Harvard Business Review, women are rated better than men on key leadership capabilities, but to NO surprise women judge themselves more harshly than men. Even when women are overqualified and overprepared, they still lack confidence in pursuing a career or promotional opportunities.

Mel Robbins has a great piece on Growing Confidence. And, if you can’t muster it up gather some peeps that can help you find it. Cultivate a business “posse” that can help you find the confidence you need. I have a group of female friends who are entrepreneurs, as well. When we are unsure about a bid, deliverables, or how to respond to a client, we consult with one another and build each other up!

Photo by Alex Perz on Unsplash
Self Care Technique

According to the National Institute for Mental Health, “Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health. This can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact.”

Amen, sisterfire! Little things add up! My weight loss journey opened up a whole new world of mental healthcare. I am happier, healthier, and more whole – not because I lost weight. The weight loss and maintenance eventually became a side effect of taking care of myself.

This week’s technique is regarding social self-care, the ability to build and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships with others. According to the CDC, “Research shows that social connectedness can lead to longer life, better health, and improved well-being.”

Social self-care activities include:

  • Stay connected to important people in your life. Drop them an email, shoot them a text, or wow — write a LETTER!
  • Hanging out with a friend with zero distractions. Put down your damn phone.
  • Limiting time with negative people. You know who they are.
  • Making “Me” time that feels fulfilling. There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely.


International Women's Day with Anne Willan on

Info and Inspiration

This week’s inspo is Anne Willan! Anne, founder of Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne, as well as my friend and mentor. I have long respected Anne for being one of the most hard-working, dedicated women I know.

To give you an idea, she was inducted into the James Beard Hall of Fame over a decade ago. I’ve written about Anne before, my time and work with her in France at the beginning of my career was fundamental to the cook and writer I am today.

Give her a follow on IG under @annewillanlv or on Facebook at Anne Willan.  I encourage you to check out her cookbooks, including her most recent, Women in the Kitchen. (Pro-tip: Some are out of print, so make sure to make a mental note when thrifting.)

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Good and Good for You Shrimp Stuffed Peppers in the AJC (food-styling Lori Horne)

Good and Good for You

If you need another shrimp recipe, here’s this week’s recipe from my Good and Good for You column in the AJC for Shrimp Stuffed Peppers. (Sorry, I have no control over the paywall or when it is up… )

In honor of Anne, check out this Crab Souffle from last week. Recipe is in the caption. Rise up!!

Point it Out

Thanks so much for reading. Many of you expressed you want the WW smartpoints for the recipes in addition to the nutrition. This comes in at 4 points per 3 tablespoon serving. Serve it with sliced daikon or cucumbers for a carb-free alternative to crackers. You’re going to love it.

Bon Appétit Y’all!

Virginia Willis

Shrimp Spread for International Women's Day on


Shrimp Spread for International Women's Day on
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Shrimp Rillettes aka Shrimp Spread

Rillettes are found throughout France. Traditionally made with pork or duck, and are essentially pulverized confit, shredded meat smashed with fat to produce a rich, rustic paste for spreading on bread. The meat is cooked slowly over low heat until very tender – this is the confit – then raked into small shreds and blended with the warm cooking fat to form a rustic paste. Rillettes, like confit were originally a means of preservation. The meat could be stored in crocks under a layer of fat in a cool place.
These are shrimp rillettes and simply put, it's a shrimp spread or shrimp dip.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Appetizer, hors d'oeuvres, lunch, Salad, Snack
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: easy appetizer, healthy appetizer, seafood
Servings: 8
Calories: 88kcal


  • tablespoon pure olive oil
  • ½ sweet onion chopped
  • 1 bay leaf preferably fresh
  • 8 ounces peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces Neufchatel or light cream cheese softened
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • daikon cucumber slices, or crackers, for serving
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper


  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add onion and bay leaf. Cook until clear and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the shrimp. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Place the mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
  • Add the butter and cheese. Puree until smooth. Add lemon juice, chives, and salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a 1 1/2-cup crock, or to 3 small jars and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly onto surface of shrimp mixture. Refrigerate at least 8 hours to blend flavors or up to 3 days. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.


Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 82mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 0.2mg


Let’s cook something up! If you are interested in hosting me for a speaking engagement, event, cooking class, or book signing, let me know! Send an email to and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.

I am not a doctor, RD, or health professional. I am simply sharing what works for me. My blog is for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals.

Note that this post may contain affiliate links and I may make a commission if you use my affiliate link to buy the product.

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Good and Good for You with Virginia Willis is a lifestyle brand that shares food, health, and wellness content through digital channels, print media, and public speaking. For more information visit  Virginia Willis cookbooks



Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.

Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained chef Virginia Willis has foraged for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and executed the food styling for a Super Bowl commercial seen by over 160 million people. Virginia is a Beard award-winning cookbook author, chef, content creator, and motivational speaker. She has lost 65# and kept it off for more than 3 years. Because of her own health journey, she is a cheerleader for others seeking to make lifestyle changes to feel healthier and happier. Her experience inspired her to launch “Good and Good for You” a lifestyle brand rooted in culinary that shares health and wellness content through digital channels; public speaking; and print media. Fans love her approachable spirit and friendly down-to-earth style. For more information visit

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