Quita’s Shrimp

I have mentioned my mom’s mom, Busia, on my blog before and it is now time to “introduce” you to my dad’s mom, Quita.

You’re probably thinking I have very strange names for my grandparents. Busia (boo-sha) is the Americanized Polish for grandmother and Quita (pronounced kee-ta) is the Lauren-ized Dominican for Abuelita. When I was young, I couldn’t pronounce Abuelita and being the first grandchild on my dad’s side of the family, it stuck! Funnily enough though only my brother and I call her Quita. My cousins use the traditional Abuelita and Abuelito while my youngest cousin calls them Mami and Papi.

So what do I call my grandfather? Taita (tie-ta). This one is my grandfather’s creation and the origin is debatable.

This shrimp recipe is a party favorite. It is a room temperature salad of cocktail shrimp, onions, and peppers in a bright vinaigrette. The recipe I followed didn’t have the amounts of each ingredient, but I used my best judgment. When I pulled it out of the fridge it smelled perfect – just as I remember. Upon tasting it I was a little heavy handed with the olive oil, but with a little more salt and a dash more vinegar and I was back on track.

Quita’s Shrimp


  • 1 lb cocktail shrimp
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced (Quita uses green but I had orange on hand)
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 heaping tbsp cocktail sauce
  • 2/3 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 – 1 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Bring to room temperature before serving.


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