Substitute milk for half-and-half for a lighter tasting dish.
Bring half-and-half, salt, garlic powder, and pepper to a boil in a Dutch oven; gradually stir in grits. Return to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened.
Add cream cheese and 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, stirring until cream cheese melts. Serve immediately.