Sunday, August 31, 2008

(Imitation) Crabby Patties

Hi there and happy three day weekend!
I made these dudes last night and they were delish! I have to admit these were an experiment so I wasn't particularly precise with the measurements. So here's my best guess, just play around and I'm sure they'll come out delicious!

Imitation Crab Cakes
1 package imitation crab, finely flaked or chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 eggs
3ish TBS mayo (you might need more, just eyeball it)
5-6 saltine crackers, crumbled
2ish TBS course ground mustard
1 TSP dry mustard
1 TSP garlic seasoning
1 1/2ish cups italian bread crumbs

Run your crab, onions and bell pepper through a food processor until finely chopped. Combine rest of ingredients except for your bread crumbs. Once everything is good and mixed up, shape the mixture into patties. This made about ten large cakes. If your cakes are a little liquidy just add some of the bread crumbs to firm things up. Dredge the patties in the bread crumbs and fry in vegetable oil until nice and brown on both sides. If you're making several batches you can keep them warm in your oven on low. Oh, and when I got them out of the oil, I gave them a dusting of old bay and sea salt. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Stormy Storms

Boo, Tropical Storm Fay has been sitting on Tallahassee for the last two days. It's finally starting to let up this morning, but we sure have gotten a LOT of rain. Our retention pond next door (which is always empty) is currently at capacity. Sweet, lake front property! We, unlike my parents, did not lose power (except for a few minutes here and there). And that means that I spent all day yesterday cooking/eating. Here are just a few of the things I made:

Slow cooker split pea soup
1 bag dried peas, rinsed and sorted
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
A couple of carrots, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Smoked ham hocks, 2-3
3 TBS celery seed or a stalk or two of fresh celery (I didn't have any fresh celery and wasn't about to leave the house to get some!!!)
Season with salt and pepper
6 cups water

Combine all your ingredients in your crock pot and cook on high for about four hours or low for about six hours. The timing kinda depends on your crock pot, the soup is ready when the peas are mushy. Veeeeerry easy, just put it together and check on it occasionally.

Ninety-Minute Soft Pretzels
(from "A 1993 Hometown Collection: America's Best Recipes")
1 cup water
1 TBS butter
3 1/4-3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 TBS sugar
1 TSP salt
1 package dry yeast
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 TBS water
Kosher salt

Combine 1 cup water and butter in a small saucepan, heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally. Cool to 120-130 degrees.
Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl; stir well. Gradually add liquid mixture, beating at low speed of an electric mixer until blended. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Gradually sir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Turn dough onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Place in a well greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Punch dough down; divide into 12 equal portion. Roll each portion into a 20 inch rope. Twist each rope into a pretzel shape. Place about 1 1/2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet.
Combine egg yolk and 1 TBS water in a small bowl, beating with a wire whisk until blended. Brush dough with egg yolk mixture, sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Phyllo Rollups!

Hi there!
On Friday I had a silly moment at the grocery store and brought home phyllo dough instead of puff pastry! Eek! So today I started messing around with the (sort of) finicky sheets of dough. Here's what I came up with this evening, stay tuned later in the week because I still have about a million more sheets to use up!

Spinach Phyllo Rollups
(Think of them like lazy spanakopita!)
Five sheets of phyllo dough
1 cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (or more, just as much as you like!)
Pinch of salt
Olive oil, about 1/4 cup

Delicately brush each sheet with olive oil and stack on top of each other. Combine the cheese, spinach and salt. Spread the mixture about an inch from the edge (these sheets came 11x13, so you'll be rolling them up the "long" way). Roll it up, doesn't have to be super tight, but it should be firm. Pinch the edges shut and bake a 425 degrees for about seven minutes.*

*Okay, I actually didn't time this tonight, I just took it out when it looked brown and flaky so seven minutes is my best guess but it might be a little high

Eat them dudes up!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Quichey Quiche

Whoa, blogging at 3:30 in the AFTERNOON!?! How can this be??? Well, I took off work today to take kitties to the vet for their annual checkups. The vet prescribed Chippy some Valium for his next visit, that lets you know what kind of patient he was... Baker on the other hand was a perfect angel. They're now conched out and recuperating.
It was nice to have time to make a substantial lunch, instead of the usual salad or sandwich. So here is an incredibly all purpose quiche recipe, you can add pretty much whatever you want and it's always tasty.

Spinach Quiche
1 pre-made pie crust
2 cups frozen chopped spinach
2 eggs
1/2ish cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, one chopped and one sliced
Salt/Pepper to taste
(You can stop here or try some of the tasty additions: mushrooms, Italian sausage, artichokes, shrimp, red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, pretty much whatever!)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, thaw and drain your spinach and combine with remaining ingredients (except sliced tomatoes). Spread the mixture in your pie and top with the sliced maters. Bake for about 25 minutes or until firm. Yummo!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Brownie Wows!

Geez louise, it sure has been a while since I posted! Sorry 'bout that, but we've been busy busy! Well, here are some tasty brownies that only take about thirty minutes to make. PS- Totally better than box brownies. Eat 'um up yum yum!

Brownies (Courtesy of the Nestle Cocoa Powder box)

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons water
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Nestle baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine butter, sugar and water. Incorporate eggs and vanilla into the mixture. In a separate bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients. Slowly mix the wet and dry ingredients and spread in a greased 13x9 pan. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (use the toothpick test to make sure they're done). Eat 'em up yum yum!

PPS- These require vanilla ice cream to be 100% perfect, sadly I made them thinking there was some in the fridge. When I was plating them I discovered WE WE'RE OUT!!! WWWAAHHHH! It's okay, they were still tasty.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Crafty Crafts

And now for something completely different! Okay, well, not completely, but sort of different! These are two small cross stitches I made over the weekend. I have big cross stitch I'm working on, but sometimes its nice to work on something a little more manageable. Anywho, they're small but cute. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Remember those pretty purple flowers I posted a few weeks ago? Well a whole bunch of Gulf Fritillary caterpillars have been munching away at them, getting ready to turn into beautiful butterflies! Here are some pictures of the caterpillars and newly emerged butterflies!