Grownup Crabby Patties with Remoulade Sauce

Crab Cake Portabella

Two appetizers I am not a stranger to making are stuffed mushroom and crab cakes. Both crowd pleasers. Both pretty darn simple to make. When I saw both lump crab meat and portabella caps on sale the other day, an idea was born. These two once appetizers were about to be reborn into one fantastic meal—a crab cake stuffed portabella!

Crab Cake Portabella

1 cup bread crumbs (I used panko but whatever you have will do just fine)
6 Tbsps melted butter
1 tsp parsley (fresh or dry)
8-10 oz lump crab meat
¼ cup mayonnaise
Splash of lemon juice
1 cup shredded cheese (your preference!)
4-5 large portabella mushroom caps

Pre-heat oven to 375. Brush your mushroom caps with olive oil (both sides) and place on a greased/foil lined baking tray and set aside. In a mixing bowl, melt the 6 Tsp butter and stir in 1 cup of breadcrumbs until the crumbs have absorbed all moisture. Add in the remaining ingredients (minus the mushroom caps of course) and stir together until evenly mixed. Using your hands, shape mixture into large patties. Add a patty atop of each of the portabella caps and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

While your caps are baking, start to prepare your remoulade sauce.

Remoulade Sauce

¼ cup of mayonnaise
2 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp creole seasoning (I use Tony’s!)
2 tsp horseradish
1 tsp hot sauce
A few splashes of Worchester sauce
A few splashes of lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together and voila! You’re done.

Pull mushroom caps from oven and drizzle with your Remoulade sauce. Serve (with a glass of wine!) and enjoy!

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Easy as Banana Cream Trifle

Banana Cream Trifle

This past weekend, Kevin and I thought it would be nice to invite some of his work friends over for a “little” BBQ. Now, I don’t know about you, but in my house a “little” barbeque is the equivalent to a “little” Thanksgiving—it ain’t happening. Up at 7am and 36 trips to the grocery store later, I am ready to clean the casa and try out some new recipes.

I had it all plotted out. Stuffed jalapenos. Seven-Layer dip. Brown sugar baked beans. Pasta salad with cherry tomatoes. Tossed greens. My cornbread—extra unhealthy. And the Pièce de résistance, a slow cooked bourbon pork loin (the biggest you’d ever seen, direct from Iowa) complements of my father. It was perfect.

With pride, I announcement my anticipated and generous meal plan to Kevin, expecting a gracious nod of approval. He stood there, staring at me. Instead of an assumed “Wow!” or “Great babe!” I received the sad, puppy dog, “You’re not making anything for dessert?” whimper.

With contempt, I looked that spoiled-rotten, no-good, adorable, impossible-to-say-no-to, sweetest-boy-you’d-ever-seen right in the face, shook my finger at him and said!…

“What do you want, honey?” (What can I say—I’m a sap)

So here we are. Banana Cream Trifle. It’s beautiful and one of the easiest dessert recipes you can make. The hardest part about it is finding the actual dish to make it in…and even that has a work around (cough, candle holder from Michaels for $9.99!)

Banana Cream Trifle

Layers:
Graham Cracker (1 box mixed with about 1 cup of butter—mix together)
Bananas (you’ll need about three total, sliced as pictured)
Banana or Vanilla Instant Pudding (make as directed and fill in around banana layer)
Yellow Cake (From scratch or from box. Bake per instructions, let cool, and cut up into bite sized chunks)
Whipped Cream (I am a Cool Whip kinda girl)

Each layer of the trifle should be roughly one inch tall. When you have a good amount (1 inch) switch to the next layer and repeat until your trifle dish is full. For the topping of the trifle, I used the remaining banana slices, macadamia nuts and a caramel drizzle. Feel free to get creative! You’ll love your end result and the simplicity of this recipe. Good Luck!

Flatware You Can Eat…and Can’t Get Enough Of!

Bacon Cups

I’m always on the hunt for “show-off” type dishes and appetizers and when I found this recipe on Pinterest, I knew I had just that. Bacon cups? How friggin adorable and delicious can you get?!

You can put anything in these bad boys, but I personally went the breakfast casserole route. Simply find your favorite casserole recipe, mix it in a bowl and divide into your little bacon baskets. You don’t even have to pre-cook the bacon!

Ingredients:

For BowlsEmpty Plate
1 package bacon (Not the turkey sissy stuff)

For Casserole

1 Cup hash brown potatoes (I use O’Brien style)
1 Cup sautéed vegetables (mushrooms, peppers, etc)
8 Eggs, beaten
½ Cup shredded cheese

To Cook:

Line muffin pan with bacon to form cup shapes. Before you add any other ingredients, cook bacon at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Pull out of oven and drain excess drippings.Mix all casserole ingredients in a bowl and divide/spoon mixture evenly between cups partially cooked bacon cups. Sprinkle tops with shredded cheese. Cover with foil. Put back into the oven and continue to bake for roughly 30 minutes, pulling foil off pan 15 minutes early allowing cheese to brown.

*One word of note: Post devouring, I found another recipe that actually turns the muffin pan upside down and shapes the bowls that way. Very clever. Baking the bacon this way will help with the drainage of unwanted fat!

Hostess or Patriot? My Star-Spangled Munchies

Fourth of July Snacks

There is nothing quite like the July Fourth holiday. A much-needed day off from work to spend catching 80 degree rays, tilt a few too many back and Oh and Aw over the ethereal fireworks your town went way over budget on.

Whether I’m sipping cold ones on a boat or rocking my star-spangled bikini on the sand, the hostess in me always feels the need to go above and beyond potato chips and cut-up watermelon.  I wanted something fun yet simple, so went a Pinterest hunting to score some ideas.

There are many American flag cakes out there, but I personally think slicing the strawberries sideways (as pictured) is utterly adorable and the way to go—and much more creative. The pan pictured is an 18×26 and accommodates either two cake mix boxes or a doubled up scratch-cake recipe. Use white cake mix/white cake recipe and white frosting (egg whites only!) to keep with the red white and blue theme. I used approximately one box of strawberries and one box of blueberries—If done right, you will have eaten a quarter of the box before your cake is finished.

The pretzel recipe is nothing more than your standard almond bark pretzels. Melt white almond bark, dip pretzels, sprinkle, viola! Throw them in a zip-lock and you’ve got yourself one heck of a bag of goodies for the boat. These, accompanied by a Coors Lite and some deer sausage, will make for one heck of a delish mid-day drunken meal. Expect to be a hero on this day of remembrance.

Happy Fourth of July everyone!

 

Spring is in the Air So Why Not Enjoy It?

Spring Picnic

Kevin and I finally had a weekend to ourselves without the hub-bub and commotion of friends, family, and constant travel. It’s not that we don’t like the go-go-go and adventures, in fact we live for it, but every once and awhile you just crave your own home, a glass of wine and the “How’s it going at work?” kind of conversation. For the first time in two months, were able to do exactly that.

While Kevin worked on one of his many inventions in the man cave, I prepped artichokes, sangria and one of my staples—bruschetta. I had never made the first two prior, but I’ve been hooked on bruschetta since the first time I tasted it in Italy. No wonder I’m hooked.

I looked up multiple recipes for Sangria, came away with the basic knowledge needed to prepare it and pulled my typical, “I got this” approach. Truth be told, all you really need is a bottle of wine (or three, like Kevin and I used) some white grape juice (half a cup per bottle should do you just fine) soda water (also half a cup) and a bunch of fresh fruit. I used strawberries, raspberries and granny smith apples for my fruit. Also, as much as I drink wine, the type of wine most sangria recipes recommended was foreign to me. Viognier, (pronounced VEE-un-yay) isn’t something you’ll find much variety of in your standard grocery store. After doing my homework, I discovered it was more mellow than a Chardonnay and less acidic than a Sauvignon Blanc (sad face.) So I met in the middle and used Pinot Grigio as the substitute.

Steaming artichokes was certainly a new experience and one I’m glad I just didn’t wing. I purchased my artichokes without any knowledge of what I was looking for—picture me in a super market going through a bin of artichokes, lulling over the “perfect” ones when in reality I haven’t got a clue. So make sure to read up on the entire process, buying and cooking, before you delve into this culinary adventure. I recommend a recipe I found on Simply Recipes by Elise Bauer: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_cook_and_eat_an_artichoke/

Have you made sangria or steamed artichokes before? Be sure to tell me how many bottles of wine (and what kind) you used and what sauce you paired your artichokes with! P.S. I used a whipped garlic-parm heavy cream mixture.

American Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Pepper

Stuffed Peppers are one of the simplest, healthiest and easiest recipes I know how to make AND they are delicious. I play around with the recipe and have come up with everything from Southwestern stuffed peppers to Philly cheese-steak peppers (which, by the way, was not a bf favorite–the lead critic in my life.)

By Simply using yesterday’s leftovers or randoms from your fridge and cupboards, you should be able to craft some variation of a stuffed pepper. The pepper itself might be the one item you need to pick up.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Baking time: 30 minutes
  • Cost: $10
  • Wine pairing: Yes.

What you need (for an American stuffed pepper—depicted in photo)

  • 4 bell peppers
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I use the Italian seasoned ones but it doesn’t matter)
  • 2-3 cups of cooked rice or quinoa
  • 1 lb. browned hamburger (feel free to mix with Italian sausage!)
  • 1 cup of preferred shredded cheese (one slice per pepper will also work)
  • Salt, pepper, other preferred seasoning

Set oven to 350. After the peppers are hollowed out, I throw them in the oven while I’m browning my hamburger and cooking my rice/quinoa (speeds up the process!) When the hamburger is cooked through, combine the diced tomatoes, rice and seasoning. Remove half-cooked peppers from oven and stuff with mixture. Top with your favorite cheese. Continue to bake for another ten minutes. Viola!

Side note—I tend to have extra stuffing left over.Not to worry—just serve it alongside your pepper. Makes for a beautiful side and I promise it won’t go to waste.