Thursday, December 30, 2010

Special thank you, shout out to Lori of for the how to on adding my current book. Thanks friend!!!

Spaghetti, just to PASTA time

 It was spaghetti time soo...I had to mix it up. I'll have to admit I was OVER my blah ol' straight out of the can $hi# and so was my husband.  So... I set out to make my own sauce, and spice up my go to staple. Don't think I'll ever go back. Probably a good thing.


1 package Jimmy Dean Original Sausage
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
1 whole head of garlic
1 package store bought mushrooms
1 can Muir Organics Italian Stewed Tomatoes Whole
1 can Muir Organics Italian Stewed Tomatoes Diced
1/2 cup marinara sauce
salt, pepper, garlic salt, and Italian spice blend to taste
1 package spaghetti noodles

I began by browning my sausage completely and setting aside.

Jimmy Dean, original sausage. It was a great change up to regular ol' ground beef.
  Next, I chopped and use my food processor to get my veggies ready. By hand, I sliced up my red bell pepper, pretty chunky and my mushrooms into thick slices. Then, I added my red onion and head of garlic to this bad boy and chopped it down really fine.

My new Hamilton Beach food processor. Thanks mom!! This bad boy took a good 15 minutes off my cooking/chopping

Red bell pepper and mushrooms for my sauce
 Into a large saute pan, I first added my marinara, canned tomatoes, and my onion/garlic mixture. I let this simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then salt, peppered, garlic salted, and Italian spice blended it to taste. (with the help of my honey) I then let that all simmer on low heat for another 10 minutes. Lastly, on medium-low heat, I added in my bell peppers and mushroom and let that cook, only until they were soft. When the veggies were soft, I added in my drained sausage and called it good.

Oh yeah, I cooked the noodles according to package directions and tossed it in a little bit of EVOO when it was done.

The sauce was hearty, chunky with vegetables, and uniquely flavored by the sausage. Best of all..everyone LOVED it! Ooohhh yeah!!!

 I kept the noodles and sauce separate so everyone could take what they wanted. YUM! I used Franz brand Garlic Sourdough for soppin' up the sauce. So good.

My new sauce, served over spaghetti noodle, with a slice of store bought Garlic Sourdough bread.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Magic of Christmas

It's crazy that it's all over. Christmas time that is. I love the holidays so I am sad to watch them go so quickly.
With that all said we had a great time. My mom, step-dad, and sisters came over on Christmas Eve.
We had a giant dinner: Prime Rib, Turkey, Crab, mashed potatoes, broccoli in a cheese sauce, freshly baked loaves of bread, pumpkin pies, banana pudding, all an array of Christmas cookies. Pretty sure I didn't take pictures though. We were having too much fun and I was drinking wine. Ooopps.
My girls got to open their gifts and headed to bed early in anticipation of Santa's visit. The adults however stayed up late drinking Cabo Wabo and various other concoctions.

Christmas morning

Grandma Maggie's house in Hoopa, CA

Maggie crashed out for a midday Christmas nap

The next morning bright and early, Mina came in to tell us that, Yes indeed Santa had come!! The girls got really cool stuff from Santa and he ate up their cookies. My honey spoiled me, really. I got a great gift certificate to a boutique in old town Eureka, Alirose. I always am eyeing their jeans!! AND a spa package at the Eureka Spa.  I love this place. Can't wait to use it.
The girls and I bought, Jed some board games, Last Word and Monopoly ( he's always talking about how good he is at Monopoly, we'll see about that) and some really nice Danner work boots he needed. 

Needless to say everyone in my family and my friends knows about this blog and my cooking. My girlfriend Amanda got me some Taste of Home cookbooks, my mother in law bought me a single cup Keurig coffee maker, a book of cookie recipes, and for my birthday earlier in the month a Kitchen Aid hand held mixer.
My mother got me a Hamilton Beach food processor, and my sister Heather got me a Comfort Food cookbook. Close friends of our also gave me a pyrex set for baking and storage. Wow, thanks guys. Where am I going to put it all?? No really thanks. :-)
Looks like alot of new recipes to try and post.

Everyone was happy and the day was great. My family is my magic.

Since I didn't take pictures. I should have but ya know shit happens. I'll give you a one of my cookie recipes. They are basic but Christmas traditions at our house. Peanut Butter.

Peanut Butter Cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter

  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • Directions

    1. Cream together butter, peanut butter and sugars. Beat in eggs.
    2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter. Put batter in refrigerator for 1 hour. ( I didn't do this part )
    3. Roll into 1 inch balls and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown. Do not over-bake.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    20 Questions for the chef

    20 Questions

    1. What are five spices everyone needs in their pantry?
    Well, it goes without saying, salt&pepper. So that out of the way, for me it's an Italian spice blend, ground cumin, paprika, garlic salt, and cinnamon. Oh wait, can I have one more??

    2. What did you have for dinner last night?

    We actually went to a late lunch/dinner last night, Cafe' Waterfront in Eureka, CA. So good. My husband had the crab salad sandwhich and I had a toasted turkey w/ swiss on sourdough. BUT, the night before we had Peking Duck, made from fresh duck.

    Peking Duck Stir-Fry

    My husband chef'd up for us. He's pretty damn good when he tries!
    I've had duck before, never like this. It wasn't gamey tasting at all. The flavors from the sauce and cilantro/peanut combination were so good. It was really nice to have something so different for dinner. hehe couldn't help myself. This is the perfect recipe if you have never had duck. Give it a try.

    My sister's boyfriend is an avid duck hunter and he killed the ducks for us. He usually hunts them on the south spit of the jetty on Humboldt Bay. YUM!! He's currently on a hunting trip with his dad. Hopefully he'll bring us back some geese and mallard ducks!! Can't wait to chef em' up. Or maybe I'll let my husband do it. :-)

    Peking Duck Stir-Fry
    recipe by Ken Hom:


    1. 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    2. 1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine or dry sherry
    3. 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
    4. 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    5. Salt
    6. Four skinless, boneless Pekin duck breasts (6 ounces each), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
    7. 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    8. 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
    9. 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
    10. 1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
    11. 1 red chile, seeded and thinly sliced ( I didn't use this, too spicy for the kiddos)
    12. 2 teaspoons sugar
    13. 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
    14. 1/4 cup salted, roasted peanuts
    15. 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


    1. In a medium bowl, stir 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce with the wine, sesame oil, cornstarch and a pinch of salt. Add the duck and turn to coat. Let the duck marinate for 10 minutes.
    2. In a large skillet or a wok, heat the oil. Add the duck; reserve any excess marinade. Cook over high heat until medium-rare, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
    3. Add the garlic, shallot, jalapeño and chile to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, the reserved marinade, the sugar and the stock and stir-fry, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Return the duck to the skillet and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanuts. Transfer to plates, sprinkle with the cilantro and serve.

    our duck breasts marinading

    chopping shallots

    Peking Duck on FoodistaPeking Duck

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Tastes just like Great Grandma Fay's.....

    Persimmon Cookies
    Persimmon cookies remind me of my Great Grandma Fay when I was little. She's still alive but no longer making these wonderful things. She's a wonderful lady and as stubborn as ever. The smell, the flavor, the everything of these cookies, takes me back to being 10. *smile* I got my persimmons from my Grandfather's tree and processed them and froze the pulp. I'll be making these all holiday season.  Oh man, I'm eatting my first one. Fresh out of the 

    You'll also see in the recipe that you have the option to use shortening. I would, and did, they turn out so much better!!

    *This recipe came from the site below.


    Persimmon Cookies

    "This particular recipe is very special to us, as it comes directly from Grandma’s recipe box. These moist, chewy, spicy cookies are a wonderful way to use up extra persimmons around the holidays. To make these cookies you’ll need to use ripe persimmons, either Fuyu or Hachiya work well. If you have an excess of persimmons at this time of year, or want to make these cookies after the fruiting season has passed, persimmon pulp can be easily frozen and stored for later use.

    Yield: Approximately 2 dozen cookies

    1 Cup Sugar
    1/2 Cup Shortening*
    1 Egg
    2 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
    Pinch of Salt
    1/2 Tsp Ground Cloves
    1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
    1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
    1 Cup Persimmon Pulp
    1 Tsp Baking Soda
    1 Cup Rough Chopped Pecans
    1 Cup Chopped Dates or Raisins


    Preheat the oven to 350F.

    Dissolve the baking soda into persimmon pulp in a small bowl, and set aside.
    Sift the flour, spices and salt together and set aside.
    Cream together the shortening and sugar until fluffy, and slowly beat in the egg. Add the persimmon pulp into the creamed mixture, and mix well. Fold in the reserved flour mixture until the flour is well hydrated. Fold in the pecans and dates.
    Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the cookie mixture onto greased cookie sheets, two inches apart, and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool, and enjoy!"

    Ok and now here are my pictures: Enjoy!!

    Grandma originally used shortening in her cookies, but we often substitute 1/2 Cup of butter instead. These cookies will bake almost as well with butter, but are best with shortening. Shortening today, such as Crisco, now contains zero grams of trans-fat per serving.

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    Chicken Enchilladas with Green Sauce

    Here is another recipe that my good friend Amanda gave to me. I have altered it a little bit since I've been cooking it, putting a different spin on it everytime I cook it. Just to see what's good and what's not.

    Chicken Enchilladas with Green Sauce.
    I think I might have posted something like this before, hmm oh well.

    I started by getting out my crock pot. I love this damn thing.

    Turn your crock pot on high and add in: 1 cup of water, 3 defrosted boneless skinless chicken breasts, 3 tablespoons ground cumin, 1 large can diced green chiles, 1 can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup and let it all cook together for about 2 hours.

    After it's all nice and cooked, I took out my chicken breasts and shredded them up and put it back in the crock pot to stay hot.

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

    In a large baking dish, I put a thin layer of green echillada sauce on the bottom of the pan. This is so the tortillas dont stick. On top of that I put a layer of flour torillas. Next layer is my chicken mixture, I used it all. Then, a thick layer of monterrey jack cheese. Lastly, put one more layer of tortillas and poured the rest of the sauce on top. If you want add some more cheese on top.

    Then place in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 of until the top is bubbly and the cheese is slightly golden brown.

    my chicken mixture in the crock pot, complete with: green chiles, cream of mushroom soup, cumin, chicken on high and cooking
    a few of my ingredients
    ready for the oven
    What do you think?? Ready for feedback, ideas, suggestions....

    Wednesday, December 8, 2010

    Christmas Cookies

    Also while out of town, my girls and I made cookies. They turned out super cute.
    I used Wilton brand cookie cutters and store bought Betty Crocker icing, which I dyed with food coloring. The cookies however, were homemade, and they were really tasty.

    Roll-Out Cookies:

    1 cup unsalted butter, softened                                   2 3/4 cups all purpose flour                1 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 cups granulated sugar                                        2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons Clear Vanilla Extract                         1 egg

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, cream butter w/ sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Mix flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Knead in a small amouth of icing color, if desired.

    Do not chill dough.

    On floured surface, roll dough into balls. At this point I use as much or little dough I need for the cookie cutter to cut out the shapes. Dip cookie cutter into flour before each use.
    Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet 6-7 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

    Ok Ok, I have to say that from this recipe my dough was not thick enough. I had to add an additional cup of flour to thicken it up. That did the trick.

    Once the cookies were cooled off, the kids and I did our thing decorating and eatting them. :)

    a few of our cookies

    Amanda's Cilantro Lime Chicken Frittata

    While I was out of town, one of my bestest friends, Amanda made this dish. Wow... so good. The fresh lime juice and cheesiness was awesome. So here it is. Lots of pictures too.

    First pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

    She started by cooking up the chicken breasts in a large skillet. To this she added a little bit of water to help cooked the chicken. Butter and  1 cup chopped onion were added while the chicken cooked.

    After the chicken breasts were done, it was chopped into bite size pieces and put back into the pan.

    Next, she added in 1 cup chopped cilantro, 1 can diced green chiles, and approx. 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice.

    At the point the chicken is obviously done and you are just infusing the meat with the flavors of all the new additions. Let this cook and take on the flavors for about 5 minutes. Lastly, add in approx. 6 cups of crushed up yellow corn tortilla chips. Needs to be yellow, it tastes different if you use white corn. Stir together well.

    In a separate bowl, scramble up 1 dozen eggs and 3/4 cup of milk. Once it is scrambled up well, add in another 1/2 cup of your freshly chopped cilantro.

    Now, in a large baking dish, put in your chicken mixture and spread it out. Then, pour on top, your egg mixture. Stir the two together well. Lastly, add appox. 1 block of colby jack cheese right on top.

    Pop in the oven on 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Everyone's oven is different. You should be able to tell when it is done by the top turning a golden brown and you will be able to tell that your frittata is set up well. That means, that it holds its shape and the eggs is NO longer runny.

    Enjoy. So good!!! I recommend it! It's really easy, the color is impressive, and the flavors are so bright.

    fresh cilantro
    cooking the chicken breast, with onion, cilantro, and green chiles

    cutting into pieces
    chicken mixture complete- chicken,onion, diced chiles, cilantro, lime juice, and yellow tortilla chips....check
    combining the egg and chicken mixtures
    almost done
    looks good right???

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Thanksgiving Turkey Breast recipe

    Since I am currently out of town and not in a kitchen of my own, I've been brainstorming my Thanksgiving cooking. I haven't cooked in a couple of days. Sorry, soon. I promise. Thanksgiving its ON!

    I think I'm going to do Turkey Breast instead of a whole turkey. Less fuss, less mess.

    Also, of course mashed potatoes and turkey gravy.

    My Sweet Potatoe Souffle, Green beans, maybe a casserole, stuffing, and all kinds of different desserts.

    Herb Roasted Turkey Breast with Pan Gravy by Rachael Ray

    Cook Time:                

    55 min


    • 1 small (golf-ball sized) onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
    • 1 lemon, scrubbed clean
    • 12 fresh sage leaves
    • Large handful fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 1/2 cup, from 12 stems)
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling pan
    • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
    • 6 fresh bay leaves
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 2 boneless turkey breast halves, skin on (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds each)
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup apple or regular brandy (recommended: Calvados)
    • 2 to 3 cups apple cider
    • Salt and pepper


    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Oil a roasting pan and set it aside.

    Put the onion into the bowl of a mini food processor. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the lemon in thin strips, being careful not to cut into the bitter white pith. Add the lemon zest to the food processor and reserve the whole lemon for another use. Chop the onion and lemon zest until fine. Add the sage, parsley, olive oil, and 1 teaspoon salt and pulse until it forms a coarse paste.

    Put 2 of the bay leaves and the butter into a small pan and heat over medium-low heat until the butter is bubbling. Remove from the heat and set aside.

    Put the turkey breasts on a work surface. Carefully run your fingers between the skin and the flesh from 1 end, being careful not to pull it completely off, creating a pocket. Season the turkey breasts generously with salt and pepper. Stuff half of the herb paste under the skin of each breast, and spread it evenly under the skin.

    Transfer the breasts to the roasting pan, and slide 2 bay leaves underneath each one. (The heat of the pan will release the bay leaf oils and flavor the breast.) Using a pastry brush, baste the breasts with half of the bay butter. Place the turkey in the oven and immediately decrease the temperature to 400 degrees F. After 20 minutes, baste the turkey breasts with the remaining butter, and roast for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until cooked through, and a thermometer placed in the thickest part of the breast registers 170 degrees F.

    Remove from the oven, transfer to a platter, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes before carving while you make the gravy.

    Put the roasting pan over the burner on medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the pan juices, and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add the apple brandy, and scrape the pan to lift the bits that are stuck to the bottom.

    Cook for a minute to burn off the alcohol, then, while stirring, pour in the apple cider. Bring to a simmer, and stir until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

    Slice the turkey breast on the diagonal, and serve with warm gravy

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    Kris Jenner's Sweet Potatoe Souffle: as seen on the Rachael Ray show

    I was watching the Rachael Ray show the other day and saw this. Kris Jenner, yes the Kardashian's mother, had an "famous" recipe she was sharing. Sweet Potatoe Souffle .Sounds great. I'm gonna give it a go. What do you think??? I'll let you know as soon as I do. But until then, if you try it, let me know how it turns out.

    Oh and if you aren't already, sign up to become one of the blog's followers. Thanks* Enjoy

    2 Sticks Butter (Melted)
    6 sweet potatoes
    1/2 Box Brown Sugar
    2 Cups White Sugar
    6 Eggs (Beaten)
    1 Can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
    1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
    1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
    1 Teaspoon Nutmeg

    PreparationCut potatoes in 4 pieces.
    Boil Potatoes for 20 minutes, until soft.
    Peel and mash until very fine.
    Add 2 sticks of melted butter.
    Add all other ingredients (except the eggs).
    Add the eggs, beaten fine, at the end (once all other ingredients have been added).
    Put ingredients into soufflé dish.
    Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees
    1 Soufflé

    Pumpkin Pie!!

    Today, my little Mina had Native American Heritage day at school with an assembly, guest speakers, and singers. Her class also celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday today. I had volunteered to make Pumpkin Pie for the class. It was good and pretty easy. By the way, I have so much sweet stuff at my house right now I've been giving it away. I enjoy the baking by my gosh I can't eat all this stuff or I'm really gonna pack on the pounds this Holiday season.


     Ok ok, I cheated here. I bought Pillsbury Deep Dish frozen pie crust. Two crusts were about 4 dollars.

    Pie Filling:

    4 eggs, slightly beaten
    1 can pumpkin
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 tsp ginger
    1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
    2 12oz cans evaporated milk
    2 9inch pie shells unbaked

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix ingredients in order given, pour into unbaked pie shells.
    Baked 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 45 minutes. Until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

    my pie filling
    ready for baking
    Ready to eat

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    Paula Deen's Banana Spice Cake w/ Peanut Butter Frosting

    Wow. All I can say is wow. Amazing.
    This cake was so moist and the banana/peanut butter combination is never a bad idea.
    I highly recommend this recipe. Sure to be a frequent request in this house from now on.

    This recipe is in Paula Deen's, The Deen Family Cookbook.

    Frosting:   3 cups sugar         
    my frosting
    2 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter
    1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
    3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
    3 tablespoons honey
    3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Cake: 4 cups flour
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp ground ginger
    1 tsp salt
    pinch of ground cloves
    1 3/4 cups sugar
    2 1/4 sticks of butter, softened
    4 large ripe, peeled, and mashed bananas
    my cakes, freshly baked
    1/4 cup sour cream
    4 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    2 cups chopped peanuts, for garnish, optional,

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 9 inch round cake pans. To make the frosting, cream together the sugar, peanut butter, and butter. Add the cream, honey, and vanilla and continue to cream until smooth. Cover and chill until needed.

    2. To make the cake, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and cloves. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter. Then add the bananas, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla, and continue beating until well combined.

    3. Fold in the flour mixture. Divide the better between the prepared pans. Bake until the cakes are golden brown and a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. 30 to 40 mins. Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then turn them out and finish cooking on a wire rack.

    4. Split each layer in half to make 4 layers. Fill and frost the cake layers, sprinkling 1/2 cup of the peanuts between layers. Top the cake with the remaining peanuts. ( I left this part out )

    already got my piece :-)

    what do you think?? Its so good, try it and reply back. :-)
    Try a recipe and give me your feedback on it. Please?!?  Much love *Kelly

    What's in the works

    I'm about to start an awesome Paula Deen recipe.

    Banana Spice Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting.

    Wow, can't wait to try it and will let you know how it turns out.

    Umm something wierd happened

    I don't know where my post from yesterday went. I looked last night and....nothing. Sooo wierd. Well I did have Chicken Parmesan on here but it disappeared into the internet unknown.  Here it is again.

    I found this recipe on

    Prep: 30mins Cook Time: 40mins


    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 2 ounces dry bread crumbs
    • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 3/4 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
    • 2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking sheet.
    2. Pour egg into a small shallow bowl. Place bread crumbs in a separate shallow bowl. Dip chicken into egg, then into the bread crumbs. Place coated chicken on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until no longer pink and juices run clear.
    3. Pour 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce into a 7x11 inch baking dish. Place chicken over sauce, and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses on top and return to the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

    No pictures, I'm sorry but this is a pretty common meal. You can find all kinds of pictures online. :-)

    I had such a great day yesterday. We all just hung out at the house. I cleaned up the house while my husband did the yard. Then in the evening we drove to town and took the kiddos to see MegaMind in 3D. It was really cute. After the movie was over we went to Gonsea, a Chinese restaurant in town. It was really really good too. They serve Sushi now so my husband was a happy camper.

    Oh I'm in a baking mood so I'll have lots of good things to post later.

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Oven Baked Crab Cakes with Mango Salsa

    I recently went to an engagement party and it was potluck style. Sooo, naturally I had to come some I hadn't made before as well as something eye catching.
    I decided to make crab cakes. I had NO idea how hard these suckers were to make. The end result was great but my gosh. I spent ALL dang day on them and with lots of hang ups along the way. And of course I had to make ALOT of them for the party. It really, honestly ended up taking me like 3 1/2 hours, while multi-tasking everything else I was doing that day, to finish.

    As if I hadn't torture myself enough, I decided to top my cakes with fresh Mango Salsa. I am not a huge fan of tarter sauce so I made a better topping. (In my opinion) This was an easy recipe and sooo well paired with the flavors of the crab cakes. It very nicely cut the saltiness with the sweetness of the Mango. :)

    I found this recipe online and decided to go with it.  Found at

    Mother's Crab Cakes
    This irresistible recipe for crab cakes comes from actor Robert Duvall.


    Makes 5 crab cakes
    • 1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, picked through
    • 2 heaping tablespoons prepared mayonnaise
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2 heaping teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1/2 small onion, grated
    • 1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
    • 17 saltine crackers, finely crushed
    • 1/4 cup canola oil
    • Tartar Sauce
    • Lemon wedges, for serving


    1. In a large bowl, mix together crab meat, mayonnaise, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, onion, and mustard. Gently stir in crackers.
    2. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop crab mixture into 8 portions onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Press each scoop into a patty about 3/4 inch thick.
    3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add crab cakes and cook, turning once, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve immediately with tartar sauce and lemon wedges.

    OK OK OK. I have to say that I had the damndest time frying my crab cakes. They would not hold their form once they hit the oil. I wasted about 5 cakes before I said F this. I looked up, online of course, how to baked instead of fry them. I BAKED them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes and flipping them over once. This saved me!! It worked out so much better and they looked prettier too.
    my crab mixture

    my oven baked cakes, freshly taken out of the oven
    • 1 mango - peeled, seeded and chopped
    • 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
    • 1 green onion, chopped
    • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    • 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


    1. In a medium bowl, mix mango, red bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, and lemon juice. Cover, and allow to sit at least 30 minutes before serving.

    It turned out really really well, and of course I had to double the recipe to cover all my crab cakes. I ended up serving them with a dallop of salsa on top. It was colorful, tasty, and definately an adventure in cooking.

    What do you think??? Questions? Comments???

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Moonstone Grill !!!!!

    Moonstone Grill
    Open Wednesday - Sunday
    5:00pm-8:30pm | Brunch On Sunday
    reservations encouraged
    (707) 677-1616
    100 Moonstone Beach Road
    Trinidad, CA 95570

    This place is so good and the view at sunset is amazing!!!

    This is from the menu online but this is what we ordered.





    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    Shrimp Alfredo with Tomatoes and Red Pepper

     Happy Thursday everyone.

    It has been colder than a witch's tit here lately and pouring down rain. Needless to say I've been getting a little cabin fever. But I'm Soooo excited that the Halloween weekend is approaching!! We have a party on Friday that I'm super excited about. There's going to be live music, talent contest, costume contest, and best of all FOOD. I'm supposed to bring a finger food so you KNOW I'm going to do it up right.
    Any suggestions? I usually do meatballs from a recipe from my good friend Amber.

    My little Maggie has been a holy terror lately. No, really. We went to Kmart and Safeway yesterday and she lost her s*&% in both places. People were looking at me like "can't you shut that kid up"and like I was the worst mom ever. Finally, the bakery woman came over and gave little miss a cookie. That pacified her long enough to get the grocery shopping done. Who said bribery doesn't work???

    Ok, so for dinner I made shrimp alfredo with tomatoes and red pepper. So here it goes:
    My ingredients minus the shrimp, which is below. Shown under running water 


    I began by thawing out my pre-cooked deveined shrimp in a collander under running cold water.

    While this was going on I started my noodle water. Once it reached a rapid boil, I added my pasta and cooked it according to the package directions. Super easy.

    At this point my shrimp was defrosted and ready to cook. I added 2 tablespoons of butter to a medium size skillet over medium heat. To the butter I added 1 tablespoon of dried parsley. Once the butter was melted and the skillet nice and hot, I added in my shrimp. It doesn't take long for pre-cooked shrimp to be ready. Probably about 5 minutes max, flipping the shrimp over while cooking.

    When they were done I took them out of the skillet and set aside but KEEPING the butter I cooked it in, in the skillet. With the heat on all the while, I added in 2 tomatoes(chopped into large chunks) and 1 red bell pepper cut into slices. These only cooked for about 2 minutes. I wanted them to stay a litle bit firm but soak up some of the shrimp flavor from my butter sauce. Again, once they were done I took them out of the pan and set them aside.

    With the pasta being done, I added my alfredo sauce. I could have made it yah, but I didn't and Bertoli is awesome anyways. All the sauce added, I gave it a quick toss and put my shrimp/tomatoe mixture on top. I was done and it looked and tasted great.
    kids portion
    view into the pot

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Caramel Apples part 2

    So..... this is my second time doing caramel apples this month. I have to say that this last batch turned out better than the first. They are just so darn good.

    Ingredients: 6 medium sized Granny Smith apples, 1 bag of Branch's Milk Maid caramels, mini chocolate chips, nut topping, and Halloween themed sprinkles.

    I started by melting my caramels in a saucepan over low heat. To the melting caramel, I add 2 tablespoons of water. I constantly stir while they melt, until they are all creamy and smooth. Once completely melted I start to coat my apples. With a ladle, I cover my apples and scrape the excess off the bottom of the apples.

    For this next part you have to work pretty quickly. Once an apple was completely coated with caramel, I took it over to the bowl with either the nuts or mini chocolate chips and rolled the apple in it. Covering it with as much or as little as I wanted. When finished, I put them on greased waxed paper and put them in the refrigerator to set up.  I like to keep them in the frig so when I eat them, the cool tartness of the Granny Smith really pops.  Enjoy, they are really easy and really fun for the holidays!!!!
    starting to melt my caramels
    ready to eat.