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Monday, November 16, 2009

Stone Crab Season!

Even as a kid I loved seafood. I suspect it’s because I was raised eating steamers, clam chowder, and lobster among other fish and shellfish.

Stone crab season is from the middle of October to middle of May. It is the only time that their claw can be harvested. The claw will grow back in about a year. They are considered by many a delicacy, and I assume this is because they aren’t available year round. I try to enjoy them at least once or twice a season.

Stone crab is commonly served with a mustard sauce. Usually it’s a mayonnaise based dip. Since I don’t groove on mayo, I created my own version. It still has kick, is very easy, and it doesn’t have to be used on just seafood either.

Mustard Sauce

- Sour cream
- Dijon mustard
- S&P

Preparation: Take equal portions of the sour cream and mustard and mix together. Add a pinch of salt and a good amount of freshly ground black pepper. Mix again.

Then settle in with a mallet and get to work!

Its a messy job, but someones gotta do it!

To serve stone crab, the best way is to serve chilled over ice in a shallow dish. I prefer crushed ice and then put the sauce in the center.

This is about a pound of stone crab. I was planning on having it as an appetizer for dinner that night, but  I lucked out and BD was working and our roommate went out so I got to enoy these bad boys all by myself.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mmmmm French Toast

I don’t think I’ve met a single person in my life that doesn’t like French Toast. Not only is it such a yummy start to the day, but its easy to make with ingredients almost everyone has on hand at any given time. I add a little “secret” ingredient to give it a little something extra.

French Toast


- 8 slices of bread, any kind you prefer
- 1 cup of milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1.5 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- butter for the pan


1. Crack eggs into a shallow pan or bowl. Add milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and whisk well together.

2. Bring frying pan or griddle to medium heat and melt a couple of pads of butter. You want a thin, even layer of butter.

3. Once butter is melted, coat each side of the bread in the egg/milk mixture and place in the pan immediately. Only coat the bread right before cooking.

4. Fry bread until golden brown on the first side, and then flip. Takes about 3-5 minutes per side. Repeat procedure with remaining bread.

5. Serve hot with butter, maple syrup, or powder sugar.

Thoughts: The vanilla extract gives the French Toast just a touch more sweetness and another layer of flavor. It’s that little something extra that makes people wonder what you did differently than what they do.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Turkey Pitas

I made these for lunch this week. And even though I ate it every day, the next day I was still excited about it being my lunch. They are kind of a knock off of Panera Bread's Turkey Artichoke Panini.

Turkey Pitas
This recipe is for an individual pita, so just multiply the ingredient amount for how many you’ll be making.


- Pita pocket
-  roasted turkey, sliced
- 2 tablespoons of Spin-Art Spread
- red onion, sliced thin
- bean sprouts


1. Slice pita in half and stuff two or three slices of turkey in each half.

2. Spread one tablespoon (or more if you like) into each half.

3. Add several red onion slices and top with a small handful of sprouts.

Thoughts: These were yummy and very portable for lunch. The sprouts added a nice, fresh crisp to the sandwich. I’m a huge fan of sprouts but you could substitute mixed greens if you like.

Spin-Art Spread

This is very close to Spinach Artichoke Dip, but is instead a spread for sandwiches, paninis, burgers, etc. And its probably a little healthier for you.

Spin-Art Spread

- ½ cup chopped artichoke hearts
- ½ cup chopped frozen spinach
- 1 4.4 ounce tub of Boursin Light
- S&P


1. Squeeze any excess water from the thawed frozen spinach. Roughly chop spinach and artichoke.

2. In a small bowl add spinach, artichoke, and entire tub of Boursin Light. Mix well.

3. Add salt to taste and a good amount of freshly ground black pepper. Mix again.

Makes approximately one cup. Can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for several days.

Thoughts: Boursin's garlic and herbs add a lot of flavor to this spread. And in my opinion, spinach and artichokes are always a winning combination. This is would be really great as a burger topping one night.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Easy Cheesy Biscuits!

These are so so SO yummy. They are suspiciously close to the Cheddar Bay Biscuits you can get at Red Lobster. I came across this recipe years ago in a Taste of Home magazine that my great aunt had. I’ve been making them ever since and they always go fast. And you really can’t find an easier biscuit recipe. The original recipe can be found here at Taste of Home’s website. I’ve added a few variations so mine is below.

Cheesy Garlic Biscuits

• This recipe yields two dozen but can easily cut in half.


- 5 cups of Bisquick
- 1 14.5oz can of roasted garlic chicken broth
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons parsley flakes
- ½ cup melted butter

1- Preheat your oven to 375. Mix Bisquick, broth, cheese, and parsley in a large bowl until dough forms.

2- Drop large tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

3- While biscuits are baking, melt your butter. Brush butter over biscuits when they are done and still hot.

Its.That.Easy. If I had one of those Staple’s “That was Easy” buttons, I would have just pushed it.

Thoughts: The two additions I added (parsley and butter) were really just to enhance the biscuits a tad more. I liked how the parsley adds a little fleck of color, and the melted butter gives them a more golden color and adds a bit more of a richer flavor. They go great with any dinner and especially great with chili. A bit of a warning though: Don’t be tempted to add more cheese. I tried that once and it didn’t work out well. Save them in an airtight container and they will keep for a couple of days.

Kitten ^..^

Dijon Chicken Breasts

Thinking back as I type this blog, I think I can remember the first time I ever tried this recipe. I was probably 11 or 12 and it was the first time I made something my mother never had.

Dijon chicken breast nowadays doesn’t seem too edgy, but back then I thought it was genius. The original recipe is from a little cookbook I was given by my paternal grandmother. It was a little collection of recipes from other members of her tour group. Its perfect for the night you come home and have chicken in the fridge, but no idea what to do with it. I’ve made a few adjustments to the recipe, and below is my own version of the original.

Dijon Chicken Breasts


- 4 chicken breasts, pounded to ½ inch thick
- ½ cup Dijon mustard
- approx. 1 cup bread crumbs
- EVOO, 2 or 3 tablespoons worth for pan searing
- Flour
- S&P


1. After you’ve pounded the chicken, season with S&P and dredge in flour.

2. Spread 1 tablespoon of Dijon on one side of the breast, then coat with bread crumbs. Repeat this process on the other side and the remainder of the chicken.

3. Lightly coat the bottom of a large frying pan with EVOO. Allow pan to come to medium high heat.

4. Pan fry each side of breast till golden brown. About 1-2 minutes per side.

5. Finish chicken in a 400 degree oven for about 10-12 minutes or until cooked through.

(The picture doesn't do the flavor justice)

Thoughts: I love how the bread crumbs and Dijon mustard create a tangy little crust on the chicken. The chicken was cooked perfectly and came out nice and juicy.
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