Posts Tagged ‘delicious’

Birthday Dinner Crab Claw Soup

Katherine and I had a joint celebration for our 15th and 29th birthdays (respectively) on her birthday, April 21, since mine was a week prior and Easter was the week before that… that would have been a busy 3 weekends of driving to my parents’ house.

Typically we have a pasta dish with alfredo sauce, scallops, and shrimp as our family’s “traditional” birthday dinner, but I had gotten it into my head that I wanted to make a variation on Maryland crab soup and thought this would be a great time to try it out.

“SOUP?!,” Katherine responded when she heard about my plans.  “Soup is just a bunch of stuff mixed in water.”  So my mom also made crab cakes, a salad, and cornbread.  The entire dinner was delicious, but, along with everyone else, both Katherine and my brother who refuses to eat any vegetables ever loved my soup.  They didn’t even pick through it.  Since that is in and of itself a pretty incredible accomplishment, I decided I should share the recipe in case anyone else was interested… and mostly, so I remember it for next time.

Rachel’s Crab Claw Soup

  • 8 c water
  • 1 bunch celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 – 3 large russet potatoes, cubed
  • 7 carrots, chopped
  • 1 smallish bag frozen corn
  • 1 smallish bag frozen green beans
  • 1/8 c – 1/4 c J.O. Crab (or Shrimp) Spice… NOT Old Bay
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 lb crab meat (I used claw meat, since it’s the most inexpensive, has the least shell in it for the money, and is really flavorful)

Combine water and all fresh and frozen vegetables in a large pot on medium-high heat.  Add J.O. Spice, stir, and replace the lid.  When all vegetables are cooked through, stir in stewed tomatoes and crab meat.  Serve and enjoy.

*You could make an even easier variation on this soup by using a big bag of mixed vegetables, plus the potatoes, celery, and onion, but my husband is highly allergic to peas.  Also, I may add some cabbage to this recipe when I make it next.  My mom also thought she saw some okra in it at first glance, which is something else that would be delicious.


Limoncello and its delicious leftovers

Last week I stumbled across a recipe for a delicious, refreshing summer drink called Limoncello (pronounced lee-mon-CHAY-low) that I just had to try.  Unlike most of my summer kitchen experiments, this one took a while… step one had to sit for a week before I could continue to step two!  However, I promise it’s worth it… I halved my recipe from what the one I referenced instructed, so that I didn’t have to buy so many lemons, and only to use their peels.  Below the limoncello recipe is one for my perfected creamy lemon squares, which will use up the peeled citrus so the only thing wasted is the pith.


2 1/4 c Everclear (or other clear flavorless alcohol that is at least 100 proof)

4 Lemons

1 Orange

4 1/3 c Whole Milk

5 c Sugar

1 oz Whiskey

1 t Vanilla Extract

Use a vegetable peeler to peel the citrus, being careful not to peel into the white pith.  Put peels into the Everclear, and set peeled fruits aside (for next recipe, below.)  When I did this step, I had an empty 1 liter bottle from my partial bottle of Everclear, so I just poured the measured alcohol back into the bottle, and shoved the citrus peels in with it.  The screw cap keeps everything neat.*  Leave for one week so that peels can fully flavor the alcohol.

After one week, strain and discard the peels.  Pour flavored alcohol into a large saucepan**, along with remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat until just bubbling, and cook for an additional five minutes while stirring continuously.  Pour liquid through a fine mesh sieve into bottles.  Put bottles into freezer until ready to serve.  Shake bottle just before serving.  Limoncello will last for months.

*In the recipe from which this one is derived, it said to put the peels and alcohol into a bowl with a plate on top of the peels to keep them from floating, but I thought that there was too much risk of dust and such getting into the mixture.

** Use a much larger saucepan than you think you will need- big enough to hold at least double the volume of your liquid.  (The one I used was 8 quarts for what ended up being about 2 liters of limoncello.)  When you boil the liquid, it foams up a lot and could make a huge mess if your pot is too small.  Don’t ask me how I know this…

Creamy Citrus Squares


1 1/2 c Flour

1/2 c Powdered Sugar

1 1/2 sticks Butter


4 Lemons

1 Orange

2 cans Sweetened Condensed Milk

6 Egg Yolks

Preheat oven to 325•F.  Combine 3 ingredients for crust with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Gently pat into a 13″ x 9″ glass baking dish.  Cook 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

While crust is cooking, prepare filling.  Juice the lemons and orange.  Add remaining filling ingredients to juice and mix until smooth.  Pour over crust and bake an additional 35-40 minutes or until filling is set.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  Serve dusted with powdered sugar.

Mmm Mmm Mmmushroom & Avocado Crepes

This evening for dinner I came up with a recipe using my wonderful new crepe maker.  Alex told me after having two that I could make this recipe whenever I wanted and he’d gladly oblige in eating them.

Crepes (makes 6- I divide the recipe in half for the two of us)

1 1/2 c flour

1 1/2 c milk

4 eggs

Pinch salt

Butter for greasing crepe maker

Mix all ingredients together with a whisk in a large measuring cup.  Pour batter through a sifter or fine strainer into another large measuring cup to remove lumps.  Allow to sit at room temperature while preparing filling.


8 oz sliced mushrooms, rinsed

1 T butter

1 T garlic (we used the pre-chopped kind in oil from Costco)

1/4 c red onion, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large avocado, cut into small chunks

Splash of lemon juice

Melt butter in saute pan.  Add mushrooms, garlic, onions, salt and pepper to taste, and cook on medium high until liquid from mushrooms is mostly cooked off, stirring occasionally.  At the same time, put avocado into a bowl with lemon juice, and stir to cover all pieces.  (This prevents the avocado from browning.)  Add mushrooms, and stir gently to combine.

Make crepes per crepe maker instructions.  After flipping for the first time, sprinkle choice of shredded cheese (we used Mozzarella) onto 1/2 of the crepe while the other side cooks.  I also added some salami (prosciutto, capocollo, etc) that tore into small strips to the cheese.  Cook until other side of crepe is done and cheese is melted.  Transfer to a plate, add desired portion of mushroom and avocado mixture to side of crepe with the cheese, fold over (like a huge taco) and then fold in half again, so the crepe is folded into quarters.  Enjoy!

Boozy Mud Cake- Secret Recipe Revealed!

Tonight I decided to make my famous (ha) Boozy Mud Cake recipe as a thank-you for a friend.  Mostly so that I have a digital record of the recipe (instead of just the ingredient-stained paper I scribbled the recipes onto) and since almost no one reads this blog, I am posting my secret recipe below.

Boozy Mud Cake with Boozy Mud Glaze


2 T instant coffee or espresso powder, dissolved in 1 1/2 c boiling water

6 oz chocolate chips

2 sticks butter, melted

2 c sugar, divided

2 eggs

6 T bourbon

2 c flour

1/2 t baking soda

1/8 t salt

Grease 9″ x 13″ x 2″ pan.  Preheat oven to 375° F.  Bring coffee to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat; add butter and stir with whisk until melted.  Add 1 c sugar and bourbon, and whisk till combined.

Beat eggs and remaining sugar in medium bowl for 1 minute till light ivory in hue.  Add chocolate mixture.  Add flour, baking soda, and salt and mix till smooth.  Bake exactly 30 minutes.

While cake is baking, prepare glaze.


3 T butter

3 T brown sugar

1 t instant coffee or espresso powder

3 T heavy cream

3/4 powdered sugar

1/4 c bourbon

Melt first 3 ingredients in pan on low heat.  Add cream; simmer 1 minute.  Remove from heat, slowly whisk in powdered sugar.  Whisk in bourbon.  Allow cake to cool slightly, then pour glaze over surface.

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