Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Craving Crab

In my constant quest for variety, I've learned to obey my cravings. It usually leads to something good. A few days ago, I got a great deal (surprise, surprise) on avocados at Aldi.  They were perfectly ripe, so I needed to use them before they turned the corner. As I contemplated those little dark green orbs, crab entered my mind.  The idea was born.  Crab Louis.

Mayo, green olives, chili sauce, horseradish & lemon make a tasty dressing. Capers for garnish and tang.

 I made a dressing with chili sauce, mayo, chopped green olives, a little horseradish and lemon juice. Then, I just piled crabmeat into the cavity of the avocados, added some boiled shrimp over shredded lettuce and drizzled with dressing. I topped it all with some capers because everything is better with capers. 

Crab, shrimp, avocado and Louis sauce on a bed of lettuce. Parfait, n'est ce pas?
Super fast, super easy, super delicious. We're still in April, but the temps are already getting close to the 90 degree mark, so cold food is certainly welcome this time of year. With my leftover crab, we are looking forward to crabcakes and/or bisque later in the week.  Poor us!  Crab all week long.  

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Strawberry Season!

It's Springtime here in the South and that means it's strawberry time!  Honestly, this is really the only time of year that I even like strawberries.  There is just something different about locally grown fruit. 

Near our house is Cottle Farms, which has been growing strawberries in Columbia pretty much my entire life. Maybe even longer than I've been around, I'm not sure.  It's a huge operation and our kids love going out to the farm to pick their own berries.  If you've never gone, you should.  A word of caution though.  Don't let yourself get carried away and bring home 3 buckets full. It's easy to get all excited and keep on pickin' but remember, the berries go bad if they hang around too long and you can always go back to the farm when you need more!

We went out after school on Monday and the strawberries are gorgeous.  Bright red, glossy and plentiful.  Years ago, I came across one of the kookiest recipes ever.  It was in a magazine, although it's been so long now, I couldn't even begin to tell you which one it was. It was for a turkey and strawberry panini.  I know, I know.  Sounds insane, right?  Well, it's not.  It's been years since we made these sandwiches, but when I saw this year's crop, I decided it was time to bring back the panini.

Here's the skinny...Get a loaf of fresh Italian bread from the bakery.  Give it a layer of pepper jelly. Yes, you heard me.  Then layer really smoky, sliced turkey with some brie, sliced strawberries and fresh basil leaves.  Press and grill it with a panini press, waffle iron, in a pan, whatever your usual grilled cheese-technique is.  Prepare to be amazed.  It's the craziest combination of flavors and IT WORKS.  I told our friend Dottie about the sandwich and when I saw her yesterday in the school yard...well, suffice to say, she was raving about it.  Her husband loved it, kids loved it, she loved it.  I'm so glad she tried it because in the past when I've told people about this recipe, I get that sideways "okaaaay, right, Elizabeth" look. 

Dear readers, food fanatics, culinary daredevils, good food consumers, take my advice on this one.  Get thee to the farm!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Happy Birthday, Babs

This is my sweet, loving and beautiful dog Babs.  When she was a puppy, she got into a bottle of Advil.  We rushed her to the vet but since she was so small, her little kidneys had already started to malfunction.  Over the course of a couple weeks, we were at the vet every day for IV fluids and we returned her to health. They told me that when she got older, she may end up with renal problems so I was (kind of) prepared for that.  About three weeks ago, I noticed she wasn't eating as much and was losing weight.  Last Friday, bloodwork confirmed that her kidneys were in trouble.  Renal failure set in and she declined extremely rapidly. Yesterday I had to make the heartbreaking decision to put her to sleep.  Today would have been her 11th birthday.

My daughter has been handling this situation with remarkable maturity and clarity.  She turns 10 next week.  Today, she decided that we still needed to celebrate Babsy's birthday and the fact that she is no longer sick and uncomfortable.  The child baked a cake.  All by herself.  She made chocolate buttercream frosting.  All by herself. I'm so proud of her, on so many levels.  Here is her masterpiece...

And, so, today we celebrate despite our sadness and our overwhelming feelings of loss and longing.  Babs was a very important part of our family and it will be a difficult adjustment.  We just take comfort in knowing that because we loved her so, we were able to help her and stop the sickness.  We had 11 years together and we are thankful.  And if she were here, we'd let her eat cake. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...