Saturday, July 19, 2014

Auntie Chrissy Visits Again!

Auntie Chrissy came to visit Conor and Caden again this weekend and they are so happy to have her here. :)  I was telling Chrissy that Friday (7/18) was the most 'regular Shaz' I have felt in a long time because she was of course around, I also went to visit work for a few hours and I cooked up a "from scratch" meal. It was a fun day. She loved seeing the boys, they are much more interactive now - since they are smiling and cooing. They are adorable. We of course had appropriate outfits on waiting for her arrival.




But before Chrissy arrived, we decided that Friday night was going to be our "seafood night". We would plan to stay in with the boys and cook some different seafood that we have never yet cooked. So last night, we were deciding what to make...would we make swordfish? A different kind of salmon? Bam we thought we would cook up some crab cakes. I searched online for a guideline of what to use and had most if not all of the ingredients in my house - we just needed the crab meat. We also opted for some crab legs because we don't often buy those and then we bought two lbs of shrimp - half for shrimp cocktail because that's always a hit and the other half for a shrimp scampi entree.

Here's how our *seafood night* began - Chrissy with a glass of wine and Shaz in the kitchen:


I had most of my ingredients out, which consisted of one pound of crab meat, ritz crackers, red bell peppers, red onion, gala apple, celery, 1 egg, crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, yellow mustard, mayo, EVOO, salt, pepper and garlic salt. There may have been a few items thrown in there as well, but those are the main ones.


In my bowl, I started with the ritz crackers to crush them up, then added my veggies with discretion as to who actually liked them (and how well). For example, my sis doesn't love celery so I added just one stalk. I diced everything up real small, and added it to the bowl. 


I then added the crab meat, the other ingredients like mayo, the one egg, etc to bind everything together. I made sure everything was stirred real well.


There is sadly no photo for the next step, yet it was probably the most "difficult" of the crab cakes - and messiest, which is why there is no photo. I took a handful of the crab meat concoction, covered it with flour and then placed it in the pan below. I cooked six crab cakes below, 4 minutes on each side - with the pan being piping hot when first placing them in.


I then made a simple tartar dipping sauce for the crab cakes which consisted of light mayo, one sandwich size pickle diced up real fine, salt and pepper. Makes for a great garnish with the lemons too!





While I was making the crab cakes and Jim was de-veining the shrimp, Chrissy made the most amazing shrimp cocktail. It was simple - but sometimes that's the best. All you need is fresh ingredients and it can really be impressive. She took apple cider vinegar and water and brought that to a boil. When Jim was done with the shrimp, she tossed about 1 pound into the water for no more than about 4-5 minutes. I think she said until the water turned cloudy. We took them off, put them on ice and squeezed a few lemons over them. YUM YUM YUM. So fresh.


Chrissy then took out all the crab meat in the crab legs which was a nice time saver when we were at the table. They were great. While she was doing that, I was making our entree - shrimp scampi with fresh shrimp this time. I used the same recipe as this blog post a few days ago. It inspired us to make fresh scampi. I cooked up the other pound of the shrimp that Jim shelled and had ready for us. I heated up some olive oil, garlic and red onion. I threw in the shrimp...for about 1 minute. Then I flipped every single one and cooked them for another 2 minutes on the other side.




I then tossed in the William Hill Chardonnay and brought it to a boil (maybe 45 seconds or so). I added the whole wheat pasta, squeezed a few lemons, added some garlic salt, salt and pepper and stirred it. Then added a little more EVOO and a few more lemons, tossed it around and covered it while we enjoyed our apps and wine! Fun night when Auntie Chrissy visits!! 

Oh - and the boys slept 9:30PM to 3:30AM. Amazing.


Flashback photo to Abby's wedding almost exactly a month ago. While we were eating dinner, she texted me this pic. Clearly her wedding was a BLAST and Jim couldn't have had more fun. Thanks for the great time and the pic, Abby! :)



xo,
Shaz