My all time favorite appetizer, hands down. When crab dip is good, it can be soooo good. But, when it’s bad …yowza. I’m fortunate enough to live in a place where a bushel of the bay’s best crabs are just a 30 minute drive on the backroads – to Crisfield, Maryland. You buy them directly off of the boat, for insanely cheap price (well, most of the year anyways. They mark them up Memorial Day and July 4th). Jon has converted a beer keg into a cooking vessel – so we can cook a whole bushel at a time. Combine that with a kegerator in the garage and it makes for one awesome crab feast!

If there are any leftover soldiers, I’ll usually pick them to make a batch of crab dip up the following night. It’s so rich and creamy, it really makes a meal. This recipe was given to me by a very dear friend of the family, who shall go unnamed to maintain her anonymity.  But, I love her forever for sharing it with me. It’s just the right balance of everything, really allowing the crab to shine.

One word of caution though, do not to skimp on crab meat. The plastic tubs are usually okay, but that canned stuff is just whack. No one wants crab meat all the way from Vietnam. Enjoy this one if you can, it’s definitely one of my favorites!

I don’t like to brag, but I do make a pretty good chicken salad. Which, is great, because we eat it A LOT of it for lunch or a light dinner during the summer months. There’s usually chicken leftover from one meal or another during the week, or I’m grilling so often it’s no biggie to cook a couple extra chicken breasts to make up a batch.  It keeps great in the fridge for a few days, and makes for an easy and quick lunch during the week.

The fresh rosemary certainly sets it apart from other chicken salads. But, I think the thing that really makes it shine is the addition of honey. I like the hint of sweetness it brings. I like mine on a whole wheat bread, with lots of sprouts on top. However, when served on crostinis, it makes a lovely appetizer.

I’ve lamented before about my ability (or, lack thereof) to get decent ethnic foods here on the Eastern Shore. One nationality that is well represented on our little island is Greece. I may not be able to get a burrito for 25 miles, but I can get a great gyro! I’ve come around to many Greek favorites in more recent years – feta, kalamata olives, and most importantly, tzatziki. It’s so deliciously cool and refreshing, and pretty much guilt free.

I’ll make a huge batch up whenever I make souvlaki for gyros, and leftovers keep great in the refrigerator for a couple of days. It’s a great afternoon snack, with a few wedges of pita bread. I’ve also discovered that oven fries (I made them with a bit of a Greek flair last time; lots of oregano and garlic) dipped in tzatziki is out of this world. I think it would also be wonderful along side grilled fish.

The key is to make sure you squeeze as much water as possible out of the cucumbers after shredding them. Tzatziki should be a relatively thick consistency. If you like it thinner, add some more red wine vinegar or lemon juice. I like to add a little bit of dill, just because I think it makes it a little prettier, but it’s optional. Dried dill doesn’t have that much flavor, so it’s not like it’s bringing that much to the party. Try this soon, it’s a healthy option that’s still full of flavor and very versatile. Opa!

The past couple of years for Christmas, we’ve received a big tin of these wonderful  spicy peanuts from a family member. Sadly, this year she was not able to attain a tin. I look forward to them all year, so I must admit I was a little bit disappointed when they weren’t under the tree for us. However, it got me to thinking – how hard could they be to make at home?

After a little bit of recipe sleuthing, I found a recipe that seemed that it fit the bill.  I’m happy to report that I like this homemade version just as much, if not more, than the original. With just the right amount of kick from the chipotle powder, and a nice background sweetness from the honey – you’ll find yourself reaching for another handful.  Consider yourself warned, they are addicting! It makes a big batch, great for snacking on all week long. While I’ll still gladly accept a tin of Hot Honeys if gifted to me, I’m happy to know that I’ll be able to make my own at home all year long.