Frankly, I’m embarrassed that crab cakes haven’t made it onto the site yet. Any Maryland blogger worth their grain in salt NEEDS to have a good crab cake recipe to share. The world doesn’t turn to us for much in the way of famous foods. We’re notorious for our fried chicken, pit beef, our Smith Island cakes, and of course…crab cakes. Let me start off my saying, I’m not a big fan of crab cakes. My mom always made great ones, but they were just never “my thing”. When I see recipes online, or in cookbooks, often I am disparaged by the amount of filler that people put in their cakes. Bell peppers, bread crumbs, eggs, herbs, avocado, cheese – the list goes on. It’s a travesty, people! A GOOD crab cake only needs crab meat, and a little bit of a binder. I had a recipe that I used forever, and it was great. But, I would use a good amount of breadcrumbs to get them to hold their shape. That always kind of bothered me. Then, one of my best girlfriend’s aunt shared this recipe on a local recipe swapping group that I’m a member of on Facebook. It had virtually no binding agents! Flour, a bit of mayo and mustard, an egg, and a bit of seasoning. I should also mention the fact that this said Aunt is a purveyor of crab meat. As a side-job she picks crabs and sells the meat in the summertime. The woman knows her crab, ya’ll. I knew I had to try it…

Talk about blown away! Like I mentioned above, I don’t even like crab cakes, and I ended up scarfing one down. These cakes are solid packed full of meat. It is definitely my go-to recipe for crab cakes now. They formed in your hands beautifully, fried up beautifully, and as you can see from the picture – were gorgeous inside too. I realize that not everyone can get their hands on blue crab meat. I’ve not tried myself, but I’m fairly certain this recipe would work with Dungeness crab meat, or even snow crab meat. Whatever is good, and fresh in your neck of the woods! I served with baked oven fries, as well as a green salad. They make a delightful sandwich too. Oooh, or over a bed of fettuccine Alfredo. Hea-ven!

This recipe makes about 5 crab cakes. If your budget allows, I’d highly recommend doubling the recipe, and then freezing half of the cakes. They freeze great! And, frozen crab cakes are one of my favorite “go to” easy meals on those nights when I’m just too tired to cook. Simply form and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Freeze on the cookie sheet for about 2 hours, until frozen. Then vacuum seal or wrap securely in freezer paper. Cook the frozen cakes just as you would if they were fresh, adding a few minutes of cooking time to each side of the cake.

We always plant a garden in our backyard in the summertime. The tomato and pepper harvests seem to vary from year to year, but the one vegetable I can always count on to have an over abundance all season long is green beans. They’re easy to grow, easy to take care of, and they just keep giving and giving. Will enjoyed plenty of them in his baby food this summer, and we love to enjoy them simple steamed or sautéed with a bit of olive oil and garlic. Even with eating them two or three times a week with dinner, I STILL always have more than I know what to do with. Enter the dilly bean. I started canning them 2 or 3 years ago now, and they’re always a favorite around our house. While we’re fans of pretty much anything pickled in this house – dilly beans really stand apart from your “standards”. They are packed with wonderful dill flavor. So crispy and delicious. You can also pig out on the whole jar, and don’t have to feel that guilty about it. Try them as a garnish for your next Bloody Mary, instead of a boring stalk of celery!

Pickled items are a great introduction to canning because you don’t need a ton of special equipment, and due to the high acidity of the brine – it’s virtually impossible for any bacteria to survive. Things like botulism, I hear they are not so good. At any rate, feel free to play around with the spice combinations. The only thing you want to adhere to for certain would be the water/vinegar/salt ratio.

It’s springtime here on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and that means that crabs are starting to come back into season. Crab soup traditionally comes in two varieties; Cream of crab – a, well, cream based soup. And, Maryland crab – a tomato based soup. My husband is a fan of the Cream, where I am a Maryland kind of gal.

This recipe is for the tomato based soup, and it’s wonderful. A little heat from the old bay, lots of flavor from the crab meat, and tons of veggies! My 3 year old loves it. I always find that soup is a good way to get anything I want to into him!

On another note, we have a new addition to the family. I’m such a horribly slack blogger, you would think I would have posted something earlier…but time is just running away with me these days! So, without further adieu, this is William or “Will” for short. He was born December 19th, and was a hefty 10 lbs at birth. He’s now going on 5 months, and is close to weighing 20 lbs. He is a beast! While Andrew is a carbon-copy of Jon, I think I’ve finally got one that resembles me now. He’s such a sweet and happy baby boy, we are truly blessed!

Okay, back to the soup. It makes a relatively large batch. But, leftovers freeze well. I like to make my own seafood stock with various shells that I leftover from seafood. Crab, shrimp, lobster – all cook down to make a beautiful stock. If you don’t have any of those things available though, try substituting bottled clam juice. I think it would be just as good!

peachberrycrumble

For this trip to the orchard I got white peaches, as they were larger and prettier in general this week. Blueberries happened to be on sale this week too, for $1.28 a pint. So, I made this dessert for almost nothing. I think it would also be absolutely wonderful with raspberries, or even blackberries.

The original recipe calls for making individual crumbles in ramekin dishes. But, it was just us chickens here tonight – and I diddn’t feel like getting into all that for just us. I went ahead and doubled the crumble portion of the recipe as well – just ’cause that’s how I roll.  If you do decide to do individual portions, you’ll want to cut the crumble amounts in half and shorten the cooking time to 40 to 45 minutes.