Shrimp in Tomato-Spinach Cream SauceIt’s getting to be that time of year when we spend a lot of time outside. After a long day out on the boat or at the beach, I always have a hungry crew ready to eat dinner. Often times I’ll plan a dinner around what I have at home, and then swing by the store to pick up a few things to bring it all together.

I live in a pretty remote area here on the Eastern Shore, so a “one stop shop” grocery store is really a blessing during these busy summer months. For me, that place has always been my local Food Lion.

Since they opened around 15 years ago in my small community, they’ve offered the freshest and best selection of produce in the area. They are the only place in a 60-mile radius that I can find fresh bean sprouts for my homemade egg rolls. Or, alfalfa sprouts. Or, any sprouts for that matter!
Fresh Blooms
I also love their small fresh flower section. For just a few dollars, a pretty bouquet really brightens up the dining room table for the week. That’s something else I’ve always had a hard time finding in my rural area, especially in the winter months when I’m not foraging for wildflowers or marsh grasses for centerpieces!

Their MVP Specials are another favorite for me. When we had our first baby and I gave up my job to stay at home, their weekly MVP specials were what I based our meal plans around. Always affordable, without sacrificing quality to do so – how refreshing!

So, when Food Lion reached out to me to share a recipe featuring some fresh finds from their produce section, I was happy to oblige! As I mentioned above, I’m often swinging in to pick up a few fresh components to make a quick dinner after being out in the surf and sun all day.

Food Lion Produce

For these occasions, you can never go wrong with a delicious shrimp pasta. Just a few minutes and a handful of ingredients – and you’ve got a filling and satisfying meal. One that I turn to again and again in the months ahead. And, all of the ingredients are just a quick stop on my way home. How refreshing!

Thank you for making freshness available at such an affordable price, Food Lion!

For more great recipes visit the Food Lion Recipe Hub.

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Garlic Herb Salt

Back at Christmas time I bought an insane amount of pre-peeled garlic due to poor grocery shopping planning, and needed something to do with it. I’d remembered a recipe they’d talked about on The Splendid Table a while back for homemade seasoned salt using fresh garlic, and decided that since I had a plethora of the stuff that I needed something to do with…this was the perfect opportunity to try out said recipe.

You guys, it’s been pretty much the only seasoning I’ve used since then – save chili powder and cumin. Not a meal goes by that I don’t find myself dipping into the stuff. I keep a mason jar curing of it at all times, just because it’s so perfect to use on everything – any protein under the sun, to any vegetable or starch you can throw at it! It really heightens the flavor of whatever it is you use it on, without overwhelming it…which many store-bought seasoning blends tend to do!

I roasted the garlic first – to intensify and deepen the flavors. Then, toss it into bunch of salt along with some freshly chopped herbs. Any mix of your favorite will do – I’ve been using rosemary and thyme recently, just because it’s been pretty readily available during the cold months.

However now that it’s warming up and I’m starting to think about my herb garden – I’m looking forward to experimenting with different blends of herbs this season. I also think that bit of citrus zest would also be a welcome addition to the party! Or maybe a smidge of lavender for an Herbes de Provance twist? Have fun with it, you can’t mess this one up!

Source: adapted from The Splendid Table

Crab PizzaOur summer is starting to come to a close. We’ve been making sure to get plenty of beach and boating time before it does, but…it’s coming, whether we like it or not.

That’s not to say that I don’t adore fall…really, it’s my favorite season! Chilly mornings with hot coffee, the leaves turning, and most importantly – cheap, fat crabs. They’re down to $50 a bushel here on the Eastern Shore, which makes a spontaneous crab feast on a Saturday afternoon totally doable. Which is precisely what we did last weekend…

We ate our fill, then had plenty leftover to pick the next day. Ended up with close to 3 lbs! Of course I had to make a batch of my creamy crab dip, and I’ll be making some crab cakes to freeze. But, I wanted to do something a little different this time around.

Last month we took a cruise up to Seacrets in Ocean City in our friend’s pontoon boat (thanks, Captain Luke!). A few cocktails were consumed, as well as this delicious pizza. They actually call it “crab toast”… to which, I call bullshit. It’s a crab pizza, and it’s absolutely delicious.

I kept it simple, the crab is the star ingredient here, and it should shine. A light covering of a simple garlicky white sauce, topped with cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, and the crown…jumbo lump crab. Now, let me just go ahead and put this out on the table – don’t use canned crab. Ever. For anything. The quality is absolutely critical for an application such as this. So, if you can’t get the good stuff , just don’t bother.

That’s why we have to get while the gettin’ is good here. Another bushel will probably be on the menu this weekend!

Source: inspired by Seacrets Crab Toast

Crab AlfredoThings have been crazy around here. Pony Penning took place last week here on Chincoteague, second only to Christmas around these parts. Friends and family are in town, we were busy running around to one event or another, and good home-cooked meals (and blogging) kind of fell by the wayside.

Crab season is also in full swing here on the Eastern Shore. They’re cheap, plentiful, and heavy. I paid $50 for a bushel of #1’s the other day – that’s insanity! I’m very fortunate to be able to cut out the middle men, and go directly to the source.

On those nights when things are crazy, and you want something easy and delicious that doesn’t take forever – this crab alfredo always answers the call. Five minutes to make the creamy sauce while the pasta is cooking, a quick warm-up in the pan for some fresh crab meat… and you have an ahhhmazing pasta dish that took no time to prepare, but is impressive as all get out!

A side of steamed broccoli or a green salad, and a glass of white wine paired alongside makes for a perfect light summer meal.