After our Super Bowl party this year, I was left with about a pound of leftover shrimp from a platter that a friend so graciously brought over to share. We left to go out of town for a couple of days yesterday, so I wanted to use up all the leftovers we had in the refrigerator before we left. What better to do with it than make shrimp salad? It’s a perfect lunch over a bed of baby spinach.

While chicken salad can be dense and heavy, shrimp salad is light and airy. I like to season it lightly; a little bit of salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some fresh dill – to really let the flavor of the shrimp shine through. Next time you have some leftover shrimp hanging around (or take the shortcut, and buy them pre-cooked) do yourself a favor and whip up a batch of this salad. You just may have a new favorite for your lunchbox!

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.

Shrimp scampi is one of my all-time favorite dishes. Unfortunately, I could never seem to get it quite right at home. My main qualm seemed to be that it was always too dry. My natural inclination was to add more butter. But, I needed more flavor than butter alone could lend. So, I tried adding more lemon juice. Too sour. While I love lemony pastas – they should never make you pucker. Many recipes I’d seen used white wine in the sauce, which was a welcome idea. Additionally, one of my favorite local restaurants adds tomatoes and fresh basil to their rendition of shrimp scampi, which I thought was wonderful. I  knew that I wanted to incorporate that as well. I figured with the addition of white wine, and tomato…hopefully, that would amp up the sauce factor.

This recipe is definitely a keeper! Plenty of kick from the garlic. Bright flavor from the lemon. A kiss of warmth from the red pepper flakes. And, the white wine just wraps it’s arms around everything and brings it all together. This is another meal that goes from stove to plate in a matter of minutes. I usually start sautéing the shrimp immediately after I begin cooking the pasta to get everything on the table at the same time.

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!