Chicken Chesapeake

It’s getting to be the time of year where I have to get creative with crab. I’m hoping Jon and my dad will have an opportunity to run the trotline for the first time this weekend. I think Andrew will be old enough to go this year, everyone’s excited about that!

I’ve seen this dish on many restaurant menus in our area. Usually a chicken breast stuffed with crab dip or crab imperial, then baked. But you guys know me – I couldn’t leave it at that. So I added bacon and cheddar cheese, as well as using some seafood seasoning to add some flavor to the chicken breasts.

Since the chicken is stuffed, you don’t need a ton of crab meat. A small amount goes a long way in this dish. I know not everyone is as fortunate as me, crab locale wise…trying to look out for you guys! But, if you happened to have some leftover crab dip or crab imperial, you could certainly substitute that in place of the crab filling listed in the recipe.

It was delicious, relatively easy and quick to throw together, and impressive…always a winning combination in my book. Looking forward to summertime here on the Chesapeake Bay!

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

Homemade ice cream – is there anything more quintessentially summer? I remember the old ice/salt/hand crank machine my mom had at our beach place on Chincoteague Island. We’d happily crank away for hours, to turn out something more resembling soft serve. Always delicious, though! I’ve been seeing those contraptions at yard sales lately, and they always make me smile.

Thankfully, technology has come a long way in 20 years. The machines of today make making your own ice cream at home a breeze. I’ve given my ice cream bowl a permanent spot in our storage freezer, so it’s always on the ready to churn up something uber and awesome. And, this strawberry ice cream definitely fits that bill. I used fresh, local strawberries – those gorgeous little red gems…they made for such a gorgeous flavor and color.  It was the perfect consistency too, smooth and creamy. I’ve tried a couple other recipes in the past that weren’t share-worthy, but this one definitely is a keeper.

Take advantage of your local berry population while you can, and make something delicious with them. Like this ice cream!

Eli's Asian Salmon

I’ve made mention of the wonderful restaurant distributor that I have here in my small town right? Sysco? I’m sure you’ve probably heard of them. They have a “cash and carry” shop, where they sell produce, fresh meats, deli items, frozen foods, etc. More often than not they have an order that’s cancelled, overstocked, expiring, slightly damaged, etc – that they’ll then sell for lock, stock, and barrel just to clear up room up in the warehouse. So, to have a friend or neighbor knock on the door with 5 lbs of feta cheese, or say…a gorgeous side of salmon, is pretty much the norm.

So when Stephanie dropped this slab of sustainable protein on me, there was one recipe that immediately popped into my mind…Eli’s Asian Salmon. I remember seeing Ina prepare this ages ago on “Barefoot Contessa”, and had always wanted to give it a go. But, a side of salmon is expensive. And, with all the other fabulous seafood options available to us…I’d just never gotten around to it, until last week.

I’m pleased to report that it’s a winner. Easy to put together and cook, and it the flavor is just wonderful. And, it came out prettier than I’d expected too! This would be perfect on a Sunday brunch buffet, or paired with something like grilled baby bok choy – it would make a lovely, light summer meal.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

I remember the first time I saw this dessert, I was confused – and kind of grossed out. Let’s face it, it’s certainly not the most attractive looking dish in the world. Whenever Jon has a work luncheon party at NASA, it’s always on the potluck menu. And, is usually the first thing to go as well! I shied away from it for years before I finally gave into temptation and gave it a try. And then promptly kicked myself for not trying it sooner…

A layer of crunchy salty pretzels, coated in butter then baked. Then layered with a sweet cream cheese layer, and topped with a layer of strawberry Jello that’s been studded with strawberries. So, I tracked down the recipe from Jon’s co-worker to share with you guys. I made a few adjustments – making my own homemade whipped cream instead of using Cool Whip, and also using fresh strawberries as opposed to frozen. I’m trying to use up the last couple quarts of my flat I bought last week, and this was perfect for it.

This is the perfect thing to bring to a potluck BBQ, because it’s different and fun. For anyone who loves a sweet and salty combo, this is a winner! I hope everyone has a great weekend welcoming summer into our lives. Don’t forget to enter our grilling giveaway going on through Monday! Be safe, kids!