Saturday, February 16, 2008


I'm sitting here comfortably on our couch, enjoying my early morning cup of coffee. I can see that it's cold outside, snow banks everywhere, yet there is something so warm and pleasant about this morning. This is our last day here, my last cup of morning coffee facing the beautiful forest. I feel teary, yet excited that this is a start to a whole new beginning for us. There are a lot of changing coming our way - moving in with my parents for a few weeks, a new house, a new job, a highly coveted position for Mony....

It seems to be that 2008 is working out to be the year of change for us.

The above photo was taken this past summer, after our trip from Morocco, as we sat outside sipping mint tea. The weather, the view, the quietness - I think this was one of my favorite nights at the condo. We've had a lot of good times here, and well, a few bad, as well (a particular someone needing to climb 4 flights of stairs daily while in a foot cast comes to mind). But I do think that overall we've all enjoyed our time here and will miss it.

All week we've been slowly emptying out the condo, including things in the fridge and pantry. This dinner was a miche mache of leftovers that we had lying around. No real recipe, but it was a delicious filet of tilapia topped with a blend of onions, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives with a splash of vermouth. Here is the recipe that inspired us...

Spicy sauteed fish with olives and cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup olive oil
2 pounds tilapia, red snapper, or orange roughy fillets
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced

Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Add half of fish to skillet and sauté until just opaque in center, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer fish to platter. Repeat with remaining fish. Add parsley and crushed red pepper to same skillet; sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes, olives, and garlic; sauté until tomatoes are soft and juicy, about 2 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper; spoon over fish.

House update...hopefully just a few weeks away from moving in...

Due to our upcoming circumstances, we will be taking a short break from the blog. Please check back with us at some point in March as we start a whole new beginning and return to our love of cooking. We hope you will join us.
D & M

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

crab cakes done right

All this crazy weather lately has been giving us the winter blue's. To liven our spirits, we thought we'd make some tasty crab cakes for dinner. There is something very summery about crab cakes - maybe it's the vibrant color of the diced red peppers, or maybe it's the fact that they are light and airy...whatever it is, they are delicious and a sure way to make your day a bit brighter.

Although I love crab cakes, they need to be made a certain way for me to truly enjoy them. The last time I had them was at Ruth's Chris where they were naturally sweet and perfectly meaty. Ever since eating there last summer, I've wanted to recreate a similar crab cake. After searching the web, I came across a similar recipe that I knew would be great. You see, the key to a perfect crab cake is to make sure that there isn't too much filler and that the tender crab meat is the star of the dish.

Crab Cakes

1 pound lump crab meat
1 egg
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons cracker meal (5 or 6 saltines, crushed)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Creole mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon finely diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely diced green bell pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg and parsley. Add cracker meal, mayonnaise, mustard and pepper; stir until thoroughly blended. Carefully fold in crab, trying not to break up crab pieces. (Mixture may be refrigerated up to 2 days before cooking.)

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a heavy baking sheet with sides or a shallow oven proof skillet in the oven to heat.

When pan is hot, drizzle surface with olive oil. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop crab mixture onto hot pan and flatten slightly. Bake about 10 minutes, until golden brown and hot on the inside.

NOTE: Baking (rather than the usual pan-frying) makes these soft-textured crab cakes easy to handle, but they are rather pale on top. For a better appearance, bake on the uppermost oven rack, or bake 10 minutes, turn the crab cakes, then bake 2 minutes more.

This past weekend, we went to check out the progress of our house...

Things are slowly (but surely) getting done...we're both learning the art of patience.
Hopefully this week, there will be a more progress to show.