Creamy-Dreamy Crab Dip

“Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life.” ~Charles M. Schultz


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Big Daddy loves crab cakes. Everywhere we eat, no matter what part of the country or what type of restaurant, if they have ’em, he orders ’em.  He spots them in his first, cursory menu glance. Sometimes he gets them for an appetizer (before his steak…semper carnivore); other times, he eats them alone. Then he goes to get ice cream. He’s pretty predictable that way.

The problem with crab cakes when you’re on a carb-aware type eating plan is that they are chock-full of breadcrumbs. While I could make a breadcrumb-free version of crab cakes (I know. I know.), I thought I’d let him try this dip out instead and see if he liked it.

Creamy-Dreamy Crab Dip

Big Daddy gives this dip a hearty two thumbs up. And Big Daddy didn’t get to be Big Daddy by not knowing about good food.

It’s easy. It’s quick. It’s Big-Daddy-approved. What more could a recipe achieve? Served with veggie dippers or flourless crackers for crunch, it’s a creamy and flavorful take on seafood. Big Daddy likes those mini sweet peppers. I’m thinking this dip would be good on them. He’s thinking what I’m thinking.

Creamy-Dreamy Crab Dip

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

courtesy of http://www.adventuresinwomanland.com
Instagram Photo

Ingredients
5 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature
2 TBS reduced-fat mayonnaise
3 tsp prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 TBS white cooking wine (omit if desired)
1/2 TBS almond milk (or other liquid)
4.25 oz can white crab meat, drained and flaked
Paprika

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix cream cheese, mayo, horseradish, lemon juice, wine, and milk together until fluffy.
3. Fold in crab meat.
4. Pour into greased baking dish.
5. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Serve on crackers or veggie dippers.


Don’t forget about the GIVEAWAY going on this week! One lucky subscriber wins his/her choice of a Trim Healthy Mama book, three bags of THM Sweet Blend, a hand weight set, or a Camelbak water bottle. Click here for details.

Also, my best-good friend, Sarah, over at Mrs. Criddle’s Kitchen has a GIVEAWAY going on this week, too! Y’all head over there, check out some of her delicious recipes and enter to win!

Both end Sunday, August 3, so y’all hurry up!

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Snacking, These Days

Yesterday, I provided an overview of the illustrious Ms. Michaels’ book Master Your Metabolism and a brief glance into our household’s transition to said eating plan. Today, I thought I’d give those of you joining us on the journey a few, healthy-yet-tasty snack ideas.

Heck, even if you’re not taking the trek with us, these are things I’d eat anyway. They’re good. And good for you.

But mostly good.

Snack Idea #1: 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon of raw honey, 1/8 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 sliced banana.

We eat this one for pseudo-dessert after dinner each night. If you mix it all together, it tastes like whipped cream. Greek yogurt is very thick. There’s nothing watery about it.  The banana is sweet to those of us who eat no other form of sugar, and the honey tops it off. The crunchy walnuts give it some texture. It’s like eating nutty ice cream. Almost.

Snack Idea #2: 1 cup rolled or steel-cut (read: Irish or organic) oats, 1/8 cup chopped walnuts, 1/8 cup 60% cacao chocolate chips.

I eat this one for breakfast or anytime I need my chocolate fix. Ghiradelli makes the chips, and they have them at my Wal-Mart. If they have them at my Wal-Mart, I know they have them at yours. The steel-cut oats have mounds of protein, and I do not get hungry for at least 4 hours after I eat this.  The chips melt into the oats, and it’s like eating a chocolate oatmeal cookie with crunchy walnuts. Almost.

Snack Idea #3: 2-3 tablespoons hummus spread on a piece of whole wheat bread and topped with tomato slices.

We’ve got tomatoes running out our ears this time of year, and they are delicious! I make my own hummus in the blender (read: super easy), but you can certainly use the store-bought stuff. Sprinkle a touch of salt on there, and it’s a mid-afternoon treat.

Snack Idea #4: 1/4 sliced or cubed avocado, tomato slices, and natural cheese (I like Havarti.) rolled into a soft-taco-sized, whole-wheat tortilla.

There’s no food on earth I love more than avocado. Highest fruit/veggie in fiber terms, too. Sometimes I add a little of my homemade, garlic mayo or homemade hummus for creaminess. It’s superb! Just like a Taco Bell soft taco. Not really, thank the Lord.

Snack Idea #5: 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter on whole-wheat English muffin, with raw honey drizzle.

Super good. Sweet. Salty. Yum.

Snack Idea #6: 2 sliced Roma tomatoes, 4-5 chopped basil leaves, drizzles of olive oil, drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a bit of crumbled feta cheese

So good. And, except for the cheese, you can virtually eat yourself silly with little consequence. I love, love, love volume foods!

Let me know if any of these trip your trigger or if there are other foods you like for which you want snacking suggestions. I’m quickly becoming the master at transforming things I like into things I can eat.

Go forth and snack!
AinW

Sausage Squares

The Boys like meat. At least that’s been my experience. Therefore, I knew that some Gigi-esque cupcakes were going to go over, but not as much as something containing pork.  For this reason, I included these delectable Sausage Squares (recipe courtesy of the Mad Knitter, aka my mother) in the care package I sent to them last week.

Sausage and bread and cream cheese: what’s not to love?

Like most of my recipes, this one has only a few ingredients, and they’re all things that you probably have on-hand. They’re definitely items you can get at your local store. I have to roll like that because I ain’t got no fancy stores ’round here. I’m cooking with a gourmet-market handicap. I figure The Boys probably don’t ‘do’ gourmet anyway.  They’re more ‘pork fat’ type people.

I get that.

Two cans of crescent rolls, one-8 oz. package of cream cheese, and two pounds of breakfast sausage.  That’s it.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and roll out one can of the crescent rolls into the bottom.

If you have time to worry about the fact that the perforations are somewhat gaping or that the dough is not all the way to the sides of the pan, you have more time on your hands than I do.  If it bothers you, go ahead and press it all out nicely.

It doesn’t bother me.

And I can guarantee you The Boys will never know the difference.

Next, throw the sausage into a pan to brown.

This part may take a minute or two. Because I’m easily bored, I contracted my local Diva to rock me a classic John Bonham piece on the drums while I cooked.

Here’s what I love about the Diva: she can rock some Led Zeppelin in a full-length, leopard-print dress. Even Mr. Bonham couldn’t have done that.

When the sausage is brown, drain it, and return it to the pan.  Add the cream cheese.

Let it get all melty good, the stir it around until it’s well incorporated.

Then, spread the sausage/cream cheese mixture onto the uncooked crescents in the pan. Layer the other can of crescents on the top.

Again with the worrying about the spreading of the dough. If you have time, knock yourself out.

Bake them for 25 minutes or until the crescents are golden brown.  Cool and cut into squares.

If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then this is the express-way.

These are good for a snack or for breakfast with a side of scrambled eggs and fried potatoes.  Or for supper. Or lunch. Or a snack. Wait. Did I say that?

Click, print, trim, and cook: Sausage Squares

Pork fat rules,

AinW

AinW Cooks: Meaty Rotel

I know you may still be reeling from my very important announcement last Friday, and I totally understand.  I, myself, am still unsure of how to proceed with that new-ish knowledge but should also let you in on yet another, more recent blow to my psyche.

Late last week, I received this in the mail.

Since I’m only in my mid-thirties late twenties, I’ve yet to figure out how, exactly, I should respond. Perhaps they’ve heard that I’ve recently transitioned from a full-time school administrator to a full-time homeschooling mom and got me confused with those lucky people who transition from full-time whatevers to full-time umbrella-drink sippers.

Let me set them straight.

Dear AARP,
I, in fact, am not actually retired.  I would challenge any of your employees, especially the one who saw fit to send me this card, to come homeschool the Diva and keep tabs on Big Daddy for just one day! You’d never make it! The laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the grocery shopping in inclement weather…you wouldn’t last a day before you’d be out of here, on your way down Blueberry Hill to the Sonic for a midday buzz.  Keeping up with Big Daddy’s sweet tea habit alone would put you in your grave! And let’s not even talk about cheer practice.  You’d run for the hills faster than they can make something rhyme…and that’s fast! Your manicure would be a mess and before you know it, you’d realize that your fingers don’t match each other.

I’ll not be sending you any of Big Daddy’s hard-earned money, though your offer is gracious.  I’m only in my late twenties and probably don’t meet your membership requirements.

Best,
AinW

P.S. However, if any of you wants to come finish my dissertation, we can talk.  Call me!

Nevertheless, like General Washington on the Potomac, I press on.

************************************

Last week sometime, the Diva received something from the nice FEDEX lady. She’d saved up her money and ordered it a long time ago, but it had been put on backorder. Because of the delay, when it finally did arrive, it came with its own star shining upon it and a multitude of heavenly hosts surrounding it singing.  Okay, so the light came from her own facial glow and the heavenly hosts were on my iPod; nevertheless, there was rejoicing.

Lanie’s camper has arrived. My life is now complete.

[As an aside, the Diva paid the sticker price for it. These suckers, which are now sold out on their home site, are going for triple and quadruple the sticker on Amazon and eBay. Big Daddy and I wished we had bought 10 of them. We’re thinking this one might be our economic bail-out someday.]

Seeing as how she was deeply entrenched in her new investment piece, I figured she wasn’t going to be able to make us some dinner. So, I thought I’d take a crack at that cooking thing.

First, some background.

At Christmastime we have an eating tradition. Okay, so at every holiday, birthday, special day, Saturday, and today we have an eating tradition. The Christmas one is good, though, because it involves appetizers. Since the women are generally still tired from cooking Thanksgiving, we generally have a plethora of appetizers for Christmas. I’d call them hor dourves, but we ain’t that fancy.  Anyway, we graze most of the day rather than one, big, sit down meal. That way the children never have to leave their toys, and the guys never have to leave their football.

Meaty Rotel is one appetizer we generally have. It’s a favorite.  Last week, since the weather looked like this:

…and since I had made chicken fried steak, homemade mashed potatoes, homemade biscuits and pan gravy the night before, and I was tired, I declared it to be appetizer night.

There were

cocktail smokies: Little Smokies warmed in a mixture of one bottle cocktail sauce and one jar of grape jelly, and

PW’s Hot Artichoke Dip, and

Meaty Rotel: cheesy, meaty, spicy goodness.

Here’s what you need to get started:

ground beef, Velveeta, paprika, cumin, chili powder, garlic salt, Rotel, and something with which to dip. We go with the Fritos scoops for two basic reasons: (1) they’re strong and can stand up to the thick dip, and (2) they hold alot. Some people are what you’d call quantity eaters.

There are a million, different ways to go about this, but the end result is always the same: brown the ground beef, and throw everything in some sort of warming device until it’s nice and melty-good.  It couldn’t be easier.  At Christmas, we use the Crock-Pot because it keeps it warm all day.  That’s the way I rolled last week.

I threw in the tomatoes and the spices.

Then, I stripped down the cheese. Hello, darlin’. Nice to see ya. It’s been a long time. You’re just as lovely as you used to be.

Then, I cut the big block up into little blocks because it melts easier that way.

Then, I put the cheese on top of the tomato/spice mixture, put the top on the beast, and plugged her in. She’s on “low” at this point.

Meantime, I browned the beef and dumped it in.  At this point, it’s a waiting game. If you use the Crock-Pot method, stir her up every so often until she’s melty-good, then turn her down to “warm” if you have that setting.

That’s it! That’s all it takes. The cumin and the chili powder give it a smoky taste, and the Rotel gives it a kick. If you need more kick, add some hot sauce or use the hot Rotel and the Mexican Velveeta.

When you make this, I should warn you, though. If you’re single, men will flock from all corners of the universe. If you’re not, they’ll flock from the living room.

Here’s the printable: Meaty Rotel Dip

Bon Appetit!

AinW