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Category Archives: Life

Rachel Ray’s Crabcake Mac N’ Cheese

Being a New Englander, I have a love of crab cakes. Love them sooo much and living in the South, it is very hard to find these delicious morsels.

I was flipping through Rachel Ray’s Week In A Day cookbook and came across the recipe that marries my love of crab cakes and macaroni and cheese. WIN!

I went out and did my grocery shopping yesterday, purchasing only the items I needed for the week’s worth of dinners I had planned. Here is everything one would need for this dish:

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Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 1 pound cavatappi or elbow pasta with lines on conchiglie (small fat tube/shell shaped pasta with lines)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 ribs celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • About 2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves, several sprigs
  • About 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked for shells and flaked
  • 1 tablespoon seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 pound, about 1 rounded cup grated sharp white Cheddar
  • 1/3 pound, about 1 rounded cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce (recommended: Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • A generous handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a couple of handfuls

 

Directions:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat, then salt the water. Add the pasta and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, (it will be undercooked). Cool, drain well and add it to a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium to medium-high heat. Add the celery, onion, red pepper, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook to tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the crabmeat to the vegetables and season liberally with seafood seasoning. Stir to combine, then remove from heat.

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  • In a medium sauce pot, over low heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter and whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk and bring to a bubble. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste, and cook for a few minutes, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Add the mustard and the cheese and stir in a figure 8 motion. Add the vegetables and crab, sauce to the bowl with the pasta and transfer the mixture to individual baking crocks or a large casserole dish. This can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • To complete the dish, melt a couple of tablespoons butter in a small skillet, over low heat and add 3 tablespoons hot sauce. Warm through, then add the panko crumbs and toss to evenly coat the crumbs in sauce mixture. Cool the crumbs, then toss in the parsley and 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano -Reggiano cheese. Top the mac n cheese with the spicy crumb mixture. Arrange individual crocks on a baking sheet or put the casserole on baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake until brown and heated through, about 10 minutes. If cooking from cold, the mac n cheese will take 40 to 45 minutes, but add the crumbs the last 10 minutes of baking.

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The final verdict? Oh yes, this is to be on the monthly rotation of dinners. It was a big hit!  And there is enough for at least 3 or 4 leftover portions. I highly recommend it!

If you make it, I would love to hear your thoughts!

 

Tax Day!

Today is probably one of the most dreaded days all year. But a few companies have some deals to help take the edge off. :)

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Life, Randomness, Tax Day

 
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Wordless Wednesday – Puppy Love

 

Vincent and the Loom

Vincent loves when my loom is warped. He will sit here and look at the world through it all day long.

Maybe he was a criminal in a past feline life? :D

 
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Posted by on April 1, 2014 in Life, Randomness, Vincent

 
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Wordless Wednesday – Bloody Mary

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2014 in Food/Drink, Life, Wordless Wednesday

 

Dropkick Murphy Concert – Stubbs Austin, Tx

On March 1st, Dropkick Murphys came through Austin. I was so excited! They were one of Kress and mine’s first dates since he had never heard of them and they are one of my all time favorite bands. They are an American Celtic punk band out of Massachusetts and I try to catch them any time they are in the area. A taste of home, if you will.

A bit of a grainy pic but the two of us, waiting for the night to begin!

It was an awesome way to kick off the month of March! If you are looking to add a new band to your rotation, check them out. I highly recommend them. :)

 

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2014 in Life, Randomness

 
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Wordless Wednesday – New Toy

 
 

I’m back!

I will have a more indepth post about my adventures last week but for now, I am just trying to get back into the groove of things.

I hope you all had a fantastic spring break!

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2014 in Life, Randomness

 

Gulf Wars 2014

Gulf Wars

 

Tomorrow morning, Kress and I head out for Gulf Wars!

It’s a week long SCA event that happens eveyr March in Lumberton, Miss. I have been waiting for this vacation for so long! I soooo need a break!

So with that being said, my blog will fall quiet until I get back. I will try to take lots of pics but truth be told, once the campsite is set up, I pretty much leave all technology behind. An electronics break, if you will. Sort of like my  own version of a reboot. ;)

I hope you have a great weekend, a fantastic week and see you on the flip side! :)

 

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2014 in Life, Randomness, SCA

 

SweetPea and Evie

Just in case there is a question, finding Sweetpea without Evie within inches is next to impossible. I cannot immediately recall ever seeing such a situation. They even eat, at the same time, out of the same bowl.

Regardless though, their friendship is something to behold. He is getting up there and sleeps pretty much all the time. Evie is there, snuggled against him, kneading his chest or cleaning his ears.

A friendship for the ages. :)

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2014 in Life, Randomness

 
 
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