Crab Dip & Filling

This is probably one of my family’s favorite recipes. When I make it, it never lasts long and I can never seem to make enough to satisfy everyone.

It is also a recipe that is kind of all me. It is extremely versatile and can be modified for all kinds of other things and came into being in part because of how crazy picky I am when it comes to food. I have used a version of this that added some bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in my stuffed mushrooms. I’ve used a similar version in a stuffed chicken breast. One version used just the addition of Parmesan as a filling for omelets. The base of this is also the base for my tuna salad (replacing the crab with tuna and adding a couple of other things).

Crab Dip: Ingredients
Crab Dip: Ingredients

Up until today, I didn’t actually have a recipe for this. I’ve always just done what I often do and thrown it together based on how it looked and tasted. For the most part, this is really hard to mess up, unless you add too much of the garlic or the lemon juice. Even then, if you have more cream cheese, you can just add more of that and it fixes things.

Crab Dip

8 oz.  Cream Cheese – Softened
1 T  Lemon Juice
2 T  Water
1/4 tsp. plus 1/8 tsp.  Garlic Salt
6 to 8 oz.  Crab Meat (imitation is perfectly fine)
*Green Onion – Optional (I do not use)

Mix together cream cheese, lemon juice, water and garlic salt until well combined (I use a fork, but be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl to fully incorporate all the cream cheese). Cut crab into smaller pieces and then blend together with fork. If mix is still too thick for your preferences, add a little more water. Flavors get stronger as they set and is better after sitting in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.

I have always made this based on taste as I go. The numbers above are pretty spot on, but feel free to adjust to your preference. If you don’t want the added salt, use a granulated garlic instead. The recipe I modified to get this calls for green onions as well, but picky me can’t stand them and never use them. This is a pretty thick dip, but you can make this thinner if you prefer. Just add a little more water or even milk until you get the consistency you want.

Crab Dip: Mixing
Crab Dip: Mixing

I have tried a couple of different types of crab and prefer either real crab or the flake style imitation crab. Most other types tend to do something weird to the texture of this and it just isn’t as good. Using a fork to mix it in to the cream cheese also helps to break the crab down into smaller pieces yet keeps them big enough that you know you are getting crab when you get a bite.

When making just the dip, I almost always serve and eat it with Wheat Thins. I’ve tried several other kinds of crackers and they work, but again, they just aren’t the same. The Wheat Thins seem to be a perfect pair to this.

Anymore when making this, I’ll make sort of a modified triple batch using 3 blocks of cream cheese and two 8 ounce packages of the crab. It makes the ratio a little less crab to the cream cheese, but it also goes farther. I do it this way to ensure I get at least enough to have some left over because the kids go nuts over this and snack on it for a couple of days. I also really LOVE getting to have an omelet with some of what they leave me.

I have done so many things with this recipe and it always goes over exceptionally well.

Crab Dip
Crab Dip

*This was so fun to type up. I can’t tell you how many times I had to go back and fix the word “crab”. I don’t think anyone wants crap dip.

Maple Cupcake With Maple Buttercream

These turned out amazingly well. When I asked BG where it ranked in comparison to the other two that everyone loves, she said it tied with the others. This is very high praise, since she compares almost every cake I make to either the pumpkin or the chocolate cream cheese.

Maple Cupcake Ingredients
Maple Cupcake Ingredients

The recipe calls for pure maple syrup in both the icing and the cupcake. Preferably grade B. And a lot of it on top of that. When I saw the jug of the grade A at Costco, I decided to just go with it. I don’t know enough about grades and maple syrup to tell you how that impacted the final product. I just know that we all really liked it. It is a subtle but noticeable flavor in both the cupcake and the icing. Sort of like a normal vanilla cupcake with a little hint of interesting.

Maple Cupcakes

2 3/4 C  All-Purpose Flour
1 T  Baking Powder
1 tsp.  Salt
1/2 C  Unsalted Butter
2 C  Pure Maple Syrup (pref. Grade B)
3  Eggs, Room Temperature
1 C  Milk
1 tsp.  Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together flower, baking powder, and salt. In separate bowl, cream butter until smooth. Add maple syrup and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Add flour mix and beat until combined. Add milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Fill baking cups 3/4 full. Bake 20 minutes for regular size, 10 to 13 for mini.

Makes 24 regular cupcakes or 66 mini

*source – Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes cook book

Maple Cupcake - Making
Maple Cupcake – Making

It is kind of rare that I pull a recipe wholesale from anything. I almost always make some modifications to it along the way to make it mine. Since this was the first time making these and there wasn’t anything obvious that I wanted or needed to chance, I’m giving credit where it is due. I did not use the icing recipe for this that is noted in this cookbook because I love my buttercream recipe and already know what to do to modify it for different flavors so that is what I used.

I took about a cup and a half of the maple syrup, cooked it for a few minutes to thicken it up to a heavier consistency (similar to a thick caramel syrup) and allowed that to cool. I mixed up a standard batch of my Marshmallow Buttercream and once the syrup was cooled, I mixed that in. If this makes the icing too thin, add another cup or two of powdered sugar.

I have a feeling these cupcakes are going to get added to my stable of cakes I bake. We’ll see how well they do at the bake sale.

 

It’s A Banana Bread (Muffin) Kinda Day

My family actually left me some bananas to work with again. I am stunned. And obviously in the mood to bake. I decided to do the mini-muffin version just for something different. The recipe is still the same, I just changed the cooking time to about 20 minutes. They do lean towards the lighter color side than the bread because of that shorter time, but they are still just as tasty. Needless to say, these are already getting gobbled up.

*My base recipe for bread makes about 3 1/2 dozen mini-muffins.

Recipe: Banana Bread

I had to double check and was floored that I hadn’t already posted this recipe. BG has been on a banana kick lately and the topic of banana bread came up and the fact that I’m never allowed to make it because no one ever leaves me any bananas to ripen. They always get eaten. In an effort to prevent this from happening, I had to buy 3 large bunches last week. Even then, I only had enough because I had a lonely, solitary banana hanging out in my freezer for just this purpose.

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Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

Just dropping in real quick while I take a moment before I dig back into this latest cake project.

Like fondant, buttercream icing/frosting can be finicky. It took me a while to find a recipe that I like. Both to use and to eat.

Continue reading “Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting”

Marshmallow Fondant Recipe

Fondant is something I have a love hate relationship with. Basic, store bought fondant, while technically edible, tastes nasty. For me, if I’m going to go to the effort of making a cake, I want it to taste good. Every part of it. After my first couple of times using the store bought garbage, I started to do some research and found a recipe I really like. It is still crazy sweet, but it actually tastes good. My kids love it. MC often eats that and the icing and leaves the cake.

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Pineapple Orange Jello Cake

I knew I wasn’t going to have time before my birthday to do the big cool ballet cake I want to do so I just didn’t think about doing anything this year. I kind of decided last minute that I wanted something and dug around in my cabinets to see what I could come up with, which wasn’t much as I really needed to get to the store. I saw my box of orange Jello and decided that was perfect, but I didn’t have a cake mix. I had pretty much everything else, but not that. The recipe I was modifying used a box mix and I wasn’t sure what would happen if I tried to do the whole thing from scratch, so I begged Hubby to make a quick run to get my mix.

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Sugar Cookies

My baking for this year finished up on a batch of Sugar Cookies, which I rarely ever attempt because I have just never gotten them right. Either the cookie is wrong because I’ve rolled them too thin or over baked them, or the icing turns out like crap. This year, I wanted to play and decided to try again. I think I did them right this time.

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Jack Daniel’s Sauce (Chicken)

For anyone familiar with TGI Fridays, yes. This is THAT Jack Daniel’s sauce. It used to be a favorite restaurant for us, but we lost all the locations in our area a few years back so this became a must have in our house. Continue reading “Jack Daniel’s Sauce (Chicken)”

Banana Cake With Cream Cheese Icing

I had planned on doing my usual with this and taking pictures along the way, but… me being a crazy, stressed out, busy me over the last several days managed to forget that was the plan until the cake was baked, iced and served out onto plates.

I’ve only done this one a few times, but we all really love it. It is very similar to banana bread, but just a little lighter in texture and just a touch sweeter, because… cake.

Continue reading “Banana Cake With Cream Cheese Icing”

Repost… Death By Chocolate

I’m reposting this as this is, again, what MC has asked for and what I spent my evening working on putting together. No real creativity required, but it is still, and probably always will be, a family favorite. I did not take the time to make the individuals and just did this in a large 9 x 13 pan because I’m serving Hubby’s sister and dad this time and the individuals are just a ton of work that I didn’t have time for today.

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Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake Pops

This is only the second time I’ve made this specific recipe, though I’ve played with cake balls for a while trying to get the ratios and chocolate correct. I know I’ve done something different as the first batch of these I ever did came out perfect, but this time, my outer chocolate layer never quite got as solid as it is supposed to. That said, they were still really good. Continue reading “Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake Pops”

Pumpkin Cupcakes

This is probably my second most requested cupcake. Years ago, my SIL brought some pumpkin cupcakes to Thanksgiving and I fell in love. It surprised me since I am NOT a pumpkin fan. I spent some time after that trying to figure out what I thought went in them and then digging around for recipes that sounded close. When I finally found one and tried it, it was just a bit too much. Too much pumpkin, too many spices. One of the things I loved about the ones my SIL brought were the fact that all of the flavors were on the lighter side and subtle, balancing each other out rather than competing against each other. Continue reading “Pumpkin Cupcakes”

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes

This is a repost from a while ago, but since this is what I’m working on today, I thought I would share it again. Thanks to a bet Hubby made (and lost) with a co-worker, I’m in kitchen mode. Not that I’m complaining. I get to eat the goodies as well.

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Strawberry Limeade Cake

Since I posted the ordeal of making this whole project in the last post, I won’t go into those details here.  Suffice it to say, this didn’t turn out pretty because of those problems and because of that, I don’t have a great finished product image, but I will share what I have. Continue reading “Strawberry Limeade Cake”

Baked Mac’N’Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is one of those things that most everyone loves.  One of my grandmothers used to make a baked version that was so different than any other I’ve had, before or since, and was a staple at every big family meal that was one of everyone’s favorite.  Continue reading “Baked Mac’N’Cheese”