Things will be a little quiet around here this month. I’m leaving for a 3 week trip to Europe today! Hopefully I will post some pictures or something on my Facebook page so check in there once in a while. But before I go… I’m guessing with Easter right around the corner there will be a bunch of leftover hard boiled eggs for a lot of people. So how about a recipe to use up those hard boiled eggs from your Easter Egg Hunt? Of course you could always make an egg salad sandwich with them, but why not make Crab Deviled Eggs instead?
Just about everybody I know loves deviled eggs. In fact, whenever I make them for a party they’re always the first to go. I have a couple deviled eggs recipes I enjoy and this version with crab is one of them.
I like to put celery and green onion in my deviled eggs and they go nicely in this recipe as well. And, how perfect is Old Bay Seasoning with crabs? Anyone who has ever had Maryland blue crabs knows the answer to that question! (In case you haven’t had them, the answer is…yes, it’s perfect).
- 12 hard boiled eggs
- 1 can (6 oz.) crab meat
- 1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 C. mayonaise
- 2 Tbls. sour cream
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
- salt & pepepr
Peel the hard boiled eggs, slice in half lengthwise and put yolks in bowl. Arrange egg white halves on serving platter. Add all ingredients except crab to yolks and mash. Fold in crab meat. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Scoop a spoonful of filling into each egg white halves. Sprinkle with additional Old Bay to garnish and serve.
For some strange reason I’ve never thought to actually cook sugar snap peas. I’ve always just eaten them raw, usually dunked into my favorite Homemade Hummus. This Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon, Mint and Pine Nuts is my first attempt at roasting them. Boy oh boy are they fantastic prepared this way!
I wasn’t surprised I would love these snap peas because I love all veggies roasted in the oven. It’s my preferred method of cooking them. I tossed them in some olive oil, salt & pepper and cooked them in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. Then tossed them with some pine nuts, lemon juice and chopped mint. They are perfect like this, but after I photographed them and started gobbling them down I wondered how they would taste with some feta or goat cheese. I didn’t have any feta but I did have goat cheese so I added some to my dish. It was sooooo good. As the cheese warmed up it got a little melty and creamy. I liked the addition of it so much that I’m adding it to the recipe even though it’s not in the picture.
Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon, Mint & Pine Nuts (and goat cheese) is so quick and simple to prepare and would make a fantastic side dish to grilled meats. I even think it would be delicious tossed with some pasta…hummmm….maybe I’ll try that next time! Stay tuned.
Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon, Mint & Pine Nuts
- 1 pkg. (about l lb.) sugar snap peas
- 1 Tbls. olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 lemon juiced (you could even use the zest)
- 1/4 C. toasted pine nuts
- handful of chopped, fresh mint
- Garnish: crumbled goat cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Toss sugar snap peas with olive oil, salt & pepper and roast for 8-10 minutes.
Remove from oven, toss with lemon juice, some lemon zest if you're using it, and mint.
Top each serving with some crumbled goat cheese.
My package of sugar snap peas was already cleaned and stringless. You may have to trim the stem end and peel off the stringy piece.
I haven’t blogged about this yet so I thought it would be fun to do a few posts here and there about the condo renovations we are making at a place we have out in Hollywood. We’ve done some extensive renovations to the kitchen which I can’t wait to share, but first I want to start with the foyer and the before photos. Here’s what this foyer looked like in the listing photo, and trust me when I say there was A LOT of photoshop and wide angle lenses being used in this photo because it looked much darker and smaller in person!
UGLY, UGLY, UGLY!!!
This condo was built in the 1970′s and needless to say, the finishes were (in my opinion) hideous! We actually bought the condo without seeing it in person…it’s the third time we’ve bought a place just from pictures! I figure I can make anything look better so it was really a just matter of price, location and floor plan for this investment. I have a really good eye for seeing past ugly and envisioning what a place could be – probably why I had a successful home staging business for many years.
As you see in the above picture, the condo had archways into the rooms and a wall of antique mirrors that really dated the foyer. First thing I did when we bought the place was have the mirrors removed. When we remodeled the kitchen last year, we had the arches removed to open up the space and give it a more modern feel. We also changed out the light fixtures. You’ll see those pictures in my upcoming post with the after photos. The entry/foyer is a nice size for a condo so I wanted to make it stand out. Unfortunately, we never decided what to do with the floor, and the kitchen was over budget, so we left it undone. Since we don’t live there (it’s rented to my son) it’s one of those out of sight out of mind kind of things, so we ignored it and saved the money! Looking back, I wish we would have just carried the new floors throughout and been done with it. Oh well, too late now. This week it’s finally time to get rid of the mismatched, ugly floors and finish this space!
I’m putting in the new tile floors myself, but I had a couple guys do the demo for me. So happy I did. There would have been no way I could have demo’d it myself. It took them 4.5 hours to get it all out. Some of the tile was even set in concrete. Someone must have been trying to level the floor and set tile at the same time!
With the subfloor in such poor shape, I’m a little scared I might screw this all up. But I know I can do it and it will certainly look better than it does right now. So stay tuned…I’ll post pictures of the new floor when I’m finished with it next week!
Ever since I went to Italy I’ve loved Limoncello. I usually have a bottle in my freezer ready and waiting to add to my favorite Lemon Drop Martini. However, it was always a bottle I had purchased from the store. It wasn’t until I had some homemade Limoncello given to me from a fellow Navy spouse, who had lived in Italy, that I knew I wanted to make some Limoncello from scratch!
The process is really quite simple: Steep lemon peels in either Everclear (a potent grain alcohol) or vodka for a period of time, then add simple syrup and chill. The hardest part of the whole process is peeling the lemons and making sure you get all the pith off of the peel. Apparently the pith will make the Limoncello bitter so it’s important to make sure you don’t have any of the white stuff on the peel!
There are recipes all over the internet on how to make Limoncello. Some say to steep the peels for 4 days, others say 45 days, or even longer. Some say to use Everclear, others say to use vodka. Many states don’t sell Everclear so I suppose that’s why some recipes call for vodka. Instead of picking a recipe off the internet, I asked my friend, Colleen, for her recipe and thought I’d follow that one since I knew it was a winner.
But here’s where my little mistake started. I read the recipe but didn’t pay much attention to the amount of alcohol. I don’t know why but I just had it in my head that I needed only one bottle of Everclear so that’s what I bought. One 750ml bottle. The recipe called for 1 liter, which I didn’t realize until I was ready to add the sugar and saw that it called for 3 lbs. of sugar. What? That couldn’t be right. That’s a LOT of sugar! So I asked Colleen and she said it was correct and that it made a lot of Limoncello. Still made no sense to me until I looked at the recipe again and realized my mistake by using only one bottle of Everclear. Let me just admit right now I suck at math and converting liters to cups/ounces, pounds to cups, etc. is not my thing. So I just winged it and cut down the amount of sugar, made my standard simple syrup and hoped for the best!
Unfortunately, I don’t have any of Colleen’s Limoncello left to compare with what I made, but I can tell you everyone I gave it to thought it was delicious. I’m giving you the original recipe here as well as the amounts I used and you can choose for yourself which one to make. And don’t forget to add some Limoncello to your next Lemon Drop…or some baked goods!
Here is both the original recipe for this Limoncello passed along to me by a friend, and the amounts I actually used.
- 1 liter Everclear Alcohol
- 10 medium to large lemons
- 1 1/2 liters of water
- 3 pounds sugar (1 1/2 kilos)
What I actually used
- 1 750ml bottle Everclear
- 10 lemons
- 3 C. sugar
- 3 C. water
Wash lemons with a vegetable brush and hot water to remove any reside of pesticides or wax; pat the lemons dry. Using a potato peeler, take all the lemon rinds off the lemons so there is no white pith on the peel*. Place the rind-peelings in a large container with Everclear alcohol. Cover the container and let it sit for seven days.
On the eighth day, strain the peels from alcohol; discard peels.
In a large saucepan, make a simple syrup by combining the water and sugar; let it simmer "fast" for 15 minutes**. Let simple syrup cool to room temperature. Add to alcohol.
* I found it easiest to just peel the lemons with a small paring knife, then use the edge of the knife to scrape off any pith that was on the back of the peel (which there was always pith on the back of the peel for me)
** Again, I didn't pay attention to the recipe and simmer the simple syrup for 15 minutes. I just brought it to a boil to make sure the sugar was melted and combined, then turned it off and let it cool.