Does your mother have staples for every party she throws? Mine does. Seven-layer salad, mini ham sandwiches, olives, cheese and crackers, sweet and sour cocktail wieners, etc. The list is actually quite long, and her menus vary a little based on the season. When I was little, my mother and father would host bridge parties, birthday parties, holiday parties, work anniversary parties, etc. year-round. I loved it. My sister and I would help making the finger foods. Once the party started, we were to be “seen and not heard;” but we got to eat as many appetizers as we liked as long as we kept our clothes clean.
When I was in high school, my mother found a new appetizer to add to her repertoire: Shrimp Dip. This is a “clean” version of the recipe she was given by a friend. I don’t trust mayo that I don’t make myself, and dairy doesn’t do me any favors. To my mother’s surprise, mine tastes just like hers! We hope you’ll like it as much as she does.
I love shrimp, and huge tiger prawns are far and above my favorite kind. Growing up, we rarely had big tiger prawns; but we had seafood at least once a week. I would always ask for shrimp, and I would say about fifty percent of the time I was lucky enough to get it. Plus we always had shrimp cocktail for special occasions; I usually ate more than my fair share.
These days, shrimp is still more of a special occasion food. But, anytime I see wild caught shrimp on sale, it’s a special occasion!
Dressed simply, these succulent shrimp are light and refreshing despite being a hot grilled item. The sweet flesh of the prawn with the bright freshness of ginger and slight spice of garlic come together to create a great appetizer on a warm day. Or, if you’re a party of one, they can serve as your entree!
We hope you enjoy these ginger garlic grilled shrimp as much as Brent, his parents, and I did.
One thing that many people still don’t know about us is that despite our blog name, we live in Maryland. Let me explain—when we started the blog a bit over 3 years ago, we were living in Springfield, Virginia. It was a great little spot, and we liked it a lot, except for the price. When we found the chance to move across the district to upgrade for a house (instead of an apartment), closer to the Metro, and lower rent, we jumped on it. This crab potato salad is just one small celebration of our time in Maryland.
You’re going to really like this potato (or yucca or jicama) salad. The crab, egg, and old bay add a flavor that is just in time for spring. Don’t just take my word for it, throw it together and try it out. The best thing is that it gets better as it ages in the refrigerator. Leftovers on day 3 and 4, if your leftovers last that long, are sweet. But enough from me, on with the crab potato salad.
Seafood Newburg is a great recipe that we were really excited to be introduced to by my mom (as usual; she has inspired a few recipes). She is a casual paleo chef, and often encourages us to take our cooking to the next level. This seafood dish is amazingly rich and is great on its own, served with gluten-free pasta, zoodles, or over a bed of greens. We think you’re absolutely going to love it.
One of the best things about this recipe is that it is accessible with either fresh wild-caught seafood or previously frozen. We’ve done it both ways, and it doesn’t suffer from the frozen seafood. You will want to have an immersion blender on hand for this recipe—if you have a high-quality coconut milk that is separated in the can, you’ll need your blender to get the sauce to blend. If you don’t have an immersion blender yet, get one! We got this one for Christmas (from Costco) and it’s an amazing tool. I can’t believe we waited this long to have one, but I digress. Let’s get cooking.
Oyster stew is one of the few things that I normally refused to eat growing up—until I was in college, I was confident that oysters were the last thing I should ever eat. Thankfully I’ve lost that perspective, and Heather and I go out for raw oysters fairly regularly at a local raw bar happy hour. This recipe is based off of my late Grandma Dean’s, who I remember for infamously “teaching me my first word: mine.”
Oyster stew is a big tradition in many households, and has roots in the Americas going back to the late 19th Century. Dishes like this one are especially popular for those who celebrate a meatless dinner on Christmas Eve—you may know Italian families that celebrate the Festa dei sette pesci, or Feast of the Seven Fishes. This is an amazing fresh first dish for a meatless dinner, a special occasion, or a light yet savory treat. Continue reading →