Monday, June 21, 2010

Crab Cake Night

My wife and dearest friend both love crab cakes and tonight was one of the nights I made them. I was really intimidated the first time I made them, but they were so much easier than I thought. And they're super delish. Here is the recipe I use:

1 lb crab meat (lump)
1 egg
2 green onion (finely chopped)
1/2 red pepper (finely chopped)
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup mayo
1 tsp old bay seasoning
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tbs parsley
salt & pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp each)
1/2 tsp Frank's Hot Sauce (any work, that's our fav)
olive oil for frying

When I made the recipe today, I made a double batch, so in the pictures you'll see double of everything. So basically, I mix all of the seasonings in a small bowl and all of the other ingredients in a big bowl. There is no particular reason I do this, but I usually do. Sometimes I just put them all in the big bowl together.

I mix it all up with my hands and then form patties. As I'm forming the patties, I'm heating up olive oil in a pan. I fry each patty for about 5-7 minutes on each side until there is a nice golden brown crust on each side. I usually put mine in the oven at 350-400 for five minutes or so to be sure it's heated all the way through, although that isn't really necessary.

We had steamed asparagus and green beans with the crab cakes. Sometimes we'll do salad. It's a really good, relatively easy meal. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake

I offered to make a dessert of my friend's choosing and she requested peanut butter, chocolate or strawberry. I decided two out of three was good and found a great recipe for a chocolate peanut butter cake.

I made a boxed chocolate cake, triple chocolate fudge. I found a great recipe for peanut butter cream cheese icing and a chocolate peanut butter ganache on the Smitten Kitchen from August of 2008. A friend of mine referred me to this blog and it has some mouth watering recipes, although these are the first ones I've tried.

The author doesn't encourage natural peanut butter because the oil separates from the peanut butter so much, however when you make it fresh, like I did today, that problem doesn't exist. Plus, I've fallen in love with home made peanut butter and don't think I could make myself buy some.

I did two 8" round cakes and decided to cut both cakes, which I usually don't do. I put a layer of peanut butter icing between the two layers of cake and then iced the entire thing.

Then, following the suggestion of Smitten Kitchen, I made the chocolate peanut butter ganache, which I love because it sounds so fancy. Then I poured it over the top of the iced cake.

The final product turned out super pretty and very yummy. We had our friends over to share it with us and I think they enjoyed it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Trying sew many new things

Last week I took the intro to sewing class at Sew to Speak. It was a really nice class. It gave us the basic understanding of how to use a sewing machine. 

I have had the opportunity to learn how each machine is a little different because between my mom and mother-in-law I had the opportunity to work with five different machines in the last three weeks. My favorite is the Singer circa 1935ish. It is the most sturdy of the five and the prettiest. It’s in amazing condition and even still has the owner’s manual.

I’ve made a few wallet/small purses and, thanks to the encouragement of my DC friends and fam, I will hopefully be putting them on esty in the next month or so. If you don’t want to wait, send me an email and I can get one for you before then.

I’m going to take another class with Sew to Speak before the end of the summer and have two big sewing projects coming up soon, so stay tuned.

There are pictures of some of the bags I've made below the break. So click on read more to check them out.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Journey of Being Martha Begins

Hello everyone. As this is my first post, I want to tell you a little bit more about my journey. A month ago I left my job as a fundraiser, as it was time to move on to my next adventure. My original hope was to be a housewife, and while it doesn’t look like the housewife path will exist for much longer, my housewife passions still exist.  So below is a sneak peak of what you will see if you continue to read my blog.

Baking. I’ve started baking a lot. I’ve made some delicious breads, cakes and cupcakes. I’m not so good on the cookies yet, but I’m working on it. I will be sharing some of my favorite recipes as well as successes (and failures) on the baking front.

Sewing. I’ve already taken my first sewing class. My machine is about thirty years old and seems to be very fickle, but I am learning its moodiness and am ready to dive into many new projects.

Gardening. I’m a big subscriber to the square foot gardening techniques and this year we went into it full swing with three 16 ft2 beds and a few potted herb gardens. I am not a great gardener, but do look forward to tending, harvesting and eating food grown at our own home.

Cooking. I do love cooking and trying  new recipes. I go back and forth on the various ways we should eat. From vegan meals to homemade take-out to full-course decadence, I love a variety of options in the food I cook. 

Home Upgrades. This one may be the furthest stretch for me. It will go from small projects, such as creating art and updating furniture to large projects such as making over the basement and repainting the exterior of our house.

Further Greening our Home.  From using cloth napkins exclusively to having a worm composter in our home, we’ve went deeper and deeper into our green lifestyle and were long before the movement got big. I imagine this will happen more and more as time progresses. 

So these are the variety of things you will see if you continue to visit Being Martha. And I sure hope you do.