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Crab and avocado toasts

This is Week #8 of my 2011 cooking challenge! Click here to view all recipes from this challenge. All recipes created for this challenge come from the Food & Wine Annual Cookbook 2010.

I frequently find myself eating imitation crab meat straight from the package as I stand in front of the refrigerator, door wide open. Another thing I frequently find myself doing is eating the flesh of an avocado with a spoon, straight out of the peel as if it is my little bowl. So, yes, I'm a bit barbaric when it comes to eating. I'm not ashamed. When I snack, I don't want to waste time with bowls or plates!

While I prepared this super simple appetizer, it was hard for me to keep from snacking on its main ingredients. But I held back! Once it was done, though, some serious devouring occurred.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly brush a baking sheet with olive oil.

Place 8 slices of thin white bread on a cutting board. Using a biscuit cutter, stamp 4 rounds out of each slice. Or, do what I did, and cut 1 round out of each slice with a scissors. I liked the idea of a bigger, bruschetta-esque snack.

Place the rounds on the baking sheet and lightly brush them with olive oil.

Toast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the bread slices are lightly golden and slightly crisp.

Use a fork to mash the flesh from two Hass avocados in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

In a different small bowl, stir together:

4 oz. lump crabmeat, picked over

1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Spread the mashed avocado on the toasts and top with the crab mixture.

Serve immediately!

Click here for a printable recipe!


Healthy breakfast muffins

My friend Maren read this post of mine, and, as a fellow non-breakfast-breakfaster, she sent me this recipe of Martha's. I instantly fell in love with the healthiness of it, plus it has raisins, bananas, carrots and oatmeal. Yum! I am a sucker for all of the above.

I made my first batch on a Sunday and ate one for breakfast each morning that week (I froze and then thawed half). This is huge for me! The last time I ate breakfast seven days in a row was probably in 1995 and it most likely consisted of greasy scrambled eggs and hash browns from our college servery.

These muffins will be a new a staple for me. There is zero guilt, and they keep my hunger at bay until lunch time. And they are easy to make. So, so easy.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and coat a muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (I bet they would also taste great with cinnamon in place of nutmeg!)

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Stir until there are no lumps.

Stir in:

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup raisins


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large egg

1/3 cup skim milk

4 medium carrots, shredded

1 medium ripe banana, mashed

Stir until blended.

Fill 12 muffin cups with 1/4 cup each of batter. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 23 to 25 minutes.

Happy guilt-free breakfasting!

Healthy Breakfast Muffins

A totally healthy way to enjoy breakfast! (source:

Serves: 12

Total time: 40 min

Healthy Breakfast Muffins


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 4 medium carrots, shredded
  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and salt until there are no lumps. Stir in oats and raisins. Add oil, egg, milk, carrots and banana and stir until blended.
  2. Fill each muffin cup with ¼ cup batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a muffin comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. To store, keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.




Buffalo sliders with cherry salsa

This recipe was one of the winners of our appetizer contest we had a few weeks ago. Of all the food I prepared on our Bloggy Day, this was by far my favorite. The ingredients are unique and such a genius combination. This is one of those recipes that I'm demanding you make. Thank you, Chantal, for sending it our way! Love it love it love it!

In a medium bowl, combine:

1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped (or 1/2 cup dried cherries)

1/2 small red onion, chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 small peach, pitted and chopped

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Mix well and place in the refrigerator.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 small, chopped yellow onion and cook until it is soft. Add 3 cloves of minced garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.

Place 1 pound of ground buffalo meat in a medium bowl. Top with the cooled onion-garlic mixture and 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce.

Thoroughly combine the ingredients with your hands.

Form small patties about half the size of your palm. I was able to make exactly ten patties.

In a small bowl, whisk one egg. In another small bowl, place 1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs. Dip each buffalo patty into the egg and then into the breadcrumbs, completely coating the surface.

Cook in the same skillet over medium heat (I added a little extra olive oil to the skillet first), flipping sides, until the outisides are browned and the insides are lightly pink.

Spoon the cherry salsa over top of the cooked buffalo burgers and serve immediately. Oh goodness, these are delicious!

Click here for a printable recipe!


Contest winners announced!

Thanks so much for entering our candle giveaway! Ronda and Ann Marie, chose you as the lucky winners! Please send me your mailing address (via Contact Pip & Ebby button) and my sister will get a candle in the mail to each of you!


Happy 4th birthday, my beautful boy

Elijah, I love you more than I could ever explain to you. I love your smiles and your silliness and your giggles and your requests for me to tickle your "cute bony knees." I love that you yell, "Wook, Dad! Mine mommy is home!" when I get home from work in the evenings. I love the way you pretend that you have a bad back and walk hunched over as you let out fake groans. I love how you love to chase me around the house and I love your heart-melting smile. I love your love for books and for learning and I love the way you tell Sammy to "Get some sweep!" every night before bed, right before you kiss his head. I love the way you sing "Jesus Loves Me" and I love how friendly you are with everyone you see. I love how it feels to have your arms wrapped tightly around my neck and I love how you talk and sing to yourself all the time.

Thank you for everything you have taught us and thank you for telling me that you love me every day. I love you, my sweet sweet boy. Happy 4th birthday.

Check out our fun Monster Cupcake recipe!