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Entries in Crab (2)

Friday
Jun292012

My McCormick Gourmet "Longest Dinner Party Chain" dinner party!

Earlier this week I hosted a dinner party at my house as a part of McCormick Gourmet's Longest Dinner Party Chain. It was so much fun! I was so happy McCormick asked me to be a part of this dinner party chain. I have always loved to entertain, and as I have gotten older it has only become more fun. Creating good food is awesome, but creating it for others and watching others enjoy it is way more awesome.

Here is a photo of the many incredible items McCormick sent to me as a part of my dinner party kit! 

Spices, too! 16, to be exact.

YOU can be entered to win a similar kit. More on that in a bit.

First, please allow me to tell you about my dinner party!

I invited four friends over to make six adults, including my husband and myself. It was the absolute perfect mix of people because they were easy to please and they were great company. Thank you so much for being a part of my evening, Jesse, Jody, Jess, Trev and Dan! (Benji, Esme, Elijah and Sammy, too, of course, even though graham crackers and milk were more your style.)

My first course was a warm, creamy crab and artichoke dip, served with baked pita wedges and crackers. I loved the combination of McCormick thyme leaves and fresh parsley in this one. Also, artichokes and jumbo lump crab meat are two of my absolute favorites!

Printable recipe: Warm crab & artichoke dip

Dan and I love starting parties out with warm, gooey dips. Even on a hot summer day, it seemed fitting to keep with the trend. 

My second course was perhaps my favorite of the night, a fried tomato and and 2 fried scallops served over leafy greens. It was light, super tasty and perfect for summer. I love scallops, and I don't get the chance to eat them often enough. 

Printable recipe: Fried tomato & scallop salad

My third and fourth courses were served together. The main dish, sweet basil & oregano bruschetta chicken, was a recipe I borrowed from McCormick. It was delicious! The McCormick seasoning packet made this dish. I served along with it a side of grilled broccoli with McCormick crushed rosemary & feta cheese. (Please forgive me for forgetting the feta in the photos.) I am a huge broccoli lover and I think it is always such a delicious and pretty side dish.  

Printable recipe: Sweet basil & oregano bruschetta chicken

Printable recipe: Grilled broccoli with rosemary & feta

I had a very happy tummy at the end of the evening. 

And the dessert, oh the dessert. It didn't turn out exactly as I had wished because apparently I am not a skilled maker of caramel. I tried it twice with the same result. 

So here, friends, is a photo of a delicious salted caramel brownie that I wish had been a little more caramel-y and less sugary. I will say that the McCormick Sicilian Sea Salt I sprinkled on the top added just the perfect twist of salty that I was hoping for. 

I'm not going to post this one until I perfect the caramel layer, so check back!

And now for a few party pics! Jesse and Dan were responsible for these creative shots. Thanks for helping, guys. 

Food aside, it was great to bring friends together for an evening. Our children enjoyed running around outside in the heat, eating ice cream sandwiches, splashing in the blow-up pool and enjoying a show together. It was a perfect summer evening!

Would you like to have a chance to win a McCormick dinner kit? Visit the McCormick Gourmet Facebook page and submit an idea for what your dream dinner party would be! You will be entered to win a similar kit, but themed to a holiday of your choice. 

Good luck! And thanks for reading! 

Wednesday
Feb232011

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!