My Family’s Cookbook: Crabmeat Meltaways

It’s Labor Day weekend! For a lot of people, this time signifies the end of summer. Sure, the season technically continues into September, but now’s the time when kids start going back to school and the weather starts getting a little cooler. Because of that, it’s understandable that people treat Labor Day weekend as a last hurrah of sorts, making sure to enjoy their favorite summer activities and treats.

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For my family, summertime is all about seafood. Lobster, mussels, clams (sometimes fried) and calamari (always fried!) – I really can’t get enough of it. Therefore, these Crabmeat Meltaways were the perfect addition to one of our casual, Labor Day weekend dinners. I actually hadn’t had them before, and at first, I was a tad skeptical. The process is super easy, but I wasn’t sure what to expect the final product to taste like. Spreadable cheese isn’t exactly a normal ingredient in my household, and the idea of freezing the muffins for 30 minutes followed by putting them under the broiler was a bit strange to me.

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But you know what? It totally works. Freezing the muffins (with the mixed ingredients already spread on) makes it easy to cut them into quarters without making a mess. And the spread is absolutely delicious. The butter seeps into the English muffins, making them nice and soft, and the topping reminded me a bit of mac and cheese, with the addition of crabmeat. To me, the result is the perfect comfort seafood treat, and since you cut each muffin into quarters, they’re great finger food too! So if you’re in need of a super casual, super easy and super delicious seafood appetizer, I definitely recommend giving this one a try. And if you don’t feel like making them all at once, you can always freeze the rest and just pop them under the broiler for a few minutes when you’re ready to serve them!

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Crabmeat Meltaways

Ingredients

  • 6 English muffins, split
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 (5 oz.) jar Kraft Old English sharp Cheddar cheese, or any spreadable Cheddar cheese product
  • 2 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp. Mrs. Dash
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 (6 oz.) can crab meat

Instructions

  • Mix ingredients together and spread on muffins.
  • Freeze for at least 30 minutes and up to 30 days.
  • To serve, remove from freezer, cut in quarters and broil until hot and bubbly.

S’more of the Week: S’mores Fudge

After making so many s’more recipes, sometimes it’s hard to believe that people have thought of even more ways to make graham cracker, marshmallow and chocolate into a delicious concoction. Thankfully though, they have, and some brilliant person thought to combine the flavors into decadent fudge. I’ve been a fan of fudge for quite some time, but it usually only makes an appearance around the holidays. My aunt makes it every year, so I’ve never needed to make it myself. I decided though that it was time for me to give it a go, and I couldn’t believe that making fudge could be so easy!

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I know there are more complicated ways to make fudge using candy thermometers and whatnot, but that’s just too much for me. This recipe, on the other hand, couldn’t be any easier. All you need are the below four ingredients (graham crackers, chocolate chips, condensed milk and mini marshmallows), and after melting the chocolate chips and condensed milk together, you just combine the rest of the ingredients, pour them in a pan and refrigerate. Simple, right? I was surprised when I tasted the fudge that it could be so easy to make something so creamy and rich tasting. I think my aunt might have a run for her money with this stuff. 😉

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And now folks, it’s time for another announcement. After making different s’more creations for about 2 months, I’ve decided that it’s almost time for “S’more of the Week” to reach its conclusion. I know that summer continues into September, but as August comes to an end, I feel like it’s a good time to put the summer s’mores to rest. I’ll post one final s’more recipe next week, and then we’ll move on to the new segment! I already know what it’s going to be, but I’m going to keep it a secret until the big reveal in a few weeks! I think it’ll be a lot of fun and I hope you enjoy it. But for now, let’s bring out attention back to this S’mores Fudge. Check out the recipe below, and I hope you give it a whirl!

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S’mores Fudge

Recipe adapted from Mandy’s Recipe Box

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. bag of milk chocolate chips
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (mine was 14 oz.)
  • 3 graham crackers
  • 1 Cup mini marshmallows

Instructions

  • Melt chocolate and milk together over medium low heat or in a microwavable bowl in the microwave. (I placed a bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, stirred everything, and heated it again for another 30 seconds, and then it was done.)
  • Break crackers into small pieces and stir into chocolate.
  • Add marshmallows and stir together.
  • Spoon into a greased or buttered dish. Either a 9×9 or 8×8-inch dish works well. (I used an 8×8).
  • Refrigerate fudge for 1 hour or until solid.
  • Cut into squares and enjoy! Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon and Brie

To me, peaches are one of those fruits that screams “summertime.” I’ve always enjoyed a good, juicy peach, since you don’t have to prepare it in any particular way for it to be tasty. The entire summer though, I’ve seen all sorts of things talking about different types of fruit to grill, and peaches have been mentioned numerous times. Therefore, I decided to put my grilling skills to the test, and I now have a new favorite breakfast: grilled peaches with cinnamon and Brie.

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It’s such a simple meal, yet it tastes like a decadent treat. I think it could definitely work as a dessert, but I love it for breakfast. Before I do anything with the peach, I take my piece of Brie out of the refrigerator, since Brie is best served at room temperature. By the time I finish preparing my peach, the cheese is ready to go. Then I cut my peach however I please. I’m sure there’s a “proper” way to slice a peach, but I really don’t care about that. I just like to have lots of smaller pieces to work with. One important thing to note when picking out a peach to grill: you want to avoid soft peaches and pick one that is pretty hard. There should just barely be any resistance when you squeeze it, but don’t worry – the peach will soften after it’s been grilled. After I cut my peach, I make sure to coat the pieces in oil, and I throw them on the grill! I’ve been using my friend’s handy dandy George Foreman grill, which works great. I may get one for myself when I move back to Massachusetts just so I can continue to easily prepare my grilled peach breakfast!

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My favorite part (besides the taste, of course) is seeing those beautiful grill marks on the peach slices. The peach will cook even if you don’t see grill marks, but I like them, so I cook each piece until I see the marks on one side, and then I flip them over and cook them until they appear on the other side. I then remove them from the grill, sprinkle some cinnamon on top and voilà! You’ve got yourself a gourmet breakfast for one. If you’re not the biggest cinnamon fan, feel free to leave it out. I forgot to add the cinnamon once, and it was still a delicious meal. Grilling the peach really brings out its sweetness, and the Brie complements it quite nicely. I hope you all give this one a try and let me know: do you have any favorite grilled fruit recipes?

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Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon and Brie

Ingredients

  • 1 hard peach
  • oil
  • cinnamon
  • Brie

Instructions

  • Place the Brie on a plate so that it will be room temperature by the time you’re ready to eat your peach.
  • Cut your peach however you’d like, and coat the pieces in oil.
  • Place the peach pieces on the grill and cook until you can see grill marks. Flip the pieces over and cook for just as long.
  • Removes the peach pieces from the grill, sprinkle some cinnamon on top and enjoy!

This Week’s Top 4

Hello and Happy Monday, everybody! I hope you had a great weekend and that your week is getting off to a wonderful start. Let’s check out This Week’s Top 4, shall we?

1. Even though it makes sense (and I ate a significant amount of black raspberry ice cream in my youth), I never considered that blackberries and black raspberries are two different things. Luckily, Huffington Post explains the differences.

2. I’m lovin’ this “10 Life Hacks You Need To Know For Summer!” video from Grant Thompson – so many helpful tips!

3. I’m a big fan of Thai food, so I was pretty pleased to come across this piece from Cooking Light going over the healthiest and least healthy options at Thai restaurants.

4. And finally: I recently discovered this DIY Moroccan-Style Wall Stencil Tutorial from While They Snooze. I’ve seen similar tutorials on a few different websites, and I always love how the pattern looks in the end.

My Family’s Cookbook: Four-Fruit Smoothie

Every year once the weather starts getting nicer and summertime has clearly arrived, there are a few things I start wanting all the time, including ice cream, frozen yogurt and fruit smoothies. Even though I can have all of those things any time of the year, enjoying them during the hot summer months feels so much more refreshing. Smoothies are especially great since they’re so easy to whip up at home. All you have to do is blend the ingredients and then kick back, relax and enjoy the flavors of summer.

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This recipe makes almost an entire blender full of smoothie, so share some with your friends or just enjoy yourself one massive smoothie. 🙂 The recipe calls for 1/8 cup of sugar, but with all the fruit used, I figured it would probably be sweet enough so that I wouldn’t need the extra sugar, and indeed it was! If your sweet tooth is really getting to you though, feel free to throw in the sugar. Since this is a pretty short and simple recipe, I’ll wrap it up here and keep this post short and simple too. If you have any go-to summer smoothie recipes, let me know in the comments below!

Four-Fruit Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, cut up
  • 6 large strawberries, washed & hulled
  • 1/2 Cup frozen raspberries
  • 3/4 Cup frozen blueberries
  • 3/4 Cup milk
  • 1/8 Cup sugar (optional)

Instructions:

  • Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.