Hunt Crabs, Make Crab Pie!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Live crabs

It's getting close to that time of year again!  The water is still 55.9 degrees, but that's about 4.9 degrees warmer than last week.  One of my favorite spring - fall activities is hunting for crabs.  The hunt is half the fun though; cooking them afterwards is the other half.

One of the best recipes to use crab meat for is crab pie.  If you don't have access to get your own crabs, or you just don't want to, you can get crab meat at most grocery stores - go for the backfin as it is cheaper and just as good.  .

In order to get the crab ready to pick, you will have to cook the crabs while they are alive.  Cooking crabs after they are dead ruins the meat.  If you can't cook them right away, put them in a paper bag and keep them in the refrigerator until you need them.  They will remain dormant until you cook them.  Below is a scene I filmed the last time I was fruitful.

Once the crabs are pink to red, they are ready.  You can let them cool before you pick.  You can even keep them in the refrigerator for a couple days if you don't have time to pick them.  Picking crab is an art in itself, so it's beneficial to have some extra crab meat on hand from the store to add to what you pick.  I like a lot of crab in my crab pie.



  • 3 cups crab meat
  • 1 cup swiss (shredded)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 chopped onion (grate)
  • salt & pepper
  • Dash - hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (Hellman's)
  • 2 - Deep pie crust
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Pre-heat both pie crusts for 8-10 minutes
  • Combine eggs, flour, mayo, and milk
  • Add all other ingredients except for the crab
  • After all ingredients are combined, fold the crab meat in making sure it is evenly mixed
  • Cook for 40-45 minutes
  • Garnish with flat leaf parsley
Recipe makes 2 pies, so great for a crowd!

Enjoy and cheers!

Hunting and Gathering for dinner

Saturday, March 9, 2013

My twin sister, Reston and I, produced and starred in this sizzle reel that we pitched to the Food Network.  The president liked it, but said the programmers didn't think it would work for them.  Oh well.  It has helped me book some commercials though.

In this production, you can see how we hunt and gather our food from the creeks and marshs and then make our respective recipes.  Here we make Crab Pie and Clams Casino - and drink Prosecco (not admitting how much though!).  I will post the recipes shortly.


Clam Marinara over Spaghetti

Friday, March 8, 2013

It's not secret that I love to hunt and gather for my food.  Ages ago, when you could bare getting out on the water, I had a quite success gather of clams, which have been in my freezer since.  And, with the depression still in full force, finding a economical and delicious dinner is always a goal of mine.  That's why I decided to make my marinara sauce and then add some clams to it, for an extra punch!  Both, are easy, and if you don't get your own food, you can get clams in the grocery store.


  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (I used 7, but some people are sensitive to garlic)
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 2 cans San Marzano diced tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oregano (or other spices preferred)
  • Clams 
  • Spaghetti (I prefer this pasta, but this sauce goes with any pasta preference)
  • Heat pot on high heat and add Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Add garlic and cook until translucent
  • Add onions once garlic is translucent
  • Turn heat to medium to low
  • Add San Marzano diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, and oregano
  • Simmer for a  few minutes on low
  • Dice clams and simmer on medium heat (you can add directly to sauce, but I find this a good time saver)
  • Combine clams in sauce and simmer for as long as you like
  • Cook Spaghetti when ready to eat
I would also like to pass along some tips about the ingredients and the cooking gear.  If you aren't familiar with San Marzano Tomatoes, you will find that they run $1-$1.50 more than other canned tomatoes.  BUT, they are so worth it.  It is amazing the difference in taste, and I can assure you once you start cooking and eating with San Marzano, you will not go back.  It's kind of like working out in lululemon clothes.  Or, cooking with Le Creuset.  If you don't like to cook, I can guarantee you will enjoy it if you are cooking with Le Creuset.  And, all of their pots and gear come in such fun colors!  Check out their products here or at Williams Sonoma.

 Let me know if you like this clam recipe.


Cheapest and Tastiest Wine

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I don't know what you think about people saying we are in a recession, out of a recession, rebounding...etc. But, from my pocketbook, I can tell you, I have been in a depression, and I remain in one.  It's loads of fun! Regardless of the fact that I can't shop at my favorite stores right now, I have somewhat enjoyed the personal task I have set aside for myself: where to find the cheapest and most satisfying bottle of red wine.  After all, lets be honest, nothing helps this depression more than a bottle or two of wine.

Trader Joe's has a great selection of wine, but more importantly to me, they have the best price on the wine I already love:

Big House Red - learn more about the vineyard and check out their comical and brilliant marketing here.

  • Harris Teeter - $9.99- $11.99 (ignoring the fact that before Trader Joe's came to Wilmington it was $6.99...Oh Harlene! How could you let that happen?)
  • Whole Foods - $9.99
  • Food Lion - $9.29 (although last week it was priced in the isle as $6.49, and when the scanner brought up $9.29, the kind cashier gave me the $6.49 price...but, I don't think it will work again)
  • Trader Joe's - $6.99 
  • Total Wine - $5.49 (I live in Wilmington, NC, and we don't have this great store, but word on the street is that they have the best Big House Red)
Please note that at Harris Teeter you can get Big House Red in a boxed version (3L, I believe), but I think you can almost taste the plastic it is stored in.  Yet, again that could be because even though it's a depression, I still am a bit snobby about boxed wine.  I think it's $19.99.

I love this wine for many reasons.  One - it's a twist top (you can drink it anywhere!), and if you accidentally drink 2 bottles in one evening, you should be okay, because it's a light in addition to being tasty (not that I have ever done that before).  The main reason is the price and the taste - but, buy it at Trader Joe's.  I think it's worth $10, but why would I pay that when I don't have too!  And, if you want to know the best way to get around the traffic at Trader Joe's, just ask me - I know how to do it in less than 10 minutes.  No lie.  All you will have to give me is a bottle of Big House Red.


Shelling at Longboat Key, Florida

I had the pleasure of visiting Longboat Key, Florida recently for a Bachelorette Party.  Fortunately for me, and the rest of the girls attending, these are the only photographs of the weekend I care to share.  I must say, what a pleasure it was shelling these beaches.  Albeit cold, it was extremely fruitful.  Longboat is easy to get to, either fly into Sarasota, FL or Tampa, FL (easy hour drive), and you will arrive.  

Longboat Key, FL

Cat Paws

Cat Paws


Florida Fighting Conchs (how cool is that name?)

Atlantic Bay Scallop (very tiny - my hands aren't THAT big)
 Dark Cerith - These are auger-shaped, much like the Eastern Auger's often found on North Carolina beaches.  They are heavier looking with beaded spiral lines and usually brown, gray, or white with brown beads.  They are also referred to as a Florida cerith or Florida horn shell, which isn't surprising since I found so many.
Dark Cerith's - they were everywhere and a nice change from the NC Auger!

 Calico Clams:  This picture may not show the smooth shiny surface that this clam shell has.  Shells are always more lovely on the beaches where they are found.  But, I love the design this shell creates - it's almost Aztec looking.  It is also called a checkerboard clam or spotted venus.
Calico Clams

Ravenel Scallop - This was one of my favorite finds because of the color and because of it's flat shape.  And, the fact that I have never found one.  Like all scallops, it is a bivalve, but one valve (lower) is cupped and the other valve (upper) is flat.  It's also smooth and found from North Carolina to the West Indies.
Ravenel Scaloop

 Florida Wormsnail - When I would find these in North Carolina, my first thoughts were shells at the beginning of a whelk creations.  I was wrong.  The whorls loose and coil without apparent direction and may become entangled with others.  This species is a filter feeder.

Florida Wormsnail

Rough Scallop - These scallops are different than the Atlantic Calico and Atlantic Bay because of the noticeably thinner body and more defined ribs.  I also like how the bow ties are more prominently defined and not as symmetrical.  The colors too seem to be the same throughout the shell, which for me is a fun change.

Rough Scallop

Rough Scallop

Spiny Papercockle (I think)

Painted Eggcockle
Florida Fighting Conch - Usually 4 1/2" each, most of the ones I found were around 3".  It's heavier shell with a brown exterior, although some have a design like the Calico Clam.  The meat is apparently very tasty - I didn't have any.  Hopefully, next trip!

Florida Fighting Conchs

Florida Fighting Conchs (babies)

Murex of some sort - I am not able to tell.
 Chestnut Turban - Also known as a knobby turban - rough on the outside and a joy to find, much like the above Murex.
Chestnut Turban

Gorgeous Scallop

Turkey Wing

Turkey Wing - inside

Goodbye Longboat Key, FL

I will have to explore much more of Florida's beaches for shells.  It was too much fun!


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