Getting Crabby

Crab and Pea Salad

  • 10 oz package of frozen peas (Thaw before starting the recipe)
  • 8 oz package of imitation crab
  • 8 bacon strips
  • Mayonnaise
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • 3 eggs
  • Tomato
  • Croutons
  1. Hard boil eggs.
  2. Cook bacon strips. Drain on paper towels. Crumble when cool.
  3. Dice tomato.
  4. Flake crab with a fork.
  5. Combine peas, crab, and bacon in a bowl. Combine 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and 1/4 tsp of onion powder in a separate small bowl. Fold into the crab mixture. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
  6. When ready to serve, fold tomato into salad. Slice hard-boiled eggs. Place on top of salad. Sprinkle salad with a handful of croutons and then a few pinches of paprika.

Marshmallow Fruit Salad

I made this salad for a Valentine’s Day Girls Night. 

  • 15 oz can of fruit cocktail
  • Apple
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Cool Whip
  1. Drain fruit cocktail
  2. Dice apple
  3. Combine fruit cocktail, apple, 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows, and 1/2 cup of whipped topping in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

Cinnamon Monkey Bread – $1.92/serving

20150302_174648This is what I call a “cheater” recipe – adding ingredients and creativity to something that is already mixed for you. If you would like to make the dough from scratch, I recommend this recipe:

I do recommend making the dough yourself, if you have the time, and actually, it will make the overall recipe a whole lot cheaper assuming you probably already have most of those ingredients in your pantry if you’ve ever baked anything ever.

For this lazy version of the recipe, you will need:

  • 4 tubes of Pilsbury country biscuits20150302_151635
  • Sugar – both regular white granulated and brown
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Grease a bunt or fluted pan.
  3. Open tubes and cut each biscuit into four pieces. Roll each piece into 20150302_162814a little ball. Combine 2/3 cup of sugar and 3 tsp of cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll each ball in the cinnamon-sugar so it’s coated thickly and evenly. Arrange evenly in prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon-sugar.
  4. Melt 1/2 cup of butter.
  5. Combine butter and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Pour over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before inverting bread on a serving platter.


Gluten-Free Bacon Bread (Mastered!), Coconut Pecan Cinnamon Buns, and Cast-Iron Fry Biscuits!

Cast-Iron Fry Bread

This recipe is one of my all-time favorites. Only five ingredients, less than 5 minutes of prep and 12 minutes of baking time, its perfect for last minute company and simple enough to make every day, if desired. I often have a couple of these with coffee in the morning for breakfast. Or if I want to get fancier, I make scrambled eggs and fried potatoes. I also like these way better than dinner rolls to accompany soup.

  • Butter
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Place 3 Tbsp of butter in a cast iron pan and place in oven for 2 minutes.
  3. In a measuring cup, place  1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp of salt and then fill the rest with all-purpose flour until it equals one cup altogether. Or, you can put 1 cup of all-purpose flour in a bowl and then take out 2 tsp of flour and then add the 1/2 tsp of salt and 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder. Or, you can use 1 cup of self-rising flour (which is exactly what I just described but prepared for you to buy in the store). I make this recipe often enough that I feel the extra cupboard space the little bag of flour takes up is worth the few minutes I save every time I make this recipe.
  4. In a bowl, combine flour (and salt and baking powder) and 1/2 cup of buttermilk. Dust clean and dry counter-top with more all-purpose flour. Turn dough onto flour and knead 4-5 times.
  5. I do this next part with my hands, but I’ll also tell you how you can do this “properly”. I rip off pieces that are relatively the same size and then pat them into little 2″ patties. I call them “rustic-looking”. Or, you can pat the dough out to 1/4″ thickness and cut a biscuit cutter.
  6. Place in the cast-iron in a single layer. Use a fork to turn biscuits over to coat in butter. Bake for 12 minutes.

Coconut Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

I really want to love cinnamon buns. I love cinnamon and I love the icing, but the sugar-addict in me never wanted to eat beyond the top. I find most cinnamon buns are dry and doughy. So I came up with this recipe. This recipe should make a LOT of icing. My logic behind it is this: If we saturate and bake the rolls in a soup of icing, they can’t possibly be dry, right? When you take the rolls out of the pan, there will be a sea of icing left behind. These rolls are gooey and messy, but SO good. Because they are so sweet, I only eat half or a quarter of one at a time, so I swear I’m probably eating less sugar overall than one whole, huge store-bought or bakery roll. Well, except for the fact that I usually eat the leftover icing out of the pan with a spoon…

  • Sugar – Both regular and icing/confectioners
  • Cinnamon
  • Tube of refrigerated breadsticks or cinnamon rolls
  • Butter
  • Vanilla
  • Whipping Cream
  • Milk or orange juice
  • Pecans
  • Can of evaporated milk
  • Egg yolks
  • Sweetened flaked coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Chop 1 cup of pecans. Bake 2/3 cups of chopped pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan for 8 minutes, stirring halfway through. Cool completely.
  2. Combine 1 Tbsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in a small bowl. Remove breadstick or cinnamon roll dough from tube. Do not unroll it or take it apart. With a serrated knife, cut into 8 slices if using breadsticks or 10 slices if using cinnamon rolls. [The cinnamon rolls usually come in tubes of five, so cut each in half as if you were cutting open a dinner roll to spread butter.] Dip both sides of each slice in cinnamon-sugar.
  3. Place in a greased baking dish, NOT a baking sheet or else the icing will make a huge mess.
  4. Cook 1/3 can of evaporated milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 lightly beaten egg yolks, and 1/3 cup of butter in pot over medium heat. Stir constantly for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in 2/3 cup of coconut, the toasted pecans, and 1 tsp of vanilla. Transfer mixture to bowl. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 45 minutes.
  6. This can be done by hand or with electric mixer. Combine 1 2/3 cup of icing sugar and 2/3 cup of butter. Mix slowly or on low until well blended and then increase spreed and mix for 3 minutes. Add 1/4 tsp of vanilla and 2 tsp of whipping cream and beat for 1 minute more. Add 1/2 tsp of milk (or orange juice) and mix slowly. If needed, add 1/2 tsp more.
  7. Carefully fold the two icing mixes together.
  8. Bake rolls without icing for 15 minutes. Take out of oven, pour icing on top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/3 cup of chopped pecans. Place back in oven to bake for 5 more minutes and then turn off the oven, but leave the rolls in there for the final 5 minutes. This allows the heat to continue baking the rolls without drying out the icing too much.

Gluten-Free Bacon Bread

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have read a status a while back about my failed attempt at this recipe. I was wrong, actually. The bread, though it looked like a pile of mush, tasted delicious. My mistake was not in the ingredients or even in the technique, but in the baking formation. When I make this bread avec gluten, I roll the dough into balls, assemble it in a sort of dome on a baking sheet, and bake it that way. The result is this mound of amazing that is easy to pull apart with ones fingers, which makes it ideal for parties. I tried to do the same thing sans gluten, but since garbanzo flour absorbs liquid differently than wheat flour, it kind of just looked like a pile of barf on my baking sheet. I tried again, but put it in a square baking dish, the one I usually use for Nanaimo bars, and it cooked more evenly resulting in better consistency.

  • Garbanzo Fava Bean Flour
  • Potato Starch
  • Tapioca Starch
  • Xanthan Gum
  • Coconut Palm Sugar
  • Dry Instant Yeast
  • Eggs
  • Canola Oil
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Bacon
  • Olive Oil
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Envelope of Ranch Salad Dressing Mix*
  1. Prepare a square baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. I used a 9″ x 9″.
  2. Whisk together 2 1/4 cups of garbanzo-fava flour, 1/2 cup of potato starch, 1/3 cup of tapioca starch, 2 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum, 1 Tbsp of palm sugar, and a packet of dry instant yeast. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together 1 1/4 cups of warm water, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of canola oil, and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. Mix well. Add dry ingredients (except salt). Stir for about a minute, add 1 1/4 tsp of sea salt, and then mix for a couple minutes more. I use a wooden spoon to stir for this recipe as I feel like its the only thing I have strong enough to handle the thickness of the dough and still mix adequately.
  4. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, dice up 12 strips of bacon. Cook them over medium heat in a skillet for 5 minutes. They will seem a little uncooked, but that’s okay because they are going to be finished off while the bread is baking in the oven. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Shred 1 cup worth of mozzarella cheese.
  7. After the 30 minutes has passed for the dough, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil, bacon pieces, cheese, and envelope of ranch salad dressing mix and mix lightly.
  8. Turn batter into prepared baking pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for another 30 minutes.
  9. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Cover with foil. Bake 10 minutes longer. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Then turn the pan to the side and scoot bread out a little so the steam can escape, but leave it in the pan. Let cool for another 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely. Eat within 3 days. Wrap in plastic and store on counter or in cupboard. Freeze leftovers (if there are any!) to use as yummy gluten-free croutons for future salads.

*Instead of buying an envelope of ranch salad dressing mix, mix together 1 tsp of dried parsley, 3/4 tsp of pepper, 1 tsp of seasoning salt, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, 1/4 tsp of onion powder, and 1/8 tsp of dried thyme, and use that instead.

Sugar-Free Cranberry Sauce, Low-Fat Blue Cheese Dressing & Other Salad-Like Things

Creamy Cucumbers

Great summer recipe. If using as a side dish, cut recipe in half. 

1 cup mayo

1/4 each of cup of sugar and vinegar

1/t tsp of salt

4 cucumbers

  1. Slice cucumbers
  2. Combine mayo, sugar, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Add cucumbers. Stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for two hours.

I wouldn’t let this salad sit for more than 4 days in the fridge. As a single person, I make all the dressing on Sunday, but only slice two of the cucumbers. Then I mix the cucumbers with half the dressing in a large container and pour the remaining half of the dressing in a small container. Wednesday evening I slice the second pair of cucumbers and mix with the rest of the dressing. This recipe makes enough for me to have 6 good-sized portions for lunches and 4 smaller portions to accompany dinner.


Stuffed Apple

A great thing to bring to work for lunch or with you on a hike.

2 Tbsp of peanut butter

1 Tbsp of honey

1 tsp of raisins


  1. Core the apple. I don’t have an apple corer so I just use a paring knife. The tunnel needs to be a decent size.
  2. Combine peanut butter, honey, and raisins in bowl. Spoon into the center of the tunnel.
  3. Wrap in saran wrap for transport.


Low(er)-Fat Blue Cheese Dressing

My salad of choice for this is: assorted baby greens, grated red beets, yellow bell pepper, blueberries, blackberries, halved red grapes, walnuts, dried cherries, assorted seeds, blue cheese

1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese

1 cup of fat-free plain yogurt

2 Tbsp of chopped onion

2 garlic cloves

4 Tbsp of blue cheese

  1. Mince garlic cloves.
  2. Combine cottage cheese, yogurt, onion, garlic, and 2 Tbsp of crumbled blue cheese in blender and process until smooth. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp of blue cheese (crumbled, obviously).
  3. I also add another couple Tbsp of blue cheese to the entire salad because I love blue cheese, obviously.


Sugar-free Cranberry Sauce to Cranberry-Apple Salad

I wanted to make this salad for my friend who can’t have any kind of processed sugar. I originally started making this salad with store-bought canned cranberry sauce, but over the years I have learned how to make cranberry sauce at home that is WAY better (probably because my recipe entails brandy, rum, Grand Marnier, and amaretto), but it still contains sugar. This was an experimental recipe that I deemed successful! 

Bag of frozen cranberries

3/4 cup of pineapple juice (make sure it’s 100% juice and no sugar added)

1/2 cup of applesauce (again, make sure it is UNsweetened with NO sugar added)


2 apples

2 ribs of celery

1 cup of chopped walnuts

  1. Put cranberries, pineapple juice, applesauce, and 1/2 cup of water in pot and bring to boil.
  2. Keep on medium heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes.
  3. Reduce to a simmer. Zest the entire orange. Add zest to sauce. Cut orange in half and squeeze both halves to add juice to sauce as well. You can use a juicer if it is easier, but I don’t have one.
  4. Simmer 10 minutes and then remove from the heat.
  5. Cool completely and then store in fridge for at least 4 hours prior to mixing with remaining ingredients.
  6. Dice apples. Don’t peel them.
  7. Thinly slice celery ribs.
  8. Combine cranberry sauce, apples, and celery. Cover and refrigerate.
  9. Chop walnuts.
  10. When ready to serve, stir in walnuts.

I’m used to things being a little sweeter, so I will probably add 2-3 Tbsp of honey to the cranberry sauce next time, but that is totally optional.

Olive Pinwheel Bread

Tube of refrigerated pizza crust

Olive oil

Rosemary (fresh or dried)




Provolone cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Chop 1/2 cup worth of olives.
  3. Cut up 1/2 cup of provolone cheese into small chunks.
  4. Unroll pizza dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Brush with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary (1 Tbsp minced fresh or 1 tsp of crushed dried), olives, and cheese. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Pinch seam to seal and tuck ends under.
  5. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet.
  6. Separate egg yolk from egg white.
  7. Brush bread with egg yolk. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool before cutting.

***This recipe is especially good with stuffed olives. My favorites to use are ones stuffed with blue cheese, garlic, and jalapenos.***


Baked Tomatoes

4 Tomatoesphoto (15)



Brown sugar

Ritz Butter Garlic Crackers


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cut 4 tomatoes into 1/2″ slices. Arrange in a greased baking dish.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of brown sugar.
  5. Crush 3/4 cup worth of cracker crumbs and crumble over top of tomatoes.
  6. Dot with 4 Tbsp of butter.
  7. Bake for 25-35 minutes.

Apple Turnovers – $1.33 each

Tube of refrigerated crescent rolls

Can of apple pie filling

Icing sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Unroll dough and separate into four squares. Press the seams of the triangles together. Place on a greased baking sheet.
  3. Spoon 1/4 can of apple pie filling in one corner of each square. Fold in half corner to corner (diagonally) to make triangles. Pinch to seal. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  4. Mix 1/2 cup of icing sugar and 1 Tbsp of milk. Drizzle over turnovers. Best served warm.

Fried Tomatoes – 77¢/serving

4 tomatoesphoto (14)


Lemon-pepper seasoning


Vegetable oil

  1. Slice tomatoes 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle both sides with 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp of lemon-pepper seasoning. Let stand for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Coat with 3/4 cup of cornmeal.
  3. Heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Fry tomatoes for 3-4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Best served immediately.

90s Nostalgia Party

My birthday party. Budget $100


Salad: Mixed greens, Mandarin orange slices, Grapefruit, Pistachios, Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Pecans, Creamy Peach/Mango Dressing

BBQ Lima Beans:

Preheat oven to 350°. Open, rinse, and drain 4 cans of lima beans. Combine beans in a bowl with 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, 1 cup of ketchup, and 1 chopped onion. Transfer to a greased baking dish. Dice 3 uncooked bacon dish and sprinkle on top of beans. Bake, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours.

Cherry Turnovers:

Preheat oven to 375°. Unroll 3 tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls and separate (or cut) into 24 triangles. Make 12 squares by pressing the seams of 2 triangles together and rolling into shape. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Spoon 1/4 cup of cherry pie filling in one corner of each square. Fold to make triangles. Pinch to seal. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Mix 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar with 3-6 Tbsp of milk. Use 3 Tbsp if you want a thick icing to make designs or squiggly lines with. Use 6 Tbsp if you want to use as more of a glaze to brush over pastries. Serve warm.

Bison burgers with cheese and bacon

Cheese smokies

Grape KoolAid spiked with vodka

Tang spiked with tequila

Shasta punch spiked with rum



Potato smiley faces

Cooking for Large Groups

Craft services for a film set cast and crew.

Total budget: $300

I bought most things in bulk at Costco. There are a TON of leftovers, but if I wouldn’t have bought in such large portions then I would have paid the same amount if not more for half the ingredients so it seemed worth it.


Salad: (Lunch Day 1&2)

I’ve posted this recipe before so here is the link:

I bought a box of mandarin orange cups – like the kind you put in kids’ lunches. I put 12 aside for salads and then put the rest out for the crew to eat. Instead of pecans, I tossed in toasted whole almonds, pistachios, and a mix of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. The mix is called Salad Topper, which I got from Costco. I also bought a box of individual yogurt cups, put aside the peach/mango flavors for salad dressings, and put the rest out for eating.

Creamy Italian Noodles: (Lunch Day 1)

Cook 2 pkgs of wide egg noodles according to pkg directions. Drain and place in a bowl. Toss with 1/2 cup of butter. Add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and 4 1/2 tsp of Italian seasonings. I used a mix of Italian salad dressing mix, Country Herb salad dressing mix, and Italian spice blend. Mix well. Serve immediately. Doesn’t make great leftovers.

Cheesy Squash: (Lunch Day 2)

Cut 7 small zucchinis and 2 eggplants into 1/4 inch slices. I usually use yellow summer squash instead of eggplant, but they must be out of season because I couldn’t find any. Place in two greased shallow baking dishes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with 4 cups of mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 7-10 minutes. Serve immediately. Doesn’t make great leftovers.

Nutty Chocolate Marshmallow Puffs: (Lunch Day 1&2)

Coarsely chop 1 lb or 4 cups of pecans. In a heavy saucepan, heat 2 cups of milk chocolate chips, a can of sweetened condensed milk, and a 7 oz jar of marshmallow creme just until melted. Stir until smooth. Be prepared for the mixture to be quite thick.

You’ll have to act relatively quickly and stir often to prevent mixture from burning, so immediately dip marshmallows, one at a time, in chocolate mixture. I used a fork because i don’t have tongs, but those would probably be easier. Shake off excess chocolate. Quickly roll in pecans. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. I didn’t actually have wax paper so I used aluminum foil and sprayed it generously with vegetable spray and it worked fine. I kept the pot on the stove with it on low heat to keep it warm and easier to work with, but if it’s too hot to handle this way, you may have to throw it in bowl and then reheat it every once in a while. When all the puffs are on the tray, refrigerate until chocolate is firm. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Banana Dessert: (Lunch Day 1)

Slice up 8 bananas. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and a handful of pecans. Garnish with Cool Whip.

Bacon Cheese Biscuit Wreath: (Breakfast Day 1)

In a small saucepan, melt 5 oz of Cheez Whiz and 3 Tbsp Golden Crisco. Stir until blended. Pour into a well-greased bundt pan. Cut each biscuit into quarters and place over cheese mixture.

Bake at 400° for 12-14 minutes. Immediately invert pan onto a serving platter and remove. Normally I sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of minced fresh parsley but I went to 2 stores and neither had any so I settle for the fresh parsley paste they sell in the produce section. So I brushed the hot bread with 2 Tbsp of parsley paste and then with 4 strips of cooked and crumbled bacon. Serve bread warm.

Cheese Biscuits: (Breakfast Day 2)

Stir 2 cups of Bisquik, 2/3 cup of milk, and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese in a bowl just until moistened. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Mix 2 Tbsp melted butter and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Brush over biscuits. Bake at 475° for 8-10 minutes. Serve warm.