Welcome to my blog. I’m an amateur blogger…but I had a thought the other day to start a blog and this is why. I LOVE to entertain/host, try new recipes, cook delicious food and drink pretty and fabulous cocktails. I like wine, too. A lot. Whenever I have a party or try a new recipe or bring a dish to a get-together, people always ask for the recipe. I tend to talk (obsess?) about the food I made or how pretty and tasty the cocktails were, so I thought I’d start a blog to share recipes and talk about food.

Oh, and I also recently got married and was quite obsessed (and still am) with all things wedding related, but specifically food trends and how they can influence what you serve on your big day.

The first recipe I’m posting is a lovely hot crab dip I made for a BBQ last Saturday. The recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Hors D’Oeurvres Handbook (given to me as a bridal shower gift my Maid of Honor, Kristin). This recipe got tons of compliments and was delicious. You can really taste the freshly squeezed lemon juice, which pairs well with crab (duh). Lump crab is pretty spendy so I did half lump crap and half crab claw meat. I also asked one of my foodie colleagues what you could substibute lump crap meat with if you are on a budget and she suggested shrimp.

Hot Crab Dip
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustartd
3/4 cup half and half
8 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
4 ounces sharp white Cheddar cheese, grated (to yield 1 1/4 cups)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teasonpoons Worcestershire sauce
10 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 2 slices bread, crusts removed, put into food processor to form crumbs
1/2 teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the center. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of water and simmer for 30 seconds. Stir in the cayenne, Old Bay, and dry mustard until well combined. Pour the half-and-half into the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the cream cheese, a few pieces at a time. When the cream cheese is fully incorporated, whisk in the Cheddar cheese a bit at a time. Stir the mixture for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice and Worcestershire and stir to combine. Ad the crabmeat and half of the parsley and stir. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof baking dish and sprinkle with the bread pieces. Dot the top of the bread pieces with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with the paprika. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until the bread pieces are golden and the dip is hot. Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve with bread or pita chips.