I am heading to grill out with good friends this evening. I am making a pecorino romano fig jam and granny smith apple crostini (could that name be any longer)? Anyway, I am drooling just thinking about it. As long as it turns out (is pretty and delicious) I will post the recipe and a photo tomorrow!

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My sister Katie and I are checking out bakeries around the cities. We are trying to do one every couple weeks. Originally we wanted to taste and see yummy/pretty cupcakes but our plan has emerged a bit to include lattes (for me), lemon bars (for Katie) and quiche (for both, it is delicious). So far we have been to Cupcake in Minneapolis and Black Sheep Cafe in South Saint Paul.

These photos are from our outing to Cupcake. Adorable cupcakes, great coffee and delicious quiche.

I love Black Sheep Cafe because it is located in the city I live in (South Saint Paul) and it is a little gem of a place. They do latte/cappucino art, which is so lovely, and the drinks are delicious. We both got quiche and it was only $3.50 a slice and it was really light and tasty.Next stop, Dorothy Ann Bakery in Woodbury. I almost got my wedding cake from there but opted for Queen of Cakes in Edina instead. My cake was awesome and delicious (red velvet, carrot and white with raspberry mousse).

Here is a pic of my lovely wedding cake.

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I’m not sure where this recipe is from but I first tried it when my brother and sister-in-law brought this dip to a get together at my parent’s house. I probably ate 2 pounds of it. I know that sounds gross, but the dip is freaking delicious. Oh, and it is not healthy at all so if you are on Weight Watchers or any sort of diet just skip this post!

If you make this dip I swear you will be the hit of the party. It is one of those tried and true recipes.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 jar Marie’s Lite Chunky Bleu Cheese dressing (this is in the cold salad section of the grocery store, not the condiments aisle)
1 8oz bag of Monterey Jack shredded cheese
3/4 cup Frank’s Buffalo Sauce
1 package/block of lite cream cheese cut up into small cubes
1 package of Louis Rich pre-cooked chicken breast strips, cut up into small pieces or a rotisserie chicken cut up into small pieces

Combine all ingredients into a baking pan and bake for 30-45 on 375 degrees. Or combine all ingredients in a crock pot and simmer until everything is melted. Serve with tortilla chips and/or celery sticks.

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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.

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