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Italian Shrimp & Pasta

This recipe is compliments of my godmother, Missi.  She is one of these very gifted people that can walk into a kitchen, open the refrigerator/cabinet/pantry and grab ingredients and make an amazing meal without a recipe.  And very rarely can you get a recipe out of what ever thing she has created.  But this is one of those exceptions.  So here you go:

  • 1 lb crawfish tails or shrimp
  • 2 bunches green onions or 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp celery salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp tyme
  • 8 oz Italian dressing or 5 oz olive oil with 2 tsp Italian seasoning

Pasta

Saute onions in butter.  Add all seasonings including Italian dressing.  Then add seafood.

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Cook for 5 minutes.  Marinate for 4 hours to overnight in the refrigerator (I rarely do this step.  I go straight to eating.)  After marinating, reheat and serve over pasta.  If mixture is too dry, add olive oil till mixture is a good consistency.

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I love this recipe because if I have shrimp on hand, I know that I can cook this recipe.  I always have all the spices needed and I always have pasta available.

You can take this recipe one step further and make a dip.  Add a tablespoon of corn starch when you add the dry seasonings and Italian dressing.  Then pour over a block of cream cheese.  Serve cold with your choice of cracker.

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First St. Mary’s River Canoe Run

A lazy trip down the St. Mary's River

A lazy trip down the St. Mary’s River

As you can see from some of our previous post we spend a lot of time down at the St. Mary’s River.  Our neighborhood has a private pier that you can fish, swim, and canoe from.  This part of the river is very large and is pretty much entirely salt water.  However, there is a smaller, fresh water section that begins at Lake St. Mary’s and turns to brackish just north of our pier.  Not long after we got the canoe we learned there is a launch point about midway between the lake and our pier.  The launch, and the section of river that follows, is maintained by Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and is a designated canoe/kayak run all the way down to St. Mary’s City.

We decided to make the run today but cut it short by a few miles and just stop at the pier for convenience.  In all it took us a little over two hours to make the trip.  The first part of the trip is very shallow with LOTS of fallen trees in branches to dodge and duck under.  We even go underneath a highway at one point.  Meredith didn’t find the first section as fun as I did but it soon widened into a beautiful, scenic trip down the river.  Next time we’ll take some fishing poles and see what we can find in some of the pools!

Meredith at the launch point.

Meredith at the launch point.

The first third of the trip looked just like this!

The first third of the trip looked just like this!

Here’s the trip on Google Maps (Recorded with Google My Tracks!):

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Good Help is Hard to Come by

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This is what was going on while I was busy working in my craft room on Saturday. This seems to be his new favorite position this summer. We missed the mark a bit if we wanted a modest dog!

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Mama Osprey

An osprey watching as we near its nest.

An osprey watching as we near its nest.

We launched the canoe today from our neighborhood pier for a quick fishing trip and to take a tour around Tippity Witchity island.  Right off the southern point of the island is one of the many osprey nest built by Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  These things are found all over the rivers and coves around the bay.  We can see three or four just from the pier.

When we first moved to Maryland I was hoping we’d get to see a few ospreys but I soon realized I’d be seeing hundreds of them.  Earlier this spring I counted almost two dozen flying around the pier while I was fishing.  We’ve even seen a couple of them dive-bomb the water for fish.  Honestly it’s very rare not see at least one a day around our neighborhood.

Anyways, this was the first time we were able to get close to one of the nest and boy was she unhappy with us!  She’s watched us constantly and made all sorts of racket until we were a good hundred yards away.  A guy I work with said he’s known a couple kayakers that have flipped while trying to avoid osprey that dived at them when they got too close to the nest.  Needless to say we’ll be keeping our distance from now on.

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Southern Maryland Crabfest 2013

A dozen blue crabs!

A dozen blue crabs!

Seeing how it’s our first year here in Southern Maryland we decided to go see what this Crabfest was all about.  Though the turnout wasn’t what I expected, probably due to the storm earlier in the day, it was still a lot of fun.  There was a decent cover band, crab races, and of course crabs to eat.  Meredith and I ordered a dozen and dug in!

Hot crabs, ready to eat.

Hot crabs, ready to eat.

David showing off a crab.

David showing off a crab.

Meredith picking her way through a few crabs.

Meredith picking her way through a few crabs.

As you can see, it’s a mess when you get done:

What's left of a dozen crabs.

What’s left of a dozen crabs.

In case you were wondering about the crab races I mentioned earlier, Meredith took a video.  I had her put $5 on the #3 crab and she had to be the oldest one betting by 15 years!

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Turnpike Troubadours at Hill Country Barbecue

Washington DC would not be the first city that would come out of my mouth when asked where have I had good BBQ.  No offense, but it just wouldn’t.  Well, this meal has changed my mind.  I don’t know if it was the BBQ itself or the whole experience of eating the BBQ.  The best way I can explain Hill Country Barbecue is this . . . Imagine Luby’s cafeteria, but for BBQ.  Genius!  You are seated at a table and given this meal ticket. Meal Ticket - Picture #1Meal Ticket - Picture #2

You take your meal ticket up to the counter and you order what you want.  The menu is absolutely great; basic, simple, nothing fussy, just good food.  The staff behind the counter start gathering up what you ordered, which should be a little bit of everything, placing it all on a huge piece of butcher paper.  Everything that you order is weighed and marked down on your meal ticket.  So you pay for what you order and you get exactly what you want, because the whole menu is al acarte!  Again, genius!  Then they ask you if you want white bread to go with your meal.  Really?  Who wouldn’t want some great Texas sized slices of white bread to go with amazing BBQ?  I actually asked the guy if people actually said no.  He said I would be surprised . . . Oh well.  More for the rest of us, right?  Once you have all of your meat selections, you toddle on over to the sides section and the same process begins again.  You tell them what you want and how much you want, your ticket is marked, and off you go to stuff your face.

Now I don’t know about you, but I love to people watch, and a BBQ restaurant in DC does not disappoint.  There were people dressed in boots and cowboy shirts, ladies in cute work dresses, and men in suits.  Now the men in suits really need some basic instruction on how to eat BBQ, because coat on and tie hanging down is not the way to do it, and a sure fire way to insure that your suit at minimum is due a trip to the dry cleaners.  But us Southerners know to roll up our sleeves, dig in and don’t even bother wiping our faces clean till the plate in front of us is cleaner.IMG_1009

So now on to the show.  This was by far my favorite show that I have ever seen.  I know that David has been to small venues like this one, where you can literally reach out, not even up but out, and touch the band.  I think the capacity sign in the place said 200 people, which for a music venue is on the smaller side.

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I don’t know how long David and I looked at the backdrop before we realized that it is a Texas state flag.  My mama may disown me for that one!

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Set list for the night, full of all of our favorites!

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Please excuse the non-music related picture I had to insert into here.  I just thought, as strange as this sounds, that this was a really interesting and pretty shot.  So I took it.

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If you have not heard of Turnpike Troubadours, I highly recommend them!  And if you are from the Shreveport/Bossier City area, they actually have a couple songs singing about them.  So check the Turnpike Troubadours website for a sample or two.  You won’t regret it!

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Miso Butter Shrimp & Fresh Crabs

Miso Butter Shrimp with some fresh blue crabs.

Miso Butter Shrimp with some fresh blue crabs.

One of my new favorite recipes is Miso Butter Shrimp from the Steamy Kitchen.  So after getting lucky and finding six crabs in my trap I thought we’d have a seafood only dinner.  The shrimp recipe is super easy to make and I cook mine in a skillet with a little butter.  Throw it in with some pasta and you’re ready to go.  The tang/salty miso with the butter and sake make the shrimp almost irresistible!

As for the crabs, I use a mixture of water, apple cider vinegar, and beer to steam them followed with a generous coating of Old Bay.  You’ve got to watch those crabs as you put them into the pot to steam.  Turn you’re back for a minute and they’ll climb out and run across the counter like a bat out of hell.  Oh, and they can put up a heck of a fight as the scar on my hand will forever demonstrate.

Fresh crabs.  They sure look tasty!

Fresh crabs. They sure look tasty!

Fresh crabs.  They sure look tasty!

Not very pretty are they? Good thing they taste good!

 

How about a video of some frisky crabs waiting to be cooked?