Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bay Dining

To my thousands of faithful readers...apologies for the delay in blogging. I have been enjoying a summer vacay with family and friends on Mobile Bay. This relaxing trip entailed eating many a delicious meal, fishing, boating, rocking-chairing, late sleeping, pier chilling, dining, visiting, cooking, hosting, strolling and non-Internet using. It was wonderful.

One major plus of being "over the Bay" is to have dinner swimming in your front yard and growing in your back yard. We basically lived a sustainable lifestyle during our two weeks as we consumed fish and crab caught by my dad, amazing vegetables grown by my uncle down the road and the farm around the corner, blueberries picked by my mom and me, and milk squeezed fresh from the udder of our cow out back.

OK so I threw the cow in there for effect. But seriously, we ate from the Earth! Here are some details of the fabulous meals we had. One of my favorite parts of preparing these summer suppers was the group effort that went into them. Typically, someone would catch the fish, another would pick the crabs, someone would prepare and cook the fish, and yet another would cook the veggies. This results in an enjoyable meal knowing that all pitched in to make it a success.

I bought this red pepper at a
local fruit and veggie stand. It was the only one of its kind and had such a personality. We still cooked and ate it though it was difficult to slice!

One night I sauteed locally-grown zucchini, red bell pepper and orange bell pepper together. Mom "fried" our fresh-caught fish by breading them in Panko bread crumbs and baking them in the oven (a good healthy alternative!). We then topped one fish fillet with the veggies and the other with fresh crab meat and added a side of cous cous.

If given the opportunity, I'm pretty sure my dad could pull a Cast Away and survive on a deserted island.

But I like him catching our dinner instead :)

Another night, Mom tested out a crab cake recipe. She added chopped red pepper to the cakes among other seasonings and made a "crab cake salad" with cherry tomatoes and vinaigrette. It was a delicious dinner, but Mom decided she was still perfecting her crab cake prowess.

On an enchanting night of alfresco dining, we had fish topped with a lemon butter sauce, toasted slivered almonds and lemon slices and a side of zucchini and yellow squash and some cous cous.

I did just a little bit of baking while at the Bay. These lemon-glazed candied-ginger cookies were a hit!

We had a "sliders bar party" for the Fourth of July. My contribution to the mini burgers condiments? An Alabama White Bar-B-Q Sauce. If you've never had it, go try it!! This tangy sauce is great for serving atop burgers, drizzling on 'Q, and even for dipping veggies. I did not follow a strict recipe but did use this one as a guide. I used light mayo and substituted half of it with non-fat Greek yogurt to cut back on the calories.

Other Fourth of July hits?
Red White and Blue tortilla chips and fresh cut watermelon, of course!

After deciding we needed a night off from catching and cooking our sustenance, we headed up the road to The Birdcage Lounge at The Grand Hotel. Here we drank mojitos and snacked on some of the best crab claws I have ever tasted.

A Blue Crab Tutorial

The Washington Monument (below top) is a male, aka "Jimmy." The Capitol Building (below bottom) is a mature female, aka "Sook." If the female had a slimmer Capitol Building, she would be immature and called "Sally" or "She-Crab" (as in She-Crab Soup!). Also, the female paints her fingernails (claws) red (see above).

Ya learn something new every day.


  1. Your crabs look lovely! Such a fun trip :) Thanks for sharing

  2. I'm pretty sure you need to invite me back to the Bay asap! If not, I'm inviting myself. All of your food looks amazing, especially those crab cakes!

  3. I would love to be on the trip with you. So many delicious food to eat! You must have enjoyed vacation with your family very much. Thanks for sharing your joy with us. The lemon glazed ginger cookies looks delicious. The weekend is here again soon, have a great one.