Friday, July 26, 2013

Zucchini "Crab" Cakes

If you like zucchini, or crab cakes you will LOVE these! This is based off a recipe from my friend Robin. If you happen to be unsure if you will like it or not just ask my sister, she ate half a batch herself last night! I've been making them for over a year but I could never get a picture since they get eaten so quickly! The first time I made them my step-son and mom thought they were really crab cakes! If you peel the zucchini before you shred it, you may be able to fool others :)

They are also good cold (according to my daughter) and freeze well. What a great way to use up your garden zucchini to enjoy later in the summer (if you can refrain from eating them all at once!). This recipe also works well if you need to cut it in half.

2 c zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini grated and squeezed- use a paper towel and squeeze over sink to get out excess water)
2 eggs
2 T mayo
onion powder, garlic powder, Old Bay to taste (probably 1/2 T garlic/onion and 1 T Old Bay)
1.5-2 c bread crumbs (gluten free work great but do NOT use the brown rice gf bread crumbs, they do NOT taste right in this recipe at all)

palm or coconut oil for frying

Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. You may need to reduce the heat as the patties cook. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl, then add bread crumbs. Start with 1 c and then add more until mixture sticks together. It is important it is not too dry, you want it to stick together but not be too stiff. Form into small patties and place on wax paper. It should make 18-24 patties depending on size.

Place about half the patties in the oil and fry 5-7 minutes until brown. Flip and fry on second side then place on paper towel.

I like to add a little extra Old Bay on top when I eat them. They are one of my favorite foods right now!

Looking for more zucchini recipes? Check out these:
Quinoa with shrimp and zucchini
Zucchini Parmesan

Monday, July 8, 2013

Homemade Cream of Crab Soup

No secret here...I love crabs and just about all foods made out of crabs such as Maryland crab soup, crab cakes, crab dip (recipe not on here yet, I'll have to get on that soon!). You name it, I love it!

Cream of Crab Soup
(not gluten free, based on this recipe although I do want to try it with Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Flour)

2 lb. crab meat (it is usually best if you can pick your own and freeze but the claw meat does just fine in this recipe and is cheaper than the "special" or "lump" meat)
1 pint half and half
1 pint milk
1 c water or chicken broth
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c flour
1/2 c diced onion
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 T Old Bay (and more to add to own bowls when serving)
1 T parsley

Make a light roux with the butter and flour.  Melt butter, add flour and stir continuously in a large heavy pot on low heat, until smooth. (about 5 minutes) Add onion and celery and continue to cook and stir for 5 minutes. Slowly add water/broth and stir until thickened, and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in half and half and milk. Add crab meat, parsley, Old Bay and cook on low heat until thoroughly heated through, but do not boil. Simmer until soup is desired thickness. Sprinkle extra Old Bay on top if desired.

When I first made this I was very afraid it would not thicken but low and behold it did! I was also afraid the celery would not soften (I can't stand the crunch of celery) but it did, too!

 Alas I did not take a picture of it (and no leftovers were to be found) so you'll have to make do with a picture of some crabs!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent {Guest Post}

I love how Facebook can connect you with people you would never be able to meet in person! My friend Rachel posted about making her own laundry detergent and it ends up the recipe came from her cousin in North Dakota! After many technical difficulties, here, finally, is her guest post and please visit her blog, Modest Handmaidens.
Since posting my recipe for Laundry Detergent on my Modest Handmaidens blog and Facebook page, I have been amazed at the number of ladies who have been eager to try this!

Rachel G. in Pennsylvania made the following comments:

“Made this today!! We did 4x the recipe: $16 for 320 loads of laundry!!  ($0.06 per load)”

“It is cleaning beautifully, even my hubby's work jeans!...Which I was most skeptical about!”

I am so glad that Rachel calculated out those costs!  I have been purchasing the ingredients, as I needed them, for so long, that I didn’t have that information handy to pass along.

I have been using this recipe (with a few tweaks along the way) for the past three years.  Just by having a few basic ingredients on hand, you'll be able to make detergent quickly and easily, whenever you need it!  
Thank you, Laura, for giving me the opportunity to share this with your readers!
So let's first gather what we need!

These are the ratios that I use.  You can easily adjust for larger or smaller amounts.

3 Cups Borax
2 Cups Washing Soda (or OxiClean Powder can be substituted)
16 oz. Baking Soda (about 2 cups)
1 Bar of Soap (Fels-Naptha or Ivory)

Grate the soap.  I use an old cheese grater that is designated just for this purpose.  And make sure the kids know it's not cheese so they don't try and sneak a taste!

I have found that I prefer the Fels-Naptha for a couple of reasons.  First it is a drier soap than Ivory, so when I grate it, it becomes more powdery.  If I do use Ivory, I will let it sit out unwrapped for as long as possible (a couple of weeks) to try and get it to dry out.  If the Ivory is still soft when grated, you will need to try to crumble it with your hands as you add it in.  I have also noticed that Ivory may not fully dissolve in a cold wash, whereas, I have never had that happen with the Fels-Naptha.

I use a Rubbermaid cereal container to store the detergent.
I start by adding the 3 cups of Borax.

Then the 2 cups of Washing Soda.

Followed by one 16 oz. box of Baking Soda.
The Baking Soda may not even be necessary, but it's good for your laundry and helps the detergent stretch further!

Put your grated soap on top!

I prefer to mix by hand.

And here it is....your own homemade laundry detergent!
For a full-size load, you only need 1/8 of a cup.  How's that for economical?
This batch will last me quite a while!

Here's the finished product!

For my machine, the detergent goes in first, then the clothes, 
then start the machine to begin filling with water.

***Just a note, I do not have a new washing machine that requires "special" detergent.  Mine is top-loading and still works great!  The Duggar Family website has a similar recipe that says it can be used for front loading machines.  Click here to view.

God Bless; Happy Laundering!!

Article contributed by Eve Mercer, owner of Modest Handmaidens specializes in vintage and hard-to-find sewing patterns, as well as promoting modest living.  She lives in Hebron, ND with her husband, Michael, and seven children (ages 9 years to 6 months).  Eve enjoys homeschooling, sewing, pattern design, and serving in her local church.

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