Sometimes breaks are needed, but I’ll be back!

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It’s been a while. I’ve had 6 drafts sitting on my site. 6 fully or partially written drafts that I just haven’t haven’t felt compelled to post.

The first is about my easy mashed potatoes. The second is a post about our Asheville trip and a restaurant that had oysters on almost every menu item (even in the beer). The third is “tales of travel” from the cruise we took last year. The fourth, a quick no recipe lunch. The 5th, a gift guide for the foodies in your life. The final, is a recipe for one of my “famous” Sweet by Lauren cakes.

They’ve all been there but for some reason I felt they haven’t been worthy of the blog.

In the last 6 months I’ve done so much: reached goals, traveled, cooked, entertained, and none of it has been documented here. I hosted Easter brunch for the second year in a row. I graduated from graduate school and became only one of two women in my immediate family to do so. My sister had her second child and I threw what I thought was one of the most fun events I’ve thrown in a while for her shower.  I’ve traveled to Florida twice, South Carolina, and North Carolina. So many great meals, events, and recipes but all still in my head or scribbled on a piece of paper somewhere.

Life has happened and for some reason I haven’t been compelled to share. I know that blogging is just an opportunity for me to share a little bit of my life with you and my goal is to do better.

A little pinch here and there can create one of the best plates you’ve ever seen! Hopefully those plates can turn into an amazing party! The purpose of this blog is to share that with you!

I hope you enjoy every step of my journey as I continue to share my life with you.

More to come soon and don’t worry, I’ll definitely be posting that cake recipe!

Seafood Sunday: Cajun Inspired Crab Cakes

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I go grocery shopping every Saturday, and every week as I’m making my grocery list I ask my husband if he has any suggestions for meals. He always responds with, “anything fishy” so I try to incorporate fish or seafood into 2 of our meals for the week. We usually have seafood twice, chicken twice, steak once, salad once, and we go out for Mexican once a week.

Last week I was struggling for our, “something fishy” for the week. I usually do shrimp or salmon but I wanted to do something different. While out grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s I came across a 16 oz can of refrigerated crab meat and then I knew exactly what one of our seafood meals would be… Crab cakes!DSC_0762

I love crab and I order it whenever I have the opportunity. I love crab cakes on their own, crab cake sandwiches, and my go to brunch meal is crab cakes benedict. I’m not the only Comer that loves crab cakes, William is now a fan of them as well!

This crab cake recipe incorporates the methods from a Maryland crab cake but is infused with the cajun flavors of the south. Instead of using traditional mayonnaise I used Hampton Creek‘s Garlic Just Mayo (which is great for those on a vegan diet). I season these crab cakes with Old Bay to add a little spice! DSC_0776DSC_0784DSC_0770

If you’re looking for something a little fun to add to your recipe book, check out the recipe below. It’s so easy I was even able to get my husband to lend a hand in the kitchen.

Happy Cooking!

— LaLa

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Cajun Inspired Crabcakes

Prep: 15 minutes | Inactive: 1 hour | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 45 Minutes

Makes 6 – 8 Crab Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 16 oz crab meat, drained of any water and picked over for shells
  • 15 saltine crackers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon old bay seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons garlic mayo (plain mayonnaise works as well
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for frying

Directions:

  1. Sauté green onions with olive oil over medium heat until soft and fragrant, 1 – 2 minutes.
  2. Remove green onions from heat and set aside to stop the cooking process.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl gently fold together green onions, crab, saltine crackers, cayenne pepper, onion powder, and old bay seasoning. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together egg, mayo, dijon mustard and worcestershire sauce.
  5. Pour sauce egg mixture into the crab mixture and gently combine being careful. Do not over mix.
  6. Refrigerate crab for at least one hour.
  7. Make 6 – 8 evenly sized patties out of the crab mix and place on a non stick surface.
  8. Lightly salt and pepper the patties before frying.
  9. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium high heat and fry patties until golden brown (2 – 3 minutes per size) and remove from pan.
  10. Add more oil to pan as needed.
  11. Serve warm.

Simple and Easy Fried Rice

 

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I love fried rice… but my inner child comes out whenever I eat it and I tend to pick around the peas and carrots. Below you will find my recipe for a simple and easy fried rice. It incorporates brown rice, eggs, green onions, and soy sauce. This rice is a great side dish that goes with baked chicken, fried shrimp, or any asian take-out inspired dishes. It can also be served as a main dish if you add in a cup of chopped grilled chicken.

Cooking is something I love to do. From fried foods, to quick and easy, I love everything about cooking. It’s a hobby that I’ve had since I was a kid. Unfortunately, I can cook or bake almost anything, except for rice. For some reason my rice always come out crunchy or overcooked and gummy. I’ve found success with Success Boil-In-Bag rice. This stuff is fool-proof and makes rice cooking a breeze. I used two bags of the success rice for this recipe (4 cups cooked rice) but any brand of rice should work. I suggest using jasmine rice, long grain white rice, sushi rice, or brown rice.

Fried rice is cooked best in a wok but can also be prepared in a large non-stick skillet. I purchased my wok from IKEA quite a few years ago. Ikea has an affordable and quality wok available for purchase in store or on online.

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Simple and Easy Fried Rice

Total Time: 15 Minutes | 4 – 6 Servings

Recommended Specialty Cookware: Wok

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups pre-cooked and refrigerated or room temperature rice (warm rice does not work well with this recipe)
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 3 Green onions roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat a wok or large nonstick pan over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot add in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon sesame oil.
  2. Once the oil is hot, crack the eggs directly into the pan and lightly scramble until they are fully cooked.
  3. Add the cooked rice to the pan and gently stir until the egg and rice and combined.
  4. Add the soy sauce and mix until combined. Once the soy sauce is combined increase the heat to high, spread the rice as shallow as possible across the pan and let it “fry” for 3 – 4 minutes. Combine or stir the rice as needed to keep it from overcooking in one area.
  5. Add the green onions, stir gently, and remove from heat.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.