So several things are converging at once to make this upcoming weekend a special one.  It’s not only Memorial Day weekend, but it’s my father’s 80th birthday, AND we are celebrating the occasion with a beach party with lots of family!  Should be very fun!

Here’s what I and my fabulous sister-in-law are preparing for the family to enjoy:




WARM JALAPENO CRAB DIP (with crackers)


(served with bitter salad, delta asparagus with goat cheese cream, and tortillas)

KEY LIME PIE (aka my Dad’s choice of Birthday Cake!)


(Adapted from Epicurious)

This is my new favorite breakfast. I’ve been making it for months now – I prepare it on a Sunday, and then it’s my “go-to” breakfast throughout the week. But it’s going to be perfect for this family getaway, because I can make/bake it in advance, and then when each person wakes up they can serve themselves and easily re-heat the oatmeal themselves. You can use any nut you want (I usually use sliced almonds) and any berry that you like. So so good!
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup almond or walnut pieces, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup natural cane sugar or maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Scant 1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
2 cups milk
1 large egg
3 TBSP unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch
1 1/2 cups blueberries, or mixed berries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F with a rack in the top third of the oven. Generously butter or spray with cooking spray the inside of an 8-inch square baking dish. In a bowl, mix together the oats, half the nuts, the sugar, if using, the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, if using, the milk, egg, half of the butter, and the vanilla.

Arrange the bananas in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. 

Sprinkle two-thirds of the berries over the top.

Cover the fruit with the oat mixture.

Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats.

Gently give the baking dish a couple thwacks on the countertop to make sure the milk moves through the oats. Scatter the remaining berries and remaining walnuts across the top.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the remaining melted butter on the top and serve. Sprinkle with a bit more sugar or drizzle with maple syrup if you want it a bit sweeter.

(Adapted from
Photo Credit:
6 TBSP unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk
1 8 ounce container fresh lump crab meat, picked over, cartilage discarded
1 1/4 cups shredded sharp white cheddar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 jalapeños, seeds removed, finely chopped
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat and add garlic. Cook, stirring, until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Stir in flour and slowly whisk in milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Remove from heat. Stir in crab, 3/4 cup cheese and the juice.
Reserve 2 tablespoons scallion and 1 tablespoon jalapeno; stir remaining scallion and jalapeno into crab mixture. Transfer to a 1-quart baking dish and top with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
***At this point the dip can be refrigerated. Simply remove from the fridge, and then follow the rest of the instructions.
Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Broil 6 inches from heat until golden and bubbly, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with reserved scallion and jalapeno. Serve warm. Makes 2-1/4 cups.


(Adapted from Ina Garten)
8 oz light cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 TBSP minced fresh dill
1 1/2 tsp prepared horseradish, drained
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 lb (4 ounces) smoked salmon, minced

Cream the cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until just smooth.

Add the sour cream, lemon juice, dill, horseradish, salt, and pepper, and mix. Mince the salmon.

 Add the smoked salmon and mix well. Chill and serve with crudites or crackers.

(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)

This dip is sort of my “back-up” appetizer, just in case we need it.  It’s great for summer because it’s cold and fairly light and won’t fill you up before the main event!

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened (I always use low or non-fat here)
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups hummus (which is one container of Sabra hummus)
1 cup chopped cucumber (I use hothouse or English – tastes so much better)
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (buy fresh and crumble it yourself)
1/3 cup sliced green onions
Pita chips, bagel chips and/or multigrain tortilla chips

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

In medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and garlic with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and combined.

Spread cream cheese mixture into a deep 9-inch pie plate, or shallow serving dish.

Evenly spread hummus on cream cheese layer.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Top with cucumber, tomato, olives, feta cheese, and green onions.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Cover and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours. Serve with pita chips and/or multigrain tortilla chips.
Makes about 2-1/2 cups dip.

(Adapted from Alton Brown)


cracked pepper2011

This sandwich is so good, and it’s best made ahead so the flavors sort of seep into the bread. YUM!  And just so you are aware, the correct pronunciation is “pahn baht-yah” – just want you to be up to speed!

1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp  Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 baguette, ~  16 to 18 inches long
12 oz canned tuna packed in oil or water, drained and crumbled
1 small green pepper, sliced into rings
1 small red onion, sliced into rings (optional)
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1 cup chopped kalamata olives
1 tomato, thinly sliced

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper.

While continuing to whisk, gradually add the olive oil. Whisk until thicker. Set aside.

Slice the baguette horizontally into 2 pieces. Tear out some of the soft bread in the center of each side, making a slight well in the bread.

Place the tuna, green pepper, red onion, hard-boiled eggs, olives, and tomato on the bottom side of the bread in that order.

Drizzle the vinaigrette over the vegetables, top with the second piece of bread, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours (or refrigerate if longer) before serving.


Provolone slices
Pear slices
1 lb Sliced Roasted Turkey breast
Apricot mustard (mix together 1/2 cups apricot jam with 1 TBSP Dijon)
Ciabatta or Focaccia bread or Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
A bunch of arugula

Prepare sandwiches, and heat in a panini press or in a pan with another pan pressing down on them until heated through.


These sandwiches are fabulous to have on hand – you can enjoy them for lunch or just have them available whenever anyone is hungry (which, at the beach is A LOT). I sampled them at a tennis match years ago and just had to get the recipe. They’re super easy to make and people will devour them!

2 8-oz pkgs reduced fat cream cheese
2 small cans shrimp (drain and soak in ice water 10 minutes, then drain on paper towels)
1 lg spoonful mayo
1 1/2 TBSP dried onion bits
pinch pepper
pinch garlic powder
2-3 TBSP half and half
Thinly sliced bread (such as Pepperidge Farm)


Blend all together in food processor.


Chill overnight. Cut crust off bread and spread. Cut into triangles.


These are great to have on hand when feeding a crowd! They hold up well, and (like the shrimp sandwiches) they are great for lunch, or they’ll tide people over while food is being prepped for the main event. It doesn’t get more southern than pimento cheese! You can always just serve the pimento cheese with assorted crackers.

1 lb sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 med sweet onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, quartered
2/3 cup mayo
1 1/2 tsp dijon
1 4-oz jar chopped pimentos, drained
dash of cayenne
s & p to taste

Thinly sliced white bread (such as Pepperidge Farm)

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Shred or grate the cheese and place in large bowl.  

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Put the onion and garlic in food processor and pulse (or chop very finely) then add to cheese. 

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Stir in mayo, mustard, pimentos and cayenne. Add salt and pepper.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Cover mixture tightly and refridgerate for at least 8 hours for flavors to blend. Spread over bread and slice into triangles.




My sister-in-law is in charge of the dinner on Friday night, and she came up with this fabulous menu. Looking forward to being in the kitchen with her yet again!


(Adapted from the NYT)
7- to 8-pound pork butt, fat cap (preferably 1-inch thick) attached
3 ½ TBSP salt, plus more for salsa
¼ cup coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
6 to 8 TBSP sherry vinegar
4 cups chopped fresh parsley
2 cups chopped fresh oregano
8 garlic cloves, peeled
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Ground black pepper
Salad of bitter greens

Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Season the pork with 3 1/2 tablespoons of salt and 1/4 cup black pepper, rubbing it in well on all sides. Roast the pork, covered, until the internal temperature reaches 195 degrees, 9 to 10 hours.

While the pork is roasting, prepare the salsa verde.

In a blender or food processor, working in batches if necessary, combine the olive oil, 6 tablespoons of the vinegar, parsley, oregano, garlic and pepper flakes. Process to a purée, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Season with salt, ground black pepper and more vinegar to taste.
To serve, pull the pork apart with tongs or forks or slice it. Serve with the salsa and a salad of bitter greens.

(Adapted from the NYT)

1½ tsp whole-grain mustard
1½ tsp Dijon mustard
3 to 6 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
black pepper
14 oz mixed frisée, radicchio and dandelion greens, washed, dried and torn into pieces

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mustards and 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice.

While whisking vigorously, drizzle in the olive oil until thickened. Adjust lemon juice to taste, and season with salt and pepper.
Place greens in a serving bowl and toss with just enough dressing to lightly coat them. Reserve any remaining dressing for another use.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

One of the great things about this meal is that you can place your pot directly on the grill and not heat up your kitchen. And I use peeled shrimp here, just because it’s so much easier to eat. But some feel that you lose flavor by doing it this way, so if you prefer, cook them with the shells on.

1 bag Crab Boil
1 TBSP Old Bay seasoning, or to taste
3 pounds new potatoes
2 (16 ounce) packages cooked kielbasa, turkey or andouille sausage, cut into 1 inch pieces (I like to cut and then brown the sausage prior to adding to the pot)
8 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed, broken in half, if desired
4 pounds whole king crab, broken into pieces
4 pounds fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 bottles of beer
1-2 lemons, quartered
A few dashes of Tabasco (or hot sauce of choice), if desired

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

I’m actually browning turkey sausage AND andouille sausage as one of our group doesn’t eat pork.  I’ll put the turkey smoked sausage IN the boil and serve the andouille on the side.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Heat a large pot of water along with 2 12 oz. bottles of beer over an outdoor cooker, or medium-high heat indoors. Add Crab Boil and Old Bay Seasoning to taste, and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, and sausage, and cook for about 10-12 minutes (make sure the potatoes are getting soft). Add the corn and crab; cook for another 5 minutes.

Then add the shrimp when everything else is almost done, and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes.
Drain off the water and pour the contents out onto a picnic table covered with newspaper. Grab a plate and some crab claw crackers and enjoy!

Some of our group enjoying our bounty of seafood!  Working hard on those king crab claws!

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
1/2 cup soft fresh goat cheese
4 TBSP fresh sage
2 tsp sliced green onions
1 shallot, minced
1/4 tsp salt
4 medium tomatoes

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Combine first 5 ingredients in bowl. Season with pepper.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Cut a 2 inch piece piece out of each tomato, and fill with the cheese mixture.  

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Place tomatoes on med-high heat on grill rack. Cover and cook until tomatoes are soft (but not mushy) ~ 5 minutes.
***You can also bake these at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes (or until the cheese is hot).

(Adapted from Gwenyth Paltrow)

1 package coleslaw mix
2 TBSP veganaise
1 TBSP lime juice
1 tsp salt

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Mix all together just before serving – adjust veganaise, lime and salt to taste.


(Adapted from All Recipes)

This pie has got to be the easiest on record to make.  But, nonetheless, it’s my favorite and is so delicious at the end of a seafood dinner. Furthermore, my Dad’s not a cake guy, so this pie is a birthday PIE for him.
(Photo Credit: AllRecipes)
1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
3 cups sweetened condensed milk (2 cans)
1/2 cup sour cream

3/4 cup key lime juice (I use Nellie & Joe’s, but you can squeeze all those tiny key limes if you prefer)
1 TBSP grated lime zest
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

 You can make your own graham cracker crust for this pie, but Keebler makes a  pretty good one.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice, and lime rind. Mix well and pour into graham cracker crust. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until pinhole bubbles burst on the surface of pie.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

DO NOT BROWN! Let the pie rest 30 minutes.  Chill pie thoroughly before serving. Serve topped with whipped cream (and lime slices as garnish if desired).

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
(Adapted from Ursula’s Cooking School)

I got this recipe from my mother year’s ago.  Everyone loves this drink – even the non-beer drinkers.  It spells S-U-M-M-E-R in our house.  Just remember:
6 – 6 -12!
6 oz. frozen limeade concentrate
6 oz. vodka
12 oz. beer (any kind will do – I prefer it lighter)
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Throw all the ingredients in a blender.  


Add ice and puree to slushee consistency. Imbibe.


 This recipe makes about 4 good size servings.

And here’s a pic of the Man of the Hour (or weekend!) taken as he and I were headed to the beach another time:

Here are a few pics from our beach condo:
The gangplank from our condo to the beach:

 Sunset around 8:15pm at Walker’s Landing:

 Sunrise at 6:20am view from the family room:

Hard to see but I had the company of 2 bunnies and a cardinal drinking water as I set out on my morning run: