Stone Crabs: One Last Splurge

Happy 2009! Can you believe it?

Well, here goes: this year I will try to- be more frugal; stick to a diet; be more patient; listen; pour more love and encouragement on those precious to me; be a better friend. These are not resolutions but merely a little list for myself. I think I can manage to accomplish most of it. The hardest part for me is always dieting. Not so easy.

My daughter will be returning to New York City Monday.... I will miss her very much. She has a contemporary art gallery there (see "My Favorite Websites" below) and the art market has not been all that great lately. I am crossing my fingers that all the naysayers will be wrong in their predictions for 2009. This gallery is Tracy's dream and she works like mad to make it a success, which it has been for several years. I know, everyone is having problems with the economy and everyone is working hard to keep their dreams alive. But we mothers worry about all our kids, we can't help it and no matter how grown up they are, this will never change. I worry about my sons just as much. Little kids, little problems; big kids, big problems. Can't remember where I first heard that, but it sure is true.

So, in keeping with our diet promises (But our frugal promises? Not so much.) I decided to surprise Tracy on New Year's Day with her all-time favorite: stone crabs. Delicious and aren't the colors to die for? And best thing yet, no work. They are cooked and cracked and ready to go.

To accompany, we always use a recipe I found years ago in the Miami Herald for Joe's Mustard Sauce. The Joe I speak of is -need I say it- Joe's Stone Crab, the famous Miami restaurant where stone crabs are king. And the rest of their food is pretty regal too. Now I have no idea if this recipe is really Joe's or not. The paper claimed it was and we think it's pretty close to the real thing, so that's what we call it, with mea culpas to Joe's if it's not.

Joe's Mustard Sauce

3 and 1/2 teaspoons dry English mustard (like Coleman's)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon A-1 sauce
1/8 cup light cream
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl beat the dry mustard and mayonnaise until blended. Add remaining ingredients and chill until ready to serve. Makes 1 cup.

We needed a salad as well, so I made some Broccoli Slaw. It's pretty, you can make it ahead, although it is a simple recipe to begin with, tasty and the perfect foil for the stone crabs. My friend Polly originally gave me the recipe so I named it after her. You don't need another thing- perhaps some white wine and for those who wanted dessert I pulled out what was left of my Apricot and Nut Cookies. Yum! What a great start for 2009.

Polly's Broccoli Slaw

1 pound broccoli slaw (you can find it in your market)
1 package cole slaw
6 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 packages ramen chicken soup mix
1 1/2 cups salad oil
2 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Mix the first five ingredients and refrigerate. Make a dressing with oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and 1 1/2 packages of the seasoning mix in the soup packet. Mix well. Just before serving, crunch up the noodles of both packages and add to the slaw. (I put them in a plastic bag and pound them with my rolling pin) Pour dressing over and serve.

Diets Etc.

We're on a diet around here, even before we make healthy eating a New Year's resolution. Enough is enough. The only things I have kept the faith with are my daily workouts and a healthy breakfast. The rest of the day goes downhill food wise. I don't deny I'm having a fine time sampling all the holiday goodies and imbibing in my favorite gin and tonics before dinner; we are eating out more than usual too. Moderation. There is fine word defining exactly what I should be doing regarding meals. It's easy enough when nobody is here and I'm not tempted by a new restaurant with an intriguing menu.

Haven't we all tried diets promising quick results? When I think of all the fad diets I have been on over the years I cringe. Do you remember the 3 day Model Diet? The Chocolate Diet? The Slimfast Jump Start Diet? Well, I must admit the three day diet worked when I wanted an emergency 4-5 pound weight loss to get into a special dress that was ever so slightly snug- but the pounds came right back on after the weekend. The food on that diet was pretty ghastly too. After many years, my nutritionist says the only answer is moderation and a well balanced diet. All the time. B O R I N G. Sorry, I just can't be good all the time! In fact, I can't be good most of the time!

So for a few nights this week in advance of the New Year's bash (one of my aerobics teachers calls this being pro-active- but is actually referring to fact we are working out this time of year when lots of people are ignoring their normal routines and being couch potatoes) we decided to eat healthy dinners when we ate at home and try to eat healthy salads every day for lunch no matter where we were. At least it's a head start on the dire morning of January 5th when I will wake up and stand staring at my scale in anguish.

Last night we had a lovely broiled yellowtail and some roasted brussel sprouts. While shopping at Whole Foods for fresh yellowtail we found some stalks of brussel sprouts in the produce section. It l00ked too good to pass by.
We doused them with olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and stuck them in a 400° oven for 40 minutes, shaking the pan every now and then. They caramelized beautifully and went perfectly with our broiled yellowtail. So far, so good.

Next we started thinking about salads. Unusual salads, not just the lettuce/tomato kind. My friend Nancy came up with a nifty luncheon salad that fits the diet mode perfectly and is delicious to eat. We call it Nancy's Salad of course, and not only is it pretty and good for you, but it tastes marvelous.

Nancy's Salad

1 small head cauliflower, in florets
3 carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 cup pimento stuffed green olives, sliced
1/4 cup salad oil (or olive oil)
1/4 cup vinegar (any kind you like)
1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoning salt

Prepare the vegetables and olives. Make a dressing with the last three ingredients.
Mix and chill.
Serves 2
Another salad we love is one I adapted from Lee Bailey's Country Weekends; I call it Cottage Cheese Salad. Lee Bailey served it with a small piece of broiled chicken and some melba toast. I like it with a hard boiled egg, quartered, and a quartered tomato. Then I sprinkle a little Lawry's seasoning salt on top along with some freshly ground black pepper. It's divine.

Cottage Cheese Salad

1 1/2 cups fat free cottage cheese
1 tablespoon chives, chopped
3 radishes, diced
2 tomatoes, quartered
2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup roasted pecans
Lawry's seasoning salt
freshly ground black pepper

Mix the red pepper, radishes and chives with the cottage cheese. Sprinkle with the roasted pecans, salt and pepper.
Serve with the eggs and tomatoes.
Serves 2

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Announcing Microwave Easy Cooking Event

              Only two days for the New Year to come,and at this point I am very happy to announce you that I am hosting an event for the first time in my blog and the credit goes to Srivalli of Cooking4allseasons!! Yes! For the next fresh month January of the very new year 2009,I am going to host the event of  Microwave Easy cooking, fondly referred as MEC.So far,this event has been very useful and a hit among the bloggers...thanks to Srivalli,for bringing up a nice theme:)Hope you all will send me entries that will overflow my mail box!

And the Theme is MEC: Paneer.....


To participate in this event, please make sure of the below points:
1. Cook any dish in Microwave using Paneer. It can be a starter, Main Course, Side dish or Sweets/Dessert.
2. Link back to this post and  MEC: Announcement.

3.Kindly use the attached Logo.
4.Send in your entries with MEC:Paneer as subject line,to with the below details:
Your Name:
Blog Name:
Dish Name:
Recipe Type:
Post URL:
Last date for sending in your entries is Jan 31st.

Round-up of the event will be posted on February 1st week.

You can send as many entries as you want,and if you already have a dish in your blog which satisfies the needs of the event,you can send that also,but kindly repost it in your blog for the event!

5.Non blogger's entries also are welcome! Send your recipe and picture of the dish to the given mail ID...

     "Now A Recipe from my friend Sangeeta!

Channa and Batura


Channa Masala:


Channa 1/4 kg or less
onions 2 finely chopped
potato 1 big boiled,mashed
Dhania powder 2 tsp
Red chillies powder 1 tsp(accordingly as u are adding green chillies with tomatoes)
Garma masala 1 tsp
turmeric 1/4 tsp
bay leaf 1
Oil 3 tbsp
Salt as per your taste

To Grind:

Tomatoes 2
Green chillies 3
Ginger 1"inch
Coriander Less than quarter bunch


1. Soak Channa overnight.

2. Boil channa in cooker adding Little salt until soft.

3. In a pan add oil,fry bay leaf,add the onions,fry till light brown

4.Now add the mashed potato and mix well.

5. Add the tomato mixture and the masala powders. Mix till it leaves oil.

6. Add the boiled channa. mix well

7. Add water (u can also add the water in which we boiled channa) according to the consistency required

8. Boil the channa for 10 mints in low flame.

9.Serve with batura.

For batura:

Maida - 2 cups

Wheat flour - 1 hand

Curd - 2 tbsp

Salt,water - As needed


  1. Knead the dough
  2. Roll into desired size,bit thicker than our normal pooris and fry the baturas.
  3. Serve with channa masala!


I am not able to post my recipes this month and missed some of your posts also,kindly bear with me for another 2 weeks,I will be back as usual!!!



Easy capsicum Rice       

An easy capsicum rice which my MIL had tried few times after learning it from a TV show. Its easy for me because,there is no grinding part,just make it like the mild pulav we usually make….I made this today as per her instructions and the taste is just awesome!


Basmati rice 1 & 1/2 cups
Capsicum,small 3 nos.
Mixed vegetables,chopped 1 cup
Onion 2 nos.
Tomato 2 nos.
Sambar powder(ref side bar)
(Replace with redchilli powder and coriander powder)
2 tsp
Green chilli 2 nos.
Mint leaves(optional) few
Salt as needed
Water 2 cups

To temper:

Oil + ghee 4 – 5 tblsp
Cinnamon 1 inch stick
Cumin seeds 2 tsp


Updated Picture : With water ratio 1(rice) : 1& 1/2 (water) Also I added 1/4 tsp turmeric this time! So got a nice colour!

Capsicum Rice


  1. Soak basmati rice for 10 mins. Cut the onions lengthwise and capsicum into cubes. Chop the tomatoes.
    Chopped veggies
  2. Heat oil and ghee in the pressure cooker or heavy bottomed pan,temper with cinnamon and jeera.
  3. Add onion and fry till transparent,add tomatoes and fry till soft.
  4. Add the veggies along with green chillies,mint leaves and fry for 2 minutes in medium flame.
  5. Add the chopped capsicum,sambar powder and fry for 2 minutes.
    Add capsicum
  6. Drain the soaked rice and fry in a non stick pan with a tsp of ghee until the moisture evaporates.
    Rice fry
  7. Mix the rice with the capsicum mixture and add water,salt and bring to boil. Pressure cook for three whistles in medium flame.
    Pressure cook
  8. Serve with any kind of raita and chips.

(updated pic):

Capsicum Rice


  • Veggies I used – potato,carrot,babycorn and beans. Its purely optional and of your choice.
  • The water ratio I used was 1 : 2 (First picture), so it was bit on softer side and sticky. (my MIL and FIL wont like the rice to be dry and separate).
  • Other two pictures of the capsicum rice are the click of the same recipe I tried with water ratio 1: 1& 1/2 ..Also I used red chilli powder 1/4 tsp instead of green chillies and hence the colour change…


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