Excellent Crab Cakes!

August 6, 2017

Last winter I had the pleasure of attending the Culinaria Cooking School for a one-evening team-building event for the Board of Directors of the Special Libraries Association.   I have never been a huge fan of crab meat, but these crab cakes were “to die for.”  And, we actually got to make them ourselves.  Bon appetit!

“Excellent” Crab Cakes

1 pound of fresh jumbo lump crabmeat
1 cup of fresh white bread crumbs
4-5 Tablespoons of mayonnaise
4 Tablespoons of Italian parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoons of black sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
2 Tablespooons of coarse-grained Dijon mustard (rounded Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons of green onion (or shallots), chopped
4-5 Tablespoons of fresh lime juice
2 jalapeño (or scotch bonnet or Serrano pepper), seeded and minced
2 extra large eggs, beaten to blend
2 Tablespoons of oil
2 Tablespoons of butter
Mixed greens, dressed with light vinaigrette (for serving)

1. Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss or mix together (try to not over work the crab so it doesn’t break into tiny pieces). Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Beat the eggs with a fork to blend. Add in the egg and gently blend in with all the ingredients. Form the mixture into equal sized patties.

2. Heat a heavy skillet to medium-high heat. Add 2 TBSP. of oil and then melt 2 TBSP. butter in the center of the oil.   Sauté the crab cakes in batches until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Arrange 2 or 3 crab cakes (depending on the size) on each plate. Add some mixed greens dressed with light vinaigrette and top each crab cake
with avocado “butter,” chipotle crème fraîche or your favorite sauce and serve.

Chipotle Crème Fraîche (makes about ¾ cup): Optional
¼ cup of mayonnaise
¼ cup of crème fraîche
4 chilies (canned chipotle chilies in adobo)
1 medium clove of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons of chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons of capers

1. In a blender (or food processor), combine all the ingredients and puree until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours to chill.


Chihuly “In the Forest!”

August 5, 2017



Ten days ago, I posted my favorite piece from the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.  You still have a little over a week to check out this exhibit “in the gallery.”  But, if you can’t make it over in time for the gallery exhibit, the companion exhibit “In the Forest” continues through November 13th, and is certainly worth a look.  Here was my favorite piece from the forest . . . typcial Chihuly “free-spirited” fashion.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Thirty-Five!

August 4, 2017

Today’s fun fact comes from the category: Sports.

What is the official national sport of Canada?

You are probably thinking that “ice hockey” would be the logical answer.  But alas, you would be wrong.  The actual national game of Canada is lacrosse (by act of Canadian Parliament in 1867).

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

Necktie of the Month – August 2017!

August 3, 2017

IMG_1195This month, yet another one of my more “conservative” neckties. And, while the colors are a bit more muted than I would generally prefer, this versatile necktie will pair nicely with many of my shirts: beige, maroon, orange, yellow, black, gray, purple, violet, and gold.  I ran across this particular tie in a second-hand store in Rogers, Arkansas, a couple of years ago.  It was virtually a steal, and at five dollars, it certainly did not require any form of protracted decision-making process.  A few of my favorite neckties are beginning to wear out (frayed along some edges — whisker stubble, no doubt) slowly but surely . . . I may have to post an official re-tie-rement announcement to document their removal from my collection.  Alas, nothing lasts forever, the cycle of life exists for clothing as well . . . c’est la vie!

Amazing Adjectives, Number Twenty!

August 2, 2017

The grape harvest is still several weeks away, but I ran across this word that certainly helps define “when the time is right,” so to speak.  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate,

“In late August, the field’s purple grapes were suddenly covered with a glaucous powder, signaling to all believers that the field could be harvested in three or four weeks.”


\ glaw-kuh s \, adjective;

1.  light bluish-green or greenish-blue.
2.  Botany. covered with a whitish bloom, as a plum.

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

International Holidays for August!

August 1, 2017

Here is an updated list of some selective holidays for August from around the World.

August 1 – Tisha b’Av Bank Holiday (Israel)
August 1 – National Day (Switzerland)
August 5 – Nuestra Señora de África (Spain)
August 7 – August Bank Holiday (Australia, Ireland)
August 7 – Picnic Day (Australia)
August 7 – Civic Holiday (Canada)
August 9 – National Day (Singapore)
August 9 – Women’s Day (South Africa)
August 11 – Mountain Day (Japan)
August 12 – Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday (Thailand)
August 14 – Holiday for Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday (Thailand)
August 15 – Assumption Day (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland)
August 15 – Independence Day (India)
August 15 – Janmashtami (India)
August 15 Kwang Bok Jul (South Korea)
August 16 – Royal Queensland Show (Australia)
August 21 – San Martín Day (Argentina)
August 21 – Discovery Day (Canada)

Source: http://www.qppstudio.net/publicholidays.htm

Bonus on the Back!

July 31, 2017

Revers of Tumbling TorrentIt’s not everyday that you run across bonus material on the back of a painting.  Imagine my surprise to discover this hidden extra on the back of one of the paintings that I acquired last spring as part of Charles R. Murphy‘s painting potluck. If you look closely, you can see the title of the painting that is on the reverse of this image (Tumbling Torrent).   It would appear that Charles used this side of the painting to practice his technique for painting trees/woodlands.  Very cool indeed!


July 30, 2017

Micromanagement_largeI don’t know of too many people that enjoy being micromanaged.  But as we prepare to start the new work week, here is a wonderful demotivator (courtesy of www-dot-despair-dot-com) to help put a humorous spin (as well as a bit of perspective) on micromanagement.   Have a great week and I hope you do not find yourself in this situation.

Greatest Films of the 21st Century!

July 29, 2017

As the Traverse City Film Festival prepares to wrap up the 2017 season, here is an infographic that details the greatest films of the 21st Century so far through July 2016 (courtesy of the BBC).  This list is based upon the input of 177 critics from 36 countries and does not necessarily represent “my” list of the greatest, but alas!

top films

Fun Fact Friday, Number Thirty-Four!

July 28, 2017

Today’s real facts (courtesy of http://www.snapple.com) are all about porcupines.  Did you know that . . .

  • all porcupines float in water? (Real Fact #15)
  • porcupines each have 30,000 quills? (Real Fact #220)
  • a group of porcupines is called a prickle? (Real Fact #1000)

Source: http://www.snapple.com/real-facts