oh planning, you look so good from a far...

Doesn't it? When I see lists and schedules and best-laid-plans it makes me so happy. I'm a planner by nature, and tend to be quite organized, so this is definitely the best way for me to stay sane. But let's be honest... life happens. And sometimes it makes me wonder why I bother. Take my meal plan that I made Monday afternoon. It only took about 40 minutes and I was set to do my groceries and had dinners decided on (and recipes found!) for every night til Sunday. What a relief! Glorious lists! It felt good. Come dinner time for the last two nights, and that 4pm panic-zone, I was totally cool. In some cases I'd already started prepping dinner, and in others, though I wasn't ahead-of-schedule, I knew what I was cooking and that I had every ingredient. There was a time in my life when something like THAT wouldn't be as epic and peace-bringing as it is, but who am I kidding? I'm a pregnant mom with a husband gone most of the day (like many of you) and this type of thing is awesome. Feel free to feel sorry for me/us. I probably would have 5 years ago too, but now I love it :) So my meal plan, good intentions, well-laid-plans, until life happens.

Tonight we were supposed to have pork tenderloin on the bbq. A bbq I've never used yet and is nothing like ours at home. A bbq I would want/need Brad's help with, if only to turn it on! Brad informed me this morning that he has to stay on campus til 7pm tonight... and I have plans to go shopping with my sister's old and dear friend (and now mine!) at 7:30pm. So guess what's not happening? Anything on the bbq. Pork tenderloin is not happening. But Brad also requested that we not have pasta. I don't blame him, we had it last night (fettuccine carbonnera) and he also takes a pasta salad every day to school (summer veggie mix and macaroni). So fine. No pasta. But what the heck am I going to cook that I can prepare and eat and clean up from in the 30 minutes that we'll have together tonight? Nothing on my meal plan that's for sure. Good intentions, best-laid-plans, until life happens.

So we're having crab cakes with lemon dill sauce and roasted potatoes on the side. It's quick, we have all the ingredients (and I actually do need to use up the imitation crab meat this week anyway), and Brad is a huge fan. Maybe next week, meal plan. Recipe as follows with my alterations*:

Lemon Dill Sauce:

3/4 C mayonnaise with olive oil
1/4 C buttermilk (sub milk with a drop of white wine vinegar or lemon juice, cause who the heck has buttermilk on hand!?)
chopped fresh dill leaves
chopped fresh parsley leaves
lemon zest from 2 lemons (could be the lemon you juice to make your milk... just sayin')
juice from 1 lemon
minced garlic
>> mix all ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate. That was easy.

Crab Cakes:
1 TB butter
1/2 a red onion, finely chopped
1/2 a red bell pepper, finely chopped
minced garlic
3 TB heavy cream
1 TB Dijon mustard
1 egg
minced fresh parsley
1 C bread crumbs
few shakes of grated Parmesan
1 package of imitation crab, chopped into bits
couple glugs of olive oil
>>To prepare the crab cakes, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, bell pepper, and garlic until the pepper is limp, approximately 3 minutes. Add the cream, mustard, 1 egg, parsley, paprika and 1/2 cup bread crumbs, to taste, and mix well. Gently fold in the crab meat.

>>Form the mixture into 8 patties, about 1/2-inch thick. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of bread crumbs with the Parmesan. Pat this topping onto both sides of the patties. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

>>Bake crab cakes at 400 for 7-10 min. You can also fry them, but that requires more butter/oil. Serve with dipping sauce.

*most of my alterations are trying to use a bit less
of the fattier ingredients or methods (i.e. mayo, frying),
and making the amounts to my taste instead of the
foodnetwork's. When they say 2 TB of chopped parsley,
I'm just not the type to bust out my table spoon
 and measure my parsley. I add to taste,
but for more specific ingredients you can
click on the link provided in the post :)


  1. Alison2.6.11

    Mmm..these sound fabulous! Will definitely be making these in the future!

  2. Brad claims this was one of was his favorite meals EVER! talk about a win...

  3. Alison3.6.11

    I'd say! I can see it being a huge hit in our house too. I'll let you know when I get to them!