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“To love and to be loved are blessings” -my fortune cookie February 16, 2010

Posted by graciegrapes in Food.

Despite not being in a very Valentine’s day mood, I mustered up the energy/motivation to put together a nice dinner for my boyfriend (this was my year as we alternate who it in charge of dinner and such).

I had been wanting to try this manicotti recipe I found in Kraft’s Food and Family Magazine, and what better night to try it out!  For an appetizer I put together some easy crab cakes with a simple aioli on the side.  Dessert was provided by Frostings – their raspberry cheesecake cupcakes!

We concluded the night by finishing our bottle of White Merlot while watching Time Traveler’s Wife and The Proposal.

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For recipes…

Cheesy Manicotti (original recipes can be found on the Kraft Foods website… here)

8 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp minced onion
3 egg whites
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 package of manicotti shells *I couldn’t find manicotti shells, so I used lasagna noodles, next will probably try large shells instead*
Spaghetti sauce
Alfredo sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large skillet cook mushrooms with garlic and onions for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and combine with spinach, egg whites, ricotta cheese, and half of the mozzarella and parmesan cheese; mix well.  Spoon filling into shells and place into 13×9 dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Cover shells with spaghetti and alfredo sauce.  Top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.  Bake for 40 minutes.

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Crab Cakes (I basically took bits and pieces from several recipes that I found)

Crab cake mix

1lb crabmeat *I used half backfiin and half special mix
1/3 cup bell pepper, chopped fine
2 tbsp onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 cup mayo
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 sleeve of Ritz crackers, finely crumbled up

Fried Crab Cakes

Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl; be sure to fold as to not break up the crabmeat too much.  If you are ready to cook the crab cake immediately proceed to form into patties of your desired size, otherwise mix can be set aside in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. I chose to cook my crab cakes 2 different ways.  First, was simply frying them in a pan with oil over medium high heat for about 2 minutes per side (until golden brown).  My second method was in the oven/toaster oven; broiled each side for about 5 minutes.

Aioli (another combination of recipes)

1/4 cup mayo
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1/4 tsp chipotle pepper sauce

Combine in bowl and set aside until ready to serve.

Crab Cakes 2-Ways with Aioli (fried on the left)



1. Ellen - February 16, 2010

I like the step by step pictures…MMM. any leftovers?
crab cakes look yummy too. I’m sure the cupcakes were amazing (picture?).


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