Friday, April 01, 2011

Stone Crabs? Yes, Please!

Wednesday evening I had my first stone crab experience.  While I've always heard how amazing stone crabs are, I'm not a huge seafood eater and never wanted to try them previously.  Wow, was I stupid. 

Cooked & ready to be cracked.

Stone crabs are out of this world delicious!  I pretty much only eat two types of seafood...shrimp (I love shrimp but only if it's cooked...shrimp cocktail does nothing for me) and grilled ahi tuna.  I'm always trying my Dad and Mr. D's seafood at home and in restaurants, but I just can't get into it.  It's always yuck to me - unless it's a grilled ahi tuna steak or shrimp.  Well, I found out I like stone crabs on Wednesday night and if I had to guess I probably like all types of shell fish.  (I once had a crab leg and thought it was good too.)  I've definitely been more adventurous lately when it comes to my taste buds.  I used to be the worlds pickiest eater (hence my nickname "Picky Foody" on T's foodie blog) but I'm much better at trying new items now.  :) 

We acquired our stone crabs through a friend of my Dad's.  He drove the lil buggers up from Florida on Wednesday and brought them to Lexington.  Dad must have had a hunch I would like them because he wanted us to stop over at a family friends house (they are the best cooks!) for dinner that night and give them a try.  Well, thanks Dad!  You were right!  On the same night I also discovered I actually like orange peppers.  It's true.  They were in the salad so I gave them a try too.  I need to slow down...two new foods in one night!  Haha. 

Mr. D was in charge of cracking the lil guys open.

Tough work, but he did an excellent job!

Our complete surf & turf dinner.  SO DELISH!

Stone crabs are currently in season, so if you get the chance definitely show them some love at dinner.  You will be glad you did.  Are y'all picky eaters?  If so you should make it your goal to try new things.  It's worked pretty well for me so far. 

Do you have any big plans this weekend?  I have a weekend packed full of fun with my girlfriends and I'm co-hosting a Bridal Shower for Kim tomorrow.  Here's hoping it all goes well and I will have a full recap for y'all next week!  Cheers to a great weekend, y'all!

Mrs. D

PS - I have a post ready for next week with a review of our March Book Club book, Water For Elephants, and I will also announce our April book! 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Heart & Stroke Ball

Last Saturday Mr. D and I attended the 23rd Annual Heart & Stroke Ball in Lexington.  They American Heart Association was honoring our family friend, Ralph Hacker "radio voice of the Kentucky Wildcats", and a few of us went along to support him.  Ralph is a Heart Disease survivor and the AHA honored him with a great video chronicling some of his accomplishments and his battle with Heart Disease. 

Hearing the testimonies of Ralph (and unfortunately another local man who recently lost his battle with Heart Disease) really made me aware of how serious this disease is.  Did you know Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States?  Please, please, please do not take this issue lightly.  If your friends or family ever feel pressure or unlike themselves always make them go see a Doctor.  Life is too precious to take chances with your health.  The only reason Ralph knew he wasn't feeling right was because his hand suddenly started tingling every time he would play golf.  I went to the event because I thought it would be a fun party...but I'm grateful it also made me realize how important it is to take care of my health and encourage my family and friends to do the same.

Overall we had a great time (even if our Florida Gators lost our big Elite 8 game just minutes before) and here are a few pictures from the evening.

Arriving at the ball.
Overview. Wish I had a better pic of the multiple centerpieces. I loved them.

With my handsome date, Mr. D.

Ralph accepting his award.

Wishing you and yours a happy & healthy life - always!

Mrs. D

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Congrats Dana & Danny!

In November of 2010 two of my closest friends got married and today their wedding is being featured on the Southern Weddings blog.  I have wanted to share my photos from their wedding with y'all (as it was ahhh-mazingly gorgeous!) for quite some time but hadn't had the right opportunity.  Today seems like the perfect day to highlight their beautiful wedding day in Amelia Island, Florida.  Stop by the Southern Weddings blog and check out the gorgeous photos of Dana & Danny's wedding shot by the incredibly talented Melissa Schollaert.
Dana & Danny - Southern Weddings, part I.
Dana & Danny - Southern Weddings, part II.

Dana and Danny were together for ten years before they got married; and we were so happy, honored and blessed to share their wedding day with them.  These two are perfect for one another and their love is contagious. 

Here are a few of my photos from the big day:

The dress.

Our shoes.

FOB seeing his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time.

Dana was such a gorgeous Bride!

The Fab Five

Goin' to Chapel

Such a sweet photo during the Father/Daughter dance.

Kim & Mr. D - looking fab!

The last dance.  So sweet!

I'm not exactly the best photographer, so if you would like to see some real photos from the wedding please check the Southern Weddings links posted above with images from Melissa.   
Happy Tuesday, y'all and Congrats (again) to my wonderful friends, Dana & Danny

Mrs. D

Monday, March 28, 2011


For over a year I have been dying to attempt the 'ole southern favorite...a Twelve Layer Cake.  As a cake addict, what could be better than twelve layers of sugary goodness, sandwiched between chocolate frosting.  The Twelve Layer Cake is an old southern recipe and seems to have disappeared a little over the years.  Perhaps it's due to the labor associated with making such a cake?  I don't know the reason; however, I do know I plan to bring this cake back into circulation...IT.IS.AMAZING

I don't know why I've waited so long to attempt this recipe.  Maybe I was intimidated by the numerous layers?  Or because the cake required so much time and work?  What ever the reason, I decided this weekend would be my first attempt and my sister, Tara, was here to help.  Definitely an added bonus to have Tara in the kitchen because she inherited all of Mom's culinary skills and can pretty much do it all.  I certainly owe her a lot of credit for this cake and keeping me sane in the kitchen on Saturday as we whipped up the batter, baked the cakes and made two different kinds of frosting - all from scratch. 

We started with a few of these...(definitely easier than trying to wash cake pans several times)
 Working on the cake batter...
 The cake batter in progress...
 This was the silkiest, most wonderful cake batter I've ever tasted (& yes, I did taste it)!
 Icing #1 in progress, this is the icing used between the layers & also goes around the entire cake.
 Starting the layering process...
 Two layers thick...
12 layers thick & after icing #1 has been spread between each layer & all over & around the cake...
The finished product, after icing #2 has been applied...
Looks delicious doesn't it?  You should smell it! 
I was pretty proud of my cake & channeling my inner Betty Draper, a la Mad Men...
(okay, okay...we were going to a black tie event and I threw my apron on for a pic before we went out the door.  Yes, I'm a huge nerd like this.  What did you really expect?)
Mr. D & I couldn't wait to cut into the cake...
All 12 layers were there & lookin' good...
And this is what we have left at our house...c'mon over & have a piece (or I'll be forced to have another!).

I read a great article about the Twelve Layer Cake and a sweet little old lady in the New York TimesCheck it out and read for yourself

I highly encourage y'all to try making this one yourself.  All your guests will be so surprised when you cut into the cake and SURPRISE! there are twelve layers instead of two or three like they expect.  Just keep in mind, this recipe is a labor of love but OH SO WORTH IT!  You can find a recipe for the Twelve Layer Cake in any old southern cookbook or online by googling the title.  I used the recipe Bakerella suggested and adapted it a little to fit my own needs. 

If you decide to attempt this recipe and have any questions definitely let me know.  One thing I will do differently next time is 1) use a cake board to support the height and weight of all the layers and 2) let the layers cool longer after removing them from the oven.  If the layers aren't cool enough your cake will be wobbly and lumpy looking like mine was.  This was just a learning process and now I know for next time.  :)  The cake may not look as pretty as I wanted...but it tasted absolutely incredible.  I couldn't stay away from it all weekend.  Even Mr. D had rave reviews.  This meant a lot because he doesn't quite share or understand my obsession love for cake and he proclaimed it to be the "best cake he's ever had." 

My name is Mrs. D and I am a cake lover.  I hope you are too!

Mrs. D