Crab Puff

TriscuitcrackersHellmansRealMayonnaisePhiladelphiaCreamCheeseBumbleBeeCrabmeatforcrabpuffIt’s really nothing to look at but delicious to eat.  A perfectly easy hot hors d’eouvre to serve with crackers or even Cape Cod Potato Chips.  I found the recipe in my grandmother’s recipe file.  While she wasn’t known for her cooking,  she certainly loved to entertain.  Her old file is filled with no shortage of quick and easy recipes mainly magazine and newspaper clippings affixed to recipe index cards with Scotch tape that is slowly disintegrating.  From recipes with Campbell’s soup as its base to more intricate ones like Swedish Meatballs and even one made with green jello, canned pineapple and cottage cheese, there is something for everyone…that is if you having a “Mad Men” themed party.

My grandmother often had mishaps in the kitchen. Most likely from not paying close attention or because a cocktail or two may have been involved. She once made Au Gratin Potatoes for Easter dinner that were black before they made it into the oven and the hot dogs she cooked in her fancy new microwave, always exploded. She served them anyway, even though they no longer fit in any standard sized hot dog bun. Although I have been known to have mishaps on occasion, too, I am usually one to stick close to a recipe on the first go, mostly because of my love for being in the kitchen over any amazing innate skill or culinary education.  Thus eliminating most crazy things from happening and yielding edible, and I may say, tasty morsels. But, as simple as this recipe is, I still managed somehow to channel my grandmother when I whipped it up for a New Year’s Eve gathering last week.

The plan was to have snacks and a Scrabble game.  A relaxing evening, although the Scrabble games can get quite competitive.  I wanted to add a hot appetizer and try something from “Grammy’s” file.  As mentioned previously, many in her collection featured some sort of Campbell’s condensed soup, so I was glad to find this one for “Crab Puff”, that did not.  All was well as it bubbled and baked in the oven.  My guests arrived, we poured cocktails and set up the game.  I served the “Crab Puff” with Triscuits as my grandmother often featured these crackers on her table.  (However, I opened a new package of crackers instead of recycling stale ones from a previous occasion.  Grammy didn’t waste anything.)  As we enjoyed our appetizers and everyone commented on the deliciousness of the crap dip, my mother, Val seemed to be struggling to spread crab dip on her cracker.  It was soon discovered that I had neglected to remove one of the papers the canned crab was wrapped in and baked it right into the casserole! Something like this would have typically happened at my grandmother’s house and we all had a good laugh over it, especially since while mixing up recipe, I hadn’t even had a cocktail, yet.

  Crab Puff

 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened

1 (7 oz) can crab meat, drained (both papers removed!)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste


Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Cape Cod Potato Chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a small casserole dish.  Place cream cheese in a stand mixer and beat on medium high until smooth.  Add crab, Worcestershire, garlic powder, mayonnaise and lemon juice.  Blend together.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Place mixture in prepared dish.  Sprinkle top with paprika.  Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling and slightly browned on edges.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Serve warm with crackers and/or kettle chips.


My New Book: Notes From Val’s Kitchen: Stories, Food and Life on Cape Cod

photo of Notes from Val's Kitchen Stories, Food and Life on Cape Cod
Notes from Val’s Kitchen: Stories, Food and Life on Cape Cod by Andrea Norris

  So, I wrote a book. Well, actually, I put together a collection of my favorite blog posts from 2008-2016.  Can you believe I have been writing this blog for that long?  I definitely cannot.  The posts are organized by subject instead of dates which makes for an interesting analysis of my thoughts on my childhood, motherhood, my family and, of course, my friends.  It’s all wrapped up in a paperback that you can snuggle up with in bed or throw in your beach bag.  The reading is light enough that you don’t need to think much about it and most of my musings include recipes, too.  So you can make a snack or a cocktail or both if you want something to go with the entertainment. Continue reading “My New Book: Notes From Val’s Kitchen: Stories, Food and Life on Cape Cod”

Everything Bagel, Cheddar and Chive Swirl Buns

Everything Bagel, Cheddar and Chive Swirl Buns in a cast iron pan  I love everything bagel flavored anything.  I love soft bread and savory versions of my favorite sweet treats.  I love toasted bagels with scallion and chive cream cheese smeared all over them.  And I absolutely love sharp cheddar cheese.

So, it should come as no surprise that I re-purposed this super easy cinnamon bun dough to make some savory delights.  Of course, I made sure to make some of the original recipe*, as well.  Because they so delightful slathered with cream cheese frosting.  And maybe, just maybe I can keep the kids away from the savory ones that I like to enjoy with a glass of red wine. Continue reading “Everything Bagel, Cheddar and Chive Swirl Buns”

Sprinkle Cake

Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream covered in rainbow sprinkles on a pedestal plate

Is it a special occasion? Or just an occasion that would be made that much better with cake? Does it matter? I think not! Especially when this cake is so easy to make and requires little more than some basic pantry supplies and a large container of rainbow sprinkles. And, it definitely brings out the joy in everyone. People get really excited when they see that I’ve used a ton of sprinkles. It’s like I’m throwing around dollar bills when I walk into the room with this cake. Money is great but, a slice of cake tastes way better.

Continue reading “Sprinkle Cake”

Fast and Easy Cheese Tortellini Soup

cup of soup with colored cheese tortellini and chicken broth

I thought weeknights were exhausting when my kids were little and barely doing any extra curricular activities aside from one dance class or soccer practice between Monday and Friday.  Well, that has certainly changed to being home just long enough to devour a meal that didn’t come out of a box or the pizza place down the street.  (I employ both of these dinner strategies, by the way, I just try not to make it a daily occurrence.) During these hectic fall days filled with Friday night football games, Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving preparations, it’s nice to know that there is a super simple and fast recipe to pull out for dinner that will please just about everyone at the table.  Who doesn’t like soft pasta filled with cheese, some bright vegetables warmed in flavorful chicken broth?  If you are at my house, I’m not asking, I’m just putting it on the table and serving it with crusty bread.  Yes, you can have seconds.  No, you may not watch T.V. before you do your homework. Continue reading “Fast and Easy Cheese Tortellini Soup”

Fruity Cereal Cookies


Whenever I go to Starbucks for my grande latte, which isn’t very often but as often as I can, I like to check out the case of sweet stuff just to the right of the cash register.  I love the lemon cake with the layer of sweet frosting that you can peel off in one piece, the mini vanilla scones and the thick slices of marble cake, bitter chocolate and warm vanilla, the best of both worlds in one dessert.  But recently, I spied a large, round cookie, half frosted and decorated with rainbow colored sugar.  Not the usual type of choice for me but something made me ask for it.  Continue reading “Fruity Cereal Cookies”