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Weeknight Crab Alfredo

I’m changing the focus of Valentines day.

Forcing someone to say "I Love You" is about as meaningful as buying your own Grammy on eBay and pretending you actually won. The entitlement and expectation take all of the romance out of it. In just the same way that the show The Biggest Loser has had more successful marriages than The Bachelor series has, some things just cant be forced.

My husband and I did away with giving into the societal expectation years ago, much preferring to go out to dinner on nights that don’t include 2 hour waits and $65 pre fixe menus. He’s romantic in the little ways, negating my need for Valentines day pageantry. He will "borrow"my car in order to take it to get washed and the oil changed. He’ll get up with Tater on a Saturday and let me sleep in. When I’ve had a hard day he’ll do the dishes, giving me time to play blocks with Tater instead of spend what little time I have after work in the kitchen.

Now that I have a daughter, the focus of Valentines day is more fun and childish, more of the cartoon that it has become, and I like it that way. I buy Tater a bag of Valentines Day toys, and write her a card about how much I love her. I look forward to helping with her elementary school Valentines Days, the decorated shoe box receptacles, the paper cards, the drama of who wrote "XOXO" and who just signed their names.  The sorting out of conversation hearts according to what is ok to give the boys and what is not. Because, everyone who has been a 3rd grader knows that slipping candy with messages on them into paper envelops is a big deal.  And when you are required to give one to everyone in the class, even the boys you can’t stand and the boys you just pretend like you can’t stand, everyone know that you NEVER give a "Kiss Me" heart to a boy! Seriously, tragedy would in sue. Because you will also be reading every single heart that is the envelopes you got from the boys with the secret hopes that the boy who sits behind you didn’t just give you the "Nice Day" heart but intentionally slipped the "Be Mine" candy into the envelope with your name on it. In 3rd grade, risking possible social, school yard torture via teasing to let the little girl who sits in front of you know you like her is so romantic. 

When you grow up, and have kids and a house and a job, romance is different. It’s the consideration that tends to wain as we grow comfortable with each other. Romance is that person who has woken up next to you for years actually seeing you. As special and important and desireable. It’s someone feeling lucky to be the one who wakes up in your bed, and eat the food you make and parent along side you.

Romance isn’t feeling required to bring home red flowers on the second week February, it’s running to the store late at night for flour because we’re out your wife is behind on blog posts.

Even though Valentines day is in the middle of the week this year, and like me, you may have about 20 minutes between the time you get home from work and the time your family is expecting to be fed, this dish takes about that much time. But it feels special. Crab Alfredo in 15 minutes.

Crab Alfredo

3 tbs butter

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbs, plus 2 tsp  flour

1/2 cup whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp lemon juice

Pinch Cayenne pepper

6 oz crab meat, drained well

salt and pepper to taste

Pasta for serving

(makes two large or four small servings)

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a skillet over medium/high heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic and stir, allowing to cook for about 30 seconds. Add the flour and whisk until well combined with the butter, don’t allow to brown. Add the milk and cream and stir to combine.  Add the lemon juice, cayenne and cheese, cooking until the cheese has melted. Add the crab meat, stir until the crab is warmed up and remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste. If sauce is too thick, add milk about 1 tbs at a time to thin.

Serve over pasta.

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Cassie February 13, 2012 um 7:09 pm

I’m all over this. Sounds like a perfect valentine’s dinner to me…I’m with you all the way – we don’t do the fancy dinners out, it does feel so forced and it’s become so commercial. We will enjoy a nice dinner at home!


Layla February 13, 2012 um 7:55 pm

I love this! Exactly what I want for dinner tonight.


Deanna February 13, 2012 um 10:55 pm

Holy Worth-Every-Single-Calorie Batman! That has my mouth watering.


Julia February 14, 2012 um 12:25 pm

I love your thoughts about Valentine’s day and love that you’re anticipating making cards with your daughter. So Cute! I don’t have kids yet but I remember clearly bringing in my cards to school as a child and being very nervous to give cards to my crushes even though they were exactly the same as the cards I gave everyone else! Then of course I would show all the cards I received to my parents and try to eat all the candy before I had to share with my sister 🙂

Also the crab alfredo looks great and very easy! Thanks for the idea and the trip down memory lane.


Jackie February 14, 2012 um 12:29 pm

I still remember all the "drama" of who got a card from who, and what they all said! It was so fun and innocent, I just wish that childhood fun lasted longer.


Bristol February 14, 2012 um 11:02 pm

Lucky me I found your website unintentionally, and I am stunned at how easy this looks to make. Crab is good.


Asmita February 15, 2012 um 7:11 am

Love this post, it is so well written and true. The crab alfredo looks yummy! Quick and easy and the whole family is happy.


Maggie February 15, 2012 um 9:56 am

Love you…I also enjoy V-day a lot more with kids!


Jackie February 16, 2012 um 3:53 pm

Love you too Maggs! Every holiday is so much more fun when you get to experience it through your kids 🙂


Liz February 20, 2012 um 6:03 pm

Oh, boy, what a speedy delicious entree! I’ve never thought of adding crab to Alfredo, but I love the idea!!! YUM~


claudia @whats cookin italian cuisine February 21, 2012 um 2:09 pm

drool worthy!


Claudia February 21, 2012 um 4:32 pm

Love crab. Love Alfredo. It’s that pinch of cayenne that did me in – just the perfect foil for the sweetness/creaminess of the dish. Love a homemade Valentine’s Day.


Pengar jon February 22, 2012 um 12:11 pm

Thanks for your recipe. looks fab.


Soni February 24, 2012 um 7:25 am

You cracked me up with your story!So true!Love the crab alfredo, never thought of using crab!Genius idea 🙂


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