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Blog — "recipe"

Maryland Blue Crab Tacos with Fresh Salsa

Heidi Shenk "recipe"

I may not have been born and raised in Baltimore, but there is one thing that I have definitely embraced wholeheartedly in the six years I've lived here-- Maryland blue crabs. Steamed crabs, crab pretzels, crab cakes, crab dip, and even crab sushi are just a few things that I've been able to enjoy. There was even one week when I had crab four days in a row. It's just delicious! I might even venture to say that during the summer months, the only thing that might come to a close second to my beloved tacos would be crab. So when Paige suggested a taco party, my recipe of choice was obvious-- crabs plus tacos equals crab tacos. The end.

Maryland Blue Crab Tacos with Fresh Salsa

What you'll need

  • 3 vine ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
  • the juice of one lime
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt
  • 1/2 sliced green onions
  • 1 glove garlic
  • 1 large jalepeno, seeded and diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • half a pound of jumbo lump crab meat
  • 1 avocado
  • romaine lettuce
  • shredded colby jack cheese


Combine tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, green onions, 3/4 of the jalepeno, and salt and pepper to taste. This is your fresh salsa. I like to prepare this ahead of time so that flavors can soak in while I prepare the rest of my meal.

Saute the remainder of the jalepeno with the diced onion with a small drizzle of olive oil for about 4-5 minutes. Add the crab meat to the saute pan and continue to cook over low heat for a few minutes until the crab is warmed through. Be sure to be gentle when stirring the crab so that you don't break the lump crab up too much. We want nice juicy pieces!

Serve the crab on warmed flour or corn tortillas. Top each taco with the shredded cheese, fresh salsa, some chopped romaine lettuce and a couple slices of avocado. Enjoy!

Want some more taco recipes? Be sure to check out the other recipes from Paige's taco party!

Paige's Quick and Easy Veggie Tacos
Kristen's Marinated Grilled Steak Tacos
Meg's Shrimp Tacos with Red Cabbage Cilantro Slaw
Melissa's Barbequed Salmon with Blueberry Freca and Chipotle Crema Taco Taster
Marieken's Ricotta, Cheese, and Arugula Tacos

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Sonoma Chicken Salad Recipe

Heidi Shenk "recipe"

Several summers ago, before I moved to Baltimore, I worked for a friend who owned a bagel shop. At lunch he would serve not just bagels, but sandwiches as well. One of the menu items was a Sonoma Chicken Salad Sandwich. I have never been a huge fan of chicken salad, but this salad has become one that I truly love. It is fresh tasting, flavorful, and perfect to make in a large batch to have for lunches throughout the week. I opt to serve the chicken salad in pitas rather than bread which makes it more manageable to eat as chicken salad can sometimes get messy. We even took Sonoma Chicken Salad pitas to the Orioles game on Tuesday night for dinner!

Sonoma Chicken Salad (adapted from here)

What you'll need
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 5 tsp honey
  • 4 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 3 poached chicken breasts, shredded
  • 2 cups of red seedless grapes
  • 3 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped pecans


Poach chicken breasts and then shred into small pieces using your fingers or a fork. Let chicken cool and refrigerate while making the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, mustard, and poppy seeds. Refrigerate the dressing while chopping the celery and pecans. Using a small knife, slice the grapes in half. Add the grapes, celery, pecans, and chicken to the large bowl with the dressing and thoroughly incorporate all ingredients. Serve in pitas. If I have some on hand, I often serve with a few pieces of lettuce to line the pita.

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Iced Vodka with Cucumber, Lemon, and Mint Recipe

Heidi Shenk "recipe"

We love fresh herbs in the summer, so we have planters full of them on our back patio. Our mint plant, a hearty specimen that has lived through several winters, is growing wildly. We use the fresh mint for salads, mint tea, and of course mojitos. I'm not always one to stick to the same thing and enjoy other options when it comes to summer refreshments, so I set out to create a new and tasty concoction. With an abundance of mint, a bowl full of organic lemons on our kitchen counter, and several cucumbers in the fridge, I put together this refreshing iced vodka that just might be my new favorite summer cocktail.

Iced Vodka with Cucumber, Lemon, and Mint

What you'll need
  • 2 sprigs of mint, one for muddling and one for garnish
  • 1 lemon
  • 5 slices of cucumber
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 oz vodka
  • club soda
  • ice


Pick the leaves off of one sprig of mint, squeeze the juice of half of a lemon, and add sugar to an 8 oz glass. Muddle the mint, lemon juice, and sugar until the mint is well bruised. Fill the glass with 4-5 ice cubes. Pour 2 oz of vodka over the mint and ice. Top with club soda and add cucumber slices and lemon slices from the leftover half of lemon. Stir with a swizzle stick until the glass is frosty. Garnish with the remaining sprig of mint.

Enjoy! What are your favorite summer cocktails?

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Easy Blueberry Muffins

Heidi Shenk "recipe"

I miss you guys. Seriously, I do. I honestly wish I had enough time in the day to put together an awesome blog post or two for you to read, but it just hasn't been possible. In case you thought Valentine's season couldn't get busier than it already was, think again. My friend Kristen came to the rescue this morning for you all with this wonderful recipe to share. So without further ado, Kristen, take it away! (P.S. I might owe Kristen my life or something after this one! Ok, maybe not quite thaaaat drastic, but you get what I mean! She's at least my personal hero for today! Oh, and snarkity snark, snark. Some of you may have mentioned that you miss my snarky blog posts so I needed to throw that in there. Ok, I'm done now. Really. I am.) Take it away, Kristen!

Hello, Row House readers! I'm so happy to be here today!  Heidi is currently running herself into the ground printing, folding, and sending out hundreds of cute butt cards, so I offered to pop by and do a post for you all so she can continue to make everyone's Valentine's day a little bit happier.

I'm here to give you a quick and simple recipe for the best blueberry muffins ever.  Yes, ever.  They're super quick and require few ingredients and we're on our second batch in just a few days' time.


1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries


Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix well for even distribution.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients (aka make a bowl-shaped pit in the flour but don't get all the way down to the bottom of the bowl).  In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients into the flour well and mix until just combined.  Add the blueberries to the batter and fold in carefully as to not break the berries.

In a standard sized 12-muffin tin, fill each well 2/3 of the way with batter.  Bake for 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees until the edges start to brown lightly.  Cool for a few minutes and then move the muffins to a wire cooking rack.

Or, do what we do and take them out of the pan piping hot and eat them.  Either way.  Just don't get burned.

I mean, just look at the results:

I can honestly mix these up with my three-year-old helping me and it takes about five minutes (with him pouring and stirring).  Give them a try!

I'd love for you to stop by and say hi (though you may see this post again....soon).
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White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Heidi Shenk "cookies" "recipe"

I am the cookie maker in my family. Well, I guess that's sort of a lie because my mom and sister both make cookies too, but recently it seems that when my family has gotten together around the holidays they look forward to my cookies-- especially the ginger molasses and white chocolate chip cookies. This past holiday season was no exception. I made both recipes, wrapped them in cookie tins, and packed the tins up in our luggage we took with us on our way to Colorado.

I would be lying if I weren't to say that the white chocolate chip cookies are my favorite. When baked just perfectly, they have almost a brownie-like texture. And I always choose to use really good white chocolate (none of that Nestle white chocolate chip crap!) which I'm almost certain makes this cookie just that good. During our stay in Colorado, one bite into a chocolate cookie, my sister asked me if she could have my recipe and I promised her that I would write a blog post about them. A month passed and I still hadn't written the blog post, so finally, today, I am sharing it with you all. However, this one especially goes out to my sister!

  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa (I use Hershey's)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of soft butter (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound (16oz) white chocolate (I used Lindt white chocolate bars chopped into smaller pieces or Ghirardelli white chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in baking cocoa. While continuing to mix, slowly add in flour, salt, and soda until you have a smooth consistency and the flour is fully incorporated. Finally, slowly stir in white chocolate by the handful, until it has been evenly distributed within the dough.

Once the cookie dough is ready, scoop tablespoon sized amounts of dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. If you want the cookies to turn out perfectly round, I use my palms to make the dough into a sphere. Once the cookie sheet if filled, bake cookies for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, rotate the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 4 more minutes. After the 4 minutes is up, take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for two minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. I have found these times to be perfect for a moist and delicious cookie. Letting the cookies cool on the baking sheet for those two extra minutes is huge as well!

I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do! Let it be known that I ate the last two while I wrote this blog post! ;)

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