Friday, December 28, 2012

Super Simple Pot Roast



Don't have a lot of time to make a healthy dinner? Want dinner ready for you when you come home? Well this is a great option, its fast, simple, healthy and hearty.

For my family of 5 we used: a 4lb roast, 5 Yukon Gold potatoes cut roughly 1/4 inch thick, 1 medium sweet onion, 1 lb baby carrots, 2 cups beef stock and some herbs and spices. Yep, that's it.

After chopping up my vegetables, I heated up my cast iron skillet on high with a little bit of olive oil (any olive oil will work), lightly salted the roast and seared the edges.
With the burner off, I tossed the onions and carrots into the still hot skillet to quickly soak up the drippings from the meat and lightly brown a few of them, mixed with the potatoes and then put them with the roast in the crock-pot.
After mixing my beef stock with my herbs and spices I poured them over the roast and let them cook until tender. I got a late start at making dinner and put it on high for 3 hours, but this could be left on low for 6-8 hours quite easily.

We had a lot of "juices" left over, so I've halved the amount of beef stock in the ingredient list.

Super Simple Pot Roast

Ingredients
1 Beef Roast, trimmed of excess fat
1 Medium Sweet Onion, sliced
4-5 small-med Yukon Gold Potatoes, quartered lengthwise
1 lb baby carrots
1 cup  beef stock (or 1 tsp better than bullion reconstituted with 1c boiling water)
sea salt
ground pepper
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
1 bay leaf, whole, removed before serving
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp olive oil

Directions

Prepare all vegetables. Heat a skillet on high, add 1 tsp olive oil. Lightly salt roast. Once oil is shimmering hot sear all sides of the roast in the pan and remove from heat.  The idea is not to cook the roast in the pan but to brown all edges. Place roast in crock-pot.
While skillet is still hot toss in the garlic, onions and carrots to absorb the drippings and remaining oil from the skillet, mix with potatoes, pour mixture around roast.
Mix herbs and spices, except for bay leaf, with beef stock or reconstituted better than bullion and pour over roast. Insert bay leaf into mixture juices, but where you can easily remove before serving. Cover and cook until tender (2-3 hours on high or 6-8 on low)

Apple - Butternut Squash dessert

Every year I buy a butternut squash for my fall center piece, and each year I try to do something different with it.  This year I decided to try and make a nice dessert out of the squash and forgetting about it in my crock pot. Simple enough, I thought.  I had forgotten that it is hard to peel those things!

Once I was able to get through the peeling and dicing my prep-time was next to nothing, exactly what I wanted for our post-holiday clean-up day.  My poor house is slowly coming back from the disaster area that took over it following my daughter's 6th birthday party which entailed not only the kids building their own pizzas but cookie decorating with all all of my decorating tools available.
 Calling it a mess would have been underwhelming to say the least...

We giggled with the kids and their "goofy" house decorating antics.
Days later we celebrated Christmas in an unusual fashion for our family, usually our main time to open presents is on Christmas Eve with only a few presents opened on Christmas Day with the kids. However, this year my mom decided that she was "The Grinch" and the only things available at her house on Christmas Eve was dinner and talking with the family, no presents were to be exchanged, period.

So we instead woke up really early on Christmas morning and opened them all at once! We were barely finished opening them in time before my kids had to leave for their Christmas with my ex-husband, the last present was opened with barely minutes to spare.
 
Our family has been truly blessed this year, not only have we been able to maintain our lifestyle with me being out of work for so long due to medical issues, but we were also able to give our children the Birthday parties and Christmas' that they desired.  I can only hope to do so well next year.

Apple - Butternut Squash Dessert

Ingredients

1 Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed
1 cup Spiced Apple Cider (if you use regular Apple Cider, add 1/2 tsp cinnamon)
4 Tbsp Butter, melted
1/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed

Directions

Peel and cube butternut squash, add to crock pot.
Mix the melted butter and brown sugar, pour over squash. Add in apple cider, stir well to evenly coat.
Cover, cook on low for 4-8 hours or until squash is tender, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Crustless Sausage Quiche


Okay, so the last thing that I probably need post-gall bladder removal is sausage, but in my opinion it makes some of the best tasting quiche out there. The fact that a quiche is pretty quick to put together makes it great for days when we're bogged down and don't get to dinner until late.

This is a very tasty quiche that my husband and son seconds, my girls wolfed down theirs before I had even finished half of mine.

Crustless Sausage Quiche

1 lb. Ground Sausage
1/2 c. Onion, chopped (1/2 med onion)
1/3 - 1/2 c. Green Bell Pepper (1/4 - 1/2 large bell pepper)
1 1/2 c. Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 Tbsp. Flour
2 large Eggs, beaten
1 c. Whole Milk
1 Tbsp. Parsley flakes (fresh can be used, double amount)
3/4 tsp. Johnny's Season Salt
1/4 tsp. Garlic Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375*F.
In a skillet over medium heat cook sausage, just before browned add in onion and bell pepper.  When fully browned, drain well.
In a medium bowl mix the flour and grated cheese together, pour sausage mixture over the cheese and mix well.
Mix together the remaining ingredients and pour into a well greased deep dish pan.
Bake on cookie sheet 35-40 minutes until browned and center is set.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kombucha Tea

Kombucha is a wonderfully tasty fermented drink that supposedly has pro-biotic properties. This tangy sweet concoction is fizzy on the tongue without any added carbonation, the thing is, it smells funny.  Because of Kombucha's fermented past it has a light vinegary/beer-esk smell.  I prefer it after what is called a "second fermentation" where the person brewing said tea has added fruit or juice and allowed that to ferment, though I think the best I have had came from my friend Matt, who gave me this beautiful SCOBY Mother pictured above. What Matt did to his Kombucha was he had bottled it and allowed it to set an extra few days or so without any other additives and then that day was he had added fresh crushed blueberries to his "pop top" drink that somehow made it even fizzier. In the few days it had formed a little baby scoby that bounced up and down in the bottle fizzing away. Not sure if that was too healthy or not leaving the scoby in there, but it was however the best I have tasted and no one got sick.

So here is the ingredient list that my friend Matt handed down to me for making Kombucha

1 SCOBY
1 gallon water
1 gallon water (for tea)
2 green tea bags
5 black tea bags
2 cups of sugar
2 - 2.5 gallon glass container
cloth cover

Here's what I've found for "brewing directions":
First and foremost don't use metal on your SCOBY and avoid fermenting in plastic as it can breed bacteria.

1. Procure a SCOBY and its starter liquid, their site Food Renegade's "How to" has many options for procuring one.
2. Make your sweet tea.
    a. Boil half of your water and seep tea bags, remove tea bags and add sugar. Cool to room temp, about two hours
    b. Pour into your brewing container and add second half of water.
3. Add the liquid starter into your tea and carefully float your scoby on top of the tea
4. Cover and place away from direct sunlight in a warm area (74-86*F). Brew for 5-7 days, test its "tartness" by putting a straw under the scoby and taking a sample.
5. When its fermented to your liking remove scoby and 1 to 1-1/2 cups of the kombucha as a starter for the next batch. This starter should be kept in glass, away from direct sunlight.
6. Bottle or begin the second brewing stage.

Second Stage Brewing:
1. Pour clear fruit juice (with no pulp) in the bottom of your bottles, add the kombucha and ferment for two days.

Storing your SCOBY between batches:
Some recommend to put it in the refrigerator, where it should "keep" for up to 10 days before going dormant. Dormant scoby's need longer to "refresh," feed them a nice diet of refined white sugar until they're healthy again, or just be willing to wait a few extra days until your next batch is ready.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Beef Stew


Here is a Beef Stew my husband and I kind of came up with after altering recipes we had grown up with to fit into our current lifestyle, I cannot eat potatoes and we've been busy with doctors and parent-teacher conferences.  It turned out pretty good, my son had thirds and my husband and I had seconds.

Beef Stew

Ingredients:
2 lbs beef stew meat, cubed
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 cubes beef bullion, or one quart beef stock
4 cups water (omit if using stock)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground sea salt
2 zucchini, cubed
4 carrots, peeled cut into 1/4 in rounds or 1/2lb baby carrots
1 large onion, cut into small wedges (1/8-1/16's)
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp cold water

Directions:
1. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat, add oil.  Once oil is hot brown the stew meat, the canalization of the beef juices helps add depth to the stew.
2.  Add beef stock, or dissolve the bullion cubes in the 4 cups (1 quart) of water and add to pot.
3. Place Rosemary, Parsley, salt and pepper into the mixture. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer fir one hour.
4. Stir in carrots and onion. Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water and add to pot. Cover and Simmer 30 minutes.
5. Add in the zucchini, cover and simmer an additional 30 minutes. Enjoy.

Note: If you use potatoes instead of zucchini, add them in with the carrots.

If using a crock-pot:
1. Brown meat in a pan with oil, place browned meat into crock-pot.
2. Add boiling hot beef stock or disolve bullion cubes into boiling hot water, pour into crock-pot.
3. Stir in carrots, onion, rosemary, parsley, salt and pepper. Dissolve cornstarch in cold water and add to pot. Cover and heat on Medium for 2-4 hours. Check done-ness by poking a fork through carrots, should have mild resistance, not mushy or hard.
4. One hour before serving add in zucchini.

Thanksgiving recipes

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Well that was unexpected, my bout with gall bladder disease

Some might wonder what happened to me sometime in September near the middle of my short lived summer break. Few people were aware that near the middle of summer term my health turned toward the worse but was unable to get an appointment with my doctor until the second week of September, which is when they found out that there was something wrong with my gall bladder.  Instead of telling me what it was or doing more tests immediately they sent me to an internist, who has absolutely nothing to do with gall bladder disease and booked out a month in advance.

During my meeting with the internist he told me that my gall bladder had sludge, and people my age have it due to "the three F's": Female, Fertile and Fat.  Mind you I'm 6' tall and weigh between 165-170 lbs on any given day (that's a BMI of 22.4-23.1, very much in the "normal" range). I called him on his "fat" comment, to which he corrected himself to state I had two of the three f's, fertile and female. He then sent me to the lab to run more blood work and had the local hospital run a HIDA scan ASAP.  A HIDA scan is a nuclear radiology scan which checks to see how well ones gall bladder is working and if there are any "clogs" in the system due to stones or tumors by putting a special dye in your blood system and x-raying it for one minute every five minutes for an hour. Then they inject a hormone into your blood stream that synthesizes eating a fatty meal and see how your gall bladder reacts, generally this takes 30 minutes and results are available in 3-5 business days.

My internist called me two days after my HIDA scan to tell me that he was going to be setting me up with a surgeon because my gall bladder, while free of gall stones, was only functioning at 8%.  The week that followed the scan I had horrible wrenching pains in my stomach. Having already survived over a month on nothing but liquid vitamins and graham crackers, I found that the only thing I could eat this time around was plain hummus and pita bread. One night I was in so much pain I went to the ER, only for them to inform me that since I had chronic cholistitis instead of acute cholistitis that no surgeon there would touch me because my blood work showed no active infection.

The following week I met with a lovely surgeon who explained to me the procedure, they would make four incisions in my abdomen, three along my ribcage and one in my bellybutton.  Once inside they would pump my abdomen full of gas, clamp the biliary duct connecting to the gall bladder in two spots, clip between the two clamps and remove my gall bladder and go home later that same day.  Sounded easy! First an ultrasound the next morning to see why I was in so much pain after the HIDA, then surgery on Halloween.

I arrived at the hospital on Halloween at 5:45am, and was quickly taken to pre-op where they finished going over my medical history and allergies.  By 7am I had an IV in my hand and a "cocktail" in my drip and was happily on my way to la-la land as I was being wheeled down the hallway to the OR. I awoke hours later, realizing it hurt to breath, I was put on oxygen and wheeled off to pediatrics, which apparently also takes people who have just had their gall bladders removed.  I stayed there for three days before being released.

My husband states that the doctor told him my gall bladder had pus, he cant remember if they said in it or around it, because shortly after being told, he was also informed that I would not be going home but admitted to the hospital.  Generally one has a one or two week post op appointment where their doctor says that they are healing nicely and can go back to their normal lives. I, on the other hand, had a one week, a two week and am now waiting on a one month appointment to see when the doctor will release me from light duty and only being able to lift up to 10 lbs at a time.

I am slowly getting used to my new digestive system, see your gall bladder stores bile (the substance that digests fat) from your liver so that when you eat foods containing fat it can release more bile in order to break down the substances into things your body can use.  Without a gall bladder the bile just drips from the liver into the bilary duct, which in essence drips directly into your digestive system.  This can cause an array of eating disasters; if you eat too much fat, especially in the beginning, your body will flush it through your system, if you don't eat enough fat things don't flow through your system well enough. I think you get the idea without me having to go into details.  There is a very delicate balance in eating that I have yet to figure out. While the only time I know I had too much fat was when my family tried Five Guys for the first time, aside from that we normally eat pretty low-fat foods, yet I still get a pretty bad stomachache about 8-10 hours after consuming red meat.

So this is where we are today, I am slightly behind in my schooling because of the three days I ended up in the hospital, I also am trying to figure out what I can and cannot eat. This may or may not be a new adventure for me, and for us.  Only time will tell.

I honestly started writing this post to try and explain that while I have been gone for a while, it was really not intentional and truly unexpected. I apologize for my absence, and wish you and your families have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.

~ Marvel ♥

Friday, September 7, 2012

Homemade Pediasure

Meet Bug.

Bug, is small for her age.
Bug is an extremely intelligent 4-1/2 yr old, who still fits in 18 month shorts and skirts.
For the last year and a half Bug has been drinking pediasure twice a day to help her gain weight.
As of June she was up to 32 lbs and was 44 inches tall, giving her a BMI of 11.71
This puts her at a BMA (average BMI for kids her age) of 0.69, yes she is BELOW the 1%
This is actually an improvement from where we started, scary but true.

Up until March she had a prescription from her Developmental Pediatrician for the pediasure.
Because of her (significant) improvement her Dev. Pedi closed her case and her script.
She lost weight (2lbs in 3 months), her normal Pedi became worried.
Instead of giving us another script gave me the recipe to make pediasure at home.

Bug still likes drinking it, so its a "win" in my book.

Homemade Pediasure

Mix together:
32 ounces of whole milk
1/4 tsp Bronson's powder (order at pharmacy or if they have "ostomy" supplies it may be there already)

Then to each 8 ounces add:
7.5cc of cooking oil (olive oil might not taste good)
7.5cc (1.5tsp) of a sweetener like molasses or honey
may add any flavoring desired and may put into blender with ice cream to make a shake

(Note: I had NO CLUE what my daughter's pedi meant by "bronson's powder," because Bronson makes a LOT of vitamins in powder form, so I chose the "all insurance vitamin powder" because it had EVERYTHING in it)


Smokey Grilled Cheese and Chorizo Sandwich


First off sorry that I was gone for so long, I was taking an accelerated Spanish class.  For some reason I thought that it would be a good idea to knock out a full years worth of College Spanish (30 weeks/12 credits) in only 10 weeks.  I honestly don't know what I was thinking taking the class.  I can however say that I have learned a LOT in the time that I've been gone.  99% of it is Spanish, and half of it still looks like Greek to me, but I've learned a lot!

One of the fun things I did this summer was try out a new restaurant here in town.  I had seen the restaurant many times in the past but never thought to check it out until my Profesor suggested that the class meet there for tapas after one of the many tests we've taken.  Anyways, my husband ordered a grilled cheese sandwich that had a white cheese I'd never heard of, a smokey pork chorizo and then lightly dusted with smoked paprika.  My husband was in grilled cheese heaven.

A few days later my husband asked me to go buy what he needed to make himself another one of those sandwiches.  Sadly since I have no clue what the cheese was that they used at the restaurant, he settled for Havarti cheese, which is not Spanish at all, but is still a nice mild flavored creamy cheese that melts well, he then cooked up some Mexican chorizo and placed it between the cheese. I couldn't find Spanish chorizo in my store, maybe you'll have better luck. After cooking the sandwich he then dusted it with smoked paprika.  I of course was busy in Spanish class when he made it and took a picture of it, but from what I heard it was quite good, almost as good at the real thing.

Smokey Grilled Cheese and Chorizo Sandwich

Bread (quality bread, not plain bubble bread)
Havarti cheese
chorizo
smoked pepper
olive oil or butter for bread


Heat up a skillet on the stove, temperatures vary per stove, I usually use medium heat.
Butter/oil bread, place one slice of cheese on each slice of bread.
Cook chorizo in heated skillet until cooked through.
Put cooked chorizo onto one side of grilled cheese sandwich and close sandwich.
Place onto heated skillet and cook until cheese is melted and bread is browned.
Cut in half and dust with smoked paprika.
Enjoy with a Jarritos, Corona or Spanish Wine.

Reworking things

Please excuse the bit of mess and confusion around the site for the next week or so.  I will continue to try to get out new recipes, but I am also trying to update/modernize the site, along with linking into some of the other blogs that I dabble at.

Sorry for any confusion or frustration that this may cause, in the end I hope to have a site that is more user and blogger friendly.

Thank you for your patience,
~Marvel

 A little side thing that will be posted on my 365 soon


About a year or two ago my son found a heart shaped rock in a parking lot.  
Since that day I have carried it along with me everywhere I go in my purse. 
In August I saw this cartoon at my mom's house.  
It made my heart melt, I'm sure any mom could agree.  
♥ Love and Gravel, what else could a mom ask for? ♥

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Perfect Omelet

 Update: 9/4/12 - We made a kids omelet "pizza" for them this morning. HUGE hit! (just don't flip over the omelet before serving)

No pic of the one he made me this morning because I ate my half before I realized he hadn't taken a pic of it yet...  I was a hungry girl!

My husband has always complained that he couldn't cook an omelet, which made it impossible for him to make us breakfast.  So he scoured the internet for tips on making the perfect omelet, of course without ever asking me. While I was at school one day he tested the recipe that he found and was glad to inform me when I got home that he had made the perfect omelet while I was away.

Today he made us an omelet to share, and sadly it didn't work out perfectly as it had before, as it stuck in one spot causing it to brown more than he was intending, most likely caused by the cooking spray missing one little tiny part of the pan, but it was quite delicious. (not to mention I've had browner eggs at restaurants)

He found the recipe on YouTube, on Jack Scalfani's (Jakatak69) in his "Cooking With Jack Show" Channel.  He apparently has a lot of other very useful tips for cooking as well, you should check him out sometime.

The Perfect Omelet

Ingredients

3 eggs
splash of milk
butter or non-stick cooking spray
"mix-ins" (onions, tomatoes, ham, bacon, bell peppers, etc)
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
cheese, shredded

Directions

Preheat an oven safe pan (it MUST be able to withstand a 350*f oven) on the stove over medium heat.
While pan is heating up, scramble your eggs in a bowl and add a splash of milk to help bring the yolks incorporate fully with the whites. (I add a bit of salt and pepper at this stage, and then again at the end to taste.)
Once pan is heated cover with cooking spray or butter.
Turn oven onto broil.
Pour egg mixture into pan, when egg base starts to solidify pour your "mix-ins" on top of egg mixture, and some of the grated cheese.
Place your pan under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, just until cheese is melted. DO NOT CLOSE THE OVEN DOOR, as it will turn your omelet into charcoal.
Slide onto a plate, folding the omelet in half.  Salt and pepper to taste, top with any desired toppings such as salsa and more cheese.
Enjoy.



The original video, that I've "adapted" slightly

Friday, June 15, 2012

Creamy Blackberry Frozen (Greek) Yogurt


So my poor baby girl has had an ear infection for months now. She's currently on her third round of antibiotics.
As most everyone knows, after a few rounds of antibiotics there's not enough of the good, healthy bacteria to do much fighting on its own, and you end up with a seriously lowered immune system. Then of course the next virus or whatever that walks by you get and so severely you feel like you're on your death bed.
And that all could have been prevented had you eaten yogurt from the beginning... or at least started in the middle.

Now I know that I've stated before that my kids are lactose intolerant.
So here's a little lesson on lactose intolerance and yogurt, the live bacteria in yogurt actually eat the lactose turning it into lactic acid, which is what not only gives yogurt its traditional tangy taste, but also helps reduce (if not eliminate) the reaction people get who are lactose intolerant. This is because they don't have enough lactase enzymes to properly digest the lactose in the milk product.
Though do to the severe lactose intolerant reaction that my kids get to even small amounts of milk, they will also be given a lactase enzyme supplement.

Creamy Blackberry Frozen (Greek) Yogurt
Recipe from Kitchen Corners, halved to fit into my ice cream maker

Ingredients
1 1/2 c blackberries
1 1/2 c "yogurt cheese" (Greek yogurt)
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk

Directions
In a blender, puree the blackberries with the sweetened condensed milk.
In a medium bowl mix the puree with the yogurt cheese.
Pour the mixture in to your ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer's directions

Fresh Dungeness Crab (steamed) and Garlic Butter



If you are lucky enough to live in, or visit an area where you can go crabbing for Dungeness crab. Do it.  Plain and simple.
Fresh dungeness crab is some of the sweetest most tender crab you will probably ever eat.

Growing up my family went crabbing at the beach every weekend in the summer, it was something that I loved, and holds a lot of good memories for me.  My dad used to let me "help" him prepare his pots, he used the big "ring" pots that you toss into the ocean and then hand pull back out.  Since this was in the days before the big fancy metal ones it made it easy and fun for me to help him tie the bait on and get his boat ready.
Yes, that is a pic of 3 yr old me in and my dad getting ready to go crabbing.

 This year my husband and I decided it was time to start taking the kids crabbing, and clamming.  So I took them back to the very beach that I grew up doing the very same thing.... except we used the much smaller traps that snap shut and don't require a boat or arm muscles as big as hard as a rock (though I'm sure if you crab that way long enough they just might become that hard).  I am sure that my kids didn't mind we used different traps, and the memories will be just as sweet.
Sunrise shows the "wave" patterns on the sand from the night before....
 As the sun rose my son and I checked out the beach for a nice place to "set up camp" and I took some pictures along the way...

  My son learning to clam
My daughter not amused that she found a snail in the sand
Sandcastles were more the girls style... 
Now I have to tell you a little story about this crab... 
This crab went for a little walk on the beach early yesterday morning... just so happens my husband and son were also going on a walk on that same beach on their way to find some good clamming spots.  Unlucky for this crab it didn't feel like scuttling back into the water very fast and my husband was able to stop his path with the clamming shovel and just pick him up.  Score crab-0 guys-1

By the end of the day my husband caught another keeper, and I actually caught the largest crab of the day on my first trap.  Go me! The kids loved it and want to go again soon... which we probably will... once we are no longer lobsters ourselves...

Now growing up we usually put the crabs in a pot of sea water and then boiled them like that.  In more recent years we've had a hard time keeping a flame that can keep a flame hot enough long enough without smoking us out.  So we've opted to take them home and steam them there.  But if you get the chance, its always best cooked in the sea water, something about it gives them a better flavor than any recipe I've ever tried since. 
To make things easier for travel home, DONT put them in water unless you plan on airating the water with a pump or changing their water ever 20-30 minutes with sea water, fresh water will kill them (and not in humane way either).  Crabs breathe air. Out of water they can stay alive for 12-18 hours. They will calm down if you place them on their back.

Fresh Steamed Dungeness Crab

Ingredients
1 cup vinegar
2 cups beer (or water)
2 tablespoons sea salt
seasonings (onion, garlic, etc)

Directions
1. Pour vinegar, beer and salt into bottom of a very large pot add steamer tray (the lowest point of the tray should not touch the water) and heat til boiling.
2. While the steamer is heating up put the crabs either in the fridge for 10 minutes or so, this will put them into a "hibernative state" so that they fall asleep and are no longer "pinchy."  It will also make it so that they pull their legs in, making it easier to place in your pot.
3. Once the beer/vinegar mixture is boiling, add crabs on your steamer tray, pour seasonings on top of crabs and steam.

2 lb crabs should cook around 15 minutes.
lower weight crabs cook for less (somewhere between 7-9 minutes)

Cooked crabs should be a bright orangey-red

4. Place crabs into ice bath to stop cooking (preferred). This will make your crab cold.  If you dont want cold crab, prepare to burn your hands cleaning them, or kill them before you cook them by placing into boiling water for 30 seconds, then clean them as instructed and then steam.  Whatever makes you happiest.
5. Clean your crab.  Every part of the crab is edible except for two parts, the shell, and the lungs (which are toxic).  Most people prefer to eat just the legs and the meat just inside the body because that's what is served at restaurants. If you want to broaden your pallet, try some of the other pieces, me I stick to the regular crab meat.
Picture from About.com - they are using a female crab which is ILLEGAL to keep in most states.
 The lungs are feathery cones that line the side of the body. It is important to remove them all and throw them away.

Below is a video on how to clean a crab.


Once you have a clean crab serve with garlic butter and enjoy!

Garlic Butter

1 stick butter
4-8 cloves of garlic, (whole, sliced or diced)

Place butter and garlic in a small sauce pan. Heat on medium heat until melted, pour into containers for service.