Nutrition Leaders: Valaree Stanley

seafood traditions

Valaree Stanley. Photo by Scott Taylor

Valaree Stanley 
Photo by Scott Taylor

Yes, Valaree Stanley knows seafood, after growing up on the Newport River and cooking the catch for more than 80 years in Carteret County. But she knows what tastes good after a hearty seafood meal too. Cake.

The baby of 13 children, Stanley got her start in the kitchen at about age 7 or 8 by watching her mother and older sisters, especially Alice. Alice loved to bake cakes from scratch, even making her own butter, and to sell them at the Morehead City curb market, which opened in 1935.

“Some weeks we sold as many as 125 cakes,” Stanley recalls. Cottagers and locals alike clamored each week for their cakes – chocolate, lemon, jelly, coconut, pineapple, German chocolate, devil’s food with white caramel icing and more. Stanley and her sister, who became known as “The Cake Lady in Carteret County,” sold their mouth-watering goods at the market for almost 60 years, until Alice was in her nineties. “I got three children through college with money making cakes,” Stanley notes.

Note: Stanley passed away on Nov. 18, 2011. Read her obituary here.

Find out more about Valaree Stanley and her fellow Nutrition Leaders in Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas. It is available from North Carolina Sea Grant by calling 919-515-9101 or 252-222-6307, from your local bookstore, or from UNC Press.







From: Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas

Contributed by Joyce Taylor


Seafood Sightings: September 10, 2015

seafood sightings

trout-aFor good times and great seafood, make plans to attend the Day at the Docks festival, Sept. 17-19. Held in Hatteras, the event celebrates the charter and commercial fishing industry. Until then, try your hand at one of these seafood recipes.

  • UNC TV’s PBS | Food shares a recipe for quick and easy shrimp scampi.

Seafood Sightings: September 3, 2015

seafood sightings

trout-aFeaturing some great seafood recipes from across the state for shrimp and fish. Wishing you a safe holiday weekend.

  • UNC TV’s PBS | Food prepares orange shrimp with a sweet and sour citrus glaze.


Fried Shrimp

another fresh seafood idea

Fried Shrimp. Photo by Vanda Lewis

Fried Shrimp. Photo by Vanda Lewis

To deep fry, choose a deep-fryer, Dutch oven, wok or deep, heavy pan. Add only enough oil to fill one-third of the container. This provides room for the bubbling that occurs when the fish is dropped in and for the space taken up by the food. The seafood should be immersed in the oil. Vegetable oil makes the best medium for deep-frying.

  • 1 pound medium or large shrimp
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup fresh cracker crumbs
  • oil for frying

In shallow dish, combine flour, salt and pepper. Beat the egg in a small bowl. Place crumbs in another shallow dish. Dredge shrimp in flour mixture, then in egg, then in crumbs. Fry in deep fat at 375 F until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Serves 3 to 4.

Seafood Sightings: August 27, 2015

seafood sightingstrout-a

SEA-prise your family this week with one of these great recipes!

  • Lisa Prince, NCDA&CS, and Lynda Loveland, WRAL, cook tasty clam chowder.

Seafood Sightings: August 20, 2015

seafood sightingstrout-a

Sharing more great seafood recipes that include shrimp, crab, fish and scallops. Enjoy!

Seafood Pizza

another fresh seafood idea

Seafood Pizza. Photo by Vanda Lewis

Seafood Pizza. Photo by Vanda Lewis

Using flaked fish helps vary the use of fish in your menu. Rather than cooking and serving individual pieces of fish, occasionally flaking the fish combining it with other favorite ingredients can make a great new recipe.

  • 1 cup flaked fish
  • 1/2 cup chopped shrimp (or crabmeat or clams)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cups canned, chopped tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large unbaked pizza crusts

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Lightly sauté onion. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic powder, oregano, basil, bay leaf, sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer 20 minutes. Add shrimp. Continue to simmer 10 minutes longer. Gently stir in flaked fish.

Spread on pizza crusts. Top with cheese. Bake at 450 F until crust is brown and cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.

(Hint: If you only need one pizza, freeze sauce for later use. Freezes well.)

From: Mariner’s Menu: 30 Years of Fresh Seafood Ideas 

Contributed by Joyce Taylor