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Pecan Crusted Salmon

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Good news: Seth’s dad came through the surgery with flying colors and is recovering rapidly. Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers over the last few days.

Other good news: This one is home with me again 🙂

Lucy is especially happy, she hasn’t stopped purring since he walked in the door.

As a welcome home dinner, I decided to make this pecan crusted salmon. It is our favorite salmon recipe and so easy and fast.

Here is what you need for the recipe. So simple!

To begin, you combine the breadcrumbs, chopped pecans and parsley in one dish and in another, combine the honey, dijon mustard and melted butter.

Next, salt and pepper your salmon filets and lay them skin side down in a baking dish.

Drizzle the mustard sauce over each filet, and then sprinkle the pecan crumb mixture on top, pressing down gently with the back of a fork to keep it from falling off.

Bake it in the oven at 450 degrees for 12 minutes and voila!

This salmon is awesome. It’s tangy from the dijon mustard, sweet from the honey and has a slightly crunchy topping from the pecans. Give this a try!

 

Pecan Crusted Salmon

Note: This recipe is for two but can very easily be doubled for four

Ingredients:

  • 2 Salmon Filets
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • 1 Tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon of melted butter
  • 3/4 Tablespoon of honey
  • 1/8 Cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 Cup of finely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of chopped parsley

Directions

  1. Lightly grease a baking dish and preheat the oven to 450 degrees
  2. Season the salmon filets with salt and pepper and place them skin side down in the dish
  3. Combine the butter, honey and dijon mustard and stir to mix thoroughly
  4. Combine the chopped pecans, breadcrumbs and parsley and stir to combine
  5. Spoon the mustard sauce over the salmon, covering liberally
  6. Sprinkle the pecan mixture on top, using the back of a fork to gently press it into the sauce
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes

 

Salmon is super healthy and has lots of Omega-3s, so eat up!

 

 

The Wonders of a Registry

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I’m going to start this post off by saying this: Everyone should have a registry, all the time.

Being engaged myself, and seeing several friends get married in the past few years, I’ve learned to appreciate the convenience and awesomeness that is a Registry.

Case in point: This Christmas, Seth and I received a few gifts off of our registry and it was AWESOME. My Maid of Honor bought us a quesadilla maker that we registered for and we used it the next three days in a row. It was love at first dilla.

My mom bought us our crockpot, which you already know I’m in love with. It’s one of the few kitchen appliances that asks very little of you and gives back so much more.

And then there’s my brother. He’s a 19 year old boy with little money and even less of an idea of what to get his big sister for a gift. Enter the bundt pan, also found on the registry.

These days, you can register almost anywhere including cool places like Anthropologie, Amazon or Dick’s Sporting Goods. It’s not just china and silver anymore! I mean think about it. We all have that person (or persons) in our lives that we dread shopping for over the holidays. Either you don’t see them very often, you don’t know them very well, or they already seem to have everything. How great would it be if you could just go to a centralized place (like myregistry.com) and pick things out that they would love to receive as gifts and BAM, you can check one more thing off of your holiday to-do list.

I’m using myregistry.com for the wedding and I love it because I can pick one thing here and one thing there and the guests can see it all in one place.

Now I know some of you may be thinking that this takes the art out of gift giving. But wouldn’t you rather receive a gift that you want and can honestly be excited about unwrapping than having to fake excitement and secretly hoping for a gift receipt?

I mean face it, we’ve all felt like this at some point..

Okay I’m done.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about food again, I promise!

Chewy Granola

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Whoever decided that the next paid holiday after New Years Day would be Memorial Day must have been a total a-hole. I mean, I felt like I was doing okay today at work, Tuesday, the first full week back since the holidays, and things are tickin’ along. And then a co-worker of mine drops a bomb in our weekly staff meeting.

“UGH, at least this weather helps take the sting out of the fact that our next paid day off isn’t until the end of May”

Sweet. Thanks for bringing that to everyone’s attention anonymous co-worker. You’ve really lightened the mood for us.

I feel a sick day coming on.

In the meantime, I made you this granola. Actually, we made it for Seth’s dad who is having open heart surgery tomorrow and everyone knows how DELICIOUS hospital food is. I figured he could use a snack 🙂

We like our granola “wet” or in otherwords, kinda chewy. A little sticky. Not at all hard or crunchy.

The best thing about granola is that you can put whatever you want in it and make it your own. For ours, we used almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, and dried cranberries.

The bulk section of Wegman’s is a granola maker’s dream.

The basics of granola aren’t much different than cookie making. Mix the wet with the wet, the dry with the dry, and combine. Here are the dry ingredients all together.

And here are the “wet” ingredients.

Extra peanut butter for us, obvi. Oh and don’t be intimidated by the “oat flour” ingredient. Here is how you make oat flour:

Step one, put the oats into a blender.

Step 2: blend.

You could do this in a food processor too of course, but some people don’t have them (like me).

So you combine the wet and dry and stir it so that it’s completely combined as Seth so graciously volunteered to do.

Spread the mixture out in a pan that is covered with parchment paper and bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, stirring the granola every 5 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK! It will look chewy and raw still, but I promise it will harden up a bit as it cools. Of course, you can cook yours longer if you like it crunchier.

Yum!

 

Chewy Granola

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2-3 cups of dried fruits and nuts (we used almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried crannys and coconut)
  • 1/3 cup of peanut butter (any kind)
  • 1 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1/2 cup of honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of water

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, including oat flour. To make oat flour, pulse 1/3 cup of oats in a blender or food processor until fine
  3. Combine the wet ingredients, including peanut butter, honey/maple syrup, and fruit & nut mix-ins
  4. Combine them all together! (this is tough stuff people)
  5. Spread the granola out on the parchment paper
  6. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes
  7. Allow to cool; the granola will firm up
  8. Enjoy!

Crockpot Chicken With Rosemary and Thyme

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Laundry is piling up, my book just got to the good part and the DVR still has Grey’s Anatomy from last week on it. Good thing I had a slow cooking chicken in the crockpot so that I could check dinner off of my list as soon as I walked in the door.

Meet the crockpot, the solution for all working individuals who like to eat dinner before 7:30PM.

My wonderful mom gave this to us for Christmas and it is quickly becoming our new favorite kitchen gadget. We bought a whole chicken at Wegman’s which cost a total of $5.75. That’s right, a whole chicken for half the price of a package of boneless skinless chicken breasts. And we like the skin anyway, right?? It gives us flavor! You can always peel it off before you eat it.

To start this recipe, Seth cut up some onion and garlic and laid it in the base of the pot. He topped it with a few sprigs each of fresh Rosemary and Thyme. There really is no substitute for fresh herbs.

In the meantime, separate the chicken into breasts, wings and thighs. We won’t show you a picture of this because it gets rather graphic.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with a small amount of olive oil and brown the chicken on both sides, about 3 minutes/side. Do not cook the chicken! We’re just browning here.

Once you’ve browned, place the chicken into the crockpot on top of the onion/garlic/fresh herb mixture.

Top the chicken with a few more sprigs of fresh herbs and pour in the broth made from combining white wine, flour, honey, maple syrup and red pepper flakes.

Set the crockpot to Low for 7 hours and walk away!

Here she is all plated up with some delicious roasted veggies. This chicken lasted us several days and was so flavorful and moist that I’m afraid I’ll never be able to eat chicken cooked any other way again.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have this waiting for me–

It’s all clean I promise, it just needs to be folded! Stop judging me.

 

Crockpot Chicken with Rosemary and Thyme

Ingredients

  • One whole chicken
  • 6 sprigs each of Rosemary and Thyme
  • Half an onion, cut into strips
  • Six cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Chop an onion and slice the 6 cloves of garlic and lay them in the bottom of the crockpot
  2. Lay 3 sprigs of rosemary and 3 of thyme on top of the sliced onion and garlic
  3. Cut the chicken into its individual parts; thighs, breasts, wings
  4. Season the chicken with salt & pepper and place into a hot cast iron skillet with a small amount of olive oil
  5. Brown both sides of the chicken, about 3 minutes/side
  6. Remove the chicken and place it into the slow cooker
  7. Top the chicken with additional sprigs of rosemary and thyme
  8. Create a sauce by combining white wine, flour, honey, maple syrup and red pepper flakes with a whisk until thick and pour over the chicken
  9. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours

 

Enjoy!

Weekend Activities

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This weekend included no concrete plans but a ton of activity, and was exactly what we needed after a long (short) work week. After catching up on tv Friday night, we woke up Saturday and my friend Jess came over to spend some QT with me and make a quinoa salad for a party she was going to that night.

Hi Jess!

I would post a picture of her but she claims to not have been “photo ready” on the morning of our rendezvous.

She was a good hand model though as she cut up the tomatoes 🙂

The salad was delicious and included lots of colorful veggies. This is what it looked like before we even added the quinoa.

Then I made her drink a green smoothie and she kinda hated it. I kinda liked it. We both agreed it would have been better in a dark colored cup with a straw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The smoothie included a frozen banana, a tablespoon of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of 0% plain greek yogurt, 1 cup of skim milk, a squeeze of honey and a whole lotta spinach. Cheers to a healthy new year!

After she left, Seth and I ventured out to my parents house and made what is becoming our weekly stop at Homegoods. And guess what I found!

Another candelabra! And thanks to my bridesmaids who are the bomb.com, I have three more coming to me. So only one more to go and the centerpieces will be finished. In the meantime, this is what my closet/bedroom look like…

And I’m just now realizing I forgot that caramel popcorn at my mom’s….

After a quick workout this morning, we left my parents and headed to Wegmnan’s where we proceeded to walk up and down the isles for an hour and a half trying to tame our meal planning indecisiveness. I’m normally very prepared when I walk into the grocery store, but this week coming up is a little out of whack because Seth will be out of town and I have dinner plans out a few days. $90 later, we ended up with this…

Highlights include Wegman’s awesome store brand greek yogurt, a port wine cheese log for the Steeler’s game tonight, and a giant container of strawberries on sale this week for $5. We rarely buy berries out of season, but that was a deal.

and this…

Wegman’s has a great bulk food section where we stocked up on nuts, and Target had Kashi cereal on sale for $2.75/box which is a steal. I have big plans for that jar of Biscoff spread in the front, which I’ll be sure to share with you later this week!

And because we couldn’t muster up the energy to cook tonight, we also got this 14 inch hoagie.

I’m going to catch up on laundry and finish a paper for school and then spend some time mentally preparing for my first five day work week in about a month.

See you tomorrow!

Things That Got Me Through The Week

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Isn’t it amazing how sometimes a four day work week can seem longer than a typical five day one? 5PM Friday just did not want to come. Seth and I have alot of DVR shows to catch up on tonight, including Grey’s Anatomy and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, so for now I’ll leave you with some of my favorite posts from this week that are worth checking out.

  • Favorite New blog I found this week: Life of Blyss
    This girl is seriously hilarious and she has an amazing outlook on life, fitness and fun. I could definitely see us being friends in real life

 

  • Best Looking Dessert: Cait’s Chocolate Pretzel PB
    Need I say more? She grinds peanuts into a creamy peanut butter than crushes up chocolate covered pretzels and mixes them in.    to.die.for


(Photo from Cait’s Plate)

 

  • Best Healthy Dish: Emily’s Chickpea Hummus Burgers
    Chickpeas are a relatively new discovery for me and they are a great source of protein and fiber. I love hummus, and I thought this was such a great way to combine the two! Here’s to gettin’ skinny in 2012 🙂


(Photo from Daily Garnish)

 

  • Most Interesting Fitness Post: Tina’s interview with Bob Harper
    Everyone knows Bob from the Biggest Loser, who manages to get obese individuals into top shape in record time. Tina got the awesome opportunity to pick his brain about exercise and food, during which he RAVED about Crossfit. Reading it makes me feel like I’m getting top secret advice from the experts!!!

 


(Photo from Style Me Pretty)

 

Have a wonderful Friday!

9 Months

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Well, today started out a little rocky. My phone died on Tuesday night which prevented my alarm from going off Wednesday AM and forced me to miss the gym. I was determined to get it right last night, so I double checked and triple checked that my phone was on, charged, and the alarm was set. I woke up at 4:30AM and checked again; still on and fine. Next thing I know, Seth is waking me up and it’s 5:17AM. What happened to my 5:10AM alarm??!

Well, turns out the 6AM alarm was set, not the 5:10AM one. FAIL.

Some of you may think “hey, it’s only 7 minutes later” but our morning is SCHEDULED down to the minute so that we can get the maximum amount of sleep and still be at work on time. And Seth usually likes to lay in bed for about 5 minutes and contemplate how horrible waking up at 5:10AM is before he even makes a move. So the day started off on a hurried foot–I’ll be sure that doesn’t happen tomorrow 🙂

Today marks officially 9 months until our wedding, which is very exciting! Probably the strangest thing though is that that means we have been engaged for four months, and I’m not really sure where that four months went. I keep telling myself to enjoy this time, but it seems to be moving entirely too quickly!

Since weddings are on the brain for me today, I wanted to share with you a few ideas and inspirations I have collected from Pintrest. For those of you who aren’t friendly with Pintrest yet, it’s an unimaginably huge collection of photos from across the internet categorized by subject (food, wedding, fashion, etc) and located on one website where you can very easily waste hours upon hours scrolling through them. It’s a really great source of ideas though, and I can’t really imagine wedding planning without it.

So to start, I think this picture evokes exactly the type of ambience I want; romantic, inviting, breathtaking.

I love the effects of candlelight.

I think the details of this cake are beautiful, I definitely want our wedding cake to have some sort of texture like that.

Our colors are purple and grey, and I love the shade of these flowers and the contrast between the white and purple.

And one final picture I found that I’ll leave you with. I thought it was cute 🙂

Have a great night, tomorrow is Friday!!