July 27, 2015

New recipe! Mazzou's Maple Granola-Crusted Chicken breast or Salmon filet

Maple granola-crusted chicken breast served salad-style
Maple granola-crusted chicken or salmon

  I first fell in love with cooking when I was just seven or eight years old and it didn't take me long to begin experimenting and creating my own recipes.  Now,  several years later I am known for my love of  dreaming up new ways to present the most classic foods. I find that chicken and salmon are two of the best foods to experiment with new and unique flavors and seasonings!

Maple granola-crusted salmon filet
 One of my more classic creations which is sure to please a variety of taste buds and which can be enjoyed year-round, is my newly-invented and perfected maple granola-crusted chicken breast or salmon filet....I promise you, from the first bite you will be delighted by the combination of flavors! I owe my inspiration to Golden Girl granola who provided the tasty granola which is the crowning touch to this dish!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6.4 oz each) or 4 four-six ounce wild alaska salmon filets
1/4 plus 1/8 tsp. salt (or to taste; the goal is to sprinkle evenly over each piece of meat) 
1/4 tsp. pepper or to taste 
1 large clove garlic, crushed
2 Tablespoons melted butter (or olive oil)
1 Tablespoon tamari soy sauce
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup Golden Girl Forest Maple granola
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon butter or oil for browning meat. 

   Prepare meat 1-8 hours ahead: 

1. Gently pound out chicken breasts to about 3/4 inch thick, focusing mostly on the thick portion of the chicken breasts (skip this step if using salmon).
2. Sprinkle each breast or filet evenly with salt and pepper. Place meat in a 4 cup capacity glass dish or container. 
3. Mix together the garlic, butter, soy sauce and maple syrup. Pour over chicken breasts or salmon and cover dish tightly. 
4. Let chicken marinate at least a couple of hours; preferably overnight. Only let salmon marinate 1-3 hours.
   To cook meat: 
1. Prepare granola by separating 6 Tablespoons from the cup of granola; place in a plastic baggie and crush with a rolling pin. 
2. Pour the entire cup of granola (crushed and whole) in a shallow dish. 

3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs. 
4. Remove chicken breasts or filets from marinade, reserving marinade. Dip each chicken breast or filet first in the egg mixture, then in the granola mixture, pressing the granola into the meat (with the salmon, press into the pink fleshy side, not worrying too much about the skin side).
5. Heat olive oil or butter in a shallow frying pan on medium heat; gently brown each chicken breast in the oil. Add more oil to pan as needed to keep meat from sticking. Fry for about 2 minutes per side. Follow same directions for salmon, only fry skin-side down for 3 minutes without flipping.
(chicken breasts)

(salmon filet)

(chicken breasts browning)

6. Place golden-browned meat in a 9x13 baking dish, drizzle reserved marinade over and bake at 350° Fahrenheit  for about 20 minutes or until chicken temperature is 165° Fahrenheit. For salmon: bake at 350° Fahrenheit for 7 minutes or until meat flakes easily when cut with a fork.
pictured: 1 filet of salmon hot out of the oven!

 To serve: 
The maple granola-crusted chicken breasts or salmon filet can be served warm from the oven, drizzled with a honey mustard dressing and accompanied by a salad and roasted potatoes. Or, let chicken cool a little more and slice. Serve chicken slices on a bed of fresh green salad and drizzle with a honey mustard dressing.
(ready to eat: maple granola-crusted salmon!)

(hot and ready: one maple granola-crusted chicken breast with honey mustard sauce)

July 15, 2015

A bridal shower for Meg!

In May, we ladies attended a lovely bridal shower given in honor of....Meghan! I can't wait to share pictures from the June wedding itself, but meanwhile here are the shower pictures....
The party was held at the bride's grandmother's pleasant home and was hosted by her dear friend and maid of honor Leah. It was such a perfect setting for a bridal shower.

Ellie :) 
Around the next bride-to-be :) 

3 of the sweetest ladies I know!

Perfect :) This is what childhood looks like :) 

Nikola is the kind of sister that when you see a picture of her you miss her even though you just saw her 10 minutes ago....

admiring D's baby ;)

Ellie concocts her dangerously delicious coffee punch ;)

Jessie brought the vegetable thingys

After munching on goodies, the ladies all gathered around to watch Meghan open gifts! To make it more interactive, we played a bingo game with our guesses of what they would receive. 
 It was so cozy with the rain falling in torrents outside and everything bright and cozy inside.

Of course the bride to be was radiant :) 

I love this picture- it seems so vintage! (as if she were reading a letter from her man in the army!)

Meghan was a perfect bride-to-be-at-her-shower; she expressed genuine excitement over the gifts consistently and graciously which is a rare talent! 

A group picture at the end of the afternoon....So many girls! (and lets see...ages about 4 mos to 23)   And this wasn't even all of the guests!

Next up...you guessed it! Some pictures from the June wedding itself! Until then, enjoy the sunshine! 

July 8, 2015

Family parties: Our Dad's birthday and a Mother's Day luncheon

Two celebrations involving our wonderful parents happen in May: Our Dad's birthday on the 4th, and of course, Mother's Day! Here are some pictures from each of those events this year...
It can be hard to come up with a ''theme'' for our Dad's birthday table year after year. More and more often we come up with ideas the day of. Such was this birthday: we hastily drew inspiration from our Dad's character at a recent party (Captain Mo Marrow was the name) and threw together a fun ''Mo Marrow'' nautical table. :) 

A favourite meal of our Dad's is chicken a la king, so of course we had to make it: 
A birthday dessert....

As for Mother's Day...it being on a Sunday and all we don't usually do more than a nice table. But I still wanted to do something more focused on our amazing Mum so a random Tuesday following Mother's Day when our mother was out of the house I set and prepared a woodland-ish luncheon. The results were fascinatingly ''Redwall-ish''- not that our Mum is a Redwall fan but we are and who can resist that lovely style? you'll know what I mean when you see the cake.

The cake...delightfully healthy and delicious all at once! It's created with barley/wheat/etc. flour and nuts and other such delights. I just went delicately wild when assembling the dear cake. ;) 

A rice flour cake for a family member on a gluten free /dairy free diet! It worked out quiet well, and in between the layers I spread jam and rice pudding! 

Healthy dark chocolate covered healthy coconut patties! :) 

The delightfully woodland (healthy) cake!

    I'm so thankful that we can do little celebrations like these with our family!

Keep following this blog, because next up are pictures from a lovely bridal shower for a friend...and after that, wedding pictures from the wedding itself! :) See you then!