10.25.2010

Lovely!

My husband and I recently hosted a dinner party for some of his work associates. I love flowers, so I wanted to get something beautiful for the occasion. I contemplated doing them myself, but decided instead to have a local florist handle them. I was thrilled, and thought you might enjoy seeing them. I am always looking for inspiration for things like this and appreciate other bloggers sharing beautiful images!

This is the arrangement that we had out by the pool, where we served before dinner drinks and appetizers.
We moved indoors for our formal dinner, and this is a peek at what the florist put together. Beautiful, huh? Hope it inspires you!

10.12.2010

Almond Coated Chicken

After moving our youngest child to college in August, I gave myself a little while to get over the shock of her leaving, and then determined that I needed to find some slightly different, yet still simple, meals to prepare for my husband and I. I generally try to cook four-five nights a week, and I find myself going to the grocery store and staring at the meat counter, unable to be inspired by anything I see. It seems like I cook the same things over and over again. Does anyone else feel that way?

Some of my favorite fish dishes that I used to eat before being diagnosed with celiac disease were pecan or almond crusted. Now I normally cannot have these when we dine out because they are coated in flour. I had some chicken in my freezer that I wanted to cook, so I decided to try an almond coated chicken. I modified a Southern Living recipe that I had seen online, and it was delicious. For those of you that still have children at home, I think they would love it as well!

First, I placed chicken breasts between pieces of saran wrap and pounded them with a meat mallet until they were about 1/2-1 inch thick. I like to do this with any chicken recipe because they are often way too thick to cook thoroughly otherwise. (It's also good stress relief). Next, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. I used gluten free flour, but regular all purpose flour will work fine.

In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and honey mustard.
Put the buttermilk mixture in a shallow bowl or pan, put the almonds in another.
Dip the floured chicken in the buttermilk and honey mustard mixture.
Dredge the buttermilk coated pieces in the almonds until they are thoroughly coated on both sides.
Cook the chicken in an oven safe skillet on medium-high to high heat for one minute on each side or until the almonds are nicely browned.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Simple, quick, and amazingly delicious. I guarantee that this will become a regular in your kitchen!
Please comment and let me know what you think! I love to hear from you.

Almond Coated Chicken

4 boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup flour (I used Jules Gluten Free All Purpose Flour)
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons honey mustard
3/4-1 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place chicken breasts between two pieces of saran wrap and pound with either a meat mallet or the skillet you are going to cook them in until they are about 1/2-1" thick. Salt and pepper both sides. Put the flour in a shallow pan or a ziploc bag and coat the chicken evenly. Mix the buttermilk and honey mustard and put in a shallow pan or bowl. Dip the chicken in this mixture and thoroughly coat on both sides. Place the almonds in another shallow pan or bowl and coat both sides in them as well. Put the oil in an oven-safe skillet; when hot, place the chicken in it and cook for one minute on each side on medium-high to high. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and cook for 10 minutes.