Red, White, & Blueberries

Alright ya’ll, we’re going from trashy to classy in 15 minutes or less…southern style.  The Fourth of July is all about independence and living the American Dream, right?  No need to be shackled to your kitchen when there are burgers to grill and cocktails to be had!

You just need about $10 and some good serving pieces.  This is pretty much a perfect of example of presentation-is-everything.  We’re about to take this:

FullSizeRender-5

To this:

FullSizeRender-10

No big deal.

FullSizeRender-6

Wash the berries and slice the strawberries.

IMG_0129

Mix thawed cool whip with a few splashes of vanilla.

FullSizeRender-7

Slice the angel food cake.

FullSizeRender-8

Place the cake in a bowl with a pretty napkin.

FullSizeRender-9

You can cover the cake before serving so it won’t get stale and will stay moist (I know, I hate that word too).

FullSizeRender-11

 

What?  NBD.

Pecan Crusted Chicken

If you are looking for an easy, healthy weeknight dinner (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?), look no further.  The prep for this dish takes 10 minutes max even with the usual distractions (i.e. pulling the 1/4 measuring cup from the dishwasher and begrudingly hand-washing it, scraping the hardened honey from the bottom of the jar,  and hitting “record” on Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, etc.  Wait, did I just type that?).

IMG_0087

Get out your Panko breadcrumbs (regular breadcrumbs will work just fine too), the pecans (irrelevant side note:  I prefer working with some that have already been slightly chopped because they’re less messy and easier on my stage 5 OCD, but of course whole ones will work too, the caveat being that you will absolutely find pecan pieces in random nooks of your kitchen for days to come), and the fresh parsley.

IMG_0090

Start by finely chopping the fresh parsley.  You’ll need about 4 teaspoons give or take.

IMG_0089

Then, chop the pecans into small, fine pieces.

IMG_0091

With a fork, loosely mix 1/4 cup pecans, 1/4 cup Panko, and 4 teaspoons fresh parsley in a shallow dish.

IMG_0093

Get out the dijon mustard and the honey.

IMG_0094

In another shallow bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons dijon mustard with 2 tablespoons honey.

IMG_0098

Pull chicken breasts from packaging and rinse under water and set aside.

IMG_0099

Sprinkle the parsley/pecan mixture with a few pinches salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and then dredge each chicken breast first through the honey mustard, heavily coating both sides, and then through the pecan mixture, firmly pressing into chicken until it is completely coated.

IMG_0101

Place in a nonstick baking dish and cook on 400 for about 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the pecans are starting to brown.  Your house should be smelling pretty damn good by now, especially for a Tuesday night.

IMG_0103

Remove chicken breasts from oven and serve with whatever sounds good.  We opted for couscous and steamed broccolini, which I sprinkled with parmesan for presentation purposes.   Vegetarian?  No prob.  I gottcha.  Substitute chicken for salmon, though you’ll likely need to reduce the cook time by 10 minutes.  Don’t eat fish?  Skip this post and treat yourself to peonies.  See previous post for deats, to my delight they’re still in season, at least in So Cal.

NBD.

Pecan Crusted Chicken:

3 tablespoons dijon mustard

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

1/4 finely chopped pecans

4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper

Cayenne pepper

2 organic chicken breasts

In a shallow bowl, whisk together dijon mustard and honey. In another shallow bowl, mix Panko breadcrumbs, pecans, and parsley with a fork. Wash chicken breasts and dredge first through the honey mustard, heavily coating both sides, and then through the pecan mixture, firmly pressing into chicken until it is completely coated. Repeat with second breast. Place both breasts in a nonstick baking dish. Bake at 400 for about 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and the pecans are toasted on the outside.