Friday, December 27, 2013

Crunchy Teriyaki Salmon

Our local sledding hill.
Winter is in full swing here in Minnesota. While we spend the days leading up to Christmas doing all sorts of festive holiday activities like Holidazzle, the days after Christmas are spent doing winter activities like skating and sledding. We bought saucers today and hit the local sledding hill. And it was so much fun!

Last night, dinner was off the hook. We eat salmon at least once a week at our house. I could eat it everyday if I had my way. A couple months ago, I bookmarked IGE's Crispy Baked Asian Salmon, determined to recreate her recipe in our kitchen. We simplified the sauce a bit, and used just 4 ingredients! Crunchy Teriyaki Salmon is so delicious. I can't wait to make it again!

Crunchy Teriyaki Salmon
inspired by Iowa Girl Eats

2 Salmon fillets
GF Teriyaki Sauce
GF Rice Chex

1. Marinate your salmon fillets in the fridge with Gluten Free Teriyaki Sauce (I swear by Kikkoman's line of GF sauces) for about 20 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 370F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. 

3. In a small bowl, mix 3 parts honey with 1 part teriyaki sauce. The sauce should be slightly thick. 

4. In a separate small bowl, crush the rice chex until you have about 1 cup of crumbs. You don't want the crumbs to be super fine. Larger crumbs give a better crunch.

5. Place salmon fillets on the baking sheet and cover the top with the teriyaki/honey sauce. Add the chex crumbs to the top of the sauce and salmon and press down with the back of a spoon. 

6. Bake for 20 minutes until salmon is completely cooked and the crumbs are crispy.
7. Serve over quinoa or rice with a side of veggies. Enjoy!

The crunch is what makes this for me. The salmon is soft and and the teriyaki honey sauce has so much flavor but the added crunch gives this meal so much texture. Yum yum yum.


Monday, December 23, 2013

This Christmas

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
-- Norman Vincent Peale

I am and will forever be a Christmas person. This time of the year is always so magical. Quiet snowfalls, twinkling lights, crackling fires. 

Despite the festiveness of the holiday season, I find myself extra emotional around this time each year. I can't help but think of those for whom Christmastime brings feelings of loss or disappointment. The joyful carols echo empty and haunting. January is willed to arrive quicker.

A year ago, my life was rocked when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. The holiday season passed in an emotional blur and we kicked off the new year in the hospital. Fast forward one year, and instead of fearful desperation, this Christmas season is full of hope yet again. While her cancer is not gone, it has not grown and that gives us hope.

Our family grew by two as we officially welcomed two incredible people into the Campion clan. Mo is the sister I've always wanted and K is the man I dared to dream I'd find someday. And my parents, well, they are just about the two coolest people I know.

We have been blessed with a roof over our heads and food in the belly. We each have a job we enjoy most days. And we truly have the best group of friends, near and far, that anyone could ask for.

But I am well aware that we are so lucky and blessed beyond belief.

Christmas is a light in a dark world. For those who's light grows dim this season, I wish you heart peace. Although the light is weak I hope your spark does not go out completely.

For those who's light shines brightly, I wish you strength to share your light with others. Take a moment to make spirits bright.

Be merry and bright this Christmas. Enjoy your precious time with family and friends. And keep the faith always.

With hope,

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Four Last Minute DIY Gifts

Skip the stores this weekend and whip up a custom-made DIY for those last people on your list.  Here are four easy ideas for you to throw together.

The sugar scrub is one of the easiest things I've ever made. Just three ingredients and you can change up the scents to anything you want! And if the statistics on this blog matter at all, this post is one of my top pinned and visited of all time. You definitely have to try it - even if you keep the scrub for yourself!

I love having letters in our home. Stop by a craft store and pick out a first initial or last name or a word for the kitchen, and with a little spray paint, you'll have a fabulous gift!

Giving yummy goodies as a gift is always a win! Whip up a batch of festive puppy chow or cookies to give away. Just make sure you are aware of any potential allergies your gift recipient might have.

And when in doubt, grab a bottle of booze from the liquor store and tie a ribbon on it!

Merry merry,

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Spiral Sugar Cookies

This past weekend was baking weekend. I had our annual law school girls baking party and needed to whip up something special. 

Along with these amazing peanut butter cookies, I decided to tackle sugar cookies. But not just any sugar cookies - Spiral Sugar Cookies.

I was Pinspired by this pin. And really, I followed the recipe exactly how it was written, except for one batch where I swapped out the flour for gluten free flour. 

 I did find that the sugar sprinkles worked way better and were much easier to use than the nonpareils.

My only caveat is that they take a while since you need to chill the batter. But I had all day Saturday so it wasn't that big of a deal. These cookies are a little too high intensive for every day baking but for the holidays, wow, they sure make a festive statement!

I imagine you could take this one step further and with a little frosting, have a yummy sugar cookie sandwich. If you are going to be baking this weekend, definitely add these Spiral Sugar Cookies to your list! It doesn't get any more Christamas-y than this!

What's your go-to holiday baking item? I'd love to know! And for more cookie ideas, check out my friends Kait & Marianne's baking blog at 2 Baking Birdies! They are baking up a storm this holiday season and each cookie looks simply scrumptious.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Little Drummer Boy.

Have you heard the latest from Pentatonix? Normally, Little Drummer Boy doesn't get a lot of play on my holiday playlists (unless it features Bing & Bowie, obviously) but I'm just loving this Pentatonix version. Turn it up!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sea Salt Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies.

Happy December! Where the hell has this year gone?! Yesterday, I got the baking urge and whipped up these delicious cookies. For reals, you have to make them now. They are amazing. It doesn't hurt that I've been craving them for about 2 months now, ha. 

Anyway, this holiday season, I encourage you to spend a little time in the kitchen and bake the world a better place.

Sea Salt Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies

1 stick plus 6 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 Cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 Cups Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon salt 

3 Cups GF Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 Bag of GF Butterscotch Chips
Sea Salt Flakes

Preheat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix together. Mix in GF oats. Add bag of butterscotch chips. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. [I like mine a little crispy on the edges and soft in the middle so it ended up being about 11 minute with my oven.] As soon as you take the cookies out of the oven, sprinkle the sea salt flakes over each cookie. [This helps to cut the sweetness a bit, and well, let's all just admit that sea salt makes everything better.] Cool a bit on the cookie sheets and then transfer to cooling rack. [Try not to stuff your face.] Cool completely. Share with the mailman or whoever is stopping by.

Seriously though, these came out of the oven as our mail was getting delivered and I offered a few to the mailman and he said yes so fast I almost burst out laughing. I think I made his day to have fresh cookies on a cold Saturday delivery. And then I made my day by eating a couple too.

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