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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pecan Crunch Salmon Bake

Andy "Vampire Bill Compton" and me "Waitress Fairy Sookie Stackhouse"
Halloween has long-since been my dad's favorite holiday.  Every year for the past 25 (except for last year), we have decorated my parents' gigantic front porch with skeletons, ghosts, Frankenstein, spider webs, a fog machine, a fire flaming pot, goblins, coffins, gravestones, severed limbs, and pumpkins.  I said every year except for last because my dad called me on October 29, 2010, sounding absolutely heartbroken.  "Kate, I'm so sorry," (My first thought was, 'Oh no, who died?!')  "We aren't going to be able to do Halloween this year.  We have World Series tickets with your Uncle Tom and Aunt Nancy."  Oh, no, you poor pitiful things! Whatever are you going to do? You are being forced to go to the Rangers' first ever World Series appearance?  Whoa is you!  "It's okay, I have to work on Halloween, anyway.  There's always next year," I said.  And "next year" was suddenly was this year, and what a year it was.

Me and Hogan "Sam Merlotte"
I saw most of my friends' Facebook status updates complaining of how they had bought so much candy and only had two measly trick-or-treaters.  Well maybe you should have sent some of that candy our way because Halloween in Berkley is cuh. ray. zy.  Yes, it's true we have people come from across town to open up their bags and have a piece of candy dropped inside.  My pharmacist from Walgreens 20 minutes away was even spotted on my parents' front porch.  Yes, we blast music up and down the streets.  Yes, it's true that we have been known to pass out cotton candy and popcorn on our street.  Yes, it's true that once the sun goes down, you can not drive up and down the street.  Yes, it's true that most houses run out of candy.  It's nuts.

Michael "A penguin" and me
I called Andy on Face Time on our iPhones to try to show him just a smidgen of Berkley Halloween, but people don't understand it until they've experienced it.  I went to help my mom decorate around 1:00 pm, and we didn't stop until my dad got home about 3:00pm.  (Yes, my dad and I both took off work for Halloween and our annual pumpkin carving party together).  My dad and I carved a huge spider into a pumpkin and put the finishing touches on the porch right around 6:00.  Luckily, we have a few styrofoam pumpkins into which we have carved our favorite designs, so while we only carved one real one, we still had five glowing that night.
My mom went to pick up pizza at Mama's Pizza at 6:20, and she promptly called me from the car.  "Um, hi," she said, "There are about 150 trick-or-treaters headed y'all's way- you may want to get out on the porch."  And sure enough, for the next two and a half hours, I greeted Marios, Luigis, skeletons, fairies, cheerleaders, Disney princesses, Transformers, and (my personal favorite and my babysitting charge, Claire) a dirty clothes basket.  Although Andy and I had dressed as (Waitress/Fairy) Sookie and (Vampire) Bill from True Blood for our friend, Katie's, Halloween party on Saturday night, I decided to pass out candy as a regular, plain fairy.

My dad, Abbie "A Penguin" and me "A Fairy" at my parents' house
We passed out 17.33 pounds of candy, and I swear I only took one box of Nerds and two packages of Sour Patch Kids for myself.  At 8:45pm, we still had mermaids and zombies walking up our sidewalk, but I had to turn them down because we had run out of candy- all five gigantic Costco-sized bags that we had bought.  I'm going to post more about my dad and my pumpkin carving tradition, but that will come with the Roasted Pumpkin Seeds recipe (coming soon!)  While many of my friends were baffled at my crazy statistics from Halloween night, it was nothing out of the ordinary for the neighborhood in which I grew up!

Mondays are often when Andy and I try to catch up on the TV shows we have DVRed.  Right now in our que, you will find this season's episodes of American Horror Story, Dexter, The Walking Dead, and Boardwalk Empire.  Since Halloween fell on a Monday this year, we didn't have any DVR catch up time, so we plopped on the couch on Tuesday night instead.  I made this Pecan Crunch Salmon Bake for our DVR catch up, and it made for a perfect and much needed relaxing night after a crazy Halloween weekend.

Pecan Crunch Salmon Bake
Kate Strickland
Servings: 2; Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value: 14

Pecan Crunch Salmon Bake with lemon wedges 

  • 1.5 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1.5 tbsp light butter, melted
  • 2.5 tsp honey
  • 1/4 c bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c chopped parsley
  • 1 lb fillet salmon, halved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 lemon wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, butter, and honey- split in half
  3. In another bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley- split in half
  4. Season each salmon fillet with salt and pepper
  5. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet
  6. Brush with first 1/2 of the honey-mustard mixture
  7. Let sit for 15-30 mins to marinate
  8. Combine second 1/2 of the honey-mustard mixture with first 1/2 of the bread crumb mixture
  9. After salmon has marinated, spoon on the second 1/2 of honey-mustard that you've mixed with the first 1/2 of bread crumb mixture
  10. Top with second 1/2 of the remaining bread crumb mixture
  11. Bake for 10 mins per inch of thickness, measured at the thickest part of the fillet (or until salmon flakes when touched with a fork)
  12. Serve garnished with lemon wedges
Keep on cookin'!

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