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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Jalapeno Apricot Salmon

June 10, 2014: Well, folks, it's Birthday Week for the Strickland family, and today is MY birthday! Since 28 is just getting started, I don't have a lot to report yet. I can tell you that thus far, 28 has consisted of a big "Happy Birthday!" from the fabulous fiance when I woke up, a good workout while watching I Love Lucy, a round of "Happy Birthday to Kate & Alma (a co-worker)" sung by my new co-workers, and numerous calls/texts/Facebook posts. That about sums it up, but you know I'm not going to end the post there. 

Mom, me, and dad at our birthday celebration
June 8, 2013
Cabana #3
Eagle Mountain Lake
Instead, I thought I'd reflect back on what an amazing year 27 has been for me. Let's start in Summer of 2013. Strickland Birthday Week 2013 was spent at the lake, celebrating my 27th, my mom's 65th, and my dad's 70th. The next weekend we celebrated as my college roommate, Hayley, married her husband, Ben, in Fredericksburg, Texas. The rest of the summer included 4th of July at the lake, a Hilbers family reunion, my other college roommate, Erin, and her husband Alex's 1st anniversary party, a baby shower for my bestie, and the 3rd anniversary of Andy and my first date.

Me, Jennifer, Shannon, and Erin
The Bryant's 1st Wedding Anniversary Party
July 13, 2013
Fort Worth, Texas
Fall of Year 27 was the season of football. Of course there was TCU Frog football, But I also became a Saints fan.  There was also the football themed baby shower for my dear friend, Chelsea, and the TCU v. UT football game (see ENGAGED below!) Kolt David made his appearance in San Antonio, Texas. We zip-lined and hiked our way through Costa Rica. And on October 26th, there was a little bit of excitement as we got ENGAGED (eee!! 158 days!!) before the TCU v. UT game. We cheers'ed to Andy's 29th birthday at Shaw's Burgers, and spent many Saturdays at The Omni Hotel wedding planning. We were a Cowboys Cheerleader & Walter White for Halloween, and I played my first season of kickball after watching from the sidelines for 3 years. Fall of Year 27 was, and always be, pretty damn tough to beat, but Winter of Year 27 sure gave Fall a run for it's money.

Andy and I got engaged!
Cabana #3 & The Hickman's House
October 26, 2013
There were snow days, ice days, and ice days that turned into perfectly sunny days. We were stuck in our house for 5 days straight (for better or for worse, right?) There were four Christmases spent with the Jennings, the Rivers, the Stricklands, and the Poirots. We danced the night away at one of the girls I used to nanny for's deb party. Andy and I hosted our first (hopefully annual) New Year's Eve party and rang in the new year with some of our favorite friends. We sang along with Ryan Bingham at Billy Bob's, and we went to the rodeo three times. Chelsea gave birth to her & Chris' beautiful baby, Campbell Grace, who I could snuggle with for hours.

Andy and me at our First Annual New Year's Eve Party
December 31, 2013
Fort Worth, Texas
Then came Spring of Year 27, and with spring came weddings and more babies. First, I went back down to Fredericksburg for my Kindergarten friend, Frances', bachelorette. We watched so many friends marry the loves of their lives- The Comptons, The Dubans, and The Sims. We celebrated as Charleigh Marie turned 3... and speaking of kids growing up? This year Greyson turned 4, Sloane turned 1, and Kameron turned 8. They sort of have their own Birthday Week: April 30, May 1, and May 5. Spring of Year 27 also brought with it a job change for me, and a new truck for Andy.

Sloane Sawyer turned 1 year old on April 30, 2014
Princess Sloane's 1st Birthday Party
May 28. 2014
Wichita Falls, Texas
Greyson Senter turned 4 on May 5, 2014
Greyson's Dino Dig Birthday Party
May 18, 2014
Wichita Falls, Texas

So that brings us to Summer of Year 27. Thus far, Summer of 27 has included The Colonial, Paige & Kyle's baby, Kaden's, debut, Memorial Day at Cabana #3, toasting to another happy couple- The Broyles, and watching my beautiful cousin, Tiffany, walk down the aisle to her husband, Scott.
Kameron & me
Tiffany & Scott Chilcutt's Wedding
June 6, 2014
Grapevine, Texas
So bring it on, Year 28. You have some tough competition, but I have a crazy feeling you'll be the best year yet. 

Jalapeno Apricot Salmon
Main Dish to Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash- see story there
Servings: 2; Weight Watchers Points Plus Value: 9
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded & sliced into rings
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 c white wine, I used Pinot Grigio so I could drink the rest after :)
  • 3 tbsp whole-grain mustard (I used Grey Poupon)
  • 1 c apricot preserves (Smuckers makes a light, sugar free one)
  • 4 (6oz) salmon fillets
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 lemon, zested
Jalapeno Apricot Salmon & Spicy Roasted Butternut Squash
  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Saute oil over medium heat
  3. When hot, add jalapenos to caramelize
  4. Add garlic then add white wine
  5. Add mustard & apricot preserves and bring to a simmer
  6. Simmer over low heat for 20 mins, then let cool completely
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (to make it less messy- not required)
  8. Place salmon on baking sheet and sprinkle with S&P
  9. Liberally apply Jalapeno Apricot mixture atop and top with rosemary sprig
  10. Cook on 400 for anywhere from 5-15 mins, depending on taste and preference
  11. Serve topped with lemon zest
Keep on cookin'!

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