We had a surprise visit from Uncle Todd and Grandpa Whitney tonight for dinner! Well, it was a surprise for Cooper. Ryan gave me a heads up yesterday and thankfully my dinner plans fit perfectly for company. I made Summer Blackened Chicken Salad for dinner, and we had an Oatmeal Blueberry Bar for dessert. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of dinner (we gobbled it up too quickly). But, here’s the recipe anyhow, it’s definitely worth noting!
Summer Blackened Chicken Salad
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed (or minced)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 cups mixed salad greens
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 avocado - peeled, pitted, and diced
- 12 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- Warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season both sides of chicken with Cajun seasoning, and place in hot oil. Stir in crushed garlic. Cook chicken 5 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear. Remove chicken from skillet, drain on paper towels, cool slightly, and dice; discard oil and garlic.
- In a small bowl, mix remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper.
- In a large bowl, gently toss the dressing with the mixed salad greens, arugula, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives. Top with diced chicken to serve.
Crust and Topping:
1 c. flour
¾ c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
½ tsp. salt
½ c. butter, cold and cut into small cubes
2 ½ c. quick-cook oats
2 T apple or orange juice
¼ c. dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 T flour
Pinch of salt
3 ½ c. fresh blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries (18 oz.)
1 T fresh lemon juice (I actually used lime, and it worked fine)
Heat oven to 375◦. Grease 9x13-inch pan.
Add flour, light brown sugar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse once or twice to combine, then add the butter and pulse five or six more times, until coarse crumbs form. Add the oats and pulse two or three more times.
Remove 1 ½ cups of mixture, set aside. Add the juice to the remaining mixture and pulse three or four times until it’s moistened. Press firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan.
For the filling, whisk together the sugar, flour ,and salt in a medium-size bowl. Add the fruit and lemon juice and gently toss the mixture using a rubber spatula until the fruit is coated. Distribute the filling over the crust.
Sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture over the filling. Bake until the top is golden, about 35-45 minutes. Let pan cool on a wire rack for about 2 hours. Cut into 16 bars, store in refrigerator.
Following dinner, the boys thought they’d give Cooper some tips in the Nicholas male ways…..hmmm…..not sure how I feel about this yet, I suppose it’s inevitable (not to worry, he wasn’t actually DOING anything, just sitting pretending to play around on the screen):