Can I just say, I am so glad Christmas is over. It’s not that I dislike Christmas – when I was a kid it was absolutely my favorite time of year. I loved the peaceful, white blanket of snow that would cover my back yard, riding around in the car looking for Christmas light displays, and the magic of Christmas Eve after we opened our first Christmas present (always pajamas) and pretended to sleep, all the while listening for the jingle bells indicating Santa had arrived.
As an adult, though, I find the holiday season incredibly stressful and this year was no exception. I ended up hosting a Christmas Eve dinner for my BF’s parents and Christmas breakfast for my dad and his new wife in my teeny tiny two bedroom townhouse. While it was wonderful to have people over and share the holiday with them, I put a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to cooking for others. Everything has to be perfect. I guess it’s good I blog instead of entertain.
Cooking is very personal to me and always has been. Cooking is part of my identity, so when something doesn’t turn out the way I’d like it feels like a personal failure. While others are always gracious (It tastes great! or Don’t worry, it’s fine), to me it is NOT fine. I feel even more pressure cooking for my dad because he is an amazing cook. I guess there’s still part of me that’s a little girl looking for daddy’s approval.
I used to have a rule that we never experiment when guests are coming, and I still hold true to that. The roast I made for dinner turned out drier than I would have liked, possibly because I used a conventional roast instead of grass fed. For breakfast I was an hour behind schedule and we were out of Sprite to go with the eggnog. While these may seem like minor things to the normal person, I am not a normal person. In my mind, these were errors of catastrophic proportions. See what I mean about putting pressure on myself?
By the way, I realized on Christmas what a crazy cooking person I must be. My gifts were absolutely incredible: a 10×20 electric skillet, a Spiralizer, a diamond knife sharpener, and my absolute favorite, a set of Cuisinart knives. I don’t think I realized how dull and crappy my old knives were until I pulled out my new knives and sliced through an onion like it was butter. I also sliced a couple of holes in my flexible cutting boards. Oops. I got some fluffy, fuzzy stuff too – perfect for cooking and being comfy at the same time. I must be loved.
Anyway, now that the Christmas pressure is off, I am excited to get back to sharing recipes with you. I’ve been sitting on this one for a while and simply haven’t had time to post it. This is very similar to theStrawberry Chicken from a while ago, save that I used raspberries instead of strawberries and marinated the chicken in the sauce prior to baking. If you read my Strawberry Chicken recipe you’ll know that I was a little worried about baking it in the coconut milk mixture. It turned out I had nothing to worry about. This is really quite simple to put together, just remember to leave enough time for the chicken to marinade. Oh, and as a bonus, it’s Whole30 compliant.
34 chicken breasts, trimmed of visible fat
1 container fresh raspberries
1⁄2 cup full fat coconut milk
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 T. coconut aminos
1 T. olive oil
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
1⁄8 tsp ground black pepper
1⁄4 tsp onion powder
Directions: Use a fork to poke holes all over the chicken. Cut into strips and put chicken strips in a gallon sized zip top bag.
Combine remaining ingredients in a blender or Magic Bullet. Puree until smooth. Pour sauce into bag with chicken, zip closed, and massage bag so that all sides of the chicken are covered with sauce. Let marinate at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease. Remove chicken strips from bag one at a time and remove as much excess sauce as you can. Arrange strips on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 2025 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your strips.
While chicken is baking, pour marinade into a small sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently. Let simmer, continuing to whisk frequently, about 20 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
Serve sauce over chicken.