Thursday, April 26, 2012

P.F. Changs Inspired Lettuce Wraps

My boyfriend Alan and I love going to P.F. Changs and ordering their delicious lettuce wraps. I've been meaning to attempt these for awhile and have only recently gotten the chance to. After browsing around for the perfect recipe. The search was finally over when I stumbled upon Iowa Girl Eats blog.

  • 1lb ground chicken breast
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • salt & pepper, a dash of each
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch nob fresh ginger, peeled & minced
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (or more if you like it hotter)
  • dash of fresh pepper
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2-8oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained & chopped
  • 10-12 large outer lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry
Pan: Medium-High         Cooking Time: 30 Minutes         Serving Size: 2-3 people
How to put it together
  1. Heat a large, non-stick skillet on medium-high. Add chicken, onion, salt & pepper, and cook until chicken is nearly done, stirring often to break up the meat. Add in minced garlic and ginger, and continue cooking until chicken is no longer pink.
  2. Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, water, peanut butter, honey, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce and pepper. Microwave for 20 seconds, then stir until smooth. Add into the skillet and stir to combine.
  3. Add green onion and water chestnuts into the skillet then cook for 1-2 minutes until the onions are soft and the water chestnuts are heated through.
  4. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, and serve with cold lettuce leavesY

Eat Well & Adventure On,


P.S. Thanks Iowa Girl Eats!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Use Up Leftovers Fried Rice

I'm always catching myself with a ton of leftovers that aren't enough for a regular meal. My solution for me is throwing it all in a pan and making fried rice. This is great for if you have any left over chicken, beef, pork and vegetables.


  • 4 Cups of jasmine rice, chilled over night
  • Vegetables of your choice frozen is fine:
    • I usually always have frozen carrots and peas
  • 2 Eggs
  • Left over chicken, beef, shrimp or pork
  • 4 tbs Soy sauce
  • 2 tbs Oyster sauce 
  • 2 tbs of canola oil

Pan: Medium Heat          Cooking Time: 20 Minutes         Serving Size: 2-4 people

How to put it all together

  1. Scramble the eggs, cook, put them in a bowl and set them aside for later
  2. Place the canola oil in a large saute pan over medium heat
  3. Break up the chilled rice and put all of it in the pan and saute for 5 minutes
  4. Next add the soy sauce and oyster sauce to the rice and cook for 5 minutes
  5. Then add the meat and vegetables of your choice cook for 10 minutes
Now you are ready to enjoy your fried rice. Boring leftovers are a thing of the past with the Use Up Leftovers Fried Rice recipe. 

No More Train Rides For Me

So as the title suggest there will be no more train rides for me at least ones that last longer then 4 hours. I just had myself  the worst Amtrak experience of my life. Between the long delays, cranky crew members and the inability to tell me when I was going to reach my final destination I was not a happy camper. 
But even after all of that I had an amazing weekend with Alan. I finally got to see the Vespa of my dreams in person. I go to sit in a Vespa LX 50 4V, I'm not sure if I'll be upgrading to the next one because I would need to get a motorcycle license and thats a whole other adventure.
The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxed from trips to West Farms mall and dinner at Chili's for some dinner and delicious margaritas. Overall I had a good trip to CT.
Alan saved me from returning back to Rochester on the train and bought me a plane ticket to get back home. Though I had a short delay to begin my trip, everything went smoothly afterwards. From getting a 5 seat row all to myself to a beautiful sunset, there was nothing more I could ask for, I mean we even arrived at Rochester 15 minutes early. Crazy bananas, lol. 

Eat Well & Adventure On,


Monday, April 16, 2012

Not So Plain Chicken Fingers

Not So Plain Chicken Fingers
This recipe is super easy and actually happened by accident. I was left with nothing but a marinated frozen chicken breasts in my freezer and some random things in my pantry. And so the not so plain chicken fingers were born.  I learned that these keep really well in fridge and even stay crisp after they are microwaved.

  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup corn starch 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • a bottle of your favorite marinade
  • Canola oil 

Oil: 375° F         Cooking Time: 5 Minutes per side         Serving Size: 2-4 people

How to put it all together

  1. The night before cut the chicken breasts into strips that are about an 1 1/2 inches thick
  2. Place them in a gallon size zip lock back coated in your favorite marinade. Let this sit over night to soak up all the goodness
  3. Now that they've had time to marinate, its tIme to set up your breading station
    1. Crack the 2 eggs in a bowl and whisk 
    2. In a bowl mix together the panko bread crumbs, corn starch, salt and pepper
  4. Now dip each chicken finger in the egg wash and then in the panko bread crumb mixture. Set each one on a plate before you are ready to fry
  5. Heat your oil to the 375° F (Medium heat)
  6. Now when you are up to temp place a few of the chicken fingers in the oil cooking them for about 5 minutes on each side and reach a golden brown. 
  7. once cooked place them on a plate with a paper towel on it to help remove the excess oil.
When storing your chicken fingers place a layer of paper towels on the bottom of the container before placing the chicken fingers on top.
This will keep your chicken fingers crisp at least until the next day.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Out of Water Mussels Marinara

Out of Water Mussels Marinara
Now this is one of my boyfriends favorite entree dishes. He requests it all the time especially in the summer when they mussels are in season locally. Super easy dish to make just remember if the mussels don't open their shell, don't eat them they died before you cooked them and can get you sick. 

  • 3 tbs Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 32 oz can chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 tbs of oregano
  • 1 tbs of parsley
  • 4 lbs of fresh mussels, scrubbed, rinsed and debearded
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Bucatini pasta, for serving
Heat: Medium         Cooking Time: 20 Minutes         Serving Size: 4 people

Got your mussels early? Here's how to store them
  • Place the mussels in a large bowl
  • moisten a kitchen towel and place it over the bowl of mussels
  • You should only keep mussels for a couple of days 
Cleaning them up
  • Only do this right before you are ready to cook the mussels
  • Take your mussels and place them in a large bowl
  • Fill with cold water till the mussels are fully submerged
  • Let them sit for 15 minutes, this is to allow the mussels to release all of the sand and dirt they have inside them.
  • Now you are going to clean and debeard the mussels. Here is a great video of how to do it by Kitchen Daily (Learn to debeard video)
How to put it all together
  1. Heat olive oil in the largest saute pan you have
  2. Add the onion & garlic to the pan until cooked
  3. Add wine and reduce it by half. 
  4. Now add the tomatos, oregano, and parsley and bring up to a simmer about 3-5 minutes 
  5. Add the mussels and cook through, about 10-15 minutes
    1. If the mussels didn't open after the cooking process, don't eat them, they were probably dead when you got them