Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

PF Changs meet Cheesecake Factory - These are the two places that I think have the best lettuce wraps, and this recipe is a combination of both:

Chicken Filling:
 2-3 chicken breasts cut in small cubes (you can also use ground turkey for texture similar to PF Changs)
 1 can water chestnuts, chopped finely
 1 bunch green onions, chopped
 1/2 can bean sprouts (found in the Asian food isle of your grocery store)

Brown sugar, soy sauce, white rice vinegar, siracha (or Tabasco) - I can't give exact measurements, add according to taste.

Cook chicken until almost done. Add bean sprouts, green onions, water chestnuts, and sauce. Let all cook thoroughly and simmer in sauce for about 15 minutes (you'll want enough sauce to coat all the ingredients fairly well).

Serve with butter lettuce, shredded carrots, shredded/chopped cucumber, chopped green onions, and the remaining 1/2 can of bean sprouts. I like to set it up like a taco bar and let everyone make their own. Make a separate bowl of sauce in which to dip wraps. Enjoy!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Birthday/Garden Party!

Happy Birthday to my sweet friend Garland Hopkins. Garland and I have known each other for six years and were roommates in college and post college. Last night to celebrate her birthday we have an outdoor dinner party at my house. Here's some pictures from our party:

Garland and her sister

The utensils were wrapped inside the napkins and tied with a toule ribbon

Food labels (using colored paper and a stamp)

Set up #2 (it was in the grass before it rained)

The cake/appetizer table

Another simple and colorful banner

The wine bottles each contined three flowers and there were two per table.
The mason jars had small tea lights and there were three on every table.

"Mothers to Bee" Baby Shower

This past weekend a few friends and I hosted a joint shower for two other friends, Julia Klie and Jennifer Sharp. We did a "Mothers To Bee" theme since one was having a boy and one was having a girl. We used black, white, and yellow with touches of burlap as our decor. Here's some pictures of the shower:

Our main table with food and the diaper cakes.

This banner was so easy to make and looked adorable with the
mini clothespins and twine.

Cupcake flags were a big hit. See below for instuctions on how to make.

The flower arrangement was made of lemons and has a burlap ribbon
surrounding it to give it a pop of color. I've done similar arrangements
using oranges, apples, and limes for different textures and colors.

To make "Cupcake Flags":

1. Make cupcake labels (using Microsoft Word or Adobe InDesign) and cut.
Be sure to measure first.

2. Cut heavy-stock paper into strips (long enough to wrap around the toothpick)

3. Fold long strip (yellow) in half and glue text strip (white) on 

4. Glue toothpick in center of fold and allow to dry. You can make them as
small or large as you like depending on the text you have. You can also
not use any text and simply do designs/patterns.
Great for showers and parties.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin

This recipe turned out amazing, and it is so easy! I made it last night for a pot-luck and it turned out delicious. It's also easy to adjust if you're feeding lots of people.
1 (2 pound) boneless pork tenderloin (or regular pork loin)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Easy & Cheap Pasta

We all know that no matter how much you enjoy cooking, there's nights after a long day at work where you want to be able to make something (other than a sandwich) that is yummy and takes less than 15 minutes! Nate really loves this because it's hearty and tastes good and I like it because it takes about 10 minutes total to prepare and make. This has become one of my go-to "I worked a long day and am exhausted" meals -  
 Chicken Fettuccine with Broccoli:

1 package Knorr's Alfredo (or Parmesan) pasta - use 2 if making for more than 2 people
2 chicken breasts
1 bunch broccoli cut into florets (get frozen if you're really feeling tired)
(yep, that's all the ingredients)

1. Cook the Knorr's pasta according to directions on back of package
2. While the pasta is cooking, cook chicken breasts with oil, salt, and pepper until center is not pink.
3. Bring water to a boil, add broccoli and cook until tender.
4. Slice chicken and add chicken slices and broccoli florets to pasta. Mix and enjoy!