PF chang’s lettuce wraps

last night i was assigned kitchen duty for the night. and as my family would hopefully agree, it was a huge success. my family and i are obsessed with PF Changs. we go every time we go to the states & this at-home recipe for our favorite dish is perfect. It is a lighter take on the original, and can be perfected to taste! enjoy!

what you will need:
– 1lb ground chicken breast (we used lean ground turkey)
– 1/2 medium onion, minced   – salt & pepper, a dash of each
– 2 large cloves garlic, minced  – 1 tablespoon sesame oil
– 1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled & minced  –  1/2 Tablespoon honey
–  2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce   – 1/2 tablespoon water   –  1 tablespoon  peanut butter
–  1 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon rice vinegar   – dash of fresh pepper
–   2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (we like a kick, & used 3)
–   3 green onions, chopped  – 1/2-8oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained & chopped
–  1/4 cup peanuts, chopped – outer lettuce leaves, rinsed and patted dry

Directions:
1 – heat a large, non-stick skillet on high. add chicken, onion, salt & pepper, and cook until chicken is nearly done, stirring often. 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 40 seconds, then stir until smooth. add into the skillet and stir to combine
3 – add green onion and water chestnuts into the skillet & 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 leaves on the side

original photo and recipe cred:
http://iowagirleats.com/2011/04/26/p-f-changs-lettuce-wraps-remade/ 

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lofthouse cookie love

my friend madison and i are obsessed with lofthouse cookies. before she left for austrailia, i think we had them almost every other week in the summer. they are gone before we even know it and we dont regret a single thing.

when i miss her a lot, i go buy them and eat them pretending she is with me. i came across the recipe on pinterest by Sweet Pea Kitchen & now that i have found out that i can make them at home, i am happier than ever. you will loooove the way these turn out. enjoy!

what you need:
COOKIES
– 6 cups flour, divided   – 1 teaspoon baking soda  – 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1 cup butter, at room temperature   – 2 cups granulated sugar  – 3 eggs
– 2 teaspoon vanilla extract  – 1 1/2 cup sour cream

FROSTING
– 1 cup butter, room temperature  – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract  – 4 cup powdered sugar
– 6 tablespoon heavy cream  – food coloring   – sprinkles

Directions:
COOKIES
1-  cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. add the eggs, one at a time. add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined
2 – add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined. the dough will be a bit “sticky”. divide dough into two sections. flatten into rectangles about 1 1/2 inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. let the dough chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least two hours until firm.
3 – once the dough is firm, preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
4 – use the plastic wrap that you chilled the dough in. dust the top of the dough and then flip and flour the other side, keeping it on the plastic wrap. with a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. using a round cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, until pale golden. immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

FROSTING
1 – cream together the butter and vanilla and slowly beat in the powdered sugar.
2 – once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach your  desired spreading consistency. if you want to, add food coloring and beat until combined.
3 – once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

* depending on the thickness of the dough, this recipe should make about 5 dozen cookies

rainbow cake in a jar

this is such a cute & fun idea. a friend and I did this and it turned out great!

what you will need:
– a box of white cake mix   – eggs, oil, and water for the cake mix
– white icing homemade or store bought   – neon food coloring   – 4 wide mouth glass canning jars    – non-stick cooking spray

Directions

1 – pre heat the oven to 350 degrees, and spray the inside of the jars with non-stick spray
2 – make cake batter and divide into bowls, the number of bowls will depend on how many colors of cake you want to make – we did 5 with approximately 1 cup of batter in each bowl
3 – add food coloring to each bowl, until you reach your desired color
4 – spoon 1/4 cup of each color batter into the jars in whichever order you decide – the blue and the green may mix, so just be aware of that when choosing the order
5 – fill either metal baking pans or a glass baking dish with about an inch and a half of water and place the jars inside
6 – bake according to the box, and once done, allow to cool completely before frosting and decorate however you please!

note – the cake will most likely bake over the top of the jars – like this –  and spill into the baking pan, just cut off the top part once the cake has cooled

once decorated and frosted, you can choose to close off the jars however you like, we played around with a few ideas and this is what we came up with. have fun & enjoy!

recipe cred – by Brooke McLay on www.blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2011/04/08/rainbow-cake-in-a-jar/.

pretzel cookies with chocolate & peanut butter chips

with the biggest chocolate weakness known to man, i am always on the hunt for yummy new cookie recipes. this one satisfies a sweet & salty craving all at the same time, how perfect! enjoy!

what you will need:

– 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
– 1/2 tsp. of salt
– 1/4 tsp. of baking soda
– 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
– 1/2 cup of tightly packed light brown sugar
– 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
– 1 egg (beaten)
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 cup milk chocolate chips
– 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
– 1/2 cup broken up pretzel pieces
– pretzel Salt or Sea Salt

Directions:

1 – In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. set aside.
2 – In a larger bowl, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy. slowly add the beaten egg and vanilla extract. beat to combine.
3 – add the flour mixture and beat just until there are no more streaks of flour. stir in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and pretzels. cover and refrigerate for an hour.
4 – preheat the oven to 350F. line baking sheets with parchment paper. place on sheet in well-rounded tablespoonfuls of dough, and sprinkle with salt. bake for 10 minutes.

recipe first found on:
http://satisfymysweettooth.com/2011/09/23/peanut-butter-pretzel-and-chocolate-chip-cookies/