Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mongolian Chicken

Cole loves this recipe and the ingredients are usually on hand, so it’s a great one to make. It’s actually Mongolian Beef, but I had chicken thawed.

Mongolian Beef Recipe (but chicken): makes 2 servings

1 lb of flank steak, thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup of cornstarch
3 teaspoons of canola oil
1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger (about 1/2 inch piece)
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic (about 2 -3 large cloves)
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
3 large green onions, sliced crosswise into thirds

Prepare the meat:
First, make sure the steak slices are dry (pat them dry) and mix them with the corn starch. Using your hands or a spoon, move them around to make sure all pieces are coated. Place beef slices in a strainer and shake off excess corn starch (see picture bellow).

Make the sauce:
Heat half of the oil in a large wok at medium-high and add the garlic and ginger. Immediately add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and pepper flakes. Cook the sauce for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl. Don't worry if the sauce doesn't look thick enough at this point. The corn starch in the beef will thicken it up later.

Cook the meat and assemble dish:
Turn the heat up and add the remaining oil to the wok. Add the beef and cook, stirring until it is all browned (this is a quick thing). Pour the sauce back into the wok and let it cook along with the meat. Now you can choose to cook it down and reduce the sauce or leave it thinner. Add the green onions on the last minute so the green parts will stay green and the white parts crunchy.

Serve it hot with rice.

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Definitely an easy favorite, but it is much better with beef. 9 star.

A Swing Cushion

I have a beautiful swing that Cole built me for my birthday one year, but it takes a major beating each year with the weather. In the beginning, the seat was constructed of individual slates of wood, but since then, it has transitioned to a piece of wood on the back rest and one on the bottom because of the frequency of needing to sand and stain it. The seat cushion has also changed a few time, but lately has been simply a piece of foam, covered by a blanket. It was time to bring this swing back to it’s glory with a new cushion, so I found a great outdoor fabric and got to sewing. I decided to be extra fancy this time and sew in a zipper at one end to take it on and off, which involved a huge amount of confusion on my part and a lot of help from Cole, who can actually envision how things should look. I am not going to include pictures of the zipper close up. Smile

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

4th of July Craft Night

It was our monthly Pinterest Party last night with 6 lovely ladies in attendance. The theme was 4th of July, and luckily the projects were very different.

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From left: A (Patriotic Burlap), S (Fencepost Sign), L (Burlap Covered Wreath), D (Block Flag), S (Star Sign), M (Burlap Banner)

I made Autumn Chopped Salad and Roasted Potatoes That Will Change Your Life for dinner, which were both oh so good.

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Here is my project close up:

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I really should not have been so lazy and could have ironed it out a little bit beforehand! I’m thinking of putting some red in it, but I really loved weaving the ribbon instead of painting a blue stripe. I can now change out the ribbon if I find a better patriotic one or I could use it for Christmas and New Years.

Great friends with incredibly fun projects, so I would call this a huge success. Here is a picture from last month’s wreath theme:

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Up next month is a Wino Craft night with wine bottles and/or wine corks!