Monday, September 26, 2011

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Not wanting to drive the 50 + miles for some PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps, I decided to try a recipe I found online. I was pleasantly surprised and will probably forgo PF Chang's for this (probably) healthier version! Check it out, I'm sure you'll agree, YUM!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps


  • 16 Butter lettuce leaves (Living Lettuce)
  • 1 lb. ground chicken breast (or finely chopped)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbls. minced garlic
  • 3 Tbls. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 - 3/4 C. hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbls. rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Asian chili pepper sauce (see Note)
  • 1 can (8 ounce size) sliced water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  1.  Rinse lettuce leaves, keeping them whole. Set aside to drain.
  2. Cook chicken in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often to break up the meat.
  3. Add onion, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar and chili sauce. Cook until the meat is crumbled and brown.
  4. Add water chestnuts and green onions. Cook until onions begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in sesame oil.
  6. Arrange lettuce leaves on the outer edge of a platter. Spoon meat mixture in center. Allow diners to spoon meat mixture into lettuce leaves and eat like a taco.
Note: Asian chili pepper sauce can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets. Some brands contain garlic, which is fine. You can use 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes instead.
Serves 4.

Sweet Corn & Red Pepper Soup

Found a recipe I wanted to try in one of my favorite magazines, Mother Earth News. It came out so yummy and is quite prefect for a cold fall evening! Enjoy!

Sweet Corn & Red Pepper Soup

  • 7 C. vegetable or chicken stock (low sodium)
  • 8 ears fresh corn on the cob, shucked
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C. green pepper, diced
  • 2 Tbls. vegetable or organic canola oil
  • 2/3 C. raw cashews
  • 1/2 C. dry sherry
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro, minced
  1. In a heavy pot, bring stock to a boil. Add ears of corn and simmer 5 minutes. Remove corn and set aside to cool.
  2. Cut kernels off cobs. Then use the back of your knife to scrape the “milk” off the cobs into the stock. 
  3. In a skillet, sauté carrot, onion, garlic and green pepper in the oil until soft.
  4. Blend corn kernels, cashews and sherry in a food processor with enough stock to help purée the mixture. (For more texture, save some ingredients from the food processor, and add directly to stock.) 
  5. Add purée to soup pot, and bring to simmer.
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with red pepper and parsley.
 Serves 6.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

French Toast with Mascarpone Cheese

I had the pleasure of having breakfast at Whole Foods last weekend and had the tastiest french toast with mascarpone cheese! I duplicated this at home and wanted to share the recipe with you. It's the same french toast recipe I always use, I'll repost the link below. I used Challah bread with poppy seeds but you can use any bread you like. Sometimes I add a little more vanilla extract and cinnamon when cooking, depending on our taste that morning. I served the french toast this morning with scrambled eggs and Applegate Chicken and Maple Sausage, yum!

Mascarpone Cheese Mixture

  • 1/4 C. Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 C. Powdered sugar
  1. Combine mascarpone cheese and powdered sugar in a small bowl, stir until combined.
  2. Feel free to add more powdered sugar until mixture is sweetened to your taste.
  3. Store in refrigerator up to 2 days.

 Challah bread sliced

 French toast with mascarpone cheese mixture

Monday, September 5, 2011

Red Chili Frito Pie!

I wanted to share this recipe with you...  the recipe requires Bueno Red Chili Puree but if you can't find it in your area, you can make your own or purchase it online from Bueno.

Red Chili Frito Pie

  • 1 lb. Lean ground beef, grass fed if available
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp. flour (depending how thick you'd like the sauce
  • 14 oz. container BUENO Special Reserve Puree, thawed
  • 14 oz. container water (1½ C. water for slightly thicker consistency)
  • 2-3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 C. Romaine lettuce, chopped 
  • 1 Large tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 C. sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 - 15 oz. cans organic pinto beans, warmed
  • Original Fritos
  • 1-2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add flour and stir until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add red chile and water, stir to eliminate any lumps.
  3. Add garlic, oregano and salt, stir and bring to a boil.
  4. Add uncooked ground beef, reduce heat and simmer with skillet uncovered 20-25 minutes.
  5. Add sugar and stir and simmer another 5 minutes.
  6. Layer pinto beans, red chili mixture, cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato then Fritos on a plate and serve immediately.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Evolution of a Painting

I wanted something for my living room and have been playing around with some decorating ideas. So I finally decided on something that would remind my of the Northwest. So, I found a photo and got to work on a painting for over the couch. Here is the evolution of that very painting... can't wait for it to dry so we can hang it up!!!