Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Lettuce Wraps
I just returned from a long work trip and I’m so incredibly happy to be home. That being said, I was able to visit some great places for work as well as try some delicious food. But, all in all, I definitely missed being able to cook my own food and choose my own menu!

I had originally envisioned a grandiose meal with a decadent dessert for my first meal made at home; however, this quickly faded as reality set in and I realized that I was actually much more tired than I had previously thought!

So, in order to fulfill my quest for an easier meal, I picked up the most recent issue of Cooking Light and immediately gravitated toward the Spicy Thai Basil Chicken (or in my opinion, better referred to as Chicken Lettuce Wraps). I always remembered hearing my friends rave about the Chicken Lettuce Wraps from P.F. Changs and always meant to make them at home and just never found the time. Needless to say, I was pretty ecstatic when I saw this recipe!

Step 1: Finely Chop Shallots, Serrano
Chiles and Garlic; Cut Red Pepper into Slices

Chicken Lettuce Wrap ingredients

Step 2: Saute Red Pepper, Shallots and Garlic

Stuffing for Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Step 3: Cook Ground Chicken, Add Chiles,
Add Red Pepper and Shallot Mixture,
Add Fish Sauce and Other Spices

photo (65)

Step 4: Assemble Chicken Mixture into
Lettuce Cups, Add Basil and Lime Wedges; Enjoy!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

I thoroughly enjoyed this recipe, especially since I’m someone who loves the heat (a.k.a spicy flavors).  In addition to the spicy flavors, this recipe tasted light due to the crisp red peppers, lime and soy sauce ingredients.

Aside from the flavor, another nice aspect of this recipe is that this can be used in many other ways, such as with rice, noodles or in a soup. Because this recipe is so simple and versatile just means that I’ll have to make these Chicken Lettuce Wraps again sometime soon!

Cheers!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

 

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Mini Salted Caramel Cheesecakes


When I was younger, I was also incredibly busy and felt like I was never at home. Now that I’m older, I really enjoy the times that I am able to come home and see my family. This past Thanksgiving was no different. I usually participate in baking or cooking festivities for Thanksgiving; however, this Thanksgiving I completely ran out of time and my family and friends handled everything. It was actually quite relaxing and I’m quite thankful for for that!

Like many other Americans, one of our traditions during the Thanksgiving holiday is to watch all of the intense rivalry football games.  I decided to make Mini Salted Caramel Cheesecakes from Cooking Light for a nice treat during the games. The actual recipe is not difficult, but the time needed between steps was a bit lengthy. Therefore, it was a perfect baking adventure to do between quarters of football this past Saturday!

Step 1: Crush Vanilla Wafers for Crust

Step 2: Place Crust in Cupcake Tin; Bake

Step 3: Mix Filling Ingredients Together;
Place in Cooled Cupcake Tin

Step 4: Bake and Let Cool

Step 5: Create Caramel and
Place on Top; Sprinkle Salt Flakes; Eat

Again, I’ve totally been overdoing it on the “mini” trend lately. But, when I saw this recipe, I just couldn’t resist! The crust uses vanilla wafers which provides a different burst of crumbly texture and sweet flavors, especially when combined with the salted caramel. I’m a total fan of using salted caramel because it helps dilute some of the overly sweet flavors of desserts and makes it a bit more enjoyable.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving or if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Cheers!

Seriously Lemon Tart


No, but really – the title of this pie definitely does not lie. I might even rename it to be “Seriously, Seriously, Seriously Lemon Tart”.

Nonetheless, even though it does provide quite the pucker, this Seriously Lemon Tart from Cooking Light is definitely a keeper. This is a great alternative to the traditional lemon dessert basically due to the sheer amount of lemon juice and lemon bits required. Plus, the layering effect of the lemon slices on top makes it to be a “pretty” dessert too (now I totally realize that “prettiness” is a dessert isn’t everything, but it can definitely add a nice extra touch!).

If you have the time, make sure to check out this recipe from the latest edition of Cooking Light as well as a few others including the Gumbo!

Cheers!

Rhubarb Apple Pie


In my opinion, rhubarb is vastly unrecognized, often forgotten about, and I’d almost go as far to say that it doesn’t quite get the attention that it deserves. I might be biased (probably); however, it is my belief that the distinct sour and tartness of rhubarb baked into desserts is phenomenal.

This past weekend, I found this recipe for Rhubarb-Apple Pie in the latest issue of Cooking Light. I realize that not everyone is as crazy as I am about rhubarb; therefore, I liked the fact that this recipe paired rhubarb with another fruit in order to compliment its flavor with something more sweet. I think that this genius move increased the likelihood that more people would try it. As a result, my aspiration is that I can hopefully convert more people to like rhubarb with this recipe now!

Step 1: Slice Rhubarb and Peel/Slice Apples


Step 2: Combine Apples and Rhubarb
With Sugars, Lemon, Cinnamon and Flour


Step 3: Combine Butter, Brown Sugar and
Flour for Topping (I added Oats!)


Step 4: Place Fruit in Dough and
Place Topping on Top


Step 5: Bake and Eat!

I normally like to make my own pie dough; however, I simplified the baking process by using a pre-made crust from the grocery store which saved a lot of time and effort; therefore, the rest of this recipe was very easy with the simple chopping and assembly of the ingredients into the crust. All in all, I’m very happy with the result of this pie. The rhubarb combined immensely well with the apple and provided a dessert that was more attractive to those who aren’t as much of a fan of strictly sour desserts. A must-try and one that will be repeated again!

Cheers!


Chicken and Prosciutto Salad With Arugula and Manchego


I have a huge crush… on arugula. All of a sudden, I’ve developed a penchant for the peppery-garlic-earthy flavor of this salad green whether it’s on pizza, on it’s own or combined into a sauce. In my opinion, it makes eating a healthy salad just that much easier because I love the flavor (as opposed to eating a bland iceberg lettuce that needs calorie-laden dressings to make it bearable). As a result, I’ve been on the hunt for more and more recipes that utilize arugula to add to the usual rotation for dinner.

I was instantly drawn to this recipe after seeing it in one of the latest issues of Cooking Light. This recipe calls for Asiago cheese; however, I substituted Manchego instead. What I particularly liked about this salad is the fact that it uses arugula (obviously) and combines that with a mix of salty, sweet and tangy/citrus flavors through the prosciutto, tomatoes and lemon flavored dressing. Super simple, healthy, filling and a balanced meal!

Cheers and have a great Sunday evening!

Everything is Bigger and Chocolatey-er in Texas!

My eyes lit up as soon as I found a recipe for a Texas Sheet Cake. In order to look forward to my upcoming trip to Austin, Texas (yes, I am so incredibly excited), I figured that I absolutely, positively had to make it. Plus, did I mention it was ranked #2 Best Dessert in Cooking Light magazine and it has copious amounts of chocolate? Sold.

Step 1: Combine Dry Ingredients

Step 2: Mix Wet Ingredients Together;
Add Dry Mixture

Step 3: Bake Batter; Combine Butter,
Cocoa, Powdered Sugar and Pecan; Spread & Eat 

After making this cake, the phrase “everything is bigger in Texas” kept ringing in my head. But, according to this cake, the phrase really should be “everything is bigger and chocolatey-er in Texas”. This was definitely a delicious cake with plenty of chocolate-y goodness. Perhaps my stomach size needs to increase before my upcoming trip!

Cheers!

Maple-Mustard Chicken

I normally would not think to combine maple syrup and mustard with chicken. In fact, this combination has never crossed my mind. But, in an attempt to be more adventurous, I decided to try this recipe from the latest issue of Cooking Light. In this situation, sweet + savory wins.

Step 1: Prepare Spices and Cut Garlic

Step 2: Saute Chicken for Two
Minutes on Each Side

Step 3: Combine Liquid Ingredients
to a Boil in Skillet; Add Chicken

Step 4: Bake and Serve

This chicken recipe was a good decision and in commitment to my New Year’s Resolutions. Even though this recipe is on the healthier side, it definitely packs plenty of noticeable flavor. I highly recommend you to try it!

Cheers!