A Few Great Things – Recipe: Asian Lettuce Wraps

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I love a few things about Wednesdays.  The week is more than half-way over – I count the school week based on number of days that we have to wake up early.  Once we finish the wake-up process on Wednesdays, then the rough part of the school week is officially more than half-way over.

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I also love the trip to Sprouts that I usually take with my girl. Seeing all of the fresh, seasonal produce puts a smile on my face.  And, this Wednesday I was especially happy to see the apples and pumpkins everywhere, which can only mean one thing.  Fall is officially here.  Really, it is.  Based on the temperatures, it has not arrived in Texas quite yet.  But, we can still enjoy all of the flavors and pictures, while looking forward to cooler weather and Fall celebrations.

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And, another thing that I love about Wednesday is that we have Asian food.  We all love it.  We often have some form of stir-fry. But, today I decided to do lettuce wraps – beef and chicken.  They are both so good that I could not choose just one of them.  And, in case you are wondering….yes, I do have problems when it comes to favorites.  Gabriel is always asking, “What is your favorite movie?  What is your favorite song?  What is your favorite (fill in the blank)?”  I can seldom definitively answer a favorite thing because, well, there are great things about so many movies, songs, etc.  And, I can guarantee you that there are great things about both of these lettuce wraps, too.

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Beef Lettuce Wraps

Beef Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 8 oz can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sesame oil

Green onions, finely chopped (about 2-3 tablespoons)

Bibb lettuce leaves

Instructions

  1. Brown ground beef, draining grease as you go.
  2. When it is still slightly pink, add the bell pepper, onion, garlic, water chestnuts, salt, and pepper.
  3. Cook until no longer pink. While still cooking on medium heat, add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar.
  4. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Drizzle on the sesame oil, sprinkle on the green onions, and stir to combine.
  6. Add the beef mixture to the lettuce leaves, and wrap up like a taco
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/28/a-few-great-things-recipe-asian-lettuce-wraps/

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup wing sauce

1 tablespoon corn starch

Bibb lettuce leaves

Instructions

  1. Cook chicken over medium heat until cooked through.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, wing sauce, and corn starch.
  3. Add the mixture to the chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes. Once the sauce starts to thicken, remove it from the heat.
  4. Add the chicken mixture to the lettuce, and wrap like a taco.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/28/a-few-great-things-recipe-asian-lettuce-wraps/

I am sharing these recipes on http://thirtyhandmadedays.com.

Monday Goodness – Recipe: Mini Pumpkin Muffins

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I have decided that there are critical steps to take in order to have a good Monday.

1.  Wake up and ignore the puffy eyes. Puffy eyes only make me want to go back to sleep.  Ignoring puffy eyes makes me think that maybe they went away for awhile.

2.  Watch the older littles ride scooters before school.

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3.  Read some of my favorite blogs to get inspired.  Blogs such as this (awesome bundt caking), this (pumpkin pancakes, oh my!), this (beautiful oatmeal cookies), and this (frito chili pie) always do the trick.

4.  Do crafts with my girl, using ideas from my Crafts board on Pininterest.  We had fun with the bubble stamping, which I found here.

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5.  Read a book and do a fun craft after the main character.  I found the idea here.

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6.  Watch my girl smile with pure delight as she continues to paint.  She is inspired on this Monday, too!

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7.  Instead of getting discouraged, give myself a peptalk about how I can figure out all of the things – Facebook, Twitter, etc. – that are so new to me.  Seeing this cute little face helps…because she does not care how technologically savvy her mom is.

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8.  Create some Fall-inspired cookies.  While they did not turn out exactly as I had hoped, they are almost there.  And, I will keep trying.

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9.  Receive some hand-picked flowers from the yard, from my girl.

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10.  Dream of cooler weather, trick-or-treating, and lazy days with a cup of tea and these mini pumpkin muffins.

Mini Pumpkin Muffins

Mini Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup white rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cloves

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Put mini liners in mini muffin cups.
  2. Whisk together pumpkin, oil, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and spices.
  4. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture, and mix until combined.
  5. Using a cookie scoop, add a scoop of the batter to each of the muffin cups.
  6. Bake for 14 minutes.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/26/monday-goodness-recipe-mini-pumpkin-muffins/

I frosted them with this frosting.  Enjoy!

I shared this recipe at The CSI Project, Life as Mom, and Gooseberry Patch.

Visit thecsiproject.com

Recipe: Candy Corn Chex Cereal Snack Mix

I posted this recipe on Friday.  And, this one is almost identical.  But, as I have mentioned, I am craving everything Fall-related – food, weather, traditions, holidays, celebrations, fun.  So, I decided to put a little Fall into our home yesterday with Tortilla Soup, pumpkin granola, and this after school snack.  Mainly, I wanted to share it so that you can see how easy it is to change up most recipes to make them whatever you want them to be.  Just add your loving touches and/or your favorite foods, and you have a new creation for your family.

Candy Corn Chex Cereal Snack Mix

Candy Corn Chex Cereal Snack Mix

Ingredients

3 cups Rice Chex cereal

2 cups Corn Chex cereal

1 cup Cocoa cereal (I used a gluten-free one.)

1 cup popcorn, popped

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

1/4 cup almonds

1/2 cup salted cashews

1 cup candy corn

1/2 cup canola oil

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup Karo syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional

Instructions

  1. Cover a baking pan with foil or parchment paper, and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. Mix the cereal, nuts, candy corn and popcorn together in a big bowl.
  3. Add the oil, brown sugar, and Karo syrup to saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling. Continue to boil, while stirring, for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
  4. Immediately pour the hot mixture over the cereal, and gently mix it all together.
  5. Pour the cereal mixture onto the baking pan, and then spread it around.
  6. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/09/21/recipe-candy-corn-chex-cereal-snack-mix/

Originally adapted form Our Best Bites Sweet & Salty Caramel Snack Mix

Enjoy!