Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

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I’m sure at some point within my food blogging career, somebody will finally tell me to stop making Asian food.  Considering that probably about 50% of my recipes so far are Asian, it is bound to happen at some point.  But up until then I will keep on bombarding you with Asian recipes until you just cannot stand it for one more second and throw a fit banning me from using even a teaspoon of soy sauce or a pinch of Chinese 5 Spice.

But for now just bear with me, people.

I swear, I swear, I swear that these are soooo worth making.  These are super killer.

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Plus this recipe is easily adjustable, so you can make it for 20 people, 2 people, or even a lonely 1 if you’re flying solo.  It takes about 30 minutes, and everyone loves lettuce wraps, so they’ll think you’re the bomb dot com.

For this recipe, I kept it simple and just did some iceberg, carrots, cilantro and peanuts for garnish, along with some extra sauce.  However, if you’re in to bean sprouts, water chestnuts, scallions, whatevs…this is a great recipe for adding and subtracting.  The best part of lettuce wraps is how easy it is to pull random ingredients out of your fridge and throw stuff together.

Which is exactly how this recipe was birthed.

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Ingredients:

1 lb. chicken breast, cubed

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. ginger, grated

1/4 c. Hoisin sauce

3 Tbs. reduced sodium soy sauce

1/2 tsp. rice wine vinegar

1/8 tsp. Sriracha

1/2 tsp. onion powder (or 1/4 c. minced onion)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Iceberg or butter lettuce

Toppings: carrots, cilantro, peanuts, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, green onions, sesame seeds, rice, Sriracha, Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, crunchy rice noodles, etc…..

In a skillet, heat 1 Tbs. of olive oil, or other cooking oil.  Add chicken and onion (if using).  Cook chicken until it is brown on all sides.  Add garlic and ginger, and saute for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

Add Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, Sriracha, onion powder (if using), salt, and pepper.  Stir until chicken is cooked through.

Serve warm in lettuce cups with toppings of choice.

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Anyways, I don’t have much to talk about today (the lettuce wraps speak for themselves???).  This is my last day of spring break (boo), but I spent most of the week in Napa and San Francisco, so expect some great pics and restaurant recommendations coming up soon.  Also some pretty good stories.  Just know that the weekend included really great SF coffee roasteries, (multiple) amazing steaks, and some really high heels.  Also French themed stores.  Lots of French themed stores.

But for now, I’ll leave you this recipe while I watch Cinderella and prepare for work tomorrow.

Just keepin’ the party alive.

SerendipitybySaraSig

Song of the Day: Interference Fits–Perfect Pussy

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DIY Painted Margarita Glasses

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Hello hello.

Happy International Women’s Day!  I am actually very excited for this day, because I spent it among so many amazing women.  I am actually in a sorority at my university, but I normally do not tell people about it.  Please understand that under no circumstances am I ashamed of my sorority in any way.  I actually think that it is an amazing organization and I am so proud of my sorority!

The reason I do not tell people about my involvement in a sorority is because of how judgmental other people are.  Being in a sorority, people automatically assume three things about you: You are dumb.  You are slutty.  And you are just in college to marry a rich guy.

And when you are actually a young, educated, motivated, well-rounded individual who is working her ass off to get a degree, it really sucks when somebody just assumes that you are none of those things.  When I tell people that I am in a sorority, people are normally super surprised.  Based on how I look, the activities I am in to, the music I listen to, and all of my interests, etc. etc. people have no idea that I would ever be in a sorority.  However, I would love to change the stereotype and help prove that we really are a smart, diverse group of young women!

My favorite part of my sorority is that our main goal is scholarship, and we do a ton of community service.

And tonight, my sorority, along with all of the other sororities and fraternities at our university, had a banquet where we were awarded on things such as scholarship, community service, and philanthropy.

In the end, we won the most awards (including Best Overall Chapter).  It was amazing to know that all of the hard work we put in to our sorority paid off, and I am so proud to have these women in my life!  I think we’re pretty amazing.

So, yeah.  Happy International Women’s Day to my mom, grandmas, aunts, cousins, friends, inspirations, and of course, my sorority sisters!

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If these already look familiar to you, it is probably because of thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis.

The hand painted wine glasses are my most popular post on my website.  The other day, I was at Ross and I saw these margarita glasses for $5.  I automatically wanted to paint them!  Margarita glasses are already so fun, and I thought they’d look super cool with rainbow colors dotted all over them.

I was right.

Also, I thought it would be fun to add some updated instructions/show off how cool these look.

(Really, I just wanted to celebrate Cinco de Mayo early).

(There’s worse things in life).

Materials You’ll Need:

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Margarita glasses

Glass paint (I recommend Martha Steward glass paint)

Lollipop sticks/Q-tips/something to paint dots with

Rubbing alcohol

Instructions:

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1. Find a surface to work on.  I prefer right in front of my TV where I can watch Disney movies and eat French fries.

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2. Wipe down the glasses with rubbing alcohol.  This just ensures that there is absolutely no dirt or gunk on them.

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3.  Get your paint ready.  I have all of the primary colors + white, and I just mix the colors that I want.  Using your lollipop stick/Q-tip/painting stick, paint little dots all over the foot, stem, and the bottom of the cup.  You can paint wherever you like, but leave about a 1-inch space below the rim.  I paint 1 color at a time so the paint does not dry out.  Do all 4 glasses.

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4.  Place glasses on a baking sheet.

READ THIS NOWWWWWW:  Place the baking sheet in a COLD oven.

Turn on the oven to 350* F.  When the oven is heated, set the timer for 30 minutes.

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Wait patiently.

When 30 minutes is up, turn off the oven and leave the glasses in there until the oven is COLD again.

Otherwise they could explode and it would be messy and sad )-:

Take the glasses out, wash with warm, soapy water, and then they’re ready to enjoy!

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Yay for cute glasses + limes + salt.

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(Literally a cool margarita glass with OJ in it).

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Go make them for Cinco de Mayo now!

Because nothing is more fun than cool margarita glasses and Mexican food and dancing in your kitchen with your friends on May 5.

(Trust me).

SerendipitybySaraSig

Song of the Day: Oxford Comma–Vampire Weekend

Girl Scout Samoa Nanaimo Bars

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Hihihihihihihi.

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like nothing goes right?

And then you realize that literally everything you’re sad about is just a bunch of first-world problems, and nothing is actually wrong and you’re just being a princess about everything…?

Because I had that kind of day on Friday.

First, I woke up really early (at like, 6 a.m.  On my day only day off…) and could literally hear my next door neighbor’s TV.  Please note: I live in a house.  Not an apartment.  Not a condo.  A house.  And I could hear their TV.  Because only at 6 a.m. do I have superpower hearing.  After laying in bed staring at the wall for a few hours, I got up and *attempted* to do my hair and makeup, but no matter what I did, I looked like a hot mess.  After about 1 1/2 hours, I finally was able to make myself look how I do every single day.  It just took twice as long..  I finally decided that I would grab lunch and watch movies.  But then I dropped my lunch on the ground 1 bite in (and ate it anyways because at that point, I had no limits).  I also couldn’t find half of my Disney movies.  So to solve that problem, I had a meltdown.

I am almost 20 years old and I cried over not being able to find my Disney movies.

Eventually, I decided to go grab a coffee, talked to a cute barista, and ended up at an 80’s party wearing a Risky Business costume.

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Me attempting to accomplish Tom Cruise’s “Old Time Rock and Roll” dance in my costume. And failing…

The day ended up pretty great, and I realized that I just needed to take a deep breath, and understand that my problems were really not that bad.

Because they weren’t.

But they were kind of funny and now you can mock me a little.

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Plus, I had these sitting in my fridge, so how bad could my day really be?

Since I know most of you are probably thinking, “What’s a nanaimo bar”, here’s a brief history:

The Nanaimo bar was invented in none other than Nanaimo, Canada.  That’s about all I know.  The actual dessert is made up of 3 layers.  The first is a no-bake crust made with chocolate, nuts, coconut, and graham crumbs.  The second layer is traditionally a custard buttercream, and it’s topped with chocolate.

But since it’s Girl Scout Cookie season (because obviously that’s a season), I decided to make them using Somoa cookies.  Which already have chocolate, coconut, and a graham-like texture.

Plus caramel which is never a bad thing.

As previously stated, traditional nanaimo bars have a custard buttercream filling.  Which is really good, but really rich, and really sweet.  To make it a little less dense, I decided to make a swiss meringue buttercream filling.  And add caramel to enhance the Somoa theme.

Result = something you need to make now.

Note: Please don’t be scared.  3 layers sounds like a lot.  Swiss meringue buttercream sounds intimidating.  SO NOT.  These are very easy and don’t require that much time.  Be brave, bakers.

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Ingredients:

Bottom Layer:

1/2 c. unsalted butter

3 Tbs. sugar

1/4 c. cocoa powder

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 c. Samoa cookie crumbs, crushed + 1/2 c. chopped roughly for garnish

1/2 c. almonds, chopped

1 c. sweetened coconut

Caramel SMB:

3 egg whites

1/2 c. sugar

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened

Pinch salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 c. caramel sauce, homemade or store bought

Top:

4 oz. baking chocolate

1 Tbs. butter

For the bottom layer, melt the butter, sugar, and cocoa on the stove over medium heat.  When it’s combined, mix 1/4 cup of the mixture into the egg to temper.  Add egg mixture back to the chocolate mixture and stir over the heat until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in Samoa crumbs, almonds, and coconut.  Press into a greased 8×8 or 8×11 baking pan.  Freeze for 20-40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1-2 inches of water in a medium sized sauce pan on the stove until it starts to simmer.  In a heat-proof mixing bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar.  Place mixing bowl on top of the sauce pan and stir the mixture until a candy thermometer reads 140-150* F.  Remove from heat, and whip egg mixture until stiff peaks form and mixture is cooled.  Add butter, 1-2 Tbs. at a time until frosting forms.  If it appears curdled, keep beating until it forms, or add butter 1-2 Tbs. at a time until the texture is creamy and smooth.  Add vanilla extract, salt, and caramel sauce.  Pour mixture and spread evenly over the crust layer.  Refrigerate until buttercream is firm.

While the buttercream firms, heat the chocolate and butter over low heat until melted.  Spread chocolate evenly over firm buttercream layer.  Sprinkle chopped cookies over the top, and refrigerate until chocolate is hardened.  Cut into bars, or bite sized pieces.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

Makes 16 large bars or 64 bite sized pieces.

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I hope you all had a wonderful Sunday.  I laid in bed until 11, went to my favorite coffee place, and watched Friends for hours.

What did you do?

SerendipitybySaraSig

*Song of the Day: Pedestrian at Best–Courtney Barnett