Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Chicken

There were two boneless skinless chicken breasts sitting in my fridge the other day...just waiting to be used. I considered tossing them in the oven with a bit of seasoning and then using them in salads but it just seemed waaaay too boring. I decided lettuce wraps sounded a little more exciting, a little more fun and a lot tastier!

Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Chicken                                   
Recipe adapted from She Wears Many Hats

 Stir Fry Sauce:
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 tbsp. brown sugar
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. fresh ginger
1 tsp. sesame oil

 Peanut Chicken:
2 chicken breasts, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 heaped tbsp. peanut butter
1/4 cup slivered almonds (cashews would be a great substitute)
oil
salt & pepper, to taste

10 large lettuce leaves (romaine or iceberg)
1 cup brown rice, cooked according to package

 Instructions:
1. Mix all stir fry sauce ingredients making sure to dissolve brown sugar. Set aside.

2. Heat your oil in frying pan over medium heat. Add diced chicken and sautee until it starts to brown. Remove chicken from oil.

3. Add onions, peppers, garlic, ginger & soy sauce to pan. Let it brown and reduce. When onions and peppers are tender, add stir fry sauce, peanut butter, browned chicken, and almonds. Saute mixture for a few minutes and remove from heat.

4. Spoon brown rice into individual lettuce leaves and then top with the chicken. Wrap it up and enjoy!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Music Monday - Airborne Toxic Event

I'm not super familiar with this band, but this particular song seems to be following me around! Not that I mind, since I'm kind of loving it. I first heard it in the pilot of Suits, which is possibly one of the most addicting TV shows everrr, then a friend was playing it and then it's also been played on the radio a ton. The beginning bit is so catchy that it put me in a really great mood, even after working a busy 12-hour night shift.
Countdown to Cabo San Lucas! I'm breaking out the vacation music for my iPod - stay tuned! =)

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Monday, 20 May 2013

Music Monday - The Shins

It's the May long weekend and I've been camping for the past 3 nights out in the mountains. Today I was driving home when my favourite song by The Shins came on. With iced coffee in one hand and sunnies on, not even my sweaty clothes, slightly sunburnt cheeks or dirty hair could take away from the feeling of casual coolness that came over me. A car pulled up beside me a stoplight, also with it's windows down... You know when you can just tell that someone is looking in your direction? Well yeah, that happened. Probably because I looked exactly like I'd been camping in a tent for several days in a row, but I still felt pretty dang amazing. Oh the power of a good song! Enjoy the song and the week ahead! Xo

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Spiiiicy Green Beans

I think I've been craving these green beans since December...when I had a similar version at the Chinese restaurant in the mall food court. These ones, however, don't have MSG and don't sit under heat lamps for any period of time. My mouth is watering now, just thinking about them...mmm, yum! The beans stay fresh and keep some of their crunch. There is nothing worse than a floppy green bean, am I right? I'm a medium heat kind of girl, but the spice level is super easy to control if you like more or less. Make these in 10 minutes and then watch them disappear even faster. I ate an impressive amount all by myself.

 Spicy Green Beans

1 lb. French green beans, washed and trimmed
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 pat butter
1 tsp. garlic, crushed
1 tsp. ginger, grated (I used frozen Pop Herbs)
1 pinch red pepper flakes
salt & black pepper
1/4 cup ginger teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp. sesame seeds

1. Heat sesame oil and butter in a large pan on med-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and sautee for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add green beans to the pan. Sautee until beans begin to develop dark colour (and flavour!), about 5 minutes. Place a lid over the pan during this step to help the beans steam and become more tender.
3. Season beans with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

4. When beans are fork tender, add the sauce and stir to coat evenly. Remove from heat promptly as the sauce will burn really quickly. (I think any sauce with Asian flavours would work in this step - use what you've got!)

5. Transfer beans to serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Monday, 13 May 2013

Music Monday - Spring Favourites

Nancy Newman Art



I figured out how to make a playlist and share it - hooray! These are only a few of the songs that I've been listening to over the past couple of weeks. Some, like Blood, by The Middle East have been favourites for a long time and some are newer to me. Hope you are enjoying the lilac bushes, the cherry blossoms and the warm rain as much as I am! Happy Monday and happy listening! =)

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Best Mom

“I used to say that I was the apple and my mom was the tree, and I certainly didn’t fall very far. But that’s not entirely accurate. If my mom is the tree, then I’m the bird that grew up in its branches.
She protected me and showed me that, even on the highest of branches, there was nothing to be afraid of. She encouraged me to explore and gave me a solid foundation to come home to. I didn’t fall from her. I flew because of her.” – Melody Fletcher
 I love you, Mom! Xo

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Turkey Mushroom Burgers

I decided I wanted to make something really delicious for last night's Canucks game. In theory, it was supposed to be a great playoff game - the beginning of our comeback. In actuality, it was the last game of our season and ended up being emotionally exhausting. The game didn't go according to plan, but the burgers really did! I decided not to use a recipe and to "wing it" instead. I love how they turned out and will definitely be using this formula again! This recipe made 8 patties, but you could make more or less by changing their size. Alternately you could form these into meatballs or put it into a meatloaf tin. 
Turkey Mushroom Burgers 

1 pkg lean ground turkey (mine was 0.356kg or about 3/4 lb.)
3 pieces of whole wheat bread - ground into breadcrumbs
15 cremini mushrooms
1 large sweet onion
1 egg
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp grainy mustard
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
salt & pepper

In a food processor, chop half of the mushrooms and half of the sweet onion until fine. Sautee on medium heat until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated and the onions are tender. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix together with clean hands. Be careful not to burn your hands if the mushrooms/onions are still hot. At this point, if you find the mix too wet or sticky, add some more breadcrumbs. If it's too dry, you could add a little bit of broth or even another egg. If you can, let the mixed ingredients sit in the fridge for a couple hours to really let the flavours combine.
Form the burgers and place in a hot, oiled pan. Cook on medium heat, about 6 minutes per side. Don't be afraid to get dark colour on the burgers - it will give them really good flavour and shouldn't taste burnt. If you're using a meat thermometer, make sure the internal temperature is 165°F. At the end, place a piece of mozzarella cheese on top and allow it to melt..provolone would be really good too. Putting a lid over your pan will speed up the melting time. Before you construct your burger, sautee the remaining half an onion and mushrooms on low heat until they begin to caramelize. The longer you cook them, the tastier they will be.
My perfect burger toppings included lettuce, tomato, avocado, mayonnaise and mustard but customize to your liking..and then enjoy! Let me know what you think! =)

Monday, 6 May 2013

Music Monday - Alt-J (∆)

Ugh, perfect music. This song is fantastic for morning, afternoon and evening...for suntanning, for driving, for cooking. I cleeeearly can't get enough. I first heard about Alt-J when the Silver Linings Playbook released its soundtrack. I immediately checked out the artists that were featured and Alt-J was one of them. "Something Good" is probably their most popular song, but honestly the whole album, An Awesome Wave, is amazing. Listen listen listen!

Something interesting: alt-J (∆)’s name takes a little explaining. Pronounced “alt-J”, the delta sign is created when you hold down the alt key on your computer keyboard and punch ‘J’ on a Mac computer. The symbol has a deeper meaning for the band, as guitarist/bassist Gwil Sainsbury notes, “in mathematical equations it’s used to show change,” and the band’s relatively new name came at a turning point in their lives.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Upcoming

In one month exactly, I'll be laying beside a pool or the ocean, basking in hot, Mexican sunshine. In two months exactly, I'll be somewhere (maybe lost?) in Europe with Jenae! For someone who doesn't do a ton of travelling, this is big business and a lot to fit into a couple months, but I am suuuper excited! I should mention that at some point between these two trips I get to walk across a stage, shake a few hands and get my tassel moved from one side to the other. It's just a formality at this point since I've already been working as a full-fledged RN for a few months, but I'm looking forward to having that closure and celebrating with my classmates.
Image from Amy Neunsinger Photography
I know my passport is up-to-date, I'm working on eating a bit healthier in preparation for the hot weather, and I'm still trying to master this new camera. I feel like there are a million more things to do before Trip Numero Uno, but I guess I just have to take it one day at time! Summer is coming! Woohoo! What are your big plans?