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February 2012

Lentin Sacrifice and the 40 day mood swing!

 

(86 Sugar) The Forbidden Fruit

 I was having the all you can binge breakfast buffet with myself the other day in Vegas and as I was stuffing a crispy cream donut in a napkin to take back up to my room,  I was thinking to myself, “Self? What kind of sugary food Shall I hoss down on before the Lenten sacrifice rolls around this year? And with much thought,  I’ve decided to 86 sugar.  That’s what I’m having for lent!

Reasons I’ve decided to X-nay sugar.

Reason # 1.  I swear by the Lenten sacrifice.  Matter of fact, it’s the only time of year I become a super stereotype Catholic  More so than my devout husband.  After all, he was going to become a priest at one point in his life.  So when this time of year comes around, my bragging rights kick in.  But he is more into giving up meat on Fridays anyways.

Reason #2.  I originally decided to give up sugar as my new years resolution, but that failed miserably with my holiday gluttony.  As a result of my overindulgence, I gained 5 pounds.  So I figured I’ve lost that battle in order to win the war.  Besides, everyone deserves a second chance, right?

Reason #3  I have high hopes to to get rid of my muffin top so people would quit asking me if I was pregnant.  Yeah, that’s right! pregnant!  You may not believe such comments like “Congratulations!”, “Uh, are you pregnant?”, or “When are you due?”  As they motion a plump circular ball around their torsos. Sorry bastards.  Side note: (Although I love multiplying and wish I were preggers mama again, I am not!  But I do have to admit I question the size of my ever growing poku.  For those of you who still don’t believe me, just come with me on the J, O, B! It happens.  Especially after hossing over a plate of fried chicken wings, extra crispy, dripping in buffalo sauce, dipped in cool ranch dressing and a side of crunchy celery sticks.  hmm! hmmm!  Not forget the starbucks caramel macchiato chaser that shortly follows.  End results, usually making me feel like a gluttonous P.O.S!

Reason # 4 Now I’m not sure the scientific truth to this one, but someone once told me that you undergo such radical mood swings and withdrawals when you cut sugar from your diet not only from the addiction of sugar but also from the parasites that leach onto the sugars you digest making you that much more bloated and lethargic.  So when you deprive yourself of sugar, you not only detox yourself, but purge these parasites that naturally feed off this food source.  And since they no longer have food, they simply get get dropped off at the pool with the kids.  mmhmm,  I can kill 2 birds with one stone.

So there ya go. I will be testing my will power yet another year.  I have one more day to binge on all the sugary foods I can possibly get my hands on……. And then my friends…., Let the 40 day mood swing begin!

Since we’re on vacation this week in Houston visiting both sides of the family, I do not have a recipe to post!  I’m off on sabbatical, shucks! However, enjoy my family pictures!  Yesterday, we endulged on some of our Houstonion favorites.  Kolaches, Filipiniana all you can eat bufffet, Taco Cabana, and Rudy’s BBQ brisket!  All before my lent!  Hek yeah!  Enjoy my pics.  And my infamous Poku! 

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Filipino Beef steak Recipe aka Bistek

Nothing chaps my ass more than when I go into an establishment that serves me questionable food.   I just so happened to go to a  Chinese restaurant the other day that half asses their cooking.   The stir fry tasted like  barely cooked meat drenched in either oyster or hoisen sauce. And the wonton soup tasted like dirty socks.  Can food taste lazy?  Because it all tasted lazy to me.

So today, I am making a stir fry recipe we Filipinos call “Beef Steak or “Bistek”.   It’s kind of like a lemon pepper stir fry.  It’s by far one of the most delicious stir frys ever.  It has this tangy, yummy, appeal from the lemon  or kalamansi juice that is so addicting.  Kalamansi  is a fruit that is a cross between a lemon and a lime  and way popular in Filipino cooking.  Since they’re hard to come  by in the U.S., we use lemon.  This dish has become a staple in our Fil-Am household. I often have to fend off my husband and children.  They turn into salivating hyenas over the stove when they smell me cooking it.  Although I’ve made this recipe many times the traditional way by quickly stir frying it after a long marinating process,  I’ve been cooking it differently.  Let me explain.

I have come to love my stepmothers version.  She,along with my father and little brother lived with my husband and I for a month in Houston back in 05′ when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.   They became refugees when their first floor apartment flooded.  In that month my step mother and I bonded as she taught me some great Filipino recipes that she added her own twists to.  She doesn’t cook Filipino beef steak aka bistek the traditional way by marinating an expensive cut of meat then quickly stir frying it, but rather she boils a cheaper cut of meat in the marinade with water.  She lets it get tender letting the juices evaporate all the way down until the meat caramelizes.  Pretty great idea for tenderizing a tough cut of meat!   Cheaper too, and cheap is good with me!  Here’s her secret method for a great NON-LAZY beef steak stir fry!

Ingredients:

1 tbs canola oil

2 to 3 pound chuck roast cut into thin slices

1 large onion sliced into rings

1/2 pound of green beans cut in halves

juice of 1 large lemon or juice of 2 Kalamansi fruit

zest of 1 lemon (optional)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 T. vinegar

5 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

1. ) I first start off by cutting my vegetables.  So cut the green beans in halves and snip the ends.  Cut a lemon wedge in half, mince garlic and cut onion into rings.  Set aside.

2.)  Cut meat into thin slices.

3. ) Add  meat to a large saute pan and pour water into pan until it covers about  1/2 an inch above the meat.   Add garlic, vinegar,  soy sauce, lemon juice to pan and sprinkle pepper to season.  You can also add the zest of the lemon at this point if you have a zester on hand.  It makes the dish taste so much better in my opinion.  Turn the heat on high and bring the whole pan to a boil!

4. )  The trick to this dish is to keep boiling on HIGH heat, UNCOVERED, until the water starts to evaporate.  This will take about a good hour or so.  Keep the heat on high stirring once in a while until all the water evaporates.  Here it is roughly 45 minutes later with the liquid evaporating.

5.  )  Once the liquid is almost all evaporated,  you will want to watch it carefully.  At this point you can adjust the soy sauce and add a little more.  Add salt and pepper to taste if it needs it.  You can keep a little liquid in with your meat as this is good to serve over your rice once it is finished or let the meat caramelize and let all the juices  cook out of the pan completely.  It’s your preference.  Either way, your meat should be nice and tender.  Take the meat out and place on a serving platter.

6.) Return pan back to stove top.  To the pan drippings, add oil and saute onions and green beans. the traditional way to make bistek is to saute only onion rings, but I always add green beans or sometimes broccoli.  Saute until veggies are al dente’.  Excuse the blurry picture….

7.)  Place your sautéed veggies over your beef and there you have it.

A family style Filipino dish that is so mouth-watering.  The beef is tangy and so good!  My husband and children love this!  It is one that they get so excited for!

Since I’ve been on a health kick lately, I serve mine over a brown rice, millet and quinoa concoction just like this!

If you have any questions feel free to ask,  follow me or leave a comment.  I would love it! I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.  Promise.  Thank you for visiting my blog! Happy eating everyone and have a beautiful day!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup and our Pseudo winter

We went from having a Nuclear winter last year to a bogus winter this year, where everything winter related is a sham.  To explain in further detail,  in a sham winter, the snow never stays.  In sham winters, plants get very confused and pop up thinking it’s spring  only to be blasted by snow when they’re least expecting it.  In sham winters, there are no snow days off for the kids! 😦   You take full advantage of snow when it does come and go sledding or build snowmen  because you know it’s  all going to melt away with a quickness.  In sham winters, your neighbors come out of hibernation and you run into each other at the park talking about how unseasonably warm it is. And in artificial winters, there is always that trademark snow storm that blasts you right in the beginning of spring when you thought winter was over-with! Oh yes, almost forgot.  There’s always drastic temperature changes in a sham winters making everyone’s immune systems that much more susceptible to infections.  Oh how enjoyable.  I, for one, feel like my head is about to explode.   And my kids are pleasantly sick at the moment with sinus and viral infections.  Yay me.  Here’s some chicken noodle soup for a little comfort with those anti-bio-tics!  Meanwhile, wishing for a snowstorm while we’re in quarantine.

Ingredients:

1 large  or 2 small chicken breast

1 chicken bouillon cubes

8 cups water

2 cans cream of chicken

1 tsp ground sage

1tsp fresh cracked pepper

1 medium onion chopped

4 cloves garlic minced

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced tomatoes

1 can diced tomato

Procedure:

1. ) Mix cream chicken soup with 64 ounces of water or 8 cups with wire whisk. I use a pitcher for easy mixing.

2.) Pour mixture into a crock pot with a large chicken breast or 2 small breasts

3.) Add a can of diced tomatoes

4 .) Then add all those good for you vegetables. I generally use root vegetables or whatever I have on hand. This time round I had  carrots, tomatoes, celery, onions, and my best friend garlic!

5.) Then add some fresh cracked pepper and ground sage.

6.) Then a chicken bouillon cube! I use Knorr!  My favorite.  I get it at the Mexican food aisle at Meijer, our local grocery store.

6.) Cook low and slow for 6 hours. Take the Chicken breast out and shred with a fork.  Then add it back to the crock pot.  Boil a pound of egg noodles and add to the crock pot or put noodles in  separate bowls and ladle soup on top of it! And enjoy!!!!!

If you have any questions feel free to ask,  follow me or leave a comment.  I would love it! I’ll get back with you as soon as I can.  Promise.  Thank you for visiting my blog! Happy eating everyone and have a beautiful day!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps Recipe ala Superbowl style!

 Superbowl Line of Scrimmage Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Jing Jing’s PowerPoint presentation-

Reasons I am looking forward to the 2012 Superbowl:

  • Kelly Clarkson singing the national anthem and the  F-18  fighter jet flyby (my tax dollars hard at work)
  • Madonna.  Looking fwd to it because I don’t like stabbing myself repeatedly with a fork during halftime.
  • The Puppy Bowl
  • Commercials. Hoping to see a new and improved imported from the dirty and another Darth Vader’s “the force”!
  • And finally,  I’m very excited to share my “Superbowl Line of Scrimmage Chicken Lettuce Wraps”  Try saying that about ten times super fast!

I just went shopping at Sams club and the “Sample Sarah” in me got suckered into buying 9 boxes of pre-made meals, hors d’oeurves and appe-teezers during their Superbowl Sunday sample feast .  They got me, damn sample stands.  ANY-VAY, just call me sample Sarah!  So this years spread is proudly sponsored by Sams.  And it ain’t even like I’m hosting a huge party either.   It will be me and the fam.  Just the way I like.  We’ll be making a comfy spread on the living room floor along with lettuce wraps and app-eteezers!  I’ve been experimenting with wraps and after the second try, they’ve got it going on.  It goes great on a buffet table and they go quick in my family!  If you happen to be stopping by my blog and you know how to make these even better LMK on my comment box! I’d love it!

Ingredients:

1 Tbs canola oil

1 medium onion chopped

1 pound ground chicken

2 Tbs soy sauce

1 Tbs vinegar

1 Tbs brown sugar

1 Tbs sesame oil

4 oz. button mushrooms finely chopped

1 5 oz can of water chestnuts drained and finely chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 pepper

Procedure:

1.) Heat a large saute pan to medium high add canola oil and saute onions until tender.

2.) Then add chopped mushrooms and continue to saute until soft . Add ground chicken and brown the mixture!

3.)  Add brown sugar soy sauce and vinegar,  and salt and pepper to taste

4.) Last add sesame oil and  water chestnuts to pan. Heat through for about 1 minute, adjust salt and pepper and done.

For the dipping sauce:

1. ) mix the 3  ingredients below

3 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs white vinegar

1 tbs sesame oil

2.) Then add hot sauce or rooster sauce as my husband would call it.

1 tbs red hot chili asian rooster sauce  (I use sriracha brand) mix and use for dipping sauce.

Serve with a head of lettuce!  You can quarter the lettuce or just chop the bottom third off and peel back the layers back for wrapping!

If you like this post, please leave a comment and feel free to follow me if you like.  I would love that!  I will get back with you with any questions or comments you may have.  Thanks for stopping by and having a beautiful day everyone!

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