Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Carb-Friendly Chicken Lettuce Wraps!

We have just recently discovered that we can make chicken lettuce wraps that taste a hundred times better than anything you could order at PF Changs,  Yardhouse or any other chain that offers this item on their menu!

It is a super carb-friendly meal and you don’t have to feel guilty about having lots of it!  It’s a super easy recipe with just a few ingredients and prep time is nothing!

This recipe will feed two easily with leftovers galore.


  • 2 small chicken breasts, halved, and minced.  DO NOT buy already ground chicken, the consistently is too soft.  But if you are short on time, this is an easy substitute
  • Small can of water chestnuts (chopped into small pieces)
  • 1 bag of shredded cabbage (green & purple).  You can get a small bag of coleslaw mix (with carrots) from the local grocery store
  • 1 head of butter lettuce (any lettuce will work, but we love butter lettuce!)
  • Fresh cilantro (as much as you want of this stuff)
  • Green onions (a few stalks, chopped)
  • Fresh Garlic (3-4 cloves minced) – you can use the already minced garlic in a jar but the fresh stuff really works better here
  • Fresh Ginger root (1/2 tsp) minced finely – again, you can use a powder, or already prepped ginger, but the fresh ginger root will make this dish special!
If you don’t already have these in the pantry, you need to buy:

  • Oyster flavor sauce (2 tbsp)
  • Maggi or regular soy sauce (1 tbsp)
  • Thick soy sauce (1 tsp)
  • Sesame oil (few drops to coat nonstick pan)
  • Garlic powder, onion powder and white pepper
  • Cayenne pepper ( a few sprinkles)
For the sauce:

  • Equal parts dumpling sauce, citrus soy sauce
  • A few drops of soy sauce or Maggi, a drop of sesame oil, half tsp of Asian chili sauce, a few pinches of fresh ground black pepper, squeeze of lemon or lime and mix with a fork

This can be made ahead of time or right before serving 


  • Mix minced chicken meat in bowl with garlic powder, onion powder and white pepper and the think soy sauce (this sauce is mainly for color) and mix thoroughly.  Set aside to briefly marinade while you cut the rest of your veggies
  • Wash and prepare water chestnuts, green onions, fresh garlic, fresh ginger root and set aside
  • Wash butter lettuce and set aside


  • In a nonstick pan, add sesame oil, minced garlic and ginger and sauté until garlic turns golden brown, NOT BURNT!
  • Add chicken and continue to saute on med-high heat until almost cooked.  (The minced meat cooks faster than whole breasts so keep a close watch, 5-7 mins should be plenty of time in the pan)
  • Add chopped water chestnuts, oyster flavor sauce, maggi or soy sauce, cayenne pepper and mix in pan
  • Add cabbage (slaw mix) at the end, toss and turn heat off.
  • Garnish with fried onions and cilantro and serve with Butter Lettuce leaves
They are super light and has less than 4g of carbs per serving!  Enjoy and stay fit!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lemongrass Jalapeno Chicken Stir Fry

Here is another one of my favorite recipes!  I've often joked about opening a restaurant completely devoted to LEMONGRASS!  I think there is already a Lemongrass restaurant in Southwest Houston, but it is not even close to what MY Lemongrass would be like! 
Lemongrass, also known as Cymbopogon, or XA (sah) in Vietnamese, is a widely used herb in Southeast Asian cuisine.  It has a subtle citrus flavor and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh.  I wouldn't recommend ingesting lemongrass in bigger bitesize pieces.  It becomes strawlike and stringy.  I always use the minced form unless I am adding lemongrass stalks to my soups or broths.

I grew up eating Ga Xao Xa Ot (Lemongrass chicken) as a bone-in dish with big chunks of chicken and a more caramel-ly flavor.  Over the years, I have altered my mom's recipe a bit.  It isn't so much caramelized as it is savory and spicy!  Give it a try, you're going to love this dish!
  • minced garlic
  • olive oil
  • one whole sliced onion
  • green onion, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, sliced
  • onion powder (few dashes)
  • garlic powder (few dashes)
  • white pepper (black is fine)- (few dashes)
  • 3 chicken breasts (sliced into bite-size pieces)
  • finely chopped lemongrass (1-2 tsp)
  • red pepper flakes (for heat, 1-2 tsp)
  • fish sauce (muoc mam)
  • oyster flavor sauce
  • corn starch - 2 tsp
Marinade for chicken:
  • sesame oil, 2 tsp minced garlic, 2-3 tbsp of fish sauce, 1-2 tbsp of oyster flavor sauce, few dashes of cayenne (Remember marinades are very forgiving, exact measurements are not super important)
Add sliced chicken breast and marinade in separate bowl for 30 mins prior to cooking
optional (for color): 
  • Slice onions, green onions, jalapenos
  • Julienne bell pepper, optional
  • Julienne red pepper, optional
  1. add oil and garlic to heated pan
  2. add chicken, set aside marinade bowl (do not wash yet)
  3. saute until almost cooked through
  4. add lemongrass and stir
  5. Add bell peppers, red peppers, and onions, saute for a few minutes until veggies are cooked to your liking
  6. Add jalapenos (they cook very fast)
  7. Add the remaining ingredients to the marinade bowl (onion powder, garlic powder, white pepper, fish sauce, oyster flavor sauce, corn starch, and about 1/4 cup of warm water).  Mix until the corn starch has dissolved. 
  8. Add mixture to pan and stir.  The mixture will create a thicker and more consistent sauce for the stir fry.  Serve with jasmine rice :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Bye Bye Carbs! Blackened Catfish

Josh and I decided we really needed to start eating better and losing some of this happy relationship weight that has inched its way into our britches!

We are trying a semi Atkins diet.  Pretty Low - carb, close to no carb, but it almost seems impossible to cut ALL carbs out of one's diet :/  A few years back, I remember that I tried a carb-free diet and lasted all of 2 days!  I simply could not give up my jasmine rice - I was soooo moody and felt completely depressed.  I am a lover of food, I never really over indulge, just hate to exercise!  So it's time to make a change and it's so much easier to have someone join you in the crusade against weight! Thanks JB <3

Last night I pan-fried catfish for our inaugural Lo-Carb supper!

Blackened Catfish is pretty easy!

You can usually find fresh, farm-raised catfish in the grocer's fish market (HEB). . . I bought 3 fillets (for myself, Josh and Jonah).  Jonah skipped out on us to meet friends at Myako's for there very awesome sushi happy hour!  Here is the recipe for 3 servings.

  • Catfish fillets (1/person)
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • olive oil 
  • fish sauce
  • blackened seasoning, Tony's cajun seasoning, or Lawry's seasoned salt
  • black pepper
  • cayenne
  • Rub 1-2 drops of olive oil on fish (both sides)
  • Sprinkle onion, garlic, and cajun seasoning on fish (both sides)
  • Depending on your desired level of spice, sprinkle black pepper and cayenne on fish
  • very carefully, add 2-3 drops of fish sauce to one side of the fish (you do not need more than that)
  • Let rest in fridge for 20-30 minutes to marinade
  • Heat nonstick pan on high, add olive oil to pan
  • add fillets and turn heat down to medium high heat
  • fish tends to cook pretty quickly, about 5 minutes on each side (depending on size of fillet)
**I added a little water to the pan when it looked like it was charring or smoking, this created a more darker golden color on the fish!

Squeeze some lemon on it and normally I would serve this with dirty or jasmine rice, but since we are not eating CARBS, we just had it by itself.

Here are the nutrition facts if you are curious.

Taken from

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My Famous Grilled Ribeye Recipe

I LOVVVVVE to grill!  When I opened Three Sheets, one thing I knew for sure was that I wanted a Steak Night!  A lot of places would have Steak Night, but the steaks were not as flavorful as I liked em!  Okay, so I am asian!  Our idea of steak was thin slices of marinated eye of round, pan-fried (well-done, by the way) and served with jasmine rice, soy sauce and sriracha . . . I didn't really start grilling REAL steaks until I was in my twenties.  And I never ate my steak the right way (MEDIUM - RARE) until my (ex) husband forced me to give it a try . . . boy was I missing out on flavor!!!!

Here's the recipe (Serving for 4):


  • 1/4in to 1/3in cut of Ribeye (lots of the fat on it)
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • A few dashes of steak seasoning (McCormicks Spicy Montreal Steak)
  • 1/2 cup oyster flavor sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 Shiner Beer
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2-3 dashes of cayenne pepper


  • Place all ingredients in a plastic bag or bin large enough to hold all the steaks
  • Best if you can marinade overnight in the fridge, but an hour should be okay.  Heck, it's always better to marinade overnight ;)

Take the Steaks out of the fridge half an hour before you are ready to grill.  Use a half of an onion to clean the grill and oil the grill as it is getting hot.

I use a gas grill so it doesn't take very long for the grill to get hot.  This is where it gets fuzzy . . . I never pay attention to the actual temperature of the fire, I start the grill on a high fire to get it really hot, turn it down a notch when I'm ready to put the meat on.  I like to get the grill marks first, so starting it off on a hot grill will make those marks!  Once you put them on, don't move them around too much.  You should only have to flip them once.

I don't use a meat thermometer either, but it's BEEF!!!!  I can usually tell by the tenderness of the steak if it is medium-rare and ready to take off! So touch your meat! Getting a thermometer ain't such a bad idea :)

rare 120°F - 125°F; medium rare 125°F - 130°F; medium 130°F - 135°F

Always let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before serving or cutting!

For an even more Asian twist, serve it with jasmine rice, a few slices of tomatoes and cucumber, squeeze some lime on top of that ribeye and top it off with sriracha!  YUMMMMM in the tums!

Enjoy ;)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Beef N Broccoli

General Tso's chicken, shrimp fried rice, beef n broccoli!!!  These are a few all-time favorite dishes for a gringo to order from the local Chinese takeout or eat at the neighborhood Chinese restaurant.
Well, just because they are typical doesn't mean they can't be flavorful!!!   
First of all, please accept my apologies, work has been WORK lately and life hasn't slowed down enough for me to write . . . with late nights at baseball games and something always on the agenda, Josh and I have been eating out quite a bit lately.
Putting together supper requires planning, defrosting and/or major preemptive shopping! But sometimes, it can be as simple as a quick stop at the local Randall’s! 
So I actually cooked this meal on Monday night, after Josh's game . . . no planning, nothing defrosted--guided only by the desire to NOT EAT OUT AGAIN! 
I picked up some beef ( a butt roast, I usually buy eye of round, but they did not have any so I made due) and a few bunches of broccoli--all for under $10!!!
Here is the recipe (serving for 2): 
  • beef (1/2 lb eye of round, sliced for stir fry)
  • broccoli (2 cups cut)
  • olive oil
  • minced garlic
  • fish sauce
  • oyster flavor sauce
  • soy sauce
  • onion powder
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • ginger powder
  • sesame oil
  • corn starch
  • chili sauce  *if you have small kids eating, you may not want to use this
This is the sauce: 

-Marinade for Beef - remember I am eyeballin' it!  And marinades are very forgiving on the quantities!
  • Place sliced beef in a mixing bowl or ziploc bag
  • Add 2-3 drops of fish sauce
  • Add 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • Add 3 tbsp of oyster flavor sauce
  • Few sprinkles of onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, ginger powder
  • A splash of sesame oil
  • tsp of the chili sauce
**You would typically marinate the beef for at least 30 minutes in the fridge.  On this particular occasion, it marinated for about 5-10 minutes while I was prepping the broccoli and making the rice.
-Rinse and slice Broccoli and set aside
-Thickening sauce
  • 1 tbsp of cornstarch or reg flour
  • a few drops of soy sauce
  • a few drops of oyster flavor sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Heat pan, add olive oil and minced garlic
  • Add broccoli and sauté (I add a tiny bit of water, a few drops of oyster flavor sauce and cover for a few minutes to cook)  *If you prefer your broccoli al dente, you can remove it at the desired texture and set aside
  • Add the beef and sauté until almost cooked the way you want it, add the thickening sauce and stir until the sauce has thickened
  • Remove from pan, sprinkle with black pepper and serve with rice
It was pretty yummy this time!!! It's always been one of Jonah's favorites growing up!  Hope your family enjoys it!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


I’m a social media monster I’ve been told.  Not really.  But I do love sharing!  Criticize me if you will, yes, I am one of those people who wishes everyone a Happy Thursday!  Indeed, I do enjoy posting pictures of my meals – I’m gifted at Instagram.  And say what you want, but I love knowing that you LIKED my post! 

I admit it, I’m addicted to social media.  I’m a Duchess according to YELP!, a mayor according to foursquare, and one who spends the first 5 minutes of every meal checking in, taking pictures and making notes for restaurant reviews!  I’m not ashamed of who I am or doing what makes me happy out in the open, even if I see you chuckling or taking a picture of me while I’m taking my pictures ;)

I love it!  I love it all!  I’ve been exploring the blog world more lately. . .  I came across a couple of sites that I really love so far. is titled:  My Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life.  Gretchen Rubin is way more optimistic and sunshiny than I could ever hope to be, but I think everyone needs to be reminded that you can’t live everyday worrying about what is going on in Syria or North Korea or how the weather patterns are changing so dramatically because of our continued disregard for the environment.  Sometimes, the best you can do is focus on things that you can directly change or influence in your immediate and daily life.  It’s my drop of sunshine in my otherwise addicted to AP News updates about shootings, worldwide injustices, and the generally crazy state of society and its members world.
I haven’t read very much of her blog, I only subscribed to the “Moments of Happiness” that get delivered to my inbox each morning.  It’s like a fortune cookie to start your day J

The other blog I started following is  This guy Nir Eyal is super interesting and I really enjoy his style of writing.  The blog is about business, behavior and the brain.  Pure Enlightenment and simple entertainment.  I get brain tickles when I read his stuff. ;)  Yes, brain tickles.

Enjoy your day.  Cheers to your moments of sunshine, wherever you may find them!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spicy Fried Chicken Wings

I just read an article about how some of the best spicy fried chicken is from a joint called Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville, TN.  I was inspired to share my own spicy recipe with you guys! 
I do love me some fried chicken, I know it’s bad for you but if loving fried chicken is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!  Here is a snippet of my YELP! Online profile to prove it:

Let’s start with the basics . . . I choose wing flats and drummettes because they are way easier and faster to cook.  And who doesn’t love WINGS!?!?!?  I don’t make the wet kind; I like mine spicy and dry.  If you want to toss them in a wing sauce, Jonah always likes the Frank’s Hot Sauce (with butter and tabasco)
This recipe will be enough for at least 2 dozen pieces.  Around my house, we prefer the flats to the drumsticks. 
  • 2 dozen wing sections or buy them whole and cut them yourself
  • Tabasco (as much heat as you can handle)
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Jalapeno powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Ground black pepper
  • Minced garlic (in a jar)
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Season salt or Tony’s
  • Shiner Bock Beer (any other dark beer)
  • Cornstarch and flour
  • *Here’s the Asian secret ingredient:  nuoc mam
  • Wash your chicken and pat dry
  • In a large Ziploc bag, mix these ingredients:  half bottle of shiner bock (you drink the rest), tbsp of onion powder, garlic powder, ½ tbsp. cayenne, black pepper, jalapeno powder, a couple of spoonfuls of minced garlic, a few splashes of nuoc mam (a little of this stuff goes a long way) and 8-10 drops of tabasco (add more if you’d like). 
  • Add the chicken to the bag, toss and make sure all meat is in the marinade.  Place bag in fridge for 1 hour.  (The longer you leave it, the more flavor it will absorb.)
  • In a large shallow dish, mix ½ cup of cornstarch and ½ cup flour, sprinkle red pepper flakes, a few sprinkles of Tony’s or seasoned salt, a few sprinkles of onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper.
  • Crack and mix a couple of eggs (use yolk and white) into a small bowl, add a few sprinkles of cayenne to this as well J.  Dip the chicken into the egg soak first and then lightly dredge in the flour mixture, remove and set aside on was paper.
  • Heat your oil to 350 degrees.  You can cook this in a deep frying pan or a small fry daddy.   
  • Once all of the chicken has been coated with the flour mixture, start placing in the hot oil. 
  • Because wing pieces are smaller, they tend to cook a bit faster.  Each batch should take no longer than 8-10 minutes to cook.  The coating should be on the light side because of the cornstarch. 
  • Pieces should be crispy and golden brown. 
Lick those fingers when you’re done!!!