Mongolian Beef, Add the Veggies

I stumbled upon this recipe about 2 years ago thanks to Pinterest (most of my recipes come via Pinterest these days).  It didn’t take too long to decide to make it.  And so I decided to make it.  But then, when it came time to actually make it, I was tired…and pregnant…and tired…so my then fiance made it for us!  I can’t tell you how much I love loving a man who knows how to cook 🙂 .

It only took one taste and we both agreed that this recipe was a keeper.  If you want to see more recipes that I’ve made and decided to keep check out my Pinterest board “Tried and True.”  I promoise, everything on it is good!

Of course, we needed to change it up just a bit.  And that pretty much meant that the next time we made it we added a giant pile of sauteed veggies to it.  And then we had it.  Perfection on a plate (or a bowl…the sauce is a little runny).

Ingredients:

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup brown sugar
vegetable oil, for frying
1 lb flank steak (or some other cut…we usually get a much cheaper cut of meat, just because we have to watch our pennies…but we once splurged for a nice flank steak and it was SOOOO good)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup of broccoli florets
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
any other vegetable that you think sounds amazing
2 green onions, chopped

Directions:

Sauce:

Heat the 2 tsp vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat.  Add ginger and garlic to pan.  Stir for about 60-90 seconds then add the soy sauce and water before the garlic burns.

Add brown sugar to the sauce.  Stir until dissolved.

Raise heat to medium and boil sauce for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Remove from heat.

Meat and Veggies:

Slice the steak against the grain into 1/4 inch, bite size pieces.  Coat each piece with cornstarch.  Let meat sit for 10 minutes.

While waiting for the meat, heat some vegetable oil in a large skillet.  Saute all the veggies you’ve chopped (except the green onions).

In another skillet heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in med/high heat.  Add the beef.  Let it darken on one side.  Then turn it over to the other side.

Move beef into the skillet with all the veggies.  Stir so things cook evening.  Add sauce.  Cook until meat is cooked through.  Add green onions.

Serve over quinoa or rice.  Try to stop eating before your belly hurts, it’s hard because the food is so dang good.  At least you got some veggies in there 🙂 !

Here are all the pots/pans on the stove top.  Yes, it does take a few dishes to make this dish.  But trust me, it's so worth it!

Here are all the pots/pans on the stove top. Yes, it does take a few dishes to make this dish. But trust me, it’s so worth it!

Everything in one pan becoming a delicious concotion of veggies, beef, and sauce.

Everything in one pan becoming a delicious concotion of veggies, beef, and sauce.

All served up!  I forgot to make rice or quinoa, so we just went for it.  And it was still amazing.

All served up! I forgot to make rice or quinoa, so we just went for it. And it was still amazing.

An Honest Woman!

We’re married!  All official like.  For realsies.  Want proof?  Read Look and weep.

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Oh wait.  That doesn’t prove a thing.  That’s just me and my girls.  And pizza.  Gotta have pizza.

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Did I mention he’s a flaming red head?

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That’s my dad.  He was nervous, maybe even more than me.

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Yes! He’s mine, ladies.  Go find your own goofy red head.

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The best best friends a girl could ask for.

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My favorite people ever.

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We don’t like to laugh.  At all.  Ever.

We have a lot more pictures.  But I guess I’m done showing off the amazing people in my life.  And not to be mean, but you probably wish you knew some (or all) of them.  They’re pretty incredible.  And they managed to take what could have been a very stressful day and made it magical.

Those of you that have been married are probably saying, every wedding is stressful.  But let me tell you what, I think (and I might be going out on a limb) that our wedding may have had a few more stressors than the average wedding.

First, 3 days before the wedding (keep that number in mind, 3 days) and our venue was evacuated for smoke due to the encroaching forest fire.

Second, 3 days before the wedding we had to find a new venue, and then we had to replan an entire wedding.

Third, in 3 days!

But, let me clarify, when I say “we” had to find a new venue and then “we” had to replan a wedding, I’m somewhat misleading you.  Only one of us (being my husband and I) had to find a venue and replan a wedding.

And it wasn’t me!  I was at the hospital doing a clinical for school (whoop, whoop!) and when I got home I was informed that our first venue was evacuated…and that Dan had already booked a new one, gotten tables, chairs, and linens, and everything else that needed to be gotten.  I looked at him, and said, “good.”  Then I went downstairs to study. I emerged in time for a Bachelorette party and continued to celebrate/not stress about the wedding for the rest of the weekend.

And here we are, almost 2 weeks later.  Still married.  Still awesome.

(Oh what the heck, one more photo…I just want to show off my amazing husband…can you blame me? 😉 )

Witches by Roald Dahl

Scary

Imaginative

Amazing

This isn’t so much a review as a reminder.  Roald Dahl’s books are so much fun to read.  Everybody, man, woman, and child, should read some of his books.

A quick reminder, this book, Witches, is actually quite scary.  It talks about witches getting rid of children by all sorts of horrendous means.  Make sure your child is old enough to read this without getting nightmares.  Oh, and make sure you can handle this without nightmares (I made sure to read it on a week when my fiance wasn’t leaving town 🙂 ).

witches, roald dahl

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime – a new favorite?

Roar

Roar

Awesome

My fiance was out of town for the weekend and that, of course, made me sad and tired (hey, it’s hard looking after the kiddo on my own).  But he did stop by a book store and brought back Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea, so there was a bright side to his being gone.

I have to admit, I love this book!  Daughter loves having it read to her, every time her mom or dad starts roaring she whips her around to look at us, then once we stop she quickly returns her attention to the simple but sweet illustrations.

This book might not have great, unique rhymes or a fantastic message, but it has plenty of charm and is lots of fun to read and it’s a sturdy board book.  I have been warned that I’ll need to retire the book once Daughter starts roaring, but until then (or when my voice goes out from too much roaring, whichever comes first 🙂 ) this book is going into frequent rotation at our house.

Dinosaur vs Bedtime

And, there’s a sequel! Dinosaur vs. The Potty.  Don’t worry, I’ll review it as soon as we get it (I’m sure it won’t be a long wait).

Imagination: The Pros and Cons

Overactive

Nightmarish

Disappointing (not in every way, but sometimes)

I’ve been having nightmares.  And I’m not even sure I can call them nightmares.  They happen at night, but I’m never asleep.  Dang me and my highly developed imagination!

I don’t normally curse my imagination.  After all, my imagination allows me to escape any mundane, irritating, or painful situation I’m in.  It let’s me explore new worlds and meet new people.  I feel very lucky to read a book and become completely immersed in the story being told.

But, there’s always a but, sometimes my imagination is more of a curse.  Like at night.  Especially when my fiance is out of town (thankfully he’s back now).  I recently read (and reviewed) Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.  I mentioned I found it scary.  And it was.  But, even worse, it’s still scaring me!  The monster in the book has carved it’s way into my psyche.

I see the monster whenever I get up at night.  And I have a 9 month old daughter who most assuredly does not sleep through the night.  That means I get up anywhere from one to four times a night to take of her.  And I am certain, every time, that the dang monster is in my home.  It’s on the stairs, or it’s in the room across the hall, or I hear a creak and I know it’s about to come in to the nursery and tear us apart.

I’ve started turning lights on when I get up to nurse my daughter.  It helps.  Then on the return trip I have to turn the lights off and make my way back to the bed.  I always look at my dog (he’s also a chicken) right before turning off the lights.  If he is sleeping (which he always is) then I know no monsters have sneaked in while I was with my daughter.  Then I quickly walk (I do not run, what if I trip? then I’m a sitting duck for the monster) to the bedroom and jump in to bed.

Once my body is completely under the covers I can breathe a little sigh of relief because, as everyone knows, monsters can’t get you when you’re under the covers.  Then I cuddle up a little closer to my fiance and feel my heartbeat slow, always certain I’ll never fall asleep before Daughter wakes up again.  Then I sink deeper in the mattress and let the comforting darkness of sleep keep me safe from all the monsters.

Barnyard Dance: Sandra Boynton

Fiancé’s

Favorite

Book (his reading level is slightly lower than the average 29-year-old)

I’ve just spent the past hour playing with my daughter.  So far we have scattered some toys, we have practiced standing up (holding on to Mom the whole time), read a few books, and then spent most of our time pulling books off the bookshelf.  So, I think to myself, why not review another children’s book?  Since I reviewed my favorite baby book it seems only fair to review my fiancé’s favorite.  And really, I enjoy his favorite, so here goes.

Sandra Boynton is a well known children’s author and illustrator.  Her work can be found at most book shops, several toy stores, and many baby stores as well.  And her popularity is well deserved.

Barnyard Dance is a fun read for our family.  Especially if we read the book as a family.  My favorite rendition of this book had Dad and Daughter sitting on the couch reading while Mom (aka me) performed the barnyard dance when not being interrupted by an outburst of my own giggles.

The easy rhymes and singsong pattern make this book engaging for our daughter. The whimsical illustrations entertain the adults.  And soon they will be helpful in teaching our daughter different farm animals and their names.  Personally, I can’t wait til Mom and Dad are sitting on the couch while Daughter performs the barnyard dance!

If you have a baby or are expecting a baby, I highly recommend looking into Boynton’s work.  Board books (as hers are) are great for babies to play with.  Illustrations are colorful and cute.  And the stories are simple and often entertaining (beneficial for both the parents and a growing toddler).

Sandra Boynton Barnyard Dance

How I Take Mine

(tea that is)

Milk,

Sugar,

Company

I like a good black tea with a little milk and some sugar.  But really the best part about tea is what you’re doing while you drink it.  The best tea is always enjoyed with good company.  Usually I rely on my fiancé as my tea drinking companion.  But when he is away, my daughter can fill that role.  Of course, conversations with her are limited to goos, gahs, her new favorite “na na na na na,” and mom’s monologues with the reoccurring theme “why are you crying?”  Books make a good companion, but I frequently find myself with several read chapters and half a cup of cold tea.  A good movie or documentary can also be improved with a nice cup of tea, but rarely is a comedy or action flick conducive to such a drink.  While you need to be cautious when adding a movie as your tea companion, word games are perfect.  A crossword puzzle or a game of scrabble (both are better with my fiancé (but that might just be because he’s smart)) can make any tea much more delightful.

And later in the day I drink Good Earth tea.  Why? Because it is delicious.  Unless it’s summer, then I drink iced tea or arnold palmers and I don’t think I need to explain why.