P. F. Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps

OK – so it is very rare and I mean rare that I can create something in the kitchen that isn’s a culinary catastrophe. As a seeker of schtick, I decided to take my chances at Chang classic, I made Lettuce Wraps (with beef) and its was the tits.  I also did stir fry with just brown rice, onion, egg, frozen pees, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger and this awesome little packet I get from the store for $.78 in the Asian aisle, the brand is called “Sun Bird”, it’s kinda like cheating but I dont have a problem with it. I started the meal by cooking the rice first, it doesn’t take long at all to stir fry everything together once the rice is done. I also picked up some already-made dumplings from the sushi section of the grocery store – another cheat on my part. Again, no guilt.

 Try the Chang Wraps. You’re welcome.

Lettuce Wrap Prep time: 15 minutes
(depending on how often you venture into the kitchen, it actually took me about 30 minutes, but dividing that in half is about the average time a normal human being could prep this meal)
Total Time: 45 minutes
Services: 2-3

     Ingredients:

    • 3 tablespoons oil
    • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 1 cup water chestnuts
    • 2/3 cup mushrooms
    • 3 tablespoons chopped onions
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 4 -5 leaves iceberg lettuce

Special Sauce:

    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon hot mustard
    • 2 teaspoons water
    • 1 -2 teaspoon garlic and red chile paste

Stir Fry Sauce:

    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

  1. First, make the special sauce by dissolving the sugar in water in a small bowl. Add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ketchup, lemon juice and sesame oil.
  2. Combine the hot water with the hot mustard, add your desired measurement of mustard and garlic chili sauce to the special sauce mixture to pour over the wraps.
  3. Bring oil to high heat in a wok or large frying pan.
  4. Saute chicken breasts or beef (I used flank steak) for 4 to 5 minutes per side or done.
  5. Remove chicken from the pan and cool.
  6. Keep oil in the pan, keep hot.
  7. As chicken cools mince water chestnuts and mushrooms to about the size of small peas.
  8. Prepare the stir fry sauce by mixing the soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.
  9. When chicken is cool, mince it as the mushrooms and water chestnuts are.
  10. With the pan still on high heat, add another Tbsp of vegetable oil.
  11. Add chicken, garlic, onions, water chestnuts and mushrooms to the pan.
  12. Add the stir fry sauce to the pan and saute the mixture for a couple minutes then serve it in the lettuce”cups”.
  13. Top with”Special Sauce”.
Advertisements

Marriage: Grab a drink, saddle up & hang on

Marriage…. Talk about some peaks and valleys. I feel like no one really prepares you for the constant negotiating that comes along with committing your life to one person, day, by day by day, by day… It’s my firm opinion that our education system should initiate mandatory classes on how to become a defense attorney, prosecutor and mediator in order to survive the John Grisham inspired twists and turns of the ultimate individual sacrifice we all come to know as marriage.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are perks to being locked down….. for instance, I no longer have to keep up with the Jones’ skanks on the late night happy hour scene, or lower my standards for a free meal on a first date, and I’ve been able to cut down on my single lying behavior – mostly pertaining to my caloric intake and exercise routine. Those are all good changes that come along with I-Do and I would strongly persuade any young lonely girl to give up for marriage.

If I had known the ups and downs of this lifetime commitment, maybe I would’ve only registered for Mexican-piñatas filled with sedatives so that when I felt the urge to destroy Gotham City, I could just take my aggression out with a bat and wind down with the all the goodies filled inside, now that would be a nice wedding gift. MaybeIlllook into that idea for the next wedding season.

Don’t get me wrong, I do love my husband. He’s way better looking than me, he understands the inner workings of the stock market and has managed to maintain the respect from his friends, co-workers and family members.

Despite having all better attributes than me, it still doesn’t create the perfect recipe so what’s the secret?? Unfortunately, I have no fucking clue.

Like for his recent birthday I got him an Apple TV for our bedroom. Yes, we do have already have an Apple TV for the living room, but how wonderful will it be to not have to make the fatiguing 10 step journey from the bed to the couch?

I ran out on the day of his birthday to selflessly purchase the gift at the see-through box that has become the Apple Store. I was greeted at the door by two middle aged techy’s excited to see voluptuous woman of my stature and I felt a sense of elation that one only gets after years of bodily solitude. After about 15 minutes of pretending like I knew what I was looking for, I finally buckled and resorted to tracking down one of the sales associates which took longer than expected because of Apples growing popularity among the tattooed liberal speaking, yet conservative minded yuppies that seem to dominate my community. Finally, I track down a balding 20 something man attendant who gladly helps me check out. I find myself getting pissed that there is no cash register. After all, how can I really trust that he is running my credit card appropriately and not violating my personal history for the company’s gain and ultimate take over of my identity? I try not to let it bother me too much. We finalize the purchase and I head home with anxious excitement to unveil the sentimental yet logical gift to my adoring 32 year old man-mate.

Much to my dismay, there is an odd silence as he opens the gift….. he turns it over as if he is “reading” the packaging. I couldn’t tell if he wasn’t sure what it was or examining it for lice. I break the silence not by asking if he likes it but asking “how excited are you about this gift?” He responds by explaining that we already have an Apple TV and he doesn’t see a real need for a second box. I look at him in bewilderment…. So not only does he not appreciate the planning and time that went into this purchase but now he’s dissing it? Oh no he dint….. Unbelievable, I thought…. I mean this could help bring us together in a whole new way. Instead of lounging on different sides of the living room every Sunday, we could enjoy our own drama lounge bedside. Our queen size bed would pose a problem as I would prefer to have a little more distance but we could get around this, after all, we do have a chase lounge in our bedroom and maybe he would find that he enjoys napping on it rather than the bed. Anything that allows me more time in bed and less time out of it is a good thing. As I was fighting out loud with him in my head, it dawned on me that we are completely different people. Why doesn’t he want to spend Sunday funday bedside, questioning whether or not the next purchase for our room should be bedpans to avoid the daunting trip to the bathroom. Maybe we could get a refrigerator or a microwave, and then I could have a door built next to the bed so that the Poppa John’s Delivery Boy that I call Pussy-face could be a little more accommodating, afterall I had kept that operation in business between 2006-2008. I admit, my orders had declined between 08 until recently, but I was back, hoping to spend a fourth of each paycheck towards breadsticks and sauces. This didn’t seem to be the life that my husband wanted and all of sudden the apple tv gift seemed to represent a pillar for our opposition in life.  

I would like to think that marriages get better with age, like a good bottle of wine, but unfortunately I’ve never had the will power to allow a bottle of anything in my home to age – literally, like, you name it. Vodka, wine, mustard, sweet & sour sauce…….. I devour all liquids. I think I may have a “quench” problem – not be confused with “queef” issue.

I guess it’s a life long journey that can’t be solved through a crash diet, cleanse or a colon vacuum. You just gotta saddle up, educate yourself by doing the exact opposite of your parents and keep a secret bottle of any clear liquor nearby.

Happy belated anniversary to my husband. To paraphrase the late great Smokey Robinson: I don’t like you, but I love you, seems that I’m always, thinking of you, Oh, oh, oh, I love you madly, You really got a hold on me. Now, you wanna get dirty tonight?? 🙂

In-flight Development

This image explains a lot…. like why did I have a tramp machine in the backyard as a 7 year old? What that necessary? Or was it a sex trap that helped my mother conceive? Either way, I would like to blame this contraption for my early development which put me on the fast track for a Tampon Rewards Card.

Which reminds me about that fateful trip where I boarded a United Flight for Breckinridge to meet my mom’s best friends for ski adventure atop Blood Mountain. I was eleven and excited to sport my new Limited Too flannel yet baby doll look around my new mountain friends that I was sure to meet. It was not common for my mother to leave her blush wine behind for a solo trip with me and I was looking forward to getting drunk with her for the first time.

As I got comfortable in the middle seat on aisle 23, I wished that we had sat together so that we could talk about the interesting articles I was reading in Cosmo. Nevertheless, I was just settling in for the 2 hour flight when I felt something in my cotton full backs. I was convinced that it was just the article I was reading entitled “How to please your man”, but as I shifted my 100 pound body side to side I was sure this was more than that.  I waited anxiously for the seat belt sign to turn off so I could inspect my pants and get to the bottom of this load that had suddenly dropped.  The wait for the neon light to go dim seemed to last as long as Hanson’s stay on the pop charts. Not too long, but just long enough to make me start smoking.

As soon as the captain gave me the go ahead, I leaped over the middle aged business man next to me and raced to the back of the cabin. It wasn’t a far walk since we were practically seated on the left jet but I could feel my adrenaline rising as I approached my investigation site. I got inside the florescent lighted lavatory and pulled down my Mossimo Jeans. What the fuck?

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing….. did I shit may pants? I did, I shit my pants, I’m an eleven year old woman who shits her pants on airplanes. I furiously began to wipe up the remnants of brown bacterial secretions let out by my pre-roided brown eye. Once I was satisfied with the clean up that I had tirelessly committed to, I leaned to smell my disgusting display of adolescence and was some what pleased that I didn’t feel the need to deodorize myself. I pulled my pants up, got myself together, splashed some water on my face and committed to keeping this a secret. There was no reason that the my future husband sitting next to me had to know about what just went down in my pants, after all, the odor didn’t seem to bother me so maybe he wouldn’t notice. He seemed to like me so I was hoping that even if he did somehow have telepathic knowledge about my inability to keep my breakfast pizza down that maybe wouldn’t mind. I was a younger woman and he might find my flaws cute, at least that’s what I was hoping.

I apprehensively turned off the “occupied” sign and began my approach the main cabin. Get it together I thought, soon you’ll be living the good life in an all wood panel condo on the south side of Colorado’s spring break Mecca. I had been looking forward to getting away for months and I wasn’t going to let a little diarrhea in my pants get in the way.

I settled back into my seat, opened up my April addition of Cosmo and tried to get the whole experience out of my head.

Unfortunately for me, no one told me that we had a connecting flight. Apparently, it’s cheaper to stop through Tennessee while flying from Louisiana in order to reach Colorado. Typical Mother, always trying to skim a dime off my vacation.

Fast forward to the next flight, I decide to take another look to make sure that everything was flowing A-OK. In disbelief, I realize that there is more flo-jo taking place out of my brown-eye. Now I’m pissed, get it together I thought…. How will I ever be able to show myself back at school? Is this my new schtick? Am I going to start shitting my pants all the time? Or is it just triggered by airplanes? That must be it I thought to myself, I’m having a reaction to the plane. I had been on a plane before but I was much younger and less developed. Maybe nine year olds react differently to planes than 11 year old women. I wasn’t totally convinced but it put me at ease and helped to calm my nerves until we got to our final destination and I could finally enjoy a glass of Chardonnay with mother.

At last, we get to the rented condominium and I raced to the restroom, just as I pull down my jeans, I got a sinking feeling in my gut. This hasn’t been diarrhea I’ve been looking it at all day, it’s my bloody period. How could I have been so stupid? The Chardonnay, the Cosmo, the Jet Setting…… it must have triggered my inner woman. Of course, it all makes sense. I decided to take a bubble bath to reflect on the day’s events and what my future as a young vibrant woman in the community would be. Sixth grade graduation is just a month away and then summer would be here, I could prepare for my new life over the next few months. What type of woman will I be? When will I start sprouting curls through my pants? Will they be dark like my mothers? I didn’t know then but I was excited about the future.

Friend-Schtick

As a crusader of schtick, I have taken a small step for lady kind and a rather large step towards a personal and life long schtick, I’m branching out and have temporarily committed to making new friends. Taking on any new venture can be difficult, especially when it comes in the form of human being baggage. There is always the fear of the incessant caller, the stage 5 clinger, the Chipper Jones who you connected with on night one because of her flamboyant disposition but come to find out she’s always so cheerful, or the virus of all new (and sometimes old) friends, the fateful favor friend. That’s probably a deal breaker for me, when I feel that my hot mess of a life is more organized than a new friend, I normally call it quits.

I remember the time that I saw my girlfriend calling (who may remain nameless) and I was elated to get my chit-chat on. It had a been a few days since I had contact with a species of my kind and I was looking forward to hearing about all the exciting adventures of her week. I turned down my mixed CD entitled “Chill Mix 5” and picked up the phone. As soon as the conversation got underway, I knew instantly that this was not going to be a fun happy hour on my way home from work where I pull out my secret Vodka stash in the glove compartment and look forward to hitting each red light because I’ll be able to enjoy my drink rather than play splish splash in the driver’s seat.

So I pick up my chode colored phone and realize, this bitch needed a ride to the airport. Unbelievable, I thought.

How could I have been so naïve to pick up the phone on a school night to someone I wasn’t related to? If it had been a relative I could just hang up in mid-sentence and not feel guilty, but I may have to see this girl again. I had never taken her for a favor friend so I didn’t realize what I was getting into. Next thing I know, I’m taking my Target wearing, Mabeline matted boot face over to her West Village apartment to haul her designer suitcase, Barney wardrobe, size two ass to the airport. What’s with people who can actually afford to get a cab to the airport but feel the need to ask low tax bracket individuals like myself for a ride?

Well, that was one mistake I’ll never make again. I’ve found the key to the “favor” friend is simple…… lie. There is no reason to feel hesitant about throwing out a good lie in the event that you get ambushed into “helping a girl out” such as moving (I think I’m finally past that stage with my friends and quasi-friends, thank gawd).

Breakups are inevitable though and I’ve had plenty of them. Who could forget the crazy of all crazys that lit up the sky after a midnight showing of Broke Dick Mountain that I helped host for 6 of my close and not so close friends. Why is it that the crazy ones always wait for the most inopportune time to forget their meds at home? What is one to do in a situation where one minute you’re hanging out with Kelly Kipowski and the next you’re being ambushed by Heath Legdger’s character in the Dark Night (may his hot piece of ass rest in peace).

I don’t think there is any way we can truly know the fate of our friendships so I’ve decided to commit to my new friends. May they broaden my horizons (and not my ass), may they invite me to cool and interesting adventure days like white water rafting or bird watching, may they be smarter and more organized than myself. I certainly would think that’s achievable given my own lack of unique attributes.

I don’t know what my new friends will bring to the table and I hope they aren’t expecting much out of me. Afterall, it’s not about what you give in the relationship, it’s about what you get back. I think I’ll wait to introduce my new friendships to a sober scenario until I feel comfortable that I can trust they aren’t callers, clingers, chippers or favor foes. As long as the vodka is nearby, the conversation is light and the baggage stays at home then I think we’ll do just fine.

Here’s to hopin.

Wonder Lips

It’s been a while since I really got it on so I’m thinking of getting my hot pocket waxed this weekend to give my husband the impression that the man under the mask hasn’t turned into Choobaka.

The last and only time I ventured to step into a wax parlor was on the eve of my best friends wedding. We were in one of those nail salons where the manicurist speaks good english and there are a few random white people working behind the scenes. While I enjoy a whitey, I would much rather prefer a brown skinned lady with the surname “Jane” when everyone really knows its Long Duck Dong. In preparation for our mani/ pedi ritual, we snuck in a few vodka drinks to loosen the mood, after all, it was a wedding weekend and shit can get tense. As usual, I choose a strapping radiant red for my nails and paws. Red seems to be the ultimate color associated with a Lane Bryant wearing, Dove washing, Texas living woman, and I’m all for those things, so it works.

There I am, sitting in the mani chair, pissed that I didn’t sneak in my vodka flask when I realize that the overweight blonde whitey working behind the scenes isn’t shooting clips for Avatar 2 in the backroom. I ask what’s up when she explains she’s a pube sculptor, kinda like the Michelangelo of Vaginas. Before I know it, she plops a catalogue of pubic art down on my lap and says, “what will it be?”… I look over at my best friend and mull over the martini pube look…. I’m not really a martini girl so I turn the page. Am I a calligraphy girl? Probably not, JAF doesn’t seem to be the sex symbol that I want pulsating out of my pants for the next four weeks….. ultimately, I decide on a classic. I figure the brazilin is kind of like the Crate & Barrel of vagina waxes – clean lines, simple and to the point.

So let’s go, I’m ready…. I’ve been told to saddle up with a few pain killers but I decide that the vodka’s over brunch may be able to hold me over and mute the feeling in my lower torso, it hasn’t let me down in the bedroom before so I go with my gut and turn down the “tylenol”.

I small talk with Tammy, she’s from east Texas and even met her best friend during a wax. They’ve been inseperable for the last two years. I think to myself, “could Tammy and I be new best friends after this?” I mean, my girlfriends were anxiously awaiting outside the private room but maybe they’re old news. I could use a fresh start, I could really relate to someone like Tammy. She was overweight, an un-natural blonde and clearly a people person. I respected the fact that I could see her dark roots. I took that as a sign for her genuine ability to connect to all hair types, she liked to party but kept the roots real. I was into it. Tammy stepped out of the room while I placed a sticky note sized cottony wax paper material over my chili dawg. I awaited anxiously for Tammy’s return. What will we talk about? Will she be weirded out with my Whoopie Goldberg sized roots? Will she have to comb it before we get started? I was fraught with anxious excitement.

She retuned to the room. Here we go. We get going. UMMMMMM, Tammy…… no, really, Tammy………………………………. um, girl……….. girl……… Mammy……. Sammy….. oh fuck.

After the first tug of hardened wax I instantly knew this was going to end badly. Maybe I had misread this whole scenario, maybe dark headed girls aren’t meant to be bare backed, maybe we’re more complicated than that. I was convincing myself that I was an organic earthy type that didn’t need to be forced into worldly ideas of the contemporary woman. I AM A WOMAN, not meant to be defined by pubic pop culture. The horror continued until finally I told ole Tammy girl to cool it. She explained to me that we had only completed the top portion of my cave-lady exterior. It didn’t matter, I couldn’t look at Tammy anymore much less feel the pain of her late night FX inspired tools to touch my most private region. I was done with this scene and done with Tammy.

I waddled out of the Tammy’s torture chamber feeling like one of Madoff’s victims, robbed, lied to and betrayed…. why had she not prepared me? Explained to me the repercussions of my non existent top sided lady like figure?

I approach my girlfriends. They immediately ask how it went…. I explain that I had to cut Tammy short, that things got out of hand in there and that I would never trust a whitey in a nail salon again. As I explained the horrific ordeal, the reaction from my friends is not exactly what I had anticipated. I thought surely they would want to take on Tammy, give her a piece of their minds for ripping off (me) their best friend’s pube nation. Instead, the reaction was mixed. They couldn’t believe that I stopped at the upper north side. It never occurred to me that a bare north side and an hairy lower ceiling could lead to such antagonism. As feeling in my lady area came back, I realized that maybe this had all been Tammy’s plan from the beginning, after all, her catalogue of pubic art had never included the Stevie Wonder Lips. I had been hers for the taking, like a drive by wax that I didn’t see coming.

So as date night approaches one year later and I contemplate a wax, I am reminded of this memory. I wonder how many innocent vaginas fell into Tammy’s cunning trap of artistry and con? I never reported her so I’m sure she’s still out there, lurking among the naive pubic community. I think I’ll just run to Walgreens and get a new razor, he won’t even know the difference.

Hi-Ho-Hi-Ho, it’s off to the Good Will I go

In an effort to get out of the house for an hour on Saturday and remain sober until noon, I made my usual Saturday morning hike to the neighborhood Goodwill. I’ve come to have a deep fondness for the Saturday “Will” crowd. I normally spot one to three pedophile’s lurking around the children’s seasonal swim swear aisle, a 10 child Mexican Army that got dropped off by their dad “John” while he slipped away to find work nearby, the Saturday staff that looks more like weathered belts previously owned by a mechanic than what you would normally think of a “woman”….. and then my favorite, the 30 something married type that married her first good lay and is secretly ashamed to be seen at the Will so she traveled 20 miles from her own near by second-hand stores so that she wouldn’t be spotted by any of her fellow Jr. League lady “friends”.

And then there is me, begging for reason to get out of the house and make up an excuse to put a second-hand store purchase on my new Marriott card because I’ve convinced myself that by financing at least $100 a week that I will miraculously rack up enough points to gain access to a free week at a category 7, Ritz-Carlton (Ill keep you posted on my points).

So anyways, I get there and am pretty elated when I spot a 1972 inspired dresser with two mirrors attached for the whopping price of $44. I unattached the mirrors, made my way to the backyard and sprayed away.

Originally attached to a 6 drawer dresser

Quest for my “schtick”

A shtick (Yiddish: שטיק) (or schtick) is a comic theme or gimmick. In common usage, the word shtick has also come to mean any talent, style, habit, or other eccentricity for which a person is particularly well-known.

I recently came to the realization that I’m approaching 30, reaching my scary weight and have no “schtick”. Am I the girl who thrives on morning spin classes? Nope. Am I the girl who enjoys ingesting organic products such as magnesium induced whole grain foods? Definitely not. Or am I the girl who likes to follow a simple eighteen step recipe with forty-nine ingredients that is somehow available on the Food Network Channels “Quick FIx Meals”? No again.

So who am I?

I am the girl who routinely finds herself falling in and out of new & exciting temporary schticks, such as the time that I thought I would become jewish because I enjoyed watching Jill Zarin from the New York Housewives & felt that we were related  (I also very much enjoyed the movie Prime and thought for a moment that the lead actor would somehow find himself at the foot of my bed asking for some extra lox because his Bubbe’s bagel was in need of a yiddish pick me up); or there was the time that I decided to go on a strict diet of sugar free soda accompanied by the supplement Alli and I crapped my pants in a meeting with potential clients in North Dallas (we didn’t land the account)…….. and who could forget the time that I decided to become a pot head in college…. needless to say, I couldn’t keep up with the growing cost of fast food and cotton, my ass could barely fit into my double dorm room bed, much less the Cherokee full back undies that my mom sent me off to undergraduate school to flaunt in front of the future Pi Phi-Get-Me-Highs that happened to be rooming near by.

So here I am, married and on the eve of 30 with the realization that I’ve never really committed to any idea, concept or hobby…. I did recently get married and Gawd willing, his ability to maintain multiple schticks will help keep me at my current post known as “wife”.

I got off track, ok, so here I am, schtick-less, but yearning for something that I can call my own, something that represents the depths of my black soul and I find myself on a Monday morning, feeling semi-hungover, creepin around on Facebook learning about all the interesting and cool things that my not-so-real friends did over the last weekend, and BANG, I need a schtick, and what better way to begin my journey than to start a blog. I may have no talent to introduce to the world-wide web of Sanduski’s but I am willing to set out on a journey to find my schtick, in front of an audience of 3 no less (my best friend, my mom and the girl in the office that somehow knows every moment of my life including my bowel schedule that normally occurs twice a day in the two stall bathroom on the third floor, I find myself having a standoff between the stalls even after I’ve flushed three times in an effort to wash down each new pebble that seems to come up even after I have convinced myself that I have crapped out all internal organs).

So here it goes, I am off on my journey to find my schtick. Will it be veganism? Will it be watercolors on canvas? Or maybe bedwetting…. I don’t know what it’s gonna be, but I’m excited.

Here’s to finding my schtick.