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”.

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.

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.