Thursday, December 1, 2016

138.2...Mongolian Beef and Broccoli

The Skinnytaste Cookbook continues to be a winner. Last night I made Mongolian Beef and Broccoli and it was fantastic. Super easy too!

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Mongolian Beef and Broccoli (Serves 4)

Recipe from The Skinnytaste Cookbook


2 tsp. cornstarch

3 Tbsp plus 2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tsp. rice wine

4 tsp. sesame oil

1 lb. sirloin steak, trimmed of fat, thinly sliced against the grain

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

4 cups broccoli florets

4 medium scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces; white and greens separated

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger

2 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar

1 Tbsp oyster sauce


1. In a shallow glass container, whisk together the cornstarch, 2 tsp. of the soy sauce, the rice wine, and 1 tsp. of the sesame oil. Season the steak with salt, add to the marinade, and turn to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the broccoli and cook until bright green and crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking.

3. Heat a large nonstick wok or skillet over high heat. Add 1 tsp. of the oil, then half of the beef. Cook for 30 seconds without disturbing, flip, and cook another 30 seconds, moving the meat around until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate and repeat with 1 tsp. oil and the remaining beef. 

4. Heat the remaining 1 tsp. sesame oil in the wok and add the scallion whites, garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli, brown sugar, remaining 3 Tbsp soy sauce, and the oyster sauce and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beef and cook, stirring, 30 more seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in the scallion greens. 

Printable Recipe 

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Sunday night we went out to dinner at Fidel’s. I had the shrimp fajitas. Yum!

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Monday’s breakfast:

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I took the kids to school, then went to the gym. I ran some errands, stopping at Marketplace Grill for lunch. 

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Grilled Chicken Greek Salad. Love it!

Dinner was tacos but I turn mine into a taco salad. This is one of my favorite, and easiest meals lately. Basically just put some turkey taco meat, beans and a whole bunch of toppings on a plate with lots of hot sauce. 

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Tuesday’s breakfast:

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I went to Orange Theory and came home to get stuff done around the house. Lunch was tuna salad, crackers and pickles. 

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Dinner was the rest of the taco salad leftovers. 

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Yesterday’s breakfast:

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I took the kids to school, then went for a run outside. I went to an appointment, then ran errands. I stopped for lunch at Urban Plates. 

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Their Brussels sprouts are AMAZING. I think I could just eat a plate of those. I didn’t though…I had seared albacore and cauliflower as well.

Dinner was the Mongolian Beef and Broccoli with brown rice. 

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It was extra delicious with some Sriracha!

Today’s breakfast:

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After I dropped the kids off at school I went to the gym, then my tennis lesson. More errand running, followed by lunch at Greenspot Salad Company.

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Sesame Ginger Ahi Bowl. Love!

Kids are home from school, I’m doing laundry and just enjoying a lazy night at home. 

What’s your favorite vegetable?

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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Blue Ribbon Cheesecake

After weeks of prep, Thanksgiving was over in a flash! I have to say that all the food turned out perfectly and we all had a great time! I kept my menu just about the same as last year, with one change. I made a different cheesecake and it turned out awesome! It’s my new favorite cheesecake for sure!

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Blue Ribbon Cheesecake (Serves 10 to 12)

Recipe from The Cheesecake Bible Cookbook



1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted


4 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

4 eggs

3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla extract


1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Crust: In a bowl, combine graham crackers crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of 9-inch cheesecake pan, ungreased, and freeze.

3. Filling: In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until very smooth, for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in lemon juice and vanilla. 

4. Pour over frozen crust, smoothing out to sides of pan. Bake in preheated oven until top is light brown and center has a slight jiggle to it, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool on the counter for 10 minutes (do not turn the oven off). The cake will sink slightly.

5. Topping: In a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Pour into center of cooled cake and spread out to edges. Bake for 5 minutes more. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before decorating or serving.

6. Decoration: Top with sliced strawberries when completely chilled, if desired. 

Printable Recipe 

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Tuesday’s breakfast:

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I went on a run outside and came home to do more Thanksgiving prep. Lunch was a tuna salad, crackers and pickles;

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I was hungry later so I had a That’s It bar. I really like these. 

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My son went to a friend’s house and my daughter had a friend over so I took them to CPK for dinner.  I ordered the Cedar Plank Salmon (North Atlantic Salmon roasted on a cedar plank with smoked paprika and lime. Served with white corn and spinach succotash, topped with feta.):

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The corn was good but the salmon was dry. :(

Wednesday’s breakfast:

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I went to Orange Theory to get in one last workout before all the food madness began. 

I cooked and prepped all day. Lunch was a turkey sandwich and a salad:

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Finally all the prep work was done and all four tables were set and ready to go!

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For dinner we went to Pizza Rev. It was fabulous. 

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I fell into bed exhausted that night. 

For breakfast on Thursday, I scrambled some eggs with onions and cheddar cheese and lots of hot sauce.

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I got all the appetizers ready and everyone arrived. I put out cheese, crackers, onion dip, chips, Slow Cooker Taco Dip, and Hebrew National Franks in a Blanket. 

Eventually, it was time for the main event! 

Good Eats Roast Turkey:

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Creamy Macaroni and Cheese:

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Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes:

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Gulliver’s Creamed Corn:

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Green Bean Casserole that my brother in law brought:

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Homemade Gravy:

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A bit of everything! 

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Besides the cheesecake, we had some other great desserts.

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Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie:

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The Best Pumpkin Pie Ever:

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Homemade Whipped Cream and Vanilla Ice Cream:

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That’s a Thanksgiving wrap!!

Friday’s breakfast was scrambled eggs again.

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We packed up and hit the road for Los Angeles. Along the way, we stopped at Taco Bell for lunch. 

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Taco Salad. It’s really good when you put like 20 packets of hot sauce on it.

We got the JW Marriott hotel at LA Live, checked in and went to the USC basketball game. Beforehand, we met some friends at a dinner at the Galen Center beforehand. I wasn’t super hungry so I just had a salad. 

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We had a great time at the basketball game and left with a USC win over SMU. 

As if that wasn’t enough basketball, we went with my brother to the Lakers vs. Warriors game!

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My son didn’t want to participate in my selfie, so he hid under my scarf. Lol.

After the game, we stopped at Smashburger for a late night dinner. I had a cheeseburger and sweet potato fries. 

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I have to say I enjoyed it greatly. I haven’t had a real burger with a bun in a long time! :)

Breakfast Saturday morning was a Kind Bar before heading over to USC for the USC vs. Notre Dame football game.  

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We went to a tailgate beforehand. I had a slider and some cheese and salami.

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We met the rest of our group at the Audi Suites. 

My sister in law Stephanie and I:

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We were fortunate enough to get to hang out on the field before the game. 

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I was also able to run out on the field right after the players right before the game began. It was an experience I’ll never forget. 

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Lynn Swann, Director of Athletics

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I had a fabulous time with friends and family and we topped it off with a USC win!

We went back to my brother’s house after the game. For dinner we had Sugarfish takeout. 

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It was probably the best takeout I’ve ever had. 

This morning we met my brother in law at Coral Tree Cafe for breakfast. 

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I had an egg white omelet with spinach, onions, cheddar cheese and sliced tomatoes. We hit the road for home after breakfast. I spent the rest of the day catching up around the house and cleaning up after the Thanksgiving tornado. 

Tomorrow regular life resumes!

How was your Thanksgiving? Where did you go? Make any new recipes?

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