PF Chang's Mongolian Beef {knockoff recipe}

Monday, January 28, 2013

For those of you who follow me on Instagram?   Ask and you shall McReceive.....

Here is the knockoff recipe for PF Chang's mongolian beef I told you about.  
I bet you have most of the ingredients in your kitchen right now.  And feel free to experiment....I've also tried this with chicken and it was just as fantastic as the beef.  Want to make a more healthy version?  Eliminate the 1 cup of vegetable oil and sauté in just little bit of olive oil instead.  ENJOY!

Copycat Faves: Restaurant Recipes Revealed!

                      2 teaspoons vegetable oil
                      1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
                      1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
                      1/2 cup soy sauce
                      1/2 cup water
                      3/4 cup dark brown sugar
                      vegetable oil, for frying ( about 1 cup)
                      1 lb flank steaks
                      1/4 cup cornstarch
                      2 large green onions, sliced on the diagonal into one-inch lengths

1. Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat.
2. Don't get the oil too hot.
3. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
4. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
5. Remove it from the heat.
6. Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4" thick bite-size slices (Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts).
7. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef.
8. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
9. As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil).
10.           Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking.
11.           Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges.
12.           You don't need a thorough cooking here since the beef is going to go back on the heat later.
13.           Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.

14.           After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels, then pour the oil out of the wok or skillet.
15.           Put the pan back over the heat, dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute.
16.           Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions.
17.           Cook for one more minute, then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate.  Leave the excess sauce behind in the pan. Enjoy!

A Lovers Quarrel

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dear Costco,

I hate you. It's over.



Dear McMommy,

What? Don't I at least deserve an explanation?
Hope we can work this out,



Dear Costco,

Reasons I hate you include but are not limited to:

1.) Having to fish out my id card just to walk through your doors. Come ON!! Like you are sooo exclusive and uppity. In case you hadn't noticed...You display your products on PALLETS.

2.) I cannot stand your sorry excuse for a milk jug.

3.) Your checkout lines make me want to commit myself to an insane asylum for suicidal tendencies.

You have an enormous warehouse.
You have hundreds of customers pushing these wide-load carts overflowing with gigantic products. 
Ten checkout lanes, yet only 5 are actually open.
Lines winding so far back, they are into the product aisles.
And just in case I haven't slit my wrists yet, you now have the self-checkout lane option. "Hey, you know what? Check yourself out. We are way too busy checking membership cards at the front door. Good luck scanning that pallet of rice, buddy."

4.) I know this isn't very green of me to say, but why can't you just throw my raspberries or other delicate produce purchases into a stupid bag? I hate the fact that you just set them back in my cart...where they then get transferred into my trunk...where they are just sitting there all vulnerable and exposed and scared next to the big, bad, 3,000 gallon laundry detergent I just bought.

5.) And the reason I hate you most? My bill. You make me all delirious waiting in that disastrous checkout line. And then the next thing I know, I am signing a bill for $500. And poor McMommy is all "Wha-what? But I hardly bought anything! It was just a 56 count pack of hamburger buns, a freaky gallon of milk, and a bottle of shampoo that weighs 28lbs!!!  How did 3 items total $500?!"

And your response is to basically shove my confused self into the "restaurant" area and be all "Oh, sorry that we just drained your bank account. But ooh look! A hot dog for only $1.50!"

Like I said, I hate you.


Dear McMommy,
100 bucks says you come crawling back when you have your next dinner party.
Suck it,

The After Party.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

So picture this, if you will.

You post about meeting John & Sherry of YHL.
And then walk away from your laptop and do not even pick it up again until Saturday morning because your week was so crazy busy.

You leisurely log-in to your blog, ho-hum.

And suddenly there are ALARMS going off.

All pointing to your blog stats:

Yes, you bet your young house love I SHRIEKED.

Because if my blog hits were going crazy off the charts, this could only mean one thing:

John and Sherry had linked to my blog.   

I jumped over to read their Jan 17th blog and will now give you a instant replay of what occurred:


But first I jumped back over to my blog, to re-read what I had written, of course.
Saw that John had commented.

This is getting out of control.  How much more can my little heart take?!

I called my sister.  Who immediately wanted me to let everyone know that:
a. She says hiiiiii.
b. She is super sweet and nice.  And not at all like my post made her out to be.
c. She will be writing a counter-post to my post.
d. Most likely after a glass of wine.

Ok, fine.  So I added in "D".  But it's probably true.

Needless to say, there has been a ton of blog traffic in McMommyworld. And the timing....oh the timing.
Because I am in the middle of a blog makeover behind the scenes and things are so messy around here! 
I was going to surprise you all with the makeover reveal but now the joke's on me because SURPRISE!!!  
All the guests showed up early to the party and I'm still in my robe, with the towel on my head, brushing my teeth.

So everyone just come in, make yourself a drink, and relax.  
I'm going to put my makeup on so I don't look like this.  
Then? We will REALLY get this party started.

(aka new blog look coming soon....)


Sunday, January 20, 2013

There are a LOT of things happening around this blog, people.


Things that are not visible to your naked eye.

Things that have caused shrieking.

Things that require wine.

Many glasses of wine.

So stick around...I promise it will be worth your while!

Young House McLove (aka the time I met John and Sherry Petersik)

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Me:  "What are you doing tonight?  I just found out my favorite bloggers are in town for a book signing.  COME WITH."

My sister: "You are so dumb."

Me:  "We can go have wine afterwards."

My sister:  "FINE. Even though I have no idea who these people are."


Let's go into this post right now knowing that half of you reading this will be Team McMommy, because you also read the Young House Love blog and consider John and Sherry your best friends, even though they have no idea who you are.

And the other half will be Team McSister, because you are against fun.

So John and Sherry Petersik write a blog that has a lot to do with decorating and DIY stuff.  Much like Pinterest, I read their blog and say things like "I could TOTALLY do that!"  and make all these fabulous plans in my head to actually do it.  

Only I actually never do.

So they wrote a book and now they are NY Times Best Sellers! (I felt that deserved an exclamation point) and their book tour made a stop here in Florida.  Probably just to annoy my sister.

The first problem with this book tour situation is that there were actually two events going on at the Museum that night.  One was being held outside the glass doors, with tons of wine flowing.   
The other was being held inside, wine-less.

I will now share a picture of my sister from that evening, when she realized which side of the glass door she was on and which side the bottomless glasses of wine were on:

(Time for me to pick up the pace of this post.  Because I feel I am losing Team McSister readers already and I haven't even begun.  I should've brought you guys some wine.)

So John and Sherry walk into the Museum.  I'm not sure what I was maybe an entourage or something?  But no, they walk in all normal, look around, and then walk up to the check-in like normal people.   Not like the NY Times Best Sellers! that they are.

Sherry spies me taking a pic and does one of her trademark faces:

Let's fast forward past their talk and Q&A session (yes, of course I asked a question!), and just skip to....

My sister took this picture.  My life is now complete. 

Ok, so the book signing was normal and I have lots more commentary about it (I should do a separate post for YHL fans...because you would appreciate all the things I noticed.) but again, let's press the fast forward button to after the book signing.

My sister and I go to dinner. 
I am texting pictures I took to all my friends who follow YHL and then my phone dies.  
My sister smirks.  

I find an iPhone charger (the hostess let me borrow hers) and leave my phone up there with said hostess.  I return to my seat at the table, all phone-less.  And then?


I gasped.  
But my sister and her husband say I shrieked.  
Like audibly shrieked enough that John and Sherry looked at me and gave this awkward wave. 
I'm not sure.  I probably would have had a picture to clarify exactly what happened, had my phone not died. (stop smirking!)

They end up sitting at a booth almost directly across from us.  
Here are some phrases that came out of my sister's mouth during that time:

"Stop pretending like you are NOT looking at them, when clearly you ARE."
"OMG. Please stop embarrassing me."
"Let them enjoy their dinner like normal people."
"DO NOT pretend you are headed to the bathroom and then instead go over to their table. I know that's what you are thinking."
"I need more wine."

I tried so very hard to not look at them.  I really tried to play it cool.  But then?  They finished their dinner and walked past our table and I couldn't help myself.  I heard a voice coming out of my mouth saying (shrieking?) "JOHN! SHERRY!" And they looked at me, and then walked over to our table.

Like normal people.

I really do not remember much of what happened next because I got crazy happy excited.  I do remember they said they recognized my sister and I from the book signing.  I remember chatting about some of the restaurants they had eaten at in town here. Sherry said my sister's husband looked like McDreamy. Then my sister's husband locked in his title as best brother-in-law evaaaaaaa.  
He said "How about I take a pic of you guys?"   

(How awesome is McDreamy?!!  Now that's a good brother-in-law right there.)

Sherry then gave me a hug, gave me her email address, and asked me to email her the pic, because this was a good story.

I knew she was probably lying, but I didn't even care.  I sent her that pic as soon as i got home.

And then the next morning?  I got an email from Sherry.  She thanked me for the pic, and said it was so nice to meet me TWICE.

Third time's a charm, Petersiks.  JUST SAYIN.  #NotStalkersIswear #TeamMcMommyForTheWin 


Friday, January 11, 2013


Story coming soon.  I need to pull it together first.  

5 and 8.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I remember when I was a walking zombie.

I was young but I felt so old.  
So tired. 
So covered in spit up and drool.

I remember having to chase after one child with the other one on my hip.
Most days I ran on only 3 hours of sleep.

And the phases.  Oh the phases.
The biting phase.
The dicing grapes stage.
The praying the Exersaucer would keep the baby entertained for more than 10 minutes so I could cook dinner with two hands.

Do they even still make exersaucers?

I remember distinctly telling myself that "If you can just make it to 5 and 8 years old, you will be golden."

You know what?  


My boys are incredible right now.  I love love love 5 {almost six!} and 8.

Mama's got a brand-new bag....

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I've started writing notes on the ziplocs before I fill with goldfish, trail mix, etc. and put in their lunchboxes.
It's been a BIG HIT with the 5yr-8yr old crowd at my house.

Eggplant Parm But Not Really.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Now I say "not really" because isn't true eggplant parm fried and layered with cheeses? Well, this eggplant is sliced into rounds, and baked...then the slices are served individually to everyone, with a small side of pasta. Does that make sense? No stacking, layering, etc. It is so incredibly delicious, even my kids inhale this. They call it "Mommy's Homemade Pizza". If they knew it was really eggplant, they would freak.

Swear these taste so much better than my picture would lead you to believe.

  • 1 eggplant, peeled and sliced into rounds (not too thin but not too thick)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • Pasta sauce (My favorite is the Flora Tuscan Basil or Vodka Sauce)
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Basil (I like fresh but dried is fine too)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
I take a baking tray and line it with foil, then give a good drizzle of olive oil all over it.
I dip the eggplant slices in the egg, then the bread crumbs.. Give it a good breading on both sides. 
Then lay on the baking tray. 
Repeat for all remaining slices (do not overlap...make sure they are all a single layer) and then put in oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Flip slices, add another drizzle of olive oil if needed, and then bake for another 10 minutes. (They will come out so delish and crispy this way!)

After they are done, drizzle (do I like that word or what?! Fo shizzle) some sauce over them. If you are short on time or trying to make this extra easy on yourself, (EARMUFFS, MOM!)...I highly recommend just opening a jar of sauce. (You can do your homemade sauce next time. Take it easy this time. You've worked so hard the whole week. In fact, here...have a glass of wine. What? You want me to have one with you?  Well, don't mind if I do!) 

Where was I? This is not a very professional way to write a recipe.  

Sprinkle some mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top. Also give it a nice sprinkling of basil. Bake for another few minutes or so, until cheese is nice and melty and golden brown and your house smells so heavenly, you think you just might be able to start speaking Italian.


State of the Blogosphere

Monday, January 7, 2013

So it's 2013 and I realize I am the yellow Walkman of the blogosphere.

I was kind of cool and with it and happening years ago, before my two year hiatus.  
Now I am just sitting in a pile marked 50 cents at a garage sale on Saturday morning.

Yes, I just said I was "happening".  You know what else is happening?  My mix tape.

My internal monologue on most days: 

"What's Google+?"
"FB page  and FB fan page.  SERIOUSLY ARE WE DOING THIS?"
"Someone just subscribed to my Facebook posts. I offer subscriptions?"
"There is an app for THEIR BLOG?"

So look, the truth is I have no idea what I'm doing anymore around here technically speaking but I'm pretty smart and am going to figure this all out soon enough.  I'm going to be all shiny and new and sparkly and will post it all to Instagram and you all better press LIKE.  I'll text you all soon and let you know when it all goes down.  


McMommywood: Sunday Thoughts while laying by the pool

Sunday, January 6, 2013

So in addition to my first love Harper Beckham, I now have a new love:  Seraphina Affleck.  
I may not know if I'm pronouncing or spelling her name correctly, but I can assure you that this child is the cutest thing I've ever seen in pigtails. 


QUESTION OF THE DAY: How do celebrities get their children to wear outfits like these? Seriously.    If I told my boys: "Hey kids, wanna go to the movies? Ok, just put on this button-down shirt and this velvet jacket and we'll hit the road." you would hear the meltdown from sea to shining sea.

I SWEAR:   I thought "Wow, she looks good for an older actress! Who is this?  She must be in her late 60s?"   And then I realized this is Lindsey Lohan.

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE:  Jessica Simpson pregnant.  The muu-muu outfits are beginning. I am so excited.  And?  She has her "sexy face" on.  Cause nothing says "Bumpin and Proud!" like duck lips.

Year in Review.

Friday, January 4, 2013

So let's do a short review of my new year resolutions days ago, shall we?

I resolved to blog more consistently....(three day FAIL.)

I said I would worry less.....(about blogging more consistently?)

But I also promised I would try to take more pictures.

And I TOTALLY intend to. As soon as I find my camera.

But in the meantime....I have cell phone pics.
Look, I know.
But 2013 resolutions have got to start somewhere around here.

 He's five and almost bigger than Santa.  He asked for a car for Christmas.  

 They give me one good "I like my brother" shot every couple of months or so.  

But mostly I get this.

This sandbar had doggie footprints....

And bird footprints....

And wine bottle footprints! 
(Coco wuz here.)

Look who met us in the Bahamas.  
He was sitting there in the restaurant one morning when we came to breakfast, along with his cousin, Elfie.  
I like how Mac was all I'M KING OF THE WORLD. (Elfie, you just sit there and look scared of me.)


My 8 year old flew co-pilot on the way back home to the States.  Anyone who has followed this blog for more than 5 minutes knows that the kid lives and breathes all things airplane.  His first word ever? Mama. Second word? "Pane" with his chubby little pointer finger jutted up in the air towards the sky.

When we landed, I asked him "What did you and the pilot talk about the whole time?"  
He replied "Just pilot stuff, mom.  You wouldn't understand."

Why yes, it is.  

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