It’s a Wrap! Lettuce Wrap, that is.

Once again, I take you back with me to a Palm Springs trip.  This particular recipe was used for our Palm Springs Memorial Day 2015.  There were about 8 of us on this trip.  It was a great house with a round pool and a round living room, very Palm Springs.  It seemed like miles to get from one end of the house to the other.  I’d say it was a successful house for the group but we never stay in the same house twice.

For lunch one day, I made a lettuce wrap.  I found the recipe on pinterest which was a post from damndelicious.net and it seemed easy, so I attempted it.

My only problem was that I should have made double the amount and fed them with lots of other items like egg rolls, potstickers, and rice to make it complete meal for them.  I was thinking this was a light lunch item.  It was a bit too light.  The group loved the flavor of this but it wasn’t enough food and I made it too late in the day so I think they were starving and starting to get restless!  I think each person only got about one lettuce wrap, so you can see why they all weren’t that happy that afternoon.  Nobody complained, but you can tell I needed to serve more when they were grazing for whatever snacks they could find. (That might have also been the reason why some don’t remember ordering their food for dinner cause there was not a lot soaking up any of the Margarita-drink of the day.)

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Here’s the menu board that I usually set up each morning in Palm Springs.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken (I used turkey – would be ok to use chicken, turkey or beef)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce (I bought mine from Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
  • 1 (8-ounce) can whole water chestnuts, drained and diced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 head butter lettuce

Instructions from DamnDelicious.net

  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add ground chicken and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the chicken as it cooks; drain excess fat.
  • Stir in garlic, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and Sriracha until onions have become translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in chestnuts and green onions until tender, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • To serve, spoon several tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf, taco-style.

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Notes – I think I left the Sriracha out of the recipe and let everyone spice up their individual servings.  AND Make sure you know your audience before you plan the meal.  Don’t want them to get hungry on you!

We’re on our way back next week for a Palm Springs vacation, so I’m planning on much more food!  Stay tuned for more recipes.

 

Roger’s Gardens – A Delish Shopping Trip!

We celebrated my mom’s birthday recently.   We usually like to drive my parents places that they don’t get to go to on a regular basis, so this birthday weekend was no exception.  I think we tired the parents out but hopefully they had some fun in the process.

There’s a nursery and gift shop in Corona Del Mar called Roger’s Gardens.  It has a great selection of plants, patio furniture, pots,  knowledgeable staff and a great gift boutique.  They also decorate for seasonal gifts and decor, so the Halloween Boutique had just opened this same weekend.  If you like Halloween, this is sure to spark your creativity!  Mom loves this place, so it was a good idea to take her there.

The theme this year for the Halloween boutique is “Something Wicked This Way Comes” and it’s truly like entering a magician’s tent with a maniacal display of whimsy, gross, scary, absurd and glittery objects.  Heaven.

Beware – tons of pics to follow!   If you can’t visit this year, then I’ll bring the store to you here.

IMG_2181Being a marketing person, I look at signage way too much even when I’m personally shopping. They had my attention with old timey fonts and ribbon motif. Well done, Roger’s Gardens!

AND…those pumpkins!  Love!  They had a variety of pumpkins, different shapes and colors scattered around the nursery.

It was 100 degrees outside, but the pumpkins made me long for cooler weather so I can comfortably cook in my kitchen again.

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Delish-able Mention #2

This week I found a special Delish-able Mention from my friend Debi.  As you probably know, California is having a drought right now.  We’re supposed to have a very rainy winter, but that doesn’t help our brown grass now.  Lots of California residents have taken to zero-scapes or rock gardens.  Debi’s answer to an empty water fountain in her back yard is a perfect way to showcase her creative talent and not have a huge water bill and waste water.

As you can see, this fountain was a cat haven but she’s working on a better place for her cats to hang out.  She also had overgrown grass around it and a vision to change it!

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IMG_1918Sorry, this pic is a blurry, but you can see how the fountain fit into the backyard and once a upon a time with water…it would have been peaceful and a nice feature.

Debi started to clear the area and give eviction notices to her cats to get her project started.  She was determined to make it a planter!  Succulents would eliminate having to water it excessively and give her enough variety of plants to create movement in her design.  Her husband wasn’t quite sure he understood the project but alas went shopping to collect plants with her for the project.

IMG_1916From this point, she had a few ideas for the ground.  We brainstormed the possibility of creating mosaic stepping stones in water patterns.  That sounded great to both of us but then Debi started the project and quickly learned that it was too ambitious.  Sometimes you gotta know when to pull the reigns in and do something achievable so you don’t get frustrated.  She made the right choice to scrap that idea and go to plants and rocks to cover.

IMG_1914Here’s more of her work in progress, as the statue gets placed with plants surrounding.

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IMG_1912The finished project is finally filled in with plants, rocks and statues.   It makes me reminisce for days of carefree water usage as the plants mimic water but I couldn’t be more proud of her staunch effort to pull this project off!  It took her about 2 weeks to devote to working on this.  (It was a few hours here and there in the two weeks , not 24 hours/day!)  She’s onto the next project and I’m sure plenty of Delish-able Mentions in the future as well.

Here’s a glimpse of another fabulous fun project on her patio.  I have no idea how she is hanging these parasols, but it must have something to do with Mary Poppins?

IMG_1919Congrats to Debi and if you have something to recommend to me as a Delish-able Mention, please leave me a comment below.  Thanks for reading!