Friday, January 30, 2015

PF Chang's Mongolian Beef Copycat Recipe

Heyyy, remember me? I'm still here :-) Yesterday afternoon as we were trying to decide what to cook for dinner, Mike so subtly reminded me that he remembers when I would cook a new Pinterest recipe every week. Ooops! This is true. I quickly remembered my Things I've Made pin board & started scrolling to find something yummy. It didn't take long for me to remember how delicious this copycat recipe for Mongolian Beef was. I'm not going to steer you wrong but this recipe is a tad bit time consuming, well I thought so at least... but totally worth it if you ask me!

Here's what you'll need:

1 lb flank steak
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons vegetable oil + 1 cup vegetable oil (for the frying)
1/2 teaspoon ground minced ginger (I actually skipped this)
2 green chopped onions (Skipped this too since I accidently bought a white onion)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
3/4 cup brown sugar


For the sauce...
Heat 2 tsp. of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat. Don't get the oil too hot.
Add ginger & garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then increase the heat to medium & boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat.

For the beef...
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. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks. 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). Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice & hot, but not smoking! Add the beef to the oil and sauté until brown. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly. After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out & onto paper towels. Dab excess oil off meat with a paper towel & add to medium saucepan with the sauce in it. Put the pan back on the oven over medium/low heat. Add chopped green onions and let sauce simmer until warm. Serve over rice. Enjoy!
(Original recipe here)

Monday, December 1, 2014

I'm officially a small business owner!

Hi everyone! I have some exciting news... I'm officially a small business owner! My online boutique Berkeley Blvd launched on Saturday, which just happened to be Shop Small Day. I'm not making excuses yes I am but this is why I've been neglecting my blog a little bit. I've been crazy busy trying to get everything up & running. It's definitely been a learning as I go process. I've had MANY freak out moments & I'm sure there are many more to come, BUT I can honestly say I'm LOVING it. You know the saying "do what you love, love what you do"? I'm truly doing just that. I absolutely love this little shop of mine!

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year for both of our families. It was a house full to say the least! We had so much fun & I took FULL advantage of my dad's fancy camera & my little sister who does modeling here & there. I also put her to work in my home office doing inventory, within 1 hour she took 3 breaks & asked if she could be paid in scarves :-D She was a big help to me! My other little sister (by the way incase you didn't know ALL of my younger siblings tower over me so you wouldn't guess off the bat that I'm the oldest of 5, I did not get the tall gene apparently) was a huge help as well, she designed my social media icons & logo for my website in minutes. Thank you Traci! I feel so blessed to have so much support from my family & friends!

Well since today is Cyber Monday & all I must share...

Use code "cybermonday" at checkout for 30% off your order from now until midnight & enjoy Free Shipping ALWAYS!
PS- I'd appreciate the Instagram follow: @shopberkeleyblvd  ;-)
Happy Monday friends!

Monday, November 17, 2014

BBQ Meatloaf

Happy Monday! I made this BBQ meatloaf last night for dinner & couldn't help but have 2nd's ;-) I first made this recipe over a year ago & forgot how tasty it was! It's very easy & the most time consuming part was chopping the onion. I'm not a huge fan of onions so last night I left it out. Oh & I loveee the sweetness of honey BBQ sauce so of course that's what I used & it was delicious!

Here's what you'll need:
1 1/2 lbs. of ground meat (I used turkey & I actually just used the entire 2 lbs.)
1/2 cup of dry Italian breadcrumbs
1/3 cup of BBQ sauce (divided)
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup of chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp of chili powder
1 1/2 tsp of garlic salt
1/2 tsp of pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. Mix together the raw meat, breadcrumbs, onion, 1 tbsp. of BBQ sauce, egg whites, garlic salt, chili powder, & pepper in a large mixing bowl.
3. Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan & spread the remaining BBQ sauce over the top of the meatloaf. I may have used a tad extra because I really like BBQ sauce!
4. Bake for 1 hour.

Enjoy friends!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Weekend Recap

Hello Monday, I'd like to do the weekend over again...  I wasn't ready. Speaking of ready, is it me or is 'getting ready' sometimes like a dreaded chore? Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it. I guess it really just depends on the mood I'm in. We planned on going out to dinner on Friday night. I came home Friday afternoon & went for a short run then jumped in the shower. After I showered I just didn't feel like getting ready, so I put on some comfy clothes & sat on the back patio with the pups. Mike got home just a few minutes later & it took all of 10 seconds to convince him we should stay in for dinner. I poured a glass of wine & started cooking... pj's, wet hair, & all. One of my favorite go to meals is grilled chicken, penne or bowtie pasta, olive oil, butter, & parmesan cheese with a green side. It's super easy, filling, & good ;-) The rest of the evening was spent in a food coma on the couch...

I may have ordered this Marc Jacobs wristlet online that evening. It has been "unavailable" grrrrr at for awhile now so when I came across it at (& might I add it was 33% off AND free shipping) I saw it as a sign that it needed to be mine...
After our Saturday morning ritual (College Gameday + homemade breakfast tacos) I headed to Marshalls, Target & Homegoods. I was in search of cozy couch décor. Of course I made a stop at Starbucks on the way because I am OBSESSED with Salted Caramel Mochas. Three of my finds from the day are pictured here...
(I'm thinking I need one or two more pillows & one more throw to complete this project)
We had tickets to Ranch Bash on Saturday night. We met up with our friends Maegan & Daryl and watched Cory Morrow put on a fun show. Maegan & I tried to take a few pics but it was so dark out that they turned out either super bright from the flash or blurry. Afterwards we headed to Gloria's for a late dinner since we were all starving!
Have I mentioned that I absolutely LOVE Sundays? It might be my most favorite day of the whole week. I woke up early to clean up the house & backyard a bit and also have a cup of coffee or two with the back door open before it became too hot outside. By noon every TV in the house was on football, baked potato soup was in the crockpot, & the go-carts were ready to go. I love hosting & having friends over, we had a fun afternoon...
 What was your favorite part of the weekend?
Linking up with these lovely ladies, Biana and Meghan!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Beauty products I'm currently loving...

Hi friends! I'm really excited to share a few new products that I've found. I love writing mini-reviews on beauty products almost as much as I love reading them. I feel like there are so many products out there that you are just buying the name. I do feel that sometimes you get what you pay for, so it is sometimes necessary to spend a little more on a product that really works. I'm also a firm believer in quality over quantity. Here are a few of my recent finds...

1// Philosophy Purity Facial Cleanser. I was on the fence for awhile about this product but now I totally love it. I'll start with the cons: It doesn't get super "foamy" once you add a little water to it, which was weird to me & the scent, ehhh I wasn't a fan at first. BUT it does clean your face, like squeaky clean & a little goes a long way! Of course I bought the largest size possible (which was $48) because I didn't see the sample size (which is $10). I've been using this facial cleanser every morning & night for exactly 4 weeks & the bottle is maybe a little less than a fourth gone, now I'm glad I bought the bigger bottle.
2// Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Light. I completely replaced my daily facial moisturizer with this oil. I always thought you needed a creamy moisturizer on your face, but I'm here to tell you this works just as good if not better. I typically wait a minute or two after applying before putting on my foundation just to make sure it's completely dry. I personally like the light version of this oil. This product too goes a long way. I've been using it for 3 weeks (day & night as well) & I'm half way finished with the bottle. I bought the sample size at Sephora for $16. This product can also be used as an overnight hair masque & on very dry skin like your elbows/knees/etc.
3// Tarte Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush. To me this product was a little bit of a splurge, if you're used to buying Sigma brushes then you would see this as a good deal ;-) I typically buy Samantha Chapman brushes but I heard so many good things about this foundation brush that I needed to try it. It's definitely worth the price! The bristles are super soft and my foundation goes on easy & looks evenly applied. I absolutely love it.
4// Batiste Dry Shampoo. Even though I didn't "love" this product I wanted to share why. It isn't my favorite dry shampoo. I'm sorry! I know some of you swear by this brand but it just isn't right for me. It smells sooo good BUT as hard as I tried to rub it into my scalp the powder never really absorbed & went away. I heard Batiste makes several different types for brunettes, blondes, & redheads so maybe I just need to give the brunette one a try before I completely give it a thumbs down.
5// Benefit Erase Paste. Ahhh, this is my favorite product on this list! As you may know (& have seen if you follow me on Instagram or know me in real life) I'm a huge fan of the "no makeup, makeup" look. When I choose to skip the foundation, powder, bronzer, blush, etc. I ALWAYS still apply concealer underneath my eyes. My favorite is NYX HD photogenic concealer (I use medium), you can't beat the price either- I believe it's $5 at Ulta. Applying this product over my concealer is my new go-to look! I feel like it gives my eye area a little pop & brightens it up. I apply a few dots around the 'dark circle area ' & blend it in with a concealer brush. I actually first saw this product used in Chloe Morello's YouTube tutorial below & I was immediately sold...

6// L'oreal Magic De-Crease Eyelid Primer. I've never worn an eye shadow primer until I started using Urban Decay's Naked 2 palette. There are many natural oils on & around your eyelid. I never really thought that it would make a difference but it does. I feel like the primer actually helps even out that skin tone around your eyelid & helps your eye shadow stay on longer. If you're looking for a good primer to use but don't want to spend a lot, I definitely recommend this one.
So that's it! Please feel free to leave your link of any beauty product reviews you have shared below, I'd love to read 'em!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

DIY fall centerpiece

Hi friends! Today I'm showing y'all how I did the centerpiece that is currently on my kitchen table. I wish I could say that I thought of this cute idea all on my own but I didn't. I have my friend Isela to thank! This centerpiece is perfect for fall, super simple to make, & under $25.

Here is what you'll need:
  • A glass bowl. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby for $9 (reg. $16) Be sure to use the HL online coupon for 40% off (if it's not already half off).
  • A handful of wine corks.
  • Decorative vine. I bought this one at Michael's (Ashland fall berry collection) for $5 (reg. $10) Again, I never go into a store without checking to see if there is a coupon on Retail Me Not (one of my most used apps).
  • Natural dried orb set. I found this one at Kirklands, but I also saw that Target has a set as well for $10.

What to do:
  • Carefully pull apart the decorative vine & set aside. Don't be surprised if a few 'berries' fall off.
  • Add the orbs & wine corks to your bowl. This will give you a good idea of how much vine to use (I only used half).
  • Cut the decorative vine to fit inside your bowl. I had to use a wire cutter because my craft scissors did not cut it, literally.
  • Move & place everything around inside the bowl how you would like it to be seen... & that's it, all done!

(please excuse the lovely glare in every.single.picture)
What I love most about this idea is you can add anything you'd like to it... potpourri, stones, shells, etc. What else would you add? Weekend project anyone?