Roasting Chickpeas & Indulging In Your Comfy Place

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Anytime I'm upset or frustrated I usually find myself in one of three places . . .

Vigorously cleaning.  

Creating in the kitchen. 

In bed eating chocolate while watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S reruns. 

I'm curious...Where do you find yourself when feeling extremely frustrated, grumpy, sad or depressed? We all have our go-to activities when we are really going through the thick of it. I hope you aren't afraid to unveil your comfy go-to place when you feel like crap. It is perfectly OK to admit to having a terrible, awful day and then go do whatever it is that will make you feel better. (so long as it isn't bad for you) Sometimes I feel guilty about wanting to lay in bed or create in my kitchen for hours only to leave a giant mess. However, I am a big believer in letting your body recoup in ways that feel good so you can later be the best you can be.


These last few days have been extra hard for me. I've been rotating between my bed, cleaning the bathrooms and eating chocolate with my gal pal Rachel Green. I've let myself have a few days of letting my grief get the best of me and coping in the ways that I do. I'm tired of letting my grief make me feel defeated, rather than challenged. I know I'll be up for the challenge this grief gives me once I indulge in my comfy place and gain strength to do so.

So tell me, what is it you do to make yourself laugh and feel good?

---

As mentioned above, one of the things I like to do to make myself feel better is recipe test ideas or things I've seen done that look delicious. I usually never have what I need so I substitute like crazy and leave my kitchen a giant mess. I've also been known to make a trek to the grocery store in yoga pants with a hole in the crotch and no bra, desperately in search of an ingredient. Anyways, I truly love recipes and learning new ones.

Roasting chickpeas has been around for quite some time, I know. However, I've recently learned how to roast chickpeas. They are pretty tasty for a quick and healthy snack and now I'm currently obsessed with creating different flavors. I posted this photo to Instagram and in true friend fashion you all started commenting your favorite flavors. Some of you like it hot and spicy, others like them sweet and a few of you out there just love it simple; olive oil and sea salt. For the record olive oil and sea salt is addicting!

What I hadn't seen done yet was combining these tasty little beans with one of my favorite flavors on the planet. Coconut. I decided to dream up a new flavor and share it with you all. Including a few helpful tips on how to achieve the best crunchy little chick peas known to man.


Tropical Roasted Chickpeas 
.. and tips for roasting ..



What You Need
-one can of garbanzo beans.
-2 table spoons canola oil
-1 cup coconut flakes chopped fine
-1/2 cup dried pineapple chopped
-1 teaspoon raw sugar
-1 teaspoon sea salt


What You Do
- Open a can of chickpeas. (also known as Garbanzo beans) place them in a colander and rinse them real good with cold water. These beans are very soft and easy to crush. Rinsing them with cold water is important. Warm water can make them extra soft and smooshy which isn't great when roasting.

-Once they are rinsed keep them in the colander. Grab two other bowls. Now for the time consuming part. When you pick up the chickpea you'll notice a sheer skin that coats the outside. The skin can be easily removed by lightly pinching the chickpea between your fingers. Be careful not to pinch the chickpea to hard and crush it. Once you've removed the skin a few times you'll get the hang of it. Place the skinless chickpeas in one bowl, the skins in another bowl. The skins you will throw away and yes, they look gross. Get comfy, skinning these little guys takes some time.




-After the skins have been removed the beans have to fully dry. I like to place them on a baking sheet lined with a dish towel and cover then with another dish towel. I let them dry for a good hour or so because moving forward. If you roast them with out drying completely they won't get as crispy.



-Once the chickpeas are ready to roast, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon pad. Bake the chickpeas naked (with nothing on them) at 400 degrees for ten minutes.

-Take the chickpeas out of the oven and coat them with the oil, sea salt and raw sugar. Use a rubber spatula to gently coat them evenly. Place back in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until dark brown and crispy. At about 2 minutes till they need to be taken out of the oven ... take the chickpeas out and toss with chopped coconut. Place them back in the oven to finish off and toast the coconut at the same time. 



-Once the chickpeas are out of the oven and cooled, toss them with the chopped dried pineapple. Keep this snack in an air tight container for up to a week.





I hope you enjoy these and indulge in your comfy place when you need to.

Happy Easter, I Love You . . . Can I Have My Basket?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

This grieve has a mind of it's own at times. It can rest aside, then awake and remind you of all the beauty that once was just a year ago. It leaves you alone with your thoughts and deeply sad. I always figured that Christmas or Ryan's birthday would be the hardest to live through with out him. However, Easter has proven to be just as difficult if not the hardest. I think because Easter was the last holiday we spent together. The day was perfect. Ryan loved Easter. The day has always been somewhat special.

Five years ago I was home with my mom. It was just two days after Easter. I was twenty five. My mom still makes Easter baskets for all of us however, now gift cards and bath products take the place of candy and toys. I remember telling my mom I was pregnant soon after I opened my Easter basket. I was crying because I was scared. The first thing my mom said after I told her I was pregnant was,

"YAY! I can make the baby an Easter basket next year! Jacqui, don't cry a baby is a blessing."

Since having Ryan, Easter has proven to be the most fun. Mostly because of the egg hunts and sugar. Ryan had my sweet tooth multiplied by ten, plus both his parent's competitive spirit. Ryan had to win, had to get the most eggs, had to get the most candy, just had to! He would say "I need to win Mom!" and in true Jacqui fashion I would say "I know baby, Mommy will help you!". So Dan and I both would run around and scout where the eggs were and try and direct Ryan to where the goods were.

Easter baskets were better than Christmas morning! We hid Ryan's basket and he would have to search for it in the morning along with a few eggs I hid. This last Easter Dan had started to teach Ryan about what it meant to be "hot or cold" when looking for something. So for a good thirty minutes Ryan slithered and snuck around the house shouting "Daddy! I am hot or cold?" "HOT?" all the while we were giggling. Dan would say "You are so cold Ry, you are freezing!!" Ryan thought that was so funny. Our last Easter morning was really, really good.

In our family everyone gives the children Easter baskets filled to the brim with all kinds of great things. So, as the day pressed on and we ventured out to visit family I instructed Ryan that he had to be kind and grateful. In the car we rehearsed. I told him "Ryan you have to say Happy Easter OK? You tell everyone Happy Easter and that you love them or else you won't get a basket." Ryan just nodded his head and then asked "Can Katy Perry come on now?" As if he were trying to tell me, relax I got this.

Forever we will remember my little determined man so ungracefully stomping into my Aunts house. Finding his Tia, giving her a kiss and then say "Happy Easters, I love you . . . Can I have my basket?"
In the moment I was horrified and told him to be nice and it wasn't polite to just ask for a basket. Everyone knew we had rehearsed. It was awful and hysterical.

I know for a fact that Heaven is glittering on this day. I know your Easter basket is full and I hope you took it easy on everyone up there. Today on this Easter with out you I will do nothing but think of you. I will live and love for you. I will get up and get dressed and find a few eggs for you. I will eat candy and laugh for you. I will remember our past Easters with a smile.

Happy Easter, I love you . . . Can I have my basket?

below are a few photos from our last Easter




Love Ry's little determined face. He was also so worried he wouldn't find them all. 



Together trying to beat out everyone at this egg hunt. Dan, these break my heart into a million pieces. You two, best friends. 




He won. He will always win. 


This was Ryan's Easter basket I put together for him last year. 


 Happy Easter to our Ryan




Dear Ryan - Eleven Months

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dear Ryan,

     Hi my little guy! I miss you so much. I'm having a hard time believing that it has been eleven months since I last held you, touched you, heard your voice. I know you can see me everyday, I wish I could see you everyday. As I sit here thinking about what to say to you a million things come to mind. I want to show you around our new home and tell you that even though you don't see your room put together just as you left it, we have all your special things tucked away safe. I need you to know that. Sometimes when I think of you visiting me I get sad because things look so different. Mommy and Daddy miss seeing your toys strewn across the living room floor, but we had to put them away because it hurts to look at them. We miss watching Disney movies with you and hearing you repeat each line and sing every song. Do they have your favorite movies in Heaven? I know people tell me that you are having the best time up there, but are you really? I believe you are . . . but you don't have me up there with you to do all our favorite things. Sometimes I worry that God or whatever angel friends you have up there with you don't know how to cut your sandwiches into hearts or dinosaurs. Sometimes I worry that they don't know which PJ's are your favorite or which smoothie flavors you love best. Do they have hip hop music in Heaven? Are you dancing up there like we used when Mommy cleaned the house and you trailed behind me playing Cars or Monsters Inc? I have so many questions that I know I just have to answer myself and believe them all to be true and glorious. Just as Heaven is promised right?

     I guess when I have questions I can look to the beautiful signs you send. All day I walk around with an open heart and mind craving signs and little love notes left out from you. I can tell you are working hard to let it be known you love your Mommy and Daddy. Ryan you are strong and I am so proud of you. You have to know that even though I don't see you anymore I still am so proud of you. It kills me to not be able to play with you or see you continue to learn at school and play with friends, but I still replay scenes from the past in my head and beam with pride.

     Do remember all the adventures we had? We had a lot of big ones like camping when you were just one and we let you crawl around barefoot. Or when we took you to the beach all those times, and how you just recently stopped eating the sand? Thinking of that makes me giggle. I spent a lot days at the beach trying to keep you from eating the sand. I miss your happy face and bright eyes when running into the waves. I miss your wiggling body as I tried to put sunscreen on every inch of your sweet soft skin. I hope you still go to Disneyland Ryan. I'm not sure how that works, but when I go with out you I imagine you with me. I just hope you still go, because that was our most favorite place. Did you see they have a new Frozen area? I'm sure you love it. I wish so badly I could have taken you myself and seen your face light up as you sang "Suuuuummmer!" Promise me that you still go with and with out me.

     We had a lot of little daily adventures too. I miss you the most when I go grocery shopping at Trader Joe's. I've been taking you there since you were just weeks old. I still buy your favorite fruit leathers and I always, always ask for stickers when I check out. I have a whole jar full of stickers at this point. When you visit our house do you see them? They are for you. Sometimes when I ask the checker for stickers I feel insane, but when I put them in the jar I imagine you smiling and saying "Fank You Mom!" I miss picking you up from school and taking you to the park or for ice cream cones. I'm sorry for not taking you the park more, I feel like sometimes when you asked we had to hurry home and make dinner or whatever it was. I remember you always asking to go the park. I'm sorry if we didn't go enough. I hope I made up for it with our crafts, cooking together or other random things I thought of to do with you. Our adventures big and little are so special and I try to continue living them with you watching from above. This life though, it is fiercely difficult with out you.

      You must see such beautiful things up there Ry. You must visit so many. I hope you help and spread happiness to anyone and everyone in need. I pray you continue to help Mommy and Daddy just as you have been. Our smiles are for you and you give us such strength to go on. When you see us know that we miss you more than any words or actions can convey. It hurts so bad, we crave you always. Mommy and Daddy will never stop loving you, we will never stop missing you either.

      How has it been eleven months? You'd think that it would get easier as the months press on, but as one year hides behind the next corner I'm filled with more anxiety and pain than ever. I feel as though I am losing you all over again. What is in store for Mommy and Daddy as we approach one year with out you? When I feel anxious and full of unanswerable questions I sit and close my eyes. I let whatever tears I have in me flow freely and I deeply imagine your tiny arms around my body with your head full of bouncy red curls resting on my chest. I take a deep breath in and I can still smell your shampoo with a hint of sweet sweat. You were always so sweaty Ryan. I think of you hugging me and me hugging you and I'm able to relax. I'm able to have hope for the future. While I hug you I feel grateful for being your momma, I feel grateful for being able to share so many wonderful memories while I physically had you. I feel immense love for you and for life. I feel calm.

    I don't want this letter to end, as I wish I could talk to you forever.
    I will write you another soon.
    I promise to continue to try hard at this life with out you.
    I love you Ryan Cruz. Mommy loves you.  


. . .  do you remember this day Ryan? It was on of our "nature walks". We use to go on these nature walks and I would ask you what you see, hear, smell. I wish I had recorded our conversations while on these walks. Sometimes we would pick up rocks or leaves and smell them, throw them. I feel angry because I can't remember all the things we said or discussed. I hope you do. I hope when I see you again you can remind me. Thank God I have these photos to hold on to until then. 






Vegan *Candy* Bars

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I feel as though this title is a trick, because really they aren't candy . . . but they are sweet like candy and have chocolate (raw cacao, but still). Also, you can't exactly nosh a Snickers if your vegan so what the hell! These tasty bars put up a good fight towards the real deal candy bar. Even if you aren't vegan these bars are still enjoyable and deliver satisfaction when your hankering for something sweet yet healthy.

OK! Fine, they could also be considered granola bars. However, if you want to get your toddler or husband in on the goodness refer to them as candy bars and everyone will want 'em!



What You Need

1/4 cup Coconut Oil
1/4 cup Raw Honey (Or if you are the type of vegan that doesn't eat honey, you can use maple syrup or agave)
1/3 cup Almond Butter
1/3 cup Crushed Raw Almonds
1 cup Gluten Free Oats
1 tablespoon Chia Seeds
1 tablespoon Raw Cacao Powder
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt

What You Do

-In a large frying pan on medium heat melt together the coconut oil, raw honey and almond butter. Use a spatula to mix together and press lightly on the raw honey to help it melt. Melt these until it all becomes one thin batter. Lower the heat a bit and continue to stir. The honey is likely to burn if you don't keep stirring.
-As you stir add the vanilla and raw cacao powder. Stir until all the ingredients come together into a thin "milk" chocolate colored batter.
-Stir in a half cup of your gluten free oats. Stir until the batter coats all the oats. Now turn off the heat.
-Stir in crushed raw almonds.
-Now stir in the last half cup of gluten free oats. Stir until the everything is coated. The batter now should be thick with coated oats and almonds.
-Sprinkle in the chia seeds and stir on last time.
-Pour your batter into a small baking dish lined with parchment paper. Use the spatula to press into all corners of the pan and smooth out the top.
-Sprinkle the coarse sea salt on top.
-Place in the refrigerator over night. Or until the bars harden.
-Once the bars have set, cut into small bars and store in an air tight container and keep in the refrigerator. These can keep for about a week.






Enjoy these! I hope a few of you love them as much as I do.


Seattle // With & With Out Ryan

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Recently, my husband Dan and I ventured to Seattle for a weekend getaway. We were lucky enough to plan it alongside Dan's 30th birthday and it turned out to be a lovely celebration in the Pacific Northwest. What a beautiful place! My love birds on Instagram detailed thousands (literally thousands) of fun, exciting and delicious places to must-see. We could have built a two week itinerary with the recommendations! On the plane ride up we stuffed all the recommendations into two and half solid days . . . which left us with full bellies, full hearts and sleepless. Literally, we slept so little. Up early, falling asleep late. Sleepless in Seattle. ;)
Aside from our own plans, the lovely souls living in Seattle had a few surprises for us. I've never traveled to a place where the locals treated me with such love and generosity. What an incredible place it was.

Below are photos from our trip. Our favorite places, Seattle's surprises and the smiles that came easy while we traveled with Ryan shining above us . . .


Since first learning about Seattle when I was little I've always wanted to see three things. Albeit they are the three most classic Seattle spots, there is something really special about seeing popular landmarks that you've only read about or seen in movies. Whats better is getting to experience them with someone special. One of my most favorite things ever was experiencing holidays and fun places with Ryan. The face of your excited happy child never gets old. 

The Space Needle, Pike Place Market and the gum wall in Post Alley was first on my hand written list. All three exceeded my thoughts. I cried when I saw the Space Needle, I kept grabbing Dan's arm saying "Look! I can't believe it! Can you see it?!" It was awesome. I took Dramamine before riding to the top, because I get motion sickness and the elevator is FAST! Ryan would have loved the elevator ride. I imagined him asking a million questions and then running around like crazy round and round the top. There was also a cafe at the top and I'm sure he would have asked for a hot chocolate. Once at the top we saw everything and the best sight for me was the house boat from Sleepless In Seattle. Once I spotted it I had a huge yearn for my mom. We have watched that movie thousands of times and I know she would have shrieked in excitement with me as we. 


We ate our way through Pike Place Market and although I hate the smell of fish I didn't mind it here. It was all part of the experience. The best places to eat for us were; Beecher's Handmade Cheese for their "World Famous" mac & cheese, Rachel's Ginger Beer, Biscuit Bitch and this place that had the largest cookies but I can't remember the name. This marketplace is jam packed with tiny places to eat which I'm sure are all amazing. We walked through each day and found something new each time.





The gum wall was seriously disgusting and incredible all at once. I don't remember how I learned of it, but once I had I'd been dying to see it in person and add my chewed art. The colors were so bright and some people even left their mark by stretching out the gum to create letters. Ryan would have loved this as all to much. He'd first want to touch it and I'd probably spend my efforts on keeping him from getting to close. Then we would have stayed in that alley for far to long as he chewed gum piece after gum piece to place on the wall. "Just one more mom, pwese!" I had mentioned to Dan in a whisper "Ryan would have loved this..." Dan agreed and as we started to walk away we spotted his name . . . 



Each day I played a wicked game. How many cups of coffee can Jacqui drink in 24 hours? I maxed out at 6 the first day and the next just settled on having 4. But Seattle is like the coffee capitol and there is a cute cafe on each corner! The coffee was gooood. My favorites were; Uptown Espresso, Oddfellows, Pegasus ... all of them are honestly delicious. 


We walked through the Olympic Sculpture Park one morning. It was beautiful. The park is right on the water and it feels so cool to walk in between giant art installations. Thank you to the sweet stranger who recommended this place to us!



Just look at this guys smile! It looks so easy and relaxed. Dan is at his best when traveling. 



I don't know where these white feathers came from, but they were everywhere and seemed to fall from the sky. Maybe there was a pillow factory somewhere I had no idea about. But I sure did love finding them everywhere we went. Maybe I look to far into things for signs from my little man, it makes me feel comfort though. I love having an open heart and really searching. I have to believe Ry is working hard up there to send me little love notes, he knows I can see them. 


One night a sweet stranger left red balloons tied outside our hotel. I ugly cried in gratitude. We left them blowing through the night. On our last morning, while waiting for our cab back to the airport Dan went and un-tied the red strings to keep. 


Jacqui & Ryan


The Fremont Troll was weirdly cool and another spot I had seen in a movie. The day we went to see the Troll it was congested with tons of kids so we didn't get any good photos. Though Dan and I stood there for a long while. Both quiet. I think we were both thinking of Ryan playing in the mix with the rest. He would have been the loudest. He would have been partial to play with the girls. He would have seen the others climb and jump off the trolls arm ... then find my eyes as to ask "Is this Ok mom? Can I do that?" I'd walk closer and try to take photos of him. 


Besides coffee, donuts were all over Seattle too. I justified a dozen because we walked everywhere!


We traveled on a ferry to Bainbridge Island which was fun and somewhat relaxing. It was windy out on the deck and I fell asleep on the ferry twice. Bainbridge was beautiful and we ate our way through that little island too. 



We plan trips that we would have with Ryan. Family trips that get us out of our reality and into a world were we feel Ryan shine warm on our faces. We feel Ryan always, but when we travel we see him in different places. We dream of his physical body with us and his soft hand in ours. For whatever reason, smiles come with ease when we travel. Tears flow too, but we lean on one another and promise each other that we'll be alright. Ryan was showing us himself in everything while we walked through Seattle . . . 

Thank you Seattle for having us and showing us three a magical time. 

My Panic Attacks

Thursday, March 5, 2015

It starts out fairly slow. Almost as if its warning me. Brace yourself Jacqui, in a moment you won't be able to catch your breath. My brain barrels toward memories of Ryan. My mind makes me, forces me to search for his voice. It replays his little voice in my head with out warrant. I see Ryan and I fiercely miss him. I close my eyes and I want to hold him but I can't. Then my mind starts pointing out all the negative. His toys are in storage, I hate that there might be dust on them. His clothes that use to cover his body, his clothes that he use to love to pick out are all folded and have been still for ten months. I hate that. I hate that it gets so quiet at times. I want to hear his yell and cheerful screams.

Instead I start to scream with anger.

I grab my chest and I can't catch my breath. Sometimes I punch a pillow if I'm on my bed. Sometimes all I can do is fall to my knees. That's how fast it hits. What starts it can be anything, but whatever it is, a song, a comment ... it quickly sparks a memory of my son that pulls so deep on my heart. It pulls me do deep I can't focus. All my strength and confidence of "living a full and happy life for my son" vaporizes and leaves me in a dusty reality. The dirty harsh reality that my son is forever gone. Our beautiful moments together are never to be felt or lived again. In this life anyway. In this life, his life is over. I hate that more than anything.

My body and mind panic together with my heart feeling lifeless in the middle.

I have panic attacks. About once or twice a week the big scary ones hit. I cry everyday and let myself have the moments I need, but the real panic attacks arise out of no where. I'm assuming they are happening to me because I'm going through something extremely tragic. And although I experience these a few times a week I still feel so unfamiliar with it all. They feel insane and horrible and last anywhere from ten minutes to an hour. I don't do anything or take anything to make them stop. I just succumb to whatever it is my body is doing and let it run its nasty course. I have found that if I give in and let it have control it ends faster.

My poor husband is so great and handles me with care. Though I'm positive it is not an easy task. I figured I need help to try and curb these attacks. But I'm a freak and want to try and stay as natural as possible . . . So I'm going to try and get into essential oils and see how that bodes.

We are all different, especially with the ways we handle hard things such as grief, anxiety, all of it. Oils may not work for everyone or me. Nothing may work who knows! I don't know much, but I'm eager to learn how to cope with my own struggles. I hope that you are confident to find ways that work for you no matter what it is. At the end of it all we just need help putting one foot in front of the other.

Up until right now only my close family has known about these panic attacks of mine. The thought of sharing them and what my mind and body goes through while experiencing them is scary! I usually try and stay positive but the truth is, this grief of mine is dark and twisted at times. I'm happy to write out the feelings that flow through me during my panic attacks because I want to remember them. Even though these experiences are intense and terrifying, they are mine. They are specific to the grief of losing my son. My baby boy. It is a horrible and tragic thing, but there is beauty sprinkled through out it all. My baby boy is beautiful. And who knows, maybe someone out there has these kinds of panic attacks too . . . we can help one another.


Wonton Turkey Tacos

Monday, March 2, 2015

It has been nearly three weeks since I've posted on this little blog of mine. I guess that means February was a long and busy month. We definitely celebrated, struggled and grew ... I have so much to say and feel. I'll set aside some time to process it all and write a few a things down as it helps me. Thank you to everyone for sticking by my side as I hustle through the depths of my grief. It can feel so lonely at times and then I'm swiftly reminded of the immense support. 

I recently posted a photo of these yummy little things and a lot of people asked for the recipe. It is something I made up on a whim. Dan and I love tacos and decided to switch it up one night. I always ask for extra wontons on my salad at Tender Greens so I decided to try my hand at working with wontons at home, since I love them so much. My mom always taught me to throw together things you have on hand in case you find yourself with out a packet of taco seasoning or whatever it is you may think you need to make your food taste good. So, I figured out how to make a sauce from scratch that made my food taste dang good. Anyways, thats how this weird creation started and turns out a lot of you were curious. 

Let me know if any of you make these in your home. I saw all the pancakes and cinnamon rolls on Instagram and it just makes me feel so happy! You all are the absolute best ... 

Wonton Tacos



What You Need
- one pound of turkey (you can use whatever meat/meat substitute)
- 3 green onions
- tablespoon of roughly chopped cilantro
- wonton wrappers
- 1/4 cup of canola oil
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup shredded broccoli (I use the pre-shredded broccoli slaw mix from Trader Joe's)

For The Sauce
**You can totally buy a bottle of 'General Tso' sauce if you don't want to make it yourself**
- 1/2 cup of soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons of rice wine
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of Siracha
- 3 cloves of chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons of cornstarch 
- 1 teaspoon of chili flakes (we like it spicy so don't add if you don't like a little heat)


What You Do

- The first thing I do is fry all the wonton shells. To be honest they are a pain in the butt, but I hope that doesn't turn you off. They are so tasty, crispy and delicious it will be worth it. I promise. In a frying pan heat your 1/4 cup of canola oil on medium high heat. You can also use veggie oil if that's what you have on hand. Once the oil is hot put one corner of the wonton in. (It is a square so act like you are folding it corner to corner.) Use tongs to hold onto a corner of the wonton while the other other corner is frying. You fry one side of the "taco" and once it is light brown you flip it over and fry the other side. You have to use the tongs to hold one side while you fry the other so it stays open like a taco. Does this make sense? If not email me and I can walk you through it. I feel crazy typing this. I just made this up one night in my kitchen and figured it out on the fly. Once both sides are crispy light brown place on a paper towel and continue frying. 

-Once all your wonton shells are finished frying start browning your turkey meat. You can use ground beef or really any kind of filling you want. It would be great with just vegetables too. Again, I'm all about getting creative. Hopefully a few of you do! Let me know. 

-While your meat is browning start on the sauce. Again this sauce can be found in a bottle at any store and would cut dinner prep in half. It is called 'General Tso' at Trader Joe's and is really good as a marinade too. So go for easy if you can. If you are like me and make everything hard for yourself ;) prepare from scratch like this;

                             - In a saucepan on low heat warm all but the sugar & corn starch.
                             - Stir in the brown sugar and whisk until it dissolves. 
                             - Whisk in corn starch (this will thicken the sauce).
                             - Toss in chili flakes at the end...If you want.
                             - Take off heat and store in fridge for up to three days or use right away. 
                             - This amount is good for about one pound of turkey. 

- So, your turkey is brown and you've drained all the fat. Add your sauce and stir. 
- Add your chopped green onions, shredded broccoli and carrots. Cook until the veggies soften. I do like to keep the veggies a little crispy but that is totally up to you. Once everything is coated with sauce and cooked to your liking ... carefully put the filling in your wonton shells. I say carefully because  the wontons break easy. 
- Just top with chopped cilantro and enjoy!








 

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