PF Changs Copykat Recipe: Mongolian Beef

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You. guys.

 

You have got to make this. 

 

Oh my word.

 

So, so good. 

 

I decided to try it out Saturday after hunting down a decent recipe, and I could have licked up the skillet (if I wasn’t still 21 Day Fixin’ most of the time!)

 

Hands down the best skillet recipe I’ve ever tried.

You’re welcome. :) 

 

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Here we go . . .

PF Chang’s Mongolian Beef Copykat Recipe

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium orange pepper, cut in 2″ long strips

 

Directions

  1. Cut beef into thin strips.
  2. In bowl, mix together cornstarch, broth, soy sauce, and sugar. 
  3. Over high heat in skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Stir fry beef until browned in 2 batches, remove beef from skillet.
  4. Add tablespoon olive oil to skillet and add in cabbage or broccoli slaw, peppers, and green onions.
  5. Stir fry veggies over medium heat until tender-crisp, remove from skillet and set aside. 
  6. Add in cornstarch mixture and cook over medium heat until it comes to a boil, stirring constantly.
  7. Return meat, and veggies to skillet or wok and heat through.
  8. Serve with rice & enjoy!

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Adapted from All Recipes. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

 

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Skinny 7 Layer Dip

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You guys.

 

This is for you.

 

With Super Bowl Sunday right around the corner, I knew I needed to find a yummy appetizer on a skinny-slimmed up diet.
(Still working on the 21 Day Fix over here!)

 

It’s so simple, pretty penny pinched, and yummy too.

 

Honestly, the bulk of your calories on a dip come from the chips, so if you can serve it with celery you’ll skip a few calories too.

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Skinny 7 Layer Dip

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Ingredients:

8 oz container fat-free sour cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional ~ I did not include cilatro)
1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning
5 dashes hot pepper sauce
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 cups shredded lettuce or broccoli slaw (I used broccoli slaw to add in a little better veggies)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 (11 ounce) cans Mexican-style corn, drained
1 cup chunky salsa
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 (2.25 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 Roma (plum) tomato, chopped

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Directions:

  • In small bowl, mix sour cream, garlic, cilantro, taco seasoning, hot pepper sauce and half of the lemon juice until blended
  • Spread shredded lettuce or broccoli slaw over a 12-inch serving platter.
  • Next layer on black beans
  • Top with can of drained Mexican-style corn
  • Then top with sour cream mixture
  • Layer salsa on top of the sour cream mixture
  • Top with Mexican cheese, black olives, green onions, and tomato.
  • Serve cold with chips.

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Super bowlsplurges (1)

Take a look at these 12 lightened up Super Bowl Splurges.

 

And, if you’re looking for a few more Super Bowl favorites that aren’t quite so healthy, :) here you go . . .

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.

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12 Lightened Up Super Bowl Splurges

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Okie dokie folks, since y’all know I’ve been working on the 21 Day Fix (and would so love for you to join me ~ learn more HERE!), I decided it would be fun to throw together a roundup of lightened up Super Bowl Sunday Splurges that won’t completely bust your diet.

 

Anyone with me?

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Here we go . . . 

1. Slow Cooker Ranch Chicken Nachos or Tacos from PPP (add more salsa and less cheddar cheese . . .) :)

2. Skinny Kale & Parmesan Dip from Food Faith Fitness

3. Zucchini Crust Vegetarian Pizza from Kalyn’s Kitchen

4. Baked Parmesan Zucchini from Damn Delicious

5. Buffalo Chicken Sliders from PPP (make this one even lighter by turning it into a dip served with celery sticks)

6. Skinny Spinach Artichoke Dip from Happy Healthy Mama

7. Egg Roll in a Bowl from Frugal Healthy Life

8. 6 Can Chicken Tortilla Soup from PPP

9. Two Ingredient Skinny Vegetable Dip from Wine and Glue

10. Zucchini Nachos from Betsy Life

11. 9 Layer Mexican Dip from Jeanettes Healthy Living

12. Crockpot White Chicken Chili from PPP

 

And, if you’re looking for a few more Super Bowl favorites that aren’t quite so healthy, :) here you go . . .

 

What’s on your absolutely-have-to-have-on-Super-Bowl-Sunday list? I’d love to hear ~ leave a comment to share and our family may try it out this week!

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Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sliders

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I was completely scared off the first time I made these after reading through the ingredients, however since our pantry always has a few bottles of Frank’s Hot Sauce (because my hubby is addicted to Buffalo Chicken Dip), I decided to try them out a few years ago, and now they’re on our regular dinner rotation.

Here’s a quick warning though:  this recipe is just a wee bit on the spicy side (obviously!), so if you tend to shy away from spicy foods try out these yummy-slow-cooker-not-spicy-at-all barbecue sandwiches. 😉

To pinch those pennies on dry ranch packets, we use this homemade mix.

I’m super excited because not only is this good for you, you can seriously pinch some pennies on this recipe this week. Check this out:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast $1.67/lb this week at Fresh Thyme or Sprouts
  • $.50/1 Frank’s Red Hot Sauce coupon should make it around 9¢ if your store doubles, 59¢ without coupon doubles
  • Watch for rolls on clearance ~ I lucked into those whole wheat dinner rolls at Kroger for just $.88 and they were perfect

 

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Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sliders

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 10 oz. Frank’s Hot Sauce (use $.50/1 Frank’s Hot Sauce coupon)
  • 1 dry ranch dressing packet
  • 1 package dinner Rolls (our favorite are King’s Hawaiian Rolls)
  • ranch dressing for topping

Instructions

  1. Place chicken in crockpot.
  2. Mix together ranch seasoning and hot sauce, pour over the meat.
  3. Cook on low 6-8 hours.
  4. Shred chicken, and slice buns in half.
  5. Add chicken to buns, drizzle with ranch dressing.
  6. Enjoy!

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Need a slow cooker to get started? Here are a few decent deals on Amazon:

 

See more Slow Cooker recipes HERE.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.  If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE, and don’t miss this penny-pinched collection of Slow Cooker Recipes!

 

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Slow Cooker Pork Cacciatore

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Looking for a twist on plain old chicken cacciatore? Here you go!

 

After scoring a great price on pork chops last week at Fresh Thyme, I had to come up with something to actually do with them.

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And while normally I’d grill them or bake them, I came across this recipe and decided to try it out. (My husband loves any type of spaghetti and I haven’t made it in ages.)

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This was so good, and easy. I did brown the pork chops ahead of time but several commenters shared that they skipped that step and it worked out fine too ~ easy way to make a different meal and have it all ready early in the day for a busy weeknight!

 

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Here’s how to get started . . . 

 

Slow Cooker Pork Cacciatore

 

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • 18 oz jar pasta sauce
  • 18 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced (I omitted them because I didn’t have any, but they would have been so good!)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 4 slices mozzarella cheese (substituted with shredded Mozzarella)

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Directions

  1. Lightly brown pork chops in olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Place pork chops in slow cooker.
  3. Cook onion same pan over medium heat until browned.
  4. Add in mushrooms and bell pepper, cook until these vegetables are tender.
  5. Add in pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, and white wine or chicken broth.
  6. Season with Italian seasoning, basil, and garlic.
  7. Cover pork chops with tomato sauce.
  8. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
  9. Serve over cooked pasta, and top with mozzarella cheese. Enjoy!

 

5 reasons to use your slow cooker

Love slow cooker recipes? Here are 5 reasons you need to use your slow cooker every single week + 17 recipes to help you get started. 

 

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And if you’re looking for a decent slow cooker, this one has fantastic reviews!

Recipe adapted from All Recipes. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Reader Question: What’s Your Meal Plan This Week?

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(see exactly which groceries I purchased this week over HERE ~ the only thing I may head to the store for is extra salad)

I received this question about our grocery trips this week over on Facebook, and thought I’d take a second to reply here! Here’s the question and how we make it work:

So I see that you spent very little…but if a bought all of this I wouldn’t have meals to feed the family…can you tell us what your meal plan is with all of this?

Hi Heather! Here’s what we’re having – what helps is that I kind of rotate stock in my kitchen so don’t buy everything every week, just what we’re low on for that week (if that makes sense?) If I see a great sale week I stock up on extras (usually when I’m shopping Kroger during a Mega Sale) which means I don’t need everything each week.

 

So right now we have plenty of cereal and granola bars for kids breakfast and snacks because of a sale last month. I’ll need to re-stock on chicken next week but am hoping to find a better sale (and we have a bag of frozen chicken in the freezer to get us through until then. Here’s our menu plan:

  • Wednesday – my husband called and wanted to take us out to dinner. I agreed. (‘nuf said, however we did have leftover soup and grilled cheese on the menu plan before he called) :)
  • Thursday – Ravioli, salad, homemade bread
  • Friday – Aldi pizza
  • Saturday – pork loin, red potatoes, veggies (pork loin is in freezer ~ my husband has been promising to smoke it for us and we still had the red potatoes left over from last week’s sale)
  • Sunday – dinner out
  • Monday – One Skillet Pizza Pasta Casserole (we had sausage in the freezer that I bought on sale a month ago and it needs to get eaten up!)
  • Tuesday – Pork chops, baked potatoes, veggies, salad

 

So by buying everything on sale at the best price I don’t do massive huge grocery trips each week ~ I take stock of our pantry and fridge before heading out to figure out what we really need, then plan accordingly. Hope that helps!

top10budgetbusters

Do you want to change your grocery budget? Check out the Ultimate Guide to a Better Grocery Budget Series, and don’t miss these 10 grocery budget busters that may be killing your budget. 

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6 Can Chicken Tortilla Soup

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You guys.


 

I LOVED this recipe.

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And, since I’m doing the 21 Day Fix right now (so far, so good!), I’m even more excited because it’s (for the most part) 21 Day Fix approved!

 

YUM.

 

I pre-cooked a ton of chicken that I got last week on sale (y’all, making it myself saved me a bundle), but you can use canned chicken or make it yourself too. Super simple, and if you want to make it a little more “man” approved, add some sour cream and tortilla chips.

 

Perfection!

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Easy Peasy Chicken Tortilla (6 Can) Soup

Ingredients

 

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Directions

  • Open the cans of corn, chicken broth, chunk chicken, black beans, and diced tomatoes with green chilies.
  • Pour everything into a large saucepan or stock pot. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through.
  • Or, pour it all in slow cooker and cook on low for a few hours.
  • Enjoy!

21 Day Fix equivalents – makes 4-6 servings, 1 serving = 1/2 purple, 1 yellow, 1 red (make sure to use enough to chicken to count as a full serving of chicken

 

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Recipe adapted from All Recipes. If you need a little more menu inspiration, go HERE

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Bites

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My husband’s office is nuts and each person brings in a homemade batch of cookies to share each week before Christmas, and his co-worker Jordan was sweet enough to share the recipe with me!

James said they were delicious (high praise from him – he’s usually pretty picky), and I can’t wait to try them out. However, they may have to wait until next Christmas – I’m just about ready for some new year’s dieting to start but this is the last dessert I’ll share for at least a week or two. :) 


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Peanut Butter Chocolate Bites (Adapted from Taste of Home)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/2 confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 oz each)
  • Optional – colored sprinkles

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Directions

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1.  In small bowl, combine 1/2 cup peanut butter, butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until smooth. Set aside.

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2.  Melt the chocolate chips, candy bars and remaining 1/2 cup peanut butter. Stir until smooth.

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3.  Set up paper-lined miniature muffin cups to prepare treats in, either in a muffin tin or on a plate.

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4.  Drop enough chocolate mixture into each muffin cup to cover the bottom (1/4 full).

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5.  Roll peanut butter interior picture into small balls (1/4 – 1/2”) and add 1 ball to the chocolate layer of each treat.

6.  Fill the remaining muffin cup with chocolate mixture and decorate with sprinkles if desired.

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Store in refrigerator until ready to eat! Makes roughly 30 treats.



 

 

 

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How To Get Rid Of Stinky Mildew Smells: Just 2 Ingredients

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My husband asked for bath towels for Christmas. 

 

What man in his right mind ever asks for bath towels as a Christmas gift? 

 

Ummmmm . . . the one who has a house full of stinky-slightly-mildew-smelling towels. 

 

Bleck.

 

Because I’m a recovering leave-it-in-the-washer-way-too-long-before-swapping-to-the-dryer-user, a few of our towels (ahem, all of our towels?) had gotten taken over by a slightly stinky mildew smell. Add in a new HE washer (which I love, but doesn’t use as much water so those things get stinky faster), and it was just bad.

 

But, many of our towels were in decent shape, and the thought of just throwing them out nearly killed me, so I did some research and found this way to get rid of stinky mildew smells, and it worked. 

 

Here’s what I did:

  • Added towels to washing machine along with 1 cup of vinegar in my detergent dispenser. (I actually used 1 1/2 cups because my washer’s huge ~ if you have a large capacity machine I’d recommend using 1 1/2 cups as well.)
  • Did NOT use any laundry detergent, just washed on hot for one cycle.
  • Then added 1/2 cup baking soda to the load and washed again on hot cycle.
  • Dried as usual
  • Voila!

 

Even the stinky dish towels we have (which are the worst) came out smelling fresh and clean ~ I was shocked. 

 

I’ve heard before that certain dish soaps tend to make dish towels smell stinkier faster (I’ve even read that my favorite Dawn could be the culprit?) and am trying to find a better alternative, but in the mean time this helps.

 

I’d love to hear your tips on getting rid of stinky mildew smells if you’ve struggled with this one too ~ I definitely think moving things over from the washer quickly to the dryer helps, but I’m up for any extra suggestions too (so my poor husband can get better gifts for Christmas!) :) 

 

Looking for more penny pinched cleaning ideas? Here are my favorites:

 

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12 Christmas Treats You Need to Make This Year

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You all know I love (looooove) me some Christmas baking, so I pulled together a roundup of our family’s favorite Christmas treats! While we love just about everything Christmas around here, baking is probably the thing I most enjoy during the Christmas season.

 

(In fact, I snagged a ba-jillion bags of Nestle last week at Kroger. ‘Nuf said.) 

 

I’d love to hear what your family makes this time of year too ~ leave a comment to share! Here’s a peek at our favorites . . .

 

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1. Christmas Crack

This has been the number ONE recipe on PPP for several weeks now.  It’s so worth your time (and so simple) and EVERYONE you share this with will thank you (and hound you for the recipe)!

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2. Slow Cooker Christmas Candy

Such an easy way to make delicious treats for teachers, mail carriers, neighbors, and just about anyone on your list.

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3. Christmas Treat:  Buckeye Balls

We love these and just made a double batch this week to share. So good!

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4. Honey Bun Cake {aka Happy Birthday Jesus Cake}

This is by far our family’s favorite Christmas tradition. I only make it once a year, but it’s just perfect.

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5. Peppermint Glaze Chocolate Cake

This one is so simple but looks just perfect. Use a box mix to save time this year!

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6. Perfect Peanut Butter Fudge

The. best. peanut. butter. fudge. ever. I promise.

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7.  Easy Marshmallow Fudge

This one has just three ingredients, and if you have older kids at home they can make it without any help. Love that!

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8.  Almost Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

We usually make these during Christmas week as a special treat. My kids love my almost-homemade-cinnamon rolls anytime of year, but after seeing my friend Jen make hers in the shape of a Christmas tree, I had to tweak our recipe too for the Christmas season!

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9.  Muddy Buddy Chex Mix

All you need is a jar of peanut butter, some chocolate chips, a box of Chex mix and a bunch of powdered sugar. Honestly this is one of my kids favorites and they devoured ours when we made it over the weekend.

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10.  White Chocolate Gingerbread Bars

This is a Martha Stewart recipe, but they’ve got so much real butter in them that you’d swear they were Paula Deen’s. Super easy to make and I love that you can cook them in one big batch.

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11. Best Chocolate Chip Cookies {EVER}

I’m not kidding, these are the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever eat. For real. It’s the only recipe I have down by memory, and I’ve even tripled the batch before in my Kitchenaid. By far the best cookie recipe around!

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12.  {Simple} Pumpkin Quick Bread

This one’s perfect to put in the mailbox for our mail carrier, drop in the front office of our local school or just enjoy ourselves. It’s so easy and makes several loaves, so you’ll have plenty to keep and share. (Or, just keep.) :)

 

What recipe is the one your family just has to have at Christmas? I’d love to hear ~ always looking for a few more to add to our baking list each year!

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