mmmm, cookies!

I’m not sure how it’s Sunday again, but here we are, waiting for the Giants’ game to start … having spent all day working through our at-home to-do list (sidenote: it’s not done yet ….) and making antelope jerky.

The jerky tastes great, but at this point, anything that smells like jerky or barbeque sauce isn’t sitting so well with me.

I figured that since I teased the idea of Applesauce Jumble Cookies, I should probably share the recipe.  I happen to feel that they are a great Thanksgiving contribution if you’re a visitor (or maybe a little office snack for Wednesday?).  Or … just because you like really good cookies.

What you need:

2 3/4 cup flour

1 1/2 c brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup apple sauce

1/2 cup butter (softened)

2 eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1 tsp vanilla

Glaze:

1/3 cup butter

2 cup confectioners sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

 

What to do:

Preheat oven to 375.

1. Mix all ingredients thoroughly.

2. Drop dough by level TBSP 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet.

3.  Bake 12 minutes or until almost no imprints remain when touched with a finger.

4.  Immediately remove from baking sheet and cool.

For Glaze:

1.  Heat butter over low heat until golden brown.  Remove from heat.

2.  Blend in confectioners sugar and vanilla.

3. Mix in 2 – 4 tsp hot water until mixture is spreadable.  (You may have to add a teaspoon hot water throughout icing process to keep the icing consistency spreadable).

This recipe makes approximately 3 dozen cookies.  I had a box packed to take to my office, but John and I, after careful consideration, decided to keep them at home.  That should speak volumes as to how good they are!

Enjoy!

PS. This recipe is brought courtesy of my baking guru, Angie.  I absolutely could not make cookies well without her.  She’s a baking goddess.

we are (still) penn state

The man and I have had quite a weekend ~ and we haven’t even gotten to sleep in!  Since today has been pretty non-stop (it’s amazing how the home to-do list can grow exponentially as the holidays approach!), I just wanted to check in and share the following ….

I am proud to be a Penn Stater.  I think my school has rallied and shown amazing strength in the face of heinous evil and betrayal.

I felt as though being in State College this weekend for the game was very healing.  Seeing my friends, and being amongst alum, fans and students helped me feel the pulse of the Penn State community.  And it made me proud.

Tears will be inevitable as this horrific scene continues to unfold.

One hundred thousand voices are a powerful thing.

We are (still) Penn State. PSiloveU.

Thou didst mold me, Dear Old State

Just so you know, I made Applesauce Jumble cookies and another round of Beef & Broccoli with Angie on Saturday.  But … Saturday was before.  And even though the recipe card is propped up in front of my computer, every time I sit down, I feel compelled to talk about something else ~ something more important than Applesauce Jumbles(*they are rather delicious though*).  I promise to share soon.  On Monday, the man and I experimented with jerky recipes, and started a few batches of antelope jerky that are currently marinating in our fridge.  I also put together one of the best pasta dishes I’ve had in awhile (courtesy of Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Triangolini and roasted Butternut Squash).  So please don’t think my preoccupation with Penn State is because I haven’t been cooking.

It’s more because my whole life, I loved something ~ and in the past few days, that love and blind belief are being questioned in ways that I find both heartbreaking, and utterly uncomfortable.

On Tuesday, as ridiculous as it sounds, I spent the afternoon (following the NY Times report of JoePa’s imminent retirement) on the verge of tears.  I obsessively scoured the web, Facebook and Twitter for as much information as possible.  I spent far too much time on the phone with a fellow Penn Stater lamenting how a school we bled blue & white for could betray us so utterly. And when the day finally ended, and I emerged into the unseasonably warm November air, and everyone bustled by me on their way home from work, and the traffic buzzed, and the lights twinkled, I gave into tears.  The man was waiting for me, and he pulled me against him with one arm, kissing my forehead.

“I’m sorry, Angel,” He said into my hair.  I sniffled in response, and looked up at him with teary, glassy eyes.  We began our walk to the car, and while he talked about work, I found my mind circling back to Joe Pa, to Penn State ~ to what it all meant to me, and why I was finding it all so difficult to cope.

The man didn’t go to Penn State, and while I am sure he has deep love and loyalty to his school, I know that trying to explain to anyone other than a Penn Stater the depth of my devastation was next to impossible.  So when he said to me, “Babe, this doesn’t change Penn State.  It doesn’t change what it means to you, or what it’s been to you,” my first thought was that he really.didn’t.get.it. I didn’t respond.

We drove home, intermittently talking about the scandal, what we were going to make for WeHangsDay dinner, his work, my work, and tailgating for the Nebraska game on Saturday.  Despite being tired (you know the kind of tired I mean … the, I feel like I’m totally emotionally drained and cannot think of anything other than sleep right now kind of tired) we shlepped over to the gym, where I suffered through an abs circuit and three miles at a 10-min-mile pace.  I’m pretty sure I checked the counter every 15 seconds, hoping that I would miraculously cover three miles in about ten minutes.  So not the case.

The running helped, though.  The tension that had taken up intense residence between my shoulder blades, up through my neck and across my skull had eased.  My brain had finally, after fighting tooth and nail to remain in denial, wrapped itself around the sad, true facts of the case.  And I realized, as I emerged freshly scrubbed and cleaned and clad in uber comfy PSU sweats, that maybe the man understood it better than I gave him credit for.

We. Are Penn State.  All of us ~ students, alumni, family members, the community of State College.  We are all Penn State.  And while horrible things occurred outside of the public’s knowledge, and those things are heinous and completely unforgivable, the institution of Penn State is what I believe in, and that institution -although it’s hard to see it most of the time- is more than Joe Paterno.

Yesterday, I sat on the floor of my living room, and silently listened as the Board of Trustees announced that effective immediately, Graham Spanier would no longer be President of the University, and Joe Paterno would no longer serve as Head Football Coach.  Never, not once in my life, have I ever fathomed that the end would be like this.  I knew it wouldn’t end well (as we all know, things usually don’t)~ but this is so far beyond anything anyone could imagine.  The Board of Trustees did the only thing they could to help restore faith in what the University has always claimed to be.  We may not like it, but we have to accept it.

My life has been defined by Penn State.  My parents met there.  As we moved intermittently throughout my youth, Penn State and football games remained a constant.  Every fall, in sun, rain, sleet, wind or snow, we drove to Penn State to cheer on our team.  The uniforms remained unified~ without names across the back; the helmets simple ~ no stickers documenting achievement. All players equal, all players united, all players proudly wearing blue and white.  Our coach remained constant and stoic ~ perpetuating an athletic legacy while financing the advancement of education at a University I will always believe he believed in.  When I applied to college for fall ’98 matriculation, I knew exactly where I wanted to go.  And I did; Penn State was home to me for six years ~ longer than I had lived anywhere prior to that.  While I was there, I learned that Penn State is so much more than just football.  I hope, in the following months, others begin to see that, too.

As I contemplate this, and addictively check all news outlets for any shred of new information, my heart remains heavy, but I know that Penn State will recover.  Penn State held us to higher standards; Joe Paterno held us to higher standards.  It’s only fair that he be held to the same higher standards he set for all of us.  I’d like to believe that he knows this, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

the reality of the situation

Last night, I watched three quarters (give or take) of a hugely important Steeler’s divisional game.  We lost, and that was disappointing.  But even more disappointing is the constant reminder of the fallibility of the human race.  That might sound odd.  So let me rewind a bit.

The Steelers are in the North Division of the AFC (in case this sounds like a foreign language, the NFL consists of the AFC and the NFC, each of which contain sixteen teams, broken down into four divisions of four teams; the most recent reorganization of all the teams occurred in 2002 when the Houston Texans joined the NFL).  The AFC North has had a myriad of teams and multiple names, but the Steelers and Browns have been part of the division (minus the three years that the Browns were ‘deactivated’ following then-owner Art Modell’s decision to move the franchise to Baltimore in 1996 and forming the Baltimore Ravens) since the beginning.  Since the most recent realignment in 2002, the AFC North consists of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Baltimore Ravens, the Cleveland Browns (back in 1999 as an expansion team) and the Cincinnati Bengals.

From the perspective of a Steelers fan (as I am sure it varies depending on which team one supports), prior to the Brown’s move to Baltimore in 1996, the Steelers’ biggest rival was Cleveland.  Following the controversial move of the franchise, Baltimore has become Steeler’s fans’ most hated opponent.  Watching the season opener this year, and the Raven’s blatant steam-rolling of my team, made last night’s game even more intense.  Especially following such a tough game last week (and one in which the Steelers emerged triumphant following years of Tom Brady coming into their house and shutting them down).

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I have a pretty deep passion for my team ~ possibly bordering on irrational at times.  I love the Steeler’s organization, and the way in which the Rooney’s choose to run their NFL team.  I believe that being a Steeler says something about a player’s humanity, and when a player’s conduct, or personal mores and/or values are not in line with that of the organization, most of the time that player is traded or released.  (Most recent case in point: Santonio Holmes’ trade in the offseason to the NY Jets following being named the MVP of Superbowl XLIII in the Steeler’s win over the Arizona Cardinals.  His crimes?  Apparently misconduct involving marijuana possession and charges of assault).  Also occurring in the offseason of 2009?  Ben Roethlisberger’s major infraction involving an allegedly underaged girl in a bar and heavy words, like sexual assault and rape.  But we’ll get back to that.

Bottom line, I am a true, bleeding black and gold Steeler’s fan.  As silly as it sounds, even when life is a little rough around the edges, or falling completely apart (as mine has in the past), the Steelers are there on Sundays, and it’s a very simple game.  Over 60 minutes, either they score more points than their opponent, or they don’t.  To me, football isn’t all about stats, individual players, fantasy leagues, and all the other mumbo jumbo that is inevitably a part of the NFL culture.  It’s about Sundays, and whether or not the Steelers score more points than whoever they face on the field.

I hate it when they don’t.  It physically feels disappointing, as though my heart has sunk  in my chest from the weight of the loss.  It’s infinitely more disappointing losing to the Ravens for a second time in a season.  I have a deep dislike for the men who wear purple and hail from Baltimore.  But with that dislike there is respect, as there must be for any opponent who is constantly a challenge, who constantly elevates and motivates their rival to produce their best effort.

Last night, in a fit of heated frustration, I decided to voice my opinion about the Ravens on Facebook.  Following last week’s dominant win, it was difficult watching the Steelers struggle to move the ball on the ground and complete passes.  Additionally (as is always the case) I felt that there were some questionable calls on the field, and some downright objectionable ball placements (I especially felt this way watching the Patriots Giants game- which aired before the Steelers took to the field for SNF).

So to preface my subsequent comments, let me just say.  1.  I believe (and it is my opinion) that the NFL tends to regulate their players and organizations, and establish rules and levy fines and hold members to a certain standard better than some of the other major sports organizations.  2.  I love the Steelers, and despite being utterly disappointed at times (much more than I was at their loss yesterday) I will always love them, unless they somehow manage to become everything about the NFL that I dislike.  I don’t believe that will ever be the case.  I will defend them even if I don’t always agree with the action taken.  3.  When I think about football, and the teams and players involved, it’s rarely on a personal level.  It’s normally all about what happens between endzones on a field once a week. When things make national news, it’s unavoidable.  But in general, what players do on their own time doesn’t catch my fancy.  I like when they’re suited up in black and gold, and fighting for 10 yards at at time.  Life isn’t black and white, but games are.  At the end a winner and a loser emerge.  And it’s solely about what happened on the grass for 60 minutes.

Before I begin though, there is another side to the story.

If my mind was heavy with thoughts of professionals in the NFL getting a pass for doing reprehensible things, nothing can describe how I felt as I hit my stride on the treadmill yesterday morning only to find myself reading about Jerry Sandusky’s many, erm, indiscretions (not even close to the kind of powerful word that should be used here) that spanned years ~ years!!! ~ and have been under investigation for the past three.   In my mind, there are no explanations that can wash away the shame he has brought to a University that I have loved practically since birth (or at least since when I understood what love and team loyalty was) and am proud to call my alma mater. All of it is so new and fresh and continues to compound in its level of horrific-ness as each new piece unfolds.  My initial reaction?  I’m utterly devastated, but even moreso, I’m furious that someone could tarnish a University that prides itself on its morals and standards because somehow their need to indulge in whatever it is they indulged in somehow trumped the history and integrity of Penn State and the love and belief that thousands of students and alma mater have in it.   I have held my head high for years because I believed in what Penn State stood for, and I believed in what Joe Paterno upheld in our football program ~ that university is first and foremost a place to learn, both academically and socially; that Penn State teaches everyone as equally as possible, to both know information, and to be the best version of oneself that one can be.  I took great pride in Penn State’s reputation, and in JoePa.

I feel, as I watch this train wreck unfold across every media source imaginable, so utterly let down by something I loved so deeply.  In an even worse redux of Ben’s allegations two years ago, I wonder if what I believed in ever existed at all.  There is nothing more heart-breaking than that.

So how does a person reconcile all these things?  Ben Roethlisberger, a alleged rapist.  Ray Lewis, an alleged murderer.  Jerry Sandusky, trumping them both, an alleged child molester.

Ben Roethlisberger, two-time Super Bowl winning QB and team leader.  Ray Lewis, Super Bowl MVP and the heart and soul of the Raven’s organization.  Jerry Sandusky, defensive coordinator for one of the best and most respected collegiate athletic programs.

What does it mean when organizations that make a point of outlining and upholding standards handle situations like this in what can only be thought of (especially in the case of Penn State) as questionable?  Where are the lines?  Can some be crossed and others not?  How did the Steelers, the Rooneys and the coaching staff, led by Mike Tomlin, decide that Ben’s situations (in Reno and Georgia) could be forgiven, but Holmes’ could not? How did eight boys over fifteen years allegedly get molested and no one in the Penn State organization be aware of it?  Isn’t it ironic (I had to look this up last night) that Lewis struck a deal to testify against his co-defendants, both of whom were later aquitted ~ and that the suit he was wearing the night of the alleged murder was never found?

How do we, as fans, go back to watching and enjoying football, when there -at times- feels to be an undercurrent of the miscarriage of justice?  So, Ben is absolved of his sins, he ‘finds’ God, gets married and all is forgiven?  Ray Lewis becomes a pillar of goodness in the Raven’s organization and it’s all good?  Plaxico Burress shot himself and did time.  He didn’t injure someone else.  He didn’t violate someone or take their life.  He shot himself.  And he did time.  How do you reconcile all these things and find the common thread that unifies all the decisions made and the verdicts given? As I mentioned before, it’s heart-breaking.

So, whether anyone agrees with me or not, I choose to love my teams when they are just that ~ teams, on the field, August through (hopefully) January every year, physically fighting it out yard by yard.

I don’t have a good explanation for what Ben did, how he handled it, or why the organization I love, the Pittsburgh Steelers, chose the path they did.  I don’t want to think about Ray Lewis other than twice a year when we face him on the field, and where I give him respect for who he is as a football player.  In regards to Penn State, it’s so much more personal and on such an otherworldly level right now (after all, I’ve had nearly two years, and a season and a half of football to reconcile with Ben) that in general, I’m just speechless.  I’m speechless at the allegations levied against Sandusky, and I’m speechless that something so utterly terrible will forever change my school.  In general, the fallibility of the human race, and the grand stage of football that presents it in regards to the above men, make me sad.

As a regular person, who goes to work every Monday through Friday, I want to believe in something greater than myself ~ I want to be part of something greater than myself. I want to believe that the organizations and people that I put my faith and love into are infallible, and will never let me down.  But humanity is fallible.  And with that comes the painful heartache of having to come to terms with the reality of situations, such as rape allegations, murder allegations and sexual molestation.  To me, it doesn’t feel fair.  I feel now, processing the Sandusky situation, much as I felt in 2009 when Ben made the news repeatedly for his incredibly questionable behavior.  Embarrassed, let down, misled.

Also, as I come to the end of this rant, I find that I don’t know how to finish what I’ve been rambling about.  So I’ll say this (again).  I love the Steelers.  I couldn’t imagine being a fan of any other NFL team.  I love Penn State.  I am proud to call it my alma mater, and I am proud of the tenets of, in my opinion, one of the best public collegiate institutions.  Neither the Steelers organization nor the Pennsylvania State University, despite my deepest wishes, are infallible.  And while that is disappointing, I still love them both.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t find things such as the above troubling.  It only means that I love them, damages and all.

low key Friday

Today was a gorgeous, albeit windy, day in downtown Philadelphia, and I was lucky enough to have spent a lot of it outside.  I hit up the downtown TJ’s for dinner inspiration (aka, one of the man and my favorite treats ) and in a few minutes, we are going to get in the Mini Cooper and head outta Dodge.

A lot of times on a Friday, I get the sudden urge as Happy Hour approaches, to sidle up to a bar somewhere and enjoy a few week-ending libations.  But for tonight, I’m looking forward to TJ treats, curry dipping sauce, and some really good juice (which we will pick up at the local Wine & Spirits store on our journey home).

Additionally, we have decided on a Boardwalk Empire marathon (we have all the new eps on the DVR, but haven’t, up until this point, gotten further in that one episode).  It feels nice to have a low-key plan ~ I’m looking forward to the R & R.

T.G.I.F.!

a view from the top

Tonight, the man and I had the pleasure of journeying to the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place and enjoying Happy Hour at R2L.

We had been meaning to go … and meaning to go … After all, one of our friends began managing there in January (quick math means we’ve been ‘meaning’ to go for approximately 10 months … pathetic on our part in regards to follow through).

R2L Gallery Image

The above pic is copied from R2L’s website ~ I wanted to get a nighttime view, but unfortunately, my technical skills are not that high-tech.  :(

We noshed on an assortment of delicious treats, including potato skins stuffed with aged cheddar, bacon and scallions, grilled truffled flatbread, sliders with cheddar and bacon (is there any other way?) and seriously scrumptious shrimp cocktail.

My favorite part ~ well, one of them (why narrow it down to a solitary one?) was the gorgeous view across the city of Philadelphia.  Including a private event room with a view of City Hall.  Wow.  Why did we wait so long to check it out?

We also enjoyed some really nice wine ~ for the lady, Fleur de California Chardonnay (North Coast, California, 2008) ~ for the man, Ridge Zinfandel (York Creek California 2007).

As a side note, isn’t it hilarious when you get to the point in life when you legitimately have to get out your calendar to schedule time with friends?  Oy.  Seriously.   But … it’s scheduled!  I love it when a plan comes together.  (Name that movie!).

cheesy goodness

I have a lot of quirky feelings toward food.

I don’t like ketchup.  At all.

I don’t like cucumbers.  At all.  Or pickles.

I’m not a huge fan (aka, avoid at all costs) food that require eating with my hands.  This includes, but is not limited to ~ wings, crab legs & ribs. When I finally experienced boneless short ribs in my adult years, I was amazed at how good they tasted.  But pick up ribs and gnaw away, trying to find something that is fulfilling?

Nah.  No thanks.

So when I was younger, and my parents grilled, I looked forward to one thing.

Hickory Smoked Cheese Loaf

You have no idea how amazing this stuff is.  And it’s SO EASY to make. I remember when my mother passed the recipe on to me, and I made it for John the first time.  Of course, I regaled him with all sorts of childhood memories of mine that involved the bread.  My mother first got the recipe from a neighbor in Pittsburgh who lived in the same complex as my parents when I was born.  I remember when we moved back to Pittsburgh ~ I was probably about 11 ~ and those same neighbors welcomed us back to the ‘Burgh, and took us to Sorgel’s Orchard to get pastries and bread on a chilly October Saturday morning, as we waited for our moving truck to deliver all our worldly possessions to our newest address.  In the time since, my parents and those neighbors have lost touch ~ I believe a divorce occurred.  But I have deeply fond memories of them.  In fact, my first set of golf clubs were from them.  But that’s another tangent.

The point is, food has served multiple purposes across the tapestry of time ~ it upholds traditions, and it sparks memories.  It teaches a granddaughter her heritage and culture ~ it expresses love.  I could wax poetic all evening, but the bottom line is, Hickory Smoke Cheese Loaf was, and remains, part of my food tapestry.

And I’m gonna share it with you.  This recipe, pretty much taken word for word from the most amazing mother that ever existed.  I love you Mama Bear.

What you Need:

1 loaf fresh French bread

1/2 c softened butter

1 cup shredded natural sharp Cheddar cheese (about 4 oz)

2 Tbsp snipped fresh parsley (but dried stuff will get the job done)

1/2 tsp Hickory Smoked Salt (or smoke flavoring for BBQ)

2 tsp good Worcestershire sauce

What you Do:

1. Cut bread slightly on the diagonal until almost through the bread, but not quite.

2.  Mix all remaining ingredients.

3. Spread on bread slices, one side only.  Maintain the shape of the loaf.

4.  Wrap tightly in aluminum foil.

5.  Heat on BBQ grill or in oven for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

6.  Make sure the bread is fully warm (you want to make sure the cheese has melted on each slice).

7.  Serve immediately.

Trust me, you’ll love it.

 

you thought I forgot

The following was started last Thursday, and it’s taken until today to get my act together and finish it ~ but I liked it so much, I wanted to leave the post in tact.  So, here it is, a (few) day(s) late, but hopefully not a dollar (or anything else!) short!

October 27, 2011

Today is gray out, and it doesn’t help that I have felt utterly exhausted since I pulled myself out of bed this morning.  I’m not sure why ~ I mean, I did get about 45 minutes less sleep, but it boggles my mind that such a small amount could affect me so significantly this morning.  (And so far … this whole day).

Last night we popped a bottle of bubbles to celebrate Miss Parker’s first WeHangsDay at the man and my abode ~ we served ribs and Hickory Smoke Cheese Loaf (a specialty of my Mama Bear)  with a wedge salad a la the man.  The last time he made one was for my annual Oscar dinner two years ago, so it was a nice change up from my staple of arugula with olive oil, lemon juice and parmesan.

But that’s not what I’m gonna yap about today.

I figured it was high time to set down how I learned to make Beef & Broccoli. Since the recipe is a little bit unique, I’ll preface it by saying the following:

1.  If you need measurements, and don’t feel comfortable winging it, don’t make this recipe.

2.  It requires a little prep before hand, so read the recipe, do the prep, and then plan the dinner for when you have all the ingredients on hand.  Not usually the way I roll (*picture a woman in business casual clothes frantically speed-walking up and down grocery store aisles and maniacally checking her watch to make sure she will get home before her guests and get enough prep done that the whole dinner party isn’t a disaster occurring after 10pm* … and you have some idea of how my weeknight dinner with friends evenings go).

So, with that being said ~ here I go!

 

First:

1.  You need to create one of the ingredients by combining sliced jalepeno peppers in a jar with red wine vinegar.  I have a jam jar that I cleaned out and ran through the dishwasher.  Grab three to five jalepeno peppers (depending on size), slice them and put them in the jar.  Fill up with red wine vinegar.  This needs to sit for at the very least, a few days.

 

Day Of: What You Need ~

1 London Broil

1 large head of broccoli (washed and broken into smaller bite-size pieces)

Cornstarch

Soy sauce

Fish Sauce (You can find this is Asian Food shops, and some higher end grocery stores)

Water

Jalepeno/Red Wine Vinegar combo

Vegetable Oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

**Optional: Dash of Sugar

What to do:

1.  First, get a big cutting board, and a big, sharp knife to cut the London Broil.  You want to cut on a diagonal, and almost shave the meat (if you’ve ever had Chinese food, you should have an idea of what it should look like visually ~ let that guide you).  As you cut the meat, put it in a large sautee pan (my pan almost looks as big as a wok~ so choose your biggest, and one that allows you to mix).

2.  Douse the meat liberally with soy sauce.  Add approximately 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1/4 cup veggie oil, and then enough water that it is about 1 1/2 inch from the top of the meat.  Begin cooking on  medium to medium high heat, stirring frequently.

3.  When the meat appears to be cooked through, transfer to large mixing bowl, sauce and all.

4.  Turn the heat up to high.  Add your minced garlic cloves and a few tablespoons of water.  You want to fry and steam your broccoli at the same time, so it’s a delicate balance of the sizzling garlic, about a tbsp of oil, and enough water to steam the veggies.  When the pan is hissing and popping, add your broccoli.  Cook to the consistency you like (less time = crunchier, obv ~ everything after that is personal taste!).

5.  Add meat mixture back in, and after it bubbles for a split second, lower the heat to medium.  At this point, stir in about a tbsp (or two) of fish sauce and then a tbsp or two of the jalepeno infused red wine vinegar.

6.  Taste test.  If it’s too sour, bitey or makes you pucker, add a dash of sugar, and keep tasting and adjusting using sugar until you get the taste you like.

7.  Serve over rice.  (I don’t like rice, and never make it, so I have no idea how to make rice, but I do know that Angie brought a rice cooker, and it seemed to be easy peesy.  She said you should start the rice cooker, and by the time the beef and broccoli are done, the rice should be done, too! Neat timing, right?).

Post Script: I brought this to work, and enjoyed it for several days.  It was yum yum delish.  I’m looking forward to trying it all on my own some day ~ I’ll let you know how my solo mission goes if you let me know how your attempts turn out!

Post Post Script: Angie learned this recipe from her mama, and said that it used to infuriate people that no real recipe existed.  But I think that’s what makes it fun.  So if you love Chinese food, take a little leap of faith, and try it out.  The more you do it, the better you’ll be able to adjust and know what works and what doesn’t.  That’s how Angie learned it. :)