Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thai pork lettuce wraps + bonus holiday DIY decoration

Yesterday Blake caught me crafting again. I believe I have mentioned this new affinity I have for home decoration and projects. It freaks Blake out a little. It freaks me out a lot. I now know what it means to decoupage. Oh goody.

What was I decoupaging you might ask? More likely you're not asking. Also, who knew decoupaging was a verb? Not me. I made this darling little Christmas tree, which I framed and now hangs on my entry door in place of a wreath. Did I say darling? You bet I did. Darling is a word reserved for crafters. 

The holiday spirit has taken over my life. I intend to be armed at all times with a glue gun for crafting and spatula for cookie making until December 25th. I'm sharing this tree project with you below because it was easy and fun. If you too have always dreamed of decoupage, this is the project for you. 

When you are in the throes of glue sticks and sequins, you need an easy dinner. Enter Thai pork lettuce wraps. Really yummy Thai pork lettuce wraps with a sweet coconut milk, peanut, and chili sauce glaze. 30 minutes and you have yourself a meal. Did I mention it's also fairly healthy? Let's all be honest a healthy dinner never hurts during the holiday season, when my moto becomes a holiday cookie a day keeps the doctor away. 

Thai pork lettuce wraps
Adapted from Seriously Delish, serves 4

1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup sweet Thai chili sauce 
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar (you can sub white wine vinegar) 
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
Juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons brown sugar 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin chops, chopped into bite sized cubes 
1/2 cup carrots, sliced (about 2 medium sized carrots)
1 head butter lettuce
1/4 cup roasted and salted peanuts

In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together coconut milk, sweet Thai chili sauce, rice wine vinegar, peanut butter, lime juice, brown sugar, garlic, and crushed red pepper until combined. Whisk occasionally for 3-5 minutes until sauce slightly thickens and set aside. 

Sprinkle salt and pepper over your pork. In a medium saute pan over high heat, heat olive oil. Add pork and cook until browned on both sides, 4-5 minutes a side. Add carrots halfway through browning the pork. Stir occasionally. Once the pork has browned, stir in 1/4 cup of your glaze. Stir until all the pork and carrots are coated and remove from heat. 

Using the butter lettuce as a cup add your pork and peanuts. Use the extra sauce for dipping. 

Christmas tree frame for doorway 
Tree adapted from Better Home and Gardens

8" by 10" frame 
1 piece of white poster board cut to 8" by 10" 
Pages from an old book 
4 tablespoons white glue (Elmer's)
4 tablespoons water 
Paint brush
Hot glue gun
1 yard of green lace or thick ribbon (whatever you would like to make your tree from)
Sequins, buttons, or anything shiny to decorate your tree

Lay down some newspaper. 

Cut out 5-7 pages of an old novel. Plan your layout on your poster board. You can crisscross the pages any way you like. They will be your background. 

Mix together your white glue and water. Brush the glue mixture over your poster board and carefully lay your book pages over the sticky poster board (to the best of my knowledge this is more or less decoupage). You will need to add more glue for any overlapping pages. 

Lay your lace or ribbon back and forth across the posterboard to make your tree shape. Once you know what you want this to look like hot glue down the ribbon. 

Glue on any sparkling ornaments. Place in your frame and hang on a wreath/frame door hanger (can be found at most craft stores) on your door. 

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