Mongolian Beef

This was my very first attempt at Chinese food ever.  I’ve made a lot of so many other kinds of food, but Chinese is something I’ve never tried.  Rich loves Mongolian Beef, so I figured I’d give it a shot.  I have to say, I’m impressed with how it turned out.  It was a little bit salty (all from soy sauce), and needed more onions, but that’s easy to fix next time.  Also, the recipe wanted me to make it in a wok, which I don’t own (and probably don’t want to own) but it turned out beautifully in my skillet.  Here are the photos from the making:

Raw beef sliced thinly and tossed in corn starch, green onions, and the beginning of the sauce.

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The sauce boiling, and the beef frying.

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All together now…and with the green onions.  Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE the rice cooker?!  I never thought I needed/wanted a rice cooker.  This one is Rich’s (a gift from my Mom and Dad), and although I don’t NEED one, it makes things so much easier!

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It’s all about the presentation, eh.

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It turned out great, and I will definitely be making it again!  Thanks for reading and commenting on my latest food adventures! What have you made lately?

The recipe is below, for those of you interested.


Mongolian Beef

1 lb of flank steak, thinly sliced crosswise

1/4 cup of cornstarch

3 teaspoons of canola oil

1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger (about 1/2 inch piece)

1 tablespoon of chopped garlic (about 2 -3 large cloves)

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup of soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

3 large green onions, sliced crosswise into thirds


Prepare the meat:

First, make sure the steak slices are dry (pat them dry) and mix them with the corn starch. Using your hands or a spoon, move them around to make sure all pieces are coated. Place beef slices in a strainer and shake off excess corn starch.

Make the sauce:

Heat half of the oil in a large wok at medium-high and add the garlic and ginger. Immediately add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and pepper flakes. Cook the sauce for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl. Don’t worry if the sauce doesn’t look thick enough at this point. The corn starch in the beef will thicken it up later.

Cook the meat and assemble dish:

Turn the heat up and add the remaining oil to the wok. Add the beef and cook, stirring until it is all browned (this is a quick thing). Pour the sauce back into the wok and let it cook along with the meat. Now you can choose to cook it down and reduce the sauce or leave it thinner. Add the green onions on the last minute so the green parts will stay green and the white parts crunchy.

Serve it hot with rice.

Happy January!

It’s almost the end of another month, guys.  I can’t believe how time has just FLOWN by this winter!  I’m kind of glad, because I hate winter.  However, I had a month off (thanks, Susan!), and feel like I haven’t done nearly all the things I was hoping to do with it.

First things first: 

Happy Blogiversary, Cactus Kate ‘Blog!

My ‘blog turned 6 years old on January 20.  Thanks, everyone who actually follows me, and comes and reads and comments on my ‘blog!


The weather in Moab has been slightly less than desirable, although it’s not the worst winter I’ve seen.  There is still snow in our yard from before Thanksgiving.  UGH.  I haven’t gotten out for any serious birding, or hiking.

Bird-wise, there has been a (yes, just one) Snow Goose in Moab, hanging around with the plethora of Canada Geese we always have in the winter.  He’s very distinct (bright white – sticks out like a sore thumb), but he doesn’t seem to notice he’s different.  This is not the first Snow Goose I’ve ever seen, but it’s certainly the first one I’ve seen in Moab.  Here he is, spending times with his bros, and by himself.

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We went to SoCal for a week, so that Rich could meet with some clients, and so I could thaw out for a bit.  It was 85°F or warmer every day, and gorgeous.  I was happy to get out of Moab for a few days.  I didn’t really have too much time to visit people, or go places on my own, since we only had one car there, and Rich needed it.  Robyn did come down and pick me up and take me to her house for one day, which was nice of her.

The rest of the time, I mostly stayed at my brother-in-law’s house.  I walked around the area and took photos of people’s yards and plants.  It’s always amazing to me that southern California isn’t that far from Moab, but the climate is like another world.  It’s always so lush – even in mid-January.

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Of course, the desert plants thrive there, too.


I took lots of photos of the Gazanias in their backyard, along with the ubiquitous bees.  This happy bee had been rolling around in the flowers, as evidenced by the pollen that he’s absolutely covered in.


I didn’t see any new birds while I was there, but I did get to hang out with some Black Phoebes, and a female Bushtit (yes, that’s what she’s really called).

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Rich and I did manage to go to Montebello to eat lunch at Sergio’s Tacos the last day we were in SoCal.  I love that place SOOOO much!  (Sergio’s, not Montebello).  That’s my lunch – 4 asada tacos, and one taco al pastor.  YUM!


It was a nice trip, but as always, it’s nice to be home again.

Since we got home, I’ve been cooking a lot, trying to enjoy the last few days that I can cook dinner, before I have to narrow that down to 2 days a week again.  I go back to work this Sunday, Feb. 2.  One of the new things I’ve made was labneh makbus.  I’ve made labneh before (see HERE), and it’s always good.  The makbus are little balls made out of the labneh, and stored in oil.  I made some in plain olive oil, which are supposed to be good for months, stored at room temperature, and I made some with fresh garlic and herbs and spices in olive oil.  That one is supposed to be stored in the refrigerator.  They are delicious!  Here’s a picture of some of the ones with the herbs.


Skeletor wishes you a premature ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’!


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