Classic Banh Mi

Classic Banh Mi

Im going to be serving an assortment of Banh mi for the adults attending my kids bday party. What should I serve on the side? has to be really easy as I’ll have a house full of out of town guests-prefer something prepared night before. Even considering purchasing frozen potstickers and making dipping sauce.

The banh mi IS a pretty filling sandwich. Its heritage is partly French, so it is appropriate for Euro-centric accompaniments. I’d have potato salad or macaroni salad. Not coleslaw since the sandwich has carrot/daikon slaw

It’s undeniable. Banh Mi is the PERFECT sandwich. Rich, savory meat combined with bright and crunchy homemade pickles stuffed into a fluffy baguette; what’s not to love?! We love this version because it requires minimal ingredients but still packs a powerful punch of flavor. Don’t sleep on it, people!

Made this? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!


YIELDS: 2 SERVINGS               PREP TIME: 0 HOURS 15 MINS               TOTAL TIME: 0 HOURS 40 MINS



  • 10 oz. pork tenderloin
  • 6 tbsp. hoisin sauce, divided
  • 6 tbsp. rice wine vinegar, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium daikon radish, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 12-inch baguette, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c. cilantro leaves and tender stems



  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Place pork tenderloin into the freezer for 15 minutes; this will make it easier to slice thinly.
  2. Slice frozen tenderloin as thinly as possible. Transfer to a medium bowl, add 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, garlic, and fish sauce to bowl; mix until well combined. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
  3. Toss carrot and daikon with remaining vinegar and salt; let sit at room temperature until ready to use. In a large cast-iron skillet on medium high, heat oil and add marinated pork. Cook without stirring for 4 minutes. Give it a toss and continue to cook 1 minute.
  4. Toast baguette in oven for 10 minutes until golden brown. Spread mayonnaise on bottom half and remaining hoisin sauce on top half. Layer pork, then pickled veggies and cilantro on bottom half. Place on the top half and slice cross wise before serving.



Classic Banh Mi
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Pipe Cleaner Flower Pot Craft

Pipe Cleaner Flower Pot Craft

Mother’s Day gifts can sometimes be tricky, but I for one think you can never go wrong with flowers! Introducing an easy pipe cleaner pot craft! Potted flowers will not only last a lot longer than a bouquet but are made extra-special by a DIY decorated pot made with love. I’m over on the Kid Made Modern blog showing how kids (and adults!) can use supplies from their colorful craft kits to create a special decorated flower pot gift for Mother’s Day, or any day of the year!

Kids can make a sweet Mother's Day gift for mom that she will love with these colorful DIY flower pots! #mothersdaygift #mothersdaycraft #flowerpotcraft

These sweet flower pots just started with a basic terra-cotta pot painted white. From there, you can bend pipe cleaners into letters. You can also create colorful designs with pom-poms. Or you can make pictures and shapes like the rainbow on this flower pot, which is my favorite!

Kids can make a sweet Mother's Day gift for mom that she will love with these colorful DIY flower pots! #mothersdaygift #mothersdaycraft #flowerpotcraft


Crunchy Mandarin Orange-Chicken Salad

Crunchy Mandarin Orange-Chicken Salad

This recipe was semi-inspired by the Chinese Chicken Salad at The Cheesecake Factory. I fell in love with dish in eighth grade—it made me feel grown up and sophisticated. Twenty something years later, I still find the salad delicious. It’s sweet, savory, refreshing, and extremely crunchy. (I’m a huge sucker for iceberg lettuce.)

The History of Chinese Chicken Salad

The exact origin of “Chinese Chicken Salad” is unknown. However, legend has it that it was invented in the 1960s at Madam Wu’s in Los Angeles because Cary Grant requested it. Sunset magazine published a recipe in 1970, and Wolfgang Puck created his own version of it in the 80’s.

The salad itself is much more American than it is Chinese. In her book, The Seventh Daughter: My Culinary Journey From Beijing To San Francisco, chef Cecilia Chang says, “In China, lettuce was imported and rare and salads were things that were pickled.” Because my recipe is based on a American chains version of a very American dish, I decided to change the name to more accurately describe what it is: a crunchy salad with chicken and mandarin oranges.

The Crunch Factor

Many restaurant versions of the dish, including The Cheesecake Factory use wonton strips and crispy rice noodles. I sub in a block of broken up ramen—the cheap, dried stuff, not the fresh noodles that come refrigerated. Broken up, the crunchy, wavy noodles act as croutons. The almonds can be easily swapped for cashews or roasted peanuts.

The Chicken 

Leftover rotisserie chicken works wonderfully for this recipe, but if you have chicken breasts on hand, follow our easy guide to poaching chicken.

Mandarin Oranges

I’m a sucker for the syrupy sweetness you get from a can of mandarin oranges. But fresh mandarin oranges (aka clementines) will add the perfect pop of brightness to your salad.



YIELDS: 8 SERVINGS              PREP TIME: 0 HOURS 15 MINS             TOTAL TIME: 0 HOURS 20 MINS





  • 3 c. finely chopped romaine or iceberg lettuce
  • 2 c. shredded red cabbage
  • 2 c. shredded chicken
  • 1/2 c. jarred mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 instant ramen packet, crushed (flavor packet discarded)
  • 1/2 c. shredded carrot
  • 1/3 c. sliced green onions
  • 1/4 c. sliced almonds


  • 3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil



  1. Make salad: In a large bowl, toss together lettuce, red cabbage, chicken, mandarin oranges, crushed ramen noodles, carrots, green onions, and sliced almonds.
  2. Make dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Slowly drizzle in vegetable oil, whisking constantly until emulsified.
  3. Before serving, drizzle dressing over salad and toss to combine.



Crunchy Mandarin Orange-Chicken Salad
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Mothers Day Wheel Card

Mothers Day Wheel Card

well folks, now that easter’s come and gone i guess it’s a good time to get geared up for mother’s day! i have a couple fun posts planned for next week, but wanted to help get in the spirit this week with a free card template comes with 4 different messages or a blank option so you can fill in your own messages. keep reading for the instructions and download link…




  • wheel card template, DOWNLOAD HERE
  • envelope or baggie for the card
  • scissors
  • x-acto knife
  • nail (optional)
  • brad fastener
  1. download, print on card stock and cutout the card and wheel.
  2. use the x-acto knife to cutout the heart on the card.
  3. just below the heart is a small dashed dot; poke a hole through it using the nail. do the same thing through the center of the wheel.
  4. line up the hole in the card and wheel and use a brad to secure them together.
  5. fill in your name at the bottom and/or include a separate note and stuff into a baggie or envelope!
can hardly wait to celebrate all the phenomenal mama’s i know – do you have anything special planned?

Xx . rae be on the lookout for my easy crepe recipe (that can be made the night before), some gift ideas and another free download meant to share with friends!


Star Wars Yoda Shape Craft

Star Wars Yoda Shape Craft

I can’t believe I am actually posting a Star Wars craft on my blog… but I am. I don’t dislike Star Wars, but I’m not a die hard fan. My 5 year old loves playing Star Wars Angry Birds on our iPad though and through that has gotten hooked! He has learned every character and spends his free time making Star Wars ships with his Legos.

Recently we purchased a set of Star Wars: Phonics Boxed Set and my kids have been reading them and checking out the pictures. They love Yoda. Since my 5 year old loves Yoda, my 2 year old does too.

Yesterday while the baby napped we crammed into my guest room to play while trying to avoid the loud sounds from our remodel.

The kids thought it would be fun to make our own Yoda, so we came up with this shape craft. This Star Wars Yoda Shape Craft kept the kids busy and laughing as they talked about colors, shapes, and characters from the story.

The best part about the craft was that it was easily prepared in just a few minutes.



  • colored cardstock (green, brown, dark brown/black, red, and white)
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • googly eyes
  • glue



Prep Ahead:

Cut out two brown rectangles (cape), a large black triangle (body), a green circle (head), 2 green triangles (ears), one red square (mouth), and one tiny black rectangle (ears).


Once materials are cut out, let your little ones start creating!

Originally we planned to glue our pictures down, but the kids had so much fun making Yoda again and again and again that we might just laminate the pieces instead of gluing them.

My toddler watched her brother put his Yoda together a few times before she made hers. She was SO PROUD of the Yoda she created (above).

I think it is adorable how excited she gets about her brother’s obsessions.

Star Wars Death Star Pinata

Star Wars Death Star Pinata

I just **know** that you have always wanted to know how to make a Death Star Pinata.. right.. admit it… you have been yearning to make a DIY Death Star Pinata since the day you first saw your own Star Wars movie. Surely every respectable resistance fighters, wants to simply SMASH the Death Star to pieces.. right? And what better way than with a fabulous Death Star Pinata! The perfect Star Wars Party activity!!! And a perfect to recycled newspapers!

The reason I ended up making this Star Wars Pinata DIY, is that one of my daughter’s friends was desperate to have a Star Wars party and her mother is a self confessed “incompetent crafter”. Now I don’t believe that ANYONE is an incompetent crafter.. but more likely inexperienced crafter!!! So I offered to make the pinata for her. It is relatively easy to make (so long as you don’t make the pinata “too wet” when painting) but it does take a little time to make. Over the course of a week, you may want to set aside 3 hours. It is not a particularly hard craft but it DOES take a little time and you do need to allow for drying periods.. so maybe make it two weeks before you need the Death Star Pinata! Though this Pinata was made for an 8yrs old girl, I think it makes a great addition to our Crafts for Boys collection.

Death Star Pinata - how to make a Star Wars Pinata - Star Wars Party Ideas! #pinata #papermache #starwars #party #starwarsparty #ideas #partygames

Star Wars Death Star Pinata – Materials

Death Star Pinata - how to make a Star Wars Pinata - Star Wars Party Ideas! #pinata #papermache #starwars #party #starwarsparty #ideas #partygames

The following contains Amazon affiliate links, should you choose to purchase via these links Red Ted Art will make a small comission which goes towards the upkeep of this site! Many thanks!

  • Newspapers
  • One large round balloon (get them from the party shop for aboiut 99p each.. they look like this US/UK but the party shop ones will be better quality!)
  • DIY Papier Mache Paste (it easy to make from flour and water)
  • Paints – mainly black and white – I used System 3 Acrylic paints like these White US/ UK)
  • Some string & a stick for hanging
  • Scissors
  • Old containers for mixing the paste and resting the pinata whilst it is drying
  • LOTS OF SWEETS! (Yes you need them before you can finish the death star pinata) (e.g. US/ UK)

How to make a Death Star Pinata

As per usual we have a great Death Star Pinata how to video as well as step by step written instructions below!

How to make a Star Wars Pinata – easy step by step instructions

You really will need a good quality balloon! If you get a cheap one online, it is likely to either not be fully round or pop! I bought ours at the party shop for 99p!

Prepare your Papier Mache Paste as per our Papier Mache Paste How to – it only takes a few minute and I usually store it for up to a week!

Blow it up to the size you want your Death Star to Be.

Cut or rip the Newspaper into strips – I like a variety of sizes and widths. But it doesn’t matter too much.

The basic papier mache death star ball

Dip the strips of newspaper into to papier mache paste and apply to the balloon.  Don’t worry if it drips or is very wet.. you will be adding more and more layers and you want the newspaper to be soaked through.

Keep adding layers all over the balloon. Criss crossing the newspaper as you go – newspaper as grains that run in certain directions and some are stronger than others…..

You want to have about 4 layers of newspaper all over.

Where the rubber band of your balloon pops out will be your “top” – make sure you have 6-7 layers here, as you want this to be nice and strong for supporting the “hanging” stick later on!

Let dry fully!

Shaping the ball to have the Death Star laser

Once fully dry, get a small ball and circle just below where the balloon rubber band sticks out. This will be your death star laser area.

Cut out the balloon (poke with sharp scissors) and also cut out the circle – cut it as neatly as you can, as you will still use it.

Peel out any of the balloon from the inside of the pinata. Best to get it all out now, rather than pull at the death star whilst it is drying with the paint.


Take the circle and place back where it was but inside out to create the laser gun dip.

Using smaller strips of newspaper and more papier mache paste hold this circle in place – as if you are sticking it down with tape.

Let dry fully.

Painting your Death Star Pinata

I decided it was quick and easier to paint the Pinata a DARK GREY first and add lines afterwards. Many paint the Death Star Pinata Light grey first and paint the windows in afterwards. I think this takes longer and takes more precision. This is a pinata.. you will be breaking it.. it doesn’t need to be perfect.

Paint the whole papier mache ball a dark grey.

NOTE: do not make it too soggy or wet with paint (I did) – it risks crumpling up your pinata a little and it can loose it’s shape, especially when filled with heavy sweets.

Let dry fully!

Detail Painting onto your Staw Wars Pinata

Now it is time for the details.

With some string mark the circumference of the Death Star ball and mark with a pen or brush – so you guides to follow.

Using a broad brush paint one thick strip of light grey around the circumference!

Using a smaller brush (half the size?) Paint strips from the top of your pinata down to the circumference. Paint the Death Star’s Laser area grey too!

Add more lines that run parrallel to the circumference.

Next, add little sets of dots (sets of 20-30) into the darker areas of the Death Star Pinata to resemble lights.

Finally add a black linke to the circumference and 8 yellow lights.

Add black lines to the Laser to create the laser pattern and some red lights.


How to hang your DIY Death Star Pinata

Using a stick or a chopstick approximately 15cm long – tie some string to it securely.. pop it into the pinata.. and pull it back up. It should nestle securely against the hole in a T-shape.. the top of the “T” inside the pinata and the long part of the “T” being the string.

Your DIY Death Star Pinata is now complete!!!!! Let’s see how quickly the kids can break it appart!!!!!!