I came home still craving seafood, but wanting something lighter. Thumbing through a cookbook, I saw a photo of Vietnamese Spring Rolls with peanut sauce and knew that I had found a way to satisfy my inner beast.
I love Spring Rolls! Since I had to go to the store anyway, it was easy to pick up the ingredients required for these bountiful bundles. You can put just about whatever you want in them; I don't know how authentic this version is, but it was really good and hubby man literally snatched it off of this plate the moment the camera shutter clicked. These little rolls are delightfully refreshing on a hot day because they are served cold. Personally, I think they make a nice light lunch or an appetizer at dinner. And roll me up baby, these are gluten free, too!
Rice Paper Wrappers
Shelled Cooked Shrimp - Cocktail Dipping Size - Sliced in half long length size
Cooked, Sliced Pork - (I used a sliced pork chop) Optional
Cooked Rice Vermicelli Noodles
Carrots - sliced in super thin matchsticks
Cucumber - sliced in super thin matchsticks
Lettuce - your favorite kind
Large shallow dish with warm water - needs to be large enough to hold the Rice Paper Wrappers.
- 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce - I used tamari wheat free sauce
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon chile-garlic paste - this gives it a bit of heat, not too much
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/3 cup hot water
2. Take one rice paper and submerge it in the water for about 20-30 seconds, or until it has softened. Remove from the water and set on your work station.
3. Just as you would fill a burrito, layer your other ingredients. Start with three shrimp halves, cut side up, in the middle of the wrapper. On top of the shrimp, layer the other ingredients: bean sprouts, carrots, cucumbers, basil, cilantro, lettuce, and noodles. Then just as with a burrito, fold the sides over, and then tightly but gently roll up the wrapper. Place on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Serve at once, shrimp side up, with the peanut sauce. They are crunchy and chewy, and bursting with flavor. I like to cut them in half so the pretty layers can be seen. Don't these look pretty?
If you are making them in advance, wrap each roll in plastic wrap or else it will get gummy and disintegrate. The rolls should be nice and tight ... which can be kind of tricky. The wrappers are very delicate and can tear easily. Don't be deterred by that; these are sooo tasty. Don't want the meat? Prepare yourself a strictly vegetarian version. If you want it spicier, you could add some hot chilies to either the rolls or the sauce or both! Some people like to put mint in them, but I don't like mint in my food. Makes me feel like I'm eating toothpaste. Blech. These roll, though, are the opposite of blech. Give everyone their own peanut sauce bowl ... double dipping is sooooo allowed with these babies. That peanut sauce rocks!
Here's where I was the past couple of days. If you get out a magnifying glass, you can see Yaquina Head Light House in the distance. I love this photo with the wee little people in it because it gives you a truer sense of glorious, gorgeous mother nature. The tide has just gone out in this early morning photo (taken from my balcony -- oh yeah, it was an awesome way to greet the day.) Do you like to get away? Do you have a favorite get away location?
Prior to my roll of motherhood, I enjoyed a fast paced career where I met two of my dearest friends ever. These are amazing, strong, inspiring women who encourage me to be my best, and still love me when I falter. Over the past 19 years, we've been together for sickness and health, marriages and divorces, births and deaths, and our commitment to friendship remains steadfast. Oh, we don't talk everyday nor do we see each other every week, but no matter how much time passes in between our get togethers, it's always as if no time has passed at all. Prior to my having children, we used to go away for a "girls wild weekend" every year. (Wild being a relative term here ... but it doesn't sound as exciting to say "Girls Getting Away From It All So They Can Sleep In", so we add the word wild for flavor!) Once kids came on the scene, though, the weekends came to a halt. We revived our tradition last year, and were committed to making it happen again this year. We decided to include the kids this year, and boy oh boy did we have fun. Our "wild weekends" have taken on a new flavor and as usual, the time went by way too fast. Better to leave wanting more, than leave thankful it was finally over!
Here's a photo of my littlest beachcomber. (Marjie: Notice her necklaces?) The Oregon coast is unlike other coastlines. First, the ENTIRE coast line is public access. You won't run into fences keeping you out and mother nature in. The beautiful Pacific Ocean remains COLD all year, so the beaches are not swimming magnets like Florida or California. Certainly there are brave souls who swim, and my kids do enjoy getting soaked, but I'll only stick in a toe. Maybe. Mostly, the beach is a place to hang out and relax. Build sandcastles. Dig tunnels. Race the tide. Nap. The kids partake in lots of kite flying, playing in the sand, and kicking back.
The farther south you go in Oregon, the warmer the water becomes, but we were more north and true to form, it was cool yet comfortable. The morning fog lifted to brilliant sunshine and temperatures in the upper 60's. Don't be fooled by the cool temperatures, though. Sunscreen is a must unless you want a lobster colored nose.
Here's a pic of my beach beauties playing together. I never get tired of seeing them together. I took only my girls with me, and they had fun getting to know the other kids. We were lulled to sleep by the sounds of the surf and the gentle breezes swirling in off the water.
In our absence, Hubby man and son decided to have a "stay-cation" at home where they went bowling, played arcade games, went to the movies, and rented videos. We try hard to spend 1:1 time with each child, but it's tough. :-( We tend to do a lot as a family which is great. Still, 1:1 time is nice. Most 1:1 time comes when we have errands to run, and we grab one kid to go. Or at bedtime. Although I missed my men folk, it was great to spend time with the girls. How do you spend 1:1 time with your kids?
A special thank you goes out to Jan and Ohio Mom for giving me this award. Be sure to check out their websites. I really enjoy reading Jan's Range Warfare website. In addition to her witty writing, great posts, and yummy food, she's also an author. Ohio Mom's site is also fun to visit. She's got some great recipes, and it's fun to read her exchanges with her grown daughter.
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- Post the logo on your blog.
- Add a link to the person who nominated you.
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