Spring Rolls

I’m uncertain how it is that I’ve NEVER shared our list of fun Fresh Spring Roll fillings with y’all. A friend of Abby’s was over while I was making a batch of these and her eyes bugged out. “What IS that?!” Her mom texted me later for the recipe and I SWORE I’d put it here on the blog before now. Anyhow, here it is. A spring roll is simply a rice wrapper stuffed full of goodness. I’ll list some of our favorite filling ideas below. I started with this basic recipe from Cooking Light Magazine, but every time we make them, they have some different sort of filling. We skip the work of making this sauce and just use Sweet Chili Sauce from our beloved McPhee’s grocery that is our go-to Asian Ingredients shop in town.

Fresh Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce

Fresh spring rolls are packed with shrimp and crisp colorful vegetables such as carrot, bell pepper and cucumber. Fresh ginger and lime juice contribute to the flavor of the dipping sauce.

Cooking Light APRIL 2004

  • Yield: 6 appetizer servings (serving size: 2 rolls and 2 teaspoons sauce)

Ingredients

  • Dipping Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Spring Rolls:
  • 12 (8-inch) round sheets rice paper
  • 3 green leaf lettuce leaves, quartered
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli sprouts or alfalfa sprouts
  • 36 (2-inch) julienne-cut carrot strips
  • 36 (2-inch) julienne-cut cucumber strips
  • 36 (2-inch) julienne-cut yellow bell pepper strips
  • 24 medium shrimp, cooked, peeled, and halved lengthwise
  • 36 fresh mint leaves

Preparation

To prepare sauce, combine first 7 ingredients, stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves; set aside.

To prepare spring rolls, add hot water to a large, shallow dish to a depth of 1 inch. Place 1 rice paper sheet in dish; let stand 30 seconds or just until soft. Place rice paper sheet on a flat surface. Arrange 1 lettuce piece in center of sheet. Top with 1/4 cup sprouts, 3 carrot strips, 3 cucumber strips, 3 bell pepper strips, 4 shrimp halves, and 3 mint leaves. Fold sides of sheet over filling; roll up jelly-roll fashion. Gently press seam to seal. Place spring roll, seam side down, on a serving platter (cover to prevent drying).

Repeat procedure with remaining rice paper, lettuce, sprouts, carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, shrimp, and mint. Serve with dipping sauce.

Favorite Fillings at Chez Sanford
Cilantro
Mint
Basil
Green Onions

Cabbage
Lettuce
Sprouts (bean sprouts are awesome, but alfalfa would be great too)
Shredded Carrots
Shredded Beets
Bell Pepper (esp sweet red or orange)
Avocado
Snow Peas
Cucumber

Papaya
Mango
Squeeze Lime Juice

Bean Thread Noodles

Baked Tofu
Faux Crab Meat
Shrimp
Cooked/shredded Chicken
Chopped peanuts (or cashews!)

Beet/Daikon slaw

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Twelve 15ths:: June, July, August and September

So, uh. . . it’s been a while. What can I say? The summer of YES took over and I did not write here. I am not sorry. Not really even a tiny bit because we sucked every last frigging OUNCE out of this summer and then we kept going to the lake after school and on weekends because it is glorious here and we can. So there.
That said, I’m now going to attempt a tiny bit of catch up because this blog is our family scrapbook and some day I’ll be sad that I let months pass without a picture or a few words.

Here then. . . a summer of 15ths.

June 15th: Tom and I celebrated our 12th anniversary. Abby finished 3rd grade and her last year at her beloved Jefferson Elementary. This picture was taken by a 3rd grade buddy of Abby’s at her spring music concert. It was a great day. We hosted another EPIC Weenie Roast out at Salt Creek, Jr. Oceanographer Day Camp, sleepovers, strawberry picking, lake days and more.
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July 15th: We hit the 4th of July parade in our home town with GUSTO and closed out the night at a dear friend’s home with a spectacular view. Bunky and Gran came for a visit, we went to beaches, relaxed, ate good food.
IMG_2512IMG_2250August 15th: We got busy! We went to Astoria (GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE!!!) Abby went to Grange Camp, we all went to visit our second family The Murdocks in LaConnor, Abby went to Camp Orkila for the first time, Tom and I got some alone time and we had a VERY long dry stretch at home making it possible for me to grow 16 HUGE chili peppers in the back yard!
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September 15th:
Phew! Mariners Game, Blueberry Picking, Pies, Lake Days, Marymere Falls. . .  We worked on the house and got *most* of the work done, Bunky visited and helped Tom re-roof the garage, we went backpacking out at the Ozette with the Oakes family, Abby REPRESENTED at the Clallam County Fair with an amazing array of ribbons and premiums. School started with a new “gifted” program at a new school and I started subbing at the school district. We’ve been eeking out as much “summer” as we can while the sun is here. We’ve had an amazing few months and I’m *almost* ready for fall.
IMG_3530Can’t wait to see what the NEXT few months bring. ♥

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Foodie Friday:: Salmon and Greens

Since Salmon season is upon us and it’s fairly easy to get your hands on some nice fillets at a farmers market or store, this sounded super tasty.  I wouldn’t be too worried about the KIND of cabbage you use here, and chard would easily sub for the kale. The point: GREENS plus salmon. Done and Done.

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Foodie Friday:: Collard Rolls

Here’s a recipe that looks tasty! I’d be inclined to stuff everything in these rolls.

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Foodie Friday:: Holiday Slaw

Back in 2011, I served this slaw at a 4th of July picnic and had no less than 3 people email me for the recipe. I shared it back then, but I’m bringing it back since we’re likely to have snap peas again this week. Have a safe and wonderful holiday, y’all!

Duncehead Cabbage Picnic Salad 
(adapted from Simply Recipes)
INGREDIENTS
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 large head coarsely shredded or chopped Duncehead Cabbage (any cabbage works here!)
  • 12 ounces snap peas, strings removed, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/3 cups thinly sliced radishes
  • 1 1/3 cups thinly sliced green onions (including greens)
  • 1 1/3 cups lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves

Dressing ingredients

  • 3-4 Tbsp rice vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cloves peeled and minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise

METHOD
1 Spread almond slivers in a toast in a cast iron skillet. Toast, on medium high, stirring frequently until browned. Set aside.
2 Combine cabbage, snap peas, radishes, green onions, cilantro in a large bowl. Can make this step a day or two ahead.
3 In a separate bowl, mix together the rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, ginger, and cayenne until sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the mayonnaise.
4 When ready to serve, gently combine the dressing and almonds with the cabbage mixture.

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Swallow Nothing But Light

20140701-212743-77263684.jpgThe other night, I went for a walk that was one tenth of one mile. I heard a small baby crying. I heard a plane fly by overhead. I heard my daughter singing while my husband played guitar. I heard sprinklers sprinkling. I walked down the block and back in my slippers under a perfect crescent moon, slung low on the horizon while bees made their way to the honeysuckle and mock orange blossoms in our backyard before the trip back home. . . where ever that may be for them.

Home.

Yesterday, I woke up early and went for a run under clear blue skies with views of snow-capped mountains and mirror-like water out on the strait. I went for a run. . . no pain, no issues, no drama for the first time in nearly two months. Abby slept until almost 10 am, as she’s been doing for the last week or so.

20140701-213221-77541983.jpgWe headed to the lake for a midday splash with dear friends, and a stop at the local soft-serve dive. We arrived home at the heat of the day. I just let her lounge about watching movies and Phineas and Ferb for the better part of the afternoon.
Why?
Because we could.

After a summer of un-chosen service away from home last year, I’m finding even the most simple bits of a summer on our beloved peninsula full of gold. They say heaven can’t exist without hell, that goodness can’t be known without badness.
Yin.
Yang.
I say that beauty exists always, but is more simply appreciated in contrast to a dark or difficult backdrop.

I’ve missed two summers here at home (Tom’s brain tumor, and last summer) out of twelve. Missing them makes LIVING it now all the more precious. I’m happy to be a yes-mom, to buy the ice cream, to let her watch one more show, to blast the Katie Perry in the car on the way to 4-H, to allow an extra (virgin!) Rhubarb Sky just before bed, to stay quiet when I notice she’s still reading at nearly 11pm.

I have been picking and eating the raspberries directly off the bush as they ripen. I berry-stain my shirt from the haste of gobbling them down before they break apart right there between my fingers. All warm and ripe with immediacy.

The urgency of last summer is deeply contrasted for me by the languid savoring of this summer. Each day is a gift, no matter the circumstances or time of year of other easy distractions. But these summer days of 2014? GIFTS (all caps) because I am feeling each bit in it’s entirety.

I am devouring the light right now and it is good.
Lip smacking, juice-down-the-chin, last bit of a s’more GOOD.

 

 

 

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Fire-Crackers:: Easy kid project for iced graham crackers

20140701-164119-60079388.jpgI went for a walk while Tom was mowing which left Abby and a buddy in the kitchen on their own. By the time I got home, they were knee deep into creating a popup business on our sidewalk selling iced graham crackers.

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Here’s the gist of what they did.

MAKE YOUR OWN FIRE-CRACKERS

1. Make your favorite icing. (The girls told me they did about 2 cups powdered sugar to 3 tbs water to start).
2. Take some out and color it blue. Do another cup of red.
3. Dip half a graham cracker into the white.
4. Drip a tiny drop of blue or red in the middle of the white.
5. Drag a toothpick from the center out to the edge of the white and repeat.

20140701-164121-60081555.jpgAfter a while, they got a little bored of taking their time and started making them much faster, experimenting with color and method along the way.

20140701-164120-60080918.jpgI did this one very carefully and we all loved how much it looked like the fireworks that are so festively blowing up all over this place this time of year.

That’s it! The girls sold a dozen of these and likely ate that many too. I was pretty proud of their entrepreneurship, motivation and creativity.
Abby used A Beautiful Mess’ photo editing app right on my iPhone to make that first image and asked me to post it to facebook to advertise their sale.

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