Sunday, April 25, 2010

Yummy Food!!

As I already blogged, yesterday was Ally's birthday. Last night we had family over to celebrate and I made some pizza, salad rolls with peanut sauce and birthday cake for everyone. It was a nice evening, Ally got spoiled by the family, Parker spent most of the time playing in the yard with his Auntie and Nana and Sophie was cuddled by all.
I never used to like enteraining but in the past two years or so I've really come to enjoy it. I now cook for pleasure rather than just making food to feed us. I really like coming up with a meal plan, shopping for everything and putting it all together.
I made homemade pizzas. Both were vegetarian: one was a mixed veggie and the other was thin slices of zuchinni that was marinated in lemon, garlic and thyme and then grilled with goat cheese. So good! Then I made some salad rolls. I have never made these before as I was always intimidated but after some reasurrance from a friend, I decided to go ahead and try it. And I'm so glad I did, it was not only easy but a million times better than store bought salad rolls. Seriously, SO easy and SO delicious that I will never ever buy these premade again. And because I think they're so fab, I encourage you to try them out too!

All you need is:
  • 12" round rice paper
  • some sort of leafy lettuce (I chose romaine)
  • either thai basil and mint or cilantro
  • cooked and cooled rice vermicelli noodles
  • assorted veggies cut into matchsticks such as: carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, celery, avacado etc...
  • you could also add cooked shrimp
Put some warm water in a pie plate to soak the rice paper in while you're stacking your veggies, noodles and herbs in a lettuce leaf. Lay the rice paper out flat and place the lettuce/veggies/noodles towards the bottom of the paper and roll over once. Fold over sides and then continue to roll up. Voila! It's as easy as that.

Peanut Sauce:
In a small pot, combine 1c. of water with 1 stalk of lemon grass. Let simmer for 5 minutes then remove lemon grass. Add in 1/3 cup hoisin sauce, 3 tlbs. peanut butter and freshly grated ginger to taste.  Let simmer 1 minute, whisking often. Pour into serving dish and chill until you're ready to use (or serve warm if you prefer!)

I wanted to cook something that didn't require much effort because I was putting all my energy into baking a cake from scratch. I have never successfully done this before until yesterday. And what a success it was, the cake was so good. It wasn't overly sweet like some chocolate cakes can be, this was perfection, sweet sweet perfection smothered in a chocolate butter cream icing. I got the recipe from a blog I often read ( The recipe is: here.

I'm already thinking of food to prepare and a cake to bake for Parker's birthday in two weeks. I think I might use the same cake recipe, but go with Dave's uncle Alan's suggestion of alternating the layers of the cake with dark chocolate and white chocolate and doing a vanilla buttercream icing instead of chocolate. Mmmm..... just thinking about it is making my mouth water in anticipation!

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