Saturday, May 15, 2010

All Sorts of Different Eats and Finds

So last night I didn't feel like making much of a dinner, so my stand by at this point is homemade pizza. And since I tried the dough setting on the bread maker to make the cinnamon rolls I have been dying to try pizza on the dough setting as well. I think that the reason I love the bread maker is because you literally dump everything in and then it does all the work for you. When I have made bread by hand or dough for that matter and the recipes always ask you to put it in a warm environment to proof or rise I have always questioned that step, where are they expecting you to put it? It is not like I have a special machine that is at the perfect warm temperature that they specify, oh wait I do the bread machine! I think the dough setting on the bread maker if an hour and a half which is way too long for a small amount of pizza dough so I only had it in there for maybe 15 minutes max. It came out wonderful though I must admit. And Brian was super happy because even though I used a fork to perforate it it still had some puffy air pockets. This is, according to Brian his favorite part because it reminds him of his favorite pizza place Walleries, I never knew he liked the air pockets. Go figure? It was just a simple peperoni pie, made with Turkey peperoni. Molly had three slices! She kept asking for more pizza, it was amazing. It is surely one of her favorite things. Good thing I don't feel too bad when I make it all at home, and I know what is going in it.

I desperately need to go to the store, I am thinking tomorrow morning at around 7 am sounds about right. But until then it feels like we are scrounging for food around here. When we came home from playing at the park earlier today we were hungry for some lunch. Side note; for Brian's birthday I made cinnamon rolls, the recipe I used called for WAY too many cinnamon rolls so I froze some. Ingenious! This morning I pulled just a few of them out, popped them in the microwave to defrost (they had already risen before I froze them) and put them into the oven. I whipped up some frosting to go on top and the next thing you know we are eating second helpings of fresh cinnamon rolls from Brian's birthday. Brilliant! I must remember to do this next time. You can seriously only eat like one maybe two max at a time and after that the rest of them just go stale and you have to throw them out. So that was our Saturday morning breakfast it was fantastic with two cups of coffee. Anyway back to the lunch idea I had after the park. Well I mentioned, since we had a fresh loaf of bread that a chicken salad or egg salad sandwich sounded good. Brian was hungry so we decided to go with an egg salad because it could be done in less time. I can't remember the last time I had an egg salad sandwich, if ever, so it was new to me and definitely new to Molly. She didn't eat it at all! She seemed delighted when she found a pickle chunk in it, she ate one of those but then after that she hopped down from the table and ski-daddled (sp?) outside to continue playing. She had previously snacked on some trail mix of sorts so she wasn't too hungry anyway and she went down for a LONG nap thereafter as well so she was fine. The egg salad sandwich was pretty good I have to say the fresh bread lightly toasted is what made it for me, and the pickles, are you supposed to put pickles in egg salad? I have no idea but they sounded good to me.

After Molly was awake from her nap we decided to head out to Uwajimaya, a quality Asian grocery store in our area, to see if they had any Bento stuff. Shocker they totally did! HA! I got an egg mold, some sauce containers, some mini-sandwich cutters, and rice shapers. SUPER FUN! After I left I was mad that I didn't buy a true Bento box for Miss Molly, they had a frog one that I have been eyeing online for the last week, among a couple of really awesome other ones too. I can't wait to try out the egg mold! Anywho, whoa my nerd was showing there for a bit. Well a couple of weeks ago I had a recipe to make Thai style summer rolls and I couldn't find the right rice paper at our local super market. So I remembered since we were there at Uwajimaya to find the rice paper, as well as the rice noodles, cilantro, and tofu needed for the dish. We took Molly to look at the fish section, true Asian style the fish are alive and swimming in tanks for you so she liked that of course. Brian was bummed because he wanted to get some of his favorite candies, we don't know what they are really called the product is written all in Japanese but we have always called them the White Rabbit candies, they are vanilla flavored chewy candies that are wrapped in a bit of rice paper. He loves them, and we couldn't find them anywhere. Bummer, but I did get some cool Bento stuff! Upside! Below is my own version of
Thai Summer Rolls (I try to recreate them to the best of my abilities from what we get at the Thai restaurants)
Thai Summer Rolls
4 Sheets of Rice paper
1 Carrot
2 leaves of romaine lettuce
1 Green Onion
1/2 block of firm tofu
1/2 cup cooked rice sticks noodles
Fresh cilantro leaves

1. IMPORTANT: assemble all ingredients before beginning. Peel the carrot, once you have the outside skin removed continue peeling the entire carrot, you will use these shavings in the roll. julienne the lettuce leaves (shredded lettuce, could substitute cabbage here too) slice the green onion, cut tofu into 1/2 inch chunks, clean cilantro and have it ready to go.

2. Boil some water and put the noodles in the water for 1 to 2 minutes and then remove them into a bowl, allow them to cool so you can handle them with your fingers. I put all the ingredients in prep bowls surrounding my cutting board so when the rice paper gets wet I am ready to go. Also get out a shallow round dish to dip your rice paper in.

3. Dip rice paper in the water (use cold water, no need to have it be hot) dip for no more than 5 seconds, the paper will still be some what hard in your hands. Using a clean dish towel put the rice paper between the towel to get off any excess water. While the rice paper is on the towel, working quickly build a burrito of sorts of all your ingredients. I usually start with the lettuce, then carrot, green onion, rice noodles, tofu, then I put three whole cilantro leaves the length of all the other ingredients.

4. Again like a burrito fold in the sides and the fold the top over the ingredients and proceed to roll it up. The rice paper at this point has magically transformed into this soft pliable opaque material and you do need to use some caution here because it can rip, so don't pull too hard to get it off the towel.
*I usually at this point cut them in half on an angle and set aside on your serving platter. Continue with step 3 and 4 until you are through all of the ingredients.

I also made a peanut dipping sauce to go with it, it was trial by error so I wouldn't even know how to write up this recipe, it was a dollop of creamy peanut butter, some brown sugar, grated fresh ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, a LOT of lime juice and a little bit of veggie oil to help the consistency. Let me know if you need measurements on this one and I can try and be more precise but honestly I just dumped stuff in a bowl until it worked!

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