Monday, October 22, 2012

7 Layer Greek Dip with Pita Chips

I found this 7 Layer Greek Dip recipe in a QFC coupon mailer back in April.  It floated around my house for a month before I got all the ingredients I needed.  I knew it would be an instant hit and relatively simple to make.  It was everything I had hoped for and more..... pairing Greek Salad and 7 Layer Taco Dip two of our favorites into one wonderful creation.

7 Layer Greek Dip 

7 Layer Greek Dip 

Prep time: 20 mins
Serves 8 - 10 people 

1  - 8-12oz container hummus
1 lemon juiced
1  cup chopped peeled cucumber
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup green onion (optional)
1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup feta cheese
Basil - optional
Pam cooking spray

1. select your presentation container - I used a 10 in glass pie dish.  Spay baking dish with Pam, mix hummus and lemon together, spread mixture on bottom of pie dish.  

2.  Follow hummus layer with fine chopped cucumbers:

3. Solicit help to chop onion so you don't cry, use swimming goggles.  Bill posed for this.  

4. Chop remaining ingredients and layer on top dip.

5. Add chips and serve - can be made a few hours in advance, does not save well over 12 hrs.  

Enjoy! You can modify however you want - maybe even add some tomatoes.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls

Today I wanted to share with you a new discovery of working with rice paper wrappers and my fascination with Vietnamese cooking.  I have always thought of Fresh Spring Roll as restaurant food.  When I say "restaurant food" I need to define that in my words,  it's food I never imagined being able to make at home.  Something too that I would not consider attempting or know where to begin to shop for the ingredients.  About 5 years go I had my first fresh spring roll at Pho Thai Burien  and could not believe how delicious it was.  It was packed full of vegetables fresh mint, basil, rice noodle and shrimp all rolled into a wrapper.  And then dip in a creamy peanut butter sauce or a hot chili sauce.  I loved these rolls so much that it justified going to Pho Thai Burien at least once a week for dinner.

When Bill asked today what I wanted for my birthday dinner, I told him I wanted to try to make Pho Thai's Spring Rolls.  So he sent me flowers and we went and shopped for the ingredients.  

Birthday Flowers:

And now the how to make spring rolls:

Prep time:  25-30 mins
8  large rice wrappers
1 large bowl of hot tap water
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 cucumber (peeled and julienne)
20 leaves of Thai basil or fresh mint
2 cups mixed baby greens salad mix
1/2 lb cooked and peeled shrimp butterfly cut (51/60)  *any protein you can use; chicken, pork tofu*
1/2 lb cooked rice noodles  (optional)
(your choice)
Peanut Sauce
Any Asian style dressing
Thai Chili Sauce

** Most restaurants will use noodles as fillers to add density, if you're going to use rice noodles cook to package instruction and let cool. I didn't use in my rolls and they were not missed**

1. Prepare all vegetables and butterfly your shrimp for easy rolling.

2.  One all roll ingredients are prepared put hot tap water in a dish.  Each wrapper will need 3-8 seconds in the hot water depending on how hot your water is.

**I got these wrappers at Wayne's in Burien, they were $1.60 for 20** There are lots of options, I have not a clue if one is better than the other, I got the one with the cutest picture on the front.  

3. Start your rolling:

I am still a little rusty at the roll part but you get the hang of it after about 4. I rolled them like a burrito and the rice paper was really stretchy.  

4. Cut them at an angle and serve!  You can also wrap them individually in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for a day.  Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce, I used home made peanut sauce.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I'm Back to Blogging!

After a long blogging sabbatical I'm back. In these past three months a lot has happened. I am going to be back on track with posting at least 3 times a week with all the great treats I have been making.  While I was on a the blog break here are few big events!

1. I got engaged!  ( sorry that picture is kind of blurry)
Here is a better one! 

2. I started a new job at "Global Giant" Amazon.....

3. We picked a date - and a venue and started a wedding website..... Here are some pictures.  

Date 6-29-12

Laurel Creek Manor 

 and if you want more details this is the website we started....