Nearly Pictureless Dinner Party

29 Jun

Confession:  I went home from school early yesterday because the professor let us out of lab after 10 minutes.  I went to the Learning Center to find out what the mud a geometrical isomer is, and there was a sign on the door that read, “The SLC is closed due to technical difficulty.”

Not sure what that could mean, considering they are not a 3 ring circus, nor a rock concert. ( I found out later that the power to their lights were not working.  I guess that is an excuse.

So, I bailed, called for a ride, and got out of Dodge.

Once home, I made a grocery list and headed to Whole Foods.

Oh, Whole Foods… or Food Mecca really.

I could spend my entire life savings in Whole Foods.  There is so much to look at!

I managed to stick to the list and buy only 2 things that were not planned… organic strawberries for $2.99 and a carton of local heirloom baby tomatoes ( I had to stop myself from snacking on these on the way home).

I stuck to my list, while sampling as I went… hunk of pineapple, bite of ciabatta (which was unimpressive so I threw away the rest of the square), cube of aged cheddar (I am a sucker for free cheese), and some green juice. Snacking seemed to make me hungrier, so I checked out to go home before I could justify buying lunch there.

I would not say that cooking relaxes me, but baking does, and I decided to do as much prep work before my dinner party as possible.

Anja’s black bean brownies were first on the list.  I used my handy-dandy food processor to mix the black beans, bananas, and maple syrup.  Then I stirred in the quick oats and some chopped dark (85%) chocolate.  Protein “brownies”, packed with the potassium of bananas.  This is a “dessert” that is fueling.

Then I reread Averie’s post about how to make your own spring rolls to refresh my memory/calm my nerves about trying something new. I have been wanting to make these since I first read and bookmarked her post.  Then I had some ok spring rolls at Loving Hut with the Veggie Burger a while back and told her, “I could make these better”.  Well, this is my chance to put some money raw veggies in rice paper where my mouth is.

Before I could roll the veggies up I did some chopping.  I LOVE chopping vegetables!  (genuinely)

I prepared cucumber, yellow squash, orange pepper, and yellow pepper into matchsticks and grated a couple carrots. I also washed, dried, and massaged some kale with sea salt.

I was amazed at how easy it was to assemble the spring rolls.

You simply immerse one piece of round spring roll paper into a shallow dish filled with warm water for about 15-20 seconds.

Then you carefully remove it from the water and lay it flat on a moist towel.  Blot the rice paper with the towel until it is a little sticky.

Line up your veggies in the middle, as if making a burrito.  Make sure you leave enough room on each end to fold it over.

Then fold over the end on the left and right.

Starting at the top or bottom, roll it up! The paper will be sticky and adhere to itself.

I made a sauce for dipping from 1/4 c rice vinegar, 5 teaspoons hoisin sauce, 1 t minced garlic, and 3/4 t hot chili sauce. ( This stuff was addictive!)

For our main course I made Noodle Salad.

For dessert we had the organic strawberries, which were oh so sweet and the “brownies”. I think everyone was a little surprised that they actually tasted good!

I, on the other hand, was surprised when I got another birthday gift… these lovely flowers from Whole Foods’ floral dept and a gift card to Whole Foods. I love the wrapped can idea!

My theory is that when I get a gift card I use it on something that I want, not something that I need.  So, I am pretty stoked to use it!

I love entertaining!  I need a bit more of a bank roll to do it more often, but it is always worth the time and effort to spend time with friends!

(Sorry I was such a terrible photographer 😦 I had the best intentions.)



2 Responses to “Nearly Pictureless Dinner Party”

  1. Jennifer June 29, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    Spring rolls…mmmmmm. Quite impressive! Need to find some of these wrappers and make that dipping sauce asap!

    Hope your party was fabulous and that your birthday was everything you hoped for 🙂

    • weightsandmeasures June 29, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

      I found them in the Asian foods section at Whole Foods, but I know they have them elsewhere. I know I will make them again soon! Fresh, raw, delicious!

      Thanks! My birthday was great!

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