Spring rolls are only as bad as we make ’em

Spring rolls, the undesirable, unasked for extra that gets in the way when you’re reaching into your take out bag to retrieve the main item, does anyone actually eat them? Between the tendency of take out establishments to stuff leftover cabbage and who knows what other leftovers into spring rolls and the predictability of finding one in your take out bag every single time, it has to be the most tiresome finger food that is still churned out in such copious quantities. Despite all the evidence to the contrary I continue to love and believe in spring rolls. Like UFO enthusiasts or Yeti trackers hoping for that sighting I kept looking for that “tasting” that would validate my faith. I religiously took a bite of every spring roll that crossed my path, sometimes I did so with a foot on the trash can pedal. I usually got a mouthful of stale or just insipid cabbage or at least what I thought was cabbage and managed to be disappointed every time. The husband having grown a little weary of my clucking over spring rolls not being spring rolls any more wondered if I couldn’t just make my own if I like them so much. Spring rolls  are fresh, crunchy, savory and nowhere near as greasy when they’re home-made.

Prep time: 15 min | Total time: 25 min | Servings: 4 – 6

Spring Rolls (Jay)

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When the basil whispered to the tomato, it said soup.

Work continues to have first dibs on my energy.  I haven’t been spending as much time as I’d like, on my blog, Facebook or the internet in general and when I have time to chill I’ve gratefully opted to do absolutely nothing. Translation, I turn on the telly. It’s a lot less work than cranking up the laptop to hop on the internet. As a result, I’ve recently acquired a new addiction. I’ve been binging on this TV show I had never heard of until a few weeks ago called Ghost Whisperer. It’s about a woman who “has a gift” namely she can see and talk to ghosts or earthbound spirits as she calls them. She helps them resolve issues that keep them hanging’ around and gets them to “cross over” and “go into the light” and each ghost’s issue is a mystery. Some more than others. I love the episodes that really keep me guessing, it’s a bummer when I figure out the ghost’s angle or mystery in under ten minutes but I still can’t quit watching. Ion Television (didn’t know that existed either!) is running back to back episodes of all the past seasons and I’ve been watching them in marathon sessions. I think my DVR is ready to explode. Another fallout of my addiction has been that when we aren’t doing take out I very cleverly cook something that requires minimal kitchen time like this yummy but simple tomato soup and a sandwich.

Can’t wait to catch up on more episodes and find out more about these two new sets of critters that are not ghosts but “shadows” and “shinies” as Melinda’s son calls them. There’s also a prophetic book that has put in an appearance. It writes itself, updates itself and even revises itself. The one ghost whisperer mystery that will likely remain unsolved is how Melinda Gordon (played by Jennifer Love Hewitt) who owns an antique store in a small town, manages to be perfectly made up and look like she stepped out of Vogue in every single scene. Where does she shop? And perfectly blended rust orange and pink eyeshadow when she wakes up?! That’s a different kind of gift she’s not telling us about. But I digress, getting back to the subject at hand, I’m dedicating this tomato soup post to my soupiest TV addiction in a very long time. Do you have a soupy TV addiction?

Roasted Tomato Soup (Jay)

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Ma-in-law’s Macaroni and Cheese

It is clear that my holiday time out from blogging is officially overextended when I’m pinged on FB chat and asked why I have not been posting. (Thank you Shilpa, I clearly needed that.) So I’m clambering back on the blog wagon after an overly enjoyable and extended holiday break  that started with Thanksgiving and forgot to end until the last of many inches of snow melted. Yes, Atlanta experienced its once in a decade Snoh my God! The city simply froze in shock for a Biblical seven days. We’re just about getting done with the thawing out.

So to pick up where I left off I’m going back to Thanksgiving week, when Sammie’s parents spent the week with us in Atlanta. It was quality family time and good food time so we simply had to have her mac ‘n’ cheese. It is pure, creamy, cheesy comfort. We did have a moment when Sammie waltzed in from the grocery store with black wax cheddar which was not on the grocery list his mother had given him. He announced confidently that it would be great in the mac ‘n’ cheese. He doesn’t cook so of course ma-in-law and I eyed each other doubtfully. It’s a rich, sharp cheddar so we went with it and of course it rocked. Glad I had the presence of mind to grab some pictures. It is a simple recipe and I watched her every step of the way but I have the oddest feeling it will not taste quite the same if I try to make it. What is it with Mothers’ and grandmother’s recipes that makes it so hard to get them just right? Maybe the taste comes from years of practice and not the ingredients or the method. I’m giving myself about twenty years.

Prep time: 5 min | Total time: 50 minutes | Servings: 4 – 6

Black Wax Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese (by Sherlyn Rice)

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