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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Warm squash curry to nudge out winter weather blues

Butternut squash curry and other preparations are fairly common in different parts of India but call it a “squash” in that part of the world and you could be met with a blank stare. Some may call it squash, we say it’s a pumpkin. You know, tomayto-tomahto.

Butternut squash is called Kalyaana Poosunikai in Tamil (spoken in the southern region of the Indian sub-continent and among the oldest “living” classical languages…. whoah! Yup.) which can roughly be translated to Wedding Pumpkin. I’ve always assumed it was favored in wedding menus at the time of its christening but I’m just guessing wildly.

This butternut squash curry recipe was another delectable find from Gourmet magazine. It goes further South and further East than India but it’s simple and the ingredients are kitchen staples which makes it my favorite kind of recipe. See the original recipe here. I added garlic, butter and adjusted other portions for my taste and the order in which I cook some of the ingredients may vary.

South Asian Butter Nut Squash Curry (Jay)

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