August 26, 2014

Soooooooooo raise your hand if you’ve ever found yourself a wee bit fixated on using a particular ingredient/dish in your kitchen. Is your hand raised? Because both of mine are. It’s funny: I have this strange tendency to latch on to an ingredient or dish and then find a bunch of different ways to prepare it. For a while it was everything caprese: simple caprese salad, caprese kabobs, caprese sandwich, a caprese style pizza. This past week or so it’s been all about the crazy good slaw I created and posted about on Sunday. Those deconstructed egg rolls were so tasty, I decided I needed to create another variation…which is how these baked vegetable egg rolls came to fruition.

baked vegetable egg rolls

It’s all so simple really. The ingredients are exactly the same. The process of making them is just slightly different. You could make a batch of these all on their own, or if you’re like me and have just a few scoops of slaw leftover from making the deconstructed egg rolls, you can simply wrap it up and bake them for a different taste experience without breaking out anything extra! Score.

baked vegetable egg rolls

I have to admit: I was a bit worried that the egg rolls themselves would come out of the oven and not be crispy. A fried egg roll is always a delicious treat, but it isn’t something I want to have on the menu regularly. I was so pleased to see that with a mist of olive oil cooking spray (or a brush of olive oil on the wrappers) and a high temperature on the oven, I was able to get the egg roll wrappers to crisp up and turn a golden brown color for me. You still get the satisfying crunch like you do with the fried version, but the reduced guilt is a very nice touch.

And now…I am officially obsessed with everything egg roll related. I’m dreaming of all the different variations I can create, from savory to sweet. Oh man. Which variety should I whip up next????

baked vegetable egg rolls

Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls

Ingredients

    For the egg rolls:
  • 10 - 15 egg roll wrappers
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I use olive oil mayo)
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
  • For the slaw:
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage (or coleslaw mix)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a bowl until incorporated. Cover and store in the refrigerator.
  3. Next, add all of the ingredients for the slaw into a large bowl. Drizzle with prepared dressing and toss to coat fully.
  4. Putting it together:
  5. Set a small dish/ramekin filled with water near your working surface. Place an egg roll wrapper down on a cutting board/working surface with one of the points facing you. Scoop about 1/2 cup of the dressed slaw toward the middle of the wrapper. Use a pastry brush or your fingers to add a light amount of water around the outside edges of the egg roll wrapper.
  6. Next, fold the point facing you up and over the top of the slaw filling. Fold the two side points in toward the center as well, sealing up the sides. Then, continue rolling until the final point has sealed up on to the side.
  7. Place the roll seam side down on a baking sheet.
  8. Repeat the rolling process with the rest of the egg roll wrappers and filling.
  9. Gently spray the egg rolls with olive oil cooking spray (or use a pastry brush to apply a thin layer of olive oil to the wrappers) then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  10. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until wrappers have turned golden brown and crispy.
  11. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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August 22, 2014

Labor Day is just a little bit over a week away – oh how time flies! Are you currently planning your Labor Day celebrations? Labor Day always seems like one of those holidays that is filled with fun. Since it falls right around the start of the school year, I always thought of it as a bit of a celebration for the end of summer. Of course, now that I live in Florida my summertime weather is not planning on leaving any time soon. However, the beginning of September is when I can typically look forward to a reduction in humidity around these parts! With that comes the Floridians’ time to emerge from our air conditioned homes and head outside to enjoy a bite to eat. So, to celebrate Labor Day, I’m bringing along some deconstructed egg rolls to the fun filled Sunday Supper feast!

deconstructed egg rolls

August 21, 2014

Do you ever get slightly tired with your appearance? I know it happens with me, and I had definitely been feeling that way for the past few weeks. A lot of it had to do with my hair. I know that sounds slightly strange, but it’s true. It’s not that I felt dislike towards my hair. I have hit that point currently where I’m quite happy with my cut and style. It works for me. That being said…getting the same hair cut over and over again when I visit the stylist can get a little bit redundant. When I sat down in the chair at my latest appointment, I decided to just throw caution to the wind. After telling her of my desire for change in some way, we began to discuss color. Now, I used to dye my hair back in my college days and it was fun. However, around 2007 or so I decided I was done with the maintenance. For seven years now my hair has not been touched by any color treatment. Until now.

tribal tunic outfit

As a fun way to switch up my look without going crazy with the scissors, we decided to lighten things up a bit. The end result we were going for is a slightly sunkissed color, as if my hair was lightened by the sun when I was outside. I really love how it turned out and the fact that there are no roots to grow out (there are some highlights woven in, but a lot of the color is more focused on the bottom of my hair), so the maintenance should be minimal. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for.

tribal tunic outfit

And of course, let’s talk about my slightly altered hairstyle while we’re on the subject of hair. I was recently invited to visit the newest location of Blo blow dry bar that just opened up in Tampa. What a fun experience! To be honest, other than having my hair styled after getting it cut, I’ve never been in to a salon to have my hair simply blown out. Blo has a menu of signature hair styles you can choose from, depending on the look you’re going for. You can also get up dos for those fancier occasions. Tampa’s location of Blo also includes a Body by Blo in half of the store, where you can prettify yourself further with nail services and waxing. The Blo Tampa location was absolutely clean and beautiful on the inside, and the staff was so friendly. The products they use in your hair smell incredibly amazing, and if you fall in love with them like I did, they are available for purchase. Trouble trouble. For my style, we decided to try out the “pillow talk,” which features messy beachy waves. As a girl who always has her hair straight (because that’s the way I was created), it was really fun to try a different look. Thanks again to Blo Tampa for inviting me in…it was definitely a fun and relaxing experience!

tribal tunic outfit

After treating my hair to a new look, it would have been a shame to not leave the house for the evening! Even though it was a rainy day and evening, we headed out to a casual dinner at one of our favorite local pizza places. It was the perfect occasion to pull out my tribal tunic tank along with some leggings and a statement necklace. And wedges….because it is summer and in summer you wear wedges! Even though we weren’t being fancy, I had a fun time putting together this look, which I thought complemented my hair for the occasion! Score!

Have you been to a blow dry bar before? What did you think?

tribal tunic outfit

Tribal tunic: purchased at T.J. Maxx // Leggings: 90 Degrees by Reflex, purchased at Marshalls // Statement necklace: Lydell NYC, purchased at T.J. Maxx // Wedges: Antonio Melani, purchased at Marshalls

August 19, 2014

Ok…who is ready for a frozen treat? The summer season is still here, so I think it is time to indulge in some cool deliciousness. Today, the sweet dessert I’m sharing is a mash up of two of my favorites…melded together to create a coconut macaroon ice cream pie!

coconut macaroon ice cream pie

For those of you who don’t know me, there is something important to know right off the bat: frozen yogurt and ice cream are essential elements in my life. I’m incapable of ending my day without indulging in at least a few bites of creamy dessert goodness, ESPECIALLY during these steamy, humid months. But here’s the thing: sometimes JUST a bowl of ice cream won’t cut it for me. Sometimes I want more. Enter: my second dessert obsession. Coconut macaroons. There is something so wonderful about a toasty, sweet, and slightly chewy coconut macaroon. Extra points if it also includes chocolate in some way. You may have seen them before: I happen to have a favorite toasty coconut macaroon recipe, drizzled with chocolate!

coconut macaroon ice cream pie

Now for the kicker: smash my two favorite desserts together and you get a coconut macaroon ice cream pie! I mean, who can resist cookies and ice cream together? When I first created this pie in my kitchen, I was worried it wouldn’t work as well as I imagined it in my head. However, the crunchy yet chewy cookie crust paired with the creamy ice cream (and whipped topping) is definitely delicious. I couldn’t help but cut extra large slices for myself. Oops. The pie was demolished in record time…but I can’t say I was surprised about it.

coconut macaroon ice cream pie

The nice part about this pie is that it is completely customizable. I used vanilla frozen yogurt for mine, but a different flavor combination could be just as awesome! I’m thinking a chocolate ice cream version would be pretty delectable, or maybe even my current favorite flavor: pistachio. You could even use the macaroon batter to create individual sized pies if you prefer. Oh, the possibilities! I hope you think about trying this out for yourself if you happen to be a macaroon enthusiast like myself – you won’t be sorry…

Do you have a favorite pairing/mash up for your ice cream?

coconut macaroon ice cream pie

Coconut Macaroon Ice Cream Pie

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • 7 ounces shredded sweetened coconut
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • For the pie filling:
  • 1/4 gallon vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream
  • 6 ounces mini chocolate chips
  • 8 ounces whipped topping
  • 3 ounces shredded sweetened coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the sweetened coconut (7 ounces for the crust, and 3 ounces for the garnish) in a single layer on a baking sheet. Toast the coconut in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden brown, stirring occasionally. When the coconut is golden brown, remove from oven and allow it to cool completely (you can also place it in the freezer/fridge to speed the process). Keep the oven at 350 degrees F, as you will need it for the pie crust.
  2. Meanwhile, whip the egg whites and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on high speed for 5-7 minutes until stiff peaks form. Then, add the vanilla and salt. Next, use a spatula to fold 7 ounces of toasted coconut into the mixture.
  3. Thoroughly cover the inside of a pie plate with cooking spray. Then, add the coconut macaroon mixture to the pie plate. Use your spatula to press the batter into the bottom and up the sides of the plate evenly to form the crust.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool completely.
  5. To assemble the pie, remove ice cream/frozen yogurt from the freezer and allow it to rest on the counter for 5 minutes to soften slightly. Scoop 1/4 gallon of the ice cream into a large bowl and add the mini chocolate chips. Use a spatula to stir the mixture together. Scoop the ice cream mixture on top of the cooled coconut macaroon crust and spread it evenly inside. Place back into the freezer for at least 10 minutes to allow the components to set.
  6. Finally, to complete the pie, top with whipped topping and the additional shredded coconut. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
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