August 13, 2012

Fun Facts and Vietnamese Egg Rolls

To Award, or not to award, that is the question...
So there are all these fun little blog "awards" zipping around the blog-iverse, and I see some blogs with tons, and some with "award-free" buttons. I am not sure how I feel about this yet... being so new to this "world", I love it when anyone notices me! But at the same time, I wouldn't want to hurt anyone by not passing them on... and to be honest, I'm kinda picky about my blog and don't want it to get cluttered with buttons... I shall keep pondering. If anyone has opinions, I'd love to hear them! 

What brought on these musings was my very first award, from my new friend Shaylee at Mother {at} Heart. (thank you Shaylee!!) She's so much like me a few years ago, we just clicked. Fortunately for my current state of indecision, I am unable to pass this award on anyway, (not knowing nearly enough people) but I loved the idea of telling you some facts about me, and answering her questions, so I will do that anyway!

1) What is your absolute favorite book? Jane Eyre, No contest.
2) What's your favorite source of comfort? Hmmm... hugs, beastie snuggles, and muffins. :)
3) What is the highest amount of hot dogs that you managed to eat in one sitting? Two. Hotdogs don't do much for me. 
4) What is your favorite boy-child name? Stephen or Mark (my Dad's name)
5) What is your favorite girl-child name? Autumn and Anne
6) What's your most embarrassing blog post? I don't have one!
7) Who is your favorite mother? Mine!
8) When did you get your first cell phone? 19. One of those pay-as-you-go things
9) What's your favorite accessory? My wedding ring, but I haven't been able to wear it for 3 years!!
10) What is your shoe size? 8-8 1/2
11) What is your favorite get-away place? for everyday, the library. Otherwise, the Cabin. 

Now, 11 things about me!
1) I used to be the best babysitter ever. I once swallowed 2 worms just to impress a kid I was babysitting.
2) Stephen and I have been best friends since I was 15. He took me to prom as a friend, though he didn't go to my school, and we never dated before our engagement!
3) As soon as possible, I MUST visit Scotland! It is my favorite place in the whole world... that I have never seen...
4) I leave half-full glasses of water all over the house, just like the little girl in "Signs". No aliens yet, though.
6) I'm a bit crazy about horses, especially racehorses. Running horses make me cry.
7) I memorize songs ridiculously fast, and am very VERY rarely wrong. I think maybe twice... In my whole life...
8) Ever heard the song, "Might as well face it, you're addicted to love"? I thought the words were "Hyena's red faces, you're a dic-dic-duluh" until I was 14.
9) I make strange faces and/or hum when I concentrate. 
10) Spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors drive me nuts. Facebook is torture!
11) My favorite foods are constantly changing. The one that is always at least in the top three is Vietnamese EggRolls!

And now, to the recipe post!

It's another Vietnamese food!! Again, courtesy of Stephen's brother-in-law Dan. Those Vietnamese, they make some yummy food. They've really nailed the art of contrasting flavors, and this recipe is a perfect example. I have never had any in a restaurant as good as the ones I make myself. (or the ones Dan and Anne make. Must give credit where it's due!) Isn't it awesome when you can say that?? Lets break out of our food boxes and try something exotic!

Vietnamese Egg Rolls
Printable Recipe

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 small yellow onion, diced fine
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
2 eggs
1 bundle bean thread noodles, cooked and chopped (See note)
1 1/2 Tb fish sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Dipping sauce:
juice of 1 & 1/2 limes
1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup hot water
3 Tb fish sauce

1 package egg roll wrappers (or rice paper wrappers, if you prefer)
peanut oil for frying

green leaf lettuce, rinsed
English cucumber, sliced
more bean thread noodles, boiled and drained (optional)

Start with the dipping sauce. Put sugar in a small, 2 cup-ish tupperware container. (or other small lidded container) Add hot water and stir till sugar dissolves. Stir in garlic, fish sauce and lime juice (lime pulp is good too!) Put in the fridge to cool.

In a small pot, cover bean thread noodle bundle with water and set to boil. 
Chop the onion (as small as you can get it!) Mix onion, meats, eggs, garlic, fish sauce, pepper, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. The noodles should be ready by now, remove from pot and drain water. Chop noodles up and add to meat mixture. 

Mix all very well! Prepare your rolling work space: something to roll on (cutting board), something to put finished rolls on (cookie sheet), a small bowl of warm water, and a spoon. 
Cut wraps in half diagonally, making triangles. (If you are familiar with rice paper wraps and prefer those, go for it!) Place a heaping tablespoon of meat in the middle of the long edge. Fold each bottom corner in over the meat. (Like this neat little figure my hubby made?)
Roll the bottom up to the top, leaving a tab at the top. Wet that tab with some warm water, and pull it over to stick. Got it?? It's okay if they start out awkward, they'll still taste good!!
When you have about half of your rolls well... rolled! start your oil heating. In a large skillet or flat-bottomed saucepan, heat oil about half as deep as your eggrolls. Does that make sense? When your eggrolls sit in the oil, the oil should come halfway up their sides. Heat to medium high. When your eggrolls go in, they should turn white around the edges. 
If they turn gold quickly, turn your heat down a bit. Cook for 3-4 minutes on first side, till golden, then flip. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the second side. I always pull out a tester and cut it in half to make sure they're cooked through. Remove and place on a plate or pan covered with a paper towel to soak up extra oil.

Serve with torn pieces of lettuce and slices of cucumber. I usually tear leaves of lettuce down the middle, this is about the right size to wrap around these. For the cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, cut into chunks the same length as the eggrolls. Trim the sides, since the outside is much thicker on these cucumbers and you don't want pieces that are all peel. Slice into cucumber sticks!

Wrap eggroll and cucumber in a piece of lettuce. I like spicyness, so I add chili paste to my dipping sauce. Dip your veggie-eggroll-wrap in dipping sauce and hold over noodles to catch drips. 

 These are like nothing you've tasted before, I would bet! I love the contrast. The hot, fried, savory, meaty eggroll with the cold, crisp fresh veggies. Stephen almost always eats way too many of these, so he never wants them when I do :) I want them... oh, about every other week. Sometimes I make a batch of them just for me, and eat them for lunch for a week! They are yummy as leftovers too, I like to warm them up in the oven so they at least regain some of their crunch. They are definitely best fresh though!
Note: Bean thread noodles can be found at almost any major grocery store, in the Asian section, you probably have just never noticed them.
They don't taste like ANYTHING, even though they look odd. I like them anyway :) I love anything noodle-related. The way we were taught to eat this, you're supposed to have a small serving of noodles for everyone, and use the noodles to catch your drips from the egg rolls, then eat the noodles at the end. Most people that I serve this to could care less about the noodles, so feel free to skip them and have rice, or some other side. I love these funky noodles; not only do I eat them afterward, but I dump all my extra dipping sauce on them!
Shared at the Back for Seconds Social!


  1. I'm right there with you - I'm picky about what I litter my blog with too. :)

    I knew this family back home that made the most delicious Vietnamese egg rolls. I've never thought of trying to make them myself. I'm sure the first few times will be a disaster, but that's what makes cooking fun! Right? Ha. Thanks for sharing, pinning this for when I get the courage up to make them.

  2. oh man.. I want some of those NOW.
    I love that you cry when horses run. So do I. And when they show service dogs.
    Thanks for voting me as your favorite mom..

  3. I didn't know you had an aversion to coconut


Your comments really DO make my day, and I promise to try and reply to each and every one, either through email or on here :)