Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blog Update

Hi, remember me. I'm Briony. I used to post great things all the time like a weekly menu and couponing tips. So what happened? Have I forgotten all of you and moved on to other pursuits? NEVER!! We've just had a VERY busy time in our house the past few weeks. I started my swim season teaching Survival Swim Lessons to children and I have been totally flooded with students. Then we had family from England visit plus some very special friends from Jacksonville (Hi Martha!!). From the very beginning, I promised Matt that I would only do this blog in my spare time (HAH!!! Well what counts for spare time for a mom of 2 toddlers) and that I wouldn't let it stress me out or take me away from the family.

Just to prove I haven't been totally slacking off, here's a video of Theron at 23 months

Plus, I'll let you in on a little secret.... I haven't cooked a regular meal in over three weeks. Our freezers were so packed and we had so many other things going on that we decided to have a freezer month. Meaning we ate dinner out of the freezer for an entire month with the exception of one week when we had visitors... but I even fed them some meals out of the freezer :) Can you imagine being able to just decide not to cook for a month and still be able to eat a healthy, home-cooked meal every night? It's pretty awesome. So awesome that we're doing it next month too because the freezers are STILL packed.

Thankfully, the lovely and talented Barb has stepped up with some wonderful guest posts (stay tuned for Barb's story coming soon!) and there are more to come. But it got to the point where even my own sister (Hi Anthea!!) was messaging me on Facebook asking why I wasn't updating the blog. So I thought maybe the rest of you were thinking the same thing.

Here's my plan for the rest of the summer. I'm not foreseeing my swim schedule lightening up at all (Yay for babies learning how to not drown!) so I will be taking a break from the weekly menu. However, I am going to aim to post at least 2 (but hopefully 3) new recipes a week (likely with help from Barb and some of my other wonderful gal pals) plus a workout each Friday (likely with help from the fabulous Joan) and the occasional super great deal or tip. When I do start cooking again, I will post my meal plan based on the sales but it will probably not include the grocery list with coupon match-ups until my swim season is over because you would be AMAZED at how long it takes to do that part.

Not quite the level of service that I was offering previously but hopefully this blog can still be a resource to you for healthy, delicious meals. Also, maybe the thought of 2 months without cooking will help you jump start your freezer stocking efforts :) As always, if you have a great recipe that you'd like to share, please e-mail it to me (with a pic if possible!) at Thanks for sticking with my blog even though I've had a bit of a hiatus. Happy Cooking!



Monday, May 16, 2011

Asian Style Rice Wraps

These wraps are so fun to make and so versatile. There are probably a thousand combinations of different flavors you can include! I bought my rice paper at my local international market, but if you can't find it or you don't want to bother with such an interesting ingredient, you could use traditional flour wraps for the same type of effect. I like these wraps for their simple, fresh flavor. Included with a dipping sauce, they are like summertime comfort food. In the example below I used salmon and veggies with a doctored up sweet chili sauce, but you could easily add in left-over rice, or baby shrimp, or left-over chicken, or radishes, or spinach or make a peanut sauce or a hoisin sauce. Uhhh, you get the idea!

Oh, I wish I would have checked to see how blurry this picture was before I started chowing down!


Wraps -
  • 5 to 6 rice wrappers
  • 2 small carrots, cut into small sticks
  • 1/2 small cucumber, cut into small sticks
  • a few slices of white onion
  • handful of lettuce greens
  • 1 large piece of broiled salmon (I cooked mine in the oven specifically for this meal, but you could use a left-over fillet or even a canned fillet!)
Sauce - 
  • 2 Tbsp sweet red chili sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp water
ONE: Organize your ingredients onto your work space so it will be easier to grab them when you're ready to start rolling the wraps. Pour a bit of warm water onto a dinner plate to use for softening the rice paper.

TWO: When the wrap is soft (it should feel like a wet noodle!) take it out of the water and place on a dry plate or cutting board. Immediately put another dry wrap into the water so it can soften while you work on the assembly. Layer the softened wrap with a little of each of your prepared ingredients. Drizzle with a little of the sauce.

THREE: Wrap the rice paper over the meat and veggies by first folding in the sides (perpendicular to your filling) and then fold the top down. Make sure you're wrapping tightly as you go, and keep in mind the rice paper is super sticky, so you can't really unfold. Finish rolling the wrap by bringing the partially covered filling down onto the bottom portion of the paper.

FOUR: Serve whole wraps (I don't recommend cutting them because they fall apart!) with any remaining sauce. If you don't want to bother making the wraps yourself, let your family make their own. It's fun!

Posted by Barb! :)