What’s Cooking #2: Spring rolls, U-picking, & Theo Chocolate

Happy halfway through summer! Trying new foods and recipes has always been a passion of mine. One of my favorite parts is searching out recipes online on food blogs, or in magazines or cookbooks and seeing all the beautiful recipes come to life in a photograph. Food photography has become huge within the past couple of years and I continue to be amazed how bloggers capture food in beautiful ways. It takes skills to have the correct lighting and make food look appetizing. No way am I even close to even passing yet, but it is fun to try and capture the beauty of food. Anyways, here are five things what I have been cooking and loving last week in food:

Spring Rolls via Heather Christo


I made these for a pot-luck shabbat dinner for my friends-and they were a huge hit! I was inspired to make a variety of spring rolls after eating some at my favorite Thai restaurant, Sabai, in Eugene. The rolls at the restaurant were delicious and I was determined to make some of my own. As with most Asian food, spring rolls and their sticky-cellophane-like wrappers intimidated me. However multiple links online including this one, which demonstrates how to roll–eased my tension. I used two recipes by Heather Christo, one of my favorite food bloggers. THIS spring roll recipe minus the chicken with the addition of avocado and mango + THIS soy sauce recipe with added chopped ginger and jalapeno! Also important to note that most grocery stores carry spring roll wrapper and rice noodles in their Asian food section-no need to make a special trip!

Fresh Fruit+ U Pick

unnamedAs mentioned last week, I still am in love with blueberries. But I have extended my repetoire to all summer fruits this week. Rainier cherries, raspberries, nectarines, peaches, plums-you name it! Last week when my dad came to visit we visited Deterring Orchard Farm out in Harrisburg to pick our own fruit. It was the first time I have ever gone “u-picking” in Oregon and although it was 95 degrees it was really fun. Looking for the best berries, while eating a couple along the way, I loved walking through the orchards. We picked blueberries, raspberries, green beans, and yellow squash.

Theo fig + fennel chocolate bar

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 1.12.56 PMFrom berries to chocolate. I bought this chocolate bar by THEO at a local organic natural foods store by my house called Sundance. Sundance is foodie heaven with rows of bulk food, strange or weird items, and a lot of local Oregon brands. Also they try really hard to only stock GMO-free products. If you’re interested, I  produced a video on GMOS and interviewed a Sundance employee HERE. Back to the chocolate-its amazing. Theo’s milk chocolate melts in your mouth but the real stars are the crunch fennel seeds and fig flavors. The fennel is not too ‘Herby’ but has the right amount of zing. Woah I am very impressed with whoever came up with these flavors. Although I am trying to eat healthy-little treats like this in moderation make it worth it. Try out this Seattle-based chocolate company!

TJ Multigrain soy crackers

Trader Joe’s does it again with these simple crackers. They are super crunchy and I enjoy the slight Asian flavor they have. I have been enjoying taking them to work to enjoy as a snack by themselves or with a mild cheese. Also, they are relatively healthy with 2 grams of protein and fiber.

Iced Cranberry Lemonade

Remember the days as a kid, selling lemonade? Trying to get money to put into our piggybanks with 50 cent lemonades, one cup as a time? This drink takes me back to those summery days.   I originally bought Simply Lemonade to put into my iced tea. However I thought it was awful and just tasted like watered down lemonade. So I had to find  a new use for it. I like making this when it is particularly hot out-it is very refreshing. I use 4 parts 100% cranberry juice to 1 part lemonade with lots of ice! Delicious!



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