Fresh avocado spring rolls

Rice wraps are so weird.

Seriously, you start off with a thin piece of translucent paper that does not look edible in any way or form.  You soak the rice paper in hot water for about 10 seconds and it becomes sticky and membrane-like.

It still does not look edible.

But alas, if you can overcome the bizarreness and cocoon qualities of the rice wrap, you will be rewarded.

Your reward?  Fresh avocado spring rolls.  As mentioned previously, my new Canadian Living cookbook was to thank for the recipe.

Basic fact: avocado makes everything better.  Including this refreshingly cool summer (or late spring) meal.  These were the second part of the little dinner party Ariel and I had on Sunday night.

Sunday night dinner: a random combination of dishes, but delicious nonetheless

In hindsight, I probably should have chopped one of my spring rolls in half so you could see the innards of my dinner.  Unfortunately I was far too eager to eat and forgot this step, so let me just explain the contents to you: grated cucumber, carrot and vermicelli (you know, those skinny, see through noodles that look like elderly angel hair).

Also contained within was a healthy dose of fresh coriander (I sucked up my hatred for it) and chopped mint leaves.  Using our fingers, we slathered on some sweet chili sauce, courtesy of my roommate Lindsay (a very necessary step requiring no utensils whatsoever).

Et voila!

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Mexican Tortilla Salad

With the insanity of this week (frosh week at Carleton, I work everyday!) I am absolutely shocked that I managed to find any time to make any sort of food other than soup noodles.  Since I am completely exhausted, I will keep this post short and sweet, before my eyeballs drop out of my head and decide to take a quick power nap on my keyboard.

This salad was inspired by the Mexican Tostada Salad found in the September issue of Canadian Living.  I say “inspired by” only because I made a few alterations.  One of these alterations was to make my own crispy version of tortilla chips.  As I discovered when I made my chicken tortilla soup back in May, a great way to make a quick snack/meal helper-outer is simply to slice up flour tortillas and fry them on the stove.  They come out perfectly browned and deliciously crunchy; in this case they served as the perfect replacement to the tostadas required in the original recipe.  Also, I don’t know what tostadas actually are…  Now, the original recipe in Canadian Living identified this dish as vegetarian and required you add some sort of protein replacement thinger.  Never a fan of any protein replacement (tofu=disaster), I fried up some ground beef to add to the mix.  Another change I made was to not put salsa into the recipe (I got enough tomato taste from the tomato juice and sliced plum tomatoes).  Finally, rather than layering all the fun ingredients, I just kind of tossed them around in one of our popcorn bowls and voila!  Salad is complete.  Delicious.

Chicken Burger Melts & Mango Avocado Salad

Never having made a burger of any kind from scratch before, the task of making one was long overdue.  Shaping my own chicken burger was…an experience.  Raw meat is the most disgusting thing in the universe, and having to touch it was absolutely awful.  To make my burger, I used Canadian Living’s “Chicken Burger Melts” recipe.  The best thing about this burger was that it allowed me to bring out my old friend, the George Foreman grill for the very first time since learning to cook!  Taking out that grill brought back many, many memories from my grilled cheese and plain-chicken-and-bbq-sauce days.

Side note: This burger also represents the first time I have eaten vegetables on a burger.  Big step.
Side note II: If purchasing a delicious, mouth-watering cheese such as brie to put on your burger, ensure that you do not eat 3/4 of the cheese prior to your dinner being cooked.  Personal experience has found that it is almost enough to kill your appetite.

As for the mango and avocado salad, I am happy to announce that I FINALLY know how to properly peel and cut these two delicious fruits, thanks to a bunchofonlinetutorials.  There was a slight moment of panic while making this salad, as my first avocado turned out to be bad on the inside.  The new grocery store near my house turned out to be a lifesaver, and I quickly dashed down there to pick up a lovely already-ripe avocado.  Disaster averted.

Also, exciting news!  As some of you may have noticed, I now have my very own DOMAIN NAME!!  Hoorah!  I was completely positive that I was going to accidentally delete my blog whilst trying to achieve this url, so I am very happy that we are still here!