Friday, November 23, 2012

Homemade Spring Rolls

A few weeks ago, I made some home made spring rolls! I found a recipe on the back of some spring roll wrappers from the Asian Market in Greenville. I only used the recipe as a guideline. I estimated amounts of the veggies and seasonings to go inside, and I'm pretty happy with how they turned out. 

First, I cut up some cabbage: 

Next, I grated some carrots: 

After that, I used my handy dandy wok to stir fry the cabbage and carrots. I added in some beansprouts and bamboo shoots too: 

I stir-fried the veggies and added salt and the smallest drop of sesame oil. The recipe called for 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, and the first time I tried it, it was waaaaay too much! All you really need is a taste, and you get PLENTY of taste with one drop. 

After everything was mixed up, I laid out the spring roll wrapper and put some of the veggie mixture in the middle. 

Rolling was easier than expected, after I figured out what to do ! 

Fold the middle, then the sides, and roll it up until it looks like a spring roll! 

After I got them all rolled, I laid them out on a baking sheet until I could fry them. 

The recipe said to deep fry them, but I just can't bring myself to deep fry something. Instead I put some oil in the bottom of a frying pan and rolled them around in that until the outside was crispy. It may not have actually been that much healthier, but it made me feel better about myself! 

Finally, they were finished! I was very proud with the result. Next time I might find a better way to cook them, because I'm still not crazy about the frying. But they sure were good! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Unleashing Our Creativity

In case you haven't noticed, my roommates and I loooooove art projects. So it made perfect sense when we decided to splatter paint (yeah, it's our thing) some canvases. We laid out four 8x10 (ish?) canvases on some newspaper in the kitchen...it was freezing outside and my creativity cannot be unleashed below 70 degrees. 
Rachel and Melissa model the "Before" canvases.
We poured every color of paint we had on some paper plates and added a few drops of water to each color. This made the paint a little runnier and easier to fling with the brushes. 

After that, we just kind of went at it willy nilly. You should really try it sometime- it's the perfect stress reliever! 
Starting to get some color....

Rachel's really excited about painting

After a while, there starting to be more color and we had to be careful about making it even and filling in any white spots. It's pretty difficult to aim a brush when you're throwing paint at the floor... But eventually we got this: 

Aaaaaand then I stepped in paint:

But we did have the bright idea of pouring loose glitter all over the we paint. You can see where this is going, can't you? It was going beautifully for a while, and I was sprinkling the glitter like fairy dust...
See? Fairy dust. 
...Until the lid came off and the whole tub poured on the painting. Luckily Rachel had the camera ready and captured our faces for that moment: 
Too much fairy dust

But eventually we got everything evened out and covered in the proper amount of glitter. As Melissa said, "It looks like Lisa Frank threw up!" 
Final Product

And it's perfect. Just perfect. : )

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Asheville Trip

For our two year anniversary, Brenden and I took a day trip to Asheville, NC. I feel kind of strange calling it an "anniversary" when we're only dating, but you get the idea. Asheville, and western North Carolina in general, is a really great place to visit. There's a ton of local shops and fun naturey-type things to do. We definitely could have spent more than a day exploring, but alas, we had to come back to Clemson for class.

First, we spent about, oh, FOREVER in the Asheville REI store. Brenden's kind of a diva when it comes to shopping for outdoorsy things, but it was really fun to wander around and lust after ridiculously expensive hiking gear.

After we finally made it to downtown Asheville we found a little restaurant called The Gourmet Chip Company. You could pick from a load of fancy chips and get a panini too if you wanted an actual meal. We got delicious sammiches, but even cooler were the chips (duh). Brenden got Blue Cheese and Lavendar chips and I got  Chocolate and Bacon. CHOCOLATE AND BACON! They were soooo good!
Fancy chips!
Chocolate and bacon!
The Gourmet Chip Company
 We also went to a hipster coffee shop called The Green Sage. Brenden got a fancy espresso and I had my favorite- Peppermint Tea. It was perfect. And completely organic!

After that, we headed out for a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We went maybe 20 or so miles, but saw some great views (and huge houses perched on the side of a mountain) along the way. 

The nice man we met at one of the overlooks offered to take our picture. Thanks, Arpit!  
Amazing view from the Blue Ridge Parkway
We were on our way back down the mountain and I saw something black moving in the woods. Of course Brenden didn't believe me at first, but I was right- it was a BEAR! We saw a bear!!! It was so cute and fluffy and I just wanted to pet it... But we just stayed in the car and took blurry panicked pictures. The black dot in the middle the picture is the bear. 

Once we got back into town, we walked around a trendy used bookstore, went to dinner at the best Japanese restaurant in Asheville (just sayin') and then to French Broach Chocolates.- a chocolate lounge! How swanky is that!? It was super hip and trendy.  We got a piece of $6 chocolate cake (no joke!) and Brenden got some Counter Culture coffee. Just sitting in there made me feel cool

It was such a long day, but so fun! I love Asheville and all there is to do there.