Before you get to the main post, a little disclaimer: This post was originally written in mid-May before the mayhem of moving began. Once elbow deep in the throes of packing, my blog took a brief hit of inactivity. Followed by a few weeks of no internet. We are starting to settle into the new house and it is time to get back on the blogging train! The events in this blog are slightly outdated, but the food is just as good as ever.
We bought a house this week! Our very first house! Which I feel like means we accomplished an amazing amount of adult-ing by signing and signing and signing our names. It made me feel like anything else I did the rest of that day was just a consolation prize to the fact that we bought a house in the morning. And it made me feel like I should probably start packing for the move in the coming weeks.
In all aspects of my life I am a planner. I make lists within in my lists. I write things down that I have already done for the pure joy of being able to cross it off. But when it comes to packing, oh boy do I procrastinate! It is the one area of my life where it seems perfectly acceptable to me to wait until the last minute, shove it all into boxes (or black bags) and then haul it off to its new home.
It helps that we have never lived in very big places so we’ve never had the luxury of having a lot of stuff. But lemme tell ya what, this new house that we bought is so big that all of our things in there look like doll house furniture! That isn’t to say that the house is really that large in comparison to most places any of you live, but it is definitely a step up for us. And probably one that will take a good amount of planning to move out of – when that dreaded day comes.
Today was the first day that we officially had the keys to our new house. Meaning today is the day that it really, truly, 100%, in all honesty, playing by the rules is our house!!!! Holy buckets! And I still haven’t packed. Even Tyson is starting to get a little anxious at how relaxed I am. To calm the waters I made a plan that today – almost 2 months after we went into contract and 4 days after we closed – today, the day we got keys to our house, would be the day I started to pack for the move. I had these grand ideas of waking up early, enjoying a cup of coffee and a lazy morning and then BAM! bust out a packed house – just like that.
Of course none of that happened. The cup of coffee and lazy morning did, but then I found myself preoccupied by other things. Things that inevitably were more fun. My dad called around 2:00 in the afternoon to see how it was all going and I had to tell the first, of multiple callers, that instead of packing, I was playing in the kitchen.
You see, my back-up plan to packing was to make Tyson a picnic. He would meet me at the new house and there it would be laid out all nice and neat on our picnic blanket. Something reminiscent of when George Baily first arrives at his new home in It’s a Wonderful Life. Only, that plan didn’t completely work out either. But we did get some delicious spring rolls with sesame ginger chicken out of the deal, so I guess it wasn’t all bad!
So let’s talk spring rolls and all of the reasons they are amazing:
- They taste like a flavor explosion in your mouth.
- With a little planning, you have minimal hot appliances on when your house is already warm from the day – crucial during the KC summer!
- The sesame ginger chicken will blow your mind! A true game changer.
- You can dip them in as many sauces as you wish. And anything you can dip into a sauce not only tastes better, but is an automatic win.
- Minimal clean-up. Need I say more?
- They taste like a flavor explosion in your mouth.
Spring rolls are seriously the best. And sesame ginger chicken is the perfect protein pairing. An all day (or night) marinade leaves it tender and juicy – complimenting all of the different veggies.
I have a habit of starting with just a little bit of something, then adding a little bit of something else. A little bit of a third thing… and a fourth… and so on until I have a whole bunch of a lot of different things. The vegetable situation here is no exception. What started as an innocent spring roll, turned into an Asian inspired spring burrito in brown rice paper, but who’s complaining?! The more veggies the better! However, if you want to keep yours more on the side of a traditional roll, pick about three, maaaaybe four, veggies and go from there. I went with six. Plus four herbs. Plus sesame ginger chicken. Plus pickled ginger. Like I said, it was more of a spring burrito with a rainbow of fresh vegetables.
As for dipping sauces, they are a must! Any food that you eat with your hands should have at least one dipping sauce, if not two. The extra sesame ginger marinade from the chicken makes a great sauce! Boil whatever remains on the stove for at least 5 minutes and you are left with a delicious and slightly tangy dip. You can also do an almond (or peanut) sauce. This sauce from A Pinch of Yum’s Thai Summer Rolls goes great with these. Since we live the peanut-free life, I substitute in “almond” anywhere I see the word “peanut”. Making this a delicious almond sauce! In my humble opinion, it is fairly thin so I usually use a little less oil and add in extra almond butter. I like it saucy!
If you make these, leave a comment and let me know how it went!
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon agave (or more for your desired sweetness; can also use honey)
- 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chives, minced
- 1 teaspoon cilantro leaves, chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- a few shakes of red pepper *optional
- 1 pound chicken breast
- 1 package of rice paper rolls
- Sesame ginger chicken, shredded
- 3-4 vegetables, julienned/shaved/thinly sliced - I used cucumber, carrots, bell pepper, red cabbage, chard leaves and avocado
- fresh herbs of your liking - I used mint, basil, chives and cilantro all fresh from my garden
- pickled ginger *optional
- chopped almonds for garnish
- Trim chicken and put into a shallow glass baking dish. Combine all marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Pour over chicken making sure to spread it out evenly. Cover and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours. You can also do it the night before and cook it in the morning before the house gets hot.
- Cook the chicken on the stove top until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, about 10 minutes.
- While the chicken cooks, pour the excess marinade into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Allow to cook for at least five minutes. For a thicker sauce, combine a little cornstarch with cold water. Mix it well and stir it into the marinade. After 5 minutes, or when you have reached the desired consistency, take your sauce off the heat and allow to cool. Keep in mind that it will thicken as it cools.
- Set the cooked chicken on a clean plate and allow to rest.
- Prepare your vegetables. Thin slices work best
- Shred the cooled chicken into strips
- Make an assembly line with your chicken, veggies and herbs.
- Prepare your rice paper per the package directions. Fill with your chicken, vegetables and herbs. Roll like a taco and place in a dish.
- If the rolls start to stick together, cover them with a damp paper towel or sprinkle a little water on them.
- Enjoy with your favorite sauces!