Summer Rolls

Summer Rolls

The kids made these one day, and I had so much fun watching them. We used baby spinach, shaved carrot, brown rice, and sliced grilled chicken. We also used a sprinkling of mint leaves (our plant hasn’t been that prolific this year).

You can make summer rolls with all kinds of things: rice noodles, shrimp, cooked tofu, sliced beef, lettuce of any kind, sprouts, peppers, scallions, herbs. You’re really just making a wrap out of stuff that will taste good together, and in our case we love to dip them in peanut sauce. My friend tells me that the Vietnamese word for summer rolls translates literally as “rolled salad.”

For detailed summer roll instructions, click here. Just don’t get intimidated by all the detail. Simplify to suit your needs—it’s just a wrap, and after a couple of tries, you’ll get the hang of using the rice wrappers. Our favorite peanut sauce recipe, from The Moosewood Cookbook, is here. For more of my food posts, click here.

Summer Journal: Shadow Puppet Theater

Shadow Puppet Theater

My kids created this after seeing something similar on the ending of an episode of Curious George. See, TV isn’t all bad. The theater is basically a box with one side cut out and covered over with a sheet of white paper.

Shadow Puppets

The other shape with the cat (above) is an airplane. Of course.

Shadow PuppetsThey used chopstick pieces as holders. I’m loving the cardboard factory that is our dining room right now. Each package that enters the house is eyed as building material.

Our five-year-old wants to make a ball (sphere) of cardboard. Hmmmm……which gives me an idea…..

Summer Journal: Homemade Orange Creamsicles

Homemade Orange Creamsicle

The kids and I have made a list of fun things to do this summer, and one of them is to make popsicles.

This was our first batch, made with this recipe, from the blog Oven Love, found through Pinterest. I love that they’re non-dairy, made with coconut milk and real orange juice. They were a hit. Next I think we’ll freeze our favorite peanut-butter-chocolate-banana smoothies. With maybe a little coconut milk. Do you have any favorite popsicle combos?

Meg of suggested that readers share short posts about fun summer activities . If you’d like to play along, leave a comment on Meg’s blog and use the words “Summer Journal” in your blog title or as a hashtag if you’re instagramming or whatnot. While you’re at it, let me know in my comments, too!

For more posts on food, including recipes, click here. I like to cook with less meat and dairy, more veggies, and I do a lot of gluten-free stuff, too.