December 31, 2010

Don't Try This at Home Children

I decided to make my Famous Egg Rolls for New Year's Eve and weekend munchies.  Its a fam favorite and they usually fly off the plate.  I thought I would share the recipe and a pictorial.  As the title suggests I wouldn't recommend you try this at home.  Its a lot of chopping PEOPLE.  But if you feel REALLY ambitious and are in the mood for some drain bamage HAVE AT IT.  No I'm kidding here it is a bit of work but well worth the trouble because they are DELISH...

Liz's Famous Egg Rolls
Cast of Characters

2 center-cut pork chops
2 chicken breast (I used organic)
1 lb shrimp
2 tablespoons oil (or more)
All meats browned on both sides and fully cooked in a fry pan using a couple of tablespoons of oil
1 head of cabbage shredded
1 lb of soy beans (Amount approx. I used fresh, but you can use a large can of soy beans if you can't find fresh) diced
1 onion diced
4 carrots shredded
1 can mushrooms or fresh
1 lb of peas (I used the fresh sweet snow peapods) diced
2 small cans of bamboo shoots diced
2 small cans of sliced water chestnuts diced

1-2 packages of egg roll wrappers (I used almost three packages of wrappers this time because I ACCIDENTALLY doubled the meat I normally use.  Shoot me now)
For the sauce use 2 tblspoons of each of the following (amount are approximate because I just shake a little of each onto the batch of filling until it looks right?@!?)
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Premium fish sauce
Kitchen Bouquet browning & seasoning sauce
2 packages of stir fry seasoning mix (Any flavor you can use chop suey, fried rice, stir fry seasoning mix.  I normally use what I have on hand)

La Choy Sweet & Sour Sauce for dipping (the red stuff) OR
If you don't have any of this on hand (my favorite) then you can make some.  TIP of the CENTURY: Mix equal parts of apple sauce and honey for a fantastic sweet and sour sauce substitute.

Brown the pork chops, chicken breast in a fry pan in oil on both sides until fully cooked.  Cook the shrimp in boiling water, drain.  Dice the meat/shrimp.  Shred the cabbage and carrots.  Dice the soy beans, onions, pea pods, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts.  Combine all and add to the meat mixture.  Season w/ seasoning mix, soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce and kitchen bouquet (to taste).  Simmer until all is mixed well and wilted.  Drain the egg roll filling in a strainer until dry.  Add 2 tblspns a filling to each wrapper.  Brown in hot oil on both sides approx 3-5 min each side or until lightly browned.  Drain on paper towels.  Makes: approximately 2 dozen

Close up of the cast, Part 1
Egg roll wraps, seasoning mix, fresh soy beans etc....

Close up of the cast Part 2
Onion, water chestnuts (yes I said sliced chestnuts but the hus did the shopping), mushrooms, carrots, pea pods

Cast Part 3, Soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce and kitchen bouquet (secret ingredient)

Shredded cabbage

Pea pods, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and mushrooms diced

Shredded carrots and diced onions

Tri-meat filling (diced shrimp). Meat diced in food processor.  Normally I dice it by hand bc it adds texture to the egg roll mixture.  To save time I used a food processor this time.  I like hand diced better.

Combine all of the diced items above add seasoning and simmer

Drain egg roll filling in a strainer over a large bowl.  A tip to successful rolling is to have a very dry filling.  If you leave it moist the egg roll wrappers tend to tear and fall apart in the oil.  I drain them on the counter for at least 30 min or longer.

Egg roll filling is still draining... meanwhile prepare your wrapping station.  I like to wrap on paper towels.  Again to keep the wrappers as dry as possible during the process.  I have a little bowl of water for sealing the wrappers once rolled.

Heat your oil.  It's times like this I wish I owned "Fry Daddy" It doesn't seem to get as hot as I like on the stove top.  We eat so little fried foods that owning an appliance for frying doesn't seem necessary.

Spoon a couple of tablespoons of filling onto a wrapper (don't overfill)

Fold the bottom corner up.  Wet the upper left and upper right edges with water

Fold the right side over

Fold the left side over.  Just like swaddling a baby.

Fully folded.  Set off to the side on another paper towel lined plate.

Prepare a batch for the oil.  I like to get an assembly line going so some can be browning in the oil while I continue to wrap.  They cook quickly so I don't want the hot oil sitting empty while I wrap.  So I try and get a couple of batches fully assembled before I start frying.

Fry in hot oil until lightly browned

Flip once, fry for an additional 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned

Cookie sheet lined with (yep, you guessed it more paper towels) and a draining rack

Finished egg rolls.  Don't try this at home.  I'm telling you people, you don't want to.  Really.

Drain between layers of paper towels

Bon Appetit!!

Heads bow.  Cut open so you can see how the filling looks

My husband said I made approx. 4 DOZEN.  The accidental (on my part) doubling of the amount of chicken and pork chops.  I had to have him run out for more wrappers so I could use up all of the filling I made.  Help me Rhonda.

I really don't have a recipe for my egg rolls.  I just chop and dice and slice what I thought would taste good in an egg roll.  Really lean meats, cabbage, carrots, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts etc.  The reason I don't have any amounts for the seasoning and spices is because I add a little bit of this and that until I think it looks and tastes right and usually whatever I had in the house that was Asian flavors I would use. Draining the filling and using the paper towels are tips I learned by trial and error.  Egg roll wrappers are very delicate and they don't like moisture.  Amen.  I haven't made these in a long time and that's why I forgot how much meat I normally use.  After I had the filling made I realized I used double the meat that I normally use.  4 pork chops & chicken breasts instead of only 2.  HENCE 4 DOZEN EGG ROLLS instead ofthe normal 2 dozen.  Anyone want to come over for dinner?


Goodbye Christmas, Goodbye 2010

The holidays and 2010 fade away...

Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.
ralph waldo emerson

December 27, 2010

Happy New Year!

I was going to wait to post this card but I was so excited about how it turned out I decided to post it early. 



Close-up of bling-bling

December 21, 2010

Rock Soap Dish Tutorial

I'm so excited because I am checking another item off of my running to-do list? AND I am also getting some hand-made gifts made. (Look away)  Remember the off again/on again and on again/off again,  sticky topic,  running to-do list that seems like I have kept running FOREVER.  I don't know how many times I reminded myself to get-r'-done.  Well check out Item 23.  The first estimated time of completion, goal date? um yeah February 21st 2010 and then it appears I updated again in August 2010.  Holy Mother of Pearl it's now December of 2010.  Well, I guess that's the beauty of a list, you can keep after it until complete.  Anywho.  I am pretty sure this tutorial now officially makes me a bonafied card carrying member of the granola bar, tree huggin', hippiedippie society. But remember I told you?  You are going to lerve these!!!

23....(ETA:  20 Feb 2010) Mesh soap dish will love these

For this project you will need
  • Mesh household screen (the plastic/clothy kind, not aluminum)
  • Coluzzle oval shaped template (or any shape-cutting machine of your choice that has an oval shape available)
  • Mini Rocks (I chose earth tone shades because I'm a card carrying member of the hippiedippie society)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Soap Rock Soaps These are actual soap that looks like a rock (I chose the "Jade" color which has a cucumber scent because it is a neutral earthtone because... well you know I'm a card carrying member of the granola bar society and also think it goes well with brown) 

Coluzzle oval, cutter, two scraps of screen mesh.  I purchased a huge roll of the screen at Home Depot.  Enough for a thousand soap dishes.  It was the smallest roll they carried but for my purposes it was huge.  Since this will be a soap dish and used near water you will want to stay away from the metal or aluminum screen material.  I used the soft plastic/clothy type.  I don't really know what type of fabric it is.  But you can feel it when you go to the store and check it out.

 I used the largest oval for my soap dish, cutting two pieces

I use these decorative mini-stones.  You could use real stones from the ground but I liked these because they have a shiny protective coating on them.  These are real stones but they are clean and in a container.  Well, you know what I mean?  You can find these at Mike's or Wallyworld etc.  I got mine from Wally's ($3)

Using a sewing machine, stitch around the edge (1/4 in.hem).  I went around twice for strength.  Leaving a 1-inch opening to fill the stones.  After the stones are filled finish stitching the hem all the way around.  TIP OF THE CENTURY:  Sometimes the screen gets caught in the sewing machine.  To solve this problem I stitched it onto a piece of white printer paper with the printer paper on the bottom layer and then the two pieces of screen on top of that.  I stitched all the way around (actually stitching the mesh screen right onto the white paper) then when you are finished sewing you just tear the paper away from the mesh.  It gave the mesh screen strength and a backing to sew onto and made it more stable.  It prevented the screen from getting snagged into the machine.  I know brilliant, right?  Come back later and I will take a picture using the paper backing technique.  I forgot to take one of that step.

Here is a close-up of the finished soap dish. Isn't it pretty in a hippiedippie tree-hugging sort of way?  I just love all of the neutral earthtones.

Jade Soap Rock, Cucumber scent.

Jade Soap Rock, Cucumber scent.  Another shot.  These really look realistic like real rocks and it is the highest quality soap. They are a little pricey at first glance for a bar of soap.  They have color veins through the entire bar.  They also have other colors and scents.  I think the "Fire Geode", the Sapphire or the Amethyst would pair really nicely with this project also.  It smells really really good and they last forever.  This is a very large chunk so what I like to do is cut it into smaller chunks so that it will fit nicely on the little rock soap dish on the counter top.

Using a sturdy knife, slice the large soap rock.  I like to cut it on an angle like a little pyramid so it keeps an authentic rock shape.  Kind of asymmetrical.  They cut very cleanly.  I cut right through the wrapper, leave the wrapper on while cutting and remove it later.

Keep slicing until you have 4 or 5 even chunks.  These were a little big for my purposes.  I almost wish I had cut it in 1/5s instead of 1/4s.  But its ok.

Close-up.  I now have 4 soap rocks instead of one.   This makes it go further.  More gifts for an economical amount $$.  Saving money and making a special gift.

Finished product.  I think it looks kind of cool with the "Soap Rock" sitting on top of a "Rock" soap dish.  This will go very nicely in a kitchen, bathroom, on a patio or even a mudroom.  If you have a spa, Asian or minimalist decor it will go really well with this.  OR country, mudroom, mountain themed room.  Its such a neutral design I think it will go well with almost any decor.  Even an outside patio or garden sink.  No?  Doesn't the little soap rock look cute sitting on a bed of rocks?  These will be really easy to clean, just rinse on occasion under water and set onto the sink to drip dry.  It will keep the soap really dry too because the water will just drain away after each use.  Helping the soap to last longer.

Ho to the 3

December 19, 2010

Gingerbread COOKIES!

They told me I was forbidden to eat cinnamon red-hots ever again. I have a dentist in Tijuana.  Don't tell me I can't do something.  Smiley from  Smiley from

I'll finish frosting these tomorrow.  For tonight I tarred.  We used to decorate the gingerbread cookies with 8 different colored icings, all different colored sugar-shakes, numerous candies.  BUT I've learned over the years the PERFECT pairing for gingerbread is cinnamon red-hots.  Can you tell which ones I was a bit over-zealous with?  Smiley from

I ice the cookies with a basic white buttercream frosting, turn them upside-down and dip the cookies in this cinnamon red-hot dipping station. 

Did I mention my dentist in TJ?  Smiley from

Si I think I deed.

December 18, 2010

Warmest Holiday Wishes~~

I hope you likey?  I think I am done for today.  I almost feel like I have to squeeze a bunch of creating in-between working fulltime and sometimes its ALL AT ONCE.  I've had a lot of fun but I may have been a bit overzealous.  Time for some t.v., relaxing and maybe a cup of hot chocolate.  I haven't had a cup of hot chocolate in I bet...YEARS.  But I need to run out for marshmallows first.


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