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Rice paper rolls

Every now and then, usually in spring or summer, when I want something fresh but a little different, I make rice-paper rolls. I’m not all that good at rolling them yet, but I am getting  a little better. At least they don’t fall apart when I bite into them, the way they did when I first tried. I think I was trying to put too much filling in them, but now I think I’ve reached the ‘just right’ amount. I also don’t soak the rice paper too long. I’ve learned that it continues to soften after you’ve wet it, and if it’s too wet, it’s hard to handle.

These are not exactly the traditional Vietnamese ones — I generally use whatever I have in the fridge so;  grated carrot, lettuce, slivers of capsicum and cucumber, sometimes an egg (which I cook into a flat pancake kind of thing first and slice up) and whatever noodles I have handy.  

Sometimes I use soba noodles, but today I used angel’s hair pasta, and I also used up some caviare I had leftover from making stuffed eggs the other day — you can see the black speckles in some of them. I also only had coriander (cilantro) on hand, so not many herbs this time — usually I’ll use basil and mint as well. 

These are vegetarian, but I’m planning to take some to a “bring a plate lunch” soon, and will probably make some with smoked salmon and avocado, and the various salad bits. The ones with caviare and egg and salad were lovely, but not everyone likes fish eggs.

They’re a little bit fiddly, but once you have the ingredients sliced or grated, they’re quite quick and fun to make so I enjoy making them. And eating them, of course.  It doesn’t take long, and on hot days it’s nice not to have to use the stove.

For US readers

If you’re in the USA, the e-book of my BRIDE BY MISTAKE is now on sale for just $1.99.

The special price is only for a few days so be quick. (Apologies to readers in other countries — my US publisher organized this, not me, and I only just discovered it was US people only.) 

BRIDE BY MISTAKE was a RITA finalist, and received an A- review from Smart Bitch Sarah.
You can read more about it here. 
And read an excerpt here.

You can buy BRIDE BY MISTAKE by clicking on one of the links below:




Or click here for your favorite e-book store


Red velvet geraniums

The other day I pinched a cutting of this geranium that was overflowing in a car park. Naughty of me, I know, but you couldn’t even tell where I took a bit after I’d done it.

I don’t know the name of the variety, but I call it red velvet because it really does look like it. I’ve only seen it around in the last few years, so I think it must be a relatively newly bred variety.

It’s so lush and a beautiful dark vivid red. I have a couple of  dark red pelargoniums in pots, but this is definitely a geranium.

I planted the cutting as soon as I got home. Geraniums usually take easily from cuttings, so I hope this one does. Fingers crossed.