Spanakopita Asparagus Rolls Ups

I love to roll my food up. There is just something so satisfying about being able to put everything together and create a perfect bite.

These guys were just that! Perfect bites, go on check 'em out!

This was the love child of my making spanakopitas for my lunches and my making sushi for dinner. I had been making veggie sushi for a quick dinner (which didn't turn out all that pretty, and didn't have a lot of time to be photographed as it went directly into my mouth after a particularity long day at work! But as I had some extra phyllo sheets I decided to turn up the creativity a little on a long time classic.

My spanakopita filling is very simple:

I use
1 package of frozen spinach (my grocery store now sells the frozen spinach in a bag, frozen into little 'pellets' of spinach - it thaws a lot faster and the package has a little more then the traditional box, I would think you may need about 2 boxes)
1 container (250 gs I think) of feta
2 eggs
nice big pinches of salt, pepper and nutmeg (mmmm.... nutmeg!)
about 1/4 c toasted pine nuts

You will also need:
Phyllo dough, melted butter and asparagus spears.

I just mix this all up until it is to my liking, sometimes I add more cheese, sometimes less, just do whatever you like, its not like the spanakopita police are going to come and get you!!

Begin by laying out one sheet of phyllo, brush with butter and add another sheet on top, brush the second sheet with butter and then cut the sheet in half, place one half on top of another so that there are 4 sheets stacked together.

I added two lightly steamed asparagus spears facing opposite directions so that the tips were just poking out for presentation and then topped it with a little of he filling, really just enough to hold it together; it should be about the crunchy asparagus. I rolled it up and put it on a baking sheet brushing with additional butter. Bake at about 375 until the tops are brown and the dough is crispy. (About 10 - 15 minutes) Let cool slightly before serving.

These would make a fantastic appetizer or snack. They are certainly elegant enough to serve to guests! (And fairly friendly on the pocket as you can really make the ingredients stretch!)

In memory of a great friend

Can't believe it has almost been a year. Right before he left that night we were all talking about random things. I told him what I thought of the 'Glass half empty or glass half full' question. I said that If you begin with an empty glass and you fill it up half way then your glass is half full, if however; your glass is full and you drink it half way down, then your glass is half empty... he said 'That is so smart! You should put that on the internet'
So here is to you Jonathan!

Your friendship will always have a special place in my heart.

Sweet and Sour Veggie Ribbon Salad

I set out to make a simple salad using up a couple of veggie that I had in my fridge and was absolutely blown away by its simplicity, freshness and vibrant flavour. Honestly there is as much flavor in these carrots and zucchini as there is color! Lets have a look:

And an even closer look:

All that I did was use my vegetable peeler to make ribbons of carrots and zucchini, I added some chopped green onions and then came the magic!

I added a third of a cup of rice wine vinegar to a small saucepan with a couple of table spoons of sugar (the same ratio as you would for making sushi rice) 1/3 cup rice vinegar, 3 tbsp white sugar and warm until the sugar melts, I poured some of that over the veggies and added some fresh cracked black pepper and a small drizzle of soy sauce and it was so surprisingly yummy!

I also have some great news! I am moving into a new house! With a real Kitchen! I can't wait to share the creations I make in there with you! I am so excited right now, I have a great new job, am getting a whole house with a yard for less rent then my current 1 bedroom apartment! (Its in a small town not in the city, but this small town is my home and right on a big beautiful lake!) and I just feel that this whole year is going to be fantastic!

I hope that this year is shaping up excellently for you too!

PS : Seriously try this when you are in a rush, or just feel like something light!