Recipe: Homemade Pork Spring Rolls

I am so fortunate to have learned the craft of hand rolling authentic Filipino spring rolls from my mother-in-law Jane. She is such a strong and inspiring women - moving to Canada from the Philippines in her teens - she would eventually raise a family of six - working hard in hospitality all of her life. I never see her light up as much as she does when she’s in the kitchen - preparing traditional dishes she enjoyed as a child and passing those recipes onto her children and luckily to me too! 

 Jane in the early years. 

Jane in the early years. 

I’ve adjusted the recipe over the years and put my own special twist on it - but every time I set myself up to almost meditatively wrap and place each individual spring roll I am taken straight back to the first time I watched Jane roll hers - intimidated by a task that now seems second nature and is actually pretty relaxing. The best part ? As we prepare to welcome our second little one in October I tripled up this recipe and froze two batches to pull out for a quick supper once baby is born. 

Pork Spring Rolls  

IMG_1744.jpg

Ingredients:  

  • 1-lb lean ground pork 
  • One large carrot grated  
  • 2-3 green onions chopped  
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce  
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce  
  • pepper to taste 
  • one package of frozen spring roll wrappers (20 count) thawed in fridge

Set aside spring roll wrappers and mix together all other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Take out one sheet of spring roll  wrap and place two spoonfuls of the pork mixture on one corner. Follow package instructions to roll. Seal with a dab of water, place aside and repeat. Fry spring rolls in a pot of oil for approximately 6-8 minutes per roll or until cooked through. 

 Tip: serve with lettuce to wrap around each spring roll for a little bit of added freshness and crunch. 

Spring rolls are a family favourite in our household. Paisley loves gobbling them up!! We hope you enjoy them as much as we do :) 

 

IMG_1746.JPG

Mother's Day Gift Guide: Featuring YEG Makers

Mother's Day is less than a week away and if you haven't already gotten the mama in your life something special, here are some ideas for gifts from companies and makers that are all Edmonton-based. #Shoplocal this week and surprise a mom with one of our picks:

For the Wine Lover

These socks from Grandeur Design YEG are adorable. Let the mama in your life sit back, relax and sip on her favourite red. These would be great paired with a lovely bottle of wine from Sherbrooke Liquor Store .

 

For the Foodie

This simple but sweet rustic kitchen sign from William Rae Designs is the perfect gift for the home cook. Pair with a yummy treat from The Italian Centre Shop and you've won over any foodie mama. 

 

For the Green Goddess

This fun gift box from PLANTiful has everything a green goddess needs to feel fabulous. Specializing in plant-based and organic skincare you can look great the natural way!

 

For the mama with a Sweet Tooth

The Hungry Hippo Bakery makes the most adorable cookies I have ever seen. You can find them at local markets like the Capilano Farmer's Market.

 

 

For a little Relaxation

These are not your mother's heating pads! Reflaxation makes hot cold packs from organic flaxseed. Fun handmade designs will ensure the mama on your list is stylish while she unwinds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Mother's Day out there to all of the amazing moms in my life :)

Music Box Babies at the Winspear

Baby P and I had the pleasure of taking part in the Music Box Babies Pilot Program in February and we had an absolute blast. Now open to all YEG parents and little ones Music Box Babies is running a Five Week Program Staring May 17.

Designed for little ones age 0-36 months, these classes are a great way to learn some new songs and actives to engage your child's sensory, motor and memory skills. The activities are simple and the songs are fun and easy to remember. I loved how quickly Paisley picked up some of the lyrics and rhythms and she was soon holding her own Music Box Babies sessions at home. The instructors are fantastic and the Winspear is such an amazing venue right in the heart of downtown so it makes for reasonable access to anyone pretty much anywhere in the city. 

Tip: arrive earlier to find a good parking spot on one of the side streets along 97th. We never had a trouble finding a space and the rates are a bit more reasonable than the import lot attached to the Winspear. 

Classes will be held May 17, May 24, May 31, June 7, and June 14 and the cost for all five weeks is $85. Spots are still available for tots in the 0-12 month age category and the 24-36 month group , if you'd like to be put on a waiting list for the 12-24 month group just reach out to lagosti@winspearcentre.com To find out more about Music Box Babies and to register today click here: https://www.winspearcentre.com/educationwins/families-wins#music-box-babies

'Get your Garden on' this weekend in North YEG

Although there's still a few patches of snow melting off here and there, this north yeg mama can't wait to get her patio garden going once again! There are some great Northside events happening this weekend, check them out and get inspired for the upcoming gardening season!

Dig In Horticulinary Festival

  • When: April 29 & April 30 
  • Times: Sat: 10 - 7 p.m. & Sun 10-5 p.m.
  • Where: Enjoy Centre in St. Albert

Various workshops, dinners and sessions take you through a weekend at the Enjoy Centre with celebrity chefs, gardening experts and more. Tickets for the various weekend session range from $0-$129. Click here to find out more and sign up: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/dig-in-horticulinary-festival-spring-fest-tickets-32661462313

 

 

Kuhlmann's Open House

  • When: April 29 & April 30 
  • Times: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Where: Kuhlmann's Garden Market, 1320-167 Avenue in Edmonton 

Come down and check out all that is the beautiful Kuhlmann's Garden Market for their spring open house. There will be coffee, donuts and face painting for the kids from 11-4. Plus enter to win a $500 prize pack! Find out more about Kuhlmann's here: http://www.kuhlmanns.com

The Root Seller Open House

  • When: April 29 & April 30
  • Times: 9 a.m.  - 6 p.m. 
  • Where: The Root Seller, 16735 Zaychuk Rd. in Edmonton

Join The Root Seller family at their Open House this weekend for free coffee and cake, free tool sharpening, free soil testing and a treasure hunt for the kids. You can visit them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/The-Root-Seller-102544966453842/ 

Happy gardening North Yeggians!

 

GIVEAWAY: SOUND OF MUSIC SING-A-LONG

Now with the northeast leg of Henday complete, Sherwood Park's Festival Place is only a hop skip and a jump away from all of us over in North Edmonton Land, and I',m excited to spread the word about a great family show coming up on March 11th. 

Gather the kidlets, pack them into their car seats and head over to Festival Place this Saturday for Sing-a-long The Sound of MusicKicking off at 12:30 p.m. the show is a great spot for families to share in the joy that the classic has brought to so many generations in a fun and engaging sing-a-long format. Singalong with Julie, join in on the choruses of My Favourite Things, and take in the most successful musical of all time on the big screen. 

Do note that the entire event including preshow and intermission does run about 3 1/2 hours so do be prepared. Tickets are $24 for adults and $12.50 for kids, but the best part? You can see the show for free, we're giving away a family four pass for Saturday's show. Just follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and share & like our contest posts for a chance to win!

 

Party Planning on a Budget

In honour of Baby P's 1st Birthday I decided to put together a little guide with a few tips on planning a birthday party for your little one on a budget. We have a ton of family in Saskatoon so we decided to have a party in #YXE and #YEG just so all of the friends and family could make it out. That being the case I wanted to make sure I didn't blow the budget on either bash so we could still have a ton of fun at both locations and not have to break the bank to do it!

THE FOOD

When you're figuring out what to feed everyone, the dollar amount can add up quickly especially if you decide to purchase assembled food trays or catering. I decided to buy all of the bulk goods and make meat and cheese trays myself. I simply rolled up deli meats, bought pre sliced hard cheese and arranged them in a nice grouping around a couple of dollar store platters. I easily saved $30 or more per tray by making them myself and they were just as tasty as the catered trays would have been for our build-your-own sandwich bar. 

THE THEME 

I tried to pick something seasonal so it wouldn't be too hard to find a couple of decorations, so I went with the flamingo theme. Napkins, table clothes, cupcakes, cutlery and plates were all purchased in the hot pink flamingo colour and then I just accented our set up with a few fun flamingo decorations. I usually rely on Dollarama for this sort of thing but they didn't have too many flamingo items so I ended up getting most of my stuff from Party City. Every item was really reasonably priced and they had such an amazing selection!

THE VENUE

Booking and paying for a venue can put your birthday budget through the roof so instead we leaned on our cousin Shanna. Her condo has a club house equipped with an indoor pool, hot tub and rec room with tables, chairs even a pool table. It was the perfect place to have everyone for Paisley's flamingo pool party and the best part? It was completely free!

THE CAKE

I did think about making a cake myself, but because we were travelling and not at home for this party, I wanted to take the baking burden off my shoulders and decided to order instead. Bakeries often charge a pretty penny for custom birthday cakes and I didn't just want a plain sheet cake, so I decided to order cupcakes from Sobeys. I love ordering from them, you can get vanilla or chocolate with any icing colour you like and they are only $1 per cupcake. We got half a dozen pink and half a dozen white. I pulled out my cupcake stand that I already had stashed away in the cupboard, grabbed a glittery #1 candle from party city and viola! An adorable dessert display for under $15. 

All in all - we spent around $100 total for Paisley's party and it was so much fun. Great memories and we didn't have to shell out a ton of cash to do it.