Vegetarian Vietnamese Spring Rolls with peanut sauce

Vegetarian spring rolls2
  • 24 thin spring roll rice paper wrappers (Vietnamese or Thai, not the Chinese ones used for egg rolls)
Choice of fillings:
  • Rice vermicelli noodles
  • Red peppers (capsicum)
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado
  • Purple cabbage
  • Fresh herbs (I recommend a couple mint and/or basil leaves per roll)
  • Thin strips of lightly-fried tofu or seitan
  • Bean sprouts
  • Enoki mushrooms
  • Lettuce/Spinach
Peanut Sauce
  • ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter (or almond/cashew/sunflower butter)
  • ½ cup soy or coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (agave would work too)
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • ½ tsp chili powder (or 1 tsp crushed red chili pepper)
  • ¼ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped (optional)

vegetarian spring rolls

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the peanut sauce except the chopped peanuts, set aside.
  2. Prep all your veggies so that they are thinly sliced, and shorter than your wrappers by about 5-6 cm. (My wrappers are 16 cm wide, so I cut my veggies about 10 cm long.)
  3. If using rice noodles, decide how much of the noodles you will need based on the quantity of rolls you’re making and how many ingredients you plan on using. You can break the noodles off or use scissors to gently cut them away from the bigger piece. Fill a pot with just enough hot water to submerge your noodles. Regular hot tap water should be hot enough – it doesn’t need to be boiling. Let the noodles sit in the water until they are soft and edible, about 2 minutes. Remove the noddles, shaking them to remove excess water, and set aside.
  4. Wet a clean tea towel, ring it out and lay it flat on your counter top.
  5. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Transfer the water to a large bowl and let cool a couple minutes. drop a wrapper into the water, and let it soak for 30 seconds – any longer and it will begin to get too soft and/or tear. It should be transparent and pliable. Remove wrapper from the water and gently shake it to remove any excess water. Lay the wrapper flat on your tea towel.
  6. Place your mint and basil leaves near the top of the wrapper, as per diagram. Take some noodles and fold them back so that they fit within the top of the wrapper, as shown. Add 2-3 pieces of each vegetable on top, keeping everything tight and in a nice elongated pile. Tightly fold the top of the wrapper over the ingredients, and then fold-in each side. Continue rolling the wrapper onto itself to form the roll. Continue with remaining ingredients.
  7. Before serving, add the chopped peanuts on top of the peanut sauce that you plan on serving. If desired, cut rolls diagonally with a sharp knife before serving.

Easy Cookies


So easy…so easy..

Beat 125g Butter with 3/4 cup sugar.

Beat in 1 egg and tsp vanilla, and then 1 1/2 cups SR flour.

Add nuts, mixed fruit, chopped dates, or simply bake plain and top with jam.

Using 2 spons, place spoonful on a greased baking tray and bake 180 degrees 20 minutes or until golden


They have to be the easiest cookies I have even made…and I got 26 from this recipe.

Store in airtight tin….


Yoghurt Tart with onion, tomato, zucchini, bacon and cheese

Marguerite Carstairs

One slice of Puff pastry…place on pie dish and fold over end…so you do not waste any pastry


Layer with finely sliced half onion, capsicum chopped finely, garlic and ginger (optional) and sliced and chopped tomato. season to taste


Season to taste and add fresh herbs, chopped bacon and cheese.

Add 2 tbsp yoghurt mixed with a little milk to make it pouring consistency. Pour over the mixture, add grated cheese and sprinkle with Paprika or chilli for a nip. Lightly spray with Spray oil if you wish…


Bake in hot oven..200C..for 20 minutes until cheese melted and golden

Marguerite Carstairs

Serves 2 …

When I first cut the first slice, there was liquid, which I strained away…..and tart is delicious…

Apple Turnover

Such a simple recipe…am making some again today


Pack Puff Pastry

Tin Pie Apple


Depending on the size you want..cut pastry into 2 or 4….Use a sharp knife..


Place spoonful of pie apple in centre and fold over…Cut slit in pastry to let steam escape when baking

Place on baking tray…can paint with beaten egg, or just leave as is, as when cold dust liberally with icing sugar, so the glaze does not really show… Bake oven 25 minutes or until golden.


Cool, split and fill with whipped cream, and dust liberally with icing sugar

Can be decorated with poured icing design if wished.

I just love them with an icing sugar dusting



Cheese Ball

6oz cream cheese, room temp
2 cups cheddar cheese
3 tbsp minced onion
3 tbsp salsa
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cups nacho cheese chips, crumbled
top of 1 bell pepper for stem garnish


1. With a mixer, combine cream cheese, cheddar, onion, salsa and cumin. Mix until creamy.
2. Scoop mixture onto plastic wrap and use wrap to form a ball and chill for at least 2 hours.
3. When ready to serve, roll ball into the crushed nacho chips and place bell pepper stem on top. Serve with chips, vegetables or pretzels

Thai Styled Lettuce Cups

To make the larb

1 small brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 stick lemongrass, white part only, finely chopped
6 kaffir lime leaves, centre vein discarded, thinly sliced
2cm piece ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp peanut oil
750g pork mince
200g green prawn meat, roughly chopped
2 red chillies, remove seeds and slice finely
¼ cup lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp thinly sliced mint leaves
4 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
banana leaves for serving
150g bean sprouts
½ cup chopped unsalted cashews or peanuts
1  chilli, thinly sliced
1 baby cos lettuce, rinsed, leaves separated
lime halves to serve


To make larb, place onion, garlic, lemongrass, lime leaves and ginger in a food processor and process until it forms a paste. Heat oil in a large, non-stick frypan or wok. Cook paste for 1 minute until fragrant. Add mince, breaking up with your spatula into small pieces as it cooks and browns for 5–7 minutes. Add prawn and chilli, stirring for 3–4 minutes until prawn is cooked. Remove from heat and add lime juice, fish sauce, sesame oil and mint and stir through. Arrange banana leaves in the centre of a large serving board. Place small piles of bean sprouts, cashews, chilli and cos leaves around edge of board. Spoon larb into the centre of banana leaves and sprinkle with green onion. Serve immediately with lime halves

Butter Rolls

Butter Rolls are always delicious for smokos and morning teas…serve with extra butter or as is.

Make the same using a basic scone recipe…roll out, butter, roll and cut into slices and bake.

I have also used variations like adding chopped walnuts and apple, crushed nuts including pistachio, fried onions, chopped bacon, and left over sausage and potato chopped finely. You can use fresh herbs, mixed herbs and for the spicy, chopped chilli

Grandmother's Old Fashioned Butter Roll


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 7×11 inch baking pan.
    2. In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Cut shortening in thoroughly with a pastry blender until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in water and press dough together with your hands. Roll out pastry into a large rectangle. Spread the butter evenly over the pastry, then sprinkle on 1/4 cup sugar and nutmeg. Roll up the dough jelly roll style and pinch to seal. Cut into 12 even slices. Place the rolls in the prepared pan.
    3. In a small saucepan, heat milk, 2/3 cup sugar and vanilla until mixture begins to bubble. Pour milk mixture over rolls.
    4. Bake in preheated oven until brown, about 30 to 40 minutes


Crock-pot Banana Bread

This recipe is here because right now I do not have an oven to bake in and I did not realise you can use a crock pot for breads and cakes.

You put the batter into a pan which fits in the crock-pot, on a rack or stand, and then cook it

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cropped pecans, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 small ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Turn crock-pot on high. Grease and flour manufacturer’s insert or 2 pound metal container. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Add nuts and set aside. In another bowl, cream butter with sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add milk and vanilla. Mix completely. Stir in bananas until well mixed. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
*Place insert into crock-pot. Carefully add batter. Cover. Put lid on crock-pot and bake for 2 to 3 hours or until done. Be sure not to check on bread until it’s cooked at least 2 hours.

*If using other metal container, either place a rack or crumpled aluminum foil at bottom of crockpot. Place container on top. After adding batter, top container with several paper towels. Make sure crockpot lid is loose and bake for regular amount of time.

– 2 cups flour
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 cup butter, softened
– 1 cup sugar
– 2 eggs
– 3 large ripe bananas
– 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– approx. half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Turn crock pot on high
2. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl
3. In another bowl Cream butter with sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Add milk and vanilla. Stir in bananas until well mixed. gradually add flour mixture. Stir until combined. Add chocolate chips.
4. Grease and flour bread pan and add batter.
5. Place a cookie cutter (or crumpled aluminum foil) at the bottom of crock pot. Place bread pan on top.
6. Cover crock pot with paper towels and place lid loosely on top. Bake for 3 hours. Do not check on bread until after it’s cooked for 2 hours. I actually cooked mine for closer to 4 hours but that might have been because I kept checking in on it.

Coconut Bread

Bread variations are great as they make lunch boxes and meal packs interesting.

You can use any basic bread recipe and add ingredients to make different breads. This one with coconut is easy to make and tasty


  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2-2/3 cups shredded coconut or 2 cups freshly grated coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup melted and cooled butter


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans or an 10-inch tube pan. Combine flour, baking powder and salt with wire whisk. Stir in coconut and sugar. Make a well in the center. In another bowl combine last set of ingredients. Pour into well. Mix until just combined. Bake in pan(s) for 50 minutes or until cooked

Jamaican Coconut Bread

– 3 cups flour
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 4 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
– 1 1/3 cups shredded coconut
– 1 1/2 cups milk
– 1 egg
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180 C degrees. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and coconut in large bowl. In separate bowl, beat milk, egg, oil and vanilla extract together until well blended. Add liquid ingredients to dry ones and stir to blend. Do not over-mix. Pour batter into a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then invert the bread onto a cake rack to cool completely. Make 10 to 12 servings.

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Muffins are always popular….you can virtually use your own choice of flavour and ingredients to any basic muffin mixture.

2009 Chocolate Zucchini Muffins Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to

Ingredients 1

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

Ingredients 2

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Ingredients 3

  • 2 cups shredded zucchini (approx. two 6-inch zucchinis)
  • 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chips or chopped
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate, chips or chopped


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare muffins tin(s) for 24 muffins. Either lightly grease or use paper muffin cups. Combine ingredients 1  in large bowl. Set aside.

Completely combine second set of ingredients. Add egg mixture to flour mixture. Stir until just moistened.

Carefully, stir-in zucchini and chocolates. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes. Cool Chocolate Zucchini Muffins slightly on wire rack before serving.