Spring Roll Salad



I was introduced to this salad by my cousin Krista.

She has graciously allowed me to publish it here.




Delicious Asian flavors are combined in this bright, healthful salad. Rice noodles are tossed with lettuce, vegetables, & chicken. Served with peanut sauce, fish sauce, and chopped peanuts. How could you go wrong?


Notes: This recipe is very forgiving. I would suggest making it as written here, then varying the ingredients to match your own likes/dislikes. Experiment!


Spring Roll Salad

Printable Page


For the Salad:

  • 1 package Rice Vermicelli
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 English cucumber, quartered and sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 4 C lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts + extra for serving
  • 6 stalks green onion, chopped
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 1-2 lbs. chicken breast, thinly sliced
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • lime wedges, for serving

For the Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • water

For the Fish Sauce:

  • 4 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1/4 C water
  • 2 T fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic chili sauce


1. Soften the rice vermicelli according the the directions on the package. Drain and run under cold water to cool the noodles. Place in a large salad bowl. Add the carrots, cucumber, cilantro, lettuce, 1/2 cup peanuts, and green onions.
2. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic & ginger for about 1 minute. Add the chicken & soy sauce and saute until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Cool on a plate, then transfer to the refrigerator.

For the Peanut Sauce:
3. In a double boiler or heatproof bowl set over boiling water, whisk together the peanut butter and hoisin sauce. Add water a little at a time until desire consistency is achieved.

For the Fish Sauce:
4. Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved.

To Assemble:

5. Add the chicken to the noodle and vegetable mixture. Toss well. Top with lime wedges. Serve with the peanut & fish sauces & chopped peanuts on the side.

*Note: If you are eating at home and expecting leftovers, serve chicken in a separate bowl instead of tossing it in with the salad.

Serves approximately 8 people as a side.

7 Responses to “Spring Roll Salad”

  1. It’s time for light salads again! Yay for spring! This looks great! :)

  2. rachel says:

    this looks deliciously fresh!

  3. Maura says:

    What a light and lovely salad! So fresh for spring! I can’t wait to try it!!!

  4. That salad looks beautiful!

  5. Maria says:

    I love spring rolls. Great idea to turn them into a salad!

  6. I am eating this salad right now and it’s amazing. I was a little skeptical at first about what to do with the sauces, but I put them both on and wow! You nailed the combo of ingredients and my husband even loved it. Thanks for posting this!


Grandma’s Cooking School: Roast Beef Dinner

{Grandma’s Cooking School is my chronicles of the informal cooking lessons that my Grandma graciously decided to give us girls. I have compiled a list of all the lessons so far. Enjoy!}


Grandma decided it was time to move from scrumptious sweets to serving an entire meal; and there is no meal so traditional and tasty as a Roast Beef Dinner…


Grandma knows all the secrets to making a tender, tasty roast: sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Attack it with a sharp fork & sprinkle with Meat Tenderizer. Coat it with flour and cook in a skillet to brown on all sides.

Pour a can of beef broth into a roasting pan, add the roast, slip it into a moderate oven (325° F) and sit back and relax. Or start making some delicious side dishes: Mashed potatoes, green peas, and steamed cauliflower with buttered breadcrumbs.


Don’t forget to slice some onions and put on top of the roast about an hour before it’s done. This really adds a nice flavor. Set the table, make the gravy, and carve the meat. Here’s a tip from Grandma: slice the meat across the grain for the most tender cut.


We invited Justin & Audra to share in our feasting.

Now, thanks to Grandma, I no longer have to fear making roast beef.


**Next Time on Grandma’s Cooking School: Poppy Seed Torte**


Here are the previous installments of Grandma’s Cooking School:

Part 1: Banana Cream Pie
Part 2: Chocolate Crepes



16 Responses to “Grandma’s Cooking School: Roast Beef Dinner”


  1. Grandmas are the best cooks! I love the idea of boiling the cauliflower whole and serving it whole. It looks beautiful!

  2. Melanie says:

    Oh my goodness! I love these posts so much that if you charged people to look at them, I would gladly pay! I am definitely making roast beef soon…can’t wait to try it! And the poppy seed torte…that is going to be one that I will cherish forever. Nothin’ like Grandma’s torte.

  3. Jessica M. says:

    Looking forward to the poppy seed torte recipe.
    Also, after you did the Malachi’s Harvest giveaway, I was intrigued and ordered some of their granola online. It was absolutely delicious!

  4. Ruth Ann says:

    Oh, you make me hungry! It looks so scrumptious… Roast beef, mashed potatoes and green peas are so ‘comforting’… :)

  5. Katherine says:

    I really enjoy these Grandma cooking sessions, I hope you keep posting them! It looks like such wonderful family fun.

  6. sandra says:

    Many people like eating roast beef but they cannot make it in our country.I admire you.

  7. Amazing beef. I love beef and this dish just remind me my grandma’s beef. The color is really beautiful as well.

  8. Oscar says:


    I like your website very much, I also have a special Chinese food website, and could we exchange website link each other?
    my website is http://www.chinesefoodfans.com/


  9. Erica Lea says:

    Oscar: I’m glad you like my blog! I stopped by your website, and it looks like you have some delicious recipes. However, I do not accept link exchanges.

  10. Elisabeth says:

    The pictures are lovely and the roast looks scrumptious!


  11. Sarah says:

    For how long do you roast the beef?

  12. Erica Lea says:

    Sarah: cooking times vary depending on the roast. It usually takes anywhere from 2-4 hours.

  13. song says:

    It looks beautiful! and i believe Grandmas are the best cooks!

  14. Kim says:

    Looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it…Jesus was a big part of my grandmother’s life….she cooked w/love and heart because she loved Jesus…you could of been a stranger that walked in her house…believe me though she would stretch that food to feed you too and make you feel welcome…you always felt Christ’s presence in her home…whether it was through her baking or her Bible verses on the wall..you always felt comforted!!! Thanks for sharing…Kim

  15. Rebecca says:

    Hi Erica, you’ve got a wonderful blog here and what appears to be a wonderful family. How blessed you are. Keep the delicious recipes coming!

  16. […] never been my favorite veggie. On a scale of 1 to beets, it’s about an eight. Then one day, my grandma taught us how to make steamed cauliflower with buttered breadcrumbs. I softened. A little. Then I saw […]

Pretty Pink Dishcloths – Win Them!


Stop by my personal blog and enter to win these pretty, hand-knit dishcloths.

Giveaway ends Friday, April 24.

Go Enter!


3 Responses to “Pretty Pink Dishcloths – Win Them!”

  1. Kelly says:

    Would love to win these – I need some new dishcloths. They look both pretty and functional!

  2. Brenda – St. Louis says:

    I would love to have the pattern for these if you are able to share it.



Browned Butter & Almond Financier


I must admit that I that had never met with a financier until last Friday. Perhaps I had heard the name mentioned online or in cookbooks, but I would not have been able to tell you a thing about it.

As I flipped through cookbooks, searching for a recipe to use up the ten (ten!) egg whites sitting in the refrigerator, I came across this recipe. The use of browned butter & ground almonds intrigued me; and it looked surprisingly simple. I consulted Dad (who had mentioned pudding & ice cream as a dessert option), and he agreed that trying something new would be good.



And so I have discovered a cake which I think will become a favorite. The cake is very soft & flavorful – a perfect base for fruit & whipped cream. We eat pudding quite often (more often than I would like to admit), and this is a wonderful way to use up all the egg whites.



I made my usual substitutions: I replaced half of the white flour with whole wheat & half of the sugar with demerara.

Also, the original recipe called for 2 tablespoons of dark rum, but we substituted 1 tablespoon of white cooking wine.

The recipe suggests serving the cake with fruit; I melted some raspberry jam and strained out the seeds.

Browned Butter & Almond Financer

Adapted from How to Bake by Nick Malgieri

Printable Page


  • 1 cup whole almonds, plus 1/4 sliced, blanched almonds
  • 3/4 cup demerara sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter
  • 1 tablespoon white cooking wine or 2 tablespoon dark rum (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (about 8 large) egg whites
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 10-inch springform pan & line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook until it foams & darkens slightly. Pour into a small heatproof bowl & allow to cool to lukewarm. When it is cool, stir in the wine & vanilla extract.
  3. Put the almonds and demerara in a food processor & pulse until finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl & whisk in the flour.
  4. In a large, clean, dry bowl, whip the egg whites & salt with a hand mixer until they form very soft peaks (this could also be done with a stand mixer). With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining sugar. Continue beating until soft peaks form.
  5. Alternately fold the almond & butter into the egg whites, 1/3 at a time, starting with the almond mixture & ending with the butter.
  6. Pour into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the sliced almonds. Bake for approximately 50 minutes, until golden & well risen and the center feels firm when pressed. Remove from oven & allow to cool on a wire cooling rack in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the sides & bottom of the pan and the paper and allow to cool completely on the rack. Serve with fruit & whipped cream or ice cream.

Serves approximately 8-10

17 Responses to “Browned Butter & Almond Financier”


  1. genny says:

    what a beautiful recipe! and what a beautifl blog!

  2. I have tried different versions of financiers (or friands, as my sources are Australian) and loved them, but have never used a large cake pan like this one. It is beautiful! Love your photos.

  3. BEAUTIFUL! I love the ground almonds, whole wheat flour and browned butter in this!!

  4. Maria says:

    Your cake looks wonderful. Great idea to use browned butter. I love the flavor it brings, gorgeous photos too!

  5. Christina says:

    What makes a financier a financier? Is it the use of ground almonds? Is it French?

  6. nico says:

    wow this is way more light than the one I make!! Will try to adjust my recipe

  7. nico says:

    @Christina, I was told at school (french cooking school) that the name is because normally those are made in little rectangles and served with coffe. The rectangles reminds the briefcases the “financier” carries.

  8. Erica Lea says:

    Thank you, everyone!

    nico — Thank you for answering Christina’s question!

  9. Maura says:

    That looks so yummy! I wish my oven would do better at baking!!!

  10. emily says:

    Erica, this looks amazing!

    I also just wanted to say that I’m so impressed by the high quality of your recipes, photography, and website. Well done! I love hearing from a fellow Christian.

  11. This looks so super light and amazing. Also, beautiful pictures!

  12. Karly says:

    Mm, this looks amazing! I’ll bet it was delicious with the raspberry jam.

  13. sandra says:

    Cake can be made into many different flavors with different raw materials.Cake has become my favorite.

  14. Patty says:

    What a delicious way to use-up egg whites. I like how you incorporated healthier ingredients too! Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing. :)

  15. levitra says:

    There is obviously a whole lot to understand about this. I think you made some beneficial points in Attributes also.
    Keep working , wonderful occupation!

  16. Kamagra says:

    What a nice recipe! I love it. I’m really really getting hungry right now. You’re doing such a great job. And the pictures of the almond financier are perfect!

    Well done!

  17. Erica, I am a mom of four boys and our family is serving as missionaries at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya, Africa. We are dorm parents for 20 boys whose parents are also serving as missionaries in Africa. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy your recipes and blogs. We are in our rainy season which makes you a little crazy at times, but trying new recipes (if I can find the ingredients) and hearing your sweet stories makes me smile. I have a feeling that the integrity of the ingredients you use in your recipes, are a reflection of the kind of person you are. May God continue to bless you and your sweet husband, and all that you do!

Magazine Mondays: Green Tea Shortbread Cookies



As I have mentioned previouslyMagazine Mondays is an event held by Ivonne at Cream Puffs in Venice. Once a week, bloggers are invited to post a recipe made from a magazine and submit the post to Ivonne. It encourages people to actually use their cooking magazines.


Ever since I laid eyes on Martha Stewart’s Green Tea Shortbread Leaves I wanted to make them. The lovely hint of green was enticing.

Would I make these again? Certainly. I don’t usually care for shortbread, but these buttery little cookies are simply scrumptious. They would be perfect for an afternoon tea party.




Notes: Of course I changed the original recipe. I substituted whole wheat flour for AP, and used natural cane sugar instead of powdered. Also, I didn’t have any Chinese Green Tea Powder, so I just ground regular green tea in a coffee grinder. Another time I would add more tea.


Green Tea Shortbread Cookies

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Holiday Cookies, December 2001

Printable Page


  • 2 cups (8 ounces) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons Green Tea Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1/2 cup natural cane sugar, ground fine in a blender or food processor

Directions: 1) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, tea, and salt. Place the butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until light & fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar; beat until very light & fluffy, about 2 more minutes. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Mix just until combined. 2) Turn the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper. Lightly dust your hand & a rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick, sprinkling with flour as necessary. Brush off excess flour with a pastry brush. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. 3)  Once the dough is chilled, cut it with 2-inch leaf cutters. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets & chill until firm. Bake until firm & just starting to color, about 15-20 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 3 dozen cookies



13 Responses to “Magazine Mondays: Green Tea Shortbread Cookies”

  1. gina says:

    Surfed on over from the Tasty Kitchen blog. You have a lovely, lovely blog!

    Happy Cooking :)

  2. Jennifer says:

    Erica, lovely site…. I also came over from tasty kitchen….
    What is the china pattern from this post?
    It looks like forget-me-nots on the cup and saucer – so dainty
    If you have the chance to check for me I would grately appreciate it.

    Best of luck

  3. Hannah says:

    I have never used Matcha powder. What does it taste like?

  4. Erica says:

    Jennifer: I’m not sure what the pattern is called – it isn’t printed on the cup. They may be violets. The cup is Queen Anne Bone China, PATT no. is 8563.

    Hannah: I’ve never tried it either – I just ground regular green tea in a coffee grinder. I would assume that Matcha powder tastes like regular green tea.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Erica thank you! I’m going to go look it up.


  6. Esther says:

    Yum! These look good! I was wondering how you join the daring bakers club? Could you give the website address? It looks very interesting and we have wanted to do it for a while.


  7. Erica says:

    The link is http://thedaringkitchen.com/ It is really fun, but a lot of work.

  8. Amanda says:

    You are so classy Erica! Love this beautiful creation..and of course, your photography is flawless!

  9. heidileon says:

    well, I must admit I also found your blog via Tasty Kitchen; and I’m quite happy for it.

    I love all kinds of cookies, but these cookies have a special appeal to me. I think I will try to bake them soon.

  10. Ivonne says:


    These are beyond lovely! What a great twist on shortbread cookies. Delicious!

  11. […] Erica from the beautiful blog Cooking for Season made Green Tea Shortbread Cookies from the December…. […]

  12. Rachel says:

    Thank you for the recipe! I love anything made with green tea (pretty much!) and I will definitely be making these. I just found your blog through thepioneerwomancooks blog. Thanks again, and I will be visiting again.

  13. Eadaoin says:

    These cookies turned out really well. They have a lovely texture.
    Thank you for the recipe! I will certainly be making these again.
    I used matcha green tea powder, it is just a powder form of green tea that has a stronger taste and smell. (It’s what the Japanese use in their traditional tea ceremony.)

Almond Butter


Before I talk almonds, there are a few things I’d like to share with you.


*End of bragging*



On to the almonds!

To start out, you really must toast your almonds. It adds such a wonderful flavor. Then you grind them in a food processor, add a sprinkle of salt, a little almond extract, some honey, and oil. Perfect!

Serve on toast (my favorite), crackers, ice cream, yogurt, in oatmeal, etc. Or just eat it right out of the jar.


Note: I like my nut butters crunchy, so I didn’t grind mine very fine. Next time I might process it a bit more – it was a little dry & crumbly this time.

Coconut oil is wonderful in this recipe. However, if you don’t have any on hand, simply replace it with another good-quality oil.

Homemade Almond Butter


  • 2 cups whole almonds, toasted
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4-5 tablespoons coconut oil, gently melted


1) Place the toasted almonds & salt in a food processor or blender and process until finely ground. Add the extract, honey, and oil. Continue to process until desire consistency is achieved. Taste and adjust salt/honey if necessary.

2) Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator for longer storage. Return to room temperature before use.

Makes approximately 2 cups

14 Responses to “Almond Butter”

  1. Esther says:

    OH! how exciting! That so great about all the news. I love almond butter, we have made it before but just used almonds and nothing else, your recipe looks very tasty!
    I also love the crunchy better then the creamy kind:)


  2. Anna says:

    Congratulations!! That is so awesome!

    And your almond butter recipe looks fantastic, I’ll have to try it sometime soon.

  3. soare says:

    how about almond oil? would that work? thank you.

  4. Jessica says:

    I’ve always bought my almond butters but now I guess I don’t need to!

    Is it possible to substitute olive oil for the coconut oil?

  5. Erica says:

    soare: I’m sure almond oil would be perfect!
    Jessica: Olive oil would work, but it would probably give your butter a different flavor. If you don’t mind, give it a try!

  6. sippitysup says:

    This is a beautiful presentation. GREG

  7. Melanie says:

    Well, if I had a T.V. show, I would talk about you too. And I would feature you on my blog too…wait, I already did that!! :) I love your stuff. You make me want to cook. In fact, I think I will…bye!

  8. Megan says:

    Mmmm, that almond butter looks so good!

  9. kathy says:

    Yeah… It looks soooo yummy. Great job! :-)

  10. Christina says:

    Hi Erica! I loved the post about you on Tasty Kitchen! And congrats on all the other good news! You rock! Your recipes look amazing; can’t wait to try ‘em. It’s amazing you cook for 7! Keep at it! :)

  11. Jelli says:

    I made homemade peanut butter using this process last week. Perhaps my food processor was too small, but it never got beyond the large crumbly state and I was unwilling to add an atrocious amount of oil. Oh well, still tastes good. Good work. I think I’d love almond butter!

  12. heidileon says:

    can’t wait to try this! I think I’ll do it tonight.

  13. MommyMars says:

    Yum! I recently made some almond butter as well. I toasted them in the oven, and than pureed them in the blender. I just kept blending away until I had a really creamy consistency. It was awesome!

  14. Emelia says:

    I know this is an old post : )
    I found this recipe via a food blog search, and I just wanted to say thank you for posting this recipe; it’s tastes lovely. I used walnut oil instead of coconut oil, which worked well. Thanks again.