Happy 2008, everyone! Keeping with our tradition, Gil and I stayed in for a movie marathon last night rather than endure the crowds in the city and the loooong drive home. This year’s feature: The Lord of the Rings trilogy. (No, really, it was his idea. Something about the big screen HDTV, battle scenes, I dunno. I wasn’t going to argue.) We started late and only got up to about the 45-minute mark of The Two Towers, but it’s a rainy day, so I’m sure we’ll finish what we started before nightfall.

With hours of Middle Earth fun ahead of us, I wanted to make something festive for dinner that wouldn’t require too much time in the kitchen, and after my success with two recipes from Simple Chinese Cooking, I turned to its pages again for inspiration. The shrimp dumplings practically leaped off the page and demanded an audition, so I obliged, despite the potential for disaster — eviscerated dumplings churning in a pot of boiling water isn’t as appetizing as you might think. But Kylie Kwong’s step-by-step photo illustrations of dumpling assembly made the technique seem easy enough, and it really was.


Oops, looks like a bit of shrimp got away from me there. We’ll just ignore that.

Didn’t affect the outcome, at least:


Awww … they couldn’t be cuter if they were a pile of puppies frolicking on the cutting board. Hairier and much less sanitary, yes, but definitely not cuter.


Wonton regiment 24 reporting for duty!

And you may find this hard to believe (I certainly did), but not one dumpling burst in the boiling water! That’s a success rate I haven’t come near with homemade ravioli, so I think there’s something to Ms. Kwong’s techniques. Hmmm, maybe I’ll start making “tortellini” instead — sneaky, sneaky.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, Gil and I have to get back to our movie research; he has a theory that Ed Wood was resurrected to direct Orlando Bloom in this trilogy, and I’m having trouble disproving it.


for new gluten-free recipes, food photography tips, and special offers!