I'm not talking about the southern, comfort food of chicken-n-dumplins. I'm talking about dim-sum style, Chinese dumplins (I live in the south, I have to leave off the final "g"s to correctly pronounce it).  I've been trying to find authentic, delicious dumplins since I returned from China, which was about three years ago. They were by far my favorite thing there (and that's saying something because all of the food was amazing), there were SO many different varieties, from pork to shrimp to vegetarian options...there was really no limit. Tom and I have made them several times, and I think we've finally narrowed down the recipe. It may not be completely authentic...but it's damn tasty.
First of all,  it's a bit of a time commitment...maybe not your average weeknight meal. 
Secondly, there are a lot of ingredients, but it's definitely worth it to get all of them. You'll thank me. So. good. 
 The meat mixture (ok so we were out of carrots...they make a lovely addition...but whatever, it was still awesome). Also, most dumplin recipes call for ground pork, but we opted to use ground turkey and it turned out very well. 
Now that it's all mushed together, it's not so bad, right? More like, delicious. 
Also, the sauce? Swoon. You will probably want to put it on everything. 
Also, I hope like green onions. Because you're going to use a whole bunch of them. Literally. 
 First, dab a spoonful of the turkey mixture onto a dumplin wrapper. 
Then, make sure you get someone to do all the dirty work while you take pictures. You'll enjoy them so much more with clean hands. 
Ok for real, in order to make the dumplins, the first thing you want to do is to dab the edges of the wrappers with water. Then fold the wrappers in half and press the edges together. Fold up the corners and scallop the edges throughout so that you have a tightly sealed dumplin.
Also, don't follow our lead and overstuff them...you'll have meat leakage. No one likes that. (Notice the uneven folding, we're still trying to perfect that, but as long as they're sealed, that's all that really matters...or...that's what I tell myself)
If you don't have a bamboo steamer, stop what you're doing right now and get one. They're only like $20 and they're such a clean, fresh, and simple way to cook. Anyway, if you do have one, place your dumplins in both layers of the steamer and cook for about 7 minutes. 
See how delicious they look? See how I opened the steamer to take a picture? Don't do that. Try to keep all the steam in, they'll cook more evenly this way.
Use it to cook your veggies too, we're all about bein healthy around here. 
Plate it up. You'll want to make this all the time. 

Dumplins with Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce
(adapted from Bay Tables)

1lb ground turkey                                   4 tsp. sesame oil
6 green onions                                        2tbs vegetable oil
1 medium carrot, grated             4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger root, grated                    3tbs oyster sauce
1/2 tsp salt                                               2tbs chicken broth
1tbs sugar                                                    3tbs cornstarch
2tsp soy sauce                      1package of won ton wrappers
Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce Recipe at the bottom

Combine the turkey, onions, carrot, ginger root, salt, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, vegetable oil, garlic, oyster sauce, chicken broth, and cornstarch in a bowl and mix well.  Chill and let sit for at least an hour. 
Place 1 tbs of the filling in the center of each wrapper. Moisten the edges with water. Fold over and press the edges to seal.  Place the dumplins in a bamboo steamer. Steam, covered, for 7 minutes or until cooked through. Serve with Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce. 

Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce:
2 tsp sugar                                    1/4c soy sauce
6 tbs chicken broth                     1 tbs sesame oil
3tbs freshly grated ginger root         1 green onion
pinch of red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. 


It's not over

I'm a bit disturbed by how the media has recently been portraying the oil spill incident. Yes the leak has stopped (for now), yes BP has been filling the well with mud and soon cement...these are both fantastic, but it's not over, not by a long shot. I've heard reports that most of the oil has been scooped up, burned or evaporated. I just can't believe that's the case. I can't begin to imagine how much has sunk (which will continue to cause problems), how much is still trapped in marshes, or how much oil (or dispersants for that matter) lies within the bodies of countless fish, birds, crabs, etc. Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not there...

Crabs filled with "black substance"


Dresses, beer crocks, and sliders.

Saturday morning, I went to Something New for my second dress fitting...I am about to shower this place with praises, it's pretty fantastic. I found this shop on a whim because I had no idea where to go for alterations in Mobile. I got a used dress from a Brides Against Breast Cancer event in DC, (and if you're in the market for a wedding dress, it's a bit hectic but I definitely recommend it!), so I couldn't exactly get my dress altered where I bought it (which is what usually happens). I asked around and no one really had any suggestions so I checked out this place because I frequently passed it on my way to South Alabama. Smart move. The girls have taken great care of me (and of my dress), and they really seem to know what they're doing. More importantly, the woman doing my alterations (feel like such a jerk, can't remember her name!) is amazing. My dress was about 2 sizes too big and you wouldn't know if you saw it now. She has done a fantastic job! It's a bit on the expensive side, but oh so worth it. When I tried the dress on Saturday morning, I really started to get excited. It needs to be taken in just a bit more (I have one more fitting on August 14th) but overall, it looks great, I am thrilled! It's really starting to feel like this wedding is coming together (although, part of me is still like "I'm getting married?!?).

Anyway, because it was nearly a thousand degrees outside, Tom and I had to find some indoor activities to bide our time before we sweated our butts off at Callaghan's to see Holy Ghost Tent Revival (another recommendation in this post...really fun band, if you like the Avett Brothers or Old Crow Medicine Show). So, we decided to drive over to Fairhope to checkout Tom Jones Pottery. A coworker of mine recommended the place and told me that they were having their summer show and sale this past Saturday. I'm so glad we checked it out, it's really cute. Great pottery, friendly people, and spiked lemonade...SCORE. After a couple of glasses of "adult lemonade", we obviously got suckered in to buying some pottery. Two wine goblets (because, why wouldn't you want to drink wine from a goblet? Glasses are so five years ago...), and a bread crock (that came with a beer bread recipe...I'm sensing a theme here). So that basically dictated my plan for Sunday. Bread baking.

We started with some delicious rosemary-olive-beer bread (with a bit too much rosemary). I want to tweak this recipe a bit before I post it but, clearly we didn't hate it...
                                                             half of it is already gone...

Anyway, while the beer bread was in the oven, I stared making some buns for the sliders we were going to have on Monday night. Quick way to get bread to rise? Just put it outside in the 100 degree heat, no big deal. The buns turned out great, and were a perfect accompaniment to our buffalo (oh yes, we used buffalo meat) sliders.
They're obviously not complete without some home-baked fries

Hope you had a great weekend too!