Savory and Summery

July 11, 2010 at 12:16 am 68 comments

Avocado and Sundried Tomato Eggrolls(Mom wants me to let you guys know that we she grew the lettuce on that plate.)

These past few weeks, I’ve felt suspended in limbo. In a lot of ways, this summer feels like my last. The last summer I can get away without having a steady job. The last summer where my high school friends are all in town and trying to keep us together. The last summer I’ll see the world the way I do right now. I keep having to remind myself that I’m a high school graduate, and that everything is about to change in September.

I don’t feel like a college freshman, the way I still don’t feel like a legal adult. Once in a while, when I hear from a friend or spot the square graduation cap in my closet, I’m stifled with hesitation. There are moments where I don’t think I’ll survive if I’m tossed into the depths of the unknown. But sooner or later, I walk past someone with a Red Sox tee or tell someone about my expected major – and then I’m overwhelmed with a desire to pack up and move to Boston already.

The morning after I graduated, I thought to myself, “This is it. This summer is like the eye of a hurricane.” A month in, though, I’m seeing it a little differently. The next two months aren’t the calm before an unstoppable storm… they’re a window of opportunity. The opportunity to relax while shouldering a bit of responsibility, and to enjoy every second of this limbo.

Avocado and Sundried Tomato Eggrolls

So what have I been doing with my last days in Washington? Even though Seattle is currently going through a miniature heat wave, I’ve been spending most of my hours in the kitchen.

It started about a week ago. My dad and I were at the dinner table, talking about college and 17 and Baking. Up until then, I’d felt unconcernedly confident about maintaining the blog through the school year. After all, it simply had to work out. How hard could it be to keep up the blogging?

But little by little, tiny cracks chipped away at my optimism. I came to the unpleasant conclusion that I can’t bring the KitchenAid mixer with me. It’s so heavy, how we would transport it across the country? And where would I keep it – my dorm? Would I carry it down the streets of Boston in search of a kitchen? I reluctantly admitted there were flaws in my idealism, all the way down to the simple issue of where I’d store flour and eggs. Would I even have time?

So I’ve begun baking like crazy to stock up on photos. While I’m thrilled that I’ll be able to keep blogging through the blustery chills of October and the January freeze, it contradicts my general philosophy of only using seasonal items. In the past week, my searches for wintery produce and dabbles with autumn spices have only reinforced my appreciation for seasonal ingredients.

Avocado and Sundried Tomato Eggrolls

It’s July, and it’s also a window of opportunity for the fruits and vegetables I’ve waited for all winter. I’ve missed the satisfaction of a real tomato, heavy with juice and sweeter than sugar. It’s been too long since I last eased a knife through the streaked hull of a watermelon. I’ve been craving the fuzzy blush of a peach and the first seed-studded bite into a strawberry ever since January. They just aren’t good in April – some things are worth waiting for.

Gosh, I’m hungry again.

And with the ingredients come the dishes I’ve been lusting after. Spontaneous fruits-of-the-moment fruit salads, cold cucumber soup, sparkling herb lemonade! Even water tastes better when you’re drinking it between forkfuls of grilled salmon with grape and melon chutney.

I know I’m not the only foodie in town excited by summer produce. My parents have both been waiting, and it’s finally the time of year for my dad’s zesty blueberry corn salad with lime, and my mom’s avocado and sundried tomato eggrolls with chili dipping sauce. There’s only a short window of time when we can indulge ourselves in these savory summer dishes, and we’re taking full advantage of it.

Avocado and Sundried Tomato Eggrolls

I love my mother’s eggrolls. She first came up with them last summer, and when avocado season rolled around this year we began eating batch after batch. She starts with a gorgeously ripe avocado – as creamy and thick as butter, the kind of green that sends happy flutters in your stomach. Add sun dried tomatoes, fresh cilantro and sharp red onion, and you’ve hit upon something special – smooth, crispy, chewy, and indulgent.

My dad loves the combination of fresh blueberries and gently cooked corn. The corn is still a little warm, still has a little pop to it. The blueberries are cool and sweet. Spritzed with lime, they become like dark pearls, stunning against the light yellow kernels and flecks of zest. There’s only a small period of time when blueberry season and corn season cross, so now’s the time to make this refreshing salad… over and over again.

In the coming weeks, as summer draws to an end, I might get sick of flaky eggroll skin or juicy corn. Before long, I’ll be longing for pumpkin puree and for the give of a ripe pear, the way it smells like crisp leaves and November rain. But everything is worth the wait. And for now, I’ll enjoy the summer’s bounty as long as it blooms, ripens, and warms in the July heat.

Blueberry Corn Salad with Lime


Blueberry Corn Salad with Lime
A 17 and Baking Original
Makes 4 cups of salad

2 ears of sweet, ripe corn
2 cups fresh blueberries
A teaspoon of salt
1/2 lime, juiced and zested

Put the corn in a pot of cool water. Bring the water to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the corn is lightly cooked – you don’t want it to be raw, but you still want it to have some crisp. Cool the corn until you can cut the kernels off the cob (should yield about 2 cups corn.) While the corn is still a little warm, toss with the salt and the lime. Add the blueberries and toss gently. Add more salt or lime to taste. Eat the salad at room temperature, or slightly chilled.

This salad doesn’t keep well overnight (perhaps it’s the blueberry and the acidic citrus together.) If you want to make this salad ahead of time, simply leave out the blueberries until serving time.

Printer Friendly Version – Blueberry Corn Salad with Lime

Avocado and Sundried Tomato Eggrolls with Chili Dipping Sauce
A 17 and Baking Original
Makes six eggrolls

2 large ripe avocados
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Package of eggroll wrappers
One egg, beaten
Oil for frying

Chili Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons spicy sweet chili sauce (like Sriracha. Adjust to taste.)

To prepare the chili dipping sauce, combine the mayonnaise and the chili sauce in a small bowl. Make sure to taste it and add more mayonnaise or chili sauce depending on how much spice you like. The sauce needs to rest for 15 minutes, so you can make the eggrolls in the meantime.

Mash the avocado in a medium bowl. Mix in the red onion, cilantro, sundried tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Spread a little onto an eggroll wrapper and roll up, closing the two ends and using a little bit of egg to help seal it. Deep fry in a saucepan of sizzling oil over medium heat until the eggrolls are blistered and golden brown. Serve with the chili dipping sauce.

Printer Friendly Version – Avocado and Sundried Tomato Eggrolls with Chili Dipping Sauce

Entry filed under: Breakfast/Brunch, Other Treats. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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68 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kelly  |  July 26, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    i just made these, awesome recipe!! thanks for sharing!

  • 2.  |  July 28, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    I just found your blog a few weeks ago. Your recipes and photos are fantastic. I am excited to see how you tweek your blog to fit your life. Think of different ways to express yourself with food. You may not be baking and frying. But there are drinks, appetizers, “raw food” recipes, and TONS of ncredible restraunts to try in BOSTON. Good luck and enjoy. Your first year of college is so wonderful and exciting!

  • 3. spoonwithme  |  August 4, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    If only I could have been as insightful as you at 18…
    I love your blog, and I will read whatever you decide to write about! By the way, “mom’s” avocado eggrolls were fantastic! I also tried a variation of avocado, green onion, thai basil, ginger, and red bell pepper, which were just as good!

  • 4. dopaminergic  |  August 6, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    These eggrolls look amazing! A nice way to use avocado. I’m looking forward to making some.

  • 5. Tissy Palack  |  August 14, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Hi Elissa,
    i have a 17 year old who loves to do everything from drama to tae kwon do but does not show much interest in cooking…i think i will share the recipes from your blog to get her inspired… thank you..

  • 6. peabody  |  August 18, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    I didn’t bring my Kitchen Aid to college, but I did bring beaters. You will be surprised what you come with. Most dorms have a kitchen you can use as well!

  • 7. Michelle  |  April 9, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Just made the avocado sun dried tomato eggrolls – they were AMAZING! Keep up the fabulous work!

  • 8. Isabel Kitchen  |  May 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Wow I can really relate to this post so much. I am two weeks from my High School graduation. I just came back from purchasing my dress for the ceremony (I am so excited!). I am also ready to really enjoy this summer. The last summer before the start of my new life.

  • 9. mustardseed  |  July 21, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog and love it. I am truly impressed by your passion for what you do. You have great writing style. I ended up spending a lot of time here reading your lovely posts. Wish you all the best.

  • […] full swing–three for $1, anyone?    I was inspired to create these after I saw Elissa’s beautifully photographed avocado eggrolls on 17 and Baking.  Hers are absolutely delicious, but I decided to create my own version, packed […]

  • 11. hanzattitude  |  January 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    100% love this blog….Loving your travel stories, the amazing photographs and the wonderful recipes you are posting on here. We most of all love that you are a self-motivated 19 year old that is grasping every opportunity you can – awesome!!

    Will def be back to view this blog.

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  • 13. Grace McGeown  |  June 30, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    the egg rolls remind me of the ones from cheescake factory! you should try them with their cilantro cashew dip! its to die for

  • 14. Cornmeal Lime Cookies « 17 and Baking  |  August 10, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    […] you’ve had corn and lime together (my dad’s Blueberry Corn Salad with Lime, anyone?) Maybe it sounds completely impossible. All I know is these cookies are soft and chewy, […]

  • 15. Cornmeal Lime Cookies - Fun Healthy Recipes  |  February 9, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    […] you’ve had corn and lime together (my dad’s Blueberry Corn Salad with Lime, anyone?) Maybe it sounds completely impossible. All I know is these cookies are soft and chewy, […]

  • […] full swing–three for $1, anyone?    I was inspired to create these after I saw Elissa’s beautifully photographed avocado eggrolls on 17 and Baking.  Hers are absolutely delicious, but I decided to create my own version, packed […]

  • 17. Cornmeal Lime Cookies – Sosrecipe  |  July 17, 2019 at 6:47 am

    […] you’ve had corn and lime together (my dad’s Blueberry Corn Salad with Lime, anyone?) Maybe it sounds completely impossible. All I know is these cookies are soft and chewy, […]


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Elissa Bernstein

I'm Elissa: a 17 (now 21) year old baker in Seattle Boston juggling creative nonfiction workshops, subway maps, and my passions for writing, baking, and photography. Photo above © Michelle Moore

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