What I Learned This Weekend

Costco was having a demonstration on the vitamix this past weekend. The first time I’ve ever heard of this machine was on a post from Christy @ The Actor’s Diet. This girl sure loves her vitamix. I snapped a shot and quickly walked away so I wouldn’t be tempted to buy one cause God knows, I’m a HUGE sucker for kitchen products. Unfortunately my credit card can confirm that too πŸ˜‰ I still don’t know what this machine does but I’m afraid to find out (must stay away from temptation).

Since it was the long weekend and I had extra time on my hands, I took the opportunity to try out two recipes from two other fellow bloggers. I wanted to try a thrid recipe but that one involves a very ripe avocado and my avocado wasn’t ripe yet 😦 By the way, I heard if you put fruit into your rice container along with your uncooked rice, it helps speed up the ripening process. Or if you put different fruits together in a bag, one fruit will help the other ripen. Anyone ever heard of this? Not sure if those are true though so don’t quote me on that.

Sorry for getting sidetracked. Anyways, blogging has opened my eyes to a whole new world and has inspired me to try new dishes. Now stir frying and steaming I can handle, but when it comes to making dessert or trying out other people’s recipes, I’m like a fish out of water. So with that said, I’m going to take the time now to apologize to Stella and Denise because my pictures don’t do their recipes justice. I actually contemplated on whether to put up the pictures or not but then I needed proof…..teehee.

I tried out a delicious Coconut Milk and Rosewater Panna Cotta recipe from Stella @ The Witchy Kitchen. This was Kayla’s serving with fuzzy peach on top.

Here’s mine.

And here’s what it was supposed to look like: (Stella’s)

See what I mean about not doing it justice? Huge swing and miss on the presentation, BUT….I’m pretty sure I had the taste dead on because I followed the recipe and instructions exactly and boy was this delicious! If you like coconut you have to try this! It was coconuty, smooth, the perfect sweetness and YUMMILICIOUS! I exaggerate you not πŸ˜› Please click on the name of this dessert above for the complete recipe. I’ll definitely be making this again!

I also tried another delicious recipe from Denise @ Quickies on the Dinner Table. If you like spicy dishes you’ll LOVE this recipe. Check out the spice in this one:

12 large fresh red chillies, remove seeds (the blender doesn’t crush them)
15 red bird’s eye chillies, remove stalks,leave seeds in
3 level Tbsp red hot pepper flakes (I used Maldivian red pepper flakes)
4 medium red onions, peel
4 medium sized knobs of ginger (each 7 cm or 2 1/2 in long) peel
4 large potatoes, peel and cut each into 6
3 level tsps Colman’s Mustard powder (or finely ground black mustard seeds)
500 g (about 1 lb) smoked cocktail sausages
2 cups water
1 medium store bought rotisserie chicken (ready roasted) cut into 10 or 12 even pieces
2 1/2 Tbsp white vinegar (no wine/cider/balsamic please)
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/2 – 1 level tsp sugar

Please click here for the complete recipe. Now once again here’s my swing and miss on presentation dish:

I had it along with some whole wheat pasta and shrimp.

And here’s justice: (Denise’s)

Her dish looks so much better than mine. What I AM proud of though was how great this tasted. I left out the Italian sausage cause I forgot to buy them but still made the dish anyways. Maybe that’s why her’s looks so much better. When I saw the spiciness of this recipe I knew I had to try this. I’m so glad I did because it was one smokin’ dish! I couldn’t have asked for a better tasting, more spicy, beyond satisfying dish! Talk about clearing my sinuses. This dish took me on a roller coaster ride. From tearing and crying from the spiciness during preparation, to pain (that kind of satisfying good pain though) from my burning lips, tongue, and stomach, to pure enjoyment of the DELICIOUSNESS exploding out of this dish. I can’t wait to make this again with ALL the ingredients next time πŸ˜›

So here’s what I learned this weekend:

  1. How to make two awesomely delicious dishes.
  2. I need a new camera and photography lessons cause my pictures obviously suck. (any suggestions on a camera?)
  3. Looks can be deceiving.
  4. Give credit where credit is due (even if it makes you look like a really bad cook ;-).)
  5. Food blogging rocks!

So thank you Stella and Denise for always sharing your wonderful and delicious recipes. You two charming ladies are truly an inspiration. I still have a lot to learn from the both of you and the blogging world. Happy blogging everyone. Don’t forget to check out my giveaways page. Until next time friends and family.


24 Responses to “What I Learned This Weekend”

  1. 1 A Canadian Foodie May 25, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    What a great tribute to these two sites. I am definitely going to try the panna cotta! Learn aboutt he Thermomix – not the Vita mix. Thermomix is A+WAYYYY better!
    Good for you. YOu have now motivated me to do the same!!!!

  2. 2 serena May 25, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Yes, to speed up the process I usually place an apple w/the ‘to be ripen’ fruit in a brown paper bag.
    Definitely going to give the coconut dessert try. Got a few packets of Knox Gelatin to make use of.

    I usually use my vitamix to make drinks: smoothies, milkshakes,…

  3. 3 Stella May 25, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Hey LeQuan, this totally took me off guard! I know you said you wanted to try it though. I’m really glad you liked it-we love it and feel that it is a dessert that has some redeeming health qualities. Well, for a dessert at least. Your’e funny with comparing the photos-sweet too!
    By the way, I want to try that dish of Denise’s. It looks so hearty and old school-my kind of food! Plus, I like torturing myself with spice. I often burn the skin on my lips off when I eat at Vietnamese places amongst other places that provide the opportunity to do so (smile). Denise is so talented too. I’ve tried a few of her dishes following the recipes to a ‘T’ and they always work out well.
    P.S.-I’m proud of you for resisting the urge to buy that item. I am really trying to keep that kind of stuff at bay, and I know it’s hard…

    • 4 luvtoeat May 27, 2010 at 12:41 am

      You definitely have to try Denise’s dish. It was so yummy. Although I’d have to warn you, I eat a lot of Vietnamese food and the spiciness there is nothing compared to Denise’s wonderful dish. Thank you for your panna cotta recipe. I absolutely loved it, as did the hubby (he’s not even a sweets type of guy) and kiddies.

  4. 5 whydeprive May 25, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    I love trying other bloggers recipes! Mine never look as pretty either, don’t worry.

    As for the camera suggestions, I have none. As evidenced by my photos. Lol I do desperately want a canon rebel though. So badly.

    And the Vitamix – I want one. But I could never justify spending that amount of money on anything other than rent or a car payment.

  5. 6 Jessie May 25, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    I try to stay away from demonstrations with appliances that I want (such as a VITAMIX) because just like you I’m just too darn tempted! I had to walk away from one in Whole Foods once and it was painful!! πŸ˜› I’ve heard about the fruit ripening other fruit – I used a really rip banana to ripen other fruit by putting them next to each other. I don’t know if it would work with other fruit, though, like a really ripe peach or something.

    I remember seeing Denise’s dish and wanting to make it! I’ve got it bookmarked somewhere. I THINK I might have to cut down on the peppers, though πŸ˜‰ I think your pictures are tasty, even if they aren’t 100% perfect like Stella’s and Denise’s (I don’t think anyone else could take such perfect pictures!). My pictures aren’t very nice – any niceness in them comes from my camera’s “Easy” setting (haha, no, I’m not kidding. Lazy, right??). I also try to use natural light as much as possible, although I’m often too lazy for that, too. Oops! πŸ˜›


    • 7 luvtoeat May 26, 2010 at 12:08 am

      JESSIE! So good to hear from you dudette! Really hope you’re having a great time in China. I’m so jealous. Like I said, don’t worry about commenting on my blog if you don’t have time. I totally understand. Take this time to really enjoy China, dear. But thank you for being such a great friend πŸ˜€

      You totally should try Denise’s recipe when you have the time. It’s really delicious!! I couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers the next day. If I didn’t make so much I’m sure there wouldn’t have been any leftovers.

      Enjoy your time in China girl!! πŸ˜€

  6. 8 Cindy Aguilar May 25, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Yep, I have heard of putting an avocado in a brown sac to speed up the ripening, and it does work! I love appliances and gadgets also!! Good for you to try different things! I want photo lessons really bad also!! On the camera thing, I have a great digital SLR, and a point and shot…email me when you are interested!

  7. 9 denise @ quickies on the dinner table May 26, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Wow LeQuan – you’re sneaky!!! ROFL Like Stella, I did NOT expect this! Thank you so much for the mention and links and PR πŸ˜‰ You’re an angel!

    I am so glad you enjoyed the dish – but you probably did do some crying for real LOL I’ve not yet seen a Curry Devil newbie eat it without tears – Oh my goodness! If you have the tiniest mean bone in your body, you will LOVE serving this to unsuspecting guests πŸ˜›

    Whenever I’m in a department store, hubby will make sure we take a detour and bypass the kitchen section – I really am THAT bad though my weakness is not so much electric gadgets as it is baking equipment and tableware *sigh*

    My grandma told me to put unripe fruit like bananas, papayas, sapodilla plums and pineapples in the uncooked rice bin and bury them in the rice. I still do it and I gotta say, I really think it works! Never tried it with avocados though and now, I’m wondering why..

    This is turning out like a novella YIKES! Ok let me finish by saying that when I started blogging my pics sucked bigtime but I used to look at the pretty pics on other blogs and try to model my shots on those, after a while you get a real feel for what works and what doesn’t. Daylight is always good though as are nice big windows which let in light. I really would love a Canon DSLR though I hear Yashica is excellent for its price which is substantially lower . I’ve heard some bloggers say Nikon is overrated – just so you know πŸ™‚

    • 10 luvtoeat May 27, 2010 at 12:49 am

      The pleasure was all mine my friend πŸ˜€ Wanna know a funny thing? Before I sat down to eat your dish, I had 2 big glasses of water ready by my dish to put out the flames.

      I think it was my grandma that taught me to burry unripe papayas in rice so they will ripen quicker. Grandmas have so much knowledge of cooking and food. If only I knew then what I know now….sigh.

      Thank you for the camera tips. I will keep those in mind when shopping for a new one.

  8. 11 denise @ quickies on the dinner table May 26, 2010 at 5:18 am

    P/S I LOVE the glass Kayla’s portion of Panna Cotta is in! So retro and I’m mad for roses πŸ˜‰

  9. 12 Ameena May 26, 2010 at 11:18 am

    Such a great post and I love that you acknowledge the other bloggers in such a nice way!

    I have heard so much about the Vitamix but it is expensive and BIG! I have no space for such an enormous appliance, especially since I’ll probably use it once and pack it back up in the laundry room or something.

    I am so camera challenged that I don’t see anything wrong with your pictures! They certainly look better than mine. I have a Canon I think and it is pretty good for a novice like me!

    Hope you have a great Wednesday. This week is flying by!

  10. 13 5 Star Foodie May 26, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Great recipes to try from Stella and Denise! Both look super delicious!

  11. 14 Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron May 26, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    haha I think we all shouldn’t walk pass the kitchen section no matter where! I know it’s so tempting to make a purchase for those products. I often asked myseld, did I really need that just to stop myself? lol

    Good to see you tried the fellow recipes! Good job!

  12. 15 aletheiazoe May 26, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    I’m glad you survived, made it out, made the recipe, had it be considered dismal–and still come out thinking that food blogs rule. YAAY. Don’t turn your back on us now, LeQuan!

    I’m not going to deny anything. I want the VITAMIX. I WANTTT. Like you and Jessie, I’d walk away, too (or at least try to). But guess what sucks? THERE’S A VITAMIX ON OPEN DISPLAY IN THE HEALTH FOOD STORE WHERE I WORK!! It comes at a witchy time I tell you. It knows what I’ve been craving recently (in terms of kitchen appliances, that is). Sigh. It’s for a in-store promotion giveaway/contest thingamajig. I try not to gape at it every time I work. It’s pathetic, really. I’m rallying up all my friends and family to enter so that we can split the loot. I call 50% of rights to use it if they win–that sort of thing.

    I’m not sure about cameras either — I use a Canon powershot and even though I know other food bloggers who are superpro with their superpro cameras, I, of course, am choosing to save my money for the Vitamix. πŸ˜› HA! I use this setting on my camera called like “macro focus” or something, all the time, and it works magic. It’s like the lazy man’s way of taking half-good shots with a half-bad camera. πŸ˜€


    • 16 luvtoeat May 27, 2010 at 12:57 am

      Oh that sux about the vitamix Aletheia. I think I would cave in and just buy it to end my misery of seeing it everyday. I know, I’m not helping, sorry. Hang in there girl. I know you can do it cause you’re THE too cool for words Aletheia. There, was that better? πŸ˜‰

  13. 17 sophia May 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    I have a Vitamix. Someone gave it to me. I don’t know what the fuss is all about. All it does is blend. Very strong, but so what? I guess I say this because I’m just not a smoothie person…;-p

    I suggest a SLR, if you can afford it. I myself don’t have a SLR, and am paying for it whenever the lighting is bad. I’m saving up to get one, though. And CANON all the way!

  14. 18 MaryMoh May 27, 2010 at 4:08 am

    Wow…that’s a lot of cooking going on. I should be there. I’ll be a good taster πŸ˜› I love it all. Totally agree with you…looks can be deceiving. I’m still bad in presentation. Need to improve. I know what you prepared must be very delicious. I have a Canon DSLR but so under utilised 😦 I still love the point and shoot….so easy around the kitchen even as I cook. What an excuse…haha Have fun cooking!

  15. 19 actorsdiet May 27, 2010 at 9:34 am

    i know christy loves her vitamix but i don’t think i make enough smoothies/sauces to justify getting one for myself. i prefer chunk to my food, in general. that sounds gross.

  16. 20 xiaoyen May 27, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    LOL! I’m a sucker for kitchen gadgets too. As a matter of fact, my husband won’t let me buy anymore because of them just sit in storage. I love spicy food but I can’t eat too spicy. Love all the dishes you posted….look very yummy!

  17. 21 Roti n Rice May 28, 2010 at 7:13 am

    You must have had fun cooking those dishes. I must say you are brave to use all those chilis…good for you! Have a great weekend!

  18. 22 Lazaro May 29, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Fantastic renditions of two great dishes. You sell yourself a bit short here. In my opinion you did a fabulous job. Very generous of you to include thier dishes in your blog.

    Vita mix = very expensvie.

    Three wonderful bloggers in one post can’t beat that!


  19. 23 Blessedhi5ive June 5, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Hi LeQuan – as your kids get older and participate in sports activities, a faster SLR camera will be useful. My friend just bought a Nikon D5000 slr with lenses for less than 1k usd. I myself like Canon (goes with the rest of my Canon products and accessories) but theses 2 slr cameras are about the same. Some of Canon cameras are still made in Japan whereas Nikon’s are made elsewhere. Thanks for the yummy recipe and I will try cooking the mushrooms in yr post.

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