Is your week going alright for ya? It’s Friday! YEY! I‘m sure you can’t wait for a weekend!
In this post, I want to point something out and talk about recipes, and other things in a similar matter. It‘s something that’s been lingering through my mind for a while and I just have to get it off my chest. I am the type of person that hate following recipes. I like adding a pinch or two of this and that and taste, even if the recipe is from Giada or Jamie Oliver. The hardest part having a food blog measures actually things for the recipe. Sometimes I‘d make something and I am in love with the taste, smell, aroma, appeal, but I forgot to write it down. Of course, nobody is complaining when I make it again. Anyways, I test drive recipe few times before posting it on my blog if it‘s something completely new.
I know that many people like to follow recipes to the T, but in reality, you gotta make it your own to like it. Taste, feel, smell, hear… Include all your senses when you cook. We “Food” bloggers can’t physically be there to teach you how to cook or make our recipes. We can give you an idea what to make, how to make it, give a guide, maybe advice and encourage you to cook at home rather than taking the easy way out, meaning you, driving to the nearest fast food chain, at least that is my view. Cooking is not that hard if you follow your instincts. Even if you only know how to fry an egg you are still using your common sense how much oil, salt or pepper you going to use. That my friends go for every recipe, maybe paying wee bit more attention to those baked goodies.
Another point that I’d like to make: Food looks like a million bucks on the picture but when you make looks nothing like it. To break the truth to you, even if it‘s something that Y’all should already know, styling is important in food photography, and all images from most of the food blogs to magazines are edited to look like that, to draw attention so you can make it. I can’t simply slap serving spoon of mashed potatoes on the plate, even if it‘s with the tastiest and sexist steak to the eye and expect for you to say: “mmm, I am cooking that tomorrow!” because in reality that picture, if not properly styled and edited will not look like anything you want to make today or tomorrow, trust me! Our job is to make that shot so you find yourself literally drooling on the other side.
I am not putting down anybody with my words who is not editing pictures, but if you want people to make your recipe, if you want to take blogging more serious, at least you have to learn the basics. That’s all I’m saying! You don’t need a fancy schmancy camera or expensive software to do that because now days even with iPhone and free editing programs/apps people make mouthwatering food pics. In my defense, I try to keep it as natural as possible.
I shoot my pics 80% of the time using natural light but of course, it‘s styled and purposely made that way, so it looks like you want to lick the screen, however, food that I make is tasty I can say that much, and I will stand behind any of my recipes. Years of experimentation on my family and friends are the best proof of that fact! As much as I love cooking, food photography is my safe haven. I can spend hours playing with images, on the other hand, I spent a number of hours in the kitchen (every day) testing and experimenting with different flavors and combinations too.
I am not a chef with the kick-ass diploma busting my booty Judy in the restaurant kitchen. I‘d never say or claim that title. Truth to be told, I could never work as a chef, not ’cause I don’t like cooking, but because I like to work at my own pace without a stress.To say the least, I am irritated when somebody calls me a “chef”. Don’t get me wrong, I am flattered with happy face spread across my face, but that’s not me and I don’t deserve the title.
I‘m a mama of 3 growing kids, and home-cook for the last 17 years (every day) of my life with many fails in my pocket. Let’s put it this way, you can’t succeed unless you fail, then pick yourself up and try again. Cooking is an art, and a therapy in so many ways, and it is meant to be enjoyed not only eating part but cooking part as well. Personally, I love seeing people eating food that I make. That makes me extremely happy!
Why am I writing this? Well, let me tell you, every once in a while somebody writes or comments about the food doesn’t look as pretty as on the picture or being too spicy, or that I must’ve made a mistake in the recipe, which could happen and had happened on more than a few occasions, but not often and if you‘re uncertain please, do ask before making it just to make sure (I really love hearing good and bad). Mostly, I wanted to point out when you cook or whatever you are making you‘ve got to taste your food while cooking, rather than look at the recipe and go by it without tasting. Better use less salt, spicy sauce, pepper, etc. than more. But you see, that’s not always the case. People like to cook following the recipe and not even tasting that dish in the process of making and that is wrong (again excluding pastries).
Of course, there are people that make something and hate it. I can’t make you like something even if it looks amazing in the picture, and to take myself as an example, I hate oysters. There is no chef in the world that could prepare an oyster and expect me to like it because I will gag that shit right out.
I have a high tolerance for spicy, as well as my daughter. We eat saucy boneless buffalo chicken sandwiches and yes, we add Sriracha and pickled jalapenos on it too. My husband, on the other hand, could handle very, very mild level of spiciness.
I adjust dishes for my family because if I like it, that doesn’t mean that everybody will, and probably two out of five will not be pleased. Not because it doesn’t taste good, but it simply doesn’t sit well with their taste buds.
So, when you read in my recipes “TO TASTE”, please taste the food before adding 2,3.4 tablespoons of hot sauce. Add a little bit at the time and see how much is too much for you!!!
These Bites are insanely good! I was popping them in my mouth like M & M ‘s. If you love these flavors, I know you will love these savory bites! You can make more and pack it next day for your lunch over rice or noodles!
Shrimp Stir-Fry Bites
If you love these flavors, I know you will love these savory bites! You can make more and pack it next day for your lunch over rice or noodles!
- Mini Fillo tart Shells/15pk or more
- 1 lb Shrimp
- 2 tbsp. Oil
- 1 medium carrot cut into matchsticks (handful)
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 inch ginger minced
- 3 Scallions sliced lengthwise -save few inches of green part for garnish
- 5 mushrooms sliced
- few Assorted sweet peppers
- 1/2 chili pepper
- 1/2 Tbs. Oyster Sauce
- 1/2 tsp. Fish sauce
- 1 Tbs. Soy sauce light/less sodium
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 5 Tbsp. Water
- 1/2 tbsp. Sugar
- 1/2 tsp. Sesame Oil
- sesame seeds
- Boil water with 1 tbsp salt, then drops shrimp to boil for 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. When they cool down, peel and devein shrimp. If frozen, just peel after boiling. Cut shrimp into small pieces (you can save tales for the garnish).
- Preheat oil and drop in carrots, cook for a minute then add garlic and ginger. Cook for a minute or so then add scallions. Stir very well, add other vegetables; peppers, and mushrooms. Stir for 5 minutes, then transfer it to the clean plate and set aside.
- Mix sauce for the stir fry set aside.
- While wok or pan is still hot, turn down the heat to medium and add chopped shrimps. Stir-fry for a minute, then add vegetables back to the wok.
- Drizzle sauce over the stir-fry, One tablespoon at the time, stir and TASTE (I used exact 2 1/2 tbsp of the sauce for this one).
- Stir very well, and let the flavors marry before turning it off and transferring to a bowl.
- Add a teaspoon or so of shrimp stir fry into fillo tart shells. This could be served over noodles or rice.
- Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, chopped scallions and serve hot and immediately.
You can use chicken for this, leftover or you can cook it and mix later with stir-fry. You can find Fillo tart shells in Frozen section in the grocery store --usually where frozen desserts are. If you would eat serving size this would probably serve more than 4 people, but in reality, 2 people could finish this in heartbeat. Oyster sauce, as well as Soy sauce and fish sauce, have a high level of sodium, so be aware not to pour the whole mixture at one time. Add a tablespoon at the time, taste and add more if needed to please your taste.