Tag Archives: dessert

A “Scorchin'” Review

I don’t know what’s wrong with me – I’ve had no appetite these past couple of days.  I’ve eaten because I know I need to but I just haven’t had the urge to eat.  It’s really weird.  I hope it goes away soon.

Anyway, I was hoping to get out of my appetite rut by trying something new in the kitchen but I wasn’t in the mood to start totally from scratch.  This seemed like a good time to try a meal kit that I bought at the store a couple of weeks ago.

It’s a Tasty Thai Noodle Meal kit from Spaa Natural foods.  The flavor is what got me – I love sweet and sour products and thought this would be a great meal to try, especially with its three dollar price ticket and all natural label!

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This is what the company’s website says about this product:

Sweet and Sour: Sweet and tangy sauce with herbs

EXPERIENCE: Real Thai meal for two in 7 minutes
TASTE: Closest the restaurant taste
WHOLESOME: Contains chucky vegetables.
SHELF STABLE: (12 months) with no preservatives added.

Impressive stats for a meal kit, especially with no preservatives.  I was a little wary of the sodium – a whopping 38% for only a third of the meal but I figured since it was just one meal, it would be okay.  The best part?  Not only was I able to pronounce all the words in the ingredients list but I even recognized them!  That’s the true test of a meal kit.

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The directions were simple to follow – boil water, add noodles, drain when soft, and then add sauce.  I went a little fancy and did the stove top directions with cut up chicken and a cup and a half of frozen vegetables.

Inside the kit is a package of dried rice noodles and another packet of sauce that is rather large.  As seen in the photo, the sauce packet was the same size as the noodles but a little bit thinner.  I was excited about this – I love dishes with a lot of sauce.

While the water for the noodles were boiling, I cut up the chicken and threw it in a pan with the vegetables and about a tablespoon of olive oil.  Juggling the stir-frying and the noodles was an easy task and I found that they were both ready to go in about seven to eight minutes.

Once the chicken and veggies were thoroughly cooked, I threw them into a medium-sized Tupperware bowl.  As a side note, the veggies were from a Bird Eye’s Asian Stir-fry frozen vegetable blend that has carrots, baby corn, broccoli, water chestnuts, sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, and onions.  It’s absolutely delicious and a great bag to have on hand for when a dish needs a little more servings of veggies.

Once the noodles were done, I added them and the sauce into the bowl with the vegetables and chicken.  The sauce smelt so good!  Kind of sweet yet a little bit of spice in the mix.  Yum!  My only beef with it?  There’s no “chunky vegetables” like the website proposes.  Thank goodness I cooked my own.

After mixing it for a couple of minutes so that everything was evenly coated, I split everything in half and placed it into two bowls – one for Alec and one for me!

The final product looked and smelled delicious – definitely not something I would have expected to come out of a triangular box.  True, it had a little help from the extras I threw in but I think the smell and the beautiful sight was all the mix’s benefit.  I took a heaping bite of it and . . .

HOLY MOLEY!

This stuff was hot!  And not temperature wise but spice wise!  Now, I’m not a wimpy kind of girl – I like my food to be spicy at times but this stuff was a lot little too spicy for me.  I checked the ingredients and at the very bottom, it mentions “fresh red chilies” but I didn’t think it would have that big of a kick!  The package also indicated that it would be mild but this was far beyond that.

I tried to eat as much as I could but the heat was overbearing and so I just picked out the meat and vegetables and slurped up a few noodles before calling it a day.  Alec didn’t even make it that far!  We both had a huge glass of water to bring down the heat but even a couple of hours later, I can still feel it in my mouth.

Aside from the heat, I could taste a bit of sweet and sour in it – a good sauce with just a little too much heat for me.  The meal was a good proportion for two people.  To complete the meal, all it would need would be a serving of bread or fruit.  The time it took to pull together was excellent – I was able to prepare everything and sit down to eat in less than twenty minutes.  My only problem with the entire thing was the heat.  I would recommend this products to others but only for those who love a highly spicy dish.

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Class Projects Involving Food are FUN!

This semester, Alec is taking a class that is designed to introduce future teachers to different technological tools for use in the classroom.  One of his assignments is to make a “story” using photos and audio via a software offered in class.  He decided for his project to tell how to make a certain meal and a dessert.  What this really means is I cooked the meal with pictures and then he’ll put it all together afterwards.  I’m completely okay with this because I love to cook and take pictures!  Plus, I wanted to be able to actually eat what was prepared.

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Alec chose three things to make: Grilled Mahi-Mahi with grapefruit, avocado, and watercress salad, Parmesan Roasted Potatoes, and Berries and Coconut Cream.  He chose this with the assumptions that he would be making it, not me, and so wanted it to be easy.  I really wish he had went for taste and not level of difficulty.

I followed Real Simple recipe down to a tee except that I cut it in half and used spinach instead of watercress because I couldn’t find it at the store.  As pretty as this dish turned out to be, we both found that we did not like it.  The fish was too bland – definitely needs more seasoning – and that the lime dressing on top of the fish didn’t do much for the fish but over powered the rest of the ingredients.  I even stopped eating the spinach because the sweet lime sauce was the only thing I could taste.  Everything just seemed to be different tastes that look like they should work together but in reality, they don’t.  The fish was too bland, the sauce to tart/sweet, and the grapefruit to sour to be of any help.

Just not very appealing.  I will probably never cook this again but it was good enough for the project since they’ll be seeing, not eating.

By the way, and I could be completely wrong about this, but I didn’t realize that green onions and scallions were the same thing – I’ve always heard green onions growing up.  I looked everywhere for “scallions” in the store but there were no signs – they were called “green onions” there, too!  I ended up getting green onions because I thought they looked the same as the picture and, lo and behold, it was the same thing!  Does this happen to anyone else?

Thank goodness Alec chose Parmesan roasted potatoes!  One of the only things that I ate on that whole plate that satisfied me.  I wasn’t able to roast them in a roasting pan since I don’t have one so I used a flat cookie sheet instead.  The potatoes came out crispy and yummy – like a French fries but [hopefully] not as bad for you.  This was one recipe that I would like to try again sometime, maybe with a beef dish or grilled chicken.  I feel that it’s very versatile and could be paired with many different dishes!

Obviously, we deviated with this recipe by using strawberries and not a mixture of smaller berries but there’s a reason!  We could have paid twice as much for berries that we don’t really care for or pay less for ones that we do like.  Which one would you choose?  I bet it would be the cheaper berries that you like!

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Oh my goodness.  This was by far the best part of dinner!  I’ve had my far share of strawberries and cream growing up but this may be my now all time favorite way to make it.  The whip cream is delicious – a subtle blend of rich milk and coconut – and gives a good spin to the strawberries.  Using a lime when mixing the strawberries with sugar also added a nice tart flavor to it.  I loved this stuff.  I even licked the cream from the plate, which is not something I do.  I normally don’t really care for whip cream but this was stuff sent by the gods.

Mmmmm!

I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

Bottom line – the berries and potatoes are sure to be seen in our kitchen again but the mahi-mahi?  Probably not unless I did some serious tampering with the recipe.

Now off to homework, reading, and sleep!  See you in the morning!

Oh, before I forget!  Check out this giveaway at Eat, Drink, and Be Hopeful for your chance to win Chobani yogurt!

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