Finally, it’s here. The moment you’ve all been waiting for (or at least, I’d like to believe so): A Round-Up to all the recipes submitted to my “You Are What You Cook” Challenge!
Thank you to all you wonderful bloggers who participated in this event. I adored reading every entry that you submitted, and getting a different glimpse on who you are. I think it’s so important how you define yourself, because that’s most likely how people will perceive you. The self-image you have in your mind is what you portray, and the image you portray is what people receive as who you are. And how fun is it to put that self-image into a physical form, and be able to eat it, too?
Since we’ve got quite a number of brilliant dishes here, I’ll stop yapping away and let the recipes and pictures talk for themselves. I highly recommend that you click through all the links here, and check out these fine assortment of unique and creative bloggers!
The first blogger to send in her submission was the lovely Diana from Soap and Chocolate. Here’s her dish, the Divine Rice:
Wow, doesn’t this seriously look divine? Fit for the gods, indeed! “Diana” actually means “Divine” too, and this creative lady put together a medley of simply divine ingredients that made for a gorgeous dish that will delight both the senses and well-being of the taster: coconut oil, almonds, tahini, miso, Gena’s Carrot Miso Dressing, and…a few other ingredients which I will let this post speak for itself. Just like this exquisite dish, Diane is a precious treat!
Next is Nicole from Prevention RD. Nicole also created a dish with the inspiration derived from her name, which means “Victory of the People”. Dang. What a fabulous name, and now I’m going to have to ask my dad why he didn’t name me Nicole!
Anyway. Nicole certainly lives out her name by celebrating victory with her own life—she has successfully whittled down to a healthy weight, and has dedicated her entire being to health and nutrition—not just for herself, but for others, too. She runs a really informative, practical, well-balanced, and enjoyable nutrition blog, and she has created a recipe that ties all those components into one dish: The Prevention Seafood Tacos with Black Beans and Guacamole.
This dish contains everything that defines Nicole: appearance, color, boldness, Mexican-flavor, balance, and nutrition (duh). Check out her post for the recipe!
My dear old friend Corey from Hope is Real! sent me a unique smoothie recipe: A Nutty Chocolate Raspberry Smoothie:
This refreshing drink has all her favorite ingredients in it: chocolate frozen yogurt, raspberries, blueberries, milk and a hint of spice. Corey is a wonderful woman who has been through a lot in her life, but still remains strong and persistent in her recovery of balance and joy and peace in her life. In truth, there are a lot of seemingly odds against her: schizoaffective disorder, anxiety disorder, and bi-sexualism to name a few…but this lady ain’t giving up on her right to true freedom and pride just because of that. Corey is exactly like this smoothie: refreshing in her straight-forward honesty and uniqueness, a “in your face” beverage that you drink and toast to life.
Tou Tou from Light Delight with Tou Tou also submitted a drink recipe. Two, actually. She defines herself as two distinct drinks: creamy and lightly sweetened; yet bold and roast-flavored. Check out her Mocha milk tea:
I’ve personally met Tou Tou, and I’ve experienced for myself both sides to her. She is an extremely sweet and gentle person, the kind you instantly like and trust at first glance. But she certainly is no pushover, either. This girl has spirit and determination. She’s actively pursuing what she wants in a foreign country, away from her family, but enduring all of it with grace and tenacity. Tou Tou is warm and soothing, but bold and invigorating, too.
Okay, another favorite blogger of mine: Faith, from An Edible Mosaic. I love her blog name, because it’s such a perfect exemplification of her recipes and personality. Faith is definitely a wildly creative cook, and her blog is just chock-full of wonderful and colorful recipes, that aren’t limited by a specific type or diet. A true edible mosaic, indeed. Her submission was a dish that reflects her fun yet warm personality:
A Fishbowl (Salmon Noodle Bowl with Greens & Garlic-Ginger-Honey Glaze). This dish is something I would love to have on a cold, rainy day, when I want something hot, familiar, and casual to slurp up without shame—but with a sweet and spicy irresistible twist.
Now, I have to thank Faith for another gift she’s given me. A new friend and fellow blogger, Veronica from Recipe Rhapsody. If you may recall, Veronica also submitted a great BSI entry to my BSI: Brussel Sprouts. This time, Veronica sent me a particularly thoughtful definition of herself in the form of a delicious, decadent Vegan Gluten-Free Mounds Cake:
Did I mention this cake is vegan and gluten-free? Veronica is lucky to be allergy-free—but she isn’t going to be pointing at those who do and shriek, “Nanny nanny poo poo! You can’t have cake!” I thought the way she defined herself with dish was so thoughtful—Veronica sees herself as a compassionate, empathetic person who is friendly and accepting to all sorts of people. Combine that with her thrill in overcoming challenges, and her love for baking, and you get this gorgeously sexy and guilt-free cake.
You probably already know Natasha from 5-Star Foodie. She’s quite the blogger sensation. Not only is she the sweetest, warmest person ever, she is the most creative and daring cook I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I mean, just look at this!
You’re probably wondering, what is that? Rubies? Jewels? It’s really POM Wonderful juice…but with some ingenuity and skills, transformed into little tart caviar…or Persephones Tears, as Natasha calls it. I was totally blown away…Natasha kicks Marcel’s (from Top Chef) ass in molecular gastronomy! This “tears” definitely defines Natasha—she is an artist, unrestrained by trite conventions and familar . I also loved how she shared a mythological story behind her dish. A true Renaissance woman!
Wen Xiu from Flour Streaked sent me a recipe that is pulls at my nostalgic heart: A Baked Rendang Fish Rice:
Ah, Rendang. Spicy, greasy, a kick-to-the-sinus rendang. It resonates so much lovely nostalgia for me about the days back in Singapore. Wen Xiu is also a cheap Asian like me (heh heh) so she utilized leftovers and cheap ingredients to create a dish that is definitely not cheap in taste! Check out her recipe…and her fun definitions of the ingredients she used!
Next, the lovely Karena from Run Beans Run. I had the pleasure of meeting this pretty and sophisticated lady in person once, and she is so fun and enjoyable to be with. I happen to know that she’s a pretty busy bee, too, so I have no idea how she still managed to scrape up the time to make these amazing Chorizo and Corn Potato Croquettes!
Karena had the cutest definition of herself through her crispy and creamy croquettes: tough and crunchy gung-ho person on the outside, but really sweet and mushy inside. Check out her post, and you’ll also find out the reason behind her blog name.
Okay, the next dish is…complicated. In fact, it’s not just one dish—it’s a whole colorful, rich medley of dishes! Ozoz (or Ozozoma) from Kitchen Butterfly could not have chosen a more fitting dish to define herself: a Mezze:
Her blog name says it all; this woman is a Kitchen Butterfly of rich cultures and adventures. Her name is actually Nigerian, and it means: “the giver of Children”. Ozoz is a mother of three, but that’s not the only “children” she bears. She is a collector of all the colorful and rich food, stories, experiences, lessons in life. And in this mezze, that would be: Marinated olives, Sizzling prawns, Dates wrapped in bacon and stuffed with almonds, Pizza sarnies, Salad, Halloumi skewers, Dukkah and Pita chips…with orange tea, too! Gosh! What a glorious collection!
You’re gonna love the next recipe by Marla from Family Fresh Cooking. Marla has one of the most exquisitely designed blogs I know, and all her pictures are amazing—fresh and vibrant to the point of almost popping out the page. Her Skinny Chocolate Drop Cookies are no different. Just check this out:
These cookies are an exemplary definition of Marla and her blog: fun to make, creative, impressive, and delicious, all the while without being “in-your-face” healthy. Her food is all really nutritious, but in a subtle, gentle way that will have your pickiest 5-year-old wolf down his oats and sprouted grains.
Now, Andrea from Andrea’s Wellness Notes sure knows the way to my
heart stomach. Her self-definition dish could very well be mine! Check out the runny egg on top:
Andrea’s dish is Bap Egg On Top: basically, flavored rice (“bap” in Korean) with not just one, but two runny egg on top. And of course, she had to use my favorite condiment, gochujang. This dish is deceivingly simple, just like Andrea. Its got some really complex, intriguing flavors in it, and is highly adaptable, and always evolving.
Okay, I don’t need to compliment Joanne from Eats Well With Others any more, in fear of appearing to play favoritism. Oh, what the heck, I’ll just throw in a few more. I rarely want anyone to cook for me. Usually, I’m the one who wants others to sit back and eat my cooking. But with Joanne, I’ll be willing to give up kitchen rights, and just obediently wolf down whatever she puts before me. This girl is one audacious, spunky cook, and this Sausage and Eggplant Polenta proves it:
Sweet yet salty, creamy yet chewy, classy yet modest. That’s who Joanne defines herself as—a conglomerate of contradicting flavors and personalities and quirks and passions. But one thing is crystal clear: Joanne is one fine cook!
And since I’ve already went all out on favoritism, may I present another one of my favorite bloggers, Biz from The Biggest Diabetic Loser. Biz is yet another blogger whose kitchen I want to camp in. Diabetic? No way. This sassy blogger actually seems to have fun with it. Watch her cheekily work her way around her diet to create flavorful and tantalizing dishes that are diabetic-friendly, like this Buffalo Chicken Soup:
Whenever I see a bottle of hot sauce, my brain has been programmed to immediately think, “Biz!!” Biz is Queen of Spice, and damn proud of it. But despite her vivacious spirit, she is also warm, comforting and inviting…just like this bowl of Buffalo Chicken Soup.
Yao from BakeMe is someone whom I should have met ages ago. But this shy blogger only just revealed to me that she is also a student at USC, despite us having shared the same school for 7 months! Yao only just managed to submit her recipe at the nick of time—but there is a purposeful meaning behind even that. Her dish is “Yao” Wo Noodles, which means “I Want Me” in Chinese:
You see, Yao doesn’t exactly know a definite definition of herself yet. Her dish is a definition of who she aspires to be: Someone who desires and accepts herself for who she is and who she will become. Man, what a gorgeous dish, and what a beautiful meaning behind it!
Martha from Seaside Simplicity is a blogger whom I’ve only just “met”…and I already like her. Come on, it’s hard not to like a person who comes up with a cheese-whore-worthy dish like this Italian Mac-and-Cheese:
Bacon. Cheese. Bubbling. With tons of Carbilicious pasta. Wow. What’s not to love? Martha’s description of this dish was short and sweet: cheap and easy. Haha, she meant: frugal and simple. Ah, she’s a humorous one!
Lassi from Pan Gravy Kadai Curry is yet another new blogger I “met”. Lassi made the most innovative dish ever, with an ingredient that I have never used before: bittergourd. Bittergourd is exactly like its name—bitter. But translated into a dish, it can be a rather intriguing and exotic dish. Lassi used this unique ingredient to make something that is familiar to us— burgers. Specifically, Bitter Gourd, Pinto Beans, & Raisin Patty Sliders:
How impressive is that? I loved her play on this ingredient; I think it shows a fun and playful side to her. Like a bittergourd, Lassi claims that she is a “required taste”…but if you give her a chance, you will grow to love her inner sweetness, and appreciate her interesting tinge of bitterness.
Wow. This took me longer than I thought to write, considering that all of these recipes were contributions by these incredible bloggers. But it was such great fun to read each and every of their posts again, and gain a new appreciation for all the different and individual person behind the blogs. Please take a look at all these blogs—we’re truly part of quite an awesome community!
P.S. I’m kind of worried. Some of the entries here were not directly emailed to me, and I’m scared that I might have missed out some submissions. If you have submitted a recipe but I have accidentally missed it out, please let me know asap so I can fix it. Thanks!
Question of the day: Are these bloggers all brilliant, or what? That’s a rhetorical question.