Expectations (French Fridays with Dorie: Shrimp & Cellophane Noodles)


We all have them.

Sometimes they are realistic.

Sometimes, not so much.

Some times they are hopeful.

Sometimes they are underestimated.

Sometimes people live up to your expectations.

Sometimes they don't.

Deciding when to raise or lower them can be a source of angst.

Being able to do so decisively and without looking back can be a gift.

Or a bane. (Depending on whether or not you made the right decision).

Like calling Amazon three times about your Kindle and having three people promise you your replacement is on the way - even promising to ship it overnight. After each phone call, your expectations are high - surely they will finally get it right. One week later, with still no order in the system, your expectations are low.

Going to the grocery store looking for a batch of lemons. Low expectations. You get to the store and see a display of organic Meyer lemons. Expectations exceeded.

I entered last week's chicken liver gateaux with a somewhat open mind but with low expectations (regarding my regard for the end product). The the scales between expectations and results were balanced - the Universe was in order.

A chocolate sourdough cake. Expectations high. The resulting mess that looked like something out of a Tim Burton move. Expectations not met.

Like that chocolate cake, this week the scales were not quite so balanced. My expectations were high, but reality fell with a thud onto the opposite side of the scale like a 20 pound weight and left things a little unbalanced.


We rescued the shrimp.

Everything else ended up getting tossed.

I am moving on....

To cookies (that someone else made).

Or a glass of orange juice.

Or something.

Anything that doesn't involved sesame oil and Chinese five spice mixed with tomato puree.

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.


  1. Sounds like a rough week. Hopefully you were able to enjoy the cookies.

  2. Oh no! I thought the tomato puree thing was weird, but didn't mind the result in the end. Moving on to next week ...

  3. Oh no! These's an echo in here! So sorry to hear your sad tale of shrimp in tomato sauce getting tossed....but, I'm very glad that the shrimp were rescued-I do feel way better hearing that news!! I guess the noodles weren't so good either, bummer!!!

  4. Yep, no love lost here. I picked out my shrimp, too.

    On to better recipes!

  5. I know I tried this recipe at some point. My book has an angry black X in the corner. I seem to have blocked the details from my memory, though.

  6. I'm trying not to laugh (but your post is funny)...this is such a sad recipe...must be a huge mistake. I'm so glad I "fixed" this one. All the photos I've seen so far where the recipe was followed look gross. Cookies. Shrimp. Those sound good! I can't really imagine stir frying these noodles and with all that tomato...well, it just does not work, obviously. And you are a great cook. If it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work!

  7. That sounds so difficult my friend!
    Don't give it another thought because your cooking is fabulous!

    Choc Chip Uru

  8. Ugh, sorry this one was a dud! I thought it was fine, but not worth repeating...

  9. Not my kind of recipe since I don´t like shrimp, so just skipped it. Sorry it didn´t work out Cher, I think Trevor has the answer...jaja! Have a great weekend!

  10. I also had expectations that this one would be a slam dunk and was disappointed. Sorry it didn't work for you either. It looks pretty though.

  11. Yikes! Yay for the Meyer Lemons though - so cheap this time of year and so much fun stuff to be found on Pinterest to do with them! :)

  12. Great post. We always have high expectations when we use one of Dorie's recipes. This time...they definitely weren't met.

  13. Yowch. Sounds like a rough experience! I really had no expectations for this one. It was just . . . weird. It's still pretty weird. Definitely more of a miss than a hit.

  14. Glad the lemons were a hit . . . a Dogie recipe flopped, huh? Bet the shrimp were happy they made it!

  15. All I can say is hopefully next week's recipe will be a winner. Have a great weekend
    and keep warm up there. It's freezing here in PA.

  16. So true. I had higher expectations for this one too.

  17. Um, well. . . hooray for Meyer Lemons! Boo-hiss for no-show Kindle. That would seriously trouble me. I hope the rest of the week's cookin' was more Exceeds Expectations for you!

  18. Loved your post. Yes, sometimes things go as we expect and other times, not so much ... I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one, but I'm glad you rescued those shrimp!

  19. Thanks for the post -- :)
    I knew this dish would never fly w/the kids so threw some chicken satay in the broiler and had some coconut milk peanut sauce that needed to be enjoyed -- the whole melange (with 1/2 the tomato sauce) was quite tasty! :)

  20. Great post. I'm not sure what my expectations were for this one. Certainly they were higher before I stalked the P&Q post. In any case, this one was definitely not a winner. So, so sad. Onward to next week (and I'm thankful for the delicious TWD apple tart earlier this week).

  21. The puree was definitely a killer in this recipe. I expected more and got so much less. Not making it again - at least NOT with the puree!

  22. well you gave it the ole college try! :)

  23. Cher, too bad that this recipe is not really quite worthy of a repeat performance - I think I ended up making a totally different Noodles & Prawns dish and took a lot of liberties with Dore´s recipe (something I do not usually do).
    I guess we are all looking forward to other great recipes! Have a wonderful weekend!

  24. You saved the shrimp. That's all that matters.

  25. Cookies made by someone else are always a treat and must have been a nice balm for your disappointment, too. This week's lesson: all hail the P&Q!

  26. Out of a book of more than 300 recipes, I guess they can't all be winners. I do think this was a story of expectations - I think many of us expected something with Asian ingredients to be more "Asian-tasting", and this certainly didn't meet that expectation.

    P.S. I hope you have your Kindle by now...

  27. This was an interesting dish for sure...I am one of the "few" who liked it (not love)!!

  28. Glad you rescued the shrimp at least. I have high expectations that next week's dish will tilt the scale in the opposite direction. Sorry your cake turned out bad. It sounds great though!

  29. Funny post, Cher! I agree this was not a favorite for me either…it wasn’t terrible, but then I left out the tomato puree. I just couldn’t imagine tomato puree with the Chinese 5 spice! At least you rescued the shrimp!!


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