Kitchen Flops!!

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This past weekend I tried to make chocolate and sea salt croissant sandwiches.

I went in with the most delicious intentions–I really did, but they didn’t work. And, I actually don’t have proof of these puff pastry things in their pre-bake stage because I failed to put the memory card in my camera.

So, yes…you heard right: I failed to put the memory card in the camera, AND the recipe ended up failing. Whatever.

Kitchen flops happen. They just do. Wanna see and hear about more of them?! Of course you do.

Let’s go down recipe failure lane together…

First up, coconut bon-bons. I poured chocolate ganache over them…and then it slid off of the ice cream. Just slid off. Like a chocolate mudslide. I dropped, like, six f-bombs. And then proceeded to eat them in their pre-chocolate stage. The crisp chocolate cookie was great. SAD!!

Bourbon Pumpkin Pie. It was delicious, actually.

The pumpkin pie filling wasn’t too eggy, had the perfect amount of bourbon flavor and was surrounded by a flaky, buttery buttermilk pie crust. BUT, after I pulled this dude out of the oven, I realized it was the most unattractive pie I’d ever seen in my life.

Deliciousness win, cuteness fail.

This bowl of brown rice krispie treats, oats, poppy seeds and chocolate were supposed to be rolled up to make Chocolate Seed Bombs. You know…kinda like the Seed Bombs you plant in your garden, only the edible version. HELLO!!! CUTE!!

They couldn’t keep their shape, though. And honestly, the idea was kind of adorable, but the flavor was pretty bleh. Bummer.

Pesto Swirl Bread…sigh…this one was super lame. The second rise didn’t happen. I might’ve had a draft coming through my apt. Or maybe expired yeast?

Whatever the case was, after I rolled this thing up, the last rise never happened. I baked it anyway, thinking maybe the oven would magically make it okay, but the bread was just awful. Dreadful tasting bread. The swirl was in the middle was pretty, though!

These cut up butternut squash sticks were going to be healthy fries. UGH! They ended up being bland and boring.

This pizza! Oh this pizza was soooo lame. Broccoli rabe and me just don’t get along. We’re not meant to co-exist. It’s not meant for us. I’m okay with this. I really am.

Let’s talk dinner successes!! And dessert sucesses!! Because I have a few that are buried in my archives that I wanna talk about.

I’m obsessed with making soups right now.

1. Acorn Squash Soup with Cheesy Croutons. Easy and comforting.

2. Spicy Vegan Chili. It’s raining and cold in Los Angeles and all I want is this with some sort of carb situation.

3. French Onion Soup. Cheese and bread. Cheese and bread. Hi!

4. Portobello Fries. Read: Holiday Party Food. Also, pretty inexpensive and easy.

5. Spinach and Artichoke Dip. Double read: Holiday Party Appetizer. No one will not like this.

1. Vanilla Ricotta Doughnuts . Pillows of heaven.

2. Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake. I know it’s winter and a milkshake is kinda weird, but I’d totally drink this next to a fireplace.

3. Café Au Lait Pudding. Pudding with a bit of coffee flavor.

4. Homemade Ding Dongs. A little labor intensive, BUT delicious and cute.

5. Salted Caramel Mousse. OMG! That’s it.

Now, tell me. Talk to me. Spill it…when and what was your last kitchen failure. Let’s talk through this!

{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Natashia@foodonpaper December 13, 2011 at 7:43 am

Um well I’ve had a few. My absolute worst was a Thai green curry that was revolting! I made a big batch so I could freeze it and eat it on cold nights / lunch at work. So gross I threw the whole thing out – it even gave me a tummy cramp! Epic fail. I also once failed my own spaghetti carbonara. Embarrassing. I was tired and sick and just wasn’t paying attention.

AND! I have also left the memory card out of my camera while taking food photos. There was an f-bomb or two.

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Mira December 13, 2011 at 8:26 am

I have so many kitchen flops that I can’t even count them! But at least there is a few good recipies among all my fails. You made me crave the homemade ding dongs by the way, they look like heaven for a chocolate-loving girl for me!

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Adrianna December 14, 2011 at 12:53 am

The good ones keep you going! Truth.

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Nicole December 13, 2011 at 10:05 am

My last fail was a frittata. I wad afraid it was going to be too eggy, so I didn’t use enough eggs for starters. But the worst part was when I fried the chorizo I didn’t clean the pan and the left over chorizo residue burnt. The entire thing fell apart and tasted burnt. Sad.

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Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau December 13, 2011 at 11:20 am

Ugh, hate the kitchen flops. Especially when it tastes great but looks like poo when photographed!! I always try to find some way to save them but it usually just ends up a lot worse!!

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Tegan December 13, 2011 at 11:26 am

I’m so glad you posted this today, it seems awfully serendipitous. Today I had this grand idea to make red velvet cupcakes for all my work mates, as a kind of christmasy good will gesture. I don’t know what I did wrong, but they were a disaster; they all sunk in the middle, they were really chewy, I couldn’t even get them out of the patty pans. I was so sad. But reading this makes me feel better, and tomorrow I shall dust pick myself up out of my moody slump and try again! Thankyou!
Oh, and if they go well the second time, I’m gonna try that mousse next! It looks devine :)
xo

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Heather Michelle @ A Sweet Simple Life December 13, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I’m gonna have to make those homemade ding-dongs. They look a-freakin-mazing. And it’s nice to know I’m not the only one with recipe flops. Last week, I made the grossest Mongolian Beef imaginable.

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm

I love the honesty in the post…that yes, there are some flops. At least I’m not the only one!

Homemade dingdongs…have seen them on pinterest, the foodie sites…and they have been tempting me for awhile now :)

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Heather (Heather's Dish) December 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm

oh kitchen flops…it’s like emotional hormonal breakdowns…terrible when it happens, hilarious to talk about later on :)

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Jeri December 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm

At the holidays I always make some tried and true and some new recipes. This year the Hazelnut Pumpkin Cheesecake with hazelnut graham cracker crust (new) was a big disappointment. To get the center to set, the crust had to be overcooked until it tasted burnt. Even my son who loves cheesecake only ate two bites. Even if it hadn’t tasted burned, there was not enough hazelnut flavor. Also, the pumpkin cake with praline filling and cream cheese frosting. Just not good. BUT, the swiss cheese lasagna with cream cheese instead of ricotta and the grasshopper freezer pie made up for the failures. Both are in my regular rotation now.

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Adrianna December 14, 2011 at 12:55 am

Grasshopper freezer pie! Hello! I want that.

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Doc December 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm

I never have kitchen flops……psych! Being relativity new at the whole foodie scene I have more kitchen flops than than the fish on dry land. But because of all of my epic fails I can honestly say I have learned more from them than from my successes. They have made me keep cooking, improve on my skills and to never be afraid at trying new things like your Portobello Fries recipe they look AMAZING! Thank you for this post and for those who have left comments, it is wonderful to hear such honesty. Keep on Cookin’

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Leah December 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Adriana, I am soooo glad you posted this.
I’m trying to cook new things that I’ve never cooked before.
Yesterday I tried kale chips, which turned out to be collard green chips because I grabbed from the wrong bunch. I either left them too long in the oven the second time. (I completely scorched them the first time), or I didn’t season them well. The taste was bleh.. as well.
This however, lets me know that everyone including awesome cooks like yourself, have ‘bleh’ moments and makes me feel a little better! :)

Look forward to more posts!

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Adrianna December 14, 2011 at 12:56 am

HAHAHA! This is something I’d totally do. That’s amazing.

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Bev Weidner December 13, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Did you wear your kitchen FLIP FLOPS? OHHHHH I DID THAT.

Sorry, that was dumb wasn’t it?

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Leah@ My Skinny Tale December 13, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Oh I’ve had many. Lately I’ve been trying to try new healthier recipes.
Last night I attempted kale chips. It was a big fail, because I realized I purchased collard greens instead of kale.
I scorched the first round. The second, was bleh. I don’t know if I didn’t season them well, or maybe the taste is just not for me.

Burning things is usually my fail. *sigh*

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Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray December 13, 2011 at 3:50 pm

YAY Spicy Vegan Chili!! I do love that stuff. :)

Your photos are still beauteous, despite the flopping.

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Jennifer December 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm

The most recent one that I can think of was a calzone I made. I used leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, 3 cheese shredded cheese, pizza sauce, and broccoli. It was Yuck!! My husband refused to eat any more of it after taking 1 bite! Not the best combination at all! I was mostly bummed about the good pizza dough that got wasted. Oh well…at least i’m not the only one making kitchen mistakes.

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Adrianna December 14, 2011 at 12:56 am

That combo sounds delicious, actually. :(

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Jennifer December 14, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I thought so too as I was making it but I guess not. :(

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Jen of My Tiny Oven December 13, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Can I just say that those Portobello fries of yours are da bomb! I have made them a million times, I got my sister and my mom addicted to them. I want to hug you for sharing them!! My life is complete now!

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Kim B. December 13, 2011 at 5:11 pm

What a refreshing post that I can relate to for a change…ha ha ha!! I was nodding my head the whole time :) My disasters usually stem from cooking baked goods too long or not long enough. I finally have asked my family if they prefer doughy or baked as that’s as good as it gets around here!

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Kelly@frugalfoodiefamily December 13, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Oh heaven. Those dessert successes look delish! And LOVE the flops…the transparency, humor and fabulous pics! Last night I made this greek chicken that was the ugliest and most bland dish I’ve ever seen.

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Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy December 13, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I have had many a kitchen flops. There have been some things that my test tasters aka my parents and boyfriend have tried that they just go what were you thinking! I need to get more creative and get back on the experimenting bandwagon!

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Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet December 13, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Ahh, kitchen failures. Just last night I was making a reduction sauce to go with my Moroccan tuna. I (bizarrely) combined the reminder of the Moroccan spices, lemon juice, and Sierra Nevade pale ale. Needless to say, it tasted slightly of vomit. No good.

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Kelsey December 13, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Oh, we can all relate to kitchen failures. Remember that pumpkin gnocchi video I did a while back, yeah… that was take two. The first round had me sitting on the linoleum pouting about wasting a WHOLE pumpkin. Alas. I think it’s good for the ego. Ps. Salted Caramel Mousse? Killing me here.

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bonnie December 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm

Oh, that beautiful Maple Pecan Pie I brought to Thanksgiving dinner– beautiful on the surface, that is, but when sliced, the filling was positively GRAY inside! Weird. Tasted good, but most people skipped it & stuck with the pumpkin….

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France December 13, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Oh you should have seen the disaster of a side dish I once made. Brussels sprouts, kale, bacon and cranberries. In theory it should have turned out. I couldn’t even get the hubby to eat it! I love the features. I’m going to have to try those mushroom fries! Yum.

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Amanda December 13, 2011 at 5:59 pm

I did the same thing with chocolate coated coconut balls once. Then I found this awesome stuff called chocolate coating, saved dozens of bon bons and buckeyes since :)

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Adrianna December 14, 2011 at 12:58 am

Interesting. Im gonna look into this.

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Mel December 13, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Sal and I have made yet another batch of Spicy Vegan chili. We can’t get enough. We like it Cinncinnati style with some elbow noodles to get our carb fix.

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Adrianna December 14, 2011 at 2:30 am

Whoa. Adding noodles is a rad idea.

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Amilia @justeverydayme December 13, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Oh boy…so many kitchen failures! There was that one time when I tried to re-create these cookies they made on the TV show Arthur…those were terrible. Oh and that time I attempted a sponge cake for my grandma’s birthday cake…that had the texture of a mr. clean magic eraser. Oh and the multiple times I’ve left the baking soda out of my favorite chocolate cake! Frustrating at the time, funny stuff to laugh at now :)

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Sarah - Dodeline Design December 13, 2011 at 6:13 pm

What a well timed post. I am just learning to cook so I feel a little better knowing I’m not the only one who has had some ridiculous kitchen mishaps!

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Lauren @ FoodIsTherapy December 13, 2011 at 6:14 pm

My Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving. I spent a good hour braiding my crust and opted not to blind bake since the pie had to bake so long AND didn’t have a soggy filling. #braidedcrustfail

http://foodistherapy.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/maple-bourbon-pecan-pie/

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Adrianna December 14, 2011 at 12:59 am

Oh man that braided edge is SO pretty in its pre-bake form. HUGE BUMMER.

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yummy supper December 13, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Adrianna, I really dug this post! It is good to share the flops sometimes. My all time favorite at my house was when I attempted Coq au Vin (a la Julia Childs) and the thing turned out to be an undercooked, gray mess. Inedible and so ugly!
Thanks for the “success” links too. I need to make some of those Ding Dongs. And how did I miss that salted caramel mouse?
xo
E

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Adrianna December 14, 2011 at 1:00 am

HAHAH! My dad is a huge advocate of her coq au vin–it’s delicious.

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Erica Scime December 13, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Ugh, glad to hear I’m not the only one in a rut! Perhaps now that school is done for the holidays I can pull myself together and come up with something tasty!

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carly {carlyklock} December 13, 2011 at 8:42 pm

Thanks for keepin’ it real, sister.

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zee December 13, 2011 at 9:48 pm

my last fail was my attempt at chouquettes…my dough was too runny, like batter. i added more flour, and then all you could taste was floury goo. They didn’t rise, and cooked to fast…ugh. I still ate them though 😛

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Adrianna December 14, 2011 at 1:04 am

That dough is tricky. I had a ton of failures with that dough before I could get it right.

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Sarah December 13, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Thanks for sharing your flops with us…it’s nice to hear that you make mistakes too :) I mean that in the nicest way possible of course!

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Caitlin @ LeManandWife December 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Ahh the joys of cooking fails. I tried to make these awesome-looking sugar puffs once and after the first batch flopped I tried making them again (???? hello, dumb????). Can you guess what happened? Swearing ensued. Haha. Thanks for being honest, it’s always good to know you’re not the only one with kitchen flops sometimes. :)

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Jillian @ Newlybread December 13, 2011 at 10:33 pm

This is so encouraging! Yesterday I put whole peppercorns in a soup thinking my immersion blender would blend them all up…not so. I had to go through the soup and spoon out the half chopped peppercorns. We still had some peppery bites!

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nicole {sweet peony} December 13, 2011 at 10:52 pm

hey girl! thanks for this honest & refreshing post! i always feel so discouraged when something i’ve dreamed up in my head or worked really hard on doesn’t turn out. but in the end, i end up learning so much more from those flops :)

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PollyDee December 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Last week I made a new batch of my take on your yummy olive oil granola (meaning whatever kinda similar ingredients I have left in the cupboard). I saved it from the oven JUST before they became more charred than golden brown but I had accidentally put goji berries in the mix for the oven and all of them turned to lumps of charcoal. Now every second mouthfull tasted like burnt. I’m way too stubborn to throw it out though. I’ll just dig them all out of my bowl.

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Adrianna December 14, 2011 at 1:05 am

That suuuucks. Goji berries are expensive.

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Monica @ Soirees & Such December 14, 2011 at 12:13 am

My latest kitchen failure was gnocchi. I tried making it with grated potatoes instead of a ricer and they were like dense potato dumplings, horribly shaped, but had a pretty good taste.
Thank you for being so honest with your kitchen failures, it’s refreshing to read about something everyone can relate to…especially dropping an f-bomb every now and then.

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Adrianna December 14, 2011 at 1:06 am

I’m starting to think more and more that a potato ricer is a kitchen must-have. I use mine way more than I ever thought.

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Valerie @ Sex, Food, and Rock & Roll December 14, 2011 at 1:49 am

Three words: Pizza with potatoes. It was too heavy and the dough didn’t bake AT ALL in the middle. Terrible. My boyfriend, bless his heart, ate the entire thing though so that I wouldn’t have to suffer through raw dough. It rose in his stomach and made him sleepy and gave him heartburn. On the plus side, this is how you figure out if a man is worth marrying.

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Lauren January 15, 2012 at 10:30 am

It *rose* in his stomach? Ooph.

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Ruby Alexandra December 14, 2011 at 2:25 am

I have had some terrible disasters too! But it makes you so much better at cooking, I think. I have been practicing a lot lately because it’s summer break and I made a vegan mexican feast for my whole house. You inspired me to start my own cooking blog to document my successes and failures http://phonyfeast.blogspot.com/2011/12/mexican-night.html. So far I only have one post. This is my favourite food blog ever and I check it all the time. It makes me so stoked to read, even the failures.

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Adrianna December 14, 2011 at 2:33 am

Ruby! You’re so incredibly sweet. Thanks for making my freaking day, dude! Seriously. And your mexican feast looks awesome. Happy blogging! And congrats on starting. xo

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Erin December 14, 2011 at 7:46 am

This post just made my day… Food bloggers rarely tend to post their failures so this was refreshing and basically delightful.

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Sara @ Simply Whole Kitchen December 14, 2011 at 1:48 pm

I am so glad you posted this! As a new blogger (less than a year) and as one with many dietary restrictions (100% whole wheat, low/no sugar) I feel like my remakes or adaptations of recipes go wrong all of the time! Especially when I am trying to substitute the sugar and flour in a dessert recipe….so glad to see that pros like you have these things happen too!

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Tanya December 14, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Try the pesto swirl bread again! It’s the best. My mom made it all the time while I was growing up. I’ve been thinking of trying to take a stab at it myself but haven’t had a chance to yet.

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Caitlin December 14, 2011 at 11:31 pm

I hate kitchen flops. I remember one – rosewater meringues with raspberry cream filling. I went in with the best intentions and full of confidence. I’d made them before, you see, and they worked out perfect – crispy rose meringue sandwiched with raspberry filling… pale pink pillows of rose and berry. Delicious. Of course, the first time I made them I was just playing around. They had no purpose, just to exist for my pleasure of baking.

Then around rolled someone’s birthday, and I decided to make these babies. I was rushed, making various other items and I needed the oven, so I didn’t allow the meringue to cool in the dry heat. I took them out – they were assailed by the humid Australian summer and I might as well have dipped them in water. My pale clouds dissolved into sticky, pathetic little flops. By the time I added the cream – they were hideous. I wanted to punch them.

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Gravy Girl December 15, 2011 at 2:55 am

Here is my saying: If you haven’t had a kitchen mishap, you’re not in the kitchen enough.

That being said, I have documented many mishaps on my food blog and on my facebook. I love a good mishap. Mine are pretty messy. I had a pyrex baking dish explode in the oven while I was cooking a pork butt. I lost a lot of good bits on the bottom of that pan. Many pies have been dropped right out of the oven onto the floor. And, the bottle of red wine that was knocked off the island as I was photographing some food…..it stained the grout on the tile floor. Oxy got the stain out. I love a good mess………not!

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jesika lin December 16, 2011 at 8:08 am

ive had so many goddamned failures lately!! italian tuna cassarole was the worst one. sounded good… like tuna florentine. tasted terrible, looked like vomit and smelled so bad i had to take it directly to the dumpster. crab mac and cheese… HOW could that fail?? the first batch of coca cola cupcakes. the eggplant parm i made yesterday [too greasy… gonna try baking instead of frying next time]. im about to bake as we speak and i anticipate lots of mishaps and swearing… oh well, here goes nothing.

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Lisa @ The Cooking Bride December 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm

The last time I made manicotti, the filling was like ricotta soup. Oh, and caramel cake and I DO NOT get along. I love caramel cake, but I have never succeeded in making one that was edible.

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Lady Kady December 19, 2011 at 3:15 am

So refreshing to see a post on food disasters!! We all have them, yet we only get pretty pics and perfected recipes!
My favourite kitchen disaster was attempting tempura for the first time. I didn’t have a temperature gauge and the oil got too hot, smoked out the tiny apartment, burnt my tempura capsicum. Boyfriend freaked out, took the boiling oil pot outside through the lounge… I asked what he was doing, he turned around oil splashed every where…burning some nice holes in the carpet. Good times!!
Just started tuning into cozy kitchen, Loving it (also love the nail polish posts. I am also polish obsessed!!)

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Dana B @ thebakingbooth December 20, 2011 at 7:48 am

Italian Sausage Lasagne. Tasted Wonderful! or it would have if it hadn’t flown off the seat and landed upside-down on the floor of the car as I rounded the corner to bring it to the school for a staff lunch. oops :)

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Gayle December 21, 2011 at 2:13 pm

I poured cold stock into a 425 degree glass baking dish to baste a chicken. I blew the pan to smithereens. Fail.

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Adele Forbes December 22, 2011 at 1:12 am

Fabulous darling….wonderful post and site

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