Little Chef Big Bloopers

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Last week at work I was telling my coworker, Lauren, about my incredibly disappointing dinner I made the night before. The shrimp was unpleasantly chewy and the salad turned out to be soggy and flavorless.  She was shocked and said, “Well, I am glad to know that even you have meals that don’t turn out well.”

This was funny to me and I realized I needed to make one thing clear: I have many, many meals that don’t turn out well. You just don’t see them on here!

If a new meal doesn’t make it to the blog, it is for one of two reasons: it turned out terribly OR the pictures turned out even worse.

For example:

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Delicious stuffed bell peppers. Horrible pictures.

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Amazing grilled Margherita pizza, but there was no helping this lighting…

 

Or take this grilled chicken here:

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We stuffed this beautiful bird with oranges and herbs and then we rubbed it with a delicious mixture of spices. It was bound to be fantastic.

But, no.

Something went horribly wrong and for some reason our pretty bird cooked very unevenly. After an extra 30 minutes of cook time on the grill, we decided to throw the thing in the oven. By the time we pulled it out, however, the meat was either too dry in sections or STILL uncooked in other parts. What gives!?

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I only took a picture with my iPhone because the whole thing was just so laughable. I am not sure what we ended up eating that night, but I will tell you that it surely wasn’t this chicken!

Here is another one:

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I tried a delicious braised chicken and apples dish at a restaurant and I wanted to recreate at home.

The restaurant version was melt-in-your-mouth yummy. My version? Oh well, it was just horrendous.

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I tried using boneless skinless chicken breasts, which was my first mistake. Thighs would have been a much better choice because the dark meat retains moisture better than breasts. I braised the chicken for HALF the time I normally would, went to check on it, and at that point it was dry to the point of being inedible. Like, “good luck getting your knife through that” kind of dry.

FAIL. Total. Freaking. Fail.

 

One of my funniest blooper moments to date was when Travis ordered a 3 lb. bag of hemp protein powder off Amazon. Now I know what you’re thinking, and no, hemp protein can’t get you high. (Nice try, though). Travis asked me to break open the bag and make a batch of protein bars, so  I said, “No problem,” because I am always up for a new baking challenge.

As soon as I opened the bag of protein powder, I wanted to throw up because the smell was so unappealing. Looking back on it, I should have just quit then and there…but instead I started experimenting.

(On a side note, Trav why the heck did you even choose this protein powder??? You’re not even close to being a vegan…)

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Into my mixing bowl went: rolled oats, raisins, almonds, coconut flakes….you know, the good stuff that usually goes into a granola bar. But, who was I really kidding? There was no helping these bars.

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There they are. The final product. They were green/brown and very unappetizing to look at. How did they taste?

Well, imagine this: you pick up a handful of dirt, grab a few pebbles, scrape some moss off of a tree, mix it all up and eat it. That was the taste of these bars in a nutshell. NO, I am not being dramatic. As soon as the first bite touched my tongue, I was so repulsed that I had to spit it out. Travis didn’t believe that they could be as bad as I was making them out to be, so he tried some too. Low and behold, same reaction! The whole batch (and 2 hours of my life) went into the trash.

Complete and utter fail.

What is even more amusing is that bag of protein powder stayed in my freezer for at least four months after that day. Travis couldn’t stomach chucking the powder because it wasn’t cheap…even though neither of us would ever dare touch the stuff again.

***

I tell you guys these stories because I want you to realize that no matter your skill level in the kitchen it is normal for meals to not turn out well. It is all about experimenting – that is the only way to master a recipe.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about a few of my kitchen mess-ups. Now tell me one of yours in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

  • Gabby
    January 31, 2014 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    I was staying at an old boyfriend’s house for the first time and he had raved to his whole family about this amazing Persian rice recipe that I had made for him at school. They bought all of the ingredients I needed and then asked me to make the rice while they threw some things on the grill. It was super stressful because they didn’t realize that the rice is super elaborate and takes hours to cook!! Anyway, I did everything right but I was so flustered that I forgot to add SALT while cooking. Everyone was sitting around waiting for me and when it was finally done (and everyone was starving) it looked delicious but it tasted horrendous. Not only that, but my dad had taught me how to cook for a giant Persian family so I had made two giant pots of my depressing, bland rice. I will never forget to add salt again – it was so embarrassing!!! Epic fail.

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      January 31, 2014 - 11:47 am | Permalink

      Gabb, I am sure that must have been embarrassing, but hopefully you can laugh about it now! The best part was that you had 2 huge pots of it!

  • Christine @ Cooking with Cakes
    February 3, 2014 - 11:51 am | Permalink

    “Well, imagine this: you pick up a handful of dirt, grab a few pebbles, scrape some moss off of a tree, mix it all up and eat it”

    legit just lol’d so hard at this!!! trust me girrrrl we have all had epic fails in the kitchen, it’s par for the course!! the best thing you can do is learn from your mistakes, keep a good attitude, never stop experimenting, and always have a frozen dinner on hand just in case ;)

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      February 3, 2014 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Haha, I knew I wasn’t the only one ;-) When a dinner fails, I usually resort to my classic faves: PB&J, Scrambled Eggs, you know…the easy good ol’ stuff.

  • Alyssa @ My Sequined Life
    February 6, 2014 - 11:12 pm | Permalink

    Oh my gosh, I laughed so hard at the hemp bar description! I had an chocolate egg white protein powder once that was SUPER salty on its own (blegh!) so instead of trashing it, I thought maybe I could bake with it. Nope. Nooope. Nothing could cut the saltiness. Into the trash they went!

    • Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
      February 7, 2014 - 9:15 am | Permalink

      Haha! I am sooooo picky about protein powders for that very reason.

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