Kitchen Fails Happen

I love to experiment in the kitchen, which often leads to a great dish! Sometimes though...it just doesn't work. Kitchen fails happen, no matter how experienced you are in the kitchen! I'm going to share with you a little about how those fails happen, and a share with you a few of my own fails. 

Cooking is all about knowing what you like and how those things work together. Baking is a little more complicated and you don't have as much flexibility with "a little of this" and "a little of that". Think of it like this: Cooking is an art, baking is a science. 

With cooking, you can add spices, seasonings and butter (yum) as you would the broad strokes of paint brush over canvas. Bold movements that don't have to be perfect in order to achieve the outcome you want. But you can also get very detailed like Bob Ross and those happy trees with things like truffle oil and other classic cooking techniques. Baking is more like being in a (very good smelling) lab. Precise amounts of ingredients are required. Otherwise, your cake will be flat, your cookies too hard and your pie crust...ick. Everything has to be just so in order for things to be successful. 


I had a lot of kitchen fails when I went gluten free. Removing gluten from your flour, and using different starches for your flour, drastically changes the chemistry when baking. It was daunting at first, and I still fail on a regular basis when I try a new recipe when baking. In fact, just last month, I tried to make a gluten free Focaccia bread, and the dough turned so hard and tough in my stand mixer, for a second I thought I had broken my Kitchen Aid!  I hadn't, don't worry! 

Another hilarious fail...fried cookie dough balls...

I thought these would be great! I'd been playing with my new deep fryer all week and I thought these would work! 

What I find funny is that most of my fails happen when I don't do research or planning. I usually fail when I have to make a substitution for a key ingrediant, or I try and change the flavor profile of the dish by adding or switching spices/seasonings. 

With these, I did do a little research...but not enough it seems. I was impatiently waiting for a warm, crispy, indulgent mess of fried cookie balls. However, I did not get that.

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Instead....I got warm, slightly dissolved cookie clumps.  Oh, Alex and I still totally ate one...each. Not bad! Not pretty...and not what I was going for...but hell, cookies are cookies right? 

So, fried cookie dough balls are a fail. Yay for kitchen experiments!! #cooking #friday #fail

A post shared by Victoria Blasich (@veryvictoriakaye) on

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So yes, while that was a technical "fail" it wasn't a gross, can't be eaten fail. 


A basic kitchen mistake that often leads to fails is...wait for it because it's not at all surprising... NOT reading the recipe properly. I'll give you an example from when my husband Alex made us the Asian Inspired Marinated Pork Chops the other day. He used my recipe...but he wasn't paying close enough attention to the amount of Sriracha. What was supposed to be 2 TEASPOONS turned into 3 TABLE SPOONS. I like spice, but whoa nelly! In case you don't know the breakdown of teaspoons to tablespoons...1 TBS (tablespoon) = 3 TSP (teaspoons). A 1:3 ratio! That means he put in the equivalent of 9 teaspoons of Sriracha, in a recipe that was only supposed to have 2. 

I could smell the spice as I was bringing the first bite to my lips...and then he told me. He thought he had balanced it out with honey, but all that did was make it a little more sweet & spicy. We tried to finish it the meal but I was DYING! And since we had poured the extra sauce on the rice we had with dinner, I couldn't even have that to balance the heat. I ended up reaching for the peanut butter to cool my mouth down. Lesson learned...read the recipe. Or Alex has also suggested changing the abbreviations of either TBS or TSP to make it more clear which is which. We'll see. 


If you're lucky, you may make a fail that opens up the recipe for another variation. I had that a while a back too! I've made cinnamon rolls before, to great success, they were gluten free but Alex and friends still loved them!  

When I made the same recipe a few weeks later...lets call it an example of why I need to have my cup of tea BEFORE I try and make Sunday morning breakfast. I made the dough and was rolling it out for the filling when I realized that I never put sugar in the dough! Sure enough, when I gave the raw dough a taste, it was not sweet. What it was though, was the perfect dough for a savory breakfast...thing. So after some scrambling, eggs, of course, I came up with a savory breakfast roll, filled with cheesy eggs and bacon, and more cheese. Fail...but recovered! 


No matter how long you have been cooking and how many recipes you have down pat, when you try something new, there is always the chance that it wont work out. If you are working in an unfamiliar kitchen, things can go wrong. If you decide to try and make something vegan or gluten free, those substitutions you make may not do the same thing as you were expecting. So if you have a kitchen fail, laugh it off, see if you can salvage it, clean it up, learn from the mistakes (if you can figure out what went wrong that is), and move on. Maybe next time you'll nail it. Don't let one "whoops" or fail in the kitchen stop you from trying. If anything, you'll get a great story out of it :)