2013 Recipe Fails

It’s the moooost wonderful tiiiime of the year. And that’s because it’s time for the post where I get to show you all how much I f#*%!ed up in the kitchen this year.

We can all share a good laugh and I’ll pretend like this isn’t a blow to my ego. Secretly I’ll be sobbing behind my laptop as I look at each one of these images and relive the hours of effort I put into making this totally disgusting food. And this obviously isn’t even half of the stuff that went wrong behind the scenes of this blog over the past twelve months; these are just the dishes I thought were worthy of documenting… before I tasted them, that is.

Without further ado:

2013 Recipe Fails

Let’s start with birthday cupcakes gone wrong. I thought it would be a good idea to make “brownie mosaic” peanut butter cupcakes (inspired by this brownie mosaic cheesecake) with chocolate frosting. Um… Too. Much. And if I say that, it’s really true. They tasted like I had closed my eyes in the baking aisle and just dumped the first five boxed mixes I touched into a bowl together. Not good.

2013 Recipe Fails

That’s actually almost exactly what I did do with these “sunburst cookies,” which were supposed to be the crowning achievement of the Pantry Cooking week I did this spring. They were compost cookies with chocolate-covered sunflower seeds and sunflower seed butter. And I might have dumped some crushed-up graham crackers in there, too? They were supposed to be compost cookies, after all. They tasted like it, especially once the crackers got all soggy. What you can’t see is the lovely shade of green these turned afterwards, as the sunflower seed butter reacted with the baking soda. Appetizing.

2013 Recipe Fails

Next up were these chipotle sweet potato breakfast burritos. Sounds flavorful, right? Not so much. They tasted like absolutely nothing. I was bummed because I really liked this picture. But hey, I got to show it to you anyway, so not all is lost.

2013 Recipe Fails

Have you ever had a shelf collapse, and everything that was on it go spilling to the floor? This vegetable coconut korma tasted like that happened with my spice cabinet , and this dish was sitting directly beneath it. So disappointing, since it was based on possibly the most delicious Indian dish I’ve ever eaten. But I couldn’t get the spices right and ended up dumping a bunch more in at the end, after the vegetables were done cooking. Rookie mistake. Also, have you ever set out to make four servings of curry and ended up with a pot of it overflowing like Strega Nona? That was kind of the situation here. It all got frozen for “later” and then eventually just thrown out.

2013 Recipe Fails

I really wanted to make you margaritas for Cinco de Mayo. Jalapeno grapefruit margaritas, to be exact. Ugh. Not only were these revolting, but I definitely failed to plan ahead when I mixed the tequila in before heading to a friend’s Cinco de Mayo party. This led to me breaking Utah’s open container law as I drove across town with the pitcher on my lap. (Don’t worry Mom, I didn’t get arrested.) If you know me, you know I hate breaking the rules and was quaking with fear the entire time. The real question is, why did I bother bringing them? I hope no one at the party drank them. I know I didn’t.

2013 Recipe Fails

Oh, then there were these strawberry basil balsamic quesadillas. These were actually delicious, but didn’t make the blog because the pictures were too dark. Also, did I mention that a hummingbird flew into my apartment while I was out on the porch taking these pictures? That Nate was out of town? That hummingbirds are basically giant mosquitoes, and I am terrified of both birds and bugs? That I set a trail of sugar water throughout my apartment, then huddled on the couch for the next hour and a half until my friends came over to rescue me? Meanwhile, the hummingbird was flinging itself repeatedly against the ceiling in our guest room. I am grossed out just thinking about it again. Should have posted these anyway just to spite that stupid hummingbird.

2013 Recipe Fails

Here we have a nice yogurt rhubarb cake, AKA a soggy sponge with tiny flecks of fruit on top. This was the first (and last) time I tried coconut whipped cream – horrible. I’m sorry if you like it, but that stuff tastes like plastic. I brought this to my friend’s birthday party (hate to waste cake!) and was so embarrassed when people asked who brought it. They pretended to like the coconut whipped cream, too… mortifying.

2013 Recipe Fails

I present to you: Yogurt-Covered Strawberries, or, How To Ruin The Season’s Best Strawberries In Under Five Minutes. I totally pictured these sweet and chewy, like yogurt-covered raisins. Instead, they were flavorless frozen little hockey pucks that I’m surprised I didn’t chip a tooth on. Because obviously I kept eating “just one more” to make sure they weren’t secretly delicious.

2013 Recipe Fails

Good thing I spent approximately 45 minutes pitting the cherries for this cherry crumble tart, only to have it totally flop. I burnt the crust, the cherries had a gross texture, and that beautiful almond crumble topping came out soggy and sad instead of nutty and crispy. Obviously I still tried to force Nate to eat it. I haven’t lost hope on making this tart work for next summer, but I need some time to lick my wounds first. Could someone get started on pitting the cherries for me ahead of time?

2013 Recipe Fails

A simple cauliflower salad. What could go wrong? I could use an electric orange bowl and Mexican-themed napkin, for starters. I could buy two heads of cauliflower just because I got a kick out of using half white cauliflower and half yellow, then let the remaining two halves rot in the fridge. I could keep make it at 8pm when there’s no chance of taking a decent picture. Aaaand then I could eat it til my stomach hurts. I have a problem.

2013 Recipe Fails

And last but not least, How To Make Delicious Food Look Disgusting 101. Step 1: Decide to make an entirely white meal. Step 2: Use a bad white balance setting. Ta-da! One bowl of sheep intestines comin’ right up! This chili really was delicious, though, and a slightly more colorful version of it did make the blog. After I fixed my white balance (kinda).

Well, that’s a wrap on 2013 recipe fails! As we wind down the year, I will most likely be posting a few 2013 round-up posts over the next few days before getting back to recipe posts next week or so. I hope you had a merry Christmas, safe travels, and more than your fair share of delicious food!

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{ 26 comments }

  • Deb Oswald December 26, 2013, 5:11 am

    I love that you did this! We all have our major kitchen fails. Lol. That Cauliflower Dish looks really good! the food that is. After this Christmas heaviness, something light and veggie heavy looks great~ just sayin’! Have a good week and Happy 2014

    Reply
    • Erica December 26, 2013, 9:11 am

      Thanks Deb! Have a great 2014 :)

      Reply
  • Lily @ Life, Love, and Cupcakes December 26, 2013, 6:24 am

    Haha I love this post!! I wish I had thought to document all of my fails of 2013…I might have to look through all my pics and see what I’ve got! Also those margaritas LOOK wonderful!! So sad to hear that they were a fail!

    Reply
    • Erica December 26, 2013, 9:13 am

      Thanks Lily :) I’m going to work on my mixology skills for Cinco de Mayo 2014!

      Reply
  • Kaylee @ Lemons and Basil December 26, 2013, 7:54 am

    Hi! I’ve followed you for the past 8 months or so and love your blog! And I LOVE this post! I have only been blogging for about five months and as a definite rookie there are times when I get so discouraged due to my “fails”. It’s great to know that I’m not alone and others, like yourself, who manage a blog that I adore, have a few bumps along the way as well! Thank you for sharing these and Merry Christmas!

    Reply
    • Erica December 26, 2013, 9:16 am

      Thank you Kaylee! Everyone has those depressing fails. They’re not always easy to laugh about, but I try to when I can!

      Reply
  • Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl December 26, 2013, 8:23 am

    Is it bad that I honestly think everything you posted here still looks and sounds absolutely delicious?? ;)

    Reply
  • Becky @ Olives n Wine December 26, 2013, 8:46 am

    Hahahah! Thanks for giving me a good laugh :) I had the BIGGEST fail on Chritsmas Day. My mom wanted me to bring a vegetable side dish to dinner and I was stumped. I do chocolate and PB, not veggies… I made this cheesy spinach dish and it tasted plain like spinach. Blech. The photos turned out amazing but I won’t be sharing it because of the foul taste! So sad.

    Reply
    • Erica December 26, 2013, 9:20 am

      I had a similar fail on Thanksgiving because we didn’t have enough oven space for the squash I planned to make, and ended up trying to grill them whole instead of slice and roast them. Eek, should have added those to the list! Holiday fails are the worst of all!

      Reply
  • Kori December 26, 2013, 4:13 pm

    LOVE!

    I just spent 2 hours on a pesto pizza that was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever made and went straight into the trash. I can relate to this post so much! I love seeing someone else document the occasional absurdity that accompanies food blogging!

    Reply
    • Erica December 26, 2013, 8:53 pm

      You just send that pesto pizza right to me next time :)

      Reply
  • Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health December 26, 2013, 4:40 pm

    Everything you make always looks so amazing that I just assumed you didn’t have failures. Truthfully, even your failures look good! :)

    I tried to make an Indian too and it was so bland. I think we need lessons from a pro on that one. Come to think of it, I actually deleted all photos of my failures but now I wish I hadn’t! It makes for a funny and entertaining post!

    Hope you had a nice Christmas!

    Reply
    • Erica December 26, 2013, 8:52 pm

      I think we need a cooking tour of India! Seems like one of those cuisines that benefits from looots of expertise and practice. Hope you had a merry Christmas too, and I look forward to lots more of your amazing food in 2014!!

      Reply
  • Karen @ The Food Charlatan December 27, 2013, 12:02 am

    This is AWESOME! I need to take more failure pictures. I usually never even get there after having a hissy fit and throwing all my pots and pans on the floor at the end of my race with the sun.

    Reply
  • Kate December 27, 2013, 5:56 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

    I have had a few major fails this year…the time I realized the broth was spoiled only after dumping it into about $35 worth of meat and vegetables…the time I ruined cookies by trying to make them into brownies…yesterday, when I realized the fish I was making would have been so much better without the sauce I slaved over. Sigh. But it makes me feel better that you have them, too :)

    Reply
  • Sandra December 28, 2013, 9:45 am

    Erica, your blog is beautiful! The photographs are great and the food looks delicious. You go girl!

    Reply
    • Erica December 28, 2013, 7:27 pm

      Thanks Sandra, you’re so sweet!

      Reply
  • Katie @ Blonde Ambition December 29, 2013, 12:46 am

    I lol’ed so many times while reading this! Every one of your (non fail) recipes always looks amazing, so I’m glad to see you’re not some wizard that only produces miracle dishes in your kitchen ;) Though our conversation about cuts and burns definitely squashed that misconception!

    My fav is the story about the hummingbird, not only because that quesadilla looks delicious, but also because the image of a hummingbird bashing itself into the ceiling is hilarious to me!!

    Reply
  • taylor @ taylor made December 31, 2013, 4:32 am

    haha, this post made me LOL so hard. I need to start capturing all of my food fails… I’d have QUITE a collection! I’ve loved following your blog this year… happy new year!

    Reply
  • dishing up the dirt December 31, 2013, 2:23 pm

    I cannot tell you how much I love and appreciate this post! Happy New Year Erica!!! I know this coming year will be a wonderful one for you and Nate. Cheers from Oregon. XO

    Reply
  • Dearna @tohercore January 1, 2014, 6:12 pm

    I love that you posted all your recipe ‘fails’! Good on you though for trying in the first place, I guess you never know until you do try! Happy new year :)

    Reply
  • Taylor @ greens & chocolate January 2, 2014, 2:32 pm

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who has some major fails in the kitchen!

    Reply
  • Daphne Populiers January 3, 2014, 10:33 am

    This post put a big smile on my face Erica, you just provided today’s laughing vitamins for me ;-) don’t worry, it all sounds so familiar to me ;-)

    Reply
    • Erica January 3, 2014, 1:52 pm

      Haha so glad :)

      Reply
  • Liz @ Floating Kitchen January 7, 2014, 5:51 pm

    You had me laughing out loud with this one. Great post and great idea. We should all share our “fails”!

    Reply
  • Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli February 1, 2014, 5:17 am

    Omg, thank you for this! I can relate SO much! And I have to say there is nothing more frustrating than having a perfectly delicious dish that you just can’t seem to make photogenic! Oh and I totally laughed out loud over the “sheep intestine” thing! Ha!

    Reply

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