Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Its time to hang up my apron

Boy have I had some epic failures in the kitchen lately.  Bad.  Ok...maybe not EPIC failures...whats a good adjective? Abysmal?  Hmmmm Gargantuan?  Let's go with abysmal failures.  Edible ONLY if it were the last thing on the planet.  I have made Caramel Crumb bars which were quite good but the filling needed an extreme make over.  Salted caramel brownies are the ones I was most looking forward too which turned out the worst.  Oh yeah, then there is the WASC cake.  Apparently I do not like almond extract.  Oops there, I just threw up in my mouth at the thought of it again.  As a matter of fact, it is still sitting on my counter as I can't bring myself close enough to it to actually throw it away.  I did have minor success with my very first Shepherds Pie.  Although Jalen violently heaved with every spoonful.  Yes I made her eat it, half of it to be exact.  She likes ground beef and carrots my GAWD and I thought I was a drama queen.  Sigh.  

I will post recipes for some but lets dissect this a little shall we?  Could it be there was a flaw in the recipes?  The salted caramel brownies for example.  The first time I made the caramel I burnt the TAR out of it!  I had to re-do it.  It was a strange recipe to me to begin with.  I literally re-read the recipe 3 times before starting.  Put the sugar in a pan and melt.  Wha? Huh?  With what liquid?  It must be a misprint.  Nope.  PUT THE SUGAR IN THE PAN TO MELT.  ER um ok.  When it turns a dark amber color melt the butter.  When it turns amber NOT BLACK Kelli.  DANG IT!  Try again.  The second time perfect.  It said to wait 10 minutes and let cool before using in recipe.  Ok.  1 hour later it was still liquid.  I put it in the fridge.  Still very runny.  It says "put 9 dollops of caramel onto brownies".  When something is liquidy, there are no dollops.  I pressed on and baked them bad boys up.  What did I get?  ZERO caramel dollops in my baked brownie.  Not only that, it had a gritty texture, almost chalky.   GROSS! GROSS! GROSS!  I should have used my caramel recipe huh?  The perpetrator is pictured below:

NO that is not caramel behind the brownie I think its bbq sauce ok people! Yes I could have lied and said "ooohhh look at the lovely caramel dripping off of it".  I'm honest to a fault LOL

Next is the famous WASC cake.  White Almond Sour Cream Cake.  Ok little did I know, I do not like Almond Extract.  Had I known, I would have used something different.  This may be better with a vanilla bean, MAY meaning POSSIBLY.  I also think I over baked it for simple fear of under baking it.  I should have listened to my gut.  Stomach.  You get the drift.  The perpetrator is below:

I will post this recipe separately with a slice picture as well so you can see the crumb.  This is a nice buttercream frosting.  Good but I would maybe only use it on cupcakes.  Really not a good pairing with the cake.  Would do better with a cream cheese or whipped frosting which are not a sweet.

I also, in between, didn't feel like going through all of the motions of making Porcupine Meatballs but didn't want to waste the hamburger I took out.  So I came up with this lil guy:

I made this in individual ramekins.  Filled with meat, baby peas, baby carrots and swimming in a mushroom soup base seasoned with thyme and rosemary.  I topped with boxed mashed potatoes, little cheese and some french fried onions.  Very quick and I had everything on hand.  I will be posting this one.

Lastly, Caramel Crumb Bars.  Let me tell you the crumb on this is OUTSTANDING.  Again, I can see infinite possibilities with regards to filling.  A  nice homemade lemon curd, raspberry filling, ohhhh yummy!  The caramel in this was.......odd.  I know not a very grown up adjective but still.  It was colored like peanut butter rather than the see through amber I have come to love.  Good, yet not amazing like the crumb that encased it.  I will post the recipe as well:

With so many failures in a two week time span, shall I hang up my apron? Is it dumb luck? Am I too stressed and not cooking properly?  Am I being too hard on myself?  I think at the very least I will take a break for a day or two :)  

Love you guys,

Special K


  1. Kelli..you cracked me up reading your post..lol...u are so funny girl!!! I was laughing all the way thru this....AND...may I say everything looks scrumdilly-isious to me! What in the heck are you talking about girlie??? I fail to see the "FAILURE" in any of these delightful looking pieces of ART! My goodness girl...you are hard on yourself! That cake is beautiful...do not throw it away...give it to someone...they will love ya!!! Everything looked really great! Man oh man...your meat and potato meal looked so pretty and yummy and you made it sound so easy! It looks so pretty!! Kelli, u do have a real talent!!! I love your honesty...the barbecue sauce...so FUNNY!!!! LOL....you are so fun...wish we could bake together...we would crack up the whole time!!! My nephew is in Culinary School right now in Denver, Co. It will take 22 months to finish! He is loving it...he said the kitchens are amazing and so beautiful and the instructors are awesome.

  2. WOW...something weird just happened and kicked me off my computer!!!! So, I will finish this by saying I would love these recipes...you are WWWwwwAAaaaYYYyyyy to hard on yourself!!! Love ya...waiting to see if we are going to head to Blgs...snowing terrible...below temps...I will email you if we do not go...and if we go...I will email you when I get back....I love this blog!!!! YOU GO GIRL!!! My "LEO" friend! Love and Hugs~Tory xo

  3. Its probably the recipes... I have also tried different recipes and they came out horrible..but then other ones come out delicious. I don't think its us.... I think that some people put recipes on the internet that they haven't even tried themselves. Also, cookbook recipes may have not been tried by the authors either. So, they could just be recipes passed on over and over without anyone trying them LOL.

    You do not need to hang up your apron girl. Those recipes are to blame, not you.


  4. Rena I hope you are right. I have 2 more cookie recipes that turned out all "MEH" you know? I'm wasting a whole lotta ingredients, luckily they are relatively cheap haha.

    Tory you are so funny girl - and forgiving - you obviously didn't taste that *gag* white cake haha

  5. Also something to think about... we can't be master of all things. Some recipes we will make and will come out DEEEELICIOUS...and some others will be "uh nothing to write home about". The thing to think about is that we tried something new. We stepped out of the box and tried something different.

    That is what life is all about...trying things and realizing that we should stick with what works.

    God bless!

  6. Lady you are totally right...without the massive failure of the famous WASC cake recipe I wouldn't have adapted it to my Lemon Cheesecake Cupcakes!