Spache the Spatula

Recipe Fails

Today I’m telling you about a lot of recipes that totally flopped.

foodfailsHopefully, you guys have noticed that I try really hard to post a recipe every weekday for you guys. This means my kitchen is almost never clean, I’m usually up until 2 am editing photos and writing up my posts, food is all I ever think about, and Mikey’s co-workers get a lot of baked goods, haha. You know what else it means? Some serious recipe fails.

Lately, a lot of people have been asking me if I post everything I make. The short answer? No. I make a lot of things that turn out delicious but either I’m not in a place conducive to a food photo shoot, or I’m too exhausted and I just want to eat whatever it is. But, I also make a lot of things that turn out TERRIBLE. Seriously.

Uh, for instance the thing that prompted this post…

fig_Fotor_CollageI thought I’d use some leftover pizza dough to make a Honeyed Fig and Pine Nut Focaccia bread to share with you guys. Sounds delicious, right? Yeah, maybe if it turned out soft and fluffy like focaccia should… You see, I thought I’d turn the oven to warm, then turn it off, put the dough in to allow it to rise a bit and take the chill of from the fridge, and crack the door. The problem? I didn’t turn off the oven. I also didn’t open the oven door. The dough got a nice pre bake at 170F and then another bake at 400F. What I was left with was a hard, tough, cracker-like thing. The flavors were great…the base was inedible.

Let’s look at a few other of my failed attempts at making something delicious, shall we?

bluffernutterThis is one of those things that I know can be delicious, because I’ve had them before—a Bluffernutter sandwich. Bacon + Marshmallow Fluff + Peanut Butter all on a sandwich together. Sounds totally weird, but I promise it can be really good! The issue here was that I used old bacon and it tasted…bad. I also burned it. Plus, this is maybe the least photogenic thing, ever.

sriracha ice creamMy love for sriracha maybe went too far here—Sriracha Ice Cream. This tasted garlicky and just plain weird. I couldn’t even bring myself to eat a full spoonful. Because I’m crazy, I’m dead set on making a successful version. I decided this one failed due to the fact that I made it vegan and used coconut sugar, and it could be delicious with cream and white sugar. This probably isn’t true.

dashi thingThis random bowl of salmon, rice noodles, pork belly, and dashi wasn’t exactly a full-on “fail,” it just somehow lacked flavor despite the fact it had a ton of rich ingredients. Honestly, it almost tasted like nothing. How is that possible?!

cookiecupsI tried to make a vegan (chocolate peanut butter) version of my cookies n’ milk cups, and it went horribly awry. The cookie portion turned out great, but the panna cotta was so bad that I didn’t even get any photos before they hit the trash can. I swapped the cream and milk for almond milk, and the gelatin for agar agar. It came out disgustingly firm.

crispy treatsI was so sure these rice crispy treats with puffed millet, mini chocolate chips, peanut butter, and homemade marshmallow would work, and turn out gooey and stretchy, but they came out ultra soggy and all-around nasty.

I also have a lot of things that I intend to post, and then something is amiss in the either the photo shoot or recipe write-up portion…

granola_Fotor_CollageThis Apple-Cinnamon Granola with pecans and home-dehydrated apples was actually an amazing success. But I went ahead and lost the recipe because I’m an idiot, so I could never share it with you.

asian noodles1Similar thing happened with this Skirt Steak and Asian Noodle dish…so so good, and possibly even better the next day as tacos, but the way I wrote the recipe down made zero sense to me when I tried to type it up. It was just a bunch of numbers and abbreviations. For what? I’ll never know. :'(

springdipThis Spring Veggie Goat Cheese Dip was so freaking good. But there was no SD card in the camera I used to shoot photos of it with, and I only noticed after it was completely consumed. This terrible iPhone photo is all the evidence that is left…(but you can totally find the recipe I based mine off of here).

So yes, as you can now see, though I may appear to know what I’m doing, half the time I really don’t, haha! And this is only the stuff that I somehow got a picture or two of!

Do you guys like this kind of post? Or should I stick to posting stuff that is actually successful?


18 Responses to “Recipe Fails”

  1. Sarah@WholeandHeavenlyOven — August 22, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Hahaha! Ohhh gosh. It is SO not fun at the time of a recipe fail, but looking back you just can’t help but laugh and say, WHAT was I thinking?! LOL. This was an awesome post. Rachael. Just what my Friday needed! 😀

    • Rachael replied: — August 22nd, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

      Haha I'm glad you liked it, Sarah!! 😛

  2. Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen — August 22, 2014 at 5:14 am

    Hahaha! I’m not sure I could love this post more. I kept reading the failures and thinking “oh, that’s my favorite”, then I’d go to the next one and “no, THATs my favorite”. And it went on and on and on like that. I LOVE recipe failure posts ~ and the sriracha ice cream? Girl, you got my attention, because I love spicy stuff! You must make a successful recipe for that, because I’m totally counting on it. I post failures to my blog to – just look for “kitchen disasters”! They’re my favorite post to write. What a bad idea when you’re a food blogger, right? Hahaha!

    • Rachael replied: — August 22nd, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

      I would guess that food bloggers probably have more fails than most people since we're always trying to come up with new ideas—a few are bound to fail and fail horribly! Haha!

      And oh my gosh I can't wait to check yours out! I'm so happy you post about yours!

  3. Mariana @The Candid Kitchen — August 22, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Hahaha I love this post! I actually can’t believe you post a recipe every weeday! You go girl! Love that you are so honest and that behind a successful food blog there are a few little fails from time to time!

    • Rachael replied: — August 22nd, 2014 @ 12:31 pm

      Thanks, Mariana! Everyone has their little mess-ups…sometimes mine just aren't so little, haha!

  4. Helen — August 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    That Apple Cinnamon Granola looks so good! How dare you tease us just on the brink of Fall. 

    I love this new feature – it’s comforting to know I’m not alone when I burn food in the oven because I forgot to turn the heat down. Also, I’m with you in thinking Sriracha can work, but not with a vegan base;)

    • Rachael replied: — August 22nd, 2014 @ 12:32 pm

      I know. I'm actually REALLY mad about that granola. Maybe I'll try to recreate it this year. I remember there being applesauce and lots of spices involved, but not much else haha.

      The sriracha ice cream *has* to work! It just sounds so…wrong and right all at once! I definitely tried to do too much at once by making it vegan :/

  5. Mike Garlikov — August 22, 2014 at 12:59 pm

     Hey Rach,

      How are  you?  I love seeing that even the best of cooks fail on occasion. I tried to make the Mini Banana  Tarte Tatin  twice and couldn’t perfect it. The flavors were good but it looked terrible.

      The veggie Goat Dip looks great from seeing the pic and hear you describe it. I love siracha but ice cream not so sure about that one. I am starting to experiment a lot more when I make  food playing with different flavors.

    • Rachael replied: — August 22nd, 2014 @ 1:03 pm

      Ah I'm sorry about the tarte tatin! No idea what could have gone wrong! And the goat cheese dip is really amazing! I wish I could have shared better photos of it, haha!

      I'm glad to hear you're experimenting more in the kitchen!

  6. Shea @ Dixie Chik Cooks — August 23, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I love this post! There are so many times I do something like making something I think would be great a complete failure, forgetting to write down measurements, or just not being able to get good photos no matter what. That’s the real side of food blogging!!

    • Rachael replied: — August 23rd, 2014 @ 7:21 pm

      It so is the real side! I’m so glad you’ve experienced so many of the same problems! Sometimes I’m just like ugh am I sure I’m even any good at this?! haha

  7. Elizabeth @ — August 23, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    This is seriously my favorite kind of post. I think EVERY food blogger knows exactly what you’re talking about–missing photos, confusing recipes, and tragic fails too! And can I just say, I think it’s amazing that you post something every weekday–that is a huge time commitment and I totally bow down!

    • Rachael replied: — August 24th, 2014 @ 12:37 am

      Thank you thank you thank you!
      I'm actually blown away by the response to this post. It makes me so happy that other food bloggers struggle with the same stuff!

  8. Dani — August 24, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Rachael, I loved this post! As someone who is creating a brand new food blog, it’s a relief to see that I don’t have to be perfect! I love learning from others’ triumphs, but I think some great lessons are learned by looking at someone’s mistakes. Because of this post, I’ll probably never forget to make sure I have a full SD card! 🙂

    • Rachael replied: — August 24th, 2014 @ 12:25 pm

      Oh gosh if there's one thing I hope, it's that this might prevent others from making similar mistakes, haha! Spending 30 minutes taking photos of something only to realize it was all for naught feels pretty silly 😛

      But I totally think you're right! It's important for people to not only show the stuff that goes well, but the stuff that doesn't go so well. We're all human and it's always nice to know you're not alone in your screw ups, hah!

  9. Jess @ whatjessicabakednext — August 27, 2014 at 1:03 am

    I know how it feels to be your shoes! Hate it when a recipe fails, you have so much hope that the recipe will taste good! I find it hard to get good photos sometimes as much as I try! 🙂

    • Rachael replied: — August 27th, 2014 @ 11:00 am

      Yes! Sometimes the conditions just seem to not be "right" for pictures or something, haha. At those times, I just turn to my boyfriend and I'm like "It's not happening, let's just eat it" 😛

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