One of the most frequent questions I am asked is how I come up with my recipes. The truth? Time… brainstorming… money… tears… and many failures. Many failures. Emphasis on the MANY. I spend so much time developing recipes, and I can guarantee you that at least 25% of that time is dedicated to remaking the failed recipes.

I only wish that I had thought to take pictures of every single one.

Where to start?


I attempted to make 2 mini red velvet cakes for Valentine’s Day.

You see how well that turned out. Something about vinegar and baking soda and too much wine.

Luckily the second attempt didn’t flop.


These “healthy” chocolate scones were some of the dryest, most disgusting baked goods I’ve ever tried.

I nixed the “healthy” part and finally got it right.


I absentmindedly grabbed cinnamon chips instead of chocolate chips when making chocolate chip cookies one morning.

Think it sounds good? It wasn’t. Trust me.


This one wasn’t my fault, I swear. After spending our life savings on the freshest lobster we could find in Pittsburgh, Mr. How Sweet cooked it this way.

He thought that sauteing the lobster meant “boiling it in a pot of water.” Thankfully it was still edible and delicious.


During my muffin binge, I attempted to stuff a muffin with a caramel square.

Do you know what happens? It sinks to the bottom. Then you spend the rest of your life trying to scrub muffin tins.


I deemed this grilled bacon-wrapped shrimp too unphotogenic.

But it was delicious and we enjoyed every bite.


This marble loaf cake sunk all the way down in the middle.

It was a beautiful sight. But not really.


Oh look! More muffins.

These muffins never even baked or solidified into muffins once in the oven. I’m blaming my oven. And that wine.


Before tweaking the hot cocoa cookie recipe, these babies came out extremely underdone.

After nearly 20 minutes in the oven.


Clearly, I have an issue with loaf cakes.

Don’t forget to coat your chips in flour the first time around. This was really fun to clean!

Not.



I have more molasses, syrup, flour, butter, cocoa powder and bacon grease in the crevices of my kitchen counters, camera, and other unmentionable places than you can ever imagine.

Mr. How Sweet is not amused.


I know I sort of shared what happens to the baked mozzarella balls if you don’t spray the pan.

But what I failed to mention is that I forgot to spray the pan 3 times before remembering. I survived on burnt, bubbly mozzarella for 12 hours while peeling it off the only pan that Mr. How Sweet hasn’t destroyed.


And this is just the tip of the iceberg. I always have a good laugh when people comment on my recipes or photos, because if you really saw the whole picture, we’d probably just share a good cry. Next time things don’t go your way in the kitchen, think of me and remember I’m probably sitting in a pile of dough and tears because my mixer decided to jump off the counter.

Here’s to a delicious 2011!

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157 Responses to “Recipe Disasters of 2010.”

  1. #
    1
    Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun — December 31, 2010 @ 11:59 am

    You know I appreciate this post. ;)

    Reply

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    Vanessa — December 31, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

    I love this!! No one ever sees the kitchen “fails”, but we all have them!! Through it all, your recipes always turn out great in the end!! :-)

    Reply

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    Julia — December 31, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    Oh boy! How many times I have made baking blunders too!! I’ve also used the wrong chips for a recipe and had to pick them out of the batter…I think it was blondies I was making…something like I put peanut butter chips instead of butterscotch and there’s no way I could of left the peanut butter chips in. NASTY!!

    Reply

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    Victoria (District Chocoholic) — December 31, 2010 @ 12:21 pm

    All of the failures still look delicious to me. I hope the red velvet mini cake “failure” was reborn as cakeballs.

    Reply

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    Angela — December 31, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

    You have a good sense of humor about the flubs and it’s so fun to see them with you. Thanks for reminding us that getting it right is half the fun. Happy New Year!

    Reply

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    grocery goddess jen — December 31, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

    Aw, I love this post. Thank you for sharing! I definitely have some serious baking and cooking failures, too.

    Reply

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    Marina — December 31, 2010 @ 12:34 pm

    great post :)
    stuff like that happen to me all the time, I’m really clumsy :) But it turns out awesome. Never mind the burnt microwave, waffle maker that is encrusted with every possible ingredient, burnt fingers…

    Reply

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    Blog is the New Black — December 31, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

    OMG… you are the best- considering I’m the one asking where you get your ideas, saying how wonderful your photos are, etc. Just shows how dedicated you are to the blog- and shows in the end result! :) Um, the lobster in water? I DIED!

    Reply

    • Jessica — December 31st, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

      Yes, I died to when I walked in the house and saw the meat of 4 lobster tails in a POT OF WATER.

      Reply

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    Tiffany @ Conor & Bella — December 31, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

    LOL! Thanks for sharing. You should have seen the cake I made for my husband’s birthday this year. I underbaked the cakes because I wasn’t thinking straight, and it was disastrous. The finished cake was a big pile of crumbly cake and frosting. Luckily it still tasted great! I should have taken a picture.

    Reply

    • Jessica — December 31st, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

      Taste is all that matters! Unless you have a blog… lol.

      Reply

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    Nicole, RD — December 31, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

    Hahaha! I love it! :)

    Reply

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    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — December 31, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

    I am all about kitchen failures – except I usually still feed them to the Husband.

    Reply

    • Jessica — December 31st, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

      So do I!

      Reply

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    Lauren at KeepItSweet — December 31, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

    I think I would have eaten a lot of those “disasters”! My camera is permanently stained with chocolate and butter.

    Reply

    • Jessica — December 31st, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

      I did. :)

      Reply

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    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — December 31, 2010 @ 1:04 pm

    I swear we live a similar life in the kitchen! Ya gotta love the failures though. We learn so much! I love it when the “failure” turns into something great though! I live for the moments. I will always remember the bug muffins here. They were a failed attempt at a gluten free dinner roll that went horribly wrong.

    Reply

    • Jessica — December 31st, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

      OH man…. lol.

      Reply

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    steph@stephsbitebybite — December 31, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

    As sad as it is when you experience a recipe disaster, I’m glad you shared these! Makes me feel normal to see that we all experince recipe disasters :) HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    Reply

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    Katrina — December 31, 2010 @ 1:21 pm

    Happy 2011 to you and Mr. Sweet! It’s so funny seeing all of your 2010 flops, as I have had many of the same problems developing recipes. Quick breads seem to be my enemy in particular, so I’ve taken a break from them. Good luck in 2011! I can’t wait to see a whole new year of yummy posts :)

    Reply

    • Jessica — December 31st, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

      Happy New Year to you!

      Reply

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    Krystina (Basil & Wine) — December 31, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

    I have this hope that cinnamon chip cookies could be awesome.

    Reply

    • Jessica — December 31st, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

      I think they definitely could. These were Hershey’s cinnamon chips and they were almost spicy? I really just wasn’t a fan.

      Reply

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    Patti Smith — December 31, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

    My mother-in-law gave me a local cookbook for Christmas; I held it up for the Head of My Household to see and said, “Look, more recipes for me to try!” He just groaned. I’m really a good cook, but you’re right; for every incredible dish, there are many previous flops! :)

    Reply

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    Blond Duck — December 31, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    You’re so brave to share! I just pout and scream.

    Reply

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    Alaina — December 31, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

    Love this post :-) And I definitely share your failure with trying to bake “healthy” pastries. Replace it with butter and REAL sugar and you’ve got a masterpiece of baked goods!

    Reply

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    Ellen@FirednFabulous — December 31, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    The chocolate marble cake IS a delicious sight. MmMm. It’s good to know that even YOU make mistakes somtimes :)

    Reply

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    Duchess of Fork — December 31, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    You win some, you lost some, right?? Happy New Year, girl! :)

    Reply

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    Lisa @ Dishes of Mrs. Fish — December 31, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    Thank you for this post! Whenever I have a kitchen fail, my hubs goes “you think this doesn’t happen to (inserts name of a blogger he’s heard me talk about)?” Thanks for this post. :) I appreciated it!

    Reply

    • Jessica — December 31st, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

      You are welcome – it happens to me all the time!

      Reply

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    Erika @ FoodFitnessFun — December 31, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

    It’s good to know that I’m not the only one that fails in the kitchen on a regular basis! :-P

    Reply

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    Natalie — December 31, 2010 @ 2:00 pm

    Jess thank you so much for posting this! Makes me feel a bit more normal. And I can show it to the non-culinary bf as proof that even some of the best cooks have goof ups! Have a GREAT new years!

    Reply

    • Jessica — December 31st, 2010 @ 2:35 pm

      You too Natalie! :)

      Reply

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    Caitlin — December 31, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

    This is what it looks like EVERY time I cook. Still, love seeing your imperfections – makes me feel a *little* better.

    Reply

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    CaSaundra — December 31, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

    At least you have triple the successes compared to your kitchen failures!

    Reply

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    Heather (Heather's Dish) — December 31, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

    i’m right there with you…there have been times where i’ve just sat down with some wine and cried because it’s been so bad!

    Reply

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    Kelly — December 31, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

    This was my favorite post so far!! haha…I mean it makes me feel a lot better about my kitchen failures! haha! Thanks for admitting to be human…I was wondering….haha! Love you girl…happy 2011!

    Reply

    • Jessica — December 31st, 2010 @ 3:10 pm

      You are the best. Thank you for your support! :)

      Reply

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    Amanda — December 31, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

    This is so heartening to read, that sometimes even our favorite foodie bloggers, who always have THE best recipes & photos, have to scrap their cooking sometimes. I have only done a few foodie posts, but one in particular where I made gingersnaps was a nightmare–I followed the recipe to a T but they turned out completely flat and burned and gross. Glad I am not alone! :)

    Reply

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    Stephanie — December 31, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

    Great post! Those shrimp look tasty to me!

    Reply

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    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — December 31, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

    I swear the cleaning is the worst part of cooking mistakes, because they rarely end neatly!

    Loved this post, btw. Let me know I wasn’t the only one with a few kitchen blunders :)

    Reply

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    Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes — December 31, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

    the cleaning…oh the cleaning!! Gotta be the worst part. But persevere we must…because in the end, deliciousness will reign! :)
    love,
    cathy b. @ brightbakes

    Reply

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    mrsgregwillis — December 31, 2010 @ 3:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing!!! Now I know what you meant when you commented on my cake batter bark “fail” (which is still delicious, btw). Now I can laugh at my oopsies easier ;)

    Reply

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    Maria — December 31, 2010 @ 3:08 pm

    We all have bad days in the kitchen:) Happy New Year!

    Reply

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    Lori @ RecipeGirl — December 31, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

    What a great idea to post the worst-of. Love it :)

    Reply

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    Lisa — December 31, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

    This is a great list! I still think a lot of your fails look pretty yummy! I have lots of kitchen fails (wasted ingredients and huge messes!) too…but without them I guess we’d never get some of the really awesome stuff!

    Happy New Year!

    Reply

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    Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat — December 31, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

    I also love this post! It’s so easy to think that food bloggers are just magicians in the kitchen, since everything looks so good on their blogs. So it’s good to see that we are all human :)

    Reply

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    Taylor — December 31, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

    These things happen to the best of us! Thanks for showing us that even you have failures in the kitchen :)

    Reply

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    megan — December 31, 2010 @ 3:20 pm

    hahaha I love it and I can so relate. Mike likes to comment on how emotional I get in the kitchen – ecstatic if things turn out right, in tears if they fail. What can I say, I put my heart into it :)

    Reply

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    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — December 31, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

    My most epic kitchen fail happened less than a week ago: a shattered glass pan with hot, sticky toffee in it. Needless to say, I take encouragement from this post! :)

    Reply

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    Beth@Give a girl the right shoes — December 31, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

    I love this post!! It will make me feel better the next time one of my recipes don’t turn out as expected! Happy New Year!

    Reply

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    Katie — December 31, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

    This is such an awesome post. I have had a ton of unphotogenic and/or just plain failures. My favorite were the black bean brownies that were all the rage a while back.

    There’s a reason that black beans are not found in good brownies.

    Reply

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    Moni'sMeals — December 31, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

    haha, I love this post, we all can relate and we forget that this happens sometime, right!

    Happy New Year!

    Reply

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    Kate @ Kitchen Couture — December 31, 2010 @ 3:56 pm

    Oh, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate and can relate to this post. It’s so nice to see that even when your finished product comes out beautifully, it didn’t always look so pretty getting there.

    Reply

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    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — December 31, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

    Hahaha this made me smile! Every post I’ve read so far this morning (including the one I posted – http://wp.me/pSUCS-1rw) talks about achievements and top posts of 2010, and yours is all about disasters. Just one of the many reasons I ADORE your blog! Happy New Year girl! :)

    Reply

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    Katherine — December 31, 2010 @ 4:09 pm

    thanks for keeping it real… and thanks for your New Year’s Eve recipes. I just made 6 of them! Can’t wait to hear people mmm and ahhh when they bite into some bacon.

    Reply

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    Emily — December 31, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

    Hey, this happens to ALL of us. At least your are honest and able to find some humor in these mishaps :) You have far more amazing, successful dishes than failures!

    Reply

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    kristi @veggie converter — December 31, 2010 @ 4:16 pm

    I had a terrible one this week with meatless cranberry-bbq sauce metballs. Yuck! I’m sure I’ll have a lot of failed experiments through the year…especially around october when I’ve run out of good recipes! Thanks for posting!

    Reply

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    Alysha (She's on the Run) — December 31, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

    I LOVE these kinds of posts. Even the best cooks/bakers have their moments of failure. Laughing and learning about them is what helps us grow.

    Keep up the good work!

    Alysha

    Reply

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    Ms. Pearl — December 31, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

    Too funny! It’s really refreshing to see that not everything on a food blog is perfect. Thanks for sharing. : )

    Reply

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