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!


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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159 Responses to “Recipe Disasters of 2010.”

  1. #
    Kris | — January 2, 2011 @ 7:01 am

    Hahaha, you know that we can all relate, sympathize, and chuckle with you on this one :)

    A lot of money goes into creating things, doesn’t it?!



  2. #
    Diane Cooper — January 2, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

    Glad to see you are human too!!! I have been in tears more than once in the kitchen too!!! But Lady…. when you finally get it right… we sing high praises to your yummo delights!!!!
    Thanks Jessica!


  3. #
    Leslie — January 2, 2011 @ 4:37 pm

    Wow, you certainly have what my youth pastor used to call stick-to-it-iveness! Unfortunately, that involves a lot of stuff sticking to your pans! Love you recipes and your blog! Do you ever use Silpat or other Demarle products? I have since 2003 and love them (no sticking-so easy to clean)! Used to sell them at parties 2 or 3 times per week, now I just take orders and do one or two demos a year. Either way, if you ever want to order any, they are fabulous. Just let me know! I bake most of your recipes in these products (muffin, loaf, cookie sheet, etc).

    I realize this totally sounds like a sales pitch, but really, it’s the first thing I thought of when I saw all those pans you had to clean!

    Happy New Year!


  4. #
    culinaryneophyte — January 2, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this post. So funny! I’m only just beginning in my culinary adventures, and I’ve had MANY mishaps already, too, but your successes in the face of loaf pan adversity have inspired to me to keep positive. Thanks for sharing! :)


  5. #
    Marla — January 2, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    This is your best post yet. Hilarious & sad at the same time. Thanks for sharing your best of blunders with us!


  6. #
    Em — January 2, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

    How have I never seen your blog before?! You. Are. AMAZING. I literally just sat here for hours reading through your blog and drooling over your recipes. Thanks for being you haha!


    • Jessica — January 2nd, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

      Thank you Em! :)


  7. #
    Alicia — January 2, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

    I’ll take the fried cheese! I made your better than crack brownies today, O-M-G. They are sooo good, I’m glad that I’m giving them away cause otherwise I’d eat the whole pan and be in a sugar coma for days. Thanks! Can’t wait to see what you make in 2011.


  8. #
    carlee — January 2, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

    HAHAHAHA! You sure got a good laugh out of me girl! I loved this post!


  9. #
    Heather — January 3, 2011 @ 2:39 am

    Love this! Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one that has terrible flops in the kitchen! Thanks for sharing!


  10. #
    Megan — January 3, 2011 @ 2:41 am

    Love it! I can’t tell you how many mishaps and recipes gone bad I could report on! Happy New Year!


  11. #
    Gracie — January 3, 2011 @ 4:30 am

    Ahh, story of my life! My problem is that I don’t have enough patience/will to keep trying until the recipe is perfected. I figure it’s not worth it because I WOULD have a nervous breakdown if the second try was a failure as well…


  12. #
    Kim in MD — January 3, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

    This post made my morning! I love that you blame everything on the wine! :-)


  13. #
    Rach — January 3, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

    I love, love, love this post! It made me laugh and comforted me to know that I’m not the only one who has a kitchen blunder from time to time. Thanks for sharing! :)


  14. #
    Kat — January 3, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

    Funny post! Way to keep it real.


  15. #
    angela — January 3, 2011 @ 9:02 pm

    This makes me feel much better, and much more like I should keep trying. I’ve had some real successes lately in the kitchen, and more than my fair share of disasters.


  16. #
    Jerri — January 4, 2011 @ 2:27 am

    So many of these mistakes look so familiar! Thanks for sharing.


  17. #
    Jennifer H — January 4, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

    Too funny! I loved this post as I had as many disasters too, esp. when I experiment.


  18. #
    La Roquette — January 4, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

    Im loving your honesty… and well, everybody makes mistakes (especially first timers like me… but the greatest thing is to laugh about it and move on)… divine blog, happy new year :)


  19. #
    Susie — January 8, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    Just by being honest and real about your mistakes, you’ve gained me as a new reader and fan.


  20. #
    Robyn | Add a Pinch — January 9, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

    This is absolutely perfect! We all have them, those recipes that never make the blog because they just don’t turn out like we want them to or they just flop. I should have been taking more pictures of mine along the way!

    Happy New Year! Here’s to more deliciousness in 2011.


  21. #
    take the cake — January 12, 2011 @ 4:17 am

    I don’t have to laugh at my fails.. my family takes care of that part. Thank you for reminding its not about perfection, but having a good attitude when things are not perfect!


  22. #
    Diane — January 13, 2011 @ 6:17 pm

    Awesome post! :)


  23. #
    Jen — March 22, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

    Oh my god, I am so glad to have read this post. Your food always looks like perfection to me, so I’m relieved to know that you make mistakes too. Whenever I screw something up, I always feel like such a bad cook. But that’s just part of cooking and baking!


    • Jessica — March 22nd, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

      You need to take a look back at the first 6 months of my posts. Certainly not perfection – I have come a LONG way!!


  24. #
    Megan — April 14, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

    I’ve been visiting your site for a little while now but just stumbled upon this page, and so glad I did! It is really motivating to hear about your struggles (..?) because so many times I go back to the tried and true recipes I know I can make because I don’t want to mess up. But I need to get over it!! Thanks for sharing, aaand not to be annoying but I just started my own site.. would love if you had time to check it out!


  25. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats — June 15, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

    I love this post! So funny :)


  26. #
    Nat - The Precious Things — August 22, 2011 @ 9:23 am

    Lol! I am so with you! Looking forward to reading about 2011’s kitchen desasters… not that I hope you had many.


  27. #
    Heather Bell — October 9, 2011 @ 9:46 pm

    Those mozarella things still look awesome! Also, I attempted a cheesecake twice. Once, I forgot to cook it. Next, it started leaking through the bottom of the pan. 3rd time I got it. =)


  28. #
    Rebecca — December 5, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

    Jessica, I have to admit that I laughed out loud for several minutes as I read through this, mostly because I can totally relate (especially to the “candies sinking to the bottom of the pan and burning irrevocably into the metal”)!! I love your blog, you have a fresh, easy voice and I feel like I’m talking to a good friend. Thanks for sharing your not-so-lovely moments with us!


  29. #
    Anita — December 15, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    I think it’s great that you post both culinary triumphs and culinary tragedies. That’s what life is all about. Sometimes there is a mess, you just clean it up and move on. Like the year my aunt decided to put mozzarella in the mashed potatoes at Christmas. We had to use scissors to get the potatoes out of the bowl.


  30. #
    merry — July 31, 2012 @ 7:07 am

    i really like this post. it makes the successful desserts and meals so much sweeter.


  31. #
    Amy — August 22, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

    I can’t tell you how good it was to read over this list and see the photos. You have SOOO many fabulous recipes that it’s such a relief to know that even you sometimes flop. Seriously. Made me smile.


  32. #
    Louisa — September 27, 2012 @ 6:39 am

    So cool that you posted these disasters AND the follow up successes!


  33. #
    Sonya — February 11, 2014 @ 11:11 pm

    Your disaster posts are all awesome and inspiring – that is, inspiring us to keep on trekking in the kitchen, because failure is a part of success, and clearly makes for the best stories ever! You have such a humorous way of writing. I could feel your pain at having to scrub those caramel blobs out of the muffin pan, too!


  34. #
    Amber — October 14, 2015 @ 8:06 am

    I know this is way belated, but i just saw this post (new to and excited about your blog) and had to say thank you! I can’t tell you how many sob stories my poor boyfriend has suffered through while I cry to him about my mishaps in the kitchen. I woe-is-me about how maybe I wasn’t meant to conquer the baking business I’m currently developing, or maybe my perceived creativity is really a cover-up for an inevitable waste of time and ingredients. I’ve even been so dramatic as to complain about having been given any talent in the first place since my natural ability has lead me down a career path in which i literally taste failure. He wonderfully reminds me of my high success rate, and we both remind me that sometimes quality education is expensive but it’s worth all the learning. I thoroughly appreciate you airing your dirty bakeware and encouraging us readers to feel less badly about ours. Thanks again. And again; you are an inspirational cheerleader.



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