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!