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Recent cooking fails?

I've been cooking more lately due to better meal planning and cold weather. Many good things but a few really awful fails. Hopefully I'm not the only one? Thought I'd share to get these most recent flops off my chest.

Thai pork with peanut sauce (crockpot) - Too peanutty and managed to be both blah and ick. One kid ate it, the other took one bite and stated it was the worst thing he'd eaten in months.

Granola - I've wanted to make granola forever. Inspired by some really good stuff a friend made, I did a batch. And overcooked it. Such a waste of fruits and nuts.

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  1. Do you use recipes? I do and, if I have a failure, it's usually due to operator error. When I use trusted sites/people, I'm almost always pleased with the results.

    3 Replies
    1. re: c oliver

      You know, I usually don't use recipes much but with the whole "better meal planning" kick, I have been. The pork recipe I followed pretty exactly. Granola was pure operator error - I was worried it was too moist and overbaked.

      1. re: tcamp

        with granola, I keep the honey and dried fruit out of the baking -- burns too easily. I'd rather only have to worry about over-toasting nuts.

        1. re: tcamp

          Don't you hate it when you follow the recipe and it turned out to be a disaster? I have been there, and now I try to reduce the risk by either only going with the well-rated recipes, or consulting the recipe from a few different sources and "averaging" the quantity and techniques...

          At least your kid was honest about it...

      2. Yep, I have fails. I made my fave green chili but forgot to buy a jalapeno. I made it without, and it was simply not as flavorful. A big disappointment.

        You learn from you fails though. And none of us is perfect.

        1. I have tried several different recipes involving a protein and peanut butter in the crock pot and they have ALL been fails. I use my crock pot almost daily and this is the one combo I will never try again.

          2 Replies
            1. re: nat8199

              I make this regularly with a few tweaks (using crunchy peanut butter adding in the peppers much later) and it always comes out great.

              http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/thai-...

            2. Not recent, but my Epid Semi Fail was a beef wellington... YEARS ago. Dad saw it on some cooking show... back when most were B&W... Julia, Graham, Jeff, etc. Was totally comfy in kitchen (maybe 18-19 yo)... BIG $$ hunka beef wrapped in pastry crust... how hard could it be?? It looked beautiful going into oven, even BEAUTIFULLER coming would BUT you could NOT cut thru crust!! It was like CONCRETE!! Luckily, once chiseled off... beef was perfectly pink thru out!

              1. The first time I used sour cream in a stroganoff. It curdled in the dish, because I didn't temper the sour cream with a bit of the hot liquid, as well as I continued to cook the dish vs. removing the pan from the stove and slowly adding the sour cream to the dish.

                It ate OK, but looked like hell. Didn't keep the leftovers.

                12 Replies
                1. re: LindaWhit

                  I made a Martha Stewart chicken curry where that happened when I added the yogurt to the rest of the sauce. Thankfully it was before I added in the chicken so I did something else with the chicken and the rice I had made.

                  1. re: juliejulez

                    I gave up on Martha Stewart's recipes years ago.

                    1. re: Candy

                      She is a great inspiration with ideas and presentation, but her actual recipes are very hit-and-miss.

                      1. re: sandylc

                        Really? I have found really good results the dozen or so Ihave tried over the years.

                        1. re: melpy

                          I went back to my files to see what I had made over the years:

                          Lighter General Tso's Chicken
                          Chorizo Stuffed Mini Sweet peppers
                          Sparkling Strawberry cocktail
                          Miso glazed cod
                          Pork Bulgogi

                          were several that I can find at the moment that were pretty good. The first one especially we have made on multiple ocassions.

                      2. re: Candy

                        My dear former neighbor was a very accomplished cook and she said she regularly found Martha's recipes to be "off"

                        1. re: cleobeach

                          Ditto. Even when they turn out they are rarely worth the bother. But the pictures always look so beautiful so I kept trying for years.

                          1. re: sweetpotater

                            I made an awful chocolate bread pudding from a Martha Stewart recipe. It was so bad my nephew a) wouldn't eat it and b) still teases me about it eight or ten years later.

                            1. re: THewat

                              I tried a Martha Stewart chocolate bread pudding recipe one year at Christmas, I think - it wasn't inedible, but no one went back for seconds and the leftovers went in the trash.

                        2. re: Candy

                          I haven't made many of her recipes but she has a recipe for cut-out sugar cookies that I've used regularly for the past 5 years.

                      3. re: LindaWhit

                        If sour cream is heated to a boil it will curdle - like any kind of cream less than 35%. It should be stirred in off of the heat to prevent it from curdling. A tip from an old school cookbook says to mix sour cream with a little flour to stop it from curdling.

                        1. re: KaryOsmond

                          Yup, I know that now (stirred in off the heat).