View Full Version : How do you feel when something you cook flops?
01-10-2001, 07:39 AM
Since we've had a few recent threads on recipes that dissappoint you, and poor Mamasue was 0 for 3 on her January/February attempts, I thought I would get your emotions behind these disappointing recipes. Do you just live & learn, or does it bum you out?
I made the J/F Mashed Potato w/Blue Cheese last night. They looked beautiful (just like the picture), but according to my husband "these are uneatable". Unfortunately, I had to agree. (I guess you have to really like Blue Cheese - we had never had it - wow - what a bite!) Anyway, I take it to heart when something flops. I get sooo excited when I try something new and put my whole heart into it. When it flops, I get so bummed. Last night, I even cried (or was that from the PMS??). And it's just salt in my wounds when I've spent alot of money on special ingredients. I think I just need to have lower expectations so if it doesn't work, I don't fall that far http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif
01-10-2001, 07:53 AM
Poor Christine! Sorry to hear about your experience with that recipe.
If I don't like how something has turned out, my first step is to try to doctor the recipe by adding whatever I think might help. If that doesn't work, and the recipe is not for a special dinner or for company, my usual reaction is just to shrug and swallow it, eat something else (if it's that bad), or simply to laugh about
it! http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/biggrin.gif We have some running jokes about bad recipes...
Also, sometimes I'm sure that something hasn't "turned out" but everyone else seems to really like it; in these cases, I decide to believe them and see the recipe in that light http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/wink.gif
01-10-2001, 08:30 AM
Sorry to hear about your bad experience, Christine! Anticipation can be a wonderful thing, but not when our expectations exceed reality.
The first thing I always try to determine is whether or not the recipe is truly a failure or if it's just not something I prefer.
I'm often disappointed by recipes, not necessarily because they are "flops", but because they just aren't as tasty as I would have hoped. I've found that spending a bit of time truly TASTING the food helps me to appreciate it. There is always /something/ to enjoy about a food, even if it's not a favorite. I've really learned to appreciate a wide variety of foods by really giving them a chance to "grow on me".
On the other hand, if a recipe just doesn't work, I tend to take Natasha's view. My husband and I often laugh at recipes. We're heavily into spices, and most recipe authors are tentative about spicing things up "too much". I almost always try bummer recipes again, adjusting things to fit my brain's idea of how it should taste. Sometimes it's just a matter of changing an ingredient or two, or adjusting the method a bit.
Good luck... and happier eating! http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/wink.gif
01-10-2001, 08:37 AM
If you are trying blue cheese for the first time I can imagine what a shock those taters were! (I only grew to love it the last 5 or so years). I've had many 'bummer recipes', & the time it takes to track down those special ing., or the cost of them does make a difference sometimes.
I live & learn everyday w/ recipes. I've made things I never thought my family or I would like for the first time, and we love it or hate it. The ones they love are the best though, because I love to cook & I love when they eat what I make.
The recipes I'm excited about, looking forward to making & have taken hours to prepare & don't turn out, wanna to make me cry too. I feel for ya!
Don't be too hard on yourself-at least you tried something new! I just wish I could make food that looks like the picture I see- the kids always say, 'what in the heck IS THAT?' lol! Take care, http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif Zinnia
01-10-2001, 08:42 AM
You guys are so nice!
Can you think think of any way I could alter that Blue Cheese Mashed Potato recipe to make it workable? I really did like how it looked with the little potato chunkies, the bits of red skin and the parsley. What could I use as the "creamey" part?? Any ideas??
01-10-2001, 09:03 AM
I don't have any ideas about doctoring up the potato recipe since I don't like bleu cheese either but sympathize with you on feeling dejected about a 'failed' recipe. I always feel depressed when a recipe doesn't turn out especially when DH is totally negative. I think that probably makes me feel worse than the bad recipe! However I feel that if I get a couple of good recipes from an issue, I'm lucky.
01-10-2001, 09:30 AM
I get bummed too when a recipe doesn't work out. It's a lot of time and energy (not to mention $) put into cooking a meal, and you want something GOOD in return for all that effort.
I haven't had really any completely inedible experiences with CL, which is one of the reasons why I like cooking from their recipes. In my opinion, I'm almost guaranteed a good result. But then again, I have tried just about every food on the planet, so I can tell pretty much by looking at something whether it's something that will be truly gross or not.
My suggestion to you would be if a recipe calls for a food you've never tried before, take a taste of that food before you put it in your recipe. That way you can judge first if you like it or not before you "ruin" the dish (except for fish sauce - don't try that one by itself - it smells and tastes gross by itself, but is wonderful when added to recipes!!).
As far as what you could substitute for those mashed spuds, I would suggest fat free or light cream cheese. It would kind of melt like the blue cheese, and it has a plain taste, and would give creaminess. Good luck, and don't give up on trying new things. You're bound to hit some real winners!!
01-10-2001, 10:23 AM
A few years ago, when I really started cooking a lot of meals for my husband and me, I would get really mad/upset when I "messed up" a recipe. Over the last year or so, I've learned to relax and just smile when something doesn't turn out -- chalk it up to a learning experience. But, I do get aggravated if I've spent a lot on ingredients.
i agree that it can be very frustrating when you've spent a lot of $ on special ingredients or the preparation/cooking process was time-consuming & the recipe doesn't turn out right.
i'm usually follow a recipe exactly - i never add anything extra, or more spice (except sometimes more garlic! :P). usually, everything turns out great.
most recipes we've tried from CL have been good, although every now and then we get a loser. i don't get mad - i'm mostly just embarrassed that i made something yucky! when that happens, i just cross the recipe out.
there are so many delicious recipes to try, i don't want to waste time trying to fix a recipe that we didn't quite like. after we try a new recipe, it fits into 1 of three categories:
http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/frown.gif gross - don't ever make this again
http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/rolleyes.gif ok - ok, but i won't make it again
http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif great - delicious, will make it again
this way, we only end up making the great recipes again, while continuing to try new recipes.
01-10-2001, 12:36 PM
Some of it depends on my mood going in (PMS, anyone?). The more work involved in the recipe and/or the more expensive the ingredients are, the more likely I am to be angry if the recipe tastes bad. I get mad at MYSELF if the recipe's bad because I did something stupid when preparing it. I think sometimes I'm less likely to take a risk and try something different because I don't want to waste my time and then have to come up with a second dinner (if it's bad, my family won't eat it). CL has a recipe for red chicken or something like that -- it calls for 1/4 cup of chili powder. It sounds interesting, but I haven't been able to get around that 1/4 cup of chili powder! Maybe I'll post a new message and ask if anyone's ever made it and how it turned out.
01-10-2001, 12:53 PM
Christine, I felt bad for you. How frustrating!! My husband usually likes what I cook and when a dish disappoints, I can tell even though he tries to hide it and keep eating. It makes me a little sad.
One of the stores in my area lets customers taste cheese before they buy it. That would help at least in cheese recipes. I wonder if feta would be good in the potatoes? It has a sharp flavor but is not as pungent as blue cheese.
01-10-2001, 12:56 PM
I've learned to laugh - or take it with a grain of salt. I've made a few winners of mistakes - - esp. once I was not awake enough to realize that a recipe I got off the web was missing a "/" to indicate a half - and I put 12 teaspoons of salt in instead of a 1/2. The sad thing is my boyfriend tried to be nice and pick at it until I tried it - and threw it out. (he got points for trying that day!)
Although, now it is a running joke when I add any salt to a recipe!
I used to get angry when my family said my recipes were no good - until I realized that they just won't stray far from that bland old school Irish cooking!! Oregano is too spicy for them!! Then again, I love Cajun recipes - - they are all running for the bread and milk!! :-)
01-10-2001, 01:28 PM
My philosophy is that sometimes if a recipe fails it just wants to be something else. I have made cakes that really wanted to be trifles, stir frys that were much happier as soup, and vegetables that "aspired" to becoming pureed sauces. I once made pumpkin bread and forgot to add the entire amount of sugar. Little did I know that its true calling was to become pumpkin bread pudding. Seriously though, I usually end up doctoring up most of the recipes I try because I like strong and spicy flavors. In the case of blue cheese, no amount of doctoring will change that flavor. Maybe try mashed potatoes with goat cheese instead. It is creamy but mild.
01-10-2001, 02:20 PM
Sorry the potatoes didn't work for you; I can imagine what a shock tasting the blue cheese was. I only get upset when I make something that serves six because it looked good in the picture and the ingredients are all favorites and then it comes out kind of blah. I live alone and don't mind eating the same thing for lunch every day - but not if it's something that's not tasty in the first place.
01-10-2001, 02:34 PM
I don't like when things flop. I always try to have some kind of backup in case that happens. I feel like it's my duty to make nourishing meals for my husband or he may not eat or just pick at stuff and not have a well balanced meal! He doesn't say too much about the flops, unless it's really awful. I tried the peanutty noodles one night, but I made sure he was cooking some fish or venison for himself. Turned out, he didn't like the peanutty noodles at all. No problem- I just brought them for lunch everyday until they were gone. It can be very frustrating when you buy special ingredients and make that special trip to the store. I haven't had too many flops with CL recipes, though. I usually wait for a couple of reviews to be posted before I try anything, too. Is that cheating?
I hate it when recipes flop, I hate wasting
food and time. I find I make the most mistakes with things when I'm tired and don't feel like cooking. If something doesn't turn out I throw the recipe away, there are so many other good ones to try!
For the mashed potatoes I would maybe try
the light cream cheese in the tub with chives
in it. I have added this to potatoes before and it is excellent.
01-10-2001, 03:43 PM
First, one of my favorite quotes from my 2000 Joy of Cooking daily calendar was something like this: "Don't be afraid to try something new. If it doesn't work out, you can always order a pizza." http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/wink.gif That pretty much sums up my philosophy on trying new recipes. And the pizza is always yummy!
But, I find it both frustrating & inspiring when I screw up a recipe. I almost always catch my mistake before I'm completely to the end of the recipe. As a chemist, I feel it is my duty in the kitchen to experiment with recipes as much as possible. Screwing up just gives me more opportunity to experiment! Like last month, I made the Raspberry Strippers. First batch turned out wonderfully. Second batch-ugh! The dough was crumbly, not doughy. What to do? Well, I pressed the dough into a cooking sheet, and voila-raspberry shortbread. Everyone loved it! Turns out I forgot to add the egg whites, so of course the dough didn't bind together! Chemistry is the most fun when it's done in the kitchen because you get to eat the experiment. http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif
01-10-2001, 03:49 PM
I think there is a difference though, between the cook making a mistake, so it doesn't turn out, and following the instructions perfectly, and the recipe just doesn't live up to the expectations. I think she made her spuds exactly right, she just doesn't like blue cheese. That to me is more aggravating/frustrating. At least if I mess up the recipe, I can blame myself, and possibly make it again correctly and come out with something better, or even wonderful. It stinks when you've done a wonderful job cooking/preparing and it just plain doesn't taste good.....
As an example, I made the chocolate roulade with raspberries once, and I don't know what I did, but it didn't come out at all. I have made that cake many times (it's a BIG favorite around here), and it's really wonderful. Not the recipe's problem, mine. On the other hand, I made the ooey gooey brownies exactly right, and I thought they were GROSS! I think that's my biggest disappointment recipe, those brownies - but that's another thread...
01-10-2001, 04:41 PM
Well, just to update ya'll, I'm having a much better day today. Thank you for all your support. I think yesterday just got lost in all those lovely PMS emotions. My husband and I were able to laugh about the potatoes tonight. Actually, when he came home from work tonight he saw a bag of red potatoes on the counter and said, "oh no, not the red potatoes again". I am going to try them again with your sour cream and chives suggestion. I have fresh chives in the frig. I'll be sure to post the new review later tonight/tomorrow.
It also helped that I redeemed myself this afternoon with the Puffed Up Chocolate Chip Cookies - they were excellent and are doing wonders for my PMS http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif
It also helped reviewing the 2000 annual index and highlighting all the recipes I've tried - I actually amazed myself - I'm a regular chef (hehe). I have come a long way since May. I just have to watch out for those bittey cheeses.
01-10-2001, 07:17 PM
Ok, here's my review of the modified Mashed Potatoes - they were great. Thank you, Thank you! I used LF sour cream and fresh chives as planned. I skipped the parsley since the chives gave me the speckled green color. They were even pretty just like the ones in picture. This will be a keeper for us.
I also made the Superfast Salisbury Steak. I think superfast is a stretch, but they were quite good.
MB, I like your rating system. My husband decided to add a subcategory to the "ok" rating - "ok, it wouldn't kill me to have it again" He's a tough "great" rater and saves that rating for only truly great recipes, none of which I can think of at the moment. http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/smile.gif
01-10-2001, 11:17 PM
Well, for me it depends on why it flopped.
If I messed up--I get MAD! I have been known to make the same recipe 3 days in a row, until I get it right. Luckily, my husband is a good sport about this.
If the recipe just stinks--I guess my reaction doesn't change--I get mad then,too!
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