I hope you know that not everything that comes out of my oven is perfect.
Far from it.
My attempts at icing cookies are some of the saddest things you'll never see. Last summer I bought pineapple and ice cream cone cookie cutters with the intent of sharing a recipe for cute and summery iced sugar cookies. The cookies tasted great, but they looked like they were decorated by a five year old, and so they never made it onto the blog.
This past summer, while brainstorming red, white, and blue recipe ideas to celebrate the summer games in Rio, I decided on a simple yogurt biscuit with red and blue berries and whipped cream (a slight variation on a classic favorite: strawberry shortcake). But the biscuit dough was so runny, and the biscuits came out of the oven a flat and gooey mess. So I scrapped the biscuits altogether, amped up the presentation a bit, and shared this super-simple "recipe" for summer berries and cream instead.
After we returned from our honeymoon I was SO excited to make chocolate mousse like the kind we'd devoured during our trip to St. Lucia. I remembered my mom using instant coffee to balance out the sweetness in a chocolatey pudding dessert many years ago, and so I added 1/4 cup instant coffee to the mousse. The result? Gritty mousse with a VERY strong coffee flavor. I eventually got it right after realizing that I should be adding 1/4 cup of actual, liquid coffee and not instant coffee (um, duh).
This post was inspired by my latest recipe fail: bourbon banana bread. I was super excited about this recipe. Basically I took my favorite banana bread recipe and added some bourbon to it. What could go wrong? I even removed some of the melted butter to balance out the liquid to solids ratio. It came out of the oven smelling delicious. It looked gorgeous, and as I photographed it I couldn't wait to take a bite. But, when I finally dug in, I couldn't taste the bourbon at all, and the texture was slightly soggy and not perfectly moist and cakey like my favorite banana bread. This is definitely my best-looking recipe fail to date, which actually makes it all the more frustrating because what am I supposed to do with these pictures of this beautiful but soggy and not very boubon-ey banana bread? Which is why I sharing the photos here today anyway.
I've been experimenting in the kitchen since I was a kid. My early attempts at developing recipes weren't always great (you can see a childhood recipe for apple soup - yuck! - here), and now that I'm in my twenties I still have plenty of #recipefails. But I've also learned a lot through so much practice, and so sometimes my experiments have been pretty awesome, like that time I decided to serve pie in shot glasses or the time I put honeycomb in ice cream.
This blog is where I share recipes that I truly love, and that I hope you will try and love, too. I hope you know that sometimes I plan recipes, bake recipes, and even photograph recipes that turn out to be total disasters. I hope you know that sometimes I pout like a two year old when this happens. I hope you know that food bloggers are not perfect baking machines, and that we have MANY kitchen fails and kitchen temper tantrums, too. But I hope that this doesn't discourage you from learning - or loving - to bake. I hope that you'll keep at it, and that you'll discover that for every one recipe you totally butcher, there will be at least two more that are delicious. I hope that you'll find recipes that you love and want to pass down to your kids. And I hope that you'll do some experimenting of your own, too. Because just imagine what the world would be like if no one ever thought to try adding chocolate chips to the cookie dough.