My Dangerous Pleasure – New Recipe AND a Contest

The Contest is officially Over

Thank you so much to everyone who entered. I LOVED reading your cooking stories. They were just wonderful. Thank you for sharing those stories. I’m off to pick the winner.

Updated!!

I’ve made this post sticky for the duration of the contest. There’s a new recipe (this time, chocolate mousse) and a link to Chapter 3 of My Dangerous Pleasure. Also, since I was late getting out my newsletter, I’ve extended my contest deadline to Midnight Pacific June 4th in order to give them time to enter.

The Contest Info

As some of you may know, the heroine of My Dangerous Pleasure, Paisley Nichols, owns a bakery. In honor of that and in shameless promotion of the book (it’s out May 31, have you bought your copy yet?) I’m going to be giving away a slew of cooking supplies to one lucky winner. The supplies will include, among other things:

  • Baker’s Sugar
  • Cake Flour
  • Chocolate (assortment)
  • Dutch Process cocoa
  • Vanilla
  • Parchment paper
  • Flour
  • A cookbook or two

If the winner is in the US I will also arrange to ship some awesome butter to the winner. If I find out that butter can be shipped internationally, I will so do, but I cannot guarantee that will be possible. I will also include some other baking-related surprises.

But Wait! There’s More!

Over the next three weeks my publisher will be making chapters 1-3 of My Dangerous Pleasure available for you to read:

  1. Chapter 1 (pdf).
  2. Chapter 2 (pdf).
  3. Chapter 3 (pdf).

What Would I Do With All That Baking Stuff?

Well, you could make some awesome desserts . . .

The week before last, I posted a recipe for Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Cookies. download a pdf of the Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Recipe. Last week’s recipe was for download a pdf of the Butter Cookies recipe

This week? Chocolate Mousse. download a pdf of the Chocolate Mousse recipe

Notes on the Mousse

The higher quality the chocolate, the less tolerant this is to inattention, over-beating, cheating and timing. I recommend making this once with cheap chocolate, as it is less prone to seizing and will still taste really good. (but not to-die-for good) that way you’ll understand the steps involved and will not be as tense when you’re using the good chocolate.

Also, despite the cautions, this doesn’t take all that long to make. You can do it!

Notes on Ingredients

Heavy Whipping Cream: Get the highest fat content you can find. Not the cheapo grocery brand unless you happen to know it’s high quality.

The Chocolate

You have to look really, really hard to find chocolate without soy lethicin in it. Sadly several formerly high quality chocolates have started adding soy lethicin. If you find chocolate without it, almost by definition, you’ve found a high quality chocolate.

You should be able to pronounce all the ingredients in your chocolate: cocoa, cocoa butter and not much else. Look to the Belgian or Swiss chocolates.

A note on separating the eggs

There CANNOT be EVEN A DROP of egg yolk in the egg whites. This means you need three bowls. One for successful egg whites with no yolk, one for the egg yolks and one to use when you’re separating an egg. That way if the egg is old and the yolk is runny or what have you, you only need to discard one egg and won’t contaminate the successes.

Seized Chocolate

Seized chocolate gets instantly grainy and lumpish. You can try stirring your way out of it, but you’re likely to get mousse with an unappealing texture. This actually happened to a friend of mine. It was sad, and she cried.

Ingredients

16 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped or as chips.

2 cups cold heavy whipping cream

6 large eggs, separated

Directions

1. Whip the cream to soft peaks, put aside in a new bowl and refrigerate

2. Melt the chocolate.

You can do this in a double-boiler (over-but-not-in hot but not simmering water). Stirring often. With this method you will almost certainly end up having to wait for the chocolate to cool down to warm.

It’s far easier to do this in the microwave:

Put your chocolate in a bowl, and NEVER nuke for LONGER THAN 30 seconds.

Stir. Nuke again for 30 seconds.

Stir and nuke, stir and nuke etc until the chocolate still has a few lumps.

Now, you just stir continuously until the rest of the chocolate melts. It doesn’t take long and the chocolate will not be all that hot. Dab some chocolate on your lower lip. It should feel warm but not hot. If it’s too cool, the chocolate will seize. Same if it’s too hot.

3. Whip the egg whites in a very clean bowl until they are foamy and beginning to hold a shape. Beat until soft peaks form. Soft peaks should fold over and not be rigid.

4. When the chocolate is at the proper temperature, add about 1/4th or less of the whipped cream.

Add the egg yolks. If you don’t add the whipped cream first, the chocolate will seize when you add the yolks. (It will also seize if the chocolate is too hot.)

Fold by hand until mixed. Do this fairly quickly because you don’t want the chocolate to seize. (Fast, but not too fast!) Too slow and the chocolate will seize.

Gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream. You need the fluffiness, so be gentle.

5. Fold in half the egg whites until just incorporated using a whisk, then fold in the remaining whites, switching to a spatula. Be gentle. There should be no chunks or bits of white, but you need this fluffy so don’t over-work.

6. Spoon the mousse into a serving bowl or individual dishes and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

How to Enter the Contest

Leave a comment on this post in which you mention your fondest, funniest, saddest or most embarrassing cooking memory. Feel free to make one up. If you have one involving Elves, demons, fiends or other supernatural creatures, that would be pretty darn funny.

Leave a comment by midnight Pacific June 4, 2011.

Contest void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. People related to me can’t win. Sorry.

Winner will be chosen at random on or shortly after June 5.

Go!

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70 Responses to “My Dangerous Pleasure – New Recipe AND a Contest”

  1. Sharla Long says:

    Oh yummy! I love to bake and have gotten pretty good at it over the years! I will admit to going cheap on the butter at times, you have given me something to think about with that!

    My most embarrasing cooking moment comes from when I was about 13 and babysitting. I had turned the TV onto wrestling and the kids bugged me for bacon – I had seen my dad cook bacon many times and figured, its easy! So, I started the bacon, the kids started screaming about something going on with the wrestling so I go running in to watch and kind of forgot the bacon until the smoke started billowing – lets just say I ruined a pan, there was no bacon left, just a huge blackened grease smear with some chunks of charred remains in the bottom of the pan! To this day the parents still tease me about cooking bacon!

    I can’t wait to read My Dangerous Pleasure!

  2. CupK8 says:

    … was there any doubt?

    My first cupcake party I ever hosted, I was determined to make red velvet.. from scratch.. and I had only just started venturing into from-scratch cake. MISTAKE. They turned out so awful that I cried and I think I ended up throwing them away. I was so upset.. and everyone else brought really delicious cupcakes too.

    To this DAY, red velvet is my biggest challenge. I might have some kind of block now. Which is a shame, because as difficult as they are, they are tasty tasty. 🙂

  3. CupK8 says:

    PS: I just wanted to share my story. I have enough baking supplies in my kitchen to need any more. But I will be trying your recipe… soon…..

  4. How to tell I’m not a baker: My eyes glazed over halfway through the butter discussion. *g*

  5. Marnie Hill says:

    One of my most memorable cooking moments happened a few years back. A friend of mine at work had brought in these amazing cookies. I begged her for the recipe, and when she finally, reluctantly, gave it to me, I decided I would go home that weekend and try them out. This was an intense, detailed recipe with lots of ingredients, but I was determined to make them. Just thinking about them makes me want some now. As I carefully measured each ingredient, chopping the dried fruits and nuts, and adding all the yummy goodness, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. Just before I was ready to spoon the cookies onto the baking sheet, my three little “elves” decided to go play in the backyard, running one by one through the kitchen. The second “elf” through the kitchen ran into the bowl on the counter, knocking it onto the third “elves” head. Needless to say, I didn’t make those cookies that day. And honesty haven’t had the energy to attempt that recipe since.
    ———-
    Looking forward to the new book Carolyn!

  6. Angie T says:

    A word of advice; ALWAYS use real butter when making cookies! I was out and my sons wanted cookies so I substituted the butter with one of those substitutes. What we ended up with was..well let’s just say they spread out a LOT! Plus they never firmed up. Those were two disappointed boys and one really embarrassed Momma.

  7. I love baking and I love butter. The thought of having to officially taste butter for career/blogging reasons makes me swoon and my arteries quiver.

    OK, baking stories. My brother at 12, at the height of his baking experiments, idly commenting, with a sense of great wonder, how clean his hands were now. I have many stories of dropping things on the floor–like roast chickens–wiping them off and serving them. My family has a limited sense of hygiene.

  8. Heather Greye says:

    When I was in high school, we had some neighbors from Australia who made these completely awesome pumpikin scones. I’ve always loved to cook and bake, so I got the recipe for them.

    One night I decided to make them. The recipe itself was pretty easy, but then it got to the point in the recipe when you knead them. I added a little flour to the board and started kneading. But they weren’t anywhere near the consisency that they were supposed to be. So I added a little more flour…and a little more flour…and some more flour.

    When the scones were baked, they were small, dense and rubbery. So rubbery that they actually bounced. My folks called the neighbors so they could see the scones bounce too. Everyone thought it was hilarious and my mom still brings it up.

    I’ve alway wanted to try making pumpkin scones again…until I discovered the ones at Starbucks. Now I just head to the local coffee shop for ones that don’t bounce. 🙂

  9. Jess says:

    I Big Puffy Heart Butter!

    Ok a sad (but true) baking story:

    Many years ago, we were making homemade deluxe chocolate cookies for a cookie swap. From scratch. There were going to be so fancy and delicious and *drools just thinking about them*

    Unfortunately, when we gathered the ingredients, nobody noticed that there were two identical canisters of flour… Well, it turned out the canisters WEREN’T actually identical — you guessed it — one contained POWDERED SUGAR. Annnnnd of course that’s the one we grabbed.

    So, we mix everything up, drop them on a cookie sheet, pop them in the oven, set the timer…

    We opened up the oven, ready to enjoy our masterpieces, and…. discovered that instead of chocolate chip cookies, we had a vaguely burnt sheet of what resembled peanut brittle, only with chocolate chips instead of nuts.

    Believe it or not, it actually tasted pretty good too, but alas, it wasn’t quite what we’d envisioned for the cookie swap lol

  10. KimberG says:

    I tend to cook by throwing things together taht seem compatible, guessing at measurements, and waiting wondering “will this be awesome or will it be aweful?” Usually it’s awesome but sometimes…well…we’ll leave it there.

    My most embarassing cooking memory was when I was 12 or 13, and my mom was out of the state visiting extended family. My dad wanted “hamburger steaks” for dinner (our version of meatloaf in a fried hamburger patty format) and I thought “hey, easy!”

    Wrong. We had to cut them with a steak knife, AFTER scraping the blackened crust off of them. Everyone solemnly ate, trying not to laugh at me, but…my dad still laughs about it to this day.

  11. Danielle Pontow says:

    My fondest cooking memory is on Thanksgiving when i was about 9. I detest Turkey and everyone in my family knows it.. I love all the other food though. my greatgrandmother came to our house for the dinner. I sat right beside her and she was horrified i wouldnt eat the turkey. She actually made me eat it. I threw up all over the table.. and ran away crying.. I now laugh at how silly the whole thing was.. My Greatgrandmother never offered or made me eat turkey again.

  12. Limecello says:

    Hmmm… can my pat answer be “college”? Most of my cooking memories, funny, sad, and otherwise are attributed to that time.
    I’ve used Jeffrey Steingarten’s chocolate chip cookie recipe since college, and it’s amazing. No joke – everyone who tries them says they’re the best. I’ve always wanted to do a side by side taste test against Amanda Hesser’s recipe but haven’t done that yet. Anyway, I’d force cookies on people, and once even ruined a strict diet. I also made about 70 cookies ones for all my friends on one side of campus… but the guy’s place I made them at ate over half. One ate so many he got mad at me for eating himself sick. Boys.

    Otherwise, I always tried making pavlovas and meringues and never got it right. I later realized because I always tried on rainy days.

    But, my favorite? Would be St. Patrick’s Day my freshman year. I had a midterm (or a final? crazy quarter system…) and about 20+ people were crammed into a friend’s dorm/apartment. It was basically a studio, but had a kitchen. We made potato pancakes, and so many of them that the steam/smoke set off the fire alarm. (Nothing burnt! I was on stove duty.) The alarm being annoying, and the room having more than a reasonable quota of engineers… they dismantled it. The place being a dorm, it was wired to another building that auto-calls the fire department. Needless to say the firemen were displeased to see the boys’ handiwork.

    Ah, good times.

  13. LorettaLynn says:

    Ok
    I was cooking christmas dinner for my husbans family and there where a lot of them..lol
    And i was getting the pie crest ready and it kept falling apart over and over.I turned around and looked at my mother inlaw and said those darn noms are digging around in my dough.. I got the funnest look and then she started laughing so hard i thought she would pee her self!!
    I finnly got the pie crest right..Have you ever noticed how funny pecon pie looks when your making it..Looks like little bugs floting around on top..*winks*

    elliott2668(at)yahoo(dot)com

  14. SheilaJ says:

    The first time I ever cooked meatloaf for my Dad was very embarrassing. I put it all together, baked it and sat it down in front of him to cut. The knife went through it like butter. It was so embarrassing! He looked at me, took a spoon and dipped some out on his plate and eat it. Bless his heart he told me it was good. lol My meatloaf has gotten better thank God.

  15. Jolene A says:

    I don’t have any crazy cooking stories. I know I lack skills in the kitchen and I’m careful what I do cook. I do remember one time I tried to impress my husband by making him my spaghetti he always says he loves so much. I’m sure he is just being nice because my spaghetti is nothing unique. I did all the normal stuff except this time I added tomato chunks and mushrooms. I watched my mom put a little brown sugar in one time and I usually put some in my spaghetti. If you have small kids you know how frustrating it is to cook with them underfeet or trying to break up a fight every few minutes or trying to help with long division, quiz them on their spelling words all the while cooking on the stove. That was my night and it was crazy and I was trying to get dinner read since my husband was working longer hours. I had put my usual brown sugar in and must have spaced it in the midst of the chaos and ended up putting more in and spaced it again. I’m not sure how many times I did this, nor did I stop to taste the sauce to see what I was doing. By the time we sat down to eat, my kids were digging in like it was gold and my husband took a bite, made a face at the same time my middle child shouted out that he didn’t know spaghetti could taste like candy 🙂

    june111(at)att(dot)net

  16. Ingrid N says:

    Hm, my cooking/baking memories never involve Elves, demons, fiends, fairies, dragons, leprechauns or any other interesting creatures. (Not all creatures would be welcome near my kitchen counter either, come to think of it.) I *have* had some generally interesting experiences that would really be explained by the existence of magic OR a shortcut to the smite button on some higher power’s keyboard.. but that’s another story.

    I suppose I have many fond, funny AND embarrassing memories of cooking. I love it so much I do it all the time, so you can’t fail to build up a true stockpile of stories. What will always stick with me, though, is using all my skills (and some I had to develop) to keep my poor husband fed and somewhat nourished. In the end it turned out he had colon cancer (by the way, he survived and is happy and well today!), but before we found that out.. he presented with symptoms much like serious Irritable Bowel Syndrome and more and more food types would give him some truly awful physical complaints. He lost more weight and I found myself cooking and baking up a storm. I am convinced that the cupcakes (vegan – he just could not eat dairy anymore) and fruitbreads I made him kept a few pounds on him that he couldn’t miss. We both worked hard to keep him alive, as did the doctors. But I’m not sure he would have made it so far without what I made with my own bare hands, my mixer and my oven. It was a scary time, but I was somewhat happy that I could do something to relieve his pain. On the bright side, it also gave me something to do 🙂

  17. tammy ramey says:

    when i was first learning to cook ,i was about 11 at the time, i decided to make chicken and dumplings from my grandmas recipe for dinner. in the recipe it said to for the dumplings into small balls and place them on top of the chicken and gravy mixture. well i made them into small very compact balls and cooked it like i was told. when we sat down to eat noone could bite thru the dumplings. what i was suppose to do was make a small “loose” ball of dough and place it on the mixture. i think they may have broken their teeth on those “dumplings” that night.LOL in fact to this day my brothers and sisters tease me about playing golf and tennis with them afterwards. thank God my cooking has vastly improved since then!

  18. Morgan Walters says:

    I am loving everyone’s stories!
    I have a few, sadly. To save my dignity I will share 2, probably the worst of the worst… LOL
    The first was when I was 12.
    I got up one Saturday morning to make breakfast for the family. I decided that we should have maple bacon, but we only had regular. As I placed the bacon in the pan I also poured maple syrup. The syrup kept disappearing. So I kept pouring it in. In the end all I had was an empty syrup can and a very burned pan. Yikes!
    The most recent I may almost be proud of. LOL
    I was 1hundred months pregnant and was making spaghetti for dinner. I put the noodles in the boiling water and then got distracted. After the timer went I came to get the pasta. Turns out the base was damaged. Some of the pasta burned to the bottom (it was black!), some stuck together (hello steak knife!) and the rest was soft and over-cooked!! I ended up just buying a new pot!

  19. infinitieh says:

    In my family, it’s my sister who had the worst kitchen disasters. When we were in grade school, we kids would take turns heating up a can of ravioli for an after school snack. Of course, we got lazier and lazier so I would just tear the label off, remove the lid, and place the whole opened can on the burner (no one told us about lead or BPA). Well, my sister did one better: she didn’t open the can before putting it on the burner. Needless to say, we went hungry that afternoon and my poor parents came home to raviolis falling from the ceiling (my sister did try to clean up as much as she could reach). She probably was about 9 at the time.

  20. Sarah says:

    I think the most embarrassing cooking story I have is the first Thanksgiving I made a turkey – classical and cliche, I left the bag in and of course didn’t thaw it long enough. I learned the hard way and now all turkeys since have been great.

  21. margaret whelehan says:

    I lovve to bake christmas cookies every year. There was a problem this year though. I kept breaking everything from the mixed to the oven. I also kept forgetting to add the ingredients and some ended up disappearing. Buy the time i was done baking it was probably about three or four am. While i was putting everything away i noticed something. The gnome that is usually in my backyard was sitting on my dining room table. The funny thing was that all around the gnome, who my husband named george, was my missing ingredienta as well as some electrical parts. I had to take a picture with my phone to make sure i had evidence. I was glad that i did because when i woke up the next day, the gnome was back outside in its normal place and everything that wSas around it was gone and everything electrical was working again.

  22. CrystalGB says:

    My fondest memories revolve around cooking and baking with my mom. Every holiday we always made lots of delicious food.

  23. Kylie says:

    During my sophomore year of college, I was determined to make cheesecake. I followed a recipe given to me by a friend to a “t.” To this day, I cannot figure out why, after I took it out of the refrigerator, it fell with a “clunk” to the floor like a brick. 🙂

  24. el edwards says:

    I love to cook and I especially love to bake. I love showing love by baking special things…When I was about 16 and my sister was young and stilled believed in Santa Claus I thought it would be really cool to suprise her and the rest of the family by baking gingerbread men and hang them on the Christmas Tree Christmas Eve after everyone had gone to sleep (i am the family night owl). Well the suprise was on all of us…about 3am everyone was unpleasantly awakened by a large crash and other noises of disaster. I had forgotten the dog who had discovered the gingerbread men, pulled the tree down and caused general havoc trying to get all the gingerbread men. I heard about that for several Christmas .

  25. Jeanne Miro says:

    Carolyn –

    Great ingredients to share with us! I’m the baker in the family which I find ironic since I’m also a Type I diabetic sinced childhood! I learned to bake cookies from my Gramma Bingham who taught me on a coal stove when I was 9 or 10. I’ve been baking ever since – I just can’t eat the results!

    My family’s favorite is chocolate chip cookies but they will eat anything I bake. Believe it or not their second favorite is wine biscuits which are actually a cookie type treat. The trick is put them in an airtight container when they are still warm. Don’t worry the alcohol bakes off while cooking so if you leave them out to cool they get hard and make a great teething biscuit!

    My personal favorite is cheesecake covered cheesecake which is a secret Italian family receipe (my husband is Italian so this is always a hit with his family at the holidays).

    Otherwise I loved to bake everything including Apple pie made with local Granny Smith apples (native to Rhode Island where I live). The trick with most of what I bake is to use local ingredients whenever I can. We even have a great local candy store that has the best made on the premises chocolate for using in chocolate cookies.

    Those are just some of the deserts! Wait until I tell you about the dinners I make!

  26. librarypat says:

    This sounds like a great recipe. We often forget that the quality of the ingredients is so crucial to the quality of the end product.
    I have a great recipe for zucchini chocolate chip cookies. At one point in my husband’s Air Force career, he was an instructor for navigators in a fighter bomber.
    They always had a reception for the new class of crew members. Wives would send in cookies, etc. for the afternoon event and go over to meet the new families. When I got there, my husband came over to tell me the unit commander had already eaten at least 1/2 dozen of my zucchini cookies and was going back for more. When the commander’s wife got there, he brought her over, cookie in hand, telling her how great the cookies were and asked for the recipe. The minute I said they had zucchini in them, he literally stopped mid-bite and threw the cookie out. His wife said he didn’t like zucchini or most vegetables. How can someone love something one minute then not like it a second later just because it has green in it?

    I used to cook a lot when we were in the military. There is always something going on. There were so many great cooks and I got so many wonderful recipes. Every time I fix one of those dishes, I remember the person I got the recipe from and the great times we had together.

    I’ll be trying this mousse recipe and most likely passing it along to my daughters. My husband and son are good cooks too, but they usually leave the desserts form the females to fix.

    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

  27. Katie D. says:

    Damn! I thought I had entered this already! I don’t know if I could choose just one story as cooking and baking are deeply entwined in the lives of my family. Here’s a Thanksgiving story though, which, as a holiday, has a lot to do with cooking and baking. This was about ten years ago. I was standing in the kitchen, back against the stove talking with various siblings and my cousins. What I had noticed, but it didn’t register, was that some fool family member had placed the tall stockpot full of apple cider up on the back of the stove. It was a very precariously balanced pot. Well, I’m getting involved in the discussion and stamp my foot about something. I, being a forceful type of young lady, put a lot of power behind that stomp. The next thing I know that stockpot has crashed into my back and sprays the kitchen full apple cider. To this day, I have no clue how I survived it with the barest amount of cider hitting me. To this day, we still find the odd spot of cider on the wall or shelves where it *did* hit.

  28. Kershia says:

    My fondest cooking memories would have to be everytime I baked with my mom. Thansk to her I developed a fondness for baking and am now in culinary school!

  29. Lisa says:

    I had made some chocolate chip cookies for my cooking class when I was in the 5th grade. I had made them from scratch myself from a homemade recipe that belonged to my great, great, grandmother. They seemed fine when they came out of the oven so I didn’t bother to eat any of them, especially because my mom had helped make the first two batches and they tasted great. Well when I let everyone try them at school they tasted awful!! I found out that I measured out the wrong amount of sugar and used to much salt. It was very embarrassing for me at the time. But after that I always tried out anything I baked myself and still do and I’m happy to say I never made the same mistake again with my great, great grandmothers choc. chips cookies!!

  30. Kay says:

    Lovely chocolate yummy recipe, yum.

    My most embarrassing entertaining! Moment was several years ago I had baked a cherry pie & a rhubarb pie for dessert at a friend’s bbq.
    After the delicious bbq, I went to heat up the tarts, put them on a tray & proceeded to go back out – HOWEVER my heel caught in the sliding door, and in slow motion – just like the movies – my tray slipped & down down down went the tarts right over the steps onto the head of our friend sitting below– picture this – hot runny sticky rhubarb and cherries running everywhere – over his head, shirt, pants, chair, deck. The dog had a field day licking it up for weeks afterwards.
    But the worst was when my friend announced he hated rhubarb – with a passion – having been brought up made to eat it at least twice a week.
    I have never lived that one down….

  31. Mara says:

    The recipes look yummy. I wish I could do some baking this week, but the oven where I am vacationing is too uneven for a good bake.
    I used to do a lot of cooking for friends and I was always trying new things I had never cooked before. The worst outcome was my attempt at leg of lamb. Seemed simple enough; it smelled deicious, but I a huge problem trying to slice the meat off the bones and ended up with shredded lamb and a case of severe nausea from becoming overheated ..there was also something about the whole bone-thing that got to me!
    Mara
    marajbrandon@earthlink.net

  32. Virgina says:

    I guess with me it was when my friend and I were baking cupcakes to take to school. We baked them the same lenth of time you would bake a sheet cake about thirty min or so, cupcake should bake about 15 to 20 min. These were some pretty hard cupcakes but we iceing them and took them right on to school and I want you to know they ate everyone of them. We also caught a cookie on fire in the oven one time and threw it on my mothers counter top and burned a hole in the countertop.

  33. Maureen says:

    I do like to bake, especially anything chocolate and I love to eat my baked goods too. I wish I could blame the disappearing cookies on elves or demons but I believe that I am responsible.

  34. Maureen says:

    I do like to bake, especially anything chocolate and I love to eat my baked goods too. I wish I could blame the disappearing cookies on elves or demons but I believe that I am responsible

  35. SiNn says:

    I have to say im deff not a chef by any means i at times tend to forget im cooking to the point now i use postit notes to remind my self

    a few years ago i was making grilled cheese while tired kept getting distracted burned the grilled cheese filled the kitchen with smoke my delema didnt end there was out of cheese and bread so i decided to reheat a bisquit all well and good except i thought i put on for 30 seconds but really put on for 3 minutes bisquit caught fire in the microwave now it wouldnt of been so bad except then i was asked later that night to put a couple of cans of corn on the stove well i did but got distracted again and forgot about it soooo when i went to check the corn was burnt in to the bottom of the pan so now ppl get on me if im cooking and yell dont burn it so now i say i didnt burn it my ghost did

  36. Maude says:

    My mother loved baklava. She used to order it from a speciality bakery in the NE. One Christmas, I decided to make her a pan. My mother loved it and I made it every year for her. She’s been gone for almost 6 years and when I do make baklava, it reminds me of her and how much she enjoyed it.

  37. Kimberley Coover says:

    I love to bake (unfortunately, my husband “fixed” my oven 10 years ago…it still don’t work now need a NEW one)! I have begun to use a contertop convection oven..still working the bugs out (I don’t think that it gets the temp right). Baking reminds me of my childhood and that of my daughters…happy memories and messy faces!

  38. Kimberley Coover says:

    forgot my addy:
    kcnrhtx (at) charter (dot) net

  39. Val Pearson says:

    This one is easy. My very first Thanksgiving I was chosen to cook the ham. So I cook that thing all night long on low because this was going to be the juiciest ham ever! When I get done with the ham and all of my inlaws are gathered around to cut the ham, I hear “Ummmm Val, you forgot to take the plastic off it. *headdesk* To this day, I am reminded of my mistake every Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.

  40. Amy T says:

    The stuffing my family makes for Thanksgiving turkey is not the usual…in addition to bread cubes/croutons. celery, onion, salt, margarine, and a little turkey stock, it also has eggs. Lots of them. Like 10-12 for a 2 1/2 qt. casserole. Not as gooey as bread pudding, all the croutons pretty much keep their shape, but you get the idea.

    So the first year I was married (lo, these many years ago), we lived in a small town in NC. The morning after Thanksgiving I woke up to a local radio contest for the best recipe using leftover turkey. I called in, and said that my favorite was to make a sandwich of the leftovers, first slicing the stuffing… Well, that was as far as I got before the DJ was howling with laughter. (See, I told you my recipe wasn’t the norm.) I won the contest. A gift certificate to Midas Mufflers, some gourmet coffee, and another certificate to a beauty salon.

  41. Sheila Anne says:

    My most embarrassing cooking moment would have to go to my daughter. When attemping her first meatloaf she assumed it would rise, and then the time she left the Thanksgiving turkey out and the cats ate the thigh.

  42. Diane Pollock says:

    My fondest cooking memory is when I was about 10 and my brother was 7 and we decided to prepare a 7 course meal for the family. It was fun but very hectic!

  43. Virginia C says:

    Fabulous contest! I have always loved to cook, and I began preparing the meals for my family when I was just ten years old. By that time, my grandmother was no longer able to grocery shop and cook our meals. She taught me how to cook, and we managed pretty well. My mom and grandfather worked full-time and I went to school. We each did what we could to keep it all together. My grandfather’s favorite pie was mincemeat, and I decided to make him a pie one Christmas. It was a beautiful mincemeat pie with a golden, fluted-edge crust. I wanted to be just like my grandmother, so I sat my pie on a chair on the back porch so that it would cool quicker. My grandfather could hardly wait for a taste of that pie. It was a wonderfully clear and cold December day with a bright blue sky. Not a cloud in sight. A great day for birds! When I went back to get my prize-worthy pie, birds had completely pecked away the carefully fluted edge of the pie crust. They left a perfect ring of crumbs around the pie pan. I was devastated! My grandfather loved to tease me, and he told me that since there were no dead birds in sight, the pie was probably safe to eat! I cried, but he gave me a hug and took over that pie. He brushed off the top and cut away a narrow ring around the edge. Over the next few days, he managed to consume the whole pie. No one else would touch it! He told me many times that it was the best mincemeat pie he ever ate. It was the only one I ever made : (

  44. LSUReader says:

    I do love to bake. My saddest baking memory dates back many, many years when I made a Milky Way Cake for New Year’s Day dessert, then got sick. The sad part was I missed New Year’s dinner–and dessert. (The family did save a piece for me, though.) Milky Way cake is a truly decadent bunt cake: candy bars are in the cake; the frosting is chocolate fudge. Mmmmmmmmm…

  45. Arielle says:

    My most embarrassing cooking moment is also one of my first. I must have been around ten or twelve. There was a cooking show here on Saturday morning and I used to watch it with my grandmother. Once, they gave a cookie recipe. Since my aunt and cousin were coming, I decided I needed enough cookies for all of us (about a dozen people in all). Of course, my logic told me that I just had to double everything and I would logically have TWICE as many cookies. WRONG! The cookies came out rock solid. My brother and cousin kept teasing me that they could be used as assault weapons and that we should all keep at least one on hand at all times, for our protection. I was so humiliated, it took me years before I dared cook or bake for people outside of my parents and brother.

  46. Mary Ann Dimand says:

    I’ve recently begun flexing ma po tofu, and finding that it can be suave– when it’s made with maitake, coho salmon, cherry tomatoes and zatar (along with other things).

  47. Thomas says:

    So, it wasn’t actually something I did personally, but our babysitter made french fries. She used butter flavored crisco in our fryer and we had butter flavored french fries. I don’t actually remember the taste, but I do remember her trying to make us eat them anyway.

  48. Betty says:

    I have older brothers who delight in telling how (decades ago) they made cookies with exlax and took them in to school to share. One girl both loved the cookies and was highly disliked by my fiend brothers. They say she had a crisis during afternoon recess and just ran off home.

    My mother taught me to cook, but she was always especially proud of how her sons also had learned how to cook.

  49. LoriA says:

    Not my cooking faux pas, but back in 4th grade (I think it was), one of my classmates baked cookies. Somehow, she substituted salt for the sugar. At least it was discovered before we all dug in!

    I don’t think that was her only baking mishap. I suppose it would be funny if she ended up owning a bakery. 😉

  50. Chelle Newton says:

    I jumped right to the bottom to enter this contest, which might be blog faux pas, but my husband is a HUGE baker and he would LOVE it if I won this stuff for him.

    Plus, I would like to give it a shot at least once to make something that everybody doesn’t turn up their noses at when they take a bite! Desserts should please everyone, right? Or maybe bread? Anything starchy and yummy!

    So, consider me entered!

  51. Stacey Smith says:

    my favorite memories are of the time I was making a Cake and pull it out of the oven and it flipped over and fell out of the oven on to the oven door and i was up set and my brother that was over says it’s still good and takes some and eats it right off of the oven door.it made me smile when I was so up set about it.and it seem so unlike him because he is afraid of germs to pick up the cake like that and eat a bit of it.that was about 20 years ago but will alway renember it.

  52. Bibliophile says:

    My worst cooking disaster concerns a missed meal. I came across a really delicious-sounding recipe for duck breast with plum sauce in a cookbook, bought the book and made the meal according to the recipe. A taste test confirmed that the sauce was indeed delicious. I plated the duck breast and spooned the sauce over it and put it on the counter and opened a cupboard to get a wine glass. Out popped a glass jar and tumbled down and hit the Pyrex bowl I had poured the remaining sauce into. The bowl exploded and plum sauce and glass splinters went flying everywhere.

    The duck breast had glass splinters embedded in it and there was sauce everywhere. I didn’t dare eat anything and the duck breast went untasted in the trash. It took ages to get the plum stains out of the linoleum, the t-shirt I was wearing looked like the result of a tie-dye experiment gone wrong and a couple of weeks later when I chanced to look at the ceiling I discovered some plum stains up there.

  53. JOYE says:

    When I was in 8th grade Home Economics class at Junior High school, my teacher was whipping egg whites and she said “they should be so stiff that when you turn the bowl upside down, they would not fall out.” Well, they slid out all over her apron. The entire class got to do extra homework because we could not stop laughing. It was so funny because she couldn’t believe it had happened.

  54. Margaret says:

    My baking memory is once I had invited a guy that I liked tremendously over for dinner. I was of course trying to impress him but this was the first actual dinner I had ever made for another person. With much confidence I made quite a nice meal however when it came to the dessert it was a disaster. I had planned after dinner Irish coffees and for some reason the coffee maker went crazy. There was coffee pouring all over from within the machine. (I don’t think it’s supposed to do that!) I regained my composure after cleaning the mess and thought Ok well perhaps no coffee and just dessert. Well on retrieving the dish from the fridge I discovered that my roommates had gotten into it.
    Needless to say I didn’t have any dinner dates for a while.

    Thanks! Great giveaway!
    Margaret

  55. Kim Akers says:

    My favorite funny cooking story actually happened before I was born. Shortly after they were married, my dad and his friends had gone out gigging frogs, and he brought them home for my mom to cook. Never having cooked frog legs before, my dad told her to just treat them like chicken and flour and fry them. He neglected to tell her there was a little tendon in the legs that needed to be cut before cooking. The next thing he knew, my mother was screaming like a banshee because the frog legs were hopping out of the pan and jumping all over the kitchen floor. My mom nearly fainted and my dad was laughing so hard he was of no help whatsoever. That story has kept our family laughing for more than 40 years!

  56. JackieW says:

    An embarrassing moment-hour actually- was when I was demonstrating meringues to one of my cooking classes and for the life of me they would not beat into a frothy mixture…I’d not used the correct bowl and mixing tool and it was a diasterous demo…my following class went much better after I’d realized what I was doing wrong.

  57. FJ Maris says:

    My preteen daughter kept asking me to make brownies & I replied that she should make them herself. So she headed straight to the kitchen. Time passes and she is back. “Mom (whine & drag this word out) they aren’t right.” I go look & they are very pale…she left the cocoa out. She still gets teased by her younger brother & sister about the “white” brownies. She always counters with “yeah, and you ate them didn’t you?” The youngest is now 22 so this was a while ago.

  58. Kelly J. R. says:

    The very first time I made bacon I added lard to the pan so the bacon wouldn’t stick. In no time at all, I had a bacon-grease sprinkler going atop the stove. My mom said, “Gee, Kelly, where do you think lard comes from?”

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  59. Paulita says:

    When I was in high school, I decided to bake a chocolate pie to impress a boy. I even made the dough from scratch. It did not turn out well. He still ate it, but I think the boy was gay. I can’t find him now that we’re adults. I still miss his friendship though. Hope that chocolate pie didn’t drive him away.

  60. Frannie says:

    I had decided to make a flourless chocolate torte for my dad’s birthday, and was using a recipe from one of my mum’s Dutch cookbooks. The batter seemed awfully thin, even with the egg whites whipped and folded in, but I stuck it in the oven anyway. To my chagrin, it came out the same sludgy mess it had gone in, even after baking it much longer than called for. My mum had to explain that in metric measures “1 dl” of water was not a demi litre (half a litre), but actually a desi litre (1/10th of a litre). My dad told me he loved me anyway!

  61. Jarvis says:

    You sure do blog about food a lot.

  62. Christiana says:

    My most embarrassing cooking mistake was when I was in high school. My best friend at the time was spending the night at my house. A few weeks earlier she had introduced me to Rotel cheese dip. I was going to make her some cheese dip that was made with real cheddar cheese and not Velveeta. I was adding everything into the double boiler when I grabbed salt instead of garlic. Let me tell you there is no way to get 3 tablespoons of salt out of melting cheddar. That was the nastiest thing I had ever cooked. Needless to say we didn’t eat what was in that pan. Now, a decade plus later, my spices come out of the cabinet 1 at a time instead of having everything at my finger tips like I was taught.

  63. Chelsea B. says:

    There were children and chocolate-filled water guns involved. ‘Nuff said. 😉

  64. Emily Ryan-Davis says:

    When I was 5, a “crick demon”* convinced me to put a jar of peanut butter in the microwave in order to soften up the peanut butter and enable spreading without bread-tearing. Six minutes later, an explosion rocked our trailer. When my father ran to the kitchen to investigate the problem, he discovered the ceiling blown out of the microwave.

    Lessons learned:
    -don’t leave the lid on the jar when you microwave it
    -don’t listen to crick demons
    -don’t put peanut butter in the refrigerator!

    *crick demons, for those of you not born in West Virginia and raised near a “crick,” are slimy, spotted water sprites who rise from country creeks to cajole young children into disaster. Ask me sometime about the toaster shooting three-foot flames up the kitchen wall…

  65. Janet says:

    My most embarassing cooking disaster (and there has been many) was when I was in high school and I was trying to be a fancy mancy cook. I picked up a cookbook and just kind of flipped through it and where ever my finger landed I was going to fix that recipe. I made out an awful shopping list for my mother. She was game even though one of the ingredients was fresh trout. I made the dish, which turned out to be some kind of fish soup. To me it looked like pieces of raw fish swimming in milk. I couldn’t eat it but my mother did, and, she said it was good. I think I did see some elves floating in there but they probably went in the trash with the rest of the dish.

  66. Margot Elise says:

    There was a time when my laziness has gotten the best of me. After successfully conning my mom to let me skip school, I proceeded the second after she left to cook some bacon and fried eggs. You know, to make the day really special. My parents had just recently put in new cabinets so I made sure to put the mesh grease catcher over the pan to protect the furniture. But I forgot to take it off.

    After the mini fire which blackened the new white cabinets, burned the mesh cover, made my glasses black with soot, and took away my eyebrows, my day was shot. I have never had eggs and bacon at home again. I leave that for Denny’s.

  67. JoAnna B says:

    My most embarrassing cooking disaster happened when I was young and living at home with my mom. I screwed up hard boiled eggs. I had started hard boiled eggs and a friend stopped by. I completely forgot about the hard boiled eggs and left the house. All the water boiled out of the pan and the eggs were burnt. If memory serves one of the eggs actually exploded. Burnt eggs is not a pleasant smell.

  68. Sandra M says:

    Thanks for the contest, Carolyn. At first I thought I really didn’t have anything I could share, nothing I remembered that was embarrassing (I’ve been lucky in that respect) or sad, but then the more I thought, I realized my fondest cooking memories come from my grandmother and my dad, who are both gone now.

    My mom was a single mother in the early ’60s, so I spent a lot of time with my grandmother, the typical homemaker of her time, in her kitchen. Homemade chicken soup, fried okra, and chicken and dumplings are a few of my faves I still make now and again. I remember her homemade french fries after school back then.

    When I would visit my dad over the years, I was always in the kitchen with him too, and I still prepare a lot of his recipes to this day – his famous and delicious spaghetti, his wonderful ceviche, and crazy-sounding but out-of-this-world egg gravy, just to name a few.

    Sadly, I don’t think of those times that often anymore, so thanks for bringing them to the forefront today.

  69. Yvonne Bennett says:

    My most embarrassing meal fiasco was just after I was married. I was making our first meal in our first home. I wanted to impress my husband because my mother was such aa good cook and made everything look so easy. I used a cookbook we received as a gift and I made fried chicken. The chicken looked picture perfect and we sat down to eat. My husband was so proud and took a huge bite. Unfortunately while the chicken looked beautiful, it was still raw in the inside. We ended up laughing all night and for the last twenty two years

  70. Jeanna says:

    How wonderful! My fondest memory of cooking was when I was 17. Our Home Economics teacher wanted us to enter the local Farm Bureau Dairy cooking contest. I chose to try and come up with a dessert. My mother’s green tomato mincemeat is awesome and so I cooked my way through several ‘trials’ until I came up with a Mincemeat Cheesecake. We did local cooking competitions and I won! 🙂 That sent me to the Arkansas State Dairy Cook-off and I was really nervous. Going to the state capitol, cooking in front of all those people and cameras…but I came in First Place and won money for college and a nice plaque. I love my recipe and my Mom and grandparents were so proud! I look back now at the pictures and tv show we did afterwards and I still can’t believe it. It was an awesome experience for a little country 17-year old. I will always remember that and I still make the recipe for holidays, it’s become a tradition…along with making my own green tomato mincemeat now. Thanks Mom! 🙂