All that glitters . . .

The Shoebox is in a slump.  We’re not going to lie to you.  The last few recipes we’ve tried have been – well – underwhelming at best.

Sure homemade pie crust makes for pretty pictures . . .

. . . and who doesn’t love doughnuts??

So here’s a question for you food bloggers out there, since we’re still new at this gig: what do you do when you spend all this time creating a new dish, take two dozen decent pictures, and then that first bite leaves you . . . disappointed?  We just don’t feel like we should share a recipe that’s just “okay.”  But what do you think?

And what about you faithful readers out there – do you want to see failures and so-so results as well as successes??

Back to the Test Kitchen . . .

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11 Responses to All that glitters . . .

  1. Millie says:

    Hmmm… good question. I appreciate the occasional blunder, but – let’s be honest – we come here for the mouth-watering pictures and recipes. So this reader says that you should share SOME mistakes but maybe not all.

  2. Allison says:

    I vote for the occasional ‘blooper’ post so those of us that are not so talented in the kitchen feel a little better about ourselves.

  3. Robert says:

    I think you are looking at it wrong…

    First thing is you aren’t taking flawless notes you need to when making a new recipe. Next when something doesn’t taste or come out the way you wanted then try to figure out what you need to change.

    Also …weigh everything. Learn how to cook using percents. This will help you in “tweaking” a recipe.

    When tweaking a recipe only change one thing in it so that you can see/taste the results.

    I was trying to tweak a recipe that someone gave me for cookies. I like them but they were off a little bit. So I broke down the recipe into bakers %’s and went from there. Once I had my percents I started by removing the lowest % ingredient and baking the cookies. I was amazed at how removing each ingredient changed to cookies.

    In the end I figured out that if I changed the % of one ingredient from 1% to 2% it gave the cookies a whole new layer of flavor without changing the cookies. It actually gave them depth and changed the crumb texture or mouth feel.

    Your mistakes may be almost to perfection but you need to figure out “what” is the mistake.

    If you look at it simply…

    Chocolate milk. Let say you have some chocolate syrup and you are getting ready to mix it into the cold milk. How much difference in taste is 50% syrup vs 40&, 30% vs 20%…
    Now in baking the difference between a dough that is 60% hydration vs 58% is huge.

    Show people on this blog how you can fail and then produce something great and you will be better than most food bloggers.

    Just my 2 cents..

  4. Daddy says:

    Don’t lose the spiritual dimension of the wonderful ART of cooking!

    The ego makes for a terrible paint brush!



  5. Daddy says:

    And to further clarify my point, I think it is very humble of you to share your blunders. There is art in that too!


  6. Dave says:

    First, I think you always have to look at why you’re cooking. Sometimes an average meal is a win for me if it means we get good food on the table instead of drive-through.

    Second, I’ve added a rating section to my recipes and have started to call out issues with a recipes, or how I could improve it for next time. Doing this helps me learn and improve.

    That all being said – I’d gladly eat your failures. They look wonderful!

  7. BraveTart says:

    I have professional training, so my blunders are rarely outright debacles, just nitpicky issues, like an experimental crust that looks a little patchy or a new ice cream flavor that doesn’t have the zing I wish it could. If something is bad or visually terrible, I don’t hesitate to throw it away. But if it’s “close but no cigar”, I let them hit the menu as “experimental” and then make sure to talk with anyone who tries it. If I just threw those away too, I’d never get the helpful feedback that helps me perfect a recipe. Often, people come back, hoping to try the “final” version. 🙂 So, I say, post your blunders and shamelessly ask everyone for their thoughts. I never take pictures of the failures, though, I don’t want to document my shame! lol. 🙂

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