Tuesday, July 17, 2012

In Which I Fail Miserably

Failing. I don't like it. Sadly, it happens to the best of us sometimes. It happens to me frequently.

This week, I was going to write a post about taquitos. Except my tortillas cracked and deformed and the taquitos were hideous, so I didn't want to take pictures of them or write about them.

Then I was going to write about the gluten-free goldfish crackers I made. Except they didn't turn out very crackery.

I very successfully made a birthday cake from scratch for my best friend's birthday get-together...but I failed to take pictures of it, so it won't work as a blog post either.

That leaves me with only one option – write about my failures.

Failure #1: Taquitos
This is a great way to use extra cooked turkey, and they freeze well, provide nice snacks for football season, etc. I like knowing extra uses for turkey because they're cheap, but it doesn't take much to get tired of eating turkey every night.

This time, we ended up with extra turkey because we made turkey bratwursts, but only used the breasts and thighs because the rest is too much of a pain to de-bone. The legs and wings, we cooked up so we could use the turkey in taquitos.
First problem: over filling.  Always.

This was a good plan, and still will happen...but I have to figure out some logistics first. See, I thought I'd be brilliant and use freshly made corn tortillas, even though I never had. I followed all the same steps as for store-bought torts, including briefly frying them in oil before rolling. However, the tortillas cracked like except for one or two. I almost took pictures of the successful pair I managed to make, but thought that was cheap. 

So it's back to the drawing board for that one. I have to figure out if it's better to roll them in the raw tort or if fresh torts don't need to be softened in oil or if it's some other problem (did I make them too thick? Too dense (dry) of dough? I'll try some more and hopefully have answers soon.

I gave up in disgust and made the taquitos into deep-fried tacos. Which actually didn't taste too bad.
One step above Jack In the Box tacos.  That step is real meat.

Failure #2: Gluten-free Goldfish Crackers
This was in response to a request for crunchy gluten-free, egg-free crackers. Most of the recipes I found for gluten-free crackers called for either eggs or almond meal. WinCo's bulk section doesn't have almond meal (although it does have xantham gum, so score!), so I had to write those off, since I'm too cheap broke to buy baking ingredients in any other form. The only recipe I found that I had the ingredients for was the goldfish.
The dough looked good at this stage.  Tricksy dough.

They wanted me to use a goldfish cookie cutter...because we all have one of those lying around! I opted for the smallest cutter I own – a train. Except the crackers kept breaking before I got them onto the pan, so I just put the dough on the pan and cut them into square-ish shapes.
The fist batch just glommed together when they baked.

They tasted good to me, although Zoey took one nibble and declared it trash. Seriously, she said “Uck, trash!” and repeated it until I threw the cracker away for her. That does wonders for the ego, let me tell you! However, even at the smallest size, they were slightly chewy in the middle. And I don't think goldfish crackers were what the original request had in mind, anyway. So back to the drawing board there, too. In this case, I'll probably just try to find a better recipe. One that doesn't involve cheese (or uses a cheese like Parmesan, which is less melty/chewy than cheddar).
They came out either over-cooked or chewy.  No in-between stage.

Failure #3: No pictures of my sole success
My best friend came over on Saturday for a birthday barbecue...and everyone knows you can't have a birthday gathering with no cake! I made a Hoosier Cake out of my Fannie Farmer cookbook. I chose it because a) I had all the ingredients on hand and b) it included a cup of coffee.
Instead of a cake, here's Parker.  He's big.

I even made it despite the fact that the recommended frosting was called Gravy Frosting. Seriously? Gravy Frosting? Can you have a less appealing name without resorting to toilet humor? (No really, I challenge you!)

The cake came out nicely – it was chocolaty with just a hint of coffee flavor. The frosting was much tastier than the name implies. I'm guessing it got the name from the fact that about half of it was a thick flour/milk roux...fairly gravy-esque. I still would suggest renaming it. It was not too sweet, as many frostings are, even though I put too much on the cake. I'm pretty sure there's not supposed to be an almost 1:1 cake-to-frosting ratio. Whoops.
Zoey's eating an apple.  Imagine she's eating cake.  Or not.
This, at least, has a very simple solution. Take pictures of everything. I mean EVERYTHING. Oatmeal for breakfast? Pictures. Make a salad? Pictures. Clean the fridge? Pictures (of Randy cleaning, of course. I hate cleaning the fridge). Change a diaper? Yeah, probably not pictures of that one. 

In the meantime, I'll take a cue from Zoey and not have a care in the world.


  1. Crackers are freaking hard. Your kids are cute, though. :)

    1. Thanks! I think they're pretty cute most of the time, too (tantrum time is the exception).

      And yeah - I found the cracker recipe in a few places and all the commenters said they made them and they turned out great. I think they are all lying. Of course, it's only the second time I've tried to make crackers, so inexperience probably had a bit to do with it.

    2. gooey frosting.
      gluey frosting.
      do you choose to chew blue goo, too, sir?

    3. The frosting was amazingly fluffy. And not blue, but it should have been...it WAS for Misty!

  2. You are such an achiever! I know you claim poverty as your motivation, but wow! I'm impressed!
    I failed huge at dairy free brownies last week. I was super sad, they were expensive to make too.

    1. Thanks! It wasn't a week to feel impressed. Luckily, though, none of my attempts cost very much! That's sad about the brownies. Brownies should not be allowed to be bad. It's sacrilege!

  3. Well I cant say much about the food, altho I do appreciate any gluten-free ideas u share! But the pic of Parker is adorable! I cant believe how big he seems in the pic (he cant really be that big?) & he's SO cute! The pic w/ Zoey in her swimsuit is sweet, w/ that pose u should put her in dance & then all she needs is a long, old-fashioned dress (flamenco style?) swishing around her legs. PS. Maybe u could 'audit' a cooking class at a local culinary school? lol (In ur spare time)

    1. Hahahahaha! Spare time! That's a good one!

      Parker is HUMONGOID! He's way above the 97th percentile on the growth chart. He's above the 97th% for 3 month olds and he's only *2* months old. It's ridiculous. By Christmas, I fully expect him to be taller than Zoey.