When your Pinterest recipes are FAILS …

I am not a cook. Like, really not a cook.
Neither is Darling Husband, so we make very basic meals around here (pizza, hamburgers, Sloppy Joes, stew, pasta, tacos, wraps, fajitas, nachos — basically anything you can put salsa on, really). 
Darling Husband is actually a better cook than I am, because his meals always turn out way better. He puts more effort into it (important in cooking!) and I think it’s also because he’s not afraid to use spices?
But I am always determined to get better at cooking. Which means I’m always pinning recipes, but rarely get the courage to actually try them. Because I’m NOT TALENTED IN THE KITCHEN. This girl can bake, yes, but that’s it.
I’d love for this to be a post about how I overcame obstacles and learned some awesome new recipes, but … no. Over the past few weeks, I tried three Pinterest recipes, and they were ALL spectacular fails.
Let’s explore the depths of this Holy-crap-Heather-really-can’t-cook fun:
This is what I TRIED to make. It’s called Man-Pleasing Chicken, and those of you who are cooking-inclined can find the recipe here at Witty in the City.

My first mistake (of many) was probably not using chicken thighs, as the recipe suggested. We only buy boneless chicken breasts, but I *thought* it wouldn’t be a big deal. (Truthfully, this probably would not have mattered to a real cook, and I’m sure my major mistakes came later …)

I mixed up a goopy mixture of Dijon mustard, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, fresh rosemary, and salt and pepper. Except our grocery store didn’t have rice wine vinegar, so I used regular white vinegar (oops). And we didn’t have fresh rosemary because I’m not friggin’ Rachael Ray so I used dried stuff (oops). And we didn’t have pure maple syrup because we are bad Canadians so I had to use Aunt Jemima Light or something (oops).

Um, believe it or not, this is a shot of the cooked chicken. Doesn’t exactly look like the picture, does it?

Here it is, cut up for Baby C. Looks more appetizing when you can’t see the gross pan-ful of it, doesn’t it?

C thought it was good, but that girl will eat anything.

The real man-pleasing chicken versus MY crappy version. FAIL. Darling Husband and I decided we didn’t like it mostly because we have never eaten Dijon mustard before, and apparently we don’t like it. So, um, if you don’t like Dijon mustard, you won’t like this chicken? I guess?

(Luckily, we were able to salvage it by scraping off the mustard-y coating and chopping it up for wraps)

Next on my list was Chicken Tamale Pie from Pinch of Yum. I thought FOR SURE we would like this recipe, because we adore Mexican food (and eat it like twice a week). Plus, I liked the idea of a cornbread-y delight on the bottom of the pie. Mmmm.

If you’re in Canada, this probably the only “corn muffin mix” you will find. Apparently we don’t eat much cornbread up here?
I mixed up a bunch of stuff (um, here are the more specific terms) including cornmeal muffin mix, taco seasoning, and cream-style corn (I’d definitely never bought that before).

Basically, you make a “pie crust” from the muffin mix and mushy canned corn, and then you add your toppings and re-bake everything. I made some MAJOR cheese substitutions (oops) because what the hell is Raclette? Or Cotija? I’m sorry, but we buy mozzarella, cheddar, or marble. We are not fancy.

Oh, and get this! The grocery store employees could not locate enchilada sauce! I swear, I’ve bought it before, but I had no less than four employees come up empty-handed. They were all doofy teenage boys who looked at me like I was asking for chicken eyeballs or something, and asked what it was. I was like “Um … enchilada sauce? It’s for making enchiladas? They’re like … Mexican chicken cheesey lasanga? Sort of? …” Long story short, I had to use salsa instead (oops).

The finished pie! Yeah, it didn’t look like the picture, but it was super-cheesy. SURELY, it can’t be bad? …
Something is definitely not right here. Maybe it was the lack of whatjamacallit? Raclette? Cotija?

It may look OK in this picture, but it was absolutely TERRIBLE. The bottom of the pie was extremely mushy and gloppy (which is normal, according to the recipe — “it should be similar to a masa-type corn cake or corn pudding”). It was absolutely inedible. So Darling Husband and I did the mature thing and scraped off the top (which was just chicken, cheese, salsa, peppers, etc.) and ate that. And it was good.
For my final “new recipe attempt,” I decided to make these adorable Easter Bunny Rolls that everybody and their dog was pinning.

However, when I went to one of the (many) (different) pins with this exact photo, it was actually for some kind of Asian roll that used a papery substance as the top layer. So I grabbed this Betty Crocker Bread Machine Dinner Roll recipe instead. The dough was super-easy to throw together, and it rose beautifully.

 

But as you can see, um, shaping them into bunnies was not easy.

I made a few into Grumpy Cat, because they were heading that direction anyway.

I see that some of the pinned versions out there talk about “smoothing the ears” before baking so you don’t get “devil horns.” I clearly did not read those versions until JUST NOW WHILE WRITING THIS POST. (Oops).

Word to the wise: do NOT bite into one of these suckers before removing the horns. I hurt the roof of my mouth on those bad boys. OW!

Evil, evil little bunny/cat/devils.
These two got a little frisky in the oven.

Probably my most hilarious cooking fail to date, BUT they were still 100% delicious. I would highly recommend the Betty Crocker Bread Machine Roll recipe, and I’m going to make them again (just not in this particular evil form).

***

Have you ever tried to make a recipe from Pinterest and failed SPECTACULARLY like me? Please tell me that you have, so I can start building up my cooking confidence again!

xoxo

4 Comments on “When your Pinterest recipes are FAILS …

  1. I have failed at many a Pinterest recipe, too! They are not created equal for sure. I swear people Photoshop their results sometimes! Also, I think your bunnies look delish 🙂

  2. Let me diagnose your problems!

    The 'Man Pleasing Chicken' (what a dumb name!): you used boneless skinless thighs, which will NOT remotely brown like the picture. You need the skin. Second, you didn't use something with sugar in it to get it to caramelize (the maple sugar vs jemima lite), therefore, also added to the lack of browning and crispiness. Everything else as far as substitutions in that recipe wasn't a big deal. I've made the recipe myself with all the right ingredients, and it still didn't come out like the picture, and my taste buds were underwhelmed (mostly just tasted like mustard-y chicken), so don't feel bad.

    The second recipe, you can probably already tell with all those substitutions, it wasn't going to work. The cheeses mentioned are mexican cheeses, and unless you have a good mexican grocery nearby, you probably aren't going to find them. I didn't read the whole recipe, but I don't see how mixing corn meal mix with creamed corn is a good idea, it definitely would seem like it would come out mushy. Next time I would omit the cream corn and just add cumin (a spice) to the crust to give it some mexican flair. And no enchilada sauce? You can probably make your own. Pinterest can probably show you.

    And the third- oh I had to laugh. Anything on Pinterest that is 'cute' that you have to bake, I completely avoid. It's a recipe for disaster!

    I started a board to keep track of what all I have made, the results, things I would do different, etc.

    http://pinterest.com/kovacevich/things-i-ve-made-via-pin/

    Feel free to follow me!

    Oh, and have you seen the blogs dedicated pinterest 'fails'? Hee-larious!

    http://www.pinterestfail.com/
    http://pinstrosity.blogspot.com/

    You aren't alone! 🙂

  3. I have made many a recipe that didn't turn out just so from Pinterest. It can be discouraging but keep trying. For as many that have failed I have double the amount that have worked out. I have found reading the ingredients before pinning helps because if there is stuff I know we can't easily get I am not confident enough in my substitution ability to find something that would work.

    I too couldn't find enchilada sauce for a recipe recently so I made my own that was delist if you are ever looking for one.

    The devil bunnies / grumpy cat baked goods made my morning :))

  4. Thanks for the sweet comments, girls!

    Caree, I just followed your recipe board — hopefully I can find a few that I can tackle with my limited skills 🙂

    Allie, I'm intrigued by making my own enchilada sauce! I will have to get that recipe from you.

    Lindsey … they were delicious — just very pointy, haha!

So what do you think?

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