Friday, February 19, 2010

Bake Sale Fail and CONTEST!

bake sale

We all know what they say about the best laid plans.

When some people in my office announced that they were planning a bake sale to raise money for Haiti relief I was really excited. I'd been reading about lots of super successful bake sales that had raised a ton of money and also moved some excellent baked goods into the mouths of the eager public. I wanted to be a part of it all.

I worked hard. I made big batches of blueberry lemon cupcakes and double chocolate cookies. I packed them away carefully and wrote up the ingredient lists. I put them in places that our pets have no access to. And then I went to bed.

When I woke up the next morning my throat was raw and my nose was running like a tap. I was achey, tired, and cranky. In a word, sick.

Maybe I got it from some diseased New Yorkers. Maybe from some kids in one of the daycares I was visiting. It's likely, though, that I got it from other people in my office. They've been dropping like flies all week. I didn't think I should add to the trouble by dragging my sniffley self in to work with three tubs of my homemade baked goods. Who wants to accept a cookie from someone whose nose is running?

Alas, my baked goods sit in the fridge and freezer, waiting to be eaten, given away, or (eep!) thrown out. It is a big bummer. I am trying to be cool about it. And I am still sick. In bed for the second day in a row. Ugh.

However! I have exciting news for you all. This Bake Sale Fail is the perfect set up for my very first blog giveaway. I've been wanting to do this since Christmas. Why Christmas, you ask? Well, because for Christmas I got TWO copies of this:

And while the cupcakes pictured at the beginning of this post are a modified version of one of my own recipes, those chocolate cookies are straight out of Veganomicon. And they are fantastic! So of course, if you don't have it already, you want to win my extra copy of this cookbook.

To enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post telling me about one of your food-related fails. Runny cookie dough? Flat muffins? Epic food poisoning? Soggy spring rolls? Let us all know about it.

2. You can enter A SECOND TIME if you are a member of the It Ain't Meat, Babe Facebook group. To enter over there, post your food fail on the group's wall.

3. I will write down the names of all the entrants from the blog and the Facebook group and have The Unbiased and Extremely Careful Man of Science draw the winner's name.

4. You have until Sunday at midnight to enter. The winner's name will be announced on Monday. Then I'll need you to e-mail me your address and I'll send you the book.

Only people in Canada and the USA can enter. Sorry internationalites. It's a hardcover book and I don't want to break the bank sending it to far off places.

Good luck!



Mary said...

Oh God, this is so embarrassing but I really want to win this cookbook :)

When I first went vegetarian I had to learn how to cook. Prior to that the extent of my culinary adventures involved making toast (which was more often than not burnt as all hell).

The first recipe I ever tried cooking was for a rice pilaf and it called for 1 cup of vegetable stock. Because I had no clue about cooking I didn't know that they sold veg stock with the liquid already in, ready to go (which is what the recipe wanted). I bought stock powder. And put in 1 cup of the concentrated stock powder.

Normally the rice shouldn't have cooked because the liquid was missing, but there were other liquids in the recipe and so the rice did properly fluff up.

And I so proudly set it out on the table, took a bite and the salt was completely indescribable. Pretty much spit-back-in-the-bowl is the only way I can think to describe it. My husband, who cooks quite a bit asked exactly what I did and I showed him the empty jar of vegetable stock powder....anddd into the garbage went that entire meal lol.

I did think it was kind of strange that an entire jar of stock powder was needed for a simple pilaf, but who was I to question the cookbook author? ;) Luckily I have much improved since then.

vijita said...

I mistook my bag of gluten flour for white wheat flour. Seitan=FAIL!!!

zoom said...

I wanted to show my ex that lentil burgers were just as good as beef burgers, but when I halved the recipe I accidentally doubled the salt. They were inedible (believe me, I tried. I'm stubborn when I have something to prove!).

Leslie Dishslayer said...

When I was 17 I made dinner too woo a handsome photographer. I decided to make soup, and I used a recipe from a cookbook I bought especially for the occasion. Unfortunately, I hadn't done a lot of cooking with garlic and didn't know the difference between a bulb and a clove.
The recipe called for two cloves and I peeled and chopped two bulbs.
It was pretty garlicky. No wonder I have such trouble with boys.

Amber said...

When I was about 12 I added two cups instead of 2 tablespoons of oil to the brownies I was making. My family made so much fun of me I avoided cooking and baking for quite awhile after that!

Hope I win the cookbook! It looks awesome :)

Yvonne said...

Here's my "food fail" - Several years ago I was dating a very funny gentleman (a "man of computer science" or "MOCS" shall we say). Always analytical and honest, he was on hand the first time I attempted a new vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe. I have a bit of a reputation as a savvy vegan chef, but my baking leaves much to be desired. Undeterred by my previous fails, I decided to impress my very not-vegan guy with cookies (afterall, the way to a man's heart is always through his stomach).

The first batch came out looking excellent! It was a "tester" batch, so there were only about four cookies on the tray. And those four little cookies were a thing of beauty: chewy, tender, with just the right amount of sweetness! We were really excited so I charged ahead with next batch.

Sadly, the oven decided to freestyle with the amount of energy it was pumping out - and despite the fact that we never changed the temperature setting, the oven got much, much hotter during the second batch. So hot that by the time I returned to remove my glorious cookies, they were so rock hard that even after several minutes of soaking in warm tea, they could still chip a tooth.

The MOCS, being a good sport, tried in vain to consume the cookies. But he quickly decided that this was an impossible mission and labeled them a "B Batch". Hence forth any inedible kitchen missteps became known as a "B Batch"...

Although I no longer talk with the MOCS, I love that can still laugh after I create a particularly nasty kitchen-related misstep, another "B Batch".

Lynn said...

I have many food disaster stories (once set a stove on fire while BOILING WATER), but my favourite is about a brocoli-cheese casserole I made once. My youngest sister was coming to visit, so I'd thought I'd make this casserole as a special treat.

We were all three starving (me, my husband, and my sister), and it turned out to be a much more involved recipe than I thought. It was taking longer and longer in the kitchen, and my sister and husband were grumbling and growling and threatening to order a pizza, but I told them that they had to wait.

Finally, finally, the casserole was done. I lifted it out of the oven and...

dropped it.

All over the kitchen. Broccoli on the cupboards, cheese on the walls, hot casserole splayed everywhere.

And then we ordered a pizza.

XUP said...

Pretty much everything I bake is a disaster so I don't know what I was thinking in trying to bake a vegan chocolate cake for my poor chid's first birthday party. I did call around to see if anyone professional could make me one, but they all thought I was crazy (this was back in the early 1990s). So I bakes this revolting mound of crap with tofu that weighed about 10 pounds. My child gamely dug in, but the other kids cried and their parents more or less forbade them to touch the cake. I have it all on video.

SweetKaroline said...

This is easy.

When I was 7 or so I was making a batch of cookies.

And as a youngster, sugar looks pretty similar to salt.

So I measured out 1 1/2 cups of salt...and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Epic cookie fail.


Sarah said...

How funny that I read this blog entry today. I woke up today and declared that it was going to be a baking day. I set forth to bake a batch of Peanut Butter Pillows from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. They looked beautiful, smelled great. Then I started putting my ingredients away...and noticed that my bag of sugar was still tied shut. Doh!

Oatmeal and Mary said...

When I was 13, my younger cousin and I decided to make a cake for the family. We had an awesome cake made, but we realized we didn't have any icing to ice the cake. Now, I'm completely fine with no icing, but no one else in the house would be. We came up with our own recipe. I have no idea now what we put in that icing, but I know that no one ate more than a bite of that cake... except for my cousin and I.

Sheila said...

My daughter and I were going to surprise my dad with an orange cake for his birthday. He had been talking about this orange cake that his mom used to make for him for years now. We found a recipe and it turned out okay, but it didn't seem as "moist" as he made his mom's cake out to be. The recipe called for orange slices on top of the cake (my dad always talking about the orange slices too). So, I went to the store and picked up orange slices candy, cut them in half and stuck those suckers on the top of the cake. I knew it wouldn't be as good as his mother used to make, but we made it just like the recipie.
Turns out, we were supposed to use real orange slices not candy. And this cake was supposed to be SOAKED in orange juice. He had been so excited about his cake, but we could see the disappointment in his face when we uncovered the cake.

Mary Ann said...

My mother made me my favorite, banana cake, for my birthday. Because the cake was so large, we had to put in in the outside fridge. Oh, it smelled and looked so good when I went outside to bring it in to cut.
As I was pulling it out of the fridge, I DROPPED IT! It flew out of the cake container all over the garage floor.
It was the most horrible thing ever!
Needless to say, we didn't have that cake on my birthday.

ashtree said...

One of my favorite kitchen disasters was actually my Dad's. My dad is a "meat and potatoes" kind of guy and usually ate plain old American food. Once when I was a kid, he decided to make Chinese Ginger Chicken. Great idea, except he put a tablespoon of powdered ginger instead of the teaspoon the recipe called for. Needless to say...dinner was a disaster! Thank goodness for take out pizza!

Allison, The Busy (Happy!) Vegan said...

This year - I finally got to host Christmas. More excitingly (is that a word??), I finally got to host VEGAN Christmas. I made banana pancakes, baked beans (very Quebec, even sans the lard), fruit salad, and vegan benedicts. I could not WAIT for the benedicts.

I roasted asparagus, made a dynamite avocado and tomato salsa, toasted the english muffins, and set about perfecting the "hollandaise" sauce from The Vegan Table.

I stirred and stirred, added cornstarch, tasted, was unsatisfied, added more spices, more Earth Balance, more cornstarch, more soy milk, MORE cornstarch. But this pot of what was supposed to be pure savoury deliciousness was sweet foamy weirdness. I served it anyway. Nobody ate it, although everybody pretended to eat it :).

I tried to blot the foamy mess off of my english muffin because the salsa was so tasty.

About a minute into brunch, my mother asked me "what did you need the baking soda for?" I replied "Baking soda? I didn't use... ohhhhhhhhhhhhh"

I accidentally used baking soda, which explains the foam, and I realized the next day when I reached for soy milk for my cereal, that I had used vanilla soy milk instead of unsweetened. Vegan Christmas Brunch Disgusting Disaster.

BUT - my love of benedicts means that I remain undeterred. I'm going to try it again for Easter...

and_i_say said...

I was attempting to make vegan "gold fish" crackers with a recipe from Vegan Lunchbox. However, I added way too much nutritional yeast somehow. I didn't have the little fish cutter, so I decided to cut squares after rolling the dough out a little. I made them too thin, so they burned. They were smoking when I took them out of the oven. Oops. I was thankful that I was living alone at the time, so only my cats were offended by the burning odor. I tried like hell to save the few that weren't black, but they tasted so gross from the excess nutritional yeast.

Hilary said...

What a great idea!

A few years ago my sister and her future husband visited me in my tiny Toronto bachelor apartment that I had just moved into. The kitchen was the size of a closet and had a funny old half-size stove which I hadn't used yet. We decided to make pizza from scratch for dinner. We got the dough rising and roled it out, put on all the toppings, and put it in the oven. It wasn't long before we realized that only the top element was working leaving the dough impossibly soft on the bottom. Yuck! We decided to fold the thing in half and grill the dough from the top, effectively creating a huge calzone.

MK said...

This summer I decided to make vegetable lasagna with left over squash and zuchinni that I could put in the freezer to eat throughout the year. After following a vegan recipe (and making my own little changes here and there), I had a huge pan of lasagna. I cut it into portions and put it in containers to be frozer, but decided to try a piece. It was by far the worst thing I had ever tasted.... mainly because it had absolutely no taste. I don't know what happened. I just recently threw out the rest because I was optimistic that it would get better. haha It definitely did NOT get better.

Tiana said...

Let me just say that it's important to label things when you put them in nice containers because icing sugar doesn't thicken things as nicely as say... cornstarch.