Cooking Mistakes To Avoid

Have you ever had a tried and true recipe that just refused to cooperate one day? (Hint: That’s your cue to leave an answer in the Comments section at the bottom of this page. 🙂

I find these experiences so frustrating, because there are often several factors that could contribute to the challenge, and sleuthing them out isn’t always so easy.

I had a little mishap with falling berries in cake batter today while working on the photo shoot for our next column in The Forum. I was making a recipe for little almond cakes called Friands, which I’ve made dozens of times with success. They’re very pretty little cakes, and I love to showcase them with berries floating on the top.

However, this was the first time my berries decided to take a dive for the bottom, leaving me with a plain cake top. Normally, I wouldn’t be so bothered about this, because the cakes still tasted great. But I needed the berries to be visible for the photos, so I had no patience for their refusal to make an appearance. These Friands were not my friends today. See what I did there? 🙂

When the photo shoot ended, I started to search Google to see if coating the berries in flour first would have helped – I’ve done this before with chocolate chips and had good results.I stumbled across a terrific article from called “The Most Common Cooking Mistakes,” which has 61(!) great tips for success in your kitchen adventures. Some of these I knew already from past experiences (i.e., failures), but many of the tips were new to me.

The article did confirm my suspicion that a little bit of flour might have helped prevent today’s earlier stress – but how was I to know beforehand that my berries would decided to play hide and seek?

I’m still not sure why they fell in the first place – I may have mixed the egg whites a little too long, thus resulting in a less-dense batter. The size of the berries could also have been a factor, as they were really big raspberries. But then again, my blueberries fell straight through, too. Hmm…it’s a little food mystery. I think I’ll have to do some experimenting this weekend. I’ll keep you posted.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll appreciate these reminders, tips and shortcuts to help you avoid those darn kitchen pitfalls. Just click on the link below and take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in your kitchen exploits.

“The Most Common Cooking Mistakes” from COOKING LIGHT MAGAZINE

4 Responses

    1. Sarah Nasello

      I’m sharing the recipe in this Wednesday’s paper and will also post it here on the blog. I’m working on a gluten-free version right now, actually. I’ve never worked with G/F all-purpose flour, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

  1. I don’t normally worry about taking a picture of a successful cooking event, though I have experimented with ingredients – add more onions, more garlic, more sausage… Baking is a whole ‘nother thing. I have been told that baking requires specific amounts and adherance to the recipe. That’s why I don’t like to bake!

    1. Sarah Nasello

      Haha, Karen – that’s exactly why Tony hates baking, too. I think I’m attracted to the precision of it – I know if I start with a solid recipe, use quality ingredients and correct measurements, my baking with *usually* turn out. Baking is therapeutic for me, but many others I know share your aversion. I’m a much better baker than cook, that’s for sure. Thank you for reading and sharing your comments!

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