Crock Flops

Hello out there!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, I know. The reason for that is that I have been creating some serious Pinterest Fail-worthy food lately. I think it’s unfair to only share my successes, so I am sharing some of my embarrassing kitchen train wrecks of the last month. You can’t learn if you don’t screw up, right?

The One with the Veggie Burgers Part I

One weekend recently, I decided to attempt to cook veggie burgers in the Crock Pot. Yes this sounds ambitious and in no way practical, but my Crock Pot hero, Stephanie O’Dea, made regular burgers in hers so I figured I could do it too. Oh the hubris.

It started out promising…I found ingredients to make these awesome Indian spice burgers (cauliflower, pulsed cashews, frozen peas, green onions, onion and some spices) and made some great looking patties. I created my cute little Crock Pot grill and was very pleased with this project. “My 19 readers are going to be so impressed with this,” I thought to myself.

Crock Pot Veg Burgers
Such hubris.

I set the Crock Pot on high for 4 hours and waited eagerly. Who wouldn’t be excited about veggie burger lunches for the week?? I cleaned, did some housework and checked out the burgers later to find that they looked exactly the same as when I had started four hours ago. I was concerned that these patties were too large and would take many more hours before they cooked enough to eat. Ain’t no hungry woman got time for that! I decided to count my losses, cheat and put them in the oven. I checked a recipe quickly for the oven version of veggie burgers (as you will soon find out, I am no oven expert) and noticed that I didn’t have parchment paper. I DID have wax paper though and that’s basically the same thing, right? I know, sometimes my improvisation skills amaze even me. About five minutes into this oven adventure, my kitchen didn’t smell right. I looked over at the oven to find SMOKE COMING UP THROUGH THE STOVE. It still took me a minute to piece together that: WAX + HEAT = FIRE.

Yes, like a candle.

I took the burgers out of the oven, guiltily threw them in the garbage and did what anyone else would do – I ordered Thai food.

Note: Sorry I didn’t take a picture of my smokey kitchen. I was mostly concerned with preventing a fire in my kitchen. I’ve already had one apartment burn down this decade (no, not from my cooking).

The One with the Veggie Burgers Part II

Crock Pot Veg Balls
Such promise they had….

I wasn’t ready to give up on the veggie burgers. Surely, size was the main problem. I decided to follow the same recipe and make veggie balls instead, much like my recent success – Veggie “meatballs.” I added a bunch of Olive Oil to the bottom of the Crock Pot (much like with my Falafel balls) dipped the veggie balls in the oil (so many balls) and set it to cook on high for 4 hours. This time they cooked to a point of edibility, but as I stuck a fork into them, they crumbled like the Tea Party after the government shutdown. (Yeah, I went there.) Next time, I’ll substitute bread crumbs for pulsed cashews and see if that helps. If it doesn’t go well this third time, I’m breaking up with Crock Pot Veg Burgers. A girl can only take so much rejection.

The One with the Lentil Stew

This past Sunday, I set out to make this delicious looking lentil stew from America’s Test Kitchen. Every time I see delicious looking lentil recipes, I conveniently forget that I don’t really like lentils. It looked very healthy though and I’ve been feeling pretty gross lately. I went to my grocery store, bought all the veggies and lentils and threw it all into the Crock Pot to cook. This recipe called for a lot of spices, so I figured it would have a lot of flavor. I figured wrong.

At the end of this cooking journey, I had successfully created THE BLANDEST LENTIL STEW EVER INVENTED. I took a few bites of my first serving at the lunch table at work and immediately thought to myself, “what can I add to this terrible lunch I made?” I brained stormed with a couple co-workers. I started with salt, which we had on the table. It didn’t help. When I got home, I tried most of the spices I had on hand that made sense. Then I dumped saltine crackers in. That was better, but just because I LOVE saltine crackers. I stopped dipping them in the stew and just started eating them for a while. Realizing I hadn’t solved the problem of the bland lentil stew, I moved on to SIRACHA. Right away, I forgot my lentil troubles and was dealing with a whole slew of problems in the taste bud department because siracha. There really is no hope for this stew. I have been avoiding it by instead ordering – yes, you guessed it – Thai food! I just put the rest of the stew in the freezer, which is really code for I’m saving it for months and months until it gets bad freezer burn and then I’ll throw it out with reduced guilt.

Blandest Lentil Stew Ever

In conclusion, you can’t win ’em all! The next time you majorly mess up in the kitchen, be comforted by the fact that at least you didn’t put wax paper in your oven! 



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