Tales of Kitchen Disasters

My motto is, “If it tastes good, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look like the picture.”  Chatting with the girls before Thanksgiving dinner we all got giggles talking about the things we’d tried and failed (Pinterest Fails) to create in our kitchens.

pnterestfailmissyBut once I shared the story of a friend’s attempt at a turkey shaped cupcake creation with a neck just a touch too broad and amgplumage shade too brown with feet on a pair of stones that ended up looking like a really well endowed man’s crown jewels adorned with flaming red, orange & yellow feathers (like Mardi Gras Plumage)….well, let’s just say the wine bottles emptied a little faster and the conversation went downhill from there. 😉

None of us can point fingers.  We have all had kitchen mishaps:

I know that I have failed spectacularly!

  • Spent a fortune on the ingredients I’ve needed to make a recipe that got rave reviews
  • Bought special pans and/or cooking devices
  • Slaved all day to make it
  • Tasted it when it’s done, gagged, called a neighbor over to confirm my opinion that it sucks
  • Thrown it in the trash and
  • Ordered Pizza for dinner;

I’m sure we all know others who’ve committed these kitchen crimes too:

blender-mess-1Thrown things into the blender, turned it on and forgotten to put on lid or not put lid on tight enough; spent an hour cleaning the ceiling, cupboards and everywhere else

microwav-edisasterOpened a can of Chef-Boy-R-Dee (No judging, we were all starving college students once), poured it into a bowl, set the microwave for 2 minutes (uh oh), and walked away. #CleanUpAisle5

burnedmicrowavepopcornThrown popcorn into the microwave, set the timer for too long and had to live with burned popcorn smell in the whole house or the office for days.

While these are all funny when they happen to someone else, they all share a common problem: They can leave you with a lingering odor reminding you that you aren’t quite yet Julia Child or Rachel Ray in the kitchen.

Luckily there are a few great tips for helping to rid your home (or the office if you have fouled the air & microwave of the lunchroom with your culinary disaster) of the smell left behind.  Unless you are covering up something else you’ve left in your wake….then, rock on with your bad self. 😉


If you’ve microwaved something smelly (especially something with a heavy garlic or tomato smell) and an odor has been left behind, or if you’ve burned popcorn: Soak a sponge in vinegar then coat the top of the sponge in baking soda. Place the sponge on a plate in the microwave and set to run on high for 30 seconds.  Wipe the interior of the microwave with the sponge and leave the door open to air dry the inside.

Another option is to take a one cup measuring cup, slice a lemon or orange and squeeze both halves into the measuring cup, place both halves into the measuring cup,  and fill the cup up the rest of the way with water.  Cook on high for 5 minutes.  The steam will clean the microwave and the fresh citrus will deodorize.  Wipe with a cloth when the cycle is over.  Pour the remaining water and citrus into the garbage disposal with 1/4 cup baking soda, run the disposal with hot water and deodorize your drain.


If you’re trying to remove the odor from a room you can fill a stockpot about 2/3 up with water, 3-4 tsp of vanilla, 2 to 3 sliced lemons and 4 to 5 good sized sprigs of fresh rosemary from the garden.  Simmer it for a few hours (or all day if you’re home to make sure that the pot doesn’t boil dry) an your house will smell fresh and inviting.  If it isn’t too cold and you can bring some fresh air in for a few hours that would help too.

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Fit Fat Tuesday Feast

IMG_5098I love the comfort foods of winter but, because California gets a very short spell of cool weather, that means that I can’t just eat what I want and hide under sweatshirts and big sweaters…UG!  Case in point:  last week we had some of our lowest temperatures for late January/early February and this week it’s been in the high 80’s and low 90’s.  I am going to be back in spring clothes before too long, so I have to stick to my diet plan.

Just because I’m watching what I eat doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy Fat Tuesday, right?  By re-working one of my favorite Mardi Gras delights, I can (and did!) Laissez les bon temps roulez.

Let the Good Times Roll “California Style” Jambalaya

  • 1 – 12 oz Chub Jimmy Dean Reduced Fat Premium Pork Sausage
  • 2/3 pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Diced
  • 12 oz – Raw (Peeled, Deveined & Tails Removed) Shrimp
  • 6 oz – Aidell’s Cajun Style Andouille Sausage
  • 1 – 14.5 oz Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 2 Pkgs – Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice Natural Whole Grain Brown Rice (90 Second Microwave Packages)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – Chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper – Chopped
  • 1 Bunch Green Onions
  • 2 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (Peeled & Minced)
  • 2 TBLS Zatarain’s Cajun Spice Blend
  • Cayenne Pepper, Black Pepper To Taste

In a heavy duty skillet, preheated over medium-high heat, add 1 TBLS olive oil, the garlic, chopped onions, and chopped bell peppers.  Cook while stirring about 5 minutes.

Preheat a large heavy duty stock pot or stew pan over medium high heat.  Add 1 TBLS olive oil and the pork sausage to the pan.  Break up with a wooden spoon and cook until nearly done,  Add the diced chicken, sprinkle with the Cajun Spice, and continue cooking until chicken is nearly cooked through (4-5 minutes).  Slice the sausage into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices and add to the pan.  Cut each peeled, deveined, tailed shrimp in half and add to the other meats in the pan.  Cook about 2 minutes.

Tear the packages to vent and microwave the Uncle Ben’s rice packets for 90 seconds each on high.

Add the sautéed vegetables to the cooked meat.  Stir in the canned tomatoes and bring all to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and add the two packages of rice to the pan.

Stir to combine.  Add 1 TBLS ground black pepper and about 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper.

Serve with hot sauce of your choice, and, if you’re like me and love it California Style, add 1/4 of an avocado to the top of your bowl of steaming jambalaya.

Are you on Facebook?  You might be interested in the things I may not devote an entire blog post to: recipes, food facts, nutritional information, photos and other things that make my mouth water. I may not write a blog post every day, but there are daily updates to my This Girl Loves To Eat community at: https://www.facebook.com/ThisGirlLovesHerFood