Real Life in The Kitchen

Some days I think I should just stick with a piece of fruit…

It’s been a little quiet on Life Through the Kitchen Window lately, mostly because I’ve been having some  escapades with bad luck in the kitchen. In the spirit of keeping it real, I’ve shared a few of my flops in the past, such as the Chocolate Cloud Cake that was anything but the ethereal confection it turned out to be the other 93 times I’d made it. More recently, there was the Meyer Lemon Granita that turned out bitter. Pretty to look at, not pretty to eat.

A few months ago I made some guacamole to showcase in a blog post. We love my guacamole. Unfortunately, the avocados I bought were unappealingly streaked through with mysterious brownish markings, and the final result looked most unpleasant. Like … never mind; the only suitable adjectives will never be used on this blog.

This brings me to this past Sunday. I started the day by making my Get Up and Go Bran Muffins. For some reason, the recipe only made 11 muffins instead of the usual dozen. They tasted fine, so I didn’t think too much about it until I realized later on I’d used the wrong size measuring cups for the dry ingredients. I now have three different sets of measures, all different shapes. This means I don’t have to wash so often when I’m doing a lot of cooking, but also makes it easy to grab the wrong size. Especially when the coffee is still brewing and I’m trying to mix muffins before I’m entirely awake.

You would think that would have set off some alarms bells … ding, ding, ding, think twice in the kitchen today! Apparently not. Sunday afternoon I got inspired to make something with cardamom, a spice I haven’t used before. I checked out some recipes on the internet, then decided to seriously renovate my family’s classic Cinnamon Loaf Coffee Cake  to transform it into an Orange Cardamom Coffee Cake. I put a lot of thought and effort into making this cake special, including using fresh oranges  for both zest and juice. I was so eager to taste it when it came out of the oven. And what did I discover but that instead of using cardamom I had actually used ground coriander as the keynote spice. Coriander!  It wasn’t horrible, but it was odd in flavour (which explains why I now have a coriander and orange flavoured brick sitting on the kitchen counter). I know coriander can be used in some cakes, but this wasn’t one of them.

To my credit, I did not seek oblivion in one of these:

No, just call me intrepid.

After all that, I still had the nerve to go ahead and try a new recipe for dinner — fish tacos. And, guess what, they turned out amazing! In keeping with the theme of the day, though, the photos I took turned out suitably lousy, but hey, at least the dish was a success (even though I forgot all about the chopped cilantro and peanuts I’d bought to use as garnishes). I’m going to go ahead and blog about these next.

Finally, I’m going to leave you with a tantalizing and perhaps puzzling photo of something that I’ve made at least a half dozen times and has not yet reached the blogworthy level of excellence I strive for. If at first you don’t succeed …..


  1. For starters, that’s a great still-life! I enjoyed this post because it mirrors my efforts in the kitchen. Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to pull out a pot or turn on the stove. I must admit, though, that I would have applauded your serving tacos without cilantro. I just do not like that herb. I’m looking forward to seeing that taco recipe — I’ll remember to forget the cilantro. 🙂

  2. Somedays can be very frustrating in the kitchen. Coriander in the cake had to be a very strange taste for sure. Here is to better days.

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