Kitchen Fails: Mother’s Day Brunch

I’m trying out something new here at Foodiocentric. It’s a humorous little story just for the sake of hilarity. No recipe, just fun for you (and humiliation for me). Hopefully it makes you feel a little better about your lack of kitchen prowess or gives you a good laugh. Here it goes:

Since the Taste Tester and I moved into our home, I have been lobbying for a holiday. I LOVE hosting people, I LOVE cooking, I’m great at cooking, and now we have a really, really spacious and nice house, so holidays here we come right? Well it turns out when families have 20+ year long traditions they aren’t so hip on uprooting them so their in-law of less than a year can try her hand at baking her first ever Thanksgiving turkey. So, since my lobbying for holiday hostessing has been unsuccessful I got an idea; I’ll just start hosting new holidays, previously un-celebrated by the taste tester’s family.

Thus, my idea for Mother’s Day brunch was born. The taste tester wasn’t totally on board, but once I reminded him that brunch food is the cheapest of all food, he relented. And we were off. I spent weeks dreaming up the perfect menu. Imagining how perfect it would go. How cute my tables would look. How I could finally use all those hostess items from my wedding registry. I planned. I scoured the internet for recipes. I borrowed a donut pan from my friend. I was ready.

The brunch was to be on Sunday, but I had to spend the day Saturday prepping. I did my shopping, then went home to pre-prepare everything that could be done in advance. Here was the menu:

Pancakes (originally planned for many kinds: blueberry, chocolate chip, cinnamon roll, and plain)

Johnny Cakes (cornmeal pancakes)

Homemade Donuts (glazed and glazed then dipped in chocolate)

Bacon

Sausage

Quiche

Fruit

Cheese+Crackers+Salami

Lemonade + Rose Champagne Mimosas

Coffee+Coffee Creamer Swirl Ice Cream (for dessert)

On Saturday I made the following preparations:

Measure all the dry ingredients for the pancakes and Johnny cakes. Measure dry ingredients for donuts. Make the quiche crust, from scratch and mix the filling. Make TWO different types of ice cream; churn and freeze. I make fresh squeezed lemonade. It was disgusting. What did I do wrong? I add lime juice, it gets worse. Wow this is awful. Ok well it’s for a mixer anyway, no one will notice when it’s mixed with champagne. Is this a sign of things to come? Hopefully not. I spend the entire day cooking and cleaning and go to bed dreaming about my perfect brunch, which would be served promptly at 1:15 the next day.

I get a late start the next morning and my kitchen messier than I remembered. I was supposed to start making the donuts promptly at 11, but got started around 12 instead. Ahh well, we’ll eat a little late I told myself. Then I put the bacon in the oven to cook, a new method I had recently learned in a cookbook. I set the quiche up in my convection oven and began to heat up my griddle for the pancakes.

Ahh everything is going perfectly as planned. My guests arrive, right on schedule and everything is on track to be served slightly late, at about 1:30. Oh well, I have fruit and crackers out, everyone is happy. Then my guests come to the door and the dogs start going insane. I start to feel overwhelmed and promptly ignore my duties to wrangle said dogs because I MUST.FOCUS.ON.COOKING. The taste tester is annoyed by this development.

Then I start to notice that my pancake batter looks a little runny. And the Johnny cake batter is a little runny too now that you mention it. The taste tester runs to the pantry and grabs flour, but I think it’s whole wheat, instead of AP and why do I not label these containers?!? Oh well, no time for that. He starts furiously mixing it into both bowls anyway. I turn up the heat and pray the pancakes will set up fast enough that I can actually flip them before they run down the trough of my griddle.

Everything seems to be working. The pancakes are thin but it’s ok, people like them that way. The sausage is on the stove, the bacon is in the oven. Oh yah, the bacon is in the oven. The timer goes off. I open it to find my bacon is burnt. Well one pan is burnt. One pan is so far beyond BURNT. It is inedible. And it is nearly on fire. As evidenced by the amount of smoke coming from the oven. The fire alarm goes off. The dogs go insane. The windows must be opened and now people are complaining they’re cold (it’s 60 degrees out-that’s another story). I can’t even look away from the pancakes that are running all over my griddle. I want to cry. But I can’t. Because I have 10 people in my kitchen who still want to eat.

It’s ok, there’s more bacon. But it has to cook. In the oven. For another 20 minutes. It’s fine, I’m still flipping pancakes. I can only fit 6 of these runny things on my griddle. So it’s taking awhile. The quiche comes out of the oven. It looks perfect. Relief. At least something is going right.

Ok, as soon as the bacon is done we can eat. In the meantime, I’ll be flipping pancakes. Can someone get me a mimosa?

So the bacon is finally finished. The pancake batter has tons of lumps in the bottom, rendering at least 1/4 of it unusable. Oh well, I have now made approximately 67 pancakes, so I think that’s enough for 10 people. Time to cut the quiche. It looks a little runny in the middle. Well now I can’t even see where I just cut. Ok, so I guess it wasn’t done. Luckily the oven is still hot from all the bacon. The quiche goes back in the oven. I tell people start eating, hoping no one will notice that I let a semi-raw quiche sit on the counter for 20 minutes and then put it back in the oven. That’s probably against some type of health code. Of course, I can’t eat, I have to babysit said quiche. The quiche is finally done and served and at this point, I’m not even hungry. The taste tester goes through the line but the bacon (his favorite) is already gone.

At some point, I managed to snap two pictures of my perfect spread before it is devoured. Not quite what I pictured.

brunch 2

Real Life Brunch

So, who’s up for Thanksgiving at our house?

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Second in the search for the best dairy-free ice cream, I tried a coconut milk based recipe inspired by Heartbeet Kitchen. For the sake of science, I decided to keep all these recipes plan vanilla, but her salty honey version looks divine and I will be trying it after I crown a winner!

The best part about this recipe? No eggs!! This recipe gets plenty of fat from the coconut milk, so no need for those pesky egg yolks. Egg-free recipes not only make your ice cream vegan in addition to dairy free, but they are all around much simpler. If you are new to the homemade ice cream game, I would definitely recommend starting with an egg free recipe, there are plenty out there. The eggs are what really complicate things and make for a lot of additional cooking/stirring/prepping.

This recipe comes together in a snap and, once again, I was quite pleasantly surprised!

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

The Review

Foodiocentric:

Mouthfeel: 3/5, not as creamy as the almond milk version, but definitely the texture of real ice cream

Taste (like ice cream): 4/5, a slight coconut flavor, but it definitely captures the texture and flavor of regular dairy ice cream

Taste (overall): 3/5, I just liked the other version better, not for any particular reason

Would you eat this again? Yes, definitely. I honestly can’t believe how many delicious dairy-free ice cream recipes are out there and I definitely want to try the salted honey version that inspired this recipe!

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

The Taste Tester (and his friend):

The Taste Tester happened to have a friend over watching the hockey game, so I actually had two taste testers for this one!

Both liked it very much and the taste tester ate the entire bowl, which was supposed to be for us to share. I wanted to get opinions without telling our friend that it was made from coconut milk, but the taste tester blew the lid off that one. Neither of them felt it tasted overly coconut-y, although when we ate it a few days later the taste tester reported that he thought the coconut flavor was stronger after a few days in the freezer. The taste tester also claimed he tasted whey protein powder (which to him is a good taste, somehow), but I did not get this flavor at all. I am guessing it was the vanilla that prompted this response. Maybe?

Originally, the taste tester liked this one better than last week’s almond milk ice cream, but during the second tasting (a few days later), picked the almond milk as the better flavor. If anything, I think this shows how close the two are in flavor and texture.

ESHA Logo
Calories
274.02 cal
Fat
0.01 g
Carbs
42.77 g
Protein
3.29 g


Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Coconut Milk Ice Cream
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Ingredients

  • 1 T. gelatin
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 can reduced fat coconut milk
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 T. vodka

Instructions

  1. Combine gelatin with 1/4 cup coconut milk in a small bowl.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat remaining coconut milk and sugar until bowling.
  3. Add milk/gelatin mixture, boil for 1.5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, add vanilla and vodka.
  5. Chill and churn according to your ice cream maker's directions.
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http://www.foodiocentric.com/2016/05/coconut-milk-ice-cream/

Lightened Up Manicotti

Manicotti

The other day, the Taste Tester came home from work asking about manicotti, and, more specifically, why he had neither had it nor heard of it. After his inquiry I realized I have never made it, so I decided to check it out. We aren’t big pasta eaters in the Foodiocentric household, but Taste Tester was convinced this could be good because of the low pasta to toppings/fillings ratio. And, I have to agree, one of the best things about this recipe is that between the fillings and the toppings, you do consume a relatively small amount of actual pasta. The bad news is you consume a relatively large amount of cheese mixed with other types of cheese. Read more