The Life of Bon: Kitchen Catastrophes

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kitchen Catastrophes

Well, folks, I just cooked the most horrific pot of ham and potato soup imaginable.  I didn't even know it could taste that bad.  I was going to insist that Greg eat more than the half of a cup he served himself, but I couldn't even say a thing after I tasted it.  What is it with cooking?  Why is it so hard?  Why do some things mix together great and some things mix together awful?  And why can't my husband just like to eat all of the things so that I can stop feeling guilty when he's the skinniest grown man I've ever laid eyes on?  I should have known when the recipe called for two pounds of Velveeta cheese.

This  cooking stuff really is the worst.  The problem with all the online recipes is that you really have no idea if they're good or not.  It's not like when you go over to a friend's and taste something she's cooking and say, "Wow, I need that recipe."  It's not like that at all.  It's like "there's a beautiful picture and the ingredients seem legit but there is no guaranteeing that this recipe will any good at all.  I might waste my time, energy and money for nothing."  That's why I am no longer getting my recipes from pinterest.  Unless I actually know someone who has tried the recipe I ain't risking it because kitchen flops are the worst of all the flops.

Oh, I know!  Leave me a link to the favorite thing that you cook.  That way I can have some legit recipes from people I know.  And I'll sure mine with you!  My favorite recipe is Zuppa Toscana soup.  I make it about once a month and it is a total hit every time and it's fairly easy to make.  You can find the link for it here.

While you are all leaving me links to your favorite dinner recipes, here is Katie to entertain you with her wit, whimsy and wisdom.  I really really like this Katie gal. She is one of my favorite people to work with in blogland and she just seems to get the job done.  She comes up with quality content regularly and never leaves you wanting more from a blog post.  When I heard last year that she was expecting a baby it was like my very own bestie telling me the good news.  I promise you will love her.

Hi Life of Bon readers! I've been looking forward to posting on Bonnie's blog again and in an effort to keep things short and (hopefully) interesting, here are five random things you should know about me:

1.  I pretty much pride myself on my ability to find cheap clothing.  To the point where if anyone tells me they like my top I have to respond with "I got it for only $4."  When an appropriate response would be thank you.  While I fail to have fancy pictures because I'm still too embarrassed to even have my husband take my pictures, I use my tripod and rarely venture off my deck, I like to share my outfits on my blog.  

2 .My husband and I struggled with infertility for over two years and were blessed with a beautiful baby girl this last July.  I've never been through anything more emotionally and physically trying, and while incredibly hard I know that I wouldn't be the same person I am today if God didn't allow us to go through that struggle.  My blog ended up being an amazing place to process everything and a great source of encouragement through all of it.    

3.  I may just be the most easily annoyed person in the world.  Chewing, tapping, breathing heavily, you name it.  And my husband does all those things.  His only annoyance: that I am easily annoyed.  Silly faces though, I'm a fan.

4.  I wouldn't called myself a DIY guru by any means, but I am pretty good at making cheap, quick and easy projects like this chalkboard vase, welcome banner and chalkboard.  

5.  I'm a terrible singer, I think I may have missed a calling to be a Fanta girl or back up dancer, if I had three wishes one may be that sweets were healthy and acceptable meals, I hate abbreviations and I'm terrible at being patient and giving up control of things.  
Oh and of course I'd like you to come visit me!  Thank you Bonnie for having me!


  1. It's kind of amusing that you haven't found many good recipes on Pinterest. I LIVE on there and have gotten almost all of my new recipes from there. I will admit that some are better than others, but I don't think I have found one that I truly consider a complete flop yet. But that also may be because I don't think I ever completely follow the recipes... I pick and choose which parts I like....I actually just tried a new one out tonight... let's hope it worked out!

  2. I love making pasta alla checa. There's a recipe on youtube by Benjimantv. And his recipe is so easy, and it always tastes amazing when I make it. Just a little FYI: I grate the mozzarella cheese myself. I don't cut them up into cubes like he does. But it still tastes really good. Check it out when you get the chance.

    xxDenysia Yu

  3. I feel ya! I once made this lentil veggie crock pot soup... it smelled SO good... I cooked it over night and couldn't wait to taste it when I woke up. It tasted like when you burp and a little throw up comes up, too. BLECH!

  4. Boo! Recipe failures are always SO disappointing! Here's a simple vegetarian chili recipe that is one of my all-time favorite meals (it's yet to fail me). Make it with a pan of cornbread and I'm basically in heaven. Bonus: there are usually plenty of leftovers and I swear it tastes even better the next day. Oh, and there's some wiggle room in the recipe. I usually use a cup of whatever color bell pepper I happen to have on hand and I also don't have a dutch oven so I make it in a large sauce pot. If you find any winners you'll have to share, please!

  5. I just wrote a post about this yesterday and included three of my favorite recipes :)

  6. My family loves crock pot lasagna and it's easy to modify for your tastes: and this one is really easy to whip up, Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese:
    I hate when recipes don't turn out the way you expect. I hope you find some good ones!

  7. I have a whole page on my blog dedicated to all the recipes I've shared.

  8. Pinterest is definitely hit or miss, and it's so hard to tell when every pin is labelled as "BEST RECIPE EVER other blogger made this and said "I am never making anything else again!" Okay, the more you label something as "best recipe," the less meaning the phrase has! Anyway, here's a link to my board on Pinterest called "tried and true recipes," which are all recipes I've made multiple times. Our favorite is the baked spaghetti (but make sure you get all of your ingredients ready to go and measure out before you get going, otherwise you will get hot, flustered, and angry like I did the first time I made it.)

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  10. Crockpot! Makes life sooo much easier :) Just google Beer chicken (my fav!) , beef stroganoff (I used sour cream instead of cream cheese), even simple chicken with veggies & seasoning for tacos all make me look/feel like gourmet cook. I throw on low in am and done by 5 or 6. Can even prepare some night before and take out of fridge and throw all in. That should plump him up ;)

  11. That's why I like because they have a myriad of reviews. And don't worry, I'm just barely starting to get the hang of it… i mean it's not like you get married and BAM you're a fabulous cook. It takes time! Cut yourself some slack… it gets better.

  12. Coming from one of the worst cooks in the history of cooking - I hear ya.

  13. I don't trust Pinterest anymore either!! Some of those recipes are just awful.. I stick to food blogs where I can read comments, and generally trust their track record!

  14. I was going to link you my go-to soup even before you suggested it. You can't screw this one up, literally. I add a little more tomato than they do, and I taste the broth as I season to make sure it's good. You got this!

  15. Anonymous8:32 AM

    I've usually had success with Pinterest. I think soups are the hardest to get right, though.
    These are 3 Easy recipes I found on Pinterest and I cook them all the time:

    Amish Chicken-
    This is sooooo easy and to die for! I promise!

    Easy Haystack Dinner -
    This is good if you have good ground beef. I once bought the cheap kind and it was so fatty that I couldn't eat it.

    Secret Ingredient Meatloaf -
    You can't really get any easier than this.


    Anything on this woman's blog is amazing. This chili is a go-to.

  17. If you like mushrooms, and want a good soup... this on is very good.

    The Crock Pot is the best. Throw stuff in before you leave for work, put it on low, and when you get home ~ your dinner is ready.

    Put a roast in crock pot, add chopped onion, potatoes & carrots. Mix a pkg of Lipton onion soup mix in about a cup of water, put over the top... may need a little more water. Put it on low for about 8 hours.... so good.

    A few recipes from my friend's blog (she doesn't blog anymore). I've tried both of these, and they are good.

    Great chicken and noodles:

    Yummy muffins:

    This one is soooo good:
    4 chicken breasts (can be frozen)
    4 slices swiss cheese
    1 can cream of chicken soup
    1 can cream of mushroom soup
    1 cup chicken broth
    1/4 cup milk
    2 cups Stove Top Stuffing (I use the herb flavor & use the whole box)
    1/2 cup melted butter

    Season chick breasts with salt & pepper and place in crock pot. Pour chicken broth over the chick. Put one slice of swiss cheese on each breast. Combine both cans of soup and milk and pour over chick breasts. Sprinkle stuffing mix over chick breasts. Drizzle melted butter on top. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs.

    A great egg casserole (everyone loves this)
    In 9 x 13 glass baking dish add the following:
    3 cans whole green chillies (open chillies up to line dish)
    1 pkg cooked sausage
    2 cups shredded cheese (any kind you like)
    18 beaten eggs
    salt & pepper
    Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, until eggs are done.

    A quiche... so so easy:
    Fill a frozen pie shell w/shredded cheese (about 16 oz ~ any kind you like)
    in a bowl whisk 4 eggs and 1/2 cup of milk and pour over cheese in pie shell.
    Add salt and pepper
    Dot around a few spoonfuls of salsa
    Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

  18. I absolutely love cooking, as does my husband, and we find it SO disappointing when my husband and I try a recipe and it sucks! I also really enjoy super easy recipes, so here are some of my favorite dinners:

    1. Creamy Chicken Breasts and Rice
    1 can Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (I use low sodium)
    Milk (I use 1%)
    Chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
    Success Rice (or whatever rice you like... but I'm lazy and can't handle real rice, so I use this stuff)

    Pour soup into a bowl. Add 1/2-3/4 of a can of milk, depending on how creamy you'd like your sauce. Mix well. Add chicken to a saucepan and pour the soup mix over it. Bring to a boil and turn chicken often, then reduce heat to simmer, throw a lid on the pan, and cook for at least 45 minutes-1 hour.

    Boil water, make the rice. Throw some veggies in the microwave or on the stove. (I swear by Steam-in-the-Bag vegetables... SO easy!). Poof, dinner! My husband loves to put the gravy over the rice, but I eat mine plain, haha.

    I also make this recipe with pork chops and cream of mushroom soup to switch things up.

    2. Ribs in the Crockpot

    1 lb boneless pork ribs
    1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce

    Put ribs in crock pot. Add bottle of BBQ sauce. Make sure that you have enough sauce to cover the ribs and the bottom of the pot. If not, add more sauce. Put on low, cook for 8 hours. Come home to a delicious smelling house and dinner. (I also make Success Rice with this.)

    3. Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese
    1 cup elbow macaroni
    Milk (I use 1%)
    5-7 slices of your favorite cheese (cheddar melts well, I use white American)

    Boil pasta until just underdone (don't cook it all the way or it will be mushy when you bake it). Drain well. Put the pasta in a baking dish that has at least 1-2 inches of room at the top. Add 1-2 tbsp of butter to coat the pasta. Add 1-2 tbsp of flour to coat the pasta. Pour milk into the baking dish until the macaroni makes "little mountains" in the milk. (No seriously, this is how my Mom-Mom taught me this recipe, haha.) Rip up your cheese slices and mix well into the milk-pasta mix. Bake covered at 425 for 45 minutes. You might want to take it out and stir it a few times while baking, and it will thicken a bit after you take it out of the oven. If it's still too thin for you, take the lid off and bake it for another few minutes. We make this as a side for pork roast, which I will detail below.

    4. Super Easy Pork Roast
    1 boneless pork roast
    Dried rosemary
    Garlic powder
    Salt and pepper

    Place your pork roast in a baking dish. Add salt and pepper to both sides. Liberally add garlic powder and rosemary. Put a tiny bit of water in the bottom of the pan to keep everything moist. Put a lid on the baking dish and bake at 375 for 45 minutes to a hour. Take the lid off for the last 10 minutes to brown a bit. Voila!

    I'll try to think of some more recipes and send them your way! Email me if you have any questions!

  19. I hate using Pinterest to find recipes, they usually are hard and unhealthy (2lbs velveeta sounds unhealthy haha) you need to go to . I pretty much only cook her recipes. They are pretty simple and healthy and I've learned a ton about cooking from her (how to cook a chicken breast!!! Also pre-shredded cheese has a coating on it so it takes forever to melt compared to shredding ur own for a recipe) check her out!!

  20. I feel ya! Pinterest can be misleading. I've had some weird ones, but I've also had great success! Here are a few that I have tried that are suuuuper simple!

    Quinoa fried rice: super easy, pretty healthy, and really filling and you can kinda add your own ingredients if you want!

    Beef enchiladas: EASIEST RECIPE EVER. It's like 4 ingredients. I save this one for the days where I have no time.

    Spicy Garlic Lime chicken: love this one because it's super flavorful. And you should have most of those spices!

    I made this one earlier this week and I am so in love!! Homemade freezer bisquits! The makes like 30 and you just pop a few out if you want (which is awesome when you are cooking for two and only want 5 rolls or whatever) and let them thaw and bake em for like 10 minutes! Super awesome if you're scrambling for a side dish (which I always am..) Also no yeast or eggs are used, so they are reallllly simple. I always screw up recipes with yeast.

  21. Two POUNDS of Velveeta cheese??? Holy cow. Holy Velveeta cheese cow.

    I have quite a few recipes on the blog if you want to check them out (ignore the bad photos in the older ones - they'll be updated soon, or so I keep telling myself). Here's the link to the recipes page:

    One of my faves is potato soup. I made this recipe recently ( and I added some crispy prosciutto (bacon would work too) as a topping, along with the cheddar cheese. When I served that, the Husband said, "I think you need to open a soup restaurant and serve this soup everyday." Never gonna happen but it was a sweet comment nonetheless. :)

  22. Although this may merit a "aint nobody got time for that", I've found that if you read through the comments you can usually pick out the duds and the successes. If the recipe only has comments saying "it looks good", skip it. If someone says "We made this last night and it was good!" then you can give it a shot.

    I've yet to have a failure using The taquitos and thai peanut noodles are fantastic :)

  23. I have a tried and liked recipe board on pinterest too. Some recipes I've tried and deleted immediately because they were gross.

  24. Anonymous10:55 AM

    This is BY FAR our favorite dinner. And with four ingredients, how can you beat it? yum yum yum

  25. One crowd pleaser I make is red + yellow peppers, onions, arugula and vegan sausage (but you could obviously use regular sausage) over couscous or quinoa (though you could use regular rice if you prefer. I just saute it up with some butter, olive oil and garlic and then sprinkle it with sea salt. Easy peasy and delicious.

  26. TWO POUNDS of Velveeta?? My goodness!

  27. Yeah, I can't cook water without burning it. I definitely haven't had the patience yet in my life to stand there and learn how to cook (I've only turned on a stove twice in my life), but it's really something that I think I'd enjoy if I just go with it. So as soon as I graduate college, it's going to be cooking adventure after cooking adventure for this gal!

  28. I need to send you some recipes...So far everything I have made is great and Zack loves it all. However I didn't do so well last night with a soup that really looked like baby food. I was trying something new in our Vitamix when I read the instructions wrong. I put everything in like it said except for the tortilla chips, which I thought was a little weird. I proceeded to blend it all together. After reading some more it said after blending then add the beans and corn. So yes we had soup that looked like baby food. It had a great taste, just didn't look so good :)

  29. My go-to blog for recipes is Mel's Kitchen Café. I've only known about it for about a month and a half, and I've already tried SEVERAL recipes off of it, and I've literally been amazed at every single one. Plus, the recipes usually aren't complicated at all, and her recipe for homemade pizza is by far my favorite that I've tried yet (and trust me, I've made a lot!).

    Happy cooking :)

    1. yes! mels kitchen cafe is the best! everything I make from her site is perfection!!

  30. two of my favorites!! love you both!

  31. I LOVE zoupa tuscana, but I've never tried to make it! I have a chicken chili that I LOVE, because it's delicious and EASY! (Crockpot easy!) It's on my blog...feel free to go browsing if you wish!

    Nice to "meet" you Katie! :)