Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

Kitchen Fiasco Number One 

I am having a dinner party tonight, and I wanted to prepare two items for the first time. One was called Olive Cheese Nuggets that I ate at a friend’s house many years ago. The couple coming tonight likes olives, so I thought this would be a great time to try the recipe. Essentially, it’s medium sized stuffed green olives wrapped in pastry. So I follow this recipe:

4 oz grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter                                                                     
3/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 tsp paprika
(1) 10 oz. jar stuffed green olives

I mix up the grated cheddar, softened butter, flour and paprika. This is supposed to make dough. Then you wrap one teaspoon of dough around each olive and bake them. Sound okay? My mixture turned out to be dry and crumbly. No way would it wrap around an olive. I couldn’t even knead it. I added some milk I had on hand to moisten it. Still no good. Even if it worked as dough, there was nowhere near enough to wrap all those olives! This recipe must be faulty. I give up, but I don’t toss out my mixture. Instead, why not make them into cheese biscuits?

Having no idea if this idea would work or not, I add more milk, mix it all up, and make four balls out of the resultant dough. I flatten each ball in my hands, spread them out on a greased baking sheet, and bake them at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes. Voilà! Crispy cheese biscuits, a bit doughy for my taste, but edible. I don’t think I’ll add this to my repertoire, however.

Kitchen Fiasco Number Two

 

I planned to make another new recipe, artichoke and spinach stuffed mushrooms. One day ahead, I drain and chop the artichokes. This morning, I come into the kitchen and my husband confesses he ate half the artichokes, thinking it was egg salad. C’mon! Don’t you look before you eat? Can’t you taste the difference on your tongue? I send him out to get a new can of artichoke hearts. When he gets back, I put him to work (he’s a good guy to do kitchen duty) washing and de-stemming the mushroom caps. Meanwhile, I made a zucchini chocolate cake. I have leftover shredded zucchini, half the chopped artichokes from the first batch, and mushroom stems that I don’t need for the stuffed mushroom appetizer. What’s a creative cook to do?  I tossed these three ingredients in the food processor with some light mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese. I’ll microwave the mixture later to heat it and serve it as a spread to go with whole wheat crackers.

What are some of the kitchen saves that you’ve done?

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