Lori’s Kitchen Nightmares

Project Meal Prep | Lori's kitchen nightmares
A terribly edited photo of my face superimposed onto Gordon Ramsey’s face

We’ve all had mishaps in the kitchen:

using the wrong ingredient

burning food

burning our fingers

cutting our fingers

Here are some that were particularly memorable for me:

1. Rubbing chili peppers into my face

I didn’t rub actual peppers into my face… it’s more like I was cutting peppers, washed my hands once, and then rubbed my face. It burned so much, I might as well have rubbed the seeds directly onto my face.

Washing your hands once is definitely NOT ENOUGH to get the spice off. Really, I should have been wearing gloves.

This happened to me twice, which shows how much I learned my lesson.

The first and worst time was with a Scotch Bonnet pepper, which is on the 3rd highest level of spice (on the same range as Habanero peppers). The second time was with a Serrano pepper.

I went crazy both times and tried anything to make the pain stop. I found the most relief in submerging my face into a bowl of iced milk and sticking my face under the tap running cold water for like 20 minutes.

Moral of the story: Wear gloves when handling hot peppers.

2. That time my mixer broke

“That mixer” being my Kitchenaid standing mixer, which is a couple of hundred dollars.

I forgot what I was making, but it required me to knead or mix for a while, so I left the mixer on and suddenly it stops. The motor feels hot, and when I try to turn it on again, it just makes a weird noise and doesn’t move.

I called Kitchenaid and they said you aren’t supposed to leave the mixer running for more than 4 minutes or something. I had to buy a new mixer, and was kicking myself about what I did.

Moral of the story: Don’t leave your mixer running for too long.

3. Melting a plastic spatula in the toaster oven

I pre-heated my toaster oven and walked away. Several minutes later, there’s a lot of smoke and a strong chemical smell coming from the kitchen. I had just moved, and for some reason there was a plastic spatula in the toaster oven!

There’s melted plastic inside the oven, and I’m worried I’m going to get cancer from inhaling all the fumes. To add to the chaos, my fire alarm also went off.

Moral of the story: Check if the oven is empty before turning it on.

4. Dropping one layer of a cake

Not too long ago, I had a second attempt at baking a layer cake. I was too impatient to wait for the cake layers to cool completely before frosting, so the frosting was melting a little.

I was carrying the frosted cake across the kitchen, and suddenly the top layer slid off the cake — due to the slickness of the melted frosting — and fell onto the floor.

Baking a layered cake requires quite a lot of time and effort, so I was on the verge of freaking out.

Moral of the story: Just freaking wait for the cake to cool completely before frosting.

5. Eating a rotten watermelon

One time I ordered groceries from a grocery delivery service called Instacart. In the “special instructions”, to make sure I got a good watermelon, I asked the shopper to pick the heaviest one.

Well, she did. It was really heavy. However, when I cut it open, it looked weird. I took a small spoonful of the juice, and it was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted. I could have thrown up. The watermelon was rotten! I had temporary watermelon trauma afterward, where even thinking about watermelon made me feel sick.

Moral of the story: The heaviest watermelon is not always a good one!

6. Butter, butter, everywhere

This happened before I became a vegan. I was making pretzels by hand, because my mixer broke (see nightmare #2).

The recipe for the dough required you to blend a stick of butter with the dry ingredients, using your hands.

For the first few minutes, I was freaking out because there was just butter all over my hands and everywhere, and it seemed like it wasn’t ever going to become incorporated into dough. I told myself to just keep kneading and to believe in the recipe. Eventually, after 10-15 minutes, I actually had a smooth dough.

Moral of the story: Just keep kneading. And sometimes you don’t need a mixer. I mean, what did they do in the olden days, before electricity?

Do you have any particularly memorable kitchen mishaps?

Updates & things I’ve cooked lately

Hey guys, so I haven’t done a proper meal prep post in a long time. It’s not because I haven’t been meal prepping, I’ve just been feeling too unmotivated to do the photo shoots with the groceries all laid out, etc.

I bought a really nice digital camera a few months ago and I accidentally pushed it off my desk and the screen cracked. I’m so sad I can’t use it anymore and Best Buy declared it unrepairable — FML! So now all my pics aren’t so great anymore. Also, I don’t want to be a weirdo taking food pics by the window at work and sometimes it’s already dark out when I’m eating dinner and I can’t get good lighting.

I digress. I made some really yummy and interesting things lately.

#1 is this posole. I didn’t know what posole was before this, I just picked the recipe out of Minimalist Baker‘s cookbook because I liked the picture lol. Someone at work asked me what I was eating when I was having this, and I embarrassingly pronounced the word wrong (WHOOPS).

Project Meal Prep | Vegan posole

Anyway, if you didn’t know, posole is a Mexican soup that has hominy in it. (“Posole” actually means “hominy”). Living in California, I always see hominy in the canned goods aisle at the grocery store, but I never cooked with it before. It basically looks like really huge corn kernels, but with a different texture.

tomatillo.jpg

Another thing I’ve always seen but never cooked with is tomatillos, which were called for in this soup. I broiled them until the skin peeled off easily, then pureed them with some poblano peppers. I posted an Instagram story of how I made them, so follow me if you want to see future cooking stories!

The 2nd best thing I made lately was this Thai inspired soup by Laura Vitale. The base is so simple — veggie broth, coconut milk and red curry paste — but the dish is so flavorful and comforting. Soups to me are like a hug from the inside (is that weird to say?!)

Project Meal Prep | Thai noodle soup

I baked bread for the 2nd time ever. This one has a mix of whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. It’s so delicious when toasted! I got the recipe from Minimalist Baker again, but I skipped the step of adding seeds and oats and re-kneading.

Project Meal Prep | Semi-whole-wheat bread

And the rest, which I don’t have much to comment on…

Project Meal Prep | Tahini dip
Tahini dip with garlic and lemon
Project Meal Prep | Chocolate chip zucchini muffins
Chocolate chip zucchini muffins
Project Meal Prep | Oatmeal
Oatmeal with raisins, walnuts, and raspberries

Time for some random updates.

chihuahua

Two weekends ago I happened upon a huge animal rescue event in Jack London Square in Oakland. There were dozens of different organizations and animals up for adoption — dogs, cats, rats, and even pigeons!

pugs-2pugs

I almost flipped out when I saw the pug rescue. I love pugs so much, I just wanted to lay in the middle of the enclosure and let them walk all over and around me. I was also happy to know that there are breed-specific dog rescues, so there’s absolutely no reason for anyone to go to a breeder.

vietnam-travel

Last update: I’m going to Vietnam in 9 days! I’ve never been there before, and I’ll be on a backpacking-style trip. I’m so excited and trying to learn some Vietnamese phrases.

If you made it to the end of this post, THANK YOU!