Silpat Giveaway!

Giveaway | July 12, 2011 | By

Well, it’s here. My mommy/cooking blog! Oh my gosh. I’m nervous. What if no one likes it? What if people think my recipes are junk?! What if I spent all these hours pouring my recipes and rants online and no one will ever look at them? EVER!?! It’s too much pressure!

So, I’m resorting to the last true tool a mommy has to guarantee her kids listen. Bribery.

That’s right, I’m gonna reel you in. Here’s my bait, people. I’m giving away 3 silpat baking sheets in honor of my new site being all grown up and out there for the world to see!

First off, if you don’t know what “silpats” are, then you are more in need of my blog than ever. They will change your life…for baking. You can do a million things with them. Make cookies, bake veggies, make cinnamon rolls, use them as a blanket. Ok, that last one I only tried once after a long night of baking and I was just going to close my eyes on the kitchen floor for five minutes, so stop judging me Ryan—-sorry.

I’m just saying these baking mats are a must for your kitchen. Which is why I am giving them away.

Here’s how it works. You add a comment below in response to this question:

“What is the biggest kitchen disaster/mistake you’ve ever made?”

Three winners will be selected from the comments, utilizing the “true random number generator” at and announced Sunday afternoon.

And now, I’ll get the ball rolling with my biggest kitchen disaster story ever. Enjoy:

The year was 2005….it was our first year in our house. If you know me, you’ll know that I host Thanksgiving for our families. Well, this was my VERY first Thanksgiving and I wanted it to be perfect. I had carefully selected all of my recipes, the table was set, I had worked out a timeline so I could make my one oven cook everything I needed. But with one oven I thought, I can’t cook this turkey and all of my side dishes so I said….”LET’S.DEEP.FRY.THE.TURKEY.” Words that I will NEVER, ever say in my house. Ever. Again.

I borrowed a giant pot and propane burner from a friend because they were not using it that year. I had the oil. I had the propane. Seems easy, right? Oh no, my friend….disaster ahead!

We were “scheduled” to eat at 4:00 PM. The turkey was only supposed to take an hour to fry. So, it needed to go in by 2:30 ish. I told Ryan he was in charge of the turkey (this was very early in his adult life and he hadn’t yet gotten his “man-card” for outdoor cooking). He added the oil, turned the burner on and went back to watching football while it heated. About 5 minutes later he sees all of this oil on our patio and finds a hole in the bottom of the pot.

Hubby’s Note: For those of you not schooled in the art of flammability, things you don’t want leaking onto an open flame in your backyard??? Oil.

Well, my engineer father and my artistic husband decided they would pour the oil out and take a screw and screw it into the pot to block the hole. They took the oil out and even tested the pot with water to see if the screw would hold. It did. Twenty minutes later, they’ve got the oil back in and have it heating. But as the oil starts to heat, the pot starts to expand and apparently whatever kind of metal the screw was made of wasn’t expanding at the same rate as the pot, which was a different metal. Things an engineer should know?

So, oil is dumping from the bottom of the pot. Again. I’m starting to freak out. Cause a turkey in the oven takes hours and I just don’t have the time. My mom remembers that their best friends, have a turkey deep fryer. After a quick phone call, we find out they are not using their fryer. My mom rushes over, picks it up and brings it back to my quickly disintegrating Thanksgiving. We take it outside and open it up and find that it’s electric. Awesome. We plug it in outside, pour the oil in and the directions say it will take 45 minutes to heat up. Grrrrrrr.

I’m red faced in the kitchen trying not to panic. It’s 3:30 PM. My turkey is supposed to be DONE right now and it’s still chillin’ on my counter. As I’m cooking away in the kitchen, my power goes out. Seriously? It’s November in Southern California. It gets dark at 4:30pm. This is a cruel joke. I’m on Punked. Ashton is about to jump out and be like “Ha! Gotcha!”

Oh no, there’s no power outage. It turns out that the deep fryer is using so much power that I can’t have any lights on in my kitchen or dining room or plug anything in or the fuse will blow again. So the turkey is finally in and cooking. I can’t risk the fryer stopping. I pull out my candles, Ryan runs an extension cord from our bedroom (a different circuit) to a floor lamp and puts it in the kitchen, and I open a bottle of Tobin James Zinfandel to help calm me down by this point.

All of our family is here watching this freaking circus going on over a stupid deep fried bird. After an hour, we check the temperature of the damn bird (as I’m calling it by now) and it’s not even close to being done. It’s 5:30. I’m seconds away from hysterics. From dissolving into a pool of Jessica in the middle of my kitchen. Ryan says, let’s just sit down and eat without the damn bird. By candlelight. And floor lamps. I had Prime Rib and all of my side dishes which were overcooked and cold or mush by now on the table. Mercifully, no one could really see how bad it all looked because it was so dark in there.

When we were done eating we took the damn bird out and it still wasn’t done. We cut into the cooked portions to try some of it and I swear, it tasted boring. I heard that deep fried turkeys were supposed to be amazing! BULL$#@&. We threw it back in to fry till it was done, I served up apple pie with ice cream, Peanut Butter Pie, and a pumpkin pie…and finished that bottle of Zin by myself.

I’ve never deep fried the bird since then. It’s oven only in this house. Cause my mental breakdown over another deep fried turkey might send me into the fetal position.

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  1. Leave a Reply

    Heather Paul
    July 12, 2011

    My biggest kitchen disaster was being in the kitchen!!!
    Wow Jess, Im really impressed (but not surprised ) and anxious, believe it or not to try to master your meals…..
    Congrats and I will pass this along;)

  2. Leave a Reply

    July 12, 2011

    Cooking disasters? Where to begin? I love to experiment hoping that one day one of my “healthy creations” will taste amazing, but it hasn’t happened yet. One summer I was doing the Zone diet and starving as I was trying to whip together some chicken marinade that was waay too complicated for my taste. As I’m tossing in ingredients and getting hungrier by the minute, I grab a bottle of Teriaki sauce and start shaking it. Apparently, I had already loosened the lid and now my entire kitchen, including me, is covered in Teriaki sauce and I’m no closer to eating. I think that was the last day of the Zone diet 😉 PS- loving your blog, Jess!!

  3. Leave a Reply

    July 13, 2011

    When my daughter was 6 months old, I hosted a “Dream Dinner” Party for my birthing class. They came over and we all made freezable meals to take home. The party went great, but it wasn’t until later that on when I cooked the Enchiladas that I realized they had 4 times the amount of onion they needed. They were disgusting; it was like eating raw onion enchiladas no matter how long I cooked it. I had frozen 5 pans of this stuff in my freezer, and I forced my husband to eat them due to “financial reasons.” Needless to say no one has ever asked about another “Dream Dinner” Party, nor has my husband asked me to make enchiladas again. Cooking FAIL!

  4. Leave a Reply

    Heather Waters
    July 13, 2011

    Ok….I over boiled water. Or I burnt the toast. Ha ha!!!!!

    I really enjoyed your new blog. Love it!!! Can’t wait to try out the recipes.

  5. Leave a Reply

    July 13, 2011

    Haha! Jess- love reading your fried turkey story!! My disaster is not as elaborate, but not worthy none the less:

    One of the worst disasters in my kitchen was when I was making mashed potatoes….seems simple enough? Well when you are lactose intolerant and avoid dairy products at all costs, this can get tricky (this is prior to my vegan cookbook collection of course). So I throw in a little “soy milk” to make the mashed potatoes nice and fluffy- or so I thought! ha. I was proud of my mashed potatoes and couldn’t wait to serve them to my hubby. I realized that it was a disaster after I saw him take his first bite…..he was so polite and trying really really hard to say how much he liked it – I could tell there was something he needed to say. So he asked “is there vanilla in these mashed potatoes?” I started to get sweaty and kind of irritated (thinking “damn he hates it”) and I said “of course not, they are mashed potatoes, why would there be vanilla in mashed potatoes?” I mean, what a crazy concept. He must be nuts. So I took a few bites of my mashed potatoes and there was no doubt – it was sweet and vanilla scented?! Omg. I ran through my head how I made them….then gasped, ran to the fridge to find “vanilla sweetened soy milk” that I used for my attempt at savory, fluffy, classic mashed potatoes!! I screamed, then grabbed the whole dish and tossed it out! I was definitely embarassed but we laughed about it. Even to this day, every time I make mashed potatoes my husband asks me if I threw a little soy milk in – then laughs 🙂 sensitive, right? No I think it’s funny too! It’s just something that you never forget. I’ve had a whole lot of disasters in the kitchen, but that’s what makes you a better cook in the long run. I’ve learned that you have to learn from your mistakes in the kitchen…..and in life 🙂

  6. Leave a Reply

    Judi Williams
    July 13, 2011

    About the same as Heather, but It’s I got lost, otherwise I never would have been there. Will keep your recipies tho. Look good…….j

  7. Leave a Reply

    Karen Kokowicz
    July 13, 2011

    I can’t think of a disaster in the kitchen….not to say they haven’t happened.
    Jess what a fantastic website. I have passed this along to all my friends that love food & cooking.


  8. Leave a Reply

    Shannon Wilkinson
    July 13, 2011

    I would have to say mine would be when I was making coffee cake at my moms for Christmas morning. Apparentely I didn’t bake the coffee cake long enough so the inside was all gooey! Oh well, we could still eat the outside:) I love your blog Jess and can’t wait to make some of those yummy dishes. Love ya!

  9. Leave a Reply

    July 13, 2011

    Well seeing that my husband does all the cooking – just getting near his kitchen tools is a big blunder. I do do all the baking though and love those silplats!!

    Congrats on your blog Karen shared it with me, I will pass it on!

  10. Leave a Reply

    sarah garlock
    July 13, 2011

    what a great blog! I love it and cannot wait to try out the chicken marsala recipe along with a bunch of other ones! I too LOVE to cook and I am happiest just being in the kitchen. Hmmm let’s see….kitchen disaster…..there are a ton…but not worthy of commenting on it. But for one of those cool silpats I will share one with you just for the chance of winning one! I didn’t flour the chocolate chips and when I put them in my banana bread they fell to the bottom and burnt the entire bottom of my loaf pan (it was brand new from crate and barrel)- I was SO bummed. And to top it off, i had about 6 little kids over waiting to eat the muffins. So tragic I know!

  11. Leave a Reply

    Donna May
    July 13, 2011

    Jessica sent me your link and let me tell you I’m so excited! I have been in such need for some great recipes! Can’t wait to start cooking, my husband will be so happy that I’ve found some new recipes.

    Great Blog!!!

  12. Leave a Reply

    July 14, 2011

    Ah, I love silpats!
    My biggest kitchen disaster in recent memory was when I misread a recipe and whipped egg whites with the sugar instead of by themselves for a big baking project. I didn’t want to risk messing up the whole thing so I ended up dividing four more eggs and starting over.
    Aside from the waste in yolks, it turned out ok cause I baked the original egg whites/sugar into meringues!

  13. Leave a Reply

    Carol P.
    July 14, 2011

    My first and last homemade pie crust — it was a quiet day at home (I was a teenager and Mom was at work) so I decided to make a pie. When I was “done” making the pie crust, pieces of it had been thrown onto the ceiling, on the floor, on the walls … and on me — what a fit I had over that danged pie crust not turning out right! LOL Last pie crust I ever attempted. I positively refuse to even consider it!

  14. Leave a Reply

    Roberta Lenert
    July 14, 2011

    I am so proud of you Jess! You are wonderful mommy and wife and now a “blogger”. Love it!

    My biggest disaster has happened a few times. I always try to multitask in the kitchen while hosting outside and I have tried to cook mac and cheese or rice thinking I will totally remember it. No! I have come into the house full of a burning smell and smoke many times. I have gone through 3 pots. You think I would learn! 🙂

  15. Leave a Reply

    July 14, 2011

    how about the time we tried to make spaghetti sauce at our condo??
    i just remember floating raw-sih meat with a fat grease layer….YUK!!!
    i’m sure we ended up at Baja for band and cheese burritos 🙂

  16. Leave a Reply

    July 15, 2011

    I have a kitchen nightmare from my husband (who was a head cook in his pre-married life). We spent a fortune on the most beautiful salmon I have ever seen in my entire life and he was in the process of cooking them in the oven in glass pans. About half way through cooking the juices all dried up and they started to dry out. Being the “genius” my hubby is sometimes he decided to pour water from the sink into the pans to try to keep them from being too dry while it finished cooking. Remember I said it was a glass pan. That cold water hit the hot glass and the pan exploded. He is so lucky to have come out unscathed. We were finding little pieces of glass for weeks afterwards. Needless to say we called up the trusty pizza delivery man to relieve our hunger pains.

  17. Leave a Reply

    christa clippinger
    July 15, 2011

    With the exception of bottles of red wine shattered across the tile floor or salad dressing oil decorating the cupboards and baseboard – most of my so called disasters have been minor – cookies a little off, chicken a bit dry, jelly turning to sauce instead. Some might say this lack of full on blow out disaster is due to less time in the kitchen – but frankly I would say not so! I feel as if I live in the kitchen at times with two ravished little boys! Call me lucky? Or is it possible I have lived a disaster and blocked it out? I did feel my blood pressure rise when reading your story – so maybe the later? Quien Sabe? Love the blog Jess!

  18. Leave a Reply

    Adrianna Belan
    July 16, 2011

    Hi Jess! What a beautiful, informative and inspiring blog! I look forward to cooking some of your recipes. Thank you!

    Cooking disaster: Once I made cookies (a recipe that I had made many times before) and for some reason, I forgot one ingredient. Quite unbelievably that ingredient was flour. In and of itself, not a big deal but of all the cookie trays I had prepped and ready for oven time, the baking sheet I used first was one without any sides. Ten to twelve minutes later I had one heck of a mess to clean up.

  1. Mommy Bistro » Blog Archive » Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Vanilla Custard - [...] of my Thanksgiving disaster trying to deep fry a turkey. In case you missed it, you can read it…

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