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How To: Cooking Blunders

I bet you're asking yourself, "Is she seriously going to tell us how to have a cooking blunder?" Well, no. No I'm not. I'm going to talk you through the kitchen blunders and back into having fun cooking. In my experience, making those mistakes and fixing them are much more what cooking is about that following a recipe perfectly (all of my therapist co-workers are smiling with self satisfaction because this is a metaphor for LIFE).

And so, we begin. I'm starting with the most recent "oops" kitchen moments I've had. Go ahead, grab a glass of wine, follow along, and hopefully you'll get a laugh and learn something new!

Plethora of Produce: Ok, so you were inspired at the Farmer's Market or grocery store and bought more produce than any non-rabbit could ever eat. What to do? You're noticing the asparagus tips are looking all feathery, the onion you intended to chop is in the far reaches of the refrigerator, and the fresh herbs you used two teaspoons of in that one recipe are wilting quickly. The fix? Fill a cereal bowl with cool water, and stand the bundle of asparagus up in the bowl with water in it. Voila! Your asparagus just earned another 1-2 days in the refrigerator. Use that extra time to find a fun recipe like this. The onion can be caramelized for a topping on sandwiches, burgers, or steaks. With the fresh herbs, wash all of them well and pat them dry. Then, wrap them in a single layer of paper towels and place them in a zip-top bag in the produce drawer. They'll last a good 1-2 weeks this way in the fridge. With parsley, rosemary, or basil, you can freeze them after that time if you want to use them in cooked recipes later on! In my experience, thyme is the only one that can be tricky to freeze, it can turn black when it gets too cold.

Pasty Pasta: Let those noodles boil a little bit too long? Well, you're in luck! Go ahead and take the pasta off the burner. Pour it into a colander and immediately rinse with cool water. This will stop the cooking process and rinse off some of the excess starch that's collected on the outside of the noodles. The use the pasta in whatever recipe you're making!

Shrinking (Pie) Shell: You've committed to making a pie for Thanksgiving, Christmas, a birthday, etc. And you even made the crust! Or maybe you let the dough-boy help out. No shame in that! You've rolled out the pie dough, transferred it over into the pie dish, and poured in the filling. It's baking in the oven and looking great...except that the crust is sliding down the inside edges of the dish. You're devastated. Fear not! First, shield the edges of the pie crust with strips of aluminum foil and continue to bake until it's done. The foil will keep the crust from burning, especially since the crust is thin enough to have fallen down the sides of the dish. Once you've removed the pie from the oven and let it cool completely. Here's your fix: whip some heavy cream into whipped cream and layer over the top of the pie, drizzle melted chocolate in a back-and-forth pattern to ensure the hole is covered, or bake leftover pie crust (cut into small shapes with cookie cutters) and place around the edges of the pie to cover the holes.

Remember, all things can be fixed!

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