Last Friday I was lucky enough to have yet another wonderful book signing; this time locally at Aaron's Books, Main Street in Lititz "Pee-ay."  En route there, I was lamenting to myself about my blog inertia; finding nothing to inspire me for a new post, etc. when luckily I found myself in a car accident.

Note to authors:  fender benders en route to book signing is not advisable.

Thankfully the poor soul in front of me, who I slid into, didn't suffer a knick on her car.  Unluckily for Sophie Sebring; she's is now the shop for a week getting mended with about $3,200 worth of repairs.  So while she's being fixed, this week I have Soul.  Specifically, a rental KIA Soul.  Who knew?

As for future book signings - the future book, the sequel to Kitchen Addiction! is about half-way thru its first draft - titled Confection Connection.

So, aside from novel writing, book signings and wrecking my car on the weekends, I'm getting back into the practice of cooking our meals for the week in the hopes that re-heating leftovers is quicker than preparing dinner each night, and we might actually eat before 10:00 p.m.   This week's fare consists of white turkey chili with canned chipotle peppers; pork and sauerkraut and cabbage casserole; and for our early Valentine's Day dinner celebrated last Saturday evening, bouillabaisse - which I actually went thru the trouble to concoct the rouille that every single recipe I read RAVED about. 

Served the soup in bowls, smelled heavenly.  Added the bread spread with the rouille as instructed, and sincerely wished we hadn't.  I'm sure it's good for something, aside from ruining a perfectly good fish soup.   So, lessons learned.  The other lesson being that using the insisted upon saffron was a complete waste.  Although I did include the prescribed fennel feel by using fennel seeds; was a nice twist.

So, we learned that we prefer my rendition of "Killer Shrimp Soup" to make a bouillabaisse.  For anyone curious; this last time I used haddock and tilapia; calamari, shrimp and mussels.  Pretty simple; takes like a half an hour to make.  Want this recipe? Or the others? Just email me:

Happy Valentine's Day folks - hope everyone enjoys a warm meal and good company, with a little champagne and chocolate, for good measure!
"This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it."  - Dorothy Parker

You've done it.  I've done it.  We all have.  Sitting there, mischievously, gracing your coffee table sits that impish tome of a recipe book winking at you.  You know the one.  It's the extra fancy one you got last Christmas.  You've looked lovingly at the wonderful glossy pictures of perfect menus all winter long, bending a page or 2 for when you'd entertain.

Now, the moment has come; the guests are here, and you're standing in the kitchen with lemon curd from end to end.  Your husband lovingly hands you a full martini glass, while your best friend picks dough out of your hair.  Her husband's rummaging through a take-out menu.  You sip your martini, excuse yourself to hose off in the shower, and vow to burn the frickin' book the moment your guests depart.  As best said by another Dorothy Parker quote, "This [recipe book] novel is not to be tossed lightly aside, but to be hurled with great force."

What went wrong? You followed the directions PRECISELY.  You measured everything PRECISELY.  You had the PRECISE oven temperature, etc.

I really don't have an answer for this.

All I know is that these disappointments have an amnesia-like affect on me.  I unwittingly succumb friends and family to an episode or 2 of Recipes Gone Awry each year.  My secret paranoid thought is that there are published chefs who knowingly leave out 1 key ingredient, or instruction.  But that rationale is just too easy.

Of course there's always the advice to make the recipe once BEFORE you host company.  But really, can your grocery budget gloss over 4 lbs. of scallops vs.. 2?  Ours can't.  But that's mostly because our budget consists of pet food.  But I digress...

Chocolate soup in a pie crust was supposed to be a Chocolate Mousse Torte.  A mummified filet complete with wrappings (string) was formerly Beef Wellington.  And what became a very useful door-stop was originally meant to be an Artisanal Herbed Baguette.

At least what our bellies didn't gain from, our funny bones did.  And, sometimes I get some funny material for my novels. So, maybe these experiences are worth the risk?  Or, maybe for our next dinner party, I should invite our guests to attend an Experiment and issue everyone lab coats? And maybe have a frozen pizza for a backup...

So - what's your kitchen catastrophe?

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