Daily Prompt: Shaken and Stirred

What’s the most elaborate, complicated meal you’ve ever cooked? Was it a triumph for the ages, or a colossal fiasco? Give us the behind-the-scenes story (pictures are welcome, of course).

I don’t know if I can call it elaborate but it’s something that I whipped up on my own without following a recipe which is something I do quite a bit. I love experimenting in the kitchen when I’m in the mood. I get excited with the idea of a recipe that I came up with that turns out to be delish, which I’m glad has been the result in most cases. 😀 I’ve had my not so wonderful experiences experimenting in the kitchen though, like this one time when I was craving for some escargot that my grandmother used to cook when I was little. I was very young at the time and I don’t know how she cooked it but it was muy delicioso! 😉 I also remember my grandparents being so surprised that I liked it. Maybe because I was curious about how they were taking it out of the shell. 😀 Who wouldn’t get curious when you see them using a safety-pin to get those little slippery suckers (according to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman) out of its shell! Hahahaha! 😀 Now I know where I get my creativity and resourcefulness from! 😀 I wanted try and get the escargot out of its shell so my grandmother helped me do it and I remember getting so excited about it. Once I saw how it looked like though, I hesitated at first but I tried it and liked it. My grandparents were really surprised because I am super picky with food. I credit my grandmother’s exceptional cooking skills because anything that she cooks is irresistible. I promise that’s true and I’m not being biased. 😉

So, I wanted to recreate what my grandmother made based on what I assume would create that taste that I remember. I went to the store and bought the ingredients that I needed. I opted for the escargot without shells to make it easier for me. Since it was my first time cooking escargot and I was feeling like a super chef and decided not to follow any recipe, the escargot ended up being overcooked and it turned out to be super chewy. What an epic fail! 😦 If only I was smart enough to check how long escargot should be cooked then I think it would’ve been okay. Silly, silly me! Lesson learned! 🙂

Back on the topic of whether I’ve ever cooked a complicated meal, the answer to that is no. 😀 I don’t think I’ve ever cooked a really complicated meal but I have baked a complicated cake. 😀 Well, at least for me it was complicated. Four years ago I was in such a crazy baking phase and I was baking something almost everyday and sharing the photos on Facebook. I started with baking cupcakes, then bread, cookies, creme brulee and then cake. I made cupcakes and cakes for family and friends for birthdays and even a baby shower. One of my friends saw the photos and comments that the goodies that I made were delicious then she asked me to bake a cake for her daughter’s very first birthday. Of course I said yes! 😀 I was very excited and nervous about it plus it’s an opportunity for me to learn so it’ll be worth it. At the time, I just started learning how to make a fondant so I decided to challenge myself and make a fancy Disney Princess fondant cake. I was really feeling like a legit pastry chef and nothing could stop me from baking that cake. Hahahaha! So, I spent a couple of hours making a fondant sheet cake with a very unique flavor that I concocted. I’ve made cupcakes with that flavor before but my friend have never tried any of my baked goodies so I don’t know if she’ll like it or not. She said it’s up to me what I think is good so I followed my instincts. 🙂 I had to experiment with the food coloring to get the perfect color of the fondant. For the icing, I used the Wilton’s Icing Mix. I mixed the cake batter in small batches because I don’t own a fancy mixer but at least my hand mixer did the job. I’m also glad that my better half offered to help with kneading the fondant as my arm was getting tired so quickly. One of the challenges I had at that time was not having enough space at home. Our kitchen was very small as we lived in a small apartment and there wasn’t enough space to do all that cooking. I’m glad it all worked out though. 🙂

After a couple of hours prepping and baking, the cake was finally done. No major mishaps, thank God! But the next challenge was driving it to the venue which was about two hours away from my home. I was worried about the condition of the cake by the time it gets there in addition to worrying if they will like how it looks and tastes. It’s an important birthday and I want to make sure that my friend is happy most especially her little girl. 🙂 So, when my better half and I got there the cake was still in one piece (Thank God! 😀 ). Then when we were adding some of the decorations some kid decided to stick his finger on the cake and then ran. Oh noooooooooo! 😦 He just ruined my masterpiece! Hahahaha! Hey, I worked hard on it so I have every right to call it my masterpiece! 😀 We pretended that nothing happened and continued decorating the cake. Shortly after that we sang happy birthday and the birthday girl blew her candle and cut the cake.  Here comes the moment I was waiting for…..are they going to like it as much as they liked how it looked? Then I heard someone say that the cake is really good and they asked where my friend got it from. She told her friend that I made it and her friend turned to me and said that it was really good. Yay! That made me so happy! 😀 Then before you know it the cake was all gone! Wohooo! Success!! The cake being all gone was the best compliment ever! 😀 All the hard work paid off and I made everyone happy especially my friend and her daughter. I was all smiles for the rest of that day and even now as I’m typing away sharing my story. I will never forget that moment especially how I felt that day. I know it was something simple but making someone happy is truly the best feeling in the world! 😀 ❤

With the birthday girl and her Mommy! <3
With the birthday girl and her Mommy! ❤

 *DP

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