I love reading food blogs. If time allowed, I'd spend hours gazing at them. All those striking photos of decadent cakes, divine dinners, and everything in between are like porn for food lovers.

My cooking and baking life is nothing like those food blogs. Sometimes, when I have a success with a recipe I try, I think I may be getting there. But you know what? I'm not even close.

In fact, I've determined recently that my success ratio in the kitchen is about 3:1. For every three tries that work out beautifully (or at least reasonably well), I have one failure. Usually an epic failure.

(Here's one—some flourless banana muffins, a popular recipe on Pinterest. They were the most hideous things I ever made and didn't taste all that great either. They actually looked a lot worse than this in real life.)

The failures happen for any number of reasons. Sometimes I just pick a dud of a recipe that is rather lackluster even when I follow the instruction to a T. But often it's user error. I don't quite have the right ingredients so I leave something out intentionally. Or I just plain forget something that was vital to the recipe's success. Sometimes I fail to measure things out precisely enough. Or I get distracted by Little Man and my timing is off. There are lots of reasons I fail and fail often in the kitchen, and I'm realistic about my abilities being middling at best.

Case in point: Recently I made homemade graham crackers for Little Man. I tackled it, as I do with most baking these days, once he went down for a nap, excited that he'd have fresh, warm graham crackers for his afternoon snack. Only I decided to throw in a load of laundry and handle a few other minor household to-dos before I started in on the recipe, and alas, as he's wont to do anytime I'm baking, he woke up earlier than usual from his nap, while the just-mixed dough was still sitting on the counter.

By the time I was able to get back to rolling it out, the dough was incredibly sticky and hard to work with, so I wasn't able to roll the crackers as thin as I should have. Needless to say, the end result wasn't all that fantastic. Fail.

Fortunately, I followed up that failure with a couple of successes. Some decadent chocolate-caramel-shortbread bars I'll share with you soon, the crepes I posted recently, and a Father's Day sponge cake that also will make an appearance here before long.

That was three, so I was bound for another failure. And this one was a doozy, as it resulted in the complete ruination of dinner. Usually my failures are of the "well, it's not the best but it's edible" variety, but this one was just plain bad. And it was pizza, by gosh. How does one mess up pizza that bad?

I'm not sure what happened, but I knew something was off with the crust after it rose (very little) for an hour and fell apart when I picked it up. I thought it was maybe just a little dry but, on the bright side, that meant it wouldn't stick so much when I rolled it out. So I proceeded to make the crusts and then load the pies with toppings and bake them some more. The end result looked good, but it was so chewy and hard we couldn't even really eat the pizza.

(I forced myself to eat some so as not to waste all that food, Little Man devoured his toppings but left the crust alone, and Conservative Hubby had to scrounge around for something edible to substitute for dinner.)

Big disappointment. Big. Huge.

Now I have to figure out how I'm going to redeem myself.

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