Frugal Fail: The Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Waffle Experiment

My dad gave an illustration in his sermon last Sunday and part of it referred to “his daughter who never follows recipes and is known for making up all sorts of interesting concoctions as a result.”

My husband turned and looked at me during the sermon with a smirk on his face. He knows all too well about my “interesting concoctions”.

Back when I was living at home, my poor family was subjected to all sorts of my failed experiments and to this day, I think they are afraid to eat my cooking. However, I have improved over time and, gratefully, mishaps are fairly rare occurrences these days.

This week, though, I think my waffle experiment topped some of the worst kitchen fails I’ve had in my history of cooking. Yes, it was bad.

The recipe looked so simple and delicious. How could you go wrong with brownies and bananas in waffles?

Well, let me tell you, you can go wrong with brownies and bananas and waffles. Very, very wrong.

It started off on a bad footing when I decided to substitute the Homemade Baking Mix in place of the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. I added in the cocoa powder, cinnamon, and wheat germ, then I mixed together the milk, bananas, and eggs.

That was when I got stumped. You see, the Homemade Baking Mix has coconut oil already in it. So I realized I probably didn’t need the oil.

But after I mixed the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients, I noticed big chunks of coconut oil in the batter. And it struck me that that could be a problem.

Not easily deterred, I pressed on, heated the waffle iron, and poured some batter on it. The batter looked unlike any other waffle batter consistency I’d seen before and I became a little concerned.

The first waffle wouldn’t even come off the waffle iron without lots of effort — and it ended up breaking into a hundred pieces in the process. “Oh well, the first waffle is always the worst,” I told myself.

But then I decided to taste-test it. It was disgusting.

I thought maybe it just needed more sugar, so added more sugar and poured more waffle batter on. The second waffle was even worse — and it still tasted gross. There were white chunks in it (coconut oil?) and it fell apart in dozens of pieces while I tried to get it off the iron.

I decided to give up on the waffle idea and began wracking my brain to see what I could instead turn this icky batter into. “Pancakes!”, I thought. “I’ll make pancakes with it!”

But the pancakes I tried to make with it were gooey and crumbling and tasted terrible. The kids wouldn’t eat them — even with coaxing. And I’m guessing if we had a dog, he wouldn’t have eaten it either.

I finally gave up and threw out all the waffle and pancake pieces as well as the batter. It was a lost cause.

The good news? The Double Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins I made during that same cooking session (and, of course, tweaked the recipe for) actually turned out beautifully and delicious.

So I think there still may be hope for this experimental cook, but I know it’s going to take me a few months to work up the courage to try experimenting with a waffle recipe again!

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Do-It-Yourself Experiment #5: Homemade Hummus

Before I tell you about June’s Do-It-Yourself Experiment, I first promised an update on the Homemade Laundry Detergent. I don’t love it, but it’s working alright. I’ve learned that I have to put it in, turn the water on and let it run and dissolve before putting the dirty laundry in to wash.

It washes just fine, but the clothes don’t quite seem as fresh or smell as great as they do with regular laundry soap. At this point, I don’t like it enough to use it full-time from here on out, but I would definitely use it if I can’t get great deals on laundry detergent.

And now for the hummus experiment… can I just say how amazing I felt to make homemade hummus using homemade tahini and chickpeas I boiled? Yes, I know, I’m weird like that.

But seriously? Making every bit of this from scratch was exhilarating.

I used this recipe here for the tahini. I ended up roasting the sesame seeds just a wee bit much and this gave it a very strong roasted tahini flavor. Not sure I’m a huge fan of tahini — especially roasted tahini — but it was still cool to make.

The hummus was super simple to make (I used the recipe from Simply Recipes). I ended up doing it in my Vita-Mix and that seemed to work well. Except I was a little worried I was going to burn the motor up since the hummus was definitely thicker than the smoothies we usually make. It began steaming and got very hot, but the Vita-Mix pulled through without a hitch.

The end result was pretty good. I’m very sure it was not the best hummus I’ve ever tasted, but the strong roasted tahini may have had something to do with that. :) I definitely plan to try more hummus recipes in the future and hope to find one that is just amazing.

Have you tried any new do-it-yourself experiments recently? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

In case you missed it, here’s the list of the 12 Do-It-Yourself Projects I Plan to Try in 2011:

January: Make From-Scratch Chai Tea

February: Make Homemade Dishwashing Detergent

March: Make Homemade Hamburger Buns

April: Make Homemade Laundry Soap

May: Make Appliqued Flower Tee

June: Make Homemade Hummus

July: Make Freezer Jam

August: Make Homemade Soap

September: Sew a Rag Quilt

October: Make Homemade Apple Butter

November: Make Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

December: Make Homemade Marshmallows

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Recyclebank: 65 more free points

Recyclebank has added 65 more free available points to their  Green Your Vacation contest.

Log in to your account (or sign up for a new account) and then click on the “Beach” link at the top of the page.

Click on everything that moves in the beach themed suitcase and you’ll be awarded a total of 65 more free points.

Thanks, Freebies 4 Mom!

(Note: The link in this post is my referral link. Read our disclosure policy here.)

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