19 Sep

Fail: Spiderweb Pizza

Posted under Fail

Pin Reaper: Taraflem

Original Inspiration: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/229120699766142740/ via http://kidpartyfoodideas.com/category/holiday-party-foods/halloween/

pinterest fail spiderweb pizza inspiration

What I Did: My 4 year old daughter REALLY wanted to make these, so much so that she took my shopping list and wrote “spiderweb pizza” on it (no easy task, as she can’t spell and isn’t sure how to make all her letters. For example: “what comes after E?” “R.” “how do you make an R?” Like a P but with a kick-out” “How do you make a P again?” etc.) Thus begins the saga…

At Shop Rite I decided that the Boboli ready-made pizza crust is just too easy, so I buy the little baggy of dough, and pizza sauce, and string cheese (to rip up into skinny strings to make the web), and colossal black olives (to make the spider).

Dough time! Both kids want to make their own, so I rip the dough in half (“I want that half!!” “Why does she get that piece??”) and I tell them to stretch it out on the flour-covered counter until it’s a pizza shape. No easy task, apparently. The dough is like Silly Putty or something. My son is stretching it out as far as it’ll go, then lets go, and ZOOP! it’s back to its original ball shape. Tricky. Meanwhile, my daughter is alternately licking bits of dough off her hands, patting the flour pile on the floor, eating the string cheese, dropping string cheese on the floor, stepping on it, eating it anyway, rubbing her hands back in her dough, etc. Yuck.

At this point my son decides this is no fun, and would like me to do the sauce, cheese, and olive spider, “but I get to eat it all, right Mommy?” My daughter- no such luck. She’s in it for the long haul. Next comes sauce! She needs to use a certain measuring spoon that came in her “pizza making kit” (a birthday party favor) and proceeds to stuff the big tablespoon into the tiny jar, glopping the sauce everywhere- shirt, counter, face, floor (which gets on socks, which makes sauce prints all over the kitchen, along with the string cheese and flour piles). And again, she’s licking fingers and touching everything. Then cheese- the object is to tear apart the string cheese into lots of skinny pieces which you put on the pizza in a lovely spiderweb shape- concentric circles with connecting lines. She eats half, then dumps the other half onto about 1/3 of her pizza in a big clump. “Done Mommy!” Hmmm… ok, I leave it alone and figure I’ll do my son’s pizza and then at least one will look like the magazine.

Then the phone rings. It’s a long call and I can’t hang up, during which I’m trying to finish the web, my son starts his homework which involves adding up dice and requires two players, so “MOMMY!! IT’S YOUR TURN!!”, then the cell phone rings, I try to ignore it (as now I’m attempting to slice olives into skinny, skinny pieces in order to get eight legs to fit on the olive spider) but my daughter answers my cell and runs back to the kitchen with it, falls into something and starts to cry. So now- two active phone calls, crying daughter, son needing a dice game partner, already 7 pm, raw pizzas, and very messy kitchen. Deep breath.

I hang up both phones, console my daughter, put pizza in the oven, play the dice game, sweep, wipe, straighten, and send her to put on clothes without sauce. Ahhh… quieter now, almost done… how many more minutes?? Check timer. Timer? CRAP! Didn’t set the timer!! GAAAA!!! Burnt, blackened pizza!! (Me: “It’ll taste just like Cheez-Its!” D: “I do NOT want to eat that!” S: “Can’t we just eat the leftover pizza from A’Mangiare?”) Ah, yes… leftover pizza from A’Mangiare. That would’ve been a lot simpler…

PS- The kids ate the leftover GOOD pizza, and I had the crappy, burnt, dirty-finger, doughy, nasty pizza that they made. With a well-deserved glass of wine.

My Result:

pinterest fail spiderweb pizza result

Next Time I Will: -buy Boboli, leave kids out of the kitchen and order more pizza from A’Mangiare

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18 Sep

User Error: Magic Balloon Treats

Posted under Fail

Pin Reaper: Emsharon

Original Inspiration: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/0d/0a/33/0d0a33e329aaa1414b34c0de86e6d895.jpg

pinterest fail magic balloon treats inspiration

What I Did: My co-worker and I wanted to make these yarn eggs, minus the candy inside, to use as decorations around the office. We made them in the afternoon, guessing on the glue to water ratio and crossed our fingers as we left for the night.

My Result:

pinterest fail magic balloon treats result

Next Time I Will: I think if I try this again, I will use a measuring spoon and get a 1:1 ratio of glue to water. I’d also try to hanging the balloon up so that the newspaper wouldn’t stick to the yarn – or use wax paper.


tags: ,

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17 Sep

Win: Colored Ice

Posted under Win

Pin Reaper: J Thomas

Twitter: hippiejo74

Original Inspiration: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/212091463672463600/ via http://www.kidskubby.com/5-fun-ideas-using-ice/2/


What I Did: Since we were having an epic winter in IL – I decided that we could try this. With several days of below zero w/windchill – I figured there was no way this wouldn’t freeze all the way. Only problem was – the only balloons I had were ones that had little LED lights in them (yeah – I love glow/light up stuff!). So I put in the water w/food coloring and left them out. Ended up a bit lopsided, but looked amazing! Added bonus – the LED lights totally glowed at night for around 2 weeks (freaked out my neighbors a bit too!).

My Result:


Next Time I Will: I would use larger balloons and stretch them out really well before I did it. Food coloring & water were spattered everywhere. And I’d definitely wear an apron…

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16 Sep

User Error: Lazy Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls

Posted under Fail

Pin Reaper: LadyClare

Original Inspiration: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/398287160767737636/ via http://www.grandbaby-cakes.com/2014/01/lazy-strawberry-cinnamon-rolls/


What I Did: I’ve had a lot of Pinterest wins, so it was about time that I had such a magnificent, user-error fail. The recipe that I decided to try was called “Lazy Strawberry Cinnamon Rolls.” I guess I thought that the word “lazy” in the title meant that this was going to be a quick and easy recipe—I very shortly discovered the truth.

I chose this recipe because I already had all of the ingredients, including some already sliced up strawberries that were beginning to go soft in the refrigerator. The aforementioned beginning-to-go-soft strawberries were chiefly why I decided to attempt this. Anyway, I gathered my ingredients, when I realized that the recipe called for seamless crescent roll dough (or frozen puff pastry, but I have no freaking clue what that is). I only had the normal, seamed crescent roll dough—y’know, like for pigs in a blanket—but I decided to try it anyway, because I was far too lazy to run out to the grocery store for just one item.

It started out promising enough. I rolled out my seamed crescent roll dough, and carefully pinched any holes in the seams together. The melted butter, strawberry jam, and strawberries spread on the dough nicely, and with the cinnamon sprinkled on top, it smelled heavenly. The problem started when I had to roll the pastry up—the dough had gotten rather sticky, and my pinched-together seams were starting to split again. I managed to hoist my mess onto the baking sheet, and hastily patched up the holes with a second roll of the cursed seamed crescent roll dough. The recipe then required the roll to be cut into slices, but I didn’t trust the insides not to seep to the outsides, so I let it go.

I threw together the icing, blithely believing that my roll was going to turn out somewhat resembling the picture. But when my timer beeped and I opened up the oven door, I had to laugh. The hot jam was oozing out of the sides of my flat “roll,” looking a lot like blood. I knew no good would come of attempting to flip the horrid pastry with a spatula, so I managed to cover it with a second baking sheet and flipped it over. I had to laugh again—the underside was worse than the top! The bottom part of the pastry stuck to the pan, leaving a gaping hole. I then decided that my family was going to eat this puppy open-face style, and drizzled the icing atop the strawberry goop. Horribly, horribly disfigured… but so delicious!

Moral of the story: never try to wing a recipe you’ve never tried before!

My Result:


Next Time I Will: I might attempt this again in the distant future, but only after I’ve found “frozen puff pastry,” or seamless crescent roll dough!

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15 Sep

Win: Unicorn Poop

Posted under Win

Pin Reaper: Sarah B.

Original Inspiration: http://www.instructables.com/id/Unicorn-Poop/


What I Did: I wanted to post these cookies for two reasons: 1) because they turned out so well and I was pretty darn proud of myself, and 2) because I keep seeing a lot of fail posts about the pinwheel cookies, and I imagine that the things that I discovered while making these will apply to making the pinwheels (or any other molded sugar cookie project).

I decided to make these for an event with a “Party Animal” theme where we all came dressed as different animals. I chose a Unicorn, and I remembered seeing these cookies all over pinterest, and they seemed fun. I read a bunch of posts and eventually went with the one you see linked.

I chose to use her recipe, including the shortening (I used butter flavored). That part is key. Shortening has a higher melting temperature than butter, so the cookies will not spread in the same way. The store bought dough probably has something akin to margarine in place of butter, so they will spread even more because of the water content.

After making the dough, I decided on 4 colors, using just the neon food coloring. I think the using the neon line of the McCormick food coloring helped make the vibrant colors. I divided it into 4 bowls and then mixed in A LOT of food coloring. Like a whole lot. The colors will fade a bit when they bake, so it will need to be really really intense in dough form.

After coloring, each ball of dough got wrapped in plastic wrap and put into the freezer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes in the freezer, each of the 4 colored dough balls got cut into 8 smaller pieces. I kept one small ball of each color out and then put all the others in the fridge to stay cool. THIS IS KEY. Because they are being handled, they will get soft quickly, so the dough that is not directly being used needs to be kept in the fridge. The first few were hard to work with, until I figured out to keep putting the unused dough back in to keep chilling.

At this point there were I had 4 small balls of dough on the counter, one of each color, which each got cut into 2 pieces, that were then rolled into snakes. Make sure to use a lot of flour on your hands and the counter. It will look like it is dimming the color, but it will soak in during baking. This needs to be done gently, and gradually starting at the middle and working very gently to the ends. They should be no more than 5 inches long, or they will get too thin. They should be about the thickness of your pinkie finger. Also, you will want to roll them on the counter. Holding them up and rolling will make the ends break off.

At this point I had 8 snakes total (2 of each color) which would result in 2 complete cookies. I then took one snake of each color and laid them side by side. The four snakes got rolled VERY GENTLY together to make one big multicolored snake (this part does not take much), and then twisted slightly by rolling the ends in opposite directions. They then got coiled up into poop shapes, which I did directly on the baking sheet. It took a few to figure out that the base should be relatively small so that as you coil it can get height. Sprinkles were added, and then they were baked. I only baked 4 cookies at a time, which was fine, because I could shape about 4 more cookies in the time that the first set baked and cooled.

This project seemed like it was going to be super complicated, but once I got the hang of it they ended up being relatively easy. I made two batches of the dough, which netted me 32 cookies. I mixed and colored the first batch, then it chilled in the freezer (so it would chill faster) while I mixed and colored the second batch. Then the second batch chilled in the freezer while I rolled and shaped the first batch. Overall the whole project took about 3 hours.

They were a big hit at the party, and seemed far more impressive than the amount of work it actually took.

My Result:


Next Time I Will: The cookies were a tiny bit salty, so I would cut the salt in the recipe down to 1/2 tsp. but otherwise I am going to keep this recipe for any molded or layer sugar cookie project in the future. These will definitely get made again.

I didn’t use the glitter gel that the original poster used because I didn’t feel like going to the craft store to get it when everything else was available at the grocery store. It was also a little expensive when I looked it up online, but I think it could be a nice final touch so I might try it next time.