I try to talk about failure here every once in a while. It’s important to acknowledge that it happens. We can’t just focus on the wins and ignore the losses. We have to accept them and learn from them, so that we might improve. While it may be 85% success for me in the kitchen, it’s (easily) 15% failure.

Maybe more. I’m not so good at the math thing.

Anyway, there’s this:

I apologize for this picture. Nobody should be subjected to this.


There was absolutely no way to get a good picture of this, because it was guaranteed to turn out not-good. I don’t know if it was the making it in the crockpot or the halving of the original recipe (because who needs 12 servings of mac & cheese?) or the simple fact that it was supposed to be low-fat and low-calorie. All I know is that it wasn’t good. I had to doctor it up with full-fat cheddar cheese and half-and-half before it came close to being edible. Even then, it was still pretty grainy and over-salty. I mean, I remember putting salt in, but it was less than what the recipe called for, so I’m not sure what happened with that. And the mouthfeel was wholly unappealing. Not gag-inducing, but enough that we weren’t eager to have more.

Perhaps that’s what makes it a “healthy” mac & cheese: after a couple spoonfuls of it, you certainly won’t want to be eating more of it.

This saddens me, because I love mac & cheese. It’s probably my favorite comfort food. But I don’t let myself eat much of it because, let’s face it, it’s not exactly health-food. Nor can it be made into one, apparently. I just need to accept that and move on. Mac & cheese will just be one of those things that I treat myself to when I absolutely need it most, and even then, in moderation. I’m so sorry, mac & cheese. We’ve had a beautiful friendship, but you’re just too good for me.

Fortunately, the meal was not a total loss. There was also this:

pan-seared flounder coated in ground almonds


parmesan zucchini sticks


Yes, the flounder was cooked in a brown butter sauce, but it was a small amount of butter. Just enough. It’s another recipe from Around My French Table, which can be found online here. The French Fridays group has already made this recipe, and I had leftover ground almond from the apple-almond tart, so I felt this was a good recipe to try.

And it was delicious. It was also incredibly fast and easy to make. The fish gets a nut coating on one side, goes into a frying pan for 2-3 minutes on each side, and done. Nice.

I’ve made zucchini this way before, and it’s a recipe I intend to use more often. The zucchini is baked instead of fried, so it’s on the healthier side, and the Parmesan coating really enhances the zucchini flavor. Geordie loves these things, even though he doesn’t seem to be overly keen on zucchini, which I happen to love. So, this recipe wins for both of us.

So, while the mac & cheese bombed terribly, the rest of the meal was a success. And I suppose the mac & cheese didn’t bomb too terribly, because it was edible, and I even had some for leftovers last night. But it’s not a mac & cheese I’ll ever make again. Lesson learned.

And so it goes.