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Kosher by Design – my own COOKING DISASTER contest!

p.s.  The contest is over!  Read the entries in the Comments section below and find out who won over at this post!

p.p.s.  And be sure to check out my comprehensive (ie LONG) review over here.


Even if you’re not a teen or twenty-something (anymore – or yet!), here’s another chance to WIN a copy of Susie Fishbein’s Kosher by Design:  Teens and 20-Somethings.

I’ll be posting a review and announcing MY contest winner on November 10th (3 Kislev).  You can check out other blog reviews here.

In honour of this slick new cookbook (I love the “fun” side of Artscroll!), I am announcing my very own… COOKING DISASTER CONTEST.

Here are the rules:

  1. Use the comments section following THIS POST to tell me (in as much hilarious detail as you want) about your most disastrous kitchen disaster – EVER. 
  2. Enter as many times as you want between now and midnight on the 29th of Cheshvan (Motzaei Shabbos, November 6th). 
  3. At suppertime on Sunday, my family will vote on the worst cooking disaster… and I will name the winner along with my review. 
  4. Contest is open to all readers – worldwide! 
  5. Book will be shipped directly from Artscroll, not from me.



  1. A couple days before pesach I was helping out my mother with baking so i making a potato kugel I was done and put it in the oven and my mother askes me why is the Pine-sol on the counter? oops. I by mistake used pine-sol instead of oil that was the end of me baking for that Yom Tov.

  2. David - you didn't leave any contact info, but you're still eligible. Check back in November to see if you've won! (though I suppose anybody named David could claim your prize now... :-( )

  3. jay3fer "at" gmail "dot" com. I'm not all that worried... plus, you're the only entry so far!

  4. When I was dating my now-husband, I wanted to surprise him. So, I went to his apartment and tried to make an Indian bread called poori. This involved frying the dough, so I took out his cast iron skillet. I splashed oil on the stove and started a small fire. I put out the fire, but there was so much smoke! His neighbor came over to see if I was OK, and helped me open all the windows on that floor of the building... in January, in Michigan. Snow started drifting into the apartment. After about 20 minutes, my fiance comes home. He looks at the charred stove. He looks at the snow on the floor. He looks at me shivering in the cold. He says, "What did you do to my cast iron pan!!!!" It's 8 years later and I can count on both hands how often I've cooked after that.

  5. I think the worst disaster I've had... besides using either baking soda when I should have used baking powder... or maybe it was powder instead of soda... in a cake when I was 10...

    Would have to be finding out the chicken had gone bad on a Friday afternoon (after the stores were closed of course) when I was expecting guests... I think I found a couple packages of chopped meat in the freezer and ended up making a meatloaf instead but I do remember being more than a bit panicked...

  6. When my husband and I were on our honeymoon in Hawaii (almost 20 years ago) we wanted to make some macaroni in our kitchenette, but it only had a microwave. The exact details elude me now, but we bought some kind of glass bowl and decided to boil the water and the noodles in the microwave! I am cringing as I write this - but what did we know? A few minutes into this cooking adventure, we heard a big explosion in the microwave. You can imagine - glass and noodles everywhere! I think we ate pineapple for dinner that night.

  7. this is actually my mom's disaster. when she first moved to canada, she didn't know what ketchup was. she thought it was a type of sauce and poured a whole bottle into a pot and mixed in the pasta. this was shortly after she married my dad. needless to say dad was worried!

  8. When I was a newlywed, I made some chicken for supper and instead of putting sweet paprika on it, I mistakenly used hot red pepper. My husband was so sweet and ate it and didn't say a word!

  9. Shavua tov!
    About ten years ago, we woke up one Shabbat morning, and instead of being greeted by the delicious aroma of cholent, we smelled, well, a very different smell.

    Something had happened to the crock pot during the night, and I had to throw the whole cholent out...

  10. A few days after my wedding, I was preparing lunch for my husband's younger brother, who was staying with us. I made cheese blintzes from scratch, and I was so proud of myself. As I watched him take a bite, I heard a loud crunching sound, and he spit the food back onto the plate. "what is THIS?" he asked as he pulled a long shiny object out of the cheese filling. Horrified, I looked down at my hands and realized that one of my fake nails had fallen off while I was cooking. Not surprisingly, he told that story for years and I was never able to live it down.

  11. When I was about 14 or 15, I was cooking something in a pan that had a lot of grease. Next thing I know, the pan burst into flames. No one ever told me that water and grease don't mix. So I rushed to put the fire out with water. BIG mistake! The flame pretty much exploded and we still have the giant black spot up on the ceiling. I have no doubt that I was being looked out for that day.

    I'd like to say my cooking has improved, but it hasn't. I'm 25 and I still don't get the hang of it. If I do cook from a recipe, I usually have to re-do it several times for small mistakes. lol. One day I'll get it.. I hope. :)

    lizzie5674 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  12. I usually make at least one over-the-top and very rich cheesecake for Shavuos, and one more traditional cheesecake. One year for the over-the-top category, I made a triple chocolate cheesecake (I believe it from "The Joy of Cooking"). This was several years before I started my KBD collection...

    The cheesecake looked fantastic, and the batter tasted good too :). I had a full house of family members staying at my house for Yom Tov. When my mother went to the refrigerator to serve dessert, she pulled out the cheesecake by the springform pan's rim...and the bottom promptly fell out. Triple chocolate cheesecake in pieces on the kitchen floor.

    My mother gasped and my sister and I ran over to see what happened. We gave each other a significant look, scooped up the pieces, and served them with berries, with no explanation.

    It was delicious.

    (My email is rivkaht at gmail dot com)

  13. In college I baked a cake and set it on top of the burner to cool off, not realizing that the burner was turned on. The cake started smoking and set off the smoke detector. We tried to push the button to turn it off, but the smoke detector must have had an electrical problem and caught on fire. Someone in the dorm grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the fire, but meanwhile the fire alarm had been pulled and the entire dorm had to be evacuated until the fire department could come and make sure there was no danger.

  14. When I was newly engaged, I decided to make a lovely chinese dinner for my fiancee. I cannot recall if there were flames or not in the wok, but the result was that I poured water into it....causing copious amounts of smoke. my fiancee was asthmatic. He ended laying down on the floor to get the clearer air, and I opened up the door to the hall, opened all windows and tried to fan away the smoke with a dish towel. Moral of the story...oil and water do not mix, especially when the oil is very hot. Baruch Hashem my cooking skills have improved 30 years later!!

  15. FAR TOO MANY to count! I guess the worst one was 1978 at the University of Texas. I was rooming with a couple of older friends who were still in class that day. I had dropped out of classes for the semester & went home to make fried chicken. I put the oil in the pan & turned on the stove to heat it up with the chicken waiting to be dipped & dropped. I called my mom to tell her I'd withdrawn. I sat in the living room explaining it to here and suddenly saw the ball of smoke coming out of the kitchen. The oil had caught fire & scorched the cabinets above. I tried to put the lid on the pan and move the pan outside, but the lid slid off and the pan hit the floor, scorching the floor, too. I threw towels and baking soda on the flaming grease & got it put out. We (parents & I) purchased new cabinets & flooring for the owner. I haven't tried to fry c chicken ever since (tho I've done a few boneless chicken breasts.

    I am currently working on a "good" (I'd be happy with just "edible") onion-rye bread. Every single recipe I've tried, whether long-hand, machine, 5-minutes-a-day, etc., has been inedible - either mush or fallen chewy or just bad tasting.

    I've been trying to do Carne Guisada, but the flavors have been off, as well as the consistency, and overcooking has turned the meat tough. Still, my family indulges my attempts.

    It's not all been bad. I did create a chocolate-banana cake that got published in a newspaper's reader's recipe contest, and a spice-apple cake I created was delicious. Currently, I'm putting away loaves of my pumpkin bread recipe that we eat all year long. So, they've not all been bad.

  16. David: Have you tried no-knead bread baking yet? You can sub some rye for the basic recipe, add onions or whatever you like. Check out my bread blog for more information!

  17. This is a story from back when I was in my 20s, to make it fair. :) I was living in a small, cramped apartment in and had no idea how to use an oven. A friend of mine wasn't feeling well so I wanted to make her some dinner as a get-well gesture. I had seen someone make chicken nuggets in the toaster before and thought, "I can use a toaster ..." Well, I dredged the small pieces of chicken in some kind of store-bought dressing and cooked them up in the toaster. Feeling proud I packed them up and took them to my friend. She took one bite and spat it across the room. Unfortunately, instead of serving a meal to fill her up and nurse her back to health, I had served a solid, raw piece of dressing-flavored chicken. This was many years ago, and I have come a long way since then. But that disaster stays in the back of my mind and, as a rule, I don't serve something I've never made before to company!

  18. Let me begin by saying that I was trained by my mother about how to take a pan and destroy it promptly. This may have been a ploy on her part to prevent arguements about who was to do the dishes. I think she had a secret room in the house with shelves full of new pans and when one caught on fire she simply opened all the windows in the house and brought out a shiny new one and who would ever know? Me. ....back later with hopefully a reasonably presentable disaster of my very own. ;-)

  19. Okay, everybody! Preliminary judging has begun... entries are printed (stripped of identifying info and entry date/time), and will be discussed around the table over Shabbos!!!

  20. Right after I got married, I knew I wanted to always have fantastic culinary treats coming out of my kitchen...
    So the first time we had sleepover guests for shabbat (my cousin/BFF and my SIL, the vegetarian), I was hunting for something different and refreshing to serve on a hot day.
    I was flipping through one of my cookbooks and found a different kind of fruit soup that I thought looked good.
    It was Melon - Basil. I wasted a good chunk of time prepping that soup. The ingredients were all extremely expensive. My husband
    (5.5 years later) will still tell you to this day that it tasted like soap.


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