How to make an entire restaurant kitchen laugh at you… the inaugural Food Fail Friday

A couple of years ago, I completed a 10 week beginners course in Positive Psychology offered online by the University of Pennsylvania. I have the memory of a goldfish so I don’t remember much of it, except that I’m supposed to be meditating, running and doing yoga to become happier…I think? Like I said, I forget. Luckily I kept a file full of notes and journal articles. Must make a note to revisit them someday.

However there was one piece of advice, often repeated by the delightful lecturer Tal Ben-Shahar, which stuck with me. It was “Learn to Fail, or Fail to Learn.” So simple, yet so true. It occurred to me that when it comes to my kitchen adventures, failing is something I do extraordinarily well. Although failing is frustrating (see I hate macarons as evidence) I learn from every mistake and rarely make the same one twice. I believe trying something new and failing will eventually make you a better cook than if you only stick to safe tried and true recipes. When you fail in anything, you usually come back wiser and better off for it. Continue reading

A dishy affair

I enjoy having friends and family over for a meal. Although it is inevitable that I will burn at least one dish or myself during preparation, the compliments I receive (okay maybe actively seek out) manage to outweigh the negatives of playing host.

Whenever I invite people to dinner, they always ask the same question, “what can I bring?”. Maybe it’s my Italian heritage or maybe it’s my stubborn pride (which I will also blame on my Italian heritage) but my answer is always the same. Nothing.

Of course, social etiquette dictates that we’ll still bring something. The wise people at Cadbury teach us this important life lesson in their latest ‘Favourites’ advertisement. Although she might have been a bit loose on morals relating to adultery and murder, Bree van der Camp would never turn up to dinner without a gift for the host. Gosh I miss Desperate Housewives. But I digress. Continue reading