Friday, December 18, 2015

Celebrate: Wickedly They Come, Cooking Fail & Giveaways!

I wish I could say my adventure with my new meat grinder went well.  Sadly, it was more like a tragic-comedy of errors.

1)  The grinder didn't have a block to push down the chicken meat in the top, so I used a juice glass. The grinder didn't fasten tightly enough to the granite countertop, so while I grinded with one hand, the other had to hold the front so it wouldn't wiggle and keep one finger on the glass so it wouldn't fall.
2)  I had 4 kilos of chicken and after grinding for 45 minutes I still had 2 kilos left! The stupid chicken refused to go through the holes and out the other end! I tried poking the holes with a toothpick to no avail.
3)  I figured it was just hard, so I put more effort in... Grinding, grinding, grinding!
4) Finally, I lost my hold on the glass, and it fell and broke, waking up my husband.
5) My husband came out and took the front of the machine apart (I didn't even realize it came apart!), he cleaned out a long piece that had gotten wrapped around the blade and blocked the holes. 
6) While I practically cried from exhaustion, he ground the last 2 kilos in 5 minutes. 5 MINUTES! While I'd spent 45!
7) Apparently, with the blockage and all that grinding, I'd succeeded in puree-ing the chicken. Instead of nice loose meatballs, the chicken glued together in balls of mush. When cooked, they came out as hard and compact as golf balls. Yuck!

My arm was killing me the next day, but at least I learned a valuable meat grinder lesson. I'll be prepared the next time. (IF there is a next time...)

Have you ever messed up cooking something and had it come out totally wrong?

My kind and wonderful co-hosts of Celebrate the Small Things are:
L.G. Keltner @ Writing Off The Edge
Tonja Drecker @ Kidbits Blog

Celebrate The Small Things Linky:

Grab the Linky html-code here:

** To see who’s posted for the hop look at my Celebrate The Small Things Blog Roll, left sidebar bottom **

 Celebrate the Small ThingsTo be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is visit the Celebrate page on Lexa's Blog for the rules, and then post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! (Originated by VikLit)

Cathrina Constantine releases a new version of

A gripping, dark fantasy!

        A Destined Prophecy: “The White Warrior will be one with Lucifer and God will weep.”
        Haunting visions and supernatural talents are the norm for the sixteen-year-old warrior, Jordan and her mother Seeley. Together with their formidable angels they find themselves in peril when a wicked sorcerer is determined to fulfill the prophecy to his lord, Lucifer.
        After an ominous vision of spirits inhabiting teenagers in a local school, Jordan enrolls in the social culture of teendom at Elma High to combat soulless demons. She encounters Mark, a mysterious new classmate, who is hell bent on keeping her unscathed from the forces of evil.
        The battle between Heaven and Hell is escalating—and Earth is their battleground.

Buy on: AMAZON    
Contact Cathrina:  Blog  Facebook  Twitter

Foxy's Friday Freebies!

Foxy has been nosing around the net
When she finds great FREE STUFF, she'll feature it on Friday Freebies posts -
  • Free short stories, novellas, and novels
  • Giveaways for books and swag
  • Free services for authors

Here are Foxy's suggestions for Dec 18, 2015:

Free Signed YA Paranormal/Ghost Story Paperback – Win a signed paperback of Giving Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe about a high school girl who converses with ghosts to dig up dirt on her lying classmates. Enter via rafflecopter on YA Books Central blog. (ends Dec 23)

Free Mystery/Romance Paperback – Win Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer (author of the Elemental series), about a young man whose mother moves to a new town and ends up dead and he’s the primary suspect. Enter via rafflecopter on YA Books Central blog (ends Dec 21)

Free 2 Romance eBooks – Win both of the romance novels Unforgiving Debts and Second Chance Sunshine by Cassie Strickland via rafflecopter on the Mythical Books blog. (ends Jan 1)

Free Signed Paperback Thriller, $10 Amazon Gift Card, and Swag – Win a signed paperback of A Shadow of Time by Louann Carroll, about a widow who inherits a haunted mansion and must unravel its mysteries, or a $10 Amazon card or a skull rearview mirror ornament. Enter via rafflecopter on the Mythical Books blog. (ends Dec 22)

Free YA Fantasy eBook, Anthology eBook, $5 Amazon Gift Card, and Swag – To celebrate the release of Mayan Blood, about an orphan girl who must save the world from evil beings, author Theresa Dalayne is offering 2 ecopies, 1 Mayan lore anthology, 2 $5 Amazon cards, and 4 Mayan pendants via rafflecopter on Mythical Books blog. (ends Jan 30)

Free $75 Amazon Gift Card and 3 Romance eBooks – To celebrate the release of Walking Heartbreak, a romance about a bad boy rock star, the author Sunniva Dee is giving away a $75 Amazon card and 3 of her romance novels. Enter via rafflecopter on the Mythical Books blog. (ends Jan 12)

For Foxy's other Freebies, go to the Freebie page.

If anyone has a FREE short story (for download or online at a free ezine), novella, novel, special giveaway, or author service, please let Foxy know so she can plug you here!  Write to: laura.6eg(at)


L.G. Keltner said...

I'm sorry to hear that your meat grinding adventure didn't go well. These things happen to us all. I once had some issues with a deep fryer. I didn't have the right amount of oil in it, and as it turns out, having too little oil in a small fryer leads to burned, barely edible food. I got it right the next time, though.

Have a great weekend!

Suzanne Furness said...

Oh dear, sorry to hear about the meat grinder issues. Glad your husband woke up to give you a hand. Hope you do try again, I'm sure it'll be better next time.

Thanks for being an awesome host of our celebrations hop. Let's hope the new year will bring lots of good things to celebrate for us all. Enjoy the holidays, Lexa.

cheerfuloptimistic said...

At least you know now. Hope the next meal goes better.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cool new cover, Cathrina.
Doesn't sound like a meat grinder is worth the effort.

JeffO said...

I once used tomato paste in lieu of canned tomatoes in a chili recipe because I discovered I had no canned tomatoes, it was time to add the tomatoes, and the nearest store is 10 miles away.

It did not end well.

By the way, for kitchen disasters, I recommend the Youtube video series "Henry's Kitchen." My daughter showed me the "Henry's anytime chili for one" in which he uses--you guessed it--tomato paste. That made me lol, as they say these days.

Luanne G. Smith said...

Almost every cooking adventure of mine turns out that way. Tried to make cinnamon rolls the other day and TWICE couldn't get my dough to rise. Ended up with hard little hockey pucks sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. But, you know, men will eat anything. Husband devoured them. :P

Unknown said...

Ouch, sorry to hear of your ordeal. I've found myself in similar situations so many times, the last was this week when I bought a new vacuum cleaner and tried using it without realising that I had to open it and place one of the filters. I spent twenty minutes vacuuming and wondering why everything stayed on the floor. As for cooking, don't ask how many times I've burnt what one would think could not get burnt... Burning the kettle out of water is probably my highest (lowest?) achievement. :D

Have a beautiful weekend and a lovely and grinding-free week ahead. :D

Cathy Kennedy said...

Lexa, sorry to read about your epic fail here with your meat grinder. Look on the bright side, you gave that one arm a good work out. lol Next time you'll be prepared and I'm sure, if you're like me you don't want it defeating you and WILL attempt to right the wrong with the first try. I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed 2016. May both of our husbands find work in the coming new year! XOXO

Deanie Humphrys-Dunne said...

So sorry about the bad experience with the meat grinder. It was quite an ordeal for you. But think how much wiser you are now than when you started.
I hope better days are on the way for you and many blessings for Christmas and the New Year!

Tonja Drecker said...

Oh my, sorry the meat grinder gave you so much trouble. But think of all the arm muscles you now have ;)

Kate Larkindale said...

You don't want to know about all my cooking failures... It's not so bad at home, although it's disappointing, but I was a chef for 6 years and when something fails when you're preparing food for a table of eight, it can be very stressful!

stephen Hayes said...

My wife can't make fudge to save her soul. For years she'd make it and it would never solidify and I'd have to drink it through a straw. I finally asked her to just buy it at the store.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Lexa, so sorry about the meat grinder. Sounds like a really bad experience!!!!

And thank you so much for plugging my book!!!! Looks Great!!!

Sue Bursztynski said...

Sorry to hear about the meat grinder and the resultant cooking flop! But we all have those, and at least your grinder is working now. Yes, I've had some failures - oddly enough with ice cream and sorbet. My orange sorbet didn't work because I hadn't peeled off the outer part of the orange pieces, leaving chunks in what should have been a purée, and too much cardamom made my attempt at Indian kulfi ice cream taste not so good - AND I had guests that night. My first scones were rock hard till my sister advised me to keep my hands cool, roll out with a glass instead of a roller and handle the dough as little as possible.

Anonymous said...

How frustrating for you! I hope next time goes better! I made some quick bread a while back and ended up putting way too much water in. Soggy! I had to toss the whole thing.

Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear - how frustrating! Our worst cooking adventure would have to be when my daughter made brownies with 2 1/4 cups of salt in them.

Annie Neugebauer said...

Yuck indeed! Kind of funny though. When you look back on it. (Okay, I'm laughing now.) At least you learned for next time!

Patricia said...

Sounds like the grinder thing is a two person job. Hubby grinds you cook. Perfect.

Heather R. Holden said...

Yikes! That meat grinder sounds like such a headache. Sorry to hear you went through so much frustrating work for nothing...

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

At least you tried. Your knight in shining armor came to the rescue. And all was well. I have to admit I chuckled a bit as I pictured the scene. It might appear in a future story of yours. Who knows what you might be grinding up? Eeww! Forget I said that.
Have a lovely weekend.

messymimi said...

If you make dinner most nights for 30+ years, there will be a few tragedies. Chalk it up to lesson learned and try again is my suggestion. As W.C. Fields put it, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a d****d idiot about it!"

Yolanda Renée said...

My crock pot cracked in two. Everything had to be thrown in the garbage. Oh well, start all over. But doesn't it just burn your butt when hubby comes to the rescue and makes it look like a breeze. You appreciate it, well, all except the look of satisfaction on their face. That's when they know you can't live without them. :)

TheCyborgMom said...

Your meat grinder experience is like the short story of my life! Stuff like that always happens to me...except it's with technology. I could swear that something is broken, my husband steps in, and BAM!...all fixed. I hope your next experience with meat grinding is easy peasy :)

SENCO Cat Herder said...

Not too many kitchen cooking disasters over the years but very recently I had a brand new fridge freezer delivered that I plugged in and waited the required time before putting some things in both parts - thinking this thing is so quiet compared to my old unit only to find the next day I actually had to set the temperature for it to actually come on and start freezing and refrigerating!! Luckily, the normal temperature in my kitchen was cool enough so that nothing had really spoiled but boy did I feel like a dummy!! Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I have the twin to your meat grinder. I received mine from my MIL, which means I can't return it to the store. It's now in the basement cellar somewhere. Sad. The covers all look so appealing.

Sandra Cox said...

This is why I avoid cooking:)

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

That was some adventure all right! As for whether I've ever messed up cooking something and had it come out wrong: The stories I could tell you! Here's one:

Years ago, when I was living with my brother and his wife while I went to college, I helped my sister bake cookies that she wanted to give at church for Christmas. I faithfully followed her recipe (I thought), but the first batch of cookies came out like potatoes chips. What happened was that I had read 1/2 c butter as 1 & 1/2 c because she had written a 1 and then erased it, probably from changing her mind about how many cookies she wanted to make. Once we figured out that I had added 3 times the butter, we had to add in 3 times everything else. Before it was over, we had to use a refrigerator drawer to mix the batter, and it took us hours and hours to cook all these cookies! It just felt like forever.

But there were lots of cookies to share! said...

That sucks! I've had many cooking problems. I'm not what you would call the best chef. I think that's why my younger brother became a chef, actually. Self defense. Since my mom worked a lot, it was either learn to cook for himself or eat the bad versions of eggs and mac and cheese that I made most nights.

Anonymous said...

These look like great reads. I'm not much of a cook. I stick to simple recipes. This sounds like something that would happen to me.

Blogoratti said...

That must have been some experience, well at least it got sorted out in the end. Hope you've recovered fully from that. Thanks for sharing!

Sandra Cox said...

Just stopped by to say Happy Monday and Happy Holidays, Lexa:)

Catherine Stine said...

Eek, a meat grinder fail, eh? I'm sticking to buying a smoked Polish ham for Xmas dinner - no grinding, just pop it in the over and smother it with cherries and cherry juice.

Shah Wharton said...

Ha, my cooking experinces always ended in desaster when I bake. I can do most other things (though meat grinding has never been something I'd do), but not bake. Cakes end as cookies. I'm a flop!

For various reasons I've been absent - which sucks - and I just had to wish you and your family a very merry Christmas! :)

cleemckenzie said...

If my grandmother were still with us, I'd fly her over. She could grind an entire cow in minutes. But she was a farm girl, so she'd had a ton of grinding experience.

I'm off to find some pre-ground meat and eggnog. See you in 2016!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

"Meat grinding adventure" has an ominous ring to it right from the start!

You said "lesson learned." I hope the lesson learned is to make your husband do it next time!

Julia Thorley said...

I feel your pain. My cooking disasters are too numerous to go into here.

Sharon Himsl said...

Oh, dear. What a mess, but forgive me for wanting to laugh. I've had similar scenes with my husband. He can be incredibly patient while I'm coming apart at the seams. Good for your husband coming to the rescue and playing 'hero' of the day. Maybe you can translate this into a scene in a book. Good material! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sandra Cox said...

Love the Wickedly cover.

And so excited for Stephanie and Jessica.

Merry Christmas, Lexa:)

Unknown said...

Yikes! Sorry to hear the cooking didn't go so well. At least you know how to troubleshoot it the next time, right? :)

Mina Burrows said...

Oh I hope the Grinder got a second chance! Did you try researching tips on youtube? Sometimes I do that with cooking. Happy New Year to you Lexa! I hope all is well!

DMS said...

Oh no! I have not used a meat grinder before, but I have had many things go wrong when I am cooking. I am so sorry you had such a tough time (maybe this will help you in your writing in some way). Glad your husband was able to unclog it! Good luck if you decide to try again.

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