Hostess fails + Thanksgiving ideas

Hi friends! How’s your day going so far?

Sad panda.

Busted

I dropped my camera, and the macro lens isn’t doing too well. The good news is that it still kind of works if I hold it together while I’m taking a shot, but when I’m not holding it together, its bits and pieces are falling out. Faillll. My DSLR has been with me since 2009, but I’m not sure if it’s worth upgrading or just getting a new macro lens. I have a Canon T1. Photography friends, I would love any ideas you might have! 

Plants

So today, instead of wallowing over the mack lens death, I thought it would be fun to talk about hostess fails. When I was first getting into hosting company and making large dinners, there were so many snafus along the way. It makes me snicker to think of them now.

Cooking w uncle e

(With Uncle E, who has taught me so much about prepping and cooking for a crowd)

On the list:

-That one time I accidentally used cumin instead of cinnamon for apple crumbles. I like to think that the guests had no idea, but really, they probably did.

-When I decided to use a glass dish as a stir fry pan. Don’t ever do that. It cracked and exploded rice all over the kitchen.

-When I would start cooking as soon as the guests arrived. I always had appetizers and drinks ready, but I wouldn’t start preparing the meal until everyone was over. It only took me a couple of times of having everyone seated at the table, awkwardly asking “do you need any help?” while I scrambled around the kitchen. Now, I make almost everything in advance. So much less stress, and I can enjoy the get-together with everyone since I’m not in the kitchen the entire time!

Any hostess fails?? I love these stories. 😉

With Thanksgiving next week (wahoo!), here some recipe ideas if you’re putting together your menu. 

Tgiving2

Brunch:

Pumpkin pancakes with clean eating cranberry sauce

Egg muffins

Fruit salad with mint and honey

Dinner:

Barefoot Contessa’s turkey (because really, she can do no wrong)

Quinoa stuffing

Green bean casserole

Clean eating sweet potato casserole

Garlic mashed potatoes

Gluten-free side dish ideas

Desserts:

Vegan pumpkin pie

Pecan pie

Molten chocolate lava cakes

Molten almond butter cakes  1 of 1 3

 

Hope you have a lovely night! See ya in the morning.

xoxo

Gina

 

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Comments

  1. Hmmm. I’m sure I have plenty of these stories! This wasn’t during a dinner party, but I did make an “easy” cream of mushroom chicken casserole for dinner right after Scott and I got married. I was so excited to serve it (and really proud of myself) and when we cut into the chicken, it was pink. Needless to say, I hardly ever cook the chicken anymore, and if I do it’s always plenty done. 😉

    • Fitnessista says:

      ahhh i’ve totally done that, too. baked chicken casseroles are tricky! you want the chicken to cook, but when it’s overcooked… blah haha
      xoxo

  2. I feel like not anticipating how hot the kitchen is going to get is sort of been an issue for me living in various apartments. Nothing terrible, but making baked ziti in the summer probably isn’t a good idea. Love the image of your rice exploding in the kitchen. 🙂

  3. That time I made everyone burgers and as I was carrying them to the table to serve, I dropped them on the floor. Tried to lighten the mood by immediately saying, “5 second rule?!?”….yeaaah, not so much.

  4. Quinoa stuffing yuuuumm! I made a couple of trips to the Whole Foods hot bar lately and they have the BEST superfood stuffing. incredible.

  5. Trying new recipes on guests! Do not do this!!! Like my attempt at making a pumpkin cheesecake with low fat cream cheese. Didn’t know it would make a liquid cheesecake 🙁 Fail!

  6. When I was living in Mexico, I invited a bunch of friends over for dinner. I made Mexican because I really thought Mexican was buying Spanish rice out of a box and adding Mexican pre-packaged seasoning to ground beef. Yeah…they knew the guera was from WI and went easy on her.

  7. My in-laws recently visited and I had made Pumpkin Bread. Since I was chatting with my MIL, my sweet husband wanted to be nice and take the bread out of the oven for me. He tried to “pop” the bread out of the glass dish and it totally crumbled on the glass plate because it wasn’t cooled. 😀 It tasted ok, though, which made it better. 🙂

  8. Cumin in the apples, gahhhh!!!! A few years ago I had 10 guests gathered in my kitchen waiting for me to pull a big, heavy roasted chicken out of the oven. I took it out and placed it on the stove top to admire it and then picked it up to bring it to the table without paying attention… and immediately realized it was with my BARE hands! It had literally just come out of the 450* oven and obviously, I couldn’t hold on to it. I dropped it on my tile floor where the pan shattered and chicken juice went EVERYWHERE. Also, my entire palm blistered almost immediately and I swear it kept burning for like 2 days after that, haha. Needless to say, we ended up eating pizza that night 😉 FAIL!

  9. I’ve definitely failed at “treating” my family and friends to some healthy dessert experiments. My parents almost spat out my black bean brownies that just tasted like chunky bean pie, and my brothers-in-law will never trust me again after serving them chocolate tofu mousse!

  10. Hahah my biggest fail was making shortbread cookies with powdered sugar instead of confectioner’s sugar… twice!

  11. My stomach hurts looking at the broken macro 🙁 So, I was making homemade pasta and needed heavy cream for the sauce and my dad volunteered to go to the store. I was in a rush to finish the sauce and plate everything so I quickly made it and THANKFULLY I was cooking for just family. My dad ended up picking up baker’s cream (sweetened heavy cream) instead of just plain heavy cream. We laughed and until this day ELF pasta is brought up and laughed about hysterically. It tasted like candied alfredo sauce haha

  12. I can’t take credit for this one but given the season I thought i was appropriate. In the early 90’s we had just moved into a new house and my mom hosted a group of about 12 for Thanksgiving. My parent’s decided to serve a low-fat meal complete with fat-free gravy and low fat cake for dessert. That meal has become infamous in our family (outdone only by the time I tried to pass beet cupcakes off as red velvet) and Thanksgiving is not a full-fat high carb occasion ;).

    • Fitnessista says:

      hahahahahah. i’ve served some splenda desserts in my early days. everyone was like “oh, this is good!” no. it was not good. haha

  13. Ha! Grabbing cumin instead of cinnamon is a fear of mine bc our spice cabinet is so freaking packed. I was having my bf’s parents over for dinner a few years ago and made a cucumber tzaziki (?) dip for veggies. Welp, the texture wasn’t where I wanted it to be, so I threw the dip in the blender. Needless to say, it came out tzaziki soup!!

  14. There’s a camera repair shop in Encinitas on PCH that does great work, if you think the lense is worth saving. I’m sure there’s a shop in SD too, but we were in Oceanside, so that was closest to us 🙂

  15. As far as the camera goes it depends on how heavily invested you are into the Canon system. If you’re not that heavily invested I’d recommend switching to a micro 4/3rds system such as the new small Sonys or the new Fujifilms (spendy).

    -Brandon

    • Fitnessista says:

      awesome- thank you, brandon! for the sonys, do they were similarly to the DSLRs? they’re just smaller? that sounds perfect, because lugging the DSLR is like having an extra toddler

  16. Hahahah. Sorry about your camera. That’s why I just use my iPhone. 🙂 I’ve done a bit of hosting over the years and always kept it to finger foods and drinks so far. I haven’t ever cooked a full meal, and I know that will be when the snafus will occur. Thanks for the tip on the glass pan. But hey, I bet you always look nice while hostessing, and that’s half the battle. That and wine. Lots of wine! 🙂

  17. I still have not mastered the art of timing when hosting. I always have more to do when guests are arriving. I’d love to have friends come over and just get to enjoy the party with them instead of running around like crazy.

    And I’m sorry to hear about your camera lens! I had a similar fail today. This morning before work I was drinking coffee while reading blogs. I somehow managed to nod off and woke myself up by spilling coffee all over myself, my computer, and the couch. Now the left shift key on my computer doesn’t work and I have to use the right one which really breaks up typing. Thank goodness I was planning on getting a new computer on black friday already!

  18. The fiancé and I just bought one of the new Sony mirrorless cameras… Amazing! Well worth the extra cash. My favorite feature is the app that you can transfer pics from your camera to your iPhone via Bluetooth. Cuts out the middleman when you want to instagram immediately! #firstworld

  19. Oh my goodness, I think everyone has broken at least one glass dish by placing it on the stove top for sure. I think my worst hostessing thing is trying out new recipes on guests – it is most likely kinder to test things before!

    And I fully understand your love for The Barefoot Contessa. I actually refer to her as Aunty Ina because I love her so much. I also often ask myself, “WWTBFCD?” (What would the Barefoot Contessa do?) 😉

    <3

    • Fitnessista says:

      totally agree that you should test a recipe first. that’s why i usually make the same things for dinner parties; i know they work!
      i always think of her as an auntie, too! 🙂 she seems like the sweetest ever, and her recipes are always PERFECTION
      xoxo

      • Good plan!

        So true, plus, she is the most fabulous person on the planet. Her life is basically throwing dinner parties in the Hampton’s and travelling to Paris. If anyone is winning at life, it is her.

        • Fitnessista says:

          seriously! she also seems so humble and sweet despite her huge success. she is a class act, for sure 🙂

          • Totally! I think it is because she is so ‘self made’ – she is really successful, but she worked really hard to get there. Plus, she has the most adorable husband on the planet and I feel like their love is really grounding.

  20. These hostess fails are too relatable! So funny.

    Also, I just got your e-book and it is AMAZING! Already planning on making so many of these recipes. The autumn overnight oats are definitely happening this week. I can’t wait for the book to come out!

    • Fitnessista says:

      so so happy to hear you like it! let me know what you think of the recipes 🙂
      thank you so much for ordering, too <3

  21. The fails are hilarious – I love reading these! I can’t think of anything quite that disastrous but I definitely try to stay away from any food where each person’s serving is cooked one at a time, like crepes, not that you usually make crepes for a dinner party, but hopefully you know what I mean!

    Cameras – as mentioned above – go for a Sony DSC RX 100. There are basically three models
    – a $400-500 one (the original)
    – an $800 one (DSC RX 100 iii)
    – a $2500 one (DSC RX/1B)

    We are about to purchase our second one, probably the middle one from the list above, and it’s only because we like it so much (our first one was the very first edition of this camera).

    It is seriously worth EVERY penny! it’s like a Blendtec or VitaMix of digital cameras

    • Fitnessista says:

      yes, that is a great tip! ina garten said for her first party ever, she made omelets and it was terrible because she was in the kitchen the whole time
      for the sonys, do they work the same as a DSLR? i love that they’re so much smaller. just wondering if i can use it the same way!

  22. I was cooking brunch for an A-lister (no joke) and her oven wouldnt get hot enough – I was struggling and she was the one doing the ‘do you need help?’ thing. Wah wah.
    Didn’t you also once serve an embarrassingly ‘diet’ dessert made with splenda or something? Think it was apple pie or along those lines…. I’m outing myself as a longtime reader here 🙂

    • Fitnessista says:

      hahaha yikes!!
      and YES. i’ve made “healthy desserts” for guests a few times in the early days. so terrible.

  23. Never make a glutenfree vegan crustless pumpkin pie two days before and put it in the freezer. When you take it out….it is a sad cold watery sponge :'(

  24. I almost always grab the cumin when I really need cinnamon, but I’ve always caught my mistake before it was too late!

  25. I can’t think of one I’ve done off hand but I am sure there are many! I remember this one time when my fiance made us dinner and made a chicken dish. He put waaaaay too much salt on the chicken, like the whole container. After taking a few big gulps of water, we both looked at each other and he said, “there is too much salt on this chicken, huh?” Um, yeah! We promptly threw it away and still laugh about it to this day. At least he tired! 😀

  26. inmade that vegan pumpkin pie for canadian thanksgiving and oh man, it’s so good!! It really was a hit!! Now that I live in the states, I so could double dip with thanksgiving this year! Haha

  27. I was in charge of the turkey for last year’s Thanksgiving, and once it was “done” my whole family crowded around to ooh and aah as I started slicing into it. Well, as soon as I made the first slice, blood started running down the turkey. And my little niece started screaming. Clearly it wasn’t done yet!!

  28. Last year I made brussels sprouts and brought them to my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving. My uncle didn’t like them and thought my aunt made them so he started complaining about them in front of me, not knowing I’m the once who made them. It was so embarrassing!

  29. The practical part of me says to just buy a new lens if you plan to stay within the Canon family for your next DSLR some day, especially if your camera is still working. BUT, the photographer in me says, get rid of Canon and go Sony. I killed three Canons in a row (I tend to work in dust storms, around tornadoes, near wet areas, in chemical labs, etc. for my job and no matter how hard I try to keep them safe and wrapped and whatever, Canons are not sealed and let in dust and water and then die a very quick death). I have had my Sony for about 18 months and it’s a far superior product. Completely sealed, hearty (even when I accidentally bump it on something), and produces amazing photo quality.

    • Fitnessista says:

      you’re the third person to recommend a sony! i hadn’t even considered that. what model do you recommend in a mid price range??

      • I wish they still sold the model I have (alpha a35), because I would totally recommend that! 🙂 I think the alpha line a58 is the upgraded version and still a decent price. There are others along the same line, but I unfortunately do not have any experience with them. I’d highly recommend going to a camera store to play and figure out what you like, but then going online and price comparing. I bought mine at B&H Photo & Video online and got a huge discount + a free lens. The one thing I noticed going from canon to sony was how fast the shutter is. It’s amazing! 🙂 I’m glad we have another brand to chose from, Canon wasn’t a fit for me and Nikon was always too expensive for what you get.

  30. To go along with your glass dish story, once I used a glass pan to bake squash, took the squash out, and then I put the hot glass directly into the sink with cold running water…I don’t know what I was thinking. Tiny pieces of glass EVERYWHERE.

  31. luckily I havent had to host anything YET, but I see some fails in the future, thats for sure! I have butter hands- i drop everything!

  32. Hahah, at first I thought this post said: Hotness Fails. I was like: hmmm wonder what this will be about?

  33. superman inside out shorts at the gym comes to mind.. heehee… i was laughing hysterically about that one 😉

  34. That time (or two times) I had the oven still on broil when baking dessert and I couldn’t figure out why it stayed a pile of sloppy junk for two hours. Vanilla ice-cream for dessert!

    The husband, however, is the king of conscious decisions that can ruin a dinner party meal: deciding to roast, instead of steam bok choi (he does like Kale chips I guess…) adding red curry paste to mac and cheese as the “secret” ingredient (just…. no), thinking the chicken is only a little pink because of the prosciutto its wrapped in (luckily no-one was sick, but it was pretty sad)

  35. This doesn’t necessarily have to do with how the food was prepared, but this one time while we were having a dinner party and eating, I may have drank a little too much wine, and my glass literally flew out of my hands and shattered all over the floor. Yikes. #buttafingers

  36. Haha! These were so great to read. My hostess fail would be when I tried making fried pickles for my friends in college — I spilled the oil on the burner and it caught fire in front of everyone!!!

  37. Oh my gosh, I did the same thing with an apple crumble. I tried to scoop it out, but I could definitely taste it later.

  38. My dad made us pizza with powdered sugar instead of flour one time…that was interesting!

  39. I can cook. I can actually dream up a recipe and cook pretty well (pictures on my blog at runwright.net) but sometimes, it’s the little things that get me. Like last week after I had friends over and I served up a delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner and then we settled in for a movie and I decided to make microwave popcorn for the first time. Who knew if you don’t take that sucker out promptly, it burns so easily?
    There’s still a smoke smell in my microwave that might be there forever. I think I’ll go out for movies and popcorn next time.

  40. my grandma is an amazing cook. And one day she was having a ton of people to her house and she was making a pot roast. Spent all day on this dinner. she pulled the pot roast out of the oven and she dropped the whole thing on the floor! Instead of swearing she screamed “oh BEANS!!!!!!”

  41. I was making cranberry salsa one time for a family get together and accidentally added like 3 times the amount of oil the recipe called for. I ended up having to try to drain it out and was successful for the most part but my family still makes fun of me to this day because of it!

  42. Shaina Anderson says:

    I’m using Ina’s turkey recipe this year!! Its actually my first time cooking a huge bird for a crowd (rite of passage?) and that one looked pretty fool-proof. I’m hoping I don’t have any stories to add to the collection after this weekend’s Friendsgiving haha.

  43. Im not sure how many canon specific accessories you have (but they should be easy to sell so whatever), but I swear by my new Nikon D5300. Its super small compared to most DSLRs and its the only DSLR i’ve seen with built in wi-fi. That was a huge selling point to me as I wanted to be able to share our italy pics in real time this past Fall. It was so small and light and paired with the super affordable prime lens (35mm) I took the best pics of my life. I pretty much used my purse as a camera bag have no complaints. There was a free Nikon app I downloaded and BOOM, pics transferred to phone or ipad easily . You can also use the app to make your iphone into a remote self timer. Cool stuff…

    My next lens purchase will be a wide angle lens (i rented one and am now convinced I “need” it). Also, I think it depends – do you just keep your camera on manual or do you play around with ISOs? I was super intrigued by the mirrorless cameras, but Im not convinced they are as good as a DSLR (yet). Mine isn’t even full frame sensor but again, the D5300 was a great buy. I might see if I can grab a mirrorless on super sale this black friday, but don’t think I would have made that my “main” lens just yet.

  44. I’m a canon user and fully invested in my gear (and some are weather sealed). My camera has a full frame sensor because I need great performance in low light, but it comes with some cons–heavy+big camera body and expensive lenses.
    That being said, I do have my eye on a mirror less camera –only for the compactness and people are less intimated by a smaller camera when I’m out shooting street photography. Here is a site that I’ve been reading for reviews on the mirror less models…
    http://www.cameralabs.com/buyers_guide/mirrorless/best_mirrorless_camera.shtml

    Good luck and love your blog!

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