Our Pages

Monday, August 23, 2010

How TV Leads to Kitchen Disasters

For those who know my husband and me, you probably know that we're not terribly great in the kitchen. I'm okay at whipping up pasta or crockpot recipes, but beyond that, I'm not much of a cook. I do love to bake, but now that we have a child, it seems like such a daunting task.

So, you might find it kind of odd that this summer we've watched-almost exclusively-food shows. Cupcake Wars, Cake Boss, The Great American Food Truck Race...just to name a few. And somehow, these shows inspire us to do things...

What kind of things, you may ask?

Well, one night as we watched Cupcake Wars, we began to speculate about how many cupcake bakeries there were in NYC. We paused the show and began the search, which led to us making our own Google Map of the bakeries, grouping them together by neighborhood, starting a blog to share pictures and tasting notes...by the time we were done it was too late to finish the show. This decision to embark on our own cupcake tour has resulted in us eating about a hundred cupcakes in the last 2 weeks...and we've only done two of the neighborhoods! Thankfully, all the cupcakes are tax deductible since they can be considered research for my top secret new project :) And the 5k we're training for cancels out all the calories! Hooray!

But the real genius (okay, stupidness) came one night during the premier episode of The Great American Food Truck Race. If you're not familiar, 10 specialty food trucks from LA are traveling across the country in a race to see who can sell more of their food in foreign markets. They have 48 hours in a new city to find a good spot on the street, market their truck and sell their food. It's super fun.

Somehow, this show inspired us to come up with our own original creation. Again, we paused the show and ran to the kitchen. The plan: use a straw to hollow out the inside of a banana, pour chocolate into the hole, batter dip the banana, fry it, then top with chocolate sauce, confectioners sugar and whipped cream. Of course, we documented the entire process with photos...

Here's the egg mixture and extra bananas, just in case...

Let the dredging begin...(Note the straw above the banana...that process was too tricky to photograph...we needed all hands on deck for that one...)

Into the frying pan...

Preparing the toppings while the banana fries...

Is that looking a little smoky to you?

Yup! It wouldn't be a party unless the smoke alarm went off...right outside the baby's room...

Thankfully, the baby slept right through it and we were able to enjoy our fried chocolate banana...

You might be wondering how it tasted, and I have to say, it wasn't too bad. Will I make it again, though? Definitely not :)

I would love to hear if you, too, are inspired by television to do impulsive things. Did it turn out well or did it turn out to be a terrible idea?

-Jerrica, Her Grace of Grammar


  1. I love these showes too but they have never inspired me to impulsively go off to the kitchen and try something. However, they have inspired me to consider the list of resteraunts in my area that have carryout because I am usually hungry afterwards.

  2. Ha! I know what you mean, Amy...Eric and I are always jonesing for cupcakes after one of the cake shows. LOL!

  3. The things I am usually inspired to do involve some sort of major renovation. New wainscoting in the bathroom, tile backsplash in the kitchen, moving a closet door ... darn you HGTV!
    Banana looks yummy, though I am going to pretend I didn't see that chocolate (corn) syrup *shudders* ;-)

  4. Wow, I'm impressed with your fortitude! But it looks like WAY too much work (I probably would have quit at the straw-in-the-banana part. LOL) I'm definitely hungry now though.

    What else ya got there? :)


  5. I'm reality TV crazy too and just got into that food truck race. You can count on TV to help me burn at least 2 dishes a week. Usually it's the rice and to cure that this summer I got an electric rice cooker and I love it. The family is happy too.

  6. Great pictures, Jerrica. I don't even keep flour and sugar in the house because of the calories. Most of my food experimentation is in the salad realm. If I were going to search out anything, it would be the perfect low-calorie salad dressing.

  7. LOL aren't those two just adorable though? Omg I've never seen a cuter couple. I'm not much of a cook or a baker so I stay out of the kitchen. Luckily hubby is pretty good at both, so I don't starve LOL. I don't watch much tv either so I have no idea what you're talking about but I've been thinking about checking out the cupcake wars though due to all the talk on our critique group loop. I'll have to check some of the others out to see if they "inspire me" which I doubt but hey its worth a shot lol.

  8. Erin,

    You hit my weakness. I've been watching Design Star and this weekend we rearranged and painted my bederom and we have a new spread for the bed. The bathroom was painted as well, but we still need to get some accessories and finshing painting a few things. Big plans for the kitchen and dining too. I need to turn off that channel.

  9. Ah, cooking shows. I was never a fan of reality tv of any kind until I stumbled on those. Not a sweets person myself, I still enjoy lots of the others (the competitive shows most often). I am continually amazed at the ability of the contestants to come up with dishes out of odd mixes (Top Chef's quickfire requirements, Chopped, Iron Chef, etc.). But I am frequently inspired after watching a show to dash to the store to get the ingredients to make something I've seen. And having learned an incredible amount about spices, flavorings and such, I've been inspired to add extra shelves to hold all the things I've been buying! Fun post, Jerrica. But maybe you should aim for a 10K????

  10. Hi Jerrica!

    I love to cook, but also can't find the time since the baby. I use to prepare breakfast, pack my husband's lunch and cook dinner. Now, once the baby finally goes to sleep for the night, it takes all of energy to order in.

    Congrats on training for the 5k. Really impressive that you're taking that on with a little one still under a year:)

    Sarah Tormey

  11. Hey, you pair are looking great! Are you sure you're newish parents? Lol. Since I don't particularly trust myself, I don't watch cooking shows. I'm not saying I'd burn the house down but seriously, desserts and cake is a major weakness for me. I'd cook them all the time if I wasn't afraid of what I'd end up looking like. I do have a small boy here that would be happy to do the Aussie leg of your cupcake tour. My eight year old has serious cupcake issue. :o)

  12. Erin, if you can find me chocolate syrup without HFCS, feel free to send it my way. My ghetto grocery store only sells that or the nasty aspartame-filled stuff. Yuck.

    Sarah, I know what you mean! By 6pm, I'm fried. I have to run in the morning or it will never get done. LOL!

    Heather and Melissa, you guys are too sweet :) Thank you!

    And thanks to everyone for stopping by and commenting!

  13. Jerrica,

    What a great blog! I love it. The only show that inspires me to do something is "Clean House" on InStyle Network. I see those houses and have a panic attack that my house is going to get that out of control unless I do something stat. :)