When Dinner Is A Bust - Eat Cheese Babka - Penny Lane Blog at Allrecipes.com - 231346

Penny Lane

When Dinner is a Bust - Eat Cheese Babka 
Apr. 11, 2011 7:09 am 
Updated: Apr. 16, 2011 9:46 pm
I have been cooking for a long time and have had my fair share of failures in the kitchen. No Baking Papa is a pretty good sport when it comes to eating some of my creations. Rarely is the whole meal a bust for him - that is until last night.
In reality, he is a burger and fries kind of guy. He is suspicious of new ingredients. With the exception of Asian food, which he loves, he really wants to know what every little green speck is on his plate.
Last nights suspect ingredient was capers. He was not impressed. My first mistake was springing TWO new recipes on him at one time. His nose told him well ahead of time that he wasn't getting a burger and fries.
Lemon Chicken Piccata and Garlic Parmesan Orso were the new recipes of the day. I have made Chicken Piccata for him before - but not this recipe. I will admit that the sauce for the Piccata was really lemony and very bitter. I blamed the lemon - he blamed the capers. 
Unfortunately, when plating the food I dowsed both the chicken and the Orzo with the sauce. I made butternut squash, which he normally loves but by the time I had plated the food and took it's picture the squash was cold. He was not impressed with the little balls of squash, which I thought were cute. Nope not impressed at all.
Two bites and he was done. Thank God we didn't have company for dinner - just he and I had to suffer through this disaster of a dinner.
The saving grace of the night was the Cheese Babka. Also a new recipe and fortunately it was a hit. I had never made Babka before but it involved yeast and that was good enough reason alone for me to give this recipe a whirl. It also involved lemon and I was fearful that the bitterness of the lemon in the Chicken Piccata would continue to haunt me. The babka was delicious - no bitterness at all. It is a cross between a cake and a bread. I don't know how this is served in Poland but last night it was the star of the show in our house.

To redeem myself - tonight is burger and fries night.
I better wait a while to spring another "new" recipe on him lest he grab his keys and head out to the local fast food joint.
Apr. 11, 2011 7:22 am
you can never go wrong with bread B'Nana... :) and as an FYI - I don't like capers either, I think the combination of them and the lemon is what was the recipes downfall... poor B'Papa...home he enjoys his burgers and fries tonight :) (and thanks for making the Babka for the GangUp) :D
Apr. 11, 2011 7:22 am
*hope*...not home, dang fingers.... ;)
Apr. 11, 2011 7:23 am
You have to admit he is a good Joe about trying new stuff! Burgers and Mom's potato salad here today. May reach close to 90!
Apr. 11, 2011 7:24 am
I am so glad you did the GangUp Gitano - it saved the day. He will be thrilled to see a burger on his plate. :)
Apr. 11, 2011 7:25 am
Oh - potato salad is his favorite - thanks for the reminder. I bet he would love that.
Apr. 11, 2011 7:26 am
My husband rarely turns his nose up at anything I make for him because I gues I know what he likes and what he really doesn't like so I usually stay away from those ingredients. I made a Thai inspired soup a couple of months ago that I really thought he might like because it had shrimp in it, which he loves, and then just a package of an asain slaw mix and some store bought wontons. I even had him look over the recipe and he agreed to try it. After about three bites he gave up saying it tasted like....errrr, ummmm I just won't say, lol. Luckily I had some leftover tacos I could give him. My mother and I enjoyed the rest of the soup though. We thought it was good!
Apr. 11, 2011 7:29 am
Oh and that Babka looks yummy!
Apr. 11, 2011 7:32 am
Janmarie - the Babka is really good. My hubby loves lemon so normally this would have been OK - it was probably the capers as Gitano suggested. Oh well - live and learn.
Apr. 11, 2011 7:41 am
BTW - how do you plate and take a pic and still have a hot meal? Geez!
Apr. 11, 2011 7:51 am
Thank you for sharing your capers caper. What is chicken piccata without capers -- and lots of them? (What night of the week does NBP cook?)
Apr. 11, 2011 7:58 am
"...how do you plate and take a pic and still have a hot meal?" Isn't this why God made microwaves?
Apr. 11, 2011 8:21 am
Rusty - it would seem that zapping the plate would be the answer - not last night. :/
Apr. 11, 2011 9:38 am
I think the meal looked delicious, even if he didn't like it! At least you had the babka, so he did get to eat something!
Apr. 11, 2011 9:42 am
Love the Babka! My family is German/ Polish and we had them for family dinners in Chicago (many years ago)as I grew up. Great Aunts and Grandmothers made them esp for holidays. I never had the cheese one, BN, but we had the chocolate and walnut ones. I remembered the slices on our plates... Brought back some fun memories!
Apr. 11, 2011 9:54 am
sueb - thank you - it did look good - it just didn't taste to good. :(
Apr. 11, 2011 9:55 am
chris - I love traditions and learning about other cultures and their food traditions. Babka is a great one. The Chocolate Babka would I am sure be delicious. I even thought about Nutella - Yum - Hazelnuts!
Apr. 11, 2011 10:27 am
Have to say B-Nana, I hate capers too. Just a little quirk since I love most things. I am also blessed though with a guy that will eat pretty much anything I put in front of his face. Now, the Babka..that looks delish!
Apr. 11, 2011 1:32 pm
Anissa - we all have little things we don't care for - now we know that capers are one of his quirks. I have ditched the fries and made potato salad. Fresh WW hamberger buns are done.... I'm on my way to redemption. :)
Apr. 11, 2011 1:39 pm
Oh by the way - please don't make me eat canned peas or lima beans. :/
Apr. 11, 2011 1:42 pm
Well your picture sure makes it look delicious BN! Too bad it didn't turn out so good. My mom goes through this all the time- she can only spring a new dish on my dad about once a month lol! It is always disappointing when you spend time to make a meal only to discover it is practically inedible! Capers are a funny thing- people seem to love them or hate them. I love them, but a little dab will do it is far as I am concerned! Hope No Baking Papa enjoys his burgers tonight! Thanks for the blog :)
Apr. 11, 2011 2:28 pm
Don't make me eat canned peas either! My guy and his Dad love them..YUCK! I think we should all go out for burgers!
Apr. 11, 2011 4:07 pm
I checked the chicken recipe you used and I have so BTDT. I thought the culprit was the sliced lemon in the dish cause it was so bitter. Blech! Love lemon flavored food and we are OK with capers so that is the only thing that I can think. Your photos look lovely and the Babka looks really good!
Apr. 11, 2011 4:53 pm
Cat - it might have been the slices of lemon. Who knows - all I know is that I won't be making it again.
Apr. 11, 2011 6:42 pm
That cheese babka looks great. . .going to find the recipe :). . . I don't like capers either. My step mother made this great salmon pate, great except for the capers. . .
Apr. 11, 2011 8:07 pm
I'm with you BN, no canned peas. That's the only kind my Mom used to serve. Didn't matter if they were just heated up, pea salad (which was nothing but cold peas, Miracle Whip & chunks of Velveeta cheese), or the dreaded creamed peas. Lord when that woman creamed vegetables, it could have been used as wallpaper paste. BTW, I actually loved my Mom, but sometimes her dishes just didn't cut it. However, there wasn't a pie, cake or cookie that wasn't loved by everyone in the family.
Apr. 11, 2011 8:17 pm
Hi Ba'Nana! We sometimes even have capers in our tuna sandwiches! We love those little critters. The bread looks like a good thing! NO CANNED VEGGIES at all ever! Yuck! Your poor hubby can only just smile! He has a good thing going at your place! :)
Apr. 11, 2011 9:30 pm
b eautiful bread! i love lemons..rock on gal!
Apr. 11, 2011 9:31 pm
Thanks for stopping in LS, Magnolia and Marianne. My poor hubby wasn't smiling last night! Tonight, I made amends - Burgers, Potato Salad and Baked Beans - his favorite meal of all time. How have we managed to stay married for 35 years? :)
Apr. 11, 2011 9:32 pm
Hi Gderr - thank you! What is your take on capers?
Apr. 11, 2011 10:36 pm
Babka is da bomb, I made the chocolate one on here and was very impressed last year. Not a caper fan either, glad you had a yeasty treat to fall back on
Apr. 12, 2011 6:01 am
RNG - I think my next babka will be chocolate. Sounds like a good Easter treat.
Apr. 12, 2011 7:30 am
I love lemons, capers, parmesan, and orzo! : ) It's too bad the meal wasn't tasty, because it looks delicious. My hubby isn't a fan of lemons or capers, though, so I never make piccata. And the babka looks as good as it must have tasted. I have to agree on the canned peas and limas. I love fresh and frozen peas and limas, but the canned...bleh! Any vegetable in a can won't find its way into my pantry. Hope NBP enjoys the burger, potato salad, and beans tonight! : )
Apr. 12, 2011 7:44 am
A dozen years ago, when I had my gall bladder out, I asked them to save the stones for me [good show and tell for the kidlets (=] They looked like a couple dozen little dried capers (= Swear! I can actually still eat capers after that, believe it or not (= Btw, your dinner is gorgeous! Doesn't No Baking Papa realize THAT is what's important (=
Apr. 12, 2011 8:10 am
i love the little butternut squash balls! they're super cute. your dinner looks delicious, i'm sorry it didn't turn out well :(
Apr. 12, 2011 1:13 pm
wisweetp - I love lemon, garlic and capers - but I can't say this sauce was anything but bitter. No Baking Papa loved his burger.
Apr. 12, 2011 1:14 pm
Barb - I can say that I will never look as a caper without thinking of your gallstones!
Apr. 12, 2011 1:15 pm
chikalin - I thought the squash balls were great - he would have too if the rest of the dinner weren't such a bust. Those, I will do again. :)
Apr. 12, 2011 3:43 pm
Thanks barb :)(: My dear great Aunt Tina saved her stones too and showed them to me when I was 6. Now I won't be able to look at a caper without thinking of that dear lady LOL. Ba'Nana, the sliced lemon with the whole peel was the only thing I could think of that made it so bitter. Canned peas=blech! I love fresh though. Those squash balls did look pretty!
Apr. 12, 2011 5:56 pm
LOL! Oh, B'Nana, my hubby had the same response to the Lemon Chicken Piccata recipe of which you speak--and I left out the capers because neither one of us likes them. I'm convinced it's the lemon slices in the sauce. At first, I thought the problem was that the breading soaked up too much of the lemon juice, so I tried again without the breading--same "too much lemon" problem. And I love the squash balls!
Apr. 12, 2011 5:59 pm
BN, Something must have been wrong with the ingredients. I'm having a hard "digesting" the fact that you made something that wasn't good. I'm just keep on believing there was a problem with one of the ingredients. LOL!!!
Apr. 12, 2011 8:21 pm
Cat - Barb & your great Aunt and Capers - what an image! The pith of the lemon can be very bitter - maybe that was the root of the problem.
Apr. 12, 2011 8:22 pm
Mangel - so you confirm it wasn't the capers - I will tell No Baking Papa - I douby if he wants to give this a second go.
Apr. 12, 2011 8:44 pm
Candice - No Baking Papa has taken great joy in telling EVERYONE that dinner was not edible. :/ This must be pay back for the lack of burger type dinners he has had to forgo in lieu of one of my "creations". :)
Apr. 12, 2011 9:06 pm
If we could all cook & bake every dish perfectly, we would all be on the Food Network....love the failures and the ability to glorify them
Apr. 12, 2011 9:10 pm
Doug - isn't that the truth. If there were no failures we wouldn't appreciate the really great successes. Even the really great chefs have those meals that are a bust.
Apr. 12, 2011 9:11 pm
I am just wondering how long I will be eating burger before I am redeemed.
Apr. 13, 2011 7:52 am
ooh! I am always looking for new ideas for my bundt pan! Have you ever made a fruited ice ring mold with yours? One of my faves for a summer bbq. I like to make sun tea and throw it in a punch bowl with a lemon ice ring mold. Everyone loves it!
Apr. 13, 2011 8:24 pm
Great idea Mi$$drea. I have an old plastic one that I do that with. :)
Apr. 15, 2011 4:10 pm
I love capers, but sometimes after they've been sitting for a while, they seem to develop a bitter or "off" aftertaste. Gotta eat 'em while they're hot! :) My rule of thumb is that a highly-flavored main dish gets served with a plain rice/pasta/ whatever. If I serve a spicy/flavorful side dish, the main course will be on the mild side. Just my preference.
Apr. 16, 2011 5:37 am
Hello, I never comment on posts but enjoy reading them. However, I had to mention that if lemon juice and zest is added too early in the recipe it can turn very bitter. Try making it and adding the lemon at the very end. Thanks for the Babka idea - looks fantastic!
Apr. 16, 2011 8:18 am
Thanks for the comments! Lissa - that may have been the problem - who knows. In the mean time - I have redeemed myself with No Baking Papa. Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and some of the best Baby Back Ribs I have ever eaten. :)
Apr. 16, 2011 5:07 pm
This cracked me up! Loved it.
Apr. 16, 2011 9:46 pm
Thanks FF5 - No Baking Papa - says I am redeemed - however he is keeping a close eye on any "new" recipes. :)
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Baking Nana

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About Me
Every morning my granddaughter calls and says, "Good morning Nana. Whatcha doing? Are you baking Nana?" Hence my name, Baking Nana. I love to bake bread and never get tired of it. Yeast is additive! Visit me at BakingNana.com If you would like to contact me directly please use the 'Contact Me' on my site. http://bakingnana.com/contact-me/
My favorite things to cook
I go through phases, Asian for a while then Italian then on to something else. I love experimenting with new flavors and different spices. Some times my husband will ask if we will ever have "ordinary" food again. Once in a while I have to toss him a burger just to keep quite! Actually, he is a good sport and my favorite taste tester.
My favorite family cooking traditions
In our family if it is your birthday you get to choose the menu. We have had some really interesting meals. In March we have 5 birthdays so we do one big party - what a crazy menu that is! Christmas dinner is very traditional. Sausage rolls, Prime Rib, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, Green beans with bacon, Mashed Potatoes (the really fattening kind) and trifle for dessert. If I were to dare to omit any of those items I would be lynched.
My cooking triumphs
Mastering really great bread is probably my biggest triumph. I am always so pleased when I create a perfect Asian dish.
My cooking tragedies
There have been a few but none so horrible that I can't laugh about them now.
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