Have You Ever Had This Happen with a New Recipe?

Updated on October 27, 2011
A.S. asks from Boca Raton, FL
9 answers

Tonight I decided to take the plunge and try a new recipe - a replica for PF Chang's Mongolian Beef - a dish that one of my sons absolutely LOVES. It bugs me when we get it at Changs or Pei Wei because 1) it is very expensive; and 2) I don't know exactly what's in it, and I suspect MSG (which is not good for my son).

It seemed like it took forever to prep everything, and slice/brown/coat the meat, etc. I made a big mess, and had stuff all over the kitchen. It didn't look "right" until the absolute very end, and then - voila - it came together. And glory be - my entire family loved it!

Have you ever had that happen with a new recipe? I.e.., where it was a major pain, and all you could think was "if I hear one complaint about this I'm going to go nuts! And they probably won't like it anyway!" And then, surprise surprise, everyone liked it?

Ahhhh, I'm so happy. Cooking is not something I enjoy, but I do enjoy seeing my family eat well.

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So What Happened?

Awwww thanks fellow moms. I'm so glad you can relate. Here is the recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/p-f-changs-mongolian-beef-66121 . It doesn't look that complicated which is why I didn't start it sooner. The prep time is WAY underestimated, though I do agree that the more you make a dish the quicker the prep gets.

3boys - it's funny you mention it - I was just telling my husband that prep would go much quicker if I had a sous chef LOL! How wonderful to have a husband who can whip things together!

JB - I'd LOVE to have that recipe for the garlic lime chicken. That sounds wonderful!

Julie - I am the same exact way - I hate to spend alot of time and energy on stuff that gets thrown out or complained about. But I suppose it's all a learning process, no matter what.

Cheryl - your post made me LOL. And thanks for the kind words Grandma T!

SH - I should have mentioned it but we can't do pre-made because we need gluten free. In that recipe I substituted Tamari for soy sauce.

Lisa C. - that was hilarious! :P

Jane K. - Gosh I would have been really nervous with your situation and trying something to feed to neighbors. Great job.

Featured Answers



answers from Honolulu on

Safeway, or other grocery stores, sells PF Chang entrees.

A friend of mine has a saying "why cook when you can buy it."
Mind you, this is a friend, that can cook but does not like to.
So its a joke with her.

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answers from Boston on

Well after that great story you have to tell us where you got the recipe!

Yes I've had that experience too. I do find that if something is well received and I add it into the regular menu rotation, it becomes a lot faster and easier each time. Two recipes that took me forever the first time through were a cherry tomato pasta and a garlic lime chicken. I can throw either one of these together in about 20 minutes now. My all time favorite thing to make is a strawberry white chocolate mousse tart that I make for my grandmother-in-law every couple of years. It literally uses every gadget and appliance in my kitchen. It looks like a bomb went off in my kitchen when I'm making this and it takes hours but boy are the results worth it.

Glad it was a success...and if you could post the recipe or a link in your SWH that would be awesome.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dover on

I was looking and looking for a recipe for Mac and Cheese. I knew my SIL had one that the rest of the fam raved over, but I had never had it or asked for the recipe. I finally decided to ask for it to make for last Christmas.

1. I got the recipe and instantly went "?????????". It had cream of cheddar soup and sour cream in it. Didn't sound awesome

2. Then the directions had me mix all the wet stuff together on the stove and then add a TON of cheddar and melt it on the stove.

Instantly upon adding the cheddar to the liquid it melted around the spoon into a giant gloppy cheesy mess. I began to lose what little hope I had, and honestly thought my SIL had set me up because she didn't want to share her recipe and she's a little bit wonky sometimes. Instantly I started the internal dialogue with myself, "I can't serve this. The heck I can't! They're going to hate it. They'll like it because I said they'll like it." All the while I'm stirring the gloppy cheese spoon round and round the pan until it all melted.

In the end it was a really, really creamy recipe that didn't taste heavy or floury because there wasn't any in it. I had to apologize in my head to my SIL and even FB her how awesome it was (would you like a little crow with your mac and cheese, L.?).

So, yeah, it's happened.

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answers from Redding on

Awesome story. It's fun to cook and especially when your family eats it all up. Part of that "gratifying" feeling that all moms/wives love to feel every now and then.
It really makes you feel good when your kids are grown up and gone and come back and say "Mom, I've been craving your pork chops forever, please make some while I'm here." Love it.
Good job on your Mongolian Beef, I'm sure it was a prep nightmare ;)

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answers from Washington DC on

I love to cook!! I love to make Chinese food and it is a HUGE prep job to cook them!!

I do have that happen when the boys say - ARE YOU STILL COOKING DINNER???? And then when it gets put in front of them, they say YAHOO!!!

That's why I say NEVER GIVE UP!! NEVER SURRENDER!!! :)

YOU GO MAMA!! Great for you for trying new things!!!

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answers from Medford on

YEAH!! Great job! I made moo goo gai pan twice. First time it took forever to wash, chop slice, cut up, dice, mushrooms, onions, carrots, celery, snowpeas, water chestnuts, bambooshoots, chicken, noodles, whatever all it took. But then, it was great! Second time I made it, I thought, gee,, I forgot how much work it was. It was still good, but I decided,not that good, so I never went back to it. Maybe I should try again just in case it was my imagination it took an hour or more to get ready to cook..lol

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answers from Kansas City on

That happened to me with a Leek and Potato soup recipe I was making for our neighborhood dinner party. If we join the dinner party club, we are given a manual, with the meal already decided, and the recipes that you HAVE to use. And the guests you HAVE to invite. It is really fun. Anyway, it took me 3 hours, and about 50 bucks, to make a pot of soup. I was bitching and moaning the whole time to my husband, I couldn't believe this soup costs so much (leeks are expensive but oh so good!!). Anyway, it was the best ever. It was better than the main course, and my kids even loved it the next day. I also did that with Cheesecake Factory's chicken madeira (sp?) it was delicious, but I wasn't sure about it till I actually ate it!!

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answers from Chicago on

Of course, almost every time I make something truly new from scratch.

The first time I made home made pasta I was sure it was totally messed up, but then the dough came together. Same with a buttercream frosting, etc.etc. I could go on and on.

I think it's the stress and worry that you wasted a whole day on something. At least for me it's that. I hate to put a lot of energy into something that gets thrown away. I had to throw away a quick puff pastry recipe I made last weekend, after spending a good bit of time on it. It sucks, but I know what to do differently next time ;-)

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answers from St. Joseph on

Congratulations on a delicious meal success!!!!! I am not the greatest cook by anymeans. My husband is the chef of the family, literally. He was a sous chef on small yacht cruise ships for almost 3 years so he is an amazing chef, he can just whip up the most delicious meals from seemingly nothing or what looks like a mismatched combo.

I did however make a chicken noodle casserole last week that my husband said was the best thing I had ever made. He has seconds and didnt add a single dash of seasoning/spice, which he normally does lol. So, it looked good in the end, smelled and tasted great and even our toddler was okay with eating it for leftovers.

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