Pinterest: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

People of Pinterest: We need to talk.  Probably a solid half (or more) of the recipes I’ve found on Pinterest have been complete crap.  Can we all make a little pledge to each other to stop spreading bad recipes?  I mean really: if you try it, and it’s bad, get it off the internet so people like me don’t waste their time with recipes that fail or don’t taste good.

Why don’t I just stop making recipes off Pinterest?  I’ve thought about it.  But every so often you come across a gem that makes you think “there must be others out there, too!” So today I’m going to take you behind the scenes and show you why not every recipe I make ends up here on my blog.

Let’s start with the good:

The photo I pinned- click to visit source

This Mexican Chicken Recipe came from Pinterest.  So far, they are tied with cookie dough brownies (also from Pinterest) for the most lauded recipe from my blog.  I’ve made both recipes with total success several times, and my friends/family who have tried also had great results.  Total winners.

Then there’s the bad:

The photo I pinned (click for source)

I’ve made this Pad Thai recipe like four times. Each time it was okay, but it’s been very inconsistent.  The ingredients were hard to find when I was living in Atlanta, the instructions seem to be missing a step, and while it’s always edible it’s never really that good.  So I gave up on it.

My photogenic failure

And then there’s the ugly:

The photo I pinned

I wasted the better part of yesterday trying to make this stupid recipe work.  I pinned this recipe for Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider cookies like six months ago.  Despite being chocolate free, I thought they sounded delish for fall.  So even though it was 100° over the weekend, I gave them a go.  They were what kids these days call “an epic failure”.  I made the first batch exactly as the recipe instructs.  The only problem: the melty caramel oozed through my cooling rack into big gooey piles on my countertop.  Not good.  So for the second tray, I modified them a little bit, placing the caramel on top like a thumbprint cookie.  That helped the cooling problem a little (not totally), but the cookies weren’t nearly as tasty.  Plus, the caramel cooled to be too hard.  My third attempt was to bake the cookies plain then drizzle melted caramel over the top.  While this kind of worked, it wasn’t a practical solution because they remained sticky.  When stacked, they quickly turned into caramel cookie briquettes.  Not suitable for inclusion on the blog, the whole batch went into the trash.  Perhaps, as Jason so kindly suggested, I did it wrong.  But I (not-so-humbly) feel that- if I can’t recreate it, most people probably can’t either.  Obviously this is not the story of “girl meets kitchen”.  We’re pretty well acquainted at this point.

Attempt #1

Attempt #2

Attempt #3

So, I know it’s hard because most people probably don’t actually make the recipes they pin, but next time you’re on Pinterest drooling over food porn, I urge you NOT to casually repin without changing the caption that says “I make this all the time and it’s a family favorite!” because it’s a lie.  You don’t make it all the time.  You don’t even know how it is.  And based on my extensive experience, it probably sucks.

xoxo

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About how bout some cake

I'm a 20-something woman with an insatiable thirst for adventure. I love red wine, chocolate cake, and comments from my lovely readers
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12 Responses to Pinterest: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

  1. I am on Pinterest, but I’m really not that “into” it like everyone else. I guess partly because half of the stuff I’ve tried is disgusting. I guess you really CAN’T judge a book by it’s cover, but we decide to make a recipe without seeing what’s in it first and we try dumb hair stuff that would never work in real life.

    lol :-)

    Your food looks yummy! (I hope it actually is!! ;-))

    Bonnie
    http://www.recipeshappen.com
    http://www.facebook.com/recipeshappen

  2. albucco10 says:

    Haha I kind of love this. I’ve made my way through my fair share of Pinterest recipe “fails” and I always think the same thing: is it just me or is this NOT working? Lucky for me, I’ve hit on just as many amazing recipes, so I can’t be too bothered!
    -Alyssa
    The Glossy Life

    • It’s so disappointing when a recipe flops! It’s like “Ok, I wasted time and money on this, plus I don’t have anything to eat, and now I have to come up with something else to blog about.” It happens to be like once a week. There must be a better way!

  3. Donna Pugliese says:

    This is HBSC experiencing a bad break-up…foodie-style!

  4. Ah, this is so true! Lucky for me I have had great success with recipes I tried from Pinterest so far, but sometimes people pass around a bad apple just because the picture is perfect and it looks good on a pin board. Thanks for sharing your triumphs and failures!

    Stephanie

  5. jennacwest says:

    Hahaha YES! I giggled throughout reading this whole post, because I have been there, including the boyfriend suggesting “you did it wrong”. However, I have also had my share of pinterest success so we can conclude that it’s not just us. We should all create a board of “pinterest fails” just to save other people the trouble.

    Jenna

  6. Bree says:

    I think your “bad” and “ugly” are better than my “great” cooking on any day! You seem to be really daring and adventurous with your recipes – I play it really safe… kind of boring hahaha

  7. I hate when you’re all excited to try a new recipe and it turns out awful! I made peach crumble on the weekend and it didn’t look at all like the photo :( Thankfully my husband was supportive and tried to lift my spirits. On the bright side it tasted good, but I’m still unsure about whether I should include the recipe in my blog.

    xo jen

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