If you make the majority of your own meals, you've probably seen a recipe that looked great and then tasted "blah" or just didn't look like the picture. I found a recipe for Goat Cheese Empanadas in my August issue of Real Simple. It looked really easy, and I thought I could modify it slightly for my family.
Instead of using goat cheese, I filled half of the empanadas with mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce, and the other half with Velveeta cheese, black beans, and salsa. My problems first started because I overfilled the crust, which made them really hard to seal. Since they did not seal very well, the empanadas came out of the oven looking like this:
Really, from these pictures they don't look too terrible, but I thought they looked horrible when I pulled them out, and of course were nothing like the picture in the magazine! We went ahead and ate them anyway, and they actually tasted really good. Now, if I make these again I have a better idea about how much (or really, how little) I can put in each empanada to make them come out a little prettier. And really, how they look doesn't matter as much as how they taste!
So the next time you end up with a recipe flop, I hope you'll see it as a learning experience instead of a failure! I know I needed this reminder that what I cook doesn't have to be perfect to be right for my family!