Failing in the Kitchen and Why It’s a Good Thing


A lot of people that I talk to are afraid of cooking, or don’t think that they can do it.

There will be times that everyone will fail in the kitchen, every time can’t win an award. And that’s ok!

You can choose to give up and throw your hands in the air, not looking back. Or you can order take-out & try again the next night, incorporating what you learned the previous time. Figuring out a new way to create dishes (bonus if it’s one you actually like) is part of the fun of cooking. When I started my business, I had never cooked salmon or asparagus. And now those two are requested staples on my menu.

I lucked out by having amazing clients who not only let me select the menu for them, but are also up for a little experimentation with cooking food in new and non-traditional ways. Ever heard of serving cheddar biscuits with coq au vin? The pairing totally worked. Buffalo cauliflower? Delish!

There have been failed attempts along the way (flash back to a chicken and pasta dish that didn’t work for so many reasons: overcrowded pan, chicken not browning but boiling, and sauce being “off”). We’ve all been there. It’s all a learning continuum.

I like to think that recipes should be treated more like guidebooks. I change the recipes based on experience, knowing what flavors work well together and my family’s preferences. Whenever you are cooking for someone else, keep in mind their likes and dislikes. For example, if a recipe calls for garlic and someone doesn’t like that, just leave it out or substitute it with an ingredient that they will like (such as cumin).

I have several clients where one person loves an ingredient that the other dislikes. This is normal. We don’t all like the same things!

What I suggest, as their personal chef, is to make a dish two ways. To some this may seem complicated, but it can sometimes be as simple as putting peppers on the side or using grape tomatoes rather than cut tomatoes that someone will try to fish out of the dish. I enjoy knowing that I not only made a family a meal, but also that they will enjoy it.

I encourage everyone to try new recipes; there are a gazillion on the internet, especially with Pinterest. But some of the best ones are found in old cookbooks from churches and schools that you can find at yard sales. And on those days when you don’t have time to spend in the kitchen, please feel free to contact me for you & your family’s needs, I would love to cook for you!

If you would like to get an email with my weekly specials you can sign up on my website at or email me at . Be sure to follow me on Instagram for pictures of food that I make to inspire you on your cooking journey!

Jeni Townsend
Jeni's Kitchen began with the right food getting into the right people's mouths. I created the official company in November of 2014 and it has been growing ever since. I cater to both the professional & personal clientele needs. Contact me for your: Corporate Functions, Working Luncheons, Personal Meal Deliveries, Church Functions, Family Gatherings, Dinner Parties, Bridal & Baby Showers, Meals For New Parents, Holiday Parties & other Social Events. Personal Milestones (Graduations, Birthdays,Anniversaries, Retirement) & More!

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