Yesterday was Test Kitchen Tuesday. I wandered towards the pantry in my fuzzy-pink, bunny slippers and wondered what I delectable dish would I create. My mouth and stomach wanted cupcakes. I perused the recipe books and decided to try one of Jessica Seinfeld’s “Deceptively Delicious, Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcakes”. Just the word cheesecake made my mouth water.
I checked my pantry with the ingredient list and found that I had all the needed components with the exception of yellow squash puree. So, I thought to myself, I will just substitute applesauce for the squash after all they’re both yellow—right?
The recipe also called for spinach and blueberry puree. I got the blueberry part, but spinach in a blueberry cheesecake cupcake?? In faith I continued. I put a few handfuls of fresh spinach in the pan to wilt, mom said, “You will need more than that to make ½ cup puree”. I added more, and more, till the spinach box was empty and the 14-inch pan was overflowing. Less than two minutes later I was staring at a few scraps of slimy green spinach which I transferred to the Vita-Mix. It was time to measure the dark-green sludge into a cup. I began, but could not complete the task. I found myself pushing the blender into mom’s hands while I ran for the back door ready to hurl my bagels with strawberry cream cheese. My delicate senses could not cope with the smell of cooked spinach—and for the record Spinach Quiche does not smell like this! Mom slid the entire contents of the green slop into a ½ cup measuring bowl.
After prepping the remaining ingredients I began the task of combining and mixing. Now I had two bowls, one larger bowl of icky, smelly, dark-green, blueberry—spinach, cake batter. And a smaller bowl of runny, cream-cheese, applesauce, filling (it was so runny; I expected it to run off at any moment).
Because of the horrid color I decided to use some happy, colorful, polka-dot, cupcake papers. I commenced to layer smelly-green goo and the [funny rilling] into my cute, paper-lined pans.
Twenty-five minutes later I opened the oven with caution. The smell of twice-cooked spinach wafted over me *gag*. I set the pan aside to cool on my bright-orange Fiesta Ware counter top. Now, I wondered to myself, who will I get to test this poison? Bailey, the dog, is nowhere in sight (she is smart). Mommmm, I call, come taste my cupcakes.
Mom walked into the kitchen which smelled like baked spinach—mulch. Bravely, she put on a smile, and with her most encouraging voice mom said, “Oh, honey, they look good; m-m-m-m they smell good; I bet they taste good too.” She kindly did not even mention the concave in the once fluffy cupcakes. Mom placed a small bite on the tip of her fork as she softly said, “I can’t wait to taste them.” As she raised the fork to her mouth my whole world slowed down to that of a Baywatch Babe running across the beach. My heart leaped out of my chest as my brain screamed, “if she dies from this sketchy science experiment who will clean this kitchen of confusion with the blueberry, spinach, applesauce mess, sprinkled with flour and egg shells?” I tried to yell stop! But like a bad dream, no sound was coming from my mouth. It was too late. As mom chewed her smile began to fade. Oh sure, she tried to hide the disgust from showing, but I knew the moment she knocked me down leaned over the kitchen sink spitting out my “Deceptively Delicious, Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcake” that today’s test kitchen was a total failure.
In the end I have learned that the “deceptive” part of this recipe was the ‘blueberries’ and the ‘cheesecake’. I doubt that Popeye would have even touched this with a grappling hook.
And, yes, I did clean up my own blue-green mess.