Turning Failure Into Success

by Maggie on January 2, 2010

Happy New Year lovely readers of mine.

This year promises to be a good one for the She Let Them Eat Cake family.  I am excited about so many things (including Pete’s book launch March 2nd!).

As some of you may know, I’ve been selling my goodies at Nata’s Café in downtown Peterborough.  I just dropped off their second order!  What a great way to start the new year.

On New Year’s Eve I was chatting with my girl Yellie and she asked me the million dollar question, “So how can you afford the baking mishaps that must occur in your kitchen?”  Sigh.  Yes, I make mistakes, especially when working without eggs, butter, wheat, and all of those ‘normal’ ingredients.  It’s almost inevitable.

Today saw another major mishap.  THREE failed cakes.  THREE.  Each failed cake contained the oh-so expensive coconut oil.  Ugh.

So I was totally bummed.  These ingredients are not cheap.  Not.  At.  All.  The lovely Pete employed his usual tactics to talk me out of my funk.  “Put your hand up in the air and point your finger at the sky Mags.  Now who’s number one?  Who started a blog in 2009?  Who got their baked goods into a café in 2009?  Who’s number one?”

Works every time – that hand up in the air bit.  Try it yourself.  Walk around for a minute with your hand good and high.  You are number one!  Hopefully the neighbours won’t see you.  What would they think?

After my little rock star moment I headed back into the kitchen, looked at those three cakes and said, “Fine, if you’re not going to be cakes, you’re going to be bread pudding gosh darn it!”  Because really you can’t throw that amount of baked almost-yumminess in the garbage.  You MUST find a way to turn the failure into a success.  A couple of weeks ago my friend gave me his recipe for bread pudding and this is the perfect opportunity to try it.

So if you have any failures throw them in the freezer and think about reinventing them.  What else could you use them for?  Bread crumbs?  A cookie base? An ice cream topping?  The ideas are endless.

Running a business is all about finding opportunities.  And I’m running a business (wait, I am?).

P.S.  A few weeks ago I made some cookies that were gluten-free and vegan.  They were a test batch for the café.  They failed the test.  But you know what?  I used those for my Ooey Gooey Bars.  They made a GREAT cookie crumb base.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara January 2, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Going sugar-free for a whole month, Mags. Any good recipes that are desserty without sugar? I think I can do it. I know I’ll feel better. I’ll read your blog and look forward to Feb. 1 so I can try one of your recipes (you know I’m still a 1950s type of baker). Keep at this – you are great!


MaggieSavage January 3, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Sara – check out Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. It’s a blog just about that. I think you’d like it.


Danielle January 3, 2010 at 8:34 pm

You are #1!
This article highlights the importance of having a partner, not just for the cute butt, but, ha, for the emotional boost when you are low. How wonderful to have that, someone who would eat your mistakes any day.


Heather January 3, 2010 at 9:07 pm

This made me laugh out loud (notice I did not write lol). I love reading your blog because it makes me feel like we’re hanging out and you’re talking about your day. Talk to you soon, Business Woman.


Annie January 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Yay Maggie I love everything about this post. I think Pete’s hand in the air bit is going to be making a regular appearance in our house from this point forward. Do tell us how your bread pudding turns out! Glad to hear that 2010 is looking bright.


Sandra January 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Hey there,
I found you via Amy’s simply sugar and gluten free blog and am really dying to try one of your recipes too.
I work in Port Perry and would now love to day trip to Peterborough one fine weekend to try your goodies at Nates cafe. Folks like me just can’t find some good gluten free and healthy sweetener goodies to treat themselves to once in a blue moon when they are out and about. I’ll have to see if the cafe is open on Sunday’s, my day off.


Maggie January 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Hi Sandra – I’m so glad you found me! You had to go to Amy’s in Texas first though – and we live so close 🙂 Yes, come to Peterborough and try my goodies at Nata’s. They’re definitely open on Sundays! The Quinoa Brownies will be your best bet if you’re looking for something healthier in the sweetener department. Are there any good places in Port Perry for gluten-free, and vegetarian eaters? My brother-in-law lives in Brooklin so we’re always looking for options when we go for a visit!


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