I don’t know why I feel inclined to share this.  Ok, yes I do: I’m a confessor, and I want to hear from you about the things you burn, so we can all feel better.

Learn from my mistakes.  I have lost too many good pots to scorched bottoms due to ignored popcorn. The fire department has had to come to my parents’ house TWICE over Thanksgiving because twice I let turkey fat cause a grease fire in the oven.  The second time is even less funny than the first.

Don’t try to do that one extra thing while you are making any of the following:

1. Quesadillas

In the oven, on the stove, a burnt tortilla is nobody’s friend, and even though you can hide  a slightly over-browned bottom, the first bite will reveal a quesadilla that went too far.

2. The last half batch of cookies

It’s the tray at the very end, the not-quit-full-tray that gets forgotten.  I somehow don’t think I have to et the timer, when the tray of cookies isn’t full…which just isn’t all that smart.

My New Favorite Oatmeal Cookies - Katie Workman - The Mom 100

3. Pita chips

4. Crostini

Avocado And Cannellini Bean Crostini With Gremolata / Mia / Katie Workman / themom100.com

5. Caramel Sauce

Just that small amount of time between beautifully brown….and too brown.

6. Grilled Cheese

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese / Mandy Maxwell / Katie Workman / themom100.com

7. Toasted sesame seeds

Seconds, I tell you….seconds.

8. Stovetop popcorn

My in-laws get nervous when I make this at their house.  But now I’ve kind of ruined one pot, so that’s the popcorn pot.

Ok, your turn.  What sets off the smoke alarm in your house?


  1. I have a bad habit of spraying cooking oil onto a pan for making scrambled eggs, turning on the burner, and then walking away to “do something” while I wait for the pan to heat up. I either end up making really brown scrambles, or ditching the pan of smoking oil in the sink and starting all over. Now I’m trying to set the timer for one minute before I turn away, to remind myself of what I started out to do!

  2. Mine is pan seared meat – sets off the smoke alarm every time, even though I’ve never burnt it. Also, the smoke alarm is guaranteed to go off if I have something sitting on the left back burner and preheat the oven. Not the front burners and not the right back burner — just the left.

Rate & Comment