The first test of a new recipe can be a mysterious adventure, like a first date. You never know exactly how it will turn out. You’ve done your research, spent time on preparation, and hopes are high. Either you will be sadly disappointed and head back to the drawing board, or you’ll go through the motions, find some redeeming qualities, then plan on a second date—or test, in this case. On rare occasions, it’s kismet. All of the stars are aligned and you couldn’t have planned better … but how often does that happen? (Hint: never.)

Each recipe we create here is tested at least three times, and some we try out as many as ten times. What we start with is often vastly different from what we end up with, so we don’t usually take on too many first tests at once—it can be tricky trying to monkey with every recipe at the same time. Lucky for us, Kate arrived this morning singing our fight song for the tough day ahead:

Our mystery ship of first tests (in-house corned beef, angel food cake with berries, cedar plank salmon, fish cakes, and bitter greens salad) were all successes! Thank you, Blood, Sweat & Tears, for the positive vibe cast over the test kitchen today.

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