Last night, I made lasagna from a recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I should've been suspicious when it called for a 16 ounce can of whole tomatoes. At the store, I found whole tomatoes in 14.5 and 28 ounce cans only.
Then, when I went to make the sauce, as it cooked, I thought, is there really going to be enough? The answer turned out to be no. I was able to put 3 layers of sauce between the noodles, and after that it was cheese. Then I ran out of cheese--the ricotta--and had to shred up the second half of a 1 pound ball of mozzarella.
The one cup of sauce they recommended for the bottom barely covered the bottom of what I know was the right size pan, ditto the cheese in the next layer. As far as taste went, it was edible, though this is the first time I've had to use a knife as well as a fork to eat lasagna with. A couple of my roommates asked for some, and they liked it. But to the eye, it looks like bare noodles. Not esthetically pleasing.
I'm no amateur in the kitchen, but I think somebody on the editorial staff should've taken a second look at the recipe, and tried to make it themselves the way it was written. They would've spotted the errors in short order.
I once tried to make fudge with frosting mix from a Betty Crocker cookbook, and it didn't turn out well at all. A friend took it and baked some cupcakes, using the failed fudge as frosting.
Supposedly, these big-name cookbook writers test their recipes over and over to make them as foolproof as possible, but I think the fault lies with the publisher. Somebody must've been asleep at the switch.