Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cooking Resolutions

I love the start of the New Year. It is like buying a new journal and putting pen to paper on that first page, or crawling into a bed with crisp, clean sheets, or cleaning out the fridge and opening the door to clutter-free shelves.

If you can relate to these things, then you and I are probably alike and both make New Years' resolutions. I don't know about you though, but I have come to a point in my life where I've started to feel that goals should be more about rewards than sacrifice. More about fulfillment than deprivation.

Last month marked the one year anniversary of this blog (and my 100th post!). It only makes sense to begin my second year with some goals in mind. Look for posts on these topics in 2009:

  1. Know your Cuts of Beef
    It is no secret, I love a good steak. I am familiar with many cuts of beef, but mostly just the primal cuts. You throw a blade steak or flat iron at me and I start to get confused. Don't even start with the name variations between the East and West coasts.

  2. Cake
    I love to bake, but my repertoire is limited to pies, tarts, mousses, cookies, et al. I have yet to tackle cakes. To be honest, I don't like cake that much, but they are so darn pretty plus you can make miniature versions. I'd like to tackle frosting, fondant and ganache, but that is all part of it, right?

  3. Croissants
    This may be a skill I end up regretting. Like when I learned how easy Hollandaise and Bearnaise sauces were and started making them ALL THE TIME. I love me some flaky pastry and it just so happens that the latest issue of Fine Cooking arrived in my mailbox today with an entire article on making homemade croissants. Chocolate and ham & cheese versions too.

  4. Homemade Mozzarella
    Don't start with me. I know this sounds ridiculous, but you should know by now that I love complex cooking tasks. The more from scratch the better. Of course I love cheese too. The November issue of Saveur had a step-by-step recipe that I am dying to try. Hey - it looks easier than the demi-glace that graced the cover.

  5. Homemade Bread
    A couple of years back, "No-Knead" bread was all the rage, now there is even 5-minute bread. Pretty soon, the bread will be making itself. There is really no excuse for not making bread. Especially when it costs about 50 cents to make a crusty, artisan loaf at home versus about $4 to buy it at the store.

  6. Produce Delivery
    I've done produce delivery and pick-up yourself CSAs in the past. It is kind of a commitment and it has kicked my butt, but I am going to give it another try. I've signed up for a produce basket every other week with Full Circle Farm. They have a pick-up location near my new office. I love the inspiration an unknown box of produce provides, not to mention how it forces me to eat my fruits and veggies.

  7. Herb Garden
    Last fall we finally finished our front yard which includes two raised beds. I planted a few herbs (though I doubt they'll survive the winter), but plan to give it my all come springtime. I am done paying $2-3 for those ridiculous packets of fresh herbs.

  8. Cuss Less
    Don't laugh. I really do want to try to cuss less, but sometimes a cuss word provides the exact emphasis I need. I am DEAD fucking serious.

  9. Eat More Fish
    I ate a lot of fish growing up - at least 3 times a week. Gavin didn't eat any seafood though, so now we are down to about once a week. We try. Heck, I even signed up for seafood delivery at one point to jump start my inspiration. I don't want to go overboard and get all Jeremy Piven, but eating fish twice as much as I currently do would be an improvement.

  10. Food Lit
    My shelves are lined with books I've started and stopped, books I've been meaning to read and magazines fill my mailbox every month. Food Lit tops my "to read" list: The Jungle, How to Pick a Peach, The Soul of a Chef, Meatpaper, Appetite for Life...the list goes on and on and on.

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