Resolute

As much as I abhor New Year's resolutions (if you're going to make a change in you're life, that's great, but don't make arbitrary resolutions for the sake of ritual -- it won't change much at all, in my opinion), I find myself looking forward into the new year with my mind on cooking goals. I enjoy cooking, but have been rather haphazard in my learning of and improving in culinary skills. I've learned new dishes and conquered recipes, but only according to my whim or taste bud fancy of the moment. There are some foods that I would like to be more systematic in learning about and creating for myself. Here are thirteen such food goals.
  1. Bread. I love baking bread, and have started to be more regular in baking non-quick and non-sweet breads. One of my all time favorite cookbooks is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I love this book, and how simple it makes such a daunting challenge. In the new year, I'd like to bake bread more regularly, as well as learn more about the science behind it.
  2. Indian food. Since traveling to Malaysia, Indian food has become a fast favorite. I'd like to learn how to create flavorful, healthy curries and masalas.
  3. Flatbread. Especially naan. Oh, garlic naan, how I love you! (On an exciting side note -- I found garlic naan in the frozen section at The Good Food Store! And it's not only decent -- it's pretty darn delicious! Naaaan!)
  4. Pie. I love to eat pie. A lot. But baking pie scares me, especially the crust. I want to conquer the pie!
  5. Ice cream. It seems like such fun to create ice cream. I want to try!
  6. Slow cooker meals. I have enjoyed breaking in my not-so-new garage-sale-find slow cooker. Now I want to use it more, and in more versatile ways.
  7. Food for a crowd. Cooking a meal for more than two people is, in a word, terrifying. It would be nice to have it be less so, especially before we start bringing kiddos into the world. I want to be able to feed my family nutritious dinners without overdue stress. I also hope to do more entertaining, and less worry would be helpful there as well.
  8. Muffins. I seem to have left my first baking love, the humble muffin. I'd like to return to Muffin Monday, or at least experiment with new flavors, both sweet and savory. Besides, who could refuse mo' muffins?
  9. Chinese food. I don't know . . . because wonton wrappers and sushi roll mats intrigue me.
  10. Frosting. I can make a decent cake, and eat it, too, but I can't frost it.
  11. Seasonal ingredients. I don't pay much attention to the season and what foods are available during certain times of the year. It would be fun, thrifty, and enlightening, I think, to pay more attention to this and menu-plan accordingly.
  12. Mexican food. Because I already love it.
  13. Recipes from other people. I get bunches of recipe recommendations from family and friends. It's time to step out and boldly test these puppies out! Not only would it expand my food horizons a bit, but it would develop trust, I believe, for these people as well as the unexplored new foods.
Graphic from Stainless Steel Droppings.

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