This is the very latest in ideas pushing me to be a more constant cook...to take all my free time and spend it hunting down recipes, planning brunches, not killing myself with my fabulous new mandoline...it's going to be great. This particular site gives you a menu for dinner every single night, as well as a play-by-play to cook all of the dishes at once, in synchrony. I'm not good at that. One day, I will be better, though.
As such, this year, I'm going to take on some challenges in the cooking arena. One for each month, in fact. I've had fairly successful attempts so far in my cooking career, although that may be from aiming a bit low to make sure there is food at the end of the night! (like last night, when, even though I went to Trader Joes that morning, I couldn't make any of my planned meals because I didn't have any fresh produce...Trader Joes is good for many things, including packaging zucchini in individual (?!) plastic sleeves. Plastic is a necessary consumable in my life...I get it. But that is just RIDICULOUS. And so today I went to the co-op to buy my vegetables plastic-less in old mesh bags from sweet potatoes and limes and such. And it was good).
Regardless, it makes me want to get out my meal planner, plan my grocery list, and spend the entire week cooking.
Without further ado:
January: Homemade bread (the kind you keep it in your fridge for up to three weeks and just bake a little bit every day)
February: Making my own mascarpone cheese and then using it to make homemade tiramisu.
March: The Pi day challenge (10 different pies, both savory and sweet, baked for March 14th)
April: Cheesecake (the really precise kind that Alton Brown makes). My girls have said that they looooove cheesecake, so here's my attempt to make it, and make it well.
May: Tarts. I don't have a tart pan, but I've found some amazing recipes I'd like to try...so I'm going to buy a few (circular, rectangular, and mini).
June: Midsommar meal (something that's going to require quite a bit of practicing recipes; and finding herring here in Boston may be a challenge)
July: Freezer jam (working my up to actual real-life jam hopefully next summer; I want to take things slow with this one. That and I'm afraid of jam-splosions)
August: Making 18 different kinds of salsa and having a salsa-tasting party in the Penthouse with Boston friends (plus learning how to make a killer margarita and a "real" mojito instead of the mixing-limeade-with-rum-and-some-mint-leaves-and-calling-it-a-day)
September: Making a ton of different pestos to freeze for the winter.
October: I'm going to tackle lamb. I've never cooked with it before, and while I won't be making lamb ribs (bone-in meat just isn't my favorite) - but I'd like to try lamb tangine and a Greek lamb pie. This will also be a great excuse to visit Russo's, a foodie's favorite haunt here in Boston.
November: Make a princess cake (this one kind of terrifies me. There is lots of fondant involved. And tons of almonds, mmm)
December: I'm putting it out there right now---party at my place, theme of the 12 Days of Christmas. Meaning? I'm going to learn how to cook a Cornish game hen ("Three French Hens"). I can hear my mom laughing herself silly back in Minnesota. But I am determined.
I'm also planning to continue with baking muffins on Sundays to take around to my girls on Mondays. And maybe also baking cookies, too? I just have so much that I want to try, and so little time, it seems!