Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In the Kitchen

Maybe it's all the new kitchen gadgets we received as wedding gifts, or maybe it's just the new found feeling of being a wife, but something has inspired me to want to cook, like all the time. Don't get me wrong, I know my way around the kitchen but since Mike and I have been together, I've sort of let him take over that part of our lives. I basically make the ice water every night for dinner, with the occasional baking session every now and then. Now Mike is starting school (he's going to be a teacher ladies and gentleman, I'm so happy and proud of him for taking this path!) which means that I am taking over the responsibility of cooking and I am really excited about it. In fact, maybe a little too excited. In addition to preparing my yearly goals and resolutions (to be shared at a later date) I have prepared a list of things I want to cook/bake this year (I know, I'm a nerd). So here goes...

- homemade nutella (we have the huge advantage of having German family who bring us over jars of German nutella and yes it's different than the stuff you get here, not full of partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup, since we are down to 1 jar of the good stuff, I have resolved to make it myself.)
- french bread/baguette (my hubby got me a bread maker for Christmas and I have already been using it but I want to try to make a really good baguette, like the kind you would find over in Paris)
- cinnamon rolls (another thing I'd like to try in the bread maker)
- homemade crackers
- graham crackers
- granola (I have about 100 recipes for granola, I am determined to find a really good one!)
- Foccacia (do you see a pattern here, that breadmaker is really going to come in handy)
- perfect mac and cheese (my roux always comes out grainy, I think I know how to fix this, but I need to test it out)
- perfect pizza dough (this is something we always struggle with, it's either too dense, or too chewy, etc.)
- savory galette (already made this on Monday night, good but needed tweeking)
- scrambled egg muffins (I saw something like this in Southern Living, thought it would make a good brunch item)
- macarons (the French kind, not the coconut ones, although those are delicious too)
- mayonnaise (we also received a food processor for Christmas and I am dying to try to make the real thing)
- olive oil cake
- plantains (we tried to make plantains over the summer and the result was disastrous, I'm determined to be successful because I love plantains)
- butter (I've read like 5 articles about making homemade butter, it sounds easy, we'll see)
- cheese (we've tried making homemade mozzarella, there were many factors involved in why it may not have turned out perfectly, I want to try again)
- mustard (I've kind of been obsessed with the idea of making my own mustard since I saw this recipe a few years ago.)
- nut butters (again, another food processor thing)
- Indian curries (specifically nilgiri korma from my favorite Indian restaurant in NYC
- naan
- Zaytoon's style pizza (my favorite Middle Eastern restaurant in Brooklyn makes this awesome flat bread pizza with herbs and feta cheese and since we no longer live in the city, I have a huge desire to re-create some of my NYC favorites)
- really good birthday cake from scratch
- puff pastry (I'm baffled by the fact that so many recipes call for this and yet so few people make it from scratch. We received Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Christmas and of course, Julia has a recipe for puff pastry, I must try to make it since the store bought stuff is full of chemicals.)
- gnocchi (love it, never tried to make it before, dying to try Jamie Oliver's recipe for it.)

So that's it! I have a lot of work to do by next year and I'm sure this list will continue to grow. We'll see if I can even get through half of it, but it's still January and I am feeling optimistic!

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