Saturday, January 9, 2016

New Years Updates, Part II

On Thursday, I happily shared my list of novels that helped me accomplish my first resolution of 2015.  I then went on to brag that I am counting both of my resolutions as successes, although technically number 2 had the asterisk by it.  I'm now here to explain that asterisk.

Not the asterisk, rather plum poppy seed muffins
My second goal was to cook one new recipe a week.  I was trying to grow and I love to cook and it was the natural choice.  And for 26 weeks (half a year people) I kept that resolution.  But then life got in the way and one new recipe a week wasn't always going to work out.  How then, you may ask, did I count this technically failed resolution as a win?  There were so many weeks that I not only cooked one new recipe, but sometimes two or three or, in one epic baking weekend, five!  Yes, I missed 4 weeks (although, there were somewhat legit excuses each time like weddings and going to Chile...), but by my count, in 2015 I made 90 new recipes.  And to me, that is an epic success.

Ben's 27th birthday cake - new recipe number 7 - brown butter hazelnut cake
As with my list of novels, I so loved writing down what recipes I tried each week in my handy-dandy purse sized date book (seriously, love that thing).  I had even more fun compiling the list at the end of the year.  And what do you know?  There were some lessons learned as well. 

Lessons such as, I only cooked one recipe from my Bon Appetit magazines.  So, between that and being eternally annoyed by their pretentiousness, the subscription is officially canceled!  Conversely, I love me some Smitten Kitchen.  And Martha Stewart.  And while not every dish that I made out of Cooking Light was a knock out, they're consistently good and only one was truly terrible.  This was unexpected, but a good surprise.  Finally, I am dependent on a few go-to cookbooks.  Which is great, but when you have a larger than average cookbook collection, you should dig into deeper.  Which leads me into New Year's Resolution #2 of 2016:

Cook 100 new recipes.  At least one recipe from each cookbook I own.

I'm forgoing the one new recipe a week clause (but will internally keep to it, since otherwise there is no way I'll make it to 100.  I'll just feel no guilt if I miss a week or four and give myself a break from ridiculous self imposed stress).  And I'm adding the cookbook one.  With the thought that if I don't cook from a cookbook in 2016, it may need to go.  (I say may because I love looking at my pretty collection.  This would be heart-wrenching.  But hopefully also butt-motivating.  I'm looking at you Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook). 

Old picture of cookbook collection.  It now fills out one side completely and has started it's way across the back.  Don't judge me.
There you have it!  Basically the same two resolutions as last year, but I liked them and I'm going with it.  Plus, I tweaked both, so technically they are harder.  See, I am growing!  Lastly, if you are interested, here is the list of everything new that I made this year in the kitchen, with links to some of the very best.  Everyone else, you may skip the rest of the post.

Technically not a new recipe this year, rather an oldie, but a goodie

A Year of Recipes

☼ - Loved, but haven't found the excuse to make again yet.  But we will, oh yes we will
♥ - Loved and was made more than once this year!  (in some cases, too many times to admit (I'm looking at your butterscotch pudding)
ATK: America's Test Kitchen
BA: Bon Appetit
CI: Cook's Illustrated
CL: Cooking Light
MS: Martha Stewart (book or blog)
NYT: Essential NY Times Cookbook
RSB: Raw Spice Bar
SK: Smitten Kitchen (book or blog)

Week 1 Corn Bread in Cast Iron Skillet
Week 2 Butterscotch Pudding (SK) ♥
Jerk Chicken Chili (One Dish) ♥
Week 3 One Skillet Lemon Chicken (CL)
Week 4 Blondies (CI)  ♥
Mushroom Marsala Bake (SK)  ♥
Brown Butter Hazelnut Cake - Ben's 27th bday cake (SK) ☼
Week 5 Curry Chicken en Papillote
Baker's One Bowl Brownies
Week 6 Beef and Squash Chili (BA)
Tacos al Carbon (Homesick Texan)  ♥
Week 7 Sweet and Sour Brisket (SK) ☼
Week 8 Chicken Waterzooi Soup (F52)  ♥
Chicken Stuffed with Sausage (CL) ☼
Week 9 Rhubarb Curd Shortbread (F52)
Week 10 Roasted Chicken with acorn squash, musrooms and onions (MS)
Mom's Lasagna  ♥
Week 11 Corned Beef and Cabbage
Week 12 Ginger Snap Peas (MS)  ♥
Week 13 Little Lamb Patties (CL) ☼
And apparently something from America's Test Kitchen… but I wrote the name of the recipe as Test Kitchen, so we may never know what I cooked
Week 14 Slow Cooker Chicken Mole (CL)
Potatoes au Gratin (F52)
Robin's Eggs Cookies
Week 15 Slow Cooker French Onion (CL)
Blueberries and Cream Cookies (Milk Bar)
Week 16 Brownie Roll Out Cookies (SK) ♥
Zuppa Toscana
Week 17 Slow Cooker Guiness Pulled Pork
Asain Quinoa Slaw
Week 18 Prok Bahn Mi (CL)
Butterscotch Pecan Ice Cream (D. Leowitz) ☼
Week 19 Rigatoni with Goat Cheese (MS)
Week 20 Strawberry Sorbet (SK)
Week 21 Orange Curry Pork Chops and Chai Rice (CL)
Blean Bean Burgers
Week 22 Yeasted Waffles (CI) ♥
Apricot Ginger Bread (Tipsy) ♥
Week 23 Chai Spiced Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
Week 24 Grilled Pizza Dough (MS) ♥
Week 25 Pineapple Chicken Kabobs
Week 26 Buttermilk Bundt Cake with Peaches and Blueberries (SK) ☼
Week 27
Week 28 Greek Chickpea Salad
Week 29 Grilled Bean and Cheese Stuffed Poblanos (CL)
Week 30 Plum and Poppy Seed Muffins (SK) ♥
Coffee Cake Muffins (Bittman) ☼
Week 31
Week 32 Berliner Meatballs ☼
Week 33
Week 34 Chilean Cooking Class!
Week 35 Chicken with tomatoes and mushrooms (MS)
Chicken Fajitas (SK)
Chocolate Biscotti
Week 36
Week 37 Butterscotch Cashew Bars (NYT) ☼
Week 38 Broccoli Salad (SK) ☼
Sausage Stuffed Zucchini (MS) ☼
Chicken Biryani (One Dish) ☼
Week 39 Summer Squash Noodle Bake (SK)
Chocolate Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies (SK) ☼
Lahmacun/"Lamb Pizza" (RSB)
Za'atar Roasted Cauliflower (RSB)
Week 40 Apricot Pork Chop (MS) ♥
Hot Fudge Pudding (Tipsy)
Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup (CL)
Week 41 Tomato, Butter and Onion Sauce ☼
Italian Meatballs ☼
Carmelized Onion Grilled Cheese (SK) ♥
Cornbread (Tipsy) ♥
Pumpkin Muffins (Flour)
Week 42 Soy Braised Chicken with Star Anise and Orange
Switchel (F52) ♥
Week 43 Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl (SK)
Malaysian Laska (RSB)
Week 44 Broccoli, Bacon, Squash and Cheese (CL) ☼
Creamy Curried Sweet Potato Soup (NYT) ☼
Week 45 Granola (ATK) ♥
Lasagna (CI) ☼
Week 46 S'Mores Bars (Tipsy)
Broccoli Cheddar Soup (SK)
Rioja Beef (One Dish) ☼
Week 47 Beer Braised Chicken and Mushrooms (CL)
Herb de Provence Popcorn
Week 48 Cranberry Pie with oat and pecan crumble (SK) ☼
Wild Rice (Epi) ☼
Week 49 Chocolate-Caramel Quinoa Bark (CL) ♥
Pecan Fingers ☼
Week 50 Key Wat (RSB) ☼
Chicken, Apple and Butternut Stew (CL)
Week 51 Turkey Skillet Pie (MS)
Cranberry Upside Down Cake (MS)
Penuche Fudge (MS)
Week 52 Basic Sugar Cookies (MS)

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