It’s the time for New Years Resolutions and making commitments you never intend to break but always seem to anyways! Cheers to the unmet expectations and impossible goals! This post is speaking both to the truth of that stereotype and also to the hope filled person in me that desperately wants to achieve at least 1 resolution for the year.
In honor of that hopeful person dwelling deep within me, I decided to start taking steps to achieve a goal I’ve always had in the area of cooking. A goal I’ve committed to time and time again and yet never quite get started. A goal that others have attempted and succeeded and have had movies made about….namely, Julie and Julia!
That’s right folks…I really want to spend a year (or two…let’s be realistic if nothing else…) working my way through a cookbook from cover to cover! Doesn’t that sound like fun?! You may be rolling your eyes if you know me because I’m amazing at coming up with big ideas and not achieving them because they are too big. Yet, God has blessed me with people in my life to pour some reality on those big ideas to make them a little less grandiose and manageable. So, without consulting any of those wet blankets (you know I love you all) I decided to add some reality to it myself….so here’s the plan:
- I will spend as long as it takes to make my way through a cookbook, but the goal is go in order! (I am a student right now, so trying to give myself a year deadline is just a bit absurd and though it would be just like me to set that ridiculous of a goal, we are going for manageable and achievable over fantastically idiotic. I’m learning!
- I will try and work on making one recipe a week. There are 106 recipes so it will take nearly 2 years to complete this goal if I stay on task. Hope you guys are in it for the long haul!
- I give myself permission to skip over a recipe and come back to it if I don’t have the money or time or audience to fund, make or eat the recipe at the time I reach it. Meaning if I hit something that has fish in it that I know I won’t like, I will need a friend or loved one to come relieve me of the taste testing so I can actually write a post about it.
- And on that note, I promise to eat at least 5 bites of everything I make. I have no food allergies so that means I have no excuses for at least trying some of what I’m making.
- I also give myself permission to come back to recipes that contain out of season ingredients that may not be available at the time I come to the recipe.
That’s the basic guidelines I have set for now which should be loose enough to make it fit my busy schedule but also structured enough to keep me moving forward to the end.
Now, for the cookbook….I am super excited about the book I chose. I found this gem at Barns and Noble today and the more I look through it the more excited I get! The book is called the smitten kitchen cookbook: recipes and wisdom from an obsessive home cook by Deb Perelman.Before discovering her cookbook I had never heard of her before, but I’m coming to find she’s a big time name in the food blogging world (shows what I know…again, read the title of my blog. I don’t claim to know what I’m talking about or who my fellow food blogging friends are. I’m new at this so thank you for your grace!).
Just thumbing through the pages and seeing her pictures makes me know that Deb and I will be fast friends. I love that she is a home cook, that she started as a cooking blogger, that she lives in New York and that she has a tiny (and I mean tiny) kitchen! She’s a no frills cook like me which means her ingredients are basic except for the few that matter to her (namely meats/proteins). I appreciate that! She also doesn’t like fish (amen and amen) and she’s a diligent researcher for the sake of her audience. She has responded to almost every comment left on her blog (minus the personal ones from her mom…i.e…”When are you going to have another baby?”) which is the personal touch I love in people who are just on the first rung of stardom. She cares about the people who stop by to visit her site and does the work to get them the answers to make each of them have success in the kitchen. I really admire that. She’s not trained and just cooks for fun. Again…fast friends here!
Her blog looks and reads like I wish mine would and her pictures are beautifully simple, helpful, and perfect for what she’s trying to convey in her recipes. She takes her own photos so yet again reason to love her. I just get excited thinking about all the fun I’m going to have getting to know Deb as I work my way through her book. What better way to pay homage to the novice cook then to cook and bake my way through another untrained cook’s cookbook (that’s a lot of cooking) and learn from her wisdom and experience in her kitchen. I’ll do my best to blog through as many of the recipes as I can but I’ll definitely take pictures of everything that I make and write reviews of each recipe as I’m able! Here is the challenge at hand….
17 breakfast recipes
11 salad recipes
13 sandwich/tart/pizza recipes
13 vegetarian main dish recipes
12 seafood/poultry/meat main dish recipes
8 cookie recipes
8 pie/tart recipes
9 cake recipes
5 pudding/candy recipes
10 party snacks/drinks
TOTAL = 106 recipes
I can’t wait to get started! I plan to begin my first recipe on New Years Day which mean I will be enjoying Peach and Sour Cream Pancakes! That sounds like a lovely way to begin the New Year! Tell me which recipes you’re most looking forward to reading about and I’ll be sure to post as many of my experiences with those recipes as I can! Happy cooking friends and a Happy New Year to you and yours!