Friday, January 7, 2011

Happy 2011!

Where did the holidays go? For that matter, where did the first week of 2011 go?

I didn't make any resolutions this year. I have things on my to-do list, like make a souffle, pretzels, maybe even croissants, and join a sock knit-along. I want to get organized. I'm not making any promises on losing weight, even though I'd love to lose that post-wedding 8lbs I've gotten used to. But resolutions are always these grand ideas that turn into empty, forgotten promises. Like getting healthy, it's not a "diet", it's a "lifestyle change". So let's see how my 2011 lifestyle changes.

In 5 weeks, I'll have a big change. It's not necessarily bad because of what's preceded it, but it's not exactly good. We'll have to see how it goes. I hope to include a regular exercise and blogging schedule with this change, and I hope to help my husband's 2011 goal of getting ourselves and our house organized. Overall, I'm looking forward to this, as long as I can keep my feelings of despair in check.

I wanted to do a "favorite recipes of 2010" type of post... but 2010 brought me a lot of recipes that never got posted because of time and all the craziness. So instead, let's look forward, at what I hope 2011 will bring.

A cheese souffle. I trust Alton Brown completely, so when I come to make this dish, which my mother has been asking me to make for several years now, I turn to him.

Croissants. Not necessarily Martha's recipe, although at this point, it's the front-runner.

Pretzels. Because, yum. And I've been meaning to make pretzels for a long time.

Roast chicken. An odd thing, right? I've never actually baked/roasted a chicken. Making chicken soup with a whole chicken last year was a big break-through, and in my condo, I wasn't sure I could afford to have the oven on that long (yet for a cake, it was fine... I know, it doesn't make sense). And the January MSL has a big article on chicken, with a lot of nice-looking recipes. So I will do it this year.

Orange marmalade. I was given a big jar of this as a bridal shower gift (seems random, but it's oh so appropriate) and it was the best marmalade I'd ever had. I ate it with everything, and I almost cried when I finished the jar. I'm so excited to be comfortable enough with jam and canning to take this on myself.

Decorating cookies with royal icing, based on Annie's and Bakeat350's tips. I've played with royal icing exactly once (Christmas 2009) and it was a big fat fail. The recipe I used (from the container of Wilton meringue powder) was way off for my climate (or something) and I was too hesitant to more than double the water I'd added. The result was a clay-like goo that, while having a decent flavor, was impossible to spread and eat. The cookies looked ridiculous. It was pretty sad. But this year, I will triumph. I have 12 months to do it, and tons of cookie occasions, so at least by Christmas 2011, I should succeed.

So stay tuned to hear how I do with these new techniques (especially because our What's Baking? January theme is new techniques/ingredients, so by the 25th you'll see how I do with one of the above items (or else I'll break out some spelt and play with that), as well as some tasty new dinners to be posted within the next couple days.

Happy 2011!

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