Saturday, April 26, 2008

2007 meals: The List

Here is what I made from scratch in 2007. I'll write a separate post for the recipes.

1. Moroccan Pumpkin Soup
2. Pan -seared filet mignon (prior to sticking it under the broiler) and a baked potato. Yawn.
3. Jerk rub, mixed with Veuve Cliquot, used as a marinade for steak (my own recipe, haha). I also reduced the leftover marinade with limited success.
4. Chicken with mole sauce I had brought home from Mexico City (the mole, not the chicken).
5. Orrecchiete con rapini
6. Boo Hoo Burgundy Chicken
7. Rice/Garbanzo beans meal.
8. Dinner party - Beef Bourguignon, Onion Delight, Baked Brie with garlic
9. Citrus Soy Tilapia
10. Chicken Casserole
11. Another party - Greek Hamburger Stew, also Baked Brie with Garlic
12. Homemade spaghetti sauce with pasta
13. Beef Stroganoff
14. Saltimbocca
15. Beth's rapini with garlic and burnt balsamic vinegar
16. Honey Lime Grilled Chicken
17. French Onion Soup

I thought I had more than this actually. This is hardly more than once per month. Wow.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Not a Domestic Goddess

Those who know me roll their eyes when I say I'm going to cook dinner. "What, salad in a bag again? With steamed broccoli? mmmmmmmmmmmm".

Well, in 2007 I had this bright idea that I would learn how to cook. I can follow a recipe - an easy recipe. I actually do know cooking terms - some of them, anyway. I'm not a complete cooking idiot - it's just never been a priority for me. I go out to dinner a lot (and I do have foodie friends, so we eat well), I take-away a lot too, and I'm telling you, salad in a bag is good for you and tasty too! Especially if you pile arugula with walnuts and goat cheese and dried cherries and home-made salad dressing (see, I'm not completely helpless!)

I decided that once per week (or rather, 52 times during the year) I was going to plan, shop, and prepare one new meal. The parameters were that it would have to be an actual recipe made of food components and not just opening a can of something or other or salad in a bag. I had also hoped that the more exposure I had to this strange new world of "home cooked meals" that I would have a ready-made arsenal of recipes in my repertoire and could go to the store without a list and still come home with tasty things to prepare. The "shopping without a list" plan was easy, since it has been my modus operandi since I moved away from home. It doesn't always bear fruit however. Pardon the pun.

Well, 2007 was a busy year as usual - a LOT of traveling (I actually spent almost four weeks total in Europe on vacation, and I think 8-9 nights at my beach house, and then various business trips and trips home to visit the family...) and as always a lot of work... and I recognized very early on (this is key, so pay attention, all you other non-domestic goddesses!) that the hard part of cooking IS NOT THE COOKING. It's the planning! Anyone can find time on a Sunday afternoon to hang out with the cookbooks, fresh ingredients, music, and a bottle of wine.... My problem has always been "before the trip to the store".

I just don't sit down and think about food - I think about food just before it's time to eat. This doesn't bode well for serious culinary skills. So, 2007 was an experiment and while I did NOT cook a new recipe every single week - I did partially succeed in that by the end of the year I had almost 20 new tried-and-true recipes at my fingertips.

I decided to make more of an effort in 2008. What, you say? We are already well into 2Q in 2008? How many new things have you made so far this year? (Erm, don't ask. Please)

I already know that in order to reach my goal I will have to double up some weeks. Maybe keeping a diary will help. Later I will post some of the things I've already made this year. I hope you (somewhat) enjoy my progress!

Oh yeah, about the gardening. I doubt this blog will have much about gardening. If I bite off more than I can chew I'll never accomplish anything. There may be the odd post here and there about my flowers but that's likely going to be it. You never know though!
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