The 10 cooking goals of 2012.

As you may or may not have witnessed over the rather bumpy development of this space on the interwebs, I’m a fan of projects.  Of things that are numbered and measurable.  So as no surprise I present to you my most recent endeavour…

I was browsing through some of my favourite blogs that contribute to my waistline (ie. cooking and baking blogs) and saw an interesting idea on Brown Eyed Baker. She has this 100 list…where she’s identified 100 things that she wants to successfully make, and which has become a serious source of inspiration.  Funnily enough I was having a chat with a friend of mine (who we’ll label with a W) about the cooking and baking goals that I’ve set for myself recently. Inspirations have now collided and I’ve set myself a goal for 2012: 10 things I’d like to be able to make by this time next year.  Now that’s (on average) about one thing a month, leaving room for me successfully cooking things I know how to make successfully, as well as time to work out the glitches.  But here’s a small caveat…success (while the goal) will not necessarily be a requirement. Sometimes one learns best from one’s failures in the kitchen (or so I perpetually tell myself), and also can also result in some of the best innovations.  Realistically, I’m human and tragically not everything I make always works out.

So here’s the list, and wish me luck!  I do promise to chronicle the details of my hopeful successes here…perhaps with a little “Soup’s on Sunday” (category name pending, suggestions welcome…though SOS 2012 has a nice ring to it).  In no particular order…here we go with the list:

  1. Roast Beef: This is one of those things I’d just like to be able to perfect.  I could probably manage my way through cooking a roast dinner, but still presents a daunting and challenging task for me.
  2. Roast Chicken: See aforementioned commentary. Roast chicken is one of those perfect feed a crowd items, and one that I’d like to be able to accomplish without thinking.
  3. Popovers / Yorkshire Puddings: I’ve already started the quest for accomplishing this one and have had INCREDIBLY mixed results and no serious successes.  I will make these successfully and serve them with a great roast dinner one day…applications for spaces at that dinner table are now being accepted.
  4. Macarons: The most dangerous addition to this list. They are my favourite sweet and this goal is really just the result of now being in possession of the Laduree cookbooks & the Miette cookbook…both of which have recipes that are just to enticing not to try.
  5. Foccacia: I’ve attempted to make this before. I haven’t been horridly successful, but I did find a great recipe on the Brown Eyed Baker that I’m really inclined to try out.
  6. Cupcakes & Buttercream: I can make a good cupcake. And I’m vaguely competent when it comes to icing. But the perfect cupcake with a buttercream frosting is something that I have yet to actually ever accomplish.  Let the games begin.
  7. A pie: completely from scratch, crust included. When I was growing up our neighbour across the street once taught me how to make a pie.  I’ve long since forgotten how to do so, and it’s a skill I’d really sincerely like to pick up again.
  8. The Chicken Soup from Ad Hoc: I have these two amazing cookbooks that sit on my coffee table.  They’re from the brilliant mind of Thomas Keller (owner of Ad Hoc and French Laundry), and ever since I got the Ad Hoc book, I’ve wanted to make this chicken soup.
  9. Tiramisu: Again one of those dangerous things to endeavour to make (considering it’s one of my favourite desserts), but the kind of recipe that would be an excellent addition to a foolproof arsenal.
  10. Mexican/Southern Californian inspired Chicken Soup: given a long love affair with this flavour of food I’d like to add a comfort food option to the list of things I can whip up and serve to a crowd. Also ideal for dreary days that require off-the-charts flavour and warm the soul comfort.
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