I’m getting a head start on my New Year’s Resolutions this year. Since I was away from cooking for most of 2012 (due to aversions during pregnancy), I’m really eager to get back in the kitchen to learn and try new things. Here’s my list for 2013:
Say cheese – I’m familiar with Mozzarella and Cheddar, but I couldn’t tell you much about Gouda and Camembert. I’d like to change that by upping my adventure quotient in the cheese department. To put this into practice, I plan to swing by the cheese section of the grocery store every other trip or so and choose something new to research and try. I want to know what it tastes like, what other foods it pairs with, and how to use it in a recipe. We’re also fortunate to have a local resource with access to a group of cheese makers through The Bloomy Rind. I also just found out about Corrieri’s Formaggeria (located in the 12South area of Nashville) from a quick Google search. I hope to check those two businesses out as well. Maybe a good graduation from this one would be to prepare a cheese board for a party. Fun!
Roast a bird – Here comes another confession. I’m kind of afraid of chicken. When I buy it, it’s always boneless and skinless breasts. When I prepare it, you’d think I was dealing with a biohazard. I’m super OCD about what it touches and washing my hands 1,000 times. It’s bad. Also, when I took my Knife Skills II class, we were tasked with breaking down a whole chicken, and I almost had an anxiety attack. My food “rules” when I was younger (and ok, probably still to this day) dictated that I didn’t eat anything in it’s natural state. This means no bones, no eyeballs, etc. I’ve come to learn that bone-in chicken is quite delicious, but I have NO idea where to start or what to do. Not to mention the huge fear I have to overcome. I’ve decided to take baby steps and purchase a rotisserie chicken so that I can practice “harvesting” the meat. Then when it comes to starting from raw, I may purchase breasts with ribs still attached so I can get a feel for it.
Stock up – If delicious chicken weren’t motivation enough, I’d also like to make homemade chicken stock. Can you imagine…a delicious chicken noodle soup or I might try to knock off my favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup from Taco Mamacita (holy cow, it’s good!).
Let’s go Dutch – Last year for Christmas, Mr. J got me a cast iron Dutch oven. I want to explore new ways to use it and get it out of the cabinet a little more this year. My dad makes a delicious campfire cobbler that I want to try.
Breaking Bread – I’ve mastered pizza dough and biscuits, and I made potato rolls once. I want to conquer homemade tortillas, loaf bread, and a few more types of rolls this year. I don’t have specific recipes picked out yet so that will be a good place to start. I know Mr. J will be excited about this experiment. He loves fresh bread!