Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Food, Glorious, Food!!!!

I enjoyed the concept of my book challenge so much that when I stumbled on a Food Challenge on Pinterest, I thought why not?

As I read the list, I soon realized some of them are not really challenges for me, like make a recipe from your Pinterest boards (I do this at least 3-4 times a week), so I thought I would swap them out for ones I come up with.....

Here is a link to the ORIGINAL...

So, here we go...

1.  Clean out and reorganize your fridge.  Complete.

     I'll probably do this at least a couple of times this year...

2.  Learn a new cooking technique.  Complete.

     I'm going to be baking a Baked Alaska in February for Baked Alaska Day, February 1st if you were wondering.

3.  Go meatless on Monday for a month.  Complete.

     I eat meatless generally once a week anyway, but this will make it more of a focus.

4.  Flip over a fried egg without the yolk breaking.  Complete

      I am horrible at this, a big ole' mess...

5.  Make tomato sauce from scratch.  Complete

6.  Read a nonfiction food book.  Complete

      I'm going to have to do some research for this one.  Any ideas?

7.  Slow cook something.  Complete.

8.  Visit a winery and/or brewery.

      I'm actually hunting for one in Utah...

9.  Organize (and purge) your cookbook collection.  Complete

      This was my first item done and it turned into a massive project.  I am embarrassed and somewhat astonished by how many never opened cookbooks that I had.  I'm donating a lot of them and giving some to my art group for altered books.  I organized my remaining books finding recipes that I used to make all of the time and have been lost in the clutter.  This was a very good thing to do and will help me tremendously as I continue on in this challenge.  1/5/16

10. Cook a new-to-you whole grain.  Complete

      Millet wins the prize

11. Master a family recipe.

      Cinnamon Rolls, my mom is a master at them....

12. Make a layer cake from scratch.

      A homemade dessert, I like this challenge....

13. Invent your own cocktail.
      It turns out that I have no desire to do this....  maybe in the future, I'll want too...  1/1/17

14. Deep-fry something.  Complete

15. Cook dinner at home at least three nights a week for a month.   Complete and Repeated

16. Make perfectly poached eggs.  Complete

      Eggs Benedict, here I come....

17. Host a dinner party.  I had people over, but I'm not sure it was a dinner party....

      I'm thinking in the early summer, just as the weather gets warm....

18. Make a condiment from scratch.  Complete

     Mustard will be made, and maybe even mayo

19. Learn how to sharpen a knife.  Complete

20. Visit your neighborhood farmers market.  Complete

      I did not visit the Farmer's Market once last year....  grrrrr....

21. Make a soufflĂ©.  Complete

      I have a sweet and a savory soufflĂ© picked out..

22. Try at least one food that scares you.  1/1/17  I need to go to Whole Foods and buy some Kombucha and then try it....been planning on doing it for a while and STILL HAVE NOT DONE IT!

       Gonna have to think about this one...

23. Cook a steak to perfect doneness.  Complete

      Due to the fact that I can not remember the last time I had a steak, this might be leaving the challenge and a replacement will be found.

24. Learn a new French knife skill.  Complete

25. Pack your own lunch for a week.  Complete

26. Make homemade mac and cheese.

27. Feast on an ethnic food you've never had before.  Complete

      Dinner out, anyone?

28. Make hummus from scratch.

29. Organize your tupperware containers.  Complete

       They are organized as of the first week of January, thanks to my cleaning binge to start the New Year off, so I'll check periodically in the year to see if they are staying that way.

30. Pack a mason jar salad.  Complete

31. Create a well-stocked pantry.  Complete

32. Can/preserve something.  Complete

     This gives me the excuse to finally get the pressure cooker that has been on my Amazon Wishlist for a while now...

33.Make homemade pasta.  Complete

34. Flip pancakes without them folding.  Complete

     See my egg problem above, it's applies to pancakes as well.  :(

35. Follow a recipe to the T without making any changes.  Complete

      This is going to be hard....I generally tweak recipes for all matter of reasons

36. Grow something.  Complete and ongoing

37. Ferment something.  1/1/17  I've decided not to do this....

      I'm a little worried about this one...  Fermented food and I are not really buds, I find them icky...  Any ideas?  Help?  Recipes?

38. Make an on-point French omelet.  1/1/17  I eat maybe one omelet a year and I have a great breakfast place near my house that does them very well....  I'll stick to frittatas.....

39. Clean and put away dishes immediately for a month.  Complete

My Personal Additions...

40. Do a pantry clean out challenge.  (Don't buy anything except fresh veggies for a month) COMPLETED in February

      In this world of buy, buy, buy, how often do I ignore items I already have?  Plus this will help me realize what I really use and what I don't.

41. Master pie crusts  Complete  :)

      I can make a pie crust, but it can be A LOT's time to practice and get the 'feel' that good pie crust makers have.

42.  Cheesecakes without the cracking  Attempted, will need to try again.

      Poor tortured me, I have to have a cheesecake this year.  How will I ever survive?  Maybe I'll serve it as dessert at the dinner party I've been challenge to have, so I can't overindulge.

43.  Use it or lose it....  Complete  My cooking gadget drawer is full, but it is full of things I use!

       I've switched the hangers in my clothing closet to see what I wear and what just takes up space in there, why not with my gadgets/small appliances?  At the end of the year, I'll donate what I don't use.

44. Come up with 5 ready in under 30 minutes meals  Complete!  and they are really good!

       They can be meals that I make ahead and hang out in the freezer or can be put together with ingredients I keep on hand.

45. 5 items that I currently buy and replace with healthier options (hopefully homemade)

      The more natural I eat, the better I feel..shocking I know, but there are some sneaky things that have added sugar, salt, and preservatives that have easy homemade options.  It's time to seek them out and change...

46. NO FAST FOOD!!!!  (Jamba Juice and healthy options excluded)  I think I ate at a fast food chain twice!!

      I periodically just don't want to cook or don't have time and I fall back on fast food, not often, but I want to eliminate this from my life....  If traveling or out with others, I will choose the best option.

47. A salad for dinner at least once a week  Complete

      Getting more veggies is is never a bad idea

48.  A new recipe a month  Complete

       Who knows, I may find a new favorite or one that I can plug into #44...

49.  More dutch over cooking, especially during the summer  Complete

        This style of cooking is in my heritage and I love it and during the summer, it has the added benefit of not heating up the house....

50.  A cup a tea a day  Update:  I drank more tea in 2016, but not everyday, but I still think this was a success

       I love tea, but have fallen out of the habit of drinking it.  As I am trying to eliminate a bad habit (carbonation), this is a healthy and tasty alternative.

51.  Take a cooking class.  Complete

        Learn something new and get yummy food in the process, I'm in...

Here are the rest of the items that I took off my list and the reason why:

-Perfectly roast a whole chicken..  I have an amazing terra-cotta roasting pan that roasts chicken like you can not believe.  I've had this skill for a while now.

-Break down a chicken...  By roasting chickens periodically and destroying them, I found a video online and learned a while ago.  The key, a very sharp knife.

-Bake bread from scratch..  I very seldom buy bread from the store anymore, because I make it from scratch

-Clean out your spice rack...  As part of a New Year cleaning binge, I just did this not realizing it was on the list

-Learn to cut a whole pineapple...  Pineapple makes my mouth itch and tongue swell..staying away for health issues, plus I hear there is a handy item from The Pampered Chef that does an amazing job.

-Perfectly steam rice...  My rice cooker!  This is an item that I will never be without.  It takes the stress away, plus mine cooks other things as well.

-Make Chicken or Vegetable stock..  I have a gallon of homemade veggie stock in my freezer at the moment.  I take the scraps as I cut veggies and put them in a freezer gallon bag and when it gets full, I use that and add herbs and spices.  It cuts down on my trash and it tastes so much better than store bought.

-Make your coffee at home for a month...  I don't drink coffee, never have, and just don't like it.

-Learn to caramelize onions... Another staple in my freezer, I make a big batch and them portion them out and put them freezer.  If dinner is looking a little boring, defrost and ta-da fancy dinner.

-Churn homemade ice cream...  I got an ice cream maker a couple of years ago and have never looked back.  SO MUCH BETTER than store bought.

I'll keep you updated on how this is going and if anyone wants to join me in the cooking class or trying the ethnic food, let me know....

Rumbly in my Tummy...

1 comment:

  1. Sounds challenging.
    I'm loving retirement from cooking.
    Funny thing, we still get hungry.


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