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Top-5 Cooking Goals for 2010

I thought it would be great to carry forward the Top-5 Cooking Goals for 2010 which originated from the 2009 thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/582493 . In 2009, my cooking interest sparked from eating healthier, buying organic and regional foods, and embracing home cooking over processed foods. Now that I have a pretty well stocked kitchen I need to find ways to use it. So my 2010 goals are too...

1. Learn to make basic sauces
2. Get good at bread making (wholewheat, sourdough, pizza
)3. Learn more about complimentary spices and seasoning methods
4. Be able to master five different recipes for each protein: chicken, beef, seafood
5. Incorporate recipes from other cultures (India, Chinese, Mediterranean) especially those that are vegetarian based.

I hope by the end of 2010, I can create my own personal cookbook of staple recipes.

So, your turn to share what cooking you accomplished in 2009. What cooking goals do you want to accomplish in 2010?

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  1. 1) Cook more healthily. (No you don't need to add more butter and salt Bryn!)
    2) Cook complete meals (What do you mean a steak isn't supper?)
    3) Clean up the kitchen while I am cooking or shortly after. (How come this didn't come clean in the dishwasher? Mhhmmmmm)
    4) Have friends over more for coffee or dinner (Cake is calorie-free if someone shares right?)
    5) Cook something out of my Julia Child cookbooks. (They aren't just display pieces because they are trendy right now)

    1. 1) Overcome my fear of making biscuits and pie dough.
      2) Try my hand at canning and preserving.
      3) Continue trying new ways to use the produce that I get at the local farmer's market and specialty stores.
      4) Incorporate more whole grains into my family's diet.
      5) Transcribe more family recipes for posterity.

      2 Replies
      1. re: TampaAurora

        Using more whole grains is definitely on my list! I certainly buy quinoa and bulgur, but never get around to cooking it.

        1. re: TampaAurora

          I made biscuits this weekend! Awesome biscuits.

        2. 1. Obtain my definitive 5 Bread Recipes
          2. Work with Seafood weekly
          3. Make Monthly Tamales to share with loved ones.
          4. Master the Art of Preservation and Canning.
          5. Cooking a monthly Recipe of each of my new Cookbooks (I bought 6, German Cooking, Julia Childs, Alice Waters, etc).

          ----- 2009


          1. Master the Art of Sweet and Savory Muffins =)
          2. Back to my Latin Cuisine Roots and deconstruct some dishes =)
          3. Start a Personal Recipe Cookbook
          4. Use every single Gadget weekly
          5. Use fresh produce by a 90% in weekly meals. (it's an estimate =)

          Bad year for the rest, but for cooking has been amazing... bring it on 2010!

          1. Cool topic -- and food for thought, for sure. I'm almost hesitant to post until I think about it more!

            For now, though:
            1. Enjoy my first year of culinary school -- whee! I start in less than a month!
            2. Continue to cook healthy meals, still free of convenience foods, on what will be a significantly more limited budget, due to #1 above. ;)
            3. Keep on cooking recipes from my Polish roots -- I really want to carry on traditions -- if I don't, no one else will!
            4. Get chili "right." Seriously. The simplest thing -- but I can never get it quite like I feel it "should be" -- no matter how hard I try!
            5. Ooh! I was going to say "learn to fillet fish properly" BUT that reminded me that I'm still terrified of honing a knife with a steel. Must learn.

            It's pretty hard to list ONLY five goals! Though I suppose it could be narrowed WAY down to:
            a) Do everything I've never done
            b) Do everything I've done, again, better this time. :P

            1. Nice post; for 2010

              1) Try to use leftovers more creatively
              2) Cook from a different country every week
              3) Experiment with a new or different ingredient every week
              4) Master the art of homemade pasta
              5) Master the art of the smoker

              1 Reply
              1. re: Cherylptw

                Using leftovers and not wasting food is definitely on my list. Have to dig up all those threads on using carrot tops and potato peels!

              2. 1. Take a cooking class on knife skills.
                2. Get one of those "on the stove" smokers or buy a real smoker and smoke something.
                3. Cure salmon at home.
                4. Make ice cream that that is less dense than the shielding on a tank. (Hope springs eternal. I don't know why I have such problems making decent ice cream. Other people seem to be able to do it effortlessly.)
                5. Make a new sauce a week from my Peterson or Williams-Sonoma books.

                1. Wonderful idea!

                  1. get better at making jams-it was a goal to just make a jam in 2009 which I accomplished, but I can definitely improve-greatly.
                  2. learn a variety of bread methods and types and get good at making them
                  3. master the timing on cooking chicken and pork (ie get of my fears of under cooking to the point of over cooking)
                  4. continue my education of soups and stocks

                  1. What a good idea!

                    1. Learn at least a couple of new recipes well enough to make them on the fly.
                    2. Learn to make a soda bread, or a no-knead yeast bread
                    3. Add Quinoa to the meal rotation. It can't be that hard.
                    4. Revisit piecrust. I need to settle on the least unhealthy recipe and master it.
                    5. Learn again to make several take along dishes. Because I need to be able to do this
                    after a long hiatus from doing this kind of cooking.

                    1. What a great idea!

                      1. Have friends over more for brunch or dinner. I love cooking for others but often forget to share this joy with loved ones (besides my s.o. who I live with!)

                      2. Speaking of the boyfriend, cook more shellfish in creative manners (i.e. sneak it in) to convert him to enjoy shellfish as much as I do.

                      3. Explore more French cooking.

                      4. Finally attempt to make Gordon Hammersly's roasted chicken at home. I've had the recipe forever but have never actually attempted it.

                      5. Learn to ease off of the red pepper flakes. I love it but it doesn't have to be in everything.

                      1. Love this topic.

                        1) Spend more time with my beloved protein. Within that realm, finding sources for more obscure protein types: duck, pheasant, rabbit, venison etc. Within that, mastering at least one recipe with each of these proteins and other lesser used cuts. Also, trying my hand at charcuterie.
                        2) Making at least one new recipe a week out of my cookbooks.
                        3) More work with my dutch oven. That is, mastering soups, stocks, braises and other slow food goodness.
                        4) Make my own pasta. My grandmother is Italian, after all. I should be a master of this by now.
                        5) Trying my hand in a professional kitchen. One of my friends owns a restaurant and I've been talking to him about observing and working on the line. If anything were to come of it, I would seriously consider getting into the restaurant industry full time. This kid cooks with and for a JB best chef winner.

                        1. My big two are the first:

                          1. Learn to use my parent's gift of a new smoker, especially with fish I catch from the lake I live at. Can't get more local than that.
                          2. Maximize my garden output, and not let anything go to waste this year (especially herbs).
                          3. Learn to sharpen my knives myself.
                          4. Make fried chicken as good as mom's. Impossible, I know -- but I'm gonna try.
                          5. Bake my own bread much more often. I used to do this every two or three days. I'm getting back to it.

                          1. Wow this makes me think.

                            1. Cook with more Vegetables and Whole Grains.
                            2. Make more soups, stews, and Chili
                            3. Really get into making my own bread once a week.
                            4. Make Jam and Jelly out of the Summer's Produce.
                            5. Learn to pickle