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New Year's Cooking/Baking Resolutions 2012

roxlet Jan 3, 2012 06:42 AM

My New Year's cooking resolution is to learn how to make really good baguettes such that it's easier to whip them up than to drive to the fairly distant store that is the only one in our neck of the woods that has decent ones. If anyone bakes baguettes I'd love any tips you have!

My second resolution is to cook more from the cookbooks I already own, and to cull the ones I know I will never cook from.

Meanwhile, what are your cooking/baking resolutions for 2012?

  1. e
    ecclescake Jan 3, 2012 09:51 AM

    My baguette tip is to use Peter Reinhart’s recipe for Pain a l’Ancienne http://www.crumblycookie.net/2008/07/... (unless you already have one that you love). This recipe gives me amazing results and is surprisingly easy to make.

    I'm not really into resolutions, but one thing I started doing in December is to make a (dinner) recipe that I've never made before at least once a week.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ecclescake
      roxlet Jan 3, 2012 10:13 AM

      That's a nice link. I have a couple of Peter Reinhart's book and will take a look. Thanks.

      Wasn't there once a thread about the derivation of eccles cakes?

      1. re: roxlet
        buttertart Jan 3, 2012 04:46 PM

        I like the one in his "Crust and Crumb" that uses old dough, makes a gorgeous bread.

        1. re: roxlet
          ecclescake Jan 4, 2012 08:30 PM

          I'm new here so I haven't seen it, but I'll have a look.

      2. k
        katecm Jan 3, 2012 11:09 AM

        I like the way you think, as I do something similar - each year I try to identify an area where I'd like to improve. I did yeast breads, seafoods, ice creams, etc. This year I'm tailoring it to lighter appetizers, since it seems like so many are carby and cheesy.

        I find these constructive resolutions much more inspiring to keep than the resolutions that limit you.

        1 Reply
        1. re: katecm
          roxlet Jan 3, 2012 11:53 AM

          That's a really good point, katecm!

        2. d
          Dcfoodblog Jan 3, 2012 01:55 PM

          To learn how to properly carve a chicken.

          1. buttertart Jan 3, 2012 04:45 PM

            Make a rolled cake. I have neverever made a jelly roll, roulade, bûche, nuffink.
            Learn to roll out a ROUND piecrust that doesn't look like the map of Australia or Hello Kitty's face.
            There must be others, thinking.

            7 Replies
            1. re: buttertart
              roxlet Jan 4, 2012 03:55 AM

              Rolling a cake is not difficult. I used to make a buche for Christmas, and the trick was to sprinkle it with confectioner's sugar and to roll it while it was still warm.

              1. re: buttertart
                chowser Jan 4, 2012 04:28 AM

                A rolled cake will be a piece of cake (so to speak) for you. I'm not sure they're worth the effort but they can be pretty. LOL, I'd think there would be a market for pie crusts the shape of Hello Kitty's face! I'd love to learn to roll dough out into a perfect rectangle instead of an odd oblong.

                1. re: chowser
                  buttertart Jan 4, 2012 05:55 AM

                  Rectangle? Map of Italy or Portugal, more like.
                  Another one: make a smorkage, puff pastry, Danish dough, 2 almond fillings. Hmm, maybe an Iowa project!

                  1. re: buttertart
                    chowser Jan 4, 2012 08:45 AM

                    LOL, we could make a map of the US in dough! I took a class in puff pastry and the instructor rolled out the dough, in no time, to a perfect rectangle. I know she does it all the time but it was impressive. I can't get it right and all I think the whole time I roll and reroll is overdeveloping the gluten. I would love to find local CH where I could fool around w/ all the things on your list. It would be so much easier making many portions of one thing and having different hands.

                    1. re: buttertart
                      roxlet Jan 4, 2012 11:07 AM

                      There's a wonderful-looking raspberry roulade in Malgieri's light baking book. It looks wonderful!

                      1. re: roxlet
                        buttertart Jan 4, 2012 02:48 PM

                        I got rid of that one in a benighted moment (moving frenzy).

                    2. re: chowser
                      nomadchowwoman Jan 4, 2012 03:54 PM

                      I concur. A rolled cake will present no challenge to buttertart. They are very forgiving and seem much more involved than they really are. I used to make what I thought was the height of elegance when I first started cooking--a gingerbread "roulade" w/lemon filling. Believe me, it was super easy.

                  2. e
                    ellabee Jan 3, 2012 09:41 PM

                    To make 'breakfast bread' (a quickbread or muffins) once a week. The resolution's good for at least this week -- I made corn muffins. A *great* companion is jalapeno jelly.

                    1. dryrain Jan 4, 2012 06:00 AM

                      Bake bread every week
                      Cook something I have never cooked before every week
                      Eat vegetarian once a week
                      Buy and eat more pork belly
                      Learn to trust my instincts more in the kitchen

                      1. bayoucook Jan 4, 2012 07:34 AM

                        To try to make my own bread. Again.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: bayoucook
                          katecm Jan 4, 2012 07:57 AM

                          What kind of bread are you trying to make? I spent a year conquering my fear of all things yeast, so can help with some of the early recipes that really worked for me.

                          1. re: bayoucook
                            Terrie H. Jan 5, 2012 04:19 PM

                            This is also one of mine. Ten years ago I was on a roll with my bread making and circumstances derailed me. I even created my own starter using grapes back then. It's time for my stone to earn it's keep.

                          2. nomadchowwoman Jan 4, 2012 04:14 PM

                            Every year I resolve to cook more from cookbooks I already own; problem is, I keep buying new ones.
                            --Make a delicious mole
                            --Eat more quinoa, farro, amaranth, other whole grains
                            --Eat more grilled fish
                            --Use my new tagine
                            --Use my newly acquired pop-over tins
                            --Find and use fennel pollen
                            --Shake up my vegetable repertoire
                            --Learn to make some fantastic breakfast dishes
                            --Make ravioli at least every couple of months
                            --Convince my husband to be sous chef

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