Cooking goals for 2013

foodnotebookMy amazing family set me up at Christmas with a Kitchenaid mixer and a dutch oven, both things I have wanted for a long time. My birthday also is around the corner, and I’ve asked for cookbooks too.

So of course my mind is turning to cooking all sorts of things in 2013 using all of my new tools and more, and the Buzzfeed article on food resolutions reminded me something.

I need to actually use my cookbooks.

To say I have several is an understatement. I have a whole lot. You know when there are bargain books in the bookstore? I’ve found some great books in there. But the other problem is I set them aside after perusing them once. I know there are good recipes in there, but I don’t use them enough.

But the bigger thing for me is to make sure I keep a cooking notebook this year. I’ve already started one and I need to build on it.

I started the notebook because I buy a lot of cooking magazines. I rip out recipes and the pages pile up, so they needed to be organized. So I took a sketchbook and started pasting those recipes on the pages.

But I should expand on it and already have started. A lot of my cooking is building off of recipes or throwing things together to invent something on my own. A lot of my cooking isn’t a recipe so much as it’s ratios and knowing what things work together.

But I never write any of it down. I keep it in my head and just know what works. Like adding a little flour to my marsala sauce to get it to thicken right. Or that you need to finish off the cavatelli in the chicken broth-based sauce so it’s not soupy. Or the ratio of potatoes to butter and milk in my mashed potatoes and that boiling an onion with the potatoes (and mashing it too) makes all the difference.

So I started the notebook with my oatmeal cookies recipe, which isn’t all that different than the one under the lid of Quaker Oats. But it is good to have it written down not only for me but for anyone with whom I want to share it.

All the rest of I do this year in cooking doesn’t really matter unless I keep notes and recipes.

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2 thoughts on “Cooking goals for 2013

  1. I can completely relate to this! It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to start a food blog. I love to cook, and while I started off by following recipes exactly, now I add a pinch of this a splash of that…I have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t. I also have some tricks up my sleeves now, thank goodness ;). It’s so important to write it down or else it will just be in my head. I love your new cooking goal! Good luck!!

    • Thanks for your comment! What’s funny is I tried a new recipe tonight straight from the cookbook and I knew two things with the recipe would make it a little underwhelming. Sure enough…Should have used butter instead of oil, for example.

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