Monday, January 9, 2012

What's in store for the 2012....New year?

The many jars on my refrigerator shelf...

It's a new year, fresh and full of potential. I am pretty much finished with my kitchen remodel; there is painting to do and a little electrical but the kitchen is ready for a busy 2012 year.  The beginning of the year  is the perfect time to take stock and consider what changes you want for your kitchen. Do you have have some new cooking goals? Do you have a drawer full of recipes you want to try? Did you receive a new appliance or cookbook over the holidays that is inspiring you? What changes or new things do you want to see in your kitchen this year? I think any time of the year is a good time to redo or make changes but when the year is fresh, it can sometimes inspire us to start fresh. I am not talking about a New Year's resolution kind of a way, which I believe makes us feel a lot of guilt...I'm thinking more along the lines of  learning an unknown skill or cuisine. Perhaps you might want to take a cooking class, maybe start a garden and use what you grow. Will that new mixer inspire a year of cake baking or bread making? Do you want to have and host more dinner parties? Buy less processed food? Eat out less and learn to make more home cooked meals? What ever it is I encourage you to give it a try!!!

As for me, I want to continue my canning. I would like to try and invent more canning recipes; as well as create everyday recipes by incorporating the finished product. I love looking in my refrigerator and seeing that I have learned to make a lot of the food we eat. I want to make more condiments. I would like to create some mouth watering sandwiches for the summer months. I enjoy the holidays so I am looking for more ideas around food to add to our family traditions. I would like to learn some other ways of using the vegetables we grow in our garden. Making my own bread and pasta is a goal this year. I am looking for a great  hamburger and hog bun to master. I am also interested using more of what we (my Gardner Guy and I) can produce ourselves, depending less on products from the grocery store. I do like trying new products; I will continue to experiment and create and learn better kitchen skills....better ways of organization, better eating habits that I can share with my family, my many friends, neighbors and followers...


 Here are five cooking skills that might be on your list — along with the tutorials and recipes to get you started.

Start canning: It's never too late to master the art of putting up preserves, pickles and produce to enjoy throughout the year.

Improve your knife skills: Better knife skills mean faster, safer cooking. These ten tutorials cover the basics. Don't forget to use a sharp knive.

Make bread from scratch (even on a busy weeknight): From 15-minute biscuits to no-knead bread started the night before, there is a homemade bread to fit every schedule.

Stock up on homemade condiments: From-scratch mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup and hot sauce are simple to make and taste much better than their store-bought counterparts.

Play around with fermentation: There is magic in the way fermentation transforms milk to yogurt, cabbage to kimchi. Why not give it a try this year?

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