Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 Year in Review

Well, another year has passed. A year of experimenting in the kitchen, pretending I know something about cooking science, and generally playing with my food. I didn't do as much baking as I had hoped. I don't even know what that means. Is it possible to EVER do as much baking as you really want to? Unless you're a full-time, professional baker? At any rate, it's probably for the best. My expanding waistline needs to be halted. (And no, I'm not going to start baking "light" desserts, I just don't see the point. I'd rather have something real once a month than something light twice a week. Truly.) I did have some great successes and some equally great failures this year. Here are my favorites:





I don't have any idea how I neglected to photograph Hillman's Challah.


Most epic failure:

Shout-outs/thanks for sharing/inspiring me:
  • The BAKED boys--always and forever. I'm going to tattoo your buttercream recipe on my arm. I love your style. I love your commitment to bringing back classic American desserts that have been lost and/or forgotten/forsaken. I'm looking forward to baking EVERY RECIPE in Explorations.
  • Priestess/Hillman--when I'm senile and arthritic will you come take over my kitchen?
  • Smitten Kitchen--if I'd cooked like you do when I had a young one...I'd be a superhero like you.
  • Mir--your food snobbery truly does inspire me. :) And you share awesome recipes.
  • The folks at allrecipes, King Arthur Flour, Epicurious, and Food Network--simply because you exist.
  • Romina at Les Madeleines--not only a great teacher and sharer of recipes, but a reliable source for amazing baked goods when I'm not in the mood to bake them myself.
  • My little chefs, Prima and Seconda--for helping me to remember to slow down in the kitchen and let them help. The rewards are well worth the extra time.
  • Frankie Pistlekahk--for sharing your baby starter. I am trying to tend to it appropriately.

Looking back at everything I've baked this year, I realize I've gotten a little more bold. I've been adapting more recipes, and forayed into making up my own recipes. It's hard work, but it's so rewarding to be able to say it's mine. And double bonus when it tastes delicious.

2011? Wow. Lots I want to do:
  • Figure out how to make bread. I mean really figure it out. The way I focused on figuring out pies. That's a big goal. It's a lot more difficult than people make it look. I don't know if I'm plagued by altitude issues or climate issues or both, but the unpredictability is getting to me. In addition, a good amount of my bread baking will need to be whole wheat because I accidentally bought a 25-lb. bag of whole wheat when I thought I was buying all-purpose flour. So, now I have 50 lbs. of whole wheat flour. That's a lot of bread!
  • Take a cake decorating class. For real this year. And now that I've found this place, you'll always know where to find me.
  • Start in on my ever-growing list of ideas of baked goods to try, not to mention my library of cookbooks that I have only begun to crack.
  • Do more baking with friends. If nothing else, I can send goodies home with them so I won't have to eat them all. I might even film some of these events and start my own youtube cooking show. MIGHT.
So, in short, there's lots more to come.

First up: You're in for a glut of goods from the new BAKED cookbook.

I bought the book when it first came out in October, but thisandthat have kept me from trying any of the recipes. Until now. mr. makes homemade doughnuts for breakfast every Christmas morning, and this year he's decided to try their recipe for Farm Stand Buttermilk Doughnuts. And then, on New Year's morning, I'll be trying the Monkey Bubble Bread recipe. Can't wait!


Heidi said...

Oh, do take a cake decorating class! One of my dreams is to take the graduate class at Wilton HQ now that I've gone through their I, II, and III courses. :) Next up? More gumpaste!

Miriam Latour said...

You are so awesome to include me in that list of amazing. Thanks!

Dave has been doing the artisan bread the last few months, and it really is an art that takes a lot of trial and error to get there. I can't wait to follow your journey this year, and if you need to tap into any research, Dave has done a ton, so hit up his brains for it!