Okay, real talk. Looking at all of the social media posts of meals couples made on their Valentine’s Day dates was barf-inducing. So finally after logging out when I just couldn’t take anymore, I went browsing my bookmarks, Pinterest, and Tumblr to create a list of #GOALS for the year. Being single can suck when it comes to cooking because when it comes to purchasing ingredients you have to be really strategic. Most ingredients, if not all, aren’t packaged for one so creating a menu of meals has to use whatever I’ve purchased so it doesn’t go to waste. Good news is I learned how to cut the recipe for pancakes for a single serving. That’s really all someone needs, right?
Fortunately, I sometimes can get people to try whatever I want to cook which makes things a lot easier. I get to try to make something I haven’t made before, learn a new skill, and they get something (hopefully) delicious in return. It’s a win/win. I have collected maybe hundreds of recipes in tons of places especially virtual places. It’s still a pretty new year so I’m still pretty positive about trying new things so I thought why not choose 12 recipes I really want to try this year. Consider them my #goals for the year in the kitchen. Since it’s February I should probably get started.
There’s a variety of things including brownies that are claimed to be loved more than the recipe sharer loved Hanson in the 90s. There’s plenty of pasta and some things I’ve never tried to make before (a chocolate tart). There’s also a recipe featuring my arch nemesis, polenta, because the recipe looks way too delicious to pass up. I’m even giving a pass to rosé pasta sauce since everything should be tried at least once. Only time will tell if I end up making any of these during the next 10 months, but I’ll be sure to keep the blog posted on any updates to this list. I’m talking about all the good experiences and the bad.
Below you’ll find my kitchen #goals for the year. If you want more suggestions you can check out my food Pinterest board or the food tag on my Tumblr.
Loaded Mediterranean Street Fries
I won’t lie. I think I’ve probably baked every chocolate chip cookie recipe claiming to be the “best.” As a teenager I think I made the classic Nestle Tollhouse recipe so often I had it memorized for many years. Sadly as an adult you begin to realize the chocolate chip/dough ratio is so poor no matter how many chocolate chips you add in. More recently my go-to was the NY Times recipe which uses cake flour and bread flour rather than all-purpose flour. But it has a wait time which is often really hard to abide by when it comes to baking. Eating the dough is rather tempting when it’s just sitting there for an extended period of time. Then I moved on to a sea salt chocolate chip recipe I adapted from somewhere else, and made it so much people grew tired of it.
So that brings me to this past December and my constant quest to create the perfect Christmas cookie tin/tray. I went searching for the ideal chocolate chip cookie that was yummy but would provide a sense of timeless comfort for my friends and family. I was alerted to a random Buzzfeed article where they taste tested a variety of recipes created by famous chefs and Kourtney Kardashian (why?). Their winner was Thomas Keller’s Perfect Chocolate Chip cookies, and upon inspection of the ingredients I thought why not give it a shot.
I can’t believe that there is less than a week until Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year despite the mountain of stress I put on myself. Yes, I cook an entire Thanksgiving meal (turkey, mashed potatoes, and even pies) all by myself. Everyone else just gets to enjoy their morning watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, eating well thought out light snacks, and, well, watching me like I’m some kind of Food Network cooking show. Then there’s my dog who spends the entire afternoon tripping me in the kitchen when she gets tired of watching the post-parade airing of the dog show (okay fine, she’s just sleeping).
Any time a product comes out that claims to tase like, smell like, or anything remotely involving pumpkin spice odds are I’m going to try it. If that makes me “basic” so be it. To me there’s nothing I’d rather have from mid-September to mid-December than a good pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin pie, or pumpkin bread. There’s just something so comforting to me about it. It reminds me of chilly days spent relaxing or enjoying crisp fall nights. I’ve literally been waiting to make a pumpkin pie for the last three weeks, but the weather has been unseasonably warm and I definitely do not need to have pie just lying around.
One of my favorite deserts is a classic chocolate chip cookie. If it’s warm even better. I think I’ve made every recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I have the Toll House recipe memorized. I’ve tried what the New York Times claims is the best recipe of all time. I’ve learned nearly every tip and trick to making the best cookies ever. I’ve even made up my own recipes. I guess I’m a little…obsessed; so naturally when the cookies from the Vanilla Bean Baking Book kept popping up on my Instagram feed I knew I had to give them a try.
Watching The Bachelorette or even being considered part of Bachelor Nation might feel a little embarrassing. What really helps the shame factor is having a crew of people to (ironically) enjoy the insanity with. It’s more fun with friends who listen to the same podcasts (Rose Buddies is a good one) and who will play with you in a fantasy league (not for the faint of heart). So naturally when you’ve got a crew in this with you, a viewing party is a necessity especially when it comes to finales.
Tonight Rachel Lindsay will pick her future husband (she claims she’s still engaged), and that might not seem like enough time to toss together a finale party, but it is. There are about 6,000 elaborate ways to celebrate the Bachelorette. I’ve seen everything from date card invitations (which can be cute), sending actual roses to your friends, having them dress up in unfortunate looking prom dresses, filling out dating applications, and plenty of cupcakes. Even on the season finale of the Bachelor last season they visited viewing parties where people had trophies and even cardboard cut outs of Nick. It might be a little too much, so I’m sharing some easier and more low-key ideas. A couple from our own viewing party.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t think of anything better than a nice, refreshing adult beverage on a scorching summer day. I’m not very creative when it comes to creating cocktails, but I can sure follow a recipe. So bless the internet for posting their delicious concoctions. What I do know for sure, is when in doubt, use a San Pellegrino flavored drink with alcohol and you are good to go. After the grand Rosé Margarita disaster of this 4th of July, I went on the hunt for something else to try. Oh, and before anyone goes looking for a recipe, don’t even try it. It is not good and is a complete waste of rosé.
The key to a good summer cocktail are the flavors. Something light, refreshing, and a tropical flavor is a plus. I’ve seen tons of cocktails while looking around the internet, and these are the ones I can’t wait to try.