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’ve been really slacking when it comes to cooking. I’ve tried to make plenty of new things, but nothing really turned out right. I guess my heart just wasn’t in it. But then I decided I really wanted to make pizza (again).
This time I made a homemade thin crust dough rather than just beating the system with store bought mix. I’ve made plenty of pizza dough in my youth with my family, but never on my own despite hearing how “easy” it is from pretty much everyone. The recipe calls for proofing the dough although typically that’s really only done with thicker dough. Proofing this thin dough makes it much more crispy and crumbly rather than airy and fluffy. Proofing dough is super easy because it can be done by room temperature, leaving the bowl on a hot surface (like the stove while the oven is on), or leaving it outside like my grandmother used to.
I chose to split one recipe of dough in half and make two really small pizzas to try different things, so really it makes one regular sized thin pizza ideally. Splitting the dough made it very, very thin and crispy. The first one I made was roasted red pepper and basil while the second was prosciutto and arugula.
I wish I had better photos of the final result.
Sharing what I usually buy at the grocery store and realizing how often I do eat like a bird got me thinking about cooking meals. I do love to cook, but the last recipe I really put a ton of effort into making went terribly so I’ve felt a bit uninspired. Not to mention I’ve accidentally cut my fingers on every knife and vegetable peeler I touch recently. Uninspired, accident prone, and terrible seem to be the adjectives that best define me lately.
So I did what anyone feeling uninspired in the kitchen does: check their email! Okay, maybe not everyone checks their email but as someone who gets quite a few food newsletters, it was definitely feeling like time to clean them out. Now here we are with a special list of everything I currently want to eat.
Pork Lo Mein
Just like with most things in life there are trends and food is another one of those things. I hadn’t even considered it before until there were thousands of avocado toast Instagrams and fancy mixology cocktail bars began appearing. There are plenty of things that will rise in popularity of the course of this year and many things that should disappear this year too. Don’t believe me? Just ask Bon Appetit the omnipotent source for all things food.
I’m no expert on food. I can cook it. I eat it quite a bit. I always like to try new things. But a few of the things on their list I just can’t get behind.
- Nutritional Yeast – A condiment that is most commonly sprinkled on popcorn and is quickly becoming a substitute for parmesan cheese. I just can’t get behind giving up delicious parmesan cheese for a sprinkle of yeast.
- Adventurous Yogurt – Yogurt made from sheep’s milk, coconut milk, and even water buffalo milk is just a little too adventurous for me. I think I’ll stick to granola and plain ol’ Greek yogurt.
- Charcoal – Charcoal may be a great remedy for food poisoning and stomach ailments, but I think it’s better suited for giving my pizza that perfect charred crust.
How about those 2016 food trends that need to go?
- La Croix – Okay, I get the cult following, but it just all tastes the same to me. What am I missing?
- Smoothie Bowls – So you put some fruit in a bowl? Did you just make a smoothie and not have a cup around? They sure are colorful, but what is the purpose?
- Zoodles – No. I’m a big fan of noodles. If I’m gonna eat pasta, I’m gonna eat pasta. I’m not gonna trick myself into eating veggies in place of noodles to be healthy.
Images: ONE | TWO | THREE
When I was growing up there were two staple cookbooks in my mom’s kitchen. The first was a Disneyland cookbook which contained recipes inspired by Disney characters and their worlds and from food served in the various parks. The other was a 80’s Better Homes and Gardens binder featuring recipes for Pineapple Upside Down cake and other food we no longer eat. I’m positive this cookbook was gifted to her when she attempted to make a Thanksgiving turkey with the bag of unmentionable gross parts still inside. It was her first try, to be fair.
I have no idea where these cookbooks are anymore, but that is probably for the best. As I continue to explore cooking I’ve turned to cookbooks for inspiration and help. I’ve already fallen in love with Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, Cravings, and I hope to add more to my collection soon. As for the cookbooks my mom owned…I never saw her use them for anything which is a shame. Mickey Mouse pancakes would have been pretty chill to have for breakfast.
Shop Cookbooks: Food52 Genius Recipes, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, Cravings: Recipes For All the Food You Want to Eat, It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook