In terms of food blogging this year has been a bit of a wipe out, I dropped Daring Bakers, Daring Cooks, making my own bread, ice cream and french macarons. I stuck to simple dishes when I blogged at all, that were either left for hours to slow cook, or were ready in a matter of minutes.
While this was necessity – you can’t plan a wedding while still working a 40 hour week and have time to keep up with the making, photography and posting cycle.
In 2012 I want to get back into pushing the boundaries a little. As much as Daring Bakers and Cooks was really great at pushing you to try new things, I did spend an inordinate amount of time pushing myself to make things that I would never have eaten if I had the choice. Like those marshmallow disaster cookies. I cried over those, tears of anger and disappointment.
While I am not sure I necessarily want to go through anything like that again – you don’t learn if you don’t push the boundaries. Learning new recipes is all very well and good, but really what you need to learn is new frameworks. Ideas that catapult you out of your everyday dishes, like learning to make bread – once you have the technique millions of new recipes are open to you.
Next year I will learn how to :
- Make my own pasta from scratch. Fresh pasta is so much better than dried, and the one time I attempted Ravioli it was pretty amazing. I would love to try this tortellini recipe.
- Bake, ice and decorate a cake. Obviously the perfect time would be Christmas – but I didn’t have time this year. I could use birthdays as an excuse to practice!
- Make my own bread. I loved working my way through the Bread Bakers Apprentice, but I haven’t made bread in ages. This year I want to :
- Make this Rosemary and Garlic loaf.
- Find the perfect sandwich loaf. I love toast and sandwiches but most of the loaves I have made so far just aren’t suited to this.
- Making this pull-a-part cinnamon bread. Mr Coffeemuffins loves cinnamon and I have promised to make him cinnamon buns, but I think this pull-apart bread could be even better!
- Eat more vegetarian. After my brief dabble in Vegetarian Christmas meals for a friend, I would love to eat more vegetarian food, and get some really great dishes in my repertoire.
- Make a Soufflé. With their reputation of being difficult to make I have always avoided trying to make one. But you know what, it can’t be that hard. Can it?
- Be more locally minded. This can mean anything from buying locally, to making more traditionally Scottish recipes. Next step Haggis…
- Bake Profiteroles. Ok so after what I just said adding Choux pastry seems a bit wrong, but I have always wanted to try this. I even booked to go to a Choux Pastry class in 2011 – only to have it cancelled at the last moment. This year I have to try, while I love the idea of a Croquembouche, I might need to work up to it!
And of course I want to do all this while being and eating healthier!
What new techniques would you like to try for 2012?