For the first time in a while, I got to spend all of last weekend at home with no real plans. I love weekends like this every now and again as they’re usually the weekends when I get to cook and bake a lot. Last weekend did not disappoint. In addition to cooking some foods that we eat frequently, I made two things that I had never made before: potato gnocchi and French macarons.
I’d eaten them both multiple times, but I’d never made them from scratch myself until this weekend. Something about making homemade pasta seemed daunting and the macarons seemed completely impossible to me despite my baking skills.
Successfully making gnocchi and macarons over the course of a weekend has made me think about all sorts of other foods I’ve always wanted to make but never have. Some foods I haven’t made because they’re expensive. Others I haven’t made because they appear to take forever to prepare. Some I just haven’t ever gotten around to trying. And others just plain scare me.
As a result of my bravery last weekend, I’ve decided to go ahead and make 2012 the year of fearless cooking. I shall not let a long, laborious recipe hinder my cooking. Nor shall I let warnings of how difficult it is to make an item hold me back. I may, however, let prohibitive costs get in my way every now and again. This year when I want to cook something and think it’s too difficult, I need to remind myself that I’ve made several wedding cakes. And gnocchi!
I’ve started a list, shown below, of what I want to cook or bake this year that I’ve never made before (or haven’t made on my own in my adult life as I don’t remember all of the things I may have helped my mom make as a kid). I’ll continue to add to the list as I think of more items to make and as suggestions roll in from Twitter and Facebook friends.
In addition, please feel free to suggest any foods that you’ve always wanted to make but were afraid to attempt for one reason or another.
In 2012, I will fearlessly prepare the following items in my kitchen:
French macaron cookies(completed 01/22/2012) Marshmallows(completed 01/29/2012)
Cream puffs(completed 02/29/2012)
- Fried chicken
- Pressure canned foods, like canned green beans
- Caramels – the candy, not the sauce
- Puff pastry
- Chocolate soufflé
- Hollandaise sauce
- Beef Wellington
- Fresh pasta – maybe linguine or fettuccine
Boston cream pie(completed 09/02/2012)
- Charlotte – I can make the ladyfingers, but assembly is my roadblock
- Ricotta cheese
Flour tortillas(completed 03/14/2012)
- Duck confit
- Baked Alaska
- Crown pork roast