Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 Goals: Kitchen

Here we are at the beginning of the third week of January. Time flies! It was just over two weeks ago that we welcomed 2012, and as is tradition, Dan and I sat down to write out our goals for the new year. Have I mentioned that I'm a list maker? We wound up with nine. :)

Sticking with the theme we set for ourselves -- productivity -- I think I've finally settled on what I hope to accomplish in my kitchen over the course of the year. And now, after spending the last two weeks settling back into a normal routine and getting us into a good homeschooling groove, I'm ready to dive in and begin making progress on my kitchen goals.

A few of these are on my 50 before 50 list, so I'm giving myself a double incentive here, but most of them are simply different food items I really want to make from scratch to cut down even more the amount of processed foods we consume. There truly is a simple satisfaction to be had from cooking from scratch. Improving the health of my family is an even bigger incentive! And whether or not I accomplish each and every item on this list, I know that making the effort will be half the fun. :)


Baking:

During the busy seasons of life, I've resorted to purchasing breads rather than baking my own; I'd like to cut down on that by baking on a regular basis and keeping extra in the freezer. Another thing I hope to do more of is soaking grains before baking. Attempting to bake bread outdoors this summer using a solar oven and/or a dutch oven sounds like a challenge, but I'm going to try it anyway. Finally, I want both Daniel and AnnaLynn to learn how to bake bread this year. :)


Successfully start a sourdough starter and keep it active
Bake a really good loaf of sourdough bread (#12 - 50 before 50)
Sourdough English muffins (so we won't have to buy them)
Bake an angel food cake -- from scratch (#37 - 50 before 50)
Homemade Poptarts :)
Corn tortillas
Flour tortillas
Scones -- I've never made them. Really.
26 new muffin recipes for Muffin Monday [as of 9/26, we've added 15 new muffin recipes]

Condiments:

Homemade mayo
Salsa
Taco/hot sauce (trying to recreate my favorite restaurant's version...)
Italian dressing (to replace the Wishbone -- Daniel's favorite)
Blue cheese dressing (for Dan)
Dill pickle relish
BBQ sauce
Fermented dill pickles

Dairy:

Lord willing, we'll be able to start getting raw milk again this spring! But even if we don't, we'll still be able to make the following:

Homemade yogurt
Whey (from yogurt)
Yogurt cheese (cream cheese substitute)
Sour cream
Ice cream -- any flavor!

Snacks:

This is an area where we all really need to be careful! We're trying to cut down on our sugar intake this year and will continue using whole cane sugar (sucanat/rapadura), organic sugar, and/or raw honey in place of white and brown sugar when called for.

Corn chips
Wheat crackers
Cheese crackers
Caramel sauce
Chocolate sauce
Fruit leather
Crispy nuts (Nourishing Traditions style)
Beef jerky
Donuts - apple fritters & old fashioned! :)
Baked pretzels
Caramel corn w/o corn syrup

Misc:

Cream soup substitute
Onion soup mix
Lemon extract (like vanilla, only lemon)
Homemade mac & cheese
Make & can homemade tomato sauce (#22 - 50 before 50)
Switch to using a cast iron frying pan instead of non-stick
Dry home-grown herbs to use in cooking
Work on filling/maintaining our pantry & food storage


It looks to be a productive 2012; I sure hope so, anyway! I'll be sharing updates and recipes throughout the year as I attempt to meet my goals. How about you? What are your kitchen goals this year?

Sharing with Simple Lives Thursday & at the Homestead Barn Hop :)

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6 comments:

  1. I LOVE your kitchen goals! So much of these are things that I wish to accomplish, too...I'm planning on doing lots of scratch cooking to avoid the processed stuff, too...just not going to blog through all of it, as I'm too tired. But I'll follow along w/your progress, and join you on lots of this! Thank you, also, for the lovely soap...it was waiting for us at the P.O. when we got back from our vacation!!! Can't wait to use it!

    Blessings and {{{HUGS}}},
    Lori

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  2. Wow, that is an impressive list. I'm trying to make more of my own breads, too. I've done it in the past, but allowed myself to get out of the habit. Another thing I'd love to do is figure out more about using stevia. I currently use it in my coffee and tea, but nothing more.

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  3. I like these goals. One of my goals this year is to make {and keep up} a sourdough starter. I've made homemade ketchup before and my husband loved it. I look forward to reading how these goals are played out the upcoming year.

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  4. Such a great list! Looking forward to some posts on your successes and failures!

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  5. Phew! They all are so doable. Enjoy the process. Accept the failures (because when you soak grains, there will be some) and just relish the moments of teaching your children the art of baking bread.

    Thank you for visiting the cottage my friend...it is always so good to see you.

    m.

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  6. Ohh some I have done and some I want to do myself. I think this year will be a scrumptious year. Don't you think with all that we are making in the kitchen. [o=

    I got to get posting soon what I have been up to in the kitchen. [o=

    Blessings and ((HUGS))
    -Mary

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Thanks so much for visiting; your kind thoughts and questions are always welcome. :)

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