December update

As I enter the month of December, I realize how close I am to being done with my goal of making 365 new recipes this year. I’m now five days and nine recipes into the month. I started the month five recipes behind, and now I’m only behind by one.

In September, it occurred to me how strange it will be in 2011 to not have this goal of making a new recipe for every day of the year. To be sure, it’ll be exciting to be able to use up all the ingredients in my pantry without finding new things to do with them. It’ll be nice to be able to make my usual soups, stew, chili, and spaghetti sauce recipes – the ones that I just toss together and add ingredients to taste. I’ve got a lot of random ingredients in my pantry, and while I’ll definitely have to find new things to do with some of them (like the case of cocoa powder that I’ve got in my basement), it’ll be nice to be able to cook whatever I want without having to find a source to make it from.

I’m not going to give up on making new recipes, though. I still have 3 giant binders of recipes, a stack of recipes in my kitchen, 2 shelves of bargain cookbooks, and a few newer, specialized cookbooks filled with recipes waiting to be tried out. I like cooking and baking way too much to stop. Next year, I’m going to try a chocolate chip cookie bake-off, similar to the brownie taste test I did earlier this year. I’m entranced by bread, so I’m going to experiment with more bread recipes on the weekends during the cold winter months of 2011. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to show off things that I myself create, rather than just food that I re-create.

I’m incredibly excited to be in the home stretch. Like I said, I’m 5 days and 9 recipes into December. This is the closest I’ve been to being on target all year long – just 27 recipes left for the next 26 days. With the holidays here, I knew I wouldn’t be able to accomplish my goal without some planning. A friend asked me this weekend what else I was going to cook this month, and I may have bored her with all of the things I got excited to tell her about. I’ll list it here as well, but at least you get the benefit of being able to skim over it.

Chicken Breasts with Green Chile-Almond Cream Sauce
Sesame-Soy Meatballs
Curried Chicken Saute
Sourdough and Sausage Stuffing
English Muffins
Vanilla-Roasted Pears
Peanut Brittle
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits (which I won’t eat, and probably won’t count towards my 365)
Biscotti (perhaps more than one kind)
Pecan Pie
Chocolate Spoons
Apple Tarte Tatin
Fennel-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with roasted potatoes and pears

It may change a little bit over the next few weeks – I’m sure I’ll have to postpone a few recipes, and there’ll definitely be some additions. It’s the season for cookies, so I’ll definitely make some new recipes and post them on here! My only limits are time, and the willingness of the people around me to continue to eat what I make.

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