Friday, January 03, 2014

2014 New Year's Resolutions

1. I will write more the old fashioned way; with a pen and paper. I will send 104 friends and family members notes and cards and letters because they are special and should get more than bills and Victoria's Secret catalogs in the mail.

2. I will stop bitching about things I don't like about my body and do something about it. Ugly spider veins on the legs; zap them. Bikini line nicks; laser them. Aches and pains; massage them. Lines and wrinkles; photo-facial. Heck, I may even get laserlipo on my stomach pooch that never, ever goes away.

3. I will cook 52 new recipes, a goal I've met the past two years that gives me tremendous amount of happiness in achieving.

4. I will ride my bike at least 100 miles. Not at once, don't be crazy. In total. 

5. I will do at least 250 group fitness classes at The Firm.

6. I will send at least 20 friends my best pictures of them, their dogs, and their kids. Like printed on old-fashion photo paper.

7. I will fix the paint patches in the tasting room. Paint the patch next to the fireplace. And paint the dining room a color that is not hideous. 

8. I will sell some of my Creative Memories inventory. It's taking up space and worth gold these days.

9. I will plan at least one date a month with my husband. Planned date does not include impromptu stops for burgers and fries because we don't feel like cooking.

10. I will do whatever it takes to get one g-damn, non-assisted pull-up by the end of the year.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

2014 52 Recipe Challenge

The 52 recipe challenge is a way of bringing together our friends far and wide who love to cook and share their successes and failures in the kitchen. The challenge; to make 52 new recipes in a single year. This is our third year of sharing food, recipes, kitchen catastrophes, and culinary creativity with friends far and wide.

Top 5 of 2014
2. Pumpkin Pie Bars- I brought these into work and had over a dozen people request the recipe
1. Sausage Gravy- I made this for a bunch of Texans and they were impressed
42. Pan-Roasted Swordfish with Tarragon Mustard Sauce- Better than anything in a restaurant
10. Mustard Braised Lamb Shanks- melt in your mouth, great marriage of flavors
53. Whiskey Praline Pecans- addictive, easy to make, great for gifts

Honorable Mentions
8. Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas- simple to prepare, leftovers great for breakfast with eggs
11. NYC Black and White Cookies- Spot on for the real thing
15. Chinese BBQ Spareribs- bright red ribs just like at a restaurant, tasty
35. Smoked Barbecue Baby Back Ribs- Fell off the bone, great flavor
46. Herbed Fauxtisserie Chicken- Excellent go-to chicken recipe

* denotes a dish we'll make again
- denotes a dish we didn't like or wouldn't make again
  1. Sausage Gravy ***
  2. Pumpkin Pie Bars ***
  3. Mussels in White Wine -
  4. Samoa Bars *
  5. Acorn Squash Fritters *
  6. Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter Sauce
  7. Cold Sesame Noodles *
  8. Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas **
  9. No-Knead Bread *
  10. Mustard Braised Lamb Shanks ***
  11. NYC Black and White Cookies **
  12. Crispy Udon Noodles -
  13. Asian Chicken Slaw *
  14. Shrimp Toast 
  15. Chinese BBQ Spareribs **
  16. "Chinese Take-out" Crispy Beef -
  17. Shanghai Chicken Wings 
  18. Firecracker Shrimp *
  19. Pork and Chive Dumplings *
  20. Stout-Braised Short Ribs -
  21. Parmesan Grits *
  22. Corn * and Flour ** Tortillas
  23. Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins *
  24. Tuscan Vegetable Soup
  25. Truffled Mac and Cheese *
  26. Yellow Cake with Fudge Frosting -
  27. Bourbon Brined Turkey *
  28. Creamy Baked Asparagus with Aged Cheddar
  29. Scalloped Potatoes with Ham *
  30. Waffles
  31. Ham and Asparagus Frittata *
  32. Softshell Crab Sandwiches
  33. Broccoli Rabe with Sausage
  34. Orecchitte with Sausage and Kale
  35. Smoked Barbecue Baby Back Ribs **
  36. Tequila Glazed Chicken with Jalapeno **
  37. Jalapeno Honey Garlic Chicken *
  38. Fennel Garlic Chicken Legs *
  39. Arugula, Beet, and Blue Cheese Salad
  40. Roasted Shrimp with Chile Gremolata *
  41. Blue Cheese and Bacon Tomato Salad
  42. Pan-Roasted Swordfish with Tarragon Mustard Sauce **
  43. Pioneer Woman Marinated Flank Steak *
  44. Bacon and Onion Swiss Chard
  45. Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
  46. Herbed Fauxtisserie Chicken **
  47. French Onion Soup *
  48. Hollandaise Sauce -
  49. Broccoli Strascinati (Broccoli with Garlic and Hot Pepper)
  50. Beer-Roasted Pork Shoulder *
  51. Braised Pork Steaks *
  52. Slow Cooker Cinnamon Sugar Almonds -
  53. Whiskey Praline Pecans ***