It seems that everywhere you look there is a somewhat morbid list of things to see/places to go/things to do before you die. I'm all for seizing the day, but I am much better when my goals have a shorter timeframe. "Before you die" could mean anything...no one knows when that will happen, but we certainly hope it is down the road a ways.
So, here is a list of dishes I want to make/conquer in my kitchen...not before I die, but in the next year. If you have any helpful tips, or good recipes to try so I can reach these goals...please let me know!
I would love to serve a gorgeous plate of filled ravioli or creamy fettuccine and be able to say, "Why, yes...I did make the pasta myself!" Making fresh pasta seems like a lot of work, plus it looks like it would help to have a machine, and I would hate to add another appliance/gadget to my kitchen unless I know for sure it would be used on a somewhat regular basis. Has anyone out there actually made fresh pasta? Can you tell the difference in the taste/texture? It is worth the effort?
Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts...rich, creamy, dense New York style. Our good friend BP makes some delicious cheesecakes, so I will definitely recruit him for some training when I get around to making one myself. Once I make a classic cheesecake and feel comfortable, I want to try this gorgeous Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake from Deb over at Smitten Kitchen. You must click on this and take a look at it. Go ahead. I'll wait. Probably a good idea if I don't attempt this one as my first...don't you think?
Rich, buttery, flaky layers. The result of some patience, detailed instructions, and elbow grease. Julie at Willow Bird Baking issued a Croissant Challenge back in July, and I am determined to make it onto her "Committed to Croissant" list! I can't imagine how much better these will be compared to the stuff in a tube.
Deep frying is NOT one of my strengths (read about my recent Kitchen Disaster if you don't believe me) so who knows when I can cross this one off the list. Crispy, flavorful, juicy chicken that is not greasy. There has got to be a way for me to do this! Does anyone have a foolproof recipe for me?
Sushi is one of my favorite things in the world to eat. It is one of the only things that I can eat for lunch and still crave it for dinner that same night. I could live on fresh salmon...sashimi, nigiri, or maki...I'm drooling right now and I just ate lunch! Sushi in a restaurant can be pricey, so it would make so much more sense for me to make it for myself. I think I should probably take a class for this one.
Cajun-Style Red Beans and Rice
For some reason, this dish has been out of my reach so far. My attempts have either been too salty or with the beans not cooked enough...no matter what I did, they wouldn't get mushy or creamy. Any suggestions?
We've lived in Maryland for over ten years now, so it's probably about time I make these. I love Maryland blue crab, especially in the classic crab cake form. (Sorry native Marylanders, I still refuse to pick crabs. Way too much work, way too messy, not enough meat.) It seems that nearly every restaurant in this state claims to have the "Best" crab cakes. It's fun to watch the debate. I will be a taste-tester judge for this competition any day!
This is a recent favorite of mine. I love it, but I'm lazy when it comes to exotic ingredients. I will have to make the effort to get the delicious fixings for this, because it is so good. Bobby Flay did a Pad Thai throwdown sometime ago, and I think the restaurant was somewhere in Northern Virginia. I might have to make a trip.
Nothing simpler than good home fries, right? Crispy yet tender chunks of potatoes with onions...heaven on a plate. Should be a cinch to whip up a batch, right? Wrong. Mine come out either undercooked, mushy, or oily. Can someone help? Am I doomed to eat diner home fries for the rest of my life?
I love ordering this when I'm out...it's a perfect dish for Happy Hour. I've been told mussels are super-simple to make, but I haven't done it yet. One, I need to find a good place to buy them, and I also don't think JD will eat them. He's usually not a fan of most shellfish. Mussels steamed in wine...crusty bread...icy cold cocktail...mmmmmm.
I've tackled canning tomatoes, but I want to go crazy with it next year...corn, green beans, pickles, jam, salsa, applesauce, you name it! I plan to hit farmers markets with a vengeance next year. Any recommendations for a good pressure canner, and/or canning recipes to try?
What dishes are on your kitchen bucket list? Do you give yourself a shorter timeframe when you set goals?