I’ve been blogging about a year and a half, and I’ve come a long way since then. My photos have improved, although they’re still not great, and my posts have more personality. In the past couple months, life has settled down a bit – less traveling, finished grad school, finished the SKG walk…. and so, I’ve had more time to devote to blogging and thinking about the future for my little hobby.
With this in mind (and the hope of a blog redesign later this year), I’ve cleaned up some old entries and categories and have added some features. Much of this is transparent to you, my reader, but I’d like to highlight a couple of posts which received new photos – one recipe had no photos of the finished product while the other two simply had photos of abysmal quality.
A batch of the seven layer cookies, along with a couple dozen other sweet treats, will be auctioned off on May 4-6, with all proceeds going to the fight against breast cancer. Check out Bloggers Bake for Hope for more info and to place a bid.
The second update, made recently was to re-index both book-related posts as well as recipes. After wavering on the best method for indexing (pages within wordpress or sortable google documents), I returned to a simple page within the blog. The Book Index and Recipe Index can now be found at the tabs on the top of the page.
Finally, a Facebook page for Books n’ Cooks has been launched, for those that would prefer a facebook update to new posts rather than googlereader (or whatever your favorite subscription method is). Like Books n’ Cooks here.
Thanks to everyone for following my first year and a half of blogging!
Happy New Year!
Coming home from Christmas away, I’ve been looking forward to the start of a new year, with new habits and new things to strive for. This past year has been a craze of wedding planning, school, and life. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that 2010 will be much more low-keyed, allowing me to take more time for the things I want and enjoy doing.
What are your goals for 2010?
In the Kitchen
I have high hopes that 2010 will allow me more time in the kitchen, experimenting with new recipes and ingredients. I want to experiment with new fruits and vegetables. I’m dying to try cooking duck, to test my hand at cooking with yeast (so intimidating!), and to actually make a caramel that I don’t burn.
I’d also like to make a greater effort to cook healthier (so you might see some nutritional information cropping up with my recipes). This will be a challenge, but I think that as long as I plan my week’s menu in advance (and have some healthy and easy fall-backs), that I’ll be ok. In spring, I hope to join a CSA for the first time which will also help us eat better, get to know new foods, and most importantly, will support our local farmers.
Off the Bookshelf
While I’m super-excited about the arrival of my Nook (thanks Mom, Dad & Hubby!), I’d really like to make a dent in my growing bookshelves, which are filled with lots of mystery novels (thanks Mom & Grandma!).
There are also many non-mystery books that I’d like to read, but somehow keep making it to the bottom of the TBR pile. So, for the coming year, I’d like to tackle some of these books and series (sorry James Patterson, you’ll have to take a backseat for a while). On my 2010 TBR list are:
- All of Jane Austen’s works (6 books, 1 short fiction, and 2 unfinished fiction)
- Gone with the Wind, a book that has always intimidated me a little bit in its length
- The Lord of the Rings series. I love the movies, I just need to start the books!
And my final goal for the year… I’d like to continue with my little blog here and improving my photography.
What are your cooking or reading goals for 2010?
This one was inspired by the Barefoot Contessa’s, but has some pretty significant recipe changes and technique changes. I changed and/or left out a bunch of ingredients and quantities, but kept the oranges, which was different than most recipes I saw and brought a nice subtle flavor. In addition, this was completely cooked on the stove as opposed to in the oven.
This was a real highlight in my rainy day.
- 2 large navel oranges, zested and juiced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 8 Fuji apples, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/3 c. granulated sugar, packed
- 2 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a pot on the stove. Cover and cook at medium heat for 45 minutes, or until apples are soft enough to mash with a fork or potato masher, stirring the apples every 15 minutes or so. Mash to desired consistency and eat warm or cold.
Tastes best on a cold, rainy day.
Note: I’ve been told apple sauce is freezable, but this is my first attempt, and will probably eat most of it before it makes it into the freezer. If you try freezing it, please let me know how it turns out!
This is my first attempt at blogging. I’m going to share two of my interests – playing around in the kitchen and curling up with a good book. I’ll post favorites, and for recipes, share adaptations. I’d love to try at least one new recipe a week and read one new book a week – a great goal for a busy schedule. I’ll also add links to some of the blogs I’ve been enjoying (I hope nobody minds!) so that you can enjoy them as well.
Thanks for reading!