This is not part of New Year Resolutions, this list is not intended to put pressure on me, it’s simply a summary of  projects  I’d  like to tackle this year, but if I don’t get to some of them, 2013 will still be there, with open arms!

As you can see from the photo, this is something I’ve made in the past, but after cooking, the color completely faded away!   I intend to try that pasta again, adding a higher proportion of pureed beets to the dough.  Should be a fun project!

I’ve made croissants in the past, and even blogged about them, but my attempts have been a disaster. I would like to get better and make a batch that would come a little closer to the great croissants we enjoyed in Paris.   My hope is to follow the footsteps of the  amazing TxFarmer, a regular contributor at The Fresh Loaf Forum.  Check out her write up on croissants by clicking here.

I feel pretty comfortable making sourdough boules, but shaping a baguette is a skill that requires a lot of practice and patience, that virtue I lack.  This year I would like to master the baguette, following the authentic shaping instead of the improvised methods I’ve used in the past.    I have my favorite recipe to practice with, and will use this nice video to get the shaping right.

About a year ago, I got to know a food blogger through a comment she left on the Bewitching. Even though she blogs in Romanian, I haven’t missed a single of her new posts ever since (thank you, Google translate!).  She is an outstanding  baker and a while ago posted a recipe for a flatbread full of childhood memories. Imagine a bread re-created after 30 years of first tasting it!  I simply must make it!   Check out her article about it here (she has the translator tool right on the site, so pick your language and enjoy it).

I’ve seen them in cooking shows, I’ve had them in restaurants a couple of times.  Never attempted to make them at home, but always wanted to.  Of course, I’ll need to find the best possible quality fish, and a tried-and-true recipe.  Anne Burrell comes to mind…

I never thought much about them, until a dear friend served us a chocolate mousse decorated with her homemade candied orange peel.  I loved them so much, she brought me a small jar with the leftovers from the dessert, and I had to use all my self-control not to wolf down the whole thing.   I must make them soon, very soon…

When I was in graduate school in Brazil, Silvia, a student from Argentina worked in the same lab.  Once a year she would travel to Buenos Aires, and it never failed: when she arrived back, she would bring a couple of boxes of alfajores to the lab.  We would go absolutely crazy for them!  I’ve seen recipes in the net, and always wanted to make them.   Maybe this will be My Year of the Alfajor!

And, the “best” for last:

There. I said the dreadful words. Many years ago I suffered a public humiliation serving a strawberry genoise cake at a party. I never ever attempted to make it again.  You may wonder what made me change my mind.  Believe it or not, it was Tony Horton, the fitness guru, developer of the P90X.   I recently started his new P90X2 program, and the first routine has an exercise that Tony struggles with.  He is obviously a strong, ultra-fit guy, but his balance is not the greatest.  This particular exercise requires considerable balance and strength in legs and core.   Before demonstrating it, he literally screams:  “MY NEMESIS!  I WILL CONQUER THEE!” And, he goes for  it, hopping around, struggling, but following his own motto of “do your best”.

So, I will follow his example and “CONQUER THEE!”  Not sure who will be my genoise teacher, maybe  Tish Boyle?  She better be ready for this herculean task… 😉

So, these are some of the cooking projects I have in mind for the near, and not so near future.  What about you?  Any fun cooking plans for 2012?

ONE YEAR AGO: No-Fuss Coffee Cake

TWO YEARS AGO: Swedish Limpa

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