It’s that time for reflection, and one thing I like to do is look back at all the new recipes I cooked throughout the year and single out those that were really outstanding and should enter the regular rotation. You may have missed them the first time around, so this is an opportunity to revisit. This year, I’m taking a seasonal approach, so you have something to cook for every month in 2009.
- January — Greens Cooked With Bacon: So simple, so good. It’s no wonder this is a classic, but it’s a revelation for people like me who have only recently reincorporated bacon into my cooking and eating.
- February — Orzo Pilaf with Spinach: I made up this recipe. It’s a wonderful side for a winter meal.
- March — Tomato Soup: A nice warming recipe while you’re waiting for spring.
- April — Pan-Roasted Asparagus: My favorite technique for cooking this long-awaited spring vegetable.
- May — Muffins Your Way: Take advantage of spring berries and take this portable breakfast with you to the farmers market.
- June — Melon Caprese Salad: A riff on a classic uses fresh melons in place of the tomatoes.
- July — Tortellini with Lemon and Herbs: A light and lemony pasta that takes advantage of an abundance of fresh herbs from the garden.
- August — Tortellini Salad with Pesto: Another way to use up fresh herbs plus all those cherry tomatoes you’re harvesting right now.
- September — Pan-Roasted Boneless Chicken Breasts: A no-fail technique that goes well with just about anything.
- October — Roasted Sweet Potato Soup: A warming hearty soup that takes advantage of an abundance of sweet potatoes.
- November — Skillet Cornbread: Perfect for family brunches, holiday meals or anytime you crave good, old-fashioned cornbread.
- December — Minestrone con Pesto: A hearty wintry soup, providing you froze some of that pesto you made last summer.
I have plenty of cooking projects lined up for 2009. I want to try my hand at baking more, particularly breads. I want to cook some recipes out of Bouchon by Thomas Keller in order to improve my understanding of French bistro-style cooking. I want to take some cooking classes and improve my basic skills. I want to expand our garden and focus more on going to the farmers market and cooking seasonally/locally. I don’t know how many of these I’ll get to, but I hope to be blogging more and posting more recipes. With a toddler in the house, I’m not making any promises, though, but trying is the fun part.
Here’s wishing you all a happy, healthy, delicious 2009!