Resolutions...Of the Culinary Sort

Well, we've reached frigid temperatures my friends, here in the frozen north.  As I type this, it's currently -1 degree outside with the goal of reaching -11 by morning.  Heaven only knows what the wind chill must be.  However, as freezing as it is (and it is literally freezing) I do love this part of winter for one reason.  When the bitter, cold winds blow, I hunker down and become a cooking machine.  I am inspired, I am motivated and I am cold.  So thus, my oven, my stove and my crock pot get a total workout.  They become dear friends to me and part of the "family."  With joy I greet them each day and with care I wipe them clean each night.  They see me through the coldest of nights, the whitest of blizzards.  Yes, this is my time to shine!

Ok, so maybe I'm getting a little carried away, but I have good reason.  For the next few months, I'm going to be spending a lot of time at home, a lot of time inside.  So therefore, I've got to have something to look forward to and for me, dinner each night is it.  Oh, and I also got a little gift this Christmas that has me on a bit of a cooking you see it pictured below?

Yep, the Pioneer Woman has descended upon our home or more specifically, upon my kitchen.  She is witty, she is creative and she is too legit to quit.  Seriously, she's kicking my tail and not taking "no" for an answer.  I've been pioneer-ed, so to speak and oh how I love her!

So, in honor of the cold and my new found cooking inspiration (and the start of a new decade) I've decided to share a list of my culinary resolutions.  Not that you care, but because I know I will one day need to reference this list, once the "high" has worn off and I begin to loathe the sight of my appliances.
You know, if that ever happens...
So here they are, in no particular order.

#1-  After much discussion over Christmas and to the horror of my own Mother, it was revealed that I do not like pie.  Really, at all.  The kind of pie matters not, but the crust matters greatly.  I do not like flaky, pastry crusts.  I would eat a graham cracker crust all by its lonesome every day of the week, but a pastry crust...not so much.  Anyway, although I have no affinity for pie, my poor husband happens to love pie. And in 6 years of being married, I have never made him one.  Ever.  I know, I know...selfish.  Whatever.  In the year 2010, I am resolving to master the art of pie-making.  At least once.  I have a Mother who makes incredible pies and a friend whose creativity makes me long to create a pie (or anything she bakes.) So, you can hold me to it, I will be rolling some dough this year.  Or rolling in some dough...which ever comes first!  Ha Ha!

#2- I want to master the art of making really, really good guacamole.  Yes, I shoot for the moon when I write resolutions!  Part of marrying Travis meant an education in cooking, Texas style.  He comes from a fine line of women who are excellent cooks and who dabble in a world I'd never heard of until I became a member of the family too.  They are masters of pinto beans and rice, jalapenos and tamales, black eyed peas and cornbread, brisket and fried okra.  And of course, the aforementioned guacamole.  Now I have always loved guacamole, but let's face it, until you've had it just a few hundred miles north of the border, you haven't had real guacamole!  Much to my delight, Trav's aunt and uncle sent us a culinary wonder this Christmas...

Yep, a molcajete.
I had no idea what that was either!

Upon further reading and googling, it is an essential for true mexican cooking.  A lava stone pot in which many spices will be ground and many batches of pico de gallo and guacamole will be conquered.  Because I am quite certain there will be fajitas in Heaven (at least in my mansion that is!), it is a tool I know I will come to love.  Just as soon as I'm not scared of it.  By December, I'm sure it will have a cozy spot in my kitchen and a new found place in my heart!

#3- I am determined to raise my own little girl to love the kitchen as much as I do.  Right now it seems that I have already accomplished that.  She longs to be at my side while I cook, watching my every move, soaking up any pearls of wisdom I have to share and eating every morsel of dog food she can get her tiny little hands on.  And climbing on and in my dishwasher.  Yep, she's going to be a real culinary genius someday.  And her husband will rave about her cooking, just like her Daddy does about mine.

Yep, she's going to be just like her Mom.
At the very least, if she still holds the same fascination for clean dishes that she does now, I foresee many happy days in my kitchen ahead!!

#4- I seriously do want to get back to my love and passion for entertaining.  As soon as the little cherub above descended on our home, I removed all expectation and pressure off of myself to have people over in our home.  I thought I might want to make sure that the 3 of are being fed before I try and feed the neighbors too.  Now that we have 8 months under our belt and a little girl who sleeps 12 hours at night, I'm ready to open our kitchen and our home once again.  I've really missed this and I know Trav has too.  I have a list of people on my heart that I hope to have over and get to know a little bit better.  Ava will love it too because in almost every way, she is her father's daughter.  She inherited his social gene for sure!  So, I hope 2010 is marked by lots of dirty dishes and laughter over here.  Well, more dirty dishes and more laughter than what there currently is anyway!

#5- Along that same line, I would really love to host a few single girls or young married gals a few times and walk them through some easy, basic meals.  I can't believe how many girls I meet and know who never cook or are scared to cook because they didn't grow up learning how.  All judgement removed, I realize cooking is not a spiritual discipline or a be all/end all in life, but it is a part of being a wife and caring for your family and it is often much easier than it seems, once the fear is removed.  I am fortunate to know many older women who taught me lots about cooking and I would love to be (gasp) that older woman for someone else too!  Wouldn't it be fun to do a tour of kitchens and get to watch different women demonstrating what they're good at??  Still thinking on this, but I'd love to see it happen...

#6- I plan to mentor myself via Paula Deen!  She may not be a healthy cook and her accent almost makes my ears bleed, but the woman can whip up a darn good meal.  Plus, she makes me smile with her shared love of butter.  I heart her.

I think I'll stop at 6 because I think I've got a good list to start with...

But, in case you're wondering, this is what we had for dinner tonight.  Although I am a lover of salads and other low-cal things, in my heart of hearts and I a real "meat and potatoes" kind of girl.
Who married a "meat and potatoes" kind of man.
So this is how we roll.
Smoked sausage, peppers, onions and potatoes.  With a healthy side of butter.

Yep, I ate every last bite.
Don't judge me though.  I made it as healthy as I possibly could.
I did use a little bit of olive oil before I added the butter!!

All this cooking has made me wonder, what if I had a cookbook?  What could it be called?
"The Pioneer Woman Cooks" really is a great title.  Simple.  Straightforward.  Witty.
You know, perfect.  Kind of like she is.

But I think I've got a good one too...
How about, "The Butter-Lover Cooks."
 I think it has a nice ring to it, don't you??

Happy 2010!!


CJ said...

Interesting resolutions. Do share all the recipes with us. (psst..i am a vegetarian :)). All the best. And Happy new year.

♥ CJ

Joyce said...

I'd love for you to share some crock pot recipes...I love mine in the winter too and made a yummy brisket just yesterday.

Both my girls are in college and both love to cook. They are such a great help in the kitchen and both asked for aprons and cookbooks and my oldest (who is in an apt.) asked for a crock pot for Christmas. Their friends are amazed (especially the boys who benefit from their cooking, but the girls too)...they always ask how they learned to cook. By cooking of course : ) You'll have fun sharing the kitchen with your little one!

Happy New Year!

Rebecca Jo said...

My dear friend that passed away a few years ago was from Puerto Rico... she had her grandmothers' little stone like that... & let me tell you ,every time she'd crush things in it & when she made guacemole .... it was the best stuff EVER!!!!

Love your little Kitchen aid... Ava is going to be a pro chef is she sticks by you during all this! :)

Ron and Peggy said...

WOW! That molcajete is bigger than I thought. Sounds like wonderful resolutions and I heart the little dishwasher elf you have.

Ron and Peggy said...

Oh, I forgot. You don't like PIE??? Who knew!

Heather said...

PLEASE post some of your hit recipes throughout the year because I am one of those girls who never learned to cook growing up and it is a struggle for me!!!

Krista said...

Since I'll be in MN soon, I'm all for #5! I need to know what sticks to the bones in these frigid winters. :)

FYI - My dream cookbook name is "Clumsy Cooks." (The bigger mess I make, the better the food). I think you'd be surprised how many woman have the same cookbook dream.

prashant said...

You'll have fun sharing the kitchen with your little one!

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