Friday, January 8, 2010

a glimpse of things to come...

Along with family and food, the recent holiday season brought with it lots of inspiration for Cole's Kitch for the coming year. Some of this inspiration comes simply from the fact that I've been out of my kitch for a bit - having spent the past few weeks in Seattle with my mother - and I miss it! Also the new cookbooks and tools for the kitch I've received as of late will motivate me to continue to try new things. My goal, in fact, is to utilize each of the additions to my cookbook collection and kitch before the month is up. There will be some other special things happening this month as well. Since I haven't been cooking much this past week, I thought I'd outline a note on the things that are upcoming this month in Cole's Kitch:

1. New cookbooks, new toys:

I'm sure this book was a popular Christmas gift this year, due largely to the Julie & Julia* movie. This was one of those gifts that I didn't even know I wanted until I received it. Though slightly overwhelmed (there is an entire chapter on sauces!), I'm mostly excited to start trying recipes from the famous Julia Child. I'm not exactly sure where I'll start...stay tuned to find out. Thanks, Mom, for this classic addition to my cookbook collection!

*I was honestly skeptical that I would enjoy this movie. Yes, I blog about food, but did that mandate that I would enjoy a movie about someone who blogs about food? I didn't think so. But I did. Loved it, in fact. Seeing Julia Child's story brought back to life through Meryl Streep made me appreciate the cookbook even more.

My brother called from the bookstore a couple of weeks ago wondering what I might like for Christmas. I have heard very good things about Ad Hoc At Home and pointed him in that direction. Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one who had heard good things about it - his search found that it's backordered nearly everywhere! A quick query to Amazon showed that those who ordered Ad Hoc At Home also ordered Momofuku. So I figured I'd try it out.

Quick review: in addition to having some amazing sounding recipes, I'm also finding it to be a fun read. It's organized in 3 sections - the first is about the path that led David Chang to open his noodle restaurant in NYC - Momofuku. Subsequent sections (which I have yet to read) tell similar stories around his second and third restaurants.

I already know one dish I will aspire to tackle from this book (if not in January, then soon; I may have to work my way up to it): Momofuku ramen. It's going to be an endeavor, for within this one recipe, I'll be making a number of others: bacon dashi, ramen broth, pork belly and shoulder (if I'm brave), and slow poached eggs. Who knows, perhaps I'll really go all out and make the noodles by hand as well. Just thinking about it is making my mouth water... Thanks, Mick, for the great book!

101cookbooks is one of the blogs that originally inspired me to start Cole's Kitch. I can't believe it's taken me so long to add Heidi Swanson's cookbook to my collection.

This book is more than just a cookbook, it's a reference manual for cooking with whole foods. There is a section on building a natural foods pantry filled with information on natural sweeteners, fats, and flours. Also included is a deep dive on whole grains, with delicious sounding recipes such as wild rice flour pancakes and risotto-style barley. There's a chapter on eating by color and another on superfoods.

There are a number of recipes from this book that I'm itching to make; I'm not sure which will come first... crema de guacamole, big curry noodle pot, golden crusted brussels sprouts, sweet potato food bread. Thanks JR, for this!

I haven't had a chance to delve into this one deeply yet, but am excited to do so. Food + travel = my own personal heaven. Thanks Marika, for a culinary adventure I can enjoy in my own home. (The next time you're over, we'll have to peruse it for future Bachelor-night consumption!)

In the form of kitchen tools, I am also the proud new owner of a Cuisinart Griddler, 2 beautiful cobalt blue Le Creuset individual cocottes, and a pizza stone. I will soon test out the Cuisinart on homemade paninis. The cocottes will be used in my first attempt at french onion soup. Pizza experimentation will continue, now with a pizza stone. In other words, all will be put to very good use in the near term.

2. Daring Bakers' Challenge:

January will be my third month participating in a Daring Bakers' Challenge. I can't reveal the current month's challenge yet (it's hush hush until the release date later this month), but I will assure you it's a good one. Hint: this dessert hails from north of the border from where I grew up. JR and I took a ferry boat to this particular town a few years ago to go camping with friends, only to get rained out and have to seek a dryer place to stay. Ok, enough on that now. Suffice it to say that this month's challenge will be a real sweet treat and I'm excited to give it a go!

3. Cole's Kitch turns 1:

January 19, 2009 was my first blog post. That means that Cole's Kitch is about to turn 1 year old. Stay tuned for some celebratory recipes. If you've enjoyed reading this blog over the past year, show your support by voting for Cole's Kitch in the Bloggers Choice Awards.

Thank you for reading; I'm looking forward to another great year in the kitch!


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