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I can’t believe it’s already 2008. Wow, how time flies. I will hit my year mark of blogging in a few short months. I am amazed at how this little blog has changed my life and my time in the kitchen. It has been a wonderful ride so far!!

I’m usually really bad about making new year’s resolutions. I actually get annoyed at the beginning of the year when I go to the gym and it’s so full that I have to fight or wait for equipment. I can’t wait until the middle of February when the gym is empty again. But this year I have made myself a few food related goals. I’m not promising to eat better or cut sugar, because I know that I would fail! But I do want to venture out of my comfort zone even more than I have over the last year. I was reading through a few cookbooks over the last week, and realized that there are so many things that I have never eaten and many techniques that I have never tried. So that is goal number one – to try new things. My second goal is to work through my cookbooks a little better. I still have many cookbooks that I either have never cooked from, or that I cooked from years ago but have never been back to. I want to make my goal to be to blog about at least one recipe from each of my cookbooks that I haven’t blogged about before. I’m going to try to work on a link to my cookbooks and the recipes I’ve made from each – just so I can make sure I accomplish this!

Speaking of cookbooks, another month has past, so I have a new Cookbook of the Month and a review of last month’s cookbook.

The new cookbook for January first. There are 2 things that I have really been into the last few months. The first is Cooking Light. I have finally subscribed, but since it’s a magazine and not a book, this leads us to the other thing I’ve been into – America’s Test Kitchen. I’ve started DVR-ing the weekly episodes on PBS. I had never watched an episode before the last few months, but now I can’t get enough of it!!

A few posts back, I had a comment from Patricia about a technique that I used for cooking chicken. She mentioned that they talked about this same technique in The New Best Recipe from the editors of Cooks Illustrated and America’s Test Kitchen. I was immediately intrigued. So I ordered myself a copy, and was surprised when it it arrived because it is huge!! It is 1000 recipes large, and is about 2 inches thick – definitely my largest cookbook! I have already looked through it, and will not have a hard time choosing recipes to cook from it this month. (In fact, I’ve already made 2 recipes from it!!) I’m looking forward to posting from this book.

Last month’s cookbook was Candymaking by Ruth A. Kendrick and Pauline H. Atkinson. I feel like I didn’t really give this cookbook a chance, even though I made 6 recipes from it. There are just so many recipes in it that I want to try, but I ran into an unusually busy December. I did discover some wonderful gems, but I feel like I just scratched the surface.

This is the first candymaking cookbook that I’ve made anything from, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but overall I think it is a great book for the novice candy maker. The instructions were mostly clear – there were a few recipes that didn’t say if you should stir or not, and I know that with some candies, this could make or break the recipe. There is a wide variety of candy recipes, so you will most likely find the recipe for anything you are looking for in this book. One of the things I liked about this book is that for several candies, you get the basic recipe, plus an easier recipe, and a recipe that uses less expensive ingredients.

I’m planning on experimenting more with this cookbook around Valentine’s Day. I think that since I ran out of time to make gifts of chocolates for Christmas, that I will send out Valentine’s Day gifts!

Recipes made from Candymaking:

Fudgels
30-Minute Caramels
Shaggy Dogs
Cashew Crunch
Shirley’s Wonderful Caramels
Chewy Coconut Centers

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15 Responses to Welcome 2008!

  1. Gigi says:

    Happy New Year! I can’t wait to see the chicken or anything else you make!

  2. Kim Stone says:

    I love America’s Test Kitchen. My hubby gets me Cook’s Illustrated for Christmas every year so I cook a lot from it! Some of my best dishes come from them.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Amanda at Little Foodies says:

    Hi Deborah, Happy New Year to you.
    I remember that inbetween stage with Christmas, not helped by the fact my hubby doesn’t get as excited about Christmas as I do but now we have the boys he HAS to get excited. Either that or we’d all sulk!!

    Love the pumpkin cream cheese pie you made for Christmas Eve – looks delicious…

  4. Sylvia says:

    Happy New year to you…And I can´t belive is 2008 too, to fast…

  5. glamah16 says:

    Happy New Year! Dont beat yourself up about the December ccokbook. We can only eat and make so much candy:-). Looking forward to reading your blog this year.

  6. K8teebug says:

    I am so in love with Cooking Light and America’s Test kitchen! Be sure to make the meatloaf wrapped in bacon ! (it is also good without)

  7. eatme_delicious says:

    I love your cookbook of the month thing. Such a great idea. :) Now you’ve made me want to try candy making and see what else is in that book! I’ve never seen America’s Test Kitchen but I’ve seen recipes people have used and they seem yummy. I look forward to seeing what you post from it!

  8. Marc says:

    I have such a difficult time finding really good candy recipes. I make about 70 lbs. each year but I stick with a limited palette of time-tested recipes and try to make one thing in a totally new way or invent at least one new candy each year. This year, I made about ten kinds of candy including a hot peppered peanut brittle that turned out really well. I will have to look up that book.

    On the America’s Test Kitchen front, let me tell you two Best Recipe recipes you will love: Double Chocolate Pudding, which is the silkiest, most decadent pudding ever; and Quiche Lorraine, which is the creamiest, most amazing quiche you have ever eaten. It’s the only recipe I use for quiche, and it’s so versatile. You can sub sharp cheddar for the Gruyere, you can use sauteed broccoli with caramelized leeks instead of bacon, or use shaved smoked turkey with asparagus spears in place of the bacon. Yum.

  9. Emiline says:

    You and I must think alike, because I love Cooking Light and Cook’s Illustrated stuff. I’m definitely going to have to check out this book. I’ve seen it around, but never looked into buying it. Hope it’s not too expensive.

  10. Bellini Valli says:

    America’s Test Kitchen has so many great pointers for improving the flavour and texture of your recipes. I will look forward to many great recipes!!!!

  11. Cynthia says:

    Happy new year! Looking forward to your recipes from this book.

  12. Dhanggit says:

    happy happy new year to you deborah!! wishing you all the blessings for your family and more delicious culinary adventures for this year :-)

    ps i have exactly the same feeling on how blogging change my life and my kitchen :-)

  13. Tartelette says:

    Happy New Year! Best wishes for 2008. I make NY resolutions in June so I am not disappointed with myself if I mess up.

  14. Tempered Woman says:

    I had to laugh! My hubby and I were just venting about going to our gym in January- we almost feel like we should just take the month off. I wish gyms had a way of honoring their long standing members this time of year. It’s such a pain in the butt~
    Cooks Illustrated is one of my favorite mags. I can’t wait to see what you dish up this month. Keep up the great cooking!

  15. Patricia Scarpin says:

    I think your resolutions are amazing, Deb, and certainly will inspire all of us, too!

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