Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hello, 2011! I resolve to....

As a new year comes and an old one goes, it's time to look forward to what will be in 2011. The age-old tradition of making resolutions coincides with the changing of years. In fitting with this tradition, I'd like to make a New Year's resolution to try to cook/bake new things in the kitchen. This year I will be turning 25, a quarter of a century old! And for my resolution/bucket list of 2011, I will be making a 25 by 25 Bucketlist Challenge. Time to get started on building my cooking repertoire.

1. Creative Homemade Pasta (ravioli, tortellini, trottole)
2. Sfogliatelle and Lobster Tails
3. Cannoli
4. Rustic Semolina Bread
5. Chocolate Torte
6. How to properly temper chocolate
7. Homemade chewy caramels
8. Spumoni Ice Cream (at request of Hubby)
9. Biscuits
10. Cinnamon Rolls
11. 3 Tier decorated cake
12. Soft Pretzels
13. Potato Gnocchi
14. Sweet and Sour Chicken
15. Bagels
16. Napoleons
17. S'Mores Milkshake
18. Tiramisu Cheesecake
19. Herbed Butter
20. Molten Lava Chocolate Cakes
21. Rissoto and Polenta dishes
22. Panna Cotta and Zabaglione
23. Tartufo (attempted once and failed :( must try again)
24. Doughnuts (Fried and Baked)
25. Crostada

Other Goals for 2011:
1. Own a home
2. Continue working with decorating cookies, cakes, etc
3. Spend time with family and friends
4. Improve photography
5. Learn to sew and knit
6. Travel More

These cooking and baking goals are hopefully going to be accomplished by my 25th birthday! If not, at least during my 25th year... Here's to much learning and new challenges in the new year!

Here's a free printable year calendar for 2011 to help organize you in the upcoming year. Courtesy of Julia's Poppies Design

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Monkey Bread

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Another great breakfast that is so fun and easy; Great for New Year's Morning! Monkey Bread is one of my husband's favorites. I mean, how it could it not be? Sugar and cinnamon caramelized in the oven is a great way to start the day, especially a day off of work!

2 large cans (16.3 ounces) refrigerated biscuits
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 cup pecan halves (I omitted the pecans)

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a bundt pan or tube pan with non-stick spray.

2. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. Cut the biscuits into quarters. Dip each piece in butter, roll it in cinnamon sugar, and place it in the pan. Sprinkle pecans onto the biscuit pieces at random. Pour any remaining butter evenly over the biscuit pieces in the pan.

4. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top springs back when touched. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert onto a plate, and serve immediately. I also made a cream cheese icing to have on the side for dipping!

Recipe taken from: Ezra Pound Cake