New Year’s Resolutions!

I NEVER made New Year’s Resolutions until I met John. In fact, I thought they were pretty pointless and ridiculous. But…after years of seeing they are possible to carry on and that they can add enjoyment and focus for your life I decided to give it a try! Of course mine are not quite as serious or focused on success and self-improvement. I needed to find a fun way to make myself do MORE of what I love! Thus, 2 years ago I decided to not buy any clothes for the whole year so that I would wear more of the clothes I already had that I liked. Didn’t hurt that it saved money to spend while travelling. It was an interesting experiment. Last year, I vowed to make more recipes out of my cookbooks. I chose 1 book a month to make as many recipes as I could.

It’s taken me time to nail down this year’s fun but I think I got it sorted…

1. Make at least 1 finished garment a month. This could be for me or someone else. Like cookbooks, I also seem to have collected an impressive amount of sewing patterns, paper and digital. I WANT TO MAKE MORE!

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Just some of the patterns I hope to accomplish this year.

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My gorgeous custom sewing area.

You can see a pile of gorgeous fabric waiting in the wings! The first project is actually for a dear friend Anne. I hope to work more on my fitting skills so making things for different people will be a fun challenge. I also hope to move away from simple projects like shift dresses and make more tailored pieces.

2. Cooking Magazines. I feel like this next challenge is very reminiscent from last year but…I seem to also have a small problem with reading food magazines and never making any of the recipes! Part of me feels it’s totally ok to just enjoy reading the articles and looking/drooling at the pictures but once I get a couple piles like this I start to feel a bit guilty…

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When we lived in the UK I went on a crazy magazine organizing scheme in the hopes that I’d actually cook from all the recipes I’d cut out, no house is big enough to keep years of magazines right! Possibly crazy but I still think my headings are clever!…

Most pre-made recipe folders have meat headings so what are us veggies to do. In case you organize in your head like this too…these categories seem to describe everything I’ve cut out of magazines:

  • Salads
  • App like recipes
  • Soups (Chilies, Dahls etc.)
  • Other (Nuts, Snacks)
  • Drinks
  • Dips/Sauces/Dressings
  • Mains-Pasta
  • Mains-Pastry
  • Mains-Other
  • Veggies Solo
  • Baking-Savour
  • Baking-Sweet
  • Cakes, Tarts-full size-showstoppers
  • Puddings

Once I make a recipe I write the name and quick rating on the front of each folder. Since the initial culling of the magazines I realised that I haven’t done it again since, eek. Hence…

I felt incredibly guilty over all the money spent on these until I sorted them and saw that more than half were Waitrose mags which are free with your Waitrose store card. For those that haven’t been to the UK and shopped at a Waitrose all I can say is we are missing out here in Canada! Waitrose and M&S food halls are 2 of the things I miss most about the UK lol! Think gourmet, higher end but EVERYWHERE! The Waitrose magazine every month is dreamy and I miss that John isn’t travelling to and fro anymore to get them for me, snurp.

For the past week I’ve felt overwhelmed with going through every issue again to cut out recipes to file away…soooooooo…I’ve decided to donate the mags I have to school and move forward with more intention. If/when I buy a new food mag I vow to make some of the recipes and then keep the ones I try and like.

I also wanted it to be fun and interactive in case anyone else wants to follow along and make the recipes I make too! I’m not going to go nuts buying new mags all the time but I usually do buy a few a month just for fun, or as time killers on car/plane trips. I’ll post them as soon as I buy them so you can decide if you want to play along.

I ENCOURAGE YOU TO LET ME KNOW IF YOU MAKE SOMETHING FROM A MAGAZINE I POST SO THAT I CAN HEAR YOUR REVIEWS TOO!

I’m going to started with these…

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These looked good in the store today. Test Kitchen mags are always a good read and bonus because it’s January diet food lol. This Milk Street mag just looks nice to look at and Bake British issue, well that’s a must.

Milk Street and Bake are Jan-Feb issues and Test Kitchen Best Med recipes is displayed until March so lots of time to buy these and make.

Sound good…happy cooking!IMG_2276.jpg

New Year’s Resolution 2017

It’s that time of year again when we think about what we want to accomplish in the New Year. For the last few years I’ve thought of some fun ideas that I’ve actually managed to complete! 3 years ago I vowed to not buy any new clothes for the year…I’ve more than made up for that year now though lol. Last year, John and I said we wouldn’t buy any bread and would make our own. For the most part we did but near the end of the year we did amend the resolution to include Artisan bread from local shops.

Some will know that I have a love of cookbooks and probably have a disease where I buy too many! Over the last few years I’ve noticed that I tend to read many of the books but don’t ACTUALLY cook anything from them! Thus is born this year’s plan…

I have picked 12 cookbooks from my collection. I will pick one for each month and see how many recipes we can make in that month (yes John is participating too). I haven’t settled on which book for which month but I have picked the 12…

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I thought the choice for January was appropriate to counteract Christmas indulgences!

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Don’t forget John and I are Veggies so no meat recipes will be reviewed.

I got Skinny Bitch ages ago and hadn’t made anything. We don’t tend to eat a lot of dairy so this Vegan book fit in nicely. I was happy with the sauce and dressing section and many of the soups. I hadn’t realised that many of the Mains used faux meat by a particular company. I tend not to use these products so was disappointed on that front. However, we did find a few gems that we will definitely make again. When the month was finished I wrote down our favourites at the front of the book so that we wouldn’t forget what we want to make again.

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The Pumpkin Banana Bread was particularly scrumptious and it will get made again and again!

The orange, beet and arugula salad was light and delicious (I would add some blue cheese though if you aren’t vegan). John mastered the Spaghetti with Spinach which was served at a dinner party to rave reviews. It was creamy without having dairy, yum, love a creamy pasta dish! There are lots of good risotto recipes out there but this one was particularly nice and the Spaghetti squash dish was the picture of health. I’m not convinced that this book is a MUST HAVE but I’m glad I gave it a go. My dad always says “if you can just get 2-3 great recipes from a book then that’s a success”!

Stay tuned for next month…I’ve chosen Rebar that I got from the famous Victoria, Vancouver Island restaurant YEARS ago…I’ve heard great things about this one so I’m excited to get stuck in…

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