Thursday, January 6, 2011

What's Next?

I love planning our family vacations.  I get that from my Mom.  She always has said that sometimes the vacation planning is as much fun as the actual vacation. 

The anticipation of what's to come. 

Although, I have to disagree a bit.  As much as I love anticipating  the warmth of the July sun and the beach when it's January and 20 degrees and snowing outside, nothing quite compares to actually being on the beach, scrunching your toes into the sand and taking in that deep breath of salty-Coppertone-ocean smell.

As soon as one vacation ends, I am already planning the next one.  Maybe I'm not online booking our reservations, but I'm thinking in my head of where we'll go, when we'll go, how we'll get there, what we'll see and what we'll do.

Before my Cookie Journey came to an end, I was already thinking about what I wanted to do next.  Actually, my kids began offering up their suggestions long about June.  "Pie!" Evan proclaimed.  Of course, Evan has a way of yelling out the word "pie" at any given moment.  So I don't know if it was just one of his tics or if he wanted me to make a year's worth of pie.

So.  Here it goes.  This is what my kitchen mission will be in 2011.  I present the great...

Cake Odyssey 

Now, I have to take a step back a bit.  I have to do this to save my hips, and rear and thighs and belly and well, really, all body parts.  Unlike my Cookie Journey, wherein I baked a brand new cookie recipe every week for a year, I will bake just one brand new cake recipe per month.  There may be months where you'll find that I have baked more than one new cake recipe.  Perhaps I'll bake a coffee cake early in the month and then a dessert-type cake later on.  And I'm so excited to use something new I received for Christmas!  I have a plastic cake carrier that comes with a lid that locks in place.  That thing sure is great to have whenever I take a cake to a family get-together or potluck.  However, when I'm serving a special cake (or just an everyday cake!) here at home, I thought it would be nice to have a glass cake stand to display it on.  You would think I would have received one when Kevin and I got married 13 years ago!  I can name a lot of things we did receive that have hardly been used.  A cake stand would have been used a hundred times over by now!  So, I put it on my wish list and my parents gave me one.  Be sure to look for it when I bake the first cake of the year.

I am also going to take on another project to coincide with the Cake Odyssey.  While I try out new recipes on a fairly regular basis, I am going to make a more concerted effort to do so this year.  I would especially like to to pay close attention to using less canned and jarred ingredients.  In 2010, I made more of my pasta sauce rather than buying it in a jar.  It just tastes so much better and fresher, and allows me to control the sugar content.  (My recipe has NONE!  How's that for control?!)  Don't get me wrong.  I'll still be in a pinch from time to time and need to get something whipped together in a hurry and out will come the condensed cream of mushroom soup!  If I stumble on to a recipe worth sharing, I'll be sure to post it here and share it with you.

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