annie blog

Culinary Goals


Culinary Goals

I know that it isn’t the new year, yet. But, with all of the traditional cooking and baking going on around here, I just know that I’m not going to be pushing myself to do anything new. The new year is approaching, though, and so I thought I’d list some of my humble goals for the coming year in the kitchen. Feel free to set me straight and point me in the right direction at will….

1. Learn how to cook a whole chicken and turkey. That’s right, I don’t know how.
2. Make my own hummus. I do know how to do this but I just haven’t, yet. When I do it’ll be awesome since I could practically live on this stuff.
3. Brisket.
4. Learn some great crock pot recipes that my boys will eat to have ready for Sunday lunches.
5. Pork roast — I need a good recipe for this, too.
6. Make the recipe for Thai soup that I copied from a magazine months ago.
7. Make the recipe for soup that I was planning for Mr. Jim. He died a week before he was scheduled to have lunch with us and I just haven’t had the heart to make it. Now I do, though, because I’ve decided that I’ll eat it and think of him.
8. I want to learn how to make several great (easy) lunch salads. And, I’m on the hunt for a tasty homemade creamy balsamic vinaigrette recipe.
9. I’m going to make some new tex-mex foods. Suggestions, anyone?
10. Lamb for Easter?
11. I need a new recipe for a hot sandwich.
12. I want to learn how to make a slow-cooked Italian tomato sauce. One that I can do in a big batch and freeze for later.

Guess what? I’m going to blog the making of each of these….so, that should be an interesting adventure.

Here’s to learning new stuff. Cheers!


  1. I am excited!

  2. This might be cheating, but I have a recipe for a whole chicken cooked in the crockpot. Wash the chicken and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper inside and out – paprika and a little cayenne are tasty, too. Fill the chicken cavity with peeled, sectioned lemons (or other citrus fruits) and ~2 Tbs. butter slivered. put ~ 1/4 c of water or chicken brother in crockpot. Cook breast side down on low for ~6 hours.

  3. I cook my whole chicken as Nigella Lawson’s How To Eat … 400 degree oven, take the bag of stuff out of the cavity, put a lemon (cut in half) into the cavity. Olive oil, salt & pepper on the outside. Bake 15 minutes per pound plus 10 minutes. Put chicken thigh side up on baking rack over a cookie sheet. Turn breast side up half way through. Love, love, love How To Eat … worth reading even if you don’t use the recipes.

  4. Lib. M. and Dawn,
    Thanks so much, y’all, for the recipes for cooking a whole chicken. I’m thinking about trying the crock-pot method, since it would fit in with my crock-pot goal, as well, but I’m also thinking about doing the Nigella method — I love her recipes. Considering how much my sons like chicken, the more recipes the better.

    Thanks for reminding me of “How to Eat”, Dawn! I’m going to put it on my request list at the library so that I can peruse it again.

  5. I have to say, part of the Nigella method is from Barefoot Contessa (cookie sheet so the sides of the pan aren’t around the bird and it roasts instead of steams) and Cook’s Illustrated method (of turning the bird half way through to get a consistent browning, and with the thighs up so the breast doesn’t dry out).

    Nigella’s (mom’s) recipe is not listed as another recipe, but in the text itself (my edition has it about page 100).

    I did CI’s brined turkey this year and it was wonderful (and easy!)

  6. Ok, here’s a link to a great roasted whole chicken:; (I have no idea how to make that a link…so sorry). A few notes: I rarely use the zucchini and never use the broth. I also usely add whole garlic cloves and rosemary. It’s delicious and fast.

    Also, a Dr. and his wife brought us a most delicious brisket dinner when our first little girl was born. It was a corned beef brisket, the ones that come in their own seasoning packets. He simply emptied the packet contents, along with the meat, in the crockpot and cooked it on low for 6-8 hours. It was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I’ve never tried it myself, but for whatever reason, your blog post stirred that yummy memory, and I thought you might like to give it a go. (And the corned beef goes on sale around St. Pat’s day.)

    I can’t wait to hear about your cooking adventures!

    A question: do you wash your cast iron skillet in soap and water?

  7. Fittsy, I do wash my cast iron in a little soap and very hot water. Then I put it upside down in my oven to dry.

    Thanks for the link to the chicken and for the corned beef brisket idea!

  8. This post surprised me. With all your many culinary adventures, some of the things you haven’t done are things I think are so easy. Easy or not, though, they are enjoyable.

    On lamb for Easter, I have a great recipe for lamb that I have used in the past. It is from Bless This Food ( It is yummy. The trick with lamb is getting good quality meat in the first place. I’ll send you a copy of the recipe.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.