Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A New Challenge

You know what I’m tired of?  I’m tired of asking, “What do you want for dinner?”  I’m tired of having the same “go-to” recipes.  Don’t get me wrong… most of them are very good.  But they just get a bit old and tired after a while.  And I’m usually a bit too lazy to go in search of something new.

So I have decided that I need to branch out in my cooking.  But, how?  I don’t have tons of time to go scouring through loads of recipes.  And when I do, most of the recipes I find are loaded with canned soup or boxed mixes or ingredients I generally don’t like.  I need a source I can trust.

A-HA!  My Cook’s Illustrated magazines.  I trust them.  Maybe I could just cook my way through my Cook’s Illustrated issues. 

And to be honest, I have over fifty issues sitting here that I do not adequately use.  I’ll flip through the most recent issue and make note of things that look good or interesting (most of every issue, really), but rarely to I really pick a recipe out to make it.  So, yeah, I need to better utilize this wonderful resource that I so often brag about.

But then, to start back at the beginning of issue 50 (which is the first issue I have from when I started taking it in 2001) and cook all the way through looks a little daunting to me.  So maybe I’ll just pick a random recipe to try.  Maybe even one every month.  Or TWO!

I smell a challenge, don’t you?

So here’s how I’m challenging myself.  I am going to make two random recipes per month out of my Cook’s Illustrated magazines.  Our friend random.org is going to help me with my recipe selections.   Then, on the last Friday of the month, I will do a Foodie Friday post telling you about what I made.  That should keep me somewhat accountable.

So for April, I had random.org give me two numbers between 50 and 104 (my most current issue).  That gave me the issues I will be cooking from.  Then I counted how many actual recipes are in those individual issues and had it generate a random number to tell me which dish I will be making.  I’ll do this every month and if I have already made the dish that comes up, we’ll just pick another. 

So.  Here are my numbers and recipes for April:

Issue 97, Recipe 6 “Mashed Potatoes, French-Style” on page 18


Issue 75, Recipe 1 “Grill-Roasted Pork Loin” on page 6

If any of you take Cook’s Illustrated and want to join in, please do so.  Just pick two random recipes from the issues that you have and make them sometime during the month (or if you have the issues I am cooking from, you can just fix the same recipes I’m doing if you want).  If you have a blog, post about what you made. And take pictures.  And let me know so I can see.  Because I just love pictures of food.

I’ll post about my recipes here on April 30th. 

Happy cooking!


ashley said...

fun! can't wait to see all the CI recipes you'll cook up!

Valerie said...

I have the same problem. Can't stand the same-o same-o. My problem is I grew up cooking Mexican that's what we had every night. My husband is so tired of Mexican food that he will not eat it at all anymore. I have learned how to make butter beans and corn bread. My menu consists of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken & rice, chili and spaghetti - that's it. And I yearn for Mexican every single day! I will be visiting every Friday to see and get some of your recipes!! Finding something we both like is the problem with us!

Michelle V said...

I left you a blog award over on my blog.

Michelle V

Wendy said...

Okay, first off I'm laughing myself silly at "Spam, spam, spam, spam..." We love that one!

Secondly, I'm ashamed at myself that I've followed you on Twitter all this time, have your blog in my reader, and this is probably the first time I've left a comment. Shame on me. *hanging head in shame*

Thirdly, I have the same problem...tired of the same menu every month, hard to find something new AND good. I'm looking forward to seeing how this challenge works out. Your first two recipes already sound like winners. :)