My 2013 Cooking Challenge

Here is my new project for 2013!

I want to find more time to cook or at least finally try and discover some recipes that I have heard of, never tried before or simply as “bring the childhood recipes back into my life”.

I will not necessarily do the list in this order, it is just how it came up.
The goal would be to do one recipe every month for the rest of the year.

My 2013 Cooking Challenge

1. Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam (or in-season fruits)
2. Duck confit Garbure Soup
3. S’mores
4. Cheese Souffle / Souffle au fromage
5. Risotto
6. Indian seasonal vegetable dish
7. Savory Crepes
8. Chocolate recipe from the book “Atelier Chocolat”
9. Cupcakes
10. Gulab Jamun

Details & Explanations

1. Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam (or any in-season fruit) – when I was in France the year before moving back to the U.S., me and my best friend Claire spent a few winter Sunday afternoons making jam in my parents kitchen. I discovered and learned from her and love home made jams 🙂

2. Duck confit Garbure Soup – this a traditional soup from Bearn in South West of France. My grand-mother used to do it, it is delicious and a perfect winter healthy meal.

3. S’mores – my friend Ellie mentioned it recently and was “amazed” that I had no idea on what she was talking about… the very next day, I found this blog post on the same subject… the signs were obvious, we thus have a date for a “S’mores” diner. It will certainly be the first item to be completed on this list!

4. Cheese Souffle / Souffle au fromage – My mom used to make this dish when I was a kid and I have great memories of it. It is not easy to make but I want to try so that my husband can taste it!

5. Risotto – it might seem silly but I have never cooked a risotto before, and it time to start!

6. Indian seasonal vegetable dish – I want to become more comfortable in cooking Indian food and for that I need to try, even though it will take me some time at the beginning, especially on weekdays once I am back from work…

7. Savory Crepes – my husband has been asking for home made Crepes, since we got back from Brittany and had the most delicious Crepes on earth in Carantec. I’m serious: it is really the best place I have ever eaten Crepes.

8. Chocolate recipe from “Atelier Chocolat” – a book that my brother and his girlfriend gifted me for Christmas. It seems complicated or at least that is in my mind but it doesn’t seem that hard when reading it. I just need to do it!

9. Cupcakes – since this list has French and Indian cooking, I thought I needed to have something from here as well. I already tried with success pancakes (see my post here ) and thought that the next on the list would be cupcakes 🙂

10. Gulab Jamun – this is my favorite Indian sweet (with Jellabys) and this week-end, my husband’s cousin was telling me how to make them. A must try!

Let me know your thoughts about the challenge, about one of the item/recipe and any help/suggestion or encouragement will be helpful!

Thanks and happy blogging!

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Pictures Credit:

http://www.owlhaven.net/2008/06/10/strawberry-rhubarb-jam/

http://www.52kitchenadventures.com/2012/05/02/gluten-free-cupcakes-with-nutella-cloud-frosting/

http://www.france-voyage.com/travel-guide/photo-garbure-1381_2.htm

http://www.phamfatale.com/id_1625/title_Galette-Complete-Savory-Crepe-Recipe/

http://nutritionfor.us/2012/07/butternut-squash-risotto-recipe/

http://cooksjoy.com/blog/2012/11/gulab-jamun-milk-powder-method.html

http://www.lacuisinedebernard.com/2011/03/le-souffle-au-fromage.html

http://littleindiana.com/2012/07/4-smores-themed-recipes-you-can-really-sink-your-teeth-into/

http://palakkadcooking.blogspot.com/2012/11/aloo-gobi.html

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This is America – Sunday Pancakes

Sunday morning, I got woken up by a bad dream and I was also craving for pancakes.

I spent some time in bed looking for the perfect recipe both on American and French websites.

I always need to read few different recipes to get a feel of it and then make my own.

I came up with this one:

Ingredients

– 8.8 oz / 250g flour
– Salt
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 1/2 tsp baking powder = 1/2 sachet of “levure chimique” (in France we have ready made size sachet of backing powder and all recipes are going with 1/2 or 1 sachet)
– 1 sachet of vanilla-flavored sugar (also a very French cooking thing) which is the equivalent of 1 tsp sugar + 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2 eggs
– 11.8 oz / 37.5 cl milk
– 2 oz / 50 g butter

Preparation

1. In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, levure/backing powder, sugar & vanilla extract (or sucre vanillé).

2. In 2 other different bowls, separate the yellow and the white of the eggs. Mix the milk with the yellow of the eggs. Add this mix slowly to the first bowl. The trick is to mix slowly to keep it lump free as much as possible.

3. Add to this mixture the melted butter and mix well.

4. Add a pinch of salt to egg whites and whisk them with an electric mixer until they form stiff peaks.
Fold them gently into the mixture.

5. Heat griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium to low heat; brush griddle lightly with oil. Drop batter by generous 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle, the pancake will naturally takes its form on its own.

Cook until bubbles form on tops of pancakes and bottoms are golden, about 3 minutes. Turn pancakes over and cook until golden brown on bottoms, about 2 minutes.

To keep them all warm, put them in low heated oven once they are cooked.

Enjoy with maple syrup, fruits such as bananas, blueberries, strawberries and also with some Nutella.

I tried other recipes before but didn’t really succeeded. This one turned out to make delicious & not too heavy pancakes.

I would encourage everybody to try it out!

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