What happened to December? Somehow, we’ve raced into 2022 and I have not yet planned my “hunker down in the kitchen” projects for the dark days of winter. I’ll be hosting a pasta making class in mid-January so perhaps I’ll break out the new chitarra that my son bought me for Christmas to get a little practice in. If you’re not quite as food obsessed as me, you may not have heard of this type of pasta cutter. The word itself means “guitar”. The cutter is a wooden frame with tightly strung wires on which you roll your fresh pasta sheet over and the resulting pasta is a sort of a square version of spaghetti. Now who doesn’t need that? OK…no one…but I’m super excited that I have one and can’t wait to try it.
For more new year cooking inspiration I perused America’s Test Kitchen’s post on Instagram about cooking goals for 2022. Of the nine suggestions there are a couple that resonate with me. Strait away I’m ruling out the Begin a Sourdough Starter, that is way too much of a commitment for me – I struggle to remember to soak beans overnight! Try One New Recipe Every Week. Since I already try too many new recipes every week, perhaps I’ll turn this one around and make my goal to organize the winners so I can make them again instead of letting them fall into the abyss. Another suggestion is to Hone Baking Skills. If I decide to hop on that one, I'd have a great excuse to buy Baking with Dorie, or Chery Day’s Treasury of Southern Baking, both recently released with outstanding reviews. My challenge with baking is that my husband and sons don’t really eat sweets, so guess where it all ends up? Of the few things I do bake on the regular, my favorites are NYT No Knead Bread and Bon Appetite Focaccia. Both require the above-mentioned challenge, planning ahead, but are well worth it. I’ve had plenty of dry bland focaccia in my day but this one has not failed me yet.
I’ll leave you with a recipe for an easy and fun-to-make soup that you probably have all the ingredients for in your pantry right now. In my quest to perfect my Biang Biang Noodles I discovered a great little blog, the Omnivores Cookbook. Maggie Zhu’s egg drop soup is just delicious. It’s a great weeknight, no time to cook dinner meal, and I can’t believe it never occurred to me to make this take out favorite at home! If you happen to have a bag of frozen dumplings, that’ll round out the meal perfectly.
Next month I’ll fill you in on my progress with the Biang Biang Noodles!
Enjoy the Season and Eat Well!