Ok, so I had more than just toast. I bought some pannetone after Christmas. Why yes, I also wait till January to buy calenders so I can get them at half price. Why do you ask? Anyway, back to pannetone - it's glorious toasted, topped with gently cooked syrupy berries and a dollop of whipped cream. For the purists, if you want a recipe, try this one from Australian Gourmet Traveller. I made it last year and was very happy with the end result.
Although I don’t make new year’s resolutions, I’d like to try and stay in this languid frame of mind as much as I can during the year to come. So when I start spinning my wheels, someone kindly redirect me to this post, ok?
I do however, make food related resolutions. Well, actually last year was the first time I’d done so, and only because of the blog. In a bid to feed the blog, I’ve tried many new and interesting ingredients and cooking techniques which I’d have put off otherwise.
Here's another thing you can make with pannetone, use the bread to line the bowl when you make summer pudding. Believe it or not, I've never made summer pudding before, something about using white bread as the outside of the pudding never appealed to me. Then I visited 3 Hungry Tummies, was tempted by pudding, and set off to make my own. I used a combination of fresh strawberries and blueberries, and frozen raspberries. I am definitely converted, it's so easy to make, and so, so tasty. Still not sure if I can use the white bread though (check out 3 Hungry Tummies for a recipe).
Let’s take a peek at what I wanted to do last year, and what I actually achieved:
Fulfil a need to knead and get stuck into more yeasty things - although I haven’t really blogged about many of the yeasty things I made, apart from the Daring Baker’s stollen, I had actually made a bit more effort last year. But unfortunately so far, no loaves of bread have materialised , especially not the bread I wanted to make - sourdough (although I did make some flatbreads). I think this is one resolution I will keep working on this year. On the list are monkey bread, zebra bread and chinese steamed buns (mantou), plus I’m going to get myself a bread book. I’ve heard many bloggers extolling the virtues of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Anyone have any other recommendations?
Get cultured – the sourdough way. Sadly, never got around to this. But I will. Hopefully. Soon.
Keep my cool, and make more frozen desserts - yes, yes, yes! I’ve made granitas, sorbets AND ice-cream. And I got The Perfect Scoop for Christmas! Now all I need to work on is obtaining an ice-cream machine. (Oh Mr Kitchen Hand.....)
Stop being scared of caramel - again, another resounding yes. In part thanks to a couple of Daring Bakers challenges, I am no longer scared of the sticky stuff, and even made batches of caramels as gifts at Christmas time. Very proud of this achievement :)
That Puff Stuff – to get organised enough so that there is always home-made puff pastry in the freezer. Um, no, never got around to this. I just skip recipes that require puff pastry! In my defence, I make my own shortcrust pastry all the time. I used to make it completely by hand, but now I save a little time thanks to a great food processor recipe from Belinda Jeffery’s Mix and Bake.
So this year, some of my food resolutions are:
1) To work my way up to a proper loaf of sourdough bread while exploring other yeast baking.
2) Explore more food from other cultures. Although our family eats quite a variety of food, it’s mostly Asian, Indian or Italian influenced. This year I’m looking further afield, recipe suggestions welcome!
3) I want to reduce my reliance on the supermarket. Our family eats so much better when I make the effort to get myself off to the Farmer’s/ Organic markets every week (it involves getting out of bed really early on a weekend morning though, ergh!). We still buy a few things from the supermarket though, and while I probably won’t start making my own laundry detergent anytime soon (there are only so many hours in the day!), this year I might try making more of the snacky stuff we occasionally buy, like hard pretzels, grissini sticks and water crackers.
I think 3 is a manageable number. We’ll see how we go next January eh?
How are your resolutions holding up?