I hope you all had a fantastic New Year’s! I’m very happy that the technical difficulties I mentioned in my last post are behind me – suffice it to say that my old web host managed to make things hard on me one last time before I was finally able to completely cut ties with them. With that said, I’m looking forward to the new year and many changes ahead. First I must warn you, though – as with last January, if you’ve come here looking for green smoothies and salads, I’m sorry to disappoint. I just don’t buy into the January health kick that inevitably fizzles out by February. I’ll be sticking to my usual mantra: everything in moderation – and I’ll continue to bake on! Not only do I find baking immensely comforting, but baking from scratch also enables me to avoid artificial preservatives, flavors, and of course allergens in store-bought foods, the last of which is big for me because of my peanut/nut allergy. Plus, I love having more control over my food so that I can bake and cook seasonally with local ingredients as much as possible. In that vein, today I am following up on last year’s food-related goals, as well as making some new ones for 2013. I hope that you’ll share yours in the comments, too!
So, here’s how I did on my 2012 Food Goals.
1. Eat more meatless meals.
While we didn’t stick to a rigid schedule of one meatless meal per week or anything like that, we did make a conscious effort to have more meatless meals last year than ever before. Since I mentioned that the hubby definitely loves his meat, I consider this goal a success, although I definitely think there’s room for improvement.
2. Eat more organic foods.
With the money we saved by going meatless more often last year, we were able to buy only local grass-fed and organic beef, so I consider that a huge success. Also, because of my new business that I started last year, I purchased organic vegetables frequently at the markets. And finally, while we had already switched to organic milk the year before, we also switched to local, organic eggs last year. I consider this goal a success as well, although again, there’s definitely room for more changes in the future.
3. Eat more local foods.
While we didn’t participate in a CSA this year since I was at the farmers markets each week, we definitely bought more local foods – from eggs and beef to fruits and vegetables to locally-made spices, maple products, sauces, and herb plants (that I managed to keep alive until winter!), I definitely began to replace as many store-bought foods around the house with their local counterparts as possible. In addition, due to my business, I formed a LOT of relationships with amazing vendors – so I definitely plan to keep buying local even through these cold winter months.
4. Preserve more foods.
I almost feel like it’s cheating to say I was successful on this one, since considering my business I certainly preserved more food than I ever have in years past. Of course, most of it didn’t end up in our pantry since I was selling my jams and breads at the markets – but I was able to sneak in a fair amount of canning just for us as well. Also, my mom bought me a pressure canner for Christmas, so one of my goals for 2013 is to start canning low-acid things like tomato sauce and vegetable soup. I can’t wait to get started!
5. Bake more bread.
Tying in with the previous goal, I also baked a lot more bread because I was selling it at the markets. I’m not sure I really baked a whole lot of bread just for us though, so I don’t consider this goal a success. I never did get around to finding the perfect sandwich loaf either, so this one is definitely going on my list of goals again.
With those things in mind, here are my 2013 Food Goals!
- Eat even more meatless meals.
- Tying in with #1, switch to organic butter and cheeses as well.
- Can low-acid foods using my new pressure canner.
- Perfect a wholesome sandwich bread recipe.
- Blog more. Although I posted less last year while I started up my business, I don’t forsee things slowing down at all – and, I’ve missed you guys! I’m definitely planning to be around more both here and at my business site, and I’m very excited about some upcoming changes.
Now, how about you? What are your goals for 2013, food-related or otherwise?
And now for the cookies:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 Tbsp ground cardamom
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup sugar
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Beat in the eggs 2-3 minutes longer until pale.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda. On low speed, beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Let rest in the refrigerator for about an hour or until firmed up a bit. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the cardamom, cinnamon, and sugar.
Roll the dough into 1″ balls and coat in the cardamom mixture.
Place the cookies 2″ apart on the baking sheet and bake 12-15 minutes or until the edges are browned. Let sit on the baking sheet about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.