Top Ten Tuesday: Kitchen Dreams

Over the 4 1/2 years I’ve been married I have really started to love being in the kitchen. Cooking, baking, recipe searching… I love it! I like being able to make yummy food and feel good about it. I also love that my husband tells me that I’m his favorite cook (which means a lot coming from someone who only eats to stay alive.) I have a long ways to go in the kitchen and these are some things I would like to be able to do… eventually… you know when the girls aren’t tugging on my jeans every 5 minutes.

In no particular order I give you my top ten kitchen aspirations.

10. Expand our vegetable horizons. Meat (and poultry) is stinking expensive. But I love it! We eat a ton of chicken because it’s usually cheaper than red meat, however, I would like to be able to serve vegetarian dinners more often. We aren’t extremely picky with vegetables but we are a little bit. So I would like to change that. Or at least come up with a good selection of vegetarian dinners that include the vegetables we like.

9. Create my own recipes. This is a killer for me. I’m a big, big recipe user. Granted I sometimes tweak a recipe based on what I already have in the kitchen… but for the most part I’m a stickler for following directions. However, every Monday I night I sit glued to Master Chef and my husband has started nudging me to think about creating my own recipes. (Can I just say how much I love my husband for watching this with me and encouraging me. I love you, babe!) In fact, he’s challenged me to make 1 original recipe each month. Eek!

8. Bake more. I love to bake but I’m a little more comfortable with cooking I think. When I’m baking I always get hung up on the mess I’m making, or assuming it’s not going to turn out right. I’ve had the worst luck with muffins. Maybe it’s because my baking soda is like a year old. I don’t know. But anyway, I like the idea of baking so I need to just do it! And replace my baking soda. 😉

7. Make my own doughs. I am constantly seeing bread recipes, pizza dough recipes, and dessert recipes that involve kneading, rolling out, and shaping. I’m not gonna lie, when I see the word knead or roll out I close the little window on my computer. There are several reasons for this. Kneading doesn’t sound fun. Hey, I’m just being honest! Two, I don’t own a rolling pin. Three, my cats love to jump on the counter/table whether I let them or not. I can’t control them 24 hours a day so I’m terrified of not being able to keep them or their stinking floating cat hairs off my dough. Terrified was probably a silly word choice. Nonetheless, I blame the cats mostly for not making my own doughs. But I really, really wanna!

6. Freezer Cook. I do love to cook. However, there are some days where it would just be nice to pull a meal out of the freezer. I’ve tried this a few times and it’s always gone alright. I’ve figured out what kind of recipes I like to do for freezer cooking and the kind I don’t. I have the freezer, I have the desire, now I just need a cooking partner!

7. Grill. I love a good hamburger. And since it’s summer I see recipe after recipe for grilled chicken. We have a grill. So why aren’t we grilling? We don’t have a propane tank. There’s something you gotta realize about us. It takes us forever to get around to making purchases. It’s just the way we roll and while sometimes I get impatient, I honestly don’t mind it too much. I feel like it helps keep us from wasting our money and we are sure to make smart purchases. However, we really do just need to buy a propane tank.

6. Make my own frozen desserts. Are you picking up a little bit of a theme? I would love to make my own ice cream and popsicles. I guess I just need an ice cream maker and some popsicle molds! 😉  Not only is making these things myself good for the wallet, it’s also good for our bodies, since I can control what goes in them. Is anyone else exhausted by trying to avoid high fructose corn syrup and stay in your budget or is it just me? I’ve come to loathe grocery shopping.

5. Make better use of my cabinets.  I’m not sure if there is any better way than what I’ve got going on right now, but I feel like things could be organized better. Especially my spices. I’m thinking it would be nice to get plastic containers also for dry pasta and snacks.

4. Stockpile. Honestly, I’m not sure how to go about this one. I have a very strict budget each week, so I don’t know how to start buying extras when certain products are at rock-bottom prices but, a girl can dream. Is it sad that I dream about stockpiling?

3. Save more than 40% of my grocery bill. I’ve taken the coupon class. I get the Sunday paper. I scan the sales flyers. I *try* to print coupons. (It doesn’t always work.) I still am not saving as much as I would like to. I’m not talking extreme couponing or hoarders. Just you know, there’s gotta be a better way! ( Jessica and Jeremy, name that reference!)

2. Include the girls more. I would love to let the girls help out more. Well, at least Amelia…Sofi is still a little bit young for that. Amelia seems to be really interested and I am afraid of squelching that by not letting her help. But I have a problem with the mess she makes. I mean, flour everywhere. But it’s just food. It can be cleaned up! Maybe once we get rid of the carpet in our dining room (stupidest. idea. ever.) I will be a little more willing to let her help. I just need to get over it. I should encourage her to learn to cook/bake!

1. Blog about it more. Like I said a few days ago, I didn’t intend for this blog to be solely about menu planning and recipe finding. But it is something I enjoy and I like to write about it. I would like to be able to take better pictures of the meals I make, share them with you, and eventually share my own recipes that my husband is bound and determined to get me to make. So we’ll see. Maybe someday.

What are your kitchen dreams?

 

I’m linked up at Oh Amanda!

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    • hubs
    • June 29th, 2011

    ok, couple things…
    1) you are the best cook I know
    2) what will you inventing this month?
    3) |_|/, 143, of!
    4) there’s no need for a cooking partner
    5) that is how we roll!
    6) it’s very sad
    7) there is kevin
    8) Amelia would love it. maybe if we’d stop having babies, we could get to all the stuff we need to do around the house..

      • hubs
      • June 29th, 2011

      that smiley was supposed to be an 8 and a )…

    • Haha 🙂 I love you babe! Thank you for your comments!

  1. Amanda- I can help you (sorta) on the making your own popsicles. You can use ice cube trays with wooden sticks in them, or even dixie cups! I have made them with frozen koolaide, or other powder drink mixes, although you could probably freeze fruit juice or whatever else without the HFC syrup. The pop sicle sticks are super cheap, although I’ve bought them at the craft store, I don’t know if those are food grade. Maybe with the kneading you could get a bread maker with a “knead” setting….although, that might mean spending money! eeek! 🙂

  2. Oh # 6 is easy peasy f oyu’ve got access to fresh eggs and milk. Just use 4 fresh yolks, 1.2 c sweetner dash salt and 4 cups milk/cream. Throw any add ins you’d like (fruit, flavorings, etc) and into your ice cream maker – will be divine.
    ENJOY!
    Blessings!
    http://bit.ly/kL7GTp

  3. Great list, I agree with you on most points, though I’m quite happy with my vegetable intake. One thing I would really like to focus on, is staying on top of my refrigerator. Sometimes I feel ashamed if I see what I throw away… Thanks for posting (and now I’m off exploring the rest of your blog 🙂 )

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