Wednesday, August 1, 2012

One Year Down!

Today marks the one-year anniversary of My Great Big Recipe Challenge. Can I have a woot woot?

In all seriousness, this is the perfect opportunity to do a little reflecting on the challenge and lessons learned. Get on your reading glasses - here we go with a super fun list!
  1. My love of cooking and baking mostly healthy fare for my family and friends has not diminished, nor has my obsession with recipes. As you may remember, I was already cooking dinner 4-5 nights a week when schedules allow because I think it is important to do the whole healthy eating/family meal thing, and my commitment to clean/healthy family food has not and will not waver.
  2. The course of the challenge has introduced us to several new foods and some new cooking techniques.
  3. That being said - I still tend to gravitate towards the same kinds of recipes. If I had more motivation, I'd actually go through and count how many versions of chicken fingers, stir fries and sloppy joes I've made during the past year.
  4. I started this blog as an accompaniment to the challenge as I wanted to use it as a learning mechanism for professional development (ugh -really with that sentence?!). After doing this for a year, I completely appreciate now more than ever the time and effort a truly successful blog takes, and I also completely realize that I have zero desire to create a truly successful blog. It's totally OK by me for my readership to mainly consist of my family and friends when they remember to read it (i.e., I tell them to check the blog).  
  5. I seriously want to kick people who compare this effort to Julie & Julia. Not. Even. Close.
  6. I love kale and have been eating it 4-5x/week for the past several months.
  7. I am pretty much the worst food photographer in the world.
Now that I've reached the year point, I have some decisions to make re: the blog and the challenge. That means you get another list - this time in an extra-fun Q&A style.

Q: Am I going to continue with the challenge?
A: After discussing it with the boys tonight, we decided that I will continue with the challenge, but will allow for exceptions/favorites. For example, the kid has been begging for a specific meatball recipe since I last made it (around Thanksgiving), and there are a couple of dishes I love that I would like to add back into the rotation. We all like the spirit of the challenge, and since my recipe collecting obsession is not slowing down, I will continue to try my best to select new recipes each week to try.

Q: Am I going to continue the blog?
A: To be honest, I don't know. The blog has been a bit of a challenge because I find it to be a little repetitive and often times the last thing I want to do after long days that usually start at 4:30a or earlier. If I keep it going, I don't want to half-ass it, but I just don't know that it's really worth it. So, I will give it some more thought. I bet you won't sleep until I make this all-important decision.

Q: Will my obsession with The Beatles ever end?
A: No. It's been 24 years and I'm still going strong.

Amazing. I have nothing more to add. Listen to the guitar riffs. And listen then listen to it again and again and again like I do.

As for the food: With tonight being the one-year anniversary, I took a look at the first recipe I made for the challenge - Buttermilk Pecan Chicken from Health magazine - and went for something similar - Spicy Pecan Popcorn Chicken with Creamy Buttermilk Ranch Dip from EatingWell. I am not typing it out because this blog is already way too long and I don't feel like it, but the boys gave it a gold medal.

Thanks for the support...