What It’s All About

First, a little about me: I grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City (signature food: barbecue), went to college in Chicago (Northwestern, class of ’09) and worked for awhile in Scranton, Pa. (signature food: Old Forge pizza). By day, and sometimes by night, I’m a reporter with Inside Higher Ed, a daily online news source covering higher education for a national audience.

My 2012 New Year’s Resolution — and so far, so good — was to try a new recipe every week in 2012.

I’ve always loved to bake. In high school, I’d frequently make cookies or a cake from scratch on a weeknight, then stay up past midnight doing my homework. In college, I branched out to muffins and pies. Then I moved onto cupcakes and homemade bagels. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I realized being able to whip up perfect banana bread or red velvet cupcakes and being able to feed myself on a daily basis were two very different skill sets.

So I challenged myself to change that. The overall purpose of this blog is to keep me honest. If you want to read and cook along, all the better.

Here are the rules I laid down for myself.

  • “New” means “new to me,” whether it’s from the latest Bon Appetit or from Julia Child.
  • The recipes should be for main dishes, side dishes, or occasionally a yeasty bread. Cookies, cupcakes and desserts, no matter how complicated or technical, are cheating.
  • I refuse to eat the same thing five nights in a row. So whenever I can, I’ll halve a recipe or freeze the leftovers for later.
  • I’ve defined this project as “52 weeks, 52 recipes” in part to give myself some flexibility. Some weeks I might double up on new recipes, and other weeks I might succumb to the temptation of Seamless.com.  But I aim to post every single week, even if the recipes aren’t spaced quite as neatly apart.

Finally, while I’m not a vegetarian, you might not know it from looking at the recipes. I’m slowly realizing that I’m not particularly adept at cooking meat, and in many cases I’m happy to leave it to the experts at the restaurants. Plus tofu, eggs and beans are cheaper and healthier.