52 Recipes - January | The Nerd Nest 1

The current Nerd Nest challenge is to document your goals, and as much as I love the idea of just listing out general goals and having that to refer back to, I wanted to document a goal over a longer period of time even more.

One of my ongoing goals in life is to try one new recipe a week. It doesn’t always happen–sometimes life gets too busy–but starting this goal is how I learned to cook years ago. It keeps me from falling into a rut of making the same 15 things over and over again (though there are plenty of recipes that are in my “repeat often” pile). It encourages me to expand my horizons.

And though I’ve been doing this for a long time, I’ve never documented the process. Some new things I make are winners and get added to our recipe book. Sometimes, things are edible but I wouldn’t even make them again. Rarely, the things I make are terrible and we have to eat back-up frozen pizzas. Always, I learn something.

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I decided to use a Studio Calico handbook I had on hand to document each new recipe I make this year and my thoughts: it’s part recipe book, part review.

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I use the Recipe Template Set designed my myself and Allie for my 8.5 x 11 recipe book, so I decided that for this smaller version, I’d just reduce the size of each recipe to a width of 5.5 inches and back it on 6×8 paper. I could have printed each recipe at 6 x 8, but going a bit smaller means that I can fit two recipes on an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and I can have a bit of fun by including patterned paper. My reviews are on 3×4 and 4×6 pocket scrapbooking cards, because I have plenty of these on hand and have lots of pocket protectors in this size I’d like to use up.

Here are the first three spreads about the first three new recipes of the year. Click on the photos for a larger image.

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The first new recipe I tried this year was French Onion Soup from The Farm to Table French Phrasebook. This is mainly a French food phrasebook and cultural guide, as the title suggests, and I was sent the book for review. Before I give it a full review, however, I wanted to try some of the recipes included in the last chapter. (I’ve already tried two others.) This one was pretty good for my first attempt, but it was definitely a beginner recipe and I know that I can achieve a fuller flavor by cooking the soup much longer than the recipe suggests. I gave it a 6 out of 10.

And hey–these simple recipes are getting me over my fear of French cooking. So maybe I can go for much more complicated things as the year progresses.

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This recipe for Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken from The Comfort of Cooking was delicious. 8 out of 10! (Just so you know, I’m judging really harshly. If something is a 10, it basically means I could eat it every day for the rest of my life.)

The skin was crispy and flavorful and the chicken was wonderfully moist.

I also made sure to note the reactions of other family members–the rating is what I think, but I need to remember if everyone else will eat it too.

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The third recipe, White Bean Soup with Crisped Prosciutto, was not a winner. I made a lot of changes, which I noted in my journaling, so the fact that it was terrible could be completely user error. We had to eat back-up pizza.

I gave it a 2 out of 10, which basically means that it was inedible, but at least I could choke down a bite or two without spitting it out.

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I’ll keep updating this recipe book monthly and will share the results with you! I’m excited to see what I can cook up. And please, if you have awesome recipes to share, link them up!

Selected Supplies: Recipe Template Set // Studio Calico Handbook, 6×8 Page Protector 1, 6×8 Page Protector 4, stamp, and bits from past Project Life kits // Freckled Fawn Large Wood Numbers, washi tape and 2015 clip from the January Oh Deer Me Kit, food stickers from the August Oh Deer Me Kit // Basic Grey Black Micro Mono Alpha stickers // Amy Tangerine Stitched Bobbin paper // Elle’s Studio Sycamore Lane Together // Project Life Ready Set Go Value kit, Live Brightly Value kit, Seafoam Core kit, and journaling pens // Kelly Purkey stamp // Momento Gray Flannel ink.

Homemade Recipe Book using Recipe Template Set by Megan Anderson

If you like this post, you’d also like to read about my recipe book and how I put it together.