My 2012 Cooking Challenge

I received these two cookbooks by two of my favorite cooks (chefs? They’re not really chefs, right?And I mean that in a good way.) for Christmas:

Yes, that’s THE French Apple Tart she’s making in the photo

I love Nigella and Ina for their simple, gimmick free approach to cooking. It’s just them in their kitchens (my DREAM kitchen, in Ina’s case) cooking and talking to their audience. There are no gimmicks, no incessant and annoying chatter (I’m looking at you, Rachael Ray), just beautiful ingredients and straightforward, delicious food. And these two cookbooks, I think, really represent that.

So, inspired by these two women, their cookbooks and the recipes (and photos!) in them, and also, spurred on by my recent forays into cooking, I have come up with a challenge for myself. Also, I figured that I need to make use of the cookbooks I received by cooking as much from them as I can. So, in 2012, I will cook one new recipe from these cookbooks every month.

Before you laugh at my self-imposed challenge, please do keep in mind that while I do know how to cook, I rarely ever do it. Also, the type of cooking that Ina or Nigella do is very different from the cooking that I am used to. Plus, the first three months of the year are set to be the busiest of the year for work… so yes, this will be a challenge for me.

And, now, for some ground rules:

  • I have to cook one recipe from either Nigella Kitchen or Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics per month.
  • If I miss one month, I would have to make up for it the following month. However, additional dishes cooked in a month will not count towards succeeding months. So if I cook three dishes in January, I’m not off the hook from cooking one each in February and March.
  • Repeats won’t count.
  • Of course, I’ll have to blog about each month’s dish.

So wish me luck, guys! And please do the same for the people who’ll be eating my food, too.

Book photos via

5 thoughts on “My 2012 Cooking Challenge

  1. Pingback: I may have a problem « Don't ask me to smile…

  2. Pingback: March: Ina Garten’s Tuscan Chicken « Don't ask me to smile…

  3. Pingback: May: Baked Chocolate Pudding « Don't ask me to smile…

  4. Pingback: My June recipe and a rule change « Don't ask me to smile…

  5. Pingback: December: Bittersweet Brownies and, yay!! « Don't ask me to smile…

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