Simplicity at it’s goal setting finest

Elsie at A Beautiful Mess has put forth this challenge of setting and achieving simple goals before the end of 2010.  I found out about it through Farmer’s Daughter when I was reading her goals.  I was inspired. I’ve reached a point in my life where simplicity has taken top priority over my to-do list and my ambitions.  I’m hoping these goals will help me to not only re-center my life, but to relax and enjoy the journey I am currently on.

Here are Elsie’s guidelines:

  • choose simple goals that will make your life richer and happier on a daily basis. choose things you may not otherwise get done, but that are not difficult to accomplish.
  • do not choose result oriented goals, choose activity oriented goals. for example… instead of “lose 10 pounds”, choose something like “eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day”.  positive actions instead of just the end result!
  • choose goals that are personal that you believe will truly make your life richer just by doing them! they can be daily, weekly or one time experiences.
  • choose a reward for each goal as it is accomplished! it can be a small or large reward.
  • blog your goals, each one as you achieve it and a big post when they are all finished before the new year!

Exercise Regularly.  This is big one for me.  When I was pregnant with Liam, I was so miserable the first trimester than any ambitions of moving went out the window.  Looking back, I honestly wish I had done the yoga and the walking.  This time, because Liam is so active, I have no choice but to be so myself, so I am hoping to channel this into constructive times of exercising through play (ie, wrestling, walking, etc.) or restorative exercise (prenatal yoga dvd).  Reward: New yoga pants that are actually flattering, not dumpy!  
The Art of the Handwritten Note.  I used to take the time to write a few friends and relatives on a monthly basis.  Just a note to say that I care and am thinking of them.  In time, I’ve gotten away from it.  Also with this goal, I’d like to start making my cards again.  I love doing it and then being able to send something that I made (not just threw together).  Reward: Getting to pick out fun stamps with which to mail my letters!
My Mastery List.  I had thought I could complete this in 1 year, but have come to the realization that it may take me a smidge longer.  My goal for this is to simply work away at it and enjoy each new skill/recipe.  Reward: Something for the kitchen.  Maybe a mezzaluna?
Post a New Recipe Once a Week.  I’m not sure if this is too ambitious, but I’m going to try anyway.  Perhaps it won’t always be a recipe, maybe it will be a tip I picked up or a skill tutorial.  I’m not sure.  But I do want to make sure that even though I am wrapped up in the house, baby #1 and baby #2, future garden plans and everything else, that I don’t forget to write about the very thing that got me started. Food.  Reward: Personal pleasure.  I love to write about what’s going on in the kitchen and I don’t want to miss any of it!

Almost 2 years ago, I started blogging my food adventures.  I was recently married and had a desire to stop being so terrified in the kitchen.  The project began as an exercise to teach myself to cook.  I wanted to learn new ingredients and techniques.  Along the way, I met people who had the same ideas and who were actually living the green lifestyle I wanted.  I read and studied and began to take my food a little more seriously.  These days, we eat a diet of local and whole ingredients.  We are frugal and yet adventurous. I gave myself the name “The Fearless chef”.  It was a bit of a joke, but it empowered me in the strangest way.   Now that I am no longer fearful, I have a desire to master things.  I have compiled a list of 100 recipes that remain enigmas to me.  Over the course of the next year, I hope to master each one of them.  I hope that you will join me along the way!

Main Dishes:

  1. Coq au Vin
  2. Beef Stroganoff
  3. Roast Duck
  4. Duck Confit
  5. Lamb Tangine
  6. Weiner Schnitzel
  7. Cassoulet
  8. Chicken Fricasee
  9. Stuffed Peppers
  10. Beef Wellington
  11. Tandoori Chicken
  12. Chicken Kiev
  13. Chicken Cordon Bleu
  14. Chicken Parmigiana
  15. Crown Roast of Pork


  1. Polenta
  2. Rice Pilaf
  3. Minestrone
  4. Potato Soup
  5. Chicken Noodle
  6. Twice Baked Potatoes
  7. Mashed Potatoes
  8. White Chili 
  9. Baked Beans
  10. Tortilla Soup
  11. Gratins
  12. Macaroni and Cheese
  13. Potatoes Anna


  1. Pesto
  2. Compound butter
  3. Ghee
  4. Roasted Red Peppers
  5. Tempura
  6. Mustard
  7. Shallot Vinaigrette
  8. Green Goddess Dressing
  9. Mayonnaise
  10. Hollandaise
  11. Marinara
  12. Royal Icing 


  1. Homemade pasta dough
  2. Ravioli
  3. Tortellini
  4. Gnocchi

Quick Breads:

  1. Short bread
  2. Popovers
  3. Yorkshire pudding
  4. Irish Soda Bread
  5. Biscuits
  6. Cream Scones

Yeasted breads:

  1. Baguettes
  2. Portuguese Sweet Bread
  3. Bagels
  4. Croissants
  5. English Muffins
  6. Hoagie Buns
  7. Pizza Dough
  8. Pita Bread
  9. Pretzels (soft and hard)
  10. Brioche
  11. Sticky Buns
  12. Pumpernickel
  13. Ciabatta
  14. Focaccia
  15. Pane Siciliano
  16. Panettone

Spoon Desserts:

  1. Chocolate Mousse
  2. Chocolate Pudding (homemade pudding in general)
  3. Creme Brulee
  4. Bread Pudding
  5. Lemon Custard
  6. Pot de Creme
  7. Marshmallows
  8. Souffle
  9. Pastry Creme
  10. Italian Meringue


  1. Angel Food Cake
  2. Red Velvet Cake
  3. French Yogurt Cake
  4. Devil’s Food Cake
  5. Basic White Cake
  6. Genoise (Jelly Roll)
  7. Bouche de Noel
  8. Lattice-topped Pie
  9. Tarte Tatin
  10. Lemon Cream Tart
  11. Swedish Visiting Cake
  12. Croquembouche


  1. Danish
  2. Strudel
  3. Baklava
  4. Profiteroles
  5. Handpies/Turnovers
  6. Soft Sugar Cookies
  7. Cannoli
  8. Anisetti
  9. Sables 
  10. Oatmeal Cookies
  11. Sandkakas
  12. Krumkakas