Monday, June 2, 2014

Almost Half-Way: (Mostly) Bookish Goals for 2014 Update

Yesterday I posted an update on my reading challenge progress, so I thought I'd also see how I'm doing on my other goals for the year. I've copied below an abbreviated version of my (Mostly) Bookish Goals for 2014 with my progress written in bold. I'm not usually very good about these kinds of updates, but I seem to be a roll lately, so I'm going with it!

Ehhh...I was doing pretty good for a while, but seem to have fallen off the wagon a bit. I've cut way, way back on the online book-buying, but have been visiting my local indie and used books stores quite frequently lately. I'm mostly buying inexpensive used books with trade-credit, my monthly book club selections, books I *think* I will be reading right away, and replacement copies of books I've already read that I wish I never got rid of and/or for my Required Re-Reading Project. I'm not doing too terribly, but I've definitely found some loopholes to get my book-buying fix!

2. Get no more than 10 new cookbooks.
So far so good! I've *only* added 4 to my collection:
The Forest Feast, by Erin Gleeson
Sally's Baking Addiction, by Sally McKenney
Homemade with Love, by Jennifer Perillo

3. Diversify my reading selections with the guidance of the (many) challenges I've joined.
So far so good! I've already read 50 books this year mainly due to the fact that I've been mixing things up a lot more than usual.

4. Read more books for the Classics Club.
I've read four so far this year -- not a bad start.

The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan
Great Classic Humor, edited by Mark Twain
Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney
Oedipus the King, by Sophocles

5. Start reading some of the anthologies and collections on my Classics Club list.
The idea behind this goal was that I could dip in and out of these types of books while also reading other things, but I haven't tried it yet. I think part of the problem is that I often have an audio book and a print going at the same time lately. As a former one-book-at-a-time kind of gal, I'm amazed to find I can actually keep track of two at once if I make my selections carefully. Throwing in a third just seems like I'd be pushing my luck...

6. Work on my time management and make time for reading every day.
I've been doing much better with this recently, especially since Bout of Books helped me start some new habits.

7. Go to bed earlier and get more sleep.
Also doing good on this one! I still don't go to bed truly *early,* but I'm on a much better schedule and have stopped staying up until 2 or 3AM doing work.

8. Try at least 50 new recipes.
I'm ahead of schedule with 28 new recipes tried. I thought I'd share my list since most of them are available online. Recipes without a cookbook or magazine title listed are from blogs.
from Food & Wine Quick From Scratch Italian
5. Herbed Chanterelle Risotto with Thyme Browned Butter
from Better Homes and Gardens Fresh
6. Caramelized Onion and Bayley Hazen Blue Galette
from The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook, by Tracey Madeiros
7. Pizza with Squash, Gorgonzola, and Pancetta +
8. Maple-Glazed Pork Chops with Sweet Potato-Bacon Hash
from America's Test Kitchen The Best Simple Recipes magazine
9. Orange-Glazed Chicken Stir-Fry over Brown Rice
from Pretty Delicious, by Candice Kumai

from Seriously Simple Holidays by Diane Rossen Worthington
13. Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Crumb Cupcakes
16. Lemon Cranberry Shortbread (variation based on above recipe)
22. Nutellos (Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies)
from Simply Sensational Cookies by Nancy Baggett
26. Fudgy Peanut Brownies
from The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook
28. The Buckeye State Ice Cream
from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Bauer

9. Choose one cookbook from my collection at a time and make several recipes from it.
Even though I've made a lot of new recipes, I haven't committed to one particular cookbook yet. I have a list of books I'd really like to try this with though.

10. No purchasing packaged sweets.
Doing fabulously on this one! As you can see for #8, I've made a lot more new sweet recipes than savory ones. The quality of desserts/treats in our house has improved SO much since I stopped buying packaged junk. I've always loved baking and am so glad I've started doing it more since homemade tastes so much better -- definitely worth savoring! In the last five months, I think I bought one package of cookies from Trader Joe's and a couple of treats from a real, old-fashioned bakery while out of town. It's probably a good thing we don't have one near our house!
* * * * *
How are your bookish goals/resolutions going?
(If you made any, that is!)


  1. Wow, you're doing brilliantly with your goals! I can't even remember what my goals are so maybe I'll fish those out and see how I'm doing. I always start with the best intentions but don't necessarily continue that well...

    1. Thanks Ellie! I'm usually the same -- very optimistic and well-intentioned in January and fading all too quickly. I was happy and a bit surprised to realize I actually stuck to quite a few of these. But there's always room for improvement, of course! I knew #1 would be really tough...plenty of time to cool the book-buying and get back on track though -- especially since the bookshelves are getting dangerously full!

  2. You are doing awesome on your goals! I am going to have to check out some of your recipes!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. Thanks Missie! Everyone has different tastes, but we didn't have a single bad recipe out of that bunch :)

  3. Awesome that you are rocking your goals and challenges this year. This are such great habits to change. I need to work on time management.

    1. Thanks Rachael! Even doing pretty well, I feel there is always room for improvement -- some weeks are better than others depending on what else is going on :)

  4. You are doing really awesome on your goals :-) I love seeing all the new recipes you've tried!

    1. Thanks Tanya! They were all really delicious if you want to try any of them :)

  5. You are kicking a**!!!!!

    As for the book buying, you still improved so that counts in a big way! I really need to get better at scheduling my time and not stay up so late all the time. I think with my husbands work hours changing, where he won't be working late every night will help with that. This post also made me incredibly hungry. I think you should share your favorite new recipe with us once a month or something! I love finding/trying new recipes. Just an idea.

    Now stop reading this and go read some more! :)

    1. Thanks Kay! I think I surprised myself to realize I was fairly well on track. I was going to do a recipe round-up sooner, but kept putting it off! Since I wrote this post, though I've been making more recipes from my cookbooks that can't be found online, so I'll have to see how many recipes I make that will have links to share -- great idea though :)

  6. You're doing so great with your goals! And I've had my eye on that Homemade with Love cookbook - I'd love to know what you think of it :) I did laugh at the "ehhh" in response to sticking to the golden rule of book buying. At least you've improved! That's better than just doing the same old, same old. So I count that one a success, too!

    1. Thanks Hannah! I haven't made anything from it yet, but so many recipes look so delicious :) I think for me, it's baby steps in the right direction toward reducing the book buying!

  7. I am super excited to try Sweet Pea Hummus. I've tried to make my own hummus before, but it didn't turn out so hot. Here's hoping for better results with a different recipe! Good luck on your reading goals!

    1. I've made so many different flavors of hummus at this point, I think I may be addicted! I love making it for an easy lunch. I hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to make it :)

  8. Wow, so far so good! You are doing great on your challenges! Those recipes look super yummy... I may have to try some out sometime.

    1. Thanks! I hope you get a chance to try some, they were all quite yummy :)

  9. Wow you are like wonder woman! You can totally come cook at my house. I use the same tired recipes over and over again which are essentially not even recipes at all just back, steam and bake again etc. I'm so poor husband and child. but you know what why doesn't HE freaking cook!?

    Anyways I'm trying to buy local more frequently too. I even went to the comic book store on saturday and ordered from them instead. even though its going to take them TWO weeks to get a comic I know I could get on Amazon in three days I'm trying to be supportive because of the whole crazy amazon thing. BE STRONG! YOU DON"T NEED INSTANT GRATIFICATION i tell my evil little book grubbing heart.

    1. I'm super lucky that I have a flexible schedule and can (sometimes) make the time to cook new things. Even with all these new recipes, I still fall into cooking ruts, especially when it comes to dinner. We joined a CSA with another couple this year and it's really been shaking up my cooking routine these past few weeks and I'm loving it!

      My evil little book grubbing heart could use that message too! It's getting easier though as I'm rarely have time to read anything immediately when I receive it anyway :/ Baby steps!

  10. Wow impressive, and I think we all need to fall of the wagon a little to avoid a complete splurge. I loved the Joy Luck Club.

    1. I like thinking of it that way! And I'm so glad I tried the Joy Luck Club again :)

  11. I'm impressed! June is a good time to review resolutions!

    1. Thanks! And I agree -- I thought about doing it quarterly, but it never happened...


I'd love to hear what you think :)