28 Before 28: A Recap

With a little more than a year and a half before my 28th birthday, I decided to issue myself a challenge and revise my “to-make” list. Initially, I followed suit with everyone else and created a 30 Before 30 List, but realized that 3.5 years (at the time) to make 30 recipes was pretty lame. Anyone could accomplish that. So I upped the ante to myself and gave myself a little over 1.5 years to complete 28 recipes.

I’ll confess, I totally put this list on the back burner for the majority of the time because it always felt like I had SO much time to complete the recipes. So I just slowly crossed them off my list as the opportunities presented themselves and never really put any effort into getting this done before my 28th birthday.

Then in early 2013, it dawned on me that I was quickly running out to time to complete the list of recipes. And a mad dash for the finish line began.

Overall, I think I was pretty successful. While there are a few things on the list that aren’t crossed off, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t actually make them. I did, however they just did not turn out blog-worthy enough to share with you, and because I procrastinated, there wasn’t enough time left to make the recipe again.

Take the Boston Cream Pie for instance. I followed a recipe in a new cookbook and hesitated when I got to the ganache portion of the recipe. It said to add water to the chocolate chips while melting them. Water to make ganache? That doesn’t even make sense. But, it was a healthier version of the recipe so I figured maybe it would turn out. Definitely not. The ganache never hardened and although I should have realized it before dumping it on the cake, I didn’t, and I basically had a pool of watery chocolate running all over my pretty cake. See?

I didn’t even bother to edit the photo, because, seriously, look at the poor excuse of a cake. 🙁 Another issue with the recipe is that it only made a very thin cake which was then cut in half for the two layers. Yet the recipe called for a normal amount of the cream in between. It was basically a sliver of cake, topped with an inordinate amount of custard, the topped with another sliver of cake that unfortunately had some water ganache on it.

The Fortune Cookies had similar issues. First, its really hard to get an even amount of the super sticky batter into a circle. Second, its really hard to work with a hot cookie. Third, its really hard to work with a hot cookie.

I think these are something I could easily get better at with lots more practice.

The Sourdough Bread just came down to an issue of timing. I thought after I had the starter made, I could make the bread in one day, which wasn’t the case. The last couple of weekends leading up to my birthday, I just didn’t have enough free time to make it. So I decided to share the starter with you so at least you’d know that I made an effort.

The only two things that weren’t made on the list were the tortillas and the baked Alaska. I plan on still making both of these at some point, but I think Tom might strangle me if I bring another kitchen gadget into the apartment, which is why the tortillas were never made. (You need a tortilla press.) The baked Alaska just came down to a timing issue as well. And okay, I was a bit intimidated to make it. Plus, I had no where to store it and no people (other than Tom and I) to feed it to.

However, the remaining 23 recipes went over pretty well. Why don’t you check out the 28 Before 28 List and see if you can find anything you’d like to make? 

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