Looking Forward to 2010 (Recipe: Garlic Herb Braid)

Well, 2009 is officially behind us. It seems like I know a lot of people who are glad to see a new year come around. Not that 2009 was all that bad… it was just different. I am thankful to have had the year I had, but I am also excited to start fresh with 2010!

I sat down today and wrote out some of my goals for the new year. I’ve been reflecting for quite some time on what I really wanted to focus on in 2010, and have decided that 2010 will be time for me to get back to me. I want to get back to things that make me who I am…things I truly enjoy – like writing, photography, my family and my me time. As I am sure many of you are, I am going to try to find that sweet spot of balance between work and play.

My focus for 2010 will include:

  • Read at least three chapters in a book each week (I love to read, but haven’t read hardly at all since Leah was born! I miss reading and have a huge pile of books I want to get through this year)
  • Menu plan weekly and stick to it (This is essential to balance for me… I MUST start doing this again!)
  • Blog at least two times per week (I miss blogging so much and can’t wait to commit to it again!)
  • Have a date night with my husband at least one time each month (With 4 kids it is difficult and babysitting is expensive, but we need this… I miss being a couple instead of just mommy and daddy!)
  • Participate in and complete Project 365 – a year in pictures (Find my daily submissions in my Project 365 Flickr Set)
  • Host a blogging retreat – as of this morning, plans are in the works!
  • Make a schedule for work versus play and commit to it (Hard to do when you work from home, but again… I love my job and want to continue to love my job for a very long time – having separation is a must!)
  • Create an achievable To-Do list on a daily basis with no more than 5 items per day
  • Send cards and snail mail more often
  • Plan something for the kids to look forward to each week
  • Be more consistent

To get a great jump start on my goals, I am participating with several other bloggers in Ten in Ten: Ten Weeks to Healthy in 2010. Check it out and I hope you’ll join us!

What are some of your goals for 2010? Are you excited to start the new year or are you sad to leave 2009 behind? Either way, I hope that you enjoy health, happiness, prosperity and peace in the new year! I can’t wait to see what 2010 has in store for all of us.

Here is my first of many recipes to share with you for the year. I hope you enjoy!

16 ServingsPrep: 20 min. + rising Bake: 20 min. + cooling
  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) quick-rise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons dill weed
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

In a large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and
seasonings. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, water and cubed
butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until
moistened. Add egg; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining
flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about
4-6 minutes. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Divide dough into thirds. Shape each into a 15-in. rope. Place ropes
on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck
under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.
Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with
melted butter. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf
(16 slices).

To make life easier, put all the ingredients except the final melted butter, in your bread machine and let your dough cycle do all the initial work.

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Comments

  1. says

    Good luck with achieving your to-do list goals. I find the time I spend on the computer takes time away from other endeavors, like reading. I’m going to adopt your 3 chapter resolution and I’m thinking if I close the laptop, I may just read more. I’ve got about 5 books started. Also appreciated the link to 365. That, too, is something I always wanted to do but with a slightly different variation. I once saw a movie starring Harvey Keitel and he photographed the same street corner every day and depending on the weather or the traffic, the photo varied. I thought that was so cool. I just haven’t found ‘my corner’ muse.
    .-= Joan Nova´s last blog ..Culinary Tour 2010 • South of the Border =-.

  2. says

    I’m excited about Project 365, and for being part of such a great group of food bloggers doing it as well! It should be amazing!
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..onward =-.

  3. says

    Lots of excellent goals for the new year. I think I’m avoiding stating mine anywhere this year, but have sort of wiggled into the 365 project thanks in part to you. I saw your tweet today and thought that it looked promising, so thanks! Can’t wait to see what everyone turns out.
    .-= kellypea´s last blog ..2009 in Review: One Foodie’s Outtakes =-.

  4. says

    Great set of goals! I haven’t reconciled with mine yet, but love the 365 project … keep hearing of folks that do it, but haven’t jumped on the wagon.

    YES YES YES on date night! It’s a must. Hoping you stick with that one! Do you have a family friend you could babysit swap with for that once-a-month outing??
    .-= Naomi´s last blog ..From sand to snow =-.

  5. says

    Wowow,am inspired really,i love love love spending time with my parents and siblings too…and i love the name Leah so muc ….
    happy brite rocking new year to u…

  6. says

    WOW! Kristen..you’ve inspired me to make a written goals list as opposed to just being in my head! I will be with you on the P365..and would love to be on your email list for the blogging retreat..sounds amazing! :) Happy New Year!
    .-= Candy´s last blog ..Hello, 2010! =-.

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