A confession: I am not a good baker.
I regularly melt down the morning of my children's birthday parties because the frosting for the cake that I have painstakingly, desperately made from scratch
With cooking, you can often replace an item with what you have on hand or what sounds nice to you (i.e. changing out cilantro for parsley, etc.). You can look in your fridge and pantry and see that you have chicken, some tomatoes, a can of great northern beans, and some greens left over, and whip up dinner. But baking? Not so much. Try replacing all-purpose flour with all whole wheat flour. Or room temperature butter with cold butter or melted butter. These things make a disaster of a cake/bread/pie crust.
Baking is a science. It makes me nervous. I shield away from it (except on those stressful birthdays). I have mastered chocolate chip cookies. And that is all.
But 2013 is the time to face my kitchen foe. I am challenging myself to master baking techniques this year. I've been gifted with several new cookbooks that have wonderful, beautiful baking recipes in them, and I am going to try them and I want to learn how to make them properly. Beautiful cakes with lovely frosting, a perfect pie crust, fluffy biscuits: these are my goals.
Fewer meltdowns, more baked goods. Here's hoping.