What I Want to Learn in the Kitchen in 2015


What I Want to Learn in the Kitchen in 2015 | The Ashley Davis Project

This is the year of the kitchen. I want to learn new skills in the kitchen. These last couple of months (minus these last couple of weeks laid up in bed) I’ve really enjoyed cooking in the kitchen. I’ve enjoyed finding and making new recipes.

It’s so fun to expand the spices, oils and vinegars in my spice cabinet. Its fun to learn a new dish. I have even had to borrow some kitchen supplies (like an immersion blender and cast iron skillet) from my mom to make certain dishes. I’ve loved looking for new recipes and I’m starting not to resent meal planning on Sundays.

There are a lot of new things I want to learn how to make this year. Here are the things I want to learn in the kitchen over the next 11 months:

1. French macarons – These things are so good, but they can be pretty expensive at $2 or $3 a pop. I would love to learn how to make these well. I’ve found some recipes and I know there are a ton of videos on youtube.

2. Pho – This is my very favorite kind of soup to have when I’m feeling under the weather. I would love to learn how to make it at home. In the Kitchn cookbook, there is a recipe for beef pho and Andrea has one on her site for chicken pho.

3. Bake and Frost a Layer Cake – I know how to make cupcakes, but I have never made a layer cake. I would love to learn how to make a three or four layer cake, but I think I will start off with a two layer cake. I’m also going to have to learn how to frost the cake well. It would be fun to learn a few different frosting techniques.

4. Potstickers – I absolutely love potstickers, but one of our favorite places is a little expensive for all the potstickers we can eat. I think it would be really fun to learn how to make homemade potstickers of all definitely kinds.

5. Sushi – I’ve been wanting to learn how to make sushi for a while. We even got a sushi making kit as a wedding present, but still haven’t made any sushi. I’m so looking forward to learning this new skill. I think I’ve been afraid to make raw fish at home, but I found a Japanese market not too far away from us. I’m sure they have great fish.

I made a Pinterest board where I have put all the possible recipes I could make for all these new recipes. Check it out to see some of the recipes I’m interested in making.

Do you have anything that you would like to learn how to make in 2015? I would love to hear about it in the comments.

Weekly Intentions #13

Weekly Intentions #13 | The Ashley Davis Project


I hope you guys had a fantastic weekend. Mine was filled with lots of rest and nausea. I’ve definitely been resting a lot these last couple of weeks. My sister picked me up this awesome laptop tray from IKEA. It’s been the only way I’ve been able to lay in bed and type up my blog posts.

1. Rest and Recover some more – I definitely got some rest this week, but it has definitely been kicking my butt.

1. Rest even more – This surgery has really kicked my butt, getting more rest is what I need.
2. Read Make It Happen – I got Lara Casey’s book when it came out, and haven’t made it a priority to read. I hope to take out some time this week, to read this great book.

What are your intentions for this week? I would love to hear about them! 

I’m linking up with the Nectar Collective for Weekly Wishes.

The Kitchn Cookbook



I love cookbooks. I have a shelf in my bookcase full of them (plus some takeout menus). For the past two months, I’ve been cooking out of the kitchn cookbook. (I received this book from Blogging for Books, but all opinions are my own).

I cook mostly at night and I wish I had some photos of meals I cooked out this cookbook, but all them would most definitely look unappetizing with such low lighting and my lack of food photography skills. All I have to say is out of all the meals I made out of this book there was only one dud and that actually might have been cook’s error.

This book is an amazing resource for anyone who is a new cook. They have six chapters out of this seven chapter book were dedicated to meal planning, gatherings, setting up your kitchen, cooking skills, tools and caring for your kitchen. . I most definitely learned a lot just from those sections. Only one chapter is about recipes. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has just moved out on their own, newlyweds and anyone who is just learning to cook. I will probably be gifting this book to friends in the future.

A few of my favorite recipes were Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion Hash with Baked Eggs (p. 142) (we’ve made this twice already), Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken (p. 189), Pan Fried Striped Bass Fillets with Brown Butter and Capers (p. 197) (we made this one with cod and it still turned out great!), and Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies (p. 246) (I still have some of these in the freezer and I may eat one today!).

This book definitely has more recipes that I would love to make like Beef Pho (p. 220) and Meringue and Nectarine Trifle (p.263).

I would highly recommend this book for anyone new to cooking and anyone wanting to enhance their cooking skills, too. This book definitely gave me more confidence in my kitchen.


Treat by Shutterfly

Treat by Shutterfly

Every year, I try and be more diligent about giving birthday cards and presents. I thought I would share with you how I’m trying to give more cards this year.

I’m usually not very good at remembering people’s birthdays, but since I’ve gotten my inkWELL Planner I’ve been better about tracking birthdays. I checked my friend’s Facebook pages to see when their birthdays were and sent out some emails asking when birthdays and anniversaries were. Then I put everyone’s birthdays in the important dates section and on the month at a glance pages in my planner. In the planner, each week is broken up into a two page view and one week before a person’s birthdays I write a to do item for sending them a birthday card. If I plan on buying a present for that person, I give myself two weeks notice.

When I’m just sending a card, I write a to do to go to treat.com. Treat has some awesome cards for different occasions. Treat is part of the Shutterfly family. You can sign up to pre-pay for cards during the year or you can do what I do just pay for one card at a time. Since I’m just trying treat out for the first time this year, I didn’t want to pre-pay in case I didn’t use all the cards I had paid for.

I used treat.com for the first time near the beginning of this month. It was really easy to do and I look forward to being able to send out more cards this year. I even scheduled a card to be mailed to the recipient for the end of February, too. The other great thing about treat is they have a few gift cards you can add to the card as well. If you’re not the best at sending out cards, you may want to try treat.com. Treat will let you personalize the cards with text and/or photos and will mail the card for the price a stamp.  Treat will also send you reminders if you fill out people’s birthdays in their system. You can also import from Facebook as well (I haven’t tried that yet). If you don’t want Treat to sign the card, and you prefer doing it yourself, Treat will send you the card and then all you have to do is put a stamp on it and mail it yourself. I’ve already ordered my husband’s Valentine’s Day card from Treat.

Treat has lots of promo codes all the time, so you can get a great deal on a few cards at a time. They send out all the promos they do in their email newsletter, I highly recommend signing up if you’re undecided about trying treat. When they have a great promo, you can always try it at a discount. Or use this link to try a card for free.

If you’re interested in a more thorough break down of how treat works, let me know in the comments. And I’ll do another post all about how it works. Or check out this video for more details.

*This post does contain an affiliate link to their rewards program. If you buy a card, I get rewarded. Anyone can sign up for the treat rewards program.

Weekly Intentions #12

Weekly Intentions #12 | The Ashley Davis Project


This past week has been really hard. Last Monday, I had another back surgery to get some of the hardware that was put in me during my previous surgery removed. The hardware was giving me lots of pain and problems and so I got it removed, but what can I say? Last week was a rough week and I was most definitely not the most pleasant person to be around. About mid-week, I knew my attitude had to change or everyone around me was gonna be miserable to.

I’m still in recovery mode so this week’s intentions are gonna be short.


1. Rest and Recover – I did just that and I intend to do that some more this week.


1. Rest and Recover some more – I’m still in recovery mode from my surgery. So resting and doing short walks around the complex this week should help to get me strong. I’m hoping to go back to work soon. I see the doctor for my first post op appointment next week.

Every week, I link up my weekly intentions with The Nectar Collective. I love setting my goals each week and reading about others goals, too! I would love if you would share you weekly intentions/goals with me in the comments.


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