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New Years Cooking and Food Resolutions!

This past year I have to say has been great. I am healthy, semi financially ok, have a wonderful family and have been given challenges that I could not of dreamed of, but nonetheless doing well.

Last year I decided that one resolution that I could keep would be to improve my baking skills. (yes I do silly things like that) Well I am happy to report that, where before I would absolutely run from a cookie sheet, I have embraced baking pans and tins I have never heard of. I have a popover pan, springform pans in every size, muffin tins, mini muffin tins, loaf pans, mini loaf pans. Oh and tart pans from tiny to large. Last night I baked two loaves of Anadama bread, and they came out beautifully!

Yes, for the most part, I've conquered my fear of baking and have now moved on to frustration and perseverance. I bake some things pretty well, and others, well.. but I have not given up yet.

But, this year, 2008 is the year I will learn to make sushi. I have all the tools, I have a mat, the rice paddle,the nori,and a book or two on how to make it. So that is my cooking /food related resolution this coming year. what's yours?

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  1. I've been reading Ruhlman's "The Elements of Cooking," and the following struck a chord with me: "The unusual and fascinating dynamics of cooking are such that cluttered and dirty surfaces work their collective clutter into the food."

    I resolve to be cleaner in 2008!

    1 Reply
    1. Maybe to stop wasting food? I've never been able to cook "just enough," whether I'm cooking for myself or a crowd. Well, except when I make omlettes, but man doth not live by omlettes alone. Truth is empty plates AND empty serving dishes at the end of a meal panic me! Did everyone have enough? Would they tell me if they're still hungry?

      So I always have left-overs, and I don't particularly like the same meal twice in a row, so I end up putting all of the left-overs in little zip lock bags and stuffing them in the freezer resolved to dine on them another day. But I hardly ever do. Eventually they turn into unrecognizable bags of snow. So after staring at the same snowballs for an indeterminantly looooooong time, I *finally* throw them out. <sigh>

      I don't know if I can actually learn to cook less at this late stage of the game. Maybe a better solution is to learn how to feed fresh food to the garbage disposer?

      7 Replies
      1. re: Caroline1

        Guilty as charged! I think that this is a wonderful resolution, and its one that I can adapt, I have the same problem.

        1. re: Caroline1

          I have the problem of "too much" also. I learned to turn the leftovers into something else - omelets, soups, wraps, etc.
          Not everything can be re directed, but it did cut down on the collection of science experiments going on in my freezer/fridge.

          1. re: Caroline1

            I'm guilty of too many leftovers, too. Ever since we became a party of two, when the young adults went their separate ways, I seem to have way too much food left over. It was never a problem when they were home, but somehow I forgot how to cook for two. My food resolution for 2008 better be - Better menu planning without waste.

            1. re: Caroline1

              OMG -- Caroline1, I have the same problem. It's just me and the man, yet, every time we (mostly I) cook, we have enough food to feed an army. And neither one of us likes the same meal twice in a row, so dto on everything you said! I also tend to overeat, because I HATE to throw out food... and that's not great for my other resolution ;-)

              I vote for smaller portions 08!!!

              1. re: Caroline1

                Another one here who is guilty of "too much". But my problem is that I eat "too much"! So I started Weight Watchers a few weeks ago to get a jump start on my New Year's resolution.

                So I guess my resolution is to cook healthier (albeit still tasty) meals for my family (and lose about 25 lbs.).

                1. re: valerie

                  Good for you Valerie! I'm shortly behind you, just going through Christmas and then I am doing the same weight loss plan. Gotta have my veggies!

                2. re: Caroline1

                  Metoometoometoometoo! I live in a two-person household, but I tend to always cook for 8. Having leftovers around is nice, but I still end up throwing away a moldy serving or two a few weeks later. I guess maybe I should also resolve to keep a closer eye on the contents of my fridge!

                  1. More vegetarian food. I want to try and do a Meatless Meal once a week, but not necessarily on Monday.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: churchka

                      Hey, since I don't start the serious cooking until tomorrow, I just had my fave vegetarian meal for dinner: peanut butter and jelly on wheat nut bread! hmmm... Does a glass of milk make it non-vegetarian? '-)

                      Deck the halls with bowls from Jolly...

                    2. Buy organic as often as possible. Avoid HFCS and partially hydrogenated oils. Start packing myself tastier luches for work. Salad and cottage cheese is fairly depressing. Use my cookbooks more often. Stop feeling guilty if I don't make 'dinner proper' every single night.....

                      1. In 2008 I will make a cassoulet. I will also improve/expand my grilling skills. And I'll entertain more often (small dinner parties).

                        Fun thread!

                        1. I am going to try a new recipe twice a week. I have a bulging file of recipes that I have clipped as well as cookbooks I could not resist buying yet I still tend to make the same dishes over and over. This is the year that I try all things new!

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: baseballfan

                            bbfan, that's a good one. I too have tons of cookbooks with recipes I've not cooked. I might "steal" this one from you, cutting it back to one new recipe a week! Thanks for the great idea!

                            1. re: nofunlatte

                              Steal away! One new recipe a week might be more realistic anyway. I hope that we both run into some that will turn into keepers. Happy New Year!

                              1. re: baseballfan

                                And same to you! Perhaps I'll have to start a New Recipe thread each week (or month) to keep me on this resolution.

                                1. re: nofunlatte

                                  I went back to eating meat on my doctor's orders fall of last year and I don't necessarily feel better. I think I am going to transition back to more meatless meals.

                                  Chef Chicklet I was once on a nori roll kick and made them at home and it was a cinch. Rolling the rice in the nori rolls was surprisingly easy. Good luck with it; I think you'll find it a breeze (especially after improving your baking, which I will not even attempt other than a boxed cake mix or cookies!)

                                  1. re: MysticYoYo

                                    You are going to be called upon for help then!~
                                    I have had my little sushi kit for too long. I begged my kids for the items and books a couple of Christmas ago. I really crave sushi at times, and sometimes paying high prices for it doesn't bother me near as much as it should. I have a friend that makes it and always bring it to my parties, and I get so wistful. I LOVE it, and see I want to do the same. I really want to get good at this...if I get that mandolin this year....look out!

                                  2. re: nofunlatte

                                    That's a great idea! It will be fun to see what or experiments lead to.

                            2. I want to learn to make Indian food. So far I can only make some variations of simple yellow curry, but i love their vegetarian dishes and hopefully I will learn how to make them.
                              I also plan to register for some baking classes; i love baking (and eating what I bake :)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Nuray

                                ooooooo you just struck another one for me! I think that's great!

                              2. No more High Fructose Corn Syrup. It is in far too many of our foods these days.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Shane Greenwood

                                  Im down with the new recipe each week! I too have a collection of cookbooks and recipes that are just waiting to be made! I am also a part of the left over crew- I find that my staff all love it when I bring leftovers to work for them to all try! That helps get them out the house without waisting- :) Happy New Year!!