2011 Food Resolutions
Someone had to start it and I could not find if someone else had.
Here are my 10 (no order):
1 - Learn to cook some Latin food
2 - Reduce my burger and pizza intake by 20%; Grind my own burger meat at home
3 - Learn to make better "flavored" pastas
4 - Learn to make lower-calorie every day meals (in conjunction with Mrs J)
5 - Exercise more
6 - Learn more braises
7 - Use the pressure canner more
8 - Cut the darned tree down that eleimates 5 hours of sun from my veggie garden
9 - Do a better job with veggie garden
10 - Learn to dry the spices from the spice garden
In 2009 I vowed to eat healthy, in 2010 I attempted to eat real foods cooked at home. Both worked out pretty well, so here's the plan for 2011.
-Cook as much as possible from Ad Hoc at Home (which I got for Christmas)
-Waste less food/ freeze more
-Really learn how to bake bread
-Continue tweaking my favorite childhood recipes into healthier and more delicious versions
-Invite friends over for dinner more often. I live alone, and I'd like to share my food with people I care about. Hey, maybe they'll help supplement my wine habit ;-)
This year I plan to:
1. Find the Chowhound Genie – so all our food wishes will come true!!
2. Find a chicken dish that I can cook and will like (I discovered in 2010 that, for the most part, I really don’t like chicken – unless it’s deep fried, hot sauced, cooked in grease, etc.).
3. Try a new restaurant at least once a month.
4. Buy an aerogarden and grow my own herbs.
5. Eat dinner at the dinner table instead of in front of the TV (which goes along with limiting my TV watching to one hour a day.
6. Use my breadmaker, kitchenaid mixer, ice cream maker (and any other small appliances I can’t think of right now) more often and in healthier ways (oh and if someone knows where I put the bottom half of my blender I sure would appreciate a heads up).
7. Make homemade lunches for work more often.
8. Be more adventurous with food – expand my horizons and cook from different cultures.
9. Fill my freezer with quick and nutritious home cooked meals for when I don’t have time to even think, never mind cook.
10. Splurge on better quality products instead of just getting what will work for a recipe.
If I can’t complete No. 1, then could I please win the lottery so I can afford to spend all my time cooking, searching for perfect recipes, travelling the world to try new cuisines (on a private jet so I don’t have to eat airline food of course!), spending money on the best ingredients (imagine the uses for things like saffron, really fantastic parmesan, 3 to 4 pound lobsters, etc.), and then hire a personal trainer so I can keep eating all that I’m making!!
I have to admit, I haven't looked for much in the kitchen since the holiday break, hubby and his sister did the dishes every night (I've already had him go searching for one thing he put away). It drives me nuts that he apparantly doesn't know where things belong in a kitchen.
He's a mechanic with lots of tools and tool boxes, all organized and such - I have threatened to go out and take tool boxes apart and randomly put them back together, to no avail!
Yeah, my SO is very organized in his mind. Everything is organized so it's convenient for him, not necessarily for me. Since he's gone working for 5 months, I warned him that things would be re-organized so they're convenient for ME by the time he gets back.
There were some things he cleaned out of the front room that I was trying to find for a meeting yesterday evening, and I found a couple of things from there in random places, but never found what I was looking for. And we can only really communicate on Sundays when his ship is in a US port.
"Depends on your 'hood"...
If New Year's resolution
is to find a solution
for gasses that are legume-ly generated
Then there's utility seen
in the vacuuming action
of a quick session under the range-hood.
Just a flip of the switch,
and those vapors are mixed
and exhausted to calm outside air.
Butt, the problem of range-hood is not just the timing
but also the posture required.
Far preferred is the internal intestinal enzyme
that Beano so easily offers.
For New Year resolutions
the better solution
are those chastely contained
simple few drops of Beano.
That stuff is nasty.
As far as beans go, I seem not to have a problem with them. I probably make a pound a week of cannellini, with sage, tomato, olive oil, and pancetta, which I'll eat over a 3-day period. They get gradually more tasty every day. I grate a little p-r on top. Delicious. And no problem with gas.
Here are some food resolutions by celebrity chefs.
Some I find particularly interesting
Paula Deen wants to eat less vitamins. Why? Because of all that sugar in those Gummy Bear vitamins she eats. But of course, that's so Paula Deen. How else would she take her vitamins.
Alton Brown wants to raise chickens. Wonder if that'll be worked into his shows, and if Chowhounds will now complain about his "chicken-ness" the way some do about him looking to gaunt.
1. Pack more work lunches and stop buying from the overpriced/often disappointing cafeteria downstairs. Even a peanut butter sandwich and some fruit would be better than the soggy $9 salad I had yesterday. Clearly, I'm not doing so well with this one but I'm hopeful!
2. Finally learn to bake a loaf of bread
3. Host more dinner parties.
4. Remember that the freezing something does not render it eternal. Vow to eat frozen stuff within 1-2 months.
5. Find the parts for and actually use: my food processor and ice cream machine.
6. Branch out on my cocktail-making at home.
"""Remember that the freezing something does not render it eternal. Vow to eat frozen stuff within 1-2 months.""
not "eternal"?! wait just a minute. what about those cryovacs for our loved ones <that have temporarily ceased functioning but are considered to have just "passed on.">? then your relatives can fight over it.... http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi...
After a recent, and very upsetting, episode dealing with animal cruelty, I finally admitted to myself that I could not eat factory-farmed meat anymore, and took the pescatarian plunge. Changing my diet has shaped my resolutions.
1) Become the best damned cooker of fish on the block. Beef, chicken and pork are where I *shine*, and I gotta let it go, until we can afford the free-range stuff. I bought five kinds of fish yesterday. I still want my neighbors to sniff the air wafting from my door, and ask me what I'm making for dinner, with that yearning look on their faces.
2) To finally plant the herb and pepper garden that I swore I would put on my deck last year.
3) To stop seeing vegetables as the things that merely decorate the meat, and create meals that make the most of them. As a new pescatarian, I fear I will eat too many tater tots.
4) It's just dough. It is not that scary. So what if I've had a few flops? I will push beyond biscuits and corn cakes: I will make bread. And keep making bread, until I am making GOOD bread.
5) Use the pasta maker I begged for and got for my birthday two months ago. It's just that, to *clean* the machine, you have to make and use dough, throw that away, and then make and use more dough (see number 5).
6) Reciprocate. I owe some dinner parties to some people. I hope they like fish.
7) I was going to say to finally take the time to cure my CI skillet. But that takes bacon grease.
8) Do not obsess about bacon and cave.
9) Use my hippie contacts to find local farms to find pigs that were treated decently, right up until it, you know, became bacon. And then cure my skillet, and eat bacon.
10) Recreate the cookie recipe that my grandmother refuses to share (she is one of those cooks, and even denied the existence of her hand-written cookbook that all of her seven daughters swear has a red cover). My grandmother also refuses to cook anymore, and I want those cookies. I want this to have been my last Christmas without those cookies.
11) Figure out a name for a pescatarian that will eat meat if it is not factory-farmed. Besides 'annoying', or 'pesky-tarian'.
Making a list is a great idea because I can refer back to it months from now when I've forgotten what I had written! Many peoples' goals here have inspired me. In 2011, I hope to:
-Make my own cheese at least once (probably mozzarella, to go with summer tomatoes and basil)
-Experiment with different vegetables and eat vegetarian/vegan meals more often
-Waste less food
-Cook more Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese dishes
-Do more preserving and pickling next summer
-Drink better coffee
-Learn more about various cuts of meat and butchery
-Not waste a single calorie on something that isn't delicious
-And, as always, be more active!
1. eat more fish.
2. clean out my fridge more often.
3. eat that danged frozen turkey!
4. go through my vast store of various condiments and get wild & wacky!
5. drink better wine.
6. plant french shallots & garlic.
7. organize all my serveware into logical order.
8. grill more with hickory & mesquite.
9. make chinese crispy fish in the huge wok set on my turkey burner ring out back.
10. organize the pantry so that EVEN MR. ALKA can find things!
11. have more people over for food & drinks, parties, snacks, rhumba parties <cough, cough>, playing taboo, and the like. ;-). hey, i LIKE TABOO, OK? (cranium and pictionary, too).
Off the top of my head and in no particular order:
1- Grow herbs in the summer
2- Sprout legumes at home (instead of paying $6 for 350g at the health food store)
3- Make sure to have a proper dinner with the BF on the nights we're both home - no eating in front of the TV or preparing separate meals.
4- Find more dishes that both the non-veg BF and I can enjoy
5- Eat a real lunch every day instead of skipping it to work more
6- Go out to dinner at least once a month
7- Try a new recipe from the ones I bookmark at least once every few weeks
8- Make my own veggie patties instead of eating storebought ones
9- Cook from the pantry more often
10 - Make the whole process more social by cooking with friends and hosting dinner parties
Hey Mr. J,
Happy New Year. Thought provoking post. Here are some that come to my mind in no particular order.
1. Find some new protein things to make for breakfast besides the usual eggs. (I cannot stomach yogurt and cereal leaves me hungry.)
2. Get back to making bread, especially with whole grains.
3. Learn how to make some light soups to fill up on.
4. Cook smaller meat portions.
5. Try and cook and eat fish and seafood more.
6. No drinks until dinner is completely prepared.
7. Now that the holidays are over, no more desserts, cookies, etc.
8. Do drink more water and eat more fruit and vegetables.
Short term goals (for the month of January):
1. Cook everything I eat- no dining out.
2. Eat 100% vegetarian.
3. No alcohol.
Long term goals:
1. Drink better wine but less of it.
2. Become a better (decent) baker and use my new Kitchenaid.
3. Learn the art of pickling (we'll see- my first attempt at pickled green beans is curing now).
4. Plant a small herb garden on my balcony.
1. Charcut-e-palooza! http://www.mrswheelbarrow.com/2010/12...
2. Make some cheese. I've got access to raw Jersey milk, fer heaven's sake.
3. Figure out a really bitchin' gluten free tiramisu. Homemade mascarpone, of course!
4. Baby my first ever round of grafted tomatoes.
5. A real, big kid, cassoulet.
To stop wasting my time on cheap wine! I don't like it, but I sometimes buy it just to save money, and then I don't enjoy it. My resolution is to, if I don't have the money or if I'm at a bar with terrible wine options, to just have a beer or a water, instead of attacking my palate with rot-gut :)
i plan to:
always keep a pot of cooked beans in fridge and have some frozen for backup
Ditto pot of whole grains
continue to bake bread weekly
return to my moratorium on processed sugars ( moratorium works better than forever!)
continue to increase % of diet that is veggies ( including winter salads)
grow more windowsill herbs
buy good fruit no matter what it costs
#2 - I'm so with you on this. Spend less time searching, planning, comparing, discussing, trying to find the ultimate recipe, sourcing ingredients, and on and on ad infinitum...
My subscription this year to Eat Your Books has helped with this, but I just want to tell my 2011 self to just DO IT. Yes, it's a shame when ingredients are wasted on a bad recipe, but I think I'm going to try to trust my instincts, and trust my reliable cookbooks more, rather than being paralyzed by indecision and hypnotized by food blogs.
This is something I've been doing on my blog for the past few years. Here are a few of my food-related goals...
1. Use my cookbooks – I have a lot of cookbooks and really only use about 10-15 regularly (out of 60+)
2. Experiment with charcuterie - I recently made bacon which I strongly believe is the gateway drug to charcuterie.
3. Make more cheese – I've made ricotta and paneer. Next on my list is mozzarella.
4. Use food for health – This year I’ve found new ways to integrate food into my overall health/beauty regimen with lots of success, so I'd like to continue playing around in this area.
5. Bake more bread
6. Experiment with (more) vegetarian and allergen-free options
7. Learn more about wine - I've learned a lot about Ontario wines over the past year but would like to expand my knowledge.
8. Grow more produce – I grew herbs on my balcony this past year and would like to move beyond that.
#1. I hear ya about the cookbooks. I have so many that just sit there, and that I bought on a whim b/c of the pretty pics, but I never really use any recipes when I cook, so it's time I check them out again.
#3. I certainly eat enough (= too much) cheese, but I'd LOVE to make my own mozzarella. Are you going to order the curd online, or do you have someone locally to get that started?
I had a good knowing snicker over #2.
On #3 - I bet you have made yogurt huh? How about cream cheese and sour cream? Farmers cheese? Kefir? Here is a fun site on all things, cheesy, creamy and spready on fresh bready: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Relish...
My local dairy is holding a cheese class and I have been toying with the notion (because I do not have enough food projects and such going on at my house). My husband does not know it, but we are getting ducks this Spring. : )
When I had my first apartment here in SF with out roomies, my place turned into a sort of weekend boarding house for my friends who lived outside the city. They'd come into the city for a night of revelry. I'd always start the night off with a few tasty snacks and champagne. The pop of the bottle signaled the start of the night's fun! Nothing like that pop to signal that the party has started. The cheap stuff or leftovers were used for mimosas or bellinis the following morning.
I too need to drink more champagne!
I'm with you on numbers 4-10! Need to find sunnier spots (or get rid of trees!) in backyard for more herbs and vegetables:) Have been doing WW for over a month, and am will continue to work on "lower calorie every day meals"...but also healthier:) Also planning to join the local Y for more exercise! and braising seems like a wonderful thing. This month's Fine Cooking has great recipes for braises! Happy New Year:)
This year I hope to:
1) Waste less food, particularly the beautiful fruit and vegetables we have delivered fresh every week.
2) Teach my 6 year old son how to prepare a basic dinner and how to bake.
3) Learn some basic butchery skills.
I also mentioned on another post that I am vaguely thinking of hosting a degustation dinner party this year. I have been given a beautiful degustation cookbook for Christmas and having been inspired by its pages a very (stupid?) part of me is wondering if I could do it. I think I will start cooking out of its pages and perhaps aim to host a degustation later in the year, maybe to celebrate the spring...
Just a few off the top of my head:
1. Eat more healthfully and exercise more.
2. Try at least one ethnic cuisine that I've never had. May be challenging since there isn't many ethnic restaurants around here, but I think at least Vietnamese should be doable.
3. Expand my palate as far as wine is concerned, and learn better how to pair wine to food.
4. Learn to like one food that I've previously turned my nose up at.
5. Make at least one recipe per week from one of the tons of cookbooks I have that sit unopened on a shelf. My Top Chef cookbook that I just got for Christmas has me feeling inspired....
6. Develop my pantry better along with good quick and easy go to recipes, so I have fewer excuses to eat out as much as I do.
7. Learn how to make sausages, both fresh and cured/aged.
re: James Cristinian
Good dirt, or rather soil, has good drainage. If not, it aint good. :)
Resolutions? I have things I want to try, but they don't really fall into resolutions, more like projects. I want to raise some pigs. I want to roast one of them whole. I did one last year and it turned out very good, but there's room for improvement. Not too mention different methods of cooking. Last year I used a home made caja china box. I may use it again or try spit roasting.
I'm also on the process of making salami at home. I have a curing chamber and all the equipment, now I need to complete my reading and purchase the ingredients.
Not true at all, and not to get into an arguement, but you can have beautiful alluvial soil, but if it doesn't drain, it won't grow veggies well. On to the pigs, my wife loves pigs, we have maybe fifty of all shapes and sizes in our place. They are not real, but she loves them. How can you raise and kill a pig? Let me put this in perspective, I fish, and now that I'm over fifty, I sometimes look at a stringer of specked trout and feel almost bad for them, until I realize how good they are going to taste. I'm rambling, but when you cook that pig, my wife would be the first in line to eat it. By the way, we had bacon this morning.
Junior. Your post made me chuckle. It is so off the wall and so ambitious! We will see if you want to slit Mr. Cutie Piggy if you raise him from when you were able to hold it in your hand.
Write in for pointers when you break out the pig box. My hubby has done one or two a year for (gulp) 20 years or so. he has it down. I will try to keep my eyes peeled for it.
Here is a fun article/blog entry you might find interesting: http://www.ethicurean.com/2007/04/12/...
re: Sal Vanilla
Wow....I am so jealous. I would love to participate in such an adventure. That would be a great learning experience. As it is I'll be doing mine from Michael Ruhlmans book and searching the web.
Does your husband use a Caja China box? Or does he cook them some other way?
Thanks for the article.
I was just thinking about this!
Following your lead, in no particular order:
1- Find a breakfast that appeals to me and start eating it.
2-Make brown bagging lunches more creative and healthier
3-Further my lacto fermentation experiments
4-Get my nukazuke going
5-Learn to use my smoker
6-Increase my repertoire of quick and healthy dinners
7-Have enough room in the freezer so I can finally use my ice cream maker
8-Work through my pantry supplies more efficiently
9-Get my garden going earlier
10-Less calories, more exercise with no loss of flavor!
meatn3, you can certainly find plenty of inspiration here on CH for #s 1, 2, 6 & 10! there are many threads about all four of them on the Home Cooking board & on this one...and i'd certainly be happy to offer some suggestions if you don't find enough to work with.
as for #8, if you start a thread on HC asking for ideas on ways to use up ingredients in your pantry, you'l likely get a good response, and discussions like that are a lot of fun because we all end up finding inspiration for cleaning out our own pantries :)
Thanks GHG! I have many of the threads saved. I just need a swift kick to get me to do it!
My pantry is an issue since I got so many sample products at my last job. While it was great, many are things that I usually don't think about. I think I'll follow your suggestion and start a thread or three - and watch the chow magic happen!
Happy New Year!
Agree with both you and Jfood! Great resolutions:) I've been thinking along these same lines...
1) I was never a breakfast eater until the last couple of months. Lately I have been very much enjoying steel cut oats almost every day for breakfast, sometimes with a chopped apple, or a banana, or some berries or raisins. I tried doing them in the crockpot, but didn't care for the results. I just do a batch on the stove on the weekend, and keep them in the fridge and microwave during the week. My alternate breakfast is scrambled eggs ( 1 whole egg and 1 egg white) and 35 calorie a slice oat toast, with jam. The other thing i have been enjoying for breakfast, (or any time, really) is a smoothie, which I make with 1 cup of Almond milk and about 1/2 cup of frozen berry or fruit medly, whirled in the blender.
2) Brown bag lunches have also been a challenge for me in the past....now I usually have some kind of home made soup available....lately its been a lot of turkey soup, but also vegetable, black bean, butternut squash, and this week I'm making a Weight Watcher's tomato soup...Progresso also makes some great light soups....I also often pack dinner leftovers for lunch...or salad...usually add some protein...deli turkey or ham, low fat cheese, and I have been using the spray salad dressings, but would like to learn how to make more of my own dressings (low cal)...
6) since starting Weight Watchers in November, I have found that planning meals is key to being successful....so I am developing a pretty good repertoire of quick and healthy dinners...sites I use are Gina's Skinny Recipes and Weight Watchers, as well as Cooking Light. This year, I want to also work on finding acceptable ways to lighten up other recipes that we love (sort of like your #10!)
9) I ordered seed catalogs the other night:)
Happy New Year!