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2 Dozen Culinary Resolutions from Our Cookbook Club

January  5, 2018

Our Cookbook Club is kicking off the new year with Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1. Before we get too wrapped up in the classic, though, Kirsten Svenson King had the bright idea that we should also kick off January with culinary resolutions. Members set and shared hundreds of resolutions for the new year—we’re sharing two dozen of our favorites to help inspire your own:

1. Cook seasonally

  • Kara Lucca: “The #1 thing that converted me to cooking seasonally was to join a CSA (or simply subscribe to local produce delivery). It 'forced' me to cook seasonally so as not to waste anything. With many side benefits, including much better flavor produce, interesting and new to me varieties, eating more vegetables overall, expanding our repertoire of recipes and meals, easier meal planning, etc.”
  • Julia Fabrin Jakobsen: “Such a good idea! I’ve tried this before but living in Northern Europe the winter months get a bit drab with cabbage, root vegetables (not my fav), and more cabbage. But I’m hoping the Six Seasons book we’re doing for 2018 in this group will change that! So produce delivery box here I come (back)!”

2. Make pretzels

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3. Eat more fish

  • Lindsay Christians: “A seafood counter opened near my house yesterday so I'm really excited to check it out and get more confident with seafood cookery.”

4. Make doughnuts

5. Cook for and with others more often

  • Lexie Roberts: “I'd also like to host at least ONE person over for dinner once a month. Our apartment is very small, no dining room table, and I use that as an excuse to always meet up at bars and restaurants. Not this year!” 
  • Paula Marchese: “This is one of my goals too—more cooking and eating with friends!”

6. Master croissants

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Top Comment:
“The resolution to cook with someone is lovely. A couple of years ago I offered to teach a young friend how to cook. We spent many Saturdays together making all kinds of things, like saag paneer, tart Tatin, handmade fettuccine, okonmiyaki, French onion soup, potato gratin, socca, rugelach, hamentaschen, profiteroles, gougeres,moules mariniere, matzo ball soup, bread, spaetzel, anything that caught our fancy. My friend is now an excellent cook and I'm so proud of him. I had so much fun answering his questions and watching him learn. ”
— witloof
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7. Utilize my pantry and freezer

  • Dorrena Ortega: “I want to become good at making pizza, pasta, and bread. I'm not a baker and I work full-time but I need to save some money and have taken to freezing larger quantities of usable parts like pesto sauce, bone broth, and roasted chilies. I do use these throughout the year. If I can just get started and create some kind of a habit, I would be very happy.
  • Rachel Anderson: “Both of my freezers are completely full—I want to really cook out of my pantry for a while.”

8. Make bagels

9. Preserve more foods

10. Eat more vegan meals

  • Sue Farrant: “I’m going vegan in January, so I’m going to focus on meal planning and making really interesting plant-based foods. If it goes well I’ll continue."
  • Bev Saltzman Lewyn: “I would like to do this too for health reasons. Wish I could get it up to resolution status! Maybe I should say I will be vegan 3 to 4 days a week?”

11. Take better pictures

12. Cut down on food waste

  • Alex Bacon-Leslie: “Mine is to cut down on food waste. I am embarrassed at how much food I throw out because I forget about it. Step one was getting a new refrigerator so I can better see my food (I know my own habits/hangups). Step two is going to be better meal planning.”
  • Karen Lerner-Mayrand: “Me too! My husband thinks I use the fridge as a compost bin. I get inspired, buy ingredients and then don’t feel like making the dishes I planned and then don’t. I would like to buy less and use more in 2018.”

13. Keep a sourdough starter alive

  • Georgia Cox: “To make and maintain a beautiful sourdough starter!”
  • Lindsay Christians: “I also need to feed my starter more often! That's a good reminder.”

14. Make great bread (sourdough included!)

15. Better knife skills

  • Jacqueline Mensinger: “Curling fingers back 100%, no exceptions!”
  • Jolene Correll: “Learning better knife skills...definitely a goal for me as well.”

16. Make cheese

17. Roasting a whole chicken

18. Use my pressure cooker, slow cooker, or multi-cooker more often

  • Nanda Garber: “Use my Instant Pot more often! (Not just for hard-boiled eggs and chicken or vegetable broth).”
  • Michelle Wee: “Same here! We just got one, and hope to make more meals at home with Instant Pot. Can’t use the excuse ‘no time to cook’ anymore.”

19. Master pie crusts

20. Get outside of my culinary comfort zone

  • Alison Crakes-Franzen: “I’d like to get more proficient at cooking food from other cultures that I haven’t tried or haven’t made a lot before.”
  • Paula Marchese: “Yes, to more adventurous cooking and trying things not in my usual comfort zone!”

21. Make more from scratch

22. Make less from scratch

  • Kitty Steffens: “Remember that it's okay to cook simply and not entirely from scratch. I'm in grad school and work full time. Sometimes I allow my meal planning to get so elaborate that it is unrealistic, so we get stressed out and order pizza. A lot of pizza. It's okay to just grab a rotisserie chicken from the store and roast the random vegetables we have in the crisper.”
  • La'Chia Harrison: “I’m in grad school too and this is something I need to remember as well! I had all but stopped cooking towards the end of last quarter. I'm bad at keeping quick stuff around but it will help on those longer days when I'm on campus until at least 6 PM.”

23. To cook through an entire cookbook

  • John William Barton: "I’m really enjoying the idea of a bonus book in the Cookbook Club this year. I’m setting myself a goal to complete every recipe in the book before the year is out. The bar has been set!!!"
  • Marcia Lusk: “I’ve always wanted to cook my way through an entire cookbook. Maybe this year…”

24. Cook from more cookbooks—We’ve got you covered with this one! Head here to read all about our Cookbook Club!

Bonus resolution: A month of chicken

  • Susan Westall: “I will do my 'Month of Chicken' again (where I cook nothing but chicken, with most of the recipes being new-to-me, all month)—this will be the 3rd year in a row I've done it. It's a challenge, but it's fun. Chicken is amazingly versatile. This all started because the hubs teased me a few too many times about how often I cook chicken (2 to 3 times a week, but seriously, what ELSE is there to eat?). So without telling him, I did a month of chicken. It was fun, so I did it again last year. After a week, he's suspicious. After two, he's resigned. LOL.”

Are you making a culinary resolution for 2018? Tell us about it in the comments!

6 Comments

AntoniaJames January 5, 2018
I tend to use cooking / baking / shopping for fun ingredients / finding and trying new recipes as a means to procrastinate and avoid other responsibilities, so this year I'm actually going to focus on simplifying and spending less time in the kitchen. That said, I have several projects in the kitchen that I'm looking forward to . . . I need to re-line the shelves in my lower kitchen cabinets, so I'm going to take the opportunity to pare down and get rid of the rather embarrassing number of toys I don't need. I'm also going to work through to reduce my quite nicely stocked (over-stocked?) pantry, which will no doubt result in some fun experimentation. <br />In the category of what new things will I cook this year - I purchased a delightful book a few years ago called "Will it Waffle?" which I have never used. My family loves (really loves) waffles for breakfast, but it's time to branch out. After Thanksgiving, I turned leftover stuffing into waffles, which we topped with little bits of turkey and leftover gravy for dinner. Everyone loved them! <br />The other day I mashed a sweet potato and added a beaten egg, some seasonings, a touch of thyme and nutmeg, and "waffled" that. It was delicious. So, I'm going to have fun with the book and other sources, to "waffle" more things. <br />Happy New Year, everyone. ;o) <br />P.S. I'd also like to start a cookbook supper club, but will wait to do that until after I move.
 
AntoniaJames January 5, 2018
"Will It Waffle?" is by Daniel Shumski and the book was published by Workman Publishing in 2014. FYI ;o)
 
Nanda G. January 6, 2018
Plus he has recipes available on his website, as well as one of the many new Instant Pot cookbooks out!
 
witloof January 5, 2018
The resolution to cook with someone is lovely. A couple of years ago I offered to teach a young friend how to cook. We spent many Saturdays together making all kinds of things, like saag paneer, tart Tatin, handmade<br /> fettuccine, okonmiyaki, French onion soup, potato gratin, socca, rugelach, hamentaschen, profiteroles, gougeres,moules mariniere, matzo ball soup, bread, spaetzel, anything that caught our fancy. My friend is now an excellent cook and I'm so proud of him. I had so much fun answering his questions and watching him learn.
 
pierino January 5, 2018
I do need to do better at pastry, it must be a left brain, right brain thing.<br /><br />No chasing food fads. What is this year's kambocha? Who cares?<br />
 
Bevi January 5, 2018
I love the idea of a month of chicken!