Now is the time for New Year’s resolutions. While many turn to resolutions that alter their diet and exercise routines, here are some food-related resolutions that can lead to a delicious New Year.
No-Cost Kitchen Makeover
After spending extra time in your kitchen over the holidays, you’ve likely noticed that your kitchen could use a good makeover. Aside from deep cleaning the entire kitchen, you should also try purging. You can take it step by step, or if you’re feeling ambitious, knock it out in a day or two.
- Take an appliance inventory – Think about how often you use them or whether or not you truly need them. If you haven’t used it in over a year, or if it’s only good for one thing, you can probably get rid of it. And, if it’s broken and irreparable, toss it. You can always sell or donate the functioning items you decide to part with.
- Next up are gadgets, dishes, and utensils. Novelty items such as egg, banana, or tomato slicers can go since you probably own a knife. If you have an overflow of dinner plates and mismatched mugs, simply keep what you need to serve guests. The rest can be discarded or placed into storage somewhere outside of the kitchen.
- Spices and dried herbs can definitely grow old in your kitchen. With that said, ground spices can go stale and lose flavor in as little as eight months. Take a look at what you can keep and which should be tossed, and then do the same with dry ingredients like flours, beans, and grains.
- If you’ve got storage containers without lids, let them go. You’re not going to find that lid and there’s not much else you can do with it.
- Clear out that freezer. Do an inventory and throw away foods you’re not going to eat. Then deep clean that freeze before you restock it.
Learn A New Cuisine
Expand your culinary horizons by learning a new cuisine that takes you out of your comfort zone. No matter which cuisine you choose for whatever reason, dive in. It’s not just about learning the new food and creating delicious meals – you can also learn about another culture, language or history based on the different cooking techniques and recipes you acquire.
Once you’ve narrowed the cuisine down, look for cookbooks aimed for beginners. Most of these cookbooks will include a section at the beginning to familiarize you with ingredients and techniques that might be new to you, and will likely break the cuisine down by region or style (sometimes you’ll find a glossary, too).
It’s key to try the recipes more than once and practice the hard parts. You should also taste the expert’s version of the dishes you’re learning so you can compare and improve. Don’t expect to master it, as it can take a lifetime, but stay dedicated to improving your skills and enjoy the good food along the way.
Master A New Cooking Technique
If you would rather not tackle a whole cuisine, try learning a new cooking technique instead. While not necessarily easier, mastering a new technique takes practice and lots of it. With the constant repetition, you will be able to notice and understand the subtle nuances and refine your skills.
And challenge yourself to focus more on learning the actual technique than buying a new appliance and learning how to use that. Utilize your current resources and master the basics of the cooking technique of your choice.
Meal planning can be intimidating a first, but once you find recipes you like and a routine you can work with, it can be a breeze. If your weeknights are too busy to cook even simple meals, try setting aside some time on the weekend to prepare a few meals at once. Casseroles can be relatively easy and can make a few meals in one batch. You can try to make one for the beginning of the week, and then freeze another for the second half of the week. If you’re just cooking for yourself, you can make one or two dishes and store them in single-serving containers before freezing.
Giving yourself options ensures that you have enough variety to ensure you don’t get sick of your food. And if the thought of cooking so much food at once may seem overwhelming, you will find that once you actually get to cooking, it isn’t so bad. The key is choosing foods you like and recipes that match your cooking skill level.
Start A New Tradition
If the aforementioned resolutions seem like a bit more than you can chew, you can still enjoy kitchen time by starting a new food tradition. Whether with friends or family, you can resolve to get together for a yummy meal every week, or once a month, depending on what your schedule permits. For example, you can do Friday Night Meatballs, Pizza Sunday, or whatever pleases your palate.
You can spend quality time with family cooking the meal together, assigning each member a specific cooking task so that you can all enjoy the fruits of your labor. If it’s a get together with friends, you can do themed nights pot-luck style so that everyone can contribute.
Whatever tradition you start, remember it is about sharing, not showing off. Dishes need not be fancy or perfect, but more about sharing your labor of love with the people you love.
Just a friendly reminder that we will be closed on Monday December 31, 2018 and Tuesday January 1, 2019 – normal store hours resume Wednesday January 2, 2019. We appreciate your understanding and would like to sincerely thank you for your support. We are excited for what 2019 will bring. Happy New Year from everyone at the Brick Your Neighborhood Deli!