When it comes time to think about how to make a new year better than the last, “lose weight” is one of the most commonly made—and broken—resolutions. This resolution tends to vilify fun food in favor of working out more. I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing, but isn’t it possible to make a few New Year’s resolutions that embrace food? I think so. Here are a few I’m putting on my list as I dive into 2012.
Resolution 1: Out with the old standbys, in with the new. I like to cook for myself and take some pride in the fact that I pack a lunch (almost) every day. I’ve come to rely on a limited number of dishes to make because they’re filling and familiar enough that I can whip them up with ease—pasta with chick peas and spinach will always be a great, quick weeknight meal. The thing is, I feel like I’m in a rut. There’s a lot of uncharted culinary territory to explore. Time to take an afternoon, sift through the cookbooks on my shelf and get out of my cooking comfort zone and tackle new things.
Resolution 2: Bake more. I personally prefer baking to cooking and love thumbing through books like The Perfect Finish for sugary ideas. My recent acquisition of a cookie press comes with tantalizing attachments for eclairs, and a Q&A I did with a heritage grain-grower has me wanting to attempt baking bread again. (The last two tries, while edible, weren’t too pretty.) I want the practice and the satisfaction of being able to make a perfect pie crust and that elusive loaf of bread, or use balloons to make decorative chocolate bowls that could hold whatever small-scale edibles I could manage to turn out. (Yes, it’s a thing and I want to do it.) Since I’m single, ridding myself of the sugary supply would be an issue if not for…
Resolution 3: Entertain more. I look at my apartment and keep telling myself it’s too small to really hold a crowd. But after polling a few friends who can offer more detached opinions, I may have been over-thinking my space limitations. Rearrange some furniture to clear the floor and make room for people, fill the table with finger food and have a relaxed time nibbling and visiting. And be realistic. My space is geared to casual dining and I can make those kinds of meals work well.
Resolution 4: Those fondue pots living in the closet? Use them. Yes, both of them. Should I be strapped for reasons why these need to be cracked out, refer back to items 1 and 3. A trip to the Melting Pot inspired their purchase, now it’s time to follow through.