Food Resolutions

I have been reading with lots of interest the recent posts on the Kitchn about food resolutions. The site asked its readers to send in what food, cooking and kitchen related stuff they resolved to change for 2013. Some of the goals are more than admirable — things like vowing to eat out less, playing host to more regular dinner parties and cooking healthier food. It got me thinking: What are my food resolutions for the new year? So here they are, in no particular order. And be sure to share yours with me in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter.

1. Use my shiny new KitchenAid mixer. I copped this one directly from another person on the site, but I think it’s a worthy one. I’ve wanted a stand mixer for years, and I’ve had one on my Amazon wish list since 2009. I didn’t ever really expect to get one, so when one appeared (thanks mom and dad and grandma and grandpa) this Christmas, I wasn’t really prepared for it. And that probably explains why I have yet to use it. But I’m going to remedy that later this week and hopefully regularly throughout 2013. Baking is the final frontier of cooking for me — it’s the one area I am still sorely lacking in confidence — so I aim to change that as resolution number two.

2. Get over my fear of baking. Seriously, I may have an actual fear of baking. I can count the successful desserts I’ve completed on one hand. But that’s also because I hardly ever make desserts. I just avoid them because I am sure they are going to turn out poorly. I will over mix or under bake, get really stressy and, at least a few times, the scene has ended when I haul the whole mess of dough into the trash and walk out of my kitchen. Hopefully a bit of patience and resolution number one can, once and for all, get me beyond breaking into a cold sweat when someone suggests I make a pie.

3. Do a better job with mise-en-place. I am notorious for not doing prep work before I start making a recipe, which has, many times, led to the furious chopping or grating or measuring of an ingredient that I need to throw into a dish rightnow before the other ingredients burn and the whole thing is ruined. (see: sometimes I get stressy.) So I am going to try to be better about mise-en-place, the art of preparing all the ingredients for a recipe before you start cooking; translated from French it means “everything in place.” Bonus to this resolution  It will be just like I am on a cooking show, with all my neat little glass bowls of ingredients.

4. Improve my knife skills. My knife skills suck. There, I said it. I need to make them better, and I think the way to do it is take a class to learn from the professionals. I want to be able to chop and dice with the best of them without losing a digit. In 2013 I’d like to learn to julienne vegetables, dice an onion without winging it and getting a bunch of weird long pieces and break down a whole chicken with a chef’s knife. I also need a lesson in proper knife maintenance, because there is nothing worse than a whole drawer full of dull knives. Trust me, I have two of them.

Photo credits here, here and here.

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  1. [...] plate of cookies fulfilled two of my food resolutions in one fell swoop: Using my mixer and giving baking a fair shot. Matthew and I were going to [...]