Friday, December 31, 2010

Culinary Resolutions


It's time for New Year's resolutions!  Ugh.  They're just no fun.  For the 15th year in a row I will resolve to floss more often.  And for the 16th year in a row, that probably won't happen.  We all resolve to exercise more, lose weight, be more organized, etc.  BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.

Let's have a little fun.  Let's make some culinary resolutions.  As Ina Garten says "How bad could that be?"  Here are mine:

1.  Meatless Mondays-Restaurants all over New York are doing it and I will too.  It may not always be on Mondays but I will serve at least one vegetarian dinner to my family per week.  It's good for the planet, good for our health and good for our palates and to broaden our culinary horizons.

2.  Pare Down-I resolve to make better use of my pantry ingredients.  Instead of running to the store for ingredients as new recipes pop into my head, instead I'll use up what's in my pantry.  Those dried beans, sheets of Nori, exotic jams, every variety of rice, vinegars and mustards...I'm coming for you!  In the meantime, in case of the next apocalypse you're all welcome to my house.  I can feed the world from my pantry.

Perhaps I need to pare down my utensil collection?

3.  Get Cozy with My Camera-I have a poorly lit kitchen which means it's difficult to get great shots of food as I cook.  If I'm cooking at night, I'm really doomed.  I resolve to get to know my camera better so I can improve my photography skills and my blogging.  Hey, we both win!

4.  Get Organized-I have so many recipes in various sources and files.  I keep them on my computer and in notebooks.  I live in fear of losing them.  I've just bought the MacGourmet software and can't wait to put everything in one spot and back it up on a hard drive.  This software will let me keep my business organized as well as at home.  It also has a weekly menu planner function and the ability to generate a shopping list from recipes.  I'm totally geeked about this! 

5.  Start a Cookbook Club-I have many wonderful cookbooks that I'm dying to make my way through.  But where is the time?  I resolve to invite a group who is also interested in cooking new things to a Cookbook Club.  I will choose a cookbook, invite everyone over for tea or wine and let them each flag a recipe or two that looks interesting to them.  I'll run upstairs and copy their chosen page and hand it off.  The next time we meet, we'll all bring our cooked dishes to sample and discuss. 

Yeah, I've got a few cookbooks.
What are your culinary resolutions?  New techniques or recipes you want to try?  Order more exotically when you eat out?  New cuisines to explore?  I'd love to hear what you'll be trying.  In the meantime, I'm toasting you with a New Year's Eve punch that is light, festive and won't leave you starting the new year in a world of hurt.

"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
-T.S. Eliot

Prosecco Pomegranate Punch
From Food and Wine
Serves 12
1 quart pomegranate juice
2 cups fresh orange juice, strained
2 cups chilled limeade
One 750-milliliter bottle Prosecco
Lime and orange slices, for garnish
1 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)

In a punch bowl, combine the pomegranate juice, orange juice and limeade. Pour in the Prosecco; float lime and orange slices on top. Ladle into 12 ice-filled glasses, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and serve.


Linda said...

Thanks for sharing your culinary delights in this blog, Meredith. You remind me that there is a world of food outside of chicken and meatloaf. Happy New Year to you, Tom and the girls!

Meredith said...

Thanks Linda! Happy New Year to you.

Mandy said...

I love the cookbook club idea! Happy New Year!