32 Cooking Resolutions to Make This Year
As a former editor of a food website, I am an avid and advanced home cook. Every January, instead of just making normal resolutions, I make cooking resolutions, too. I also like to encourage home cooks everywhere—whether you’re a novice mastering how to chop an onion or a seasoned pro who can whip up a soufflé in your sleep—to set kitchen goals. It’s a new year, so why not learn a few new skills to step up your culinary game? Over the next 12 months, I want to master sous vide, learn to love cauliflower, and be a better baker. Not sure where to start? To inspire you to get your chef on, here are 32 cooking resolutions to make this year.
- Try making your own ingredients. Instead of buying items like granola, salsa, barbecue sauce, and chicken broth, make them.
- Learn a new way to cook food, such as sous vide.
- Bake a type of cake you’ve never made before. Some ideas: princess cake, baked Alaska, coconut cake, icebox cake, zuppa inglese cake, or devil’s food cake.
- Practice meatless Mondays. Better yet, be a weegan—a vegan on a plant-based diet during the week. Only eat meat, fish, and dairy on the weekends.
- Master homemade gnocchi. Or pasta.
- Learn how your favorite type of cheese is made.
- Pick a wine varietal you’ve never tried before and seek out as many bottles of it you can find.
- Experiment with a new vegetable you haven't cooked with before, like okra, celery root, turnips, beets, or lima beans.
- Make cauliflower steaks.
- Teach yourself how to grill.
- Plan a food-centric trip. Travel to Mexico to taste mole, Eurostar through Italy in search of the best pizza, or shop for exotic spices in the bazaars of India.
- Cook a new recipe every two weeks.
- Sign up for a free trial of food delivery service such as Blue Apron, Din, or Sun Basket.
- Eat (and cook with) local foods. Especially honey. It’s supposed to make allergies go away!
- Go fishing. Then become better at cooking seafood by roasting up your catch.
- Pick fruit from a nearby farm or friend’s house who has a blueberry bush, Meyer lemon tree, or strawberry patch.
- Start growing a garden. Even if you only have space for one small pot of rosemary, grow something edible.
- Make some sort of dough item from scratch: pizza dough, pie dough, pretzel dough, or bread dough.
- Get your knives sharpened.
- Learn how to shuck oysters.
- Host one dinner party a month.
- Master the perfect French omelet.
- Pick a new type of cuisine (Indian, Chinese, Moroccan) and become an authentic expert by learning everything you can about it.
- Figure out the time it takes you to make perfectly cooked hard, soft, and baked eggs. Memorize it!
- Become a more consistent cook. Make a dish, say chicken noodle soup, taste equally delicious every time you cook it.
- Cook at home more. Eat out less.
- Invest in that culinary appliance—KitchenAid, food processor, ice cream maker, Le Creuset—you’ve had your eye on for years.
- Make your lunch and bring it to work.
- Memorize the grain to water ratios for rice, quinoa, farro, couscous, and any other grain you cook often.
- Break in the cooking gadget—cast iron skillet, slow cooker, Vitamix—you got for Christmas.
- Try one new type of cheese every month.
- Have fun while you're in the kitchen cooking. Listen to your favorite music and sip a little wine.
Shop items that will help you step up your culinary game below.
What culinary resolutions are you making this year?