Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Culinary Resolutions: 2010

I'm not usually the type to make too many resolutions for the new year. I'm more of the "think about it, deem it too challenging and just give up on January 3rd" type.

This year, it's going to be different.
For real.

See, here's the thing: I don't do a whole heck of a lot of cooking at home any more.

As a busy working mother-of-2, wife-of-1, small business owner, I often feel overwhelmed. Even if food is my job.

But wait Chris (I can hear you saying), don't you have tons of awesome leftovers at The Kitchen Studio that you can whip up something fabulous with?

Theoretically? Sure.

Realistically? Not so much.

I often send home the leftovers bits and scraps with the staff, as a way to thank them for their hard work and to show my appreciation. Meanwhile, I end up empty-handed.

Not only that, but I tend to work mostly nights and weekends, during dinner time and while the family is at home, y'know, starving. And I don't always do a great job planning because my days tend to wander off into the ether working on this or that and before you know it, there's a class to teach or birthday party to rock or dishes to wash.

Sometimes I'm so swept away by the everyday mundane tasks that I forget that I went to a fancy French cooking school and learned all sorts of mad skills.

So this year, I vow to get back to my lusty, food-loving roots. To dine out less and to dine out better. To make things that I know how to make but am too lazy to really put in the effort for and to work with ingredients familiar and not, and really make them sing.

As for the specifics, I will:

  • Make my own pasta more often (really, it only takes a few minutes)
  • Eat out just once a week, unless it's something totally awesome, and this includes lunch, unless someone else is treating :)
  • Confit duck again, because it's the Best. Thing. Ever. and I haven't made it in at least a decade.
  • Always have some form of stinky cheese in the fridge
  • Bake bread more often (thanks to Zoe and her Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, I'm well on my way with this one!)
  • Make my own cheese, especially mozzarella (check! - did that yesterday, so I'm ahead of the game) and ricotta
  • Prepare country pate again, because it is so darn good
  • Make a divine and silky chicken liver pate
  • Have dinner for my family (almost) every night, even if I can't be there
  • Entertain with a real grown-up dinner at least quarterly and include folks outside of my usual social circle who have a food-lustiness problem as well and perhaps are not afraid of offal.
  • To make a wonderful, true cassoulet, because I had one of the best in the country teach me how, ahem, 15 years ago, and I haven't done it since
  • Somehow, just somehow, find a way to purchase the new home sous-vide cooker ($449!) for The Kitchen Studio
  • Get that book contract for Gotta Break Some Eggs and persuade the youth of America to cook their butts off, even if they make mistakes along the way.
  • And, oh yeah, post weekly, with a new recipe or technique, and fab pics to go with.

How 'bout you? Any culinary resolutions you want to share?


April F. said...

I also hope to make more bread this year. Thanks to a Kitchen Studio class (Rustic European breads) and a bit of practice this year, I feel much more comfortable with this now. Just ordered a whole grain baking book from King Arthur Flour too... can't wait to try some new bread recipes!

Chef Christine said...

You really do have to try the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day method. I've got Beth S. hooked and I can't stop baking - for real! I've made boules, pitas, and ciabatta with very little effort. I am loving it and you will too - I promise!

Melissa Q. said...

My resolutions? Follow your recipe postings and actually make something! Oh, and will also be looking at those bread recipes, YUM!

Chef Christine said...

Yay Melissa! Let me know what you want to see (in addition to those bread recipes) and I'll see what I can do. :)

Jennie said...

I have tied the artisan bread in 5 mins. a day and it. is. so. good. And easy!

Chef Christine said...

Have you tried to make pitas out of the boule recipe yet Jennie? I was shocked how great they turned out and how quick too! They're my new "go to" bread for lunch. No rise time and only 6-7 minutes in the oven!

smoo said...

I like offal :)

My resolution this year is also to cook more! Solidarity.


Chef Christine said...

Amen to that Shannon! We'll have to talk offal at some point. I do love me some parts!