It’s everyone’s favorite time of year. Resolution time. Recap time. Best-of Lists. Top 40 Countdowns. Drink a magnum of prosecco by yourself at New Years Eve time (wouldn’t necessarily recommend that one).
December absolutely FLEW by. I started the month in New York, and by the time we got home we hit the ground running and haven’t stopped until now. We hosted a Christmas party where we packed our house full of friends, and enjoyed more dinners and drinks (so many drinks) throughout the entire month. Christmas was wonderful and WHITE! More dinners with friends and hosting another Christmas rounded our our Christmas week.
Now it’s time to think ahead to 2018. I am not huge on resolutions, but I do like the beginning of the year to sort of think and map out things you might like to accomplish throughout the next year. Just the other day I came across an old print out of “food resolutions” that I made in 2015. Very cute of me. I clearly wrote it in Microsoft Word (or Drive), printed it out in a bulleted list, and then cut it out with pinking shears (design!) and had it taped to the inside of a cabinet until we moved from our first house. I stuffed it in a cookbook (good thinking!) where it just recently fell out as I was digging through looking for my eggnog recipe.
The list is composed mostly of big projects, dishes, or DIY that might either be time consuming or intimidating, but would certainly stretch my kitchen skills. It felt good to write them down then, and I was pleased to see that since then I had in fact crossed quite a few off my list. It inspired me to write a new 2018 list, including some that didn’t make it on the original, as well as a few that were never crossed off. Some easy, some difficult. So here we have it, my 2018 Cooking Resolutions:
- Cassoulet – This is a big project, and I already have a date scheduled: December 25th, 2018. A few years ago we (as a family) decided that we’d sort of had enough with the traditional roasted beef, vegetables, potatoes, dessert combination that while delicious, started to feel stale after a lifetime of Christmases eating variations of the same thing. In 2016 we started to veer off of the traditional with a roast goose instead of beef, and this year we went Mexican with tamales, margaritas, and a black bean and corn salad. Next year– we’re going french. Southern French. I’m going all out. Confiting my own duck, seeking out the right garlic sausage, salt pork and the like. It sounds like the perfect winter meal, and the perfect big gun to pull out at Christmastime.
- Duck Confit – also on the list– not only as part of the cassoulet but just something that is tasty and not all that difficult that I just need to make.
- Mozzarella – I would love to spend a weekend and stretch some of my own cheese at home. I have grand visions of a cheese party where we all put this together, stretching and probably frying up fresh homemade mozzarella in my kitchen
- Semifreddo– not a complicated dessert, but nonetheless one that sticks in the back of my head that needs to be made. Maybe wait for the temps to get above 0F for that one.
- Tonic Water – As a lover of a classic G&T, I’ve wanted to experiment with making my own tonic for quite some time. 2018 is the year!
- Fried Chicken– This sounds so ridiculous to type, but I’ve never made true homemade fried chicken. It’s just plain overdue.
- Fresh Pasta– Again, this falls under my “really?” list but I’ve never made fresh pasta. To be honest I just don’t typically have complaints from quality dried pasta, but I have a feeling if I had some fresh linguini or ravioli, my mind might be changed.
- More artisinal breads– this is a broad one, because there’s a lot that I’d love to try in my own kitchen. I’ve successfully made baguettes on a couple of occasions and those can be a real pain in the ass, so I would like to try more pain in the ass bread projects.
- Ramen– time to load up at the Asian grocery store and bring home some momofuku. It’s gonna happen
- Sous Vide– I was gifted a Joule sous-vide for Christmas, and I really want to put it to work. Knowing that it might save so much time prep and save so much time in the kitchen- especially for entertaining- is exciting.
So that’s 10 things that I would like to cook in 2018. Obviously there’s gonna be a LOT more food made, but that’s 10 projects that I might like to tackle as the months go on.
As far as for The Proper Binge? I spent the first 6 months of its life working hard to get content on the site, and now I’m excited to see where that can go. I have a few projects and plans in the works, and I’m super excited to make them happen. I started this blog in the hopes that it would stretch me in the kitchen, make me rely less on following recipes to the letter (something I <3 to do), and force a little more creativity in the kitchen and in half a year, it’s done just that. I’m excited to see where we head in the New Year! Cheers!
IN OTHER NEWS:
Currently reading: ALL THE COOKBOOKS! I love Christmas because a load of cookbooks typically arrive under the tree just for me! I devoured Alison Roman’s “Dining In” and it’s absolutely genius and I can’t wait to cook from it, and also received Sous Vide at Home by Lisa Fetterman which is going to be my guidebook as I put my new machine to work!
Currently Cooking to: Christmas music has a hard stop on December 26th for me, so I’m onto the new tunes. The Decemberists have been in high rotation recently (their new song they released for the Hamilton Mixtape is great), as well as Mat Kearny’s new EP. Justin Timberlake is releasing new tunes this Friday and an album in February so you know I’m gearing up for that too.
Currently Craving: Salads. Grain bowls. Smoothies? The things everyone craves in January after a couple months of eating like nobody’s watching.
Currently Watching: Top Chefffffff! Top Chef is back and of course I love it. Also can’t forget my other Bravolebrity faves: the idiots over at Vanderpump Rules and season 2 of The Crown just to class up my TV watching a bit.
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