Hello 2014!

Cookbooks

It’s already a new year and after reflecting on 2013, I am excited for some new changes and challenges over the coming three-hundred and sixty some days. First things first, I want to say that no one should ever feel bad if they don’t set a resolution because they just aren’t for everyone. Oh, and if you do decide to set a resolution, it doesn’t need to be about weight loss or exercise. It’s also ok to do small month to month challenges that way your attention span doesn’t zap out.

What I would say is that it is good to make intentions, measurable or not, that can be used to help you achieve a more balanced and well life. Remember, last year my intention was to recycle more paper. It wasn’t precisely measurable but it but I did get me recycling more and make me more cognizant of my paper use. Now that intention has become a habit and I no longer need to focus or expend any more energy thinking about it because it’s now part of my daily routine.

So, without further ado, here’s what I have in store for 2014: I’ve thought long and hard, modified my intention a few times, but have concluded that I’d like to try 30 new foods this year. Why 30? Well, at first I started with one new food a week but that kind of stressed me out so I changed it to 50 new foods this year, which was also kind of unrealistic, and then I decided that I could do 30 new foods because it seemed achievable but still a tad challenging. I chose this goal to move outside my comfort zone cooking-wise. I like to cook, I don’t mind experimenting in the kitchen, but like many people I get in a rut of making the same, or similar meals on a consistent basis.

Objectives for obtaining this include:

  • Start using some of the recipe books in my house.
  • Explore ethnic grocery stores in the Des Moines area.
  • Try new vegetables at the Farmers’ Market this summer.

What counts as a new food?

  • A food I have never tried, obviously.
  • Ordering a food at a restaurant that I’ve never tried. For example, if I go to a Bosnian restaurant and order Grašak, it counts since I’ve never had this traditional Bosnian pea stew. What doesn’t count is ordering something new from a menu of a food I’ve had several times elsewhere. Got it?
  • Using new ingredients at home, such as tempeh, a food I’ve had a few times at restaurants but have no idea how to prepare on my own.

I’ll be sure to document this fun experiment so stay tuned! Oh and for my mini-intention for January – I’m de-cluttering the house. I’m three cupboards in and found receipts from 2004. Yikes. At least I have an electronic place to store things I don’t have room for. ehoarding