Make a Kitchen Resolution for the New Year

The New Year is the perfect time for you to turn over a new leaf in your kitchen. Whether your pantry’s a cluttered mess, you’ve got a load of useful gadgets that never get used, or you’ve been putting off things like repainting the walls or adding new spices & techniques to your cooking repertoire, a kitchen resolution is the ideal excuse to finally make it happen.

Here are 10 great ideas to help inspire your kitchen resolution this year:

  1. Refresh & Reorganize: Clear the counters, empty out the junk drawer, throw away expired spices and rearrange that mess of storage and takeout containers you’ve got hidden behind that cabinet door. You know where your messes are; use your kitchen resolution as an excuse to clean them up. You know it’s gonna feel way better once you do.
  2. Try a New Trick: Find a local cooking class and sign up to learn a new set of skills. Advance your cooking techniques and impress your friends. Give yourself a gold star if you use your new talents at home within a week of learning them in class.
  3. Test Your Toys: Take a day where you pull out all those great kitchen gadgets, read the instructions, and give them a test drive. Make a list of 5 ways you can put each of your gadgets to use. Keep track by putting a small piece of masking tape on the back and make a hash mark each time you use it. No hash marks at the end of the year means you might want to consider getting rid of it to make a little space.
  4. Set Your Table with Style: There’s no need to keep your china hidden away. Whether you’re the takeout queen or the world’s best home chef, every meal tastes better when it’s served on a beautiful setting. Make everyday dinners more special by using your fancy plates or spruce up everyday dishes with the simple addition of cloth napkins, chargers, placemats and candles.
  5. Cook by the Book: Dust off those cookbooks and food magazines and choose one new recipe a week to try at home. Mark the page and add the ingredients to your shopping list to pick up the next time you’re at the store. Have fun experimenting with different styles and flavors and keep track of your favorite dishes so you can add them into the rotation.
  6. Break Out of Your Mold: Get freaky with freekeh, wild out with wild mushrooms, and get your grain on with quinoa or farro. Add a sense of adventure to your normal cooking routine by trying out new and unique ingredients. Who knows? You might be missing out on some of your favorite foods and you don’t even know it!
  7. Freshen Up: If you’re not using fresh garlic, ginger and herbs in your cooking, make this the year that you start. Fresh ingredients add an amazing jolt of flavor to all your dishes and give your meals that wow factor you’re looking for. You could even plant a small countertop herb garden so you’re always ready for action.
  8. Make it a Party: When’s the last time you had friends over for dinner or even for cocktails? If you can’t remember your last party, it is high time you got your entertainer in gear. You don’t have to make it a huge affair. Just a simple get together once a season is a nice way to stay in touch with your friends and add some fun into your life.
  9. Renovation Resolution: Now, we’re not talking major construction here (unless that’s something you’re into!) Just a few simple-to-do touches like a fresh coat of paint, new dishtowels and curtains, or even some adorable canisters or a new spice rack can really brighten up your kitchen, and get you in the mood for cooking!
  10. Memorize Your Mainstays: Practice your family favorites until you can make them without a recipe. Whether it’s your grandma’s chicken soup, your Aunt Mary’s meatballs or your mom’s famous shepherd’s pie, knowing how to make dishes by heart help make weekend night meals a snap!

Pick a resolution or two from my list, or come up with your own! Whatever you choose is sure to inspire you to get in the kitchen and help you enjoy cooking and entertaining all year long.

Be sure to let me know what you come up with and keep me updated on how it goes!