Resolution: Get Out of the Cooking Rut

When life gets busy and hectic putting meals on the table can start to feel like you’re on automatic pilot, throwing dinners together for the sake of getting something, anything, on the table.

In 2018, resolve to stay out of the cooking rut and mix things up a little. Try learning a new cooking skill, incorporate meal planning into your weekly calendar to help plan ahead, or incorporate a new family food tradition like Taco Tuesdays or cooking traditional recipes that have been handed down in your family. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the versatility and fun of each of these activities.

Learn a New Cooking Skill

Whether you’re a new cook who wants to learn ‘how to chop an onion’ and ‘how to master basic knife skills,’ or you’re a more experienced cook who wants to learn ‘how to make your own salad dressings’ and ‘how to make homemade broths and stocks,’ there will always be new cooking skills to learn, regardless of age.

Have you ever wanted to make your own pasta from scratch? It’s so easy, and making pasta from scratch only requires a few ingredients. This How to Use a Pasta Machine to Make Homemade Pasta article from The Spruce includes step-by-step instructions with pictures. And this How to Color Fresh Pasta article from Serious Eats will get you excited to make beautiful pastas like beet pasta, squid ink pasta, spinach pasta, and tomato pasta.

Meal Plan

Most every home cook has planned a meal at some point: a backyard barbecue, a Thanksgiving feast, a New Year’s Day buffet. But not everyone has experience with meal planning for a week or longer.

With meal planning, you decide on meals for an entire week, then you shop for the ingredients and prep foods for the week ahead. The Beginner’s Guide to Meal Planning: What to Know, How to Succeed, and What to Skip from The Kitchn is full of great information and tips. This meal plan suggests that you plan on Friday, shop on Saturday, and prep for an hour or so on Sunday. Keep in mind that there are so many ways to meal plan and the best meal planning schedule is tailored to your schedule and what works best for you.

Start Some Family Food Traditions

Does your family have any food traditions? Like making Hoppin’ John for the new year or eating corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day? Or, perhaps, even participating in Meatless Monday.

Why not resolve to make some new traditions in 2018? Whether it’s celebrating the foods from your youth or learning how to make traditional dishes handed down through the family, there are many possibilities when it comes to starting food traditions. This article, Family Traditions: Holidays and Throughout the Year from An Oregon Cottage is a great place to start for ideas.