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Broadening My Horizons

It’s become apparent to me that rather than making a list of New Year’s resolutions, my approach to 2009 could’ve much better been summed up in a list of just two items:

  1. Try new things.
  2. Learn new things.

Seriously, with the Get-Healthy resolution, I knew it had to be more than a diet. I love food, all kinds of food, so I knew that denying myself favorites just wouldn’t happen or I’d give up in about four days.  I do have personal goals, but I wanted this to be a lifestyle overhaul; I wanted the way I cooked to change.

I get a lot of inspiration from friend and food blogger, Kate. I’m also doing a lot of digging and reading a lot of food blogs, recipe sites, and magazines to learn how to make favorite dishes healthier, adding vegetables to every dish and looking for lighter, leaner meats.

The biggest thing I’ve been learning is how to overhaul my kitchen and cook differently. It’s also been incredibly fun. Since I already love to turn my kitchen into a Test Kitchen, I’ve been spending more and more time in the kitchen perfecting things, tweaking things, and eating a lot of healthier meals.

Two things I’ve never made before that I’m going attempt before spring: lasagna and soup. I know, they’re both simple because you get to just through everything in a pan and call it a day, but I’ve just never buckled down and done either of them from scratch, and it’s damn near time I did.

My second resolution is to learn new things, pick up new hobbies. For starters, I’ve grown up with an intense aversion to all things crafty and always got really overwhelmed and annoyed walking through Michael’s or Jo-Ann’s.  All those little pieces and strings and fabrics… WTF was I supposed to do with all that stuff?! Cue: anxiety.

Well, not any more. I started card-making (bizarre for someone who’s always hated the idea of scrap-booking) at the turn of the new year and almost have enough to start giving a couple of sets as gifts. That’s definitely a new thing.

Knitting. Last night, Kate came over and introduced me to two new things – lentils and knitting. The lentil dish included bacon and sausage which is pretty much an automatic ‘W’ in my book. It was awesome. As for knitting, I never, ever in my whole life thought I’d have the patience for it; it’s detailed, it’s time-consuming, and the probability of me making mistakes, finding a gaping hole in my fabric, and having to start over was high.

Yet, I found it’s something I can actually do, and not only that? I wanted to keep going. I knitted a row this morning before I went to work, just to make sure I remembered what I was doing. (I did!) [Spoiler alert from the future: this did NOT stick]

I’m going to find a way to track my progress, but here are the preliminary items, off the top of my head that I want to learn/try in 2009:

  • beading
  • sewing
  • cook this lentil dish (which is what I tried last night)
  • knit a scarf
  • take better photos of food (since I write about it all the time)

I’m open to new ideas! Tell me what new things you’re doing this year and maybe I’ll try it too. And since life is about balance and bacon should be it’s own food group, maybe I’ll even try a bacon mat.

4 Comments

  1. To tie two of your ambitions together, a friend came over this weekend and made lasagna with all sorts of vegetables snuck in there – zuccini, onion, shredded carrot – and it actually tasted a lot better because there were so many textures going on.

    I'm sure it still wasn't an overall "healthy" dish, but it added some nutritional value in there.

  2. That's the ticket with that pasta dish- sometimes healthier actually TASTES better!

    I'm pulling together soup recipes for you, and can help you with lasagna, if you want.

  3. Lasagna is really fun. I've only made it twice, but it's simple enough and so good! Have fun finding a healthy recipe to try!

    As for taking food photos… make a trip to your local thrift store/dollar store and try to find a couple of really interesting (and cheap) plates, bowls, place mats, etc. to put your items on/in. Also, see the photos here: http://www.elise.com/recipes/ for inspiration. :)

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