Cheers to you as we wrap up week one of 2018. How are those resolutions coming along? If you’re not quite on track or if you haven’t even decided on any yet, I think it’s ok. For one thing, you can’t make resolutions on an empty stomach and we haven’t even talked about recipes yet. It’s also tough trying to be ambitious on the heels of the hectic holiday season. It makes sense that what you really need right now is to recharge. We have the perfect plan for you. This year, before you set out on accomplishing your 2018 goals, why not first make a food resolution. Resolve to cook more! It’s the perfect way to slow down and carve out time to catch up with the important people in your life. It’s always best to do that over a good meal. We’ve taken some of our favorite recipes of the past year and put them all in one place to help you decide what to cook in 2018 or at least this month.
From quick pasta recipes to weekend projects, we have a culinary answer to The Age Old Question: What’s for Dinner? Get lost in this post and draw inspiration from past stories and recipes that you might have missed the first time around. The thing I love about a food resolution is that it’s not about scarcity and deprivation like most things we resolve to do year after year. It’s about abundance. More home cooked meals. More time feeding your family or your friends. This is less juice cleanse and more ‘replace one night of take-out with a home cooked meal’ per week. Somewhere in there you will find the balance and your family and friends will love you for it. So plan to share the table and a meal with them. We’re here to help. And while you weren’t even trying, you just might find yourself fitting in to those pants you’ve relegated to the back of the closet.
With temperatures at an unforgiving low these days, this weekend is the perfect time to stay inside where it’s warm. Netflix and a pizza might be a comfortable reflex, but trying your hand at homemade pasta will make you feel so accomplished. And if you ask us, it goes much better with a movie than delivery. In How to Make Homemade Pasta we share not only the recipe for fettuccine from scratch, but the story that inspired it. If you’re game, give it a try! It’s easier than you think and there is something very therapeutic about turning flour into pasta.
If you’re looking for a week night pasta option that’s low on effort but high on flavor, try out Linguine with Spinach and Prosciutto. This recipe is a twist on the traditional aglio e olio (garlic and oil). It lends itself to long pasta, so whether you’re putting it over boxed linguine like we did, or your very own homemade fettuccine it will work. You can read the story here.
For short pasta one of our absolute favorites is the classic Pasta e Ceci (Pasta and Chick Peas). We’ve made this dish using everything from shells to elbows or even campanelle when we’re feeling fancy. We love this recipe for a quick and inexpensive meal, which comes in handy when we’ve made one too many indulgent shopping trips for pricey imported delicacies like in Live Globally…Buy Locally.
After all of this hearty pasta, you might be looking for some lighter fare. In January, that’s a tricky order. It’s cold. You want to hibernate. You want comfort food, but you’re also looking to trim some calories. You might even be trying to accommodate vegetarian guests. Look no further than our lentil soup. Not only will it bring you abundance and wealth, it feeds a crowd. It’s healthy and it’s quick and easy to make. We tend to include lots of meaty, somewhat fattening variations to our recipes, but I promise you this recipe is perfect without the extras and the lentils are filling on their own. Make it anyway you like, but make it. If you’re reading this from the other side of the world wondering what all the fuss is about the temperature, it’s cold in New York! Soup is almost always the answer. If it’s warm where you are, turn on the air conditioner because you don’t want to miss this soup.
Maybe you’re entertaining friends for a post-December holiday get-together, because you just haven’t been able to get your schedules to sync up since Thanksgiving. It’s casual. You’re not committed to making dinner for a crowd. The start time is 9 pm and the menu is wine and cheese. That sounds nice but we think you can do better. Tagliere is one “recipe” that is no-cook and easy to assemble. January is the perfect time to temper your more ambitious cooking goals with super simple ones. It’s called balance people. Read all about this party trick in Entertaining Made Easy. We know you’re curious!
For dessert we have the perfect carrot cake that works in any weather. It’s the right amount of spicy and sweet and although we include a recipe for cream cheese frosting, this cake is so good it really doesn’t need it. If you’re like me and tend to favor more savory options after your meals, cheese is a great idea. Since we’ve supplied you with mostly quick meals, we have one more culinary challenge for you. In How to Make Homemade Ricotta, we uncover the mystery to cheese making. Spoiler alert…it’s not that complicated. It’s perfect on toasted bread topped with your favorite finishing oil or with grilled fruit and a dash of cinnamon for a less sugary dessert. You might not be able to go back to store bought.
As for us…I think we’re going to go the homemade pasta route this weekend. If we’re lucky, the city will still be covered in snow and the temperatures will be too frigid for plans that require leaving the apartment. I haven’t fully fleshed out my 2018 resolutions yet so getting my hands into some flour might be just what I need to recharge and thoughtfully consider what I’d like to accomplish this year. If you’re struggling with resolutions right about now, go easy on yourself. The year is young and there actually isn’t any rule that says you have to start on January 1. Head to your kitchen for inspiration. Break bread with friends. Think about what’s important to you and craft your plan for the new year on a full stomach. If you get stuck on the food part of your resolutions, we’re a click and a comment away and we want to help.