It’s December 31, 2016 and I’m laying on the couch, surfing the internet for recipes as I always do and, for once, reflecting back on the year. Specifically, I’m reflecting on my cooking and how it has changed over the years. J recently mentioned to me that he really liked how we ate in college, which is probably not something you hear very often, but by the time we lived together I was cooking dinner at least 5 times a week. From what I can remember we ate a lot of roasted chicken and vegetables, mexican comfort food learned from his mom, and homemade pizza. That’s also the year we visited my cousin in Portland and came home obsessed with Pok Pok. Once I got the cookbook we were trying different thai recipes every week.
2015 was a year of cooking for people I love. We were living with J’s parents then and their house is one that everyone in the family ends up congregating at so there were a lot of sunday night carne asadas and impromptu parties to cook for. I can’t remember much what we cooked that year, but some highlights I remember were fish tacos, barbecue ribs and finding appreciation for chicharrones and tripas, but please still keep the menudo away from me…I’m not there yet.
This year I feel like I spent most of the year rushed, constantly trying to figure out what we would have for dinner and ending up going to the grocery store with little idea. That’s not to say I didn’t cook and eat a lot of good food, I just wasn’t as focused as I wish I had been. This year I came to love indian, peruvian, and a lot of seafood I never thought I would like. I also fell out of love with a lot of my favorite go-to foods – steak, roast chicken, hamburgers and brussels sprouts. So here I am, on the verge of a new year, craving new flavors that I haven’t identified yet, but here’s my plan to get there:
Slow down. If you’re trying to do too many things, you’re probably not doing any of them very well.
Plan ahead. The more you plan what you want to eat, the easier it will be to accomplish it. The less time you’re frantically trying to figure out what to cook, the more time you can be cooking, focusing and enjoying the moment.
Explore new tastes. If you see a combination of ingredients you haven’t thought of before, just try it. Try recipes using new spices. Alternatively, cook some of the recipes that have been sitting on your list for too long (possibly years).
Fight the paralysis of choice. Instead of scrolling through Pinterest for hours, scroll for 30 seconds, pick something and stick with it. It will be much simpler in the long run.
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