12 Cooking Resolutions You Can Actually Stick To in 2022

12 Cooking Resolutions You Can Actually Stick To in 2022

One approachable idea for each month

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Lara Vetter

Lara Vetter

Food Editor at Kitchen Stories

Start meditating, spend more time with loved ones, stop drinking so much soda, eat more vegetarian meals, work out at least twice a week—for many, the start of a new year marks the perfect occasion to make a resolution (or two) in the hope of improving something in your daily life or just taking on a new challenge. However, as anyone who has committed to a new year’s resolution knows, sticking to them is not that easy. The resolutions can easily float away after just a few weeks, perhaps because a tough goal, creates an immediate pressure; and a classic case of biting off more than you can chew ensues.

So, instead of making a few difficult resolutions and putting yourself under pressure, we wanted to offer a way to take it easy, but still improve your skills in the kitchen, with 12 do-able cooking resolutions for any skill level. The point is not to become the meal prep extraordinaire or forgo dried pasta for homemade, but rather work on your core cooking skills, learn new techniques, and try new recipes. They’re practical, not aspirational, so whether you commit to a few, or all, I hope the least this list does is encourage you to get in the kitchen and keep on cooking!

January: Try using mushrooms as a meat substitute

Vegan mushroom goulash with dumplings

Vegan mushroom goulash with dumplings
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Many people aim to start the year with lighter recipes, and swapping mushrooms for meat is a fun way to give vegetarian options a try (maybe you’ve heard of Veganuary?) Mushrooms are a really great meat substitute because they add so much savory, umami flavor, and their texture resembles some properties of meat. Try our vegan mushroom goulash, or any of the following dishes that swap out traditional meat options for mushrooms.

Mushroom pad kra pao (Vegan Thai basil stir-fry)
Spicy mushroom ragù
Portobello burger with mozzarella and pesto

February: Make your own chili crisp, then use it to make these fiery wontons

Xueci makes Sichuan chili wontons

Xueci makes Sichuan chili wontons
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Chili crisp was the, but it’s likely going to be in our pantries forever. It's easy to make yourself and its uses are just about endless (how about chili crisp over ice cream?), but we can especially recommend using your homemade chili crisp on Xueci's spicy wontons (which you can watch her make via the link above, or on Youtube).

March: Perfect your poach eggs, then make çilbir

Çilbir (Turkish poached eggs with yogurt)

Çilbir (Turkish poached eggs with yogurt)
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Çilbir is a Turkish recipe that combines garlicky yogurt with perfectly runny poached eggs and a light chili oil. It makes a delicious, show stopping breakfast, but is really easy to make as long as you have your poached eggs down. By really focusing on the egg, it's the ideal dish to help you to perfect your poach!

April: Use seasonal rhubarb to make a meringue cake—it’s not that hard!

Rhubarb meringue cake

Rhubarb meringue cake
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Have you ever made meringue before? You might think it’s difficult, but it's actually not that hard at all and it’s cloud-like appearance and texture will take your bakes to a new level. This moist rhubarb meringue cake is a great way to welcome spring and master meringue.

May: Try a new take on pancakes

Chinese wild garlic pancake

Chinese wild garlic pancake
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We love pancakes of all kinds, but if you haven’t tried savory Chinese scallion pancakes, there’s no better time, or recipe. Last year Xueci developed a version that swaps wild garlic in for Chinese chives, which she credits as a secret trick of the Chinese diaspora living in Germany. The dough is filled and rolled before it’s fried, creating many irregular crispy layers that are (I can personally attest) incredibly addictive. Plus, the recipe is a fun way to practice working with dough.

June: Make Neapolitan-style pizza at home, no kneading required

Neapolitan-style pizza with Lisa

Neapolitan-style pizza with Lisa
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There are so many styles of pizza out there, but my personal favorite is Neapolitan-style pizza; whenever someone asks me about my pizza preferences, they inevitably get to hear my five minute rant about the perfectly fluffy crust and charred air bubbles distinctive of the Neapolitan-style I just love so much. I never thought it would be possible to recreate something similar at home, since the oven and incredibly high heat is necessary to this style, but Lisa’s recipe and no knead (!) technique does an amazing job. Try it for yourself!

July: Brush up on your knife skills

Lemongrass chicken summer rolls

Lemongrass chicken summer rolls
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Summer rolls rank very high on my list of go-to recipes when it’s too hot to cook, and they’re the perfect way to practice julienning vegetables and polish up your knife skills (check out this recipe video for a shortcut way to julienne). Want to skip the chicken in your summer roll? Here’s a vegan option, plus our detailed guide explains everything you need to know to make great summer rolls at home.

August: Open all your windows and practice deep frying with our ultimate veggie “burger"

Eggplant katsu burger

Eggplant katsu burger
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Deep frying at home can be a bit intimidating, but if you pay attention to the proper technique, you're sure to pull it off! Having a thermometer certainly helps—too hot and your things can burn before they cook properly, too cold and the breading can soak the oil up like a sponge. You can find even more tips on deep-frying here.

September: Master homemade caramel and make delicious for-breakfast-or-dessert buns

Sticky pecan buns

Sticky pecan buns
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Caramel is a wonderful, sweet and sticky ingredient, and there are so many different kinds and ways to use it. This version is a particularly beginner friendly one, because it starts with a base of brown sugar, which already brings its own caramel flavor. If you're up for more of a caramel challenge, though, you'll find everything you need to know about how to master caramel at home here. Whether you take it easy or choose something more difficult, reward yourself with the buns—you deserve it!

October: Recreate a "Lady and the Tramp" moment, or just make and enjoy classic spaghetti and meatballs

Steven makes spaghetti and meatballs

Steven makes spaghetti and meatballs
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This wonderful scene from Lady and the Tramp is one of the most iconic food moments in film, and whether you want to recreate it or just master a classic recipe, here’s your chance. With Steven's technique, your spaghetti and meatballs are sure to be a hit; with candlelit kiss, or not.

November: Pick up a few vegan baking tricks with these tahini chocolate cookies

Vegan tahini chocolate chip cookies

Vegan tahini chocolate chip cookies
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The beginning of winter is a great time to try new cookie recipes, so why not opt for a vegan one? The art of vegan baking has a few tricks up its sleeve, and the best way to learn them is by doing! These cookies use a little applesauce to keep the dough moist and help it stick together.

December: Perfect a crispy duck breast and a simple, essential pan sauce

Foolproof crispy duck breast with red wine sauce

Foolproof crispy duck breast with red wine sauce
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Making pan sauces from drippings is a technique you'll use again and again, as the sauces turn out super flavorful, silky, and round out the dish. Christian prepares his foolproof crispy duck breast with red grapes and red wine, but the sky's the limit when it comes to delicious pan sauces. How about port wine and cherries, mustard and honey, caramelized onions with beef stock, or green grapes and white wine? We also have a thick pan gravy recipe for the vegetarians at the table, so that no one has to go empty-handed.

Save this list so you can try a recipe or two (or twelve!), and let me know in the comments below what your new year’s resolutions are—cooking or otherwise!

Published on January 1, 2022

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