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My 2014 Foodie Resolutions

Toasted Coconut Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

I’ve never been one to make grandiose New Year’s resolutions, proclaiming that I was going to overhaul every area of my life, lickity split. However, I have found that setting yearly goals for myself gives me a sense of direction and helps me to accomplish all the random “I want to’s” floating around my head. For the last few years, I have sat down between Christmas and New Year’s and thought about what was important to me in the coming year, and created a list based on what I’d like to accomplish. I create four separate lists: personal goals, business goals, financial goals and, of course, food-related goals.

No, my only food-related goal is not to eat more chocolate, but one of my goals relates to continuing a clean-eating lifestyle and indulging on things that are actually worth it, which of course includes good-quality chocolate! Below is my list of food-related goals for 2014; I’d love to hear about yours!

2014 Food-Related Goals:

1. Master sourdough bread. I have tried multiple starters at this point, and all have failed for one reason or another. I am determined to finally conquer a starter and bake up a beautiful loaf of crusty, tangy sourdough bread.

2. Make meal planning a weekly habit. It’s been a few years now since I’ve actually hunkered down and done meal planning. Sometimes when you spend all day in the kitchen, the last thing you want to do is cook dinner, ironically enough. PB&J has long been a staple in my diet. Since I’ve been trying to eat healthier, I’ve been cooking more actual meals; however, due to my lack of planning and just grabbing random things at the grocery store, I’ve also been wasting food. I want to get into the habit of sitting down on Saturday and Sunday to decide what I’m going to eat, and grocery stop based on that list.

3. Continue down the clean eating path. I had enormous success with this between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and am looking forward to getting back on the wagon this week. For me, this means lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, lean protein, an abundance of water, no soda pop, and a very, very minimal amount of sugar and refined flour. When I do indulge, it should be on things that are worth it – good chocolate, a fabulous cheesecake, a special restaurant trip… not just randomly shoving supermarket candy in my mouth because I’m bored.

4. Stock the pantry with homemade versions of  “staples”. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty tired of looking at the back of condiment jars and seeing an ingredient list a mile long. That list almost always includes high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, as well as some things that I can’t even pronounce. I’m trying to go as close to 100% natural as I can this year and replace all of those items with homemade versions. I’m talking things like mustard, ketchup, salad dressings, worcestershire sauce, tartar sauce, even hot sauce. I’ve already nailed down things like stock, pickles and yogurt, now it’s time to make it a consistent habit and go the rest of the way.

5. Buy local! I have admittedly not embraced this as much as I should, and I hope to change that moving forward. I live in an area that has an abundance of local farms, so buying local farm-fresh produce during the warmer months should be an automatic. There is also a local cattle farm that is 100% certified organic and completely grass-fed; you can actually purchase 1/8 of a steer, and when it is processed, the farm vacuum seals all of the different cuts of meat and labels it so it can go straight into the freezer. There is also a small, family-owned grocery store only a couple of miles from my house that stocks a lot of local products, such as jellies and honey. Local it is!

What are some food-related things on your to-do list for this year?
Please share them below!

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55 Responses to “My 2014 Foodie Resolutions”

  1. Labanca on January 6, 2014 at 1:10 am

    All the best for your New year resolution… And am waiting for a delicious recipe from your side…

    Reply

  2. Helen on January 6, 2014 at 3:49 am

    I love your resolutions and can’t wait to see the results of your sourdough starter. I have also decided to try and eat as few additives and refined products as possible, I have just swapped sugar for agave nectar. And have vowed that where possible ton only eat bread baked my self. Love love live the site, and a happy new year from England :-)

    Reply

  3. Debbie Greene on January 6, 2014 at 3:54 am

    I too want to weekend shop at the local Farmers Market.Actually till late April,there is a Wednesday one too,and another year-round location not too far from me that’s supposed to have good fresh fish,etc….

    By the way,James Lahey makes a no-knead sourdough type bread that’s delicious.
    Comes out in the shape of a boule,really good,and you don’t need a fancy shmazzy specific starter.The recipe is available online.I haven’t made one in a few years,but might next week for out of town friends.

    Happy New Year ; we love your blog and recipes,and dogs.

    Reply

  4. Pieliekamais on January 6, 2014 at 5:19 am

    Awesome, thank you for this post!
    Mine is to start using my cast iron pan, and to learn how to make meatballs without onion for my pup.

    Reply

  5. Pam L on January 6, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Wondering where you locally found the beef. I’m about an hour north of Pittsburgh and we usually get a 1/4 but it doesn’t come vacuum sealed, just freezer wrapped.

    Reply

  6. Penny Wolf on January 6, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Buy local is by far my favorite. I started that several years ago. Once you begin those weekly farmers market trips you will be amazed at just how much is
    available to you. At ours there was even a local family making dog treats and biscuits! Food will have never tasted so good and beautiful to see. As a result some veggies might taste better to you as well. I had a blast this past summer putting together local made food items in baskets for 2013 Christmas gifts!

    Reply

  7. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on January 6, 2014 at 7:20 am

    LOVE your goals! They are perfect!!! I am trying to follow the same kinds, plus get in more exercise! Looking forward to seeing what BEB will be bringing us in 2014.

    Reply

  8. Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} on January 6, 2014 at 8:24 am

    I love this list! I have similar food goals for 2014, including #1! Keep us updated on your progress if you master that one.

    Reply

  9. Kara Ballet on January 6, 2014 at 9:01 am

    Happy New Year! My 2014 Foodie Resolution is a diet with non-inflammatory foods. A recent research article posted a list of the most inflammatory foods and some of them were: sugar, processed flour, red meats, MSG/preservatives, raw dairy. I would like a diet filled with Greek yogurt, leafy green salads with vegetables, sweet potato fries, pasteurized cheeses with organic crackers, organic breads, and a modest amount of organic meats.

    Reply

  10. Julie on January 6, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Love the list! I am also looking forward switching out our pantry with more homemade staples. I’m also hoping that this will push me to try a lot more foods then I usually would. :)

    Reply

  11. David at From Ballparks to BBQ on January 6, 2014 at 10:08 am

    More grilling and smoking!

    Reply

  12. Molly @doughvelopment on January 6, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I agree with each and every one of these! In fact I want to work on all of them as well!

    Reply

  13. Angel S on January 6, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Thanks for inspiring me too!

    I’ve tried many sourdough starters (including Nancy Silverton’s which is supposed to be better than anything else)– and My favorite sour-dough starter is called Herman. Much easier and you don’t make a swimming-pool size of starter:

    http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Herman-Sourdough-Starter/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=herman%20starter&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page

    Reply

  14. Amy on January 6, 2014 at 10:52 am

    You will love getting your beef that way. Be warned, though, you will never, ever be able to eat beef bought from the grocery store again without gagging.
    Happy 2014!

    Reply

  15. Betsy on January 6, 2014 at 11:09 am

    I ahve embraced the local food scene for several years now–getting up at 6:45 AM on Saturday to be there to nab all the wonderful produce my area has to offer. We have even switched over the local buffalo–no more beef for me! AND I will be very interested in the sourdough bread. I used to bake many, many different sourdough products back in the 1990;s It was the potato flake starter—I had pitchers of it! Happy New Year!

    Reply

  16. Julie @ Texan New Yorker on January 6, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Great post, thanks for sharing! I made the goal to get off processed food a few years ago and it’s been terrific. I don’t remember the last time I bought salad dressing from a jar, and it is much easier than you think to make your own pantry staples once you get in the habit of it. Do you own “The Homemade Pantry” by Alana Chernila? If not I HIGHLY recommend it. Great resource.

    My food goals for 2014 are to eat more like a European and less like an American. Real food, more vegetables, splurge only when it’s worth it, savor a few bites of dessert instead of eating a lot of it. Enjoy eating more, eat slower, stuff like that. Less beer, more red wine.

    Reply

  17. Rachael on January 6, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Great list! We started eating more real foods last year, and in searching for healthier recipes I found a great blog called 100 Days of Real Food. She’s even coming out with a cookbook in Aug.
    You’re going to love eating all the healthier foods, but be warned, after awhile you won’t be able to stomach fast food or junk food. :) Even my kids have realized that they don’t feel good after eating certain foods.
    And meal planning is a life saver, especially for me! It saves money, and you’re not trying to figure out what to make for dinner at 5pm. Good luck!

    Reply

  18. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on January 6, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I’d like to eat more natural foods, too. I’m the worst with buying store-bought dressings when it is so easy to make them at home – and they usually taste better, too! I also need to menu plan more. So…basically your list minus the bread part!

    Reply

  19. Amy on January 6, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    I loved reading your list! I am not one to overhaul all areas of life either come the New Year, however, my daughter and I adapted a 14 in 2014 “resolution”. A list of 14 things we want to accomplish this year. Not huge things either. Some examples off my list are reading at least 3 books this year, learn to make a great hamburger at home (I consider myself an ok cook, but hamburgers I just cant seem to conquer!), get a massage at a spa (I’ve never gotten one!). A couple of my daughters is to eat more veggies and run a 10k,(GO COURTNEY!!!) That’s on my list too because she wrote it on there! ;) Good luck with all your resolutions! I cant wait to see the sourdough bread come together!!!!!

    Reply

    • Niki Baker on January 8th, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      Amy, for the hamburger try going with ground chuck and adding Montreal steak seasoning and worcestershire sauce (sorry no measurements) and see how you like that. That is how we make ours and last summer one of our son’s friends declared it the “best burger ever”.

      Reply

  20. Tricia @ Saving room for dessert on January 6, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I love this list and could just put it on our fridge! We live by the same goals but it’s terrific to have it in writing. Thanks!

    Reply

  21. Kate (@KatefromScratch) on January 6, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Looks like a great list of goals! Good luck on your journey in 2014 and happy new year to you and yours.

    Reply

  22. Michelle on January 6, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    I like your list of resolutions. I am trying to eat less gluten. We already don’t eat very many processed foods choosing more local and homemade items instead. I have perfected a homemade hot chocolate mix which my kids love. I’m inspired to sit down and construct my own list!

    Reply

  23. natalie @ wee eats on January 6, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    great resolutions! I’m also trying to eat more ‘clean’ and create meal plans – it’s so hard though when the other half of the family maybe “isn’t in the mood” for whatever marvelous meal I’ve planned for them. :(

    Reply

  24. Rosemary Wolbert on January 6, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Your goals sound great — I think I have it easy to eat “local” because we have a garden, we hunt deer, our neighbor gives us eggs and chickens, and sells us beef! But still, if I want farro or good feta or other such “specialty” food items, I have to make a day trip to Pittsburgh and hit Trader Joe’s. Ironic, isn’t it?

    Reply

  25. Melissa @ Treats With a Twist on January 6, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    I love your list. I hated shoveling “ok” candy and chocolate in my mouth and regretting it later, so a couple years ago I resolved to only eat things that are “worth it.” I didn’t want to sound all Ina Garten, but it really does make all the difference to eat premium, well made chocolate instead of that plastic-wrapped crap.
    I used to make only my own yogurt for the longest time when I had access to incubators (when I worked in a bakery). I miss making it because it was a cathartic activity for me.
    I want to do the condiment thing too. I have so many recipes for condiments but I’ve just never made them. Its time to clean out the crap.

    Reply

  26. Michelle morrison on January 6, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Several years ago a friend gave me for Christmas a copy of the bread making book “Tartine” from the famous bakery in the Mission district of San Franciscio, along with some of his starter. In no time I was able to make beautiful sourdough boules that rival anything you could buy in the city by the bay. My advice is to make it easy on yourself and buy the book and start with a starter with a history and is proven to work.

    Reply

  27. Cate @ Chez CateyLou on January 6, 2014 at 2:41 pm

    I love your foodie resolutions! These are some great ones – #1 is something that I have been wanting to try for a long time now, but I’m not sure I have the patience! One of my foodie resolutions is to make French macarons. Hopefully you will see them on my blog sometime soon :)

    Reply

  28. Jill T. on January 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    Great list to start the new year! My goal is to get my husband to give up his artificial sweeteners…both in coffee & his diet pop. I’m also buying more organic produce, healthy grains, non-gmo foods. Reading labels is a huge key, and once you get started it just makes more sense to eat “cleaner”. I’ve also been making healthy dog biscuits for my sweet dog, & she loves them! :)

    Reply

  29. Mary B. on January 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I finally started making sourdough bread a couple of years ago, and absolutely love it. I used the starter from King Arthur, and it is wonderful. I had held off for a long time because sourdough seemed so fussy with the required daily feedings. Actually, it is very forgiving and can sit neglected for weeks, and come back strong with just one feeding! Also, sourdough bread is so low on the glycemic index that it is safe for diabetics. And sourdough waffles are just amazing! Take the plunge, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

    Reply

  30. Angela Weisenburger on January 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    You can complete a couple of your resolutions with one simple word – eMeals

    I swear! Dozens of meal plans to choose from, basic ingredients, includes an app and shopping lists, including staples. There may even be a Groupon available that makes it less than 50 cents a week to make a HUGE difference in how you plan, shop and eat. I modify my plan by buying produce from BountifulBaskets.org, my local Farmer’s Market and some bulk items from Costco, etc. We also supplement with our own deer/elk meat. I have been doing it for the past 3 years and will never go back to regular shopping, meal-planning again. You can even switch it up each month and try a new plan for a season or whatever. Right now we’re doing the Slow Cooker plan and it is a life saver, but we’ve done Low Fat, Portion Control, Mediterranean and they’re all great. Easy enough for my 13 yr old or hubby to get a meal started. Check it out – eMeals.com Tell ‘em I referred you and I’ll get a credit. ;-)

    Reply

  31. Jessica R on January 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    My family makes all of our food from scratch, and so we are really finicky about eating “boxed” food. One thing my mom and I wanted to do is make homemade bbq sauce, but most of the recipes we have been finding requires ketchup. We had a bumber crop of tomatoes ,more than ten bushels,this year from our garden and we needed to use them before they spoiled. So our planwas to make homemade ketchup, but in order to make that we had to use tomato paste. So, we decided to make tomato paste, and to make that you have to have tomato juice and cook it down in an oven. Crazy way of making all natural bbq sauce but it is worth it. The best way to knowing what is in your food is to either buy it local or grow it yourself, which is what my family does on our four-acre farm. We have two gardens 1/5 or so of our property. we also have chickens and turkeys for our eggs and meat. A resolution of mine is to make one or two recipes each week, and during our local Farmers Market, of which my sisters and I have a stand called the Cloverdale Farm Bakery, to be more outgoing and listen to the customers’ suggestions.And make more gluten-free, nut-free, and sugar-free foods as a small line of our products for those with allergies and what-not.

    Reply

  32. Kira - HealthAble Old Soul on January 6, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Can’t wait to observe the 2014 experiences! Congratulations on starting a new year!

    Reply

  33. DeRae on January 6, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    Last year I mastered sourdough beard. My daughter is really big into it and told me about the health benefits, but I had a hard time knowing how to do it until I found this book at Costco – The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast. She has a web site that also helped – http://thebreadgeek.blogspot.com/. Good luck, it is worth it!

    Reply

  34. Kay B on January 6, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Love your resolutions, most are on my list as well.

    Reply

  35. Patti Z on January 6, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    I too want to eat “clean” this year. Such great ideas not only from you but also your readers!

    Reply

  36. Michelle on January 7, 2014 at 5:28 am

    Will you plan write something about clean-eating lifestyle? I’m really interested in. Thank you.

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 7th, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Hi Michelle, I can certainly put together a post on it, other people have asked, too!

      Reply

  37. Nem on January 7, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Sounds great! Good luck!

    Reply

  38. Lindsay on January 7, 2014 at 8:22 am

    Ok, what is that chocolate fork thing and WHERE can I get it?!? Chopping chocolate is one of my least favorite things… ever.

    Reply

  39. LUCHETTI on January 7, 2014 at 8:42 am

    I TOO EAT TOO MUCH CHOCOLATE WOULD LIKE TO LIMIT TO 1 DOVE PROMISE A DAY OF DARK CHOCOLATTE ONLY, BUT I HAVE A COOKIE MONSTER HUSBAND AND LOVE TO BAKE …LOVE TO BUY FROM THE FARM FRESH VEGGIES ONE OF THINGS I LOVE BEST ABOUT OUR RURAL PLACE IN NORTH CENTRAL FLA STOPPING AT THE CROFT FARM TO PICK UP FRESH PRODUCE AND PETTING THE BABY GOATS AND THE VEGGIES TASTSE SO MUCH BETTER AND PRICES ARE BETTER PLUSE YOUR HELPPING A DYING BREED THE SOUR DOUGH BREAD WILL BE A CHALLENGE I HAVE ALWAYS WONDERED ABOUT THE STARTER DOUGH THEY MAKE IN LANCASTER PA ITS SUPPOSED TO MAKE SUCH GOOD BREAD

    Reply

  40. Lily @ Life, Love, and Cupcakes on January 7, 2014 at 8:43 am

    We’ve started making our weekly menu on Sunday before going grocery shopping and it has made things so much easier! Plus doing so will honestly help achieve everything you have after that on the list! It’s so much easier to eat healthier when you’re meal is planned already and you’re not just deciding on something to eat spur of the moment!

    Reply

  41. Laura@baking in pyjamas on January 7, 2014 at 9:01 am

    My foodie goals this year is mastering pies and tarts and I’m also starting a new skinny series where I’ll be making healthier recipes and telling you what makes the good for you. I’d love to master sour-dough, I’ve never tried it but I’d love to give it a go. Good luck on your new starter :)

    Reply

  42. Rosebud on January 7, 2014 at 9:52 am

    May I suggest a book for you to learn all about sourdough, starters and breads? It is called A Passion for Bread: Lessons from a Master Baker by Lionel Vatinet. It just came out in November and my daughter gave it to me as a Christmas present. She and I recently took a bread baking course with him in North Carolina and he is fantastic. You can buy his breads at any Whole Foods in the area. I kinda grew up in Germany in the 40′s and 50′s as the daughter of an enlisted man in the Army and know a bit about the great breads of Europe. His LaFarm Loaf is an exact replica of the Schwartzbrot we used to eat when we lived there. Reading about his background was very enlightening and I’m so thrilled that we have someone like him to teach us about wonderful breads and share his recipes with us. I think you’ll appreciate owning the book, especially if you want to master sourdough and starters.

    Reply

  43. Ala on January 7, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    That’s wonderful! Clean eating is key, but I wouldn’t brush aside a resolution to eat as much chocolate as I would love to eat, either–it’s high time to live this chocolate life, I say :)

    Reply

  44. bakinchick on January 7, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Great resolutions! I agree with many previous posters … you will probably never want to eat grocery store beef again. We met our beef farmer at a homeschool conference after mistaking him for Joel Salatin. :) I have two food resolutions for 2014 — get my kids (almost 14 and 11) cooking on a regular basis and figure out a tasty, consistent gluten-free bread for my husband. He really misses his bread.

    Reply

  45. Ashley Seville on January 7, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    I am so excited for your clean eating goal! I am on that journey as well! Can’t wait for your recipes!

    Reply

  46. angelika cunko on January 8, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    happy newyear.I have almost the same goals going back to cooking from scratch again would love to try out bread i am german and that is the one thing i realy miss the bread thanks for a great website

    Reply

  47. Andrea on January 9, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I’m with you on meal planning, but for me it’s more like snack planning. I feel guilty every week at how much food I have to throw away. I definitely need to purchase less so my kids will eat what is left and not open something new every time they get the munchies.

    Reply

  48. Deanna Wilkinson on January 9, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing with us how you care for your starter. I purchased a 10 year old starter yesterday from a local bakery that sells fantastic bread, but their instructions for care are unnecessarily complicated! They also didn’t mention ever pouring any off. I’m sure you don’t have to if you’re a bakery, but I don’t bake bread every day. I fed it this morning per your instructions, and it’s already bubbling. Used the excess in pancakes, and they were wonderful. Great post!

    Reply

  49. Joie on January 10, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Sourdough is actually way easier than most people and recipes make it seem. You only need to feed it very small amounts if you are only making for yourself occasionally. Stir, let it sit, put in fridge if you go out of town or freezer if you are going away for awhile. Thaw once you need it again and again feed it a bit. Sometimes I only feed it a teaspoon of flour, sugar, water or milk (depending on the ratio and type of sourdough bread- regular or sweet bread). So easy that I gave starters and instructions to missionaries so they can have fresh bread wherever they are. Way easy, though it did take me years to perfect the whole thing, prove that freezing and refrigerating are fine, how long you can ignore it and how little or much you can feed it. Now it is in my family’s secret recipe book that you have to marry into the family to acquire.
    I have also found that when making my own hot fudge that corn syrup is way better than any sugar. It never has the grainy texture that homemade ones have because it is corn syrup. It is possible to make it with sugar and not be grainy but it is an acquired skill for most while it is fool proof with corn syrup.

    Reply

  50. Jenny W. on January 14, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Hi, thanks for sharing your list! I share your goal of meal planning this year. I love to cook AND bake and I want to do more of those things this year, and like you, I try to eat really clean a lot of the time. So my question is, how do you do that with all of the recipes that you are making? Do you just give all the food away?

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 14th, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      Hi Jenny, Sometimes I plan recipes around family functions or parties, some things I freeze, many things get shared with both my family and my husband’s family, and if there are extras after that, my mom will pick them up and take them to work with her – her coworkers are always eager to try new goodies!

      Reply

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