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Thursday, January 13, 2011

2011 New Year's Cooking Resolutions

Let me start by introducing myself. I'm a 43 year old single mother of 3 boys. I'm engaged to a British gentleman. I'm retired US Air Force. We currently live in Nebraska. I love to cook and read cookbooks. My favorites are by America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Country/Cook's Illustrated (all the same folks). I seem to collect cookbooks. My mother first taught me to cook and I took cooking courses in 4-H as a child. After that, I'm self-taught. I'm a picky eater. lol However, I'm determined to make sure that my children don't grow up that way. So I want to cook my family good healthy meals, even if it's sometimes something I don't personally care for. We live on a very tight budget, as most folks are these days, so trying to stretch food dollars where I can. I have two full size chest freezers. (I got one off the radio a few years back for just $10, the other one was given to me by a friend who retired and relocated and they gave us not only the freezer, but it half full as well.) I do very well at providing food for our family without too much expense, perhaps spending around $100/week to feed a growing family. I will share with you here ways I have saved $$$ at the grocery store (I don't use coupons unless the store provides them). Perhaps by sharing it, others can learn how to save $ on food too. I also will share with you my trials throughout the year as I try new recipes.

I'd like to share with you now my cooking resolutions for the new year. Some are repeats from last year and I've added some new ones. Here they are:

- Try new recipes. Aiming for 4 a month, which works out to one a week.
- Eat more from freezers and pantry.
- Restock on sale!
- Cook more from scratch. It's cheaper, healthier and tastes better.
- Waste less food, both before it's cooked and after. Eat what we have.
- Bake/cook homemade snacks for the boys after school snack. Not all sweet either.
- Bake a dessert once a week. Why eat cake only on birthdays?

Another thing I am trying to do this year is to involve the boys more in the kitchen. I want to teach my oldest Levi how to cook more than just mac & cheese from a box or frying up a hamburger. They won't get better or faster at peeling potatoes without practice. They are getting old enough to occassionally help mom in the kitchen, with more than just washing the dishes.

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