OK! Resolutions. They can be fun, rather than pain points. And we don’t need to call them “resolutions.” We prefer Liz Marie Galvan’s phrase “bucket list,” from her new book Cozy White Cottage Seasons. Resolutions too-often seem to entail avoiding things or taking things away. Instead, we’re obsessing about the cozy things we want to accomplish in early 2022. Here they are.
1. Bake Crusty, Yeasty Bread
It’s funny how much even the most talented savory cooks blanch at the idea of baking homemade bread. But perhaps 2022 is time to toss that old chestnut, “I’m a cook, not a baker” out the window. Because honestly, making bread is so easy. We bet you’ve made pizza dough in a food processor. This is even simpler. (If you want to ante up, you could also make sourdough from scratch! Our kit makes it extra-easy.) Here’s the easiest bread you’ll ever bake, plus a rosemary-lemon number you can cook in a Dutch oven.
2. Make Pasta from Scratch
You’ve talked about it for ages. Take the plunge: Make your own pasta. You can make it from scratch with little more than a fork and a rolling pin. Of course, there are plenty of pasta-making tools to help make the process go smoothly. And, if fresh ravioli are front of mind, try this easy kit for a project the whole family can enjoy.
3. Ultimate Kitchen Org
Shira Gill, Minimalista, is our organizing guru, and we’re thrilled to partner with her for our Hold Everything product line. She’s got a whole slew of tips for organizing your home, but we’d start with the kitchen. Tip #1: Edit before you organize! “Organized clutter is still clutter,” says Shira.
4. Follow a Cookbook Recipe (Just Once a Week!)
Many of our readers are excellent home cooks, accustomed to winging it or looking at just one part of a recipe (to ensure their béchamel proportions are correct, for example). Those same cooks tend to be cookbook collectors. If so, maybe tonight is the night to grab one and just follow a recipe, soup to nuts? The challenge might be fun.
5. Plan Regular Date Nights
Put your phones away, put the kids to bed, close those laptops. Plan ahead for series of evenings designed just for the two of you. An intimate supper of filet mignon and pots de créme (conjuring your favorite Paris bistro). A movie night in with good popcorn. Even a quick nap and breakfast for dinner can be just what you need to reconnect.
6. Bake French Macarons
File under “why not?” Macarons are delicious, and you can absolutely bake them yourself. A good pastry bag and silpat macaron mat will help streamline the process, mais oui!
7. Host a Sushi Making Party
Sushi-making parties, even if “party” comprises your immediate family, are just a blast. You learn people’s hidden skills, or get to amp up the ones you know about. The detail-oriented person can roll up the nori wrappers. The fish-loving person can cut the salmon. We have just the kit to get you rolling.
8. Set Up a Home Bar
You keep swearing you’re going to do it, and you don’t. The tequila is here; the bourbon is there; goodness knows where the cocktail stirrers are. Making an Old Fashioned becomes a Herculean task. No need for all that if all the good stuff is in one spot, right down to the yummy maraschino cherries. Whether you’re outfitting a whole bar or just stocking a cart, we have all the tips you need.
9. Brew Your Own Beer
Conjure a summer ballgame in the dead of winter. Make your own beer! Our kit, from the Brooklyn Brew Shop, makes it a snap. (Even people in apartments can pull it off!) Then, of course, use your homemade beer in homemade beer cheese to go along with your homemade pretzels. (There’s a kit for that, too.)
1o. Pickle Your Own Vegetables
Can you pickle it? The answer is “yes” when you have our DIY kit or our awesome-looking Weck jars. And a reminder: Pickling doesn’t take long at all! Quick pickles can come together in 10 minutes. Pickled jalapeños and carrots require just 15 minutes of prep time. Good work out there.
What’s on my bucket list for 2022 is baking my own bread and pickled vegetables. That sounds like something I could do. I can’t wait to do the pickled vegetables because I have never tried it. I’m interested in finding out what other vegetables taste like with a zesty flavor.