2021 Kitchen Resolutions: Spring Update

March 30, 2021

Birds at the feeder, buds just starting to form on trees and bushes, and a sun that has still not set even after dinner — yep, it’s spring! And that means it’s time for me to look back on the last three months and see how I am progressing on my annual kitchen resolutions. Let’s check in!

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2021 Resolution Overview

After 2020 threw a wrench into nearly every plan that anyone had, my kitchen goals for this year are a bit more conservative. That’s not to say they are easier to achieve. Instead, they allow me to be a little more flexible if needed.

If you are interested to know more about why I chose each of the goals, and how I plan to work on them throughout the year, see the original post: 2021 Kitchen Resolutions. And while you’re here, enjoy some photos of my spring tablescape!

How did we get here? Check out my 2019 Kitchen Resolutions and 2020 Kitchen Resolutions to see the full evolution.

Better & Healthier Snacks

First, let’s get into having better snacks on hand. I signed up for Hungryroot (you can too, get $40 off!). This is a meal kit service that’s a little bit different than most of the others we use. While you can get recipes and meals, the items are more like groceries. So I have been using it more to discover some new snacks.

My favorites so far are From the Ground Up cauliflower cheddar crackers, Bobo’s lemon poppyseed oat bars, and UnReal almond butter cups. Hungryroot also has their own label sweets made with beans like peanut butter cup cookie dough (so good!) and black bean brownie batter. You can bake these or eat them raw with a spoon like I do.

The other part of this goal is reorganizing my pantry to make the healthier snacks the easier ones to access. So far, I haven’t done much here. I think it’s a project for a long weekend. However, I did add one new organizational device to the pantry. This divided shelf works great for snack boxes!

Research Science & Technique

I finished reading The Flavor Matrix, but I would consider that book to be one that is more of a reusable reference than a single read-through type of book. If you are a visual learner, then you’ll love the fun flavor wheels which can give you ideas on how to pair different types of food together. I started a list of some of my own ideas, so expect to see some fun experiments here and on my Twitter.

Although I haven’t even broken into The Food Lab yet, my reading list has already expanded. I bought The Flavor Equation in a sale, and have added that one to my collection of science-focused cookbooks. I am definitely excited for this one, especially since it’s from my 2021 cookbook wish list!

When it comes to baking-specific reading, I am about two-thirds of the way through Bravetart. This book is cool because author Stella Parks explains the history of some classic American favorites, and then uses that to inform her recipes. She goes into a ton of detail.

This book also inspired me to reread The Fearless Baker by Erin McDowell, and to check back in on some of my favorite online resources to see new posts. It’s been a while since I have really read the questions on my favorite foodie subreddit, /r/AskBaking, so it was fun to check in there again.

How are you doing on your 2021 goals and resolutions? Let’s check in for spring!

Learn To Like A Food I Hate

Well, three months into the year, my relationship with my arch-nemesis of foods hasn’t improved too much. But I am still determined to make myself tolerate mushrooms across the next nine.

The good news is when I did some initial research, much of the advice included things I was already doing, like enjoying mushroom broth, or powdered mushrooms in things like hot beverages (like this chai latte mix). I feel like I was able to start half a step up from rock bottom thanks to those. I know that it’s not the umami flavor in mushrooms I despise, but the slimy texture.

We can work with texture. We did order one meal kit dinner that included cremini mushrooms. These are a pretty common type, and mild in flavor. Although the recipe said to slice them, I instead basically minced them into invisible pieces and added to a flavorful pasta sauce.

And you know what? It was delicious. I’m calling it a victory, but there’s still work to be done.

Invest In My Food Photography

I was so delighted to hear that many of you already enjoy my photography! However, that didn’t mean I was just going to write off this goal. Nope, we can always improve our skills and work with better resources.

These past few months, it was the resources I focused on more than anything. I did a lot of research into lighting kits that I may be able to use so I’m not always relying on a bright, sunny day for my photography. I like baking in the rain, so I’ll need a photo setup that allows me to shoot in those conditions.

I haven’t dived into such a big purchase quite yet, but I have been building up my smaller accessories. You may have noticed some colorful striped towels in my recipes lately, and these are a really cute set of Turkish towels that nearly perfectly match my favorite dishes.

In addition, I have decided to DIY some photo backdrops for myself. So if you are getting tired of my same old bamboo cutting board and wooden trivet in the background of every shot, you may like some of the improvements coming soon.

One thing I haven’t started doing is looking into photography courses. I have seen some incredible before-and-afters from other food bloggers that show how much their work improved. But again, I don’t want to make a big purchase like a course without doing all of my research.

Looking Ahead

Over the next three months, I am excited to continue on my journey with these four goals. Well, three of them. It would be a stretch to say that I’m excited about more mushrooms in my future.

This year already feels better than this time last year when it comes to my resolutions. But who knows what the next few seasons will bring.

Let me know how you are doing on your goals, kitchen-related or not!

Tablescape Items

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4 thoughts on “2021 Kitchen Resolutions: Spring Update

  1. Love that you’re posting a resolutions update! So many people set resolutions and then drop them by February or April. (Which is why I don’t really set them!)

  2. You are doing great! I had tried hungryroot a few years ago when they only had meals not snacks and there were some things I liked but others I didn’t care for at all. I didn’t realize they were doing snacks now too. And in my personal opinion I don’t think you need to worry about the mushrooms too much – I’m not a fan either so I’m good if you don’t include them in any of your recipes 😉

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