Everyone makes resolutions in January, but most are forgotten or abandoned by the middle of the month so if you really want to become a better cook in 2016, forget January! Here’s eleven easy month-by-month cookery resolutions that you can start in February:
Review and Upgrade Your Kitchen Equipment
Every aspiring or professional chef needs the right kitchen equipment to create simple recipes or culinary masterpieces. With seasonal sales on offer, this is the perfect time to do a stock-take of your cooking equipment and get it ready for tackling new dishes.
Clean out your cupboards, sharpen your knives, invest in accurate scales, update your cooking pans and dishes or simply buy an apron that makes you feel like you belong in the kitchen.
To cook consistently good meals, you need to be organised. You can avoid the frustration or hassle of having to skip a recipe or go shopping for missing ingredients by planning meals for the week ahead and shopping for them in advance.
Whether you use a pen and paper or an App for your phone, this is a really easy way to save time and money.
Stock-up on Seasonings
Seasoning is about much more than salt and pepper; it’s about adding flavour to food with the right mix of herbs and spices.
This month, plant your own herbs and build a collection of the dried spices, stocks and oils you use most often. When something starts to run low, write a note on your menu planner so you can replace it on your next shop.
Tailor Your Recipes
Recipes are not like instructions for flat-pack furniture, you can leave ingredients out, adjust measurements and change the cooking methods so get creative! Alter simple recipes, put your own spin on them and make notes in your cookbooks to create your own unique dishes.
Try Something New
No matter how much you’ve been cooking over the last few months, there’s all sorts of ingredients and dishes you’ve never tried so step out of your cookery comfort zone and experiment with something completely new.
Whether that means finding out about a strange looking vegetable, learning how to fillet a fish or foraging for wild ingredients, be brave and have fun with it!
Learn Something New
In order to truly become a better cook, you’ll need to refine your kitchen skills. There’s plenty of advice and tutorials online but why not enrol in a class?
A reputable cookery school like L’atelier des Chefs in London offers everything from Fundamentals cookery classes that teach you how to master the basics, to courses on international cuisines, baking and bread, French classics and knife skills.
Cook Somewhere Else
Now that you’re at ease in the kitchen and feel confident rustling up all kinds of dishes, take on a new challenge and head outside to cook on a BBQ, outdoor stove or open campfire.
Get to Know Your Freezer
A well-stocked freezer is a blessing for any kitchen. It makes it possible to store ingredients and pre-prepared meals which saves you time and money, but there are limits to what you can freeze and for how long so explore the contents and use-up what you need to this month.
Teach Someone Else
Many of us have recipes and tips inherited from parents and grandparents and now, it’s your turn to pass your knowledge on to others. Whether it’s a friend, a neighbour or a child in the family, invite them round and teach them a little of what you know.
Get to Know Your Drinks
For every dish there is a perfect drink to accompany it and with the festive season approaching, this is the ideal time to get to know your wines and beers, if you drink, as well as how to make delicious, non-alcoholic alternatives for you and your guests.
Cook a Spectacular Christmas Feast
Christmas lunch can be the biggest, most important and most stressful meal of the year to cook but not for you, after working all year to improve your knowledge and cookery skills, this is the perfect time to show-off!
Cook a fantastic feast and toast your amazing year of sticking to resolutions to become a better chef.