New Year,
New Way Of Cooking

Have you thought of your resolutions yet for 2014? We've got some great ideas if you're a foodie (or, if one of your resolutions is to be one).

Woman cooking dinner for friends

There's no better way to ring in the new year than with a list of attainable goals you wish to achieve. Whether the goals will make you a better mom, a better employee, a better wife or simply a healthier you, it's always good to work on improving yourself and the relationships around you. If you happen to love food, enjoy cooking or simply want to learn more in the kitchen, now's the time to start. Check out our ideas for New Year's resolutions that all have to do with cooking!

1

Learn to throw a progressive dinner party

Tip: This can be done with friends who live nearby or even as a great way to get to know your neighbors (if they don't mind participating, of course).

What?! A progressive dinner party is a regular dinner party with a twist — instead of one host, you have many. Each host, or house, is responsible for one type of dish (appetizer, salad, entree, sides, dessert). The guests then go from house to house, enjoying the different variations of food. Progressive dinner parties are easier than preparing a whole feast yourself, plus they allow for a longer party since guests will have to walk or drive from house to house.

2

Start a dinner club

There's book clubs, wine clubs, bridge clubs and breakfast clubs, so why not a dinner club? Start one with your best pals as a way to ring in 2014. Pick a day that's easy for everyone to remember (first Wednesday of each month, last Friday of each month, etc.) and assign a host to each date. Make it easy by letting everyone bring a dish or a drink to each "meeting." You can also alternate between having the dinner at someone's house and going out to a new restaurant. Starting a dinner club is a guaranteed way to be more social and enjoy more food throughout the year.

3

Take a cooking class

Personally, this is something I've wanted to do for years and just haven't gotten around to it. This year, that's changing. Cooking classes teach you new methods of cooking and allow you to try new foods all while enjoying a night out with your spouse or friends. A quick Google search of cooking classes in your area will yield plenty of results, but chains that offer them include Williams-Sonoma, Sur la Table and more.

4

Cook one new dish per month

… and plan it out now, not as each month arrives. Make some of the meals unique (cooking with shells, making Indian food or making an Italian feast from scratch) and make some of the meals meaningful (your husband's favorite meal growing up, recreating your wedding meal, etc.). Similar to the dinner club, designate the same night each month for you to make your meal. By planning in advance and being consistent with the days, you're more likely to stick to your resolution.

5

Learn to master one meal

They say we should have at least one really good meal mastered by the time we're 30. The reality is most people can cook a handful of things well but nothing spectacular that simply blows people out of the water. By learning to cook one meal better than everyone else, you automatically have a go-to meal for dinner guests or as a last-minute idea. Plus, people with be uber-impressed with your skills!

More on cooking

10 Reasons to shop at your local Asian grocer
Baking 101: Choosing the right flour
The best cooking advice I've ever received

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