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Foodie Resolutions for 2017 (Yes, Really…)

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Well. It's been an interesting year, to say the least—part of the reason why I effectively took the better part of this year off from posting—but I won't get into that now. Instead, it's time for foodie goals! 

I went back and forth on what to do for 2017, and whether to do them at all. Ultimately, I decided that, yes, I needed to keep with my tradition and set some. Even though we're 3/4 of the way through the year now (I had good intentions to post this about a month or two ago but, you know, life and all...), I'm determined to make them happen in the months remaining—and have strategically picked some that I think are pretty doable.

My final foodie goals verdict for 2016 was 2 for 5 completed, including making homemade kombucha and aioli. Both were sort-of successful—as in, there were no catastrophes or other things that got in the way of making them—but there was definitely room for improvement on both:

  • I got too busy and, as such, my kombucha fermented too long before I bottled it. I tried it and let's just say that it was drinkable, but not pleasant (womp, womp). I have since gotten off a kombucha kick, probably because I drank too much of it for a while there, but recently had some delicious homemade strawberry-basil kombucha from Greenmouth, which might just change my mind about it again.
  • My aioli had an off taste to it, likely from the oil that I chose; if I remember correctly, it was canola or vegetable oil for general cooking purposes, but I think it had been opened for some time. It definitely was not a fresh bottle, whatever it was. For my next attempt, I'll definitely buy fresh oil; more specifically, I'll make the small investment in safflower or grapeseed oil for a lighter, more neutral taste.

In the interest of time, I'm narrowing down my list to three manageable goals for the rest of this year. Here's what they are.

Foodie Resolutions 2016: The Outcome

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Happy new year everyone! I hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season.

Once again, now is about the time of year to do some reflecting. And for the second year in a row, I am reflecting back on partially-completed foodie goals. Womp, womp. Life got in the way.

The bright side: I posted a foodie resolutions mid-year update back in June, at which point nothing was accomplished. I'm happy to report that something, even if it wasn't all of my goals, was accomplished in the remaining 6 months of the year.

My final verdict for 2016 is 2 for 5 goals completed. Here's what they were.

January is National Soup Month

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Soup is like one of the most perfect foods. A complete one-pot meal, it warms you up when you’re cold and it makes you feel better when you’re sick.  As chance would have it, January, in addition to being my birth month and one of the coldest months of the winter…

#ThrowbackThursday: Cookbook Round-up

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As the holiday season comes to a close, I am sure many of us have at least one gift card floating around, waiting to be redeemed. Or, if you are like me, maybe the holidays are not formally "done" yet and you might even have belated holiday gifts left to buy for those that we planned on seeing after the holidays.

In either case, if you are a food-lover looking for some ideas to use up your gift cards, or in search of a nice host/hostess gift for the person throwing the New Years Eve cocktail party that you are going to attend tomorrow, here are just a few suggestions worth looking into. You should be able to find them in most chain bookstores and big-box stores as well as, of course, online.

Pantry Raid: Mushroom Barley Soup

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Soup is often my go-to lunch since it's quick and easy to grab from a store or a work cafeteria. I always have a stockpile of some kind of soup or chili in the freezer for when I don't feel like cooking when I get home in the evening, too, which I thaw overnight in the refrigerator or, if I don't remember, quickly thaw in the microwave.

I make and eat soup year-round, even during the summer, but nothing beats the magical feeling of eating hot soup on a cold day. It just warms up your body and makes you feel instantly better—at least, for me it does.

This recipe for mushroom barley soup is one of my favorites to make in the crock pot and let cook overnight for dinner the next day. It is healthy and doesn't require a lot of ingredients, making it a perfect recipe for using up pantry and fridge staples.

On Pinterest: Turkey Day

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The quintessential holiday for eating in the U.S. is upon us, folks. Thanksgiving. As usual, I've only been thinking and dreaming about what I'm going to make for the past few weeks...

*cue melodic, daydream sequence music*

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

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Crisp fall nights call for baking. Lots of baking. Cookies and cakes are obvious go-tos anytime I choose to bake something sweet. When it comes to savory dishes, though, the first thing that always comes to mind is pasta.

There's just something so nice and comforting about taking a big tray of baked, bubbling, cheesy pasta out of the oven. It's instant happiness and a whole meal without putting in a lot of effort. Sometimes, if I'm in the mood, I'll serve a big tray of pasta with a side dish, like a green vegetable or a salad. It can help to feel a little bit better about eating all of that cheesy goodness, even if I know, deep down, that it doesn't make a damn difference.

When it comes to naming a so-called king of baked pastas, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in my house who disagrees with the fact that it's macaroni and cheese (baked ziti, a distant second place.) It's one of the most versatile baked pasta dishes that I can make and everyone loves it. I'm always trying new recipes, too -- adding spinach or other vegetables, bacon, or simply just loading up on different kinds of cheese because more cheese, more better. The best part is that even when a recipe doesn't come out quite as I planned, even bad mac and cheese is good.

This is how, on a whim a few years ago, I ended up with this memorable, very orange -- and, dare I say, sort-of healthy -- mac.