Welcome to 2016!!
Are you a New Years Resolution-maker? I'm not. Most definitely not, at least not in the way that includes "I'm going to lose weight" or "I'm going to eat paleo" or "I'm going to learn to speak Russian." This year I am making a few resolutions and they're all foodie and all fun. Let's take a look.
1. I am going to cook with that saffron I have been holding on to. Just today, in fact, I purchased most of the ingredients to make paella. I've been playing with a version that cooks up easily and quickly and makes a great weeknight dinner that's just a little fancier than usual. Look for that in the coming days.
2. Grow two new and different herbs this summer. Blame THAT idea on the gardening catalog that arrived yesterday. Seeds. Lots. Of. Seeds. Among the many offerings in the catalog were a few herbs I have not seen before in a seed catalog- zaatar (an oregano variety) and cumin. I simply must try them. I think there was a total of eight new herbs I have never grown before in the book, so I'll have to pick a couple soon.
3. Go to the farmers market as much as I can. Since I have returned to city life you can BET I'll be visiting Des Moines' famous Downtown Farmers Market as often as I can, as well as the Valley Junction Farmers Market and the many many neighborhood markets all over the city. While I loved the small town farmers market near the lake house I was really missing out on the incredible variety of produce, meats, eggs, ethnic foods, baked goods and so much more that are available in the city markets. Look for some great Foodie Field Trips this summer.
4. Visit the African restaurant in my neighborhood. I need an adventurous foodie friend to go along to sample new flavors and expand our culinary horizons. I have no idea what to expect from the menu so it will be quite an experience.
5. Visit the Ecuadoran restaurant in my neighborhood. Like the African restaurant, I'll be looking for a friend to go along for yet another foodie adventure of a whole new flavor. I'll be doing a little "presearch" on Ecuadoran foods before we go so I know what I'm eating.
6. Bake more homemade bread. Enough said.
7. Attend more food events this year. Now that I'm right back in the heart of it all I hope to hit the Greek festival, CelebrAsian, The Italian Festival, and so much more. There are so many festivals and food fairs around Des Moines I can't even name them all.
8. Try a new ancient grain. We've done the quinoa thing, farro, amaranth, and millet. I have a couple more on the shelf to try and I'll be researching others to check out. I like to cook a little plain to get familiar with the taste and texture, and then use the grain in a recipe.
9. Try goat meat. Hey I've been hearing about goat for several years, s now I just need to find some and get my experiments going. Goat lends itself easily to Latin and Caribbean recipes so I know I'll find an absolutely fabulous recipe to check out.
10. Find those darn sea beans already!! I have been hunting forever it seems. I may just have to break down and pay the outrageous price of overnight shipping to order them online, unless, of course, one of my chef friends can get me a connection......hint hint.
11. And finally- find a Romanesco caulifower to try. Should be easy enough with all these huge supermarkets and farmers markets. I want to compare the taste and texture to regular cauli and maybe make some cool cauli pickles.
So that's it. Those are my Foodie Resolutions for 2016. Hopefully I can get through the list before year's end- stick around for the fun- and delicious- updates.