Shaking up my cooking habits for 2018

I’m not a huge champion of New Year’s resolutions as I’ve usually conveniently forgotten their existence 3 days into January or talked myself into relapse. Basically, my willpower is akin to a big old pile of jelly but one thing I am vowing to tend to during 2018 is a serious shake up of my eating and cooking habits. My culinary repertoire needs on hell of a refresh and here’s how I’m going to do it:

Stick a pin in the map

Contrary to what pretty much everybody else around my age seems to be doing these day, hostel-hopping my way to the other side of the world and dragging a backpack back round again just ain’t my bag – literally. While I can appreciate a week or two somewhere new, my homing instincts just keep calling me back to the rolling English countryside and my growing cocoa collection. Call me a sad act but your next flight to Bangkok would be pretty booked up if we all got our kicks in the same way, no?

What I am 200% on board with however, is learning more about edible delicacies from around the globe and how various ingredients translate around the world. So my advice to you and myself for 2018 is to invite more new cultures into your kitchen. Open your oven to new ingredients and fling flavours into your frying pan that haven’t been flung thus far.

Peroni pasta masterclass Gusto Heswall

Get to know yourself a bit better

While you’re introducing new things into your life, set some time aside to look yourself dead in the eye in the mirror and was ‘what kind of cook are you?‘. Okay that might be tad dramatic but seriously, before you can venture to foodie pastures new, you need to understand and finesse the type of cook you consider yourself to be. For example, you’ll never find me tweezing edible flowers onto some obscure seafood arrangement fit for the TATE Modern but I can rustle up a mean Sunday roast albeit with my seeming signature scruffiness.

Like it, or lump it 

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you’re in the kitchen is love. No, not one of those tacky wall decals that scream live, laugh, love at you while you’re making a brew – I’m talking a bonafide love for what you’re cooking and eating. I realise this may be a little at odds to the adventurous culinary explorer I’ve just dared you to be but keeping sight of your comfort zone (even if it’s just a dot in the distance) isn’t always such a bad thing.

Rounding up my 2017 best bits taught me that striking a balance between old favourites and new foodie horizons is the perfect way to refine your tastes and break those molds without losing interest. So order your favourite meal, the one you’ve eaten at least ten times over but switch up your side orders to allow for experimentation. Play it safe when buying ingredients from the supermarket but blow the dust off your recipe books and use them in a different way. Whatever it is you choose, make sure you’re having a whole load of fun doing it and you’ll be golden!

Shake up your surroundings 

The last thing I would suggest is to step back and take a look at your surroundings. Is your kitchen the kind of environment that is going to inspire you to be the cook you really aspire to be, or is it more likely to sending you running and screaming to the Pot Noodle aisle? One look at the Instagram page is enough to get my creative juices flowing and this year, my kitchen is hopefully going to get some much-needed TLC.

Collaborative post

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