Generally, in relation to food, people make New Yearâ€™s resolutions to eat less.
But we, the foodies that we are, have a few food-related resolutions that will enhance your overall culinary experiences this decade.
And donâ€™t give us a hard time about forming resolutions near the end of January, weâ€™re procrastinators just like the rest of you.
Resolve to cook more
Working late hours at the newspaper, we know full well how difficult it is to find time or the motivation to make dinner after work. But there are ways to make time in your hectic schedule to cook for yourself.
Invest in a Crock Pot or slow cooker. Before work, or even the night before, you can throw a pork loin or chicken in the slow cooker with vegetables and broth and let it cook for several hours while youâ€™re at work.
When you get home, youâ€™ll have a hearty, home-cooked meal waiting. Search â€œCrock Potâ€ on the Food Network Web site for some simple and fast recipe ideas.
And as a subset of this idea, resolve to cook more with others. In our opinion, nothing comes close to working directly with others to produce something beautiful and delicious that you can all share.
Instead of going out for breakfast on the weekends, visit your significant otherâ€™s or friendâ€™s house and bring ingredients to make a pancake feast.
For a fun date, cook for your significant other. It is a bit of a risk but can be a great experience for both of you (maybe try cooking the meal for yourself before cooking for others).
Plan a potluck dinner with your co-workers or friends, and delight in each otherâ€™s creations.
Resolve to eat foods you wouldnâ€™t normally
Weâ€™re both big believers in adventurous gastronomy â€“â€“ trying things you never have or pushing your appetence to the limit.
For instance, Madeline tried frogâ€™s legs for the first time in a family outing Saturday to Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen.
Though an anti-climactic experience, Mike tried chicken feet on a dim sum outing with some Chinese friends. By the way, listen to people when they say something exotic simply tastes like chicken because itâ€™s almost always true.
Go to a grocery store and scan the aisles for something unfamiliar. Buy it, research it and incorporate it into your gastronomic life.
Resolve to talk to the restaurant crew when you go out
While food has obviously been central to our experience as columnists, the connections we have made with local chefs, waitresses, waiters and owners have kept us coming back for more.
But you donâ€™t have to be a journalist or a celebrity to talk to the people behind the flames in the kitchen.
If you love what youâ€™re eating, ask your waiter or waitress if you could talk to the chef personally; learn about who they are and what inspired their dishes.
If theyâ€™re busy, pass your compliments along regardless.
Share your food or time with the homeless
Most reading this column can relate with the college community in some capacity. But regardless of stature, the same holds true: no one in this current economic state has money to give.
Though you might not have money or food to give, time is something you do, however limited it may be.
Spend a Saturday afternoon working at a local shelter. Check out this link to see a complete list of Coloradoâ€™s shelters: http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/colorado.html.
Buy yourself a good starter cookbook
Betty Crocker is one of the most recognizable brand names in the food industry today. Essentially, Crocker represents tradition and stability.
We would recommend the Betty Crocker Cookbook to start any foodieâ€™s collection.
Another good choice is the â€œAll-new Complete Cooking Light Cookbook.â€ This beautiful, 564-page hardback contains recipes from bittersweet chocolate souffles to hoisin and bourbon-glazed pork tenderloin.
And with the phenomenal photography, this cookbook will have you on the couch for hours salivating and dreaming of food, rather than out eating it.
Staff photographer Michael Kalush and News Managing Editor Madeline Novey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.