New Year's Kitchen Resolutions 2013

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New year's are wonderfully clean slates. And while I've tried not to wait until now when something needs to be changed, a new year gives me a reason to really rethink my life and what changes need to be made. And so I realize some things that need to be done in my kitchen. Now's as good of a time as any to start.

Clean Out/Reorganize Kitchen Cabinets I'm slightly frustrated that I didn't think this through a couple months ago when Paul and I were cleaning out clothes closets. It would have been nice to just have to make one delivery to the thrift store with donations. Unfortunately, I guess I didn't learn of some issues until after that time. We have some pots and pans that need to be disposed of as the nonstick surface is peeling. Then I'll have to reorganize to make the items that are left easy to reach. I also have some items that need new homes. I have a cabinet that is in a corner of the kitchen so it is mostly out of my way when cooking. Nora knows it is her cabinet to play in. However, some excess items have found a home in there and must be relocated. My goal is to have fewer items appropriately located for safety for little fingers and efficiency for cooking.

Review Spice Cabinet Recently, I came across some of my homegrown and dried herbs in a few different locations in my kitchen. Not very efficient, obviously. And while herbs don't necessarily go bad, they do lose their potency. (Come to think of it, I have some tea that needs to be contained, too.) My goal is to find recipes to use the herbs as quickly as possible so they don't go to waste. Plus, I'll get the benefit of empty jars for another project.

Cook Legumes Almost-Weekly There's such a great variety of beans, lentils, and peas out there. I'd like to make a batch (of varying sizes) at least three times a month. They will keep nicely stocked in my freezer giving me plenty of basics to build meals around. Also, since they require very little of my time, I can spend more time focusing on the Baby and Toddler Rabbits. Not to mention, they are so cheap! My goal is to make healthy beans more central to our menus, while giving me quick meal ideas that leave me extra time with my kids.

Flavor of the Month This is my little splurge, I think. Because some of the flavors may be expensive to acquire. I'm talking flavored oils like dark sesame that I've never stocked in my kitchen before, a new vinegar to try, or a flavoring like nutmeg that is quite new to me. I hope this will break up my cooking routine a bit. (Something that has gotten into a rut after Baby #2.) I'll be getting my shopping list together soon. My goal is to try new flavors that expand our horizons.

Do you have New Year's Resolutions for your kitchen habits? Please share in the comments below.