Writing prompt – Cooking in 2014

NaBloPoMo writing prompt from December 31, 2013:
What do you want to do more of in 2014?

I could quickly come up with a multitude of answers to this question, but the one that comes to mind today is cooking. I usually have a culinary New Year’s resolution of some sort, like in 2011 when I challenged myself to try a new recipe every week (and I more than succeeded!), but this year I haven’t settled on a particular goal. I’m definitely eating out too much these day so I’d like to start making more lunches and dinners at home. And how else am I going to be ready for the chili cook-off in October if I don’t practice? I’m mostly kidding, but that isn’t stopping me from making two batches of chili for a Super Bowl party tomorrow. I love making food for my friends and family, and just feeding myself is much less fun so I jumped at the chance to cook for the party. Can you believe that besides a batch of red velvet brownies for a co-worker’s birthday I haven’t cooked a single thing in 2014? Crazy, I know. I have been using good use of my new breakfast sandwich maker and blender to make some interesting things, but that’s a topic for another day. Let’s just say there seems to be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to making smoothies. But anyway, I can’t believe I didn’t use my kitchen to cook any meals in January. Fortunately that’s going to change in the morning when I fire up my Crockpots to cook the chili. I spent today baking two different kinds of cookies for the party, but not until after I went to the grocery store three separate times (not counting my shopping trip last night where I got the bulk of the chili ingredients). The first time was to get ground chicken at Whole Foods for the chili. It was the easiest trip to Whole Foods I’ve ever had, which should have been an indication that something was wrong. When I got home and started gathering all of the ingredients together I realized that I didn’t have any cumin in my spice cabinet so I ran over to Pavilions and picked some up. And then as I was halfway through mixing some cookie dough I discovered that my flour bin was nearly empty. One more trip to Pavilions and I finally had everything I needed. Phew! The chocolate chip shortbread and sugar cookie bars turned out very well so I hope the partygoers like them tomorrow. I also chopped all of the vegetables for the chili so I should be able to assemble everything for the chili and get it into the two Crockpots quickly in the morning. And it’s a good thing too because I’m planning to go to Disneyland before the party. Enjoy the Super Bowl, everyone!