New Year's Food Resolutions

by Sarah Henry on December 31, 2009 · 15 comments

in food flotsam & jetsam

We all know the scoop on New Year’s resolutions: They rarely stick. Especially those ones about eating better or less.

So this year, instead of making a vow I’m unlikely to keep beyond February, I’m going for a modest goal. I’d like to host more dinner parties.

Okay, let’s get real here. I’d settle for serving up a meal for six to eight adults at least once in 2010. The kind where courses are served and grown-up banter can be had. Sounds like fun and seems doable, right?

Somehow these days I find all sorts of reasons why I don’t dish up dinner to a group of friends — too busy, tired, immersed in familyland or intimidated by others culinary skills or dietary restrictions. Just excuses, really.

So let’s see if I can follow through on this intention. If you have any advice about a plan for operation dinner party, bring it on.

And if you have your own food-focused New Year’s resolution — I mean goal — let me know below and perhaps readers will chime in with tips that might help you meet your target in 2010.  Happy New Year!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna, The Lemon Lady January 1, 2010 at 8:56 am

Dinner party guests can bring a basket full of locally gleaned fruits/vegetables. It’s a fun and easy challenge.

I can only fit about a thousand pounds of lemons in my truck. If you need more, we’ll have to make other arrangements. :)

It is citrus season in the Bay Area. You’re sure to have a cheery bounty of delectable healthy treats.

Happy New Year!

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Sarah Henry January 1, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Great idea, Anna…Just as long as no one brings me loquats!

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Vicki Simon January 1, 2010 at 9:29 am

Hi Sarah – I don’t do this often enough myself, but what seems a whole lot easier is to make things that are made ahead, and do them the night before. It is nice if you don’t have to leave the cheese and olives table to go “cook” the main dish.

So, if you make say a lasagne, it is just warming up in the low degree oven until it’s time to eat. I also make the desert ahead. (Mark Bittman’s Mexican chocolate tofu pudding is super easy and a real crowd pleaser.)

Too often, I plan something on the bbq, and then I’m outside minding the grill and not inside socializing. So that tends NOT to work.

Of course having guests bring one thing is always easier, though most hosts tend to resist the offer (?)

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Sarah Henry January 1, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Hi Vicki – I’m all for making dishes ahead so there’s more mingling at the actual event. Thanks for the reminder.

And thanks for the tip on the Mark Bittman chocolate pudding recipe. That does sound good!

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Margaret January 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Try a potluck but don’t give out assignments. My book group does a monthly potluck. While it’s true there are the occasional dessert-only meals (like that’s a bad thing), usually we have a mix of different dishes, some of it homemade, some of it not. Hosting is not a huge burden and a lot of good conversation (literary and otherwise) flows throughout the meal.

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Sarah Henry January 2, 2010 at 7:17 pm

I hear what you’re saying, Margaret. And I do host potluck affairs but I have this notion that it would be so nice to throw an actual dinner party where no one else had to think about what to make…make sense? Stay tuned!

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Marina January 3, 2010 at 8:53 am

I think my New Year’s resolution would be: to eat more seafood :)

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Dawn (KitchenTravels) January 5, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Hi Sarah – thought I’d stop by your blog to wish you a Happy New Year! We met at the cocktail party after BlogHerFood09. I finally got my blog up and running… it’s been fun so far!

Love the idea of throwing more dinner parties. Or at least one! It’s something I don’t do nearly enough, but always enjoy when I do. One piece of advice I have for parties is to always make a list of the most important elements of the party – whatever those might be. I include each menu item (naturally), beverages, and usually a few other key items (for example, “light the fire” if it’s a backyard event). If you are one of those super-organized people, you may not need it, but I find a list helps me out during those frenzied pre-party hours! :)

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Sarah Henry January 5, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Hi Dawn,

Congrats on starting your new blog & glad you’re having fun with it.

Like your advice on the dinner party front. As an uber-organized Virgo (except, of course, when I’m not) I’m a big fan of the ol’ list!

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Nani Steele January 7, 2010 at 8:04 am

Count me in for dinner–ask us all to bring something to make it easier and more fun all around. Good wine and candles always helps the mood; I have both.

Nani

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Sarah Henry January 8, 2010 at 4:47 pm

You’re in the mix, Nani, wine, candles, and dish to be determined.
Thanks for offering.

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Lisa January 9, 2010 at 10:11 pm

My new year’s goals is to host an open house, with appetizers – both hot and cold. I really mean it this year!

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Sarah Henry January 10, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Can I come if I bring something to eat?

How ’bout some of those butternut squash pot stickers?

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