Tag new year’s resolution

Here’s to a Year of Actually Conquering Your Resolutions

ResolutionsOne tip for accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions: Be specific! Don’t just say you’ll learn to cook, specify a quantifiable goal like cook one new recipe each week. Not only does this help you track your success, but it can help hold you accountable for your progress. You can tell yourself that making the fancy blue box mac n cheese counts as learning to cook (denial), but you can’t fudge the numbers if you skip a week.

We’ve got the perfect recipe to help you accomplish this particular goal. Like your neighbor’s pit bull, our sweet and spicy braised short ribs might seem intimidating, but you’ll quickly find just how cuddly manageable they can be! And we’re sure this will give you to confidence you need to tackle other seemingly tricky recipes. Side Note: This recipe also makes for a killer dinner party menu item. Make them in advance to wow your guests without being trapped in the kitchen all night!

Sweet and Spicy Braised Short Ribs
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 onions peeled and cut into circles
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 pounds of beef short ribs

3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 chipotle in adobo, seeded and diced, plus 1 Tablespoon adobo sauce
1/2 cup demi-glace
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat oven to 300°F.

Ribs: Heat canola and butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and starting to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Transfer onions to a bowl and reserve cooking pan.

Mix together flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Dip beef short ribs in the flour mixture and shake off any excess. Reheat the reserved onion sauté pan over medium heat (adding more oil if the pan is really dry). Sear the ribs on all sides until golden brown. Transfer short ribs to a roasting pan as they are done. Sprinkle cooked onions over ribs.

Sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, add ketchup, water, white wine vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire, chipotles and adobo, demi-glace and kosher salt. Whisk while cooking over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Pour sauce over the rib/onion mixture in the roasting pan. Cover the ribs tightly with parchment then cover the pan with foil. Cook at 300 for 4 to 4 1/2 hours until the meat is literally falling off the bone. Remove the meat from the sauce and let the sauce chill so that the fat congeals (will take a few hours). Remove the fat from the sauce using a skimmer. Pour the sauce over the ribs and reheat the ribs at 200 ºF for 30 minutes. Serve over mashed potatoes or buttered papardelle.

Serves 6

Parties That Cook’s Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2013

We’ve almost made it through the year. And boy was 2012 a doozy… Luckily, the only thing left to do is sit back, relax, and start prepping for 2013! First things first: Your New Year’s Resolutions. Last year we provided a quick list of our resolutions for inspiration, and this year is no different. Feel free to jump on our bandwagon, and adopt any of the following ambitions, goals and resolutions.

De-clutter Your Life: Less is more. This might be Parties That Cook’s motto for the year. 2013 will be all about cutting back on excess, cleaning out, and making our operations effortless!

Get Healthy: Whether it be in the physical sense (cutting back on wheat and dairy, or drinking more green smoothies) or improving your sanity, work on bettering yourself this year. Yoga, meditating, or just reflecting on the day/week might help, but the key is to NOT spread yourself too thin at work or in play.

Stay Focused: I know we encouraged adventure last year, but it seems a certain PTC Planner took our advice to the extreme. She now recommends actually saying “No” more often. Stay focused and energized for what’s really important in life. Of course you can still have your fun, but in the end it seems to come down to priorities.

Get Active: Don’t forget to make goals that don’t revolve around the office! We’ve got a couple of PTC ladies training for a half marathon, another crazy rock climber, and yet another embarking on an A-Z restaurant challenge this year. Aim high and expand horizons.

Have More Fun in the Kitchen: Don’t look at cooking as a chore! Start a cookbook club (follow ours if you need inspiration), take a few cooking classes, or just perfect your beurre blanc at home. If the cooking process doesn’t excite you, you’re crazy start a food fight at least the results will be delicious!

Continue Learning: This resolution may look familiar – and it should! We resolved to continue learning in 2012, and never want to stop. If it’s not a new skill you’re interested in, try learning about the people around you. Your environment is always changing, even if things may feel the same on the surface. (Note: Teaching can be an equally impressive feat. Try getting your new puppy to sit and stay!)

Paint the Town Green: Start a garden! Try growing your own herbs or tasty veggies like radishes & green beans. Not only will you fit in with the trending farm-to-table movement, but the results will leave you with a rewarding sense of accomplishment. To those in tiny apartments with no yard: I feel your pain, but it can be done!

Practice Fiscal Responsibility: Yet another recurring goal makes an appearance on this list. Just because you behaved yourself, limited your spending and saved some money in 2012, does not mean you can go crazy in 2013. (We all know you didn’t really cut your lunch budget for work days, anyway.) Challenge yourself this year, and actually bring your lunch to work 3 times a week! If I can do it*, so can you.

Give Back: Volunteer at a local shelter, mentor youth, heck, host a Cooking with Kindness event for your company! Get out there and make a difference – it only takes one person (YOU). I promise that the benefits of giving back (joy, fulfillment, warm fuzzies) far outweigh any cost (time, money).

Make Big Moves: At work and in your personal life, you want to come out of 2013 feeling like a champion. It’s not about planning to do something; just do it. Kick butt (can I say that?) in your sales territory, blow your goals out of the water, go on that dream vacation you’ve been craving! Any amount of progress on your goals will feel like a WIN.

*Not saying I did.