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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.

Parties That Cook’s Top 10 Food Trend Predictions for 2012

People do this every year. No matter how accurate or far off our hunches may have been the previous year, we love trying to predict future trends. Last year, I must say, the general food community pretty much nailed it! Check out our Food Trend Predictions for 2011, and judge for yourself!

Moving on to 2012, predictions are much more varied. Still, we at Parties That Cook are happy to take a stab at it. Here are our Top 10 (or so) Food Trend Predictions for 2012!

1. Kale – In everything. Whether it’s dried kale chips, kale Caesar salads, green smoothies, etc., kale is moving up in the world and back into our lives this year. Insider Tip: Parties That Cook will be putting a kale on our upcoming menus. Keep your eyes peeled for the recipe!

2. Fusion Foods – This controversial trend includes such bright ideas as tikka masala burritos and Asian tacos. Some folks would rather see the end of these culinary experiments, while others welcome the possibility that dim sum might be branching out with California twists.

3. German Food – With the recent surge of beer gardens popping up on the scene, one can only speculate that German food will rise in popularity. Side note: Peruvian food is another ethnic food category with high expectations in 2012.

4. Pretzels – Only time will tell how HOT these will be, but if appearances on menus late in 2011 are any indication, it’s fiery. Check them out on our menu in both sweet and savory forms!

5. Mushrooms – Sustainable foods seem to be a priority deserving of their own category, so it’s only fair that mushrooms take a spin in the spotlight. People are foraging and growing mushrooms from popular DIY kits. Bring on the mushrooms!

6. Coconut – No, not water. This year, it’s all about deliciously sweet coconut jam! Bibby served this jam at our office holiday party. Way to be ahead of the curve!

7. Social Cooking – With the increasing ease of sharing EVERYTHING via social media, we’re going to see a continuing rise in food photography, social eating, and social COOKING!

8. Pickling – If the 2012 Fancy Food Show (in San Francisco) offers any hints at coming trends, pickles and home-pickling are set to make a big scene this year.

9. All These Things! – Courtesy of the PTC team, here’s a quick list of this year’s up and coming items: “Buratta has gone mainstream… It’s on every menu!” “Meatballs are going to be BIG in 2012. All kinds!” “Ethnic spices. Definitely check out Williams-Sonoma’s collection of World Spices.”

10. Things that were trending in 2011, and will CONTINUE to trend in 2012:
Food trucks: Take ‘em or leave ‘em, they haven’t saturated the market in enough cities to officially be “OVER”.
Pies: While the rise in popularity over the cupcake was arguable in 2011, this year brings fun twists to these already versatile treats (i.e. Pie Pops).
CSAs and Buying Local: Haven’t heard the word hyper-local yet? Don’t worry, you will.
Bacon: Might never come down from its chart-topping position. Now, with bacon chocolate, bacon beer/cocktails, bacon baked goods, and bacon things that shall not be mentioned in this blog, bacon has more ways than ever to stay on our plates and on our mind.
Eating Healthy: Little Miss Muffet’s secret is out! Whey is the next step in healthy eating and weight control. Find it in water, smoothies, and sauces this year.

Have your own trend predictions for this year? We’d love to hear them! Let us know what you think the next BIG thing might be in the comments!