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New Year's resolutions and a store cupboard clear out

This year, I'm about New Year's resolutions I can cope with keeping. Last year, I only made one resolution - learn how to play mah jong - and I couldn't even keep that, despite having a rather lovely mah jong set in my possession. Nyargh.

So this year, it's all about the food. I eat food every day, so making food resolutions kind of builds in keepability. (OK, maybe I'm being a bit optimistic here, but I'm also optimistic that keepability is a word, so let me enjoy my delusions for a bit).

Here are my not-very-challenging resolutions:

1) Declutter the kitchen. Use up more of the foods that have been hanging around in the store cupboards and fridge for too long.
2) I've got two folders full of recipes I've printed out from websites or torn out from magazines. The folders seem to get fuller and fuller without me cooking any of the dishes. New Year's resolution number two - cook more of them, and ditch the failers.
3) Feel the food fear and do it anyway! Cook more recipes that I've avoided because I thought they were too complicated, or because they use foods I think I wouldn't like.

So, this post sorts out both number one and number two resolutions - it uses a recipe I printed out, and helps use up a pantry over-stayer, fermented black beans.

For MoFo last year, I tried cooking with fermented black beans a couple of times, but ignored them after October was over (through lack of inspiration, rather than lack of enjoyment, I hasten to add). During MoFo, I printed out a recipe using the fermented black beans from the LA Times site - Vegetarian Hunan-style tofu - but never got around to using it.

Time to tackle that situation. I made the recipe, but swapped out the shiitake mushrooms for other veggies (I love shiitakes, but Mr Flicking the Vs fears them). 

Here's what happened:

This one is a stone-cold winner! Again, I'm kind of puzzled why, given that fermented black beans are awesome, I don't cook with them that often. Or at all since October, in fact. This recipe didn't even take too long to make, and only involved one pan. What more can you ask for? Roll on more New Year's resolution keeping!

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  1. Good resolutions, and good on you for being so resolute already! I'll have to clutter up my kitchen with some fermented black beans next time I'm at the asian grocery. :)

  2. Nice, simple resolutions that you can manage and feel good about when you achieve them. Looks like you're already on your way. Fermented black beans are so umami-licious. Thanks for the reminder to get some. Happy New Year!

  3. I like your resolutions — they are ones I should adopt as well since I have the same bulging folder and stocked cupboards.

  4. Those are very good resolutions! It's so easy to keep adding to the unusual ingredients without finishing off (or sometimes even trying) the ones that are already there. I should make a concerted effort to do the same. My cupboards runneth over! Plus, it would be a good way to save money just to shop from my own kitchen!

    The way you describe your folders is what Pinterest is to me. I pin and pin and pin, but rarely do I go back and make something. Too bad. It looks like a lot of deliciousness there!

    Best of luck on your resolutions. If that tofu and fermented black bean dish is any indication, it's going to be a tasty 2013!

  5. Oh man, I totally need to make the same resolutions, I’ve got way too much in my pantry and freezer that I finally need to make use of. It’s funny because some of the ingredients I have, I was so excited to find at the time (i.e. mock duck), but now I can’t seem to think of anything to do with it. I keep folders, upon folders of word documents for all the recipes I’ve saved from the internet, and yup, haven’t made any of them, that needs to be rectified.

  6. I love your resolutions, they are all ones that I should take on board too! I always seem to replace any declutter in the pantry with new food items. The tofu dish looks really tasty too!

  7. If I had a cooking resolution, it would be to use my cookbooks more often, rather than online recipes! I'm looking forward to seeing what you create in the kitchen this year!

  8. I have a similar situation with recipes I want to try but never get around to making! I save them all in an online to-do list, which could really use a declutter! Good luck with your resolutions :)


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