Sunday, January 01, 2006

My Food-Related New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolution #1: Eating instant noodles less than once a week.

Okay, I'll admit, some types of instant noodles are good, like "instant" pad kapraw (above), but I don't want to be like that guy my Mom always warns me about. You know, that single elderly man who lived off of instant ramen noodles, and was found "perfectly preserved" in his home, five years after he died! The urban legend goes, is that the man was "preserved" because the sodium and other preservatives in instant noodles did unnatural things to his body.

New Year's Resolution #2: To have meaningful "dinners" with my family and friends.

I recently read a disheartening article about how families are no longer spending time with each other at the dinner table. I have decided that this year (and for every year for the rest of my life), that for at least five days every week, I will sit down and eat dinner at home without watching television. (For those of you who know me personally, this is actually going to be "really" hard.)

Plus, it's not just going to be "eating with no T.V.," but I also will talk about at least two emotions that I am feeling on that day. Thus, if I am melancholy, I am going to explain what made me feel sad. No cheap "weather" discussions at the table.

New Year's Resolution #3: Eating out less, but eating "gourmet" more.

I remember when I was still a college student, I thought that the moment I graduated, I could finally pursue my idealistic dreams of making 5-course meals (with sausages I stuffed myself from hormone-free pork casings and organic kimchi I fermented in my own backyard) for dinner every night. "No homework, exams, or studying" meant more free time to do what I loved: to cook.

But now that I've entered the working world, instead of cooking for myself, I just eat take-out from one of my neighborhood restaurants. My justification is that, "I work my knuckles to the bone, day-in-and-day out, and I want to come home to a warm dinner!"

I've realized that to have "home-cooked" dinners on a work-night, that I'll need to start taking short-cuts and doing advanced prep for meals on the weekends. Thus, if I need to resort to the short-cut of using sauce-dispensing chopsticks, so be it.

Image from


  1. Hi PE - Man you've been quite prolific recently! My apoligies for not visiting more often. I'll make sure to correct in the future. Anyway, a most Happy (tho' belated) Happy New Year!

  2. Hello Kirk! There actually was a long "drought," when I didn't post for a while (I was busy with pre-holiday work obligations), and there now is a period of "great activity" (I took a few sick days off work, because of the flu). Thank you for your kind words! Hopefully, I can keep you entertained with my posts!

    Take care Kirk, and "right back att'cha!" (Meaning, I also wish you a "Wonderful New Year!") Looking forward to reading your posts in 2006!

  3. PE,

    When you work late, sometimes you just have to give in to the instant noodle. For me, cooking is therapeutic, so even as exhausted i maybe, i'm not giving in to the instant noodle at home. If I had to eat instant noodles, it'd be the Thai kind: like Duck Flavored Noodles. So good. How many mg's of sodium? Not that bad... compared to some japanese ones i've seen... more than 2,500 mg's of sodium. Yikes! I believe cup o' noodle is about 700 mg's.

    I read that article regarding the decline of family meals and I agree. It's a good thing i don't watch much tv, only food network/espn/nat'l geo/netflix.

  4. Haha! Unfortunately, I give in to "the Instant Noodle" way too easily Eat, Drink, & Be Merry. Sometimes I try to rationalize it, by telling myself, "I don't eat the bad Americanized brands of Instant Noodles from Ralph's and Von's, I eat the authentic-Asian brands from 99 Ranch!" But I'm only foolin' myself, those are just as bad.

    I agree, the sodium content in those lil' packs is outrageous.

  5. Hi PE! Wishing you all the best this new year...especially with your new year resolutions...
    I agree they're not easy.

    I made my new year's resolution too -- to be more careful with what I eat or with what I cook for my colleagues...i gained a lot of pounds during the holiday season...tsk...

  6. Hey PE,

    These are great resolutions! I think if I made resolutions, they'd be the same as yours. To eat without the TV and to cook more. Cooking is theraputic for me as well, it's just the cleaning part that really puts a damper on that hobby.

    Happy New Year!

  7. Happy New Year Passionate Eater!!!

    Those are some great resolutions...I esp. agree w/ the last one. One of my downfalls is that I eat out way too often & that's where all my money goes (well, that and shoes) but ANYWAY, since one of my resolutions for '06 is to save more money, what better way than to try to create the dishes I like at home!

    Either that or eat more pkg. noodles, which I don't think would be too much of a good thing. LOL!

  8. If i owned those pair of savvy chopsticks.... i would only use them for korean bbq. Guess what i'd fill in them? Beer. = )

  9. Thank you so much for your kind New Year's wishes Joseph, I also hope that you and your family have an amazing and blessed 2006! I know what you mean about the "holiday weight gain," I look like an entirely different person because of the high-calorie holiday feast I binged on in 2005. I hope we can make our meals healthier and more nutritious this year--it will be hard to improve upon your recipes, as they are already "perfect" in taste! Plus, we'll need to burn off those calories, but I feel that "active" cooking is the equivalent of vigorous exercise!

    Elmo, I hope we'll have more of an opportunity to cook at home this year--and less of an obligation to clean. I can't wait to read posts where you are the head chef! If your skills at writing incredible "posts-that-make-my-mouth-water-like-crazy" translate into your cooking ability, I'm moving to Irvine! I also send by best New Year's wishes to you and your family!

    Thank you Miss Pam, I hope you and your family have a Wonderful New 2006! I'll periodically check up on you this year (by commenting on Daily Gluttony) to make sure you stay away from the Manolo Blahniks and Jimmy Choos, and only buy Wal-Mart and Payless Shoes instead! I'll let you splurge occasionally though, on those spiffy canvas Keds that they sell at Costco.

    Haha! Eat, Drink, & Be Merry, get your mind outta the tavern! Were you one of those inebriated grade-schoolers who used to fill insulated 7-Eleven mugs with Coor's Light and sneak it to school? If so, I'm glad that we are members of the same club!

    Happy New Year everyone, and thank you so much for your beautiful and encouraging comments!

  10. i like your resolution# 2. i'll try to do it more often. anyway, thanks for the link on pumpupthemovie. it was really funny and useful!

  11. PE, that weight gaining during the holidays is called HOLIDAY ASS. It starts on thanksgiving and continues through new years haha. Keds? I miss my Pro-Wing shoes. Remember those? Gradeschoolers with 7-11 mugs? You mean, ME now haha. You always have to preparty b4 you go anywhere -- like weddings, parties, church, meetings. haha.

  12. Hi The Cineaste, thank you for your friendly note! I really enjoy your website and I'll keep visiting!

    Now I feel embarrassed that Eat, Drink, & Be Merry, you identified my ass by its name! And, oh yea I remember Pro-Wing shoes! I also remember L.A. Gear and British Knights high tops! Now those bring me right back to a better time. Also, I am amazed by your alcohol tolerance--you drink booze before the party?!? I have "yellow man's curse" or what people call extreme "Asian Glow," so that one beer causes my face to light up like a radish and makes my eyes go bloodshot--I literally look diseased. However, my secret way to combat "Asian Glow" is by eating a Pepcid AC during the pre-party, but that means I don't get to partake in pre-party drinking.

  13. Hi, PE--

    Eating more slow and meaningful family meals is ALWAYS a good goal. Thanks for reminding me. That time of the day is the witching hour at our house...everyone's hungry, I'm trying my best to get dinner done fast, I have a headache coming on and the kiddo is starting to lose control...

  14. Hi Lisa! I'm glad that you decided to stay in the food blogging world, and I like your new title! Very cute!

    Sounds like you are are an excellent mother--especially if you make desserts and meals like I've been seeing on your site. Kiddo and your Hubby are lucky to have you, and so is the food blogging world.

  15. Those sound like great New Year's Resolutions! Mine is to drink more Riesling, and so far I have been sticking to it!

    Great Blog, by the way! I was also very interested in your Baltimore crab cake experience. I will have to give that one a try.


  16. Thank you for your kind compliments Moyey! I also am an enthusiastic fan of your New Year's Resolution of drinking more Riesling! Bottoms-up!

    Also, if you do ultimately try the crab cakes, please let me know what you think! I hope that they are to your liking.


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