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Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Art of Snacking Well

I'm not really a New Year's Resolution type of person. I think if you want to improve, there's no reason to wait until January first to start.

However, early January does encourage me to make lists of things I want to accomplish in the new year, and I now have a very long (currently-120-item-long) list of food I want to cook in 2010.

Some of it, like pork and sauerkraut and empanadas, I've already checked off my list. Yay productivity!

It will take longer to amass enough courage to make some of the other things on the list, like homemade mozzarella and anything involving seitan.

One recurring theme on my list (aside from trying new produce, sampling weird meat substitutes, and engaging in ridiculously complicated projects just so I can say I made homemade whatever) is snack food.

Most people can't go hours between meals without getting hungry. If I get too hungry, I get a headache, and if I get a headache, believe me, neither of us wants anything to do with me.

Couple that with the fact that I spend a lot of days out running errands or - worse - grocery shopping for hours, and that means I need to make sure I carry snacks with me. So, you know, I don't come home from the grocery store with four loaves of bread, a bag of tortillas, eight boxes of cereal, and a few paltry vegetables.

However, I always feel a little pang of guilt tearing open a prepackaged granola bar. They generally aren't tasty, or good for you, and of course, they're not homemade. As you might have gathered, I tend to think homemade versions of pretty much anything are superior to their prepackaged brethren.

So one thing I want to focus on in 2010 is making tasty, relatively healthy (but still tasty!), homemade snack food.

Whether it's quick breads and savory muffins, homemade yogurt and granola, or bagels and bialys (check and check!), I want to make sure that we have snack food that does more than just fill our stomachs until the next snack or meal.

A good snack should leave you sated and happy, don't you agree?

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