Have you heard about Cook90? I stumbled across it a a few months ago, and thought — now THERE’S a New Year’s Resolution worth doing! David Tamarkin, editor of Epicurious magazine, came up with the great idea in 2015 to start off 2016 by giving his home cooking skills a shot in the arm. He told a few friends that he was going to cook 3 meals a day, every day in January. (Don’t panic, you don’t have to do his version of Intensive Cooking Training to play.) And much to his surprise, his friends jumped all over the idea and now Cook90 has become an international, yearly event.
I know, I can imagine you’re thinking “What? Major Foodie Milligan doesn’t cook every single day?” Errrrr….. nope. In fact, I have to confess that as much as I love good food, I HATE to cook when a) I don’t have a lot of time (which is most days); or b) I just can’t think of something quick and easy to cook (or that I’m in the mood for). There. I’ve revealed my big secret. And my reason for taking on this challenge.
And just for the record, I’m not stealing the idea — everyone is encouraged to participate in Cook90, and to start their own club. I’m definitely gonna do this, so I figured I might as well invite you along. We’ll have a private online community (not in Facebook), that’s simple to use. We’ll share recipes, get ideas for quick cooking methods, and just generally start 2019 with some fun.
Well, I think it’ll be fun. We’ll see…. And who knows? Maybe if we get enough participants from Longmont we can even cook together once or twice during the month!
I’m calling my version the Cook60 Challenge (you can see right there that I’ve already ditched the idea of cooking 3 times a day, every day). Here are my goals, and the modified rules that I’m going to play by — you can either use these, use the original rules here, or you can modify any of this to suit yourself.
- Cook more often
- Learn and practice quicker cooking methods
- Eat more veggies (learn more and better no-meat meals)
- Learn new recipes that we really enjoy, and incorporate them into life-after-Cook60.
My (Modified) Rules:
1. Cook 2 meals (almost) every day in a month-long period
According to Mr Tamarkin: “If you’ve transformed raw ingredients with heat, you’ve cooked.” And P.S. You can use some pre-cooked ingredients, like rotisserie chicken!
2. Never cook the same thing more than twice…
This one is going to be a challenge for me. Especially when I’m pressed for time, so this alone is a good reason for me to do this.
3. …except when it comes to breakfast
Breakfast is a time when you still get to eat your oatmeal (homemade of course) every day. And I will add that Al and I have a Friday Morning Ritual that I have no intention of taking away from us — Fridays are Breakfast Burrito and Starbucks days. Period.
4. Rely on leftovers, but not too much
This one is really important to help make our new cooking adventure fun, and FAST. The Cook90 recipes have built-in leftover use, to help save time and create an entirely new meal.
5. Take 4 breaks — 1 each week during the month (one meal only, don’t take the whole day off!)
Eat out, get take out and watch Barca kick Real Madrid’s butt (oh wait, that’s me), or go to someone else’s house for dinner and you don’t cook at all.
6. Take Turns Occasionally
I’m adding this one. Mr. T. suggests that you MUST cook at least a little for every meal — you can’t trade off — for example you cook breakfast and I’ll cook dinner. At our house Al is the official Breakfast Cooker and I don’t want to change that. So I can sometimes help in a small way, like making our morning lattes. But I’m the one taking on this challenge, not him, so I need to do the majority of the cooking. See? Tweak it however makes sense for you.
Mr. T suggests sharing your progress with 1,000’s of your closest friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. If you want to do that, that’s just fine. But for me, I prefer a smaller, more private group. So I’ll share my progress within our private community forum (Well, if you come and join me. Otherwise I’ll look kinda silly posting my notes to nobody). And I might post a photo from time to time on social media.
I figured the Cook60 Challenge was a great way to start off the Spanish Sunday Online Cooking Club. For the whopping fee of $12 (to cover at least some of my expenses), you get a full month in the new online Cooking Club, and you can take on the Cook60 Challenge… or not. Nobody is going to judge you if you just want to hang out, talk with people, and get some new recipes and tips. That’s perfectly OK. You’ll be doing me a favor by helping me kick the tires on this new online Cooking Club idea, and your feedback is more than welcome.
Here’s what you get in the Spanish Sunday Online Cooking Club & Cook60 Challenge:
- Private online community (open to paid members only, not open to the general public)
- Recipes — and we’ll share opinions and ideas for modifications
- Tips for faster cooking so dinner isn’t a drag on your time, so you can still eat healthy, homemade food in very little time. Or ideas for a big cooking splurge!
- Exclusive recipes from Spain and other destinations when we travel, along with videos illustrating any particularly tricky techniques (and you’ll be invited to do the same)
- Ideas for starting your own live and in-person cooking club, wherever you live (like the one we’ll be starting in Longmont in January*)
- Interaction and cooking ideas shared with people from diverse backgrounds, to share unique family recipes from different cultures
- Guest posts from great home cooks — like YOU! (Yes, you’ll be invited to share your own articles, photos, and recipes.)
- Resources for hard-to-find ingredients and tools (we’ll build this together — your input will be greatly appreciated).
Several other perks are in the works — we’ll announce them as they become available.
There you have it. The Spanish Sunday Online Cooking Club & Cook60 Challenge is starting on January 3rd, 2019 (I wanted to give us a couple of days to recuperate from New Year’s Eve), and it will run until Feb 3, 2019. I would really love to have your company on this little adventure.
[The Cook60 Challenge is happening during the month of January 2019. If you’re still interested in joining us, or want to know more about the Spanish Sunday Online Cooking Club, please drop me a note: denise @ spanishsunday.com.]