Resolve This

Take up a challenge in 2014

More yoga. Fewer calories. Juice cleanses. While your friends are all resolving to become healthier people, you could make 2014 the year of the big project. A cooking project, that is:

Upgrade your skills. This month, the San Francisco Cooking School is teaching several series for truly ambitious home cooks, including a five-day series on cooking fundamentals ($720) and a three-day pastry intensive ($695) taught by some of the Bay Area's rock stars.

The "Modernist Cuisine at Home" ebook; freshly made cheese (Photo: Nikol Lohr)
Go wild. Hack your slow cooker. Nathan Myrhvold recently released his doorstopper cookbook Modernist Cuisine at Home as an e-book ($80), and its interactive recipes and videos–sous-vide buffalo wings, pressure-cooked risottos–are a goldmine for project-based cooks. Find specialty ingredients and tools online or through San Francisco-based Le Sanctuaire

Play the long game. Slow food begins at home. Both the Cheese School of San Francisco and Oakland's Institute of Urban Homesteading are offering classes in the early months of the year in making feta, fromage blanc and other cheeses. Alternately, Oak Barrel Winecraft in Berkeley sells white and red wine vinegar kits, complete with vinegar mother, barrel or demijohn, and instructions ($59 to $255).