Glazing Over Resolutions with Ginger-Glazed Carrots

Carrot: n. a reward offered for a desired behavior; an inducement

Glaze: v. to give a smooth, glossy surface

At the top of a new year we tend to pause, take a step back, look ahead, and perhaps start to envision a more together life. A life in which your socks match on a regular basis, a life in which you don’t feel chronically bloated and, perhaps, a life in which you are awarded a Pulitzer.

And so the resolutions for a better being begin. Lose weight. Eat better. Improve grammar. Comb hair regularly. Marry George Clooney. These goals are nice, but nothing has really sparked any change: just a big sparkly ball dropping from the sky. Just time passing, as it always does. And so resolutions typically don't last. And even if they do, they don't ensure happiness. (Not even you, Clooney.)

Which is why I’m not really a big fan of them. I don’t despise resolutions. It’s just that they tend to be arbitrary and lofty; forced progress towards achieving a perfect version of yourself. A feat that is downright unattainable.

It brings to mind the old “carrot on a stick” routine. Boy holds a stick with a carrot tied to it. Boy dangles carrot in front of the donkey he is riding. Donkey moves to get the carrot. Carrot remains slightly out of reach. (Clooney is also famous for this, as an untamable bachelor.)

With resolutions, you often do this carrot tomfoolery to yourself. But you can also do it to others. And others can do it to you. And we can live for years like this, dangling carrots and chasing them all over the place.

So while I applaud those that manage to create thoughtful resolutions (and marvel at those that keep them), I gave my New Year’s resolutions (version 2.011) the old heave-ho. This year I want to eat my carrots instead of chase them. And decided to start in one of the most un-resolution-y ways: with butter. I also had a large quantity of ginger ale in my fridge that was taking up space and making me pretty anxious. Enter Alton Brown. Untamable in the kitchen, he had me glazing carrots with my soda surplus, and chuckling to myself at how easy it all was.

And while I won’t say these glazed carrots were perfect, they were pretty darn good. Sweet, tender, healthy—sort of—with a little gingery bite.

So I suppose if you had to pin me down to a resolution, I’d say it's to glaze over resolutions and eat more carrots. I wish you great success with all your carrots in the coming year, may there be more glazed than dangled in your days ahead.

Ginger-Glazed Carrots
Inspired by Alton Brown

2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 bunch carrots (about 1 pound), peeled and cut so that they are all about the same size
8 ounces ginger ale
pinch kosher salt
pinch coriander
pinch allspice
pinch cayenne pepper

Heat a saucepan (that has a lid) on medium heat. Add butter and ginger and stir; add carrots, ginger ale, salt and spices. Cover and bring to a simmer (this will take about 10 minutes or so). Once liquid is simmering, remove lid, stir, and reduce heat to low. Continue to cook carrots uncovered until ginger ale reduces to a glaze and carrots are tender, occasionally spooning liquid over carrots as they cook (about 10-15 minutes more).

Serves 3-4 people

-For a less sweet, fewer additive-containg beverage you could try using GuS ("Grown Up Soda") ginger ale, which can be found at Whole Foods.


  1. Small carrots like the one in the pic are so cute and perfect for caramelizing.

  2. I don't typically do any resolutions either but I definitely have a list of 30 things that I want to accomplish by my 30th birthday. I'll kick off this list this Friday, my 29th birthday!

  3. Sounds delicious!! This is definitely the type of post-resolution recipe I'm looking for this time of year!


  4. Those sound good. I my kids would even like them that way!

  5. I couldn't agree more about the resolution thing! I definitely think life is less about chasing carrots and more about eating them, especially if they are glazed, yum!

  6. Your carrots are beautiful! I lik ethe ide aof using a less sweet ginger ale. I bet a ginger beer would be great and add a bit of extra bite.

  7. Ooh I like it! A nice way to get your veges for the day.

  8. Beautiful, healthy bright and yummy!!

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  9. glaze. alton brown's genius. george clooney. these are all things i appreciate for various reasons--nice post! :)

  10. *chuckle* I don't do much with New Year's resolutions either, but those carrots look great.

    (Did you know that it's *good* to eat carrots with butter? The fat improves the Vitamin A intake!)

  11. Great point, Adele. Funny, I'm actually a registered dietitian ... so how did I miss the justification on that one?!? ;) If we are going down that route, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties too. Love it!

    Katie, I love the idea of using ginger beer too!

    Thanks all!

  12. I think I'd actually enjoy eating carrots if I used this recipe. I do make resolutions but I rarely speak of them. Public failure is so humiliating and what they don't know won't hurt them :-). Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  13. I love carrots...and I love ginger...so this sounds great to me! Eating better is on my list of resolutions, so I think this would be a good start ;)

  14. I love your writing style, bit unique and very interesting to read.

  15. Loved the carrot recipe...and you said, eat those carrots, the heck with chasing them! The secret to happiness is being content with the carrot right in our own pot..not those dangled in front of us!

  16. Hi Emily - Nice meeting you last night too! Maybe I will bump into you at MGH :) Hope to see you at future events.