2019 Resolutions

2019 Resolutions

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I feel like I’ve been waiting for 2018 to end for the last few weeks.

I hate that I’ve felt that way. In part, it’s because of the hustle of Christmas. We traveled to Texas to have an early Christmas with my family, then had a few days to prepare for Christmas at home. Amelia was sick in the meantime, and without Alex taking time off after Christmas, nothing has felt festive. It’s hard to believe that Christmas was just a few days ago.

I went a little overboard with Christmas baking. I made a single pie, but we also had chocolate chip cookies, chocolate toffee cookies, peanut blossoms, bourbon balls, and chocolate marshmallows. I’ve been working hard at eating it all, but there always seems to be some left!

Too many sweets around still, so I can’t bake more. But I feel lost without something to bake.

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Cooking Resolutions for 2019

Too many sweets brings me around to my resolutions. However, they may be contradictory.

  1. Make a new cookie recipe or publish a cookie recipe each week.
  2. Bake bread more often.
  3. Do Cook90 again this January.

Yes, I just said I made us too many cookies, but I enjoy them so much that I will continue baking them! So, look forward to seeing new cookie recipes pop up here on a regular basis. I have 2 cookie recipes that I’ve been working on and am hoping to get up soon. Reviews of other recipes will show up on my Facebook page, so follow along with me there!

As for bread – I enjoyed 2014, my year of bread. I don’t want to commit to making a loaf a week, but I’d like to get back into it in general. And I’m going to start a sourdough starter this month.

Cook90 for 2019

Just as I did last year, I’m going to eat 90 home-cooked meals during the month of January.

This Cook90 means more serious and strict menu/meal planning than I’ve been doing most recently. I’ll have to be sure we have leftovers for lunch, and back-up meals that I can toss together when I just don’t feel like cooking what I originally planned.

No, I’m not going to cook quite every day. When Alex begins teaching an evening class at the end of the month, we’ll begin having our dinners out again. And I’m a fan of leftovers for dinner during the week, too.

Overall, I was very glad that I did this challenge last year. I even wrote a post about what I loved about it. I ended up meal planning almost every week during 2018 (and following most of those menus).

As a bonus, my grocery shopping trips became faster (because I shopped mainly from my list) and less expensive (because I wasn’t searching out those great buys).

If you’re curious about what I made in January 2018, you can view my menu for the month here.

Like I did last year, I’m going to try some new recipes, likely from Epicurious; after all, they did come up with Cook90, and they will send out menus. That said, some of their menu may come from their Cook90 cookbook (affiliate link), which I don’t have. But that’s ok – I don’t eat cheese or cook eggs, which basically nixes half of their menus anyway.

How I Meal Plan

Curious about how I meal plan? I actually prefer to do it with pen and paper. I blog, and I love using apps for shopping lists, but nothing replaces the ability to cross things out or just draw arrows between items to switch them.

I usually take a half sheet of paper and write out the days of the week on it. Sometimes I start on a Monday – sometimes I start over halfway through the week.

a draft of my first week of meals of 2019, for Cook90

I write the weather forecast at the top. Weird, I know! But it helps me plan for the week. Our house tends to run cold in the winter, and we have window unit for AC in the summer. I want to bake when it’s coldest, go shopping or grill when it’s not raining, and not use the oven when it’s hot.

Other things I write down: my wish list of meals to make; big items I have in the freezer (like packages of meat I’ve bought on sale); and leftover vegetables in the fridge. That way I can try to be sure to use them up rather than end up throwing them out.

Whatever ingredients I haven’t used or recipes I haven’t made, I copy them over to my next week. That way I don’t lose track of what I have.

I’m hoping to keep track of (and use up) my excess pantry ingredients this way, too.

2019 Menu

I told Amelia we play games and eat snacks for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. She chimed in, “and make dumplings!”

We had read the children’s picture book Dumpling Soup (affiliate link) about Hawaiian family’s New Year’s traditions, and Amelia was excited to try making them. So we made them with Alex’s help over the weekend, and that’s what we ate today.

Otherwise, here’s my menu for January 2019. I’ll update it as I make it, so check back if you’re interested.

steel-cut oats with walnuts and pear, in a bowl, with a spoon and honey

I’ll have a new recipe up for you soon (Steel-Cut Oats with Walnuts and Pear – my favorite new comfort food, pictured above), but here’s my menu for the upcoming week. I’ll update it here as I make it.

A 2019 Cook90 Recap

Cook90 didn’t go as I’d hoped this month. I had 2 colds this month, each of which zapped me of the will to cook (and eat!) for a week at a time! I had menus planned that I was excited about, which I pushed aside in favor of oatmeal for dinner. Apparently it’s my comfort food.

I’m still looking forward to meal planning throughout the rest of the year, but it’s disappointing that January was such a bust for me. That said, I’m glad that I didn’t have more I was excited to cook during the month, since I wouldn’t have been able to get to it.

TuesdayJanuary 1Steel-Cut Oats with Walnuts and PearSnacks (homemade pigs in a blanket, Chex Mix)Dumpling Soup
WednesdayJanuary 2oatmealleftover dumplingsleftover grilled salmon, wheat berries with orange zest and olive oil, red bell pepper, peas
ThursdayJanuary 3oatmealleftover dumplingsBaked Potato and Bacon Soup
FridayJanuary 4leftover steel-cut oatstoast with almond butter and fig butter, homemade yogurtPizza with Lazy Pizza Dough
SaturdayJanuary 5oatmealnextovered dumpling filling, stir-fried with leftover rice and wheat berries, peasdinner out
SundayJanuary 6oatmealwhole grain corn-rye waffles from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking (affiliate link)chicken tacos with salsa and black beans
MondayJanuary 7oatmealleftover dumpling filling stirfrycrispy pork belly cooked over potatoes
TuesdayJanuary 8oatmealleftover potato soupchicken soup with leftover chicken, odds and ends of pasta, peas
WednesdayJanuary 9oatmealleftover potato soupslow cooker pork ribs in bbq sauce, baked potato, corn
ThursdayJanuary 10oatmealLeftover chicken soupSteel Cut Oats with Walnuts and Pear (yes, again)
FridayJanuary 11oatmealLeftover chicken soupMexican soup, from leftovers
SaturdayJanuary 12oatmealleftover Steel Cut OatsBuckwheat Pancakes, bacon, sauteed apples
SundayJanuary 13oatmealleftover Mexican soupsimple dal from How to Cook Everything (affiliate link), rice, pears
MondayJanuary 14oatmealleftover dal1-Bowl Baked Oatmeal
TuesdayJanuary 15oatmealleftover baked oatmealpasta with spinach, white beans, and garlic (cooked in bacon grease)
WednesdayJanuary 16leftover steel-cut oatsleftover pastablack bean and plantain bowls (from The Bold Vegetarian Chef (affiliate link))
ThursdayJanuary 17leftover baked oatmealleftover black bean and plantain bowlsIna Garten’s lemon chicken, homemade French bread, salad
FridayJanuary 18oatmealleftover chickenalmond coconut dal
SaturdayJanuary 19oatmealFrench Toast from leftover French Breadleftover lemon chicken and salad
SundayJanuary 20oatmealDouble Chocolate Sconessoup and homemade Ciabatta
MondayJanuary 21Baked OatmealBaked OatmealBeef Stew
TuesdayJanuary 22oatmealleftover beef stewChicken and Dumplings
WednesdayJanuary 23oatmealHomemade English Muffin with almond butter, yogurtOne-Pot Farro with Tomatoes
ThursdayJanuary 24a donut (not homemade :-()English muffin with almond butter, yogurtchicken and dumplings
FridayJanuary 25oatmealleftover beef stewSauteed Swiss Chard with Chickpeas
SaturdayJanuary 26steel-cut oatsout at Wing Warsyogurt and fruit
SundayJanuary 27baked oatmealbaked oatmealgyro at Greek Feast
MondayJanuary 28oatmealout at Chickfilaout (Alex’s first class)
TuesdayJanuary 29oatmealtoastspaghetti squash and black bean tacos
WednesdayJanuary 30oatmealtoastleftover chicken and dumplings
ThursdayJanuary 31oatmealleftover chicken and dumplingshomemade vegetable soup, French bread

Bonus recipes: Orange Cream Cheese Bread, Whole Wheat Butterscotch Blondies, Double Chocolate Caramel Chip Cookies, Chewy Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

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