Rise Up! Or Not. January 2019 Month In Review

The eleventy-thousand days of January 2019 went just zoomed by, didn’t they?

Like many of you, I try to use January as a reset. It never is as satisfying as a September reset, though, is it? Resetting in the dead of winter feels a little dicey. I get it Punxatawny Phil: sometimes you’re motivated to move forward, sometimes you just want to crawl back into your hole for another six weeks. It all has something to do with the sun and I really have no idea what I’m talking about and good grief is it 2020 already?

I decided to make 2019 a Year of Good Taste (not personally, because I think we all know I’m quite tasteless, thank you,) and try new recipes once a week or so.

This past month I made several very sad loaves of challah. They were delicious, but I got zero rise out of them, and usually, I can get a rise out of anyone! I’m now obsessed with being able to make a good loaf of shaped bread using the dough setting on my bread machine. Not sure it’s possible. But I’ll keep trying. I’ve double-checked the yeast, used a couple of different recipes, all with the same results, so it’s obviously a technique problem. User error! You can see from the picture that this loaf spread out rather than rose up. I called it my Jabba Challah.


My friend Amy recommended using Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, which is a book I actually have, and Amy has never steered me wrong, so we’ll give that a whirl in the coming days.

I made these Reese’s Brownies which were magical. The trick is aaaaalmost overbaking the brownies. But underbaking works, too. Just…trust me. Get them in an oven and bring them to a temperature high enough so that the ingredients won’t kill you then eat them.

The discovery of the month is that at least as far as cooking goes, Chrissy Teigen knows what the hell she’s talking about. Her Bahn Mi from Cravings: Hungry for More is to die for. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of it, but we ate it too quickly.

Double Crunch Honey Garlic Chicken also was a big hit and took us to the town next door to Guy Fieri’s Flavortown. We don’t visit Flavortown proper. It’s unkempt. Anyway, this recipe is from Rock Recipes.  Make it. You’re welcome.

I also made an apple pie but used refrigerated cinnamon buns as the base/crust. This is a very good idea and you should do it, too.

I have no picture of those dishes either because do you have any idea what it is like in those moments between plating a meal and getting children to the table? Did you ever see The Lion King? That part with the stampede? It’s like that, only more dangerous.

Action shot taken two seconds after I call the family to dinner.

You know. I know you know.

There were misses as well. I made a lemon cake which was neither cakey or lemony. It was like Pledge-scented cornmeal.


I’ve not been watching too much television/movies these days, but hopefully, February will offer some great viewing!

The best thing I read in January was The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I was “forced” to read it because I’ve been waiting for the series to be available at my local library, but I’ve been on the waiting list since June, so this was faster. And infinitely more satisfying — Atwood’s writing is poetic and breathtaking. Still want to see the show, of course!

Here are some articles I enjoyed reading in January:

Have we found The One?


When good advice needs to be issued a little more forcefully.

See you next week for the update on the book, and in what? 30 seconds? for a look at February in Review!

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