The Challenges

Now before i start let me first say, that i’ve never been one for making New Years Resolutions.

In fact, they’ve always seemed a fairly ridiculous notion.  Particularly since the majority of people making them don’t seem to have come across the SMART acronym for making goals.

For example, i rarely see people on my Facebook feed saying “My aim is to lose 7lbs by March and to keep it off over the summer”, it’s more “This year’s mission is to lose weight!/Get fit!/Get healthy!” all very vague if you asked me.  Plus who picks the middle of winter, when the days are cold and the nights are dark and the tummies are rumbly (or is that just me?!) to start denying themselves stodgy foods or forcing themselves outdoors for a jog? Nutters, that’s who!

However this year, against my better judgement i have joined the droves of people, with what i suppose could loosely be termed, new years resolutions.

I have three.

The first one, which started it all off, is to be more adventurous when it comes to cooking.

I am not, nor will i ever be, a chef. I love eating well enough but the actual cooking part has always seemed more of an inconvenience.  And i think i’ll always be someone who thinks food tastes better when someone else has done all the hard work 😉 However since becoming a Mum, and ultimately becoming responsible for what someone else ingests, i have been trying my hardest to “be a better cook”

Last year, on a holiday in Whitby i came across a big recipe book in the window of a book shop:

I went in and bought it but never actually used it…until now that is 😉

So…my main “resolution” (although i prefer to think of it as a “challenge”) this year is to be more adventurous when it comes to cooking, and specifically to try one new recipe each week (i think they will mainly be from the book in question, but it’s not a pre-requisite)

I have managed to avoid the fate of most people who make new year’s resolutions, who start off well enough but dwindle in their motivation  and enthusiasm after just a couple of weeks by doing the complete opposite, and getting off to a terrible start, with no new recipes at all for the first two weeks of the year, and then finally today i got the ball rolling.

Actually, i cheated a little…or eased myself in gently perhaps would be another way of looking at it.

For dinner today i made a meal which i have in part made on  a few occasions before, but with a “side” which i have never made before.  And the entire thing was made from scratch with fresh ingredients (which is really the aim behind the resolution, so that i know exactly what has gone into what i am serving my boys).

I made Jerk Chicken with Apple and Potato Rostis and Corn-on-the-cob

The jerk chicken i have made before a few times but usually i serve it with wedges (either frozen or home-made) and i haven’t made it in a while, so like i say, a bit of a cheat but not totally as the apple and potato rostis were an entirely new experience!

Here they are, all ready to go in the oven:

And here’s Toby doing his “Is dinner ready yet?!” dance.  Notice he’s still in his pjs.  That’s the kind of morning we had today!
And then finally, here is the finished product:

The rostis did not turn out quite how i had hoped/expected, but i think i know why as i think there was too much moisture in them so they fell apart a little.  They look a little burned in the photo too but they didn’t taste burnt, the apple had just gone really crispy around the outsides.  They were tasty anyway, or at least Chris and i thought so.  Toby wasn’t a fan but since he loves both the main ingredients (apple and potato- the clue is in the title!) i can only assume it was a texture issue, which is quite typical of him.  He enjoyed his chicken and corn anyway so it wasn’t a total fail.

After dinner we went for a frosty (read: bloody freezing!) walk to the park, which Toby was super enthusiastic about until it became apparent that in order to climb the steps the slide he’d have to take off his mittens, at which point he seemed to become aware of just exactly how freezing it actually was and after a very brief visit to each of the attractions in the playground (swing, little slide, big slide and springy horse thing) he declared he wanted to play “hide” which is his new obsession (again, the clue is in the title!) so we spent some time kneeling behind trees and jumping out at Chris, who was resigned to pushing the pram round in circles to get Rudy to drop off to sleep)  Both boys fell asleep on the way home but it was inevitable one of them would wake up as soon as we got in the house, and today it was Rudy who claimed to be ACTUALLY STARVING MUMMY! as soon as the pram stopped moving.  Little minx.

So we had a good day really, which is nice as it’s the last day of Chris’s holidays, he’s back at uni as of tomorrow morning after four weeks off and i have really got used to having him around to help out with the boys so i have a feeling these next few days are going to be a big shock! 😦

Oh and if you were wondering what my other two challenges are, they are along similar lines, of experiencing new things.  My second one is to read one new book each month (Chris bought me a Kindle for Christmas, so that one won’t be a problem at all!) and my third is to watch one new movie each month (and we just got a 6 month Love Film subscription so that one shouldn’t be too tricky either!)


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