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Tag: challenges

New Year, Less Challenges


Every year I resolve to write more on my blog.

Every year it gets to about now and I start to feel guilty because I haven’t lived up to my own challenge. Along with everything else that’s going on in my life and all the other challenges I set myself.

That’s a bit stupid, right? That feeling of guilt…? Thought so.

So this year I didn’t. I didn’t resolve to write more here because I’m already writing and I want to focus on finishing at least one of the few novels I have started.

I didn’t resolve to write more because I have a family that needs me first.

I didn’t resolve to write more because I’m already challenged with my Thermomix work, and I love it.

I didn’t resolve to write more because I want it to just happen naturally, rather than because I’m forcing myself and feeling guilting about it.

I didn’t resolve to write more because I know I’m already posting more with my Cookbook challenge.

And how much can I really challenge myself anyway? I like a good challenge. In fact, I would go so far as to say I thrive on it. I love the idea of smashing through a goal and the feeling of pride I get in my own work that comes with it, totally up my alley.

But where do I draw the line?

Do I challenge myself to cook new dish every week? Work out at the gym a certain amount of times a month? Write however many posts I set for myself. Finish however many chapters of my first draft I choose?

All while putting my family first and spending time with them.

In 2016, I resolve that I’m already challenged enough. 

Family always comes first.

I’m already meeting challenges for work.

I’m completing my cookbook challenge, because damn it it’s the second one I’ve done and I want to actually finish it. 

I want to stay healthy. Not push myself, but not fall by the wayside either. Just stay healthy.

I want to get over my hair. Or my lack of hair. And to stop letting it rule me and how I see myself and just to get the fuck over it. 

Most of all I want to remind myself to be Grateful for everything we have. A stable life. Our health. Our family. Love. A roof over our head and spending money in the wallet. A holiday when we need it.

To be Grateful for life, not to challenge myself to be grateful. Just be.

Cookbook Lover


I read a quote recently that said we only ever really cook around 6 recipes from a cookbook.

At first I balked at it and the whole ‘don’t believe everything you read on the internet’ came to mind. I am a cookbook lover through and through but when I sat and actually thought about it, it’s probably true.

You get your favourites, one that’s a little different, a couple of go-to’s and then the rest of the desirable recipes get shelved for another time.

After reading this I made a decision to make as much out of every new book I bought that I could. Lola Berry’s ‘The Happy Cookbook’ was my next purchase and I’m pretty sure I’ve made about a quarter of it already. And you know what, I’ve loved every recipe I’ve tried.

Some I might not have made otherwise. They would have been shelved. But I’m a menu planner and making myself go out of my comfort zone really pushed me and I’ve learned new techniques and tastes.

And seriously, the Raw Caramel Butter is to die for!! 

Before Phoenix was born I challenged myself to cook every recipe from Donna Hay’s Season’s Cookbook and was blogging about it here. Out of the 200 odd recipes it holds, I made about 150 of them, so not bad going, but after reading the cookbook quote I realised I never actually completed that challenge. Going over the cookbook I can see that some things weren’t made as the produce wasn’t in season at the time I had spare, things are hard to source where I live (especially the fresh seafood), or I just don’t like to eat sardines. The majority of it was made though and I feel good about that.

I’d like to redo that challenge with a new book. Since the last one I’ve developed a pretty severe lactose intolerance and due to my Alopecia I don’t eat gluten, so something that doesn’t disagree with me would be idea, and Lola’s The Happy Cookbook comes to mind. I think over the next few days I’ll have a further flick though it and a few others I have to see what I come up with.

And now I’m more aware. A lot of work goes into a cookbook and I want to appreciate that work in my kitchen. With my tastebuds. All new cookbooks I have (and that’s always a lot!) get poured over, menu planned with and enjoyed throughly.

What’s the last cookbook you bought, and how many recipes did you make?