New Year, New Challenges!

Last year, during January my kids got to the point where they’d grimace and turn their nose up at anything I put at the table. They wouldn’t try it, no matter what, they just wanted the same old things. I didn’t. It was getting boring, and honestly the same old things weren’t all that great. By the end of the month I came up with an idea, to try to new things. Not just try them, but each and everyday, try a new thing in the kitchen.
   So there it was, I posted to my friends on facebook and waited for anyone to give me some new recipes. They came in, pouring in from all my friends all over the country. Chicken, pasta, pizza, bread, cookies, and more cookies. That would be Peggy, she’s the Cupcake -Cake -Cookie, Goddess! If I lived next to her, I’d be the neighbor with my face pressed against her kitchen window everyday. “What are you baking today Peggy? Can I have some? I’ll taste that cookie!” She’d most likely throw a spatula at me and say bug off, but I’d only be back minutes later, face squashed against the glass like one of those poor puppies you see in pet store windows, “Take me, Take me!”
 I swear her cookies, cakes and cupcakes look like they were all sprinkled with magic. Mmmmm! Maybe one day I can convince her to do a guest post, a cupcake, or cookie post for you all. I’m telling you you will not be disappointed! I’ve been making one of her cookies non stop since Thanksgiving as everyone who’s stopped by has taken a bag full after tasting one. By the time they leave we’re left with about ten to share ourselves, and given how awesome they are, we cannot just have ten cookies! So we end up making another batch. Oh for the love of Cookies, Peggy please share more with us!!!

Back to the Challenge I came up with though, I started out February with a handful of printed recipes and cookbooks lined with endless little sticky notes. I was to try one brand new recipe each day, and I posted them daily, for the entire month on facebook. It was more than fun, it was exciting for me. My kids got into it, they never again said they didn’t want what was on the table, they helped cook, helped prepare and wanted to eat it! It was awesome. I got into the habit of making menus each Friday night, making a list of what I had, and didn’t have, so it would make it easier.
  It didn’t matter what the recipe was, breakfast, or breads, muffins, side dish, main, or dessert ,if it was new to me I tried it. From that point this blog was created, along with several friends begging me to do it. I didn’t really want to stop with the trying new things, and in order to keep it all in a tidy neat little place, I took the plunge and started My Side Of Life.
   I’ve never stopped trying new recipes, in fact I try at least two to four new ones each week, even more some others. I normally cook seven days a week, unless we have piles of leftovers, in that case less. Either way, it’s become a habit to do something different.

Everyday is a challenge with four kids. Two of them in school it does make it a little crazy running to and from picking them up, dropping them off, play-dates, after school programs, birthday parities, field trips. You name it, it gets a bit too chaotic at times, rushed and pressed for time.
   It’s not easy to get any “Me” Time during the day, actually my time is in the kitchen. I enjoy it, I can whip gravy till it’s thick and savory, knead bread dough till it’s elastic and smooth, or slam a rolling pin against chicken breasts till it’s as thin as ever for dinner. This is where I get my time to work out stress. It may not seem like my break as the kids hover even more around me, but it’s fun for me. It’s My Time!

Which brings me to my New Year Challenge. Keeping realistic with the crazy life as Mom, I want more me time. Whether it’s trying a new recipe in the kitchen with it not being rushed as it’s been getting in the last few months, I want more time in other areas of my life. The kids will and always will be a part of everything I do, but simply grabbing a book, movie, or making a tiny something just for me, I plan on doing it.

Kids have always come first, but there’s no reason I can’t grab a little something in between myself, so this marks a new start. A Challenge to devote time for myself. Where it will take me? Most likely still playing with my food, but hopefully at the same time enjoying more for myself outside the kitchen as well.

Happy New Year Everyone! Welcome To 2011!!!