Posted in cooking

Happy New Year! The Challenge Begins Again

Well hello again! It’s so long since I posted a blog that I couldn’t find the new post button to begin with!

The new year has prompted me to take up my challenge once more. It all  began on New Years Eve 2011 when I cooked dinner for some friends. I decided that my new years resolution should be to cook a new dish every week for 2012. For a while it went really well… until June when life got in the way – and I’m ashamed to say that my last post was in the middle of June 2012!

I know it all sounds a bit ‘dog ate my homework’ but Mr Gem and I had an exciting but incredibly busy last half of 2012 and it did rather take over the cooking and blogging side of my life! We were lucky enough to get tickets for the Olympics and the Paralympics which was amazing, especially being able to see my own cousin win a Silver Medal in the Paralympics! And then  we bought our first house together which was more time consuming than I’d anticipated. However, the plus side is that now my culinary adventures take place in a kitchen that I own and it has enough space to swing a cat should I so desire!

I realise that only making it to June in 2012 was a poor show so I’ve decided to take up the challenge once more and try and make a new dish for every week in 2013. Please feel free to feedback, offer advice, share with a friend or maybe just try out the recipes I have written about.

So without further chat here is Week 1 – enjoy!

Week 1 – Moroccan Spiced Chicken Skewers and Avocado Dip 


It was actually Mr Gem who picked this dish out of my Jamie Does… book, you can find a copy of the recipe here. I was glad to finally cook something out of that particular book, it’s been challenging me for years and I’ve literally never cooked from it – however it was such a good recipe I’ll definitely go back to it!

The dish itseSDC12556lf was so easy to put together – simply chop the chicken and mix all the marinade ingredients together. Coat the chicken in the marinade and leave for 30 minutes (or however long it takes to put the first coat of paint on your kitchen!) so that the chicken infuses with the marinade – don’t worry if it looks a little grim – mine did and they turned out fine!

SDC12558Once the chicken has rested in the marinade you need to pop it onto skewers and cook on a hot griddle pan. To be fair the hardest (messiest) part is putting the chicken on the skewers the rest is easy! The marinade should almost caramelize whilst its cooking and the chicken takes about 10 minutes to cook (depending on the size of your pieces – do check before eating and don’t rely on my slapdash instruction!)

While the chicken is cooking you can make the dip, squeeze out the avocado into a bowl and mash it a bit until its as smooth or chunky as you need it to be. Add in the other ingredients and mix.

When the chicken is done serve it on flatbreads with a blob of the avocado dip and enjoy!

It looked and tasted really good. In terms of calories it was quite high about 800 including the flatbreads, however avocado has a high calorie content but its good fat so I wasn’t too concerned.

This would be the perfect dish for a sharing plate or barbeque, or just a Sunday!

Great start to the year!



Mum, wife, marketing bod. Wine, fizz, gin, chocolate and book lover. Secret eater and snack hider. Home cook and amateur blogger. Embracing the new challenge of cooking new and tasty dishes whilst getting a boisterous baby boy bathed and bedded and keeping a hangry tired husband distracted til tea time!

3 thoughts on “Happy New Year! The Challenge Begins Again

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