Monday, 29 February 2016

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 29th February 2016

Last weeks meal plan went more or less to plan. I was expecting to have some leftovers from the stew but everyone had second so there were not any! The curry did get changed from a chicken curry to a fish curry. We have been enjoying less meat and just fancied fish instead of chicken.

Last weeks healthy eating did get abandoned. My depression medication is in the process of being changed. The doctor put me on one type which lead to an increase in appetite which was not great timing. But they have been changed today to a different type which should not have this effect, so I am hoping that I will be eating as normal this week. 

We are still enjoying more vegetable based meals and the children are becoming more adventurous with what they eat. Last week Isabella discovered that she loves kale and even though Taylor takes a long time he is eating well. Even fussy Joseph is doing really well!

This week I have gone back to receiving a weekly vegetable box. I find that getting these boxes encourages me to try new dish and experiment a bit more with our meals.

This is what we will be enjoying this week...

Week Commencing 29th February 2016

Saturday, 27 February 2016

20th February - 27th February 2016 - One Picture Everyday For One Year

Last week I posted my Project366 a little earlier as we were celebrating the twins birthday last Saturday. This week I am going to post Saturday to Friday again. I have found this to be an easier way to post my project366. Doing it this way has allowed me more time with my family and less time on the laptop.

This week has been a tough week but I am hopeful that it is the start of things getting more positive. Here is my week in pictures...

Saturday 20th February 2016

Saturday was the twins birthday! They turned four, my babies are now four! For their birthday we enjoyed a family meal celebrating. I will be telling you all about our lunch out next week so keep an eye out for that!

Sunday 21st February 2016

On Sunday we had another birthday meal at my mum and dads. They loved getting a second birthday cake and blowing the candles out again.

Monday 22nd February 2016

I love seeing the twins interact together and on Monday they were so loving to each other I simply had to capture it. Taylor was snuggled up with Isabella watching her play on her Kindle. They played lovely all afternoon, which these days, is a rarity!

Tuesday 23rd February 2016

Tuesday was one of the days I do not look forward to in the year. Tuesday marked the fourth anniversary of loosing my Nanna.

Wednesday 24th February 2016

On Wednesday I had an appointment with the doctor. My moods and depression has been bad again so I went to see someone about it. My medication is in the process of being changed, with this, I am hoping to see a difference.

Thursday 25th February 2016

On Thursday I was busy taking photographs outside while it was lovely and sunny and I noticed this feather. I know it is just a bird feather but I do like the saying that an angel was near by.

Friday 26th February 2016

On Friday I went shopping to by some products in preparation of fair trade fortnight and when I saw these beautiful fair trade roses in Aldi I simply could not refuse them. Flowers for a blog post, why not!

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky
Running in Lavender
What Katy Said
Silent Sunday with MummyConstant

Friday, 26 February 2016

Oregano Prawn Spaghetti

When it comes to herbs and spices I like to keep it simple. I like to use the best quality and not over power foods. It is all about finding the natural balance and combining herbs and food. Using herbs and spices can transform a meal if a second.

This recipe is a simple recipe, there are not a large number of ingredients but the go perfectly together and make a deliciously light meal that is not just tasty but is also a healthy meal.

This is what I did...

January Degustabox - The Contents

Each month I look forward to seeing what delights are inside my Degustabox and January's box was no disappointment.

As you can see below it was full of a variety of foodie treats from breakfast cereals to snacks, from Chinese new year inspired products to drinks. There really was something for everyone.

So far I have created one recipe using the products. That was my Baked Apple Oat Crumble which I made using Clarks Carob Fruit Syrup. Carob fruit syrup is a way to sweeten food the natural way. I am also planning a couple of recipes using the Amoy curry sauces and a dip which is going to be perfect with Finn Crisp sourdough rye cracker breads.

Let me tell you all about the products that were included in January's Degustabox.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Action Storage - Ideal for Packed Lunch Foods and PE Kits

When I was challenged to use a school locker as a storage place for school items I immediately knew that being the foodie that I am it would be an ideal opportunity to use for packed lunch items. Next year Joseph goes up to high school, which is a huge step for both him and for me. It will be hard to accept that he really is growing up. With growing up comes more independence.

We have recently started to give Joseph more jobs to do to increase his independence. His jobs in the morning are to finish packing his lunch box with snacks and fruit and to prepare his PE kit. I prepare his sandwiches the night before and he adds the extra bits in the morning. These always get left until the last minute and when I am getting both the twins and myself ready for the morning the last thing I need is Joseph shouting and asking me where his trainers are or where his drinks are. This is where my locker from Action Storage, who supply lockers in schools, comes in. 

The locker is a two door cabinet which enables me to separate his packed lunch extras from his pe kit and other items such as hat and gloves. This way everything that he needs to get is all in one place. This makes it easier for him to locate all of his things and makes life less stressful for me in the mornings.

Healthy Spinach and Ricotta Style Cannelloni - Slimmerseekers Thursday Week 7

For this weeks Slimmerseeker Thursday I thought that I would share with you a super healthy recipe. I don't know about you but I love ricotta cheese, especially with spinach. But with Slimming World ricotta equals syns. So I thought that I would have a go at making my own syn free version of this much loved, cheesy dish.

In the past I have used cottage cheese as a lasagne topping so I thought that I could substitute the ricotta for fat free cottage cheese and it worked perfectly!

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

A Better Nights Sleep with Pukka

Pukka Herbs are products that both the hubby and I love. So when I saw that they produced a natural night time sleep aid I was curious to see what they were like.

I often find that mid afternoon I feel tired but when it comes to bed time I am simply not ready for bed. After the busy evening of dinner, clearing up, getting the children to bed, doing some work and watching television, when bed time arrives my mind is active and not ready to sleep. I have tried other sleep aid tablets in the past but am not a fan of chemical ones. I prefer to have herbal remedies if possible as I have found that chemical sleep aids can effect my mornings and not for the better.

Baked Apple Oat Crumble

Who doesn't love a good pudding? When eating healthy you can also enjoy delicious puddings they just need to be made in a healthier way by changing a few ingredients for more naturally sweet ingredients.

One pudding that we always enjoy has to be a good old crumble. But crumbles are not the healthiest of puddings. The crumble topping consists of a lot of butter and sugar. So I decided to make a healthier version of a much loved classic and it was a huge success! This pudding is now a firm favourite that we will definitely be enjoying again and again.

This is what I did...

Monday, 22 February 2016

#CookBlogShare - Week 7 The Vegetarian Round Up

You will know by now that we are eating more and more vegetarian meals at the moment. We are loving this new healthier way of eating so naturally this week it had to be the vegetarian meals that really stood out!

At this time of year I enjoy more comforting foods like stews and bakes. With lunches I am constantly looking for new ideas and new ways to make lunch a little less boring. It always seems to be a meal which I grab quickly while doing things around the house and sorting the twins out. With these two thoughts in my mind I have selected two delicious lunch ideas and two warming, evening dinners.

Thank you to everybody who joined in with CookBlogShare last week. As always it was lovely to see the regular bloggers but again, last week, we had some new bloggers join in which is lovely. I hope to see them return as the regulars do.

Here are my four vegetarian favourites from CookBlogShare week 7...

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 22nd February 2016

After a busy weekend celebrating the twins fourth birthday and the diet going out the window this week is definitely going to be a healthy one!

Last weeks meal plan was a success, there was only one meal that I did not make. That was the bubble and squeak, this was due to the twins wanting an earlier tea so to keep the peace I made a quick pasta meal. The curry that I had planned for a couple of weeks was amazing! It was Deliciously Ella's Chickpea, Quinoa and Turmeric Curry and the whole family loved it! I even made my own gluten free naan breads which was so much easier than I was expecting. I need to perfect my peshwari version but once I do I will definitely be sharing it!

This week I am planning a couple of comfort meals. As the forecast says that it is going to be cold I think a couple of slow cooked meals will be needed!

This is what we will be enjoying this week...

Week Commencing 22nd February 2016

Monday - Low Fat, Spinach and Cottage Cheese Cannelloni

This meal, I am hoping, will be a healthier, low fat , spinach and ricotta style cannelloni. I am planning to swap the traditional ricotta for fat free cottage cheese. If this is a success I will be sharing my recipe.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

14th February - 19th February 2016 - One Picture Everyday for One Year

This weeks round up is a day shorter because today is the twins fourth birthday and as you can imagine our day will be busy! So next weeks round up will be a day longer.

This week has been half term and has been a manic week. But we have enjoyed some lovely lazy mornings and some trips out and about.

Here is our week in pictures...

Sunday 14th February 2016

On Sunday I decided to try on a shirt dress that I picked up in the sales just before Christmas. It was reduced down from £45 to £4.50 as it was the last one and a bargain like that could not be missed! I got a size 14 but when I got it home it simply would not fit. This was when I realised how much weight I had put on. On Sunday I decided to try it on and was amazed that it fitted and it anything it was a little bit big!

Monday 15th February 2016

Friday, 19 February 2016

Foodie Gifts from UncommonGoods

Are you looking for a gift for a foodie in your life? Or looking for a different gift? If so then the UncommonGoods are what you are looking for!


UncommonGoods are based in Brooklyn, New York City and ship their products worldwide. UncommonGoods was founded in 1999 by David Bolotsky after he was inspired by a visit to the Smithsonian Museum craft show. There he was captured by the huge variety of quality, handmade goods and the huge demand that there was for such products. UncommonGoods is a selling site which brings together independent seller in one place and brings them to a wider audience.

When buying gifts or products for myself I love to get items which are unusual and original. This is what I find most attractive about UncommonGoods, they are as the website name states, unusual!

The website has gifts and products for everyone, him, her, kids, home, baby shower gifts, kitchen, art and jewellery.

So when UncommonGoods offer me a voucher to buy some of their products I was excited to get something kitchen related. Come on, I'm a foodie, I love kitchen goodies!

Below are the great products that I ordered!

Elevate Carousel Utensil Set | Cooking, Kitchen Tools, Kitchen Accessories, Food Preparation, Colorful, Convenient, Easy Cleaning Up, Made From ABS Plastic | UncommonGoods:
One thing that I always need is more storage space so when I saw this functional but stylish utensil carousel from Joseph Joseph I could not resist it. This has to be my favourite purchase. The utensils have an extra bar along the back with a special weighed handle so that the head of the utensil is raised. This ensures that my work tops stay clean and that the utensils keep clean.

Sweet Veggie Chilli

I have recently been changing some of our most loved meat dishes into vegetarian dishes. This had to be some of our favourites. This chilli is more of a sweet chilli, I did not want to make the usual spicy chilli, this time I went for a sweeter chilli.

I changed the beef for puy lentils and they went perfectly with the other ingredients.

This is what I did...

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Slimmerseeker Thursday - Week 6

Welcome back to another week of Slimmerseeker!

Last week I mentioned how we are now going to be eating one meat and one fish meal a week and this week we have enjoyed more of a variety. Last week the Hubby finish a day early and over the weekend we did over indulge. On the Thursday night we enjoyed snacks and wine and on Friday we went out for a meal and I ate exactly what I wanted to, I even had bread! The weekend went on in fairly the same direction so I was not expecting any great changes in my weight this week. But in life you need to have a bit of time off and definitely need to enjoy some treats every now and then.

Before I tell you what my weigh in results were this week let me tell you about the other Slimmerseekers that joined in last week...

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Love Honey Cake

I know that Valentines day has been and gone but come on, love can happen at any time of the year! It does not have to be Valentines day for you to tell that special someone that you love them or show them acts of affection.

As they always say, the way to a mans heart is through his stomach. The hubby loves cake so I thought that the perfect treat for him would be a quick and easy honey cake, my Love Honey Cake. The best thing about this cake is that is it super quick to make and can be prepared and ready to eat in under 10 minutes! Leaving you plenty of time to spend quality time together!

This is what I did...

Horlicks Giveaway

At this time of year, now the evenings are cold, it is great to get some warm, lounging clothes on, snuggle up on the settee with a hot drink and relax.

I do love Horlicks but being on a diet I go for a lighter variety. So when I was asked if I would like to try some Horlicks Light Chocolate I had a feeling that this would be a drink that I would like. Most people associate Horlicks with bed time, but it can be enjoyed and more beneficial when drunk during the day! Did you know that Horlicks makes a great mid afternoon drink. When your energy levels are dropping forget the caffeine and have a Horlicks. Horlicks is packed with 14 key nutrients which can help reduce tiredness and fatigue.

To prepare the Horlicks Light Chocolate drink you simply use boiling water. However if you would like a creamier drink use some milk. I used an Oat milk which also went really well with it.

My ideal time to enjoy a lovely, hot cup of Horlicks is when I can sit down, do some crochet and take a little time out for me. To relax my body so that I am ready to face the rest of the day!

How do you like to relax?

Would you like to relax with a cup of Horlicks and a goodie pack of Horlicks vintage goodies?

If so you will be pleased to hear that Horlicks are offering Hijacked By Twins readers the chance to win a bundle, as pictured below. To be in with the chance of winning simply complete all of the mandatory options in the Rafflecopter and as many of the optional extras as you would like!

Terms and Conditions

1 - Open to UK residents only

2 - Hijacked By Twins cannot be held responsible for the prize. I am running the giveaway on behalf of Horlicks. Once the winner has been selected I will pass on their details to Horlicks who will send out the prize.

3 - No alternative prize is available

4 - If the winner does not respond to my email notifying them that they have won within 7 days another winner will be selected.

5 - The giveaway runs until 8th March 00:00

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mushroom, Egg and Avocado Brunch - #CookBlogShare Week 7

Hello and welcome to week 7 of CookBlogShare 2016.

Before I hand it over to the lovely foodie bloggers who return each week I thought that, today, I would share with you a delicious brunch recipe. I say brunch but it would be perfect as a lazy Sunday breakfast, or, as I enjoy it, as a light lunch.

You will probably know that I am currently on my own weight loss journey with Slimming World. If you know the Slimming World plan you will know that avocado's are a high syn food. But I am eating them without counting because they contain a good fat that our bodies need, monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat helps to protect our hearts by maintaining the levels of good cholesterol while reducing the bad cholesterol. So it is not good to cut out all fats in our diets. As I always say, everything in moderation

This dish is so quick and easy to make and is a lot tastier than a boring sandwich or a piece of toast!

This is what I did...

Monday, 15 February 2016

#CookBlogShare - Week 6 The Baking Round Up

Half term week has arrived. It is going to be lovely to have some lazy mornings with the kiddies. At the moment they are sat watching a movie while I have been looking at delicious recipes that were shared on last weeks CookBlogShare.

Before I go on to my favourite recipes I want to say thank you to Hayley from Snap Happy Bakes for hosting last weeks linky. Last week  there was a lovely array of both sweet and savoury recipes. This week my favourites have been inspired by the children. All three of them have said that they want to do some baking this week so I thought that it would be fitting if this week I do a baking round up!

Here are my four favourite recipes from week 6 CookBlogShare...

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 15th February 2016

Its half term and more than ever I need to have a meal plan in place. I don't know about you but I find having a meal plan is one less thing to worry about. 

This weeks meal plan has got meat in again. After doing a lot of research and finding so many conflicting opinions we have decided that one meat meal a week is not going to do any of us any harm, if anything it'll be good for us. We found out that there are a lot of necessary amino acids that are found in meat. Plus we were worrying that the children were getting everything that their little bodies need to grow healthily. Therefore we will not be having one meat meal a week and one fish meal. The rest will be vegetarian and when we do have meat I will be going to a local farm shop where the meat is all from local farms and of the highest quality. I honestly believe that a healthy diet is all about moderation.

As it is half term I am going for easier meals, ones that can either be quickly prepared and made or ones that can be left in the oven.

This is what we will be enjoying this week...

Week Commencing 15th February 2016

Monday - Healthy Green Pasta

To start the week we will be having a healthy pasta dish full of super green vegetables. Over the weekend we have over indulged in food and wine so we are starting the week as we mean to go on!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

The Sunday Times - A Paper for Everyone

The one thing that I always enjoy about getting a weekend paper is the magazine supplement. It allows us to both sit together as a couple reading what is going on in the world around us. I read the magazine while the Hubby reads the paper. Then we swap, or I read the travel section while the Hubby catches up on the sport.

This week The Sunday Times have launched their newly revamped magazine which I was excited to read! The magazine was first launched 54 years ago and was Britain's first, full colour newspaper magazine. Today, The Sunday Times Magazine has been given a make over with new writers and new sections so there really is something for everyone to read in just one magazine.

The first half of the magazine is dedicated to feature stories and interviews. This weekend features an interview with the stunning Dita Von Teese in her Hollywood home, how we can live well and the magazine's cover story all about the talented Taylor Swift. The How to Live Well article is all about The Life Project which was started in 1946. The article talks about how James Douglas began a child survey which followed the children as they grew up. Little did he know, at the time, that this project would change Britain and the world. A number of cohorts have come out over the years and a number of factors have come out about how you can live better. A few of the listed are to read to your children, make sure you exercise, mothers must eat well, if pregnant don't smoke and stick to bedtimes. These are all things that most of us take as common sense but a lot of this also came up almost 70 years ago. This article contains some thought provoking photography of the children like the one pictured below of children in Cardiff's deprived Tiger Bay in the 1950's.

The feature articles lead on to The Sunday Times newest magazine section, Life - Your Guide to Modern Living. This is the part of the magazine that I had been looking forward to reading. Here is where the Eating, Love, Body, Tech, Driving and other sections are.

Being the foodie that I am I flicked straight through to the Eating pages of the Life section and I was greeted by mouthwatering pictures of meals which I yearn to cook in my kitchen. Jamie Oliver shares his Southend Chowder which a a bowl of deliciously warming soup. Packed with potatoes, smoked bacon, cod and fresh cockles. This soup sounds like a perfect midweek meal to have with a fresh crusty loaf of bread. Florence Knight shares her Blood Orange and Rosemary Juice. She tells you how to prepare the rosemary syrup which will last for a few weeks. In this recipe it is paired with blood red oranges but it would also be ideal in a polenta cake or even a gin cocktail. This is followed by two more of Florence Knight's brunch recipes, Poached Eggs with Braised Leeks and Creme Fraiche and her Chestnut Pancakes, Bacon and Syrup. I am already planning a mid week lunch of Poached Eggs with Braised Leeks and Creme Fraiche! By spending a little time in the kitchen you can prepare and enjoy a more interesting lunch. Give me this any day instead of a sandwich!

Pursuing the eating theme, the next section moves on to AA Gill's review of the only restaurant on Savile Row, London, Sartoria and Damian Barr tells you what box sets you should be watching and what wine to drink while doing so. The Man in the High Castle is one of the programmes mentioned that we are currently watching. Now I also have an ideal wine to go with it!

Another favourite section for both the Hubby and I has to be the Driving column written by the one and only Jeremy Clarkson, I know that he is not everybody's cup of tea but we loved him in Top Gear and were disappointed to see him leave. So seeing that he now writes a weekly section in The Sunday Times Magazine means top motor reading on a weekly basis!

The Sunday Times Magazine is not the only added extra in the broadsheets Sunday edition. You also get a Style, Culture, Money, Sport and Travel along with the news from the UK and the rest of the world.

If you are looking for a Sunday newspaper that will contain something for all tastes then you will certainly find it within The Sunday Times. If the broadsheet newspaper is too large for you or you simply want to be able to access the news via your smart phone or tablet then you can always subscribe to receive a daily digital copy of The Times or you can just subscribe to just The Sunday Times. When I looked at The Times Subscription options I found packages that will suit all needs and requirements. For example you can subscribe for 12 weeks of digital publications for just £12, that is just £1 a week! I now have the daily subscription that I can access via the app on my phone and my tablet. As you can see below the content is of the highest digital quality! From now on I will be looking forward to reading The Sunday Times Magazine and relaxing with a coffee every Sunday morning!

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post. All words, views and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

7th February - 13th February 2016 - One Picture Everyday For One Year

I am pleased to say that we have now completed the first half term of 2016. This week has had some very cold mornings that I am not going to miss going out in next week! This week has been a busy week with regard to foodie posts. We have had the Chinese new year, pancake day and tomorrow is Valentines day. I do enjoy having foodie weeks like this week!

This week has seen two new arrivals to the Hijacked By Twins household, lots of pet pictures and a hurdle crossed!

Here is my week in pictures...

Sunday 7th February 2016

On Sunday a trip to our local Pets at Home for a harness for one of the dogs resulted in us coming home with a new hamster for Joseph and two bunny rabbits! The Hubby knows that I have always wanted a rabbit, from being a child to now. He also knows that recently my moods have not been great and I have been very up and down again. So when he saw me admiring the rabbits he asked me if I wanted two. I did, but to stop me feeling guilty I suggested that they be part of the twins birthday presents as they loved them. So meet Yoda, Taylor's rabbit on the left and Elsa, Isabella's rabbit on the right.

Friday, 12 February 2016

FoodieSeeker Friday - Carnival Vista Countdown!

Ok, it is official, the cruise excitement has well and truly begun! It is now less that 200 days until we set sail on Carnival Cruise's brand new liner for 2016, Vista! To say that I am excited is a slight understatement!

Preparation for the big holiday has really begun. Our passport photographs have been taken, our forms have been completed and they are ready to go in the post. If I am completely honest I still cannot believe that this is happening. This is going to be a dream trip come true. Italy is a country that I have always wanted to visit and I never thought that we would be going on a cruise together as a family.

As you probably know, Vista is Carnivals newest vessel. At the moment it is in the indoor preparation phase and soon to be going to sea trials. Then in April it will be delivered and ready to set sail with guests! Now that the vessel is almost ready we have got thinking about excursions.

When we set sail in the summer we will be going from Barcelona to Messina, Sicily Italy to Naples, Campri and Pompeii Italy to Rome, Civitavecchia Italy to Livorno, Florence and Pisa Italy to Marseilles France to Palma de Mallorca, Spain and back to Barcelona. As I type these destinations I am getting so excited. These are paces which I have wanted to visit for a long time. I used to live in Spain but I have never visited Barcelona. It has always been a must see for me as has Italy. So knowing that we will have the opportunity to spend time in these places certainly has got me thinking as to what we can do.

Whatever we decided to do will have to be child friendly. It has been a dream of mine to visit the Vatican, but unfortunately I do not think that this holiday will be the time to visit. The twins will only be four and will not thoroughly appreciate where we are. After all, they are children at the end of the day, so whatever we decide to do must be family friendly. As most children. the twins always need toilet stops and often want to do their own thing. So when it has come to excursions the ones that let you do as you want, in your own time certainly have been our preferred option. I envision us exploring the town or city where we are, the five of us, showing our children new cultures and simply taking in the atmosphere and discovering authentic places to eat. Who could possibly visit Italy without eating some authentic pizza, pasta and of course their tirimisu dessert!

When I sat and looked at the excursions that Carnival offer for our holiday I was amazed to see that they will be doing a whopping 75 excursions over the 8 days!

How will we be able to narrow it down?

There are so many places that I want to see and visit. I thought that today I would tell you about the tours that I think would be best suited to us as a family with an older child and smaller twins. Having children with a 7 year age gap it is essential that we do activities that please everyone and I truly believe that Carnival will definitely have what we are looking for!

Here are my favourite excursions that will be available...

Food Maestro - Making Shopping For Allergies Easier

My husband is gluten free and I have also adopted this lifestyle. I feel generally better making this lifestyle choice in myself. We have also started to have a cleaner diet which has meant that we have cut out dairy and refined sugars. We are now eating 5 vegan meals a week and having just one with meat and one other with fish. Shopping for this type of diet can be both difficult and time consuming. This is where the Food Maestro app has made life so much easier.

This app is free to download and is available for both Apple and Android devices. The app was designed with Guy's and St Thomas NHS Hospital Trust to assist families that live with food allergies and intolerance's. The app is so simple and easy to use. Simply add information for the members of family that have any allergies and food intolerance's and you are ready to go.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Slimmerseeker Thursday - Week 5

This week has seen another weigh in and another successful week. I am also delighted that I have leaped over my first hurdle.

Today I want to talk a little bit about diets. When I say diets, I do not mean slimming diets, I mean the way we eat in general.

Wow it can be so confusing! Knowing what to do to be right, what really is best for your health. There are so many conflicting opinions!

You may remember that I have said that we were trying different ways of eating. We have been trying a more vegan, plant based diet but after reading further into what health benefits there are from meat and fish it really has got me confused as to what is the best way to eat. What really is the way to eat for optimum health benefits?

After a lot of discussions with the hubby and wanting what is the best diet for the children we have decided that we will be eating meat and fish but keeping it at one meat dish a week and one fish dish and have the remaining meals as vegetarian. But when it comes to buying meat I will be sourcing it from local farm shops where the meat is reared locally and can be traced 100%. We will be following a clean eating diet which is one that we both believe in and do already part follow. We are going to cut out heavily processed foods and try and limit ingredient lists on products to just 5 ingredients. This will not be hard with regard to our main meals as I already cook our food from scratch but with the children's treats I will be more strict. If they want cakes and biscuits I will bake them! Yes it will mean more kitchen time for me, but I am not complaining!

Before I tell you this weeks results let me tell you a bit about some of the posts that were shared with Slimmerseeker Thursday last week...

Save Money this Valentines Day

Valentines Day is a time to show the people that mean the most to us just how much we truly love them. But we do not need to spend a fortune to show how much we love that special person. You could make a cake, cook a romantic meal or just take time out together.

When Aldi asked me if I would like to write a Valentines post for them I had ideas of making an easy romantic meal or a dessert full of love. But when I saw the fantastic Valentines day offers that they had and I just had to share them. This Valentines day you do not need to spend a lot of money and Aldi will certainly help you show how much you love and appreciate that special person without breaking the bank.

Before I go on to some beautiful floral offer that they have got I thought that I would share a few of Aldi's romantic recipes that they have got on their website.

1 - Lamb Steak with Mint Butter

Any of these meal ideas would make a deliciously romantic meal. My favourite has to be the puddings and of course the pink bubbly!

If you are not planning a romantic meal but want to shower your loved one with flowers then Aldi certainly have some amazing offers! At this time of year the price of flowers goes up due to the demand. But Aldi have kept their prices down and they have a bouquet to suit all tastes and all budgets. These are my top 6 Aldi Valentines bouquets...

1 - This bouquet consists of a whopping 100 red rose! Yes that is not a typing error, it does say one hundred red roses. This enormous bouquet is priced at just £25 which is a great bargain!

2 - If 100 red roses are a few too many then you could always settle on this lovely bunch of 12 red roses for just £3!

3 - Aldi have created this luxury rose bouquet for £20. You have the traditional red roses paired with the beautiful Gypsophila.

4 - To say I love you with a single red rose certainly will suit all budgets at just £2.50 and it even comes complete with this love heart vase.

5 - This stunning bouquet of premium Naomi red roses will cost you just £25.

6 - If you want to steer away from tradition these beautiful tulip bouquets will be perfect for just £5. I have got to admit I love seeing tulips around the house.

I hope that this post has given you a few ideas for Valentines day this year. However you can make Valentines day last all year by telling your loved one how much you love them daily and often do romantic gestures. It does not have to be on just this one day of the year and with Aldi's low prices you can afford to do it more often.

Have a lovely Valentines x

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

#CookBlogShare Week 5 - The Love Round Up

This weeks round up is a day later than normal as this week is a busy foodie week. Yesterday it was the Chinese New Year so naturally I shared a Chinese inspired recipe! Today is pancake day and they simply had to be made and of course Sunday is Valentines Day which is celebrated with food. Wow all in one week!

With these foodie themes in mind I decided to base this weeks roundup on them. There are three delicious recipes for Valentines treats and I had to include a pancake recipe. 

Thank you to Mandy from Sneaky Veg for hosting and sharing the posts and to you all for joining in each week.

Here are my four, seasonal favourites this week...

Vegan Raw Cacao Pancakes

This years pancakes are a little different that normal. I will admit that it did take me quite a few goes to get them just right, but I did do it!

These pancakes are not only vegan but are also gluten free and so delicious!

This is what I did...

Monday, 8 February 2016

Chinese New Year with Tilda Firecracker Rice

Today is the Chinese New Year and this year is the year of the monkey.

To celebrate the new year Tilda sent me some of their new, limited edition Firecracker Hot Spicy Rice and challenged me to use it in a recipe to create a hot and spicy dish and to celebrate the year of the monkey. Tilda Firecracker is packed with red chilli pepper, chilli seeds, smoked paprika and sweet tomato.

With a rice like this, that is so full of flavour and character, you really do not need to do a lot. Tilda have done all of the hard work for you. All of the spices that you need are already sealed in the handy, easy to prepare pouch of rice.

For this deliciously healthy dish all I did was add some lovely fresh vegetables and allowed the Tilda rice to do all of the work for me.

This is what I did...

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 8th February 2016

Last weeks meal plan did not go exactly to plan. I had planned for three meat free meals, one meat and one fish dish. But when it came to deciding if we really wanted the venison cottage pie we found that we didn't. Last week we ended up having 6 meat free, vegan meals. We only had fish when we went to my mum and dads for Sunday dinner.

I guess that this means we are now a meat free family and are really enjoying it. I have found a new love for flavours and foods that I have had for a while.

This week I am planning a totally meat free week and am really looking forward to these meals!

This is what we will be enjoying this week...

Week Commencing 8th February 2016

Monday - Chinese New Year Stir Fry

I have been sent some of Tilda's latest rices which I will be using to make us a stir fry.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Win a Crepe Pan from ProCook Kitchenware

On Tuesday it is pancake day. I don't know about you, but we enjoy pancakes at any time of the year and not just on Shrove Tuesday. Pancakes are such a versatile food and can be made both savoury and sweet. I recently share some ways that we enjoy our pancakes.

ProCook Kitchenware are offering Hijacked By Twins readers that chance to win their own crepe pan as shown below. With this pan you are guaranteed to make perfect pancakes that the whole family will enjoy!