Monday, 31 August 2015

Pina Colada Cheesecake - Great Bloggers Bake Off

I absolutely adore cheesecake. However I have only made a baked cheesecake a couple of times. I usually go for the easier no bake ones. So when I saw that cheesecakes were one of the challenges for the bakers I knew that I had to make one.

Cheesecake is definitely one of my most favourite desserts.

At the moment I have a real passion for coconut ingredients. I regularly use coconut oil, coconut milk and coconut flour. So when I was thinking of what my favourite summer flavours were what came to mind?

Yes, you guessed it, coconut!

But I did not want to make just a coconut cheesecake I wanted to add more flavours. This led me to one of my favour cocktails, Pina Colada. Pineapple and coconut are such a classic combination, I knew they would be perfect for this weeks challenge.

I have got the basic weights from BBC Good Food and have adapted the recipe.

Here is my Pina Colada Cheesecake...

Sunday, 30 August 2015

23rd August - 29th August 2015 - One Picture Everyday For One Year - Guest Hosting #TWTWC

This week I am honoured to be hosting The Week That Was Captured for the lovely Hannah from Make Do and Push while she is away.

This week has seen the hubby return to work after having him at home for 9 days and the countdown to school returning has begun! I have to admit that I cannot wait for school to return and the children are well and truly ready for the routine. We have had lovely sunny days as well as autumnal days as for the weekend we are keeping our fingers crossed for a lovely bank holiday weekend!

Here is our week in pictures...

Sunday 23rd August 2015

I have recently discovered how relaxing I find crochet. This is becoming my sanity saver. If I am stressed of anxious or simply need to relax away from the internet and technology I start to crochet. I am part way through a very special gift for someone!

Monday 24th August 2015

Life with the twins can be a roller coaster. They have moments when they are each others best friends and so loving to each other then they are worst enemies and fighting each other. It is the loving moments that make it all worth it. This picture was taken while they were watching a film. Taylor had his head on Isabella's lap and she was playing with his hair and stroking his head.

Tuesday 25th August 2015

Tuesday was injection day for the twins. I will admit to worrying about it. But I am delighted to say that I really did not need to. We were so proud of them both. Before we went on holiday the twins came with me to the vets when I took Dotty for her booster and I had told them why we have injections in preparation for theirs. On the way to the doctors they were even quite excited as I told them that Dr Ranj and Doc McStuffins give injections and we all need them so that we do not get poorly. When we went in to see the nurse she was brilliant with them. As they were about to have it I popped a little piece of chocolate in their mouths and we had no problems! They did fantastic, even the nurse was amazed by how well they had done.

Wednesday 26th August 2015

This is definitely one of my most favourite pictures of Isabella. It was taken when we took the dogs for a walk down the lane when hubby got home from work. As always Dotty the cat walked all the way with us. Isabella stopped and said to me "Mummy take a picture of me with Dotty!" and this was the picture. I love it!

Thursday 27th August 2015

The twins really are ready to return to nursery. Last Sunday Isabella put on her uniform in the morning and on Thursday it was Taylor's turn to want his uniform on. Everyday they have been asking "is it time to go to school yet?". I just hope that they are still happy to go next week!

Friday 28th August 2015

Friday was the day that we could go and collect the new cars! Wow I absolutely adore the new family car! The hubby even traded in his beloved Volvo for a little run around for work so that we could get the new bigger car. I keep looking out the window at it, this is the first time I have had a brand new car!

Saturday 29th August 2015

On Saturday the twins and Joseph were out at a birthday party for 2 and a half hours. Therefore all of the pictures that I took were for my blog. This is a picture of a review and recipe that I looking forward to writing!

As I mentioned before, this week I am hosting #TWTWC for Hannah. If you want to check the rules you can see them all here. I look forward to reading about your The Week That Was Captured posts!

I am also sharing my Project365 with:

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Running in Lavender

Sunday Picture

Friday, 28 August 2015

Dreaming of Holiday Plans

Now that the summer holidays are almost over it is time to start considering next years family holiday! It is time to make the big decisions. 

Will it be in the UK, will it be abroad?

Will it be a beach holiday or a city escape?

The choices out there are endless!

I thought that it would be a bit of fun to sit and dream about holidays and share my findings with you. As always holidays are not just about what you can do, it is about destination and of course food! I love discovering new foods when on holiday, it is all part of the travelling experience.

Holiday Gems have created a fantastic content hub where you can compare both city and beach holidays. It gives you choices of worldwide destinations and I have loved dreaming of holidays. Here are my top beach and city destinations!

City Holidays


Our Soft and Fluffy Moments with Roberts Bakery

Roberts Bakery Logo

Going away last week was the perfect time for us to find our Soft and Fluffy moments in each day. Roberts Bakery have challenged us to fill a jar of our Soft and Fluffy moments and to look back on them to remember our summer. To document our summer I have naturally taken plenty of pictures!

Here are our Soft and Fluffy Moments...

Seeing this beautiful view while having a ride on a train at Castle Howard 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Kick Starting A Healthier Me with Florette

Summer time is definitely the time to enjoy more salads with our meals. I for one would rather have salad with my meal on a hot day than hot vegetables. I do love homegrown salad vegetables but some times it is certainly much easier to open a bag of ready prepared salad.

Florette is a perfect example of a great, ready prepared summer salads. It is great to go in sandwiches, as a side dish or as a simple salad leaf meal.

Even though we all associate salads with summer, they can be enjoyed throughout the year.

After having a summer of over indulgence I am going to kick start my health by having September as a month to start re thinking about me and my body. This is going to mainly be eating healthier but also exercising again and getting some more time back for me. I am going to incorporate salads into our meals more and have them throughout the year. A Salad For All Seasons is a great book that I will be using a lot. It shows how salads can be enjoyed whatever the season!

If like me you are wanting to detox your body a bit after the summer Florette have created a great 5 day healthy eating plan which is full of delicious recipes. I will definitely be trying the smoothie recipes and the vegetable pesto flat bread pizza looks so good! Pop over and take a look for lots of salad inspiration!

I enjoyed my Florette leaves with traditional salad vegetables of cucumber, tomatoes, celery and spring onion. I topped it with pieces of Port Salut cheese, a side serving of my homemade tzatziki and a couple of slices of nutty smoked soda bread. Delicious!

Enjoy x

Disclosure: I was sent a Florette goodie bag and the book for the purpose of this post. No cash payment was received. All views, opinions and words are my own and 100% honest.

Welsh Lamb Burgers with Homemade Tzatziki - Family Favourites

Usually when we think of lamb we think of Easter. However lamb can be enjoyed at any season. Also when we think of lamb we often think of New Zealand. But there is also Welsh lamb! Welsh lamb is full of flavour and it is also better for the environment. There has not been all of the miles that the meat has needed to travel thus making it fresher!

I was sent some organic Welsh minced lamb to try for National Burger Day, which is tomorrow! We love homemade burgers, I always find that they are so much more tastier but it is great to know exactly what has been used to make the burgers and the quality of the meat.

Lamb is such a flavoursome meat and goes well with various herbs and spices. For these burgers I have used mint and cumin as my additional flavours along with some onion and garlic and some homemade tzatziki.

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Nutty Smoked Soda Bread

Even though I was on holiday, I was glued to last weeks Great British Bake Off and I knew that I would love it. Last week was bread week. Before I lost my baking mojo thanks to depression, bread was my favourite thing to bake. I had been looking forward to last week as I am wanting to fall in love with bread making again, this was to be the push that I needed.

In the past I have baked baguettes and bread art was not for me. So that left me with soda bread.

Soda bread is normally my hubby's bake so I was excited to have a go. I love to experiment with new and different flours and while we were away we found a lovely little deli which had a wide stock of flours so before leaving for home I had to buy some for my soda bread. In this bake I have used three different flours along with a peat smoked salt and the flavours went together perfectly.

This is what I did...

Nakd Bars

Like everyone, I do love a good sweet treat. But finding one that can cure the sweet craving and be healthy at the same time can be difficult.

This is where Nakd bars come in!

Not only are they delicious, healthy cereal bars but they also contain 1 of your recommended 5 a day!


So what are Nakd bars?

Let me tell you!

Monday, 24 August 2015

#CookBlogShare Week 4 and Week 5 Round Up

I had planned to have my round up from week 4 scheduled to go live while I was away, however I was defeated by time! Therefore this week I am doing a round up of both week 4 and week 5. While I was away Kerry at Kerry Cooks hosted and I have enjoyed looking through the recipes that were shared and enjoyed catching up.

Firstly let me share with you my week 4 favourite recipes. They were...

Charlotte's Lively Kitchen - Soy and Sesame Salmon with Vegetable Chow Mien - I love salmon and this recipe had all of the flavours which I love! It not only sounds a tasty meal but is super healthy too!

All You Need Is Love And Cake - Pistachio and Caramel Biscotti - Since Great British Bake Off and Bloggers Bake Off I have become slightly obsessed with biscotti. This recipe is definitely on my "to try" list!

JibberJabber - Coffee and Walnut Cake - This delicious cake is a classic cake combinations that really are a favourite of mine. I have not made one in a long time and this recipe has given me a desire to bake one more often!

This Is Not My Home - Roasted Aubergines with Pesto, Tomatoes and Cheese - I love aubergines and have been looking for new ways to enjoy them. So when I saw this lovely recipe fro Beckie I knew it would be one that I would try!

Now onto my favourites from week 5. They were...

Foodie Quine - Peanut Butter Oreo Milkshake - Oh wow peanut butter Oreos! Just the thought of this shake has my taste buds going!

Tales From The Kitchen Shed - Sweet Chilli Jam - At the moment we have a lot of chilli's ready to be picked in the greenhouse so this recipe came at a great time. This will be a great way to use them up and on my must try list!

Munchies and Munchkins - Apple and Carrot Crumble - Apple Crumble is always a winner in our house. But adding carrot is a genius way to get more veg into a dessert! Next time I make a crumble I will get giving it a go!

Lovely Appetite - White Chocolate, Vanilla and Raspberry Celebration Cake - I chose this cake for two reasons. One because is is so pretty and two because I love the flavour combinations that have been used!

Tomorrow CookBlogShare is hosted by Mandy at Sneaky Veg. I cannot wait to see what you have been cooking up, old or new posts welcome!

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 24th August 2015

After having a week of eating out and a lot of over indulgence I am looking forward to a healthier week. It has been lovely to be more relaxed with how I have eaten but now I am starting to feel the toll of unhealthy living! So it is time to start looking after my body a bit more! I am going to be cutting down my intake of mass produced bread which has caused a lot of bloating. I am also going to cut out the majority of sugar, but allow myself the odd treat and dairy. I am also going to be getting back onto the Slimming World program. I really have let it slip during the summer holidays!

Last week I shared a couple of recipes that I managed to get scheduled before going away. This is what I shared..

This weeks meal plan is the start to rediscovering the healthier me. This is what we will be enjoying this week.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

14th August - 22nd August - One Picture Everyday For One Year

Wow what a week!

You have probably noticed that on the social media front things have been very quiet. This is due to us going on holiday for a week and discovering that we have absolutely no signal in the village that we were in. We did get the odd signal while out and about but had a real break from everything online. I did miss it a lot but at the same time the break has done me good. Now that we are back I am raring to go again!

Last week I did a shorter round up of our week, therefore this week is is slightly longer.

Here is our holiday week in pictures...

Friday 14th August 2015

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Lemon Chicken Tray Roasts

Tray roasts are a delicious way to combine flavours. I love how the flavours come together as they cook.

This dish is full of flavour and seasonal vegetables. The lemon and garlic adds a real zest to the chicken and enhances the vegetables. Since cooking this meal it has definitely become a real family favourite and will be cooked many more times in the future. 

This is what I did...

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Summer Time Tea with teapigs

If you are regular reader you will know how we love tea and teapigs!

So when I was asked if I would like to try making some summer teas I could not wait to get started! Tea is such a versatile drink. It can be drunk both hot and cold, used in bakes and can even have different holistic benefits.

I love iced teas but have you seen the amount of sugar they contain? I was gob smacked when I looked at the nutritional values on one very well known brand. In 591mls there was 31g of sugar, that is just over 6 teaspoons!

So why buy shop bought, heavily sugared iced tea when it is so easy to make at home without sugar, or with a lot less if you like it sweeter?

With teapigs it is so easy to have a wide variety of flavoured iced tea. My favourites are:
  • Darjeeling Earl Grey
  • Liquorice and Mint
  • Lemongrass
  • Super Fruit
  • Rhubarb and Ginger
They are all super refreshing!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Augbergine Ratatouille

I always love a good ratatouille as a main course, I just wish my family did! However they do like it as a side dish so next time I make it I will make extra for me and a different main meal for them. Ratatouille is a great dish that can be adapted to what vegetables you have that need using up or if you have a glut of home grown vegetables! In this recipe I used a marrow, which is just a large courgette so it will work with either.

This is what I did...

Sunday, 16 August 2015

9th August - 13th August 2015 - One Picture Everyday For One Year

You may have noticed that this week my round up is missing a few days. This is because we are away and I am taking a weeks break from writing and will have limited social media interaction. This is due to having very little or no signal but I am sure it will do me good!

Here is our week in pictures, so far...

 Sunday 9th August 2015

After enjoying a family barbecue on Sunday evening my dad introduced me to this game, Association, on the i-pad. I will admit it has got me hooked and I was determined to get it finished before I went to sleep! This was the only picture that was taken on Sunday.

Monday 10th August 2015

On Monday I turned into a doll surgeon. I found Isabella's beloved Teal doll in the garden. The puppies of anarchy had been playing with her and she was ripped. Thankfully I found her and not Isabella so I sneaked past the children while they were eating, and ran upstairs to sew her up before little lady saw. Thankfully Teal made a full recovery and you would never know she had been ripped!

Tuesday 11th August 2015

I have been so busy this week, pictures really have been the last thing on my mind. This was Tuesdays only picture. This will give you a clue as to what my Great Bloggers Bake Off bake is based on!

Wednesday 12th August 2015

Everything that happened on Wednesday was over shadowed by our trip to A&E after Joseph's finger got closed in the car door! What a stressful afternoon! Thankfully his finger was just bruised and nothing broken!

Thursday 13th August 2015

Thursday was all about finishing off my lovely Amaretti Biscotti for Great Bloggers Bake Off. I am not really a biscuit baker but have finally had a successful biscuit bake! Thursday was non stop getting everything finished at home before we go away. After doing piles of ironing I ended the day with a late one finishing off last minute posts for while we are away. I always hate the build up to going away, I find it very stressful, but it will be nice to get away!

Have a great week x

Friday, 14 August 2015

Amaretti Biscotti - Great Bloggers Bake Off

When I saw that biscotti was one of the challenges for this weeks bakers on the Great British Bake Off I knew I simply had to have a go at it. My husband loves biscotti so how could I not bake them.

I have decided to use amaretti with my bake to make them a naughty but good!

I got the basic recipe from Great British Bake Off Everyday but have changed it from chocolate biscotti to my own amaretti biscotti.

This is what I did....

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Leftover Roast Beef Pie

This pie is a delicious way to use up any leftover beef from a roast dinner. I always find that when roast beef is recooked in a different dish the flavours develop even more and make the meat even tastier!

This dish is not only great for leftovers but is also an easy meal to make. Even if you do not have a lot of beef left to use you can bulk it out with extra vegetables. I have made my own pastry but you can always use pre made which can be a lot easier if you are preparing this meal on a busy day!

This is what I did...

Monday, 10 August 2015

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 10th August 2015

Woo hoo only 4 meals to plan and then it is time for our holiday!!!

At the moment I seem to have a problem remembering to take the meat that I need out of the freezer and have found that a few meals last week had to be adjusted due to this. I really do need to set a reminder for the night before! I did not cook the spatchcock chicken thanks to forgetting but I did create a meal that was equally good. I will be sharing the recipe this week!

Last week it was time to receive the monthly meat delivery that I get. This month there was a delicious variety of meats including sausages, beef, haggis, pork and pork.

Last week I did not post as often as usual. Having the children at home has meant that I have not had as much time as usual! These are the recipes that I shared last week...

#CookBlogShare Week 3 Round Up

Thank you so much to everyone that joined in with CookBlogShare last week. There were so many delicious recipes shared.

When it came to deciding which to feature in this weeks round up I had a really tough job. But the sweet recipes won again.

The recipes that I have chosen contain some of my all time favourite flavours and they are all recipes that I really want to have a go at.

My four favourite recipes from week 3 of CookBlogShare are...

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Lemon and Rooibos Madeira Cake

You know when the Bake Off has returned when you wake up in the middle of the night and start planning a cake to bake! Yes after a year the Great British Bake Off has returned as The Great Bloggers Bake Off has also returned!

Recently (since my depression began) I have completely lost my baking mojo. You may have noticed that the number of bake posts has gone down. I am hoping that GBBO will give me a kick up the bum and get me baking again. I have always loved baking and I cannot wait to get baking as I did before.

This cake was thought of in the middle of the night. But it was thought of in a different way first. The first cake that I made was a lemon and lemon rooibos tea. However I brewed the tea first and added the liquid to the cake. It did turn out too moist so a second cake, as per the hubby's request, was made with different measurements and using plain rooibos leaves.

This is what I did...

Sunday Picture

2nd August - 8th August 2015 - One Picture Everyday For One Year

At last we have had a good week of weather! This week has been a more enjoyable and productive week simply because the sun has been shining.

This week has seen the twins playhouse decorated, park play time, lunch with daddy, a lot of baking and a barbecue!

Here is our week in pictures...

Sunday 2nd August 2015

Sunday was a lovely day. We spent a lot of the day out in the garden. Isabella has recently discovered the flowers that the hubby has grown for cutting. She regularly goes and picks some for me.

Monday 3rd August 2015

Monday was a baking day. The hubby has been asking me for weeks to bake some scones. I have found that with my depression I have lost my baking mojo so it did do me good to get a push to do something which, before, I loved. It was lovely baking and I realised that I have missed it. As always I am taking part in the Great Bloggers Bake Off and I hope that it reignites my passion for baking.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Lean Greens - Review

As you probably know recently I have been discovering 'superfoods'. I have been adding chlorella, wheat grass, chia seeds and matcha to all sorts of juices and smoothies. But trying to incorporate all of the superfoods that they say you should have can be hard as there are so many. Then there is the problem of which ones to choose and then there is the price.

The individual packets are not cheap!

You can imagine how curious I was when Lean Greens asked me if I would like to try their superfood drink food supplement!

I could not wait to try them!

So what is in Lean Greens?

What makes them different to other food supplement drinks? Well look a all the goodness that it contains...

Photograph courtesy of Lean Greens

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Moussaka Style Cottage Pie

This recipe came along by accident. It was meant to be a moussaka but the summer holidays took over and I simply did not have time to bake it. That is why it became a moussaka style cottage pie and if I am totally honest it was even better than the original plan. This meal resulted in clean plates all round and even requests for seconds!

I have found that if I remove the skin of the aubergine before I cook it the children will eat it. When I have cooked it in the past with the skin on none of them have eaten it. So if you have anyone that will not eat aubergine remove the skin and they will never know!

This recipe was supposed to be yesterdays Family Friendly recipe. Over the next few weeks I am not going to be posting as regularly as normal, like most families, I am busy with the children all being at home!

This recipe is now going to be added to one of our favourites. This is what I did...

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Greener Cleaner - Review and Giveaway

As you know I love cooking and baking but I will admit to not being the tidiest of cooks. Once I have finished in the kitchen it often looks like a bomb has hit the room! I love cooking and making the mess but like many other I really do not like the cleaning up afterwards.

I have a cupboard full of different products and often do worry what health effect they can have on the children, the cat and the dogs. A lot of the products have strong aromas and I have even used some which have made me cough if I breath in the after spraying! It is not only our health that I worry about, but also the environment. We try to be as environmentally friendly as we can, we recycle everything possible and try to reduce our carbon footprint.

So when I was approached by Greener Cleaner I was immediately interested to know more. After doing some research I found out the following about Greener Cleaner:
  • Greener Cleaner ensure that all of their products are both Eco-friendly and affordable
  • They use locally sourced materials where possible, this reduces their carbon emissions
  • Their Eco-friendly products will not compromise on performance
  • All of the solid parts and handles are made using Eco-Flex. Eco-Flex is made using 50% wood pulp and 50% recycled plastic
  • All of the liquid range is made using 100% natural and sustainable ingredients that are safe for the environment and have not been tested on animals
  • They even have their own loyalty scheme!
As you can imagine I was curious to see whether their products would compete well with the many other ones that I have tried!

So far I have tried the dust pan and brush, the utility brush and the all purpose cleaner.  All of the products that have been made with the Eco-Flex are of the highest quality and are such strong products that you can immediately tell have been made to last.

I have found all of the items that I have used to be great, but I am most impressed with Greener Cleaner's All Purpose Cleaner! It has no sharp aromas and cleans so much better than the other all purpose cleaners and offers the same anti bacterial benefits. I have found the spray cleaner to easily wipe off any grease, dried on marks and even ground in mud on the floor. We have dogs so there are always muddy paw prints after it has rained. This spray easily wiped the marks away!

I will definitely be investing in more of their liquid cleaning range! I have even joined their loyalty scheme, I have been that impressed with their product I will be using them from now on.

Greener Cleaner are kindly giving away a cleaning bundle, similar to the one pictured above, to a lucky Hijacked By Twins reader. To be in with the chance of winning simply complete the Rafflecopter below.

Good luck x

Terms and Conditions
  • Enter the mandatory tasks and complete as many of the optional ones as you like
  • Open to UK residents only
  • Hijacked By Twins are not responsible for the prize
  • Once the winner has been selected and notified they will have 7 days to respond. If no contact is made a new winner will be selected.
  • The giveaway will run from 5th August 2015 until 24th August 2015
  • No alternative prize is available
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent the cleaning bundle for the purpose of this post. No cash payment was received. All views and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

Scones with Fresh Fruit - #CookBlogShare

After being asked again and again by my hubby to bake some scones I have finally got to bake some. Recently baking has not been on the top of my list and I feel that it has been the one thing that I have missed doing. Now with the start of Great British Bake Off in a couple of days and the start of the bake along, Great Bloggers Bake Off, starting again has come at a good time.

I had not realised how much I have missed baking. It wasn't until I got my hands in the flour and started I realised. I have long been trying to prefect my scones. My late Nanna was the queen of scones and I have been trying to do her proud! I have got to admit that I am really pleased with these scones, hence why I am sharing them today. But what has made these scones even tastier is the topping! When it came to serving I could not believe that we had run out of jam. Thankfully the hubby came up with the great idea of going into the garden to pick some fresh fruit to replace the jam!

This is what I did...