Wednesday, 29 June 2016

How To Make Your Credit Card Work For You

Even though politics isn’t one of my great priorities in life, it was hard not to be shaken by the recent Brexit vote. To what extent it will end up affecting the majority of individuals like us remains to be seen, but all the talk of recessions and downturns does make you take stock. All we can do at home is ensure that our household finances are as stable and healthy as possible.

The big one which seems to be a problem is debt, and Brits are quietly slipping further and further into a dangerous spiral, and living beyond their means. It’s interesting to note that there is such a stigma surrounding taking out a loan, yet when it comes to credit cards, many are willing to swipe or tap away at the plastic without much consideration.

The irony of this is that credit cards, although convenient, are typically very expensive if you simply make minimum repayments each month. APRs are usually 20 per cent or more, which is a much higher interest rate than you’ll generally get on a personal loan if your credit rating is sound.

Using your credit card to your advantage

Of course, credit cards can be a force for good too. First of all, using them (and paying them off) is actually vital to building a good credit score. But the more appealing perk is undoubtedly the rewards many providers are throwing at us in order to attract business. Some are offering great cashback deals every time you spend, while many others are offering things like vouchers, free travel insurance and significant discounts on a variety of purchases.

There is no reason not to make the most of such benefits, and popping your ordinary expenditure on your credit card as opposed to debit card won’t cause any harm – provided you ensure that you clear the balance each month. Because if not, the interest you’ll need to pay will likely far outweigh any rewards you’ve enjoyed. After all, these credit card companies are out to make a profit from us.

Cheesey Courgette Fritters with Cathedral City Cheddar

I will hold my hands up, I am a cheese lover!

I simply adore a good cheese and love how cheese can transform a meal in minutes and, with my children, when cheese is added they will eat anything!

Cathedral City, the nations favourite cheese, have recently started their "Love Cheese? Join the Club" campaign. The campaign features adverts that state the rules of cheese. Here is an example of just one rule...

Being a family of cheese lovers we often have arguments over who gets the nacho with the most cheese! Cathedral City have come up with a list of cheese rules. I thought I would share some of them with you along with my cheesey confessions...
  • The bit of cheese that is too awkward to grate must be eaten - This is one that I always follow!
  • Crispy bits are irresistible, absolutely no effort should be made to resist - I will admit to often pinching those bits before serving dinner!
  • You might feel guilty after multiple visits to the cheeseboard, don't! - I never feel guilty for enjoying a good cheeseboard and enjoy it even more with a glass of wine!
For me and my family cheese is an essential product that is always found in our fridge. Adding distinctive, smooth and creamy Cathedral City to a dish is the perfect way to get reluctant children eating a a meal. It is amazing what some melted cheese can do! Whether it is grated on top of a cottage pie, added to fajitas or melted onto a pasta bake, cheese adds something special to a meal.

Today I am going to share a quick and easy dish that is perfect for a light lunch or to serve with jacket potatoes and salad for an evening meal.

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Steak Pie

Who doesn't love a good pie? Pie has to be one of the best comfort foods and it is one of my hubby's favourite meals. I know that pie is a perfect winter time meal but we also enjoy pies as an alternative to a Sunday roast. The recipe that I am sharing with you today is what I made on Father's Day.

The five ingredients, pictured above, combine together to make a truly delicious pie filling. I recently discovered that Aldi stock some fantastic mixed herb grinder pots from Stonemill. For this recipe I have used the garlic, herb and tomato seasoning grinder. These little, full of flavour, pots are an ideal way to add extra flavours to your dishes in a perfectly balanced way.

Slow cooking the pie filling in either a slow cooker or in the oven as I did leaves you with lovely tender meat and you can prepare it and leave it to cook while you spend time with your family.

This is what I did...

Monday, 27 June 2016

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 27th June 2016

What a fantastic weekend in London! But now it is back to the grind and definitely back to healthy eating. The clock is ticking down to our big summer holiday and I would still like to loose about a stone in weight! Is this possible in 7 weeks? Yes I think so. From now until our cruise I am going to be super good so that I can feel confident when I put on my swimsuit and laze around the pool!

I am not attending a slimming class but I am going to follow the Slimming World plan with a few of my own adjustments like including healthy fats such as avocado and nuts in moderation. I do find losing weight hard. I am at a stage in my life where I am happy so being thin is not one of my priorities anymore and for me, this is a huge step! But I do not wear a swimsuit all the time! Healthy eating here I come!!!

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

Week Commencing 27th June 2016

Monday - Courgette Frittata and Jacket Potatoes

This was a meal that was planned for last week and I did not make. As we have quite a few eggs to use up we will be starting the week with a meat free dish.

Tuesday - Chicken Fajitas

I will be making chicken fajitas with roasted vegetables and rice but I will be having mine without the wraps.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Juice Review - Parragon Love Food

I love receiving cook books to review ans this month was not exception. This month's book from Parragon was Juice.


This handy sized book contains over 100 nutritious juice and smoothie recipes. It contains 7 chapters including an introduction to juicing and smoothie making. The introduction gives you all of the hints and tips that you may need as well as advising on equipment that is needed. So if you are new to making juices and smoothies then this book is the ideal way to start!

Following the introduction the book is divided into 6 further chapters. Each chapter is full of juices that do different jobs for your body. They are:
  • Energy
  • Rehydrate
  • Nourish
  • Glow
  • Soothe
  • Detox
Now selecting a recipe to tell you about was the hard part. This book is full of deliciously healthy juices and smoothies. I eventually settled on a refreshing drink. Today is quite muggy so I went for a drink that will really quench my thirst.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Lime and White Chocolate Cake

For this week Aldi post I thought that I would share a delicious cake that I made on Fathers Day using the deliciously creamy Moser Roth Madagascan Vanilla Chocolate. But before I share my recipe with you, I want to tell you some news from Aldi!

Last week saw The Grocer Gold Awards 2016 take place. Aldi walked away with not just one award, but two! They were awarded The Grocer of the Year 2016 and Own Label Range of the Year for their baby brand Mamia. The judges acknowledged that Aldi offer responsibly sourced, quality products at the lowest possible price. This allows families to enjoy more for less!

The Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Barnes, said "We're absolutely thrilled to have been named The Grocer of the Year 2016. This recognition gives customers assurance that Aldi is the best supermarket in Britain." Read more about the awards and the full statement here.

Congratulations Aldi on your awards and here is to many more!

Now on to cake!

I love the combination of lime and white chocolate. The creamy chocolate compliments the bitter lime perfectly.

This is what I did...

#CookBlogShare Week 24 Round Up and Week 25 Linky

As yesterday was the official first day of summer I thought that for this weeks round up I would go with dishes that are perfect for al fresco dining. When eating outside you want foods that can easily be picked up and foods that you can nibble at. Selecting four recipes was as always tricky so I have settled with two savoury delights and two sweet treats.

Before I tell you about them I want to thank Hayley from Snap Happy Bakes for hosting the CookBlogShare linky last week and thank you to everyone for joining in each week.

Now on to my four favourite recipes from week 24 of CookBlogShare...

Monday, 20 June 2016

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 20th June 2016

Today is the first day of summer, not that you would know it looking outside at the moment. Today is a horrible wet day and I am hoping that things brighten up. On Friday I am travelling down to London to attend BritMums Live which I am really looking forward to!

This week I am planning super healthy meals as I know that the weekend will include cake, drinks and other treats.

Last weeks meal plan went well but on Saturday we went for an easy Marks and Spencer's meal instead of meatballs and the Fathers Day meal was a huge success!

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

Week Commencing 20th June 2016

Monday - Warm Vegetables, Goats Cheese, Smoked Salmon and Lentil Salad

This is a meal that I had planned a couple of weeks ago but did not make. So we will be kick starting our healthy week with this delicious salad.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

11th June - 17th June 2016 - One Picture Everyday For One Year

Another week done and I am another year older. This week has been a funny week, not funny ha ha but funny odd, if that makes sense. My moods have been really up and down again, but mainly down and I do not know why. My motivation has been quite low and I have been having trouble sleeping so I feel like this week has sort of gone by in a bit of a sleepy daze through the day then awake at night. For the first time this year I actually forgot to take a picture! But I did have a picture that I edited for a blog post on for that day, I know it is cheating but it was all that I had, whoops!

Anyway, this week has seen gin, me turn a year older, cake, flowers and train tickets!

Saturday 11th June 2016

Saturday was World Gin Day so it would have been rude to not join in! I toasted World Gin Day with an aptly named Kirsty's Gin from Arbikie, this was one of the gin's that I brought back from our holiday in Scotland and has become a true favourite!

Sunday 12th June 2016

While I was in the garden on Sunday I spotted this busy bee collecting nectar from our lovely Foxgloves.

Friday, 17 June 2016

#FoodieseekerFriday The Vista Countdown!

In just over two months we will be stepping on board Carnival Cruise newest and most impressive vessel Vista. I still cannot believe that we are going and do not think I will fully accept that this dream is going to become a reality until we are actually there, in the port looking up at her. Just thinking about it my tummy starts to go over with excitement.

Last month Vista's big launch day arrived and she took her maiden voyage and since then she has been impressing her guests. Carnival's vision has become a reality and I am in awe of what they have created. Just watch this video for yourself!

As you know we are the Foodieseeker Family and during our stay on Carnival Vista I am going to share with you all the food and drink that she has to offer! Which I can tell you is a lot! There are so many different places to eat and drink on Vista! They are:

BBQ Soup with New Covent Garden Soup Co

Soup is delicious at anytime of year, but this year New Covent Garden Soup Co are urging people to not just cook sausages and burgers on their barbecues but also some soup!

New Covent Garden Soup Co are deliciously fresh soups that are not only so full of flavour but are also a versatile ingredient. With your favourite New Covent Garden Soup Co flavour combination you can easily create a tasty side dish or revamp your vegetable skewers.

Today I am going to share with you a pasta dish that has been a huge success in our house. It is so quick and easy to make and is a delicious side dish, or a main meal.

For my recipe I have used New Covent Garden Soup Co Slow Roast Tomato. Their slow roast tomato, basil and balsamic vinegar soup goes perfectly with pasta. This soup is full of the flavours of the Mediterranean. To create the soup the cooks at New Covent Garden Soup Co have used a mixture of slow roasted and sun dried tomatoes which gives this soup a real depth of flavour. They then add garlic, basil and finished with balsamic vinegar to produce a "blissfully smooth bowl of rich soup". It also contains 2 of your recommended 5 a day!

This is what I did...

Thursday, 16 June 2016

The Drinks Cellar Food and Drink Blogger Awards Finalist Please Vote!

My blog is a finalist for The Drinks Cellar Food and Drink Blogger Awards!

This email was completely out of the blue and was a fantastic birthday present!

Over the last month the online retailers and French wine makers Luc Belaire have been scouring the internet to find the best food and drink blogs. I am over the moon to announce that they have shortlisted Hijacked By Twins!

Now that I have been shortlisted the winner will be up to you, the public!

Voting opens on 4th July 2016 and I hope that you would will vote for me. Everyone that votes will go into a draw to be in with the chance of winning 6 x 75cl bottles of Luc Belaire Rose wine with a value of £165!

Luc Belaire - Prizes

To be in with the chance of winning this delicious wine prize simply go to The Drinks Cellar Food and Drink Blogger Awards page and vote for Hijacked By Twins!

Thank you x

Fathers Day Cupcakes with Lindt

This Sunday is Fathers Day and the perfect time to spoil dad. What better way to treat dad than with some cake!

I was recently sent some delicious chocolates from Lindt to use in a recipe. However Lindt chocolates are perfect just as they are. They are the perfect sweet treat to add to the top of a cake. I was sent some boxes of Lindt selection to try.

If you are looking to get dad some chocolates this fathers day then I would thoroughly recommend going for the Lindt Selection. This delectable selection of milk, dark and white continental chocolates includes popular flavours made using the expertise of the Lindt Master Chocolatier. They are ideal for any occasion and is the perfect gift for those who simply want the best!

The selection comprises of 12 exquisite varieties of chocolate:
  • Hazelnut Praline Heart
  • Dark Hazelnut Cluster
  • Dark Wafer Pyramid
  • Smooth Melting Lindor
  • Dark Hazelnut Praline
  • Almond Praline and Cocoa Nibs
  • Dark Hazelnut and Orange Cluster
  • Milk Chocolate Meringue
  • Dark Coffee Intense
  • Luscious Velvety Caramel
  • White Hazelnut Praline
  • Crispy Almond Pyramid

Today I am going to share with you an easy chocolate cake recipe that is perfect for the little ones to help with.

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Leftover Pulled Pork Pasta Bake with Aldi

Two weeks ago I shared my easy Pulled Pork recipe. Today I am going to share with you my delicious leftover pulled pork pasta bake.

Pulled pork is such a great, budget meal. The pork shoulder joint cost just £3.83 for 1.562kg! and provided us with 12 meals!

Today's recipe is made using leftover pulled pork, but if you do not have any leftovers Aldi have got some British Pulled Pork on offer until Wednesday! The beauty of this meal is that you can bulk out your leftovers with delicious vegetables and pasta to create this pasta bake. Aldi's Everyday Essentials pasta is priced at just 29p for 500g, that makes this a super cheap meal! At the moment mushrooms and peppers are in the Super 6 offer, making them only 69p!

This is what I did...

Monday, 13 June 2016

#CookBlogShare Week 23 Round Up

This weeks round up has no specific theme. This week I have selected four very different recipes to feature as my favourites.

As always there was a wide variety of recipes that were shared. That is why I love hosting CookBlogShare, there is no theme, anything foodie goes. This means each week we get to look at main meals, snacks, sweet treats, bakes and get to feel hungry as we read.

For my round up for week 23 I have selected four very different recipes that can be served at various times of the day. We have one which would make a delicious brunch, one that would make a moreish snack, an irresistible drink and a low syn dessert!

Here are my four favourite recipes...

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 13th June 2016

Last weeks plan was a success and it was lovely to get back to healthier eating. This week we are continuing with the healthy eating, but on Wednesday I will be having the day off. On Wednesday it is my birthday so I will be having a treat meal.

This week we will be having a mixture of both meat and meat free meals and I have found inspiration for two of this weeks meals in the delicious Good + Simple by Hemsley and Hemsley.

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

Week Commencing 13th June 2016

Monday - Spinach and Ricotta Lasagne

This is a family favourite and one that I have not made in a while so we will be starting the week with this lovely meal.

Tuesday - Pot Roast Chicken

It has been a few weeks since I last made a roast dinner. This week I am going to roast the chicken in a pot instead of the traditional way. I will let you know how I get on!

Wednesday - Steak and Chips

Wednesday is my birthday and to celebrate the hubby and I are going to have a good old steak dinner!

Thursday - Coutgetti and Chickpea Tomato Sauce

This is one of the meals that I have found in the Hemsley and Hemsley book.

Friday - Lentil Bake

This is another Hemsley and Hemsley recipe and one that I am really looking forward to!

Saturday - Meatballs

Meatballs are a great easy dish and perfect for a Saturday night!

Sunday - Fathers Day Pie

As Sunday is Fathers Day I want to make a meal that I know the hubby will love. One of his favourite meals is steak pie. So on Sunday I will be making this for our Sunday dinner.

Unfortunately Mrs M is not doing Meal Planning Monday anymore. But we wanted to keep the group going so now the linky will be a blog hop. Below you will find a link to get the code to add to your blog. Please remember to comment on others and lets get planning together!

Have a great week x

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Saturday, 11 June 2016

5th June - 10th June 2016 - One Picture Every Week For One Year

This week has seen the children return to school and us get back into our regular routine after our holidays. It has been an exhausting week, with muggy nights combined with early morning we have been wiped out. But we have got through and another week has flown by!

Here is my week in pictures...

Sunday 5th June 2016

On Sunday we arrived home after our holiday. We had a good journey and it was lovely to be back home! While going through the post that had arrived while we were away I was pleased to find my new Jamberry cards and note book!

Monday 6th June 2016

While we were in Scotland we had haggis which we already love but were delighted to find that the twins also love it. On the way home on the Saturday we called into Gretna Green and while we were there I bought a haggis to bring home so that was Monday nights meal, haggis, neeps and tatties!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Her Majesty's Birthday Cake with Lyle's

As the big day for Her Majesty draws closer people all over the country are preparing to celebrate her 90th birthday.

No birthday is complete without a cake so Lyle's Golden Syrup have challenged me to make the Queen a birthday cake using their recipe. Today I am going to share with you their recipe. But as my cake is still cooling and I want you to be able to also make this delicious cake I am sharing the recipe with you today. But keep an eye out on TwitterFacebook and Instagram to see the final product!

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Cake Fit for a Queen!

Yesterday I gave you my top ideas for hosting a street party to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday this weekend. Today I am sharing with you a cake which is fit for a Queen!

You cannot beat the simplicity of a Victoria Sponge, it is a cake that everybody loves. For today's cake I have changed one ingredients from the traditional Victoria Sponge. I have not used caster sugar in today's recipe. Instead I have used light brown muscovado sugar. Adding the light brown sugar gives the cake a deeper, richer flavour which goes perfectly with the cream and fruit.

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Celebrate the Queen's 90th Birthday with Aldi

This weekend people all over the country will be celebrating the Queen's 90th birthday. What better way to celebrate than with a traditional street party! But this year why not make the street party even more exciting by having a barbecue street party!

Aldi have so many products that are ideal for a celebration that would be fit for her Majesty!

Today I am going to showcase my favourite products that I have found in Aldi which all have a true street party feel to them.

These Heartsease Farm drinks are deliciously sweet drinks made with spring water. They are perfect for children, as a refreshing drink or to use as a mixer with spirits. In other shops these drinks are priced at £2.29 so when I saw them in Aldi for just £1.59 I could not resist! They come in three truly British flavours, Raspberry Lemonade, Elderflower Presse and Traditional Lemonade.

Grove Manor British rose wine was a true bargain at just £2.59. This is a slightly sparkling fruity wine which has a sweetness from strawberries and cherries. Served chilled it is perfect as a summer wine.

#CookBlogShare Week 22 Round Up and Week 23 Linky

After a week away I have missed writing my #CookBlogShare weekly round up. However I was delighted to have free wi-fi while we were away so was able to see what everybody was sharing.

I want to say a huge tank you to Mandy at Sneaky Veg for hosting in my place while I was away. This week I am looking forward to hosting the linky and getting tempted by all of your delicious creations! But first let me tell you which recipes were my favourite from last week.

I usually share my four favourite recipes, but as I was away and missed a week I am going to share my six favourite recipes. Plus I really could not narrow it down!

So without further ado, here are my favourite recipes from week 22 of CookBlogShare...

Monday, 6 June 2016

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 6th June 2016

Last weeks meal plan while we were away was a huge success! Planning the meals before we left and doing an online order really did cut down our shopping bill and made life easier.

This week we are back to healthy eating after a week of over indulgence.

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

Week Commencing 6th June 2016

Monday - Barbecue!

On Monday the hubby and children are at home and the weather is forecast to be glorious. So on a sunny day when we are all at home what better way to enjoy than with a barbecue!

Tuesday - Shepherds Pie

Whilst looking through my freezer I found some lamb mince, perfect for a shepherds pie!

Wednesday - Mushroom and Bacon Carbonara

Pasta carbonara is always a success here and it is a quick and easy meal for me to cook.

Thursday - Nut Cutlets

I recently found some lovely nut cutlets while doing my shopping so on Thursday we will have them with jacket potatoes and either salad or vegetables.

Friday - Chicken Tray Bake

I love a good tray bake. They are such easy and flavoursome meals too make.

As we have just got back from holiday I have not even thought about what to have at the weekend so I will decide nearer the time.

Hope you have a great week x

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27th May - 4th June 2016 - One Picture Everyday For One Year

What a week we have had. All week we have been up in bony Scotland for a holiday. We stayed in Aviemore which is in the Cairngorm mountains. This was a new part of Scotland that we have not visited before. The week has seen a lot of stunning sights, glorious sunny days, walks, distilleries and quality family time.

Here is my week in pictures...

Friday 27th May 2016

On Friday we set off on our holiday. We collected the children from school at lunch time and headed up to Scotland. As it was going to take a long time to get there we decided to stay over at Glasgow for the night.

Saturday 28th May 2016

On Saturday we set off on the final part of our journey up to Aviemore. On the way past we called in at my favourite distillery, Dewar's Aberfeldy and yes I left with some whisky! When we arrived at our holiday cottage we were delighted with where we would be spending the next 7 nights!

Friday, 3 June 2016

Degustabox May Contents

Each month I receive an exciting foodie surprise box from Degustabox, If you do not know what a Degustabox is let me tell you.

Degustabox is a monthly foodie subscription where every month you are sent a surprise box of 10 - 15 foodie treats, many of which are new to the market. What is even better is that you will always get good value for money as the retail value of the products will always exceed what you have paid.

Today I am going to share with you the contents of this months Degustabox and also share a fantastic discount code so that you can try Degustabox for yourself.

This is what I received in this months Degustabox...

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Garlic, Basil, Olive Oil and Parmesan Pasta

We love pasta dishes. Pasta meals are always a success in our house, whether it is covered in sauce or served in a plain and simple way like today's dish they are always enjoyed by all.

One foodie product that I love are artisan products. So when the hubby saw some deliciously red tagliatella on a recent shopping trip he knew that it would go down well. This red tagliatella is made red by using beetroot juice and Bardo red wine. A pasta like this does not need a heavy sauce, it needs complimenting with traditional Italian flavours.

This is what I did...