Thursday, 29 September 2016

Pizza Express with Iceland and the Power of Frozen

It is nearly the weekend and time to think about some time to relax with the family and enjoy some good food. We all love pizza but we cannot always afford to be able to go out so when I saw that Iceland had launched a new range in collaboration with Pizza Express I was curious to see what they had done!

The new Pizza Express Artisana range is exclusive to Iceland and has been freshly frozen to retain the quality that you expect when eating at a Pizza Express restaurant.

What is different about the Artisana range is that it goes so much further than just pizza. Along with the pizzas they have also brought out a selection of Italian dishes as well as Italian gelato. Thanks to this range you can enjoy the full Pizza Express dining experience for a fraction of the price, without travelling, in the comfort of your home. So whether you decide to have a family feast or want to wait until the kids are in bed to enjoy a romantic meal together as a couple, with Pizza Express Artisana from Iceland you can.


Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Easy Meals with Hello Fresh

Now that the kids have gone back to school easy meals are a must. When the younger ones get home from school they are tired and you need some dinners which can be made either in advance or prepared in advance. That is where Hello Fresh come in. 

Hello Fresh provide healthy recipe boxes. The boxes come packed with all the ingredients, pre weighed and ready to create delicious meals. We received a family box that came with four meals. Each meal made enough for all five of us to enjoy. I was amazed to see how many different ingredients were packed into the box.

Our Home Improvements

A few weeks ago we started to focus on the house and getting some much needed jobs completed. When we moved in, nearly five years ago, there was so much that needed to be done. But we only had two weeks to get the jobs done before we moved in. We desperately wanted to be in for Christmas so a lot of jobs were rushed and not done to how we really wanted. But time and money meant that we had to make do.

Over the past two years, once the twins were no longer babies, we have started to really make the house our own. The hubby has completely transformed the garden from a long, lawn garden to a garden divided into three areas comprising of a vegetable, fruit and chicken area, kids play area and a family and dogs area. We have had a completely new roof fitted, the front garden has been replaced with a gravel driveway and we have started to decorate inside. A few months ago we had a flood upstairs thanks to J leaving a tap running with the plug in the sink while we were out. This caused a lot of water damage but meant that we needed to have the hall and landing redecorated and a new carpet fitted. We also needed the ceiling in the lounge re plastered. Seeing the new against the old installed the decorating bug in us. We have now got a beautifully, fresh and bright lounge after decorating. This has ignited a fire inside of us to really get the house as we want it. I spoke a few weeks ago about our kitchen dreams. We want to brighten up that room next. Having the house looking lovely inside has got us looking at all aspects of the house, both inside and out and looking at how we have done jobs in the past and if we would change anything.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Mary Berry's Bakewell Tart

Last weeks Great British Bake Off was all about pastry. The technical challenge was a Bakewell tart. I love traditional Bakewell tarts so could not resist making one.

So I found Mary's recipe on BBC Good Food and got baking!

For this weeks Bake Off post I have used some great ingredients from Aldi. Like other produce from Aldi they are all at prices which you simply cannot go wrong with. There are also many baking products that are available at Aldi on their Special Buys. Their The Pantry range consists of various different flours, sugars, food colourings, nuts, dried fruit, baking chocolate and many other items to help you bake. Baking is such an enjoyable pastime and one that does not need to cost a great deal. Last week I even found some jam sugar which has come in handy as we have got a lot of raspberries to harvest!

This is how I got on making Mary Berry's Bakewell Tart...

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 26th September 2016

Welcome to anther weekly meal plan. I wish that I could tell you that last weeks plan went as expected but it did not. The hubby was not feeling well so I had to change a couple of meals and from then on it sort of fell apart. But onwards and upwards, this week will be better!

This week marks the start, yes again, of healthier eating. I hate to diet, it makes me miserable, it makes me grumpy, but my back is starting to play up again and I really do not think that the extra weight helps. So I am going to be trying to shift a couple of stone. We have also decided to go sober for October! We have three kids and often need a gin or wine to wind down at the end of the day but as we all know they contain empty calories. This is going to be a real challenge for me as I do love a gin but it will do me the world of good to have a month of no drinking! Can I do it? I am really not sure, but I am going to really try! I will be letting you know how I get on as I think that this will encourage me even more.

This is what we are going to enjoy this week...

Friday, 23 September 2016

#FoodieseekerFriday - Ji Ji Asian Kitchen

While we were on holiday on Carnival Vista in the summer we had the opportunity to try the speciality restaurants. Before we set sail I wrote a post about the restaurants and even selected what meals I planned to have at each location.

When it came to selecting what we would have when visiting Ji Ji Asian Kitchen I will admit to not really knowing what the dishes were on the menu. There were aspects of dishes that I recognised but all in all I knew that it would be quite a new eating experience for all of us. I also did not know what the children would want to try.

Ji Ji Asian Kitchen was the second speciality restaurant that we visited and we were well and truly in holiday mode. We decided to have our tables booked for 5.30pm when dining with the children. For families with young children this is an ideal time to dine as it is often the first sitting and the quietest time. We found that we were often one of the first families in and the service was impeccable as the restaurant was so quiet.

The staff at Ji Ji Asian Kitchen were so welcoming and interacted fantastically with the children. We were shown to our table and left to look at the menu.

While we were waiting for some drinks to arrive our waitress arrived to explain to us how the dining experience works in Ji Ji's and little bit about the foods. We were told that we would be having a true Asian style family meal. We would be selecting a variety of appetisers, entrees, sides then desserts. The dishes would be served in the middle of the table allowing everyone to dig in and try a bit of all sorts. As soon as we heard this we had a feeling that we would enjoy dining here. Before we could order we needed to decide who would be the lucky host. Ji Ji means lucky lucky and the dice would show us who the lucky host would be. The waitress rolled the dice and it came up with the number one, that was to be our lucky number. We were then told to take it in turns to roll the dice and whoever rolled a one first would be the lucky host. The dice was passed to J and he immediately rolled a one, making him the lucky host.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Naturally Tasty with Knorr

Last week I was invited to an event in the Kings Cross area of London. Before I went I did not know a great deal about the event. I knew that it was being hosted by Knorr and that it was being held at a venue called the Skip Garden. Before I left home I did have a look online to have a look at what the Skip Gardens were and I was astounded to read that it was literally gardens in skips. Also as the event was being held by Knorr I had a sneaky suspicion that were going to reveal a new range of herbs.

When I arrived I was amazed by how the Skip Garden was such a little oasis of natural calm in the midst of all of the construction chaos of central London. There were numerous skips that had been transformed into mini gardens, a man made greenhouse, a glass house made with reclaimed glass panels, a kitchen and even a cafe! While we waited for everyone to arrive we were treated to cocktails that use fresh herbs. We could have either a Gin and Basil Smash or a Vodka and Rosemary Highball. I went for the Gin and Basil Smash which adds fresh basil before shaking to release the maximum amount of flavour. The cocktail was the perfect mixture of gin with the sour from lemon juice combined with the sweetness from some sugar water and finished with the fresh basil. It was heavenly!


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Coconut Churros with Rachels Greek Style Yogurt

Whilst living in Gran Canaria I fell in love with churros. They were the perfect sweet treat to start the day with a good strong cortado. Churros are traditionally served with either coffee or hot chocolate and are dipped into the drink. I have fond memories of sitting in bars, seeing the churros batter piped into the oil and watching them cook, waiting in anticipation for them to be freshly served. So you can just imagine my excitement when I found out that they would be making them on Great British Bake Off. This is the first time that I have made this much loved treat of mine and I am sure that it will not be the last.

When Rachel's Organic asked me if I would like to try one of their recipes for GBBO batter week I was delighted to see that they had a churros recipe featured along with some waffles and pancakes. Needless to say the churros recipe won and is the recipe that I will be featuring today. I have added a twist of my own. Instead of dipping the traditional way I have used Rachel's Organic Greek style coconut yogurt for dipping and have rolled my churros in desiccated coconut instead of cinnamon sugar.

This is what I did...

Tunnock's Tea Cake Birthday Cake with Aldi

For this weeks Aldi baking post I am going back to cake week. Yesterday was J's 12th birthday. As his birthday was on a Monday we decided to make it into a birthday weekend for him. We had a family meal out for him and birthday cake on Saturday, followed by another meal out with family on the Sunday, followed by a treat dinner last night and yet another birthday cake!

This year I managed to make two birthday cakes. Both cakes were made using ingredients and equipment from Aldi. At the moment Aldi have a wide range of baking equipment special buys on. I have seen utensils, cake tins, baking books and even electric mixers and all at the great price that you expect from Aldi.

Today I am going to share with you my recipe for the Tunnock's Tea Cake Birthday Cake that J had yesterday. All of the kids, especially J, and the hubby love Tunnock's Tea Cakes which are sold in Aldi so I knew that they would make an easy yet effective cake topping. This cake was a huge success with everyone!

This is what I did.....

Monday, 19 September 2016

#CookBlogShare - Round Up and Linky

Hello, and welcome to another week of CookBlogShare.

CookBlogShare is the place to share and discover foodie delights and last week was no exception. There were so many recipes that I knew we would love and selecting just four was just as hard as always! Recently, thanks to bake off, my attention has focused on the sweet bakes that have been shared. But this week it was definitely the savoury ones that got my attention. 

Before I tell you about my four favourite recipes I just want to thanks Mandy at Sneaky Veg for hosting and sharing all of your posts last week!

Here are this weeks four featured recipes and this weeks linky...

The Perfect Steak with Jamie Oliver's Barbecoa

We all love a good steak and cooking the perfect steak is definitely an art form Knowing when to turn the meat to knowing what to add to the dish. How you cook your steak can literally make or break a meal. 

Five years ago Jamie Oliver opened Barbecoa in central London. Barbecoa is a restaurant that I know we would love. They have combined various means of cooking into one kitchen so you know that however you like your meat cooking they will be certainly live up to the expectation. The kitchen contains robatas, Argentinian grills, wood fired ovens, Texas pit smokers and a tandoor oven. Unlike most restaurants, Barbecoa have their own, on site butchers so you are guaranteed the freshest, highest quality meat which is sourced from preferred organic suppliers.

Today I am sharing with you a fantastic infographic that any meat foodie will find extremely useful. I know that I will be referring to this next time I cook a steak.

Here is the experts guide to cooking steak...

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 19th September 2016

Monday means it is time for Meal Planning Monday. Is it just me or are the weeks flying by?

Last weeks meals were a success and so tasty! Last week I told you that we were trying a family recipe box from Hello Fresh. So far we have had two of the four meals that came in the box. When I planned our meals last week I forgot that I was at an evening event on Thursday so I did not need to cook. The kids had school dinners and the hubby fended for himself. As for Fridays meal we went for an easy meal and got a ready made dinner. On Thursday I did not get home until nearly half past midnight so as you can probably imagine on Friday I was shattered so to make life easy the hubby suggested that we go and buy an easy meal.

This week we are starting the week with a birthday. Today J turns 12! The weekend has been a weekend of celebrations. On Saturday we went out with our parents and my sister and daughters for a meal to celebrate his birthday. We were then surprised when my mum and dad took us all out for a meal on Sunday. So it has been a real lazy weekend food wise. Today we are starting off with a birthday meal that J has asked for and we will also be having the final meals from last weeks Hello Fresh box.

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

Friday, 16 September 2016

#FoodieseekerFriday - Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast and Fun with Dr Seuss

Hello and welcome to another FoodieseekerFriday!

This week I am excited to be telling you all about our experience with the Dr Seuss themed activities. Before we went on holiday we introduced the children to the magical world of Dr Seuss as we wanted them to be familiar with who they were going to see. This worked fantastically. The twins were so excited when they saw the Dr Seuss Bookville that is situated at the entrance to Camp Ocean, the children's club. They immediately dug into the variety of books that are available for families to read. While they were in the kids club they did take part in some Dr Seuss themed activities but I was delighted to find that the main activities were ones that the who family could enjoy together. While we were onboard Carnival Vista we indulged on the Dr Seuss breakfast of Green Eggs and Ham and reveled in the madness that was the story time, Seuss-a-Palooza, which I was one of the chosen parents to take part in telling the story of The Cat in the Hat. Today I am going to tell you all about the weird and wonderful dishes that we tucked into during the Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast and show you how we retold the story in Seuss-a-Palooza!

On our final full day onboard Vista we woke early and ventured up to the Reflections restaurant. Just the title of the breakfast left us all curious to see what culinary delights would be waiting for us. I had taken a sneaky look at the menu before we left home and so I knew that we would be experiencing a breakfast like no other. This was to be a truly unique feast.

In the words of Carnival...

 The Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast
With The Cat in the Hat and Friends
It's a mouthful when it is said,
But delicious to enjoy,
Whether you're a mom or a dad,
Or a girl or a Boy!

The menu contained a wide variety of wacky dishes that really brought out our inner child. You could start with cereals if you wanted to but we decided to skip the regular and go straight to the dishes that we had gone for! The meals on the menu included:

Do You Like Green Eggs and Ham?

"Would you, could you, on a boat? Try them while you float. Try them and you may, I say."

Truffla Tree Pancakes

"Those pancakes! Those pancakes! Stacked high as the trees. I've been searching my whole life for stacks such as these."

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Introducing Conscious Water

Conscious: adjective - aware of ones own existence, sensations, thoughts and surroundings.....

What is Conscious Water?

Conscious Water is an aspiration.

Conscious Water is 100% natural flower essence water enhancer. When it is added to your glass of water it creates a wonderfully refreshing drink that gives you a little aspiration to your day.

Flower essence, like other natural sources, has both medicinal and well being elements. Different flower essences can help with different moods and aspirations. Conscious Water have created with natures help six water enhances. You can choose from:

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Raspberry Cheesecake Pancakes with Genius Gluten Free

When the people at Genius Gluten Free asked me if I would like to try some of their products I could not wait. Regular readers will know that the hubby is gluten free and I also eat gluten free bread as a lifestyle choice.

When the hamper arrived I was excited to try the new products. In the past we have tried Genius gluten free bread but none of the products that came in the lovely hamper that they sent to me.

The hubby and J love crumpets and they went straight for them, whereas the pancakes, blueberry muffins and fruit loaf were off limits until I had decided which product I wanted to feature in a recipe. After a lot of thinking I decided to focus on the Genius light, fluffy and golden pancakes. When I tasted their pancakes I really did not notice any difference from regular, gluten pancakes and Genius pancakes. They were everything that you expect a pancake to be.

The Spicy Fruit Loaf followed suit. This is another favourite bake of mine. There is nothing more satisfying than sitting and enjoying a piece of freshly toasted fruit loaf smothered in butter. The loaf was packed with juicy raisins, sultanas and currants it has been finished off with cinnamon and, as with the pancakes, it was just as good as a regular loaf. Gone are the days that gluten free bakes are inferior to traditional bakes. They have come so far and are simply as good as regular flour products. As you can see from the picture below the muffin, which in my mind, had the toughest job. But this blueberry muffin was so moist, light and fluffy with the crispy top that you want from a muffin.

When I sat and looked that the wide range of products that Genius now have to offer I was astounding by the amount and variety of  products. Their array of products goes so much further than just bread. They also make pizza bases, croissants, bagels, sausage rolls, pies, pastry and quiche! After seeing what is now available has left me brimming with ideas for how to incorporate these much loved foods back into our diets! But first let me tell you all about what recipe I have created using the Genius pancakes.

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Cinnamon Crisp Viennese Fingers

As you no doubt know, I love the Great British Bake Off! A couple of years ago I even applied to be on the show, but got no further than an interview. I have not applied since and do not think that I will but that does not stop me baking along with the show.

While the show is on Aldi have challenged me to bake along using their ingredients. So for the next few weeks my regular Aldi posts will all be around the baking theme. Last week I shared my Honey and Lemon Cupcakes for week one of the bake off. This week I am baking for biscuit week. Last week I made Viennese Whirls and we all loved them. I am not a big biscuit maker as I have never really had much success with them, until I made Viennese Whirls last week! After realising how easy they were to make. This got me thinking about how I could adapt the recipe to add extra flavours. So when I was doing my weekly shopping trip last week I was on the look out for ingredients that I could use for this weeks recipe. I found some lovely Belgian chocolate that had flavours that really stood out to me. The Cachet chocolate bars come in four tempting varieties Cinnamon Crisp, Caramel and Sea Salt, Peppermint and Cocoa Nibs. Today's recipe features the Cinnamon Crisp but I am already planning how I can use the others so keep an eye out! But first let me show you how I used the Cinnamon Crisp in my biscuit bake.

This is what I did...

Monday, 12 September 2016

#CookBlogShare Week 36 - The Fruity Round Up

Welcome to my round up of week 36 of the CookBlogShare linky. This is my first round up since our holiday. I will admit to finding it hard to get back into the swing of work after such a relaxing break. Last week the twins started full time school and I spent the week catching up on jobs around the house that had been neglected. But now I am finally catching up it will be back to normal again.

I hope you all had a great summer and are looking forward to autumn. I do love autumn, it is a time of year when we have more root vegetables as we anticipate colder weather. This month is a busy one. On Thursday I am attending a Knorr event in London, then at the end of the month I will be returning to London for a lunch meeting with the lovely ladies from Carnival Cruise Lines. I am also so excited about November. I was over the moon to discover that I have been selected to visit River Cottage with Foodies100. So it is going to be a busy few months!

Now back to the round up. Last week the linky was hosted by Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie. You can tell that Great British Bake Off is back, everyone has the baking bug! There were so many delicious meals and bakes linked up so thank you for sharing and thank you to Eb for hosting. My four favourite recipes this week are all fruity ones and I want to try each and every one of them!

Here are my four favourite recipes from week 36 of #CookBlogShare...

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 12th September 2016

It is Monday, which means it is time to meal plan. Last weeks meal plan was a success and it was good to get back into a routine. J has had a smooth transition into secondary school and the twins are settling into full time school. All three children have been having school dinners. The twins dinners are free and they are really enjoying them. J has also been having money for lunch and has been enjoying a variety of different foods. As the twins have been having a hot meal and pudding (which they love!) at school I have found that they are wanting a lighter meal in the evening and wanting it earlier than usual.

As for me, I have been thriving with the extra time that I have got. Last week I spent the majority of my time during the day catching up with house jobs that have been neglected over the summer. As much as I miss the kids, I have to say that it is lovely having time to get the house sorted and have some quiet time for baking, cooking and of course blogging. I am hoping that within a couple of weeks I will get the the point where I am even ahead of myself!

This weeks meal plan will be featuring meals from Hello Fresh. I will be receiving today one of their family boxes and will be writing a blog post all about how Hello Fresh can help you easily get back into the school routine with their meal boxes that contain recipes and pre measured ingredients. I have seen what recipes will be coming and I have to admit that I am really looking forward to the meals!

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

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Chocolate, Apple and Cinnamon Couronne

This week on the Great British Bake Off it was bread week. Bread week has to be my favourite week. I love to bake bread, I love the whole process of seeing the separate ingredients come together to create a loaf. I love how you literally feel the ingredients coming together and changing as you knead. There is something so therapeutic about bread making. Tesco asked me if I would like to take part in the Great Bloggers Bake Off using their products for bread week. As it is my favourite I jumped at the chance!

This week Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry challenged the bakers and really put them to the test. For the signature bakes they were asked to make a sweet dough with a twist that must contain chocolate in some way or another. The technical was a new one to me and the bakers. Paul asked them to make a German dumpling style bread called dampfnudel. Then for the final showstopper they were asked to make a plaited bread centre piece that uses four different flours.

I immediately knew that I wanted to make the signature bake. I always enjoy the challenge of making an enriched dough, plus they are so delicious!

This is what I did...

Friday, 9 September 2016

#FoodieseekerFriday - A Taste of Carnival Vista - Guy's Burger Joint

Welcome to this weeks FoodieseekerFriday post. This week I am sharing my first "A Taste of Carnival Vista" recipe posts. Before we even boarded Vista I knew that I wanted to rekindle the holiday magic as often as possible once home. The best way for me to do that is to recreate some of the spectacular meals that we indulged on. Carnival pride on supplying food to please everyone and they certainly do not disappoint. They provide a wide variety of dishes that change daily in the Lido self service marketplace, have their speciality restaurants and the pool side, made to order, diners.

Today I am going to tell you about one of the inclusive diners, Guy's Burger Joint. As soon as we took one bite of the epic burgers that were served here we were hooked. They were unlike any burger that we have had before! Carnival have designed an authentic burger bar with the help of American best selling author, Food Network television star and restaurateur Guy Fieri.

Have a burger at Guy's Burger Joint.

Guy Fieri owns a host of all American restaurants that specialise in a variety of cuisines from a good old barbecue to Mexican burritos, from American kitchen to the burger joint. So when it comes to a good, authentic burger Carnival certainly went to the man who really does know his stuff!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Pasta Primavera and August Degustabox Contents

It is that time of the month when I share with you the goodies that came in my last Degustabox. I love the surprise and anticipation of opening the monthly box and seeing what goodies have arrived and what I can do with them. I still get excited about trying and discovering new products and being able to share the foodie finds with you. This month was no exception, there are so many ways that the contents can be used. Today I am going to share with you just one recipe using one of the products. But first let me show and tell you about what I found in the August Degustabox...

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Honey and Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes

As I was away when Great British Bake Off started and I missed cake week I thought that I would have a go at making some drizzle cakes. Aldi have challenged me to follow along with Bake Off and make a series of bakes using their products. I love to bake so love having an excuse to bake even more! Yesterday I shared my delicious Viennese Whirls so for today's recipe I made some cakes. I am still yet to catch up with the episode that I missed but I have seen a lot of people sharing drizzles cakes. But I have not made your average drizzle cake, I have decided to make mini versions that are great to put in the kids pack ups for school!

I have combined two classic flavours of honey and lemon. The two compliment each other perfectly and have made a cupcake that keeps you wanting more! I have not used regular honey, I have gone for Aldi's Specially Selected Manuka Type Honey.

Aldi have a great range of baking products and as the Great British Bake Off goes on I will be showing you how you can save money on your ingredients and create the best bakes.

This is what I did...

Monday, 5 September 2016

Viennese Whirls and Catch Up

Wow what a busy weekend!

Earlier in the year we had a flood thanks to J leaving the tap running in the bathroom upstairs while we were out. Since this disaster we have been getting the house redecorated. We had the hall, landing and stairs decorated while we were away in May then during our cruise we had the lounge ceiling done. Seeing the new ceiling next to the tired and water stained walls gave us the decorating bug. I actually got my Viennese Whirl biscuits made last week but due to painting all weekend I am a bit later than planned posting my recipe. Tomorrow the children are going back to school and the twins will be starting full time. I am hoping that this will allow me to be more organised, give me more quiet baking time and finally get ahead with my jobs! I am also planning to continue decorating downstairs and even thinking about doing the kitchen so there are lots of exciting times coming!

The Great British Bake Off returned to our screens while we were away with Carnival Cruise Lines and the Great Bloggers Bake Off also returned to bake along with the show. I missed cake week as we were sailing in the Mediterranean, but I am planning on catching up while the kids are at school! Last week was biscuit week. I am the first to admit that biscuits are not my thing. I have never been great at making biscuits so this week I knew that it would be a challenge. I decided to have a go at the technical challenge which was to make Viennese Whirls. I love the creamy biscuit of Viennese Whirls so I wanted to get them perfect. 

I actually surprised myself and was delighted with the results. As I have never made them before I did follow a recipe from my trusty Be-Ro baking book. However I did not use self raising flour as the recipe states, I used plain flour as I did not want them to rise.

This is what I did...

Weekly Meal Plan - Week Commencing 5th September 2016

I cannot believe that we are in September the year is flying by. With the arrival of September comes the return to school. On Tuesday the children return and our lives are changing. J is going to be attending the local academy secondary school and going from walking to our little village school to travelling on a bus to a large school. The twins are also moving on. They are going from nursery into full time school. The transition for them will be easier as they already attend the nursery which is in the school setting. So the only difference that they will notice is the longer days. As for me, I am in two minds, part of me is sad that this chapter of our children's lives is over and they are growing, however there is also a large part of me that is looking forward to having some more time to be more organised around the house and having dedicated blog time.

This weeks meals are going to be dishes that I can prepare before I collect the twins. I am expecting them to be extremely tired by the time we get home so this weeks meals will be ones which I can serve to them when they get home but meals that I can keep warm until the hubby gets home. I am also planning a little treat for their first day back to school.

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

Week Commencing 5th September 2016

Monday - Pasta Primavera

This will be an easy meal to start the week.

Tuesday - Guy's Burgers

On Tuesday I will be having a go at recreating a favourite dish from our holiday.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Top Tips to Help You Stick to a Healthy Diet

Guest post

Dieting is such a strong word for many of us and conjures up images of either total hunger or feeding oneself on lettuce all day long. Personally I hate the word when it is used for slimming. However, trying to eat a healthier diet is a completely different story that promotes our well-being and, of course, overall good health, with everything that comes along with that. But, as we all know, that is easier said than done. We have all thrown our healthy diet out of the window every chance we get, like during the weekends or holidays or when going out to eat with friends or when we are invited to a party, and the list goes on and on!

The good news is that there are just as many ways to stick to your healthy diet as there are to stray from it!

Here are some top tips that you might find as handy as I hope to...

#FoodieseekerFriday - Our Cruise Experience

I cannot believe that it has been a week since we left Carnival Vista. As Carnival Cruise Lines Foodieseeker Family we had an incredible 8 nights onboard their newest vessel, Vista. While we were away I kept a written diary to document our journey. Today I am going to share with you the start of our experience. So many things happened during our time onboard Vista I simply cannot get it all into just one blog post. Over the coming weeks I will be telling you all about our foodie experience, the restaurants, recreating some of the cuisine that we feasted on during our holiday and sharing with you our thoughts after taking our first ever cruise and holiday abroad with the twins.

This holiday was always going to be a big step for us as a family. It was the first time that both the hubby and the twins had flown, our first holiday abroad as a family of five and our first ever cruise. After an early start we got checked in at the airport and before we knew it we were sitting on the plane waiting to take off. The twins were so excited, I really was not sure how they would find flying, especially during the take off and descent but they took it all in their stride. When we landed in Barcelona they were beginning to get tired but they kept going. When we arrived at the port in Barcelona we were awestruck but the sheer size and immensity of Vista. As we flew over the port we did catch a glimpse of her and she looked big from the skies but when we were stood next to her, she left us all gobsmacked! Once we had been cleared through all of the high level security, and checked in we were given our Sail and Sign cards. As Carnival operate with no cash on their ships all purchases and charges are logged using easy to swipe cards. When you are given your cards you have your picture taken so even if you loose your card nobody else can use it to charge to your account.

As soon as we stepped onboard we went to look at our cabins. Being a family of five we needed two cabins which were interconnecting. This gave us some much needed extra space, we were able to put the twins to bed and spend time with Joseph in the the other room. We were surprised by the size of the two cabins, I had imagined them to be smaller than they actually were. Each room comprised of two bathrooms, one with a toilet, sink and shower while the other had a mini bath with a shower over and a sink, three wardrobes/drawers for clothes storage, safe, hairdryer, desk, sitting area, table, television, beds and even some lovely mini Elemis toiletries. In the children's room there were two single beds and the settee had been made up into a third bed, while in our room we had a king size bed.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Dreaming of Another Holiday!

Having just spent a glorious 8 night holiday onboard Carnival Vista Cruise as their Foodieseeker Family blogger I now have the holiday blues. Getting back into the routine of day to day life has left me dreaming of our next holiday. Ok, we do not have our next holiday booked or even planned, but that has not stopped me from looking and dreaming. I miss the calming view of the sea, I miss the bright blue skies, the Mediterranean heat on my skin, lazy days around the pool and delicious meals cooked for me.