Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Calsway Snacks Review - Plus Dessert Recipe!

Eating right just got a lot easier with the new health brand Calsway. Calsway have recently announced the launch of their Eat Right® (#EatRight) range of snacks.

Like the majority of busy people finding a healthy snack for on the go can be hard. But Calsway have created a range of naturally delicious snacks that finally solve this problem. Trying to follow a healthy eating plan you are bombarded by what you can and cannot eat, the amount of calories to consume, weighing foods, following a 'diet' can be exhausting. These Calsway snacks come pre packed in resealable pouches that come in 100, 150 and 200 calorie packets with both paleo and vegan options available. When Calsway contacted me to ask if we would like to try one of their variety boxes I knew that they could solve both my snacking problems and finding healthy snacks for the children.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Handwriting and your Health!

I love to write, I find that it is both therapeutic and a way for me to vent and get things out of my system. So when I was asked if I would like to share with you a guest post all about how writing is good for your health I knew that it would be fitting.

Photograph courtesy of Pixabay

Handwriting and your Health - A Collaborative Guest Post

Handwriting is good for the mind 

Handwriting is good for your health. Picking up a pen is a way of fast-tracking the memory banks to retain information.

Picking up a pen is good for your health 

In a research document published by Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer, they found that students writing out their notes longhand with a pen rather than using a keyboard could recall more information. It took them longer to write their notes rather than to type. The researchers emphasised how writing engages more parts of the brain and therefore aids memory retention. Laptops and tablets come alive with distracting alerts and pop-ups demanding more power from the brain’s processor.

#CookBlogShare 2017 Week 22 - Plus Four Delectable Bakes

Hello and welcome to week 22 of #CookBlogShare.

Wow it feels like such a long time since I have written a Cook Blog Share post and I know things have been quieter on Hijacked By Twins and Cook Blog Share. I mentioned before that I had got a new job, well I still haven't started as I am waiting for all of the clearances to go through but fingers crossed I will be starting in a couple of weeks. In the meantime I have been trying to get on top of jobs around the house so that once my clearance certificate arrives I can start my job knowing that I am on top of things. I have also been trying to scale down my blog work which has been hard but also quite refreshing. It is nice to look at what I post and not feel that I have to post (hope you know what I mean) I am writing about what I want to write about.

Now back to CookBlogShare. Last week the linky was hosted by Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes who did a great job! While I am talking about hosts, I just want to thank Monika, Eb from Easy Peasy Foodie and Jacqui from Recipes Made Easy for all of their help hosting the linky. Their help and support really has made a huge difference to me and my workload and this has allowed me to have more time away from the internet and with my family. I feel like I have a healthier work/home life balance now, so thank you!

Last week 33 delicious recipes were shared and this week I decided to feature the bakes. Here are my four favourite bakes from week 21 of CookBlogShare...

Friday, 26 May 2017

Date and Walnut Bread with Kenwood kMix

Last week I told you about the latest addition to my kitchen, the Kenwood kMix. I love baking and the kMix food mixers make it even easier and quicker. The first recipe that I shared was for my deliciously gooey rhubarb and ginger cake, this week I am sharing a bread recipe made with the kMix using the dough hook.

I used to have the Kenwood Prospero food mixer and when making a large batch of dough I found that it did struggle a little so I was definitely curious to see how the more sturdy and robust kMix would handle some dough. The kMix is an all round larger and stronger mixer so I was hopeful. After buying a date and walnut loaf the other week I decided to have a go at making my own.

This is what I did...

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Getting Fit with DW Fitness Centre

Regular readers of Hijacked By Twins will know that I am on a weight loss journey. So far I have lost over 2 stone by following the Slimming World plan. But as the weight has come off my focus has gone to my fitness. Like most mums I have areas which need toning up and I know that there are bits that will get better but simply will not go back to how they were pre twins. Finally I am in a place where I am happy with that. I am finally feeling happy with my body and am loving the increased activity that I am doing. I recently signed up to take part in the Cancer Research Race for Life which gave me a target. When I signed up I could not run for 1 minute let alone for 5k, but now after training, I can and I am confident that I will complete the run. So when DW Fitness Clubs got in touch to ask if I would like to try out their facilities and some of their sports wear the timing was perfect.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Tomato and Basil Soup topped with Quinoa

I love a good homemade soup. They are not only easy to make but when you make soup yourself you know exactly what has gone into making it. My favourite flavour combination for soup has to be the classic tomato and basil. This soup contains so much goodness and is full of delicious flavours.

This is what I did...

Monday, 22 May 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday - Week 21 2017

Hello and welcome to week 21 of #MealPlanningMonday.

Last weeks meal plan was a huge success. I found that having a more relaxed approach less pressure and did help me to stick to the meal plan. I have also found that having some lunches planned has helped me to stick to the Slimming World plan. This has paid off with a 1 and a half pound loss which means that I only have 3 more to lose for me to reach my target!

After last weeks success I am going to be carrying on meal planning in this way. This weeks meals will be accompanied with plenty for fresh vegetables thanks to the fruit and vegetables box that I got delivered. I love sneaking in extra goodness into our meals and seeing the children eating it with no questions asked!

This is what I have got planned for this weeks meals...

Friday, 19 May 2017

Rhubarb and Ginger Cake with Kenwood kMix

If you follow Hijacked By Twins on Instagram you may have seen that I have got a new piece of kitchen equipment. If not, let me show you my new toy...

When I received an email a few weeks ago from Kenwood asking me if I would like to try out their legendary kMix stand mixer to say that I was excited is an understatement. I love to bake and already had a Kenwood Prospero machine which was a fantastic addition to the kitchen but as soon as I saw the kMix I knew that it was going to be even better. Since my childhood Kenwood food mixers have been a part of everyday kitchen equipment. My mum and grandmother had them when I was growing up so I always knew that I would have one too.

Kenwood have a stylish kMix range of kitchen products that come in a variety of colours so you know that they are going to fit right in. When I unpacked the kMix the first thing that I noticed was the slim design. Having a kitchen with limited worktop space, with the Prospero I did struggle and had to keep the mixer in the cupboard. But with the kMix's compact design I am able to keep it out on the worktop without losing valuable room. The first time that I used the mixer I was amazed by how powerful the motor is but also how quiet it is. This is a mixer that can be used without disturbing the peace. Another feature that I love about the kMix is the huge glass mixing bowl. The large bowl means that you can prepare even more, it really does give this machine the added edge, plus watching the ingredients come together is so therapeutic! So far I have been nothing but impressed with the design, quality and standard of this food mixer and I am looking forward to sharing with you a series of recipe posts that demonstrate how truly versatile and invaluable this item is!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

#NationalVegetarianWeek - Mexican Spiced Butternut Squash Noodle Stir Fry

As you know, I love a good foodie celebration and this week is no exception! This week it is National Vegetarian Week. I am not a vegetarian but I do love vegetarian meals and this week is a good excuse to try some new veggie meals.

National Vegetarian Week is to promote how truly versatile and delicious fresh vegetables are. Even The Hairy Bikers are going veggie this week. We all know that we should eat more vegetables and how good they are for us but often finding new ways to incorporate vegetables into meals and be the stars of the dish is the challenge. Buying vegetables are also a great way to save money on your weekly shopping and if you have enough room growing your own is such a rewarding thing to do.

This recipe is all about savouring the vegetables and adding a little spice that will compliment this meal perfectly.

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

National Multi Tasking Day with Nature's Finest Plus a Healthy, Quick and Easy Dessert!

Wednesday 24th May 2017 is National Multi Tasking Day. Being a busy working mum to three children, wife to the hubby and caring after animals multi tasking is something that you need to do to maintain sanity! I never truly knew what multi tasking was until the twins arrived and the hubby returned to work after his paternity leave. Having two babies needing you, often at the same time, makes you look at what you do and try to make life as easy as possible.

Nature's Finest is celebrating National Multi Tasking Day and making preparing fruit one less job to do! Their pre prepared fruit contains no added sugar and is preserved in natural juice. The fruit in Nature's Finest has been picked and packed at its peak ripeness to ensure all of the goodness is retained.

Nature's Finest

It has been identified that 24th May is the country's busiest day. People are starting to plan their summer holidays, the children are getting ready for yet another half term holiday, work that needs doing, like all families, the list goes on. So to make the busiest day a little easier I am going to share with you my top tips for multi tasking and how to survive the busy day! Plus a deliciously quick and easy recipe that is perfect for the days when you are not prepared for the question "what's for pudding mum?".

Monday, 15 May 2017

British Sandwich Week - Two Italian Toasties

Who doesn't love a good sandwich? The mighty sandwich is such a versatile meal, it can be easily adapted to suit individual taste, there really is nothing that you cannot do with a sandwich.

One of our favourite ways to have a sandwich is by toasting it. When you toast a sandwich the flavours transform into something special. So when I was asked if I would like to try the Breville DuraCeramic Sandwich Press I jumped at the chance. Toasted sandwiches are a firm favourite with everyone here so I had a feeling that it would go down well!

To celebrate British Sandwich Week I was challenged to create an international, flavours from around the world, sandwich. I decided to use Italian flavours. We all love Italian dishes and flavours and even more so after our holiday to Italy last year.

Like all families, we have different tastes. I love vegetables, while the Hubby is a big meat eater. So to satisfy all of our tastes I have created two delicious Italian deli style toasted sandwiches, one filled with vegetables and the other filled with meat.

This is what I did...

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday - Week 20 2017

Hello and welcome to week 20 of my Weekly Meal Plan.

You may have noticed that last week there was no meal plan. Well, there was a meal plan in my book, but not on my blog. This was for a couple of reasons, firstly I was not sure if I wanted to carry on writing my meal plan and secondly time, after having a couple of weeks with poorly twins time seems to be running away! The two weeks that the kids were poorly my meal plans went completely pear shaped and I will admit I did lose the faith in my meal plans.

But fear not, I am back and raring to go! However I will be relaxing my meal plan a little. I am going to be looking at what I have got in and will be writing a list of meals but will not be specifying which day we will be having it. I hope that this will give me a little leeway and will allow us to select our meals depending on what we fancy. As well as main meal lists I am going to be writing a list of lunches to have over the week. I have been feeling quite uninspired and unprepared for lunches, this needs to change and hopefully this will help!

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

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Sugar Free Stewed Rhubarb and Ginger Compote

I love rhubarb season and having three mature rhubarb plants in the garden there is always plenty to go round. We always enjoy stewed rhubarb, it is such an easy way to use up a great harvest. But I am not keen on the amount of refined sugar that is used. Rhubarb has quite a bitter taste when it is cooked without the sugar. This got me thinking as to how I could stew rhubarb using only natural sweeteners. It took quite a few tastes, adding more ingredients but I finally got a balance between the sweet and sour flavours and have got a healthier stewed rhubarb.

This is what I did...

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Wholemeal and Rye Seeded Loaf - #RealBreadWeek

This week it is Real Bread Week. Real Bread Week is a time to celebrate your local bakers and get making your own bread. Baking bread is a passion that has been reignited. When the twins were smaller I did not buy bread, I only made it. But then life took over and time became an issue so I resigned to that fact that it was easier to buy bread. But now that the twins are at school, I have some more time and have been baking bread again. After I baked for the first time in months I remembered what it was that I loved about baking bread. The whole process of mixing the ingredients together, seeing them come together, feeling them change during kneading, and how after baking the dough you have a loaf of bread.

As it is Real Bread Week it is only fitting that I share a bread recipe with you. On a recent shopping trip to Aldi I found some lovely organic flour on special buy. So I got stocked up with a variety of spelt, wholemeal, Italian 'tipo 00' and dark rye flour. combined with Aldi's The Pantry strong wholemeal flour I have created a delicious bread.

This is what I did...

Friday, 5 May 2017

Quick and Easy Warm Rice and Quinoa Salad

When it comes to lunch time, I want something that is healthy, something that I can prepare quickly and easily. If it is not quick and easy I tend to go for a sandwich. I love salads but after a few they can get boring. So to make them a bit more exciting I have been trying some new ways to enjoy a salad. You can expect to see some new salad recipes over the next few months!

My first new salad recipe is a salad that is so full of flavours, health benefits and quick to prepare. To make it quick and easy to prepare I have used a pouch packet of Tilda brown basmati rice with quinoa, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. I am a huge fan of the easy rice pouches but love that this one has the added grains and seeds. When I saw it on a recent shopping trip I knew that it would make a delicious addition to a salad.

This is what I did...

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Cinco de Mayo

This week is one of my favourite excuses for a feast. On Friday it is the Mexican fiesta Cinco de Mayo! Many people believe that Mexico and the USA celebrate Mexico's independence on Cinco de Mayo but that is not true! The reason that people celebrate Cinco de Mayo is to commemorate Mexico's victory over France, who had invaded Mexico. People celebrate with mariachi music, parties, food, margaritas and cerveza!

What is there not to love?

To join in with the celebrations I will be preparing a banquet fit for any Mexican fiesta. Thankfully Aldi are getting into the Mexican spirit and have some fantastic offers on Old El Paso Mexican dinner kits as well as the ingredients you need to make a good old guacamole in their Super 6 offer. Today I am going to tell you about the great Mexican products that I have got to celebrate Cinco de Mayo from Aldi.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

#CookBlogShare 2017 Week 18 - Plus 4 Delicious Dinners!

Hello and welcome to week 18 of CookBlogShare.

It feels like a long time since I have written a CookBlogShare post. I have had a lovely couple weeks off and return with some big news! Last week I had an interview and was offered the job, which means that my blog time is going to become more limited and more precious. As both Jacqui from Recipes Made Easy and Monika from Everyday Healthy Recipes did such a great job covering the linky while I was away they will be joining Eb from Easy Peasy Foodie and I on a regular basis! I am currently planning the future dates but once they are confirmed I will be sharing them on the CookBlogShare Facebook page and on my CookBlogShare page

Now on to this weeks post. I loved looking through all of the delicious recipes that were shared last week. The only theme for this weeks post is that they are all delicious dinners!

Here are my favourite four recipes from week 17 of CookBlogShare...

Monday, 1 May 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday - Week 18 2017

Hello and welcome to week 18 of #MealPlanningMonday.

Wow what a week we had last week. I am not ashamed to say that the meal plan did not go to plan. We started the week getting home from our holiday, which was fantastic. Tuesday was full of stress for a job interview that I had on the Wednesday. After a stressful morning of tasks and the interview I was delighted when I received the phone call offering me the job! Yay! I cannot wait to get started. My new job is as a PA in a local school so it will fit well around the children and as it is for 15 hours a week it also means that it will fit in around housework and my beloved blog! I will be working everyday for 3 hours in the afternoon so meal planning is going to become a vital part of our week. I need to know exactly what I am cooking for when I get home from work. I will need to plan whether anything needs leaving in the Pressure King Pro, make sure meat or fish has been defrosted, I am going to need the organisation that meal planning gives me.

After a couple of weeks of over indulgence we are all longing for healthy meals. While on holiday we had some amazing meals out in restaurants and at the time they are great but we are always craving some home cooked meals afterwards.

Over the school holidays I will admit to not following the Slimming World plan and have enjoyed not counting and measuring. I am back on it now but am not going to be as strict. If I want a few protein packed nuts or some avocado, I am going to have some, but in moderation. I am a true believer in everything in moderation!

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