Friday, 29 March 2013

Fish Is The Dish - Healthy Heart Challenge (Week 1)

This is a challenge I have really been looking forward to. As I have mentioned previously, I live with fussy eaters!! DaddyG does not like fish. He will not eat fish. BoyG doesn't like to eat dinner. It doesn't usually matter what I give him. He will not eat it. I'm sure you can imagine this gets very frustrating! Luckily, the stress is reduced as BabyG will eat anything. Literally anything.

I took on this challenge, hoping to convince my husband that fish is good and that we should eat it more often even if it isn't his favourite dish. I also hope to find recipes that fit in with my diet, and that my fussy BoyG will eat without yet another battle!

So here we are in week 1, and this is what I cooked for the family.....

Fish Pie with salmon, hake and prawns:

I combined a recipe from Fish Is The Dish with a Slimming World recipe. I poached the salmon and hake in skimmed milk with a couple of bay leaves, then took out the fish and used the milk to make a white sauce. I made my sauce with fat free natural fromage frais, dijon mustard and cornflour. I then mixed most of the sauce into the fish and added the cooked prawns. In a seperate pan I boiled some potatoes then mashed them with the remaining white sauce so I didn't need any butter. The fish and sauce went on the bottom of the dish then the mashed potato on top and I cooked it in the oven until the top browned.

BoyG and his friend ate theirs first. That's right they ate it!! They were not too keen on the idea of the prawns so I took the prawns out for them but they did eat the rest!! DaddG and I waited for the boys to be in bed so we could eat it peace. I thought it was delicious, and DaddyG loved it so much that he took the leftovers to work the following day! This dish was certainly a result and will be cooked again.

Haddock Goujons and Chips:

These were so simple!! I cut the haddock into small pieces, dipped them in egg and then into dry smash. Yes, smash! I thought the same as you - what a strange thing to do!! But it actually worked! It was good! I put them in the oven to cook the fish. BoyG loved the goujons so much that he was trying to eat them straight from the hot oven tray!

This was served with homemade chips, swede and cauliflower.
And again, the whole family enjoyed it. BabyG had already had a bowl of dinner but when he saw us eating ours he was getting so excited so I let him try some of mine. He was eating small pieces of caulifower, mashed up swede, and pieces of haddock and he loved it!

Week 1 has been successful. Ive found two new healthy meals that my fussy boys will eat and enjoy.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Total Greek Yogurt - Review

I have been sent some yogurt by Total Greek. It is the 0% fat one which fits perfectly with my diet.

It's lovely and thick and creamy unlike the supermarket brands that I normally buy. It's actually so much creamier that I had to double check the pot as I couldn't believe it was fat free!!

I use Greek yogurt for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. My favourite breakfast to use it with would be 35g rolled oats (I use Flahavans Irish oats), a sliced banana and a huge dollop of Total Greek yogurt. Because the oats are low GI they keep you fuller for longer. I find this breakfast is so filling and I can eat as much as I like on my diet! It's also great with just some fresh blueberries.

For a quick, easy and tasty dinner that even my fussy 3 year old will eat (what's not to like about that!!) I use the Greek yogurt to make chicken tikka. I put some onion, garlic, ginger, spices and Greek yogurt in a pot and blend it with my hand mixer, add some chicken and either cook in a saucepan or in a baking bag in the oven. Served with rice and some fresh vegetables this is delicious!!

Now, what do I do with the empty pot?? Well I could recycle it, or use it to hold my wooden spoons.... I left it on the counter while I decided what to do. I turned around for a second and when I turned back it was gone!! Apparently it is a drum, a hat, a mixing bowl and more - BoyG has not given it back yet!

Fish Is The Dish - Omega3 Healthy Heart Challenge

I love a challenge, and I have been set one by Fish Is The Dish, to eat two portions of fish a week for six weeks to boost my Omega3 levels.
Omega3 helps with brain development, healthy skin and eyes, joint movement and improved mental health.

I will be starting this coming week and will be posting a blog at least once a week for this. I'm really looking forward to it as I love fish but don't get to eat it very often. DaddyG loathes fish as much as I love it!! BoyG shares my love of fish but is also a very fussy eater. BabyG has had a fish baby food once and loved it so there is hope there. I aim to make meals that all of the family will eat and enjoy. I also aim to incorporate this challenge into my diet, with some healthy and tasty recipes.

Keep a look out for some follow on posts soon. Follow my blog either on my blog or by email if you don't want to miss anything.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Chablis Blogger Challenge 2013

I don't usually bother with which white wine I drink, but I have been sent two bottles of Chablis. Chablis - 2011 Les Pargues Chablis, and Petit Chablis - 2011 Union des Viticulteurs de Chablis.

The Chablis vineyard is found in Northern Burgundy, France. There are four variations grown in the Chablis vineyards; Petit Chablis, Chablis, Chablis Premier Cru and Chablis Grand Cru. They have different characteristics as they are all grown in different conditions. For example, the Chablis Grand Cru grows on steep slopes where there is a very rich subsoil. The Chablis and the Chablis Premier Cru grow in limestone soil, with the Petit Chablis being found on a more recent limestone soil.

Although the Chardonnay grape is allowed throughout the world, the only grape allowed on the Chablis vineyard is Chardonnay and the Chablis winegrowers expertise and skill is unique.

A quote by Rosemary George, decanter says it all "Chablis is Chardonnay, but not every Chardonnay is Chablis"

Now, I like to slum it with fish and chips but jazz it up with a nice bottle of dry white wine. This one really fits the bill. I found it is cool and crisp with a nice clean smell. I could smell hints of vanilla, peach and grape, and I picked up countryside and green olive tastes. It is a pale golden yellow colour, it is lovely and clear and you can see through it easily. It is not heavy at all.
I also tried the Petit Chablis which is an unoaked chardonnay. This is slightly lighter in colour but still a nice clear pale yellow. The Petit Chablis has a lighter smell to it than the Chablis. You can really smell the lemon in it, making it a clean and fresh smelling wine. I found this had a very refreshing taste. This could be teamed well with a nice Chinese lemon chicken but I would happily drink this with my fish and chips or even just enjoy a glass on its own while I sent my husband out for the dinner!

I was sent this wine as part of a competition. If I win, I will be taking my Mum with me to Chablis - Wish me luck!

Two very tired boys!!

I left BoyG watching a dvd in my bed while I started dinner and fed BabyG his tea. BabyG ate all his dinner then was so grumpy I gave him a cuddle all wrapped up in a blanket. A little comforting cuddle and he was sound asleep. I took him upstairs to let him sleep. Went in to check on BoyG and he was fast asleep!!

They must have had fun today!!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Happy Mothers Day 2013

I'm having a not so relaxing Mothers Day with my two boys at home and DaddyG is working till late.

I started the day being woken up by BoyG handing me a card from him and BabyG and a card from DaddyG. He opened the cards for me and showed me the picture he had drawn inside. He asked me what I wanted for breakfast then I fell back to sleep until he came upstairs again with DaddyG and scrambled egg on toast with a coffee!

I needed a lay in after spending hours at a and e last night with BabyG. He has been very poorly with his cough and has been wheezing and not sleeping or feeding properly. He had a chest xray done and has been sent home with some anti biotics and an inhaler. It seems to be doing the trick as he is feeding better already and sleeping. He is still wheezy but the medicine is for 3 days so it still has time to work.

So today I am having lots of cuddles with both boys and trying to keep BoyG busy.
BoyG and I have been drawing on bits of card. He has had some (pretend) spiderman tattoos. And later on we will be making jelly together, and glueing with some dried pasta if we still have time.

We are all tired so I think once they're in bed, it will be time for a nice bath and an early night!

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Wreck It Ralph - BoyG's first trip to the cinema!

I've taken BoyG to the cinema today as he has been asking for weeks. He has been asking to see Wreck It Ralph so off we went to go see it.

As he walked through the main door to the cinema, BoyG whispered 'wow!'

We went and got our tickets and then went to get a drink. BoyG had a kids box with some popcorn, chocolate stars and a drink.

We went in and found a seat, and when we sat down he said 'I'm sighted!' (That is excited for BoyG!)

I think he liked it as I asked him half way through if he wanted to stay or if he was getting bored. He said he wanted to stay. But at the end he said he didn't like the cinema?! I think he did enjoy it but it was all a bit overwhelming as it was his first time and its all very big and loud in there.

He did say he wants to go to the cinema again anther day.

That was lovely to do something with just me and BoyG. I have really missed the quality time we used to have before. I am going to try and do more with him. And as far as the cinema, we will probably go once a month together. Although today was a full priced ticket as that was wgat he wanted to see, they have special £1 tickets on Saturdays for selected kids films, so next month we will have a look at whats on for £1.

MAM Self Sterilising Bottles - Product Review

BabyG has been given some MAM items to review. He has a teether and some self sterilising bottles.
The Twister teether is great as it's easy for small hands to hold, with ring shaped pieces that baby can get their fingers around. The pieces twist round so it's a toy and teether at the same time. Each piece of the teether has a different design on so there's a varied texture for sore gums. Some pieces are harder than others to give extra variation. There is a rattle built into the teether which helps distract from the pain and discomfort of teething.

The MAM Twister teether is for 6+ months. It is BPA free, Phthalate free and PVC free so it is safe for babies. It has been approved by the International Children Medical Research Society.

BabyG loves this teether! He even screeches and smiles when we hold it up in front of him! He has been playing with it and chewing on all the pieces but he does seem to favour the green piece so he must prefer that texture!!

He has also been given some bottles to test. These are not just any bottles.... They are self sterilising bottles!! How cool is that?! I travel a lot as I live at least an hours car journey from any of my family so I have to take a steriliser with me and enough bottles for if we go out anywhere. My mum has a travel steriliser at her house for when we visit. When I go there, I have to sterilise 4 or 5 bottles, one at a time. They get so hot in the steriliser it makes my fingers sore when taking them out but I don't want to take the big steriliser as with two boys I have got enough to pack. Well this seems perfect for us!! So does it work? BabyG puts them to the test...


My main concerns were:

As they are lots of pieces screwed together, would they leak?
Will BabyG drink from them as the teat is different to what he has been using?
Will it be too fiddly?

These were good. They were so handy for when we were out and about as we could either just take the whole box of formula with us or pick up some ready made milk and we didn't need to worry about how many bottles we took out with us.

The bottles leaked two or three times while we were testing them which was fairly annoying. However we then realised that during sterilisation, the white rubber ring would occasionally lift up which is what caused the leakage. Once I discovered this, I made sure we pushed it firmly in to the base and we didn't experience any leaks after that.

The self sterilising bottles have a couple of extra pieces compared to normal bottles. I thought it would make it fiddly and time consuming but I got used to it very quickly. It's so handy that you can just put one in the microwave to sterilise, especially when you are out for the day. The only problem would be if you didn't have somewhere to wash the bottle.

It does take a little longer to do 3 bottles (5 minutes) than it does to do just one (3 minutes). Plus, when doing bottles in the big steriliser it takes 3 minutes to do them all at once, but if it is day time and you're not desperate for a bottle straight away then it doesn't really make a difference as it is only a couple of minutes extra.

We got on really well with these bottles and we will happily keep using them.

I was given these products by MAM to review but you can purchase them from or from most babies retailers.

A walk in the park - feeding the ducks and playing on the toys

I like to take the boys out of the house but we always seem to end up in the soft play areas which are fine, but it can get expensive and I think BoyG gets bored of them fairly quickly if he goes too often. So I'm always looking for different ideas.

We have started going to the park to feed the ducks once a week. I go and buy a reduced or supermarkets own brand loaf of bread and we head over to Chantry Park. We feed the ducks some of the bread. I can get the bread that is reduced as it needs to be eaten that day but i can't take mouldy bread as a lot of it ends up in BoyG!!
There is a nice playground there which BoyG loves to run about in. He has a go on everything and if we haven't arranged to meet any of his friends there, then he quickly makes some new friends with the other children.
BabyG is still too small for playing in the park and it is still a little cold for him but he is wrapped up warm and all cosy in the buggy so he usually just has a snooze while I watch BoyG have all the fun. I'm sure it won't be too long before BabyG is joining in too!!