Time to Spiralize (with Ideal World)

Twist and shout, get your Spiralizer out!

Sorry, I don’t know where that phrase came from but it made me chuckle so I left it in.

Spiralizing is HUGE at the moment.

People are going crazy for courgetti and various other twisted delights made courtesy of these simple little kitchen devices and I am now jumping on the bandwagon. Well, if you can’t beat them, spiralize them right?!


I was lucky enough to be sent a brand new spiralizer by Ideal Home the other week and I have been giving it a whirl (pardon the pun) to see if it change our mealtimes and eating habits at all.

How does the Spiralizer work?

If you’re unfamiliar with how these spiralizers work, they are essentially a simple bit of kit with a blade and a spiked handle which you twist. This causes the veg or fruit to become ribbons, noodles or spaghetti depending on what blade you have in it. They have become really popular due to people becoming more conscious about what they’re eating (i.e; less carbs and more fruit and veg), food intolerance’s (gluten allergies etc), being more cost effective (a courgette which you buy whole costs a lot less than a ready prepared one) and just to make every day meals a bit more interesting in a simple way.

 This particular Spiralizer by Ideal World isn’t hand held like some of them, it is a worktop one (and has suction feet to stop it sliding about your worktop as you use it). Despite being made of plastic, it is very sturdy, not at all flimsy or cheap feeling, and it comes with 3 interchangeable blades for varying types of cuts. The spare blades can be kept under the spiralizer itself to keep them safe and out the way. Despite it being a worktop machine, it isn’t too large and is smaller than most other kitchen gadets/appliances I have.

The machine was really simple to put together, it was also easy to clean once it had been used, though the carrot I spiralized did stain the plastic a little so I had to soak it for a little while to get it white again rather than just giving it a rinse. A minor quibble really.

Under my supervision, even my 9 year old had a go at spirlaizing some carrot which we then cooked and mixed with some spaghetti for a ‘half and half’ bolognese. The kids wouldn’t eat a whole bowl of spiralized carrot but mix it with half cooked spaghetti, they happily scoffed it up!

Luke also found it very amusing that the spiralizer leaves you with the middle of the vegetable when spiralizing carrots/courgette. I just ate this myself as a snack rather than binning it but Luke thought it looked like a nail or screw made from carrot. I can see his point! Haha!

 The spiralizer also came with a recipe book which was full of healthy and unusual ideas for a meal. If I am honest, my kids wouldn’t entertain eating one single recipe suggestion in it (they are mega fuss pots so the fact they even ate spiralized carrot was a small victory for me!) but myself and my husband are going to try some so I will let you all know how they turn out once we have.

At the time of writing (March 2017) the Spiralizer is on sale for just £9.99 which is cheaper than I have even seen in the shops so I genuinely do think this is a super price for a well made, and useful, piece of kitchen kit.

Just please be careful with the blades! They are VERY sharp and I have known many a person hurt themselves by being a little too carefree. Just take care when inserting/removing them and especially when washing them.

What are the best vegetables to spiralize?

There are a few vegetables that were just born to be spiralized – like Gin was made to be drunk…by me.

The firm texture of root vegetables makes them perfect for spiralizing, but you can also use softer ones like cucumbers, squashes or pumpkins. A few firm fruits such as apples and pears can also be twirled through your spiralizer and added into salads or made into coleslaw.

My top 5 things to spiralize!


Forget your carbs and spaghetti, this year it’s all about ‘courgetti.’ Use the thin noodle attachment on the spiralizer to create long twirls of pasta-like vegetable noodles. Simply boil the spiralised courgette for 20 seconds, then top with Bolognese or stir through pesto and some prawns. A simple meal in minutes!


Raw carrot ribbons, made with the slicing blade, add texture and crunch to a salad or coleslaw. You can also stir-fry the carrot ribbons along with some beansprouts, courgetti, chicken and anything else you fancy for a quick and healthy dinner.

Sweet potato

Sweet potato
Use the thicker noodle blade to create sweet potato curly fries, toss in a little oil and bake until crisp. I like to dip mine in some garlic mayo. Yummers!


Coleslaw will literally never be the same again. Add texture to it with apple noodles; just make sure you toss in lemon juice as soon as the apple noodles come out of the spiralizer to prevent them from the dreaded browning.


This vividly coloured root veg is so good for your body being high in fibre, folic acid, magnesium and potassium. Simply spiralize and add into salads, as a side dish to be served with a simple dressing and some feta cheese at dinner or even, add into a cake! (Yep, beetroot chocolate cake really works folks!)

So, all in all, I would honestly recommend this Ideal World spiralizer if you were looking into buying one. It’s so idiot proof even I managed to use it and it has helped enhance our mealtimes by making sure we get a few more portions of veg in each day, which can only be a good thing.

 Do you have a spiralizer?

What do you like to make with it?

 Disclosure: I was sent this spiralizer by Ideal World for the purpose of this review. All words, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Knutty Explorers: Thaikhun, Guildford – A review

“What the forkis for dinner?”

Enlight1 (47)

A question I get asked numerous times every week, and often one which makes my eye twitch in anger.

As a mum and wife, I find it really hard staying inspired on the dinner front. The intent is there, I don’t mind cooking, I bookmark recipes I like, with every intention of one day making them, and some weeks (when the world doesn’t feel like it is conspiring against me) I even manage to meal plan!

It doesn’t help that my kids are quite fussy eaters. Don’t ask me where I went wrong, I don’t know. I tried the baby led weaning thing, I tried pouches, I tried making my own cooked and pureed food until I couldn’t fit anymore in my freezer. You name it, I tried it, but nothing seems to have made much difference with any of my 3. Thankfully, the 8 year old is coming out the other side of it now and will at least try new foods but the 6 year old and the toddler have good and (very) bad days where food is concerned. Mealtimes can often be pretty traumatic in our household but I have stopped the shouting and started the calm, “well, that’s fine but you don’t get anything else”, approach. It doesn’t seem to have changed their eating habits but the house is a lot calmer so that’s something I suppose…

We rarely get to eat out these days because the toddler is incapable of sitting still for more than 15 minutes and I go into panic mode as soon as he or one of the other kids start revving up for a tantrum. The stares from other diners, the embarrassment when the waiting staff remove the toddlers plate and all he’s done is drive one of his toy trains we’ve taken out with us through his food. It’s just not worth the hassle, expense or wastage.

So, when I was contacted by the lovely folk at Thaikhun to see if we would like to review their new kids menu, I jumped at the chance…as soon as I had checked with my mum that she could babysit the toddler 😉

Luckily for us, Nanny and Grandad came up trumps as usual and agreed to have the littlest one so myself and Mr Knutts could take the 2 older ones to experience some Thai food. This would be the first time my boys have eaten Thai food (they have had some Chinese food however in the form of Prawn crackers and breaded chicken) because of their fussy eating habits and I was a little apprehensive but you have to give these things a go don’t you.

 With the little one safely dropped off for a sleepover at Nanny and Granddad’s (he was very excited!), we set off with the older two for our local Thaikhun Restaurant in Guildford, Surrey. They also have restaurants in various locations around the country so do check their website to find your nearest one. Luckily for us, Guildford is about 15 minutes drive from where we live so it wasn’t far to travel at all.

We booked a table for 5:30 and arrived there spot on time…a miracle in itself but probably helped by the fact we didn’t have a willful toddler in tow for a change 😉

We were greeted warmly by the staff and were shown to our table in the middle of the restaurant.

The restaurant is decorated and themed in such a way so as to try and transport you to the streets of Bangkok, Thailand’s capital. I have to say, I’ve never been to Bangkok, but I certainly didn’t feel like I was sat near Guildford High street! They’ve done a pretty good job. The kids also thought it was amazing in there and I even sent them off with my camera to take some of their own photos for me. Looking around the place kept them entertained for ages…

(The photos the boys took)

 Once back from their trip around the place taking photos, the kids were given super activity sheets which had various activities on to keep them occupied, along with some colouring crayons and also some dried edible bugs which they were encouraged to try! One type was dried silk worms but I can’t recall what the other pot were – I was probably in shock and didn’t take it in. Either way, they looked maggot/worm like and I could see their little legs and faces staring at me, frozen in time. I immediately recoiled and had visions of me eating one and projectile vomiting across the table before we had even had anything to eat so politely declined, as did Luke my eldest. Daddy Knutts and the middle one however, were feeling game. They both tried a couple and then, to my utter bemusement, the middle one started scoffing the things like they were Haribo! This kid HATES vegetables and fruit to the point I have a 30 minute fight with him most mealtimes about even trying a mouthful, and yet, here he was, chomping on dried worms like they were the most amazing thing he had ever had. Kids…don’t try and apply logic to them. Ever.

Zak eating worms!

 We ordered our food and drinks and they all arrived at the table promptly. Seen as I love my cocktails, I thought it only right that I try one and I chose a Coconut Mojito, whilst Daddy Knutts plumped for a beer. It was absoloutely smashing and I could have easily had 3…or 6 of them 😉

The kids got cups of Milk, water or Juice included in their kids meal so we plumped for cups of milk which, when delivered to the table, came in cute little animal beakers with lids on. Despite my eldest being 8, he didn’t seem to be bothered by the animal cups at all and happily swigged his milk from it.

Our food arrived promptly, the kids dinners arrived with the adult starters which I thought was a fab idea and they, again to my utter amazement, tucked straight into their meals without so much as a whine! It was a miracle!

Luke opted for Grilled Chicken with plain noodles and BBQ Sauce. Zak opted for breaded chicken with sticky rice. All kids meals come with a pot of vegetable sticks in a cup too.

My fuss-pot eaters like to have their food separated at home if there is a sauce involved, so when the kids meals arrived in a tray which had compartments and separate pots to put sauce in, it was like my prayers had been answered! I think this is one of the reasons they didn’t moan and just excitedly tucked into their dinners. This made for a really nice atmosphere, as opposed to the usual mealtime carnage, so we actually all managed to sit, enjoy each others company and chat to each other which is a rare occurrence because poor Daddy Knutts often doesn’t get in from work until late and we sadly have to eat at a different time to the kids.

The meals were simple, but tasty, which is just what you want for kids. In my eyes and theirs, it was brilliant.

It was genuinely really lovely.

I went for some chicken spring rolls to start with and the hubster went for some deep fried breaded king prawns. Both dishes were really delicious and came with a dipping sauce.


 The kids were about halfway through their dinners by the time our mains arrived which was perfect as they still had some to eat whilst doing their activity sheets and nobody was moaning or getting bored because they had to wait or were finished. It was really good, family friendly, service.

For main, I chose Breaded Chicken with Coconut Sticky rice, which also came with a chicken soup on the side, and Mr Knutts went for steak with Sticky Rice. Both meals were delicious and we would happily recommend them to anyone thinking of going. The portion sizes were very generous, but not so much that you couldn’t finish it and ended up wasting food. Spot on once again.

The waiting staff were very attentive and spied me being a clumsy plonker as I knocked my middles ones milk off the table and all over the floor. A lovely waitress was straight over with some kitchen roll, she didn’t make a fuss about it, I helped her clean it up and she popped off to get Zak a new milk. Really great service and didn’t make me feel awkward at all.

We thought it only right that we try the puddings while we were there (well, you have to don’t you?!) and I went for a Sticky Date pudding with Whisky Ice Cream. It was sooooo scrummy. Squidgy cake, chewy dates, sweet and sticky sauce with a potent whisky ice cream. It was the perfect way to finish off my meal.


Hubster went for some Chocolate Chili Ice Cream and he really enjoyed that after a carb loaded meal.

The children got an ice lolly included in their kids meal, but sadly the freezer wasn’t working properly so these were off the menu. It didn’t matter, the kids chose from their grown up ice creams (not the whisky one, though it was tempting to see if it made them calm down at all…) and the waitress bought this out to them in a little bowl. It was just the right size for them and the Strawberry one that the kids went for had real strawberry in it. I might have had a little test of it myself… 😉


Overall, we had a fantastic time at Thaikhun, Guildford and we would totally have no qualms in recommending it to family, friends and Life is Knutts readers!

The kids meal, inclusive of a starter, main, pudding and drink is £5.95 which I think is really good value for money given the portion sizes and the good quality ingredients used.

Even if your children are fuss-pot eaters like mine, give it a go! You never know, you might be surprised like I was!

I have to just add, that I did have a bit of a giggling fit at my eldest reading out some instructions on the kids menu at one point. It was telling the kids how to say ‘hello’ in Thai, but one of the words, well, read it for yourself but it did make me chuckle hearing my 8 year old saying it at the top of his voice!


Thank you so much to the staff at Thaikhun, Guildford for being so kind and accommodating. We loved our evening out and will certainly be back, the kids have already asked when we can go again!

After our meal, we went for a little stroll up to Guildford Castle to help all that scrummy food digest. if you haven’t been to Guildford before, we can thoroughly recommend it. Little alleyways, places to explore, wonderful shops, a castle and much, much more.

Here are some photos from our evening stroll…

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Disclosure: We were given a complimentary meal at Thaikhun, Guildford, in return for this review. All thoughts, opinions and photos are my own.

Britmums Daily Photo Challenge: Day 10 – Happy

Britmums Daily photo challenge: Day 10


Many things make me happy, make my family happy, so this one was a toughie but I feel that this photo sums the word happy up for me really well. 


Happiness is…

Happiness is; a summers day at home, playing in the paddling pool in the garden with your brothers and then tea ‘al fresco’ (which is a win for me too as it means there’s no mess indoors to clean up! #winning)

Roll on summer…roll on happy sunny days.

Eating out…

Eating out. You know, when you go somewhere outside of the home and some other poor sod stands and makes your dinner for you for a change. The only difference is they get paid to stand and cook you dinner and I most definitely don’t. I get too many complains anyway (“no! I’m not eating that! It’s disgusting and tastes of poo poo!” that kind of response).

It’s a real novelty ‘eating out’ these days, thanks to the Tasmanian toddler who can’t sit still and a 6 year old who gets about as much pleasure from eating food as I do from changing a sh!&ty nappy.

Anyhow, a momentous occasion happened this week – my parents finally became mortgage free, enormous hurrah for them (cue me then calculating how long we have left on our mortgage and wanting to silently sob into my Calamari) – so we went out for a family dinner to celebrate.

I experience a few emotions at the thought of this. These are:

Excitement – a night out!

Dread – there’s no way our kids arent going to destroy the restaurant or is be asked to leave because the toddler is beating other customers up.

Fear – what if the toddler screams for the whole dinner. I’ll just have to go and stand outside in the rain with him and watch everyone eat through the window.

Delusion – “It’ll be ok” I tell myself, “the toddler might just sit down nicely and play with the iPad…” (I know, bad mummy but please don’t judge, we all have our own way and if it means he is quiet and not stabbing people with a fork, I’ll go for that)

Anger – “who’s bloody idea was dinner out?! I know it’s a special occasion but we want it to be a happy event and instead, it could end a disaster and I could end up being beaten up by my toddler as usual, but this time in a public place!”

…safe to say I was a little apprehensive.

We get to the ‘family friendly’ restaurant and we are sat near the door – first saving grace, we are near the escape route should sh%t go down.

Luckily, the toddler hasn’t napped and it’s 5:30 so he looked quite sedate and was over the moon to see Nanny, Grandad and his Uncle. Phew. That’s occupied him for at least 20 minutes….

Then the toddler spots some balloons on sticks – hurrah! That buys us another 15 minutes as he is quite happy bashing his Grandad, and any passing customers and staff, on the head with it. We are now 35 minutes in and all is fine. It’s a miracle.

Starters arrive and luckily the toddler and my 6 year old like the look of some of it (though my 6 year old decides the carrot and cucumber sticks are merely decoration and are definitely not meant to be eaten…) so they happily tuck in. Another 15 minutes of peace and harmony – I can’t believe this!

As soon as the starters are finished and taken away, our mains arrive.

All my kids have chosen margarita pizza – adventurous bunch aren’t they (makes you wonder why you spent so many hours peeling, boiling, whizzing and splattering purées up for them as babies when, as soon as they have a mind of their own and learn to say ‘no!’, you might as well have given them a cat food bowl full of crisps and sweets and left it on the floor for the day to pick at as that’s all they decide they can eat for the foreseeable future…)

The older 2 tuck into their pizzas and are happy, the little one however, looks at his pizza with utter contempt and attempts to frisbee it off his plate. “He doesn’t want that then….” I conclude.

The toddlers noise level increases as his contempt for the pizza placed before him grows. “Here we go…” I think to myself.

I shovel my pasta down and gesture to my husband for the noisy, pizza hating toddler to be passed down to me in hopes of calmin him down. After 5 minutes of whining and fidgeting like a ferret in a pair of trousers, to my amazement, this happens….

I can’t believe my luck!!

It sleeps!!! (I know I’ll have a rubbish evening getting him to bed, but he’s quiet and not disturbing the restaurant anymore! Hurrah!!!)

And with that, I order a pudding and eat it whilst being able to chat to my family (thanks to Uncle holding the sleeping ninja) and not worry about the Tasmanian Toddler going crazy. Happy days.

So, for future reference, we can now eat out as long as the toddler hasn’t had a nap and is utterly exhausted, then everyone is a winner. My arms felt like they were going to drop off by the end of the dinner through holding him and I was a sweaty mess because it was boiling hot and the little one acted like a hot water bottle, but all was peaceful. And that’s a miracle.