Category Archives: Food & Drink

DegustaBox Review August 2017

For ages now I have been seeing reviews by bloggers including my sister in Law about the Degustabox, and always thought they sounded great and how much I would love to review one myself.  Well I’m delighted that I have now been given the opportunity to try them out for ourselves.

If you haven’t heard of Degustabox, It’s a monthly surprise food and drink subscription box, costing just £12.99. You can cancel them whenever you want and it’s a great way of trying new things. It arrives by DPD courier and I get an email and text message to tell me exactly what time it will arrive, so I can organise for it to be left in a safe place or delivered to our neighbours if were not in.

So in our box this month we received.

Variety Pack of Seabrook Crisps (RRP £1.00)

We eat quite alot of crisps in our house and these were really lovely, crunchy and full of flavour. The Cheese & Onion were my favourite.

Light Bites Popped chips (RRP 2 x £0.99)

I had never heard or tried these before but with only 94-95 calories a bag they have so much flavour.  The sweet and smoky chipotle were my favourite

Refreshers Softies (RRP £1.00)

Sweets are my weak spot, so I opened these straight away. They are soft, chewy and have a lovely fruit flavour to them. You get a nice amount for £1 and this bag size is ideal for sharing around the family.

Cadbury Curlywurly Squirlies (RRP £1.99)

I love these, but unfortuantly can’t eat them at the moment due to having braces, but will be sure to keep them till I can in a few weeks time.  Mini curly wurlys that are covered in delicious Cadbury’s chocolate. Perfect for sharing.

Cadbury Dairy Milk “BIG TASTE” Toffee whole nut (RRP £0.65)

I love dairy milk chocolate and this sound amazing except the nuts as i’m not keen on nuts but this was surprisingly yummy.  I loved that these are in breakable segments that makes this bar ideal for sharing.

JellySqueeze (RRP 2 x £0.69)

We love Jelly in our house so these are perfect for putting in my handbag for the little one as a snack on days out or popping in lunch boxes, no mess either. These are really convenient and great for storing in the cupboard too for unexpected little visitors.

Bahlsen PICK UP! Black ‘N White (RRP £1.69)

White chocolate sandwiched between two crisp chocolate flavoured biscuits, that are individually wrapped so perfect for taking out in a packed lunch.  I have never considered buying these but after trying them in the degusta box I will be sure to pick them up from the supermarket.

Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise (RRP £1.69)

We have pretty much always got this in the house as the OH loves it, I will occasionally have it but not a huge fan.  I loved the flip top bottle as it makes it really simple, and fast, to dispense the mayonnaise.

Orangina (RRP 2 x £1.20)

This was a big win and very refreshing, perfect for popping in your handbag for on the go. Love the bottles, limited addition summer bottles.  These are only 420ml which is a shame, but the flavours of both drinks were refreshing, delicious and I’d definitely buy them again.

Maggi Fusian Noodles (RRP 2 x £1.39)

We love noodles so these were perfect, I wasn’t keen on the chilli ones but loved the hoisin ducks ones.  Perfect for a quick evening meal.

Tabasco Green Pepper Sauce (RRP £1.89)

This was not for me at all but the OH loved it as he loves adding spice to his food.

Twisted Halo – Coconut Water, Ginger & Vodka (RRP £1.50)

I was pleasantly surprised by this as I don’t like Coconut Water or Ginger but the combination worked well and was refreshing.  I loved that this is a healthy type flavour with only 90 calories and mixed with vodka. As vodka is quite low calorie this is a lovely drink that you can enjoy without worrying.

We really enjoyed this month’s Degustabox. It costs just £12.99 a month, but the value of the contents is always much higher than that.

Do you like the sound of the Degustabox August 2017 box? You can order yours on the Degustabox website. Your order will come with free shipping. You will then receive a surprise box containing 10 to 15 items. A lot of the items within the Degustabox are new to the market. It is a great chance to try something new for a discounted price too.

*I was sent this box free of charge for the purpose of this review.  However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Meal Planning Monday 21/08/2017

Last week was a hit and we managed to keep pretty much on track with all the meals apart from one day when my friend called in and didn’t go till late. Before I was planning the meals I was buying so much freezer food and spending a fortune at the supermarket which was just a waste.

Food, Salad, Spicy, Pan, Hot, Cooking, Meal, Pepper

I have started to enjoy cooking alot more since been on maternity leave, which is helping.

This week’s meal plan includes:

Chicken Stir fry with Egg noodles

Shepards Pie

Paprika Chicken with beef rice & salad

Omelette & salad

Sausage casserole & creamy mash

Oven baked garlic salmon with Sweet potato wedges

Cheese & bacon puffs with chips & beans

What is on your meal plan this week?

Pizza Express New Leggera Range Review

I am a big Pizza fan and could genuinely live off it but unfortunately it’s not the healthiest thing in the world so it’s something I only try to have every so often. I like most kinds of Pizza, so when the chance came up to work with Pizza Express and review their new Leggera range, there was no way I was saying no!

The Leggera range are 3 light pizzas that all have a multigrain base topped with fresh and delicious ingredients. There is Prawn and Broccoli, Chicken and Vegetable, and Squash, Kale and Goats Cheese. They are a perfect size for one if you get in late from work, or if you’re partners away and you don’t want to make a big meal for just you, these can just be thrown in the oven and ready in a just a few minutes. They are so handy to have in the fridge ready.

I picked up the Chicken & Vegetable and the Squash, Kale & Goats Cheese Pizza last week from my local Waitrose for £3.79 each. Unfortunately they didn’t have the Prawn & broccoli one at the time.  I was really excited to be trying them and couldn’t wait to see what they both tasted like.

I would not personally purchase these again as I was not a hug fan of the variety of toppings.  I also feel that nearly £4 for a pizza is a little on the expensive side.

If you think you’d like these pizzas and want to try them for yourself they are currently available from most Waitrose stores.  I’d  also love to know if you’ve tried anything from this range and which one you think would be your favourite! Or just what sort of Pizza you normally like?

* I was sent a £10 Vouchers to purchase these pizza’s. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Meal Planning Monday 14/08/2017

I am new to this Meal Planning Monday post and decided to give it ago while I’m off on maternity leave.  I always struggle to find new and different ideas for meals but with the help of pinterest I’m experimenting with new ideas that we both love.

Before I was off work we slipped into a habit of eating a lot of processed food straight from the freezer so we were piling on the pounds, now with our wedding just under 3 months away we are trying hard to be good and eat smaller portions and healthier meals.

Salmon, Dish, Food, Meal, Fish, Seafood, Plate

This week’s meal plan includes:

Tuna Pasta Bake

Salmon Wellington with homemade potato wedges

Quiche, beef rice & Salad

Bacon, cream cheese, cheddar Chicken

Pan Fried Pork with apple sauce & homemade potato wedges

Homemade lasagna with Garlic Bread

Lamb roast dinner

What is on your meal plan this week?

UFIT Protein Shake Drinks Review

I am excited to be working with UFIT on reviewing their protein drinks as I am currently pregnant and then after baby has arrived I have got less than 3 months to try to lose any baby weight I gained for my Wedding in October so I can fit into my wedding dress.

They come in a number of different flavours such as Strawberry, Chocolate, Banana, vanilla plus Iced Latte and even Lactose free one are available which come in strawberry or vanilla flavour.

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I will be trying them all except the Iced Latte as I really don’t like coffee so the fiance can enjoy that one.  I have put them all in the fridge too to make them cold.

They make you feel full and along with a light meal kept me going all day.

Prices are around £1.78 each and are available from most supermarkets.

  • I was sent this product free of charge for the purpose of this review.  However all thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Top 7 All-time favourite Meals

Beef, Cheese, Cuisine, Delicious, Dinner, Food, Fresh

We all have that one meal that we absolutely love and would quite happily eat every day of the week…Right? So I thought I would do my top 7 all-time favourite meals.

  1. Roast Dinners – I love all types of meat and as long as there are lashings of gravy all over it I’m happy.
  2. Medium/Rare Steak – I have tried to cook this at home but it never tastes as good as going to a steakhouse. With thick cut chips and peppercorn sauce.
  3. Tuna Pasta bake – Quick & very simple to make
  4. Lasagna with Garlic bread and tonnes of cheese on top – I try and make this at least once a week as this is the other half’s favourite.
  5. Casserole – I love any meat types, with creamy mash potato, vegetables and plenty of gravy.
  6. Quiche, Beef bachelors rice with Salad, Jacket/Sweet potato.
  7. Spaghetti Bolognese or Meatballs with Garlic bread and plenty of cheese on top.  

I had a huge response to this post and sadly couldn’t include everyone so I have randomly selected a handful to include in the post.  A huge thank you to everyone that got involved, some fantastic meal choices and I will certainly be trying these out soon.   

Emma from http://www.methemanandthebaby.co.uk/ says Chocolate Korma

Stacey from http://www.staceyinthesticks.com/ says Lasagna

Tracey from https://www.packthepjs.com/ says homemade pizza – making my own dough and cooking using our garden pizza oven

Rachel from http://www.coffeecakekids.com/ says baked camembert, crusty bread and olive oil

Jen from http://www.justaveragejen.com/ says Butternut Squash Risotto.

Kai from https://kaidenlaverty.com/ Says Southern fried chicken and bacon sandwiched together with 2 sugared Belgian waffles, topped with maple syrup. (May sound bizarre but maple syrup is amazing).

Maria from https://www.suburban-mum.com/tasty-italian-pesto-chicken/ says Italian Pesto Chicken – It’s delicious.

Rachel from http://www.mummahub.co.uk/ says “Oh I think it’d have to be a good old British roast, with crumble for pudding.

Jaymee from https://themumdiaries.co.uk/ says spaghetti Bolognaise

Nyomi from http://www.nomipalony.com/ says a good medium rare steak with homemade chips – my mouth is watering just thinking about it

Emma from https://readyfreddiego.com/ says Brisket of beef on the bone, cooked slow & low all day with extra suet on from the butcher to keep it moist and full of beefy flavours. Served with buttery soft mash or crisp roasties, carrots and thick, dark brisket gravy

Victoria from https://www.mummytimestwo.com/ says our family favourite is fajitas, I cooked it for the other half on our first date and it’s now our eldest favourite too.

Catherine from http://battlemum.com/ says our all-time favourite is meatloaf. My mum used to do it with mash but I now do it with Roast potatoes and gravy. It’s a great Sunday dinner in our house. Yum!

Kerry from http://www.kerryshawmummyoffour.com/?m=1 Says Thai green Chicken Curry with sticky rice – It’s my kids favourite too.  

Thank you to everyone that got themselves involved.

Stop Wasting Money And Start Making Your Own Delicious Coffee At Home

Free stock photo of beans, coffee, espresso, morning

Most people love to start their day with a refreshing and revitalizing cup of coffee. But, with coffee shops charging a premium for even the most basic of drinks, it’s a wonder that anyone can actually afford to drink at these places. It’s even more confusing that people go into these shops at all when there’s nothing stopping you from making luxury coffee at home. You just need a few bits of kit, which will cost far less than a year’s worth of coffee shop coffee, and you can get started. To help you out, this post will go through all of the bits you need, to start making coffee.

  • A Grinder

Of course, all great coffee starts with the primary ingredient; the beans. But, the pre-ground dust that you find in supermarkets will usually leave a lot to be desired. This is because these products are usually freeze-dried, taking out a lot of the flavor that the beans naturally have. Instead of buying pre-ground beans, you can buy whole ones. Then, all you have to do is grind it up. Coffee grinders are usually attractive enough to fit in any kitchen, and can even add some personality to the room. They’re easy to use, and most will do the whole job for you. Buying whole beans is no more expensive that buying pre-ground beans. In fact, in some cases, it can be cheaper.

Image result for french press flickr

  • Something To Brew

Next, you need to be able to brew those tasty beans! The most common option for this is a french press, or, cafetiere. They’re usually a small jug with a plunger attached to the lid. You fill the jug with coffee and hot water, and then put the lid back on. Now, you leave the coffee to do it’s thing. Once the coffee is brewed, you can push down the plunger. This separates the coffee grind from the liquid coffee so that you don’t swallow it. Some people will also go for a full-blown espresso machine. These are generally quite expensive, though. And, the similar results can be found in a regular french press.

  • The Milk

Any Barista will tell you that the milk is the most important element to most cups of coffee. Unfortunately, without an espresso machine, it’s hard to foam the milk up with steam. For some drinks, this is essential. But, for others, you can replicate the effect quite easily. By heating up milk, you change it’s consistency and flavor. You can heat milk in a pan on your hob. Don’t let the milk boil, instead, let it get to the point just before it boils. Then, slowly pour the warm milk into your coffee. Of course, this means that you won’t get any foam. But, the coffee that your drinking will be much closer to coffee shop quality than anything else you can make at home.

If you do this everyday, your home will start to take on the smell of coffee. For most people, this isn’t a problem at all. In fact, the smell is beautiful once you get used to it. Hopefully, this will help you to avoid some of the coffee shop runs you make each week if not all of them. Good luck and enjoy the coffee!

Heckfood Review

We love food in our house, well my OH does.  It’s difficult to try and find food that he will eat and enjoy but when a company called Heckfood got in contact and asked if we wanted to try a selection of their food.

I arranged a delivery with heckfood as they only have two deliveries every week I had to try and fit it in when they had a free space, you can find out more here.  Within the space of a week my delivery had arrived, couldn’t wait to open it and see what goodies I had been sent.

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The box had been packed in a cool chilled box with plenty of ice cooler packs to keep the food nice, cold and fresh.

Our next door neighbours had taken the package in as we were at work but the good thing was the ice cool packs were still freezing even after 4 hours of being out the fridge.

Having never heard of heckfood before I was excited to see what they had sent us to taste.

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They sent us a large selection of their Sausages, burgers and meat balls of all different flavours and they smelt amazing.  I had to put the majority of it in the freezer to prevent it going off.  I kept the fair & square burgers out and a pack of chicken Italia sausages to try.

I cooked the burgers the other night for tea and they were fab, they didn’t shrink in size like normal burgers and stayed together when picked up to put on the rolls.  They tasted amazing, full of flavours.  We had them with curly fries, salad, onion and bacon.

I would most definitely buy these products again.

They are available in Sainsburys, Waitrose, Asda, Morrisons and Tesco.

* We were sent these products free of charge for the purpose of this review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

Slow cooked Beef Stew

I do actually really enjoy and like cooking but the thing I struggle with is finding things that are quick and easy for when I get home from work to cook especially now things that are warm and wholesome with fast approaching winter.

Serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

400/800g of diced beef

5 x large Potatoes chopped into chunks

5 x large Parsnips chopped into chunks

5 large Carrots chopped into chunks

1 x large swede chopped into chunks

2/3 x Large white onions, chopped

1 teaspoon of mixed herbs

1 teaspoon of dried thyme

Pre made dumplings/Dumpling mix

Beef stock cubes

500ml boiling Water

Method

Seal the beef in a frying pan or you can put it straight in the slow cooker to cook.

Cut and peel all the root vegetables in the small chunks and add them in the slow cooker, add all your mixed herbs and thyme and then finally mix your beef stock cubes with boiling water and add to your meat and vegetables.

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In total to make this meal it cost me under £10. If you are looking for a delicious and under budget meal that you can make in bulk and freeze, this would be perfect.

* I received £20 aldi vouchers to create this meal for the purpose of this review.

Ready To Break The Cycle of Yo-Yo Dieting For Good?

belly, black-and-white, body

Are you a long-term yo-yo dieter? It really is one of the most frustrating things ever to experience. Just as soon as you’re making progress and doing well, you find yourself slipping back into old habits. It’s not a healthy approach to nutrition and it doesn’t do your self esteem much good either, where you feel like you’re forever failing yourself. If you’re ready to break the cycle for good, here are a few things that might help.

Identify Your Underlying Issues With Food

The best way to stop yo-yo dieting and finally break the cycle is to work out the reasons why you overeat. The answer is likely to be extremely complex and made up of many different factors. But try to be completely honest with yourself and write it down if it helps. Do you turn to food when you’re feeling emotional or bored? Does disorganisation mean you often eat right before bed? Are you too busy or lazy to cook meaning you often resort to unhealthy takeaways? You might even have an underlying medical condition which makes you feel hungrier than you should. Working out the reasons as to why you turn to food can give you much more control over the situation. If you feel as though you have extreme issues when it comes to food, you could even consider speaking to a therapist to help you work through them.

Clear Out Your Kitchen

Having unhealthy treats or temptations in the home is an accident waiting to happen. Even if they are for your partner or children, get them on board too. Kids especially will benefit from switching unhealthy snacks for healthy ones. Allwomenstalk.com for example has ideas for healthy swaps you can make. In fact this is one of the most beneficial things you can do for them nutritionally. Get rid of anything that isn’t providing your family’s body with goodness. From salty, processed canned and prepackaged meals to sugary cereal to even unhealthy sauces and preserves. Do a big grocery shop and replenish the kitchen with the things that you know you should be eating. This stops you from picking and snacking on things just because they are readily available and acting as a temptation. While you could break your healthy plan by driving to the shops, this takes a much more conscious effort.

Set a Healthy Yet Realistic Eating Plan

In the beginning, when your motivation levels are high it’s easy to say ‘right I’m not having any unhealthy foods from now on’. The problem is this motivation can’t last forever, and permanently depriving yourself isn’t the answer. Providing you eat healthily for the majority of the time you can treat yourself to things in moderation now and again. If you plan for these, you won’t feel guilty afterwards or end up going completely off track. Adding a supplement to your diet can also boost your weight loss. Always choose something that’s natural and safe, Garcinia Cambogia is one example which has been proven to be effective. Sites like www.bestdiets2016.com have more information about this.

Learn To Cook

Learning to cook healthy yet exciting meals means you’re much less likely to resort to something prepackaged or from a takeaway just because you want something satisfying and flavourful. Invest in a selection of herbs and spices and learn how to use them in your meals. These can add taste without fats or oils. Know where to make healthy swaps in recipes, for example natural yogurt instead of heavy cream. If you can get excited and passionate about cooking, and build up a repertoire of healthy yet delicious dishes you and your family will always eat well. You could look at a healthy food site like www.health.com for ideas to get you started.Even if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, buying a slow cooker allows you to add lots of healthy produce to the pot in the morning and have a home cooked meal ready by the evening. Experiment with different recipes and ingredients, and just have fun with it.

Dish Cooking on Black Non Stick Pan on a Burner