It might still be a bit chilly out some days, but it’s slowly but surely becoming more like summer, and what better way to enjoy the sun than with an ice cream sundae?
I’m not one for eating ice cream plain, I love it piled high with sweet, sticky toppings, and sundaes are a fun way to customise your pudding just the way you want it. I recently got hold of these cute little sundae glasses which are made to look like waffle cones, so to stick to the theme I wanted to share with you my easy but delicious waffle sundae!
Ingredients (Serves 2):
2 Belgian Chocolate Waffles
Carte Dor Vanilla Ice Cream
Askeys Toffee Sauce
This isn’t a recipe as such as it’s so simple to make. You just chop the waffle into bite size pieces (you can warm it through first for extra melty luxury), and then layer as much ice cream, waffle and toffee sauce as you like! Minimum effort, maximum deliciousness.
The sundae glasses are from Drinkstuff, and cost £9.99 for a set of four. They’re made of thick acrylic, which is supposed to keep the ice cream cooler for longer, and I can definitely vouch for the fact that my incredibly soft scoop Carte Dor didn’t melt before I finished my sundae. I quite like the fact that they’re made of plastic as they’re almost impossible to break, which is perfect for clumsy souls like myself, especially when eating outside on the patio! They’re the ideal size for a generous single serving, and you’ll be pleased to hear that you can even get your sundae spoon right to the bottom to dig out the last morsels of yum!
What are your perfect sundae toppings?
The March Degustabox, as usual, arrived promptly at the end of the month, and was stuffed full of exciting goodies. A lot of familiar brands cropped up this time, including Jordans, Lindt, Crabbie’s and Brioche Pasquier, but there were also a couple of new brands to try, namely BBQUE and Natvia. There was also a good balance of food and drink, and sweet and savoury, which is always nice.
The March box was great value for money, as usual, containing fourteen individual items, with a combined total value of over £24. Degustabox subscriptions cost an affordable £12.99 per month, which includes delivery, so you’re making a great saving every time.
Jordans Lighter Granola (RRP £3.69)
Granola is one of my favourite things to have for breakfast, and I’m quite fond of Jordans products, so this was a welcome addition to the box. This particular granola is strawberry and blueberry flavour, and has 30% less fat than standard granolas, which is great news for the health conscious among us. I’ve been eating this in the mornings with fruit yoghurt, and it is delicious. The dried fruit pieces are tasty and plentiful, and soften nicely once wet, without going mushy. The granola has a great crunch to it and is nice and sweet, but not overly so. This one gets a big thumbs up from me.
JuiceBurst Juices (RRP £1.25 each)
These JuiceBurst juices are a quick and easy way of getting one of your five a day. I received two flavours in my box – cranberry, and mango and lime from the Skinny range, which contains fewer calories but all the goodness. Mango is one of my favourite juice flavours, so naturally the mango and lime was my favourite. It was sweet, but this was balanced nicely by the citrus tang of the lime.
BBQUE Original Bavarian Barbecue Sauce (RRP £3.99)
BBQUE Original Bavarian Barbecue Sauces come in four flavours – grill and beechwood, honey and mustard, chilli and horseradish, and original, which is the flavour I received. I eat a lot of barbecue sauce so this sauce had a lot to live up to, but it actually ranks quite highly! It’s runnier than I usually like, which meant it didn’t make a very good topping for my vegetarian chicken New Yorker, but the flavours of cranberries, beer, honey and apples are delicious. I also really like the bold packaging and branding, although I did have to Google Translate all the German text before eating it, to check whether it was vegetarian! (It is).
Lindt Lindor Assorted Mini Eggs (RRP £2.00 each)
I never get bored of finding Lindt products in my Degustabox, and these were the perfect little treat for Easter. Each bag contains a generous amount of foil wrapped chocolate mini eggs, in three different flavours – milk, dark and white. Each egg is like a miniature Lindor truffle, and boasts the creamy chocolate and smooth filling that we all know and love. The gold wrapped, white chocolate ones are my favourite. Very luxurious, and great to share (if you really want to!)
Maynards Sour Patch Kids (RRP £1.00) and Bassetts Jelly Babies Berry Mix (RRP £1.48)
Unfortunately neither of these bags of sweets are vegetarian, so I’ll be passing them on to someone else. It’s a shame really because I love sour sweets, berry flavours, and I was always a fan of Jelly Babies when I wasn’t veggie. I just hope Maynards and Bassetts decide to add some similar vegetarian-friendly offerings to their ranges soon!
Crabbie’s Alcoholic Fruits (RRP £1.50 each)
I really like Crabbie’s drinks, and these alcoholic Fruits were the only product in the box that I’d tried before. Unlike most of Crabbie’s products, these flavours contain no ginger, but are made with real fruit juice, which give them a thirst-quenchingly fresh flavour. I received two different flavours – raspberry & rhubarb, and black cherry, but they also have a zesty lemon flavour in the range.
Kents Kitchen Posh Noodles (RRP £1.75)
I had high hopes for these Kents Kitchen Posh Noodles, but they were quite disappointing, and not a patch on the Kabuto Noodles that appeared in the January Box. The noodles were plentiful and had a great texture, but the positive points stop there. The Szechuan flavouring was intense, but not in a spicy way. The flavour actually made my mouth hurt and my tongue feel sore, almost like I was having an allergic reaction, which was incredibly unpleasant. The noodles were also lacking any vegetables or soy pieces, which made them pretty boring after a while.
Natvia Sweetener (RRP £2.00)
Natvia is a 100% naturally sourced alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners, which is derived from stevia. Stevia seems to be the ‘in thing’ at the minute, so I was keen to try these sweeteners out. One of these in coffee is the equivalent of one teaspoon of sugar, and to be honest it’s hard to tell the difference in terms of taste, which can only be a good thing! And even better is the fact that Natvia contains zero calories. I think I’ll be using these in baking next to see how they compare to my usual caster sugar.
Brioche Pasquier Baked Bread Bites (RRP 50p each)
Before now, I’d only ever tried Brioche Pasquier’s sweet breakfast products, so it was nice to try something from their savoury range. The box contained two of these little bags of bacon flavoured baked bread bites, which will be launching in shops soon. Despite being a vegetarian, bacon happens to be one of my favourite crisp flavours, and I really enjoyed the smoky taste of these. They also had a lovely crunch to them. The bites are healthier than your average crisp, containing less saturated fat, no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives, and less than 90 calories. They’re also quite versatile, and work well as a snack, but also as a crouton-type topping for soup.
PS. You can check out the rest of my Degustabox reviews here.
*This Degustabox was sent to me for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Last week I was lucky enough to receive some yummy Lindt Easter treats, via the lovely people at Degustabox. I love Lindt chocolate, so this came as a welcome surprise! I was sent a large classic Gold Bunny, as well as a Lindt Gold Bunny Story Book, which is absolutely adorable.
Easter wouldn’t be Easter without a Lindt Gold Bunny. The foil wrapper, red bow and little bell are iconic, and the thick, creamy chocolate is delicious. I always think Lindt’s bunnies are a little bit more luxurious than your average Easter egg, so while they’re great for kids, they’re also ideal for grown ups.
The Gold Bunny Story Book is like an Easter version of an advent calendar, but isn’t dated, so you can open doors and enjoy the treats as and when you wish. The book is quite large, and tells an interactive story whereby you have to seek out the hidden gold bunnies, and open the corresponding door when you find one. The book has eleven doors, each with a treat behind it, and in total you get fifteen treats. Three mini gold bunnies, two lambs, two chicks, three hollow eggs, and five small solid eggs, which is a decent amount of chocolate. Each treat is made from Lindt’s signature milk chocolate.
I hope you’ve all had a lovely Easter so far, and I hope you enjoy the bank holiday tomorrow! What treats have you been enjoying? Did the Easter Bunny bring you one of his gold babies?
*This Lindt Gold Bunny and Lindt Gold Bunny Story Book were sent to me via Degustabox for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Working full-time all week means I get very little time to have a relaxed day. Even at weekends lie ins are rare, so when I do get the chance to catch up on sleep and wake up slow, breakfast in bed always makes the morning that little bit more special.
No breakfast in bed is complete without a mug of strong tea, and a couple of slices of hot toast, with either peanut butter, marmite or lemon curd. For me, great toast is thickly sliced, lightly browned, but still soft and fluffy on the inside. Roberts Bakery bread is ideal for toast like this. Just call me a toast connoisseur!
Of course, it doesn’t have to stop there. I’m also partial to a hard-boiled egg, warm pain au chocolat and croissants, fresh orange juice or pancakes and waffles with maple syrup, but ultimately it always comes back to tea and toast. Perfect.
The most recent Degustabox has a healthy theme, and features a mix of food and drink items to help keep your New Year diet on track. As is sometimes the way with Degustabox, they did an alcohol box and an alcohol-free box, containing either a bottle of Magners Light, or a carton of Simplee Aloe.
Each box contains twelve individual items, with a total value of over £21. Degustabox costs £12.99 each month, so this box saves you more than £7.
Alfa One Rice Oil (RRP £2.00)
Alfa One Rice Bran Oil is ‘nutritionally well balanced and high in natural antioxidants’, and has been shown to reduce cholesterol absorption, which for me is a big positive. The taste is practically the same as the vegetable oil I normally use, as is the calorie content, but its an all round healthier oil. I’ve been using this a lot lately, and I actually like it a lot more.
Koko Dairy Free Coconut Milk (RRP £1.39)
I like to use non-dairy milks whenever possible, so I was pleased to find this in the box. Koko is made from freshly pressed coconut milk, and contains about half the calories of cows milk. It also has 0% cholesterol, and is 100% allergen free. I’m really impressed with the quality of this milk – it’s slightly more watery than cow’s milk, but it makes an excellent alternative. In tea or on cereal you can hardly tell the difference, and it makes Ready Brek really smooth and creamy! I’d definitely repurchase this and will be keeping an eye out for it during my next weekly shop.
Kabuto Miso Ramen Noodles (RRP £2.00)
This Kabuto Noodle pot was included in celebration of Chinese New Year, and combines authentic Asian flavours with high quality ingredients. I originally thought this was just a ‘posh Pot Noodle’, but it provides more of a meal than a Pot Noodle ever could. For one the pot is larger, and I was surprised to find it packed (almost) to the brim with thin noodles. After adding boiling water, leaving to ‘cook’ for a few minutes and then stirring, you end up with a substantial noodle dish in a broth of miso, soy and vegetables. The whole thing is delicious, and the vegetable chunks, though small, are abundant. I’m not sure I’d pay £2.00 for one of these, but they’re definitely yummy!
Sukrin Bread Mix (RRP £5.00)
My fiancé and I both take a packed lunch to work every day, so this Sukrin Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed Bread Mix will certainly come in handy! I’m yet to make anything with the mix, but its vegetarian, and completely free from gluten, egg, sugar, wheat, yeast, and soya. It’s also really easy to make, as you only need to add water and bake it in the tray provided. I’ve not tried many gluten-free breads, so I’m intrigued to see how this turns out, especially as it retails for £5.00, which seems quite a lot for a bread mix!
Finn Crisp Original Crispbread (RRP £1.20)
Finn Crisp Original Crispbreads appeared in the May 2014 Degustabox, and my thoughts on them haven’t changed! They taste nice, the crispy texture is really pleasant, and you get a lot in the box for the price. They’re also low in calories, so are great for a healthy afternoon snack if you’re feeling peckish. Check out my full review here.
Simplee Aloe Drink (£1.79)
I’m actually still building up the courage to try this drink, as to be honest aloe vera doesn’t exactly sound very appetising! I’ve heard good things about Simplee Aloe however, and the aloe is mixed with grape juice and a splash of lemon, which probably makes for quite a refreshing drink.
Magners Light Orchard Berries
I only really drink cider when it’s flavoured with other ingredients, so the orchard berries in this are right up my street, and sound perfect for spring/summer. I also like the fact that this contains fewer calories than your average bottle of Magners, which makes it that little bit more guilt-free!
Little Miracles Tea Drink (£1.49 each)
Little Miracles teas are organic, and contain a mix of tea, ginseng, acai, fruit juice, and agave for sweetness. My favourite of these is the white tea with cherry. The bitterness of the tea is balanced with the fruity sweetness of the cherry, making for a refreshingly pleasant drink. The 330ml bottles are also the perfect size to throw in your bag when out and about.
Mornflake Top Porridge Pots (£1.19 each)
After loving the Mornflake Superfast pots that came in the April Degustabox, I was really excited to try these Mornflake Top Porridge Pots. However, I was left feeling slightly disappointed. There were two pots in the box – one with Tate & Lyle’s golden syrup, and one with Nutella – and you can eat them plain, simply by adding boiling water, or with the topping added. The porridge itself was a little bit tasteless, and though the toppings added extra flavour and sweetness, I’d still rather have a bowl of Ready Brek. Don’t get me wrong, I do like them and they are filling, and I get that these are great for an ‘on the go’ breakfast, but they just don’t have the yum factor that the Superfast pots had.
Haywards Piccalilli (£1.89)
Ah, Haywards Piccalilli. One of those foods that always reminds me of Christmas. Piccalilli is definitely an acquired taste, and luckily it’s one that I’ve acquired. Haywards is packed full of chunky vegetables, such as cauliflower and gherkin, in a bright yellow mustard sauce. I’ve been eating this with cheese in sandwiches, and it’s delicious – full of robust flavour, tangy but not too vinegary. It goes really well with a strong cheddar.
Clipper Green Tea
The Healthy Box also contained a little gift from Clipper, in the form of a box of ten Green Tea with Lemon tea bags. Clipper make an excellent cuppa, and the combination of green tea and lemon is incredibly thirst-quenching. A nice little alternative to your usual tea or coffee, when you want a hot drink but don’t fancy something strong and milky.
PS. You can check out the rest of my Degustabox reviews here.
*This Degustabox was sent to me for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
I’d been hoping for Krispy Kreme to come to Leicester’s Highcross shopping centre ever since it was redeveloped in 2008, and I know this was a wish shared by many. And now, after years of waiting, thanks to popular demand, Leicester finally has its first kiosk! The kiosk, which is located on the ground floor of Highcross outside Tiger, launched on 14th February, with 170 people waiting in line before it even opened. Unfortunately I was unable to make it down on opening day, but I made a visit last weekend to grab myself some much coveted doughnuts!
I got there just before the kiosk opened at 10:30am, and there was already a queue forming. The kiosk is bigger than I was expecting, with a full-size cabinet full of sweet treats, hot and cold drinks available, and a fairly large seating area. I was also impressed by the staff that I met, who were all friendly and efficient.
At any one time, Krispy Kreme has around fifteen different varieties to choose from, and you can buy them singly or in threes, or you can choose one of their boxes – original glazed dozen, assorted dozen, or choose your own dozen. I got the assorted dozen, which featured twelve of Krispy Kreme’s best sellers, including my two all-time favourites – Strawberries and Kreme, and Chocolate Dreamcake.
I also spotted Krispy Kreme’s two latest limited edition offerings in the cabinet, both of which I will be going back for. The Lotus Caramelised Biscoff doughnut is filled with biscuit spread-infused Kreme, and is topped with biscuit spread icing, biscuit crumb and white chocolate shavings. The Reese’s Peanut Butter doughnut is filled with, you guessed it, Reese’s peanut butter! It’s then finished off with chocolate icing, hazelnuts, and Reese’s peanut butter drops.
Krispy Kreme is very much a welcome addition to Leicester, and I’m looking forward to visiting again soon!
Today I thought I’d share with you a lovely little Valentine’s recipe from Roberts Bakery. This Strawberries and Cream Valentines Sandwich is easy to make, and would be a fun addition to a Valentine’s picnic this weekend.
Roberts sliced white is perfect for this sandwich due to its ‘soft and fluffy’ texture, which goes really well with the creaminess of the soft cheese, and the sweetness of the strawberries. I can just imagine eating this alongside some cakes and pastries, chocolate truffles, and a flask of hot tea, whilst out on a romantic Valentine’s walk. Lovely!
It’s been a while since I last reviewed a Degustabox, so today I thought I’d share with you my thoughts on the Winter edition.
The Winter Degustabox, received in November, included eight brands, and fifteen individual items, with a combined value of £20.94. Each Degustabox costs £12.99, so this one saves you almost £8.00.
Lindt My Melting Moment (RRP £0.65 each)
Once again I was pleased to see a Lindt Lindor treat in the box, this time in the form of five Melting Moments. As usual, they taste delicious, are a good size, and have the same smooth and creamy texture that I love from Lindor. They look great too, with a lovely snowflake shape and pattern. One thing disappoints me though… Considering this is a Christmas treat, I would have liked to see Lindor incorporate a festive flavour. Ginger perhaps, or cinnamon, or even mincemeat!
Kent’s Kitchen BBQ Flavour Shots (RRP £1.85)
These BBQ Flavour Shots by Kent’s Kitchen are one of my favourite items in the box this month. The pack consists of four little pots of concentrated seasoning, which just needs to be stirred into meat a minute or two before serving. I’ve used a couple of these so far, both with Quorn fillets, served them with rice, kidney beans and veg, and they are delicious. The BBQ seasoning is intense, with a smoky but sweet flavour. They make for such a quick and easy meal too, which is just what I want after a long day at work. At £1.85 I’d definitely buy these again, and I’d like to try the other flavours too.
Cool Dawn Recovery Drinks (RRP £1.49 each)
I’m not much of a drinker, so I haven’t actually tried these Cool Dawn Recovery drinks. They’re herbal detox drinks which are supposed to prevent and cure hangovers, by drinking one before bed, and one in the morning. They aren’t carbonated, and contain no stimulant ingredients, and though the citrus and liquorice flavour sounds intriguing, I’m not sure it’s a combination I’d enjoy the morning after a night of drinking!
Montano Cider (RRP £2.79)
Montano Cider is an Italian cider made from apples grown in the foothills of the dolomites. Apparently, ‘these orchards are the highest in Europe enjoying fresh mountain air and over 300 days of sunshine each year. The result is a golden, elegantly sparkling, medium-dry cider with a refreshing, crisp finish’. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? I’m not the biggest fan of cider, but this one sounds that little bit more refined, so I may give it a go when the time is right.
Kettle Salsa & Mesquite Chips (RRP £2.19)
Kettle reintroduced two old favourites as a limited edition over Christmas – Stilton & Port, and Salsa & Mesquite, which is the flavour I received in my box. This was one of the original Kettle flavours way back in 1988, so it was nice to try a blast from the past. As you’d expect from Kettle, the chips themselves are thickly cut, pleasantly crunchy, and the flavour is strong. The salsa flavour shines through, and tastes very authentic, which makes these crisps oddly refreshing, if that’s even possible!
Pip Organic Cloudy Apple Juice (RRP £1.50 each)
Pip Organic is a family run company based in London, which specialises in organic juices and smoothies. In my box I received two small bottles of Cloudy Apple juice, which are the perfect size for lunch boxes. The juice is made from 100% fruit, with no added sugar, water, preservatives or additives, and it shows. The juice is thick, and has the sweet, sharp flavour that you get when eating an apple – very different to your bog standard supermarket juice. However, at £1.50 for a small bottle, they seem rather expensive, and I’m not sure I’d pay that myself.
Branston Caramelised Onion Chutney (RRP £1.50)
I planned on saving this new Branston Caramelised Onion Chutney for Christmas, but I ended up using it for packed lunches instead. The chutney has a lovely sweetness to it that goes well with a variety of cheeses. I tried it with a subtle, creamy Double Gloucester, and a strong, sharp Cheddar, and it complimented both. I have plans for this chutney as I want to use it in tartlets with goats cheese, so check back in the future for a recipe post!
Holy Cow! Curry Sauces (RRP £1.69 each)
Last but not least I received two Holy Cow! Curry Sauces – a Mughlai Korma, and a Madras Chettinad. I’m yet to use the Korma, but I tried the Madras and it was incredibly tasty. The sauce has a tomato base, but it’s the coconut, curry leaves and fenugreek that gives it a unique flavour. The sauce is very hot, but the combination of the Indian spices with the coconut is out of this world. It’s really easy to use too – just snip open the packet and pour into the pan with your meat and veg a few minutes before serving!
Overall, the Winter box is another impressive offering from Degustabox. If you’d like to try Degustabox yourself, you can get £3.00 off your first box using the code ‘XI4CK‘.
Check back soon for my review of the December Degustabox!
PS. You can check out the rest of my Degustabox reviews here.
*This Winter Degustabox was sent to me by Degustabox for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Today’s Alternative Snacking post is one for those with a sweet tooth, as it features Creighton’s Chocolaterie – an independent chocolaterie in Leighton Buzzard, owned by a mother and daughter team, who craft and sell their own beautiful chocolates and truffles.
Creighton’s has made it into my Alternative Snacking series as everything they sell is handmade, and though they use traditional methods and fine Belgian chocolate to create their artisan products, they pride themselves on making unique and unusual items that you won’t find anywhere else. Their packaging is also really well thought out and pretty, which is always a nice bonus.
I was lucky enough to receive three different bars and a selection of truffles from their collection to try, and will here share my thoughts on each.
Creighton’s sell a wide variety of fresh handmade truffles and chocolates, which can be purchased in various sized selection boxes from their website. I received a Quartet Taster Selection Box which contained these four chocolates; a Lemon Heart, Raspberry truffle, Champagne Heart, and Mocha Coffee truffle. Every single truffle was deliciously creamy with a very rich centre and fantastic flavour, but the Lemon Heart deserves a special mention. It has a smooth, white chocolate shell, packed full of fresh lemon ganache, and it is absolutely gorgeous. I savoured every little nibble and I’m not lying when I say it was one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten. I could eat a box full!
This bar was created in collaboration with fashion accessories brand Betty & Walter, and comes wrapped in a really lovely floral sleeve, designed by illustrator Lisa Levis. I chose this bar as I’m a fan of rose flavoured foods, but they’re hard to come by, and the combination of the rose and almonds sounded delicious. And it is. The chocolate is a very good quality milk chocolate which has a pleasing velvety texture, and the balance of rose oil is perfect. Too much and it can taste like perfume, but this bar gets it right as it is fairly subtle, but with just enough of a kick. The crunchy nibs of almond add an extra depth of flavour, but also texture, which ultimately make this bar a winner with me. Yum.
This Peanut Nutter bar is Creighton’s ‘grown-up’ equivalent of a peanut butter chocolate bar, and is one of their best-sellers. The bar consists of the same velvety milk chocolate as the Rose & Almond bar, but a little bit thicker, and is studded with crushed, roasted peanuts and sea salt. What I like about this bar is that the flavours combine perfectly, so you get a hit of saltiness, the creamy sweetness of the chocolate, and a taste of peanut all at once, which makes for a deliciously moreish bar. I could easily eat a whole one of these in one sitting!
This beautifully rich Freshly Ground bar consists of high quality dark chocolate, which is mixed with freshly ground coffee beans from a local coffee roasters. I’m not always a fan of coffee chocolate as it can taste quite synthetic, but the fact that this bar contains real coffee beans makes the flavour wonderfully authentic, and adds a slight crunch. The depth of flavour in this bar is incredible, and my mum, whose favourite chocolate is coffee chocolate, absolutely adores this bar. In fact, this bar is so good it won a gold star in the Great Taste Awards 2014, and it is well deserved.
Overall, Creighton’s range of chocolate is exceptionally high quality and delicious, and is far more exciting than what you’d find in the supermarket. They sell some really unusual flavours, including Liquorice Whip and Fizzy Cola, and their selection of handmade gifts, which features an edible chocolate box and chocolate tea set, is stunning. Check out their full range here.
PS. Have you seen my first Alternative Snacking post, featuring Leighton Brown crisps? If not, click here!
*These chocolates were sent to me by Creighton’s Chocolaterie for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*