Monday, 20 October 2014

New Walls Gingerbread Sandwich Ice Cream

Thank you to all the lovely readers who informed me that the Gingerbread Sandwich ice creams could be found at Waitrose. I was able to rush out last week and pick up a box... okay I'll 'fess up, it was actually two boxes. Also thanks to Nicky, who commented on this post and let me know that the Gingerbread Sandwich ice cream has been sold in Sweden for a few years now in the months before Christmas. The rest of the year they have a chocolate Sandwich ice cream (you can see how similar they are to this UK version in this picture HERE). Both are made by the Swedish version of Walls (called GB Glace) which are both owned by Unilever. Anyway, I thought that was all very interesting and I'm really pleased that this product has now been released in the UK too!

The first thing I noticed about the Gingerbread Sandwich is just how big each one is. For reference, the Oreo cookie ice creams are about half the size of these. The second most noticeable feature is just how white and smooth the inner ice cream looks, everyone was just *wow* when they saw it, it's so inviting. 

When it comes to flavour, I'm going to cut straight to the point and say that I loved these Gingerbread Sandwich ice creams. The outer biscuit has a soft texture, which is usually the case with these types of biscuits and makes it ideal for taking easy bites without smooshing the ice cream out (sorry I know smooshing is not a real word but you know what I mean!). When it comes to the gingerbread flavour, the makers have not wimped and given us a bland barely spiced biscuit, they've kept it authentic with a deliciously spiced gingerbread with lots of warmth and depth. It also has a little salty edge to it which I really enjoyed. The ice cream inside is completely plain, it doesn't even taste of vanilla, but it just has a perfectly smooth texture and super sweetness that is sublime in cooling down the warmth of the outer gingerbread layers. 

So far I've been cutting these in half and sharing one with Mr. Grocery Gems, but even doing that, we're going to have to buy a few more boxes if we want to have any left for Christmas!

Grocery Gems Verdict: Gingerbread Sandwich Ice Cream

RATING: 10 out of 10.
Buy them again?: Yes - my kids really enjoyed them too.
Nutrition (per Sandwich): 173 calories.
Purchased: Waitrose
Price: £2.00 (special offer).

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Little Miracles Organic Drinks (Degustabox)

Little Miracles Organic drinks are blends of organic tea and fruit juices, full of antioxidant ingredients, that are sweetened with organic agave and free from artificial colours flavours and sweeteners. I was sent two of their drinks in this months Degustabox (see post HERE) and was keen to give them a try. I do like tea based cold drinks, like iced tea, but they're often full of nasty ingredients, and it's great that Little Miracles offer this all-natural alternative.

I received two varieties: Lemongrass Green Tea with Orange Juice, Ginger, Ginseng and Agave, and also a Green Tea with Ginseng, Pomegranate, Açai, and Agave. Both varieties surprised me with just how refreshing they are - very thirst quenching and light but still with a lovely flavour. I wasn't sure if I would like the lemongrass drink as I'm not fond of that particular ingredient, but here is provides a mild hit of citrus that is very pleasant. The flavours in the green tea with pomegranate are also quite delicate, and I like the fact that the fruity flavours are more prominent than the actual green tea. I would definitely choose these drinks again if I was out and about, I felt like they gave a real boost of hydration and energy.

Little Miracles bottles are sold in some supermarkets (they're in my local Tesco), convenience stores, gyms, delis and many other locations. You can find your local stockist here:

Grocery Gems Verdict: Little Miracles Organic Drinks

Rating: 9 out of 10.
But it again?: Yes.

Friday, 17 October 2014

New Instore: Lidl Halloween Range & Lidl Nespresso Compatible Coffee Capsules

A few interesting Halloween items that I spotted in Lidl today. I haven't tried any of their Halloween range before and I was really impressed with the products available. I ended up buying quite a few different Halloween treats, much more than I have from any of the main supermarkets, and they were all great value too!

Lidl Halloween Snacks: This was the first product to catch my eye. It's a large sized bag of sour cream flavoured corn snacks - in spooky spider and cobweb shapes. I can't wait to serve these up on Halloween! Great value at £0.89p for a 100g bag.

Lidl Halloween Iced Cake Bites: This looked like a biscuit decorating kit with the icing mix and pumpkin decorations included. £1.49 each.

Lidl Halloween Cupcakes - Bubble Gum Flavour: This was the one my kids were most excited about so I had to buy a set. It's a mix for chocolate flavour cupcakes with bubblegum flavour icing and includes sugar coated cereal balls to decorate. I'm not sure how tasty these will actually be, but it will certainly be a fun activity to do during the half-term in the run up to Halloween. £1.49 - makes approx. 12 cupcakes.

Cake Angels Halloween Sprinkles: If you prefer to do your own baking then these decorative sprinkles are great value. Each tub has four different Halloween themed sprinkles; green sugar pieces, orange sugar pearls, bat and ghost sugar shapes, and black and orange sprinkles. £1.49p for 81g tub.

Lidl Halloween Milk Chocolate Balls: Large nets filled with Halloween foil wrapped solid milk chocolates. There is a generous 200g in each net (over 20 balls) so these would be good for kids Halloween parties. It's hard to tell from the photo but the wrappings look really good - either scary pumpkins or a dark blue sky with a witch on her broomstick. £0.99p for 200g.

Trolli Magic Horror: Apologies I forgot to make a note of the price for this (if anyone know please leave a comment below!). It's a large 1000g tub of Halloween shaped sweets. The individual sweets in this tub looked really big - there are some massive shapes in there! It even had full Frankenstein figures and large spiders. I've never heard of the Trolli brand but I really regret not buying one of these tubs!

Lidl Halloween Tricolore Pasta: If you'd prefer to keep things a little bit healthier this Halloween, then these Halloween Tricolore Pasta shapes are ideal. I love the mix of black and orange pasta with all the different Halloween shapes; bats, spiders and pumpkins. I did buy these! £0.99p for 500g.

Lidl Espresso Coffee Capsules (Nespresso Compatible): Also a quick heads up about the Lidl Nespresso pods which are half price this weekend - only £0.89p for a box of 10 capsules. I bought these a few weeks ago and honestly, I didn't expect them to be any good. Well, they are fantastic (the Ristretto ones at least), making a smooth strong cup with a lovely robust flavour. My husband couldn't believe they were from Lidl. Stock up! 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Oishi Fun - Japanese Candy & Snack Box

Oishi Fun is a surprise subscription based candy & snack box, that ships direct from Tokyo, Japan. Each month Oishi Fun send out a box crammed full of different treats and goodies, often with limited edition and seasonal products included too. The boxes cost $25 (around £15) and unlike some other subscription boxes, you don't need to sign up for a set number of months - the subscription can be cancelled at any time. More details:

It was exciting to be asked to review the October Oishi Fun box, and once it arrived, I was staggered by just how many items were crammed into the medium sized box (it was like the Tardis in there!), including some awesome Halloween and kawaii items. There were plenty of full sized products along with lots of individual sweets and snacks. I've already decided to sign up for a few more boxes because the selection was just amazing and I can't resist the lure of these limited edition items. Check out the photos below for all the items. A little warning here - there are a LOT of photos!

Lotte Koala Halloween Pack: I'm going to jump straight in with the seasonal items that I was delighted to find included in the box. Lotte Koala are little biscuits with a chocolate fillings. This limited Halloween pack is not just cute packaging as the little biscuits are also printed with Halloween images. I've been eyeing this up on Facebook recently so I was thrilled to find it in the Oishi Fun box. I'll have a review up soon!

Kit Kat Pumpkin Pudding Bake-able: These look like the same Pumpkin Pudding flavour that I reviewed last year HERE but this time they are also bake-able. Take a look at my review of these baked Kit Kat HERE and you'll get the idea! As such a limited and coveted item (these sold out really fast last year), I was very surprised to see them included in the Oishi Fun box! Having such limited edition items really puts the Oishi Fun box ahead of other subscription boxes in my opinion. 

Halloween Treat Bag: There were also more sweets and chocolates included in a little cello treat bag put together by the lovely people at Oishi Fun. I loved the Halloween cello bag used  here - it's so cute. 

Inside were even more Japanese treats. I couldn't quite believe just how many were in this little bag, and amazingly there was another Kit Kat Pumpkin Pudding in here! There were also two Halloween themed lollipops (these are so cute!), some Hello Kitty sweets, Banana Milk Caramel and other candies.

A very scary looking gum. Okay, so here's the spooky thing - this gum has gone missing. I know it was in the box earlier today, but when I went back to write this review... it's gone. I have a feeling I'll find it on top of my pillow one day. It's seriously creepy looking but perfect for Halloween. Once I find it I'll update with more details!

Calbee Jagarico Crunchy Potato Sticks: These crunchy Jagarico potato sticks are so tasty, they have a deliciously buttery and salty flavour.

Tirol Chocolate Mix 9 Pack: This is an adorable box of nine different chocolate each with a unique flavour, including; Strawberry Jelly, Hot Cake, Coffee Caramel and White Cookie Crunch. I was so surprised to find this is in a subscription box, it's just fantastic!

Glico Collon: These were also wrapped in a cello gift bag (which you can see in the top left corner of the above pic) - it was lovely to find these individually wrapped items in the Oishi Fun box. 

Baby Star Ramen Chips: These are a classic Japanese snack that have been around for many years. They're chicken flavoured dry ramen noodle chips - I'm looking forward to trying them.

Kanro Puré Fruit Gummy: I've been wanting to try this range for quite a while. There were two different flavours included in the box; Lemon and Grape. 

Umaibo Pizza and Umaibo Corn Potage: Umaibo snacks are really tasty corn snacks that come in lots of different flavours (see my previous review HERE).  I always make sure to include a few different varieties whenever I order from my favourite online Japanese stores. However, I've never tried the Corn Potage flavour before so I was pleased to find these in the Oishi Fun box.  

Riska Choco Snack: These are chocolate biscuits in a long tube shape. I haven't tried these yet but they look like a sweet version of the above Umaibo snacks! :)

Glico Watering Kiss Mint: This is an interestingly named gum! Going by the packaging this one is pear flavoured but if you know more about this product then feel free to leave a comment below!

Morinaga Milk Caramels & a Popcan Disney Lollipop: I've reviewed the Morinaga Milk Caramels before HERE - they're deliciously creamy, soft caramels. The lollipop is so cute because it's shaped with two ears like Mickey Mouse. It looks like something that would be quite expensive to buy.

Meiji The Chocolate: Two individually wrapped Meiji chocolates. 

Even more Japanese candy!: And these are the rest of the smaller candies that were in the box. There are several different jelly based sweets, mini chocolates from Lotte and Meiji, a Fujiya grand nut and just too many other sweets to mention. There are actually a few chocolates missing from the picture above which gives you an idea how much was in the box! 

There was even this cute little kawaii cat in the bottom of the box (I seriously don't know how Oishi Fun managed to fit everything in). This cuddly cat is actually a small bag as there is a long strap that unfolds from the back and it has a little pouch too. Just adorable!

Overall, I'm extremely impressed with all the items in the Oishi Fun box. Not only is it stuffed full of exciting products, but it also has the feel of a gift that has been packaged up and sent by a friend. This is not something I've come across with any other subscription box before and I really can't wait to see what goodies the next Oishi Fun box will include! On the basis of this October box, I think the Oishi Fun box would make a fantastic gift too. 

Subscription Box Details: Oishi Fun

Rating: 10 out of 10 - I'm signing up!
Price: $25.00 each month (just over £15).
Delivery:  Free shipping. Parcels are sent out on 15th of each month.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Hema Dutch Breakfast Cake

Quick review of this Dutch Breakfast Cake from Hema. If you haven't heard of Hema stores before, check out my previous post here. If you're lucky enough to have one near you (or ever go through Victoria station in London) then it's definitely worth checking out their food section. I've picked up this Dutch Breakfast Cake a few times now. It's a cinnamon spiced bready cake that's a bargain at only £1.00.

The cake is also presliced which I find very useful (pictured above is only about half the cake). The texture is nice, it's not moist but it's not dry either, it's a bit bready. It's not a super sweet cake either, but it has a lovely flavour from the cinnamon and a little bit of extra sugar sprinkled on top. The cinnamon flavour is strong all the way through and makes this a firm favourite with Mr. Grocery Gems. It's lovely with a cup ot tea or coffee in the morning. 

Grocery Gems Verdict: Hema Dutch Breakfast Cake

RATING: 7 out of 10 - good value.
Buy It again?: Yes.
Purchased: Hema.
Price: £1.00p.
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