30 Jun 2012
I often buy multipacks of cereal bars to keep as handy snacks on the go. I try to go for bars with under 100 calories and luckily there is a lot of choice out there in this category. These new Special K Chewy Delight Milk Chocolate bars ticked that box for me by having only 95 calories per bar. They also tick another important box - no raisins! I'm not a fan of raisins in cereal bars so these Special K looked perfect.
These bars are advertised as being 'divine, delicious and delightful'. They looked very tasty with a thick layer of chocolate along the bottom, the layer of cereals, and more chocolate drizzled over the top. I was very surprised when I first took a bite just how richly chocolaty they tasted. I had to double check that they weren't made in conjunction with Cadbury's because the chocolate parts are very reminiscent of Dairy Milk. I couldn't quite believe I was eating a low calorie treat because this is just as satisfying as a chocolate bar.
They also have the benefit of being high in fibre, and contain oats which make them very filling. Often cereal bars are just a sugary rush that leave you feeling more hungry as a result, but these were not overly sweet or sickly at all. I will definitely be buying these again and can't wait to try the new Dark Chocolate variety as well. The only negative point is not to do with taste but with the multipack itself. There are only 4 cereal bars in this pack and I would usually expect there to be 5 or 6 in a multipack. Good thing these are on special offer in Tesco at the moment for £1 for the 4 pack so I might just have to stock up!
29 Jun 2012
Paella is my eldest son's favourite meal at the moment, he would eat it every day if he could! Even though I often enjoy making it myself from scratch, it can take a long time to get all the different herbs and spices together. I had to buy this Schwartz Limited Edition Paella recipe mix to see if it would make the process easier and taste just as good. I have already reviewed the Chicken & Chorizo Gratin recipe mix, which is also part of this Limited Edition summer recipe range. I thought it was absolutely delicious and I have made it many times since.
The Schwartz Paella mix comes with all the information you need on the back of the packet to make a very tasty dish.
For the recipe you will need:
1 sachet Schwartz Paella Recipe Mix
1 red onion, diced
100g (4oz) chorizo, diced
325g (11oz) risotto or paella rice
1 litre (1 pint 13fl oz) water
1 red pepper, diced
200g (7oz) raw prawns, defrosted if frozen
100g (4oz) frozen peas
I followed the instructions on the back of the packet. Firstly I fried the onion and chorizo in a big heavy bottomed pan for a few minutes, until softened. The chorizo released lots of fragrant oil which added great colour and flavour to the rest of the ingredients. I then added the rice (just ordinary long grain rice and it worked excellently). The sachet contents just need to be mixed with the water and then added and brought to the boil. At this point all the lovely colours and flavours were really coming out and it looked delicious. I added the peppers and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Finally I added the peas and prawns and within 5 minutes it was done.
Very simple and very tasty! It would also be easy to substitute the ingredients for whatever you have in the house, especially the veggies. I'm also going to try this recipe with chicken as I think that would be delicious too.
This dish got the thumbs up from all the family and even though it tasted different to the one I make myself it was still yummy. Great for a quick fix on those busy days. Everyone asked for seconds and there was none left by the end of the meal which definitely signals a successful recipe!
28 Jun 2012
I couldn't resist picking up this pack of official London 2012 Mini Cupcakes yesterday in Tesco for £1. Leaving aside the question of whether a sporting event should be promoting cupcakes, these tell me on the back of the packet that I am supporting the London 2012 Olympics and Paralypics simply by purchasing them.
As I live in London and have primary school aged children, we are all quite excited about the 2012 games. My children especially have really embraced this whole event, never more so than this week which is Olympics week at their school (formally known as Sports Week!). They also love the Olympic Mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville, and I was really pleased to see that these characters are featured on the paper cases of these cupcakes.
The cupcakes themselves are 'sponge cakes topped with a white chocolate flavoured compound'. Spot the odd word in that sentence. Have you ever heard of a cake topping being described as a 'compound'. Shouldn't it be called icing or fondant? Looking at the ingredients this 'compound' is made of Sugar, Palm Oil, Whey Powder, Wheat Flour, Emulsifier and flavouring. Mmmmm tasty.... no real chocolate there then.
The cakes do look very cute with their red and blue sprinkles. They are little bite size cakes with 69 calories each. I have to admit that my kids loved them and I had to stop them eating too many. They would look great at any party this summer for the Olympics but I probably won't be buying them again.
Have you seen any other official London 2012 food in the supermarkets? If so let me know!
27 Jun 2012
Earlier this year Tesco launched their new range of own brand dairy free products and they have finally become available in my local store. I was particularly keen to try the Soya Crème Caramel as this is something that I have not come across before. Although I am not a vegan myself, I have a vegan family member so I always enjoy finding new products in this area too. Although I often end up eating most of them myself!
I thought this Soya Crème Caramel was absolutely delicious. The consistency is just like the real thing, slightly set and very creamy. Obviously there is a strong taste of soya rather than milk but I think it works well in this dessert. The caramel part is yummy too, just like the real thing, with there being more caramel flavour towards the bottom of the pot. There is also a lovely vanilla flavour which adds to the sweetness.
This is definitely a product that I will be buying again and again. All my family enjoyed it, even the non-vegan members!
The Free-From Soya Crème Caramel Dessert is available in Tesco for £1.59 for a pack of 4 x 100g pots. I found them in their own 'free from' section next to the fresh milk. They are suitable for vegetarians and vegans and are dairy free, gluten free, and wheat free. They contain 115 calories per pot.
26 Jun 2012
Naked have launched a new campaign called 'Grab Some Good Stuff'. I was lucky enough to get one of the free bottles they were handing out at Canary Wharf Station in London. Naked Juice began as a small fresh juice company in Santa Monica, California and is now one of the biggest and fastest selling smoothie companies in the US. They call themselves Naked Juice as they have no added sugar, preservatives, artificial colours or flavours, in their products. Their juices and smoothies are 100% real fruit, with some of their products also featuring 'boost ingredients', such as vitamins, minerals, and herbs.
I received their Green Machine which is their bestselling juice. It contains the following fruits: Apples, Kiwi, Banana, Mango and Pineapple. The label proudly states that it contains a pound of fruit in every bottle. But this is not just an ordinary fruit smoothie, it also contains a blend of ten 'botanical' extracts in varying amounts. These are: Spirulina, Chlorella, Wheat Grass, Broccoli, Spinach, Blue Green Algae, Parsley, Ginger, and Garlic.
|It is quite an intriguing list of ingredients and I was extremely curious to find out what it would taste like. The colour of the juice is quite dark and almost a murky grey-green but don't let this put you off as the actual juice tastes fantastic. It is sweet and fruity, much sweeter than I was expecting. Also surprisingly for a smoothie drink the consistency is not thick. Even though there is banana in the ingredients the juice is quite 'thin' which makes it very easy to drink. I can see why this is so popular and I would definitely buy it again and try some of their other varieties.|
25 Jun 2012
Starburst has launched The British Collection – a limited edition Union Jack themed pack containing favourite British flavours: Strawberry, Blackcurrant, Raspberry and Apple. Even the individual sweets have little Union Jack wrappers which is quite cute.
The four flavours are quite nice if a bit boring. The Apple flavour is the most interesting, it is quite tart, which makes it more like a sour sweetie. The Raspberry flavour is fruity but also quite sour. The Strawberry has a lovely sweet flavour but it would have been nice if this had been made into something slightly different, such as Strawberries & Cream. The Blackcurrant is my favourite, it's sweet and very fruity.
It seems that Starburst played it quite safe with this collection, the flavours are quite boring and the whole thing is not really special enough.
24 Jun 2012
Swizzels Matlow has produced this great bag of Football, and England, themed sweets which is a nice change from all the Union Jack products available at the moment. (Although Swizzels Matlow also have a Union Jack themed product called Champions which I can't wait to try!).
The sweets are all fun and kid friendly. Most of the sweets will be familiar to fans of Swizzels Matlow but feature new packaging. The Double Lollies have the same tasty fruity and chalky flavour, but now have a little picture on the wrapper of a referee blowing his whistle. The Football Lollipops are the same as Fruity Pops but with a fantastic new wrapper. The Drumstick has a lovely ice cream fruity flavour. My favourite of the bunch was the Fun Gums Footballs. These look like they should be sour sweets, as they have a sugary covering, but they are not. They have a lovely sweet strawberry flavour and I ate them far too quickly!
My kids' favourite sweets were definitely the new Candy Floss Flavour Whistle. The black and white whistle has a removable cap which reveals a yummy pink fruity sweet. These were a real blast from the past - looking at these I suddenly remembered a Lipstick shaped sweet I used to get as a child in the 80s, these are exactly the same flavour!
I bought this bag of 10 sweets for the bargain price of £1. I got a slightly uneven mix of sweets in the bag, there was only one drumstick lolly but three of the football lollipops which suited me just fine! I'd love to see a bag with just the whistle sweets or even a return of the lipstick sweets!
These are a great product to accompany any football themed party for kids or of course as a snack while watching a match!
23 Jun 2012
I've been hearing a lot of good things about Aldi and their great value prices. I tried some of their Jaffa cake biscuits at a friends house and was won over by their great taste. I took a trip to Aldi and came home laden with fresh fruit, vegetables, ham, chorizo, American marshmallows, frozen goods and much more for the bargain price of under £20. One of the snacks I picked up was this 18 pack of Snackrite crisps in kid friendly varieties of Cheese Grids, Bacon Rashers and Monster Claws for only £1.49. These are half the price of the branded or other supermarket varieties seeing as a 6 pack of crisps usually costs about £1. Now we all know which crisps these are 'copying' but how do they compare in taste?
The only negative point is that there were not many 'claws' in a pack, although each claw is quite big in size. Again they are only 87 calories per bag and the ingredients are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
I am usually a bit reluctant to buy such large multipacks of crisps as that can mean some packs go to waste (we don't eat crisps every day and the kids get bored if they have the same flavour too often), but that certainly wouldn't happen with this pack. In fact they seem to be disappearing at an alarmingly fast rate!
Note: I updated the first photo of this review to reflect the latest version of this crisps which contain Cheese Puffs rather than Cheese Grids.
22 Jun 2012
I blogged before about Kelloggs new Rice Krispies Colour Me In box. My kids had fun this morning colouring in their box after breakfast. They used some colour magic felt pens and also stickers. The result was very bright and cheerful!
They also really wanted to make the 'Poppin' Birthday Pots' recipe which is featured on the side of the pack. It's a cute twist on the traditional rice krispies cakes recipe. Using melted marshmallows and butter you can form the rice krispies into little pots and then use them to serve up ice cream!
They were super sweet in taste and fun to make. I might try using this recipe to make cereal bars too.
21 Jun 2012
Rachel's Organic are known for their high quality organic ingredients and delicious tasting dairy produce. Just in time for the start of Wimbledon on Monday they have released a gorgeous looking yogurt called Limited Edition Organic Strawberries & Cream. It comes in a large 450g pot which is very striking looking with it's royal blue colour and crown logo. This is a product which is proudly commemorating Britain's great summer of celebrations. The choice of Strawberries & Cream is a great way to showcase an iconic British dessert in a new and different way.
The yogurt tasted absolutely delicious, with generous chunks of sweet strawberries in a thick and creamy yogurt. The strawberry taste is dominant at first but then the cream flavour really comes through strongly at the end of each mouthful. This isn't just another creamy strawberry yogurt, it has an unmistakable taste of cream itself. No wonder because the ingredients are fantastically simple: organic yogurt, organic cream (9.3%), organic sugar, organic strawberries (6.7%) and natural flavouring.
Even though this yogurt is delicious on it's own or with some added fresh strawberries on the side, it is also a great ingredient for other desserts. I decided to give the Jubilee Cheesecakes a go from the Rachel's Organic website. I just used a few simple ingredients for the filling:
-200g soft cheese
-200g Rachel's Limited Edition Strawberries and Cream yogurt
-4 tbsp caster sugar
-few drops of vanilla extract
I mixed those together and then spread it over a base of crushed digestive biscuits. I then added some fresh strawberries and a few spoonfuls of strawberry jam (or compote) on top. The result was gorgeous desserts with minimal effort.
Everyone enjoyed these Jubilee cheesecakes, even my sometimes fussy children! I will certainly be making these again and it's given me the inspiration to try other flavour and fruit combinations.
Here are some other yummy recipe ideas for this yogurt:
- Strawberries & Cream Sponge: Sandwich together, and top, a light fluffy Victoria sponge with layers of hulled, halved fresh strawberries and generous amounts of chilled Rachel's Strawberries & Cream yogurt.
- Eton Mess: Chop a few fresh strawberries into Strawberries & Cream yogurt, blend in broken meringue, spoon into serving dishes, drizzle with strawberry coulis and a dusting of icing sugar. Served Chilled.
- Traditional Cream Tea: Dollop a spoonful of chilled Rachel's Strawberries & Cream yogurt on top of freshly warmed scones as a light but delectable alternative to clotted cream and jam
- Strawberry Smoothie: Take half a pot of really chilled Strawberries & Cream Rachel's yogurt, add a small amount of milk and a few cubes of ice, blend until smooth, decorate with a sliced strawberry and a few mint leaves.
Rachel’s new Limited Edition Strawberries & Cream yogurt is priced at £1.69 for a 450g pot and is available at major supermarkets. Have you tried this new yogurt? Let me know what you think!
I've just seen on Kellogg's Facebook page that they are releasing Froot Loops in the UK for a limited time. Froot Loops are usually a US only cereal so I am super excited to hear this news. They should be available at Waitrose, Asda, and Tesco from now until August. I can't wait to get my hands on a box of these! Let me know if you spot them anywhere!
UPDATED: I found a box! Please read my review here!
You may also be interested in:
UK Froot Loops Limited Edition
US Froot Loops Sooper Loopers
20 Jun 2012
The Apple Pie yogurt features biscuit pieces in the corner, which are obviously supposed to be the 'pie' pieces. They tasted like delicious little cinnamon biscuits rather than pie crust, they are quite hard and crunchy. The yogurt is described as 'custard style' and it is lovely and thick with a nice vanilla flavour. It also has an apple puree 'underlay' which is very sweet and a bit like a jam layer. A lovely tasting yogurt, which whilst not as enjoyable as a real slice of apple pie, is still a tasty treat!
I also tried the Eton Mess variety. I'm not actually that familiar with Eton Mess as a dessert but I know it is made up of meringue, cream and strawberries. This yogurt version was quite tasty, again the yogurt was very creamy and featured a strawberry puree at the bottom. The meringue pieces were good but a bit too sweet for me to add all of them to the yogurt.
Overall, these are both very tasty yogurts and quite successfully manage to bring the taste of these iconic desserts to a yogurt format.
19 Jun 2012
As much as I would like to snack on nothing but chocolates and crisps all day, I do realise that this is not always the best option. I've never really been a fan of rice cakes. I remember trying them out on my children a few years ago, when they were toddlers, as the 'must have' healthy snack for little people. I thought they were bland and tasteless and my children didn't think much of them either. With this negative experience behind me I hadn't bothered with the grown up range of rice cakes available. But there was something about this new Milk Chocolate & Coconut flavour that was irresistible. Maybe it was the word New! on the packaging or the fact that it has coconut in it which is just so tempting to me.
The first thing I noticed about these rice (and corn) cakes is that they are huge! These are known as Jumbo Snack a Jacks for a reason. Each cake measured 10 cm across and was almost 2cm thick! They smelled divine as soon as I opened the packet. I was still half expecting these to taste quite bland but they were absolutely scrumptious. The coconut flavour is lovely, very strong and sweet. The chocolate chips are quite pale but they really stand out to give bursts of sweet chocolaty flavour.
Best yet they only have 62 calories in each massive rice cake with 0.9g of fat. These are my new go to snack for a cup of tea which can only be a good thing. And I have also recently bought the Barbecue flavour Snack a Jacks which my kids absolutely love. Luckily for me they are not fans of coconut so I get these all to myself!
18 Jun 2012
Cadbury's BiscBits were launched in 2011 but I had never really noticed them until a few weeks ago. They seem to be on promotion for £1 a bag in a lot of supermarkets at the moment and can be picked up in pound stores too. Mint Crunch and Rocky Road Crunch are new flavours for 2012. There are also Honeycomb Crunch, Orange Crunch and Caramel Crisp varieties available.
The BiscBits come in a bag rather than a tube like most biscuits. This makes them more like a bag of sweets and ideal for sharing whilst watching a movie or on a day trip. In reality being in a bag also means that the BiscBits will spend some time rubbing against each other and have a slightly dull and knocked about appearance. Don't let this bother you though as they are still delicious and moreish. The biscuits are shaped like little rings and have a lovely minty flavour and thick Cadbury's chocolate covering.
I also tried the Honeycomb Crunch which has been around for longer. The biscuit is very similar to the other variety but has pieces of honeycomb incorporated into the biscuit. It is basically pieces of a Crunchy bar, in a biscuit, wrapped in chocolate. What's not to like?
I also tried the Honeycomb Crunch which has been around for longer. The biscuit is very similar to the other variety but has pieces of honeycomb incorporated into the biscuit. It is basically pieces of a Crunchy bar, in a biscuit, wrapped in chocolate. What's not to like?
17 Jun 2012
I bought this fantastic looking Super Mario Chocolate Lollipop in Cybercandy a while ago. I love visiting the Cybercandy store in Covent Garden and browsing some of the different chocolates and sweets that the world has to offer. Products from Japan are my favourite just because they often feature brilliant characters and interesting flavours. Anything edible that is Nintendo or computer game related is always popular in my house!
This Super Mario Lollipop was bought on it's cuteness alone, and just looks too good to eat. I decided to save it for Father's Day which means it is really for the kids to eat, something my husband is fully aware of! I can't tell you what it tasted like as it was hard enough for two boys to try to share it, let alone giving the adults a bite. All I can say is that my kids told me it tasted yummy!
I need another visit to Cybercandy soon, I've just seen this awesome Sonic The Hedgehog Speed Energy Drink on their website. Although that is definitely not one for the kids, they have enough energy as it is!
16 Jun 2012
I often say that I am easily enticed by the words 'New' or 'Limited Edition' on a product, but here's one that doesn't appear very often on food... 'Special Edition'. Words usually associated with DVD releases I think!
I must admit to being very partial to ketchup flavour crisps but none of my family agree with me. Neither of my kids are interested in this flavour, even though they like actual ketchup sauce more than I do. I loved the recent Walkers Ketchup flavour but they don't seem to be available near me anymore. It doesn't matter though because hot on it's heels is this Golden Wonder Special Edition. Unlike the Walkers crisps, these are not just a generic ketchup flavour, these are HEINZ Tomato Ketchup Flavour. The whole packet looks like a crisp packet crossed with a Heinz Ketchup bottle.They even feature the iconic Heinz label on the front of the packet just in case there was any doubt.
They tasted exactly as I was expecting, wonderfully tangy but sweet at the same time. The main ingredients of traditional ketchup sauce are tomatoes, vinegar and sugar. These crisps rely on the 'Tomato Ketchup Seasoning' and 'Flavourings', to give it the saucy flavour. I'm glad to see that there is no milk or MSG lurking in the ingredients. I think overall they did a good job and I preferred them to the Walkers version which are much sweeter. These are very tasty and each crisp is packed full of flavour.
I bought these in a multipack of six for £1 in Tesco. They are also available in a Special Edition HP Sauce version. Have you tried either of these flavours?
15 Jun 2012
I recently reviewed the new Innocent Smoothie for kids so I'm glad to see that there is another new flavour available. This limited edition has been especially created to celebrate Innocent's status as the official smoothie of the Olympic Games. It has the Olympic 2012 logo on the bottle and features a golden vest on the front. My kids loved the front of this but then they are quite excited about the Olympics!
The smoothie has a lovely rich orange colour and is called 'oranges, carrots & mangoes'. I love the sound of this combination. One of my favourite juices to make at home is oranges, carrots, apples and ginger, so I had high hopes for this new Innocent smoothie. In reality the base ingredients are similar to other Innocent Smoothies; grapes, banana, and a squeeze of lemon. The oranges, carrots & mangoes make up 19%, 16% and 8% of this smoothie respectively. It gives you 2 of your 5 a day in a 250ml bottle which is great.
The taste is similar to other Innocent Orange and Mango smoothies. There is only a hint of carrot which I found disappointing, I would have preferred a stronger carrot taste. The overall taste is delicious though, it was slurped up in a matter of seconds and both my kids wanted to try it! I hope that this product will also be made available in a larger family sized bottle.
In slightly related news (well they are linked by the Olympics!) have you seen the latest range of Lego Minifigures? There are 9 new Limited Edition Team GB Minifigures available exclusively in the UK. They are super cute as always! Can't wait to get some of these for my boys. I hope we get the Gymnast and the Relay Runner! Look out for them from July 1st.
14 Jun 2012
What happens when you send your husband out to do the supermarket shopping? He comes back with a Southern Fried Chicken Pizza. Who knew that this lovechild between KFC and Pizza Hut even existed? It does have the magic word 'NEW!' in the corner so I decided to give it a try.
It is a medium sized pizza, about the size of a normal dinner plate and we got about 6 small slices from it. Great for two adults to share or for one very hungry adult but obviously not aimed at families. It looked OK out of the box, there was a surprisingly generous amount of vegetables on top; lots of sweetcorn and green peppers. Given that the box screams 'SOUTHERN FRIED' I was surprised to see any vegetables at all. Fried Chicken lovers may be disappointed at the amount of chicken on the pizza, there were about 7 bits of chicken in total.
The Pizza was quite tasty and it wasn't too salty or greasy. The base is thin crust and the dough was very fresh tasting. The chicken pieces were more like frozen crispy chicken slices rather than southern fried chicken, which was disappointing for the hubby. It only took 8 minutes to cook so it was a very quick meal to prepare. We had ours with garlic bread and salad. Even though it was a satisfactory meal I don't think we will be buying this pizza again.
So what I really want to know is what other fast food mash ups you would like to see? A hamburger crossed with a pizza? A fish 'n' chips burger perhaps?
13 Jun 2012
A few weeks ago I got very excited about the new Mr. Strong Strawberry Yogurt Drinks which are exclusive to Tesco. Yesterday I visited a huge Tesco Extra, which is much bigger than my local store, and spotted two other varieties. Mr. Happy Vanilla Flavour and Mr.Tickle Apricot Flavour. Don't they look fantastic? Once again I love the bottles, they are so bright and cheery. Best of all, my children love these flavours as much as the original Mr. Strong one. The Mr. Happy Vanilla has now become their favourite flavour, but they will happily drink any of them.
These are available exclusively in Tesco for £1.25. They have added vitamins and minerals and are 75 calories for a 100ml bottle.
Do you have a favourite Mr. Men character? Mine is Mr. Bump and I'm hoping that Tesco will make a blueberry flavour yogurt with him!
12 Jun 2012
I like the Activia range of yogurts, mainly for their impressive array of flavours. These new Limited Edition varieties caught my eye in the supermarket. They are obviously dessert inspired but are fat free and much lower in calories. I bought two varieties; Berry and Apple Crumble, and Banoffee, for 50p each in Tesco.
Banoffee is one of my favourite desserts so I was interested to see how this would taste in a fat free yogurt! The yogurt had a creamy thick texture with generous amounts of banana pieces which I loved. The yogurt also had a caramel flavour but with a strong banana taste too. For 116 calories it felt like a delicious dessert and I would definitely buy it again.
I also love Apple Crumble but I'm not so keen on blackberries. Unfortunately the Berry and Apple Crumble had too many blackberry seeds and flavour for me to really enjoy it. I could hardly taste any apple flavour. The yogurt did have a nice crumble flavour to it which was almost biscuity. It also has less calories at 107 in a 155g pot. These pots are a generous size and are very filling. What do you think of the Activia range?