Monday, 25 July 2016

Bake Box

I’d like to introduce you to Bake Box, a dream come true for baking fans of all experience levels.

Bake Box is the brand new subscription box designed for bakers to build up a brilliant repertoire of new skills as well as a collection of great baking equipment. (£14.99 + P&P bi-monthly subscription). Each box contains 6 items of bakeware equipment to help you expand your baking repertoire, as well as themed recipe cards and decorating kits. With a subscription to the Bake Box you also automatically receive complimentary access to the Bake Club Live site. Here you can check out masterclass videos and receive bonus recipes too.

The box included a decorative swirly silicone bundt mould, a spotty swiss decorating roll mat and stripy and spotty stencils for the sides and tops of cakes! I was also excited about the piping bag, nozzles and cookie cutters.  There was an amazing pink Rainbow Dust ProGel colouring which I used to make this bundt cake, it is super rich in colour

The products were all of high quality and can be used over and over again. It's a great subscription box and can help build even the most amateur of bakers the most professional baking kit. 

L x

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Almondy Daim Cheesecake

The fascination with all things Scandinavian has gripped the UK since TV series such as Wallander, The Killing and The Bridge hit our screens in the early naughties. We have of course dabbled with a love of Sweden for much longer through pop sensations ABBA and flat pack favourite, IKEA. However, one much loved but perhaps slightly less high profile Swedish delight but which has been on sale in the UK for over 10 years is the ultimate in chocolate indulgence – Almondy.

Almondy cakes are widely available through most UK supermarkets - a 400g cake costs just £3.00 but being hidden away in the frozen aisle means they may have remained a little of an undiscovered treasure. With 1.7 million cakes sold in the UK it’s definitely becoming less of a secret but here’s why Almondy deserves to be on everyone’s shopping list.

I was sent a delicious Diam cheesecake to try. This is made to a traditional Swedish recipe dating from 1830 but which was lost until rediscovered by Almondy founders, Kent & Lennart in 1982 when they set up the business. The recipe doesn’t use flour so while delicious it also means the cakes are gluten free and suitable for the growing number of people who are choosing to, or have to, remove gluten from their diets.

Almondy Daim combines the irresistible almond base with a golden cream and crunchy almond caramel, coated with delicious smooth milk chocolate. Delicious! I took it to a friends house and it dad absolutely devoured with thumbs up all round.

This cheesecake and it's sister Toblerone flavors both  gluten free, Kosher, Halal and suitable for Vegetarians.

Check out my Facebook page to enter a special competition!

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Aldi Summer Alcohol Options

Aldi stores are one of my favourite places to shop, especially when it comes to their amazing range of own brand beers, wines and spirits.  They sent me some of their convenient, ready to go cans of gin and tonic as well as Austin's and lemonade.

Oliver Cromwell Gin & Tonic cans

With a ripe, citrus aroma and touch of juniper, Aldi’s Oliver Cromwell Gin has been praised by industry professionals after being awarded a Silver at the prestigious International Spirits Challenge this year, proving it is possible to appreciate high quality gin at the best value price. It tastes delicious and it's super convenient to have ready mixed in can form. It's perfect for BBQ's and any Summer event. At 5% alcohol it is nice and light and full of flavour.  Better still it comes in diet tonic form for even less syns

Oliver Cromwell Gin & Tonic Can & Oliver Cromwell Gin & Diet Tonic Can (£0.99, 250ml), available in stores now

Austin’s & Lemonade cans

The quintessential British tipple, premixed with Lemonade; the perfect sweet and summery treat for every picnic. It is deliciously sweet and perfect to go with Wimbledon! The convenient cans only require you to add some summer fruits and mint for a delicious Pimms style drink.

Austin’s & Lemonade can (£0.89, 250mL), available in stores now

Review:- Marley Spoon Recipe Boxes

Marley Spoon send tasty recipes and fresh ingredients directly to your door, making it easy to cook a delicious meal at home.  I am all for home cooking and I am a massive supporter of anything that makes home cooking easier!  They kindly sent me a special box with 2 meals to try out for myself.

The boxes include pre-measured of ingredients so that there’s zero food waste, and one of the best things about the meal kits is that cooking with Marley Spoon costs less than the supermarket.

Lemon Baked Trout with Borlotti Bean Salad & Baguette

Lovely little parcels stuffed full of succulent trout fillets, topped with fresh parsley and lemon. The trout gently poaches in the lemon juices until perfectly soft, and is served with a satisfying bean salad composed of carrots, green beans, borlotti beans and onions, all drenched in a sweet white wine vinegar dressing and a crusty baguette to mop it up with. The recipe was really easy to follow with picture cards and turned out perfectly. 

German Sausages with Sauerkraut & Baked Potatoes

The delicious bratwurst comes from the city of N├╝rnberg in Germany. It’s made from coarsely ground lean pork and is commonly seasoned with marjoram, salt, pepper, ginger, cardamom and lemon powder. Served up with a very traditional sour kraut and fluffy baked potatoes. The meal was delicious and filling, I really loved the sour kraut. 

Every meal comes with an image-led step-by-step recipe card, which was super-simple to follow. I think that even the most amateur of cook could manage. Because there is prep involved (ie chopping the veg and actually cooking) you really do get the full cooking experience with minimal time and effort.

3 meals for 2 people per week is £34.80, meaning the price per serving is £5.80. This box is available to order now!

For more information, visit

Friday, 15 July 2016

Review:- Bodega Olives & Antipasti

Bodega are driven by their love of olives, antipasti and the rich flavours of the Mediterranean and have recently launched a new range of salads and antipasti platters into Sainsbury's. They also have an existing line of olives that will be re-launching with new packaging and flavours. They have journeyed extensively to bring us an authentic taste straight from the olive groves of Italy, Spain and Greece and invite us to join in tasting their travels.  They kindly sent me a selection of items to try for myself and I couldn't wait to make a delicious antipasti dish. 

The Olives are some of the most delicious I have ever tasted! Really full of flavour, and not that nasty bitter taste you find in cheap jarred olives. Some of the flavours the olives are paired with are amazing.  The Sicilian Nocellara Del Belice olives have been rolled in lemon and oil for a fresh, mellow bite that's perfect for those who prefer a subtle taste and mild-mannered flavour.

There was also some olives shaken up with garlic and a sprinkle of paprika. Bodega chose green olives from Greece for their meaty texture, marrying it with Spanish black cuquillos whose softer flesh deliver a deep flavour. Together they are enlivened with richly fragrant garlic and gently spicy paprika for a deliciously spirited partnership. 

The main antipasti platter contained Nocellara Olives in Lemon Oil. Semi-Dried Tomatoes and Mozzarella Pearls in Basil Oil and Oregano, Fennel Salami and Prosciutto Crudo. All was absolutely amazing a restaurant quality!

All items were amazing and I highly recommend them, perfect pairings with wine and cheese. 

Products available from Sainsburys.  For more information, visit their website here

L x

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Review:- Bodychef Hamper

Bodychef offers the most customisable fresh diet meal plans available. It’s simple to use and you can get great results. Their food hampers include all of the food that you will need to eat on your personalised diet, for every meal, every day. It’s the delicious and easy way to maintain a healthier lifestyle and lose weight.

The unique system allows you to exclude, add in and/or swap items to provide an unmatched level of personalisation in your diet plan. You can choose exactly what diet you want to follow, what calorie level is best for you and have your own plan delivered to your door. They use the freshest ingredients in all of their diet plans and all meals are prepared and delivered in hampers the following day to retain the food’s crisp freshness and mouth-watering taste.  They sent me a 3 day hamper to try some of the meals for myself.

Day 1

Day 1 was only dinner and dessert as it is the day the hamper is delivered.  I had chicken and chilli stirfry with mixed leaf and tomato salad.  It was really tasty and nothing like a microwave ready meal! All freshly prepared and packed with veg.  It is also a decent sized portion as I was a little worried the potions would be tiny. I definitely felt full after eating it.

For dessert I had a chocolate biscuit cake which was a little small but delicious.

Day 2 

Day 2 was my first full day of food. For breakfast I had bran flakes and yoghurt.  For lunch was coronation chicken, oatcakes and a mixed leaf and tomato salad.  I found that the amount of salad was tiny and not enough for a full lunch.  The coronation chicken was really tasty.  I also had snacks of trial mix and oatcakes. 

For dinner was bolognesse bake with carrot and raisin salad.  Again you can tell that the meal has been freshly prepared and isn't in any way like a cheap microwave meal.  A decent portion size meant I was full for the whole evening.   For pudding was dark chocolate and oat clusters. 

Day 3 

For breakfast was blueberries and ganola with Brazil nuts and cashew nuts for snacks.  Lunch was tuna wholemeal pasta salad with a mixed leaf and tomato salad.  This was a much more satisfying lunch than the day before and I was definitely full up afterwards. 

Dinner was cauliflower cheese with special vegetable and nut rice.  A decent portion size but I found the cauliflower cheese a little watery, but still really tasty.

I then had breakfast and lunch for day 4 which was yoghurt and blueberries, and pitta bread with egg mayonnaise. 

Overall I was surprised at the variety of dishes on offer and how tasty it all was.  I would definitely like to try a full week of a plan to see the results, as it is also really convenient to have meals that can easily be reheated.  Have a look at their website to create your own customisable diet plan.

L x

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Slimming World Friendly Recipe:- BBQ Meatball Fries

A delicious and filling meal of BBQ meatball topped fries with melted cheese 

Extra Easy Syn Vaules:- Syn free

Healhy Extras:-

You will need:- 

1 tsp mustard powder
5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
500g passata
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 tbsp sweetener
Salt and pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp tomato puree
500g extra lean mince
1 small onion, finely diced
40g extra light cheese per person


Follow this link for instructions how to make the fries

In a bowl, mix together the beef mice, 1 of the garlic cloves, 1 tsp snoked paprika and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roll in your hands to form balls, I chose to make 4 larger balls.

In a frying pan cook the onion and garlic on a medium heat until the onions have softened. Add the balls and fry off each ball, moving around regularly to cook all over

Mix passata, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, mustard powder, garlic, sweetener, seasoning, smoked paprika and tomato puree.

Pour over the balls and leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes, then add the balls to the fries. Top with cheese and grill for a few mins until cheese melted

Serve with salad

L x