Thursday, 24 April 2014

Review: Amy's Kitchen

As I have mentioned before, my shifts at work mean that I often have to resort to cooking ready meals due to ease and time restrictions. This doesn't mean that I have to compromise on flavour or quality.

Amy's Kitchen is a family run business with every member of the family taking part. The company was started in 1987, when Amy was born. Her mum and dad, Rachel and Andy Berliner, carefully nurtured the company as well as the child, paying constant attention to every aspect of its day to day activities and providing the vision that has made Amy's so successful.  They are from America and create a range of delicious meals, which are now available all across the UK. Amy's favourite food as a toddler used to be macaroni cheese, and they created meals based on things she used to like.

Amy's Kitchen's offerings taste so good because they're made from the type of  ingredients that people use at home, with no additives or preservatives. If a child can't pronounce it, you won't find it on an Amy's label.

Their pizza crusts are shaped by hand, sauces and gravies are made the old-fashioned way, starting with a roux. All the fruits, vegetables and grains that they use are grown naturally, the way nature intended food to grow, without the use of insecticides, harmful chemicals and genetic modification. This benefits the growers, the consumers and the environment.  All of their products are vegetarian, with no meat fish, poultry or eggs used in any product. Cheeses are made with pasteurised milk and do not contain animal enzymes or rennet.
Their wide selection of burritos & wraps, Indian meals, chilli, pies, soups, and ready meals mean that you can never get bored!  I have a Thai Red Curry and Macaroni & Cheese to try, both of which are gluten free.


Macaroni Cheese- This was so deliciously creamy and cheesy!  The macaroni was really nice, and I couldn't even tell that it was rice macaroni and not your normal macaroni.  It had a real feel of a home made macaroni cheese, and my only criticism is that it was a really small portion, and it was so nice that I wanted more!

Thai Red Curry- This was nice, it wasn't watery at all and had a good selection of different mixed vegetables in it. Although it was a microwave meal it cooked really well and the rice was not hard or dry at all.  This portion was small again and did leave me still hungry afterwards, but works as a great lunch time snack during the working day!

These have to be the nicest gluten free ready meals that I have tried on the market!  Although I am not a coeliac myself, I appreciate how hard it can be to find great tasting gluten free meals, and I think that Amy's have hit the nail on the head!

They have also offered me a fantastic hamper of their products to give away for one of my readers worth £25!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
You can find them online here and can buy their products from Sainsbury's and Tesco.

L x

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Lamb’s Spiced Daiquiri

Iconic British spirit, Lamb’s, has launched new Lamb’s Spiced, a secret recipe of premium Caribbean golden rum derived from Alfred Lamb’s family, which is best enjoyed served neat over ice or as a versatile cocktail ingredient. Ideal in spring cocktails, Lamb’s Spiced is a smooth golden liquid blended with natural spices and hints of cinnamon and caramel with a citrus finish. It’s sweetly spiced with an ABV of 30%.

The rum itself has a lovely smooth, sweet and spiced flavour, but nothing too over powering that takes the attention away from the rum. A perfect light drink with lemonade , but you can also try out this delicious Lamb’s Spiced Daiquiri.



You will need:-
40ml Lambs spiced rum
20ml orange Curaçao
25ml lime juice
10ml sugar syrup
Orange peel, for garnish

Method:-

Shake all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and serve!

L x

Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have never really baked cookies before, and after attending The Big Cake show back-along I felt really inspired to do some experimenting and this is the recipe that I came up with! If you don't fancy making chocolate cookies you could always leave out the coco powder from the recipe, still just as delicious!


You will need:-

150g butter, softened
125g light brown soft sugar
150g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
200g chocolate chips
150g Coco Powder

Method:-

Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4

Cream the sugars and the butter together in a bowl

Sift in the coco powder and mix together

Add the egg and the vanilla extract

Sift in the flour and salt and fold into the mixture.The mixture should be firm enough to roll into balls, but if it isnt you can always add a little more flour until you get the right consistancy

Roll into balls, the bigger the ball the bigger the cookie and the wider it will spread. 

Place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and put the cookie mixture balls on the tray.  Seperate them sso there is enough room for them all to expand

Bake for 7 mins if you want a soft cookie, or 10-12 mins for a bit more crunch

L x

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Midori Spring Cup Cocktail

Fingers crossed for nice weather this Bank Holiday weekend! If the heat rises and we all try to dig out the garden furniture to bathe in the sun, then this is the perfect cocktail to accompany you. Midori melon liqueur has created the refreshing "Spring Cup" with Midori, lime and cucumber. Even if the sun doesn't shine, we can pretend it is just by tasting this cocktail!

You will need:-

A wine glass
Ingredients:
35ml Midori
15ml lime juice
2 Cucumber slices, 1 lemon slice
Top with sparkling grape juice
Garnish: lemon slice, mint sprig, cucumber, melon ball

Method:

Fill a wine glass with ice. Add fruit. Pour Midori over ice, add the lime juice. Top with sparkling grape juice. 

Garnish with lemon slice, cucumber slice, mint sprig and melon ball then serve.

L x

Maison Maille

This is my competition entry for Maison Maille.

Maille are looking to engage with the foodie community offering bloggers the chance to incorporate a couple of products from their exclusive online boutique and creating unique recipes, a chance that I grabbed with both hands!  It was a tough decision to choose which of their delicious sounding products to go for, but I eventually decided on these their Mustard providence style, with white wine, red pepper and garlic and aged balsamic vinegar.


I wanted to create a dish that I love, and had a few ideas.  After much deliberation I chose a stuffed chicken breast with a creamy mustard and cream cheese sauce filling wrapped in smoked Palma ham, served with potatoes dauphinoise and green beans.  To go with this I made balsamic caramelised onion garlic which makes a great mix of savoury and sweet!  The balsamic has such a rich, lush flavour that would rally lend itself to anything!  The mustard has and equally as delicious flavour, so not only would it be great in recipes but it is delicious used as a condiment.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Shloer Celebration Drinks

I love any excuse for a celebration, and with Easter around the corner it is the perfect excuse to celebrate some extra time off work if nothing else!  If you don't drink alcohol though, you can often feel left out if those around you are popping some bubbly. Shloer Celebration is the ideal accompaniment for those not drinking, so they can still enjoy a sense of occasion by sipping on a tall glass of bubbles. If you would like to share a glass of something sparkling with all the family, you can simply pop the cork, pour and enjoy the chilled fizz together. They offer a pink fizz as well as White Bubbly.


Shloer Celebration Pink Fizz is a fresh and fruity combination with the vibrant flavours of red and white grape juices fused together to create a beautiful sparkling rosé juice drink, which served chilled is delicious.

The White Bubbly has a crisp and full bodied flavour, using the very best in white grape juices to create the perfect glass of fizz without any alcohol needed!

These both prove to be a great accompanier to an nice Easter meal, or even just if you wish to add a little fizz to your day!

Shloer Celebration retails at £2.99 and is available from Asda, Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsburys and Ocado.

L x

Review: Co-Operative Easter Eggs

The Co-operative Food have made it their mission to create something for everyone this Easter with lots of with lots of "egg-citing" treats in store, some of which I am trying out for myself!


The Co-operative Loved by us Milk Chocolate and Popping Candy Egg (£5.00) will send your tastebuds spinning with popping candy bits within the milk chocolate shell, which is also speckled with yummy jelly and chocolate beans.  It really is a taste sensation, smooth chocolate with a pop.  It is nice to see something a little different available that gives a bit of a twist on tradition.

New to The Co-operative’s premium range, the Truly Irresistible Fairtrade Milk Chocolate and Butterscotch Egg (£7.50) has a creamy Fairtrade milk chocolate shell with scrumptious crunchy butterscotch, decorated with milk, white and dark crisp chocolate balls. Indulgently delicious and perfect for adults.  This looks great, as well as tastes great.  Covered in gold pieces it adds a bit of sparkle at Easter!

These eggs are both absolutely delicious and make a perfect treat to tuck into this Easter.  Find them in your local Co-Operative Food store.  They don't just have chocolate available, but also have delicious hot cross buns, cakes and gorgeous flowers.

L x