Warburtons Sandwich Thins Challenge

warburtons sandwich challenge

I was one of life’s revelations to me, when I grew up, that sandwiches didn’t have to be boring – They didn’t have to be on white bread and definitely didn’t have to have butter on them. I wasn’t the most adventurous with my sandwiches as a child – I think my record was taking plain ham sandwiches to school for 5 years!

I had discovered Warburtons Sandwich Thins long before I was asked to take part in the sandwich challenge. I’m not overly fond of doughy bread so the slimline bread is just perfect for me. I like that they come in neat squares (or diamonds depending on how you look at them) and even better for the lazy cook in me, that they are pre sliced.

My challenge was to come up with 3 different ways of using Sandwich Thins – All of these feature regularly in our house. We have got into the habit of enjoying Hot Sandwiches, especially the Pizza Sandwich, which is perfect for those long journeys to training in Manchester.

Chicken Basil Toasted Sandwich Thins

Chicken Tomato Basil Cooked SAndwich

Ingredients:
Portion of cooked chicken – I flashed fried mine just before assembling the sandwich and pulled it to make it flaky but pre-cooked is just as nice.
6 Basil Leaves
1/2 tomato per sandwich – no seeds
Sprinkling of grated Mozzarella

Cook in a dry frying pan until the middle is hot and the cheese has melted causing both bread parts to stick together – Eat immediately whilst hot!

cooked sandwiches

The Pizza Sandwich

Pizza Sandwich

Ingredients
Passata/Pizza Topping Sauce
Red Pepper – Chopped Finely
Onion – Chopped Finely
Mushroom – Chopped into very thin slices
Grated Mozzarella

Spread the passata over each side of the Sandwich Thin and place one (sauce side up) in a dry frying pan. Add a sprinkling of each of the peppers/onion/mushroom and finish with some grated cheese.
Add the top of the Sandwich Thin and heat through for 3-4 minutes – Push down with a fish slice so all the components stick together – Turn over for another 1-2 minutes so the top of the sandwich goes crispy too.

Posh Ham Sandwich with Honey & Maple Dressing
posh ham sandwich with honey & maple dressing & walnuts

If you must put butter on your bread, feel free to do so but why not live a little and try without?

I’ll start off by telling you how to make a small amount of the Honey & Maple Syrup Dressing – I bet before long you are doubling the recipe though!

To make the dressing:
2 Tablespoons Honey
2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

Heat in a small pan, stirring continuously until it starts to boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes then spoon over a Sandwich Thin filled with plenty of smoked ham – It will start to thicken (If you leave it too long, it will go almost solid so you need to reheat to liquidise again).
Finish off with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts.

Some more info about Warburtons and Sandwich Thins …

Warburtons have started off their Sandwich Challenge as part of the food trend that is set to take 2015 by storm – Creative Sandwiches are projected to be the next big thing as people want more exciting and versatile fillings – Warburtons are the first to market Sandwich Thins – They have 135 years experience in the Baking sector and are the second biggest grocery brand in the UK.

Warburtons Sandwich Thins are 420 KJ/100 Kcal per thin and available in 4 varieties: White, Brown, Seeded and Half & Half.

Disclosure: I was sent samples of Sandwich Thins for the purpose of this challenge and received payment for any ingredients purchased. All opinions are my own and I had free copy what to include in this post.

Italian Basil Chicken with Black Rice: UFUUD Review

italian basil chicken with black rice

Last month I was asked if I would like to test out the Italain Foodie website, Ufuud. Ufuud specialise in distributing high end Italian products all over the EU, directly where they have been produced.

I have a bit of a love affair with true Italian cuisine. One of my best friends at secondary school was Italian – sleepovers at her house were always the best, the breakfasts were incredible! I’ve never actually managed to visit Italy (yet!) but eating traditional Italian produce is, I’m sure, the next best thing.

So off I pottered to the website, very easy to use – I could feel the quality of the produce. The range of Italian food varies from cooked meats to sauces to amazing cheeses to specialist biscuits. Over the past month, the selection has changed regularly, I’m presuming this is as stock sells out and new producers are found. Just because Ufuud might not have what you are looking for one day, doesn’t mean it won’t be there the next.

I opted to order a range of products – I wanted to test out the chilled goods as I was intrigued how it would be delivered at temperature (Our pancetta arrived in perfect, chilled condition in polystyrene).

I loved the more unusual selection at UFUUD. I’m such a marketer’s dream, opting for the black rice.

black rice

You can even order alcohol, so not to be rude, we ordered a traditional blond Italian beer.

Most of the ingredients do come with some English description on them and some even have some English cooking directions. Our pancetta didn’t appear to have a use by date on it (When you order, the site tells you approx how long your item is in date for – By the time we used it, the pancetta had disappeared from the site)

I’ve saved the best for last though … when you are shopping on site, in the bottom right corner pops up your very own advice service – If you log into the English version of the site, they speak excellent English. This is such a brilliant service, I struggled a little when completing my order (My fault, not Ufuud) and my advisor was so patient. Its worth ordering something just to experience it!

To test out the ingredients, I made Italian Basil Chicken, served with the infamous black rice (Which was super tasty seasoned with some of the fat from the pancetta but don’t tell my arteries!)

italian basil chicken recipe

 

Italian Basil Chicken served with seasoned Black Rice

Serves 3-4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Gourmet, Serve Hot
A thoroughly tasty dish, succulent chicken with a delicious basil tomato sauce served on a bed of black seasoned rice

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Chicken Thighs (Oven cooked for 30 mins in foil)
  • 1 Small Onion (Chopped finely)
  • 1 Yellow Pepper (Chopped into small cubes)
  • 3 tablespoons Basil Chicken Passata (Or 1 tin tomatos, 6 basil leaves finely chopped, 1 tbsp tomato puree, black pepper)
  • 1 clove Garlic (Chopped finely)
  • 100g Pancetta (Chopped into small cubes)

Directions

Black Rice
I cooked the black rice according to the instructions on the box - Soak in water and cook for 35 minutes in a large pan. Drain the pan, then cool and place in the fridge until needed - Can be in fridge for up to 24 hours
Italian Chicken
Pan fry the pancetta until the fat is reduced. Remove from the pan and remove half of the remaining fat (You will stir the rice through this just before serving)
In the remaining far, cook the chopped onion until soft and transparent
Add the peppers and continue to cook until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Add the chicken and the passata (See ingredients list for alternative if not using bought passata). Return the pancetta to the pan and cook until all ingredients are combined and hot all the way through.
Serve on black rice if you have it and add extra tomato basil sauce on top of the chicken.

basil chicken recipe

Disclosure: I was not charged for any items that I ordered from Ufuud. I have given an honest review of the service – I really enjoyed the experience and the quality of the products was top class.

home italian food ordering service

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NibNibs Snack Review & Giveaway

nib nibs cheese snacks giveaway

I always think at this time of year, you want your snacks to be really tasty. There doesn’t seem to be the same excuse for leisurely feeding your face … even though it is a strictly diet free zone here!

Over Christmas I was sent a selection of Nib Nibs Cheese snacks – Billed as being From Yorkshire With Love they are a selection of both full size and mini cheese straw nibbles.

I’m not a massive cheese lover but even I enjoyed the Mini Cheese & Chilli Nibbles – Not too hard to eat but with a satisfying crunch. The rest of the Costellos have enjoyed nibbling their way through the range with our compulsory Onion & Garlic Dip. The snack pots are really handy for taking out and about.

Available in 4 flavours Cheddar Cheese, Cheddar & Spicy Chilli and Cheddar & Cheeky Onion, Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper flavours – Nib Nibs are ‘Premium baked British Nibbles for the most discerning connoisseur’ produced in North Yorkshire. I love supporting up & coming, local producers – One of my intentions this year is to find and use more food producers with something a little different.

I am offering one lucky reader the chance to win a selection of Nib Nibs products by entering this simple compeition – Please follow the Rafflecopter instructions below. The competition closes on Wednesday 28th January – Sorry UK entries only.

The winner will be notified as soon as possible after the random draw has been made and Nib Nibs will be responsible for sending out your prize once a postal address has been supplied.

Best of luck everyone! Happy nibbling x

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The Costellos visit Winter Wonderland at Event City, Trafford Centre

winter wonderland event city trafford centre

Its been rather quiet around here over Christmas but we are still alive – Just! All those plans for the Christmas break slowly unravelled as one by one we dropped to a virus (Is that the most annoying word in the dictionary?). I am just beginning week 3 which has seen several bed ridden days due to proper grown up ‘flu’ but am so happy to be coming out the other side.

Before the doom struck us, we did manage quite a few Christmassy events though, one of which was a visit to Winter Wonderland at Event City, Trafford Centre. I had seen adverts for Winter Wonderland but wasn’t sure exactly what it is. It truly is a wonderland though, the Uk’s largest Indoor Winter Wonderland – an indoor entertainment centre with a real life circus, a proper indoor fairground (with rides suitable for adults and children) AND the REAL Sooty show!!

If you are still in the mood for Christmas and a good day out but don’t want to brave the cold, I’d highly recommend the Winter Wonderland. So nice to visit a fairground that feels clean – We had no queues due it being a Monday evening but the organisers are very clever and arrange 2 sessions per day to try to stop everyone visiting at once.

sooty show winter wonderland

The Sooty show was wonderful – We haven’t managed to visit the whole show yet so this was a really good taste whether Tara would enjoy it. She loved it! In fact, she’s still talking about it 2 weeks later. There was everything that the full show has – lots of audience participation, a chance to sit at the front and water being squirted … and of course the lovely Sue.

meeting olaf, elsa & anna frozen

There was also a singing corner with the cast of Frozen – Amazing to see how so many kiddies were entranced – and rather sad to see how many grown men feel the need to get as close to the front as possible. Great organisation by the promoters ensured that every child got to meet the characters for a photo opportunity though. Tara is still a little unsure of Olaf as she said his mouth was open and he wanted to eat her. Brave snowman!

indoor fairground

The girls went on so many rides – they lost count and had a brilliant time. Tara even found herself on a ride on her own – A bit of a hairy moment for Mum & Dad, we really thought she would change her mind half way though but she loved it.

Our first ride that we went on was right near the entrance – It was slightly deceiving that all ages could go on it. I thought it would be rather tame but oh no! Super speedy and such good fun! We all loved it.

circus winter wonderland

The circus was incredible (apart from the juggler who kept dropping her rings!) – I could see Derm rolling his eyes as the Strong Men came on but even he had to admit they were ‘WoW’ Just fab.

Winter Wonderland at Event City is Open until this Sunday 4th January 2015 – Family tickets (2 adults, 2 children) are £60. For more details visit the website

Disclosure: We were given free entry in exchange for a review. We could write an honest review.

Littlest Pet Shop Kingdom Reviews

hasbro littlest pet shop toy review

Littlest Pet Shop toys came into our lives a couple of years ago with our eldest, Millie. A gift from her Auntie at Christmas, it was played with but never one of the massive favourites. I was asked a couple of weeks ago if my girls would be interested in trying out a new selection from the Littlest Pet Shop range. I have to say they have come a long way in those 2 years – I believe toys need a period of time to settle in, to see if they really are a winner, but so far they are doing quite well.

We were sent Blythe’s Bedroom and the Spa Style Scene along with a selection of figures and accessories. The bedroom alone contains at least 95 tiny pieces for personalising the look of your set. RRP £29.99 Age 6+.
The Spa Scene is RRP £14.99 and 6+.

assembly littlest pet shop

Violet (age 8) needed some assistance with the setting up of the Bedroom as there is quite a lot of assembly. This will depend on the individual child, how easy they find it. If you have a Lego lover, like my Millie then they will LOVE this bit. I loved the neatness of everything having a place and a slot to go in. There was scope for imagination though – Children can decide where to put the many tiny flowers that decorate inside and outside of the bedroom. There are also plenty of stickers so their imagination can go wild.

tara littlest pet shop review

While the ‘rooms’ were being set up, Tara busied herself by playing with the individual characters – I was amazed by how long they kept her interest. Who knew that putting earrings on and off a toy dog could keep a 3yo occupied for so long?! Obviously, I had to keep an eye on her as the pieces were absolutely tiny and she is only 3 but she loved it.

characters littlest pet shop

Being a bit of a tidy freak (when I get chance), I loved that the toys interlock – We put the Spa Scene directly on top of Blythe’s Bedroom.

What we liked:
* I liked Violet’s sense of achievement when she grasped the instructions about how to assemble the toy – She was slightly frustrated at first until she ‘got it’.
* The amount of decorations to design the bedroom how Violet wanted it.
* The quality of the toy – The connections seem really secure, the walls are not too flimsy either.

Time will tell how much the girls play with these sets – Tara has been found a few times having a play and Violet enjoyed telling her Dad how everything went together and what bits are for what.

opening our littlest pet shop Violet was rather pleased with her parcel – Ignore the 12yo to the side. She is obviously thrilled (in a 12 year old way!)

Disclosure: Sponsored Post – All opinions are my own (and Violet’s!)

The Snowman & Snowdog Grotto – Trafford Centre

snowman snowdog trafford centre

There’s something very magical about going to see Santa with your children. This is my 12th Christmas as a Mum and each year, we try to visit a different grotto. I’m not sure Santa recognises us at each event – I suspect that it might not ALWAYS be the ‘real’ Father Christmas ;-)

We were lucky enough to be invited to The Snowman and Snowdog Grotto in Barton Square, Trafford Centre last Sunday so off we trooped. I need to apologise at this point for the less than brilliant photos – We forgot the big camera, something to do with us having to set out at 7am to go to synchro training first.

santa's grotto trafford centre

You arrive at The Snowman Grotto to be met by one of the Elves (at least I think they were elves). Our slot was 12pm but there were a lot of other families milling about trying to book in (You book in at the main Trafford Centre Customer Service desk). The Elves were so patient and friendly – it would have driven me potty having to explain that they were fully booked until 4.30pm to so many people. An A frame board explaining which slot was next and how to register would have saved them so much hassle.

trafford centre elves

About 10 minutes before your time, you go in and queue inside – Another Elf welcomes you and gets the children all excited about Christmas – At this point you are given a gift of some Reindeer food for Christmas Eve (Anyone else got more reindeer food than real food in their house at the moment?).

Inside the grotto is a living room where an actor creates the atmosphere, telling the story of the Snowman and Snowdog with the aid of a massive video screen. Children sit on the floor and adults on benches. The younger kids were enthralled and its not too long (about 10-15 mins) for anyone who feels a little bit old (Your 12 year old for example!)

santa trafford centre

I thought this was going to be it but then the magic continues with a visit to Santa – At this point my children decide to ask for a real life monkey and 2 hamsters – Has anyone else heard that Santa isn’t doing livestock this year?! Santa was lovely and his room is great – complete with yet another friendly Elf!

You can have your picture taken with Santa and then go to choose your print if you like it.

santa's living room

After the Grotto experience, the fun can continue with a ride on the traditional carousel and plenty of other little stalls – Kangaroo Burger anyone?

To finish the afternoon, we tucked into a huge Cadwalladers’ Ice-Cream Sundae and a huge Mocha! The experience was so much better than we thought it was going to be – Our girls were really pleased with their gifts from Santa (who incidentally agreed with me that perhaps a real life monkey might not be possible this year but a cuddly one might be better still!)

carousel trafford centre

Walkers Deli Crisps – Grown Up Crisps & Caramelised Onion & Garlic Dip

walker's deli crisps

Crisps are definitely my go to snack when hungry and no energy. You know when people say they couldn’t live without bread or cheese, well my saviour is crisps every time (and maybe cake but that’s a post for another day!).

Walkers Deli crisps have brought out a new range of crisps specifically aimed at Grown Ups and have asked me to taste test them – Oh the trauma! NB Kids are quite welcome to eat them too, if they can prise them out of my hand. The crisps come in 3 varieties, Classic Potato Chips, Pita Chips and the more hearty Tortilla Chip. The flavours have taken inspiration from European markets which are ever so popular at the moment:

walker's deli pita chips

Potato Chips:
Cornish Mature Cheddar
Wiltshire Cured Ham, mature cheddar & farmhouse chutney
Balsamic Vinegar of Modena – Went down superbly well as an after school snack for us 4 girls curled up on the sofa. Lovely balsamic aftertaste.
Flame Grilled Spanish Chorizo with Roasted Onion

Tortilla Chips
Anglesey Sea Salt with Cracked Black Pepper – Sadly we didn’t eat these in Anglesey but happily they were just as lovely in St Helens!
Roasted Red Chilli with Mediterranean Sundried Tomato

Pita Chips
Roasted Garlic with Mediterranean Herbs
Roasted Red pepper with English Tomato

caramelised onion garlic dip

Now there’s an unwritten rule in our house that you can’t eat Chilli crisps without a good dip. My favourite combination is Caramelised Onion & Garlic Dip which went perfectly with the Walker’s Roasted Red Chilli Tortilla Chips with Mediterranean Sundried Tomato. The dip may not look that attractive but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it and all that …

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 White Onion – Finely Chopped
1/2 Celery Stick – Finely Chopped
1/4 tsp Crushed Garlic
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Twist of Black Pepper
1 small tub Natural Greek Yogurt

Method:
In a small frying pan, heat the oil and add the celery and the onion and sweat for 10-12 minutes until completely soft and starting to brown
Add the Worcestershire Sauce and the garlic and stir through. Continue sweating for another 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
When completely cool, mix together well with the Yogurt and the black pepper.
Best eaten within 2 days – Keep in the fridge.

We have thoroughly enjoyed our tasting sessions of the Walker’s Range – The Pita Chips are really chunky so you feel like you’ve had a good snack. As I type, I’m snacking on Wiltshire Cured Ham Potato Chips – The things I do for this blog!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

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Degustabox Review – Foodies’ Surprise Box of Delights

degustabox surprise food parcel

I love knowing that I’m going to get a treat – who doesn’t like nice surprises? I’m working with Degustabox for the next couple of months to help promote their secret food boxes. Each month, recipients get a selection of food – the intrigue is that you never know what you will get.

I received my first box a couple of weeks ago for the October batch. I really wasn’t sure what to expect (and secretly hoped I wouldn’t get a load of rubbish to fill my already bulging cupboards!) Here’s what I got:

sweet chilli dipping sauce

Blue Dragon Original Sweet Chilli Sauce – I can’t tell you how many bottles of this, we will get through this Christmas.

What we do with it: Dips for all manner of battered nibbles, spring rolls, prawn crackers and even my coconut battered prawns

degustabox products

Solo Toasted Marshmallow Creme

What we do with it: I can feel another Battenburg coming on with this as the filling – Or maybe just straight off a spoon!

Jelly Belly Jellybeans

What we do with it: Apart from the most obvious game of guess the flavour, these make cracking speedy cupcake decorations or even all over a frosted cake.

Kelloggs’ Special K Barbeque Cracker Crisps

The Salt & Vinegar flavour packs of these are my most favourite low fat alternatives to crisps ever! I don’t feel cheated or am left wanting more (probably because the bags are huge). The barbecue flavour are just as strong and flavourful – perfect snack for after my 5 mile walk next week!

Alpha Bites Bear Cereal

What we do with them: Mini boxes of cereal are perfect for caravanning or even making more Puppy Chow

dr oetker chocolate

Dr Oetker 90% Dark Chocolate – Would you just look at the shine on the cake pictured on the packet? This is going to make an amazing chocolate cake this weekend!

Dr Oetker Dark Cocoa Powder – I love that this packet contains 3 small sachets. I always have cocoa powder in the cupboard but its not an ingredient I use great quantities of – Great that this will keep fresh instead of a huge tub.

degustabox

Enhance Apple & Blackcurrant juice for adding to water – Millie has already snaffled this for school – There’s not a Year 8 without one apparently!

Paws Strawberry & Apple pieces – These disappeared in record fast time. They are known as sweets in our house which suits me as they are so much healthier than other sweet alternatives.

Get Buzzing – Orignal Nutty Energy bar – I’m not normally a fan of anything ‘energy’ but these bars really are delicious and now I have a mild addiction to walking, I feel all virtuous when I eat one after exercise. What has happened to me?

pasquier brioche

Brioche Pasquier‘s Pain au lait with chocolate chips and Sliced Brioche Loaf – Its like the box was made especially for us. We go through mountains of brioche on Sunday mornings to and fro from synchro training.

What we do with it: The sliced brioche is fabulous for chocolate bread & butter pudding or even Eggy Bread with a sweet cinnamon twist.

bengal meal kit

Bengal Meal Kit

What we do with it: I believe any food box should contain an element of stretching yourself/ trying something new – I’ve never tried a curry kit like this one from Bengal Meal Kit but relish the thought of it. I love the packaging which displays the oil and spices so clearly.

Degustabox is very simple to set up – To find out more about registering please visit their website
The normal price per box is £12.99 including delivery with a promise of containing around double the value of products (Around 12-14 items in each box).

Casa Costello readers are entitled to a £3 discount when ordering their first Degustabox with this code:

OT9WF

Let me know if you try out Degustabox and what you do with your products!

Gluten Free Angel Cake – Bake of the Week

gluten free angel cake

I’m not going to pretend this is the prettiest cake you’ll ever see – it is so light and refreshing though. Even with heaps of cream. Very quick to bake although you really must take your time whisking the eggs and combining the rest of the ingredients. This cake is all about the air. Fat free (until you add the cream obviously) and Gluten Free – I used Doves Farm Potato Flour which was part of a pack of Gluten Free Flours sent by Doves’ Farm. The flour was so much lighter than traditional flours – felt very corn floury and I did query whether the cake would work. I shouldn’t have worried though, the inside was a white and delicious as every other Angel Cake I’ve made.

Angel cakes are so versatile – Not only quick to prepare and handy as a gift to take to a friend’s but they suit so many different flavours. Soft fruit like strawberries and raspberries are the obvious choice but most types of Jam go equally well. I used some Duerrs Rhubarb & Custard Baking Jam Again, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of the Jam – I thought it may be too ‘Rhubarby’ but the combination of fruit and custard was really smooth and perfect for the light Angel Cake.

I think it is testament to how good this cake was that it disappeared within a couple of hours – and we didn’t have any visitors!

Gluten Free Angel Cake

Serves 8+
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 50 minutes
Total time 1 hours, 10 minutes
Dietary Gluten Free
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Cold
Occasion Casual Party
Light and airy Gluten Free Angel Cake

Ingredients

  • 4oz Potato Flour
  • 3oz Icing Sugar
  • 8 Egg Whites
  • 5 1/2oz Caster Sugar
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line with baking parchment 2 x 9" cake tins
Sieve the flour and the icing sugar - This is one of the only recipes that I honestly sieve
Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the egg whites until they are stiff peaks - Best to be done when at room temperature
Very very slowly, add one teaspoon of the caster sugar at a time whilst still whisking on a slow speed - the mixture should keep its stiff texture
Fold in the vanilla, salt and cream of tartar then slowly add the flour/icing sugar mixture - stirring through using a figure of 8 motion
Separate the mixture between the 2 tins and bake for 40 minutes. Turn the oven off and keep the tins in the oven for another 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool in the tins before removing.
Spread with jam and lashings of double cream and enjoy huge chunks!
Eat the same day x

While I’m on a Gluten Free roll, I have chosen the Free From Fairy’s Gluten Free and Dairy Free Christmas Cake as my featured Bake of the Week. I admire people who consistently cater for GF and DF diets.

gluten free dairy christmas cake

Brilliant entries as usual from everyone last week – I am still working my way around everyone’e fantastic bakes – Thanks so much for joining in.

bake of the week

1. Another incredible baker that caters for special diets, Garden Tea Cakes and Me with her Vegan Peanut Butter & Banana Cookies
2. How gorgeous do these Quadruple Chocolate Cupcakes look from Domestic Gothess?
3. Super creative Chocolate & Peanut Butter Oat Bars from the lovely Winnie’s Blog – One of my new favourite blogs.
4. I always forget how much I love to make (and eat) Madeleines until I saw these Cranberry & Orange Madeleines from Baking Queen 74
5. I love how versatile these Chocolate Hazelnut Jumbles from Baked Potato Mummy are. Perfect for baking with the kids.
6. Almond Meringue Cookies from ET Speaks From Home – Just can’t get enough of the taste of almond. So pleased its nearly marzipan season!
7. I’d Much Rather Bake Than waited a huge 3 YEARS to make these Tunis Cupcakes and aren’t they pretty?

So they were the individual portioned bakes for this week – If you fancy a huge chunk of a bake, try these:

bow2

8. Oh wow! to this Apple Halva Cake with Caramel Glaze from Winnie’s Blog. Just gorgeous!
9. Eileen at ET Speaks From Home made this Olive Oil Bread for dinner guests – Hope I’m invited one day!
10. I thoroughly agree with Hey Cakes that sharing is caring – and I wish they would share some of this delicious Blueberry Crumble Pie!
11. The perfect solution to my husband not liking quiche problem, make one of these Neapolitan Potato Gateaux from My Little Italian Kitchen instead.

I’m going on a very exciting blog trip to Ireland next week so Bake of the Week will run until the Tuesday after (2nd December – DECEMBER!! When did that happen?) If you bake more than one thing between now and then, feel free to add as many bakes as you like. All types of bakes (cakes, biscuits, pies, tarts, bread etc) are welcome – I comment on them all and share across twitter, pinterest & google+. Here’s the badge:

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Disclosure: Many Thanks to the following brands who supplied me with products for review purposes : Doves Farm, Duerrs & Happy Egg Company.

gluten free flour

I’m sharing this post with some favourites and some new links too this week … Recipe of the Week, Cook, Blog, Share & Brilliant Blog Posts

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Gousto – Home Recipe Kit Box Review

home recipe box review

A couple of weeks ago we were sent a box from Gousto containing all we needed to make 3 different meals for 2. We didn’t get to choose which meals we had as we were reviewing the box but that added to our surprise of how much we enjoyed our experience. I will admit to being a bit nervous – What if I really didn’t like the choice of meals? What if the instructions on how to prepare the dishes were really difficult?

I needn’t have worried though – in fact, we were thrilled by how successful the whole box was and are even considering making a periodic order for ourselves.

baked chicken tikka

We were incredibly lucky that all 3 meals were exactly what we like to eat – Good, healthy food, plenty of fresh ingredients that are easy to come by in ‘normal’ shops for when we make the dishes again and very tasty choices:

Our 3 meals were:

  • Pork & Mushroom Stroganoff
  • Mediterranean Burger
  • Spicy Chicken Tikka

gousto menus

We were also surprised how often Mr C & myself find ourselves eating separately to the children – Not sure why we were surprised at this, we are running about with swimming most nights of the week. Therefore, it was absolutely no problem that the meals were only for 2 people – in fact, the portions were generous enough that if we had had to, we could have shared a little with one of the girls (But we were glad we didn’t have to!) If you prefer though it is possible to order meals for 4 people.

Mr C said he would do the majority of the cooking to see how someone relatively new to cooking found the menu cards to follow. He was very impressed and had no trouble at all. Absolutely everything came out as should be.

what you get in a recipe box

All the fruit and veg that comes with Gousto is organic. The meat is British meat and high quality. Each week recipients can choose 3 out of the 10 meal choices – All the nutritional information is available on the Gousto website about the meal plus how long it will take to prepare and cook. Some more about the Gousto boxes:

  • Delivery is free.
  • If you are not going to be in, you can tell the delivery driver where to keep the box – i.e. with a neighbour, in the porch – The packaging will keep your food safe until the end of the day.
  • Some meals are specially invented with kids in mind – Hidden vegetable but high in nutrients. Gousto realise how fussy children can be sometimes.
  • You can skip a week or two whenever you are on holiday – in fact, there is no tie in period so you can cancel your subscription at any time.

Prices of the boxes are as follows:

  • Meat box for 2 people – £34.99 per week
  • Meat box for 4 people – £49.99 per week
  • Veggie box for 2 people – £33.99 per week
  • Veggie box for 4 people – £47.99 per week

preparing the food

Dsiclosure: We were sent a complete Gousto box for review. All our findings are genuine and we were extremely pleased with the whole experience.

pork mushroom stroganoff

Family Fever