It’s been a while since I had time to do a round up of all things food – My mind is already racing ahead to plans for 2016 including a kitchen makeover and some badly needed new kitchen appliances (You have never heard a washing machine as loud as ours & our kettle looks like it lives in a war zone).
Before I get ahead of myself though, let me share with you what we have been testing and trying out during the past couple of months plus let me show off THE Christmas Cake which is still luxuriating in our kitchen.
Little Tara is showing no signs of becoming bored with Minions so an alternative Minion Christmas cake was on the cards this year. As usual, time ran away with me and I started icing it at 9PM Christmas Eve (I’d just finished decorating my Mum’s as part of her Christmas present). I had to go fairly basic but actually by that point, I just wanted to sit and drink champagne with Mr C. (I’d show you a bottle but it disappeared too quickly – It was pink and from France in the summer). The Minion was made from a Creme Egg and was 100% edible.
My Mum’s was a tad more traditional but just up her street – She described it as ‘elegant’!
We’ve also been working with some brands throughout December to try out their products …
These Organic Lightly Dried Herbs have come in so handy over Christmas. I prefer to use fresh herbs in my cooking whenever possible but not knowing when we would be home, made planning difficult. A comforting Seafood Pie on Christmas Eve was in desperate need of some Parsley. I would describe these herbs as in-between dried and fresh herbs. They have around a 3 month shelf life when kept in the fridge before opening and then need to be used within 4 weeks of opening once the seal is broken. Rough measures are about double these herbs to what you would use in dried form.
I was intrigued to work with Serious Pig and trial their Snacking Salami. My girls are fans of Salami snacks but I’ve always found them too artificial. Serious Pig are Charcuterie Specialist and are trying to encourage other brands to open up about the ingredients in their snack products. I actually really enjoyed the Classic Snacking Salami so much more than I normally enjoy Salami sticks. So much meatier and tastier.
These Stand n Stuff Soft Tacos were a welcome novelty for our chilli night. They held up surprisingly well but were just as messy to eat as traditional wraps and tacos. Also a packet of 8 is nowhere near enough for a family of 5.
We’ve tried a sample of Ecover Washing Up Liquid before so were delighted to receive some more full size products. Seriously, this is good stuff – you only need a tiny amount to get through a huge pile of greasy washing up. Eco Friendly & Allergy Approved with a nice smell – Washing up is almost a joy *almost*.
We’ve been sent a HUGE selection of products from Coconut Merchant – I’ve got a post coming soon using some of the products but for now just wanted to introduce them. I have never used Coconut Sugar or Coconut Flour before so am looking forward to getting stuck in. The Coconut Chips make a great snack for on the way to and from training (Now that the Quality Street are starting to disappear!)
I’ve talked several times before about my addiction to crisps – We received a selection box stuffed full of Corkers Crisps. A British company who grow their own potatoes and have the factory all at the same site in Cambridgeshire. The flavours are sharp and distictive – when they say Sweet Thai Chilli there is no mistaking it. We fought over who was going to get the Duck & Hoisin Sauce flavour and they definitely didn’t disappoint. We’ll certainly be looking out for them again – Now available in Waitrose and National Trust establishments.
Lastly, let me show you the most luxurious box delivered … full of popcorn. Butternuts are introducing new exotic flavours to their range and we were invited to try Salted Caramel (Gorgeous!), Pulled Pork (Don’t knock it, its really tasty) and Zesty Lime (Not quite my cup of tea but it may grow on me).
So that’s it for now – no doubt I’ll be back soon to tell you about some of my wonderful food related Christmas presents – Lets just say for now that my sisters know my love of gin well! I’m joining in this month with Orgasmic Chef who is kindly hosting the In My Kitchen linky.