About Corina

Food blogger at Searchingforspice.com

Vegetarian Quinoa Patties

quinoa patties

It’s that time of the month again.   Time for another Secret Recipe Club assignment.   This time I was assigned to cook and blog a recipe from Colleen at Secrets from the Cookie Princess.  Well, with a name like that I really should have chosen to make some cookies but I was feeling in need of something savoury and when I came across these quinoa bites they seemed like the perfect thing for me, my husband and the children to enjoy.

If you do want to make some cookies though, I would seriously advise you to visit Colleen’s blog as she probably has the largest number of cookies in her recipe index that I have ever seen.

If however, you are here because you would like to know how to make some savoury vegetarian patties, then read on.

I had cooked with quinoa a few years ago but it was a long time ago and I felt like it was time to try it again.   I loved the idea of these crispy little bites but I’m a bit heavy handed and so couldn’t really call them bites any more.  They had morphed into patties.  Besides, I wanted them to be part of a main meal, not just an appetiser as they were originally.

I wasn’t feeding a large crowd so I cut back on the quantity by about half and changed it from cups.   I tried baking the first few in the oven but they didn’t crisp up as much as I wanted and so I fried the rest which worked much better for me.   They had crispy bits on the outside but were still soft in the middle.  They don’t have a strong flavour so go really well with a good hot or spicy dip.  If I made them again I might add a finely diced chilli pepper or two to give them a bit more character, but of course, it depends on who you’re making them for.

Ingredients

100g uncooked quinoa

1 egg

1 carrot, grated

3 spring onions, finely sliced

1 clove garlic

Large handful of coriander (cilantro), chopped

50g parmesan, grated

1.5 tbsp plain flour

Black pepper

How to Make Quinoa Bites

1. Cook the quinoa according to the pack instructions and then leave to cool.

2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.   If it’s too dry add another egg or if it’s too wet, add a little more flour.

3. Either put tablespoons of the mixture on an oiled baking tray and bake in the oven at 180C for about 20 minutes or heat a little oil in a frying pan and when it’s hot, put tablespoons of the mixture into the pan.  Fry on each side for about 3-5 minutes depending on how large they are and how hot your pan is.

4. Serve with bread, salad and ideally some spicy sauce or dip.

To see what other Secret Recipe Club bloggers have made, click on the link below:

Lindt Gold Bunny and Story Book

Lindt Gold bunny and story book

Every year around this time of year I enjoy more chocolate than at any other time of year and every year I just cannot resist a few chocolate eggs, chicks and bunnies.   One of my favourite brands is Lindt and as a Degustabox blogger I was delighted to be offered a Lindt Gold Bunny and Gold Bunny Story Book to review.

Just like the reindeer at Christmas, the Gold bunny comes wrapped in gold paper with a red ribbon and bell around its neck.   The bunny is made with the same creamy milk chocolate and is just perfect as an Easter treat for adults or children.   It also makes a lovely change from a traditional Easter egg.

The gold bunny story book reminded me of a chocolate advent calender but without the numbered doors.  There’s a little story about the gold bunny one one side of the page and on the opposite side there is a countryside picture with eleven golden bunnies to find.   Each one is on top of a door which you can open to find the Lindt chocolates –  small gold bunnies, lambs, chicks, hollow eggs and solid mini eggs.

I haven’t actually opened any of the doors yet but I have been enjoying some of the same chocolates at my birthday recently and so I know that Little Miss Spice will be in chocolate heaven when she receives this on Easter Sunday.

Lindt gold bunny story book

Disclosure: I was sent a complimentary Lindt Gold Bunny and Story Book to Review but all opinions are my own.

Easter Simnel Cake

Simnel cake

The best thing about certain cakes is the marzipan.   At Christmas I’m indifferent to the icing but I love the marzipan layer below it.  The more marzipan the better and if there’s some left over to eat by itself that’s even better.

If that’s how you feel too then a simnel cake has to be the perfect cake.  Not only does it have a layer of marzipan on the top, that marzipan layer is topped with eleven large balls of marzipan as well as there being a layer of marzipan in the middle of the cake.  You can’t get better than that.

Simnel cakeIf only my lovely husband agreed with me, then this would not have been my very first simnel cake.

As a simnel cake can look really impressive too with the toasted marzipan balls on the top, I was pleased to have a chance to use my new VonShef ceramic cake stand with its glass dome which I got from Domu.  I’d wanted one of these for a while as I always struggle to put cakes in tins and then take them out to slice them.   This is perfect as I can just leave it out on the sideboard, although it does encourage me to keep taking a slice!

Ingredients

175g margarine or butter, at room temperature

175g soft brown sugar

3 eggs

175g self-raising flour

2 tsp mixed spice

100g sultanas

150g currants

100g raisins

55g chopped mixed peel

2 tbsp apricot jam

500g marzipan

How to Make Simnel Cake

1. Cream together the butter and the sugar.

2. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

3. Fold in the flour and then the dried fruit and mixed peel.

4. Take a third of the marzipan and roll it out into a circle the same size as the cake tin you are using.

5. Put half the mixture into a greased and lined 20cm cake tin.   Put the circle of marzipan on it and then cover with the rest of the cake mixture.

6. Bake the cake at 140C for 90 minutes.  It’s ready when a skewer comes out almost clean.

I am linking this to Love Cake hosted by JibberjabberUK.  The theme is Step into Spring. This is also my Bake of the Week, hosted by Casa Costello.

Love CakeBake of the Week

Disclosure: I received the VonShef Cake Stand for free but the views about it are my own.

Black Cherry Cheesecake Topped with Kirsch Soaked Black Cherries

Black Cherry Cheesecake

There are some desserts that I just cannot resist and cheesecake is one of them. Maybe it’s because it’s something I’ve grown up eating or maybe it’s just because cheesecake is the best dessert ever.

Not only is cheesecake the best dessert ever, this cheesecake is the best blackcherry cheesecake ever.   The secret is all down to some natural flavoured black cherry icing sugar from Sugar and Crumbs.

sugar and crumbs black cherryI tasted a little before mixing it into the cheesecake mixture and it had a lovely intense black cherry flavour – I could have eaten it in spoonfuls out of the pack!  Even when mixed with the cream cheese and cream there was still a very definite black cherry flavour.  It would have been hard to find black cherry flavouring so using flavoured icing sugar was a perfect way to get the taste I wanted.

The finished black cherry cheesecake was delicious, not too rich and perfect as an adult dessert, although you can omit the kirsch soaked black cherries and the extra juice if you want.

This icing sugar would be perfect to make a black cherry flavoured buttercream icing too and so I may use the rest to decorate some little cupcakes.  There’s a recipe on the pack if you’re not used to making buttercream.  The icing sugar is white but if you wanted it to look more like how it tastes, you could easily add a little food colour.  If you have a look on the Sugar and Crumbs website there are so many delicious flavours – pineapple, peach melba and pistachio are just some of the ones I am tempted by at the moment.

Sugar and Crumbs flavoured icing sugar comes in 250g or 500g resealable bags and costs from £2.99.

black cherry cheesecake 3

Ingredients – Serves 10

8 digestive biscuits (120g approx)

75g butter

300g cream cheese

60g black cherry flavoured icing sugar

250ml double cream

Jar of black cherries in Kirsch or something similar (optional)

How to Make Black Cherry Cheesecake

1. Crumble the digestive biscuits between your fingers to make crumbs.  Alternatively blitz them in a food processor or put them in a food bag and bang them with a rolling pin.

2. Melt the butter in the microwave or a small saucepan.   Pour it over the biscuit crumbs and stir till them are all coated in the butter and the mixture is clumping together.

3. Put the crumbs into the bottom of a 20cm springform or loose bottomed cake tin.  Press them down with a spoon.

4. In a food mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and creamy.   Beat in the icing sugar.

5. In another bowl, whisk the cream until it stands in soft peaks.   Fold the cream into the cream cheese mixture then spoon it on top of the cheesecake base.

6. Smooth the top and put it in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours.

7. To serve, remove the cheesecake carefully from the tin and top with some of the cherries.   When you serve, drizzle with some of the liquid from the jar of cherries.

Disclosure: I was sent some sample packs of Sugar and Crumbs Flavoured Icing Sugar but the views here are my own.

Recipe Redux: Pesto Crusted Sea Bass

Grilled Sea bass with a pesto coating

I’ve made lots of different pestos over the years.   Some of them have featured on this blog, some of them haven’t.   Until now they have all had one thing in common – cheese.   This pesto is the first one I’ve made without cheese as I was aiming for a lighter and fresher pesto recipe.

The reason for that is that this is my first month taking part in the Recipe Redux, a food blogging challenge set up by dietitians where the focus is on creating delicious but also healthy dishes.   This month the theme was double dinners and we were challenged to either make a healthy meal from the leftovers of a dish on our blog or to cook a new dish but to show how the leftovers could be used to make another delicious dinner as well.

I chose to make two meals with coriander pesto but adapted the recipe on my blog to make it less oily.  For my first meal of parmesan crusted sea bass I wanted the pesto to have quite a thick consistency so it would coat the fish like a crust, keeping the fish moist but also adding lots of pesto flavour.   This meant not adding too much olive oil to it.

It worked.   The fish was moist and the pesto made it so yummy.   Avoiding adding cheese was definitely the best option for this dish.   It just doesn’t need it – the flavours from the lemon, garlic, chilli pepper and coriander are perfect for the sea bass.  Or any other white fish you choose to use.

For my second dinner we just mixed the pesto with pasta.   As the pesto was quite thick I left quite a bit of the cooking water in with the pasta before stirring in the pesto so that the sauce would be liquid enough to coat all of the pasta and although you can’t see it in the picture further down, I then topped each plate of pasta with a small handful of grated parmesan, making a slightly richer but just as delicious pesto dinner.

Ingredients – Makes enough pesto to make both meals

Large handful of coriander including stalks and leaves (approx 60g)

50g cashew nuts

1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

1 dried green chilli pepper, crumbled

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 sea bass fillets

How to Make Coriander Pesto Crusted Sea Bass

1. Put the cashew nuts into a dry frying pan and toast them until they are turning golden.  Keep tossing the pan so they don’t burn.

2. Put all the pesto ingredients into a food processor and blitz until everything is well combined.

3. Put a tablespoon of the pesto on each sea bass fillet and press it down so it coats the whole of the top of the sea bass.   Grill for 10 minutes.

Coriander pesto on pasta

Click on the link below to see what other Recipe Redux bloggers have made for their double dinners.

Beef and Egg stir Fry

beef and egg stir fry

I have the Sainsbury’s magazine and Ken Hom to thank for this recipe.   I am a recent convert to the magazine after picking up a copy at the end of last year.   I always find about 4-5 recipes I really want to make and this month was no exception.

I often make stir fries but I have to admit that I am a bit stuck in a rut.   I use the same flavours and sauces and apart from different vegetables, the basic flavour tends to be the same.   I was attracted to this particular stir fry as it had egg in as well as meat and the way it was added was some thing I’d never tried before.   Of course, I’ve made stir fried rice with egg, but never put egg in with the meat and vegetables.

I also hadn’t used  black bean sauce at home for a long time, although it is my favourite takeway choice.  The fact that you just use a tiny bit but then the jar says to use up within a certain number of days always puts me off.  We like Chinese food but we are unlikely to eat it every day!

I really liked this but did find it slightly salty so next time I wouldn’t add the soy sauce in step 5 and I would also use a smaller amount of black bean sauce.   I’d probably add a tiny bit in step 3 then just add a little more at the end if it needed it. Of course, the saltiness could be down to the particular brand I was using, but I think it would make sense to do that next time anyway.  Apart from that it was a really good discovery and a nice way of using mince rather than making it into burgers or bolognese.

Ingredients

For the Beef Marinade

200g beef

2 tsp soy sauce

1.5 tsp shaoxing rice wine

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp cornflour

For the eggs

2 eggs

1 tsp sesame oil

Pinch of salt

Other Ingredients

3 cloves garlic, finely diced or crushed

Small knob of fresh ginger, finely diced or grated

1 tbsp black bean sauce

3 spring onions, diced

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine

1 tsp caster sugar

1 large tomato

1 tsp sesame oil

How to Make Beef and Egg Stir fry

1. Put all the marinade ingredients for the beef in a bowl.   Mix together and then add the beef mince and mix it in quickly with your hands.   Leave for 15 minutes.

2. Prepare the eggs by beating the eggs, sesame oil and salt together in a bowl.  Set aside.

3. Add a little oil to a wok or large frying pan.  When it is hot, add the garlic, ginger, black bean sauce and spring onions.

4. Cook for about 30 seconds then add the beef.   Keep stirring and breaking up the beef as it cooks.

5. Cook for a couple of minutes then add the extra soy sauce(optional), shaoxing rice wine and sugar.   Stir in then add about 60ml of water and the tomatoes.

6. When the water has reduced and the beef is cooked, drizzle the egg in and stir slowly.   As soon as the egg is cooked, serve the mince with rice and drizzled with a little more sesame oil.

I am linking this to Bunny Eats Design’s Our Growing Edge, hosted this month by Cynthia from Eat Munch Love and also linking to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum.Tasty Tuesdays

Our Growing edge

February 2015 Degustabox Review

Degustabox February 2015

After the healthiness of January I was pleased to see the products in February’s Degustabox.   They were all things I wanted to try and as I don’t really like tea, I was especially pleased to see there were no tea bags this month!

lily o'briens cocoa cookie crunch

The first item and my absolute favourite this month was the Lily O’Brien’s Cocoa Cookie Crunch.  These are round biscuit shaped chocolates with small pieces of crunchy dark cookie in each one.  I wished I’d been sent a few packs of these and would definitely buy them again. £2.60

American Muffin Co Brownie BitesUnfortunately I was a little disappointed with these gluten and wheat free American Muffin Co Chocolate Brownie Bites.   I love brownies and to me a brownie is a dense rich sticky chocolatey block of deliciousness.   I also love cake but they are two different things.  As these are called brownies I expected them to be like brownies but they are not.   They are just pieces of cake with chocolate chips in but shaped like a brownie.  If only they had just been called cake, then I would have felt a bit more positive about them. £2.50
schwartz shots

These Schwartz flavour shots are a really good idea, especially if you don’t have a big stock of individual spices at home.  I love paella but hadn’t made it for a while so this was the perfect excuse.   The paella was full of flavour and actually quite spicy for paella, which is certainly not something I’d complain about. £1.40 each
Melba thins

These Melba thins are crisp and crunchy and come in little individually wrapped packages with 6 in each – perfect for putting in your bag to snack on when you’re out and about.   I liked them just plain but they are also lovely with peanut butter or smoked salmon and cream cheese.  In fact, anything you like to put on bread, biscuits or in a sandwich would also be great on these. £1.39

Peanut hottie

It’s funny how I often find an item in my Degustabox that I have only just tried.   That was the case with this Peanut Hottie.  I love peanuts and peanut butter so to find a hot drink that tastes just like sweet peanut butter was a real delight.   This is the type of drink you’ll want to enjoy when you’ve been out in the cold battling the elements and you finally get to sit down somewhere warm, ideally in front of roaring log fire.  If only. £3.00

laimon fresh

Lemon and lime is a really lovely flavour combination.   Add in a bit of mint and it’s even better.   I loved this Laimon Fresh, a sparkling soft drink flavoured with lemon, lime and mint.   It definitely tasted fresh, if I’d had my eyes closed and someone gave me a  glass I would have though it had real fresh mint in it. £1.99

JAck Links Beef snack

Dried meat hasn’t really taken off here as a snack although it is very popular in some countries.  I love snacking on chorizo but would still be unlikely to buy any other meat snack but that’s probably more out of habit than anything else.   I was actually really impressed by this Jack Link’s Beef Snack.  The meat is nicely seasoned with a smoky taste.  It was easy to bite through and not overly chewy like some types of snacking beef can be. £1.39
Beet it
I do like fruity flapjacks.  Plain ones can be a little boring but fruity ones always win me around.   When I first saw these Beet It Sport Pro-Elite Bars I wasn’t sure if they would be for me.   After all, I am not the fittest I’ve been and also beetroot does seem like an unusual flavour for what is basically a flapjack.   Well, the beetroot gives it a lovely red colour and a sweet fruity taste.   Beetroot may not be a fruit but you wouldn’t know it if all you’d ever had was these sports bars.   Very tasty. £1.85 each
whole earth

Well, if you didn’t like peanut butter you probably wouldn’t have been impressed by the Peanut Hottie or this Whole Earth 3 Nut Butter containing cashews, peanuts and hazelnuts.   Luckily, I love nut butters and now have another one to add to my collection. This one is slightly crunchy, naturally sweet and absolutely perfect on toast. £3.00

A Degustabox costs £12.99 and contains 9-14 mystery products to try each month. If you would like to try a Degustabox, once again I have  a discount code so you can get £3 off your first box: 01Z62

You can also follow Degustabox on Twitter or Facebook.

Cranberry Oat Streusal Muffins

Cranberry oat streusal muffin

I was determined to make something healthy this month for Secret Recipe Club.   I planned to make this tasty looking salad but when my shopping arrived the romaine lettuce was missing.   Never mind, I thought I would wait until I was out at the shops and buy some lettuce then.   I forgot.   It seemed that I was not meant to make that salad, although it is still on my list.

Instead, I opted to make these delicious sweet oaty cranberry muffins flavoured with cinnamon.   The attraction?   That dark sugary streusal topping.   I love streusal and can never resist a muffin or cake with a streusal top.   Usually it’s not me who’s made it though.   These are the type of muffins I see when I’m in a cafe and just have to have.   They are normally my can’t resist impulse buy.

This time though, I found the muffins on It’s Yummi, a blog by Chef Becca Heflin, who was my Secret Recipe Assignment this month.  I actually saw them before I saw the salad but cranberry streusal muffinsI just kept being drawn back to them. I couldn’t go out and buy them and as Becca lives in Wisconsin and I am here in the UK, there was little chance of her making them for me in person.  I would just have to make some streusal myself!

I only adapted the recipe slightly, partly through being in a hurry to weigh out the ingredients before Master Spice demanded attention again!   I also changed the measurements to metric to make it easier for me to make the muffins.   There was a long list of ingredients but as they are just mixed together that doesn’t translate into a long preparation time.   The finished muffins were really tasty, especially when still warm with a bit of ice cream.

The recipe called for dried cranberries although there were fresh ones in the picture on Becca’s blog and I think the muffins would be even more delicious with fresh cranberries.   They are very sweet so the tartness of the cranberries would be a nice contrast, at least for me as I don’t have a very sweet tooth.   You could also adapt them by using different dried fruit.

As Becca is a chef she has so many delicious looking and sounding recipes on her blog.   There are a mix of sweet and savoury recipes and most recipes are healthy, involving cooking from scratch using easily available unprocessed ingredients.  I promise you, especially if you like cupcakes and have a slow cooker, you will definitely find some inspiration so do take a look.

Cranberry oat streusal muffin

 

Ingredients – Makes 10

90g rolled oats

240g whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

2tsp ground cinnamon

100g dark brown sugar

100g white sugar

2 eggs

60ml vegetable oil

60ml milk

80ml natural yoghurt

120ml applesauce (I used two stewed apples)

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g dried cranberries

Ingredients for the Streusal Topping

60g whole wheat flour

2 tbsp rolled oats

80g dark brown sugar

40g white sugar

60g butter, melted

How to Make Cranberry Oat Streusal Muffins

1. Prepare the streusal topping by melting the butter and then stirring it into the rest of the ingredients with a fork.

2. Put all the dry ingredients except the cranberries in a large bowl and mix together.

3. Put all the wet ingredients in another bowl and whisk together.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.   Add the cranberries and stir in.

5. Spoon the mixture into a muffin tin lined with muffin cases.   Fill the cases almost to the top.  Top each of the muffins with some of the streusal mixture.   I had some leftover.

6. Bake the muffins in the oven at 180C for about 18-20 minutes.   Cool the muffins on a wire rack.

 

I am also linking these to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum.

Tasty Tuesdays

Black and White Animal Cupcakes

Polar bear, sheep and cat cupcakes

I’m so proud of these little cupcakes.  There’s room for improvement certainly.  Next time I would use a slightly larger cutter to cut the piece of fondant that covers the top of the cupcake.  I would also knead the black fondant a little more before modeling the cat too, just to get a  smoother body.  I have to admit to having had the packet of black fondant in my cupboard for slightly too long so it had gone a little hard around the edges, even though it was sealed in the packet.

I actually made 9 cupcakes but only managed to decorate three of them.   Little Miss Spice was decorating the other ones and of course she kept trying to get her hands on the ones I had.  When it came to eating them, as always she chose to eat the ones I’d decorated and I ate the ones she’d ‘decorated’.

The cupcake recipe was the from the Compendium of Cake Decorating Techniques by Carol Deacon.  I used the quantities to make a small pound cake (15cm) but also added some vanilla extract.  The cupcakes turned out to have a delicious quite strong vanilla flavour which I loved.   It’s definitely a recipe I’ll use again for either a plain cake or cupcakes I plan to decorate.   In fact, I’ve already used it again but flavoured with lemon.

For the cat cupcake I took the idea from the Deacon book and just made a sausage shaped piece of fondant and then curled it around.   I pulled some fondant out to make the ears, used a small knife to make the eyes and then made a long worm-like piece as a tail.

I was inspired to make the sheep by this one on Rose Bakes and the polar bear by this one on Polka Dot Bride.  I just cut out pieces of fondant in the shapes I wanted and layered them up.

Ingredients

120g butter, at room temperature

120g caster sugar

175g self-raising flour

2 eggs

1 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

To decorate

Apricot jam

Black fondant icing

White fondant icing

How to Make Black and White Animal Cupcakes

1. Cream the butter and sugar together and beat until light and creamy.   Beat in the eggs, milk and vanilla and then fold in the flour.   Alternatively beat all the ingredient together using a food mixer.

2. Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases and bake in the oven at 150C for 20 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if they are done.  Cool on a wire rack.

3. Heat the jam in a microwave and brush a thin layer on top of each cupcake to help the fondant to stick.

4. Cut out circles of fondant to put on each cupcake.

5. To make the cat, see my description above.

6. To make the polar bear, cut out a large circle and two curved triangles from the white fondant.  From the black fondant cut out a small black circle for the nose and two roll two tiny pieces between your fingers to make the eyes.  Use a little water to stick the fondant onto the cupcakes and then draw the mouth by pressing in with a knife and using a drinking straw to indent the curved bit.

7. To make the sheep, just cut out pieces of fondant in the right shapes and stick them on using water as above.  Use something thin and sharp to make the nostril holes.  If you are making a lot of sheep cupcakes you can make templates out of card for the sheep’s face and ears to make it easier to get all of the pieces the same size.  Just make sure the card is clean and cut around it.

I am linking these to Tasty Tuesdays at Honest Mum and to Family Foodies with the theme Let’s Get Baking, hosted by Eat your Veg and Bangers and Mash. As they contain eggs I am also linking them to Belleau Kitchen’s new challenge, Simply Eggcellent.

Tasty Tuesdays

Family Foodiessimplyeggcellent_logo1

What’s New In My Kitchen: February 2015

This is a new series I’m starting to showcase new food, kitchen equipment and services I’ve been trying each month.  I love reading these post on other blogs and getting tempted by all the delicious foodies ideas I come across so now seemed a good time to start my own series, although I was supposed to have published this a few days ago!   Some of the products are ones I’ve been sent to try and others are just ones I have decided to try for myself as I’m always on the lookout for new ideas and love buying food in markets and small stores when I’m out and about.

Lushice Cocktail Sorbets

I sometimes make my own ice cream and sorbets but so far have always stuck to fruity or chocolaty flavouLushicers.   I’ve never tried adding alcohol to any of my own ice creations but I’m definitely inspired to give it a go after trying two sorbets from Lushice.   Lushice aims to capture the flavour of your favourite cocktails but in a sorbet.   I was sent Pina Colada and Strawberry Daiqari to try.   I don’t often drink cocktails but I do love pina coladas and the pina colada one was absolutely yummy, as well as being only 105 calories for 100ml.   It was very fruity with just a hint of rum to make it that little bit special.  I’ve only drunk a couple of strawberry daiquiries but I loved the fruitiness of the strawberry one too. Unfortunately my lovely husband loved it so much that there was virtually none left when I tried to have some.  These cost £4.99 for 500ml and you can find stockists on the Lushice website.

Hello Fresh Meal Kits

Hello freshOne of the things I love about being a food blogger is trying out new recipes and sometimes I like to be challenged to make something I otherwise wouldn’t have made.   Last  year I tried Gousto and although the meals were delicious and I picked up some new ideas about doing things from following the recipes exactly, which is something I rarely do, having a company deliver meal kits every week takes away the joy of finding new recipes to try and creating new recipes for myself.  Even so, after seeing all the advertising recently, I was curious to try Hello Fresh as a comparison and so signed up for just one week.   In terms of quality of ingredients there was little difference and nothing to complain about.  I enjoyed the three meals we had but there were none that I really wanted to make again.    I felt they were just lacking a little flavour.  For each meal I would have liked the flavour to be just a bit stronger and punchier, not a complaint I would have made for Gousto.  It may be unfair to make that comparison after just three meals from each company, especially when all the meals were good, but that was our initial impression.   A Hello Fresh box containing three meals for 2 people costs £39 and you can often find big discounts for your first box if you search online or if you just want to try one box.

Unearthed Spanish Snacking Chorizo

One of my favourite recently discovered Brands is Unearthed and my absolute favourite product is their chorizo meatballs.   We are all big fans of chorizo in this house.   I buy it ready sliced, as cooking sausages and when it’s in other products so I was keen to try the Unearthed Spanish Snacking Chorizo when I saw it recently in Waitrose.  It comes in a smallUnearthed Snacking Chorizo bag containing a few mini chorizo sausages.  If you are looking for an alternative to sweet snacks and like cured meat then this is a good choice.  As well as snacking it would also be great served as part of a selection of antipasti. £1.69