Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Round up of Foodie Goodies #3 November-December 2014

It has been a bumper two months of receiving and reviewing food products over the last two months which has been wonderful for my tastebuds (but not so good for my waist line).
Earlier in November, I reviewed a selection of Hotel Chocolat products including: Christmas Sleeker, Advent Calendar and Christmas Tweet. I loved luxurious and gourmet chocolates so this delightful selection was a winner for me.


I absolutely adore increasing my collection of cook books so thoroughly enjoyed reviewing three wonderful books over the last two months: Artisian Drinks Bacon, Bombay Lunchbox. Read my review in full here.

As one of the official BBC Good Food Show Bloggers, I was very fortunate to receive a selection of products from some of the exhibitors. These included: Delicious Alchemy, Genius, Farringtons Oil, The Garlic Farm, Sponge Cake ltd,  Baked In and Ardens. Read about my review in full here .


The lovely people at Spiced Kitchen sent me some mulled wine spices, which I've been using throughout this festive season. I love the aroma of these wonderful spices and look forward to using their mulled wine spices next year. 

Judge cookware  have a wonderful selection of sturdy and efficient cook and bake ware. I was incredibly pleased to receive their small roaster and V Shaped tin which was perfect for roasting meats and vegetables. I will be reviewing this product in greater detail in January 2015.


Dhaniya  is a new range of luxurious and gourmet Indian pastes and spices. I was impressed by the flavour combination such a pomegranate paste alongside the more traditional balti and fish paste. I will be sharing a full review of this product in greater detail in January 2015.



I recently discovered OXO (not the gravy) kitchen products and after an exchange of tweets they asked me to review a selection of their products from their Good Grips range. I received a Mini Chopper, Flip and Fold Omlette Turner and a Salad Dressing Shaker. I look forward to sharing my review in full of these products in January. 

Finally,  The Co-Operative Stores have asked me to share ways of using up leftovers fruit and vegetables as part of their love food hate waste challenge. I will be sharing my ideas and a recipe in January.

Well, that it, my last blog post for 2014. I just want to wish every reader of my humble blog a happy and prosperous 2015. I am happy that my blog continues to be read and is also growing in readership. I look forward to some exciting collaborations in 2015 and sharing bigger and better giveaways.
Once again thank you for reading my blog.

Charlene

xxx
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Tuesday, 16 December 2014

BBC Good Food Show Winter 2014 (Part 1)

The nation's favourite food show returned to Birmingham from 27th - 30th November 2014. That show of course is BBC Good Food Show Winter. I have been a big fan of the BBC Good Food Show after first attending in 2011, little did I know back then, is that in a couple of years time I would become an official BBC Good Food Show Blogger. For those who do not know what that means, a selected group of bloggers in the Midlands share via social media the most up to date news and reviews from the show. There is usually a get together prior to the show which I unfortunately missed for the Summer show (as I was in Spain) and missed out on a fabulous opportunity to spend time at Brompton Cookery School held by the lovely Marcus Bean. For the Winter Show, there was no official pre-show get together, instead we were sent an array of samples from some of the food producers of the show. I'm pleased there was a mixture of sweet and savoury samples as my tastebuds can easily filter between the two. I was also  introduced to an array of talented artisan bakers and cooks who produce an array of delicious food. My excitement started prior to the show, shaving received all these fabulous products.

BBC Good Food Show samples.

Let's start with my favourite (although I really shouldn't have favourites) sample.
Delicious Alchemy specialise in gluten free products. I really don't know a lot about gluten free allergies as I do not have any, but what I do know is that I'm quite discerning on whether a product should be on par or expected, as stated on the tin. The Good Food Show Bloggers were sent a selection of Bread Mix, Chocolate Brownies and Cookie Mixture. I promptly made the gluten free Chocolate Brownies, which before I show you the picture, I pre warn you, I  added malteres which I know has gluten, but can be removed for those with the intolerance. I loved this mixture, it was incredibly easy to make (melt butter, add two eggs, mix in the packet, bake and eat) and it was demolished quickly in my house.
Delicious Alchemy

Delicious Alchemy

Baked In specialise in home baking kits, their mottos is making Home Baking Simple. They sell a range of chocolate brownies which can be superbly be made in a mug in 5 minutes. Using this fabulous kit, I was able to make brownies in three easy steps: melt butter, heat in the microwave for 1 minutes and leave to cool for 5 minutes. There are a range of flavours: chocolate orange, expresso and gluten free flavours. Baked in also sells cooke mixers and baking its. This a wonderful product for those who love baking but are incredibly pressed on time or for those who enjoy the fruits of baking but not the best baker. 
Baked In

Baked In

Ardens specialise in luxurious nibbles. I can certainly vouch for that as unfortunately me and my family demolished the lovely goodies before any photographs were taken. Ardens specialise in flaky and butter pastry twists, crunchy bites and slow cooked bread bakes. I loved the selection of products and the flavour combination were superb:cream cheese and spring onion melts, Italian pesto bakes and spinach gruyere twists. Any foodie would be satisfied with these goodies.
Ardens

The Garlic Farm based on the Isle of Wight offer products, as the name states including garlic. This farm has been going for some time and the result is glorious; many different varieties of garlic infused in a range of products. The Pork Scratching was perfectly infused, the garlic paste was delightfully pungent and have used this when making homemade chips. I could instantly tell with the garlic paste that this product is not the standard garlic used in products as there was an enhanced flavour.  I have not yet tried the garlic beer, so I will have to keep you updated via social media sites with how this tastes. 

The Garlic Farm

Sponge Cakes is a brand that I discovered when I attended BBC Good Food Show Winter 2011. I brought several slices of their sponge cakes, so was incredibly pleased that they were giving 2 free mini sponge cakes to the Bloggers. Me and Laura from Full To The Brum were fortunate to be given a third free mini sponge from their new gluten free range. I was impressed that Sponge Cakes have expanded their range to include little morsels of deliciousness. I chose to sample the Coffee and Walnut cake, Bounty cake and Gluten Free Apple Crumble.

Sponge Cake


Sponge Cake.

Sponge Cake
Genius, is a company specialising in gluten free products. They have a range of products: bread, pastry and cakes. I was fortunate to receive the bread and blueberry muffins. I was impressed by the size of the gluten free brownies and the packaging. As an individual who does not have an allergy I can certainly say that this is the perfect muffin for those with allergies, there is a slight nutty texture, which I presume is due to the rice flour that may have been used. They stock their products at online and selected supermarket stores in the London area.
Genius

Farringtons  is the first seed to bottle producer whose range of products are featured in many shops around the UK. Faringtons specialise in their is sell a range of products including: rapeseed oil, dressing, mayonnaise and chilli oil. I received their rapeseed oil which has the lowest saturated fat when compared to other oil products and also has a subtle nutty flavour. I used the rapeseed oil when making my homemade chips, which was delectable. 


Disclaimer: I received all the above products to review, I was not required to write a positive view and as always, all opinions are my own. 

xxx

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