Wednesday, 26 November 2014

John West Peppered Mackerel Fillets [By @SpectreUK]

These mackerel fillets from John West were seasoned with cracked black pepper, which sounded perfect for a healthy peppery lunchtime fishy treat. It stated on the tin that these Peppered Mackerel Fillets can be eaten hot or cold, so I went for the traditional eat it fresh out of the tin method. I'd shook the tin before opening and took note of a slight slosh. You never know how dangerous one of these peel-back tin lids can be, so I opened the tin over the kitchen sink perhaps being a little too over cautious. I was rewarded with a very fishy mackerel smell on opening and none of it on my clothes. That's the goal of all food intake of course; in my mouth not on my clothes (so often not the case if I sit on the sofa watching TV with a tray of "messy" food)! Once I'd sat down to eat the initial uber fishy mackerel smell had calmed down a little, but I still figured I wouldn't be gaining any kisses that afternoon. I could see crushed black peppercorns on the top of the fish fillets. Black pepper was present in the succulent mackerel taste, which left a warm tingle on my tongue and tickled the back of my mouth. This was certainly not a dry fish fillet experience, as the sloshiness in the tin was a little brine in the bottom, which gave these Peppered Mackerel Fillets a lip-smacking saltiness. I found these Peppered Mackerel Fillets a perfect healthy afternoon snack whether with lunch or inbetween meals. I preferred them on their own in the can, as I often do with this type of fishy treat, but I can see there would be a lot of potential for salads and hot meals also. Just don't forget to brush your teeth afterwards if you want that kiss!

Information on the tin;
John West was established in Liverpool in 1857. 110g peel-back tin at 249 calories, with 17.6g of fat and traces of sugar. Ingredients included; mackerel fillets (98%), crushed black peppercorns, and salt. Although care is taken in preparation some bones may remain.
By Spectre

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Dominos Mac N Cheese Bites and Dougnuts (@Dominos_UK) [By @Cinabar]

We decided to have a take away from Dominos and so I found myself browsing to see what new flavour pizzas they had, disappointedly I couldn’t see anything. I also spotted that the Fiesta and Rio pizza (the previous latest edition) had disappeared. This was an odd situation for me, choosing a pizza from the regular menu. I always go for the latest or special, thats kind of how my brain works and sort of why this blog was set up. Oh well, after a browse I decided on a Meateor, it looked like the perfect meat feast and circle of meat balls looked kinda cool.

When it came to side orders my Foodstuff Finds cravings were a little bit more satisfied, they have the newly listed Mac N Cheese Bites, essentially cheese macaroni in breadcrumbs with a dip! That is both suitably weird and new for me. There was also newness on the desserts menu, but I’ll come to that shortly.

There are four Mac N Cheese Bites bites in the box, served with a salsa dip. The bites are a fairly decent size and do take multiple bites to eat. I do love cheese macaroni, so I did like the flavour, and it came through well. I was a bit disappointed to find that the macaroni wasn’t really present visually when I cut one in half, I was hoping to see defined pasta shapes. The dip was good, and a nice contrast with its spicy tomato flavour, but I found I liked them without, so I could pick up on the cheesy goodness better. They were enjoyable, but I’m not sure they surpassed the garlic dough balls as a side order.

My other new find on the Sides menu were doughnuts! There were four in the box, and they were just heaven. Fluffy, coated in sugar and warm (even after all that pizza). They were just like the ones you get at the fair ground, little rings of sugary naughty yumminess.

Oh yes - and the Meateor pizza was fab, must have that again (unless there is something new of course). ;-)
By Cinabar

Monday, 24 November 2014

Walls Gingerbread Sandwich Ice Creams (Ocado) [By @Cinabar]

Who said ice cream couldn’t be Christmassy or seasonal. Ok it might not be the first choice when it comes to dessert when the weather is cold, but I couldn’t resist taking a look at Wall’s latest ice cream offering. Did I mention there was a cute gingerbread man on the box too, it reminds me of some nail wraps I’ve bought… but that is a different story.
The ice cream is seasonal in that it contains gingerbread, although not in the form of a christmas gingerbread house or even a gingerbread man. This is vanilla ice cream sandwiched together by two rectangular pieces of gingerbread biscuit. Once out the of the box I was quite impressed by the size of the portion of the gingerbread sandwiches, they looked bigger than expected, a rare feat these days. Images on boxes usually make you think the time inside is going to be bigger and better than it is, usually guaranteeing a certain amount of disappointment once the wrapper is off.
The gingerbread bread shell was soft, but a nice thick texture and coating. It was not soggy it just didn’t have a crunch. The flavour totally had me hooked. There was plenty of ginger, but lots of cinnamon too - beautifully spicy warming flavours all enveloping some seriously soothing sweet creamy vanilla ice cream. It reminded me of the flavours from that biscuit spread, Lotus Biscoff, and was very similar to the spice combination within that.
I have to admit I just wasn’t expecting these to be this good, but I loved every bite. I know I say that as a self confessed cinnamon addict, so these warming spices work well for me, but seriously these are something special.I’m ordering more boxes, four in a pack just isn’t enough.
By Cinabar

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Frey Bentos Pies - Just Chicken [Review by @NLi10]

Sometimes you just run out of food. That is to say that sometimes my household runs out of compatible food.  My partner had two fresh pies with short dates and I had no pies.  Not being a fan of the veggie delights on offer (cheese!) I resorted to visiting the local shop to see what was on offer.

I picked up the below Frey Bentos Pie (alongside one cheaper, tiny pie to be frozen for emergencies) which is a pie in a giant steel tin.

I've never had these pies before because I'm not on a long distance sea voyage to discover the New World.  I have no need for my food to be able to survive 100 days at sea, or a direct nuclear strike. To me the steel container is overkill. It took several attempts to remove but I managed to do it without hurting myself.

See that - that looks like rations! Although my first instinct was to move on to the other smaller pie and just have more chips, in the spirit of FoodStuffFinds I persevered anyway and decided to judge once it was all cooked.

That doesn't look too bad really.  It has a definite curved top when it comes out of the oven and has risen enough to increase my confidence.  I decide it's meant to be eaten out of the tin.

In this picture it's pretty much all gravy.  This was very disappointing - where was all the meat!! Turns out that it was all on the other side of the pie, the contents had settled so much that it was one half solid meat and one half gravy.  There was not a pastry bottom either so it may be a bit messy to share this.  I still contend that a proper pie needs to be surrounded by pastry but for me the pastry tends to be the best bit.

The flavour wasn't too bad, the meat chunks were small and not that identifiable as chicken, but nowhere near the orphanage grade filling I was expecting upon opening.  The pastry was good and flaky and complemented the rich gravy well.  It was a decent meal due to its size more than it's content and I'd choose a Pieminister over this in a heartbeat, but at half the price and with a shelf-life longer than most stars I can see why they are popular.

I'm not sure if I'll try other flavours, Just Chicken was the only one in stock that I fancied.  A worrying amount of pies contain organs (Liver/Kidney) or mushrooms which puts me off.  I am so picky that I only go for the All Steak Pukka pie from their range though, so your options may be wider.

All in all a fairly middling experience. Big enough for 2 and reasonably priced, but there are so many full pastry pies on offer that I'd choose first.