30 April 2017

Anya - The Tea. Ceremonial Akashi Matcha (@NLi10)

A good while back I got the lovely present of some top quality Matcha - and now I've finished my old tin I've moved on to this.  I've become quite fond of the odd green powder, and while it's not an everyday treat it does give you that lovely slow burn of caffeine for 4 hours or so.  Plus it tastes amazing too.

As you can see it's kind of settled during transit - what the photo fails to capture is the green mist that rises as you open it - you can see some has settled on the counter - curse the ring pull opening system!

For a quick blast I do love adding a scoop to a shot of almond milk and blending it.  Unfortunately the little cocktail spinner is at work so I've had to mix by hand.

It's lumpier than I'd like it but it still has that amazing blend of the sweet almond milk and the harsh deep matcha tea.  Hopefully this summer I'll get to mess about with it a bit more and make green tea ice-cream and other kinds of smoothies.  Maybe I need to acquire some cheaper less refined tea for that, and save this for sipping ceremonially.

29 April 2017

The Bee17 Beer (Sainsburys) By @spectreUK

When I first picked up this can I thought it would have been brewed with honey. Produced in Falkenberg, in Sweden, by the Backyard Brewery this Bee 17 'Hop-struck' Pilsener says nothing amongst the wealth of information on the can about honey. There are B17 Flying Fortresses on the front of the can coloured like bees! Asides my confusion, this 4.7% Pilsener, was dry hopped with Saaz and Willamette, and brewed with Pilsener and Caramel malts. On opening the 330ml can there was a floral smell from the mixture of hops and a light sweetness from the malts. Despite being straight from the fridge this striking golden beer, had a sort of instant warmth from the depth of flavours. The malt Pilsener followed by sweet caramel hit my tastebuds first and then the floral bitterness from the hops. This is a beer that's full of flavour and I'm sure a little mischief. If this craft beer was made in someone's backyard, then it's certainly a backyard I'd like to hang around in!

28 April 2017

Maryland Creations - Soft Centres Biscuits (Morrisons) By @Cinabar

These biscuits reminded me of some Maryland biscuits we wrote about a couple of years ago, Soft Bakes. If I’m totally honest I had to Google to make sure we hadn’t reviewed these already, but these biscuits are new to me, and are different to the similarly packaged Soft Bakes. With years of blogging and a poor memory I’m surprised I don’t need to Google like that more often!
In fact these new Maryland Creations Soft Centres are not soft, the biscuit is firm and crunchy, but the soft part is in the filling in the middle.

Once the wrapper was off I did think the number of biscuits compared to the size of the outer packaging was a bit ungenerous. I mean they were well spaced out with the black plastic tray, and not as big as I’d hoped.
I broke one of the Maryland Creations Soft Centres Biscuits in half, they are quite tough cookies so this wasn’t that easy, but I wanted to have a look at the centre. I was surprised by how gooey the filling was, it wasn’t quite runny, but it did ooze a little.

The biscuit flavour was really nice, they had a good baked taste and plenty of chocolate chips which are perfect for my sweet tooth. I have always loved a mix of textures in a product, so this was a success too for me. The edges of the biscuits were quite firm and crunchy, but the best bite is the one in the middle where with the chocolate centre is, the texture here is nicely mixed. The harder shell on either side of the gooey chocolate works very well, and you properly experience the soft centre. Plus your mouth gets a shot of chocolate filling, that makes the whole bite totally divine.

27 April 2017

Orecchiette Alle Verdure - colourful Italian Pasta (by @NLi10)

There was a time, in my teens when Pasta was the main thing I ate. Pasta for every meal that wasn't breakfast cereal. I still maintain that it's better than bread, but I do now appreciate that it basically has no nutritional value (the same as bread). That said I do crave the stuff occasionally and love it when I get a crazy new style to try.

Here we have from Italy a bag of misshapen shells in all kinds of colours. It's also slightly thicker than regular pasta so offers a few more fiendish textures.

It looks amazing in the bag

And in the pan! 

Using sauce here highlights the issue with Quattro coloured pasta as it masks its magnificence.

I think I slightly over cooked it too, but it was a first go. 

As expected the flavours don't vary too much between pieces but it does look great and has a much more interesting taste sensation than a bag of value pasta twirls.totally present grade and I look forward to stretching this over as many meals as possible by keeping the portion size small and adding lots of other Italian style things. So much fun!

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