6 December 2019

Pieminister: The Cracker (Waitrose) By @Cinabar


This Pieminister The Cracker pie represents Christmas dinner in pie. The contents include turkey, ham, cranberry, parsnips and even sherry all packed into Pieminister pastry. As wonderful as all this sounds the thing that really caught my eye was the packaging. It isn’t that exciting in terms of the Christmas design, yes there are nice pink Christmas trees in a repeat pattern, but it was the simple window looking down at the pie, it looks like plastic but it isn’t plastic which seems quite impressive. It is actually made from wood pulp and is compostable, which is much better for the environment.
We had the The Cracker pie for dinner and was impressed by it. The pastry was a little crispy on the top, but the right texture around the sides. It was soft enough to pick up the sauce, which went really well with it. The pieces of turkey are generous and moist, and the cranberries added a nice tangy sweetness to the base flavour. I did pick up on a bit of parsnip and warmth from the sherry, but the turkey and the ham were the main flavours and it was a lovely meaty pie.
I have had Pieminister’s pies before and would gladly have this one again. I like the innovation with the packaging, but do have the thought that perhaps the window just isn’t needed at all in the box, that way the whole thing would go into recycling without having to worry about the compostable element.

5 December 2019

Whole Earth Organic No Caf Coffee Alternative (@NLi10)

I drink coffee but it's maybe once a month.  Near the end of last winter I added this to a Holland & Barrett order to round up the postage, or to get one of their crazy offers.  The weather was just getting warmer so I left it in the cupboard.  Now I need warm drinks again, and I can't possibly drink any more caffeine without pinging off the walls.

This is basically somewhere between Coffee and Horliks - being a deep malty drink.


It looks fairly Eco - and it's been around a while


It's pretty easy to make and they don't add sugar so you get to choose.


And it's reasonably healthy with no added vegans.


They correctly assessed that the best part of coffee is cracking the seal on a new jar


And it looks the same


well maybe a bit bubblier, and the smell is not that of normal coffee


But it makes a nice cup for the afternoon - or for in the middle of the night when you can't sleep.

Well recommended - I should have opened it sooner!

4 December 2019

Pot Noodle Thai Green Curry (Send Me A Sample - Alexa) By @SpectreUK


Alexa sent me this Pot Noodle Thai Green Curry from her Send Me A Sample Application (or 'App' as the cool kids call it). I may have mentioned before that I get on very well with Alexa. She resides in our kitchen. I do like her voice, as I don't find it particularly robotic and she plays me classical music whilst I eat my lunch every day. Cinabar doesn't seem to like her so much, mainly because with that voice I reckon Alexa would be a 'Looker' in real life! ;-D

Anyway, I do like a good Thai Green Curry. I generally have them once or twice a month with some rice and prawn crackers. I'll have this calorie heavy Pot Noodle Thai Green Curry with some fried mushrooms, two boiled eggs and a piece of buttered toast. I'm not at the gym today so I'll have to miss off the crisps to compensate for the massive 447 calories in the Pot Noodle.

On opening the pot there was some seasoning on top of the block of noodles and a sachet of soy and ginger sauce. I added the freshly boiled water and left it to stand for a while. There was quite a strong smell of lime leaves on mixing the noodles and sauce together. There was a few pieces of diced red chilli pepper amongst the noodles. On taste the lime leaves were the dominant flavour, even after adding in the soy and ginger sauce. Unfortunately this Pot Noodle Thai Green Curry didn't taste like the Thai Green Curries I have with rice and crackers on the evenings. The lime leaves give it a slight washing up liquid flavour. It wasn't too bad and the diced red chilli pepper pieces gave it a bit of a kick, but I wouldn't have it again… especially for the high calorie content and the fact that there are far more appealing flavours of noodle pots out there!

Information on the Pot;
The 90g pot contains 447 calories, with 19g of fat, 4.5g of sugar, and 1.9g salt - nope I'm not sure at any stretch someone could say this pot noodle is particularly good for you! Please see photograph for the ingredients.


Noodle Mix (96%): Dried Noodles (67%) [Wheat Flour (contains Calcium Carbonate, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin), Palm Oil, Salt, Firming Agents (Sodium Carbonate, Potassium Carbonate)], Wheat Flour, Maltodextrin, Potato Starch, Flavour Enhancers (Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate), Coconut Milk Powder (2%), Flavourings, Sugar, Palm Fat, Onion Powder (0.9%), Red Bell Pepper (0.5%), Spices (Turmeric, Galangal Root, Chilli Pepper, Garlic Powder) (0.5%), Herbs (Kaffir Lime Leaves, Coriander Leaves), Milk Protein, Salt, Acid (Citric Acid), Sauce Sachet (4%): Soy and Ginger Sauce [Water, Sugar, Spirit Vinegar, Modified Corn Starch, Salt, Maltodextrin, Spices, Garlic Powder, Soy Sauce (Soybeans, Wheat), Acid (Acetic Acid), Colour (Anthocyanins)]

3 December 2019

Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate (Whittard) By @Cinabar


I didn’t buy a lot on Black Friday, just a few bus of things I knew I needed and I checked to see if they had been reduced. We drink quite a lot of hot chocolate and as one of our favourite brands is Whittard, which is quite expensive, I had a look at their website. The hot chocolates were reduced so I bought a few tubs to stock up. Mostly we got old favourites but I’ve been wanting to try this Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate edition for ages. Impressively my Whittard parcel was delivered over the weekend, so I didn’t have to wait long to try it out.
The tub of Whittard Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate is very smartly designed, pretty enough to give as a gift of add to a DIY hamper. This one was for me though.
As we have mugs that are larger than just the 200ml of recommenced milk I added one more teaspoon of powder to compensate. The drink wasn’t completely what I expected. The flavour isn’t overly sweet, the chocolate taste is good though, strong and rich. The peanut butter part is nutty but I felt it had a slightly smokey flavour that I hadn’t been expecting. There was just something else with the flavour, an earthy smoky taste. Also with most Whittards hot chocolates (excluding the white chocolate drinks), the added flavour isn’t that strong. Chocolate is the usual star of the show but for this drink it was this smokey peanut flavour. It was nice but perhaps I’d built it up too much in my head, I love nuts and chocolate. I’m just glad I bought another tub of their Sticky Toffee Pudding hoy chocolate too. That has a white chocolate base and is unashamedly sweet and indulgent.