31 July 2013

Nina’s Savse Broccoli, Pear, Spinach, Kale, Kiwi, Lemon and Banana “Super Green” Smoothie [By @SpectreUK]

Produced in the Netherlands this Nina’s Savse rather oddly flavoured smoothie had encouraging messages on the label of the bottle such as “two of your five a day”, “Cleansing”, and “Crammed full of goodness”. The ingredients in the 250ml bottle were a blend of crushed vegetables and fruit juices, all unpasteurised to preserve their vitamins, and having no added sugar. Refreshingly the ingredients were measured out to show that there was no added bits and bobs, and these were 150ml pear juice, 80ml broccoli, 5ml kiwi, 5ml lemon, 5ml banana (bluurgh!), 4ml kale, and 1ml spinach. From reading the ingredients I immediately became concerned at the mention of banana. In my taste preferences even 5ml of banana could easily ruin the taste of any smoothie. Per 100ml of this smoothie there were 33 calories, with 5.9g of sugar, and 0g of fat. I gave it a shake; the drink really looked like a lean green mean cleansing machine. On opening the bottle I could smell banana amongst the other ingredients like pear, broccoli and kiwi. The consistency of this green smoothie was a little bit like trying to drink a cold soup, which Cinabar reminded me, was called gazpacho. The smoothie had a certain earthiness and bitty texture. Apart from a hint of banana all the flavours mixed well. There was sweetness from the pear, but at the back of the mouth I could still taste the banana. I could taste the pear, the kiwi, and kale with an earthiness from the broccoli and a touch of lemon. Asides the hints of banana this smoothie actually tasted really nice. I was surprised as putting broccoli in any meal or drink generally frightens the hardiest of vegetable loving folk. Now if Nina had added sprouts that would have been a different story altogether... you wouldn’t have seen me for dust!
By Spectre

30 July 2013

Freddo Faces (Boots @CadburyUK) [By @cinabar]

I’m pleased to say that there is another new product from Cadbury’s on the shelf, I saw these new Freddo Faces by the counter in Boots. I have to admit to not being as closely aligned with the Freddo range as I am with some of Cadburys other products. Despite being invented in the 1930s, and first sold in the UK in 1973 Freddo bars weren’t sold here between 1979 and 1995 and so skipped my childhood. I am fascinated when I see their popularity and interesting flavours in import shops, but I did miss that childhood association with them. For other adult purchasers I’m sure they have a twinge of nostalgia that I’m missing.
These Freddo Faces are Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate in the form of chocolate frog faces. Yes it is just Dairy Milk chocolate, but the frogs are rather cute and well made. No one can argue with the tasty nature of the chocolate, it’s sweet, creamy and easy to eat. There will always be a pleasure from the pureness of Dairy Milk, but it is lacking the innovation that some of the Cadburys bars have had this year. I guess it can’t all be new and exciting flavour creations, and to be fair Cadbury have had some fabulous goodies out over the last few months.
For me these are the perfect lunch box size snack. They are tasty, but with a twist of novelty. It’s the sort of thing I would buy again, and perhaps may even get me hooked on Freddos after all. Now if they start releasing Freddos in some of the flavours you can get abroad i.e. Pineapple, Freddo with 100s and 1000s and even a popping candy edition, I think you will absolutely have me sold!
By Cinabar

29 July 2013

Fox's Cafe Snaps – Caramel (Tesco @Foxs_Biscuits) [By @cinabar]

I found these biscuits in the mega Tesco which we visit occasionally as it is in the next town. When I first saw them I didn't realise at first that they were made by Fox's. The packaging is quite different; gone are the bright colours and instead there is posh silver packaging, aimed at a very different market.
The biscuits are designed to go with coffee, and seem to be targeting a sophisticated afternoon cuppa. The minute you open the wrapper the intense aroma of caramel is released. It’s a strong smell and wonderfully indulgent. The biscuits are quite thin and designed to look like coffee beans. I was impressed as there are quite a few in the pack. Some of the posh biscuit ranges can be a bit stingy with contents opting to fill the pack with plastic packaging instead, but that wasn’t the case with these. I decided to power up the Tassimo and make myself a Latte Macchiato to do this properly. :-)
The biscuits have a lovely firm snap and I couldn’t resist breaking one on the coffee bean pattern seem line. The flavour was lovely and rich. Think intense caramel and demerara sugar. There is a lovely background taste of freshly baked biscuit flavour, but it’s all about the strong caramel with these biscuits.
As I sipped my Latte I discovered that the slightly bitter coffee flavour complemented the sweetness from the biscuits and it was like a match made in heaven. It was the perfect afternoon pick me up.
I absolutely loved these new biscuits, and can’t wait to see what else Fox’s release in their new Cafe Snaps range.
By Cinabar

28 July 2013

Preikestolen Hike - GO Isotonic Energy Gel [by @NLi10]

Previously on FoodStuffFinds I ate an unexciting but filling protein flapjack in preparation for something - but what!

It was this hike up to the Pulpit Rock (or Preikestolen) in Norway.  This is a very simplified map of the route - just walk up.  

As you can see the walk is 4km in each direction from the car park and very steep in places so we wisely took lots of water and cereal bars and I took a few of these little energy gel packs.

I got one with caffeine and one without, and naturally had the caffeinated one first to get me to the top.  I supplemented this with water out of my lovely Eden Project refillable water canister that usually sits on my work desk but would get to go on a proper hike for once.

This was a 'berry' flavour one and while it did taste vaguely fruity it certainly got me going and I was happily bounding up the gravel trail up to the first check point.  I finished it off here and we carried on some more.  The going gradually got more rocky and less like a steep walk in the woods and I began to flag a little.  As it said you could have these in multiples to help combat fatigue I moved on to the second one. 

This 'orange' one had a more citric taste to it and none of the caffeine which was probably just as well.  It helped with the walk and we battled on through the light rain that had descended.  This brought with it a slippy path and lots of cloud cover that we walked upwards and into.

Some of this involved natural stone steps like the above, some of these had waterfalls going down them (which got deeper due to the rain) and resulted in damp feet.  There were swamps, ravines and lakes to be traversed but eventually we made it to the top to see the amazing views!

Unfortunately the cloud beat us there! Luckily I'd brought nature's energy gel - the banana - so we took a few slightly sarcastic pictures and stood near the edge (which looked like you could just step off onto the clouds) and sat down for a picnic.

Due to the high winds (and spending a good while up there) the clouds started to rise and thin.

Until we could actually see the water below! Here is a short video peering over the edge and a picture from the vantage point overlooking the vantage point!

Unfortunately at this point we spotted that next to that green patch at the very, very bottom left of the picture there was a little white line.  Use of the binoculars confirmed that this was indeed Ms. NLi10's water bottle so I went on a 15 min detour back down to get it (and got a few more pictures of me on the rock from a distance) and then back up again.  It was at this point that I really had to use nature's toilet facilities to get rid of all the caffeine from the first GO Iso Gel - an unfortunate side effect, but not one that would cause too much of a problem in a normal situation.

Pictures taken and gel metabolised we then began the climb down, taking a longer alternate route over the top of the ridge for the bonus views.  This resulted in even damper shoes and a careful and considered decent on the now drying ground.

On the ferry back to the camp area we shared another protein bar - having totally earned it.  This one was more of a meal-in-a-bar kind and again was high in protein with only a hint of chocolate on the outside.  I don't remember much about this other than it was very, very welcome (as was taking off the saturated, boggy shoes...).

Here is the Wikipedia page for the Preikestolen itself, if you want to see what it looks like with no clouds! I don't think we did too badly, it would have been tough going in hot sun and the rain was certainly cooling.  I do intend in getting a storm proof coat though!

27 July 2013

Ambassador’s Continental Orange & Lemon Jelly Segments (@TebayServices) [By @SpectreUK]

After my last experience with Amabassador’s of London jelly sweets I knew I’d be in for a serious treat when I picked up this 250g bag of Continental Orange & Lemon Jelly Segments from our favourite service station in Cumbria. A few weeks later on a sunny day I took them out of my satchel and claimed to all of my colleagues that they were about to try the Rolls Royce of jelly sweets! The ingredients included; sugar, pork gelatine, glucose syrup, water, citric acid, malic acid, flavourings, and colours E160a and E160c. I opened the bag and in an unprecedented moment of unselfishness I shared some out amongst my colleagues and watched the appreciation for quality and shear jelly goodness develop on every taster’s face. Both flavours were covered with sugar and were sumptuous, rich and flavoursome. The orange flavour had a sugary sweet chewy juicy orange flavour. The lemon flavour had an initial sour kick that played with the sweet sugar topping like a kitten with a sparkly ball of wool. Instead of serving Ferrero Rocher at the Ambassador’s party, they should serve these jellies and change the famous quote to; “Ambassador, with these Continental Orange & Lemon Jelly Segments you are really spoiling us!”

26 July 2013

The Bittersweet Chocolate Co – Black Olive (North's Delicatessen, Ashby de la Zouch) [By @cinabar]

Here at Foodstuff Finds we do like our olives. We regularly have stuffed olives with lunches at weekends, and enjoy them filled with pimento or even almonds. I have to admit I’ve never seen a chocolate bar stuffed with olives before though!
This fine chocolate caught my eye in a lovely little shop in Ashby de la Zouch, which we visited after having a wander around the castle there. It’s a dark chocolate bar, with 53% cocoa and olives in amongst it. There doesn’t seem to be too many when you break a piece off, but their taste does shine through when you try the bar.
The chocolate had a firm snap, which is always good on a dark chocolate. It felt quite solid but melted pleasingly on the tongue. The olive flavour was a little strange at first; it added a pleasant hint of savoury, mild olive and a touch of salt. By the second cube of chocolate my taste buds had acclimatised to the new flavour experience and the rich flavours felt like they worked together. I’ve always been a fan of the sweet and salty taste combination and this was very much on the same lines.
The olive pieces were very soft, and their texture was a bit lost in the bar, but that’s okay they are there for the flavour rather than to add to the feel of the chocolate.
This is a sophisticated bar, and manages to combine the two tastes in a very clever way. It’s one of those bars you could show off to your friends as it is a bit of a curious combination, but when it comes to it you know they’ll end up loving it. The flavours are combined because they work, not for dramatic effect. I’d certainly by this bar again, and am very impressed by the unique chocolate pairing.
By Cinabar

25 July 2013

Sci-MX PROTEIN Flapjack (by @NLi10)

What on earth is a Nutritionally Superior Flapjack?  This!!

It's basically one of those things they sell to people trying to build lots of muscle mass without having to basically eat chicken for hours a day.  Most of them taste like paper due to the soya protein - or at least they did 5 years ago.  Lets see how they have moved on.

As you can see there is more of a brownie texture to the bar than a flapjack, as grain and such don't contain the ridiculous amounts of protein that these bars provide.  The chocolate is there but not that powerful and the main flavour is almost like a cakey nougat kind of thing.  The papery taste is there in the background but is masked fairly well.  

I guess the bar worked - before this I was tempted to pay the inflated prices of the cruise liner to get a decent meal and this filled the spot.  In the olden days I'd take these to festivals so I'd only need a couple of meals a day and still have the necessary vitamins and minerals to bounce around with.

This isn't something you'd eat for pleasure - we took a few to Norway with us to make sure that we had enough long energy.  

What for? 

Well that's the next review...

24 July 2013

Lindt – Hello My Name is Caramel Brownie (@LindtUK) [By @SpectreUK]

This Lindt milk chocolate bar had a caramel brownie filling. From the photo you will see the runny caramel centre with a thin layer of biscuit and brownie at the bottom of the inside of the bar. There were also nice hearts and shapes on the outside of the bar. This 39g chocolate bar had 549 calories per 100g, having 49g of sugar and 35g of fat. The ingredients included 13% caramel, 28% brownie cream and 3% dark biscuit pieces. Although there was biscuit pieces in the ingredients this was not a crunchy bar, it was gorgeous, smooth and melted in the mouth as I bit into it. There was sweet runny caramel which ran (literally) through the centre of the succulent milk chocolate bar, with the added brownie and soft biscuit layer making it almost impossible not to make strange cat purring noises whilst eating exclaiming “yum” now and then. I’d highly recommend you try this Caramel Brownie milk chocolate bar. This chocolate bar was made by people who obviously love chocolate for people who love chocolate. I would definitely have it again. It’s one of the best caramel bars I’ve tasted and definitely a contender for the slightly overloaded caramel chocolate bar market, but I certainly can’t complain as I love caramel chocolate bars. Some slightly more than others...
By Spectre

23 July 2013

Shloer – New Raspberry & Rhubarb Punch [By @cinabar]

The sunshine seems to be holding up, despite the threat of thunderstorms. That means I am still on the search for refreshing drinks to enjoy and keep me hydrated. I recently heard about the new flavour from Shloer and as I have a bit of a fondness for rhubarb, couldn’t wait to give it a try.
Shloer is always very well balanced when it comes to the fizz, it’s not overpowering like some soft drinks can be, and it seems to have a more light and sparkling carbonation. It’s like a proper grown up soft drink. I decided to do Shloer properly as we were enjoying the garden in the sunshine. I tipped most of the bottle into a large jug for sharing added ice cubes and a sprig of mint just for good measure. The mint was fresh from our garden too, so was a nice extra touch. It looked the perfect summer soft drink.
The flavour was very refreshing too. Although it was sweet the zingy aspect from the rhubarb shone through but was balanced by the sweeter berries. I like the slightly tart edge, I think it helps distinguish it as being for adults and it isn’t overly sweet or sugary.
We grow our own rhubarb so it is a fruit close to my heart, and a taste I love. This drink does it justice perfectly, using the other fruits to mellow its sharp flavour. The punch has a lovely clean taste, and is definitely a drink I’ll be buying again. Perfect for the summer and it will add a touch of sophistication to any barbecues you might be planning.
By Cinabar

22 July 2013

Magnum Minis - Meringue et Fruits (Sainsburys) [By @cinabar]

What better thing can you do when the sunshine comes than to indulge in some luxury ice cream? I decided to investigate what Magnum had been up to recently, and spotted these fab looking new lollies. The name Meringue et Fruits sounded like an Eton Mess ice cream, and the perfect mix of chocolate and fruit for the summer.
I carefully unwrapped my lolly and found it had a good thick coating of milk chocolate. This is one of things I love with Magnum, the chocolate coating is always of a good quality with a rich flavour and is generously proportioned. I like the way it cracks when you bite in too.
The ice cream in the filling was velvety smooth and super creamy. There were also lovely pieces of crunchy meringues and berries mixed in. The fruit seemed to be cranberries, but there was a more summer fruits taste as there was also sauce within the ice cream. The classic flavour mix of berries, chocolate, meringue and cream worked like a dream. The ice cream feel very indulgent, even in the mini form, and the sharpness of the berries worked well with the chocolate.
I’ll definitely be buying these again, and exploring the range further. I have added a box of the Magnum Minis Crème Brulee to my next online grocery order. :-)
By Cinabar

21 July 2013

Tesco Thai Green Curry 20 Min Meal Kit [by @NLi10] (@UKTesco)

I shall keep this one shorter than last week's Thai/Japanese kit review.

This is the turn of the green box, which requires no egg, but is still 100% vegetarian until you add the chicken.  We added Quorn cubes.

You get similar to the last one, only with coconut milk in the silver bag, and some herbs in the little bag.  This is good, as with hindsight you can fine tune the strength of the curry.

First up - wack it in the pan and hit it a bit. Then put the curry sauce on and do the same again!

This coats things nicely and gets the tastebuds awake.  Then add all the coconut milk and finally herbs, not forgetting to use your third hand to put the rice in while doing this!

And after a rough 20 mins you get something that looks like the box picture.  Success!  This was another very successful meal, although the flavour was accurate I could have easily had it hotter.  I know that jungle curry is basically the Thai slang for not using the coconut milk and making it more powerful.  What I would do in future is either use less coconut milk, or add more curry paste out of the jar in Pic 1.  That said, I have rice, curry paste and coconut milk (although not usually all at the same time) and could figure out some spices to add.  I think I could do this one alone without the kit.  That said these things are actually reasonably similar in price to buying the separates and the Best Before date is over a year in the future so there really is no harm in just picking them up for a posh lunch or a quick dinner.

Another win for instant Thai food!

20 July 2013

Marston’s Alcoholic Ale Shandy (Tesco @MarstonPedigree) [By @spectreuk]

Yes, we’ve actually hit summer; we’ve had some hot summer days and hot summer nights. Granted this has only been a week or two, so I expect people aren’t counting their chickens just yet, but this does mean that I’ve been out looking for more refreshing beverages rather than the warming winter goodies I’ve become accustomed to for the last ten months or more of wet and cold. This 2.8% volume 500ml bottle of Marston’s Alcoholic Ale Shandy seemed like a decent treat one steamy night. Brewed by Marston’s Brewery, in Burton-Upon-Trent, this shandy was best served “chilled over ice” or so the label stated. I could do the chilled part by dumping the bottle in the fridge for a while before drinking, but I’ve given up trying to find the ice tray! The label also stated “Quench your thirst: with this tasty and refreshing blend of traditionally brewed pale ale and lemonade.” I’ve always been a big fan of pale ale, especially in the summertime (if we have one!) and I always have a few gallons of “heavy on the lemonade” shandy in the house that I can glug down so I don’t get drunk, but I still get a hint of beer during usual daily drinking. Don’t get me wrong as I’m not an alcoholic, but I prefer the taste of beer rather than anything else. Once you’ve drank a glass of Dandelion and Burdock everything you eat or drink thereafter tastes of Dandelion and Burdock! Anyway, on opening this Marston’s Alcoholic Ale Shandy there was a light pale ale odour with a hint of lemonade. There was a distinctive bite of hops from the pale ale to start with followed by sweet barley malt blended with lemonade. There was an aftertaste of light pale ale mixed with a zing from the lemonade. I thought this Marston’s Alcoholic Ale Shandy was very nice indeed and very refreshing. I would definitely have this again and not just wait for a hot summer night, because let’s face it, in England they just don’t come along that often.
By Spectre

19 July 2013

Magnum – Vanilla and Chocolate Ice Cream (By @cinabar)

Magnum are famed for their ice lollies, but this year they have branched out a little. First we had the slightly strange ice cream free chocolate bar. It was nice by the way, strange only in concept of it being without ice cream, not because of the flavour.
Now they have transformed the Magnum brand into tubs of ice cream, which makes more sense! The tub I chose was Vanilla and Chocolate flavour and consists of a chocolate chip vanilla ice cream with a chocolate sauce running through the core.
I pulled back the lid on the ice cream tub and found the top sprinkled with chocolate bits. It did look pretty, but because the ice cream is in a tall tub, as opposed to a flatter oblong box, you do run out of topping after the first couple of servings.
Anyway I put a couple of scoops into a bowl, making sure I got some of the dark centre too. It wasn’t too difficult to scoop straight from the freezer either. The basic ice cream is very creamy and has a lovely rich sumptuous vanilla taste. The chocolate within in it is plentiful and generously portioned, making it a fab chocolate chip flavour. The darker taste of the chocolate complemented the creamier background taste.
The weakness was the core, it was “nice” but that is as far as I’d go. The flavour isn’t bad, it just doesn’t seem to be the same quality rich flavour as the chocolate topping. It’s syrupy, and I know it’s supposed to be a syrup centre, but I found myself wanting more of the vanilla base ice cream instead.
Although I enjoyed the tub, and will happily finish it off the centre let it down a bit for me. It’s a shame though, as the vanilla section was divine.
I do have some of the new meringue and fruit mini Magnums ordered for my next online shop, so I’m looking forward to testing those out too.
By Cinabar

18 July 2013

Tesco Katsu Curry - 20 Min Meal Kit [by @NLi10] (@UKTesco)

Tesco asked whether I wanted to review their Thai food.  I said yes.  This is what I got.

While all the PR guff talks about Thai food (which I love) the red box is clearly Japanese.  They do mention this fact so are not confused about their Asian foods, but this is all actually made in Thailand!  While reading the boxes I noticed a curious fact - all of this is Vegetarian!  A lot of instant Thai/Japanese things are not suitable for my Veggie partner so sit in the cupboard for weeks.  This was used almost instantly.

First up you should note - you need chicken (or Tofu/Quorn) and an egg.  One quick pop to the shop on our road later and I'm ready to start.

It all looks quite impressive laid out.  The big bag is rice, the medium bag that looks like rice is long breadcrumbs (Panko Breadcrumbs), the silver is the sauce.  We used Quorn fillets as they are designed to look a little like chicken breasts.

Poof! I added the flour, mixed the egg up a bit and got the breadcrumbs ready.  Messy fingers time!  It was very hard to use a touch screen phone to take a picture of the fillets covered in egg being dipped into the crumbs, but Ms NLi10 was around to do the honours for them hitting the pan.

They look a little odd and anaemic here, I think that usually the chicken makes them stick a bit better.  Heat was vigourously applied as per instructions while simultaneously doing the rice.

Naturally I tipped the left over egg into the left over breadcrumbs and added it to the top of the cooking Quorn. Yummy smells were produced.  The topping tended to fall off a bit.  The sauce went in, the rice went into the serving bowls and we ended up with this! 

It looks a bit brown and fall-appart compared to Tesco's picture AND it took around half an hour instead of 20 mins (as I wanted it crispy and I'm out of practice) but it certainly tasted amazing.  It had all the authentic flavours and all the right textures.  It was nothing like a package meal, I think the added steps are well worth it and I can't wait to try the other one we got sent.

Well recommended and I'd actually make a special effort to pop into the Tesco by our cinema to get more of these - afterall I have 5 eggs left!

17 July 2013

Salty Dog Ham & Wholegrain Mustard Crisps (@saltygrrr) [By @SpectreUK]

I noticed some packets of these Salty Dog crisps on the counter in the restaurant at the garden centre when we visited to buy some plants for the summer. There was a cute illustration of a fuzzy looking dog on the front of the packet with a bold statement of; “The hand-cooked crisps that bite back.” Salty Dog crisps are produced by a small family business in Chesham, in Buckinghamshire. There was 192 calories per 40g packet, with 10.8g of fat and 1.6g of sugar and the ingredients were suitable for vegetarians. There was a smoked spiced ham smell on opening the packet and these crisps had a hint of red from their paprika colouring. These crisps had a good crunchy texture, but not scratchy like some crisps can be on the roof of the mouth. As promised on the front of the packet these crisps had a good salty flavour with an initial smoked ham taste, which was almost leaning towards bacon, but not quite, with a light spice from the wholegrain mustard flavouring. I thought these were very tasty crisps and would definitely have them again. I also tried the Ready Salted flavour on the side with my tuna and cheese jacket potato lunch at the garden centre and they had a good salty flavour with a decent crunch too. I really liked these Salty Dog crisps and hope to see more of them on the shelves of stores soon.
By Spectre

16 July 2013

Moshi Monsters Magic Chocolate Fun Pack (@findmeagift) [By @cinabar]

Magic Chocolate is an interesting product that is fairly new to the market. This fine pack was sent though to me by the lovely folks at Find Me A Gift to test out.
It is made with real Belgian chocolate but is a pliable chocolate for moulding into fun shapes.

The pack comes with some instructions; white, milk and dark chocolate discs and an antibacterial wipe for hygiene. As this was the Moshi Monsters kit, I thought I’d follow the instructions to making Katsuma.
The box states that there is enough chocolate to make four models, but I was a bit disappointed to see only instructions for two which meant you’d have to adlib a bit yourself with the other two.

I carefully made all the suggested pieces on the leaflet, ready to put them together. I should say that moulding the bigger pieces was quite easy, but some of the smaller bits were VERY fiddly. Now I accept I haven’t used modelling clay since I was about 12, so I was lacking in previous experience but I was struggling a bit. I found the small lines in dark chocolate for the smile and the outlining of the eyes to be very hard, but I suspect a more qualified and experience child may well be better at it than me!
I gently put all the parts together and assembled my Moshi Monster. The pieces were a bit difficult to get to stick together too, and that meant the bits became a little bit squished as you pressed them on, but I did my best. Introducing Katsuma:

Okay, yes, it’s not that impressive, but it was my first try, and I thoroughly enjoyed giving it a go! I have three more to build and will do my best! :-D The chocolate itself tastes nice, but it is quite sweet. I guess this is down to the balance of the ingredient to make it pliable. I think Magic Chocolate could be used really effectively for cake decorating too – so I might give that go with some of my remaining chocolate; it is fun to have a play with! If you want your own kit, have a look at: Moshi Monsters Magic Chocolate Fun Pack
By Cinabar

15 July 2013

Juice Burst - Apple & Rhubarb [@Blippar] [By @Cinabar]

I remember Juice Burst from my university days. The canteen always stocked Juice Burst drinks and I would have one with my lunch pretty much every day as a student. Purity Soft Drinks have given thier brand a bit of a modern makeover in recent months, and introduced Blippar to the bottle.
Blippar is a downloadable app on smart phones that lets you scan objects and get an augmented reality view of them. In this case I took the app and blipped the label on bottle. The little orange lines appeared trying to recognise the product. I realised it worked best when I went close up on the bottle.

When it figured it out, just a few moments later, it played a smart little video of the fruit and juice bursting from the bottle!

It then showed me a giant orange with a link to a competition!

Okay so I admit it, I really like technology and this did make me smile! It makes you want to buy the other flavours to try too out their videos too.
The drink I chose was Apple and Rhubarb and not a flavour I’d tried before. It was a deep dark purple in colour and the aroma from the rhubarb smelt lovely and refreshing.
The drink isn’t too sweet; it starts with a sharp zingy edge from the rhubarb, which is followed by a lovely clean fresh apple flavour. I found the drink very refreshing, particularly during all this lovely hot weather we are having. It’s another of those juices which is nice for the grownups as it doesn’t taste too sugary.
The label is a bit of a novelty, but I won’t tell you it isn’t fun. If you have a fascination for technology, it is certainly worth having a play with.
By cinabar

14 July 2013

Chocolate Frog With Popping Candy - Gorvett & Stone [by @NLi10]

The proverbial person who has everything must have all these things because everyone is buying them gifts. But what if it's your turn? What do you buy for this mythical person who has everything?  We got an e-mail from Not On The High Street inviting us to sample a few of their answers.

From Gorvett & Stone I decided to get a chocolate frog, similar to the kind of thing that was on offer at the Harry Potter world. 

It looks almost like a collected biological specimin in it's case. Hello froggie!

I did wonder why a frog was chosen as the design, but I guess that a lot of potions and spells call for them and the modern witch or wizard would probably prefer to use a chocolately one instead of a real one.

This is slightly more special than just a chocolate frog though - inside is popping candy. As with many of these products this adds just a bit of zing to the chocolate, and gives it more texture. The flavours are decent - it's a quality chocolate that's been used and it's a pleasure to eat. It's not a massive specimin, but in this heat it's certainly enough to satisfy.

13 July 2013

Briska Craft Cider Pomegranate Flavour (@briskacider) [By @SpectreUK]

Briska is a Swedish cider created at Kiviks Musteri, which is a cider mill in Österlen, in Sweden. Österlen is renowned for its apple orchards and its long tradition of cider making. At Kiviks Musteri this knowledge has been handed down over many years. This premium Swedish cider was served in a 500ml bottle and was 4% in volume. The label stated that it’s best served over ice, but I didn’t have any ice to hand when drinking it though. There was a floral smell on opening, which consisted of pomegranate with an indication of apple cider. The cider had a healthy sparkling fizz on pouring it into my beer mug. On tasting there was an initial flavoursome pomegranate tang followed by apple cider which also moved into the aftertaste. The label stated that this cider had a “gentle well balanced with a fruity, but not too sweet taste.” I’d have to agree with this statement. It was obvious that this drink was finely crafted with many years of care and experience. This was not a cider drink that you could find kids chugging down in a park somewhere, but more like an upmarket cider for the pure pleasure and indulgence of a cider connoisseur. This was a very pleasant and refreshing drink that reminded a regular beer and stout drinker that there are other alternatives out there and times, especially on hot summer nights, to enjoy a lovely cider. Briska’s Pear Cider was also a refreshing treat that I enjoyed on the same hot evening cooling me down after my toil in the garden.
By Spectre

12 July 2013

Tesco Cookie Kit (@UKTesco) [By @Cinabar]

I love a bit of quick and easy baking, and couldn’t resist picking up the Tesco Cookie Kit when I saw it. Inside the pack is a ball of readymade cookie dough, a tube of vanilla icing and a bag of coloured sugar coated chocolates. The instructions are simple, all you need to do is knead the dough, split it into six equal parts and roll them into balls. Flatten these into a biscuit shape and bake for around 15minutes in an oven set to 170 degrees.

The dough was quite soft when I went to knead it, even though I took it straight from the fridge and the recipe suggests having it at room temperature for half an hour first. My lack of preparation skills didn’t seem to matter. These cookies baked well and after the allotted time they looked larger and slightly golden.

I allowed the six cookies to cool, on baking trays. I didn’t really have a plan for the decoration, I just thought I would experiment. Spectre seemed to take an interest at this point, after all the house was filled with the aroma of just baked biccies. He asked if he could decorate a couple, so that left me four to play with. My designs were just off the top of my head, but I was still quite pleased with them.

Next up Spectre decided to show off his two cookies....

Eagle-eyed readers may spot there is only one, yes folks he ate one before decorating. He said it smelt too good! :-D

If you can bear to wait for the icing to set, I can tell you it does firm up nicely and works well at holding the chocolates onto the cookies.
The taste is wonderful too, sweet baked vanilla flavour. If you are after a quick baking fix, these are a doddle to do, with a lovely tasty result. Plus they fill the kitchen with that yummy freshly baked aroma. They were fun to make and decorate, so I’d definitely pick these up again.
By Cinabar