12 April 2021

Walkers Max - Kentucky Fried Chicken Crisps (Tesco) By @Cinabar

Walkers Max - Kentucky Fried Chicken Crisps

When I wrote about Walkers Max KFC Zinger crisps I was sort of aware that these Walkers Max Kentucky Fried Chicken crisp were also available but assumed they would be quite samey, minus the chilli of course. Curiosity got the better of me when I saw them in our local branch of Tesco and I added them to my basket.

We decided to share them with lunch and I poured some out. The aroma is quite strong in pepper, not something that I immediately associate with Kentucky Fried Chicken but not a bad smell either. There is quite a bit of seasoning on each crisp as the ridges are quite deep. I gave one a try and it did taste of KFC but it was missing something, namely the chicken. These crisps seem to be flavoured with the KFC seasoning and have missed the chicken element, also there is a mysterious extra helping of black pepper. The problem was as they were close to be something I recognised but not quite there my tastebuds spent the whole time thinking they weren’t quite right which distracted me from enjoying them for what they were. The flavour of these Walkers Max Kentucky Fried Chicken crisps was pleasant, the crunch from those ridges was lovely, I’d have just liked the chicken taste adding in and a little less of the pepper if I had the choice.

Walkers Max - Kentucky Fried Chicken Crisps

11 April 2021

Magnum Mini Double Raspberry (& Chocolate) @NLi10

Sometimes small is good.  Take these Magnum Minis.  The big Magnus are perfect for walking round the park with on a hot summer day - but at home you just want a nice little pudding - and here we go.

I used to buy these for work when Tesco had them on special - but they were never this layered or exciting.

There is a Raspberry & a chocolate version and both are very similar, except the layers are fruity in mine and chocolaty in my partners.

They look very swish

Mine has a layer of jam(ish) in between one thick and one thin layers of classic magnum chocolate.

The raspberry ice-cream appears!

And it actually looks like it does on the box.  Sure - nothing beats the luxury of the Magnum vanilla, but this is a great fruity experience.  We have one each of each flavour - and a spare - in the box of 6 so this will do us for many more movie nights going forwards.

And if you do fancy a bigger ice-cream just eat one of each!


10 April 2021

Twice Tangled Badger Beers IPA (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

Twice Tangled Badger Beers IPA

Badger Ales is a favourite brewer of mine. There seems a proud history that comes with this Twice Tangled double hopped Indian Pale Ale. Seven generations of brewers since 1777 have been brewing at Badger Ales. I've enjoyed many of their beers in the past, but this 5.2% in volume Twice Tangled seems to have escaped me.

WGV or Whitbread Goldings Variety hops, as well as Centennial and Amarillo hops were used in the brewing, with a very secretive sounding "specially selected malt". On opening the bottle there was a fresh sweet malt smell similar to amber malt, and a herbal hop aroma. This deep amber coloured ale was a surprise to all of my senses. I was expecting a golden IPA.

The initial taste of the rich sweet malts don't lean towards an IPA. This Twice Tangled looks and tastes similar to an amber ale. There was a hint of pale malt, but only a hint. The mixture of fresh crisp herbal hops lean further towards an amber ale, and further away from the Indian Pale Ales I'm used to. This Twice Tangled is an amber ale in disguise, and a very tasty one at that. I'll definitely have to have another bottle or two for regular enjoyment.

9 April 2021

Kit Kat Zebra - Black and White (Tesco) By @Cinabar

Kit Kat Zebra - Black and White

I spotted this new Kit Kat Zebra Black and White in Tesco and thought it looked super pretty so picked one up to try. The bar says it is a mix of dark and white chocolate for the pattern. My first thought was that the dark and white chocolate mix might even itself out and that it would taste like regular Kit Kat, but I guess we are about to find out.

Once out of the wrapper the bar did indeed look very smart, it was clear that the dark chocolate was predominant, with the base of the bar being made up entirely of dark chocolate. The Inside of the Kit Kat sticks looked like the regular bar with the regular wafer. Flavour wise the Kit Kat did taste like a dark chocolate version, with a nice rich cocoa. The white chocolate element was sadly all decoration and just the dark flavours shone through. This Kit Kat Zebra Black and White might not be revolutionary on flavour but it was a bit of fun and it was very enjoyable to munch on. It is a nice limited edition, I’d prefer a more exciting new flavour if I’m honest but I was still pleased to discover this pretty bar in the supermarket.

Kit Kat Zebra - Black and White

8 April 2021

Fox’s Fabulous - Chocolatey Milk Chocolate Rounds (@NLi10)


I’d forgotten it was Thursday. We were outside on my elderly relative’s patio set - socially distancing and setting up her new phone. I’d got no photos saved on my phone to review so asked if she’d got something suitable.

She presented us with these Fox’s Fabulous Chocolatey Milk Chocolate Rounds.

These will certainly do - these are one of the more luxurious options in a Christmas biscuits tin. A thick layer of lovely chocolate over a slim shortbread.

The cross section looks decently luxurious too! Perfect for offering to strange men shivering in your garden while sorting out odd jobs!

7 April 2021

Walkers Flamin’ Hot flavour Crisps (Tesco) By @SpectreUK

Walkers Flamin’ Hot flavour Crisps

One thing I've found in some snacks and definitely some hot sauces is that they pack in so many super hot chillis that they just burn my mouth, and aren't very tasty with it. There needs to be a balance in my opinion. I do like a bit of chilli heat to my snacks on the odd occasion. These Walkers Flamin' Hot flavour potato crisps promise just that. It states on the back of the packet that they have "a tasty chilli kick." So I'm hoping for a sizzle of heat with a good chilli flavour with it. 

Walkers Flamin’ Hot flavour Crisps

On opening the packet there was a potato and chilli aroma from the bright red crisps inside. I was slightly apprehensive at this point. Although I have had plenty of Walkers Monster Munch Flamin' Hot, and they are bright red and I do like them. After a while the chilli burn builds from eating more and more Monster Munch. So I realised that these potato crisps are probably the same flavour...?

On taste there was a strong chilli sweetness that I haven't experienced so much with the Monster Munch variety. There followed a smokiness that also seems different to the regular Walkers Monster Munch Flamin' Hot. After this smokiness there comes the chilli burn. The same as with the Walkers Monster Munch Flamin' Hot this chilli heat builds during devouring the contents of the packet. That was their only similarity as far as I could tell. Both are excellent flavours of different varieties of Walkers crisps with the same name of flavour. Both of which I'd happily eat anytime.

Information on the packet;
The 25g packet has 128 calories, with 7.3G of fat, 0.6g of sugar, and 0.32g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Walkers Flamin’ Hot flavour Crisps

6 April 2021

Mango Bounty (Russia via GB Gifts) By @Cinabar

Mango Bounty Russia

As someone who loves a limited edition chocolate bar I can’t help browse online to see what is available in other countries and I found myself ordering this Mango Bounty which is originally from Russia (I think). Although we can get Bounty chocolate bars in milk are dark chocolate here we really don’t get limited edition flavours from them. As Bounty is a coconut bar the mix of mango with it sounded perfect for that tropical feel.

The bar, like regular Bounty, is in two pieces but unlike regular Bounty the bar inside is a bright orange colour. I took a bite and as much as I like coconut and mango I found the flavour to be a bit lacklustre. It was alright, there was plenty of coconut and the mango fruit was added sweetness but it was a little syrupy and somehow lacking depth. It was also more moist than a regular Bounty and had therefore lost that nice almost crispy texture. It was okay, a pleasant enough bar but I found myself wishing it was a regular Bounty. As someone who’s love of new and limited edition bars has fuelled a good section of this blog wishing for a regular version of a limited edition is a bad sign indeed. As exciting as this Mango Bounty sounded it isn’t one I’ll be repurchasing.

Mango Bounty Russia

5 April 2021

Hot Cross Bunny Bar (Paul A Young) By @Cinabar

Hot Cross Bunny Bar (Paul A Young)
As famous chocolatiers go Paul A Young is one of the most prestigious, I’ve seen him on ITV and the BBC this Easter talking chocolate. I decided I would investigate what he sold online and there I found this Hot Cross Bunny Bar chocolate which sounded like the perfect Bank Holiday Monday treat.

Hot Cross Bunny Bar (Paul A Young)

The Hot Cross Bunny Bar consists of four large pieces, one side is decorated with a white chocolate and a cute bunny pattern which is very prettily decorated. The main chocolate is a 40% cocoa milk chocolate flavoured with hot cross buns. I broke a piece off to try, the hot cross bun flavour was infused in the chocolate and there was a nice bit of crunch from a biscuit like crumbs. The flavour has lots of seasonal spice and I was very much enjoying the cinnamon. There was a little bit of heat to in the flavour and I couldn’t quite place what was causing it, I thought perhaps black pepper. The spices blended really well with the milk chocolate and there was still lots of rich cocoa in the taste. This Paul A Young Hot Cross Bunny Bar is pure luxury and a little bit of Easter chocolate fun too. It was a nice way to finish the long bank holiday weekend with this Easter chocolate, and at least the rest of the working week only has four days.

Hot Cross Bunny Bar (Paul A Young)

4 April 2021

Lindt Easter Eggs - A Study In Size (@NLi10)

 My partner and I both got Lindt Easter Eggs off her parents.  I didn't really note the differences at the time as I got Blue for Boy and She got Red for Girl.

I didn't however notice the size & price differences.

So - these are different price point eggs - one is bigger than the other,

And while hers has lovely little chocolate eggs - we have the actual truffles!

On the Official Lindt Easter Site everything is already reduced and almost sold out - but the Blue egg was originally £10 and I guess based on what was left the Red one was more than £5 but less than mine (It's £8 at Morrisons but I couldn't see the other one).

This is also evident in the size of the egg - the extra few grams really increases the impressiveness of the egg.

Lovely little truffles!

So nice on a warm day like Easter Sunday is!!

So - sure I think the Blue one was more expensive but not by much - and I'd happily pay the extra tax to get a few more treats and the larger egg.  I am very likely to share this one with my partner and live to tell the tale.

Happy Easter All!

3 April 2021

Black Russian Beer (Brass Castle Brewery @BrassCastleBeer) By @SpectreUK

Black Russian Baltic Porter Beer Brass Castle Brewery

This Black Russian is not a cocktail made with vodka, nor do I particularly like vodka. I remember drinking a whole bottle of Vodka when I was a student and it didn't go well after that! I haven't touched a drop since... although I am rather partial to honey liquor and also rum.

Anyway, Cinabar ordered me quite a few beers from the Brass Castle Brewery, in Yorkshire. This Black Russian is a coffee infused Baltic Porter. Whereas I'm used to drinking English Porters, which are ales, a Baltic Porter is a lager. This Black Russian is brewed with malted barley and also malted rye. I do love the spiciness of a rye beer. At 7% in volume this Black Russian should have plenty of kick with its spicy rye and coffee flavours.

On opening the can there was a deep rich coffee aroma. This is a proper rich coffee smell, rather than the roasted chocolate malt often associated with porters, which lend to an aroma akin to coffee. This Black Russian has an obvious coffee smell to it that it just can't hide, and why should it? The roasted chocolate malt takes a step backwards for the infused coffee to step forwards and take a bow.

The depth of colour on pouring this Black Russian made my lips smack. There was the redness from the rye peeking through the deep dark cracks of blackness from the malted barley and infused coffee. With that depth of colour comes an equally bottomless depth of flavours. There is an initial roasted chocolate malted sweetness, followed closely by a heavy infused coffee flavour. There is then a herbal bitterness from the added hops and a spice from the malted rye. Then the infused coffee makes a return into the aftertaste.

This is a gorgeous Baltic Porter. I couldn't tell that it was a lager. It wasn't too bubbly. It could be used as an after dinner beer. Personally I washed down sausages on toast with plum tomatoes on top. I love black coffee. I love beer. I love Black Russian, because it's just like drinking both at the same time. It's just living the dream!

2 April 2021

Meals For All - Freshly Cooked Authentic Food #Gifted By @Cinabar

Meals For All - Freshly Cooked Authentic Food
Happy Good Friday everyone, I hope you have been able to enjoy some of the nice weather this bank holiday. We were threatened with snow but have so far had lovely sunshine, but it is Britain so anything is possible yet this Easter weekend! We are having a curry tonight though and it was very kindly sent for us to try from the lovely people at Meals For All. They make and delivery restaurant quality food which you can heat and eat straight away or freeze for another day. They are delivered chilled. When you order from them for every meal purchased they donate a meal to the needy, which is such a wonderful way of working. They started because of Covid19 but I hope they go on to flourish long into the future.

We chose a selection of curries, rice and some onion bhaji and some naan. My choice to start us off was the Prawn Bhuna Curry which I had with yellow rice. To heat the dish you simply zap the curry in the microwave for 4 minutes so it is very quick and simple. The curry was a very good quality. The prawns were still moist and juicy and they took on all the lovely rich spices. There was a nice bit of heat and the tomato based curry was restaurant standard, by the end of the meal I was using the naan bread to mop up every last drop of the spicy sauce. The onion bhaji was lovely too, full of flavour. I like that the website lists all the ingredients of the dishes too and I can’t wait to try more from them. This made such a nice Friday night treat and it is from such a wonderfully ethical brand too. I was lucky enough to be gifted my first order but can’t wait to choose some more dishes for the future and the freezer. If you want to try them out, please take a look at: https://mealsforallshop.org.uk

Meals For All - Freshly Cooked Authentic Food

1 April 2021

Holy Cow! Mughlai Korma Kit (@NLi10)

 Not a very exciting one this week, no fools theme here, but look at this fab Curry Kit I picked up.  Decent restaurant Curries is one of the things I've missed food-wise during lockdown.  

Very luxury, very ethical, very exciting!

Lots of ideas in here - we made it with sweet potato and veggies.

It dried it out a little maybe, but it was a great creamy curry which was full of flavour and something I'll buy again.  For my tastes I'd sprinkle some finely chopped chilli on top for that little bit of a zing, but I can understand why they'd not put that in the sauce bag for everyone on the mildest version.

31 March 2021

Fever Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale (Ocado) By @SpectreUK

Fever Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale

I have a ginger beer before bedtime every night. It helps to settle my stomach after a good meal. I always have a sugar free ginger beer. Counting calories is a bummer, but when I'm exercising like mad and trying to eat pretty and drink much what I like, but keep my weight down, extra calories on something I'm not used to here and there are just a waste to me. I'd rather have a beer or a chocolate bar. 

Here is a flavoured ginger ale from Fever Tree with added sugar. I may have mentioned in the past that there is a difference between ginger beer and ginger ale. Whereas ginger beer is brewed and fermented and usually has a strong ginger bite to it, ginger ale is carbonated water flavoured with ginger. This Fever Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale is not only flavoured with ginger, but it is also flavoured with sweet clementines and spicy cinnamon.

So my first concern is the carbonated water. I just don't like it. It doesn't taste of anything. It makes me burp and it's not even lemonade. I do like lemonade. Well, who doesn't? I like a good ginger beer with a good bite to it. I know Cinabar was looking for alternatives at the time because of a shortage of ginger beer in the shops, I just wish ginger ale hadn't become a part of those alternatives. I do like clementines, so that's a plus, but I really don't like cinnamon. I just reckon the cinnamon is going to take over the whole drink. I'm just going to end up burping cinnamon throughout my bedtime here. I can see it coming off... So as you can see, this Fever Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale has quite a bit going against it.

On opening the 500ml bottle, which incidentally has 18 calories per 100ml, so it's like drinking a small chocolate bar but without the fun, there was a spicy cinnamon and orange smell with a slight hint of ginger. The angry bubbles from the carbonated water assaulted my nostrils at that point and I had to pull away.

The drink itself definitely has bite, it just wasn't of ginger. The cinnamon took over everything. This Fever Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale was definitely the most fiery ginger ale I've ever drunk. However the fire came from the cinnamon. The clementines tried their best to calm the cinnamon down, but the cinnamon was just having none of it. The cinnamon burnt through whatever ginger was present and pretty much burnt through the bottom of my pint glass. I could feel the cinnamon setting aflame to my throat as it went down.

Oddly moreish in a deranged masochistic way, I did drink the whole pint. I won't go as far as to say that I liked this Fever Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ale. Oh no... Cinabar might go and buy me another. I would say that it was the fiercest ginger ale I've ever drank, even if there wasn't much ginger. I would say that it was the tastiest ginger ale I've ever drunk, because the clementines were rather nice mixed in with the battling spices. I would say that I had a rather spicy burping contest afterwards against no one in particular. I would say that if I was bought another one of these Fever Tree Spiced Orange Ginger Ales, just... just as an alternative mind, I would drink that one down too. I just wouldn't say that I liked that one either, or any others that came after that!

30 March 2021

Tango Dark Berry (Ocado) By @Cinabar

Tango Dark Berry

I was quite excited to see a new flavour from Tango on the Ocado website, these cans of Tango Dark Berry looked rather interesting. I will start by saying it is sugar free drink and does therefore contain sweeteners which I know will put some people off completely but I’m quite happy with diet flavours, so that is my disclaimer. I’m used to artificial sweeteners, sorry folks.

The Tango Dark Berry is a mix of blackcurrant, blackberry and apple and it pours out as quite a dark purple coloured drink. As you would expect with Tango there is plenty of fizz and bubbles. The flavour reminds me of blackcurrant and apple as the berries come through first and are tart but are then softened by the sweeter softer apple flavour. I pick up mostly on the blackcurrant over the blackberry but that might be because I’m used to that favour being mixed with apple in cordials and that is what this reminded me of.

There was plenty of flavour and it was a lovely drink, I’m glad I bought a six pack of cans as they are nice and refreshing on these warmer days. Here is hoping the weather holds out too.

Tango Dark Berry

29 March 2021

Mint M&Ms (USA) By @Cinabar

Mint M&Ms (USA)

Time is flying at the minute, somehow we are almost in April and I think I blinked and missed some of the year. The only good thing about it is that Monday has come around again and that means time to open up some M&Ms for the very special even we call M&Ms Mondays. We have been writing about a different flavour each week, because outside of the UK there are loads of interesting ones to try! This week we have a bag of Mint M&Ms and as I have a love of peppermint I couldn’t wait to try these.

Mint M&Ms (USA)

Inside the bag the M&Ms are red, white and green and the filling is a solid peppermint flavour milk chocolate. These sweets have a good balance of flavour with plenty of chocolate and a lovely cooling kick of mint. They are very moreish. I can see that the packaging for the Mint M&Ms is christmassy but I would hope these are available all year. If I could pick one flavour that I would love the UK to release it is these ones (unless anyone has found cinnamon M&Ms anywhere). These are sweet but fresh and minty and they would bring a nice new (but still safe) flavour to the UK and really break up the stale selection we currently have.

Mint M&Ms (USA)

28 March 2021

Artisanal Sourdough Bread or Meteorite? (@NLi10)

What is this meteor that has struck the worktop?  It's a 'loaf' of artisanal sour-dough bread from a special order bakery.  Truly a luxury in this time of lockdown.

It even comes in a lovely brown bag.

I am however convinced of one thing - artisanal means 'very hard to slice'!

This took real effort to carve - but it doesn't look too bad - the crust while a little burnt and a little hard was lovely too.  The flavours are all there and the middle is like a sponge cake - I just think that for me and my dodgy wrists I'd be better off getting a sliced one that maybe is less fresh towards the weekend than this was.  It's still fluffy and lovely today too!

27 March 2021

Disco Forklift Truck Beer (Morrisons) By @SpectreUK

Disco Forklift Truck Beer

Disco Forklift Truck Is a Mango Pale Ale. Fun fact some may know and others may not; I don't like mango. I don't like mango as a fruit, or mango flavouring anything in drinks or ice cream. However, and this makes no sense to me... I won't eat a curry without Mango Chutney on the side with my Papadums!

Brewed by the Drygate Brewery in Glasgow this possibly refreshing, possibly revolting 5.1% volume Disco Forklift Truck was indeed brewed with actual mangos, and with caramel malt and tropical hops. The can tries to spice things up by recommending you live it up at a disco or try washing down a barbecue with this mango pale ale. I do love a good barbecue, and I guess the disco is out for a good long while... but hopefully things will start to get back to normal in the later part of this year. Unfortunately it's also a bit iffy outside right now for a barbecue.

On opening the rather cheerful tropical looking can there was certainly a fruity tropical aroma from the beer inside. In the smell there was a mix of tropical fruits with mango, possibly passion fruit, and even papaya. This deep shining golden Disco Forklift Truck poured with a fluffy excitable head. There was more tropical fruity aroma from the glass, but I also noticed there was a fair sweetness mixed in from the pale malts. On taste I expected to be overwhelmed by the mango, but the right amount in my opinion, humble as it may be, was added in the brewing. The tropical hops and mango quickly gave way to the sweet malts into the aftertaste. Very nice indeed.

I was surprised to like this mango pale ale Disco Forklift Truck straight away. I know I wanted to dislike it from reading the can after being presented it with a smirk from Cinabar. It's rare indeed if I don't like a beer, even rarer if I pour one away. I savoured every drop of this Disco Forklift Truck and might even hunt down another. In my humble opinion, I reckon it will go rather well with a good spicy curry!

26 March 2021

Peeps - Hot Tamales Fierce Cinnamon (GB Gifts) By @Cinabar

Peeps - Hot Tamales Fierce Cinnamon

Hot Tamales aren’t common sweets in the UK, you can get them in the import shops and they are fiery cinnamon hard boiled sweets. I like them but truth be told they take warming spice and throw an initial flame at it that even this cinnamon lover finds a bit over the top. Peeps also are usually also only found in the import shops and consist of marshmallow shapes (usually chicks) and often seasonally flavoured. These Peeps Hot Tamales Fierce Cinnamon are a combination of both of those products and are presented as bright red marshmallow chicks. They certainly do look fierce, in colour at least.

The Peeps Hot Tamales Fierce Cinnamon are stuck together in two rows of five and I plucked one off. I cautiously tasted a bit and found the cinnamon really pleasant. This might mean that Hot Tamales fans may think these mallows are too mild and certainly aren’t the promised ‘Fierce Cinnamon’. They are actually a nice warming sweet cinnamon in a cute marshmallow chick form, which I loved. These are a super tasty Friday night treat. I have a burning desire to float one on a hot chocolate too for that ultimate end of week comfort. Remember people my mantra; cinnamon, it isn’t just for Christmas.

Peeps - Hot Tamales Fierce Cinnamon

25 March 2021

Rana Pan-Fry Gnocchi - Pumpkin version! (@NLi10)

Is it Halloween?  It feels like it with this Pumpkin variety of our newly-beloved pan-fry gnocchi.

Rana Family have again brought the quality - and it's a generous 2 person portion - really you could stretch this to three with no issues.

Look at their dusty orange magnificence!

Put butter in pan - fry lightly until crispy on all sides.

Bury in leaves and garlic bread and enjoy with a movie!

As ever these have an amazing texture and the crisp/chewy combo only adds to the subtle pumpkin flavour these add.  The butter fry is recommended as it adds a salty tang to the outside and improves the crunch.

I'm going to keep buying all the flavours, but I think I've reviewed all the key ones now!