31 July 2021

Pizzazz - Pizza Beer (Brass Castle Brewery) By @SpectreUK

Pizzazz - Pizza Beer (Brass Castle Brewery)

I still have a few beers left from the Brass Castle Brewery boxset that Cinabar bought me a while ago. I did note a sadistic twinkle in her eyes when I fished this can of beer out of the box. Pizzazz is a 4.5% in volume Gose beer brewed with sun-dried tomatos and sweet basil. Pizzazz is a pizza beer, hence the name and the ingredients brewed with it. A Gose beer is a German beer that is warm fermented with 50% of its grain as malted wheat. I've had some fairly sour Gose beers in the past, and unfortunately I'm not a fan of sour beer.

I've tried quite a few flavoured beers before, some have been surprisingly good, some were just okay, and a rare few have been pretty awful. The trouble is that I don't particularly like pizza. It's very rare I eat a pizza. My favourite pizza was the meaty Carne Amanti in Pizza Hut, but they stopped making that some time ago. I've been disappointed by every other pizza since to the point where I've just stopped eating them. So I don't know how a pizza flavoured beer is going to go down. I guess I'm just about to find out…

I couldn't help thinking that I should wash down a pizza with this Pizzazz, but most unfortunately I didn't have one to hand. I do however have a Snitzel meal with a German Gose beer, which sounds pretty apt to me. On opening this Pizzazz Gose beer there was a sour wheat, tomato and faintly herby aroma from the can.

On first face twistingly sour mouthful I very quickly realised that this beer is not for me. There is a citrus almost lemony flavour from the sourness of the Gose, which merges almost instantly with a strong tomato flavour and a little sweet basil. This pizza-esque flavour runs right through this super sour beer. If you like sour beer this is for you. If you like pizza and sour beer, I'd recommend you wash one down a pizza with a can of Pizzazz. Unfortunately I like neither!

30 July 2021

The Foodie Bag (Paper Bag Co #TheFoodieBag #Gifted) By @Cinabar

The Foodie Bag - Paper Bag Co #TheFoodieBag #Gifted

Many thanks to the lovely folks at The Paper Bag Co for sending me a Foodie Bag as a gift to review. Although we take a lot of photographs here at Foodstuff Finds (daily blog posts) I have to confess that more than often the background is simply our kitchen table. I realise that isn’t very interesting but thanks to the handy Foodie Bag that should change a bit. They sent me a lovely canvas bag, complete with a mesh pocket divider. It is very sturdy and bigger than I thought it would be, it fits nicely over the shoulder and my laptop fits in it no problem at all, perfect for when I’m out and about.

Inside the bag we were also sent a tube with nice backgrounds for photographs the first of which I’ll use on Monday review. My kitchen table might well be side stepped for a while! There is a 15-inch photographic reflector and diffuser in its own bag, perfect as the light in our kitchen isn’t designed with photography in mind, I regularly get reflection on anything shiny I’m snapping. There are also smart postcards with photography tips.

My favourite thing though is the bag, it is huge, sturdy, pretty and fab for being out and about. This is the perfect gift for any foodie friends you have, especially those wanting to upgrade their Insta pictures. Many thanks again to The Paper Bag Co for sending through.

The Foodie Bag - Paper Bag Co #TheFoodieBag #Gifted

29 July 2021

Wicked Kitchen - Late Night Noodles - Smokey Soy flavours & a surprise! (@NLi10)

I needed some lazy lunch pots so picked some up on a supermarket trip - including this intriguing new brand.

Wicked Kitchen has clear concise branding and was pretty affordable.  Sounds worth a try.

It's just simple noodles and dust - but that's all I need.

Smells great - lets look what's in it.

Wait - here's a surprise - it's just the Tesco own brand noodles - but with a fun new name!  That's a great idea (and copying the 'discount' supermarkets) and one that worked on me.  The noodles were tangy in flavour and very simple, but filling enough.

My picture of the noodles was terrible, but they looked a lot like the pack shot so just scroll up a bit.  

An nice change from the typical pot noodle or the deluxe priced instant noodles. A win from me!


28 July 2021

The Curators Smoky Bacon Pork Puffs (Ocado) By @SpectreUK

The Curators Smoky Bacon Pork Puffs

I've recently written about two flavours of The Curators Pork Puffs, which were the Original salted flavour and also the Sweet Chilli flavour. Both flavours were superb and I have some more packets in the cupboard to supplement my lunches with more protein after my weights sessions. Cinabar has now found me The Curators Smoky Bacon Pork Puffs to try, so I thought I should write about those too.

I've mentioned before that The Curators Pork Puffs are based on a Latin street-food called "Chicharrones". These pork puffs are made from pork rind which is hot flashed to make its fluffy texture. I'm rather looking forward to trying this Smoky Bacon flavour, as I know just how good the other two flavours are!

On opening the packet there was a sweet and smoky aroma from the light reddish dusted pork puffs inside. On first crunchy taste there is a sweetness from the oak smoked sugar in the seasoning, followed by a smoky bacon flavour mixed in with the salty pork rind flavour underneath the seasoning.

These The Curators Smoky Bacon Pork Puffs are gorgeous. I even tried dipping them into a little apple sauce I had left over from my pork sandwich, and they went particularly well together. I shall definitely be having these in regularly with the other two pork puff flavours from The Curators.

Information on the packet;
The 22g bag contains 107 calories, with 4.6g of fat, 0.44g of sugar, 16.2g of protein, and 1.1g Salt. Ingredients include; pork rind (95%), rice flour, salt, sugar, yeast extract, oak smoked sugar, natural flavouring, smoke flavouring, and paprika extract.

The Curators Smoky Bacon Pork Puffs

27 July 2021

Churros (M&S Food) By @Cinabar

M&S Food - 10 x Churros

I was a in a restaurant for Spectre’s birthdays and I missed out on my favourite dessert of Churros with a chocolate dip. I say missed out, that isn’t completely true, it was a choice. It was so very very hot (unusual for British weather) and all I could fancy for dessert was an ice cream. There was no air con and I needed something cooling! I still felt like I’d missed out, so when I saw these Churros in M&S Food Hall I couldn’t resist picking them up to have at home.

M&S Food - 10 x Churros

They are stored in the fridge and I took them out to snack on while watching binge watching Black Books on Netflix (I’m catching up on classics I missed first time round and have already worked my way through the IT Crowd). I was surprised to see you are supposed to eat these hot and that I should have been putting the oven on to pre-heat. I caught up, arranged these on a baking tray and cooked them for 8 minutes. Then I microwaved the chocolate dip (it was solid) but went pleasingly running. I sprinkled the cinnamon sugar on the Churros generously and they smelt amazing, oh my I do love cinnamon.

M&S Food - 10 x Churros

I gave one a try and was thoroughly impressed, the doughnut taste was spot on it felt fresh, the churros was so nice with the cinnamon sugar, flavoursome and warm and they were a proper treat. They were soft but lightly crispy on the outside. The chocolate dip was good too but I’m biased towards cinnamon and found myself preferring them plain, the chocolate dip wasn’t bad I’d have preferred a darker sauce but honestly all I needed was the cinnamon on those hot Churros, pure yum. PS Happy to take any comedy recommendation on Netflix, do leave a comment if you have any ideas?

26 July 2021

After Eight - Strawberry & Mint (GB Gifts) By @Cinabar

After Eight - Strawberry & Mint

Not that long ago I would have said that the idea of combining mint and fruit flavours was crazy, After Eight have changed my opinion on that. They have successfully combined mint with orange previously and even other ingredients like Mango and Pineapple. There was a Gin and Tonic edition at one point too, the flavours are quite mad sometimes. For Summer this year they have mixed mint with a classic summer fruit and here we have After Eight Strawberry & Mint, I couldn’t wait to try it.

After Eight - Strawberry & Mint

The box is bright and red on the outside and the box is quite posh on the inside too. The After Eights look like the normal ones with the usually paper enveloped and the dark chocolate with the white filling. The flavour is very different, the mint is at half strength and the berry flavour for the other half. There aren’t many occasions where you can describe the flavour as a refreshing strawberry but that is what these are. The have a nice sweet strawberry fruit flavour that mellows to a cool mild mint. They work well, like many of the limited edition After Eights they shouldn’t but they do. These are a lovely treat and I heartily recommend popping them in the fridge for an extra bit of cool.

25 July 2021

Naked Japanese Style Katsu Curry Rice (@Nli10)

 What do you do for lunch when it's too hot to go out to the shop? Get Naked!

Luckily that's a capital N there and i'm just talking about the snack brand.  Here we have a Katsu 'style' pot of stuff.

The sneaky fluffy rice that is almost like rice crispies.  Interesting tech.

Soon looks normal with water

And 5 mins later looks (and smells) like food!  And granted - this isn't a luxury lunch - it's rather homogeneous but the Katsu flavour is good, and it did fill me up (but maybe less so than the Huel grains).

Not one to rush out and buy again, but a plesant enough option to have stashed away for a rainy (or heatwave) day.

24 July 2021

Hickory’s Pale Ale (Hickory’s Smokehouse @Hickorys_) By @SpectreUK

Hickory’s Pale Ale  at Hickory’s Smokehouse

My mom has her Birthday just before mine. We decided to have a meal out at the Hickory's Smokehouse in Wallheath, near Birmingham. After being seated and reading the extensive menu, I decided on the Black and Blue Butt Steak, whilst trying not to think too much regarding the 'butt' part of my meal. Sirloin steak in the UK is called Butt steak in America, so it should be okay.

Steak at Hickory’s Smokehouse

I ordered the Hickory's Pale Ale to wash down my steak, Stilton cheese, bacon and maple syrup meal, with chips. There was a citrus hoppy aroma from my pint when it arrived at the table. Deep caramel brown in colour my pale ale was 5% in volume.

There was an initial smooth sweetness from the caramel malt followed by pale malt, and then citrus hops, which were crisp and bitter, and then a light kiss of herbal hops. The sweet caramel malts and pale malt mixed with the bitter hops and washed around my mouth into the aftertaste.

This was a lovely beer, which went well with my huge thick paprika spiced and Stilton cheese covered steak. I had Alabama Fudge Cake to finish off my meal just to max out the calories after my light lunch, for a super chocolaty, super tasty, super lovely Birthday meal.

Fudge Cake at Hickory’s Smokehouse

23 July 2021

Fruit Salad Ice Lollies (Iceland) By @Cinabar

Fruit Salad Ice Lollies (Iceland)

With the heat this week it shouldn’t be any surprise that I have another ice cream review. It is the weather for it, and knowing Britain it may be the only week of hot weather we get all year. Next up is the retro sweets Fruit Salad turned into ice lollies. I used to love these sweets as a kid and couldn’t wait to try out the ice lolly version. The sweets are a mix of pineapple and raspberry and these lollies mimic that with a raspberry sorbet and a pineapple ice cream intertwined on the stick.

Fruit Salad Ice Lollies (Iceland)

I should say it was hot when I bought these and as as such the pretty shape got a little melted before I could get them in the freezer. The flavour was spot on though, it tasted just like the Fruit Salad sweets. They are fruity fun and full of flavour, one of the most refreshing ice creams I have had this year, I loved them. I like Twisters, but it strikes me these are so much better. The raspberry zing is super refreshing. That lovely Fruit Salad flavour is just shining through, these Fruit Salad Ice Lollies are how you keep cool. Just remember to keep them cool till you get them in the freezer to fully appreciate their shape!

Fruit Salad Ice Lollies (Iceland)

22 July 2021

KitKat Chunky - Cookies Dough (@NLi10)

 I'd not seen these before but I wanted a little treat, and I decided to give it a go.  Basically an Oreo's KitKat!  Nestle do seem to use the Chunky range to give the UK the flavours.

Straight out of the fridge due to the heat - and it looks like it survived it's trip in tact.

It's a little hard to see all the layers, but it's indeed a cookie dough style paste on top of the usual wafers.

And it's decent - it's not a strong flavour so I doubt it's going to cause many people to declare it their favourite.  It's more similar to the Hershey style than the Oreo style too, but it does work with the milk chocolate.  I'd be happy to keep eating after the three chunks, these don't seem as filling as when they first appeared, but as a little afternoon snack on a hot day it was very welcome.

21 July 2021

Sour Patch Kids Cola (Co-op) By @SpectreUK

Sour Patch Kids Cola

I've previously written about quite a few Sour Patch Kids sweets before, and I've tried mostly good and only one that I wasn't so fussed about. Our friend in America has mentioned that I've left his most favourite Sour Patch Kids until last; Sour Patch Kids Cola. So I'm rather looking forward to these.

It mentions on the front of the packet that these Sour Patch Kids Cola are "sour then sweet". On opening the packet there was a sweet traditional cola smell from the bag. There was a multitude of little kids shaped gummy sweets inside which were cola coloured. 

Sour Patch Kids Cola

  On taste these Sour Patch Kids Cola have quite a sour kick. I could instantly see why our American friend likes these cola flavoured sour sweets so much. They have a sour kick and then a sweet traditional cola flavour to finish. I'd definitely have these Sour Patch Kids Cola again. These are some of the best cola sweets I've tasted. They are seriously moreish and I found myself popping one into my mouth after another.

Information on the packet;
The 160g bag has 78 calories per 8 sweets (24g) with less than 0.1g of fat, 15g of sugar, and less than 0.01g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Sour Patch Kids Cola

20 July 2021

Funny Feet Ice Creams (Iceland) By @Cinabar

Funny Feet Ice Creams

Another hot day requires another ice cream review, I’m desperately trying to keep cool. This review is a retro ice lolly brought back out again, Funny Feet. I used to love these when I was a kid, I even remember my brother and I collecting lollipop sticks and sending them off to get a Funny Feet and Friends joke book, so it was a proper nostalgic trigger when I saw these in Iceland.

Now the weather is hot, very hot, so please excuse the slightly melted toes on my lolly, I tried to get them into the freezer as quickly as I could, but my word it is hot here in the UK. Don’t forget we are a country without air conditioning because if we could control the temperature what would we complain about?

Funny Feet Ice Creams

The flavour was a sweet creamy strawberry ice cream, just like I remember from my childhood. The flavour isn’t too strong just sweet and creamy strawberry. I loved the shape of the lollies, it made me smile with nostalgia. I can’t wait to try some of the other retro favourites that are being relaunched.

Funny Feet Ice Creams

19 July 2021

Slush Puppie The Original Ice Cream Blue Raspberry (Iceland) By @Cinabar

Slush Puppie The Original Ice Cream Blue Raspberry

Slush Puppie has been going a long time, I associate it with fun days out in Summer and having the famous blue drink to cool me down and quench my thirst. This ice cream is based on that famous blue slush drink and is raspberry flavoured. It is a hot day here, so a perfect day to have ice cream for dessert. Anything to try and help us keep cool.

I opened up the tub and scooped some ice cream into a bowl, I got very distracted by the colour, it is very blue. I mean seriously bright blue. Not in a good way, something about it being milk based made the colour worse. I gave it a try anyway and loved the taste, the raspberry flavour is good and was very refreshing. It is sweet and tasty, but not as strong as the drink was. I started to ignore the shocking blue colour and just enjoy the ice cream for the fruity flavour that it was.

When I was finished I caught myself in the mirror, my tongue is bright blue!!! Oh my, there is no forgetting the colour after all!

Slush Puppie The Original Ice Cream Blue Raspberry

18 July 2021

Too Hot - Drink cooling Jasmine Tea (@NLi10)

Britain is currently Too Hot.  To this end I bought and carried a couple of litres of ice-cold tea for bumbling around the shops (which was silly - should just buy one at a time).  Only one was *new* to me and of interest.

We mostly spent the day in the Custard Factory looking at the cool new market area on Floodgate Street and hanging in Wayland's Forge.  Here I am hiding in the shade and guzzling tea.

It's a relatively simple affair - and I was warned before buying it - there is no sugar in this!

There isn't much of anything - what a swizz!  Well, actually an unsweetened Jasmine tea is just what I fancied.  I'd have preferred a deeper flavour (this is from powder - oops) but it was too grassy for my sister so it's probably just my taste buds.  It was refreshing, icy, watery, fragrant Jasmine tea.  And I felt very refreshed afterwards.

17 July 2021

Goose Island IPA and The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon (@BestWesternGB) By @SpectreUK

Goose Island IPA and The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon

We haven't been away on holiday since September 2018. What with my knee recovery after the operation, which was soon after that date, and the pandemic, there just hasn't been opportunity to do so. My Birthday is coming up and every spa hotel seemed to be fully booked. Cinabar tried Secret Escapes and found the Welcombe Hotel, in Stratford, and she booked a two night stay.

Goose Island IPA and The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon

We had a lovely couple of spa days, and the staff were very welcoming and attentive. On the first night we sat down for a restaurant meal in a classical room in the mansion house. There was a beautiful view outside.

Goose Island IPA and The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon

Goose Island IPA and The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon

We had a crab and spinach tart to start with, then I had a sirloin steak for my main meal. The food was excellent and the portions were rather filling. I washed my meal down with a Goose Island India Pale Ale.

Goose Island IPA is a six-time medal winner at the Great American Beer Festival. Dry-hopped with Cascade hops, as well as using Pilgrim, Celeia, and Centenniel hops in the brewing. My 5.9% in volume Goose Island IPA had a pleasing herbal and citrus hoppy aroma.

Goose Island IPA and The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon

On trying my pint the herbal hops come to the fore first, which were bitter and crisp, with sweet pale malts to follow with a little hops into the aftertaste. Mmm… lovely with my steak meal. I had Cheese and biscuits with a Cockburn port for dessert. I liked this meal so much, I had it both nights.

The full English Breakfasts in the mornings were enough to fill me for breakfast and lunch too. We had a wonderful relaxing couple of days, and we're looking forwards to a return trip there soon.

Goose Island IPA and The Welcombe Hotel Stratford-Upon-Avon

16 July 2021

Reese’s Overload (Co-Op) By @Cinabar

Reese’s Overload

I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, it doesn’t seem that popular here in the UK but our American friends are masters of the flavours. The brand Reese’s do have a few more bars out in the UK than they used to and this is one I haven’t seen before, Reese’s Overload. I spotted it in our local Co-Op while I was doing a top up shop. This takes the winning combination of peanut butter and chocolate and adds a new element of texture, salted pretzel.

Inside the wrapper are two mini bars both coated in milk chocolate. I gave one the taste test and absolutely loved the texture, the pretzel adds crunch making it a very satisfying bar to eat. The salt from the pretzel goes well with the peanut flavour and the addition of some caramel meant the flavour was very much full on. I won’t lie I put portion control aside and ate both pieces in one go. There was chocolate, peanut, caramel, salt and pretzel, there was all the good stuff here, the bar was absolutely divine. I was nice to munch on and so very much full of flavour it totally lived up to its name, Reese’s Overload. Definitely one to pick up again.

Reese’s Overload

15 July 2021

This seasons Krispy Kremes - mint choc chip, raspberry ripple & Biscoff (@NLi10)

 Tesco have made it easier to buy some Krispy Kreme for my birthday.

It looks a bit sparse here but I had just taken 12 out.

I got a mixed box so I could try all the new flavours.

Here we have a lovely Dolce Gusto coffee and the new raspberry ripple doughnut 

Filled with amazing jam, one of my colleagues called it her new favourite. Essentially a raspberry and vanilla mix. Excellent 


For the more choc minded person we have the mint-choc-chip. A minty topped doughnut filled with choc creme.

Lastly we have the Biscoff - which I think I’ve had before but happy to have again

Crumbled on top and with wafers of white choc it’s very nice

Yum! Probably the least exciting of the trio, but really nice too.