29 February 2024

Takis USA Waves Fuego - and a beer! [@NLi10]

 A late one today - we went round to the in laws for dinner (chinese) but as a starter I decided to have the spicy Takis Waves I picked up the other day - along with a lovely Organic Pale Ale from the Westmorland farm shop services.

The bag was expensive - these are the 50p bags, but I paid £1.50! 

The USA Takis are always overpriced - if you can you should seek out the Spanish version.  They also seem to a little spicier which is nice.

There is lots of flavour dust here too - spicy time! You can taste the lime too.

And to top it off we have the beer.  This went very well with the spicy crisps - and the spicy Chinese too.  Not too strong, but definably flavoursome and very much an archetypal British Beer.  Was a very good pairing, but I don't think I'll bother with the waves again - not enough for the money,

28 February 2024

Nestle Milky Bar Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream (Morrisons) By @SpectreUK

Nestle Milky Bar Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream

There seems to be an ice cream theme to Nestle's chocolates this year. When I was a kid, many, many moons ago, I remember the big bricks of raspberry ripple ice cream wrapped in cardboard. My Aunty used to treat my sister and I to huge blocks of it during the spring and summer. On a Saturday afternoon after shopping, we'd go to Aunty and Uncle Fred's. I'd have a Lledo toy vehicle of some kind as a treat, a bag of Walkers Ready Salted crisps, and a huge block of raspberry ripple ice cream.

My Uncle Fred would teach me woodwork in his shed, and I'd always wander up his garden looking in wonder at all the rows upon rows of veg, and then stare into the spooky Anderson shelter at the back of garden. I even remember the wood and Creosote smell of the inside of his shed, and the immense water-butt outside. Once we'd made whatever, usually some kind of wooden toy car, or something to fix the fence, I'd go into the house for my ice cream.

Nestle Milky Bar Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream

I can't seem to find proper raspberry ripple ice cream in the supermarkets these days. It's always some weird combination or other of flavours. Granted they taste good, but nothing like the glory days of my childhood with my Aunty and Uncle Fred's great brick of raspberry ripple. I'm hoping these Nestle Milky Bar Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream buttons will ease my memories.

On opening the bag there was a strong smell of raspberries and a little white chocolate to the white and pinkish buttons inside. On first taste there was creaminess from the Milky Bar Chocolate, and then the flavour of raspberries built up until it exploded in my mouth with a luscious Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream flavour. Wow. It says "to share" on the packet. Not a chance.

Information on the bag; The 86g bag had 538 calories per 100g, with 29.3g of fat, 66.8g of sugar, and 0.17g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Nestle Milky Bar Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream

27 February 2024

Bacon Mayo (Aldi) by @Cinabar

Bacon Mayo (Aldi)

This is not Peri Peri Mayo. We do a monthly order with Aldi and use their ‘Click N Collect’ service. On that order, I asked for Peri Peri Mayo, and this is what I received as a substitution. I didn’t mind at all, but the person from Aldi who brought our groceries to the car was thoroughly embarrassed. I kept trying to reassure him we didn’t mind and could still use it as a dip, but he listed all the other items he would have used to replace it, and he pointed out that at his last store this would never have happened as a substitution. I think it is safe to say he wouldn’t have touched Bacon Mayo had it been the last condiment on the shelf. I was quite looking forward to it.

We decided to have some Bacon Mayo with chips, and it did work really well as a dip. The flavour wasn’t quite as full on of bacon as I thought it would be. The start of the flavour is a little acidic and sharp, like a concentrated tomato taste. Then came a wave of a smoky taste, which was very strong but pleasant, and then there was a little creaminess at the end. It was a really nice combo of flavours and went really well as a dip. Perhaps even the Aldi guy would have liked it if he had been brave enough to give it a try. 

26 February 2024

Ben & Jerry’s Sundae: Dulce De-lish Ice Cream (Tesco) By @Cinabar

Ben & Jerry’s Sundae: Dulce De-lish Ice Cream

I may have bought more ice cream, despite the fact that the weather has turned colder again. We had a heavy frost this morning, and the central heating is on, but we are still having ice cream for dessert as I bought a new flavour. Here we have Dulce De-lish ice cream from the Ben & Jerry’s Sundae range. Inside the tub, we start with chocolate ice cream, and underneath this is a salt caramel ice cream base. Running through all of this are caramel swirls and chocolate chunks. 

When you have a tub of Ben & Jerry's, I’m assuming it is designed for sharing. My thoughts are that there are several portions in the pot. If you start scooping from the top, you kind of miss the magic of having the two flavours in the pot. I think layered ice cream in a tub should be sideways for the fix, but that is just my opinion. 

Ben & Jerry’s Sundae: Dulce De-lish Ice Cream

Anyway, we were sharing out several portions, so I had to steal a taste from the top, and my portion was mostly from the caramel sections. What they do wonderfully at Ben & Jerry’s is pack a lot of goodies in a tub, and this makes the whole thing wonderful to eat. But the chocolate and caramel sections of the ice cream were wonderfully flavorful and rich. The chocolate had loads of cocoa, and the caramel was wonderfully sugary and rich. The caramel swirls added a lovely touch of salt, and the chocolate chunks added extra sweetness and a touch of luxury. 

This Ben & Jerry’s Sundae: Dulce De-lish Ice Cream does what it says on the tub; it really is delicious. 

Ben & Jerry’s Sundae: Dulce De-lish Ice Cream

25 February 2024

Gusto Organic Cola - Real Cola (Gloucester Services) [@NLi10]

 On the way back from exciting places we stopped off in the Tebay services in Gloucester and picked up a few bits.  One we saved for later was this lovely cola.

I think I’ve had this Gusto cola before but it’s nice enough that we can have more,

This is what’s in it - fairly low in ingredients but high in taste. Mostly spring water, but nice and refreshing.

Good strong old-style cola flavours and not too sweet, overall a good cola.

24 February 2024

Allendale Dirty Deeds Beer (Morrisons) By @SpectreUK

Allendale Dirty Deeds Beer

The name of this New England India Pale Ale reminds me of an AC/DC song. Brewed in Allendale, in Northumberland, Dirty Deeds strives to present the spirit of freedom and adventure in "England's Last Wilderness".

We had plenty of holidays many years ago in Northumberland, and enjoyed wandering around it's Roman sites, castles, stately homes and gardens. I'd certainly recommend a visit or two. There was a lot to see. We stayed in the spooky Lumley Castle, and also a spa hotel.

At 6.6% in volume, Dirty Deeds had Amarillo, Citra, El Dorado and Mosiac hops added in the brewing, as well as pale ale malt, oats and wheat. High in citrus and tropical hops, this IPA should go rather well washing down my fish fingers and chips tonight. Not very adventurous I know, but I've caught a rotten cold and I don't fancy anything too taxing.

Dirty Deeds poured with an excitable frothy head. There was an almost sharp citrus bitter smell from the hops, mellowing to a satsuma type aroma. On taste the citrus tropical fruity combination of hops blended perfectly with each other, with a quick tart bitterness following into the sweet pale malts, some heartiness from the added oats, and a little wheatiness to finish. Dirty Deeds wasn't so dirty after all, and it washed down my fish fingers and chip butty very well indeed.

23 February 2024

Starbucks Chocolate Marshmallow Flavour Smores Limited Edition Frappuccino (Iceland) By @Cinabar

Starbucks Chocolate Marshmallow Flavour Smores Limited Edition Frappuccino

And the prize for the longest name of a product so far this year on the blog goes to Starbucks Chocolate Marshmallow Flavour Smores Limited Edition Frappuccino. When the weather is a bit warmer, I do like to buy iced coffee for home. This is probably one of the new drinks for spring, and although the weather might not be there, I still couldn’t resist buying it. I decided to have this at lunchtime as a pick-me-up while working from home. I leave all my admin to Friday, which isn’t the most motivating thing for the end of the day.

Anyway, I poured the drink out and filled my smaller glass. I gave it a taste, and the flavour was rather good. There was a good base of an iced coffee and a nice thick texture. The flavour has a hint of chocolate and a nice sweetness running through it. I’m not sure I could categorically pick out the Smores element (toasted marshmallow), but there was a sugary goodness and a bit of a bitter edge (burnt marshmallow) or a bit of a biscuit taste, but either way, it was one yummy drink. 

Starbucks Chocolate Marshmallow Flavour Smores Limited Edition Frappuccino

22 February 2024

COOK - Rhubarb & Custard Pudding [@NLi10]

 When we picked up some Cook ready meals for our Nanna we dicided to get a big pudding for when we had friends round.

It's Rhubarb and custard cake - and super luxury!

We smartly thought that as there are only two of us we would cut and cook a small portion - not thinking that as it cooks it's going to defrost and then get runny.

Ok - zero points for presentation then!

As it happens - it still cooked ok although it went a bit crispy where it had leaked on to the pan.  Still tasted divine, and had all the fruity textures I love.

Can't wait to have the rest, but we will put it in a smaller baking tray so that it doesn't ooze out of the already cut end.

21 February 2024

Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme Salted Caramel (Martins) By @SpectreUK

Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme Salted Caramel

Hershey's chocolate can be a bit of an acquired taste, although they do use less sour milk than in the past. They haven't used sour milk to produce their white chocolate though. This Hershey's Cookies 'N' Creme Salted Caramel is a white chocolate bar flavoured with salted caramel cookies. I'm hoping it's going to go rather well with some vanilla ice cream for my pudding tonight.

Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme Salted Caramel

On opening the bar there were lots of pieces of salted caramel cookie within the Hershey's White Chocolate bar. On taste the cookie pieces provided crunchiness, and a good salted caramel flavour, with the white chocolate providing luscious creaminess into the aftertaste. This Hershey's Cookies 'N' Creme Salted Caramel went perfectly with my vanilla ice cream for a creamy, salty caramel sweet treat for my pudding.

Information on the wrapper; The 90g bar contained 525 calories per 100g, with 28g of fat, 51g of sugar, and 0.39g salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Hershey’s Cookies ‘N’ Creme Salted Caramel

20 February 2024

Cadbury Creme Egg Cakes (Tesco) By @Cinabar

Cadbury Creme Egg Cakes

The very best thing about Easter time are Creme Eggs. I love very sweet things, and that mix of milk chocolate and sweet fondant filling is my thing. They don’t work for everyone, but gosh, they work for me. Of course, we don’t just get Cadbury Creme Eggs at this time of year; we also get all the fun new products based on those chocolates. I picked up this fab-looking box of Cadbury Creme Egg Cakes. There are four cakes in the box, all based on one of my favourite treats.

Cadbury Creme Egg Cakes

The cakes are round, and the sponge is filled with a swirl of Cadbury Creme Egg filling, coated in milk chocolate, and then, for added sweetness, coated in chocolate drops! This is my kind of dessert.

I gave it a try, and oh my, this is all about the Creme Egg filling. The fondant taste is sweet and gooey, and it melts into the chocolate cake flavour. The sponge is lovely, moist, and soft, and the chocolate shell and chocolate drops add a nice texture. What a delight! The only negative is that the chocolate drops on top are a little loose, and it was inevitable that some would end up on the floor. It seems mean to criticise such a cool product because I really enjoyed these Cadbury Creme Egg Cakes.

Cadbury Creme Egg Cakes

19 February 2024

Egg Joyables Cookies and Creme (Aldi) By @Cinabar

Egg Joyables Cookies and Creme

Firstly, how cute is the packaging? These Egg Joyables chocolate eggs are in a mini egg box and look super cute! The flavour is Cookies and Creme, and inside the box we have four chocolate eggs with the filling, all neatly wrapped in foil. There are also a couple of wooden spoons, despite the fact that there are four eggs. Are you supposed to eat two, or just not share? I can’t tell, but either way, I’m not that keen on the idea of a wooden spoon, so I just bit in. 

I had a lovely taste of rich milk chocolate, which was rather nice. The egg broke a little, though, and split itself in half. The top half seemed hollow, and the bottom half had the Cookies and Creme filling.

I decided to finish the milk chocolate top half before tucking into the main part. I rather liked the Cookies and Creme filling; it was fairly thick but quite soft. The taste was sweet and creamy, and a nice flavour of biscuit. It wasn't extremely sweet, like a Creme Egg, but it was still at the top end of sweetness. I have quite a sweet tooth, so they worked perfectly for me. I totally recommend these Egg Joyables. 

18 February 2024

Pukka - Doner Kebab Pie [@NLi10]

 It's an odd circle here - chip shops have kebab meat, and sometimes Pukka Pies as the luxury (but affordable) pie.  They are pretty slight though so you'd always have a cone of chips on the side.  Yum.

Now you can get the pies from the chip shop but at home, but filled with meat from the chip shop. Hurrah!

It has three points of spicy, but it's a white person scale so it's a Nando's Medium and fine.

It's a normal pie - and as per the two person one they haven't said exactly how many portions it is 

But we can make it up to a lovely meal with rocket and spuds and carrots.

It's fine inside for the price - but the kebab meat is thin and sparse, but the sauce and the veg means this is a perfectly valid option.  Much better if from the chip shop so the gravy goes on your chips, but then you could probably just get some kebab meat instead!

17 February 2024

Six States New England IPA (Morrisons) By @SpectreUK

Six States  New England IPA

I haven't had Schnitzels for quite sometime. I used to have them quite regularly, but they can take quite a bit of energy to bash when homemade, or find in the supermarket. I'm being treated to homemade Schnitzels tonight with potato salad, tomato salad, and a green salad. That all sounds pretty healthy, I'm sure you're thinking, so I'm going to wash it down with this New England style white Indian Pale Ale.

This 5.7% in volume Six States has promise of refreshing tropical hops, as well as citrus peel and spices from coriander seeds infused in the brewing. This hazy New England IPA was heavily dry-hopped, so it shouldn't be too bitter, having a smooth flavour with sweetness and body from added wheat and oats.

On opening the can I could hear bashing pork (I'll leave that to your imagination) in preparation of the Schnitzels in the kitchen below. There was quite a strong tropical fruity hop aroma to the slightly murky golden brew as I poured it. On taste Six States is strong with tropical hops, and not too bitter, with a little coriander spice. There was sweetness from the malts and wheat into the aftertaste, and a hearty filling from the added oats. This New England style IPA washed down my Schnitzels and accompanying salads rather well indeed. I'm looking forward to having it all again very soon.

16 February 2024

Nuts About Raspberry Hot Chocolate (Hotel Chocolat) By @Cinabar

Nuts About Raspberry Hot Chocolate (Hotel Chocolat)

I don’t think there were any new flavours of hot chocolate from Hotel Chocolat over Christmas. I was super disappointed. Yes, they had the Black Forest Gateaux and even the Caramel and Clementine, but I tried those last year. As it is obvious from the blog, I’m all about the new varieties. 

Thankfully, for Valentine's Day, Mother’s Day, or even as it is just heading towards spring, it looks like we finally have a new flavour launch. Here we have Hotel Chocolat Nuts About Raspberry Hot Chocolate. So not just a fruity drink, but a fruity and nutty drink, sounds perfect. I opened up the sachet and dropped it into my Velvetiser hot chocolate gadget. You can make it on the hob with hot milk and a whisk if you don’t have a kitchen stacked with random gadgets like me.

Nuts About Raspberry Hot Chocolate (Hotel Chocolat)

The drink is fairly dark once made, but still has a lovely level of sweetness. There is the fruitiness of the raspberry, not too strong, just a nice sharp berry taste, then the smoothness of chocolate and hazelnut. It is a delight of a combination. It is a silky, smooth drink with a lovely balance of flavours. We may have had to wait quite a while for a new variety, but this Hotel Chocolat Nuts About Raspberry Hot Chocolate certainly ticks all the boxes now that it is here. 

Nuts About Raspberry Hot Chocolate (Hotel Chocolat)

15 February 2024

WWT Teapigs English Breakfast (plus cute animal pics) [@NLi10]

 We took a trip down to Bristol to visit the Wetlands Trust's site Slimbridge to see all the birds - and picked up a box of their tea at the same time - mainly as an excuse to share animal pictures.

Here is a shabby Egret - she is called Kevin!

These are Teapigs - so they have the lovely pyramids, but the eco friendly ones tear so easily due to the glue on the tab - note the little tear holes.

It mostly doesn't break but you have to be delicate with it...

...as with this tiny dormouse - that's a pretty small sock you're living in there!

The tea brews up nicely, and is pretty much the same as the standard Teapigs English Breakfast - a nice refreshing black tea

And ti finish - here is one of the pair of two otters they have at the site

It's a lovely place and big enough to occupy a whole day out - well worth a visit over half term!

14 February 2024

Diplomat Biscuit Tea Tastes Like Salted Caramel (Aldi) By @SpectreUK

Diplomat Biscuit Tea Tastes Like Salted Caramel

Happy Valentine's Day 💝

Last week I wrote about Diplomat Biscuit Tea Tastes Like Jaffa. I noticed on the back of the box all the interesting sounding ingredients. This week I'm writing about Diplomat Biscuit Tea Tastes Like Salted Caramel. If you notice in the ingredients below, there wasn't much information to go on. I don't know why that gave me the heebie-jeebies, I guess I have to find out what it tastes like instead.

On opening the box there wasn't much of an aroma from the square teabags, asides the smell of black tea. I brewed up a couple of mugs side by side to make sure. I mean, Diplomat Biscuit Tea Tastes Like Salted Caramel is Salted Caramel flavoured, so just one mug of this doesn't seem quite right to my greedy side. Adding a touch of milk, as usual, I waited a while for my teas to cool.

There was a sweet smell of caramel from my mugs of tea. Good start. On taste the caramel just keeps on giving, and with the added creaminess from the milk, this could have been the best biscuit tea I've tried so far. There was a touch of saltiness into the aftertaste, which wasn't a bad addition, but it did make me thirsty enough for a another swig. Once I started drinking, I literally couldn't stop. I was glad to have two mugs, but the thirst afterwards didn't end there.

Information on the box; 40 teabags with ingredients of; black tea, flavouring.

13 February 2024

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites (Petrol Station) By @Cinabar

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

When we buy petrol, we buy treats from the petrol station, which helps sooth the cost of the fuel. The good thing about our local petrol station is that it stocks the most excellent selection of import goodies local to us. I don’t know who the buyer is, but they have my kind of taste. Today we picked up this box of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites, which originated in the USA.

Inside the box are small, mixed-shaped pieces of cookie dough coated in milk chocolate. They are small but perfect to snack on while watching TV. The flavour is sweet, but the cookie dough has a nice creamy flavour with a hint of something a little tangy, perhaps salt. The milk chocolate is sweet and creamy and brings the whole thing together. The texture is soft but firm. 

These are moreish chocolates, and they are really nice and a bit different from what we normally get in the UK. I look forward to the next time we need to top up the petrol tank in order to find another treat. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

12 February 2024

Doner Kebab Ridge Cut Crisps (Morrisons) By @Cinabar

Doner Kebab Ridge Cut Crisps (Morrisons)

Always exciting a new flavour of crisps, especially a flavour I can’t remember seeing before. These crisps are part of the own brand from Morrisons. Here we have Doner Kebab Ridge Cut Crisps, an interesting flavour based on a favourite Friday takeaway.

As those are ridge-cut crisps, there is plenty of seasoning, and it gathers well in the ridges. I gave one of the crisps a try, and I have to say they were really good. They managed to recreate the kebab experience really well; they were meaty, but with plenty of complex seasoning and hints of onion and warming spices too. They are full of flavour too; they were lovely and strong, and as regular readers know, I do love meaty varieties for crisps. The texture is spot on too; they are not too thick but pleasantly crunchy. All in all, these Morrisons Doner Kebab Ridge Cut Crisps are one of the nicest launches of new crisps I’ve tried in a while.

Doner Kebab Ridge Cut Crisps (Morrisons)

11 February 2024

Pukka Pie For Two - Chicken & Chorizo (but eating it alone) [@NLi10]

The difference in price between this two person pie (£2.75) and the normal one person pies (£2) was so little that I figured I might as well pay the 75p and go for it - even though I intended to eat alone.

Pre cooking it looks pretty big! 

The grammage isn't on the box but I'd say that it's maybe 1.8 of a normal pie - but there is proportionally more filling 

But it does take a while in the oven - so I broke out the King Slayer beer I bought to watch the wresting with and then completely forgot.  It's 8% which is way more than I'd usually go for - but with a big pie to adsorb it all it's fine.  The flavour is a bit too strong for me - I'd much rather have a nice smooth Belgian.

And here we go - it does fill the plate! I went with rocket as a side as I figured potatoes and veg would be too much - and I was right - this is pretty filling.

The insides are very Pukka - not huge packed with chunks like Pieminister - but certainly not a stingy portion.  YOu can find the chicken and the sliced chorizo and the sauce is rich and has a lovely flavour.  

I'd certainly choose this again, but I think the double size pie is only good for me while the special offer is on (normal price £3.50) as my partner being veggie then we'd need a pie that sits in the middle.