18 July 2024

Alpro - Vegan yogurt style snacks - Blueberry & Cherry [@NLi10]

 I've been cutting back on the old dairy recently, but I'm yet to find a truly satisfying yogurt - but as Alpro make decent breakfast milks (but not for tea) so lets see what's up here.

This vegan version has plant based blueberry and cherry versions - both of the flavours are plants so shouldn't be an issue

They look like classic childhood cheap yogurts

Turns out it's essentially soy and sugar - which is fine, but surely Alpro are the almond experts - why aren't they in here.

And why such low fruit percentages?!

And what's a vegetal anyway

Looks Ok though - the lovely clear plastic is a great touch - but the label makes these a pain to recycle so I bet most just get chucked.

The consistency is a little too smooth - but would be perfect in a blended drink.  The flavour just isn't strong enough - why isn't there lovely little specks of the fruit to explode throughout?  Maybe it makes the soya go weird, who knows.

Overall though a nice, small desert.  Surely designed for the diet conscious and not me who wants to gorge on fruity goodness.  I've got loads of fresh fruit to add to the remaining ones though so a good time will be had.

17 July 2024

Junior Mints Minis (Petrol Station) By @Cinabar

Junior Mints Minis

It has been a while since I tied Junior Mints and I really liked them, but it is much easier to find Mint Poppets than imported sweets at a reasonable price. I recently spotted these Junior Mints Minis at a petrol station here in the UK, and I couldn’t resist picking up a bag. As a fan of chocolate mint, I was excited to try this mini version of the popular American treat, which I haven’t seen before. I also like that they are in a re-sealable bag, I wish more sweets did this. 

Pouring some out, I noticed how small they were and was initially worried that the balance of mint and chocolate might be off. Some products come in giant or mini versions, and it changes the flavour a bit. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I gave one a try. Despite their size, the peppermint flavour was prominent and paired perfectly with the dark chocolate, making them absolutely delicious. In fact, there was still a wonderfully minty blast and the rich, smooth dark chocolate working perfectly together. 

The chocolate mints are fairly soft; there is a slightly firmer texture from the chocolate coating, but they are certainly not hard mints. This soft texture makes them easy to eat, and  I absolutely love chocolate mint. Overall, Junior Mints Minis are refreshing and tasty, as a chocolate-mint lover I am really pleased a bought a bag. 

Junior Mints Minis

16 July 2024

Aero Strawberry Chocolate Bar (Morrisons) By @Cinabar

Aero Strawberry Chocolate Bar

For summer, we have Aero's new Strawberry Chocolate Bar, which captures the classic flavours of a British summer with its strawberries and milk chocolate combination. This new bar features a milk chocolate coating enveloping pink-coloured bubbles, which are the hallmark of Aero's unique texture.

The bubbles provide a soft yet firm bite, creating a nice contrast that enhances the eating experience. I love texture. Although some might view the bubbles as a novelty, I find them genuinely enjoyable. It adds a lightness to the chocolate that makes it appear more substantial while being easy to bite into.

A memorable comment from a school teacher once suggested that Aero ingeniously sells air, making the chocolate look bigger than it is. Despite the criticism from him, I really like the texture and the satisfying chunkiness of Aero bars, which have clearly been successful for Aero.

Upon unwrapping, the bar releases an amazing, sweet aroma of chocolate and berries, instantly setting the stage for the taste experience. The flavour profile is lovely, with the milk chocolate blending with a sweet strawberry taste reminiscent of a strawberry milkshake. This new Aero Strawberry Chocolate Bar is truly a fruity chocolate delight, perfect for summer indulgence.

Aero Strawberry Chocolate Bar

15 July 2024

Kenco Millicano Cadbury Mocha (Morrisons) By @Cinabar

Kenco Millicano Cadbury Mocha

I do like a mocha to drink. I don’t put sugar in coffee generally, but I do like an occasional treat, which is why I find myself picking up interesting flavours of new coffee or mocha combinations. This drink is made in collaboration with two brands: Kenco Millicano Cadbury Mocha.

The tin isn’t too big; it is the same size as the regular Kenco Millicano coffee, but from that sized tin, you would use one teaspoon of coffee per mug. For this drink, you need three to four teaspoons per mug, so it won’t last anywhere near as long.

I put four teaspoons worth of powder in my mug because I hate weak drinks. I added the hot water and gave it a stir; it dissolved nicely, which is always good. I hate drinks with lumps. I gave it a try, and I really liked it. There was a very good balance of flavours, plenty of coffee, and so much so that its flavour took the lead. The chocolate was also there, adding a sweet, soothing edge, again very present but nicely balanced with the coffee, a perfect mocha. This Kenco Millicano Cadbury Mocha was a lovely drink, and one I’ll buy again. I just wish the tins were a bit bigger. 

14 July 2024

Fry's Katsu (Vegan) Chicken Fillets [@NLi10]

 We've been a big fan of Fry's Vegan stuff for a very long time here, so it's lovely when I spot a new kind like these in Iceland.  Yeah - it's essentially a flatter version of the chicken fillet, but the sauce immediately gives you recipe ideas and gets the taste-buds tingling.

And they seem like a nice bunch too!

And as ever - it's decent quality ingredients

Air Fryer instructions are now on everything!  But - in the normal oven it goes.

Not the sauce - that gets defrosted and pinged in the Microwave.

Cat plus katsu! Definitely vegan as she's not trying to hit it.

The sauce is good - just enough spice to elevate it from Chip-shop-curry to Katsu, and the not-chicken slices as easily as you'd expect.

This isn't going to fool anyone, but your average person isn't going to care past the first bite.  They might be upset I ran out of frozen Udon noodles and had to settle for waffles instead.  As I had it all to myself I didn't add leafy greens, but I did have a pudding too.

A hit with me and one I'll add to the usual order.

13 July 2024

Harvey Nichols Bloody Mary Ketchup (Ocado) By @SpectreUK

Harvey Nichols Bloody Mary Ketchup

I'm recovering from a particularly nasty bug, so I'm unfortunately off the booze at the moment. I'm hoping to feel better by next Saturday for some beer after my Birthday. Not off the booze completely though, as Cinabar found me this Harvey Nichols Bloody Mary Ketchup. It has a little vodka in it. It's £4.95 a bottle, so I'm hoping I'm going to like it with my scampi and chips tonight.

Harvey Nichols Bloody Mary Ketchup

On opening the bottle the deep red sauce was runnier than regular ketchup. It smelt like a really good tomato soup. There was a juicy sweet and sour tomato flavour to start with, then a decent chilli burn followed by the kick of vodka. There was lots of different flavours like balsamic vinegar, mixed with other peppery spices. It was super flavoursome with chilli and a kick of alcohol at the end. It would make an amazing tomato soup with that kick to it.

If all Bloody Mary's taste like this sauce, I could quite happily drink them in a bar. It felt like I was wasting this sauce on my chips. So good I could drink it, this Harvey Nichols Bloody Mary Ketchup was an expensive treat, but well worth a try.

Harvey Nichols Bloody Mary Ketchup

12 July 2024

Terry’s Chocolate (Not Orange) Mint (Ocado) By @Cinabar

Terry’s Chocolate Mint

I know the weather isn’t great, but I just don’t think psychologically I’m ready to skip straight to Christmas. Everyone knows we get new Terry’s Chocolate Orange editions at Christmas, yet here we are in July with this Terry’s Chocolate Mint (ok, it doesn’t actually say orange, but it is the same shape). 

Terry’s Chocolate Mint

As I have experience with Terry’s Chocolate Oranges, I know to tap the ball of chocolate before unwrapping it, as this loosens the segments, so that is what I did. Once unwrapped, all the pieces fell apart nicely for sharing. As this is a mint chocolate, I assumed it would be made with dark chocolate, but once the wrapper was off, I spotted that it was made with milk chocolate.

I took a piece of Terry’s Chocolate Mint and gave it a try. There is some serious mint in this chocolate, and it was an absolute blast of peppermint chocolate goodness. I love mint; I’m really glad the flavour is strong, and as you chew, all the sweet, creamy tones of chocolate shine through. This is a delight to eat. I meant to stop after only four pieces, but you know it is a bit good. 

I don’t know why we have a new flavour in the summer, but I am rather pleased with how yummy this Terry’s Chocolate Orange is. You could always add a piece to a bowl of mint chocolate-chip ice cream as the perfect summer topping, or just eat it straight from the wrapper like I did. 

Terry’s Chocolate Mint

11 July 2024

Zesty Bean Quinoa from Iceland - vitamins in 2 mins [@NL10]

 I'm home alone this week - and it's nice to add a few vitamins along the way.  And it's even nicer to just take 2 mins to make them. Iceland sell stiff to hide in the freezer and then just add to a meal.


And unusually it's got interesting things in there -not just peas and sweetcorn (although they do feature).

They don't look like much going in.

And then they look suspiciously like the things you get served in chain pubs!

And if you add a few vegan peperami, sub blessed tomatoes then it makes a decent meal...

Especially if you have a decent pudding lined up too!

10 July 2024

Walkers Wotsits Sweet & Spicy Flamin’ Hot (Morrisons) By @SpectreUK

Walkers Wotsits Sweet & Spicy Flamin’ Hot

I have an open tuna sandwich with cucumber and fried eggs for lunch, so a snack that's nice and spicy should go well with that. These Walkers Wotsits Sweet & Spicy Flamin' Hot crisps, should be just a step away from the usual Hot & Spicy Flamin' Hot. Albeit not a step too far away, but they must have at least a little sweetness to them from name.

On opening the packet there was an orange tint to these Walkers Wotsits Sweet & Spicy Flamin' Hot maize crisps inside. Having quite an instant fire to them, there was a paprika burn mixed in with a little caramel sweetness to begin with. This spicy burn kept on giving making my tongue tingle, with a hint of onion added to the sweetness into the aftertaste. Very nice indeed. I'll have to these regularly in.

I like a packet of Walkers Cheesy Wotsits now and then. I prefer Monster Munch for their crunchiness, but they don't come in Cheesy flavours. Maybe Walkers should try that next?

Information on the packet; Per 16g bag contains 85 calories, with 4.8g of fat, 0.6g of sugar, and 0.31g of salt. Please see photograph for the ingredients.

Walkers Wotsits Sweet & Spicy Flamin’ Hot

9 July 2024

Mr. Kipling Strawberries and Cream Fancies (Morrisons) By @Cinabar

Mr. Kipling Strawberries and Cream Fancies

We are officially in Wimbledon season; the tennis is on, and that means the classic Wimbledon dessert of strawberries and cream is now in fashion too. One of Mr. Kipling's new summer cakes are these Strawberries and Cream Fancies, based on the fondant fancy cake with a twist of strawberry. If you haven’t had this type of cake before, it is a square of sponge, a dollop of soft fondant, and covered in icing. I have had these cakes throughout my life, and as is the case with many things from childhood, I’m convinced they used to be bigger.

Mr. Kipling Strawberries and Cream Fancies

Inside the box are eight small cakes, and each one is in an individual paper case. These ones are a lovely pink colour, and I immediately picked up on the fruit aroma. I bit in, and there was a yummy blast of sweetness and plenty of strawberry flavour. The sponge square is lovely and moist, and the dollop of fondant makes the texture good too. These are sweet, and they went perfectly with a cup of tea, especially with the tennis in the background. It was so nice to have a summery treat. I just wish the weather would brighten up a bit too. 

Mr. Kipling Strawberries and Cream Fancies

8 July 2024

Hazelnut and White Chocolate Flavoured Spread (Morrisons) By @Cinabar

Hazelnut and White Chocolate Flavoured Spread (Morrisons)

I have reached the next jar in the adventures of interesting spreads for my toast. This one is a supermarket's own spread, and I think the inspiration comes from the thought of what it would be like if Nutella was made with white chocolate instead of milk chocolate. So here we have Hazelnut and White Chocolate Flavoured Spread. Count me in.

I opened up the jar and scooped some out with a knife onto my toast. I’m still running with a no-butter system, and I hope that is right as I’m new to these spreads. The spread itself is quite thick and was a bit more difficult to even out on the toast; when it warmed up on the hot bread, it was a bit easier. The taste was gorgeous. I have to add my usual disclaimer about having a sweet tooth, as this is a very indulgent treat. The white chocolate is sweet and creamy, and the hazelnut adds that lovely balance of nutty goodness. This Hazelnut and White Chocolate Flavoured Spread is an absolute delight. White chocolate Nutella works, and I’m very happy with my purchase. 

7 July 2024

PRIME is ordinary now - Strawberry Hydration & Strawberry Banana [@NLi10]

 Iceland now sells PRIME for £2 a bottle, which is fairly reasonable considering the insanity when it first launched.  As the Iceland offers on food were very depressing (I forget how much BBQ season ruins their ranges) I got some sad Pizza and a few bits and bobs, and a couple of PRIME to drink that afternoon while ignoring the football.

First up I went for the Hitman coloured Strawberry Lemonade Hydration version.  It was nice enough but still has that slightly artificial taste they haven't managed to dial out.  The flavours are still strong enough that kids can't taste the coconut water and thus aren't aware that they are getting vitamins.  Seriously - this stuff is so much better than Cola I'd be making sure my teenagers had as much as they wanted (but none of the cans).

I mean - look at all that goodness! If there were a little more coconut (or it wasn't from powder like the version I made) then I'm sure it'd be even better for them.

The banana one I had on the following day and is essentially the same but with the odd banana sweet taste (Cavendish?) floating over the top - which is odd as the vitamin and energy profiles are different too.  Maybe the vitamin A hides better with bananas.

Either way - both are still decent enough treats and good to keep in the fridge for when tired, but I'd still much rather have a Pocari Sweat.

6 July 2024

Crusha Milkshake Mix Caramel Latte (Morrisons) By @Cinabar

Crusha Milkshake Mix Caramel Latte

I don’t buy a lot of milkshake mixes, even though I do really enjoy them. It might be the weather; they are a summer drink, and so far we are lacking sunshine this year. They are something I have at an American-style diner, but not something I tend to have at home. Having said this, the bottle of Crusha Milkshake Mix Caramel Latte caught my eye, and I decided to give it a try. Crusha is a brand that has been going since the 1950s, so they know their stuff when it comes to milkshake mixes. 

Crusha Milkshake Mix Caramel Latte

This bottle is a cordial and actually makes 16 drinks from concentrate. You add 2 to 3 tablespoons of syrup to a glass, mix it with milk, and if you are feeling indulgent, you can add ice cream too. I went for the simpler option of just milk so I could do a proper flavour test. I love the idea of this flavour, and although I always love a chocolate milkshake, a grown-up coffee variety sounds perfect for me. 

I gave the drink a try, and I liked it. It was more like a milkshake than an instant iced coffee, but this is because it is sweet and then coffee-flavoured, which I really liked. There is plenty of caramel, and then the coffee comes through too, making a really nice, sweet milkshake. I've finished my glass far too easily and rediscovered a love of milkshakes I’d sort of forgotten about. I can’t wait to work through the rest of the bottle of Crusha Caramel Latte  Milkshake Mix.

Crusha Milkshake Mix Caramel Latte

5 July 2024

Um Bongo Tropical Drink - It's back! (Iceland) By @Cinabar

Um Bongo Tropical Drink

People of a certain age reading this blog are about to go all nostalgic for this Um Bongo drink. It was a staple of my childhood, then it disappeared. I can remember the television advertising and most of the words and tune even though it was from several decades ago. Um Bongo Um Bong, they drink it in the Congo. 

Um Bongo has a bit of a patchy history since then; it has had temporary reappearances and then sadly got discontinued again and again. It is now back and available in Iceland, and I would suggest getting this while you can if you are a fan. If you are new to Um Bongo, give it a try and find out what all the fuss is about. Um Bongo is a mix of many tropical fruits and has a distinctive flavour, which for me is mainly pineapple, but with a lovely mix of mango, passion fruit, and mandarin too. I gave the drink a try, and it did taste like I remembered, refreshing and super fruity. It is like a liquidised tropical fruit salad, and I know the nostalgia helps with my enjoyment too. 

Reading the ingredients label, I could see that the ingredients include sucrose, an artificial sweetener, which I’m guessing used to be sugar in the old version, but with sugar taxes, etc., I’m not surprised if this is a switch. I still loved it, and I will go back for more (while it is still available). 

4 July 2024

Lidl Spanish Week 2024 - crisps & biscuits [@NLi10]

It's Spanish Week at Lidl again - and purely by chance I happened to go in at the right time while they had the whole range.  Usually if you go in next week they will still have a few things so it's worth a trip - and feel free to recommend bits in the comments!

I wasn't feeling adventurous (and didn't have much carrying capacity) so I chose a few treats to add.

First up - thin potato crisps!  I enjoy these when on holiday (or just locally) so wondered what these were like.

Potato and oil is a good start

And with olives and sandwiches form part of a balanced lunch!  They are nice - a little crunchier than I expected - and you do get a lot in a bag.  The salt levels are decent and the roastedness of the potatoes is good too.  Overall a nice change, but not something to chase back for.

I also got these palmeritas.  I like the plain ones but seeing as the luxury versions exist - I figured give them a try.

While not as spectacular as the ones in the bakeries of Spain these are a reasonable substitute - with the decent layer of chocolate and the flakey goodness inside.  I'd probably try other things in this range if they are still around next week.

All just makes me want to book a holiday...


3 July 2024

Chocolate M&Ms Minis (Asda) By @Cinabar

Chocolate M&Ms Minis

I regularly complain about the lack of new M&Ms in the UK, mainly because I'm very jealous of the flavours that get released around the world and miss us out. But here we have a completely new UK-based M&Ms product; obviously, it is just chocolate flavour, but I’ve started to realise you have to take the wins where you can get them. These are Chocolate M&Ms Minis, regular chocolate M&Ms but shrunk in size. I poured some out, and the child in me felt like a giant. The chocolates were tiny; they did have the M logo on them, but it was small and a bit feint in places, but it was there.

I grabbed a few and ate them; there was something very fun about the texture and the size. They are nice to munch on, and as there is more crunchy shell per chocolate, they were somehow crispier. The flavour was also more sweet as there was sugar in the coating, which made it tasty too.

I think these Chocolate M&Ms Minis would be perfect for baking projects; just imagine how nice these would be in chocolate chip cookies. If the sun ever turns up, these would be a nice topping on ice cream too. A sprinkle of these on some vanilla ice cream sounds a bit like recreating one of the fast food restaurant ice cream sides. Or, you can do what I did, which was just scoff them watching Wimbledon; that works too. 

Chocolate M&Ms Minis

2 July 2024

Oreo Vanilla Latte Limited Edition (Tesco) By @Cinabar

Oreo Vanilla Latte Limited Edition

Here we have a new UK variety of Oreo, and a limited edition too. They are Oreo Vanilla Latte edition, and each Oreo biscuit contains a swirl of vanilla and a swirl of coffee, which looks lovely. I like Oreo biscuits, especially the peanut butter ones, which you can sometimes find in the UK and sometimes only as an import at a silly price, but I love the combination. I am always excited to see a new flavour, and these were just in Tesco. That meant they were a reasonable price, unlike the ones you can import. 

The packet has the standard Oreo design but is swirled with what looks like the top of a coffee. They are similar to the packaging on the regular biscuits, and I nearly missed them in the store. I opened up the pack and had a nice aroma of sweet coffee cream. I could see the two different layers in the biscuit. I gave one a try, and they had all that lovely taste of an Oreo with vanilla cream, but there was also a sweet coffee taste running through them. The combination of the coffee with the dark chocolate biscuit worked wonderfully, and these were perfect with my afternoon coffee. I’m so glad I picked up two packs from the shop. 

Oreo Vanilla Latte Limited Edition