food and drink

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Easter eggs from Stas Chocolatier

Published April 13, 2017 by Bizzimummy

I get fed up seeing the same old Easter eggs in the same old boxes in shops and supermarkets year after year. I’m not sure why it bothers me as I rarely get Easter eggs for myself but obviously my kids get loads. It’s always good to find chocolate products that stand out from the rest and are more unique as I know more thought and work has gone into them and this usually reflects the slightly higher sale price. 

Of course I would not be writing this post unless I had found those rather special Easter Eggs, and those eggs come from Stas Chocolatiers

Take a look at these very pretty eggs.


Each egg comes individually wrapped with tags and ribbon and unlike those boxed eggs, you can actually see what your getting with these. They look so much better and more luxurious. The eggs are all made with fine chocolate at their Kent factory and designed with flowers and smartie type sweets. They look like pretty little gift bags and the lack of big box also means less waste to dispose of.


The eggs come in various sizes and start from £8.00 each. I am of course saving the eggs for Easter Sunday for my children as I believe that’s how it should be. I think giving eggs early spoils the whole Easter surprise and especially so for the very young ones. I know my children are going to be delighted with their eggs from Stas chocolatiers as they are just so different from the usual ones they receive. 


As well as Easter eggs and Easter treats, Stas chocolatiers have many other chocolate products for sale all year round including boxed chocolates, buttons and many chocolate novelty products. 

Time for those Easter treats: Hotel Chocolat 

Published April 13, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Yes it’s here already, a third of the way through the year and Easter is upon us once again. Not only is it Easter Sunday in our house but my son turns into a teenager on the same date, a big 13 years old this time so double celebrations all round. 

When I think of Easter, only one thing pops to mind, and that’s chocolate. Yes I know Easter has more deeper and religious meanings that chocolate. I am quite fussy when it comes to chocolate. I never used to be but since blogging and trying a lot of different brands, my taste for it has altered. However there is one brand that I have not gone off and still continue to love……………….. Yes it’s Hotel Chocolat. 


Here I have an assortment of Hotel Chocolat Easter treats which are, I believe designed with children in mind. Well I’m a big kid at heart so I guess that counts me in too. 

These designs look fabulous and in first glance they may not even look like chocolate but more like toys or figures. 


These are the penpals, containing three farmyard friends, all with names and in white, caramel and dark chocolate. A pack of these cute tasty friends costs £10.00 and they look so much better than a pack of small eggs don’t they?

Of course no Easter would be right without seeing a bunny of some sort. 

This big city bunny comes in a choice of three types of chocolate. Again it’s really well designed with eyes, nose, clothes, buttons all sculptured in chocolate. The lovely bunnies cost £7.50 each. 

And then there’s this!

This one is an Easter hunt Bunnies basket which contains 15 yummy solid milk chocolate bunnies and chicks, each one individually wrapped. 

This is just perfect for my 3 children and I intend to hide them around the house on Easter morning. 

This one costs just £8.00.
Hotel chocolat treats can be found in Hotel chocolat stores across the country and online at Hotel chocolat U.K..

Chocolate treat for me 

Published April 11, 2017 by Bizzimummy

With Easter being just days off, my bedroom is slowely piling up with chocolate eggs and chocolate animals, and none of it’s for me despite the temptation. Therefore I was so happy when some chocolate arrived just for me. 


These rather luxury looking chocolate bars came from Amelia Rope chocolate. Amelia Rope being the name of both the company and the woman behind the company. 


I found the packaging very intriguing. It reminds me of the brown paper packages which of course are one of my favourite things. Plain, maybe but all the more reason to take a closer look and see what’s inside. The coloured foils  which the chocolate comes wrapped in seem pretty unique and each flavour bar comes with a different colour. Amelias idea for the colours came from colouring pencils with the colour nibs appearing at the end of a neutral pencil stem. You can read more about that here and also more about how Amelia started.

And as for the chocolate inside. Take a look at this!


This idea for cubed blocks was influenced by Amelia’s love for stained glass windows and mosaics with their clear blocks of colour. 

I chose three bars to taste – Sea salt, being one of my favourite chocolate additions and therefore honeycomb with sea salt and a white pistachio and sea salt bar. I could really taste the sweet and salty flavours working together here. The chocolate was lovely and soft (tho not melting soft) and just right to melt in the mouth. I loved the blend of honeycomb (another one of my favourite additions, along with pistachios. The white bar gave a totally different lovely flavour.

My third bar was a totally new chocolate flavour which is violet. The only time I have tried anything violet foodwise are those Parma violet sweets and this chocolate bar did taste a little like those sweets if I had to describe it. It’s a strange combination – violet with chocolate but it certainly worked for me. It is made using violet aroma infused into Ecuadorian chocolate.

Amelia Rope luxury 75g chocolate bars come with a huge 17 choices of infused aromas and flavours as well as plain chocolate choices. They taste and look much better than anything found in the chocolate aisle of a supermarket and therefore make a nice chocolate treat. Especially so for us Mums around Easter time when kids get all the eggs. Each single origin bar costs £5.60 and they can be purchased directly from the Amelia Rope website. 

March Degustabox reveal 

Published March 31, 2017 by Bizzimummy

I was left very happy after opening up my Degustabox this month. It’s possibly one of the best ones I’ve had. Lots of yummy treats which we have all enjoyed. 


And as always I will start with the treats, sweets and snacks.

1) Cadbury’s dairy milk Oreo – I found two bars in my box, one being peanut butter and the other mint. I had the peanut butter and Jordanna had the mint one to herself as I’m not a fan. These bars combine the tastes of dairy milk, Oreo and flavours together. 

2) Jelly bean factory – Certainly one for my kids. I don’t think I got to try a single one and there are apparently 36 flavours inside the box. 

3) £onepounders chocolate eclairs – Called £onepounders because they cost just a pound. Many more £1 sweet bags to choose from too. 

4) Pipers crisps – I have tried Pipers before but not this cider vinegar and sea salt flavour. They don’t contain any sort of cider so don’t let the name put you off.  It’s a unique flavour and differs from the usual salt & vinegar. Pipers crisps are full of flavour and chunky real round crisps, hardly any crumbs or small bits at the bottom and a good sized share bag too. 

And of course lots of refreshing drinks to try! 

5) Gusto organic lemon drink – I am always a little dubious with unknown organic drinks in glass bottles. I’ve tried a few and some of them from previous Degustaboxes and they have not always been that nice. This one, I’m pleased to say is nice, very nice actually. It’s pleasantly refreshing, sparkling and fruity. Best served chilled of course.

6) Rebel kitchen chocolate mylk – No it’s not a spelling mistake it’s how this drink is spelt. Rebel mylk products are dairy free. They are made with coconut milk and added ingredients to flavour such as cocoa. For a drink that is dairy free, this tastes very good indeed. A different taste to a regular chocolate milk drink but just as good.

7) Naturelly – I was unsure whether to add this to the drinks section or the snack section as it can be a drink or jelly snack. Unfortunately ours had leaked a little in the box so there wasn’t too much of it left. It’s suitable for youngsters aged one year and over so probably more a healthy type drink/snack for toddlers than adults or bigger kids.

8) Weetabix on the go – I was glad to find two of these. I was feeling a little unwell, sore throat and sniffles and was in need of a cool refreshing milky drink or two. Now I hate weetabix, detest the stuff. To be honest I don’t like cereal full stop, never eat the stuff but weetabix is definitely at the bottom end for me. These drinks do not in any way taste like weetabix, they just happen to be made by the same people. They don’t need to just be for breakfast either and of course they are pretty healthy too. 

Now for some cupboard treats: in other words those bottles, tubs, tins, tubes and packets that can be stored in my cupboards for a while! 

9) Heinz: (seriously) good sauces – I did not realise Heinz did stuff like this, I am more used to beans and baby food from them. I think there are a few varieties which come in glass jars. I was lucky to get this creamy pepper sauce, which of course is just perfect for steak. 

The sauce is ready to use from the jar and can be heated if required. It saves me the job of making it from a packet, which usually ends up burnt in a pan.

10) Maldon smoked sea salt flakes – okay so it’s salt, probably not the most interesting thing but it is good for cooking with and especially fish dishes. I coat fish fillets in this stuff prior to cooking and it helps bring out the flavours. The salt is like little crystals. It’s also good on chicken. 

And I also had two cans of cider in my box being from Caple road & Purity brewing:pure hopped. I don’t drink cider and have not done for years. An extremely drunken episode in my younger days put me off for life so I did not drink these but passed them to a friend who does so at least they have not been wasted. 

This has been one damn good Degustabox this month. I hope next months is just as good or even better. 

And if you want a Degustabox to try them head on over to Degustabox uk. You can also find them on social media channels and view what others think of their boxes too. @DegustaboxUK, Instagram- @degustabox_uk, and Facebook.

My Mother’s Day treats from Lily Obriens

Published March 28, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Well there I was on Saturday just gone, worrying I would not get a thing for Mother’s Day. Then as if by magic, knock went the door and there stood a knight in shining at our bearing chocolate gifts from Lily Obriens

Well the chocolate gift party at least is true, the knight was the courier who bought it and his only armour was his vehicle but I can dream eh! 

Lily Obriens can be purchased in supermarket and they seem to be one of those brands that really jump out from the rest when spotted on the shelves. They are a luxury brand compared to the rest of the standard chocolates.

They have many selections available from small to large gifts boxes in all shapes and sizes with mixtures of milk, white and dark chocolates. Many of their gifts come pre wrapped as in the photograph above. They are purchased with the wrapping paper already on meaning no need to buy extra. Each one also comes with a label showing exactly what chocolates are in each box. 


I received two lovely boxes of Lily Obriens chocolates just in time for Mother’s Day and no I haven’t eaten them all just yet, I’ve been a good girl this time. 


This is the petit indulgence collection. Now on first glance it looks a small box and you only see six chocolates upon opening. However it’s deceptive as there are extra layers underneath. Not just one extra layer either but two, giving 18 delicious chocolates in total and all for just £5.50. 

The flavours are Lily O’Brien’s most decadent recipes and include Sticky Toffee, Simply Chocolate, Raspberry Crème, Chocolate Orange, Le Crunch Chocolate and Praline Perfectio.
And then this box too! 

This box contains an extra layer underneath giving a total of 24 chocolates. The Petit Desserts Collection has a wide range of indulgent flavours including Crème Brûlée, Key Limey Pie, Raspberry Infusion, Passion posset, hazelnut torte and banofee pie. This box costs £6.00.

I have really enjoyed these chocolates, they look and taste amazing, very chunky thick chocolate with multitudes of fillings and very low cost compared to other luxury chocolate brands. 

Hot choc club subscription 

Published March 27, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Well this subscription is certainly a first for me, yes it’s chocolate but chocolate that gets drunk rather than eaten. I have not come across any other hot chocolate clubs before this one and yes it’s certainly a good one. 

Hot choc club delivers monthly and there are about six box choices ranging from small to extra large and price starting at £12.00.
The boxes will look a bit like this, which of course happens to be mine. 

This is one of the bigger boxes and also a variety box meaning it’s a mixture of all sorts of hot choc drinks. Each hot chocolate variety comes in its own individual packet, and I do love the mini pegs which attach the little labels.

This hot chocolate is very different to the usual tubs found in supermarkets. Each packet is different but all contain actual chocolate rather than just powder. Some are chunky chocolate discs or blocks which get stirred into hot milk until melted. Others are chocolate drops which look very much like your regular edible chocolates and others resemble chocolate flakes. Some are dark chocolate, some milk, some white and some a mixtutre. Many of them also come flavoured such as mint, fruit, fudge and even a chilli hot chocolate which was nice. All of them are to be made with milk so it’s a good idea to stock up on big bottles of the stuff prior to receiving a box. 


This box is perfect for hot chocolate lovers and even as gifts too. I do love a nice cup of milky hot chocolate in the evening, it helps me relax and drift off peacefully into the land of nod. 

Fish delivered! Ramus fish box

Published March 24, 2017 by Bizzimummy

I do enjoy eating fish, and I don’t mean the type you get from the chippy. My only problem previously has been cooking and preparing it. But! Being sent a box of lovely fresh fish has changed all that completely. I didn’t even need to go to a store or carry it home and risk smelling fishy as it was delivered to my doorstep. My fish box came from Ramus and they deliver various fish boxes nationwide. 

This photograph shows the full contents of my fish box. In total six different varieties of fish, each packet containing two fillets and also a pot of salmon rub. 

The fish arrives cool with ice but not frozen. It can be kept in the fridge and used within 2/3 days or frozen. I put it all in the freezer to begin with and found that the fillets only take a few hours to defrost when required.


All the fish arrives sealed in individual packets. This box contained sea bass, haddock, salmon, trout, hake and smoked haddock. 

Sea bass is a fish that I have enjoyed in the past but have not had for a while. It can be a very expensive fish to buy and is often found on high end restaurant menus. It is not something I have previously cooked myself and certainly never prepared. I did a bit of research and watched a few videos on how to prepare this full fish fillet. 

Yes this fish came complete with head,eyes, fins and tail on and the last thing I wanted was to do something wrong or eat a part I’m not meant to. A fish with head still on does put me off eating it a bit so the head was the first thing I cut off, followed by the finns and the tail. Then I had to literally slice it open and remove the guts and bones which wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but I got there in the end. 


The silver scales also got scraped to remove any rough bits. I placed some onion inside the fish, with salt and pepper and a bit of oil infused with lemon, wrapped in foil and cooked in the oven for about 25 minutes. Then the fish was cooked to perfection, lovely and flakey and I served with yellow rice, sweet chilli sauce and a bit of mayonnaise. Lovely! 

I will be buying sea bass again as I do like it, tho I may ask them to prepare it for me next time.

The salmon fillets are really easy to cook as it’s already filleted. Salmon can be cooked in so many ways and has a very distinct flavour. I do prefer all my fish grilled or oven cooked. I used the little pot of salmon rub with the fillets. It’s just a seasoning to help enhance the flavour and optional. I enjoy salmon served with pasta, rice or vegetables. Here the salmon is served with sweet potato mash, green beans a little sauce. A very healthy dish. 


Next the smoked haddock fillets. These can be purchased fairly cheap but make a great dinner. Again they can be oven cooked, grilled or fried. This time served with crispy potatoes and green beans. 


I stlll have the rest of the fish in my freezer which I am of course looking forward to using. It’s been really good cooking with fresh fish for a change and something I am hoping to continue to do at least once a week if not more. Fish is of course very healthy and full of good stuff for the body. Served with vegetables and it’s even more healthier and also very tasty. Fish can also be used to make various recipes such as fish pies. 

Jordanna has also enjoyed the fish meals with me as she likes it too. Izebella has tried the fish and Ryan is still as fussy as ever. 

Our Fish box costs £25.00. There are other box selections to choose from on the Ramus website as well as hampers, platters and fish gifts via the online seafood shop.

Mother’s Day ideas: Brown and blonde brownies

Published March 20, 2017 by Bizzimummy

As it’s Mother’s Day in just a few days, I thought I would share some ideas of products I have tried recently and which I think would make great Mothers’s Day ideas.

The first one is Brownies and I think brownies would make a great alternative to the usual shop bought chocolates.

Of course brownie are one of those foods that need cooking correctly and to perfection or they just don’t taste good. (Did anyone have so called brownies served at school?). I have made them myself a few times and pleased to say they turned out just right, however nothing beats a baked bought brownie like the brownies from this place. 

So who are they? Well Brown and Blond are based in Leeds and they make delicious brownies like these. 


Brownies in lots of different flavours ans made with lots of nice things such as extra chocolate, nuts and peanut butter. These brownies were amazing and having just one is very filling so I would not advise eating lots of them at once. And just look how chunky they are too.  

Just amazingly delicious the way a brownie should be. 

I would much prefer brownies for Mother’s Day.  Or any day really. 

Cooking with Encona sauce

Published March 17, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Encona is the UKs number one best seller of  hot and spicy sauces. Their sauce bottles are infused with spices from all over the world. From the Caribbean to Asia there is a sauce for everyone as the sauces begin mild and go right up to extra hot. It’s just a matter of how hot one can handle. 

I guess I’m a slight whimp when it comes to hot sauce as I tend to stick to the medium or even mild ones. There is no way I could manage the extra hot products as I find some of the medium ones a little too hot. 

Encona sent me over these three sauces.


Smokey Jalapeño is the mild one, tho it still has a fairly mighty kick to it. It is of course Mexican inspired and great with tortillas, chilli and Mexican type food or even just dipping.

Then two medium sauce bottles – Amarillo chilli which is Peruvian inspired and made with Peruvian Amarillo chillis. It has a really sweet, almost like chutney aroma. The flavour is also sweet but certainly has some spice to it, hot hot hot for me. 

Thai chilli and garlic sauce obviously with Thailand inspirations and so a totally different type of spice compared to American or even Indian spices. This one is like a bright red/orangey colour. I’d say a little milder than the Amarillo chilli sauce with a more distinct flavour. 

Instructions on the back of the sauce bottles tell me how to best use the sauces, although the majority can be used in any way be it cooking with, drizzling, dipping etc. 

I had not made a fish dish in a while and with these new sauces from Encona I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to try something new and totally made up (no reading recipes). 

I made a stuffed spicy sea bass with rice. 


After gutting and preparing the sea bass I placed onions, tomatoes and a good drizzle of the Amarillo chilli sauce inside the fish and wrapped in foil. 

Baked for approximately 25 minutes, unwrapped and drizzled with the Thai chilli and garlic sauce. 

Thus getting spices from both sides of the world as well as a lovely fillet of fish. The sauces strangely worked well together as one was used for cooking which gave the fish an overall infused flavour and even reduced the hotness of the sauce. The other sauce drizzled over bought the kick back.

Encona sauce can be found in all the main supermarkets and they have loads of them to choose from. Visit Encona to see the full range. 

The Pink mouse company:  Mother’s Day gift ideas

Published March 14, 2017 by Bizzimummy

If looking for a special Mother’s Day sweet treat this year, the head over to The pink mouse company website where you will find a whole host of yummy sweet treats.

Now I’ve been treated to a rather early Mother’s Day gift by The pink mouse company. First there was this yummy sweet tree. 

The one which I had; (and I sat had, as it’s all been eaten) is a chocolate m&ms tree but the sweet trees can be made with many other well known chocolates and sweets. They arrive presented in a lovely hamper style basket and wrapped with a big ribbon ready for gifting. 

The majority of these sweet trees even come in 3 size choices – small, medium and large. I think the large one would probably be too big as a solo gift and more suitable to parties or weddings, which The pink mouse company also cater for. 

Our M&ms tree was thoroughly enjoyed by us all. The sweets stay on the tree really well. I think the chocolate binds them together but once we managed to pick the first few off, the rest came off easy enough.

And if our sweet tree wasn’t enough of a chocolate fix, we also got this lovely Chocolate hot shots hamper.

This also arrives with beautiful presentation and contains a cup 6 chocolate hot shots and marshmallows. The hot shots and big blocks of chocolate attached to a wooden spoon. They get dipped and stirred into hot milk to melt into a hot chocolate drink. 

Add marshmallows which also melt in the milk and it’s just delicious and especially good just before bedtime.

Perfect chocolate gifts that any mum would love to receive. 

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