food and drink

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Send a box of hugs

Published June 26, 2017 by Bizzimummy

With all the recent tragedies recently, it’s only natural that many people are feeling more down than usual, add to that; personal circumstances such as illness, loss, finances etc it’s always nice to know that somebody somewhere does care.

One way to cheer someone up and especially so somebody who does not live nearby is to send A box of hugs.


Box of hugs are specially curated boxes full of lovely things to make the recipient smile and to let them know someone cares. They have many different boxes to choose from full of nice things such as chocolates, tea, and gifts. The boxes aren’t just for cheering people up either, but also to say happy birthday or congratulations for events such as a new baby, new job or passing exams.

I for my very own Choco treat hug box sent to me. 


I can just imagine receiving one of these boxes out of the blue. Of course I’d be very eager to look inside but even the box of hugs logo would be enough to make me smile (rose not included!)


This particular box would cost £35.99 to send to somebody in the U.K. The box contends include many lovely chocolate treats from some luxury brands. The Cartwright & Butler chocolate crumbles make the best cookies ever and there is also delicious fudge from the Cotswold fudge company along with fudge & biscuit chocolate shards from Guppy’s. 


The teabags come from Teapigs tea and the inedible items are a little book – 100 hugs and a mug with the slogan – “do what makes you happy” 


My box of hugs and treats is enough to make most people smile I think. 

Charbonnel et Walker 

Published June 23, 2017 by Bizzimummy

What a lovely way to round off a week of posts. Charbonnel et Walker remains one of the oldest and finest chocolatiers of the UK. It’s hard to believe that their first shop opened way back in 1875 in London Bond Street. As for the name; it’s the surnames of the ladies behind the brand – Mrs Walker and MMe Charbonnel. 

I did visit the London store many many years ago. It is one of those very upmarket shops, the type where your wary of knocking anything over but a lovely luxury shop and certainly worth a visit if down that way. Charbonnel is a luxury brand and therefore as you can imagine; the chocolates come at a luxury price. These are not your everyday or weekly supermarket munchies but rather luxury gifts for very special occasions.

They sell just about every type of chocolate gift, be it boxes of truffles, hampers, chocolate selection boxes, even a chocolate shoe and a champagne set. I think the least expensive item is one of their 80g chocolate bars which cost £5.00 each one, so you get an idea of just how luxury this chocolate is. 

Like many other chocolatiers they have chocolates for everyone and for every occasion and even have themed chocolates for children. We have a few of their children’s chocolate products here.


Charbonnel’s children’s gifts include themes of Peter Rabbit and Alice through the looking glass. With a company like this; it is not just about the chocolate inside (which of course is exceptionally good) but the packaging too.  No one wants to pay extra for chocolate that comes in plain or not so nice wrappers as it’s just not as appealing. 


These are two of the Peter Rabbit products. The blue packet on the left is an 80g chocolate bar which costs £5.00. I would not normally pay this much for a bar of this size, but again this is a luxury brand. The Peter Rabbit box is part of a gift set costing £29.00. The set includes a Peter Rabbit book and a mixed box of chocolates. 


The box is fully reusable, made of tough board and could be used for small toys, trinkets, bobbles etc. I think if I was to pay £29 then I’d certainly want to keep the box too. The chocolate box can also be purchased alone, without the book for £25.00, but in my opinion you may as well pay the extra £4.00 and then at least there is something to show once the chocolates are gone.


These slim/mini  bars come as both the character theme packs. A seven bar pack is £6.95. If you’re wondering what an Un-birthday is; as it says on the larger pack then here is a short explanation which I spotted on one of the bars.


The chocolate inside is very good quality, a lovely creamy chocolate taste which sort of just melts in the mouth and we have too much of it! Yes I know, it is meant for my children but I’m a big kid at heart and this luxury stuff is just too good.

Here’s their website if you want some too, and you don’t like anywhere near London – Charbonnel et Walker.

And now I’ll get back to eating it all! 

Oh and of course my kids too! (Honest)

Degustabox June reveal 

Published June 22, 2017 by Bizzimummy

A few days ago my monthly Degustabox arrived with a Summer bbq theme. 

This time I thought it would be a nice change to do something different with the box, so I decided to make an unboxing video showing all the contents. 

All the products are shown in the video. I am including a few pictures too for those who can’t be bothered watching the whole video.

Snacks 

Brands are – Haribo, Walkers shortbread, &a Light Bites


Drinks

Brands – Eisberg, berrywhite, Westons cider & ENRJ drinks.


Cupboard items

Brands – Spoon Granola, Capsicana, Schwartz & Original O’s


Degustabox normally costs £12.99 per month with box contents adding up to much more than what you pay. If you use my DISCOUNT CODE” 0MES2 then this gives a massive £7.00 off a box.
Find Degustabox at http://www.Degustabox.com and on social networks:

Instagram: @Degustabox_uk                   Twitter: @DegustaboxUK                 Facebook: @DegustaboxUK

Robinsons Refresh’d

Published June 20, 2017 by Bizzimummy

How hot is this sun at the moment? I can’t recall any Summer hotter than this one for a very long time. I do love the sun and hot days when my children can sit outside and play. Of course it is vital that my children get enough fluids, otherwise dehydration and headaches can quickly set in. 

Robinsons have recently bought out some on the go type drinks called Refresh’d. These come in 3 fruity flavours and contain real fruit mixed with spring water.

The 3 flavours – Apple & Kiwi, Apple & Raspberry and Orange & Lime are all made with 100% natural ingredients and have no added sugar, no flavourings, sweeteners, preservative or added colouring. 


These drinks have been produced to help the nation reduce their sugar intake as well as staying refreshed. They could not have come at a more perfect time with this baking hot weather. Each bottle is 500ml of refreshing juice, all of the flavours have their own natural sweetness and fruity flavours. Both myself and my children found them really hydrating. 

The new drinks should be on supermarket shelves by now as well as a few other shops and priced at around £1.29 per bottle. I would certainly choose to buy a bottle on a hot day like this when out and about. 

The snack organisation presents…….

Published June 20, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Their freeze dried fruit snacks & flavoured rice crackers! 

The snack organisation are a new brand in the UK and have a healthy selection of snacks including crackers and freeze dried fruit packets. 

I have been very lucky, sampling both the fruit and the crackers recently. 


The fruit packets contain 18g of real fruit. The fruit goes through a special process of freeze drying I’ve no idea what exactly happens during this process but they taste amazingly good. 

I’ve tried a few dry fruit snacks in my time. I found some of them damn right disgusting , some taste just like they say – “dried fruit” as in fruit that’s been left to dry out in the sun. Yuk! Needless to say these previous snacks were not worthy of a blog mention, but the Snack organisation  variety are. 


There are a few fruit varieties. I have the pineapple packer on display here with a few strawberry pieces at the side. It’s hard to pick a firm favourite but the mixture of banana with strawberry gives a nice mixed treat.


As far as this type of product goes (dried fruit snacks) these rank amongst my top picks. They seem to not just retain, but increase in sweetness compared to the original fruit itself.

These snacks, whilst full of nothing but 100% fruit; do give a whole different taste experience to eating actual fruit. So for fussy children these may come in very useful. Whilst they don’t taste like sweets, they do taste like a sweet fruity snack (if that makes sense. And young children especially may not even realise that actual fruit and nothing else is in the packs. 

And then, there was all these! 


These crackers come baked instead of fried which instantly makes them more healthier than any fried product. The packs are 100g and they come with many flavours to choose from, my personal favourite being sweet chilli. 

You will probably notice that some packets of crackers have different packaging. This is because there are 2 versions of the rice crackers. The oriental type in the black packets and the Ancient grains in the other packets. The main difference between these two is that the Ancient grain varieties are made with brown rice & quinoa and a few other different ingredients to the other packets. 


These rice crackers make a good tasty light snack and can be included in a packed lunch. They are fine to eat alone or use with some sort of sauce or healthy topping.

Again good for both adults and kids alike. My children really like these crackers. The shape and size of each one is perfect for small hands and the variety of flavours, including lightly salted means there is one to suit most tastebuds.

Both the crackers and dried fruit products can be purchased via The Snack organisation website but only as multiple packs, not individual. Individual packs can be purchased from Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and other good shops and supermarkets.

Choc nibbles & win some! 

Published June 19, 2017 by Bizzimummy

I’m sure most of us parents who grew up in the 1980s/90s will remember these! 


The memories of coming out of school and straight into the local shop to buy a quarter of choc nibbles  for 30p with left over dinner money or (if we were lucky!) pocket money.

I loved and still love choc nibbles. If you don’t remember them, then maybe you just didn’t get out much. The best way to describe them is like a mixture of soft caramel, mixes with choc lick (another old favourite) and maybe a bit of ground biscuit and something else, then coated with chocolate and made into little sticks which taste delicious. 

It’s a shame how most corner shops have changed over the years, I loved looking at all the plastic sweet jars behind shop counters frantically browsing for the choc nibs.

 Although the shops may have changed and the majority of the cheap sweets in big jar memories are long gone, I am happy to say that Choc Nibbles are still around and here to stay.


You see I have discovered a place on the internet that loves those old fashioned chocolate sweets just as much as I do, it’s even called Choc nibbles. Their tasty treats aren’t available via the website but their are several stockists around the UK, including one just a few minutes away from me. 

The choc nibs can be purchased as jars or in bags or from sweet shops by measure. 

I never understood what exactly a quarter was, which we all would ask for as kids. A quarter of what exactly? Who knows but it was always a pretty big paper bag full. 

The bags contain 250g of sweets, yes even the measurements have changed over the years. 

These taste just like I remember. It is possibly the only thing that hasn’t changed about the nibbles over the years. 

They also make a slightly different variety too. 


These are similar in taste but appear to have been a little jazzed up with an extra shiny chocolate coating giving them a smoother and brighter appearance. Thus less cocoa powder on the hands like the original version. 

They do a few other versions of chocolate nibbles too such as toffee crumble nibbles and a Jammie version too. Also original choc lick, remember the chocolate dust stuff in white paper bags, that we dipped wet fingers in and licked off? Then by the time half had gone the bag got soggy and we ended up with chocolate dust all over our white tops! Oops!!


It’s like being a kid again with all these sweets! 

Giveaway 

I have two bags of choc nibbles to give away. If you want to win them then just click the link! 

ENTER HERE!
The giveaway is for two bags of choc nibbles and will close on July 3rd 2017.


It’s all about the bacon! Cure & Simple subscription 🥓🥓🥓

Published June 16, 2017 by Bizzimummy

All bacon lovers will love this subscription from Cure & Simple because a bacon experience is what’s on offer. With this subscription you even get the choice of weekly or fortnightly deliveries rather than just one monthly one. Their bacon even comes with a choice of nine different varieties which can be changed whenever you fancy something different or just choose a mixture with each order.


I have three varieties of bacon here. The packs are vacuum sealed and so easily fit through letterboxes so I didn’t even need to be in when they arrived. 

“Cure & Simple bacon is handmade using an old fashioned process and has water actively removed which means if the seal remains intact on the packet the bacon doesn’t need to be refrigerated”


Each pack of bacon is 200g with 6-8 pieces per pack. This bacon is really tasty and it’s great that it comes with flavours that just aren’t available in supermarkets. 

I tend to cook bacon on a George Foreman grill or under the cooker grill. I found very minimal shrinkage when cooking the cure & simple bacon.


The Thai flavoured bacon was certainly the most unusual one. I think I was expecting it to be super spicy hot and leave my mouth on fire, but no; it was more of an aromatic flavour and certainly one I would like to try again.


Yes we all love our cooked breakfasts here in this house every now and again and this bacon also makes a very good few bacon butties! 


And if your wanting a bacon subscription  then sign up at Cure & Simple. Plans start from just £5.95. 

Dessert making with Opies

Published June 16, 2017 by Bizzimummy

One of the brand stalls at the Blog On conference last month had some rather tasty looking treats. These treats were made using Opies jars. Opies are one of the oldest private family owned companies in the UK. They are well known for many family favourites such as their jars of pickle onions and cocktail cherries. Opies sell glass jars of meal accompaniments and ingredients.

I have been sent a big box of Opies goodies which I will certainly be making good use of with a few food type posts over the next few weeks.

The first two products I used are these! 


Cocktail cherries and the luxury Summer berry compote. 

The cherries are part of the Opies cocktail range and can of course be put on one of those little cocktail sticks which then gets added to a drink. But they are also great for cooking and baking with. 

At Blog On I got to try a cherry and almond cake which was delicious and I knew I just had to try to make it myself at home. This recipe can be viewed on the Opies website along with many others. The ingredients are basic, the usual things found in a cupboard (flour, eggs, sugar, butter etc) and a bag of chopped almonds plus almond essence which are both inexpensive. 


The cherries needed cutting in half and then everything mixed together just like a regular sponge cake. Izebella was so happy to be helping mummy make this. 

And then we baked it for 65 minutes until it was golden and ready for eating.

It’s a delicious cake to make. It tastes a lot like the cherry Bakewell tarts/cakes that can be shop bought and following the online recipe and ingredients gave us a pretty large cake to enjoy.


The cherries are quite chunky and juicy, even when sliced in half. I think next time we make this, we will try to cut the cherries a little smaller if we can. It is a really nice cake and makes the perfect afternoon tea.
The Summer berry compote is a blend of British berries together (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc). It looks like a rich jam but it is intensely sweet. This can be used for many things including adding to breakfast, yoghurt, on toast, pancakes, or in a fruit salad. It can even be used in cakes or for baking. I decided to use a little with my favourite dessert – meringue. 


Here I used shop bought meringue nests as I have no idea how to make my own. A pot of whipped cream (I whipped myself) and a drizzle of the compote. These went down extremely well with my children, so much so that they were asking me to go and buy some more. The compote adds that bit of sweet tangy flavour to break up the cream taste.

With the meringue, cream and compote I also made sundaes in sundae cups.


These were easy, using crushed meringue for the base, adding cream and the compote and slightly blending in. A perfect Summers dessert. 

Opies products are available in most good stores and supermarkets and I will be posting more Opies products and recipes in the next few weeks.

Mr Big Tops sweet subscription 

Published June 8, 2017 by Bizzimummy

I don’t go many days on here without a good old subscription box and this one is all about the sweets.


This is Mr Big Tops sweet box. There are a few options of box size but what you get each month is a box full of retro sweets, the type most of us remember from our childhoods.


In this box I got six packets of sweets including black jacks, fruit salads, bananas, strawberries, rain drops, white mice and fizzy bottles. The sweets differ each month giving even more of those nostalgic memory moments with each box. 


The boxes come with lift up flaps too with four open sections to put the sweets in when opened. These look a little like something I’d expect to buy at the cinema and sit munching on whilst watching a movie.

I know sweets are not the healthiest thing for myself or my children but I don’t think a once a month box like this really does any harm. 

This is an inexpensive fun box of sweets, delivered monthly for just a few pound. 

Mr BigTops

Degustabox May 

Published June 7, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Our Degustabox box arrived just before half term began and with it came a picnic theme. 

I did like this box this time round and would put it midway amongst  the top ranking boxes I’ve received (in my opinion)

And onto the goodies! 

Snacks

Kicking off with this mammoth size chocolate bar from Cadburys. No explanations needed with this one except that it’s chocolate with peanuts and caramel crisp and lots of it. To buy this in the shops it can cost up to £3.49

Next it’s those tiny sweets; Millions. Two new flavours here – chocolate and sour strawberry and just 50/60p each packet. 

And if that was not enough sweets for us then I found these too! 


Now these are new to me and really sweet, tangy and full of flavour. Candy Kittens are gourmet sweets and come in 4 flavours. The sweets are cat face shaped jellies and we all loved our sour blueberry cat heads. These cost about £3.00 per 150g bag.
Yet more treats and munchies courtesy of portlebay popcorn. These are one of my favourite popcorn brand and I reviewed them last year in a separate post. I think this is a new flavour as it’s not one I have previously tried. A small bag of popcorn will cost about 79p. 


Chippeas seem to be one of those more healthier alternatives to crisps. The baked puffs are made using chickpeas. To me they just taste like regular puff type snacks. The £1.50 price tag is a little too high for a small snack I think.

Cupboard items

Now onto the products which I often refer to as “cupboard items” meaning products such as tins and cereals which have long shelf lives and usually get kept in a cupboard.

First is the Deli Kitchen Skinni Wraps


Wraps always go down really well in our house as they seem to be one of those foods that we all eat. I usually make chicken and add a sauce or batter of some sort and add salad. 

There was 6 wraps per packet which were in an unusual envelope shape. They did seem thinner or skinnier than regular wraps but still just as good. These cost £1.25 per pack of 6.
Cereal lovers crunch time nuggets 


Unfortunately these did not go down to well. Jordanna normally enjoys most types of cereal but not this one. It could possibly just be this particular flavour which contains orange, nutmeg and ginger. There are 2 other varieties to try. These are granola nuggets to enjoy with milk or alone straight from the packet. Each pack is £1.59 each. 
A much nicer box of cereal was also in our May box. 

This is MOMA cereal in a tasty raspberry and coconut. £3.20 per large box.
Homepride is a well known name in baking. They have been making flour for over 50 years. And I have one of their products in my box this month.


This strong bread flour will come in useful as my son is taking cooking as one of his school options and flour seems to have a really good shelf life. £1.50 is not a bad price either.

Drinks

Finally onto the drinks. It’s always good to find a nice refreshing fruity drink in my monthly box and this time it is a can of fruity Zeo.


Zeo is low calorie with fruits and botanicals mixed with spring water and costs £1.19 a can. Again a bit too pricy to drink daily but quite nice anyway.


It’s crabbies ginger beer and the alcoholic version so no passing it onto my kids this time. It’s not my thing. I’m more of a wine, vodka, or baileys girl. I’m sure I’ll find someone who wants it. Only £1.89 a bottle.

And finally – a very surprising item indeed!


Yes it’s coffee bags. Just like tea bags but coffee version and from Raw Bean proper coffee company. I can use them just like I would a tea bag and they make a lovely cup of coffee too. Not too strong and not too weak and less mess as it’s all in a bag. 

What an amazing box this month, just bursting with some lovely stuff. 

These boxes are mixed, some will contain alcohol and others won’t. I get all the items in my box as it’s a review box. However the subscription boxes usually contain 9 items or more and are delivered once a month. 

The cost of a Degustabox subscription is usually just £12.99 but they have a really good offer for new customers and are offering a box for just £5.99 giving a huge £7.00 off. You can see by my contents above that the products are all worth more than what the box costs. The box price also includes UK delivery. Sign up today at Degustabox UK.

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