Time for my monthly Foodie Parcels in the Post round up. Lots of lovely goodies have been delivered by Mr Postman throughout July. So much better to receive something eatable or drinkable than bills and junk mail. Any brands or producers who'd like to have their product featured here, please do get in touch email@example.com
I'm a sucker for a pretty package and this one from Mistry & Co certainly fitted the bill. A fantastically colourful array of Masala Spice Shots. Each box contains 3 shots of authentic spice blend created for a specific purpose - meat, vegetables, seafood or paneer. The packaging is gorgeous as are the cute little tubs that the spices come in. I expected the shots to be a dry mix but they're more of a paste. We first tried the Masala Chicken recipe that comes on the pack. Fantastically easy to make, very flavoursome but not overpowering. As we're currently in the throws of #projectnewkitchen the next dish was an alfresco affair. Based on the same basic on pack recipe but with the addition of broccoli and using one meat shot and one vegetable shot. Looking forward in particular to giving the Paneer one a go in my new kitchen.
Elizabeth from Capability Brown's in Inverness got in touch with me via my Foodie Quine Facebook Page to ask if I'd like to try one of her Plum Duffs. She's currently in the process of making 500 of them for the BBC Good Food Show in Glasgow having been selected as one of their Good Food Champions. As I'm originally from the Black Isle, just across the firth from her, I said I'd pop in past next time I was in the area. The views from her croft high above Inverness are amazing. As is the array of fruit, vegetables, bees and chickens on the smallholding. Capability Browns supplies a huge range of homebaked, homemade and homegrown products via a box scheme, through local shops and via a weekly Sunday afternoon "Wee Croft Shop"
The Plum Duffs are a cross between a Clootie Dumpling and a traditional Christmas Pudding. Elizabeth makes them in three flavours Traditional, Chocolate and Marmalade and Wild Highland Berry. My traditional one ended up as part of a Footplate Fryup at Deeside Railway on the shovel of salmon the steam train. You'll find the other 499 on sale at the Scottish Good Food Show in October.
Claire from Percy's Vodka Iced Teas got in touch with me via @foodiequine on Twitter and I was immediately taken with the concept and look of her products. The 1920's styling of the bottles and labels is just gorgeous and totally reminded me of The Great Gatsby. Percy's is a quintessentially British Brew with a twist and a kick - 4.5% abv Vodka. The range of flavours are Black Tea with Pear & Ginger, Black Tea with Apple, Lemon & Lime, White Tea with Pear & Raspberry and White Tea with Apple & Elderflower. My preconceptions were that the Elderflower would be my favourite but the Raspberry won the taste test hands down. I reckon it would work ever better with a splash of Prosecco in the mix. All four flavours are very distinct and the still refreshing blends make a sophisticated change from overly sweet and sticky drinks. Percy's would be the absolutely perfect tipple for a Summer Wedding, Garden Party or BBQ.
I was sent a selection of All Bran cereals to try as part of the #RealMumsAllBran 5-Day Challenge in association with Britmums. Golden Crunch, Red Berry Crunch and new Chocolate Wheats, all of which were a far cry - in a good way - from traditional All Bran. I duly had a bowl each morning for my breakfast for 5 days upon returning from a fortnights holiday in Italy. The perfect way to get back into a routine - in more ways than one! In terms of taste my favourite was the Red Berry Crunch with the Golden Crunch a close second. Both of these contain tasty little multi-grain clusters. Alas the new Chocolate Wheats didn't impress, none of us are fans of shredded wheat type cereal and even the chocolate couldn't convince the kids to give it a go.
I'm much more of a tea jenny than a coffee lover and do like to try out different flavours but I'm somewhat picky in that I'm not keen on overly floral brews. Tea tasting at Around the World in 80 Teas opened my eyes to some flavours I'd never tried before but Coconut Tea was still a new one on me. As for Power tea? Anything that could possibly provide a bit more get up and go of a morning has got to be worth a try! The Green Tea with Coconut was totally up my street. Very refreshing and not too overpowering but a definite taste of coconut. As for the Power tea it's very different to any other tea I've tasted before. There's a mintyness to it and also a slight spicy savoryness. The blend combines yerba mate, spearmint, cocoa shells and ginkgo.
A giant strawberry shaped cocktail mug? Whats not to love! This juicy beauty from Bespoke Barware just screams out summer. Handmade in East London by the unique barware creators and importers these are hot out of the kilns for Summer 2014. I've been drooling over the huge range of barware available from their online shop and and summer pop up. There was a whole lot of love for the big berry on my Facebook page where I asked likers to sugest what I should fill it with - Bellini, Daquari, Pimms, Strawberry Float and Strawberry Champagne were just some of the suggestions. Alas girl had the final say and opted for a - non boozy - strawberry smoothie.
Disclosure : Thanks to Little Dabbas, Capability Brown's, Percy's, All Bran, Higher Living Tea and Bespoke Barware for providing the above products. I was not obliged to review positively in return. All views expressed are my own. If you're a brand who'd like to have your product featured here, please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org