Where is 2015 going to? The dates on the calendar are fair flying past. I can't believe we are in May already. Time for my regular roundup of the foodie parcels I've been receiving over the last month. Alas I do also get my fair share of junk mail and bills alongside edible deliveries. There's also been a lot of election propaganda over the past few weeks. At least it gives me something to line the bottom of the guinea pig cage with.
My 12 year old son has ambitions to be a Sushi Chef so he didn't need any encouragement to get busy in the kitchen and fill up the gorgeous turquoise Bento Box from Monbento. It's my absolute favourite colour (to match my kitchen!) and has a wonderfully tactile soft touch finish. There are two airtight containers with lids, an adjustable food cup which can be used for separating parts of your meal (seen here filled with soy sauce) and a wide elastic band to ensure safe transportation of your lunch. It's also microwave, dishwasher and freezer friendly. Monbento are a stylish French company producing a Japanese inspired product and are now selling to the UK. The MB Original retails at £24.
A crate of veggies arrived from the New Covent Garden Soup Co along with their recently launched Souper Boosters and instructions to "Eat me and Tweet me". There are four different flavours of pastes designed to give a boost to homemade soup. Aromatic Thai, Wild Garlic & Herbs, Roasted Moroccan and Mexican Chilli. I used them to make...
Thai Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup - 1 onion, 1 butternut squash, 1 sachet creamed coconut, 1 sweet potato, 1.5 lts Chicken Stock, 1/2 a tube Aromatic Thai Paste.
Herby Leek & Potato Soup - 2 Leeks, 3 Potatoes, 1/2 onion, 1.5 lts Chicken Stock, 1/2 Tube Wild Garlic & Herb Paste.
Moroccan Carrot & Tomato Soup - 3 Carrots, Tin Chopped Tomatoes, 1 Red pepper, 1/2 Onion, 1.5lts Chicken Stock, 1/2 tube Roasted Moroccan Paste.
The basic premise is that you chop up 1kg of any vegetables, saute in oil, add 1 ltr water and simmer until the veggies are soft before adding the Souper Booster and blitzing. I didn't bother with the oil/sauteing and also felt that I still needed stock rather than just water. Definately a good way to give a "veggies from the bottom of the fridge" soup a boost of flavour.
I first came across Pulsetta almost 2 years ago at Pinnies & Petticoats Cake Club when we were having a Gluten free themed event. I've been keeping an eye on what they've been up to since with their range of naturally gluten free products made from pulses (peas and lentils). The latest addition to their award winning range are sweet and savoury oat thins and breadcrumbs. They are all made from pulses, are naturally nutritious and fill you up for longer, contribute to your five a day and are free from all major food allergens. I really loved the savoury thins, all three flavours - black pepper, rosemary & thyme and sunflower seeded - were extremely moreish. I used the breadcrumbs to coat some fish goujons and would defy anyone tasting them to spot that with their almost panko like texture they were in fact gluten free.
When I opened my package from Birmingham based Spice Kitchen I was greeted with a pungent and tantalising aroma. Their range of wonderfuly fragrant authentic spice mixes really got my tastebuds tingling, I have never smelt anything quite like them. So far I've used Ras El Hanout in Hummus, the Mexican Spice Blend in Squid Fajitas and the Garam Masala in chicken curry. Still plenty of experimenting still to be done with Jerk Seasoning, Chinese Spice Blend, Sri Lankan Spice Mix, Baharat and Panch Pooran. The 8 International Spice Blend / Barbeque Rubs Kit retails at £9.95 with free delivery and comes in resealable packs within a pretty silk bag.
I absolutely love a savoury cracker and even moreso if they are full of tasty seeds. Thomas J Fudge's remarkable bakery sent over a selection of their tasty biscuits for dipping and topping. Scrumptious Spelt & Seeded, Pumpkin & Sesame Seed and Multi Seed and Oat. They were all wonderful and I devoured rather a lot in a single sitting. The serving suggestion said "lovely with lashings of hummus" so I quickly threw some together.
Tin of chickpeas, drained
1 Tbsp Garlic Rapeseed Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/2 Tsp Ras el hanout (from Spice Kitchen - see above)
Keep 1/4 of the chickpeas aside, blitz up the rest of the ingredients with a stick blender then mix the remaining whole chickpeas through.
I know Clarks primarily from their Maple Syrup and Honey but the launch of a new desert sauce range must surely mean that summer and ice cream is just around the corner? They are made with Carob Fruit Syrup a naturally low GI food and come in three flavours. Tempting Chocolate, Sophistocated Strawberry and Tantalising Caramel. The squeezable bottles make them perfect for drizzining on ice cream, pancakes, deserts, waffles, yoghurt and more. I can feel a Knickerbocker Glory coming on. A couple of folk have already asked where my ice cream dishes are from. Alas I can't help with that one as they were a charity shop find.
There's a new #Sweeet biscuit on the loose from McVities. Alpacas invade a library to the theme tune of Grange Hill whilst students take a break from study. Its an advert for Deli Choc which are crunchy biscuits topped with a thick layer of either dark, milk or white Belgian Chocolate. Whilst new to the UK, DeliChoc has been available on the continent for almost 60 years. I really liked the Dark Chocolate variant with a cup of coffee. The others were too sweet for me but the rest of the family loved them all. Apparently there were nearly 7 billion biscuit eating moments last year, which equate to 107 moments per year for each person in the UK. I think I might be consuming more than my fair share.
I like to consider myself a bit of a crisp connoisseur but I'd never heard of Corkers until they got in touch to ask if I'd like to sample some of their uniquely British crisps. I'm a sucker for hand cooked and unusual flavours so the selection that arrived were right up my street. Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar, Pork Sausage & English Mustard, Sea Salt & Black Pepper, Sweet Thai Chilli and the pièce de résistance, Gressingham Duck & Hoisin Sauce. The twice cooked crisps are made with Naturalo potatoes, grown in the black, peaty fenland soil of Cambridgeshire and cooked on to perfection on the family farm. The Duck flavour is particularly amazing, we all loved it, but I also had a soft spot for the Sea Salt & Cider Vinegar despite not being a S&V crisp fan. The black pepper was however way too spicy. My sister thought the packets looked familiar and uneartherd an empty one from her train journey north. A couple of weeks later I was travelling by train and what should be on the trolley but Corkers. Alas only Sea Salt. I absolutely must track down some more of the duck.
Disclosure : Thanks to Monbento, Covent Garden Soup Co, Pulsetta, Spice Kitchen, Thomas J Fudge's, Clarks, McVities and Corkers for providing the above products. I was not obliged to review positively in return. All views expressed are my own. This is not a paid post.
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