The last day of the month means that its time once again for my regular review roundup. August brought an interesting assortment of food, drink and kitchenware for me to try. Cereal, Charcuterie, Cookies, Cheese, Crisps, Codlo, Cider. There were also Oven Gloves. Try as I might I couldn't find a way to make them start with 'C'.
A couple of years ago I won a runner up prize in a competition for a blog post I wrote which celebrated 30 years of Special K. A six month supply of the cereal duly arrived on my doorstep. That's a lot of boxes! Not so many in the package I received from Special K this time but plenty of new additions to the range including porridge, protein cereal, cereal bars and Nutri K flakes. Strictly presenter Tess Daly has backed the Live in Colour campaign with a recipe she chose herself. Red Apple, Almond and Vanilla. I was immediately attracted to the Chocolate and Hazelnut Granola, delicious curls of dark chocolate, 5 whole grains and 30% less fat than the average granola. The porridge sachets contain a nutritious mix of barley, oats, rye, wheat and spelt combined with seeds, fruits and nuts. Even the classic Special K flake has undergone a makeover to become Nutri K with nine vitamins and minerals. Not sure I'm ever going to manage the red swimsuit look as the recommended portion sizes are way less that I normally put in the bowl, same goes for the porridge sachets. As such I've been bulking them out with fresh fruit which also helps with my five a day.
All products available in major supermarkets.
Oreo have launched two new limited edition flavours and I received a sneak preview of both for a recipe development commission. The Peanut Butter Oreo combines the iconic chocolate cookie with a smooth peanut butter cream filling whilst a second new flavour - Golden Oreo - keeps the original white creme but swaps chocolate cookie for vanilla. I'm a big peanut butter fan so for me the PB flavour is absolutely spot on although it would be even better as a double stuffed variant. The Golden Oreo are almost Custard Cream like in taste but with a much crunchier biscuit.
Check out my recipe for Peanut Butter Oreo Milkshake. Guaranteed to bring all the boys to the yard.
The new flavours are available in all major supermarkets at an RRP of £1.08.
I'd been a wee bit disappointed with my first Carnivore Club box which featured in last months review roundup however this months box certainly redeemed itself. Carnivore Club UK is a monthly delivery service of British Artisan Charcuterie. The meats in the box change every month and the featured supplier this months box was Forest Pig. In my parcel was Pancetta, Truffle Salame, Coppa, Wild Boar Salame and Hazelnut & Champagne Salame. They all tasted fantastic and I'd struggle to pic a favourite although if pushed it would be the Truffle Salame. The contents of the box disappeared very quickly and it required great restraint not to nibble a slice every time I opened the fridge. I also used some to make a frittatta, risotto and stirred through pasta.
Get 20% off your first purchase at www.carnivoreclub.co with code Foodiequine20
£32 for one box or £29 if you commit to the monthly subscription
The Codlo ia a nifty wee gadget which enables you to sous vide in your slow cooker by using it as a water bath and regulating the temperature. Much less expensive that a stand alone sous vide and no problem of finding somewhere to store yet another bulky kitchen appliance. A sensor on the Codlo is submerged into the water in your Slow Cooker (or rice cooker), you set the temperature and time and you're ready to go. So far I've only tried it with eggs and it produced the most perfectly textured gooey consistency. Full review to come in a dedicated blog post when I've put it through its paces.
£119 at www.codlo.com
Cheese is up there with my all time favourite foods. I even had a cake made of it for my 40th birthday. I was delighted to be asked by Barber's 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar to create a cheesy recipe for them. Its still in development but meantime I've been sampling the goods. Matured for 24 month the cheddar has a fantastically rich and creamy taste. Perfect as part of a cheeseboard or as a recipe ingredient. Look out for my Cheesy Spinach & Mushroom Potato Crust pie recipe on the blog very soon.
Available online, from the deli counters in good farm shops, and Sainsbury's, Waitrose & Morrison's stores.
Its a good month when I get to sample so many of my favourite things. I'm a huge crisp lover and hand cooked are my absolute favourite. Kettle Chips are the original and best in my opinion. Fantastically crunch and a amazing range of flavours with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives used. They have recently launched two new flavours. Thai Sweet Chilli, Lemongrass & Coriander and Crispy Bacon & Maple Syrup Seasoning. The Crispy Bacon is produced with real meat seasoning from Norfolk pigs and the sweet/savoury combo with maple syrup works fantastically well. Thai Sweet Chilli is a seasonal edition for summer, spicy but fresh.
Festival goers as The Big Feastival which took place over the weekend were treated to a bountiful selection of Cider's at the Weston's Cider Teepee right next to the main stage. I got to sample the three that were being offered under the "Westons Crafted Cider" banner. Henry Westons, Old Rosie and Organic Wyld Wood. My favourite was the crisp and clean Henry Westons. The others certainly didn't go to waste as after I'd settled on supping my preference they were used as a base for Chicken in Cider. So my vote goes to #TeamHenry However I also really liked the sound of a limited edition festival flavor. Old Rosie Cloudy Cider with Rhubarb sounds right up my street combining the best crumble flavours in a bottle.
Oven gloves are an absolute kitchen essential in my book. I just can't make do with using tea towels as a substitute and always struggle in a holiday cottage if there aren't any. I tend to go for the double gloves rather than single mitts as I find they are less stiff but even then it can sometimes be tricky to manipulate shelves and hot trays. On the last series of Bake Off I spotted that Norman was wearing oven gloves with fingers. This was a bit of a revelation for me and as such I was delighted to take up the offer of a pair of Tio Tina premium oven gauntlets. I have been really impressed with their performance. Long cuffs protect your wrists, silicone stripes give a good grip and they fit either hand so no fumbling for the correct one. They are much more flexible and less restrictive than traditional padded versions and you can turn skewers, lift lids and juggle trays with ease. The only downside is their looks. In comparison with the range of patterns and prints available for conventional gloves these are definitely substance over style and I'm doubtful they will stay creamy clean for long.
£19.85 at Amazon.
Disclosure : Thanks to Special K, Oreo, Carnivore Club, Codlo, Barber's, Kettle Chips, Westons and Tio Tina 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.
If you're a brand who'd like to have your product featured here, please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org