Renna's Discoveries: April 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Adam Handling at Caxton Grill - St Ermin's Hotel

Excited is an understatement when my friend and I agreed to go to Adam Handling's Restaurant Caxton Grill in the amazing St Ermin's Hotel.
From watching Adam Handling on MasterChef UK, I was a fan. I knew from the start that he has skill and talent. He was incredibly focused throughout and delivered amazing food.
When he got to the finals, I was not surprised at all. My most memorable episode is when he couldn't get 'messy presentation' right. Adam really struggled with actually just messing up a plate and putting the food in an unorganised fashion. I agreed, if you are used to making food look like you care, then just throwing it on a plate is not going to work for you. If I owned a restaurant, I'd like each plate to go out like a piece of art. Food to me is art, and should be presented as such. I love the word Wow, and if you say that when a plate is put in front of you in a restaurant, you're onto a winner.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Quintessential - I Love Eve! Bags,

I wrote a blog post about a Scarf that I received from Quintessential a while ago See here and as I like to stay with the times, I look through my favourite companies websites. However, every time I go onto their website I fall in love with another new collection.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Liberation Fairtrade Nuts

Liberation - Nuts About Fair Trade

Liberation Foods are based in London and are joining The Fair Trade liberation.
It's amazing that all of our food products are not Fair Trade. The farmers and the people that harvest the foods that we eat should all be rewarded correctly and treated like our heroes. Without them, a lot of foods wouldn't be enjoyed all around the world.
How is it fair that the big bosses of companies earn millions and the producers earn pittance. It's disgusting.
So these nuts are completely Fair Trade and delicious !
The nuts are shipped from Africa, India and Latin America.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Natvia Natural Sweetner

Sugar Sugar Sugar ! We are all desperately trying to avoid eating or drinking too much sugar. We have been advised to use sweeteners, but for years sweeteners taste is just so bitter, it's not sweet at all, and the artificial taste has been incredibly obvious.
When I did the Dukan Diet a few years ago, everything on the diet consisted of meat, fat free yoghurt and sweeteners. So I managed to try quite a few to try and find the right one. I couldn't.
Then we were told the dangers of aspartame ..... Which was/in in a lot of sugar free foods and drinks.
So, now what? Then coconut has taken over from refined sugars, which is brilliant news, but, I couldn't put it in my tea as the taste took over the tea flavour, and I still can't get to the grips of using it in cakes.
I do look at labels and a lot of products I bought as a youth, I no longer buy or drink. Fizzy drinks from a can is like a luxury to me, as I generally use sparkling water instead with certain cordials or juices.
However, as much as you try, Sugar is everywhere.
Luckily, I may....just may have found my Tea Sugar option at last. I've yet to try it in cakes, but so far so good ..... Got to start somewhere!
Natvia came in my Degustabox delivery. It's Zero calories and No nasty chemicals. Going on taste alone, it's actually not bad. Obviously, nothing will ever be the exact same taste of sugar, but, this at least made my tea palatable. There was no dirty after taste and very pleasant.
I will definitely be buying this again, and I recommend you do too.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

BBQUE Stir Fried Rice Recipe

I like quick easy meals for the kids to eat. They also have to be healthy and flavoursome. Obviously cooking for kids, I don't add extra salt, so this means I can add sauces and I can keep the salt consumptions to a low.
In one of my Degustabox deliveries, I had a bottle of BBQUE. I like the black bottle as it made it quite mysterious. This is a BBQ sauce that can be used as a marinade as well as a condiment. It has a gorgeous smoky flavour, and I could pour it over anything, or just use as a dipping sauce. It is delicious !

I thought I'd try an experiment and combine it with a household favourite. Stir fried Rice!

I marinated 4 pork loin steaks which I cut into slices in the BBQUE sauce and left it in the fridge for a few hours.
During the school pick up, I steamed rice in the microwave. (It's how my mum always used to cook rice, as it's easy and quick). When I returned, I stirred up the rice and left it.
I scrambled five eggs and removed them from the pan, where I then added the pork strips and fried them off in just a tablespoon of oil.
Once cooked, I added sweet corn, peas, string beans along with the egg and cooked them through.
Then I added the rice and mixed the whole lot together. I also added more BBQUE sauce as I didn't realise how large my dish was going to get ....as per usual, I got a bit carried away.







Dish Done And Dinner was served ! Empty plates all round (albeit rice always seems to fall in the floor). Extra bonus is, as I made so much, Daddy had dinner when he got home and he also had a box for lunch, and so did I.

We have also marinated chicken strips to have with rice too. The kids loved this and we all had to have more sauce out on our plates as it's just so delicious.

I would definitely buy this sauce and I'd love to try its other flavours. They have Grill & Beechwood, Honey & Mustard and finally Chilli & Horseradish.
BBQ season is coming up, so these would be great to compliment any meat or vegetarian dish.

See Website for details and when you see them in the shops, get them before they run out !

Colchester Family Adventures

We recently visited Colchester after staying in a Caravan in Clacton on Sea with Park Resorts.

Upon visiting Colchester, the two main attractions that are a must visit are the Zoo and the Castle. You will need a whole day for the Zoo, so take a picnic and enjoy. Tickets on the door are £20.99 per adult and £14.49 per child. You can buy E-Tickets online the day before for a 5% discount.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Maynards Sour Patch Kids Sweets

Maynards have come up with a new face churning sweet. I always find it hilarious watching people eat Sour sweets. It's a brilliant past time. It's the cheeks, and how they're sucked in and the forehead lines go so high they are almost lost into your hairline. These are no exception ! Especially the lime ones ! Whoah.......

These are fun sweets to eat. Obviously, these are not an everyday treat, as it's all sugar and a load of other ingredients that are definitely not for every day eating. Yet again, they also have Bovine Gelatine. Oh please can these companies make sweets suitable for vegetarians?

On the good side, there is also natural colourings and flavours , no E numbers ! Bonus.

These can bought in any shop down the sweets aisle.


Bassetts Jelly Babies - Berry Mix

Finally Bassetts have listened, and they now produce just Berries in one bag. My favourite has always been the Blackcurrant and Strawberry jelly babies, so this is a huge bonus for me.
I don't eat many jelly babies anymore , as we are trying to keep the sweet amount to a limit in my house, so the kids are healthy. However, a small amount is always fine.
This is a 190g bag, so it's perfect for sharing among friends. There were 28 babies in my bag, so I'll be taking them up the park to share with all the kids. The flavours include Blackcurrant, Strawberry and Raspberry.
Of course the main ingredient is sugar, so small amounts only.
My only major concern is they contain Bovine Gelatine. I'm hoping that Bassetts will soon come up with an alternative to make these a Vegetarian Sweet. It always bothers me that a sweet is not vegetarian. The good side is that they do contain Actual Real Fruit Juice! Ok, it's concentrated, but, it's still got some fruit in there somewhere.
Jelly Babies can be bought in most shops, down the sweet aisle.







Lindor Chocolate Eggs

Ok, so Easter has passed, but Chocolate Eggs can be eaten all year round. Why? Because they are absolutely delicious!
Lindor Chocolate is actually my favourite. It's smooth and silky and tastes the best. I always get Lindor Milk Chocolate Balls for Christmas or my birthday. The red ones are my favourite - Milk Chocolate. Although, I will happily eat any flavour.
I like to have small bits of chocolates as opposed to chocolate bars, as the bars get eaten so quickly it's ridiculous. Any chocolate that is sold in individual packs or buttons are the best in my household.
If you are a chocolate lover, then Lindor is for you. Bars, balls and eggs! They have several flavours and also do limited editions every now and then, like cookies and cream.
You can buy Lindor is most shops and is always thoroughly enjoyed by Everyone!

Ombar Chocolates Buttons

Chocolate is one thing I will never be able to give up. So trying new types of 'healthy' chocolates is always a bonus.
Ombar Buttons are Dairy Free and made with Coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is everywhere at the moment. People are trying to cut out sugar and coconut sugar or alternative is a great substitute. Obviously, it does taste different, some people say they can't tell the difference, but I'm not sure on that.

Ombar chocolate is Dairy free, so, it tastes just like extremely dark chocolate. Which I actually don't mind. Ok so, yes I do prefer milk chocolate, but dark is good for limiting your chocolate consumption. Because these are big buttons, you may put a small amount in your mouth at a time, so it's not to overwhelming.

Monday, April 13, 2015

I have a new camera

Finally,  I have a new camera,  so let the blogging commence!
Woohoo! 
We're going away for a few days, so I'll be sure to blog on my way.
How is everyone?