Degustabox | November

We were sent the box for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It’s that time of the month again, our thoughts on this month’s Degustabox. This is the ‘festive’ Degustabox – so what did we get in the box? (You can buy yours here for just £12.99 including delivery!).

Tabasco Original Red Pepper Sauce – £2

This isn’t something we use all that often but it is something we always have in our cupboard, just in case. Made with just three ingredients: red peppers, vinergar and salt; it has zero calories and is vegan too! I’ll definitely be using this at Christmas time.

The Bee’s Knees Non Alcoholic Sparkling Wine 20cl – £1.89

If you will be enjoying a festive tipple but someone prefers a non alcoholic alternative, this may be the drink for you. It is a sophisticated, vegan friendly alternative to sparkling wine, made from grapes and infused with green tea.

Mallow & Marsh Cranberry Marshmallows 

These were a lovely addition – we’ve had Mallow & Marsh products before and absolutely loved them.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Snowman – £3

This barely made it out of the box before Steve claimed it. He is a big fan of Reese’s products so this was a lovely seasonal treat – a peanut butter filled snowman with a chocolate coating. Steve certainly enjoyed it.

Amy’s Kitchen Organic Chunky Tomato & Organic Lentil Vegetable Soup – £1.80

These are the product of the month and I can see why. I think I’m in love. I adore soup at this time of year – well, anytime of year actually if I am being perfectly honest – and I absolutely loved these. They are a new brand to me but I will be certainly getting them again – especially the tomato soup as it was absolutely delicious!

Jules Destrooper Almond Thins & Belgian Chocolate – £2.19

Unfortunately these got a bit damaged in transit to my house however that didn’t affect the taste. I am not an almond fan so I didn’t like this – a shame as I love most other  Jules Destrooper products. Steve found them okay but the kids absolutely adored them! Goes to show you can’t please everyone all of the time.

Weetabox On The Go Kids – £2.99

Now I don’t know about your kids but my son loves breakfast drinks or even those little probiotic drinks you can get! Jack was very excited to see these – there are four single serve pouches in this multi pack and are a source of vitamin D, calcium, fibre and protein. They have no artificial sweeteners, colours or flavours.

Emily Veg Crisps Sweet Potato Sticks -£1

I’ve previously tried the Emily Veg Crisps and really liked them so I was very excited to see these new sweet potato sticks. They made for a great snack and were very flavourful as I expected.

Nick’s Coconut Bar – £1.45

A rich and delicious naturally sweetened coconut bar with no added sugar, this was a great snack and perfect for some guilt free indulgence.

Jack Daniel’s & Cola and Jack Daniel’s & Light Cola – £2

This is the second or third month in a row that we’ve had Jack Daniel’s products and whilst I am appreciative and the drinks have been different each time, it is getting a little monotonous now. As always, they tasted good but I’d like to see something different next month.

Kallo Organic Vegetable Stock Pots – £1.80

What is a kitchen without some stock pots or cubes? We always have some and these are natural, organic and have no added MSG or artificial ingredients. I was very happy to see these included.

With a price point of £12.99, this box works out as roughly around £23/£24 in content value which is a great deal – almost double the price you are paying. I was quite impressed with this box this month however for a festive theme, this could have been way more festive and I’d like to see a difference from Jack Daniel’s products in the future.

What would have been your favourite item?

Degustabox | October

I received the monthly Degustabox food and drink subscription box for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’m a little bit delayed in posting this, I’m afraid. Half term and Halloween and Fireworks night made life very busy and with the new box due out sometime next week, I knew I needed to get this up soon to show you the items we received in last month’s Degustabox.

I’ll be honest with you and say upon opening that I wasn’t completely wowed by what was inside however this month I can actually say with all certainty that will use absolutely everything and we already have!

So what did we receive in our box this month?

Spoon Granola Cherry Bomb

Steve is a big cherry fan so this is a fabulous option for breakfast for him. We have so many different cereals at the moment though so this has gone in the cupboard until we need a new one.

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey & Lemonade – £2

These definitely have the sharp flavour of Jack Daniel’s that you come to expect with the sweet taste of lemonade. These were a lovely addition to the box, especially after recently trying the Jack Daniel’s cider. They’re an affordable price too!

Upbeat Spring Water – Summer Lemon and Blueberry & Raspberry flavour – £1.59 each

These flavoured spring waters have zero sugar, are low in calories and have real fruit flavours and taste absolutely delicious. We are trying to limit the amount of fizzy drinks we consume so these would be a great alternative.

Ginger Beer by Supermalt – £1.19

Steve is a big ginger beer lover so this was a welcome addition. This uses real ginger extract and a delicate hint of lemongrass. This will definitely be something we purchase again.

Shreddies Original Shreddies Breakfast To Go – £1.99

A new product on the market, Jack was very excited by this and couldn’t wait to have it for breakfast. It comes with a portion of Shreddies cereal and a carton of milk. It also comes with a recyclable cup and a spoon – so you simply pour and eat.

LIFT Instant Lemon Flavour Tea – £1.49

Now seeing this product of the month in the box brought back memories. I remember drinking this at my Nan’s house when I was a child and she always made sure she had some in the house for me when she was looking after me. It can be enjoyed hot or cold and is super sweet and delicious.

Get Fruity Bar Moist Mixed Berry – 70p

I love bars like this. It is made with real fruit and gluten free wholegrain oats. It contains no artificial ingredients, no added cane sugar, it’s vegan, gluten free and a great source of fibre. I am a big berry fan and always opt for things with mixed berries in so this was a real low calorie delicious treat for me.

KitKat Chunky Salted Caramel Fudge – 45p

Now I’m never going to say no to a KitKat Chunky – it is one of my favourite chocolate bars and this new flavour in the range is incredibly delicious. Of course I had to share with the rest of the family – not fair!

Clipper Fairtrade Everyday Tea – £2.89

I don’t drink too many hot drinks but I am partial to a cup of tea every now and again and visitors often have a cuppa when round mine. This box of tea is great value, great taste and I even got a free gift of a tea towel. You can’t go wrong with a box of teabags in a subscription box like this.

Heinz Creationz Mexican Beanz – £1.75

I love receiving stuff like this in the Degustabox as it is the perfect thing to put in the pantry and pull out when unsure of what to make. I am a big fan of the Heinz brand and have been intrigued by the Creationz range. These make a great option for lunch.

Santa Maria Latin American Kitchen Mexican Spiced Tomato Sauce – £1.89

I generally like to make my own sauces but I always like having something like this to hand. We are big fans of Mexican flavours in this house so this sauce was always going to go down a treat!

Overall, I was very impressed with the box. For just £12.99 including delivery, you really are getting great value for money – this box itself is worth around £20 in terms of content. I can’t wait to see what next month brings.

Dining Out In London

As a mum of two young children, I don’t get the chance to go out all too often. If I do get to go out, it is usually for a family meal or on the very odd occasion, a night out locally with friends. Every now and again though I like to head into London with some friends and experience what the capital city has to offer.

In the last few years, I’ve visited London for a variety of different reasons – concerts at the o2 arena, blog events at various locations, a birthday event at a prestigious venue. The one thing that always comes to mind is finding the right place to eat – you’ve got to choose the right dining experience for everyone, after all.

It can be very tempting to opt for the chain restaurants where everyone knows exactly what they’ll order but when I am in London for a special time, I don’t want to be ordering the same old dishes that I normally do. I want to find an eatery that is new to me; perhaps try a new cuisine.

I haven’t been into London for a while now but my friend loves eating out in London and heading to the theatre and it is something we are planning on doing soon. But we want to find a lovely new place to enjoy some delicious food. This is where SquareMeal comes in. You can search the largest number of bookable restaurants, bars and pubs in the UK plus check out ideas from independent critics.

Carissa Gan
If you are looking for something a little more private, they can also help you find the best private dining and function rooms – and if you’re looking to hold an event, you can also search for the best event venues in the capital – something that those who hold blogger events may find incredibly useful, for sure!

They also have a selection of offers for different restaurants, pubs and bars in the city so you can check that out first to see if there is one in your location or make your search location specific to find a great eatery close to you. Something I also love about it is that you can book a table via the website and they don’t take a fee plus read multiple reviews of previous customers to know that you are choosing the right place.

Something I plan on doing more next year is spending more time with friends. When Jack was over 2, I managed to do more with friends as I felt more comfortable leaving him and with Olivia turning 2 in January, I’m quite excited to have some time to spend with friends in 2019 and getting to enjoy some delicious food and company. I’ll certainly be using the SquareMeal website to help me choose the perfect place to dine – I am quite lucky to have friends who are as adventurous as me when it comes to trying new cuisines so I’m excited to try different places across the city.

How do you choose where to eat when exploring the capital?

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Degustabox | September

We received this box for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

The time has come again to talk about what we received in our monthly Degustabox. You can buy your own here for just £12.99 including delivery. So what was in our boxes this month?

As always, there was an interesting mix of products in the box. Here’s what we got and what we thought:

Jules Destrooper Butter Crisps – £1.80

These didn’t last long in our house – they were so delicious and so moreish! All of us loved them, they tasted amazing.

Dr Karg’s Organic Wholegrain Snack Tomato & Mozarella – £1.60

This organic crunchy snack pack is fibre rich and natural. These are baked, not fried, made of crunchy grains and seeds, myself and Steve weren’t fans but the kids loved them, snacking on them throughout the day.

Indie Bay Snacks Pretzel Bits – 99p 

Another great snack option. These are made using alternative flours like spelt and quinoa. They have two new flavours – Smokin’ BBQ and Easy Cheesy. We were sent the Smokin’ BBQ and these were absolutely delicious. They’re vegan too.

A2 Milk Long Life Whole Cows’ Milk – £1.50

We don’t tend to buy A2 milk but long life milk is always handy to have in the house. This milk is naturally free from the A1 protein found in regular cows’ milk. This will be kept in the pantry for when we have no milk.

Mallow & Marsh Raspberry Marshmallows Coated In 70% Dark Chocolate

These were such a delicious treat – it was very difficult to persuade me to share with everyone else!
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups -89p

If there was anything that Steve and Jack could eat constantly, it would be peanut butter. These three peanut butter cups were the perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter and they really enjoyed them.

Good Hemp Hemp Seed Hearts – £3.99

These are natural hemp seed kernels which have a delicious light and nutty flavour. They are high in protein and omegas 3 and 6. A good snack, we haven’t actually used these yet as I’m not quite sure what to do with them.

Cadbury Oreo Instant Hot Chocolate – £2.99

With the cold nights rolling in, this was a welcome sight in the box. My family love Oreos so this hot chocolate was always going to be popular.

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Cider – £2.29

We love a good cider and were very excited to see it included. We haven’t tried it yet as we can’t decide who actually gets to have it, haha!

Juicy Fuel Cola – £1.50

This was an intriguing cola drink. A fruit cola made from 100% natural ingredients, with no added sugar, no added chemicals, no e-numbers or any chemical nasties, this was a tasty drink.

CHOC CHICK Cacao Nibbles – £1.85

This is a tasty snack pack full of anti oxidants, magnesium, iron and is a powerful prebiotic. This makes for a great and tasty snack.

Yes! Fruit and Nut Bars – £1.20 each

Finally we were sent a few different bars from the Yes! range to try. I am a big fan of fruit and nut bars so loved these as these are great for a snack. They’re a fab addition to what we thought was a great box and didn’t last long.

Overall I was quite impressed with this box. It was slightly veering to the sweet side rather than savoury with the contents this  month but we liked it all pretty much. Once again, the value of products FAR exceeded the cost of the box (including delivery) – it’s always fantastic value for what you get.

Which would have been your favourite item?

What Vegetables Can You Grow At Home During Winter?

There’s nothing better than tucking into a plate full of home-grown vegetables. Not only are they more nutritious than vegetables you buy at the shop, but they taste so much better. Also growing your own vegetables is a rewarding hobby that the whole family can get involved in. And knowing you have made the vegetables yourselves makes it a delightful dinner. However, now that the nights are drawing in, a lot of people feel like their green thumb hobby has to be put on the backburner.

After all, there is less sun and more cloud and rain during the winter months which is not beneficial to a lot of vegetables. However, you might be surprised to know that there is actually a lot of vegetables that thrive in the colder months. And you can then enjoy the delicious veg throughout the winter months. Of course, if you can plant the vegetables in some form of shelter like a green house or a polytunnel which you can get from sites like First Tunnels, then they are bound to flourish. After all, they are still getting the vitamins from the sunlight, and the shelter from pests that they require to stay alive. If you are wondering which vegetables you can still grow at this time of the year, here are some that you can grow in the colder months.

Thomas Martinsen
Onion

Onion is a popular choice when it comes to vegetables. Whether you love it in salads, sandwiches or even on your pizza, it’s a delicious choice. And the great news is if you can’t get enough of onion, it’s a perfect vegetable to grow in the winter months. As Den Garden explains, whether you want to plant them from seed or grow them from cuttings, they will do really well in the winter months. In fact, you will find that they will take care of themselves without needing little input from you during the winter season. Whether you want to grow ‘electric’ or ‘First Early’ onions, you will find onions can be a great vegetable to grow at this time of the year.

Garlic

Another vegetable which is a common favourite in households across the country is garlic. Whether you are making a pasta sauce, or some delicious garlic bread, it’s a must-have in your vegetable compartment. And the good news for gardeners is that it’s an excellent vegetable to grow in the winter months. One of the best things about growing garlic is its such an easy crop to grow. As the Telegraph explains, you just need to plant them in light soils and one foot apart from each other. It’s a good idea to plant garlic cloves in autumn. That way, they will begin their growing and will start thriving in the winter months. Although they won’t be ready until the spring, it’s a great vegetable to take care of during the colder months.  There is a variety of garlic bulbs you can buy, so check them all out before buying them for your garden.

Asparagus

A delicious vegetable, an asparagus often makes the plate of a roast dinner. Whether you cook them in the oven, or add them to a stir fry, they are a great addition to any dish. And they are a bit different when it comes to common vegetables. You might be surprised to know that they can be a great vegetable to grow in the winter months. They do tend to need a lot more work than the other vegetables mentioned on this list, but it’s so rewarding when you find them ready to cut within two years. Once planted, they can last years, and you could be enjoying asparagus for a long time. And as they can be higher priced than most vegetables in the shop, it’s a cheaper option to grow them yourself.

Spinach

Spinach is a lovely vegetable to grow in the winter months. It’s a great addition to a salad or even when making a curry dish. In the summer months, you have to watch out for pests when growing spinach. After all, they are prone to munch on delicious spinach. But in the winter months, it’s much easier to grow a large amount of spinach. There are many different varieties you might want to try to grow at this time of the year. Perpetual spinach is one option which is a favourite with gardeners as it will crop well into the spring and summer months.

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