Thursday, 24 December 2015

That's Christmas: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

That's Christmas: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year: From That's Christmas. We will be back with more Christmas stories some time during 20016.

That's Christmas: Some very late minute Christmas presents from Kuro...

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Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

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That's Christmas: Bonne Maman... It's sort of French for Christmas!

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That's Christmas: BRITA Marella jugs a good looking and healthy Chri...

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That's Christmas: Festive fun for Christmas week

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That's Christmas: Christmas made easy

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That's Christmas: Mac & Wild Ready To Drink Pre-Bottled Cocktails -

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That's Christmas: Inception Group Experiences and Gift Vouchers

That's Christmas: Inception Group Experiences and Gift Vouchers: The festive period is the Inception Group’s favourite season and to celebrate, all eight restaurants, bars and clubs are offering an excit...

That's Christmas: Inception Group Experiences and Gift Vouchers

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That's Christmas: Encona can help you transform your turkey and help...

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Monday, 21 December 2015

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That's Christmas: Hari Ghotra’s ‘Curry Kits’ putting a kick into Chr...

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That's Christmas: New luxury Magnum Chocolate for pleasure seekers t...

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That's Christmas: Lir, award-winning chocolatier, introduces three N...

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That's Christmas: New ways with leftovers and maple syrup

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Sunday, 13 December 2015

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Sunday, 21 June 2015

Scan real Swedish meatballs

If you haven't tried Scan Swedish meatballs, you really do have to get a wriggle on and get them onto your shopping list.

Meatballs are a highly popular meal in Sweden and, once you have tried them, you will come to understand why that is.

Smart Swedish Mums regularly turn to Scan meatballs for cooking up quick, tasty and nutritious meals - now with 12.5% less salt and no artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives.

With a huge following across Sweden and nopw the UK, they've been nicknamed the kitchen 'cheat' by mums who love their authentic, homemade taste, fresh herbs and spices. Because they are ready-made, busy mums can spend less time in the kitchen and enjoy more 'me' time – as well as tucking into a plate of delicious tasting food.

How can you serve them up?
Spicy BBQ Meatballs with Mango Salsa
Mediterranean Meatball Tart
Meatball Kebabs with Pressed Cucumber Salad and Flatbreads
Mixed Meatball Smörgåsbord
Spicy Meatball and Noodle Salad
Bahn Mi - Thai open sandwich with meatballs
Teriyaki Meatball Stir Fry
Meatballs in Lingonberry Sauce with Jansson's Frestelse

Scan Original Swedish Meatballs come ready-cooked, can be eaten hot or cold and make the ultimate, convenient and versatile ingredient for lots of recipes.  Heating them through takes just minutes in the oven, on the hob or in the microwave.

Eat cold in salads, pasta and rice dishes
Ideal pick-up food for parties and picnics
Delicious eaten in the traditional Swedish style with potatoes, cream sauce and lingonberry
Perfect for adding into a whole host of recipes, from pizza and casserole, to stir fry, curry and sandwiches, or for coming up with your own ideas.                                                                                                            
The new lower salt Scan Original Meatballs are available in Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Asda and Ocado in two convenient pack sizes: 230g, RRP £2.00 (serves 2) and 395g, RRP £3.00 (serves 4).  

To learn more about how to serve them visit

Cawston Press drinks

As part of our on-going summer food and drinks festival, That's Food and Drink is taking a look at what's on offer from Cawston Press.

For a refreshing treat this summer, try these new sparkling soft drinks, created for the more mature taste of the adults amongst us, from Cawston Press.

Elderflower Lemonade and Ginger Beer are the latest launches from the premium soft drinks company.

Their aim is to satisfy the increasing demand for discernible, non-alcoholic drinks for grown-ups that aren't full of artificial flavours, colourings or preservatives. (EDITOR: So doi not put your teeth on edge!)

Each variant has been especially designed and crafted by Micah Carr-Hill, Cawston's Master Blender, and use beautifully fresh ingredients that are lovingly and gently blended together with sparkling water and Cawston's trademark utterly delicious pressed apple juice.

Both are perfectly balanced, thankfully are not overly sweet and are gently sparkled.

Like all Cawston's drinks, they use juice that has come from fruit picked at the peak of ripeness and pressed within a 48 hour period.

And another key factor in their success is that they are made without any concentrates, artificial sweeteners, preservatives or colourings.

Ginger Beer is a twist on the classic and features two types of ginger, one sweet & citrusy and the other earthy & fiery. The result is a fruity, complex ginger flavour with a satisfying 'bite' and the perfect hit of heat for a drink that's discernibly dry. Using pressed apple juice in the blend adds a dash of acidity and fruitiness to this not-so-sweet ginger beer.

Elderflower Lemonade is a refreshingly light blend with the unmistakable floral fragrance (of this quintessentially British flower), Cawston use an elderflower extract made by soaking the dried flowers in water which captures the wonderful aroma of these delicate blossoms.

The sparkling water adds to the refreshment, whilst the squeezed Sicilian lemon juice delivers tingling citrus and with just 99 calories per can, this blend offers those wanting a lighter drink delicious flavour without any compromise in taste.

Ginger Beer and Elderflower Lemonade will join Cloudy Apple and Rhubarb in the line-up of adult sparkling drinks from Cawston Press and will be available at Waitrose and Ocado (in a six pack, RRP £4.99) and as individual 330ml cans in Pod, Whole Foods Market, As Nature Intended and Planet Organic (RRP 99p ea.), plus all good independent retailers.

That's Books and Entertainment: Lime 43 is a new cocktail is born with Licor 43 an...

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Now Walkers Shortbread is available in a new, gluten free range

By universal acclaim and repute, family-owned and managed Walkers is almost without a shadow of a doubt, one of the world's top bakers and purveyors of genuine Scottish Shortbreads.

For a while the expert bakers at Walkers were examining a problem that the company had identified. The many people who would be loving to eat Walkers Shortbreads but, by reason of the fact that they had a gluten intolerance or a gluten allergy (or a wheat allergy) were excluded from enjoying Walkers Shortbreads.

But this is where the bakers in the test and development kitchens at Walkers Shortbread became involved.

They turned their baking expertise to the problem of how to develop and craft a new series of recipes for a type of genuine Shortbread that they'd never attempted to make before. A special gluten free range of  products.

The came up with the following three recipes: Gluten Free, pure butter shortbread.
It melts in the mouth, you can taste the butter.

 Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Shortbread. They don't scimp on the chocolate, when Walkers tells you that they are offering you some really delicious shortbread loaded with real chocolate chips, that is exactly what you will get.

And the Gluten Free Ginger and Lemon Shortbread is a real revelation. There are real lemons and real stem ginger in this beautiful shortbread biscuit. Every bite is delicious from the first to the last one.

And everyone can eat them, safe in the knowledge that thee will be no adverse reactions in any of the group.

As with all of Walkers Shortbreads, they are made with only the finest ingredients that are available and they are then baked with only the expertise and the care that a company like Walkers can bestow upon their products.

This ensures that the products are made without any compromise.

Jim Walker said: "We're delighted to launch a Gluten Free option to the Walkers Shortbread range, so allowing everyone the opportunity to enjoy this delicious traditional treat without compromising taste."

He went on to point out: "With  so many people now suffering from food it intolerances we took the view that it is important to create choices for all. We're proud to have the unique offering of traditional shrotbread which has a Gluten Free Certification from the UK Coeliac Society."

Each pack costs from £2.50 and is available from

But what do the people think? The member of the That's Food and Drink taste test team who does suffer from a gluten intolerance said: "The gluten-free additions are a welcome innovation. They tasted delicious."

And the rest of the team couldn't see what the fuss was about, so it looks like Walkers Shortbread has got it just about perfect! Well done!

Bundaberg, a craft brewed Australian ginger beer

Craft cocktails are set to become London’s summer drinks trend, That's Food and Drink can confirm.

The London Mule - as seen at the Grind.

 Bundaberg Ginger Beer team up with the Grind to create the must-have cocktail for summer

 Australian craft brewed ginger beer, Bundaberg, has partnered with cult London bar Grind to create London’s hippest cocktail of the summer.

The London Mule is a heady mix of fresh apple, bourbon and maple syrup, topped with refreshing Bundaberg Ginger Beer. The craft cocktail will be available at both the London Grind and Shoreditch Grind and is deliciously refreshing on a warm summers evening.

 Bar Manager, Adam Wright says “London has long been having a love affair with craft beer but craft cocktails are also about to have a moment. We wanted to introduce a new cocktail that would embrace craft, sophistication and summer. Something you could imagine Don Draper drinking at the weekend. The London Mule is just that.”

Make the perfect London Mule
·       1Ž4 fresh apple cubed (red delicious)

·       20ml maple syrup

·       25ml fresh lime

·       50ml bourbon

·       3 dashes of angostura bitters

·       Bundaberg ginger beer

·       Two cubes of candied ginger

Description: Macintosh HD:Users:katie.hancock:Downloads:For Approval 2:Ingredients.jpg
1.     Muddle the fresh apple, candied ginger and maple syrup
2.     Add the bourbon, lime juice and angostura bitters and shake
3.     Strain into a short glass and top with Bundaberg Ginger Beer
4.     Garnish with candied ginger and fresh apple fan
5.     Enjoy your drink

Or why not try these as an alternative?

 Appley Ever After
A fruity mix of fresh apple juice and dark rum, topped with the refreshing Bundaberg Ginger Beer, perfect for those warm summer day.

·       Bundaberg Ginger Beer

·       1.7 fl.oz Dark Rum

·       0.5 fl.oz Apple liqueur

·       (Pomme Verte)

·       0.7 fl.oz Lime juice

·       1.0 fl.oz Cloudy apple juice

·       Apple fan to garnish


A fiery cocktail with a kick to get summer started, mixed with the cooling Bundaberg Ginger Beer.

·       Bundaberg Ginger Beer

·       1.7 fl.oz Blanco Tequila

·       0.7 fl.oz Lime juice

·       1 hot pepper

·       Pinch coriander

·       1/2 hot pepper to garnish

Crushed Sailor

A summery cocktail bursting with berry flavour added with the sweet and spicy bite of Bundaberg Ginger Beer.


·       Bundaberg Ginger Beer

·       1.7 fl.oz Spiced Rum

·       0.3 fl.oz Berry liqueur

·       0.7 fl.oz Lime juice

·       Dash Angostura bitters

·       Berries to garnish

So what is Bundaberg?
Bundaberg Brewed Drinks is a proud family owned business, based in the small Australian town that shares the same name. The Fleming family believe real ingredients and time honoured brewing methods make all the difference.

Since its humble beginnings, the company’s aim has been to craft premium non-alcoholic beverages using time-honoured brewing methods and the finest quality ingredients. Bundaberg Ginger Beer and other Bundaberg Brewed drinks are exported to over 36 countries.

Bundaberg Ginger Beer
·       Craft Brewed over 3 days

·       Real ingredients – cane sugar, GMO Free

·       Ginger from the Bundaberg region
·       RRP £4.49, 4 x 375ml

Find them on Facebook – and on look out for updates from the Brew Riders on Twitter @BundabergDrinks

Available in leading retailers. For your nearest stockist please visit

Primula, it's what squeezable tubes were invented for!

Primula cheese in a squeezable tube goes back a long, long way. I can remember it being a useful addition to my mother's pantry when I was a child,

It comes in a variety of flavours, plan, with chives, with ham, and with prawns.

It is equally at home being used as a sandwich spread, as a filler for baked potatoes at a barbecue, or as toppings for canapés at a posh dinner party.

My favourite recipe is for large baked potatoes to have a filling made up of corned beef hash and Primula with chives.

And Primula cream cheeses make an excellent topping for crackers or with cheese biscuits of ou are having a party or just chilling out with your honey whilst watching late night TV films.

The nozzle is specially designed to help you make fancy, wiggly toppings if that is your desire. And there is now no need to pierce the seal with the little knurled cutter on the top. That's been replaced with an innovative and much more hygienic way to open the tube.

One of my favourite ways to serve it is to grill or toast some potato farll thins and then add some butter and a liberal dollop or two of whatever Primula cheese spread takes your fancy. My favourite is chives, with ham as a close second.

Served with a large fresh salad it makes a perfectly healthy main meal.

You'l be pleased to know that Primula also produces Primula Kids Cheese, the original Primula and a Primula Light version, too.

and it's also available in spreadable tubs, too.

Incidentally, all of the profits of the sale of Primula go to charity.

To learn more and for some tasty recipes you can visit

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Add some ginger to your summer deserts

Introducing Cooking Essentials from The Ginger People

Nobody does ginger like The Ginger People! For over three decades they have been perfecting the craft of all things gingery, responsibly sourcing their key ingredient via direct partnering with ginger farmers and producers from some of the world's best ginger growing regions.

And 2015 sees the UK launch of their EU Organic Certified Ginger Cooking Essentials range, a delicious assortment of culinary treats, guaranteed to tantalise your taste buds!

Organic Ginger Syrup.
• Ginger-infused syrup for beverages, breakfast toppings, desserts, stir-fry’s and glazes for your BBQ meats.
• Very versatile, and also makes a great hot soothing drink!
• Gluten and fat-free, and certified organic and Kosher
• 237ml RRP £3.79

In addition to its delicious taste, ginger also has a long history of medicinal use in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. Modern research confirms its effectiveness in relieving symptoms of nausea, vomiting, indigestion and dizziness.

The Cooking Essentials range from The Ginger People is available from independent health stores, fine food stores, garden centres, farm shops and delicatessens’ nationwide.

Wow! The That's Food and Drink taste test team were very impressed with this organic ginger syrup.

It was tried in hot drinks (a ginger, hot chocolate and cinnamon drink that really kicked the taste buds into high gear!)  as an ingredient in a hot ginger pudding, as a pouring sauce for ice cream or as a cheeky addition to a cocktail or even stirred into plane yoghurt, it will add pep and fun to your summer dining experiences!

We can heartily recommend this ginger sauce.

Gin and Tonic cocktails

One of the temptations when you are mixing cocktails for a barbecue is to go too far one way or the other.

By that I mean you either put too much alcohol in the cocktail or you go to the other extreme and use far too much mixer.

Either way the drink will not satisfy your guests and too much alcohol and a barbecue certainly do not make a good combination. I remember the shriek of pain when the guest of honour at a barbecue party was so drunk that she felt the need to steady herself, by putting her hand on the hot barbecue, which certainly put a dampener on the evening.

So, what can you do? Buy pre-mixed cocktails. They come in cans or bottles and both Gordons Gin and Bloom and Fentimans are both widely available.

It's also better to have these drinks rather than jugs of drink kept outside as they can attract flies and in order to keep them cool you will have to add copious amounts of ice, this further diluting the cocktail.

With the Gordons and Bloom Gins readymade cocktails you can keep them in a drinks fridge until your guests are ready to drink them. After all, what is the point of serving warm drinks with guests trying to rescue flies from their glasses?

Go for readymade cocktails so that you can concentrate on cooking and serving up the food!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Fruit teas from Whittard

Sometimes only a fruit tea will do.

But if you are entertaining guests and you want to offer them s real fruit tea experience, it's no good just grabbing something from the supermarket, you have to treat your guests with respect.

Far, far too many fruit teas taste like they are nothing more than a couple of tea leaves, a few chemical flavourings, a dollop of cheap corn syrup and some bitter-tasting artificial sweeter. Which, sadly, if you study the ingredients list, you'll probably find that is, in reality, what they are, pretty much.

But! It doesn't have to be this way!

Get yourself along to your nearest Whittard branch (or visit their website) and find yourself some of the best fruit teas that you will ever have the pleasure of serving to your guests or of drinking yourself.

Recently, iced tea and fruit infusion drinks are becoming a big trend for this summer.

And Whittard has recently launched its ice TEA-JAY – a unique product for creating delicious fruity drinks and cocktails (yes, you can even add alcohol if you fancy!), as well as a number of fruit infusion flavours like Very Berry and Apple and Elderflower.

We have had the pleasure of trying the fruit teas from this range and have to report that they are utterly superb!

That they have no trace of chemical flavourings, no nasty artificials and just the delicious tastes of the fruits of nature.

Ideal for your summer barbecue, your after dinner drinks in the conservatory or with your al fresco Sunday lunch, on your picnic (just chill and put it in a vacuum flask) or whenever and wherever takes your fancy.

You can order from Whittard on line at

Castello Burger Blue cheese declared "Best blue cheese ever!"

In order to give the slices of Castello Blue Cheese a good trial my wife prepared some homemade beef burgers.

Castello Burger Blue cheese is a recently launched product, based on Castello's extremely popular Extra Creamy Danish Blue cheese.

It is aimed to be the perfect compliment to the barbecue beef burgers this summer. (If we have a summer!)

After my wife prepared the burgers she placed slices of the Castello Burger Cheese on them and gave them a quick burst in the microwave and we at the cheese-topped burgers with a nice salad with some extra virgin olive oil as the dressing.

My wife's verdict: "This is the best blue cheese I have ever tasted!"

As my wife is a long time fan of blue cheeses of a wide variety of types and styles, this is high praise indeed!

Just ask for it as your cheesemonger or supermarket or visit

Be a barbecue season hero with a garden curry in a hurry!

You can be the barbecue chef sensation of your entire neighbourhood when the delicious scent of your barbecue curry wafts throughout the neighbourhood.

What you need to do is to get a large pan and place it on the gas burner of your barbecue. The gas burner you have probably only ever used once to cook some barbecued baked beans, but haven't used since.

Into the pan place some pre-cooked chicken or turkey breast chunks (the chilled food sections in supermarkets like Morrison or Tesco are ideal for buying these) and then stir in a bag of Our Little Secret Tikka Lababdar sauce and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. If you wish you can add a pot of plain yoghurt, or some crème fraîche and ensure that it is stirred in well.

Serve up with a side salad and perhaps some pre-cooked rice, if you wish. (For speed of preparation, buy a couple of bags of microwave rice.)

You can also use naan breads or, if you want to know my secret, just use plain pita breads instead of naan breads, should you have some in the freezer.

The above recipe works equally well with any other of the spicy and testy sauces from the Our Little Secret range, and it means that (with the That's Food ad Drink cheat as described above) you will have one of the most tasty barbecue meals ever, with the minimum amount of fuss, very little preparation time and only one pot being used.

However, if you want to really push the boat out, why not try these recipes kindly supplied by the folks at Our Little Secret?

Our Little Secret Summer Recipes

Tikka Meatballs with Coconut Rice

Serves: 4-5

Preparation time: 10 minutes

 Cooking time: 20 minutes

Add meatballs to a Tikka Masala Dine-In Kit and experience an awesome
twist on Britain's favourite curry.


- 1 tablespoon olive oil

- 10 meatballs of your choice

- 1 Our Little Secret Tikka Masala Dine-In Kit

- Desiccated coconut for garnish

- 1 chopped chilli

Preparation Method:

1. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the meatballs until golden brown.

2. Add the dry spices from the dine-in kit and sauté gently for 2-3

3. Add the contents of the paste sachet and simmer for 1-2 minutes.

4. Then add the Tikka Masala sauce and simmer for 5-6 minutes ensuring that the meatballs are fully cooked and the sauce thickens to a desired consistency.

5. Make a 2-3 cm tear in the rice pouch and microwave on full power for 2 minutes.

6. Garnish the rice with desiccated coconut.

7. Add chopped chillies to add heat.

8. Serve hot and enjoy!

Chunky Makhani Vegetable Broth

Serves: 4-5

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes


- Our Little Secret Makhani cook-in sauce

- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

- Shallots

- 1 crushed garlic clove

- 125g trimmed fine green beans

- 1 large diced sweet potato

- 175g baby corn, halved lengthways

- 375g small cauliflower, broken into small florets

- 400g drained lentils

- Water

Preparation Method:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic for 5-6 minutes, until softened.

2. Stir in the curry paste and fry for 2 minutes.

3. Add beans, potato, corn and cauliflower to water. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender.

4. Season to taste and add the Our Little Secret Makhani cook-in sauce and lentils. Simmer for 5-6 minutes until warmed through.

5. Add a little water to make the broth.

6. Enjoy by itself or with naan bread. Alternatively, you can add soup bread into the dish.

Sauces are available in Morrisons and other supermarkets and food outlets.

Wheyhey Ice cream. Tastier and better for you.

Wheyhey Ice Cream. I don't know... maybe it is because I am now starting to realise that I am knocking on a little bit, but Wheyhey Ice Cream reminds me of the delicious ice creams of my childhood.

Wheyhey Ice Creams are all 100% natural, they have not a scrap of gluten in them, are sugar free, are low in fat and high in protein.

So they are eminently suitable for vegetarians and also diabetics, too. (And being able to enjoy a desert or a treat without worrying too much about what my blood sugar levels are at is a great boon, believe me!)

They are the perfect treat for an after barbecue desert or for when you are cuddling up together on the sofa watching a documentary about narrow boat restoration. (That's what floats our boat, my wife and I, but if you want to eat your tubs of Wheyhey -a cute little spoon is also included!- whilst watching a romantic film, then go for it!)

Flavours we tried were Banana toffee, vanilla and strawberry, all of which were equally delicious and wonderfully smooth.

To learn more please visit them at

Where can you get it?

You can order it Order online at Ocado and Musclefood and it should also be available at Holland and Barrett, Wholefoods, As Nature Intended, GNC, Revital, Nuffield Health and it's also now available at Odeon Cinemas, too!

New sauce to complement your summer foods

There's a delicious new sauce which will be the absolutely perfect complement to your summertime barbecue foods and also your salads.

It's based on the famed Irish Stout, Guinness.

It is a rich and dark sauce which has a deep, intense flavour that is, in my opinion, unique.

The combination of flavours is delightful as you can detect the Guinness as well as the malt within the Guinness.

Most table sauces that are available are, by and large, variations on a theme. All fruit sauces taste, pretty much, very similar to every other fruit sauce.

However, in my opinion, Guinness Sauce is unlike all other types of table sauce that I have ever tried before. It is vastly different and, instead of adding or changing the flavour of the food, Guinness Sauce complements and enhances your food.

It's ideal for freshly cooked meats, ideal for cold cuts and/or cheese with a salad, slices of pie and the like. It even goes well with your Sunday roast, too! You can use it to coat the meat (steaks, burgers, lamb, etc) before cooking, have it in a sauce boat for the table or even cook some in to your gravy!

It's a versatile sauce. As versatile as your imagination.

Ask for it in your local Tesco store, as it is an exclusive offering at Tesco.

Chilled Coffee? That's an Almond Breeze!

I like chilled AKA iced coffee but I sometimes feel that my little indulgence is not quite so little, as they are usually loaded with what people describe as empty calories.

That was, however, until I discovered Blue Diamond Almonds Almond Breeze Iced Coffee.

It's a dairy free product and is completely free from any dairy products lactose or eggs, so is perfectly OK for vegetarians and vegans and those of us who are lactose intolerant.

I was able to try two flavours, Cappuccino and also Mocha.

Both tasted really good and there was a different taste to it than one gets with milk-based iced coffees, but that wasn't a bad thing, as some iced coffees can be a little cloying and tend to put my teeth on edge, as it were. Not so with Blue Diamonds iced coffee, both varieties were keen and clean about the taste!

The Cappuccino is only 29 calories and the Mocha comes in at 30 calories, so it's another of those guilt free treats that are now available to those of us who care about such things.

To learn more visit the website at

And don't forget the Almond snacks, the BBQ flavour variety did not last long!

Now free from fans can live their Dream!

Yes, now free from fans can live their Dream!

Let's face it, most people who seek out free from food do so because, like my wife, they have food allergies and food intolerances, so their only dream, if you can describe it as such, is to be able to enjoy the same kinds of foods that everyone else can indulge in without having intestinal cramps, bloating, migraines or severe joint pains, skin rashes or the like.

For years free from foods were only ever available from specialist retailers, looked odd, cost the earth, had the texture of par-boiled cardboard and tasted like nothing you had ever tasted before, but not in a good way.

But the times they are a changing, free from foods have now hit the mainstream and the recipes that are being produced are designed by chefs who care about the meals and deserts that they produce.

A perfect example of this is Almond Dream dairy free ice cream.

They come in the following flavours, Velvety Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Praline Crunch and Mint Chocolate Chip.

And they actually do taste like ice cream. No! Really! They do!

My wife said: "It's obviously not dairy based, but the taste of each flavour is really very, very good indeed."

We both agreed that each ice cream flavour we tried was creamy and had a good texture. It also had a good mouthfeel, and that's not something all mainstream ice creams can manage to do, so it is a genuine achievement, believe me!

My wife favours the vanilla, I loved both the Praline Crunch and the Salted Caramel. I favoured the Pralines but (pun, though weak, but intended) I have always been a little nuts for praline.

My wife didn't try the chocolate mint variety as she is allergic to chocolate. So, that was my job, then! Not that I complained, as it was a perfect rendition of a mint chocolate chip ice cream.

And for those of us who like to watch our fat and saturates intakes, they have about half the fat compared to other types of ice cream and roughly 10% of the saturates. And only 70% of the calorific value, too, which can't be bad!

They are also highly suited to vegetarians and vegans, too.

You should find them in Waitrose and Morrisons branches at £4.99 per 472ml. If they are not in your local branch ask the manager to make certain that they are available.

To learn more about the dairy free options available from Dream visit their website at

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Are there too many chillies in commercial available products?

Are there too many chillies in commercially available products?

I ask this question because my wife recently bought a bottle of alcoholic ginger beer in a high end supermarket that we we visiting. It was a drink that was exclusive to them.

When we got home she started drinking her ginger beer but after a few sips she said: "There's something wrong with this ginger beer! It's making my lips burn!"

She read the ingredients and found in small lettering that as well as ginger the recipe contained chilli peppers.

My wife does not cope well with chillies as she has a food intolerance problem as they have a bad impact on her digestive system.

Why on earth would anyone want to add a hot chilli to ginger beer?

The only reason that we could come up with was that ginger, especially good quality ginger, could be rather costly, whereas chilli  is far cheaper.

It's our guess that chilli is added to the ginger beer in order to make people's mouth's burn and their lips tingle, but hope that they wouldn't realise that this was nothing to do with the ginger but actually caused by the addition of cheaper "cheating" chilli.

After all as my wife said: "If they'd have been honest and called it: 'Ginger and Chilli Beer' I would have been able to avoid buying it."

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Anni's Lavender Scones

This is an interesting recipe as it involves a fairly rare cooking ingredient, lavender. However, Anni has asked me to point out that you must only ever use edible culinary lavender. We source ours from Shropshire Lavender of Wellbank Farm, Pickstock, Shropshire, TF10 8AH, or call them 01952 550303. (The lavender fields are open from June onwards.)

First heat your oven to 180c (or the equivalent for your oven).

Ingredients 225g self raising flour
50g butter
50g caster sugar
130 to 140ml milk
1 teaspoon of baking powder
50g of fruit (This can be either sultanas, cherries, mixed fruit, raisins, chopped apricots, chopped prunes, etc)
2 teaspoons of culinary lavender
1 teaspoon of culinary lavender oil.

Place the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, rub in the butter 'til it resembles breadcrumbs.

Mix in the fruit and the sugar, the lavender flowers  and the lavender.

Make a hollow in the middle of the mixture, then place the milk in the hollow.

Stir the mixture well, turning it into a soft dough.

Then place the lump of dough onto a lightly floured board.

Knead until it is nice and smooth. Flatten it out into a round shape (use your hands or you can roll it out) until it is about 1.5cm thick. Then use a biscuit cutter to make the rounds.

Place the rounds onto a greased baking tray and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until they are a golden colour.

Remove from the oven and serve hot with butter straight from the fridge.

You can add jam, honey or marmalade should you wish.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Merangz - and the Passion Fruitz Luxury dessert in new tropical flavour is naturally Gluten Free too

Those terribly clever and very gifted and innovative, award winning bakers Merangz, are launching an exotic new addition to their range of wondrous and stunning giant Swiss meringues - refreshing and luxurious Passion Fruit. Their giant - and bite sized - meringues now have a longer shelf life too.

The icing on the meringue
Unique, luxurious, ambient and versatile, Merangz are perfect for retail and also for foodservice. The best friend of time pressed cooks, caterers and chefs, they can be crushed, sprinkled or drizzled with fruit, compotes, cream or a thick caramelly Dulce de leche to create stunning desserts - with minimal effort. Or they can even be served simply - just as they are.

For foodservice, Merangz giants are available in boxes of 18 of an individual flavour, and bites in a mixed box of 80. For retail, giants are available in twin packs - with eight in a box, and bites 14 packs per box. They now have an even longer shelf life too - giants, 10 weeks and bites, 24 weeks.

Gluten Free - naturally!
Naturally Gluten Free and low in fat, Merangz are the perfect dessert choice for those with a gluten intolerance - or those simply avoiding gluten for a healthier lifestyle. They are made with only the finest ingredients and natural flavours. Every meringue is lovingly made with top quality, hand separated free range egg whites and slow baked to a traditional Swiss recipe.

Brian Crowther, the owner of Merangz, said: "Our giants and our foodservice bites, are the perfect choice for catering, coffee shops, garden centres, restaurants and pubs - as a low fat and Gluten Free dessert option.

"They are also the icing on the meringue when it comes to creating stunning mouth watering displays in a farm shop or deli - customers simply won't be able to say no! Both the giants - and the bites - are handmade using free range hand separated eggs. They really do offer a simple, versatile dessert option - with strong margins and incredible plate appeal."

To learn more, please visit our friends at the Merangz website,

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

there's a fantastic project, that is republishing 138 of special wartime recipes

There's a fantastic project, that is republishing 138 of the special wartime recipes that the National Government of World War 2 had produced in order to help people make do with the small amounts of rationed food that they were allowed and also with some (rare!) off rational foodstuffs that could, sometimes, be available.

The Royal British Legion have teamed up with Carolyn Ekins (from 1940’s Experiment) to re publish 138 1940’s style War Time recipes to encourage the nation to take part in the Royal British Legions VE Day celebrations.

You can find the recipes at the following link:

What recipes are there?

Recipe 1. Wartime Loaf
Recipe 2. Wartime Dripping
Recipe 3. Meaty Gravy
Recipe 4. Bread Pudding
Recipe 5. Corned Beef Fritters
Recipe 6. Eggless Sponge Gone Wrong
Recipe 7. Salad Dressing for immediate use
Recipe 8. Wartime Vegetable Turnovers
Recipe 9. Wartime Scotch Shortbread
Recipe 10. Carolyn’s ‘Everything In’ Wartime Stew
Recipe 11. The Oslo Meal
Recipe 12. Curried Carrots
Recipe 13: Pancakes (5 dishes from 1 recipe)
Recipe 14: Wartime Cauliflower Cheese with Bacon
Recipe 15: Cynthia’s Eggless Sponge (gone right)
Recipe 16: Pear Crumble
Recipe 17: Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam..
Recipe 18: Rock buns
Recipe 19: Mock cream recipe 1
Recipe 20: Spam Hash
Recipe 21: Wartime Pumpkin Soup
Recipe 22: Bread stuffing balls
Recipe 23: Apple crumble
Recipe 24: Lord Woolton Pie
Recipe 25: Cheese Whirls
Recipe 26: Glory Buns
Recipe 27: Cheese and Potato Dumplings
Recipe 28: Cream of Parsnip Soup
Recipe 29: Carrot and Potato Mash
Recipe 30: Cheese Dreams
Recipe 31: Farmhouse Scramble (version 1)
Recipe 32: Cottage Pie
Recipe 33: Potato and Cheese Bake
Recipe 34: Boeuf Bourguignon 1940s Rations Style
Recipe 35: Potato Floddies
Recipe 36: Bread and Apple Pudding
Recipe 37: Danish Apple Pudding
Recipe 38: Vegetable Stew
Recipe 39: Wartime Welsh Cakes
Recipe 40: Cold meat pasties
Recipe 41: Quick chocolate icing
Recipe 42: Potato Rarebit
Recipe 43: Mock Cream Recipe 2
Recipe 44: No Cook Chocolate Cake
Recipe 45: Mince Slices
Recipe 46: Marmite Mushrooms (a modern creation?)
Recipe 47: Eggless Fruit Cake
Recipe 48: Potato and Carrot Pancakes
Recipe 49: Potato and Lentil Curry
Recipe 50: Mock Goose
Recipe 51: Wartime Eggless Christmas Cake
Recipe 52: Vegetable and Oatmeal Goulash
Recipe 53: Irish Soda-Bread
Recipe 54: Eggless Pancakes
Recipe 55: Carrot Cookies
Recipe 56: Herby Bread
Recipe 57: Poor Knight’s Fritters
Recipe 58: Eggless Mayonnaise
Recipe 59: Split pea soup
Recipe 60: Potato Fingers
Recipe 61: Chocolate biscuits & chocolate spread
Recipe 62: Curried potatoes
Recipe 63: Vegetable pasties
Recipe 64: Wheatmeal pastry
Recipe 65: Homemade croutons
Recipe 66: Quick vegetable soup
Recipe 67: Fruit Shortcake
Recipe 68: Cheese potatoes
Recipe 69: Lentil sausages
Recipe 70: Root vegetable soup
Recipe 71: Sausage rolls
Recipe 72: Eggless ginger cake
Recipe 73: Mock duck
Recipe 74: Cheese sauce
Recipe 75: Duke pudding
Recipe 76: Potato scones
Recipe 77: Cheese, tomato and potato loaf/pie
Recipe 78: Bubble and squeak
Recipe 79: Belted leeks
Recipe 80: Lord Woolton Pie- Version 2
Recipe 81: Beef and prune hotpot
Recipe 82: Prune flan
Recipe 83: Butter making him-front style
Recipe 84: Mock apricot flan
Recipe 85: Corned beef with cabbage
Recipe 86: Oatmeal pastry
Recipe 87: Gingerbread men
Recipe 88: Carolyn’s mushroom gravy
Recipe 89: Jam sauce
Recipe 90: Brown Betty
Recipe 91: Middleton medley
Recipe 92: Rolled oat macaroons
Recipe 93: Anzac biscuits
Recipe 94: Beef or whalemeat hamburgers
Recipe 95: Lentil soup
Recipe 96: Welsh claypot loaves
Recipe 97: Chocolate oat cakes
Recipe 98: Wartime berry shortbread
Recipe 99: Oatmeal soup
Recipe 100: Mock marzipan
Recipe 101: Gingernuts
Recipe 102: Eggless christmas pudding
Recipe 103: Leftovers stew
Recipe 104: Vinaigrette dressing
Recipe 105: Apple pudding
Recipe 106: Irish omelette
Recipe 107: Potato cakes
Recipe 108: Glazed turnips (Canadian recipe)
Recipe 109: Carrot roll
Recipe 110: Wartime Bara Brith
Recipe 111: Bread and prune pudding
Recipe 112: Sausage stovies
Recipe 113: Malted loaf
Recipe 114: Toad in the Hole
Recipe 115: Summer berry jam
Recipe 116: Scones
Recipe 117: Mock cream 3
Recipe 118: Vegetable Pie
Recipe 119: Air-raid apple chutney
Recipe 120: Lentil curry
Recipe 121: Haricot bean croquettes
Recipe 122: Leek and Lentil Pie
Recipe 123: Coconut Cream
Recipe 124: Colcannon
Recipe 125: Carrot and Sultana Pudding
Recipe 126: Lemon Syrup Sauce
Recipe 127: Bean and Vegetable Shepherds Pie
Recipe 128: Chocolate Layer Cake
Recipe 129: Small Cottage Tea Loaves
Recipe 130: Vinegar Cake
Recipe 131: Kale and Bean Stew
Recipe 132: Pea and Potato Stew
Recipe 133: Baked Chips with Thyme
Recipe 134: Homity Pie
Recipe 135: Vegetable Au Gratin
Recipe 136: Kale and Potato Soup
Recipe 137: Trench Stew
Recipe 138: Irish Potato Pancakes

That's a splendid list, is it not?

Apple Pudding and Mock Cream? Sounds delicious! Especially following some Kale and Bean Stew or some Vegetable pie!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Anni's Vodka Cherry 'Baked Well' cake

As part of the Aldi cake challenge, That's Food and Drink brings another one of Anni's specially created cake recipes.

This one is called "Anni's Vodka Cherry 'Baked Well' cake."

It requires 175g of Aldi's baking margarine
175g of Aldi dark brown sugar
225g of Plain Aldi flour
3 Aldi eggs
1tsp Aldi baking powder
1tsp Aldi cinnamon
1tsp Aldi ginger
550g of Aldi luxury dried mixed fruit
400g of Aldi cherries
100g Aldi chopped almonds
zest of an orange
zest of a lemon
150ml of Aldi Vodka

Pre-heat your oven to 160C 325F or Gas Mark 3.

Cream together the margarine and the sugar. Beat the eggs and add the egg mixture a little at a time, mixing well.

In a separate bowl mix all dry ingredients together, then carefully fold this into the cake mix and stir well.

Add the dried fruit and 200g of the cherries to the mixture and make sure they are thoroughly mixed in. For a better result you could mix 100g of the cherries and the dried fruit and marinate them in the Vodka overnight. If you can't do this, just pour the Vodka into the mix once the dried fruits have been added and mix well.

Place the cake mix into a greased and papered cake tin (the Aldi one shown in the pictures is ideal)     and put the remaining 200g of cherries on the top of the cake and put it in the oven for approximately two hours.

After two hours test the cake with a skewer. When it comes out clean, the baking is complete.

If it starts to look a little too brown, cover it with some aluminium baking foil.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for at least an hour before you  remove it from the cake tin.

At this stage you can add more Vodka to the top of the cake. You can also prick the cake in several places to  ensure that the cake is well fed with the additional Vodka.

For a bit off added decadence serve the cake with shots of chilled Vodka straight from the  freezer!

You can use this as a stand alone cake or as part of a larger Aldi Challenge creation.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Perfect egg yolks for your kitchen each and every time

If a recipe in a commercial kitchen calls for 20 egg yolks, that means that someone will have to spend time cracking and separating all of those eggs.

But what if you didn't have to do that? What if you didn't have to put a trained member of staff on a tedious job like cracking and separating 20 egg yolks? And what do you do with all those egg whites if you have no immediate use for them?

Fortunately the solution to this problem has already been created. The clever souls at Merangz have introduced The Egg Project.

This is a simple idea. Perfect free range egg yolks delivered to your kitchen in handy 1 litre easy to use screw top containers.

They are hand separated (but not by you!)  and they come from a single source, a free range egg farm in the heart of rural Shropshire.

The eggs that Merangz uses are carefully selected  Freedom Foods accredited quality local free range eggs.

The egg whites are used used to create their stunning giant and bite sized Merangz in a variety of yummy natural flavours - including raspberry and white chocolate, pistachio black cherry, mocha and pecan - are painstakingly hand separated, just like you make them at home. (EDITOR: As a fan of the Merangz products, I had posed a question to my wife at an outdoor event where we bought a large bag of Merangz, "I wonder what they do with all the egg yolks?" Well, now we know!)

You will find this unique logo on their products to identify the extra effort Merangz go to in sourcing and hand separating free range eggs.

The Taste Team at That's Food and Drink set to work and there was a frenzy of baking and cooking activities, with all sorts of recipes that use egg yolks. Two types of cake, a fresh custard, some pancake batter, even a sneaky chocolate bread and butter pudding made with brioche and organic chocolate sauce!

All were made in double quick time and all, of course, tasted absolutely delicious!

Merangz obviously takes things seriously. The yolks are pasteurised for safety, you know exactly where the eggs are from (Hollowdene Farm) they last for seven days once opened (we kept ours refrigerated)  there's no waste, no pesky egg shells to try to catch and there's no mess.

Portion control is exact, there are no irritating additives or colourings (the fantastically vibrant colour is natural) you get 50 yolks in a litre and every litre only costs about £6.00 to £6.50.

Brian Crowther, owner of Merangz, said: "There are many busy kitchens where chefs, cooks and caterers only require the egg yolks for their recipes. That is why we are launching our free range liquid egg yolks - a kitchen staple with local provenance which also just happens to be environmentally-friendly too.

"We work with local farmers to source the finest quality eggs we can for our Merangz - we won't settle for anything less - and every egg white we use is hand separated. Now the egg yolks that we don't need can be used by those that do. The end result is great shell-egg taste without the waste - it's win, win!"

To learn more please visit

Hawkshead Relish Company

Cumbria is quite justifiably developing an International reputation as being an area within the UK that is well known for the superbly high quality foods that it produces.

Another example of this is the Hawkshead Relish company of Hawkshead, in Cumbria.

Owned and operated by holders of very well deserved MBEs, Mark and Maria Whitehead, the relishes are cooked in the proper, traditional way, by hand, in real kitchens, in open pans.

The product ranges are wide and cover sweet and savour relishes and products.

From several different types of chilli-based products, to traditional pickles such as pork pie pickle, hand chopped piccalilli to scrumpy apple chutney, via pear and date chutney, to Red Onion Marmalade an Pickeled Damsons.

There's an amazingly full range of mustards from the FHM (Fiendishly hot Mustoard) to Honey Mustard, plus a range of proper jellys such as Daomson and Basil, Chilli, Lime and ginger, Pale Real Ale Jelly and Cranberry Jelly, Nettle Jelly, Hedglrow and Port Jelly and Apple and Lavender Jelly. (Incidentally, my wife makes absolutely delicious lavender scones, so just imagine what a fantastic combination they's make!)

There's also a range of vinegars, table sauces, speciality oils (including Pizza oil!) and marmalades including Leomn and Lime, Five Fruit and jams such as Strawberry and Black Pepper Jam (wow! Just... wow! You would have to be a real genius to create such a wonderful gem of a jam!) Raspberry and Vanilla jam and Lemon Curd. As for the Strawberry Daiquiri Jam, (with white rum, of course!) that's another first rate recipe!

They've also taken the decision to have their Brand and Rum Butters available year round, produce a first rate hot toddy and a range of honeys that are amongst the best you'll ever taste.

Add Lizzies handmade Italian inspired preserves and you will be in culinary heaven.

The That's Food and Drink Taste Test Team have given the range 12 out of 10 for taste.

To learn more, please visit Mark and Maria Whithead MBE

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Sheppy's make real cider

For many years I was a fan of The Archers on BBC Radio. This was a tradition started by my grandfather as the family had, until the Great War wrecked so many hopes, ambitions and lives, farmed in the area of the English Midlands portrayed in The Archers.

My favourite characters were the Grundy family. They were a proper farming family as they were the only farmers in Ambridge who made thier own scrumpy cider on their farm, Grange Farm.

Which brings me to another farming family, this farming family is, however, a very real farming family, the Sheppy family of Somerset.

The family has farmed and made cider since the 1800s. And that's a heck of a long time to be getting something so utterly right!

My wife -who has strong family connections to the West Country herself (Devon, the other side of the Tamar!) so she is something of a connoisseur of ciders. 

We had three bottles of Sheppy's ciders: Sheppy's Vintage Reserve, Sheppy's Kingston black Cider and Sheppy's Falstaff Apple Cider.

At 7.4%, Sheppy's Vintage Reserve is a cider of reassuring strength. This traditional cider is matured on oak vats in the age-old method.

The result is a darker cider with a flavour that is matured and delicious, with a hint of tannin from the oak. "It reminds me of a good quality malt whisky," said my wife as she sipped her glass.

Sheoppy's Kingston Black Cider is only slightly lighter in alcohol content at 7.2%. It's a single variety cider that really hits the spot. It's dry, yet no so dry as to make it unpleasant to drink. It has a pleasant taste that reflects well on the type of apple used and on the family who still make it.

The third Sheppy's cider that we tried was my own personal favourite, Sheppy's Falstaff Apple Cider. Somewhat less alcohol, it comes in at 5.6%. It has a lovely, light colour and it is made with the more modern and utterly delicious desert apple, the Falstaff.

The cider is medium-sweet refreshing to drink and easy to drink.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Aldi brings you the world's first crowd sourced cake

This is it! This is the cake that British cake lovers want! And it's brought to you exclusively by Aldi, Britain's best kept shopping secret!

Experts took 31 hours to bake and assemble the ‘ultimate’ Easter cake, featuring five layers and 39 different ingredients, following research revealing the nation’s favourite fillings and flavours.

The country's first ever 'crowd sourced' cake revealed for the first time here on That's Food and Drink, was based on the findings of a study of over 2,000 people commissioned by supermarket Aldi, resulting in a monumental sweet treat, featuring 352 mini chocolate eggs.

Over a third (36%) of folks asked said chocolate sponge was the most likely to get their taste buds tingling, followed by cheesecake (33%), fruit cake (30%), carrot cake (29%) and Victoria sponge (24%) – which is reflected in the intricate creation.

And when it comes to filling, cream came up trumps with over half of those surveyed (53%), followed by chocolate (37%), strawberry jam (25%), and raspberry jam (23%), and almost half preferred their cake embellished with chocolate eggs (48%).

Decoration scored highly on the cake wish list with more than 1 in 10 (12%) wanting to see edible decorations adorn their perfect cake.

The crowd-sourced Easter cake was created using the Aldi Specialbuys kitchen range and crafted by Great British Bake Off finalist and cookery book writer Miranda Gore Browne.

Miranda said: “Cake is engrained in British culture; it’s part of family life, so I’m not surprised that we’re so pernickety when it comes to the ideal slice. To capture the tastes of the nation in one brilliant cake is quite a feat.

“Of course, not everyone can create something so ambitious – stacking five different layers proved a particular challenge to say the least. My biggest worry was how I was going to cut an enormous slice of the cake, so I was thrilled and very relieved when it came out perfectly! This is certainly a showstopper of a cake but it does show how you can create your favourite things with low cost kitchen essentials.”

Giles Hurley, MD for buying at Aldi says; “There’s no better way to celebrate Easter than with what is possibly one of the nation’s favourite things…Cake. We were keen to find out how the nation would vote when it comes to flavours and fillings, and hope the impressive creation inspires people to create their very own treats, using their favourite ingredients.

 “We pride ourselves on opening up often costly hobbies to our shoppers at a fraction of their normal price. Our Specialbuys offer customers a fantastic saving on outstanding quality products and our baking range is no exception”

Aldi Specialbuys are available in store on selected dates throughout the year, while stocks last.

(EDITOR: But don't forget, there's probably another Aldi store not too far away, and you might find an ingredient still available in one Aldi when it's ran out in another.)

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Dairy Free No Muu sent me to chocolate Heaven. They can send you there, too!

Years ago, you could get some dairy free chocolates. They were by-and-large, inedible. 

But thanks to a couple and their children, all that has changed, because now if you need to buy chocolates for anyone who needs a dairy free diet, you can feed them No Muu!

Anna and Euan realised that their children had certain intolerances, one being to dairy milk.

Rather than just shrugging and saying: "Oh, well, there's nothing we can do!" they actually decided that there was something they could do. They could develop their own dairy-free chocolates and they decided to name the brand No Muu! (See  what  Anna and Euan did, there? No milk = No Muu? Well, it tickled me, any way!)

But their chocolates are more than just dairy free, they're also gluten free, too! 

But what about the tradition taste of this type of product? You do not need to worry, as they taste absolutely delicious.

But there's more to chocolate than just the taste. There's what those in the know in the world of chocolate call "mouthfeel" which is to say, somewhat unsurprisingly, how the chocolate feels whilst you are chewing it. 

Anna and Euan have got the taste and the mouthfeel absolutely perfect.

They produce a wide range of equally delicious products from a white chocolate Easter egg to white chocolate and raspberry bunnies, to milk chocolate bunnies and chocolate orange bunnies.

The white chocolate bunnies were exquisite, like white chocolate used to taste when I was a child and the orange chocolate equals or, actually, betters more established brands of orange chocolate. That'll be something to do with the organic and fair trade ethos of Anna and Euan and their company, No Muu, I expect!

I'd have loved to have tried the Easter Egg, but my wife Anni assures me that it was delicious! And as her dairy and gluten intolerances were not triggered in even the slightest way, I'd have to say that this makes the whole No Muu experience very worthwhile indeed!

By the way, the chocolates from No Muu taste absolutely wonderful, so you don't have to have food intolerances to enjoy these delicious tasty treats!

How can you purchase your very own supply of No Muu Chocolates?  

Please visit to learn more.

And when you do, please mention That's Food and Drink!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Oh, Hoppy Days! Real ale fans in for a Wetherspoon ale treat!

Beer drinkers can enjoy a wide range of real ales from around the UK and the rest of the world at their nearest Wetherspoon pub!

Each of the beers (some specially produced for the festival) are brewed using only with British-grown hop varieties; an amazing total of 24 different varieties of hops are featured amongst the festival beers, including established varieties (Fuggles and Goldings) and newer varieties (Boadicea and Jester).

The ale festival runs through to 29 March with all festival ales at a price tag of an amazingly modest price of £2.10 a pint.

The overseas beers on offer have been sourced from brewers in Brazil, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Spain, Ireland and Australia.

Each of the overseas brewers have brewed their individual beer at a carefully selected UK brewery.

These beers will complement 40 beers from across the UK also being served in the pub during the festival.

The overseas beers are; Spider Bite (Devils Backbone Brewing Company, USA), Shipwreck IPA (Lighthouse Brewing Company, Canada), Wee Heavy (Bodebrown Brewery, Brazil), Durban Pale Ale (Shongweni Brewery, South Africa), Hightail Ale (Mountain Goat Beer, Australia), California Breakfast Ale (Golden Road Brewing, USA), 0′ Dwyer’s Irish Stout (Dungarvan Brewing Company, Ireland), JCIPA (Townshend Brewery, New Zealand), English IPA (Cerveceria Fort Brewery, Spain) and ESA (Barley Brown’s Beer, USA).

The UK beers include; Play it Again Sam (Phoenix), Monty Python’s Holy Grail (Black Sheep), Puffin Ale (Orkney), Lazy Dog (Wolf), Pocket Full of Rye (Brains), Mojo (Robinsons), New Moon (Hanlons) and New Dawn Ale (Daleside).

Customers will be able to sample any three of the real ales before they make their choice, plus they can have three ales in special third-of-a-pint glasses for the price of a pint.

Tasting notes for all of the beers will be available.

Wetherspoon have also added Mexican Monday to their growing specials menu. So you can enjoy real ale made with British hops and eat Mexican foods. A match made in Heaven!

Where is your nearest Wetherspoon pub? Find out at

Teatulia. They have real tea for you to enjoy

Teatulia provide tea lovers with real tea. That's those of you who are not merely tea drinkers, but genuine tea lovers.

Aand you know how different you are from those people who just slurp any old tea down or really only need a cup of warm, brownish liquid to dunk their biscuits in!

Teatulia is for you. Teatulia provide organic teas that are sourced from single tea gardens.

They want to do all the right things. Yes, they want to provide you with tea of the highest possible quality, with tea that you will enjoy drinking, a noble aim in the view of your author, but more than that they want to make certain that they do the right thing by not only the people who tend the land and grow the tea crops, but also the very land the tea bushes grow on, themselves.

The Teatulia tea garden is established on good, virgin soil and they make certain that only non-harmful, natural farming methods are employed within their tea gardens.

They are justifiably proud that theirs is the first Bangladesh tea garden that is USDA-certified as organic. As far as they are aware, they're the only tea growers who have introduced this approach to tea cultivation.

The teas and herbal infusions they produce are direct from their tea garden to you. Nobody steps in the way to demand a cut from the profits, no third-party blenders and the subsequent risk of contamination with lesser types of tea, no languishing around in long-term warehouses, losing a little bit more flavour, every day.

Just the highest quality tea brought to your teapot as quickly as they can.

There's Tealulia Black Tea, Earl of Bengal, Tulsi Infusion Tea, Teatulia Green Tea, Lemongrass Herbal Infusion,

Taste them. Tastes different, don't they? Better isn't it? Now, that's how good tea should taste!

To learn more please visit

Sunday, 15 March 2015

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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Anni's Rum And Raisin Cake

This recipe has been specially created by Anni for the Aldi Best Budget Bake

Ingredients 175g of margarine
175 of dark sugar
3 eggs, well beaten
225g of plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons mixed spice
850g raisins
125ml of rum

Cream the margarine and sugar together in a mixing bowl, 'til the mixture is creamy and fluffy.
Next, add the beaten egg mixture, a little at a time, beating well between each addition.
In another bowl sift together the dry ingredients. Then carefully fold this mixture into the egg mixture, with a metal spoon or a spatula.
Mix in the raisins and the rum (we used the remains of a bottle of Lamb's Spiced Rum, left over from Christmas, though some of Aldi's delicious  Old Hopking Dark Rum is equally suitable)
Mix well, 'til it is soft and drops easily from the spoon.
Meanwhile, you will have preheated your oven to 160c and prepared a baking tin by greasig it and lining it with baking paper.
Pour the mixture into the cake tin and, using a palette knife, smooth the top.
Cook in the middle of the oven for about 120 minutes, 'til the cake is firm in the middle.
Tests can be undertaken by a skewer into the centre of the cake. When the skewer's clean, the baking is done!
Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin for an hour or so.
Now, prick the surface all over and add more rum to help ensure the cake is nicely moist.
Take the cake from the oven and, if you wish, wrap in greaseproof paper and store it in an airtight container for up to two days. If people will leave it alone for that long! Because Anni's Rum and Raisin Cake is very moreish, indeed!

From 15 March Aldi is the place to buy your cooking equpiment

Aldi Home Baking – on sale 15th March

 Classic Food Mixer (£34.99)
Take the effort out of baking with Aldi’s Classic Food Mixer. Featuring a 4-litre auto rotating bowl and turbo function, this high speed gadget comes in 3 chic colours and serves as a multipurpose device for all of your mixing needs.  

Two speed settings and a pulse function, this high spec gadget also includes a 1.5 litre blender jar and a 2.8 litre chopping bowl, helping you save valuable time in the kitchen.

Easter Tea Towels (£2.99)
Dry your dishes in style with these excellent quality tea towels, made in four elegant designs to add a touch of spring to any kitchen.

Digital Kitchen Scales (£6.99)
Get your measurements precise with the help of these kitchen scales; whether it’s solids or liquids, Aldi’s quality range ensures accuracy, so you can be sure to achieve the perfect bake.

Kids’ Silicone Bakewear (£3.49)
Keep the little ones amused for less during their Easter holidays with Aldi’s fantastic value silicone bakewear; available in 8 different shapes and colours, for endless baking fun.

Easter Hen Nest (£9.99)
Keep your eggs pride of place with this cute ceramic dish; available in both plain and patterned designs, it will also make the perfect Easter gift.

 Aldi’s quality array of culinary kit has all you need for whipping up a storm, but don’t delay, as once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Aldi’s Best Budget Bake!

That's Food and Drink is proud to be participating in the Aldi Best Budget Bake.

So far we (well, my wife, Anni, mainly!) have produced two bake items, the first some wonderful traditional Hot Cross Buns and Anni's Spiced Rum and Raisin Cake, a recipe that Anni has specially created for the Aldi Challenge.

Hot Cross Buns

15g yeast, dried
300ml warm milk
450g strong white flour
5ml salt
10ml mixed spice
2.5ml grated nutmeg
50g caster sugar
75g of margarine
75g raisins 
25g mixed peel
1 egg, beaten
50g plain flour
For the glaze, 60ml milk and water, 45ml caster sugar.

Sprinkle dried yeast into milk, leave in warm place for quarter of an hour, 'til frothy.
Put strong flour, salt, spice, sugar.
Rub in 50g butter, then stir in the currants and peel. Make a central well and stir in the eff and yeast liquid. Beat together until a soft dough is formed.
Turn out onto a lightly floured board knead for some ten minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic and has lost its stickiness. 
Put into a clean bowl, cover with a clean cloth (an Aldi tea-towel is ideal) and leave it to rise in a warm place 'til doubled in size, approximately an hour.
Turn  the dough out onto the floured surface and knead for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Divide the dough into approximately 12 pieces and shape accordingly, into round bun shapes.
Place therm on greased baking sheets, cover and leave them -in a warm place- for about half an hour, 'til they are doubled in size.
 While they are doing their thing, make the pastry for the crosses. Put the plain flour into a bowl and rub in the remaining butter 'til the mixture reminds you of fine breadcrumbs. Stir in just enough water to bind the mixture together, then lightly knead.
Roll out the pastry nice and thin on the floured surface, and cut into thin strips approximately 9cm long.
Dampen the pastry strips, lay two stips on each bun in the form of a cross.
Bake at 190c for 15 to 20 minutes, or 'til they become golden brown in colour.
For the glaze, take the milk, water and sugar and heat, whilst stirring. Brush onto the hot cross buns, then wire rack them to allow them too cool down.

And, yes, they were as delicious as they looked!

Ideal split in two and eaten with Aldi butter!

Next up there will be a recipe for Spiced Rum and Raisin  Cake!

Monday, 9 March 2015

How old is your oldest spice? Steenbergs wants to know!

Our friends at Steenbergs have launched a brand new competition to find the oldest spice in our store cupboards.  Running for the month of March, the oldest jar of spice will win the lucky owner £50 worth of fragrant, aromatic spices from Steenbergs, the artisan spice expert.

March traditionally the month when we do our spring cleaning.

So, where better to begin than with your pantry or store cupboard?

What Steenbergs wants to learn is who owns the oldest spice in the UK?

Locate that elderly jar of allspice or that vintage vanilla, photograph it for posterity and then email or post it on social media to be in with a chance of winning a whole new range of spices (#oldestspice).

“Here at Steenbergs we pack our herbs and spices into glass jars with tight fitting lids to keep the flavour in and maximise the shelf life,” says Axel Steenberg, who founded Steenbergs with his wife Sophie in 2003.  “Storing the jars in a cupboard away from light and heat is the perfect environment but we know they can sometimes get forgotten!”

“We recommend an optimal shelf life of between 2 - 3 years for herbs and spices, so that the delicate flavours don't have a chance to fade,” says Sophie.  “If you’re unsure what to do with any spice, before it gathers dust - glean some inspiration from our recipe library which is full of tasty ideas.”

Already proving popular on social media, Steenbergs is hoping to make this store cupboard clearout an annual event every March, giving everyone a chance to revitalise their spice collection.  So dust off that dill seed and get posting!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Puka Womankind Tea

Puka Womankind Tea was tested out by women members of the That's Food and Drink taste test team.

It is described as: "A delicate dance of organic cranberry, rose and sweet vanilla."

Well. that's the description on the packet that the tea bag came in. But what is the reality? What did the ladies from the That's Food and drink taste test team think of it? How does that description match with the reality of the situation?

This was what they reported. One who was admittedly not the world's greatest fan of fruit teas was not keen on it.

But other team members were able to report that they had enjoyed it very much.

It was very pleasing to the senses of both scent and taste, they could definitely identify the various flavours, some more so than others. Rose and orange being predominant, they reported.

Bring a Puka tea it's a given that the ingredients are ethically sourced and that all of the ingredients are organic in origin and certified in the UK by the Soil Association.

The ingredients are chamomile flower, shatavari root, licorice root, hibiscus flower, marigold flower, beetroot, orange peel, orange essential oil flavour, vanilla pod (4%) rose flower (4%) and, finally, cranberry 4%.

Lalani & Co., Teas of excellence

My wife and I were recently introduced to the high quality teas of Lalani & Co of London.

My wife is something of an aficionado of high quality teas, but even she has had to admit that the quality of the teas that are purveyed by Lalani & Co are the best teas that she has ever drunk.

"It's clear that they love teas, themselves," she pointed out. "They have got everything exactly correct. These teas would be viewed as perfectly acceptable for the tea drinkers of the country of origin, which isn't always the case."

She has raved for days about their Okumidori Sencha Green Tea. "It's one of the best green teas I have ever tasted. It's perfection in a cup!"

She was particularly pleased that the tea is accompanied by such important details as to the region of Japan where it was sourced, which season and also the exact tea garden where it was grown, and if it is organic or not. In this case the tea in question was organic and the garden was the Wazuka Garden.

However, she reserves her special praise for their Matcha Gold tea, which is finely milled as only a proper Matcha tea should be.

She said: "Matcha Gold. I have had Matcha tes in the past and, to be fair, thoroughly enjoyed them.

But that was before I tried Lalani & Co. Matcha Gold. This is truly the Matcha experience to beat all Matcha experiences

"Apparently they pick it in Kyoto from only real, family owned farms, it's shaded from the sun for 21 days, then they mill it using the ancient method involving granite stones.

"It takes time to prepare it properly, which is the only way, as this tea deserves to be prepared and drunk with real respect."

It is sold in 30 gramme jars at a cost of £29.00.