Food and drink review blog with an ethnic twist. Focus on new, unusual and seasonal products
bought in the UK.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Food & Drinks Review

Festive Fancies





Apple Gl├╝hwein Aldi


Best served warm and the ideal tonic when jack frost starts nipping!   This was a one of released in November.  It is a shame, as I would have liked to buy some for the family.   The Perth store is not due to get more in but other regions are said to have it in stock. It is a light fruity mulled drink with the festive flavours of clove and cinnamon.  The drink was very pleasant and drinkable, the flavour of cinnamon especially strong.  It also had a lemony and apple flavour to it too.  A great price at £2.99 per 1ltr bottle.  Interestingly, read online that we are absolutely robbed in this country by both  Aldi and Lidl who charge us a great deal more for their standard Mulled Wine than it costs in Germany.  The bottles of these are beautiful, have tried the traditional mulled wine from Lidl and it too is very nice.  As is the label of the bottle it comes in.




Saturday, 8 December 2012

Banana Loaf Recipe

 
 

 
 
With snow falling outside and the winter chills biting, an afternoon in the kitchen was welcome.  I always like to have something homemade when families visiting.  This loaf makes a perfect snack, breakfast or just something to nibble on with a cup of tea.  Is a great way to use up over ripened bananas, the darker the better!  Recipe is very simple and is one I have adapted to taste, from the book "Farmhouse Kitchen".  It is a real family favourite and fondly remember coming home from school to find a freshly baked loaf.  Very lucky that my mum's such a fantastic baker.
 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Favourite Cookery Books Reviewed

 
 
 
 
 
This is the book to accompany the television series airing on Channel 4 last year.  A big break from form and his usual tradition, seen meat loving, self sufficient Hugh ditch meat entirely.   Have watched his previous programmes and he always comes across very well and has a good philosophy on food.  The column he writes for the Guardian is also worth a read.  It was a challenge for him to be veg only but it encouraged creativity and reinforced that all people should really think about making veg a bigger part of their meals.  As a vegetarian it was good to see a programme that focused entirely on veggie food.  Altogether there were seven episodes.  In the course of the programme he cooked for wild swimmers, ate at an Indian wedding, sampled some modern veggie cooking, collected and made a dish from monkey puzzle tree nuts, experienced the raw food craze, Buddhist temple cooking and plenty more besides.   
 
It is the best cookery book I have owned and has provided me with so many delicious meals.  It is all too easy to get stuck eating the same things and to make little effort.   But, this recipe book encouraged me to be far more creative when cooking for myself.  The recipe book has 325 pages of beautiful recipes from filling veg and bean stews, to fragrant Asian dishes, handmade breads, curries, salads and an epic soup section.  Now, soup is something I eat a-lot of and in this book there are quite a-lot recipes for this.  The book itself is well presented, bright pictures with rustic looking food that makes you hungry just leafing through.  Each section has a short introduction, words from Whittingstall on his experiences, likes and some tips.  There are some vegan recipes included and most of the dishes can be adapted to suit a strictly vegan diet.  Book would be a very good addition to any veggies book shelf but really anyone would like this, even the most ardent of meat eaters!
 
Recipe Highlights- 
 
Cauliflower and Chickpea curry, North African Squash and Chickpea Stew, DIY Pot Noodle, Leek Risotto with Chestnuts, Pistachio Dukka, Carrot Hummus, Mexican Tomato and Bean Soup, Beetroot with Walnuts and Cumin and Roast Parsnip, Lentil and Watercress Salad
 

Friday, 17 August 2012

Tasty Sauces, New and A-few Favourite Products





Such a great product and a regular in the shopping basket!  These cook quickly and make an excellent side dish.  Can also be used incorporated in a curry.  I often have the dahl with salad, a wedge of lemon and some pitta bread.  The mix is fine as itself but often add some garlic and/or spices.  Ainsley Harriot has a full range of meal kits and are often found 2 for £2 in Morrisons.  Others include Lime and Chilli Quinoa and rice, Creamy Vegetable Spelt and a Moroccan rice one.  Have tried all bar the spelt and have found them all to be delicious, handy and a versatile addition for meals.

 


A tomato and chilli paste with a distinct smoky flavour and Middle Eastern spicing.  It is very warming and instantly ups the flavour of sauces etc...  Very nice addition to cous-cous, tomato based soups and the perfect product if making a tagine.  A little bit goes a long way.


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Veggie Mallow, Honey and Sesame Crispy Squares




Found some marshmallow fluff in the supermarket and decided to do some experimenting.  I don't like butter and never have it in the house.  I was intrigued to see whether these would work without a fat to stabilise them.  Also, without the addition thought they'd end up being too sticky.  Success, no stickiness, very easy so, thought I'd share. I'm on a budget and these are cheap to make with the few ingredients needed already being in the cupboard.  Recipe is fairly loose and done by eye.  Will definitely make these again perhaps with mixed fruits and nuts, oats, chocolate chips etc...  Could make them double chocolate by incorporating in some cocoa powder or melted chocolate.  Also be nice dipped into chocolate and then allowed to set.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Vice Versas Back & Other Nostalgic Discontinued Sweet Favourites








Whilst browsing supermarket websites to discover which had the best deals going, stumbled upon an old favourite.  Vice Versa's are back!!  A delicious sweet similar to a minstrel but rounder and a little chunkier.  These delights are white and black, the white shell contains a milk chocolate centre and the dark white.  Nestle re-released due to popular demand and are set for general release next month, currently only aware of Asda and strangely Toys R Us stocking them.



Crispy chocolate astros in a medley of colours.  A firm favourite due to a combined love of chocolate and interest in space.  They had a sugar shell and inside was a ball a bit like a malteser but more crispy- this was coated in chocolate.  Whilst on a primary school farm trip, won a box of these for correctly guessing the number of bales in the fileld.  Day equally memorable due to teacher who stupidly donned her inches high bright yellow wedges.  A hilarious sight it was for the whole class of ten yearolds to see her attempts at walking, dodging cowpats and to see her fall over- charming! 

Lime, White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake



 



 

Ingredients:

75g (2.5oz) Butter

Small Packet (app 200g (7oz) Digestive/similar biscuits

2 tbsp Golden Syrup

200g (7oz) White Chocolate (good Quality)

200g (7oz) Cream Cheese (philli etc)

500ml Double Cream Whipped

2 Eggs (Separated)

1 lime Zest and Juice

1 Small Punnet Raspberries





Saturday, 21 July 2012

Summer Salad Recipes


The weather has been anything but summery, however it feels good to be healthy.  Here is hoping that the rest of July onwards delivers a-lot more in terms of weather!





1- Thai Inspired Carrot and Peanut Salad

Had this as a side dish at a beautiful Thai restaurant in Perth called Roca Blu.  Liked it so much I've attempted to re-create it.  Adaptable to suit tastes and what you have available, it is also nice to have as a side dish with curry, a sandwich/wrap filler.  A lovely place to eat, chilled out atmosphere and decor- there are pots of herbs growing around the place that smell beautiful.  They also offer cocktail classes.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

First Post and Introduction

Hello, I am new to blogging.  I have enjoyed reading other peoples blogs for a long time and finally decided to take the plunge and go for it  myself.  The name of my blog is inspired by the band The Stone Roses, I love their sound and a-lot of the music originating from Manchester.  Your Star Will Shine is a beautiful song and one of my favourites.  Here it is below-




I hope to write about a range of things.  Main interest is in reading. Nothing I enjoy more than delving into a good book. Look to write posts reviewing books I've read/am reading.  I have joined up with the classics club and have a goal to read a specific number of classic novels.  I'll use this blog to post up reviews of those books read and also tasks posted up by the club. 

 
I am a really quiet person.  Right country bumpkin (as a child was afraid of escalators!) and love the outdoors, hiking in particular but don't get the chance as much these days.  Was brought up in Highland Perthshire in a small town called Pitlochry.  I studied history and anthropology at Aberdeen University, a great city.  I hope to go back to my studies sometime or else take up Open University.  Miss learning, history especially.  This blog will probably turn out to be a real mixture of things, as well as what has been mentioned I enjoy cooking and baking. 


Look forward to getting going and to know people within the blogging community.