06 February 2013

New in my Kitchen #3


From time to time I'm sent a new product to try or I stumble across something new myself. I thought I'd take a few minutes to share my latest discoveries with you.

Sometimes I'll like a product, sometimes I'll love it and occasionally I'll hate it.

Do let me know if you've made any great new discoveries.

 1. Turkish plate and bowl



Last week my in-laws came to visit and they brought with them these gorgeous pieces of Turkish tableware. You can't tell from this photo, but the plate is at least double the size of the bowl. I really love them. 

If you ever go to Turkey or the North of Cyprus for a holiday you must leave room in your hand luggage for some plates and bowls.

Score 10/10


 2. Flavourly


When Flavorly got in touch I was quite excited to try their product. They are a UK based company who promote independent producers of artisan foods.

Here is how it works. You can purchase a single box each month for £22, a 3 month package (1 box each month) for £59 and a 6 month package for £105 (1 box each month). The company put together a different package each month and each box contains between 6 - 10 gourmet products.

What you can see in my box wasn't the full package. When they sent me the box to try it included some meat products, which I've passed along to friends. The company have assured me that they are working on a vegetarian box, so if you are interested in that, then do get in touch with them.

In my box there was:
  • Greeff's Isle of Wight Bilton Air Cured Beef - I gave this away
  • Rooibos & Vanilla Leaf Tea from - The Wee Tea Company -I gave this away too, as I don't like tea.
  • Traditional Handmade Scottish Oatcakes from The Forest Kitchen - I enjoyed these, they were thicker than your average oatcake and crumbly.
  • Northumberland Cheese Company Nettle Cheese - A very creamy and mild cheese. I quite enjoyed this even though I usually like a strong flavoured cheese.
  • Bacon Jam from Eat 17 - As you can guess I gave this away too. My friend Verity said she really enjoyed it.
  • Traditional Handmade Scottish 'Whisky' Fudge from The Forest Kitchen - I wasn't sure if I would like this or not, but actually the whisky is quite a delicate flavour and doesn't overpower the flavour of the fudge. I kept going back for another little taste. 
So my overall opinion. Well, it's hard to give a proper review as I gave away half of the box, but I think once they sort out a box suitable for vegetarians, then this would become a good purchase for yourself or as a gift. A box of a treats delivered to your door, what's not to love? It would be fun not knowing what would arrive each month and trying products from UK producers, whom we should be supporting anyway.

One nice little touch is for every box purchased, Flavourly donate a meal to one of the 250 food banks throughout the UK.

I await the arrival of their first vegetarian box and will update you once I have tried it.

Score 8/10 


3. Rhubarb & Custard Nakd Bars from Natural Balance Foods



I fell in love with Nakd Bars years ago. They are such a great snack. I often enjoy one in the afternoon at work when I'm needing a boost. My favourite bar has to be the Cocoa Orange, but it's now a close race with these rhubarb and custard bars.

The great thing about these bars is they're so good for you. Not a nasty in sight, just cold pressed fruit and nuts. I say they're cold-pressed but on the blurb they say they smoosh them. Whatever the process, they're delicious.

As well as being suitable for vegans, they're dairy, wheat and gluten free too. I usually buy mine from Holland and Barrett at 99p each, but the Natural Balance Foods website are doing a pack of 18 bars for £11.19 just now, which brings them in at 62p each.

Score 9/10


4. Parchment Lined Foil



This is one of my own purchases. I stumbled across it in Tesco and popped one straight into my basket. I have to say it's lived up to my expectations. I haven't used it much yet, but I love it for lining brownie pans. Instead of all the faff of measuring, cutting and lining a brownie pan, you just cut a piece a bit bigger than the size of the pan and press it in. It moulds to the shape of the pan and any excess can be tucked over the edge very neatly. Brilliant!!

Score 10/10


5. Marks & Spencer's Black Olive Crackers




It's quite well known that I can't stand olives. Love olive oil, but olives, bleughh! I keep trying them in the hope I'll start to like them, but invariable each time I just spit them out in disgust, so I was a bit cautious when my mum urged me to try these. Mmmmmmm, they are good, but I'm still not going to eat olives!

Score 9/10

Have you tried any exciting new products recently?

Disclosure: Flavourly and Naturally Balanced Foods sent me products to try, the other products were purchased by myself with no incentive from the companies. I was not required to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.


31 comments:

  1. Parchment lined foil is genius!

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    1. It is! I can't believe they didn't invent it sooner. Brilliant product!

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  2. I only started liking olives a few years ago and I now love them, so keep trying them! They certainly are an acquired taste.
    I discovered Orgran No Egg last year and although I'm not vegan, I've found it's a great store cupboard standby for when you run out of eggs and want to bake something. It's also much cheaper than eggs!

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    1. I'll have to look for that Lisa. Where do you buy it?

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    2. That's a good question...it was in the Free-from section of one of the big supermarkets, but can't remember which one! You can buy it at health food stores though.

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    3. Thanks Lisa, I will have a look :)

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  3. I need to get straight to Tesco for the ingenious, totally kitchen revolutionary parchment-lined foil. Cheers for the heads up. And I too love Nakd bars but haven't looked for these rhubarb ones. Cheeky protein-riffic snack. Similar to Lisa, although not vegan I'm using -successfully - soaked Chia seeds as sub for eggs in baking. I have disgusting looking batch on standby in the fridge for emergency baking moments! It ain't pretty.

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    1. It's really great! I need to have a go with chia seeds too. So much to learn about vegan baking, savoury I can do easily, but the baking need more thought. Oh and the rhubarb bars are rather nice.

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  4. Oooh! The parchment foil might be quite useful! I wonder if it affects the thermal qualities of things, though. It might be a good test to cook something with plain parchment & also the foil-lined parchment to see what the difference is. I suppose it's fine if you're not worried about the browning effects, though.

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    1. It's been great with flapjacks, I have made a few batches with it. Haven't tried it with anything else yet.

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  5. Love the Turkish bowls, and thanks for sharing about the deal on Nakd bars! I love them but they always seem so pricey, so it's great to know where to get them a bit cheaper. Haven't tried the rhubarb and custard ones though, I'll have to give them a go!

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    1. They are a bit pricey, but I do love them. Yes, stock up while they are on offer.

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  6. all sounds good - love nakd bars - these new ones sounds great - I am a big fan of the cocoa and orange too. And it is interesting you like the olives ground down - maybe you could make your way up by eating things with olives being less and less processed

    your turkish tableware looks fantastic - I have a blue shallow bowl a bit like the blue one you have - well the outside pattern seems very similar to yours by the inside pattern is different - I just love it and would use it more if it was slightly smaller but it is great when I was things to look nice and we had it as the fruit bowl for quite some time.

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    1. The plate and bowl are lovely such a nice gift from my in-laws. I will be buying some more next time I am over there.

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  7. Just loved the Turkish plates and the Nakd Bars, sounds amazing!

    Regards,

    Photorecipe

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  8. I love the Turkish bowls and have some myself from N Cyprus! VERY helpful post Jac! Karen

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    1. Thanks Karen, I've now remembered another couple of things I wanted to add. Oh well, there is always next month.

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  9. The bowl and plate are stunning, looking forward to seeing them feature in your photographs. The flavourly box was a bit of a poor deal for you, what a shame. I'll need to look out the parchment lined foil and I have loved those olive crackers from M&S for some time, but then I adore olives!

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    1. They are lovely and I am sure you will see them soon Janice.

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  10. I am adding that foil to my overseas shopping list! thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Good, I am sure you will love it Tandy :)

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. I've been using the parchment lined foil for a couple of years now (it's been available from Lakeland), it's brilliant for anything you want to make a parcel of and cook gently in the oven, it seems to offer lots of protection. And is great for anything that gets really sticky.

    It's not so good with fatty meat products (which won't bother you) as the layers tend to seperate and puff up, Lovely Hubby's sausages all ran to one side of the lined tray as the foil swelled up to impressive proportions!

    Like you I don't like Olives, but do love Olive Oil, the only thing I seem to have them in is bought in pasta sauces, I can usually cope with the background taste of them, but the craker may be worth a try.

    The Flavourly boxes look brilliant, and would be even better if there was a vegetarian version. It would be a lovely challenge to not know the content of your box until it arrived and then menu plan around the contents, (and you know me I love a challenge).


    Sue xx

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    1. Thanks for the low-down on the parchment Sue. It's a new one to me, but I am loving it :)

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  13. I adore any middle eastern or mediterranean pottery - so colourful and pretty!

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  14. thanks for this post. This post makes a great point about focusing your efforts.
    Yüz Germe

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    1. Not quite sure what you mean Yuz, but thanks for stopping by.

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  15. That red Turkish bowl is a real stunner Jac - my sort of colours.

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x