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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ category

Degustabox

January 31st, 2015

Late in November Degustabox sent me my first ever box, which I was very excited to receive. You can see all the goodies that arrived below – I even did a vine showing the unboxing.

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In the box there were products from Special K, Blue Dragon, Get Buzzing, Enhance Drinks, Kent’s Kitchen, Solo, Dr Oetker, Bear, Brioche Pasquier, Jelly Belly and Benecol Greek Style Yogurt voucher. Lots to go at, which is why this post is a little delayed as I only just finished using everything! If you’d like to see the full list of all the products and their blurb, you can on theinfo sheet.

Next up, we wanted something for brunch. A quick scour of the Internet and we settled on Creamy Tarragon And Pancetta Mushrooms On Toasted Brioche With Watercress – we used a mixed bag of salad instead of watercress to jazz it up a bit. Delicious.

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Sticking with a brioche-y theme, I thought I’d try my hand at chocolate bread and butter pudding. Degustabox included a couple of recipe suggestions in the box and this one seemed like a good one to try. I swapped out the pecans for walnuts as they were a bit cheaper – I also shoved some Nutella into some of the swirls…because of reasons.


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Next up, brownies. I remembered this remembered this recipe from a cookbook I had as a kid. We already had most of the ingredients because of the box and the bread and butter pudding – we waited a couple of weeks to cook these because we’d had to get through the first pudding!!

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We ate the Get Buzzing bar and Bear and Jelly Belly sweets while out on a bike ride. Good for a quick boost when you’ve been out and about.

 Finally, I made some filthy, gooey and delicious cookies using a recipe from Gabriella Manchester. They were too tasty, I had to take a few into work so we didn’t eat them all! For as with the other chocolatey recipes I used the Dr Oetker chocolate – I had to get some Dr Oetker bicarb and vanilla extract (which I bought) too actually – they have a good range in Tesco.

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Also, the Benecol yoghurt was lovely and went down particularly well with the other half who is more of a yoghurt fiend. I still have a couple of things left to try, but wanted to get this post up as it was becoming biblically long!

It was a fun experience and encouraged me to do more cooking and baking than I’d usually do, especially using ingredients I might not have bought of my own volition. I’d definitely think about getting it again.

If you’d like to try your own Degustabox, just use the code QCICX which gives you a £3.00 discount when registering.

 

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Back in November I was lucky enough to be invited along to the launch party of the Baltic Cellar with a couple of friends. The invite promised a night of fire, vodka and various grilled Baltic delicacies – how could I refuse?!

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I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t really sure what to expect so I checked out their website. Any apprehension I might have had was allayed by the following description: ”Where traditional Baltic, Polish and Russian food is hand-crafted to your plate. We bring the essence of the Baltics to Manchester, with our traditional shashlik grill, warm interior and friendly staff. We hope you enjoy.”

On arrival at the event we were met with glasses of bubbly and a contortionist who performed a, quite frankly, unbelievable routine.

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Next we were seated and provided with a fantastic looking starter platter of different meats, some fruity shots and an entire bottle of vodka! We truly were being spoilt and the menu seemed to suggest that more treats were in store.

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On to the main course and we had an array of grilled fish, a platter of each of the main courses and the most scrummy chicken shashlik. The chicken along with the Beef Stroganof was probably my favourite, but to be fair it as all amazing!!

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The pudding platter was a another triumph – apologies for the photo missing a couple – we couldn’t wait to tuck in! If you do go, I’d highly recommend you try the traditional honey cake, it was absolutely gorgeous.

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As the courses came out, we were informed that it’s traditional to complete each course with a shot. There was lots of drinking theatre including a vodka birdhouse you had to knock on to get a drink, a pyramid of luminous shots, flaming shots and a glass AK-47 filled with vodka! It was lots of fun and we were very merry by the final course :)

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All in all it was a fantastic night, brilliant food, fabulous hosting and something a bit different than the usual. I’d definitely recommend you give it a try.

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Gorgeous laptop bags….

May 11th, 2013

…but what colour to choose?!

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These lovely beauties are Rabeanco Tbc Laptop Bags screengrabbed from Fab.com. In the end I plumped for the green, but it was a hard won decision. Screen Shot 2013-05-19 at 17.01.57

And here it is! While I love the bag on their site, I must say I’m a bit disappointed with the colour compared to the above image, it’s a lot less vibrant! Not only that but the tag seems to be an entirely different shape. It’s such a shame as the bag on their website looks amazing.

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The other one I was considering is the Zookie Castle Rock Laptopbag Grey 15″ also lovely and about a third of the price, although the straps don’t look too sturdy! In the end I think I may trade in my Rabeanco for this one.

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Or perhaps this beauty the Zookie Far Away Brown Laptop Bag as it has a bit more room for cables and accoutrements.

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