Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Review | Degustabox March

Evening all!

It's at this time of the month I get a little bit too excited for the arrival of our Degustabox, I literally avoid Instagram until it's arrived so the surprise isn't spoilt by others who pop their pictures on there, ha ha. Degustabox is a monthly subscription box which gives you a surprise of 9-14 products, anything from sweet to savoury, fresh ingredients and even drinks, with brand new items you may not have heard of yet and your favourite well known brands too! I think one of my favourite things about the box is the surprise of what you're getting, it really is the perfect subscription service for us!

Here's what we received in our March Degustabox...



Jordan's Granola
I'm a big fan of granola, even since we started our healthier lifestyle i've been enjoying trying new ones for breakfast, however i've noticed that they're either full of sugar and pretty high in fat, or they taste like rabbit food! Jordan's have always been my favourite, the tropical one in particular, so when I saw the new 'lighter' version in this box I was super super happy, with a little bit less sugar and 30% less fat, it's definitely a healthier version and tastes bloomin' delicious too! 


Juiceburst
As i've said before, i'm pretty wary with fruit juices, usually the shop bought ones are full of sugar which ends up upping the calorie count to the same as coca cola and the like! Juiceburst are an honest juice with 14 different flavours including 3 skinny versions too! Coming in at only 99cals per bottle, you get a yummy refreshing drink, without the calories and without all those sugars too! The Mango and lime was definitely my favourite!


BBQUE
It was only yesterday I was saying to Ben that I needed a good BBQ sauce, we had pork ribs and forgot to order a sauce to dip our chips into! Original Bavarian isn't a brand i'd heard of before because it's exclusive to Degustabox this month and not even available in the UK yet! Coming in 4 different flavours, Original, Beechwood, Honey & Mustard & Horseradish, each one is ideal for BBQ's marinades & dips, and as a way to spruce up your usual meals with a little tang! The Original sauce we received contains, cranberries, beer, honey and apples, definitely something I will be adding to future pulled chicken or beef recipes as well as on ribs and as a yummy marinade to ribs!


Lindt Assorted Mini Eggs
I love a good treat, and knowing this is the easter box, I knew Degustabox would give me something utterly yummy to enjoy! Two bags of Lindor smooth mini eggs, in milk chocolate, dark chocolate & white chocolate too, with the famous smooth centre in each one, a heaven sent treat perfect for Easter time! 


Bassetts Jelly Babies Berry Mix
I may have done a little shriek when I saw these, Jelly Babies are my FAVOURITE sweets in the entire world, I could quite happily eat bag after bag without a care in the world! Instead of a bagful of all the flavours, Bassetts have now created a special bag with just the favourite flavours inside, blackcurrant, raspberry and strawberry! 


Sour Patch Kids
I'm not the biggest fan of sour sweets, especially after just trying some american ones which literally made my face screw up for what felt like an entire week! But these have the balance of sweet and sour just right, a much more subtle tang than other sweets i've tried of it's kind! A definite treat but very low in calories if you're craving something naughty, without the guilt too!


Kents Kitchen Posh Noodles
I'm already a big fan after being introduced to them a few boxes back with their meal kits! Now we have been given posh noodles which are perfect for lunch on the go or as a yummy hot snack! Made with all natural ingredients, low fat and low in calorie too! All you need to do is add water to the pot, stir well, wait and you've got a lovely little pot of Szechuan noodles! yummy! If you follow me on Instagram you'll see I had them for lunch today and absolutely loved them, so fresh, so tasty and filling too! 


Natvia
A relatively new brand to the market but a brand we have actually worked with recently, with more recipes coming up soon too! They are a 100% naturally sourced alternative to artificial sweetener and sugar. With ZERO calories, non GM and has a low GI too, it's simple to use, just substitute your usual sugar in your cuppa with this and use instead of sugar in your favourite recipes too for a much much healthier version! 


Brioche Pasquier - Baked Bread Bites
Already being fans of the Brioche brand, we were both pretty excited to find out they make crisps too, I say crisps, these are made with real french bread so as the title says, bread bites! They are low in saturated fat, free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives too! Abbie will be having these in the lunch so will let you know what she thinks too!

If you're interested in starting up your own subscription, whether it's just a one off to see what the fuss is all about, or you want in for the long run, here's a little discount for you, taking £3 off 5CXXU - making your first box only £9.99!

Visit the links below to be kept up to date with everything in the world of Degustabox!


x


Monday, 23 March 2015

10 Fun Easter Crafts!

Easter was always one of my favourite times of the year growing up, it wasn't just about the chocolate (though that was very important!), but every year my Nan would host an Easter Egg hunt for the grandkids and we'd all be at her house for the day, each of us with a little wicker basket, searching for colourful eggs amongst the trees, bushes and the rockery, we all had one colour each to stop us just collecting every egg we saw! 

There would be little yellow chicks everywhere too, and even big easter eggs for the grown ups hidden on the tops of the greenhouse! We also had a tradition where my cousin and I were able to design our own Easter Bonnets (I really must dig out some photos!), we could do to them whatever we wished, add ribbon, add chicks, beads, glitter, anything! It was an amazing day and is something I really want to do with Abbie as she gets older too!

It got me thinking about other Easter bits and bobs, things that you can do yourself and things the little ones can help with too, so I've taken my personal experience and a few Pinterest ideas to bring you my favourites from the net...

First up we have...

Mason Jar Crafts
by Eclectic Mom Sense


by The DIY Dreamer


from Fellow Fellow


Easter Bunny Gift Jars 


Easter Centerpiece


Subway Art Painted Easter Eggs


Paper Strip Easter Egg Art
by Minted



Paper Chicks
by Simple As That Blog



Easter Chick Placeholders
by Crafts by Amanda



Pom Pom Easter Chicks
by Crafts Unleashed


x

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Recipe | Cadbury's Creme Egg Brownies!





















Good evening all! 
One of my favourite times of the year is coming up fast, EASTER! The only time of the year when I can eat as much chocolate as I like and no-one can judge me! As i'm pretty much baking something new every week, I wanted to try something with the holy grail of Easter, the Creme Egg, so I am working with Cadbury's to bring you the gooiest, fudgiest, most delicious brownies ever! 

As with all my recipes, I like to keep them as simple as possible and as purse friendly as I can, whilst still keeping families in mind and making sure the little ones can get involved as well! So instead of making the brownies completely from scratch, I decided to buy a simple brownie mix and go from there! At only £1.69, you can't really go wrong! So if you're wanting to create some mouth watering & scrummy creme egg brownies this Easter, I have the easiest recipe for you! :)

YOU WILL NEED;
1 x ASDA Brownie Mix
Betty Crocker Chocolate Fudge Icing
4 1/2 Creme Eggs
9 Mini Creme Eggs
75g White Chocolate
Yellow Food Colouring

WHAT TO DO;
1. Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees C

2. Line a 7x7 or 8x8 baking tray with baking sheet
I'm never any good at lining trays, so I sprayed some non stick baking spray underneath and to the signs to help it stick!


3. Add your brownie mix to a bowl and add 5 tablespoons of water, mix until well combined and batter like

4. Add half the mixture to the tray and set the rest aside

5. Add the 9 mini eggs to the mixture however you like


6. Add the rest of the batter over the mini eggs

Don't panic if you don't have much batter left, just cover the eggs as best as you can, the
brownies rise nicely in the oven so they will thicken!



7. Pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes depending on your preference
20 mins for more gooey brownies and 25 for more cake like with a little goo!

8. Remove from oven and leave to cool for about 30 minutes

9. Next you need to spoon the fudge icing over your brownies in an even layer


10. Pop in the fridge to allow the icing to set slightly, i'd say 20 minutes

11. Just before you take out your brownies, melt your white chocolate in the microwave, in 30 second bursts and stir each time, it should take about 90 seconds in total, leave to cool slightly.



*You have to work pretty quick now, chocolate hardens super fast!*

12. Now take out your brownies and drizzle over half of your white chocolate

13. Add a few drops of yellow food colouring into the remaining chocolate and stir well until you reach your desired colour and drizzle over the brownies in any design you like!
*you're aiming for the yolk colour in the creme eggs!


14. Cut up 5 regular sized creme eggs and place on top of your brownies
The leftover half you can eat yourself ;)


15. You can either serve straight away or pop in the fridge overnight

Tip; 
Pop them into the microwave for 10-15 seconds to warm up, this will make the creme egg inside ooze, heaven! You can then drizzle over double cream or a dollop of ice cream! YUM! 

Here are some extra pictures just to tempt you some more ;)








Thursday, 5 March 2015

Recipe | Super Easy Sugar Cookies!


Hello!!
This morning I had a craving for cookies (when don't I!), so I browsed the net once again found a lovely little recipe for simple sugar cookies! I changed the ingredients to what I felt was a bit better but it still worked well so yay! This actually makes around 20 cookies too so if you're making them for an occasion or like me, just for an afternoon snack, these will be perfect and super easy! How many you make depends on the thickness of your dough, i'd say 1/4 inch thick is just right for this, but go for what you prefer and adjust timings accordingly!

Unlike some of my other recipes, all these ingredients are easy to get your hands on, it's not the healthiest of cookies but my goodness are they tasty! I'd guess around 100 calories per cookie! To be honest, these would be good as scones too, they're definitely thick enough, just slice off the top of one, spread on the jam and cream and place another biscuit on top! MMM!

So onto the recipe..

INGREDIENTS
200g Butter (I used flora light as this was all I had!)
120g Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Almond Extract
1 Egg
2 tsp Baking Powder
390g Plain Flour

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees (160 for fan assisted)

2. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth.


3. Beat in extracts and egg

4. In a separate bowl combine baking powder with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. 


*Mix everything together (toddlers come in useful here) ;)*



5. If your mixture is still pretty sticky, simply add some extra flour until it stops sticking to your hands! 

6. Divide your dough into 2 sections, roll out each one onto a floured surface and cut out your shapes. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch)


*Cut our your cookie shapes, use any shape you fancy, this recipe means they stay pretty much the same shape even after they're cooked! Yay!*


Sprinkle a little sugar on top too if you fancy!

7. Bake for 8-10 minutes

Leave to cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Cookies are very much trial and error, use your instinct too, if you don't think they're quite done, leave in for an extra minute or two! For a more crisp cookie, leave for 15 minutes! Mine were a bit doughy, more cake like, but that's just how I like them :)

I may or may not have had 6 of these in one go...oops. They look more like bread rolls don't they!





So fluffy and light! :)

x

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Yummy Easter Recipes!

Growing upEaster was one of my favourite times of the year, firstly, every year, my Nan would host an Easter Egg hunt for the grandkids and we'd all be at her house for the day, each of us with a little wicker basket, searching for colourful eggs amongst the trees, bushes and the rockery, we all had one of each colour to find, to stop us just collecting every egg we saw! There would be little yellow chicks everywhere too, and even big easter eggs for the grown ups hidden on the tops of the greenhouse! We also had a tradition where my cousin and I were able to design our own Easter Bonnets (I really must dig out some photos!), we could do to them whatever we wished, add ribbon, add chicks, beads, glitter, anything! It was an amazing day and is something I really want to do with Abbie as she gets older too!

As i'm currently very much into baking, I went off on a long ol' browse on the net and collected a few of my favourite Easter Recipe Ideas I found along the way! I'm always looking for recipes to be easy, cheap and something Abbie can help with too so i've kept that in mind with the ones I've shared too! Hopefully some of these will give you some inspiration to get baking too!

*most don't even need baking!! How helpful! :)

---

COCONUT BUNNY TAILS


EASTER CANDY BARK


CREME EGG FUDGE!


RICE KRISPIE BIRTHDAY CAKE


BUNNY TAILS POPCORN MIX


FROZEN YOGHURT DOTS
CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE



CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BIRD NESTS
CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE


COOKIE DOUGH TRUFFLES
CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE


MERINGUE KISSES
CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE


CADBURY'S MINI EGG BROWNIES
CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE


X
The Lifestyle Lens © . Design by FCD.