Welcome to November’s round of Feeding Boys loves… where I share the foodie related things i’ve loved in the last month that I think are good enough to recommend to you lovely lot.
As Christmas is zooming up on the horizon I’ve put some good gifting ideas in with the mix to hopefully give you a few pointers for some of those difficult to buy for friends and relatives.
Beer52 is billed as the world’s largest and fastest-growing craft beer community. If you sign up, the team of experts at Beer52 select 8 beers from the UK and beyond and box them up and ship them out to members to try every month. The selection is accompanied by a hip magazine called Ferment with a profile page for each brewery so you can get the lowdown on the background of the beer you’re drinking.
It’s easy to see how a subscription to this would make a great gift for any beer connoisseurs you may have in the family. We enjoyed trying the range of beers which were very different to the usual bland supermarket selection that we tend to opt for. There were some really complex flavours going on, some a little too robust for my palette, but on the whole it was a really interesting experience and opened my mind to branching out with my beer!
Price: £24 per month for 8 beers
SPECIAL OFFER FOR FEEDING BOYS READERS: If you fancy getting £10 off your first box of beers just enter this code FEEDINGBOYS10 on the beer52 website 🙂
This is another monthly subscription service, but this time it’s a baking box bustling with the ingredients to make two delicious recipes. It’s a lovely idea aimed at people who just want to have fun baking and not worry about whether you’ve got all the right gear in your cupboards. Maybe you work all week and fancy a relaxing afternoon baking with your children, or perhaps you could gift it to a niece or nephew who’s into cooking. I think it’s a great concept.
In the box you get all the dry ingredients, full instructions and the little cupcake cases. You’ll just need to top it up with butter, oil and eggs. November’s kit was put together to make Pinwheel Cookies and Toffee Cupcakes with a fun theme of Bonfire Night. Andrea encourages subscribers to share their creations on social media to form a nice little community of bakers.
Price: £15 + postage
Bodum Knife Block
This was an early Christmas present from my dad, and let me tell you I fell instantly in love with it! Instead of having slots for each blade, it has this freeform filling of plastic sticks that you can just slide your knives into, and it holds them all snugly. It doesn’t tip up as it’s got non-slip silicon underneath the block. It comes in a few colours – red, white, black and bright green, so you can choose a shade to match your kitchen accent colour. It’s replaced my manky wooden block that was very hard to keep clean and never big enough to accommodate all of my knives and scissors. Now I’ve got loads of knives in there from a tiny paring blade right up to my mahoosive bread knife, a couple of pairs of kitchen scissors, and even my huge pallete knife I use for baking. Genius. You can clean it easily to which is fabulous when it sits next to the hob and gets sprayed with all manner of stuff! It’s a tad pricy, but worth every penny!
We got ours from John Lewis
I first clapped eyes on these tempting bangers at Food Blogger Connect in the summer and thought they were delicious. With Matthew being a vegetarian i’m always on the lookout for good quality products that I can cook alongside meaty meals. Instead of being soya based, these bangers are filled with fresh garden vegetables blended with herbs and spices in a vegetarian casing. They’re gluten free, low in fat and can be grilled, fried, oven roasted and BBQ’d just like their meaty counterparts.
The flavour combinations are imaginative, the texture soft and their appearance attractive. The boys were not convinced, but Matthew and I both LOVE them and will definitely be getting them in again. Their range includes: Cumberland, Cheese and Spring Onion, Rosemary and Garlic, Chilli and Coriander, Lincolnshire and Honey Bee. We particularly enjoyed the Cumberlands fried in a little oil and stuffed into wholemeal pittas with lettuce and chipotle chilli mayo – delish!
Price: £3.49 per pack of 6 sausages
Being sent a box of pies and a box of beers on the same day was something of a highlight this month, especially for the under-the-weather firefighter! We really wanted to try out pieminister’s vegetarian range on the hunt for a contender to put in the oven alongside the turkey for Matthew on Christmas Day.
There were two candidates – heidi pie which contains goats cheese, sweet potato, spinach and red onion. And also the aptly named christingle pie which has honey roast parsnip, Cheddar cheese and chestnuts in. Matthew loved the crisp pastry and generous fillings of both pies and would be happy with either with all the trimmings on Christmas Day. The company has a fun vibe expressed in their packaging and web presence, so go check them out for more pie inspiration.
Price £3.50 from Ocado, or order in bulk from pieminister’s website
And finally I thought I’d finish with a little round-up of some of the lush places we visited in Cophenhagen last weekend for our 10th wedding anniversary trip away. It was very Nordic Noir as it got dark just after 3pm, however there were candle-filled lanterns on the steps of most shops and bars, giving the city a super cosy glow that made you want to pull on a scandi sweater and drink hot chocolate from a stylish mug.
If you ever plan to visit, here are some little recommendations from us!
Bed & Breakfast: We stayed at Ibsen’s in the Nansensgade area of Copenhagen, a funky and friendly three star boutique hotel just a short metro ride from the airport. We were treated to a spacious room with lots of stylish furniture, and THE most comfy bed! We loved the wonderful breakfast buffet of breads, little glasses filled with yogurt, fruits and delicious porridge, meats, cheeses, pastries, freshly squeezed juices and stylish pots of coffee. All served till 11am, so nice and leisurely. We booked ourselves in for some spa treatments at the hotel Kong Arthur next door – sheer bliss!
Lunch: Vegan hotdogs with lashings of mango relish and crispy fries on the side at healthy fast food joint Astrid och Apornas. Just make sure you duck in to say hi to the lovely guys at the tiny but friendly Donut Shop along the same street.
Jaegersborgsgade 39, Copenhagen
Dinner: Join a communal table of hipsters for organic paper thin crust pizzas with delicious and imaginative toppings washed down with organic fresh juice based cocktails at Neighbourhood in the trendy Vesterbro district of Copenhagen.
Sights and Shopping: Tivoli Gardens is a thoroughly charming 19th century amusement park in the centre of Copenhagen that was all decked out with twinkly lights for Christmas. We drank hot chocolates and mooched our way around the clattering roller coasters, merry go rounds and the little shops in white chalets. My favourites were Illums Bolighus and House Doctor full of stunning Danish homeware designs, as well as some of the most gorgeous Christmas decorations. I defy anyone not to feel festive after a trip around this gorgeous mulled wine scented wonderland…
And a must for all Borgen fans… channel the fictional Danish Statesminister Birgitte Nyborg and walk commandingly around the grounds of Christiansborg Palace – home to the Danish Parliament and the main location for the brilliant TV series. It’s a really impressive building.
For more tips on what’s hot in Copenhagen, follow @madaboutcopenhagen on instagram
Thank you to the PR companies who sent me free samples to try – I was not paid to write about them but only include products I would genuinely recommend to my readers.