I’ve been sent all manner of things to try over the summer, so thought I’d round-up a few of the highlights for you to peruse…
Pimms Frozen Summer Crush
As soon as there’s even a snifter of summer I break out a jug of Pimms, so I was delighted to be sent something new in their range to try. The Pimms Frozen Summer Crush made for a great opening drink for a BBQ we recently had. You just keep the pouch in the freezer, take it out and give it a squeeze to break up the ice crystals and then squidge it into tall glasses. Simples.
Living in the far North of the country it took quite a long time to melt, even on a summer’s evening, so if you live in cooler climes i’d recommend also serving it as a granita-style dessert with a spoon. We had to wait quite a long time and stab at it a lot with a straw before we could drink it! Delicious though 🙂
Price: Pimms Frozen Summer Crush £2.99 for 250ml
Brita Kettle & Chemex Coffee Set
The pure filtered water and freshly brewed pot of coffee combo that the Brita Kettle and Chemex Coffee set provides is intoxicating stuff. It certainly is a stunning centrepiece for an after-dinner coffee for guests. It’s such a pleasing glass jug and pours beautifully.
We even took it to the local beach hut on a rainy afternoon so we could enjoy a delicious perfectly brewed coffee while the boys ran around like mad things on a rainy beach in wetsuits. Yes, that’s the British summer for you!
You can find out more about the history behind this beautiful pour over coffee maker and expert guide for brewing over on Kavey’s blog
Special K range
There’s a new range of Special K on the block, and Strictly Sleb Tess Daly is leading the charge having come up with her own blend of the iconic diet cereal. I was sent the entire range to try at the beginning of the summer, and we’re only just coming to the end of it!
I was under the mistaken impression it would be flavourless and sappy diet food, in fact there are some real gems on offer. The Chocolate Hazelnut Granola was delicious – sadly the kids were right into it so I only got a couple of goes at the packet. It was a similar story with the Protein Crunch – these cereals are very sweet so it’s no wonder the kids liked them! Tess Daly’s Red Apple, Almond and Vanilla flavoured one was my personal fave so I managed to keep it to myself! The little porridge pots were also great and I have a few left to see me through some chilly autumn mornings. It’s well worth investigating the range if you’re looking for some tasty bowls of something healthy to start your day with.
Special K Granola: Chocolate and Hazelnut – £2.99 for 450g
Special K Tess’s Recipe – RRP £2.99 for 360g
Special K Protein Crunch – RRP £2.99 for 360g
Special K Super Porridge – RRP £1.99 for 5 x 30g sachets
A trio of wine turned up from Spar… a shop i’ve been frequenting more regularly since we moved to Whitley Bay as it’s our nearest convenience store. I’ve been really impressed with the size of their off-licence and the range of wines available. I would say there’s plenty there that’s reasonably priced yet good quality. Here’s the lowdown on the bottles i’ve been sent to try:
M Malbec, Pays d’Oc
Price: £7.50 on promotion at £6
Tasting Notes: This is a fruity, unoaked Malbec with vibrant blackberry and cherry flavours and lifted black pepper aromas. It is a perfect match with roast beef and winter stews. This was my favourite of the three as I love the smooth but fruity experience of a glass or two of Malbec.
Castillo de la Mota Verdejo
Price: £7.50 on promotion at £5.50
Tasting Notes: Crisp and fresh, this fruity and youthful Spanish wine pairs fantastically with tapas, chicken and salads or on its own as an aperitif. This made for a lovely chilled experience with some grilled chicken and sweet potato wedges.
Region: Valencia South East Spain
Price: £5.29 on promotion at £4.50
Tasting Notes: A young, fresh and crisp wine with strawberry and raspberry flavours. Soft fruit flavour is balanced well with a medium body and slight sweetness. Great with tapas, salads and light fish dishes. For me a glass of rose is forever a wine for summer eating and BBQs. This one was a bit on the vivid pink side for my tastes, but pleasant enough.
Cheeky Food Co.
My friend Lucy pointed me in the direction of Hanwell-based Swati, kitchen-table creator of the Cheeky Food Co. who make a spicy variety of handmade sprinkles, pickles and chutney. Each product is made from old family recipes and are vegan with no artificial nasties.
She sent me a couple of jars to try:
Silly Sesame, a roasted sesame sprinkle which Swati recommends sprinkling on salads, soups or stir fries. It’s aromatic but not too in-your-face. I enjoyed tossing it in with my roasted sweet potatoes for a crisp gently spiced coating.
Tickly Tamarind, a tamarind jaggery chutney. I had to look up to see what exactly jaggery is… and it turns out it’s a combination of sugarcane and the sugary sap from a date palm tree popular in South Asia. This chutney is perfect matched with cheese, but Swati also recommends drizzling it on halved plum tomatoes with some torn mint leaves, which sounds incredible to me! I also like the idea of stirring some through a pot of creme fraiche to make a spicy fruity dip.
Find out more about the Cheeky Food Co and where you can buy on their website
Disclosure: I received samples for the purpose of this review, but I have not been paid to place these products on my site. All views are my own.