Infused Water- Strawberry, Basil and Cucumber 

We all know that drinking plenty of fluids are good for us, and I’m forever telling patients I see in my clinic that they should up their water intake. I thought it’s high time I practised what I preach if you will.

Now water on its own can be a bit dull, it’s better with ice, and even better with lemon- you see where I’m going here don’t you? I do like to start the day with boiling water and lemon ( but then coffee takes over) so how to make it tasty without adding squash or fizzy drinks? I present to you infused water.

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The concept is very simple, fill a jug or glass with water, then add your ingredients, leave to infuse for about 4 hours (or overnight) then hey presto water that’s, well more interesting and better for you than fizzy drinks.

This particular flavour combination has been inspired by summer, Wimbledon and pimms season. This honestly tastes like pimms but without the alcohol and lemonade. It’s very refreshing, and would be great for a warm sunny day ( if we every have any) to quench your thirst.

Ingredients for one glass

  • 4/5 Strawberries chopped
  • 3 basil leaves
  • 4 slices of cucumber. 

Method 

  • I can’t call this a method, you fill the glass up with water, put your ingredients in and pop in the fridge for about 4 hours
  • Enjoy your drink.

There you have it. Have fun and experiment with different flavour combinations- let me know your favourites in the comments below.

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Mrs Crimbles – New Products Review

Last week I had the great pleasure of attending the BBC Good Food show in Birmingham, and I have to say I had a fantastic time.  There was so much to see, and a great opportunity to meet the people behind the brands.

I have to add that this year there was a huge shift towards more choice free from products, the cynical side of me thinks some are jumping on the “gluten free” “clean eating” bandwagon because they think it’s fashionable, but hey ho as a coeliac myself and mini me with her nut allergy I’m not going to complain at more choices.

I had happened to notice that one off my favourite brands Mrs Crimbles had a stall at the show, so naturally it would have been rude to not seek them out, and I was so glad I did as they had lots of new products to try. Obviously for the good of my followers I thought it would be a good idea to share them with you.

My all time favourite is the new cheese straws -do put them in the oven for 5 minutes they come out, warm, puffed up, crispy and so so good. That saying I hadn’t tried any of the others.

The macaroons are ginger, so you get the chewy, chocolatey, almost bounty type flavour of the original macaroons but with ginger, and it works. In my opinion they are even better, the ginger hits your tastebuds and paired with the chocolate really is delicious.

The chocolate Madeleines were something I was looking forward to trying ( my local Tesco keeps selling out). These are tasty and perfect with coffee. A rich, buttery chocolate sponge with a hidden sauce in the centre makes them moist and oh so moreish. You can read my review of the original Madeleine’s here.

Lastly  Is the new cereal bars, great for an on the go breakfast. They are very sticky oat and puffed rice bars. The rice gives a crunch and makes for an interesting texture. I liked both flavours, but the Apricot and sultana was my favourite. The cherries and berries was a little too sweet for me, but the zing from the goji berries was lovely.

So there you have it, my round up of Mrs Crimbles new products. I still love the cheese straws, but the chocolate madeleines are in close contention for being a new favourite to.  Have you tried any of the new products? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

The Great British Food Festival 

This weekend just passed saw another Great British food festival at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire.  Having been in previous years we naturally decided to go again. It’s a great location, and affordable entrance with lots to do for the whole family. 

  
  Unfortunately the weather had other ideas, and decided to pour it down, so it was wellies and umbrellas instead of summer flip flops, but in true British style we enjoyed the downpours, and nothing stopped my little one wanting to ride on the teacups. There was a great mixture of stalls and I was impressed to see more allergies being catered for. Shock of all shocks I even found a couple of nut free products to. ( I know  amazing right?) 

The first is Briscoes Jellies – delicious jellies that are Apple based and then flavoured. My particular favourites were the mint and lavender jellies. They are all gluten, dairy free and nut free, they are also made in a nut/peanut free environment, so one to watch. 

My other favourite is preserves and chutneys from Mike’s Homemade the jalapeño and chilli jam is both amazing in its hot, sweet taste and gluten free as well. It’s great with a good cheddar. 

And lastly if you are a gin lover ( really who isn’t? ) then Masons Yorkshire Gin’s lavender gin is amazing, you really get then unusual combination of the lavender with the juniper berries, and by gosh it works. 

  
There were a great aray of stalls and a craft marque to boot. Also a children’s circus area which little one loved, and if the weather was better would have been 10/10. Let’s not forget the beautiful grounds of Ragley hall that you could wonder around as well as a children’s adventure playground in the woods. 

And last but by no means least you could be brave and take on a man vs food challenge, watch cookery demonstrations or enter a cake into a bake off competition. Sadly time was against me and I didn’t do an entry, but there’s always next year. 

All in all a great day out, I fully recommend it if your are planning you food festival visits for next year. 

Well that’s me done for now, I’m off the the BBC good food show this week, so will keep you posted about new finds I discover when I’m there. 

Simple Gluten Free Biscuits 

It’s the warmest day so far here in the shires, so naturally the little lady decided today would be perfect for making biscuits. Quick and easy was my plan so the oven could be turned of asap.  That’s where these little beauties come in. 

  
  They are a cross between shortbread and vanilla biscuits,  and can also be adapted to glutenious flours as well. The main selling point is that they are very quick to make ( although I do like to add 15 minutes to allow the dough to cool in a fridge). They are tasty to, and a winner with tiny tots, and visitors alike. 

And yes these aren’t sugar free, or carb free but occasionally it’s ok, and after testing them earlier I can confirm mini me suffered no sugar induced strop or hyper attack, so go for it. 

Ingredients 

  • 100g butter or non dairy alternative 
  • 150 g castor sugar 
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 400g plain flour 
  • 50 g self raising flour ( if going for the gluten free version) 
  • 1/4 tsp xanthum gum. 

Method 

  • Pre heat your oven to 180 oC and line your baking trays. 
  • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  • Add the beaten eggs and vanilla extract and combine well. 
  • Fold in the flours to form a dough. I use a mixture as the self raising flour seems to help combine the dough so it doesn’t split which gluten free can be prone to. 
  • Wrap in cling film and chill for 15-20 minutes in the fridge. 
  • Roll the dough out to about 1/4 cm thick and cut out your shapes.
  • Bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until golden 
  • Cool on a wire rack 

  
There you have it, if you want to indulge in your sugar fix further you can melt some chocolate down, and dip half the biscuit in, not only does it look good, but tastes delicious as well. 

What other biscuit flavours do you like? Let me know in the comments below. 

TasteWorks Coffee Review

I’ve always loved coffee, not the instant stuff ( unless I’m desperate), but proper ground coffee. I love the smell as you grind it, and the aroma it gives off when it’s brewing, and let’s not forget the caffeine hit.  I have to confess since becoming a mum to a toddler with energy that rivals a collie the caffeine really helps. 

  Taste works are a new company, and coffee is their product. Their aim is to bring you the best of small, artisan coffee roasters.  These coffees are so far from the instant versions, a must try for all coffee fans.  To Coincide with the launch they kindly sent a sample to try.  I had “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Brews” a Rwandan coffee from Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters in Liverpool. 

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  On opening the packet you are hit with chocolate hues, which almost made me think it was a mocca, followed by a strong coffee aroma- great and after following their brewing guide Here I was pouring. 

  
This coffee is very mellow, and certainly not too strong or bitter. Perfect for that first coffee of the day.  Once poured it loses some of the chocolate scent, but you can taste it ( although if chocolate isn’t your thing it’s by no means over powering.) so my verdict- I really enjoyed this coffee and can’t wait to try some of the other coffees that TasteWorks have on offer.