What’s New in the Lavender and Lovage Kitchen for January 2014
I have received some amazing products before and just after Christmas, and many of them were enjoyed over the festive period, although I am still left with lots of fabulous ingredients for cooking and enjoyment throughout January too! I managed to take photos of most of them BEFORE we devoured them, and so here they are, with a Lavender and Lovage rating out of 10 besides each product or products……they were all sent for review with no request for a blog post, but I would like to share them with my readers, as they were for the most part high quality items that I would certainly consider buying again.
What’s New in the Lavender and Lovage Kitchen for January 2014
I received a wonderful array of Spanish ingredients in their Christmas hampers – not a Christmas hamper as we may know it with Christmas puddings and cake etc, but a hamper full of the most amazing artisan ingredients that included Montanegro Chorizo Iberico, Bonita Tuna, Senora de Vicantar Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Hot Smoked Paprika, Anko Piquillo Peppers, Pablo Garrigos Turron de Jijona and Anko Gazpacho. Greys Fine Foods are a Yorkshire based importer of Spanish foods and Spanish wines, bringing to the UK some of the best gourmet products that Spain has to offer.They are proud to have spent time searching and developing one of the most exciting catalogues of Spanish foods, fine wines, extra virgin olive oils, award-winning cheeses, Ibérico hams and Spanish charcuterie, exquisite milk-fed lamb and suckling pig and many more delicatessen products unseen within the UK and available to buy online from their website.
10/10 = Excellent choice of items all beautifully presented and packed and the highlight of our Christmas and New Year table.
Harvey’s Bristol Cream needs little introduction to most people, and I always welcome a glass of sherry, as does Santa! We enjoyed this sherry as an aperitif throughout the festive season and I also added it to some of my cooking too. Bristol Cream is a brand of Spanish sherry that has been imported into and bottled in Bristol, England since 1796 by John Harvey & Sons of Bristol. In the late 20th century, Harvey’s began to sell Bristol cream in bottles made from Bristol blue glass. John Harvey’s descendants have continued making Bristol cream throughout the 20th and 21st century. The company is now mainly in the hands of the youngest of John Harvey’s current descendants. Joseph Harvey, son of John’s great great great grandson, James Harvey, is currently in talks with Chinese, Korean and Japanese bottling companies.
10/10 = the taste and quality of the well-know sherry is as good today as it was when I was allowed a glass at Christmastime in the 60’s!
I received three samples of Pidy’s ready-made and ready to fill canapé pastries – Mini Square Pastry Shell, Veggie Cups Beetroot and some Spoonettes. I used them for a buffet on Christmas Eve and we all loved the Spoonettes and Beetroot Cups. I filled mine with a smoked salmon and dill cream, curried egg mayonnaise and prawn cocktail. We all thought they were fun and easy to use, and the beetroot ones were the star of the buffet table for taste. Pidy is a Belgian family innovating food business active in the world of ready to fill pastry products. World leader in dry puff pastry, we are also competitive in short crust, fonçage dough, choux pastry and sponge cakes. Three production units in Belgium, France and the USA. Commercial business units in Benelux, France, UK, Germany, USA and Export markets offer the perfect day-to-day service and market support to our customers in more than 50 countries world-wide.
8/10 = Some were broken in transit, but the overall taste was very agreeable, and the beetroot cups were amazingly tasty. The Spoonettes also added some elegance and fun the table.
Thanks to food PR agency CLIP Creative and PR for the samples.
I received a FABULOUS hamper of assorted shortbread biscuits from my favourite shortbread biscuit maker, Walkers! The biscuits were packed into a big red box with some playing cards, some tartan and lots of booklets about this famous Scottish company. I saved most of the biscuits for Hogmanay, and I also have box put by for Burns Night too, but the rest of the booty was very much enjoyed over Christmas.
In 1898 our great grandfather, Joseph Walker started out with the mission…
“To bake the world’s finest shortbread”
To this day we carry forward this tradition of baking the finest shortbreads, biscuits, cakes and oatcakes, using our founder’s original recipes.
– The Walker Family
10/10 = Always buttery, always fabulous and always well packed – I LOVE Walkers Shortbread!
Just before the season of over-indulgence I was pleased to receive a selection of Weight Watchers biscuits and cookies, and although I have tucked into some of them, I have saved some boxes for the New Year diet! I received an assortment of chocolate coated biscuits, oat biscuits and some breakfast bar type biscuits too. Looks good, tastes good, feels good. That’s because the whole range of Weight Watchers Foods has been developed by their experts in association with well-respected manufacturers. By using their recipe expertise, combined with smart cooking techniques, like baking instead of frying, you won’t feel like you’re missing out. Good eh? So now the only thing you have to weigh up is what you’re going to try next!
9/10 = A nice range of treats that tasted too good to be diet food, and with fairly low-calorie counts too.
Another brand that I grew up with and love, I was lucky enough to receive some Soreen goodies and a wonderful recipe book; I have eaten all of these products now, but DO pop back to see what I will be making in the future with the recipe book I was sent, as there are some GREAT recipes in it. I loved the Five Fruit Toastie Loaf as well as the Ltd Edition Chocolate Malt and the Festive Loaf too…..they were all great and the handy little Snack loaves are a brilliant idea! The uniquely soft & sticky recipe was created by a family whose surname was Sorenson – hence the brand name Soreen! Soreen became famous for their original fruity malt loaf and since then the company and the brand just keeps on growing!
10/10 = For a trusted brand and for innovative new products that we all enjoyed.
I received a “Make your own Pudding” and 2 little Mini Iced Santa Christmas cakes from this wonderful family company in Dorset. I LOVED my pudding kit, which was presented in a magnificent red “God Save The Cream” Mason Cash ceramic bowl! They do all the hard work by supplying all the dry and wet ingredients in two separate pouches, all you have to do is simply empty the packs into the bowl, add an egg and mix. There is no wastage of ingredients, the pudding is beautifully moist and delicious, and we still have some in the fridge that I will using for a recipe soon, so keep your eyes peeled! The Mini Iced Santa Cakes were delicious were made with traditional rich, dark, moist fruit cake. Made using high quality ingredients, free of nuts, it is matured and fed at regular intervals with Armagnac to achieve the perfect depth of flavour. Each cake is then hand wrapped to ensure that it looks as great as it tastes.
9/10 = For innovative ideas, easy pudding making and quality, plus the amazing Mason Cash Pudding Bowl, which was a LOVELY surprise!
I also received TWO fabulous French hampers from Bonjour French Food, but I will be writing a separate post for that, as I created some recipes with their ingredients and I have a Giveaway to offer on behalf of them too! But, here is a teaser photo of some of my French goodies…….
Disclaimer: I received all of the above products for review and to try, I was not paid for any of these reviews, nor was I asked to post my findings here. All opinions are honest appraisals of the products and services. Karen S Burns-Booth
Please pop back for my BOOK reviews post soon, as well as some NEW giveaways!