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I take packed lunch to work most days and am always on the look out for something other than just a boring sandwich. I am a big fan of the uncle bens sweet and sour sauce so when I saw they had launched a range of rice time pots including a sweet and sour one I was eager to try them.
These Uncle Bens Rice Time pots have recently been on a half price special offer at my local Tesco’s priced at just 99p for a 300g pot. They are available in the following flavours:
Sweet and sour
Spicy tikka masala
They come packaged in two separate plastic pots, the larger bottom one containing the rice and the top one containing the sauce. They are stacked on top of each other and held together with a cardboard sleeve. On the cardboard sleeve you can find all the product information including ingredients listings, nutritional information and cooking instructions.
The cooking part is very easy indeed. You simply need to separate the two pots, peel the plastic lids slightly back on each and place in the microwave for around 3 minutes. Once cooked you can peel away the plastic lids and pour the sauce pot into the rice, stir and eat.
So far I have been impressed with all the flavours I have tried but find the sweet and sour to be my favourite. The rice is perfectly cooked and very fluffy, the vegetables slightly crunchy with there just being the right amount of sauce to go with it. The pots are perfect for a quick hot snack or lunch and can be stored at room temperature. I also find that they are rather filling and if eaten at lunch will last me through until dinner time without feeling hungry. 5 stars from me.
I mistakenly took my husband into the pound shop with me and a few days ago he subsequently found the crisp isle and came back with his arms laden with different multipacks of crisp declaring that he had found some that I liked. These were a multipack of the Smiths Bacon and Scampi Fries which I had not seen for years and will admit that I was pleased with his find.
The bacon fries are described as bacon flavoured cereal snacks. They came in a multi-pack of 6 x 24g bags (3 scampi, 3 bacon) and were priced at just £1.00.
I remember having packets of these bacon fries as a treat occasionally when my grandparents would take us to the pub as a child with a bottle panda pop. I don’t believe that the packaging has changed very much with it still having quite an old fashioned/retro look. On the packet you can find all the detailed nutritional information. Unlike other bacon flavoured crisps/snacks these are not suitable for vegetarians.
The bacon fries themselves are made to look like rashers of bacon. You can certainly smell the fairly strong bacon smell when you open the packet which I find rather pleasant.
As for the taste I love these snacks they have a lovely crunchy texture and a strong smoky bacon flavour which is not artificial tasting. Also unlike other cereal based savoury snacks they do not stick to your teeth which is certainly a bonus.
Overall I think these are the best bacon flavoured savoury snacks available they have a much stronger taste than others. The only problem is that one packet is just not enough! 5 stars from me
I think I was a little slow on the uptake with using Amazon and it is only in the last year I have become a little obsessed with it. And let’s face it there isn’t much that you cannot purchase from Amazon.
To date my purchases have ranged from cat food to new shoes! When looking to make a purchase now I will often find myself heading to the Amazon website before anywhere else or the trusty Amazon app on my mobile phone.
I find navigating around the website to be very easy with all goods in the relevant categories and a good filter to narrow down your search which can often return thousands of products.
One thing that I love is that if I do not want to purchase an item straight away I can add it to my basket and hold it for later. Or I can add it to my wish list which currently contains a large amount of cake decorating equipment I hope to be able to afford one day. Items that are held in my basket will generate alerts if the prices change which I find useful especially if the price drops.
I have always experienced good delivery times and no problems at all with any of the items I have purchased from Amazon. Everything I ordered before Christmas arrived in plenty of time and items have always been packaged very well. I have never had to return any items but I believe this is free to do and quite straightforward by taking items to your local post office or collection point.
I think the only thing to be careful about with Amazon is prices you can often find the exact same item offered at various prices from different retails on the site so it is worth taking your time to do a through search.
Overall I have always been very impressed with the Amazon website and find it easy to use from the comfort of my own home. I have never had any problems with anything I have purchased and would recommend it to anyone looking to purchase almost anything at all.
I love crisps and savoury snacks and am a big walkers fan. I love there Sunbites range but until today I hadn’t gotten around to trying the run ripened sweet chilli flavour.
I purchased a multi-pack of the sweet chilli Sunbites when I spotted them on special offer at my local Morrison’s priced at just £1.00 for a bag containing 6 x 25g packets.
The Sunbites are described as multigrain crispy snacks with a sun ripened sweet chilli flavour’. They come packaged in a really cute pink foil bag with illustrations of butterflies and wheat on with the slogan ‘tiny moments of extraordinary pleasure’. Each 25g bag contains 120 calories and 5.4g of fat.
The Sunbites are brown in colour and shaped into wavy rectangle shapes. You can clearly see the red sweet chilli seasoning covering the bites which makes them look more appealing. .
As far as the taste is concerned I really like these snacks which I find have a great crunchy texture and are very tasty. I can see why they might not be everyone’s cup of tea as they are quite wholesome tasting I suppose a little like eating brown bread over white. But the taste of the sweet chilli seasoning is just perfectly balanced. You can notice very light spiciness but it is not too overpowering and more sweet that spicy. They are also not greasy in any way unlike normal potato crisps.
Overall I really enjoyed these sweet chilli Sunbites they are very tasty and make an excellent snack. They don’t feel as naughty as crisps with them being made from multigrain but still give the same satisfaction. 5 stars from me.
I eat cereal bars frequently as I prefer to eat breakfast at work rather than first thing in the morning. One cereal bar that I love either as part of a breakfast or for a snack during the day is the Kelloggs rice crispy squares bars.
My last purchase of the Kelloggs squares were from Morrison’s where they were priced on special offer at just £1.00 for a pack of 4.
The squares are described as ‘crispy grains of toasted cereal covered in melted chewy marshmallow’. Each bar contains 119 calories so they make quite a nice sweet snack without being too naughty.
I really like these cereal bars as they have a great texture balance between crisp and chewy. I always find actual marshmallows quite sickly but these bars are not overly sweet as the cereal seems to balance the sweetness very well. As they are so light they also help to hold of hunger without being too heavy.
Another use I have found for these squares is in cake making, they are brilliant to carve and sculpt to make shapes to cover with fondant to make cake decorations. I used a round fondant cutter to make the basis for turrets for a princess cake out of the squares which worked perfectly and also made them fully edible.
Overall I love these kelloggs squares not just for eating but for cake decorating too. They are also quite low in calories and great value if purchased on special offer. 5 stars from me.
One lesson I quickly learnt when I started to decorate cakes was that liquid food colourings are almost useless and that it is far better to invest in the paste colours. I now have a large selection of the sugarflair paste colours including the mint green which come highly recommended in the cake decorating world.
These colours contain 25g each and come packaged in small plastic pots. They currently retail for around £2.50 each from any specialist cake decorating shops or can be purchased online.
I purchased the mint green colour as I wanted to cover a cake in a pale green fondant. To use this colouring you simply need to use a small amount and knead it into your fondant icing, adding a little more at a time to achieve your desired colour.
You can also use this colouring to colour buttercream, royal icing or marzipan or even adding it to your cake mixture to create different colour sponge. It can also act as a paint if you are wanting to hand paint patterns or pictures onto a cake by using a little water or alcohol to thin the colouring. This colouring is Kosher and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
I love these food colourings they always give fantastic results. The mint green gives you a lovely pale green colour with only using a very small amount. You can also achieve a darker green by using more of the colouring which unlike the liquid food colourings does change the consistency of your icing.
Overall Suagrflair food colourings are always my first choice they are available in so many different colours and give fantastic results. Also a little does go a long way so therefore they are very cost effective. 5 stars from me.
I do a lot of baking and now have quite a lot of different equipment. One recent purchase was of the Wilton squeezy bottles. I paid just £1.99 for two of these plastic bottles from Amazon.
These bottles can have a variety of uses. On the Wilton website it suggests using them for Candy Melts to enable you to use them to decorate cake pops and cookies. I actually purchased these to help me to decorate cupcakes.
The bottles are made of transparent plastic. The screw on nozzle has its own small red cap to stop leakages when the bottle is full. The opening of the bottle is quite wide to allow you to fill it easily.
I used these bottles to assist me with decorating cupcakes as I wanted to drizzle some with jam and others with a toffee sauce. I filled the bottles by simply pouring the jam and the sauce into them without any difficulty. I was them able to use them to simply drizzle the sauces over the cupcakes to give a nice neat finish.
When I had finished with the bottles there was still jam and toffee sauce left in them so instead of throwing them away I was able to place the red cap on the nozzle and store the bottles in the fridge for use a few days later.
The bottles being made of plastic are also easy to wash out with some warm soapy water. It is worth noting though that they are not suitable for use in the microwave which is a shame as it would be handy to be able to melt chocolate in these to save time and mess.
Overall I have been pleased with these bottles they worked perfectly for what I purchased them for and make a great addition to my baking equipment.
Lindt have been launching different versions of its Lindor chocolate truffles for sometime now and I was very happy to see that they now produce a variety box containing milk, dark and white chocolate truffles.
The box is gold in colour and has a clear plastic window on the front of the box allowing you to see the individually wrapped truffles inside. On the back of the box you can find detailed product information including ingredients listings, nutritional information and storage instructions.
The truffles as stated are individually wrapped in a plastic wrapper coloured to reflect the flavour (gold – white chocolate, black – dark chocolate and red – milk chocolate) which is twisted at each end keeping them lovely and fresh and makes them perfect for sharing a box with friends.
These truffles can be purchased from most supermarkets retailing for around £4.50 for a 200g box but I was lucky enough to pick up a few boxes from my local Tesco Express tore last week reduced to clear at just £1.18 a box.
The truffles are really easy to unwrap by twisting the two ends of the wrapper to reveal the glossy looking chocolate ball. Biting though the chocolate shell is quite easy and makes a cracking sound. Once through the crisp chocolate shell you hit the contrast in texture to the soft, smooth, deliciously creamy truffle centre which is very rich and indulgent. I love all of these truffles the white chocolate is the sweetest and is very creamy, the milk chocolate is the perfect middle grown still rich and creamy but not as sickly as the white chocolate and the dark chocolate is rich, slightly bitter and indulgent.
Overall these Lindor truffles are just delicious. I love all of the flavours but having the selections makes them perfect to share and gives a lovely variety from the sweet white chocolate to the rich, bitter dark chocolate.
I love perfume and always have a few bottles on the go at the same time. One bottle I received as a gift for Christmas and that I had not used for sometime was the Hugo Deep Red.
As stated my bottle was a gift but on doing some research I have found that a 50ml bottle is currently on special offer at £29.95 in Boots. This is quite an expensive perfume but to me it is quite a powerful scent so I find that I only need to use a little for it to last all day.
The Deep Red perfume comes packaged in a dark red coloured frosted glass bottle with a sliver lid. To dispense the perfume you simply need to remove the cap to reveal the pump action spray dispenser.
The fragrance of this perfume is described as Oriental and is quite a strong scent made up of the following:
Top Notes – Clementine, Blood Orange and Blackcurrant
Heart Notes – Freesia, Pittosporum and Ginger Flower.
Base Notes – Sandalwood, Cedarwood and Vanilla.
I tend to use this perfume as an evening fragrance as it is quite strong with the base notes certainly dominating. There is some slight fruitiness to the scent but sandalwood is the most noticeable fragrance. One thing I love about this perfume is its longevity, a few sprays will last the entire evening and still smell beautiful on my skin without the need for me to top it up.
Overall this is quite a high end perfume with the hefty price tag but if not using every day then it is worth it as a little really does go a long way. For me it is perfect for evening wear but for those who like a heavier scent then I don’t think it is too over bearing for day time use. 5 stars from me.
My cat loves her food and especially loves treats! For Christmas she received quite a few treats including a few pots of the Whiskas temptation biscuits one of which was the salmon flavour.
These Whiskas treats can be purchased in most large supermarkets and were recently on offer in my local Tesco store for just £1.00 for a 60g pot.
The treats come packaged in a purple plastic pot which is shaped like a cats head. The pot has a clear plastic lid which allows you to be able to reseal it to keep the treats nice and fresh. On the pot you can find detailed information about the treats including ingredients listings and feeding guidelines.
My cat runs to me as soon as she hears the pot rattle and loves these treats. They look like little pillows and are light brown in colour with a rough texture. Inside is a salmon flavoured filling, it states on the pot that they only contain 4% salmon but my cat goes crazy for them and certainly enjoys eating them so they must taste pretty good.
I try not to feed too many of these to my cat as I am careful to maintain her at a healthy weight especially as a house cat who doesn’t get as much exercise as a cat who goes outdoors exploring. But as these are quite small they are great to hide to make a little treasure hunt or to place into a toy where my cat has to use her skills to get the treats out to prevent boredom.
Overall my cat loves these treats, they are good value and if fed as part of a balanced diet make an excellent treat for my cat. Highly recommended. 5 stars from me.
Lindt and its master chocolatiers have been making chocolate since 1885 and launched the first version of Lindor in 1955. These extra dark 60% cocoa Lindor chocolates consist of a dark chocolate spherical shell which is filled with a rich, smooth dark chocolate truffle centre.
These truffles are marketed as a luxurious chocolate which is reflected in the packaging. The box is dark brown in colour with gold decoration which makes it look like an expensive, high quality product. There is a clear plastic window on the front of the box allowing you to see the individually wrapped truffles inside.
On the back of the box you can find detailed product information including ingredients listings, nutritional information and storage instructions.
The truffles as stated are individually wrapped in a plastic wrapper which is twisted at each end keeping them lovely and fresh and makes them perfect for sharing a box with friends.
These truffles can be purchased from most supermarkets retailing for £4.50 for a 200g box but are currently on special offer at Tesco for £3.50.
It is stated that dark chocolate is better for you than other chocolate due to its high cocoa content but as with all chocolate it still contains those dreaded calories. These Lindor dark truffles contain the following information per 3 truffles:
~ Calories - 230
~ Fat - 19g of which saturates 13g
~ Sugars – 11g
I received a box of these truffles for my birthday and remember the taste as they are just divine. I am a fan of dark chocolate anyway as I think it has a wonderful rich taste, also dark chocolate gives you that intense chocolate fix without having to eat a large amount. The truffles are really easy to unwrap by twisting the two ends of the wrapper to reveal the glossy looking dark chocolate ball. You can smell the chocolate straight away which is sweet, slightly bitter but also mouth watering. Biting though the chocolate shell is quite easy and makes a cracking sound. Once through the shell you hit the contrast in texture to the soft, smooth, deliciously creamy dark chocolate truffle centre which is very rich and indulgent. You can certainly sense the high cocoa content as the taste of the chocolate and truffle is quite intense and a little bitter but it has just enough sweetness to give a lovely balance. As these truffles are so rich I was only able to eat a couple at a time but felt like I had eaten many more as they are so rich.
Overall these Lindor extra dark truffles are just delicious. They may not be for everyone as I think dark chocolate is quite an acquired taste as the richness and bitterness can be a little overpowering but I love it especially in these truffles. I would certainly recommend these extra dark Lindor truffles as they are fantastic quality, taste amazing and are good value. 5 stars from me.
Last year my husband and I was looking for a cheap holiday and ended up booking a week in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria. We had heard quite a bit about the resort of Sunny Beach, mainly due to hype in the press about it being full of rowdy, drunken teenagers but we didn’t let that put us off and headed there for a weeks holiday.
We paid £400 each for our week all inclusive package holiday which included flights and transfers to a 4 star hotel. We flew from Birmingham airport with the flight taking around 3 hours with a 30 minute coach transfer to Sunny Beach.
The first surprise was how modern the airport was with it having a nice selection of shops, eateries and a huge amount of toilets. It is also completely level access, so suitable for wheelchair users and buggy friendly.
The resort of Sunny Beach is huge and our only mistake was booking an all inclusive hotel as there were so many bars and restaurants throughout the resort all of which were excellent value. It was actually possible to purchase a pint of beer for 1 Lev (40p) and we paid just £20 for a steak meal for two with drinks.
The beach is a huge 8km long with lovely fine sand and warm sea perfect for swimming. There were sun beds and parasols for hire along the full length of the beach as well as shops and eateries along the promenade.
The resort centre is the (in)famous ‘strip’ which did have its lively bars frequented by a few 18-30s bar crawls in the evening but you can make of it what you like. There are plenty of bars and restaurants on the strip which do not house the bar crawls some of which even playing very good live music. For families there are a huge amount of family themed bars and restaurants throughout the entire resort and well away from the strip.
Getting around this huge resort was also very easy with frequent buses, a road train and an abundance of taxis at very reasonable prices.
For anyone wanting to venture out of the resort for the day I would recommend a trip to Nesebar which is a short bus ride from the centre of Sunny Beach. Nesebar is an old fortress which is very pretty and has a selection of shops and restaurants. You can also take a local boat trip back to Sunny Beach which we did which was very pleasant and a mere 10 lev (£4) each.
Overall we were impressed with Sunny Beach for a cheap get away it ticks all the boxes of a short flight, great value, lots to see and do and a lovely beach. I would certainly recommend this resort for any age range as you can make of it want you want from lively clubbing holiday to family beach fun. I will certainly return back one day but definitely on a self catering basis.
My husband and I were lucky enough to be able to visit The Royal Cancun Hotel in September 2011 for a our honeymoon. Cancun was our destination of choice and we opted for this hotel after reading the fantastic reviews.
We booked The Royal Cancun which is a 5 star adult only hotel as part of a package holiday through First Choice and paid in the region of £1800 each for a two week all inclusive stay with flights. There are different types of rooms at the hotel from a standard double/twin which we booked to a swim up room with full butler service.
On arrival at the hotel by coach transfer from the airport we were greeted by staff that quickly relieved us of our luggage and handed us ice cold towels and glasses of chilled champagne. This was much needed after the long 11 hour flight and queues at the airport to pass through immigration.
After a swift check in we were shown up to our room and were instantly blown away. The large open plan room boasted a queen sized bed, air conditioning, hair dryer, iron & ironing board, flat screen tv, mini bar, Jacuzzi & a balcony with breathtaking views over the pool and sea. There was a separate bathroom with two hand basins, wc and huge double shower with a standard shower at one end and a waterfall shower at the other.
The hotel was immaculate throughout and all staff were extremely helpful and attentive. Our room was cleaned daily as well as a turn down service at night where the bed sheets would be folded back, slippers and dressing gowns placed on the bed, chocolates placed on the bedside table and bath salts and tea lights placed on the Jacuzzi.
Amenities at the hotel included a a la carte and buffet style restaurant as well as 4 themed restaurants (Mexican, Japanese, Chinese & Italian), huge free form pool, indoor pool and fitness suite, swim up bar, 24 hour self service bar and snack room, 24 hour rooms service and beach side waiter service.
From the moment we arrived at The Royal to the moment we left we were lavished in pure luxury. Days were mainly spent around the pool, beach or at the swim up bar sampling frozen cocktails. There were always sun loungers available and staff would even come around and clean your sunglasses. The food was excellent in all of the restaurants and if you was peckish in the middle of the night then the 24 hour room service was also fantastic. The hotel’s location was brilliant too as not only was it right on the beautiful sandy beach it was only a 10 minute walk to the centre of Cancun which had shops, bars and the famous Coco Bongo nightclub which was certainly worth a visit. I would love to go back to this hotel one day and would highly recommend it to anyone thinking of a holiday to Cancun.
I normally add a packet of crisps or some sort of savoury snack into my lunch bag everyday. Today’s choice was a packet of Walkers really cheesy Wotsits.
I purchased a multi-pack of these really cheesy wotsits from my local Morrison’s store priced at just £1.00 for a bag containing 6 individual 16.5g packets.
The wotsists come packaged in foil bags to keep them nice and fresh. On the bag they are described as really cheesy flavoured corn puffs and each 16.5g bag contains just 90 calories and contain no artificial colours. They are also suitable for vegetarians.
The wotsits themselves are quite a bright orange colour which I can imagine would put some people off but I am not at all fussy with my food. They do have a very strong cheesy smell which wafts out of the bag as soon as it is opened which is I find quite appealing.
As for the taste the cheese flavour is a little on the artificial side but it is a nice strong flavour to what would otherwise be a very bland corn puff. They are very light and have a nice crunchy texture but do dissolve quite quickly when you begin to eat them. I think the only negative is that because the wotsits are made from corn they do tend to stick to your teeth when you eat them which is annoying and did send me to a mirror after eating them to check my teeth.
Overall these cheesy wotsits make a lovely snack which is tasty and not too high in calories. 4 stars from me.
I recently watched a program all about sugar where it stated that Britain eats more biscuits than any other nation in Europe. One brand of biscuits which is very well established is Foxs who have been making biscuits for 160 years . My office always has biscuits in the biscuit barrel and today was my turn to stock it up. I took a trip to my local Tesco Express where they had these foxs ginger crunch creams on a half price special offer priced at just 54p for a 168g packet.
The biscuits come packaged in a plastic wrapper that has a peelable tab at the top to easily open the biscuits. The wrapper is not reseal able so once open it’s a case of eat all the biscuits or place into a air tight container to keep them fresh. The biscuits are described on the wrapper as ‘crunchy ginger biscuits filled with yummy ginger flavoured cream’. You can also find nutritional information, allergy advice and ingredients listings on the wrapper.
The biscuits themselves look very appealing being a lovely golden brown colour with a crackled top and a nice thick layer of cream filling in the middle. They also have a lovely smell of ginger as soon as you remove one from the packet.
I love the taste of these biscuits, they are light and have a lovely crunchy, crumbly texture and the cream filling really compliments this. The ginger flavour is just powerful enough to give a slightly warming taste without being too overpowering and cuts through the sweetness by just the right amount. Each biscuit contains 78 calories which means they make a lovely mid morning treat without being too indulgent.
Overall these are great everyday biscuits from Foxs which are great quality, taste delicious and are fantastic value when on special offer.