I mentioned in my lifestyle empties that I was thinking about going to just doing food empties as they come in, as individual reviews, rather than building them up to the end of the month.
The amount of empties that I have for food and drink will tend to vary quite a lot each month and there are sometimes food things that I want to chat about but do not want to keep the trash of hanging around. And whilst I love beauty and lifestyle my main interest was, and still is, food and as a result I am likely to make an increased effort in including more food posts during the course of each month.
For now though I will share with you my thoughts on all these empties. These were consumed during the course of a month and shared with at least my partner. We did not buy all of it ourselves and some of the items we got were discounted or on sale for one reason or another as we are keen on getting better value and feeling less guilty about purchasing a treat.
Sainsburys Lemon Cupcake
These came discounted in our Sainsburys local one evening and my partner ended up picking them up. It was one of those cases of if they were not sold then they would have to ‘get rid of them’ and the person in charge of discount stickers in the store is pretty generous so I think this cupcake worked out at 20p (from a set of two).
I was curious as to where the majority of the lemon would be in this as whilst the icing is bright yellow that did not mean it would contain any flavour. It seemed to contain a hint of lemon but that might be from the syrup of the cake rising up into it or the little crystallised lemon jelly being the thing to pack the majority of the punch.
The cake itself was lovely and bouncy and soft whilst being full of a gentle lemon flavour to help keep a balance between sweet and sour to make this an enjoyable dessert/treat rather than more of a savoury affair. Whilst it was soft it was not the sort of soft that results in the cake crumbling and instead it maintained its shape easily when bitten and broken apart which is always nice because nobody wants to be finding crumbs everywhere for the rest of the day.
my partner went back to his parents house for a couple of days and returned with these. I was interested to see how they could retain moisture and a fresh feeling whilst being put into a resealable long term storage bag. I knew I was going to only be able to have one or two of the tastier sounding ones, the hazelnut and cherry ones, because of the reality of a nut allergy and might have to nibble on the biscuit fudge brownie ones instead.
The hazelnut and cherry ones were very yummy and certainly delightful to eat but I did make sure I was sensible and stepped away from them after a couple of nibbles. The chunks were about the size I expected and about 2cm squares and 1cm deep with the ingredients being individually tasty and clearly there but not so big that it was just a huge hunk of hazelnut.
I could understand how the hazelnut ones could remain fresh, or at least not become dry, because of the ingredients largely involved being things that you can store for a fair amount of time anyway. But the brownies had not done well to be packaged up like this as they were on the dry side and rather flavourless.
For me a brownie should be fresh and a little gooey on the inside or able to be warmed up and returned to that state with perhaps a little ice cream. There is no way that heating these up would have done anything for the bites and the amount of cream or ice cream you might need to stop them sticking to the roof of your mouth would be far from worth it. I really feel that these miss the mark and they need to take them back to the development stages to keep them feeling fresh and moist throughout the allocated ‘best before’ times.
Warburtons Giant Crumpet
I rarely talk about crumpets on my blog but I absolutely love them and there was a period of time when basically every other tweet I published was about crumpets. Fresh or not they have their purposes and warmed up and put with butter or cheese or eggs or a whole stack of other things makes them an absolute joy for a breakfast or a lunch. I tend not to put jam or other sweet things with them but will occasionally do that if I fancy them for dessert.
And when I seen about the giant crumpets I really wanted to give them a go but I never seen them around stores and when they were in my eyesight I struggled to justify the price tag that came with them. In the end, just before my partner went away for a couple of days, he went to the co-op and spotted them for £1. And 50p for one single large crumpet is basically what I pay for a pack of 8-12 average sized crumpets so I made sure I behaved and just had one a day.
With everything when food companies make things a different size or try to tweak something there is a fear that it is going to change the consistency or taste of the product and that was the main thing I had concerns about here.
Luckily those fears were quickly put into the cupboard and forgotten about. heating these up was a bit of trial and error but because I tend to toast them and then put them under the grill the process did not seem to take much longer than it does with a more average sized crumpet. But if you do them completely in the grill or in the toaster then you might need to factor in a little more time to ensure they are nice and warm on the inside as well as lovely and toasty and crispy on the outside.
Of course the issue with these is that you are just having one crumpet but one of these is slightly larger than two normal crumpets and then you are putting more ingredients on to them and as a result these could easily turn out to be more calories than people usually factor in for their crumpets and may catch a few number crunchers out.
Co-operative Summer Fruits Pie
This is something I am unlikely to have selected myself but when my partner purchased it for £1 I was hardly going to turn down a slice of fruity pastry goodness was I?
Cutting it open I was faced with immediate bitter disappointment. That is a very poor amount of fruit to pastry ratio for any pie and even on eating it the overwhelming taste and texture was just pretty poor quality and questionably un-sugary (for a dessert) pastry. the less said on this the better but I would not recommend it from their bakery section, the ones that come in the plain brown boxes, as this just lacked any love or joy and was just a waste of money and calories combined.
Sainsburys Apple Pie
After the disappointment of the fruit pie I was pleased to spot something a little bit more like how I imagine pies should be in Sainsburys. This one was discounted down to about half of the usual ticket price so we got that plus some pre-packaged custard to have dessert for a few days.
This had some more serious depth to it and cutting it open I was confronted by a healthy layer of apple chunks and sauce to keep the ratio much more reasonable. On the first day I just cut slices and warmed up custard and the texture of the apple pie was clear and the pastry was holding itself together well without succumbing to a soggy bottom (which with a refrigerated pie easily can) and then I warmed it up to finish it off and the consistency and texture still remained in tack.
Trying to get enough warmth into the centre of the pie, to warm the apple and the sauce up, without causing the pastry to become overly hard or have the heat catch it in one specific place was quite a challenge but when given some custard it all balanced out heat wise perfectly.
I certainly would not pay the usual full price for this item, given how much it would cost to make something of a similar size at home, but if I spot it on discount or offer in the future and we are in the market for a dessert then I would be tempted to pick one up. It was not the best apple pie I have ever tried but it was far from the worst and sometimes a quick to pick up comforting slice of pie is all that we need.
Magnum Double Peanut Butter
The curse, I am allergic to peanuts but cannot resist their goodness, strikes once more hear. I had seen so many people talk about these and had to give them a go. For a moment I understood what it must be like to be a real die-hard lipstick junkie and follow everything said and done in the beauty community.
They were on offer as a box of three for £2 so, compared to the price of choc ices and general ice cream, I thought they better be good or I will be hugely disappointed and my partner will look at me with a scornful eye of “why did we waste out money on these”.
Now I have mentioned this before that I am so often disappointed because the things that claim to be peanut related or have peanut butter in never have that whack of peanuts and taste that I tend to expect. And if I am paying that much for one of these then I expect there to be a clear layer of peanut butter going on in there.
There was not. The peanut taste was none existent and you had to pretty much quint to be able to see where the layer of the stuff began and stopped it was so thin. Also can we take a moment to realise that for some reason these are smaller than the normal Magnums? I mean basically these were a complete rip off. The chocolate and the ice cream, what there was of them in this small bar, were as good as a usual Magnum but I was expecting peanut butter and the chocolate to be contrasted by the sticky and almost salty peanut butter.
You would be better off buying some vanilla ice cream and a tub of peanut butter and just spooning them into a bowl together. Do not get me started on these. Huff.
Cofresh Crunchy Snacks
If anybody but my partner had brought these to me I would have been delighted but instead these entering our flat meant that I was going to have to listen to my extremely loud chomping partner munching his way through these. For context I move away from him eating a biscuit because he manages to make it sound like he is chomping away at a stone.
These are mass market products so I knew that the taste of these was going to be pretty mild on the chilli and perhaps a little stronger than necessary on the lemon and initially I thought I was right.
The very first thing you taste when giving these a go is the lemon flavouring but slowly the chilli heat builds. It does not build to a level that makes you pull any faces or any sounds of a heat burst surprise but it is a little warmth that you are able to notice. Some of the bits seemed to have more chilli on than others but even then there was no wow these have a kick to them factor and I am not a huge heat fan so that says a lot for how mild these things really must be.
But I love roasted corn and things like this and for 50p, I believe they were on offer and that is why we ended up with some of the noisy things in the flat, this bag was great value for money and shared between us lasted much longer than a bag of crisps at a similar price.
I would love to try out some of Cofresh‘s other products in the future and will be keeping an eye out for them in the future knowing that their spice levels are not too overwhelming for even little timid me.
Pulenta Wines (Argentina) Gran Corte VII 2012
A friend of ours got us this bottle of wine a little while ago, as a late engagement gift, and we had held off opening it for quite some time as it was clearly a little fancier than the average bottle you find down the shop.
In the end we decided to open it whilst having some steak on the evening before my birthday and then finished the rest off on my actual birthday with a bit of cheese.
I do not really drink a lot of wine, and even less red wine, but I do know this is the best bottle of red I have tasted to date. It was so smooth to drink and did not leave that harsh taste at the back of your mouth that the large majority of red wines tend to do.
Normally I only ever have red wine whilst eating but this is something that I felt comfortable sipping away at whilst food was over and just continuing to enjoy the smoothness and tastes of this wine.
To get more details on the notes and flavours of this wine, if you are interested, I am going to point you in here because I know I could not do it justice. An absolutely delightful bottle and if I was in the market for getting a rather fancy bottle of red wine in the future I would either seek down this one or one from this vineyard.