Christmas Gifts For Foodies

We’ve all seen the jokes and heard the warnings about buying kitchen goodies for Christmas presents and yet here I am, suggesting kitchen gadgets for Christmas presents! These aren’t irons and toasters though – we’re talking technology that makes life a little bit easier, while also making cooking fun!

Herb shredder bowl  – £25

First on my list is the beautiful stone herb shredder bowl. Not only does it feel beautifully earthen but the multi-purpose herb stripper also has a built-in garlic and ginger grater. You simply thread the herb stems through the holes in the bowl and it pulls off the leaves, ready for cooking and serving.  So much easier to clean than herb scissors!

Folio™ Plus 8-Piece Knife & Chopping Board Set – £99

We all have knives in the cupboard, but when’s the last time you sharpened your kitchen knives? Or replaced your chopping boards? Don’t underestimate the difference the right tools can make to a job – and chopping onions or soft fruit or bread with the right knife can make the job that much easier!  Never mind slicing that Christmas turkey. The knives in this Joseph Joseph set are spectacular – cut a tomato without squishing out any of the juice! That makes my day! That with the matching chopping boards also makes it really easy to keep your meats and veg dishes separate – really important when you have a life-long veggie in the house!

Stirr – an automatic stirrer – £24.99 

I won’t lie – the Stirr is a totally gratuitous gadget, but one that totally tickles my fancy – and will that of anyone who has stood over a pot for ages getting a soup, a sauce or a custard going without burning to the bottom of the pot – which means the dishwasher will thank you too! The three-legged stirrer is an automatic stirrer which can be used for puddings, soups, hollandaise, porridge and gravy.
Collapsible foraging bag – £12.50

This final suggestion is more on the collecting side of kitchen goods than the preparation side, but it’s still a great stocking-filler. While traditional foragers are always depicted with beautiful baskets, the reality of the foraging way of life is that you don’t always have a basket with you when you come across a glut of apples or a spray of wild garlic! I’ve arrived home from dog walks with pockets overflowing with elderflowers, figs or three-cornered leeks. Having a collapsible foraging bag to keep in your pocket never goes amiss!

When buying kitchen gadgets for Christmas presents its certainly a good idea to know that your recipient will actually value it, but any of these gifts should make the job – whether it’s cooking up a feast or a quick midweek meal – a little more pleasant!


Eco Pod Herb Pots For Indoor Gardening

eco pod herb pot

We decided last year to give up our allotment, because,… life, but I do really like having fresh herbs around and I’d like to keep growing a few things, as best I can in the space I have. We are blessed in our house to have large Georgian windows which get a lot of beautiful sunlight (okay, daylight, sun even beautiful windows can’t promise!) but the windowsills are low, so anything we put on it, ends up falling off or being knocked about in the general melee of daily life. So, when I spotted these gorgeous Eco Pod herb pots, they were the answer to a question I didn’t even know I had yet. eco pod herb pot

The Eco Pod Self Watering Herb Pots come as a set of two, and are three-part, egg-shaped little gadgets of wonder. Part one is the bracket which is attached to the wall by removable sticky tabs. You need to attach the double sided tabs to a clean surface, and then attach the bracket. Leave it overnight so that it can properly ‘set’. eco pod herb pot

I didn’t want to wait for seeds, so I bought some potted herbs from my local supermarket – basil and parsley in this instance. If you just tear them apart, I’ve found, they don’t tend to live very long, (I think the roots are too damaged). However, if you remove the herbs from their pots, and put them in a bowl of water for a day or two it all comes apart much easier and there’s less damage, and the herbs seem to survive better. The herbs can soak while the wall sticker is resting. eco pod herb pot

The Eco Pod herb pot itself is made up of two parts – the top bit is where the soil and plant go, and the bottom bit is where the water goes. The water will drip from the top to the bottom through a sponge-like filter and then, I suppose, get soaked back up it over time. So you water the top, it runs through, and then comes back up again as needed. It’s all very simple and yet very clever.

The two parts are held together by magnets, which so far, is still all holding together well. eco pod herb pot

Learn from my experience – put it all together and plug it into the wall bracket as one piece otherwise you have muddy water running down the wall! But that little mishap aside, it doesn’t seem to leak, so long as you top the water up with care.

I intend to get a few more pots to add extra herbs. They are small pots, so these are for the kind of herbs you would use on occasion, rather than for, say, pesto where you’d use the whole pot! I think it would be smart, too, to pop some seeds into the pot every few weeks so that you have constant new growth. I haven’t tried it that way yet, but I’ll let you know if it works. Even if I have to replace the herb pots every now and then, the herbs last longer this way, and there’s always fresh herbs for my cooking. Love, love, love it – and I think it looks gorgeous too.


Degustabox – February 2017

The months do fly by at the moment – I can tell that by how often the Degustaboxes seem to come around! The February Degustabox was filled will lovely treats and sweets and foodie bits, but a little something for adults too. The first thing the kids went for, of course, were the bags of gummy sweets!  I loved hthe Bebeto Cheese Cake Flavour. Or I should say flavours, plural. It’s like any other gummy sweet, but has three layers in the Jelly Gum, with a buttery base labour, a cake flavoured layer and a berry layer, all in one mouthful. It’s really good! We loved these! The Bebeto Candy Crush Gummy mix was also good – based on the popular game – they had a variety of flavours and shapes. I couldn’t make out from the packaging if these were vegetarian or not, so I’m guessing not, but they are Halal certified.

And then there was the single bar of Diablo No Added Sugar, Cream Filled Milk Chocolate Wafer, which had to be shared three ways. I’m generally disinclined to go for sugar free things as they normally have other things that replace the sugar, and those things are generally not any better for you, but I’ll admit I liked the Diablo bar. The crispy wafers were perfectly crispy, the chocolate layers were sweet but not sickly. I really liked it. I also left half the bar for over a week (I like to leave a bit to eat/drink while I’m writing the actual review) and was surprised to find that it was still crispy despite having been open for that length of time.

The Maui & Sons Dark Chocolate Coated Banana Chips are dried banana chips covered with dark chocolate. I found them a little strange, at first, as I couldn’t ‘get’ the banana, but it came through after the chocolate as a gentle aftertaste. They are vegan, with no preservatives and are gluten free, and I will be buying them again as they are delicious.  I did think they’d be fabulous gently crushed and used in muffins though!

I loved the Peppersmith Peppermints & Chewing gum. They were fresh and sharp, and definitely leave your mouth feeling cool and clean – they are sweetened with Xylitol which is meant to be good for your teeth anyway. And I loved them a little extra because the kids didn’t like them – they were too strong for them. Which means I don’t have to hide them away.

We all love popcorn, so this was welcome on one of the many rainy days we’ve had of late. I must admit that the Willy Chase’s Fit Popcorn – Apple Cider Popcorn was a bit unusual for me, but it grows on you soon enough and is one of those ‘once you start, you can’t stop’ treats.  We received a small bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar with this, which I kind of wished your were meant to drizzle over the popcorn or something, but actually we have bottles of the stuff in the cupboard – we use it a lot – so as this is a small bottle I’m putting it in the camping goods for the summer so we can take some with us! I did like that even this small bottle had traces of The Mother in it, a sure sign of a good Apple Cider Vinegar.

I absolutely loved these Dark Chocolate Americanos, smooth, dark chocolate on the outside, filled with crispy, crunchy coffee beans. I could eat many bags of these. More so as I decided they weren’t for kids.

Double Dutch is a ‘natural premium mixer’ which you can have with spirits or on it’s own. There are different flavours, I believe, of which we received Cucumber and Watermelon, which, let’s face it, pretty much is summer in  a glass. Considering that it really is just flavoured water, I really liked the gold embossing on the labels. It makes it feel rather fancy. Be aware you need a bottle opener for these lids.

I wasn’t at all sure about the Just Bee Honey Water which sounds like it’s going to be really sweet, but it was probably the most surprising item in the box. I really enjoyed it and could definitely see myself buying it again. We received a blueberry flavoured one, and I really loved it. Produced by a family of bee keepers these have no extra sugars and it looks like the company does a lot of work around saving and protecting bees.

Coldress Fruity Greens Juice is really tasty. I don’t like celery at all so I could taste a hint of it in this, but the sweetness of the apple, banana and kiwi covered it sufficiently. There’s also kale and spinach in it, and 150ml makes up one of your 5-a-day, so this 500ml bottle makes up three of them, and it’s something you could certainly keep on your desk or counter and have a sip from now and then as you go through the day.

We’re not really dairy free milk people, so I’ve popped the Koko milk alternative in the cupboard for next time we have smoothies, as it seems a good alternative to almond or other nut milks.

The box also contained a bottle of Blossom Hill Summer Fruits which I have to tell you is amazing stuff. I did wish it was a warm sunny evening while I was sipping it, but even so, it was delicious. This will only be included if you have the alcohol version of the Degustabox, and you’ll receive either summer fruits or elderflower. I will definitely be grabbing this again in the summer as it’s delicious, and is around £4 – £4.50 a bottle, so certainly affordable.

The February Degustabox also contained two small tins Heinz no added sugar beanz and Kabuto Noodles. 

Contents of boxes may vary. The contents of this box were worth roughly £22.50, but boxes cost £12.99 and your first box would be only £5.99 with the code below: Degustabox Discount Code


Degustabox – Healthier January Box {Food Subscription Box Review}

Degustabox Discount Code

This month’s DegustaBox arrived today and it’s filled with fab goodies – the majority of which we’ve never tried, and probably wouldn’t choose off a shelf, which is what makes the Degustabox great: it makes you try new things, and find new favourites.

The Degustabox Snacks

The snacks in this month’s box are Popchips Ridges, Yushoi  Snapea Rice Sticks and Snacks Seeds and Sea Salt crakers. Sweet stuff this month are the Fruit-tella sweets.

We’ve had Popchips before, but these are Crazy Hot Popchips Ridges. They are super hot – the kids didn’t like them at all. I couldn’t eat them as they were, but melted some mozzarella over them, and they were delicious. The cheese cuts the spice and makes it very flavourful.  Add some avocado and sour cream and you have a spicy nacho snack. Yum.  These crisps are gluten free, and not fried, so they’re lower in calories. Although, probably not, smothered in cheese!

Speaking of nachos, the Snacks Seeds & Sea Salt crackers have a brilliant little recipe card with ways to use them and the Cheese-Glazed Snack Casserole turns them into a hot nacho meal without crisps. It looks brilliant.  The recipe booklet includes a variety of other dips, all of which look fabulous.  These are wholegrain rye crackers.

Yushoi Snapea’s have been on the shopping list for us since we had them in a Degustabox last year, but I think these are a new flavour for us. The Coconut & Chilli is really tasty, with a light coconut flavour and a very gentle chilli flavour rather than heat. Even the kids liked them (after I assured them they weren’t actually made from peas. Which they are. I’m a terrible mother.) Snapeas are gluten free, made from peas and rice, they are baked and a source of protein. They are high in fibre, nut free, have no MSG or artificial colours or flavours, consist of 72% green peas, suitable for vegetarians, and don’t really taste of peas at all. They are awesome.

Fruit-tella are your standard chewy soft sweet, but they have 30% less sugar. You wouldn’t know it in the eating though. Watch out if you have fillings, they are chewy indeed, but they are delicious. And I’m quite happy with the less sugar thing.

The Degustabox Foods

The Degustabox food this month is Ready cooked Organic and Fairtrade Pearl Quinoa with split peas. This organic, fair trade staple is a great alternative to rice and it’s gluten ffree and suitable for vegetarians. This would be great stuffed in hollowed out pepper.

This moth’s box also includes a 100% off voucher for a pot of The Collective yoghurt. It’s a ‘ridiculously tasty gourmet live yoghurt with a double layer of fresh fruit compote’. I’ve seen these in my local Waitrose, so I will collect one next time I’m down there.

The Degustabox Drinks

There are loads of drinks in this month’s Degustabox.

Firstly there’s Aspire Health Drinks – we received Cranberry and Mango Lemonade.

These are Green Tea extract drinks that are meant to reduce body fat. They contain no calories, no sugar and no fat. They use sucralose as a sweetener, which doesn’t have the same aftertaste as aspartame, so I already like them a lot, just for that.

The Cranberry flavour has a hint of the tartness you’d expect, but it’s not enough to make you pucker up. It does contain taurine (the stuff in red bull too) so shouldn’t be had more than four cans a day. This is not recommended for children, breastfeeding or pregnant women, but is suitable for vegetarians (I expect that means the Taurine is synthetically produced.)

The Mango Lemonade flavour gives you exactly what you expect – a fresh burst of mango, and a refreshing green tea flavour.

Protein Boost offers 20g of protein in a handy little bottle. It tastes like chocolate milk and is quite a thin milk drink. It’s very tasty and certainly doesn’t feel like you’re having a meal in a bottle, but it’s good if you have a busy day and need a bit of endurance.

Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer took me by surprise. I don’t like ginger beer, so expected to have a little taste and bin the rest, but the overwhelming flavour is the sweet raspberry, with a ginger aftertaste. Really delicious!

Hibiscus Drink with Fiery Ginger – well, I don’t like ginger beer – but this was lovely. Initially, there’s a sweet flavour you can’t really put your finger on – that’s the hibiscus – then there’s the after taste of ginger, which it turns out is quite soothing on the throat when you have a cold!

The Degustabox Extras

Extra’s are those things that don’t fall into the above categories, and for this month’s box, that includes Natvia Sugar Substitute and The Chia Company Chia Seeds.

I’ve never used Natvia before, so I thought I’d try that first in something I know very well – my coffee. I normally have no sugar in coffee, but found the flavour unchanged and definitely sweeter than normal. That’s a bonus if you want your coffee with no extra calories, but you miss the sugar. I also tried it in the Chia Mocha recipe, instead of honey, and again, was quite happy with both the flavour and sweetness. I’ll have to try it in baking soon.

Chia seeds are one of those things you buy, then can’t remember what recipe you bought it for, so sit with it in the kitchen for six months. (If you’re like me). Either that, or you know what it is and what it does and use it all the time. I know people enjoy chia porridge and chia jam. For me, I don’t like lumpy things, even soup, so it’s something I really struggle with. If you like bubble tea or sago or rice pudding, you’ll love chia. And it’s meant to have tons of health benefits.  The Degustabox came with two recipes for chia seeds. I’ve adapted them a little to our tastes and circumstances, and you can do the same. The Chia Mocha is here, and the (adapted to) Chia Raspberry & Cacao Nib Peanut Butter Slice is here.

Discount code for new subscriptions

If you’d like to try the Degustabox for yourself, head over to Degustabox and use the discount code below for a whopping £7 off your first box, making it just £5.99.

Degustabox Discount Code

15+ Free eBooks For Your New Years Foodie Goals

Christmas is over and January is looming and with it all the new year’s resolutions. The times for making plans and promises, and for hoping for change in the new year. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course – a wise man once said “The measure of success isn’t in how many times you fall, but in how many times you get up again”.

If one of your goals for the year ahead are eating healthier, more cooking from scratch or simply just adjusting your food habits, then here are 17 free Kindle eBooks *  (free at the time of publishing. please confirm before downloading)

Don’t have a Kindle eReader? Never mind – you can download one of the multitude of free Kindle readers onto your phone, laptop or other device.

Free eBooks for Slowcooker Meals

Free Kindle BookSlowcookers really come into their own at this time of year, whether because you want a warm and hearty meal ready when you step through the door, or whether because it’s too hot to turn the oven no and stand cooking in the kitchen, the slow cooker is perfect. The Slender Slowcooker Cookbook (UK link) (US link) contains low calorie recipes for slow cooking under 200, 300 and 400 calories. Amazon says this book is for you if – you’re looking for easy low calorie slow cooker recipes, which keep an eye on your calorie intake, a slow cooker cookbook that’s full of flavour, and you don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen. ” The slow cooker recipes are easy to put together in the morning, leaving you free to come home to a delicious meal in the evening”.

Free Kindle BookThere’s also Low Carb Slow Cooker Recipes (UK) (US link) a book full of meaty recipes. There are over 100 low carb recipes here, and while it’s very Americanised, there should be some recipes for every slowcooker user.

Paleo Gluten Free Slow Cooker Recipes (UK) (US link) offers precisely what it says on the cover – paleo and gluten free recipes for the slow cooker.  Loads of four and five-star reviews too!

Stirring Slowly (UK link) (US link) is a beautiful “short” with wholesome, gorgeous recipes. There are only a few recipes, meant to entice you into buying the book, but you can enjoy the freebie for a start.

I’ve always heard of the health benefits of bone broth, but have found it quite daunting getting started. This guide A Simple Bone Broth Recipe to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome (UK link) (US link)

Plant based and Clean Eating Free eBooks

Free Kindle BookWant to try something new and different this year? Start with this free Plant Based Eating (UK link) (US link) – it doesn’t seem to be the book for those who already follow a plant based diet, with some reviewers calling it a ‘sampler’ of other books. It seems like a good place to start though – choose the recipes you like, and find out where to find more from those authors.  For more on the subject, Plant Based Cookbook (UK link) (US link) offers 3 books in 1: Alkaline Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Recipes for Weight Loss & Health – loads of info for those interested in Plant Based diets. 

Clean Eating Alice’s Spring Clean (UK link) (US link) is another sampler book – there are 8 recipes introducing clean eating, so if you like them, and get on with the author and the style you can invest further. 

Free Kindle BookFor a little more on the Clean Eating diet, Clean Eating by Dale Roberts  (UK link) (US link) offers 30 recipes and an introduction to the diet.

If you’re thinking Ketogenic, there’s Ketogenic Vegetarian (UK link) (US link) – even if you’re not keen on the full Ketogenic diet, there are some really good looking spiralizer recipes here.

Meat Free or Vegan Free eBook Recipes

Free Kindle BookI find the idea of Veganism quite intimidating, especially when you look at egg or dairy free living, so a book on baking Vegan foods – in this case Vegan Baking(UK link) (US link) – that still look and hopefully taste good is positive.

If Vegan Baking seems like a lofty starting point, you could try the Vegan Cookbook for Beginners (UK link) (US link). This eBook contains everything from breakfasts to dinner party treats, so it seems a good starting point, even if you’re just catering for a Vegan friend.

Juices and Smoothies Free eBooks

Free Kindle BookI don’t juice because I can’t be doing with the cleaning, but the recipes in 40 Juicing Recipes For Weight Loss and Healthy Living (UK link) (US link) give some lovely new flavour combinations that work well for smoothies, and also tell you why each recipe aids in health and weight loss.  The first recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of sugar, which seems to have made reviewers heads explode, but there aren’t any in the rest of the book, but some good new recipes and ways of combining fruit and veg.

If you’d rather try a smoothie book for smoothies, Smoothie Recipes For Weight Loss (UK link) (US link) is a good one, by the looks of things. Some reviews are fairly negative about the amount of juice or fruit in the recipes, so use your own discretion.

Time for a little something?

Yeah, we should all be healthy, but there’s always time for cake, right? And one of those resolutions for the new year may be to make more friends? Well, if so – look into the Clandestine Cake Club, and their Clandestine Cake Club Sampler B0ok.

Mrs. Claus’ Christmas Cookies (UK link) (US link) is filled to the brim with Impressive Holiday Treats. This book is great for learning the science and techniques of cookies, which can be a fantastic transferable skill to the rest of your baking.

Spices make a lovely gift for any time of the year, and Seasonings (UK link) (US Link) contains 31 recipes that will help you improve your cooking repertoire.

Please note that these are FREE books at the time of publishing. As such, while they are affiliate links, they won’t currently cost you anything. Please check before you ‘buy’ though to make sure the price hasn’t changed.

Bear Alpha Bites Cereal {Review}

Alpha Bites

I must say, when I agreed to be a Bear Ambassador, I didn’t realise I would be so spoiled! Last month it was a personalised bag for some trick or treating, in previous months crafting, and more besides, but this month along with two boxes of Alpha Bites cereal, I received a bright yellow breakfast bowl – the kids loved it so much I bought a matching one… it’s made breakfast a much brighter affair! – and with it a personalised spoon, and a Heather Alstead placemat.  Alpha Bites

Aren’t they pretty?

Alpha Bites

Of course, the real review here is the Alpha Bites. Aside from the simple, but bright and colourful boxes themselves. The boxes contain the Bear Time Travel Adventure cards, which my daughter absolutely loves. They are informative and entertaining, and often good conversation starters. Alpha Bites

The Alpha Bites come in ‘plain’ multigrain and cocoa flavours. They are very sweet, but not in a saccharin manner – in fact they have no added refined sugar, and no added salt. The Alpha Bites consist of barley, oats, corn, rice, wheat and coconut nectar, which is what makes it sweet. Alpha Bites

The kids love Alpha Bites, surprisingly the Multigrain as much as the Cocoa. They love it with milk, and they also like it as a snack without milk, so that’s good to have on hand for when everyone wants a little something sweet.

We are part of the Alphabites programme, so have been sent these items free in exchange for an honest review

Bear Claws Snacks For Autumn

Bear Claws

I do love ‘happy post’ – that’s what we call mail the postman has to ring the bell for!  A few weeks ago we received this fab parcel from BEAR, containing their Halloween/Autumn themed bear claw snacks.
Bear Claws

I loved the personalised bag that comes as a perk of working with Bear, and did immediately pop the little squashes into the oven, then demolished them with slatherings of butter. And I didn’t even share! 😉

For the kids, the box contained Strawberry and Butternut BEAR Claws and Apple, Pear and Pumpkin BEAR Claws.

Each box contains 5 lunch box sized bags – convenient, since I have two kids, so they can have a two bags each and there’s a spare for me!

As with all BEAR snacks, these flavouris are 100% fruit and veg and contain no ‘added nonsense’. Bear Claws

The flavours sound rather… unusual… and I wasn’t sure what to make of them, but after playing with my food for a while, I did try them.

When you open the Strawberry and Butternut package you’re immediately met by the sweet aroma of the strawberry. Pop one in your mouth, and the overwhelming flavour is of strawberry. I struggle to identify the pumpkin flavour in these at all, but from a child’s point of view, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Apparently there’s 230g butternut in a finished (dehydrated) 100g of BEAR Claws, so if a bag is roughly 20% of that  – each bag contains roughly 45g of butternut (I’m guessing) – so it’s an ideal way to get those hidden veggies in!


The Apple, Pear and Pumpkin flavour on opening has a sweet apple aroma, and while it has distinct pear and apple flavours, you again can’t really taste the pumpkin despite the presence of over 240g of pumpkin to each 100g of finished product.  Bear Claws

While the BEAR claws are great to play with, they are also delicious to eat, and my kids love them. In fact, it’s getting them to save some for later that’s the problem!

Bear Claws are available online from Amazon and Ocado though you can pick them up in shops like Waitrose too.

We were sent this box of goodies free to review as part of the BEAR ambassador programme. Opinions and views are my own (or those of my children.) Links in the post may be affiliate links – you will not be charged for using them. 

ChillFactor Milkshake Maker {Review}

Milkshake Maker

We love kitchen gadgets around here, even if they are just for kids in the kitchen, so we were excited to try the ChillFactor Frozen Milkshake Maker – a cup with a handle and blades to turn any milky drink into a milkshake in just minutes.Milkshake MakerThe Milkshake Maker consists of five parts – the cup, the cooling pouch, the lid and blades and the washer (to prevent leaks). There’s also a spoon – slash – straw to drink or eat with.

Assembly is simple. Just pop the cooling bag inside, place the washer above and screw the lid with the blades in place.  Pop the Milkshake Maker in the freezer for 4 – 6 hours, or overnight, and you’re good to go.


When you’re ready to make your first milkshake, simply open it up, pour the milk in, and close it up again. Stir for about 30 seconds, then – making sure the straw lid is closed – shake it a little. Apparently, this makes it more bubbly. Then you can spin it around for another minute or so, and you’re ready to eat!

Our favourite “recipe” so far is, unsurprisingly, a chocolate milkshake:

Chocolate Milkshake Maker Recipe:

ChillFactor Milkshake Maker {Review}
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 1 cup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon icing sugar
  1. Remove the ChillFactor Milkshake Maker from the freezer. Pour in a cup of milk, and quickly add the cocoa powder and icing sugar.
  2. Close the lid with the blades in place and rotate for 30 seconds.
  3. Make sure the straw hole is closed, and shake for 20 seconds.
  4. Rotate again for another 60 - 90 seconds (although I find that doing it for less makes more of an ice cream, which we like too.)
  5. Remove the blades, insert the straw, and enjoy!

I think this milkshake maker is a huge improvement on the slushie maker we already have – it’s easier to do and I like the end result better too – although I haven’t tried it with non-dairy products.

If I could have an improvement on it, I’d want to be able to just freeze the cooling pouch to save space in the freezer, but I’m not sure if that would work – there’s nothing on the packaging to say you can’t but I suspect it could damage it, so maybe we’ll not try it.

Overall, the ChillFactor Milkshake Maker is a fun bit of kit that the kids love to get involved with. It may be making it’s way to the cupboard now for the next few months, but will be pulled back into service as soon as spring arrives again.

The ChillFactor Milkshake Maker is available from Character-Online for £9.99.


DegustaBox September {Review}

DegustaBox September

We’ve been receiving the DegustaBox as a monthly subscription box for ages, and with Christmas around the corner and mince pies on the shelves, I thought it would be a good time to mention it again – what a fab gift to give someone: a year’s worth of monthly mainly, exposing you to new food, and giving you the opportunity to try things you might not normally?

The September box arrived today, and it’s definitely a *yum* box, this month, with loads of snacks. The August box was all food stuffs with a fair selection of chilli, and the July box had a penchant for drinks, while the June box, if I recall, was focused on BBQ products – you can see everything from the last three year’s worth of boxes here.

This months box seems to focus on yummy snacking for lunch boxes, with Popcorn Thins, Fruity Bars, Banana Crisps, No added sugar Jelly Pots and Chia Seed Sachets.


The prize from this box were the two Rooibos tea drinks. As I was drinking them, I thought to myself “wow, these could have been made in South Africa!” Low and behold! they are, and they are delicious. Flavour packed and gorgeous – I will be buying these Cape drinks again.


The kids were thrilled to find four jellies in the box too, and since they were no-sugar added, I let them have them after dinner.


I’ve been making fruit vinegars from my various Autumn harvests, so I’m waiting for them to be ready before I crack open this bag of bread chips – I’m keen to try them out though.


There’s also a pack of pasta which should serve as a lunch box snack you can eat at your desk, but I’m not convinced by the portion sizes for this – it says suits one as a meal or two as a side, but it barely filled two children.  They are pretty convenient though.


Finally, we received three tins of Berlotti Beans, and we don’t eat beans at all! There was only one thing to do about it, really: Make Magic Bean Brownies! They’re fantastic, and filling too!


I love the DegustaBox. It’s exciting to go through it and try new products every month. Some we don’t like, some we love, but that’s pretty normal for opinionated people. While the DegustaBox is a luxury item, at £12 a box, it’s worth a little bit of fun in the kitchen.

There’s also a fabulous discount code for readers who might want to try a box. Use the code BLDEG15 for a whopping £7 off the usual £12 price of the box. 

I was sent this box free in exchange for an honest review.