We do love chocolate here at AM Towers, but on the whole we are all starter and main people, rather than main and dessert. A family meal at Prezzo or Pizza Express leaves waiters aghast as we order half a dozen or so starters which the girls tuck into with gusto, and then turn their noses up at the prospect of pudding. This delight in all things savoury extends to snacks too, and multi-packs of crisps are rarely safe for long, whilst chocolate sits in the cupboard unopened for months.
Hearing of our crisp obsession, the lovely people at Corkers Crisps got in touch and asked us to sample a selection. Corkers are a home-grown ('scuse the pun) British hand-cooked crisp company based in Cambridgeshire. Their premium style crisps are available in a variety of flavours, including Gressingham Duck, Red Leicester & Caramelised Onion, and Sweet Thai Chilli. Their crisps contain no artificial anythings and no MSG, and are made from Naturalo potatoes grown in the rich soil of the Cambridgeshire Fens. Their hand-cooked style creates a deliciously crunchy and flavoursome crisp, and they are very, very moreish. Delicious.
We sampled the Almond & Cashew and Hazelnut & Cocoa bars, well I say 'we', Sophia had snaffled the Hazelnut one within seconds without anyone else getting a look in! This sort of bar is right up her street, she loves that kind of thing. Tatiana and I shared the Almond one and thought it was really tasty, perfect with my afternoon cuppa! We love that the bars are suitable for a wide range of diets, including the currently in vogue Paleo. Their high energy content make them the perfect thing to have in your bag when collecting hungry small people from school or football, and they'd be great to take with you for warmth and energy on a wintry walk.
The bars are available for just £1.49 each from Ocado, leading health stores and www.theprimalkitchen.co.uk.
In honour of their 50th anniversary, Lakeland have collaborated with some of their favourite suppliers to create a range of special edition items. One of these is this fab Ergo Spatula from Joseph Joseph. Carefully designed with a long straight edge to act as a palette knife, a soft silicone edge opposite for scraping out bowls of cake mix, and a soft grip handle for ease of use, this is an ingenious bit of kit that will serve many purposes in our kitchen. The chef pounced upon it immediately. Available from Lakeland only, in a variety of colours, priced £4.99.
I love a trip to Lakeland to find all the things we never knew we needed! These fab Food Huggers from Kitchen Craft are just the thing when you have a half of onion or pepper left over, keeping it fresh as well as keeping those nasty niffs at bay. Perfect too for when you only use half a lemon or lime, hopefully preventing them getting lost in the far reaches of the fridge! Great idea. Available from Lakeland, priced from £5.99. This set of 4 retails at £9.99.
The colder evenings often necessitate a hot chocolate, so we have been trying out the yummy Chococino variety in our Dolce Gusto machine, delicious! Now I just need to get some squirty cream... Look out for more Dolce Gusto news in the next instalment of What's New In Our Kitchen.
The final delicious addition to our kitchen this month are the new Activia Fruit Fusion flavours: mango & passionfruit, blueberry & acai and raspberry & lychee. yep they're the ones with lovely Gok Wan in the adverts! The new range features a layer of delicious fruit compote hiding under creamy yogurt. I really like the thick, slightly vanilla-y yogurt and fruit puree combination, and particularly liked the blueberry flavour, not one I would normally choose.
Great for a mid-morning protein boost, or a post-lunch treat, they are the right side of sweet, and full of good for you protein, live cultures and calcium. Like all Activia yogurts, they contain a mix of 5 live cultures including the exclusive Bifidus ActiRegularis®. Activia Fruit Fusion are available in packs of four x 125g, RRP £2.19, and is available from all the big supermarkets.
We have also been enjoying some delicious chocolates from Irish brand Lily O'Brien's who would love to ask you some questions about all things chocolate! If you head over here and fill in their survey, you might just win a hamper of chocolate!
The final mention in our round up isn't for a product, but a skill. Lara has been mastering the art of the piping bag this week. After making a batch of little fairy cakes, she piped them with vivid pink strawberry icing. Not perfect, but pretty good for a 4 year old, don't you think?
Happy eating everyone, and see you soon for the next instalment of what's new in our kitchen.